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DUNU DN-2000 Hybrid 3 way earphone

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Pros: Balanced sound with wow factors, spacious soundstage, and excellent transparency. The supple cable, the included tips, and the housing material.

Cons: Heaviest earphone I've ever own. Prone to smudges, oil, scratches, and dent. Mid bass could have little more presence or "oomph".


Introduction



Hello head-fiers! Now, you’re going to read a review of a spectacular earphone named Dunu DN-2000! It’s a hybridized earphone consisting of two Balanced Armature (BA) drivers and a 10 mm dynamic driver; although the driver configuration isn’t specifically described in their main website, I assume it has one TWFK (or two-in-one BA) driver that covers the treble and mid-range and a dynamic driver as the woofer. Hybrid earphone was considered a breakthrough in earphone technology back in 2012 and the famous one I know was the AKG K3003 which was my main coveted hybrid earphone but sadly its price was bloody expensive, costing at $1300, for such little piece. As I waited in hope that the price of AKG K3003 would drop to at least $300 (laugh as you may), recently many Asian-based companies like Dunu, T-Peos, and Sony have stepped up into the hybrid technology and thankfully, many affordable yet exceptional hybrids have been released. I finally had the opportunity to own my first ever hybrid-based earphones yet Dunu's top-tier earphone named DN-2000. Although it is still expensive ($300), it does sound really good as most head-fiers say and honestly its performance exceeds my expectation for the price I paid!

 

Before I begin, I am sure some people know what is good with the hybrid but for those who are new, the hybrid combines the main strength that the BA and dynamic driver have while covering the weaknesses that the two drivers possess. For example, BA drivers provide excellent details and accuracy but its frequency bandwidth is limited and tends to have roll-off on certain regions, like the bottom-end, so for people who are used to listen to dynamic-based earphone or beginners might find the bass extremely lacking in single-BA driver ones. Even in multi-BA earphones, though they have their own separate driver dedicated for woofer, the bass impact never be as equal as the dynamic because they tend to be tight, short-decayed, or less boomy - I believe the BA bass is engineered for accuracy than being lively. As with the hybrid’s, the woofer configuration of dynamic driver complements the inadequate bass of BA driver with impactful bass which gives overall fun and excitement while maintaining excellent detail and accuracy.


Although the addition of impactful-thumping-wub-wub bass may sound tasty for some, I've ventured through many reviews that most hybrid earphones tend to have a V-shaped signature which means they have strong emphasis on treble and bass, leaving the mid somewhat recessed. Yet, they are likely to have bright tonality and have emphasis on peaky treble, which may be a big problem for treble-sensitive listeners. For example, some can have recessed mid and peaky treble like Atomic Floyd’s superdarts titanium 1 . Some can have sibilant and nasal midrange yet piercing treble like H-300 2,3. For first- hybrid owners or beginners, it is recommended to pick the one that is more balanced that does not have nasty-crash-rustic treble but still pleasantly bright with clear midrange and impactful bass. I am lucky that the one I picked, DN-2000, definitely sounds great without offending my ears! But anyway, let's get on the review - I've got lots of things to say about this earphone.

 


The Package


 

Observe: the Dunu DN-2000 package. It is understated, simple, and bold. But it is somewhat bland;  If customers were walking down the store and see this, they wouldn’t be attracted to it but hey, it is a diamond buried within a rock – let the earphone speaks for its value instead of the package design. 

 

 
Although the box appears little plain, it is actually well-made and feel solid. There's a magnetized flap and once opened behold, the hidden gem behind the simple black box: it's DN-2000! On the left flap, there is a direction of how to wear the earphone; also it tells you how to put the “Secure Fit” ring into the earphone nozzle, which will be discussed. Interestingly, there’s a frequency graph describing how the “secure fit” ring could affect the overall sound. But some texts are still written in Chinese. 

 

 

As I take the covering on the right side, the earphone is beautifully placed in the black foam and shows the end of the housings with engraved letter "D", and below is the carrying case where the included accessories are put.

 

 


The Carrying Case and Accessories.


 

 

First is the carrying case. What I like is that the case is light, spacious, and solid. What I don't like is that the case is little too big to be put into a pocket; yet, it does not have a zipper for a secure storage. Regardless, the lid fits very firmly and will not likely to open up spontaneously. However, the "pull-out" type lid can be little difficult to be removed and may be a hassle because once opened, all the contents may burst out from the case. This will not become a problem if one opens the lid carefully or puts each contents into a designated plastic bag as shown in the right, but do bring the needed accessories or else there will be no space left to put for the earphones!

 

 

 

Image above shows the comparison of Dunu case to Westone's in center and Audio Technica IM03's in the bottom (on left image). Based on the size and practical use, the Westone's is my most favorite because it is small, can be fitted to a pocket effortlessly, and has a zipper. The Audio Technica is bigger yet bulky but it can hold up to 2-3 earphones, and rather be put into a bag than a pocket, but still is my favorite because of the zipper. The Dunu's, for me, is rather be used as a storage to hold all the accessories.

 

 

Next is the included accessories, plenty of stuff I might say! Dunu throws four different ear-tips and bunch other stuff but since this section has been reviewed by others in details 4,5, I will be discussing the most important ones which are the "secure fit" rings and the ear-tips. 

 


The rings


 

 

The "secure fit" ring set comes in three different color: silver, blue, and red. The silver has the shortest length while the reds are the longest.  All rings come in two pairs so it's good that there's a replacement if one loses a pair of ring.  Each can be inserted into the nozzle of earphone in order to extend the length of nozzle. The ring allows users to customize the depth of insertion for proper fitting and adjust the sound to one's taste.
 
As I tried all the rings, the silver ones provide the best fit, most balanced sound, yet the least peaky treble of all. I noticed that the longer the ring, the wider perceived soundstage, but the mid can be sibilant. Regardless, the depth of ear canal varies among persons so it is important to try around with the rings first until you find the fit and the sound you like best. Beware that the longer the tips, the more likely for the ear tips to fall out! Yet, all the rings do not stay securely so they can easily fall from the nozzle as well.    
 

The ear tips


 

Aside of the ring, Dunu provides four different ear-tips. The package describes the name of each ear-tips, except the bi-flange one, and specifies how the tips affect the overall sound.  In the left is the bi-flange, the center is the 2K dark silicone tips, and the right is the 1K clear silicone tips (note: the one in the image is the large one because I am using the medium sized tips). The last one is the foam tips but it wasn't included in the picture. 
 
As I have tried all, here are my thoughts:
 
  • The bi-flange has the smallest bore of all - one can see it from the image above. Also, I couldn't get a decent fit with it.
  • The clear and the dark tips have nearly equal bore diameter; yet, I cannot find big differences of sound between the two.
  • The dark tips are more rigid and stiffer - the sound is little brighter with these. In my ears they fit and seal too tight for my liking.
  • The clear tips are the softest of all - it's the first ear tips attached to the earphone; yet, the clear tips fit best to my ears.
  • The foam has same diameter and has material similar to the Comply-tips.

 

Above all, the clear ones are my main preferred ear tips because they are soft yet very comfortable.  The clear tips disappear within my ear canal though I can still feel the weight of the housing (which will be discussed later) and they do not produce much ear pressure like the others. Furthermore, it has the most bass and smoother sound for my liking and it is the only tips I can use for over-the-ear wearing. On the other hand, this is what I like the most from the Dunu's: there is no need for tip-rolling nor buying ear-tips from another brand in case if the fit of the stock tips was unsatisfying. This is rare because most of my earphones, except Yamaha EPH-100,  required quite some time for tip-rolling which was frustrating. As with the Dunu, the included tips are sufficient for everyone to get good fit and seal.

The Earphone: Appearance, Cable, and Build Quality


 

 

Meet the earphone itself, the DN-2000! The housing follows a straight-barrel design and a straight nozzle; yet, I am surprised how small it is for a multi-driver earphone. Such simplicity allows the earphone to be worn without hassle nor continuous adjustment. The diameter and length of the nozzle is just right and never be too small and short (like Westone W4) nor too long (like in ATH's IM70). The cable is made from rubberized material with a chin slider and a cable wrapper. However, the cable is not remove-able and does not have remote control, but it is good so that the earphone can be worn over-the-ear. The cable jack is reinforced with strong strain relief and ends with 90 degree fashion. As one can see from the image above, I use a cable clipper from a different brand (The Dunu's clipper is used for the W4).

