Pros: Durable Build, Generous Accessories, Hard Case.
Cons: Will not fit my ears properly. If the Sound Nozzle was 2 to 4mm longer it would solve the problem.
DUNU Tai Chi DN-19
Review by TrollDragon of Head-Fi.org
In this review I will be looking at the Tai Chi DN-19 from DUNU.
DUNU is a Chinese manufacturer of earphones with headquarters in Taiwan. They have been in the OEM manufacturing business for years and have just recently started making their own brand of earphones.
I would like to present to you their Flagship model the DUNU Tai Chi DN-19.
Opening the box on these earphones, I was immediately impressed with the attention to detail that DUNU puts into presenting their product. Once you remove the outer sleeve of the box, you find an inner box with a magnetic catch on the side. Under the cover flap the earphones are presented in a very aesthetically pleasing way.
The earphones are in the velvet molded carrier, with the hard case just below them.
Upon removing the carrier from the box, there is a very generous collection of accessories included for these earphones.
The beautiful DN-19 Earphones.
A velvet lined and crushproof metal hard case.
Soft leather like draw string pouch.
3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter
Flip top accessory kit
The attention to detail that DUNU puts into the accessories is impressive.
The metal hard case is divided by a rubber insert and is lined with velvet. The DUNU logo is stamped into the cover, with the companies web address on the bottom.
The soft leather-like draw string pouch has the company logo stamped into the material with a name tag sewn into the side seam. The drawstring is knotted and the ends are melted to prevent fraying.
The flip top plastic accessory case is stamped as well with the company logo. Upon opening the case, you are presented with a multitude of goodies in a velvet lined box.
- 3 pairs of Grey silicone tips in Small / Medium / Large
- 3 pairs of Black silicone tips also in Small / Medium / Large
- Another set of Medium tips come preinstalled on the earphones.
- 20 “Port” plugs for sound tuning
- Spare pair of ear hooks, one pair comes preinstalled on the earphones.
- Retaining clip for the wire
- Soft, cleaning cloth with the companies logo and web address stencilled on.
Moving on to the main attraction The DN-19’s themselves.
The Specifications of the DUNU Tai Chi DN-19
- Driver: HQ(10mm)
- SPL: 100 +-2dB
- Impedance: 16 Ohm
- Frequency Response: 16Hz~26KHz
- Noise Attenuation: 26dB
- Weight: 18g
- Cord Length: 1.3m
- Plug Type: 3.5mm (Right Angle)
- Around $130
These earphones are beautiful. The shape is very pleasing to the eye with a faint Yin-Yang symbol on the back of each one. The bodies are moulded in a glossy brown plastic with a metallic speckle finish. The cord is not detachable from the body but has a nice strain relief where it enters the body. On each associated strain relief is a very small R & L to mark the Right and Left earphone. The Left strain relief has in Braille three vertical dots, which is the symbol for L. Mind you, the dots are very small and I don’t really know it they could be read by someone who reads Braille.
The cable is of a very nice quality and has a good length to it. It’s 35cm from the start of the ear hooks to the Y splitter, continuing 80cm from the Y splitter through a very useful attached rubber cable tie strap to the right angled gold plated 3.5mm plug. The Y splitter has a slider to take up the slack if you so wish -- it kind of reminds me of the kids cowboy hat chin strap slider from years ago.
The information from DUNU states that the cable has “Patented silver wires transmission time fixing technology provides balanced extension and excellent recognition.”
I am not sure what that means exactly, but it appears that DUNU uses silver wire on these earphones. The wire with coating is 2mm in diameter and twisted from the plug to the Y splitter then it is separated out into a 1.5mm twisted pair to each earphone.
The coating on this wire is transparent and has a rubbery type feel to it but not so rubbery as to catch on your clothing. I am sorry to discover that it does suffer from a bit of a memory problem, which might disappear with use, but somehow I don’t think it will.
The right angled plug fits very well into whatever you are plugging it into. With a length of 2.5cm from the end of the tip to the start of the 90 degree strain relief, I don’t think you would ever encounter any device with or without a case that would not accommodate this plug. It clicks into place nicely. Some 3.5mm plugs just don’t feel right when you plug them in, they are sloppy and loose. DUNU has the specifications right with this plug though it clicks into place very nicely.
The Sound Tuning Feature.
The DN-19 is a “Tuneable” earphone, it has a sound port on the side of the body that can be blocked or left open to tune the “Sound” of the earphone to your liking. There are matching silicone tips that go with each tuning mode.
The black tips with the sound port open provide the greatest amount of bass on these earphones and the grey tips with the sound port plugged decrease the low end bass quantity.
All of these devices powered the DN-19 with relative ease. The headphone output volume was set at a moderate level, all except for the HTC Desire HD which has the most useless headphone output amplifier of the lot and had to be turned up quite a ways. I don’t listen to music through this phone so it was not a problem for me.
Here is the greatest problem for me with these earphones: no matter which configuration I try, which size tips, I cannot get a good fit. If the sound nozzle was 2 to 4mm longer I think these would be amazing earphone for my ears.
I have a deep set ear canal and cannot get these earphones installed without the body of them coming to rest against my cavum concha which in turn causes the sound port to irritate my tragus.
I’ve tried earclips on and off, all the tips supplied and even different tips from another earphone to no avail.
I contacted Comply to see if they had a T / Ts series that would fit the DN-19. Since they only provide recommendations for tips that they certify on earphones, I was told that due to safety / insurance reasons they could not recommend a Comply tip for the DN-19 since they don’t own one to certify the tips on.
I took a pair of hearing protectors, shortened them up and used a leather hole punch to make a tunnel, I attached them to the sound nozzle, rolled them up and put the DN-19’s in my ears. It was by no means perfect but provided me a bit better sound than with the supplied tips. After the Holidays I will look into get a set of Comply tips and experiment a bit.
Since I cannot get a good fit with the DN-19’s this section will be very sparse. Using the large black tips I am able to get a bass less sound from these earphones. (Tried all the tips and these provide the best sound to me at this point)
If I press on the backs of the DN-19’s while they are in my ears I can get bass to appear in the audio. *NOTE* This is by no means an accurate representation of these earphones and do not do them the justice they deserve. I will update this section when I get some foam tips and possibly a better seal.
Since I am new to earphones, I do not like earbuds as they will not stay in, and the only other pair of earphones I had was a set of Maxell Peanutz which went immediately into the trash after my limited attempt at hearing the DN-19’s. (I even tried the tips off of the Peanutz, both the double and triple flange.)
I put the medium black tips on the DN-19’s and gave them to the wife to try out… Well they are gone now, she has claimed them. She listens to a 2nd Generation iPod Nano with some low bitrate music on it. I took her Nano and loaded it up with ALAC versions of her favourite music and had her listen to the DN-19’s with that.
Her Sarah McLachlan, k.d. lang, Little Big Town and 70’s Classic Rock favourites almost sounded like totally different music through the DN-19’s. She used to try and listen to her music through a pair of Sony MDR-V150’s.
It is really a great thing when your can help take someone’s music listening to the next level!
The limited sound I had the chance to experience with these was very good when I managed to get a reasonable fit.
The build looks and feels very durable
The accessory kit and hard case.
The only con I found with these earphones is the fit for me, personally, I believe if the sound nozzle was 2 to 4mm longer they would solve that problem.
And I would like to thank anyone who actually read to the end of this review, this is my first review and first experience with a high quality earphone product.
Also, I am not a photographer.
Constructive criticism is always welcome.