 

Furthermore, the cable is very light and supple - as supple as a shoe laces I might say. It glides over-the-ear effortlessly without putting a pressure on the top of the ears and never be microphonic. If you happen to own earphones like Carbo basso, JVC's FXT90, FXD80, or Xiaomi's Piston 2, you will understand the flexibility that those cables have. For four months of use, the cable has not shown any memory effect nor stiffen overtime. Finally, the cable never shows any "springy effect" where the cable resists to loop and springs out from one's ears when worn over-the-ear, which I experienced in VSonic's GR07 cable. Because of the suppleness, it is prone to tangle!

 

 

The housing of the earphone demonstrates the quality of what top-tier earphone should be - it has a luxurious finish and smooth touch. It is made from a metal and overall housing is solidly made. None of the ridges or edges are sharp; yet, the silver ridges of the back housing shine under a light. However, it has one major problem: it is the heaviest earphone in my collection - it is even heavier than the heavy V-Moda Vibrato. The weight problem can be greatly reduced by wearing over the ear but the main problem is that the weight, combined with the supple cable, causes the earphone to fall easily from one's hand leaving a dent to the housing, if one was careless. Lastly, the housing is prone to scratches and oily smudges so it needs careful handling and daily cleaning. So, get yourself an eyeglasses cleaner cloth for a daily maintenance. Do not leave the earphones dangling because the housing will smash one another and creates more scratches and dents - hold the earphones upon your palms.

 

 

Above image shows a dent caused when the earphone fell about 10 cm from my hand into a hard granite table. This happened in three months after I first own it. I cannot imagine what would happen if the earphone fell from my standing height (5.6 ft or 170.6 cm) into the floor. I wish it could have an earphone silicone casing, like a cell-phone casing, to protect it from dents, but having that would be ridiculous and unthinkable.

 

 

Furthermore, the attached yet "patented" cable wrapper is a huge plus so one can neatly store the earphone after use as shown in the image above. I always have a habit of wrapping the cable around after use and put it into my pocket or a carrying case. The wrapper prevents the cable from getting tangled when stored. The wrapper slides along the cable but I never find it bothering; however, the wrapper cannot be removed from the cable unless if one cuts the cable (who the heck gonna do that!!). 

 


Size: How Small is the DN-2000?



Honestly, I have to say that it is relatively small for a hybridized earphone. I am impressed that Dunu designers manage to cram the complex three-configuration of dynamic and two BA drivers into a small straight barrel shape while other hybrids earphones tend to be bulky and have bizarre designs; one famous example is the "Frankensteinic" shape of Sony's Hybrids lineups. Yet compared to other multi-drivers earphones I have, the Dunu's is also smaller than them too, the only earphones that are smaller are Yamaha EPH-100 and Klipsch X10. The following images demonstrate size comparison of DN-2000 to variety earphones like W4, IM70, IM03, FXT90, Piston, EPH-100, and Klipsch X10 - hopefully these will give an idea for those who own the mentioned earphones.

 

 

One can see that the IM03 and the IM70 are surely larger and wider than the Dunu, considering that they have multi-drivers set up too. 

 

 

The W4 appears little bit bigger than the Dunu but the design of  W4 allows to sit flush on my ears concha though it requires lots of trial-and-errors to get comfortable fit.

 

 

The FXT90 is about as equal as the Dunu - quite impressive for a dual-dynamic driver. Dunu has the cylindrical shape while the FXT90 has vertical housing with angled nozzle. 

 

 

The Dunu has evolved from the Piston! They do have similar size and shape but the only different is the weight - the Piston is far lighter than the Dunu.

 

 

The only smaller earphone in mind is the Yamaha EPH-100. But both still share similarities: straight barrel housing with strain relief that is perpendicular to the housing - this allows for easier to loop over the ear  and comfortable over-the-ear wearing. 

 

 

Also, the Klipsch X10 is so much smaller than the Dunu. But I hate how the cable came out in curving fashion so wearing over-the-ear is difficult ( if I did that, I'd look like Mickey Mouse).

 

 

For last comparison, the size of the Dunu is just as equal as coins displayed above, only little bit bigger than a penny.

 


Comfort and Isolation - Important elements in an earphone!


 

 

I immediately wore the earphone over-the-ear when I first got it  and did not even bother with the fins and the ear-guide hook. Overall, the fit is less fussy thank to the small sized, straight cylindrical shape, and supple cable. With the right ring and ear-tips combination, which are the silver ring and clear silicone 1K tips, the comfort is excellent - I could wear the earphone up to 2-3 hours without being fatigued. The clear ear-tips is so soft  it does not create much pressure inside my ears. The housing stay seated in the ear concha and never hit the tragus. Yet, the end-housing ridges do not irritate nor bother the ears as far as I concern. Furthermore, I use the included clipper so the cable can glide along my ears without touching the surface of top ear.  But, the weight of the housing is still bothersome and it requires little adjustment in insertion until it reaches to a sweet spot.  

 

Isolation is just great. I drive around and commute while using this earphone ( don't try this!) and road noises are greatly reduced. Its isolation easily blocks most noise from Dyson vacuum cleaner, TV, people conversation, annoying songs and grunts at a gym; yet, the isolation allows me to listen songs on low volume without external noise interference. But its isolation never be as equal as the Shure's olive tips though. Lastly, I haven't tested its isolation on a plane but will report when I did.

 

The Dunu sits and seals just fine when I walk around, cycling, and do stairmaster and eliptical. The Dunu still retains a secure seal even when running and jogging, but the noise transmitted from hard floor and asphalt still can be heard and bothersome - this problem is common for all earphones I used except headphones. The seal becomes a problem when performing exercises that require lying down like bench press and intensive sit-up. Also, whenever I make face expression,  grind my teeth, or grunting from a heavy lifting and pull-ups, the seal can be off too. Above all, I'd use the Dunu for a stationary cardio-exercise but I wouldn't recommend using it as a main workout earphone because the seal can be off when performing strenuous exercises. Yet, the housing durability can be a major concern because it's prone to scratches and dents. Lastly, the housing protrudes little bit but it never produces wind noises. But I cannot use this when sleeping in side posture.

 


 

Note:

During the course of listening, all of my observation is derived primarily from one source: Sansa Clip zip (non-rockboxed). I don't use any amps nor equalization at all as I prefer the natural, unmodified sound of earphones. All my music files are 320kbps and some are FLAC files. 


I find that the earphone is easily driven. Most songs can be played loudly enough on 1 to 2 volume bar under 'normal volume' setting in Sansa clip zip.  So one needs to be careful when using these with non-sensitive volume bar like the Samsung S5, where the loud difference between bar is very big. Although I find no hisses in the Sansa, I actually do hear them from Samsung S5, especially when a song nearly ends. I preferably listening the Dunu from the Sansa clip because it has better volume handling. The earphones have been burned for about 1-2 days and I find the peaky treble has mellowed out and no change with the bass, but still adequately bright. Speaking of the treble and brightness, it could have been that my ears have gotten used with it since I have this for four months.


*In the following section, I have included songs from Youtube.com to give better understanding of DN-2000 sound characteristic; however, I am afraid the quality may differ from the one I listen from my Sansa, which are in 320kbps and FLAC. So if one curious and wishes to have the same quality I listened to, I'd be happily to provide them upon request.

 


The Core of the Review: The Sound!

 

In general, the Dunu DN-2000 has a balanced sound, in \/\/ fashion. It has great extension on both high and low frequencies with slight emphasis on the lowest end and upper end. Yet,  it has clear and bright midrange without being too forward nor thick. The treble carries good shimmers without  introducing peaky-shrilly sound of the lower-treble register. Soundstage, separation, and transparency are the main strengths: it is really huge with excellent depth and wide; yet, transparency and musical layering are exceptional.
 
Bass
It is surprising that the bass of the DN-2000 differs than most conventional dynamics. While I expected the bass of DN-2000 would be boomy,  it is actually clean, free of bloats, and has good texture in the sub-bass - like the bass notes and picks, which I love for most rock and metal songs. Compared to Yamaha EPH-100, it does not have much of mid-bass, which give overall rumble and bass body, and never be boomy. The bass mainly focuses on the sub-bass region with slight emphasis on lowest end but still carries good body and impact. At first listen I thought the bass is slightly lacking and wish it could be little more boomy, but later on I realized the bass is rather be high-quality because it extends very low, focuses on being detailed,  and rumbles when a song calls for. Importantly, the bass quantity is adequate and never be too lacking
.
In order to understand the Dunu's bass, let's take a quick listen on Japanese metal band Galneryus's The Ironhearted Flag Vol.1, in which their latest album consisting re-played songs from their old albums. However, all the songs sound very boomy and the bass is overly dominating compared to the old songs. One example is "The Rebel Flag"; in this track, the Dunu manages to balance the overall song by clearing up the bass fogginess and clarifying the lower notes. Even in Amon Amarth's  Where Death Seems To Dwell (Viking Metal), the double bass pedal hits very hard and has clear texture to it. Somehow when the fast pedal kicks in, the notes are too strong that my ears gave up in the middle of the song! Furthermore, I find the bass still adequate in Hiroyuki ODA's Ionosphere (trance) and Kaskade's Eyes - the bass is tight and definitely reaches deep but I wish it could have little more "oomph". Overall, the Dunu bass is mature and is between of being fun and analytic: clean, precise, free of boominess, and never sound too loose. I would not even consider Dunu's bass as being "bass-head"; it has been engineered for those who seek a balance and finesse.
 
Mid
One strength of the DN-2000 is the mid - it is bright and slightly forwarded but it never be too thick nor bloated, which is quite a feat.  Yet, the mid is very clear and never be sibilant. The vocal and instruments are presented with excellent clarity - I am surprised that I can finally pick up the lyrics in many songs! Also, both male and female vocal are equally good and never be shouty, but I wish the mid could be a little more lush so it would have sweetness in vocals. The best part is that the guitar instrument carries good energy and "wow-ness", which is similar to the JVC's FXT90, but the Dunu does it without being too edgy nor gritty. Some noteworthy tracks that demonstrate Dunu's mid strength are One OK Rock - Wherever You Are,  Supercell - The Bravery, and BuzzG - She and 西へ行く 
 
Highs/treble
As DN-2000 is considered being a bright earphone, I was skeptic that the treble would be hot, have emphasis on peaky highs, and introduce shrilly cymbals. Boy, I was wrong. I learn that a bright earphone doesn't necessarily mean the treble would be piercing. As a treble-sensitive, I never find the treble to be offensive; it is actually airy and pleasant. Most importantly, it never be too sibilant. The treble carries good brilliance and shimmers without being shrilly nor too peaky. Cymbal sounds are pronounced in detail without being too splashy, or I could say the cymbal sound little smooth and soft. 
 
Furthermore the treble never be bothersome in some tracks that have repetitive "ts-ts-ts" sound, for example in 40m's Kotae and Gareth Emery's Exposure. Importantly, the Dunu handles the cymbals very well in a polished manner especially in Insomnium's The Only One Who Waits where the cymbals can be very splashy when listened with a wrong earphone. The Dunu manages to avoid treble harshness probably because it has slight emphasis on the mid, which gives instrument clarity, while leaving the lower-treble unaffected. Again, the DN-2000 treble is another strength because it is relatively smooth, polished, detailed, and carries good brilliance and energy without being blazingly hot. 
 
Soundstage, imaging, and separation
The soundstage, imaging, and separation of DN-2000 are phenomenal - I believe they are Dunu's main strengths. Actually, I was very shocked how good they are at first listen. It sounds very spacious with excellent depth and width. The head-room is enveloping and has excellent 3-Dness, image yourself  being surrounded by a song played in a concert hall. There is a "distance" between each instruments which make overall presentation sounds realistic. Furthermore, instruments separation and imaging are stunning, they are very transparent and have great musical layers so I can distinguish one instrument to another, for example, difference between bass pedals and bass guitar plucks are recognizable. Lastly, stereophonic position is very noticeable. Vocals are clearly placed along the stage and never be drown within instruments. Yet, instruments have correct right and left positioning and never fall too centered in space.
 
To be honest, all songs sound very expansive with this and all never sound be congested nor intimate. One special song came in mind is Muse's Knights of Cydonia in a FLAC file, where it feels like being in a cinema, everything just creeps around my head (and out of my ears), and instruments separations and placement are easily distinguished. Lastly, BuzzG's Shiwa feat.Neko worth a listen too ( I have the better version, which is sung by Ryo).
 

 

QUICK COMPARSIONS: Dunu DN-2000 versus ______

 

Audio Technica ATH-IM03 with Sony Hybrid tips and Lunashop's cloth cable, for the better fit and seal - $300, not including the Sony tips and lunashop cable

 

  • The IM03 is absolutely larger than DN-2000, but the IM03 is far lighter and sits flush on my ears.
  • The  lunashop cable is significantly more supple than the Dunu, but it's more prone to tangle.
  • Both bass are similar in which they are tight, focused on sub-bass, and have less mid-bass presence. However, the Dunu has more sub-bass quantity and has better rumbles and texture.
  • The Dunu has more energy and more delicate (free of bothering peaks).
  • Compared to the Dunu, the IM03 mid is more recessed. drier, and less lush. Vocal sounds more distant and instruments are less fleshed out.
  • IM03 has tendency of being sibilant. The lower-treble / upper mid like "Ts-ts-ts" and cymbal crash have more presence. I notice the cymbal sounds splashy and lack of definition in Insomnium's The only one who waits. The cymbal crashes linger longer, my God. The treble of Dunu is far more polished, refined, and quicker decay than the IM03.
  • Tonality, the IM03 sounds darker than the Dunu, with peaks included
  • The IM03 soundstage is good but the Dunu's stretches out more and has better 3Dness, depth, and width. 
  • No competition, the Dunu has better transparency and layering.
 
Westone W4 with star silicone tips medium - $345
 
  • The W4 is lighter and absolutely has better comfort but the fit can be finicky.
  • The cable of W4 is frustrating - it hardens overtime and stiffens, making harder to loop over my ears. This happens on the 2nd warranty too.
  • Overall sound is warmer, more delicate, and less energetic than the Dunu. The Dunu has the "Wow" factors while the W4 doesn't. 
  • The W4 has more mid-bass than being sub-bass, which is somewhat rolled-off. Thanks to the mid-bass, it has more bass body  than the Dunu. Also, the bass of W4 is unique; it has pleasant body and buttery smooth and yummy impact. 
  • The W4 mid is more lush than the Dunu; however, the mid is more veiled or recessed, I think. Instruments and vocals are  less "upfront " than the Dunu, but still instruments and vocals are presented in good clarity. Female vocals sound captivating, sweeter, and more lush with the W4. I prefer W4 for a good vocal.
  • It has peaks in the lower-treble regions, sounding a little metallic and tingling. But it never be too offensive, only if not played too loud. It can be bothersome in some tracks with repetitive cymbals.
  • W4 sound less spacious, but still above the average. Again, the Dunu wins in transparency.
 
 
Yamaha EPH-100. unmodified. Uses stock tips. Three years straight favorites - $150
 
  • The EPH-100 wins in comfort department: small, non-obstructive, and faaaar lighter.
  • EPH-100's overall sound is far more fun because the bass is simply tasty - deep, impactful, and lots of bass. Yet, EPH-100 treble is smoother and the mid is far less energetic. In other word, EPH-100 is simply warm sounding earphone that is friendly and easy to the ears. 
  • The EPH-100 can be played loudly, louder than the Dunu without hurting my ears - probably the mid is less forward and my ears handle bass better than other freqs. 
  • EPH-100 has far boomier, deeper, and more impactful bass. It still has good texture, decays realistically, and never bleed to other frequencies. Yet the bass never be overly-dominating like its successor, EPH-M200, which I reviewed last time. The Dunu's bass is lacking compared to the EPH-100, however the Dunu has better bass clarity than the EPH-100, or tight I might say.
  • One of the earphones I can safely use when I want to listen a "God-speed-fast-kicking-double-bass-pedals" without causing my ears to bleed.
  • The mid is clear and it's not recessed nor forward. The vocal and instrument sound more distant than the Dunu and less "in-your-face". EPH-100's guitar instruments lack of the bite and edges compared to Dunu. 
  • The treble is less brighter but has that small presence of low-treble / upper-mid. Still, the treble is far smoother and less hotter than DN-2000, yet less detailed too. Importantly, it never sound too peaky nor metallic.
  • The soundstage of EPH-100 rivals the DN-2000. The EPH-100 has better depth probably because EPH-100 has more bass impact and quantity. The separation is nearly as good as the Dunu.
  • One main problem with EPH-100 is its speaker durability. The speakers are prone of getting clogged with sweat. Yet after listening for a long time in about two hours, one side of the speaker, left side, have died out  for four times, in which one side has reduced to 90% of the normal volume. However, the speaker resurrected on its own after waiting for a while, or being magnetized- possibly the speaker is prone of being fatigued and needed to rest.
 
 
JVC HA-FXT90 - unmodified. Uses stock tips. -$70
 
  • The FXT90 needs some time to get used with the fit and comfort is just okay. It requires shallow fitting. Yet, required long time for burn-in to soften that edgy treble, in about +200 hours. It has tendency to have driver flex.
  • The Dunu cable has similar suppleness of FXT90's. 
  • The FXT90's bass is punchy but somewhat lacking in rumble compared to the DN-2000. The FXT90 has little more emphasis on the mid-bass but its sub-bass is less present than the DN-2000.  I prefer the DN-2000 bass to the FXT90. Surprisingly, the Dunu has more bass impact than the FXT90.
  • The mid feels more recessed with the FXT90. Though both has good liveliness and energy on guitar instruments, the FXT90 sounds little too harsh and edgier than the DN-2000 (noticeable when played loudly). Vocals are simply drier (especially in female singers) and more distant-sounding. It's tonality is less lush too. Both never sound sibilant.
  • The treble of FXT90 is similar to the Dunu in which peaky cymbals are attenuated. However, it is less extended. The treble is bright but not as "pleasantly bright" as the Dunu. The treble is less refined and harsher in FXT90, in my opinion.  
  • FXT90 soundstage is average and not as expansive as the Dunu but the depth and height are good. The FXT90 retains excellent musical separation but the Dunu has far better 3D presentation.
  • The FXT90 isolation is poorer than the Dunu.
 
 
***Note: I could go on comparing more earphones all night but to put into words, none of my collections could rival the soundstage, separation, and transparency of the DN-2000. Also it is possible that the DN-2000 is the only hybrid (yet nicely tuned) earphone I have, so it has its own unique quality. If one wishes to hear more about comparison, you could look under my user profile which lists all earphones I have. I'd be happily to compare some for you.
 

Conclusion:


 

Dunu DN-2000 is the first hybrid earphone I have and truthfully it is one heck remarkable earphone. The cable, the build quality, and the sound justify what a $300+ earphone should be. The cable is very supple and light; yet it can be looped over the ears easily. The housing is made solidly from a metal and never feel cheap. However, the main concern of the earphone is the weight though the Dunu provides extensive kits for comfortable wear like the ring, fins, and ear-tips selection. For me, the weight will not be a much problem if it is worn over-the-ear. More importantly, the included tips are sufficient for everyone to get good fit and seal, which is a huge plus so one would not need to spend time tip-rolling.
 
Overall, its sound is very balanced across the spectrum. It has adequate bass body that never be lacking, clear midrange, bright tonality, and brilliant treble that never be harsh. Although its sound falls between the analytic and fun quality, it still retains that "wow" factors and liveliness; which is quite a feat. The clarity, soundstage, transparency, and musical separation are absolutely phenomenal -  they are completely different than any earphones I own. The sound continually impresses me in a long run because it just sounds great with every genres I threw at.The Dunu DN-2000 demonstrates that a good sounding earphone does not necessarily need a load of bass but it needs a good balance among the frequencies.
 
The DN-2000 receives my strong recommendation for anyone who is seeking for a hybrid earphone. It is a worth investment for beginners, treble-sensitive listeners, and even the bass-heads who are welcome to hear refined and mature sound. Yet, the Dunu is a worthy earphone for those who want to experience a spacious sounding earphone; however, those who prefer intimate, closed sounding, or dark signature may opt for DN-2000.  Lastly, I would not recommend it as a main exercise earphone because of the weight and its high tendency to scratches and dents. The earphone is good when used for main stroll, daily housework, and stationary cardio workout like the bike and elliptical.
 
Although the DN-2000 is considered a top-tier earphone, a new Dunu DN-2000J will be released in this year 2015 and I am eager to hear how the DN-2000 successor will sound! An upgrade of an already fantastic earphone. The limit of the sound quality is truly endless.
 
Thanks for reading, and tune in next time!

 

 

 

 

Reference:

 

1. Williams, Andrew. “Atomic Floyd Superdarts Titanium review”. Trusted Review. Dec 2014. http://www.trustedreviews.com/atomic-floyd-superdarts-titanium-review


2. Lin0003. “An Excellent but flawed IEM”. Head-fi.org. May 2014. http://www.head-fi.org/products/t-peos-h-300-3-way-hybrid/reviews/11077


3. D_marc0. “T-PEOS H-300 Review: The Could've Been...”. D marc0's Journal: My Head-fi Journey. Head-fi.org. April 2014. http://www.head-fi.org/t/694003/d-marc0s-journal-my-head-fi-journey-new-sennheiser-urbanite-xl-review/300#post_10430476


4. Djvkool. "Looking for Mr Perfect? Please meet Mr DUNU DN-2000". Head-fi.org. May 2014.http://www.head-fi.org/products/dunu-dn-2000-hybrid-3-way-earphone/reviews/11005


5. Thatonenoob. " [Poor Man Reviews] Dunu's DN-2000 ". Head-fi.org. Oct 2014. http://www.head-fi.org/products/dunu-dn-2000-hybrid-3-way-earphone/reviews/11768

Posted

Pros: Build quality, SQ, balance, soundstage and imaging, clarity, accessory range, design innovation (for the most part)

Cons: Long term comfort, microphonics, no lip on nozzle

For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images

INTRODUCTION

 

Because I’ve been involved with some review samples with my Australian brethren in the last couple of years, I’ve had the chance to hear some IEMs I’ve been curious about in the last year or so, but haven’t been able to (or inclined to) purchase for myself. One of these has been the DUNU DN-2000 – and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank my Ozzie mate Vic for the loaner over the last 5 weeks.  I’ve enjoyed the opportunity immensely.

 

For this review – I have abridged it slightly (compared to my normal reviews) mainly because the DN-2000 arrived just as an IEM, with the old case from a DN-1000, and no tips – so I can’t evaluate the packaging or accessories. Also – I have grabbed photos from Penon Audio (to cover for missing packaging and accessory shots).  I thank them for having the photo available – and duly give credit at this time.

 

My introduction to DUNU Topsound (over a year ago) was with their triple hybrid DN-1000, which rapidly became a hit with Head-Fi buyers, and was one of the first triple hybrid IEMs to show that top quality could be achieved at an affordable price. Recently I also reviewed DUNU’s new excellent Titan IEM.

 

For those who aren’t aware, DUNU Topsound was established in 1994 originally as an OEM supplier to other companies. Since then they have developed their own branded line of high quality earphones, and gone from strength to strength with each release.  They currently have their manufacturing plant in China and head office in Taiwan. They now have more than 100 employees, and market their product range all over the world.

 

The name DUNU is simply an acronym of the principle design points that the company strives to implement in their product range

  • Delicate

  • UNique

  • Utmost

 

I thought I’d quote this from their website, as it really does give an insight into what drives the company:

Quote:

“With advanced technology and hi-end equipments, DUNU desires to be able to provide Delicate, Unique Utmost products for Hi-Fi embracers. Delicate means extremely quality demanding on product process, from every little component to product manufacturing. DUNU has complete production line and equipments, including precise equipments, B&K frequency machine, IMD sputter, CNC machine, anechoic room, etc. Concerning design of product, DUNU also devotes to create unique outer appearance and balance in all sound frequency.

 

Utmost is not only the expectation on products, but also the pursuit of an Earphone Manufacturer. The founder of DUNU, himself, has years of experience in OEM/ODM earphone products in which many worldwide famous earphone Brands are included. However, in order to create the most enjoyable earphone on his own, DUNU’s president establishes the brand “DUNU” and implants many hi-end equipments and hires talented employees. From then on, DUNU takes the lead in developing the first Chinese made metal earphone, developing 5.8mm Driver unit and produce the very first Chinese Balance Armature Earphone, in 2014 DUNU release China first triple driver Dynamic and Balance Armature Hybrid earphone, All these preparation are to step on the world stage and to challenge renowned earphone brands. The ultimate goal of DUNU is to provide worldwide HI-FI embracers our Delicate, Unique & Utmost earphone products.”

 

DUNU’s full product catalogue can be found at http://www.dunu-topsound.com/product.html - and their products are supplied through their own storefront (globally) on Amazon.

 

Although the DUNU DN-2000 arrived to me around 5 weeks ago, I’ve had to split my time with various other review units, so I haven’t had as much time with these as I’d like. But they need to go back “over the ditch” this week – so at this stage I’d estimate around 15-20 hours total with them so far. Read on to find out my personal thoughts on the DUNU DN-2000.  I realise I’m once again late to the party on this one.  Does it improve on the DN-1000, and is it worth the heftier price tag?

 

DISCLAIMER

 

I was provided the DUNU DN-2000 as a loaner unit from fellow Head-Fier djvkool. I am in no way affiliated with DUNU and this review is my honest opinion of the DN-2000.

 

PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'.   (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)

 

I'm a 47 year old music lover.  I don't say audiophile – I just love my music.  Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up.  I vary my listening from portable (Fiio X5, X1 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > coax > NFB-12 > LD MKIV > HP).  I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5/X1 > HP, or PC > Beyer A200p > HP.  My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1 and Sennheiser HD600.  Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs - and up till now it has mainly been with the Fidue A83, Dunu Titan and Altone200. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).

 

I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock.   I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock.  I am particularly fond of female vocals.  I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences.  I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880.

 

I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher completely transparent.  I do use exclusively redbook 16/44.1 if space is not an issue.  All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences.  I am not a ‘golden eared listener’.  I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 47, my hearing is less than perfect.

 

For the purposes of this review - I used the DN-2000 straight from the headphone-out socket of my iPhone 5S, X5, and X1.  I also used my Beyer A200p and also the E11K amplifier, but IMO they do benefit from additional amplification.  In the time I have spent with the DN-2000, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (break-in), but am aware that my impression of their sonic footprint has changed over time with use (brain burn-in).

 

This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience.  Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.

 

THE REVIEW

PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES

 

As I explained earlier, all I will document here is what the DN-2000 normally comes with, and include the pictures from Penon.  I can’t comment further as I have not seen either the retail packaging or accessory package.

 

DUNU DN-2000 retail box (photo courtesy Penon Audio) Accessory range (photo courtesy Penon Audio)

 

The DN-2000 are packaged in a black retail “book style”. Inside the box you should get (if purchasing from Penon):

 

  • DN-2000 in-ear earphone

  • 10 sets of Eartips (inlcuing 1 set of foams, and 3 sets of dual flange tips)

  • 1 pair of Earhooks

  • 3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter

  • 3.5mm Female to 2-pin Male Adapter (airline adaptor)

  • Aluminum alloy box

  • 6 pairs of metal adjustment rings

  • 4 pairs of rubber fitting ‘fins’

  • 1 Shirt Clip

 

 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

 

(From DUNU’s website)

Type

Triple driver hybrid IEM (inner ear monitor)

Drivers

1 x 10mm dynamic and 2 x balanced aramature drivers

Frequency Range

10 Hz – 30 Khz

Impedance

16 ohm

Sensitivity

102 dB (+/-2 dB)

Plug

3.5mm gold plated (right angled)

Cables

1.2m, fixed

Weight

22g

IEM Shell

Metal– cartridge style

 

FREQUENCY GRAPH

 

The frequency graph above is copied from Innerfidelity’s excellent website, and thanks go to Tyll for his ongoing services to the audiophile community in providing these.

 

What I’m personally hearing from the DN-2000 (which doesn't quite match the graph) is a relatively flat but well extended bass (very good extension to the sub bass), a relatively balanced and quite clear mid-range, and very smooth treble with some roll-off .  The only other thing I’d comment on would be that for me the upper mid-range can sound a little subdued (can give some of my female vocalists a slightly darker sound than I’m used to).

 

BUILD & DESIGN

 

The DN-2000 is extremely well made with a polished metal (matte) outer shell in two tone (champagne coloured mid section and silver bass and nozzle).  It is very reminiscent of the DN-1000 both in shape and size. The main body is 12.5mm in diameter (slightly wider at the base), and 20mm from the rear plate to the tip of the nozzle.  The nozzle itself has no lip (to allow fitment of the adjusting rings and is approximately 8mm in length. The nozzle itself is just over 5mm in diameter, and the tip is protected with fine mesh.

 
Side view - no lip on the nozzle Front view and nozzle

 

On the rear exterior of each shell is Dunu's logo.  L&R markings are quite small, and located on the protrusions for attaching the fitment “fins”, and IMO could have been more prominent / easier to identify.  This is alleviated somewhat by a small bump on the left hand cable (at the relief exit) – making it also easy for non-sighted people to find left from right (top marks DUNU).

 
Opposite side view showing clip for stability fins Rear view

 

On the side of each body (attached to the base plate) is a small metal “clip” to which you attach the fin for more stability (when worn cable down), or remove and wear cable up. More about this in the “fit” section below.

 

The cable is a very smooth PVC outer, and appears extremely well put together.  I can't see this breaking any time soon - and it's pretty much tangle free as well.  There is a short (but adequate) cable relief at the DN-2000 shells, Y split, and longer relief at the right angled 3.5mm jack (which is smart phone case friendly).

 
Excellent Y split and "hidden" neck cinch 90 deg jack & in-built cable tie (brilliant)

 

The Y split is rigid, metal, sturdy and practical.  One of the great things about the Y split is that there is enough weight in it to keep the cable pulling down slightly.  The other thing I love about this Y split is that the top section of it detaches to become the chin slider.  The design is simple, very elegant, and works incredibly well.  The other fantastic (to me anyway) design element in the cable is the inclusion of an 'on-cable' cinch (or rubber cable tidy) – the same as used on the DN-1000 and Titan.  This is a really simple mechanism that is unobtrusive - but means that whenever it's time to store the IEMs, the cable is always tidily looped.  For me (being slightly OCD), I simply LOVE this inclusion.  So simple - yet so practical.  

 

There is a moderately high amount of microphonic noise present with the upper portion of the cable when worn down – but this can be alleviated by using the shirt clip, or tucking under clothes. The microphonics are considerably lessened when worn over ear.

 

Brilliance of the cable tie - always a tidy coil JVC FXD tips fitted - but note wide body and sharp front corner

 

Before we go into fit, I'll briefly touch on the inclusion of the coloured rings (or spacers).  The DN-2000 is designed to allow you to fit one of three different sized spacers (or fourth option - use none at all) - that then allow the tips to be closer or further away from the body of the IEM.  Changing this theoretically affects the frequency response, and also the insertion depth.

 
Sound tuning rings Sound tuning rings profile

 

As Vic’s DN-2000 didn’t come with any rings, I used the ones from my DN-1000 which are exactly the same. Once again, I tried different settings and different tips - and whilst I like the idea (it definitely has tweaking options for the enthusiasts here), I wonder how effective it is.  I tried all of the different rings, eventually removing them all together - but to be honest I found that any change in frequency response (for me) was marginal and I doubt I could tell anything in a proper blind test.  It's also likely that the few mm change between rings would be nullified by the actual change in fit each time you use them (ie I guarantee that my insertion depth with the same rings will be different almost every time I use them). One other thing I noticed with the rings is that on tips like the JVC FXD tips, the inner sleeve of the FXDs would often slide right over the rings rendering them ineffective anyway.

 

Anyway - nice idea - but leads to one of the design issues I have with the DN-2000.  By allowing for the change of rings, they can't accommodate a lip on the nozzle.  Because of this - anyone trying for a really good seal / deep insertion with some of the tips may very well find themselves removing the DN-2000 from your ears, and finding the tips still in your ears.  This doesn't happen for me with comply foams (they stick on the DN-2000 pretty well), but I found that with virtually any silicone tips (including the JVC FXD tips), I often had to go fishing (in my ears) for the missing tips.  It happened often enough to be very annoying.  If I was to have my choice between tip stability and tweakability with the rings, the rings would be discarded.  Others may have different ideas.

 

FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION

 

I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. My normal go-to with the DN-2000 would be Comply T400s.  I know they work, and they manage (most of the time) to stay on the nozzles.  However I was recently given a set of JVC FXD tips (L) from another Head-Fier (Bram), and I have to say, these go extremely well with the DUNU earphones (DN-1000 and DN-2000), providing a fantastic seal, and very good sound. So for the remainder of the review I simply used these.

 
JVC FXD fitted - note protruding clip with fins removed JVC FXD fitted - when they compress, sharpish front edge irritates this wearer

 

Either over ear, or cable down, they fit very flush, and would be OK to lie down with – but I couldn’t sleep for long with these.  This leads to the second and third design flaws (IMO). First let’s talk about the fins.  Brilliant idea – and works really well.  Basically they tuck inside the antihelix and help stabilise the DN-2000 inside your ear.  This works wonderfully for me, and the fins provide no discomfort for me personally. My issue with comfort is two-fold.  Firstly the body is quite wide, and after an hour I begin to feel physical discomfort just outside the entrance to my ear canal.  It is the large width that is causing it.  Secondly, in my preferred cable up position – removing the fins allows the metal fastener to be exposed, and this causes some serious discomfort within a relatively short time (within the first hour). I understand the update to the DN-2000 (the DN-2000J) will address the issue of the girth of the body, and I’m really looking forward to the changes it makes.

 
Fin stabilising system - works surprisingly well - very innovative Fins and attaching clip

 

Isolation is above average for a hybrid (so far I haven’t seen a vent), and I’d be keen to try these out in an aircraft.  They are not bad in a car with music playing – still some background noise, but not enough to detract from the music. Because of the isolation, there is a bit of bone conduction noise when walking.

 

So good marks on isolation, and OK on fit – but issues with long term comfort.  Now how does the DN-2000 sound? 

 

SOUND QUALITY

 

The following is what I hear from the DUNU DN-2000.  YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline).  Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my Fiio X5 as source, no EQ, no spacers, and JVC FXD tips in use with the cable worn down.  For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the X5 was around 25-30/120 which was giving me around an average SPL around 75 dB and peaks at around 85dB.  I am hitting up to 40 though on tracks with better mastering (eg Tundra).

 

 

Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.

 

Thoughts on General Signature

 

If I was to describe the signature in a few words/phrases – I’d choose the words “balanced” , “clear”, “smooth” and “detailed”.

 

I’m finding the DUNU DN-2000 to have a nice coherence between bass, midrange and treble – with a quite nice balance overall – just a very slight V shape (mainly sub-bass emphasis). At the ‘sharp end’, I’ve been trying to put my finger on what is happening with the mid-range and treble, because even though it is very clear, and practically grain free (really smooth), I do find it lacking just a little in upper mid-range and lower treble for my tastes.  This gives a very smooth presentation, but can make some of my female vocalists not quite as euphonic as they are on other IEMs (A83), and there is also less sparkle.  On the plus side, male vocals are better, and there is absolutely no sibilance.

 

Overall Detail / Clarity

 

For this I always use both Steely Dan’s “Gaucho” and Dire Strait’s “Sultans of Swing” as there is a lot of micro detail in both tracks, and the recording quality for both is excellent.

 

With Gaucho, this would be quite possibly one of the best presentations I’ve ever heard of this track with an IEM. Sax is detailed, but smooth, vocals are to the front and tonally perfect, and the bass is punchy and well textured. Personally I’d like a bit more cymbal splash – but that is a small critique when the rest of the track is this good.

 

Switching to Sultans of Swing, and once again wow – this is dynamic and hugely enjoyable. Detail is very good.  The constant background sound is again bass guitar – but it’s not overpowering anything.  Snares are crisp and fast – and Knopfler’s guitar is crisp and compelling – with enough edge to keep things lively. Cymbals again are present and polite rather than emphasised. Best of all, Knopfler’s vocals are just wonderful – again tonally brilliant. A great start. 

 

Sound-stage & Imaging

 

For this I use Amber Rubarth’s binaural recording “Tundra”.  I use this because it’s a pretty simple way to get comparative data on sound-stage.

 

It’s usually difficult to get a reasonable stage size from an inner ear monitor.  The stage is often quite small / close – with an average impression of space.  The DUNU DN-2000 has a good sense of spaciousness for an IEM, and whilst I wouldn’t call the stage overly expansive, it is providing reasonable width and some sense of depth with this track. Imaging is excellent – very clean and clear on positioning.

 

I also used Loreena McKennitt’s “Dante’s Prayer” and the DN-2000 gives a nice sense of width, but again not quite the depth which is possible with this track.  Again though – the overall presentation is hugely impressive, captivating, tonally brilliant, and with both piano and cello portraying excellent timbre.  Directional cues are again very good (the cello is where it usually is to the right, and piano slightly off center). Loreena’s vocals are nicely centered – but quite intimate.

 

In this track, the applause at the end is so well presented that with some headphones (HD600) I can actually close my eyes and imagine myself in the crowd.  With the DN-2000, I’m definitely there in the theatre, but maybe not quite in the   audience – they are to the side and front of me. Still it is a very compelling performance, and one I’ve completely enjoyed.

 

Bass Quality and Quantity

 

I’ve been spoilt recently with impactful and good quality bass from my other triple hybrid IEMs (Altone 200, DN-1000 and A83), so I was looking forward to seeing how DUNU had tuned the DN-2000 Titan.  The bass on the DN-2000 reaches impressively low (even with my hearing, I could easily hear 25Hz). The bass is very agile and well defined, and I’ve noticed no mid-bass bloom. Bass impact, texture and speed so far have been top notch.

 

Amongst my test tracks, one of my go-to test tracks is “Bleeding Muddy Waters” by Mark Lanegan.  This blues rock track is dark and brooding – and exposes any mushiness or imbalance in bass cohesion. The DN-2000 was practically perfect with this track, clean and impactful bass, and the gravel in Mark’s voice comes through easily.

 

I wanted to see how low the bass would go in real music – so switched to Lorde’s “Royals” – and the DN-2000 definitely delivered. When the bass guitar kicks in, there is nice rumble, and the best thing is that the vocals remain sweet, clear, and well defined.

 

Female Vocals – A Special Note

 

I have added this section simply because around 60-65% of my music revolves around female vocals – be it jazz, pop, rock, electronic, or even opera.  I’m an unabashed fan.  For me personally, the sign of a successful IEM is how successfully it conveys emotion and timbre with my female vocalists. Other IEMs I’ve owned in the past had sometimes struggled with some of the artists I like – and this includes IEM’s like Shure’s SE535 LE (upper-mids on the SE535 LE were too forward/fatiguing with some tracks).

 

The one thing I’ve noticed so far has been how well the DN-2000 has handled vocalists like McKennitt and Lorde. But how would it handle some of the tougher artists like Agnes Obel – as some of her recordings can become quite strident or shouty if the mids aren’t quite right.  With the DN-2000, her vocals aren’t as perfectly euphonic as the Fidue A83 or Altone200 (missing some of the upper mid-range maybe) – but the overall presentation while darker than I really prefer is still good enough to be enjoyable.

 

I then proceeded to play a medley of my other tracks from artists including Christina Perri, Gabriella Cilmi, Florence and the Machine, and Norah Jones. The DN-2000 portrays my female artists very well, again very slightly darker than I’m used to, but nothing onerous or uninvolving. Standout for me was Feist (The Bad In Each other) – the bass was just so dynamic, and the resulting contrast with her vocals was sublime. Quickly summarising, I’d say that while the DN-2000 doesn’t quite beat my Altone or A83 for female vocals, neither does it perform poorly.  Respect from me for well-tuned BA drivers.

 

Male Vocals

 

At the other end of the scale sits a lot of my rock tracks. 

 

The continued theme here was coherence, balance, clarity and impact. The only problem I normally have with my Altones is that whilst they are brilliant with female vocals, they sometimes aren’t so good with male vocals (just don’t convey the lower male vocal range).  Here is where the DN-2000 shine, great tone and timbre on all my rock tracks – and that sub-bass impact just really helps rock overall. 3 Doors Down, Green Day, Breaking Benjamin, Seether – all sound excellent and the vocal quality is superb. When I played Diary of Jane (Breaking Benjamin), there was no guitar distortion (this track can overwhelm some drivers), and the DN-2000 remained clear and detailed.

 

My litmus test still is Pearl Jam (huge fan). Once again, wonderful vocal presentation, and excellent overall – but missing just a little more cymbal emphasis which I know is there with my HD600s (and definitely with my T1s). This isn’t at all bad though – I’d just love that last little bit of sparkle.  I guess it’s a small price to pay though for the rest of the presentation.

 

Genre Specific Notes

 

Again for tracks, albums, artists – please refer to this list:  http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks

 

Rock – Covered this one above.  In a word, excellent.

 

Alt Rock – First up (in my usual test rotation) is Pink Floyd’s “Money”, and the DN-2000 delivers pretty good clarity but I’d personally prefer just a little more sparkle. Next is Porcupine Tree’s “Trains”, and this track is very good – not missing anything. The bass impact is wonderful, and the speed and definition of the bass is incredibly good. PT on the DN-2000 is a winner for me.

 

Jazz / Blues / Bluegrass – Portico Quartet’s “Ruins” is very good displaying nice dynamic contrast, and very good clarity. I did find the trumpet just perhaps lacking a little body (exhibited a touch of hollowness and stridency), and this was repeated when I queued Miles Davis “So What”.  Otherwise though, the detail was very good, and the double bass presentation was fantastic. Classic Jazz gets a tick.

 

Switching to blues, and Bonamassa’s vocals and guitar have always been a favourite of mine. The DN-2000 is stunning with Bonamassa, perfectly blending the emotion of his vocals and the magic of his guitar. I then briefly played Union Station’s “Dust Bowl Children”, and it was very enjoyable. Once again for my own personal preferences though, I’d like just a smidge more upper mid-range and lower treble (a little more sparkle).

 

Rap / EDM / Pop / Indie – Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” surprised me.  I was expecting to maybe be left wanting on the bass impact, but the quality of the bass is so good that it just perfectly fits with this track. It is in’t bass head quantity by any means – but it definitely has slam. I’m again impressed. Sticking with the bass heavy tracks, and queueing some Trance (Armin), and EDM/Electronic (Linday Stirling & Little Dragon), once again the overall quality of the bass, and the fact that it is sub-bass oriented makes it eminently enjoyable.

 

Straight Pop is next – and the DN-2000 easily delivers wonderful renditions of Adele and Coldplay. The stand out once again though is Amanda Marshall’s “Let it Rain”, and (like the Titan) this was a genuine “wow” moment.  This track has a holographic feel to it (the way it was recorded). The DN-2000 really does go nicely with Marshall’s vocals, and there is nothing in this track that feels out of place or contrived. I could listen to this sort of presentation for hours (comfort aside).

 

For Indie, I listened to both Band of Horses and Wildlight. The DN-2000 was brilliant with the former, and just a little short of perfect euphonic sweetness with the latter (close though).

 

Classical / Opera – I’ll keep this short as it is more of the same. Wonderful sense of space, dynamics, timbre and tone. Standouts for me – Kempff’s solo piano and Keating’s cello. Pavarotti was also extremely good, while Netrebko and Garanca (with the Flower Duet) were just a hint darker than I’m used to.

 

AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

 

I covered this in the introduction – but to me the DN-2000 definitely doesn’t need any extra amplification. They were easily powered out of all my portable devices.  I also performed my standard test – volume matched, and then compared the X1 and X1+E11K. There was no real change in dynamics to these ears. 

 

QUICK COMPARISON OTHER IEMS

 

I’ll make this quick as the review has already become overly long. I’m anticipating questions regarding the DN-2000 in comparison to my other triple hybrids (Altone 200, DUNU DN-1000 and Fidue A83), so here are my very quick (very subjective) thoughts:

 

  1. DN-2000 vs DN-1000

    Similar balance. But the DN-1000 actually sounds a little brighter in the upper end (more sparkle), whilst the DN-2000 sounds just as clear, but a little more refined and smoother. DN-1000 seems to have slightly more bass impact, but DN-2000 has more bass quality/definition.
     

  2. DN2000 vs Altone200

    Altone is much more V shaped, bassier and brighter. DN-2000 sounds fuller, darker, but overall more balanced. Altone has more comparatively bass impact, and sounds slightly clearer – but also thinner. The Altone is much more comfortable to wear – it isn’t close!
     

  3. DN2000 vs A83

    The contrast between these two is interesting.  For overall balance I’d give it to the DUNU. The A83 is still full bodied, but you really notice the dip in the lower mid-range after listening to the DUNUs for a while. The A83 comparatively are brighter, and also bassier.  When listening to male vocals, the DN-2000 sound more coherent and more realistic. When listening to female vocals though, the A83 are still stunning, and for my tastes the tables are completely turned.

DUNU DN-2000 - SUMMARY

I’d been looking forward to trying the DN-2000 for a while.  I’d read some of the reviews when they first came out, and hoped to be able to review them, but up until now, the opportunity never presented itself. I’m so glad I’ve had the chance though, and my sincere thanks goes to Vic for giving me some quality time with them.  Once again the generosity among fellow Head-Fiers (and within the Head-Fi community) is wonderful.

 

To sum up -

 

The DUNU DN-2000 is a relatively well balanced (both frequency and tonality) hybrid IEM.  It has excellent bass quality and quantity, good clarity, and vocal presentation (both male and female), and exhibits reasonably good sound-staging, and very good imaging. Its treble is very smooth and grain free – but I personally find it lacking a tiny bit of sparkle. In short, it is a genre master, and very enjoyable IEM sonically to listen to.

 

Its build and innovative features are on the most part excellent – with very good implementation of the new ear stabilising fins, and I think everyone already knows that I love the attached cable tie.

 

Where the DN-2000 misses the mark for me is in overall comfort (too big, with a sharpish edge), and also with the nozzle having no lip.  I love the sound of the JVC FXD tips on the DN-2000 but unless I’m very careful, they invariably stay in my ears if I’m taking them out in a hurry. Given the arguably insignificant benefits of the spacers, is it time to go back to something more conventional?

 

So big question – would I recommend the DUNU DN-2000?

 

On sonics alone – yes.  It is one of the best sounding earphones I’ve heard in this category.  The A83 and DN-2000 are natural competitors on this turf – with both having wonderful SQ performance. However for current long-term comfort issues, I’d be cautious – and I’m afraid even if I could currently afford the DN-2000, I’d be ultimately saying no. Others may not have this problem – but for me it is very real.

 

Thanks again to Vic for the opportunity to try them.  4 stars from me – based on sonics, build, and innovation.  Only points off really are for my personal comfort issues and those darn nozzles.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS TO DUNU

 

I know you are currently working on the DN-2000J – with a smaller overall body, and titanium drivers (which will hopefully give it a little more upper end sparkle).  I look forward to trying these when they are released because you have made a really wonderful sounding earphone with the DN-2000.  If you did want a solution for the nozzles – can I suggest going with a screw in nozzle in 3 different lengths (interchangeable).  It would give people the ability to tune the sound – but allow you to go back to incorporating a lip on the nozzle again. It also then gives you a chance to look at internal filtering options as another attraction.  The combination of mozzle length and internal filter would be unique, and fit your Company motto well.

 

This idea given freely, and if adopted the only thing I’d like would to be to try the new release.

 

Posted

Pros: Soundstage, Bass and Treble Performance,

Cons: Quirky Design, Some Build Quality Questions, and Lack of Grain

DUNU'S DN-2000


Quick Link To Review Thread Here.

 

INTRODUCTION


It has been a little while since my last earphone review, so I am quite excited to be presenting a new review on Dunu's DN-2000 IEM.  Before I continue any further, I would like to offer a big thank you to Fred at Dunu for responding to my request and sending me a sample unit to review.  Once again, here are the usual disclaimers about this review.  I am neither an employee nor an affiliate of Dunu, and all photos are taken and owned by me.  

 

Dunu is a comparatively new player in the audio field, but that hasn’t stopped it from making waves in the audio community.  Established in 1994, Dunu originally began as an OEM/ODM supplier, but eventually started creating and marketing its own products.  The name Dunu itself is an acronym comprised of the words: Delicate, UNique, and Utmost.  “Delicate” represents Dunu’s attention to detail and production quality, while “unique” embodies the singular design aesthetics and sound quality that its earphones supposedly have.  “Utmost” is the end result of these efforts, and highlights some of Dunu’s very serious ambitions as a maker of audio products.

 

Coming in at around 300 USD, the DN-2000 enters a price range where earphones start to sound very good.  The DN-2000 has many notable competitors in this price range, including hybrids by Fidue, Sony, and Audiofly.  In addition, the DN-2000 also competes with various higher-end dual BA earphones.  Without further ado, let’s get started with the review and see how the DN-2000 performs.

 

SPECIFICATIONS


TYPE: Hybrid IEM (Dual BA and 10mm Dynamic)

FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 10Hz-30, 000 Hz

SENSITIVITY: 102 dB +/- 2 dB

IMPEDANCE: 16 ohms

WEIGHT: 22 grams

PRICE: 300 USD

 

PACKAGING/INCLUDED ITEMS


 

 

The DN-2000 comes in a smooth matte black box, with a magnetic flap that opens to reveal the earphones inside a plastic window.  Removing the foam cover and plastic window, I was happy to see that the DN-2000 was actually housed inside a velvet-covered foam cut-out, and not a plastic blister pack popular amongst some manufacturers.  On the inside of the magnetic flap is a list of the various tips included, and several diagrams on how to properly achieve a seal with the Dunu eartip spacer ring system/ stabilizing wings (more on that later).

 

With the DN-2000, Dunu spared no expense with the included accessories.  The exhaustive list of included items consists of the following: a metal carrying case, airplane jack adaptor, 3.5mm to 6.5mm adaptor, clothing clip, 3 complete sets of ear tips, 1 pair of foam tips, 4 sets of stabilizing fins, detachable ear guides, and various eartip spacer rings. 

 

The metal carrying case is a nice addition, and comes with a small plaque featuring Dunu's logo on it.  The build quality of the carrying case is good, and users can be sure that the earphones won’t get damaged while being transported.  However, the case relies on a pressure seal to stay closed, which in turn makes it rather difficult to open.  Using too much force while removing the lid could cause the contents within the case to come flying out, and I personally would have preferred a Pelican case instead.  

 

The included eartips come in four varieties: silicone 1K bass/liquid (white), silicone 2K delicate/resolution (gray), bi-flange, and foam.  The natural question then is whether the tips (specifically the 1K and 2K tips) significantly affect the SQ of the earphones.  As promised, the 1Ks do indeed provide a slightly fuller bass, while the 2Ks provide a cleaner sound with better-detailed treble.  I personally stuck with the 2K, but this will change accordingly with the individual tastes of a user.  The foam works as expected, though many will probably replace these with Comply tips. However, the biflange did not fit at all for me, and I believe that the DN-2000 seal isn’t supposed to be achieved with an extremely deep eartip-insertion.

 

I didn’t personally use the eartip spacer ring system very much, but those who like adjusting their earphones will be pleased to be able to mix and match the rings in order to achieve their desired eartip insertion depth.  

 

BUILD/DESIGN QUALITY


 

 

The DN-2000 features a metal housing with two gradations of gold coloring.  The main housing is a gold-copper, while the back panel is light gold with a nice chamfered edge.  Coming in at 22 grams, there is an undeniable heft to the DN-2000, and it certainly does feel solid.  Miniature clips on the housings serve as “hardpoints” for the attachment of the stabilizing fins.  While the DN-2000 is heavy,  I found that I could achieve a very secure fit with good isolation when I used the large stabilizing fins. 

 

Moving on to the cable, I was surprised to see a lack of better strain relief at the connection point on the housing.  For a pair of earphones shipping with a non-detachable cable, more focus should have gone into preventing possible cable failure.   Similarly, more strain relief should have been put into the cable split.  Now, the biggest concern for me was the fact that the DN-2000 I received had a slightly crooked headphone jack.  I’m not too sure if this was a refurbished model or something of the like, but a crooked jack really shouldn’t be present on a 300-dollar pair of earphones. 

 

Overall, the DN-2000 is a well-built pair of IEMs.  Design wise, it tries to straddle one too many fronts at the same time time.  The stabilizing fins help the user attain a good fit/seal, but they do look odd on the metal housing.  In addition the metal clips make wearing the earphones without the fins somewhat uncomfortable.   For their next flagship, I would like to see Dunu either return to a purist DN-1000 housing or adopt a more ergonomic universal design.  

 

 

 

SOUND QUALITY


The overall sound quality on the DN-2000 is excellent.  The 10mm dynamic driver allows the DN-2000 to achieve a good quantity of bass that is hard to replicate with a regular pair of dual BA earphones.  The quality of the bass is equally impressive, and the DN-2000 is able to articulate low-frequency notes with surprising accuracy.  It may not be as precise as the bass from a purely BA-driven pair of earphones, but greatly increased musicality for a little bit of dynamic loss is a compromise that I am more than willing to make.   In Billy Idol’s Eyes Without A Face, the bass line played by Sal Cuevas is beautifully rendered, and demonstrates the DN-2000’s ability to produce full-bodied base without creating excessive bloat. 

 

The midrange is good, and is presented in a comfortable manner that is neither overly forward nor laidback.  Vocals sound clear and have just the right amount of energy.  However the midrange is slightly lush.  This very slight hint of coloration became more obvious when I listened to string quartets and solos.  The DN-2000 doesn’t quite have enough grain, which weakens its interpretations of small group classical pieces like Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major.  

 

The treble is clear and detailed without sounding overly analytical.  It feels natural, and well integrated with the other parts of the frequency spectrum.  This, combined with excellent base performance, helps to create a truly outstanding soundstage with strong macrodynamics.  Good instrumental separation provides enough microdynamics for fairly detailed renderings without causing the user's ears to become overly tired.  Listening to Águas de Março (Waters Of March) by Antonio Carlos Jobim/ Elis Regina, I felt like I was in the middle of the live room in a recording studio.  The piano, guitar, and other instruments were well separated, and when combined with the great vocals, created an aural image that was both engaging and extremely impressive.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS


 

The DN-2000 is a very good pair of IEMs.  The sound quality is top-notch, and holds its own within its price range (and then some). Moving past its quirky design and certain aspects of its build quality, it is obvious that Dunu has produced a winner.  If you're looking for a pair of earphones that has good bass and treble performance, slightly sweeter mids, and a grand soundstage, then I'd heartily recommend the DN-2000.  

 

Thanks for reading, and happy listening!

 

Best Regards,

Thatonenoob

 

Miscellaneous Thoughts (Click to show)
 

 

 

Posted

Pros: Sound Quality, Build Quality, Comfort, Value.

Cons: Cable could have been braided.



Me: I am a 21 year old Engineering student living in a small town in India. I would like to call myself a music enthusiast, rather than an audiophile. I was inspired by music since childhood, and as the time passed, the passion of music grew in me, and that subsequently led me to join Head-Fi. Eventually, I found the pleasure of listening to music mainly by the HD600 and recently, by the seductive LCD2 headphones, and realized the true components of recorded music. I usually like to listen to Indian Classical Music along with Bollywood songs. My main listening genres include classical, vocal, instrumental, jazz and sometimes pop.

 


 

Intro:  Dunu-Topsound, or simply known as Dunu, is a famous Chinese IEM manufacturer. The brand was established in 1994 as an OEM parts maker; it has evolved since then to manufacture full scale IEM’s and has earned the esteemed ISO-9001 certificate. The DN2000 (popularly known as DN2K) is the flagship In Ear Monitor offering from Dunu. DN2000 is the big brother of the famed DN1000.

 

Dunu: Delicate, Unique & Utmost

 

 

Specifications of DN2000 as per Dunu:

 

Drivers: 1X Dynamic, 2X Balanced Armature

 

Rated Impedance: 16 Ω

 

Frequency Range: 10Hz-30 kHz
 

Noise Attenuation: 26dB

 

Pressure level: 102dB

 

Plug: 3.5mm Gold Plated

 

Cable: 1.2m

 


 

Let us see what the DN2000 has got for us,

 

Packaging and Accessories: The DN2000 arrives packed inside a strong and sleek Dunu style flip-open black cardboard box, on which features and other information have been mentioned upon. Once the box is flipped open, The DN2K housing shell is seen resting inside a transparent window, the rest of cable and the accessories are packed inside the hard case. I can confidently say that Dunu has done some real premium packaging out here. The hard case can be lifted off to reveal the storage compartment, in which all the included accessories are present. Huge amounts of accessories included in the package, and again are made up of good quality. Packaging is done in a premium way “The Dunu Style” Really nice and satisfying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

List of accessories in the box, which include the following: 

 

 

Eartips: Plenty varieties of good quality eartips are included to fit almost any kind of ears; pair of foam tips are also included.  

 

Wings: These have the job of securing the DN2K on our ears and make sure they don’t fall off.

 

Ear Hooks: These come in to play when DN2K is worn upside down, securing the cable over out ears.

 

Shirt Clip: To reduce microphonics and to secure the hanging cable to the shirt.

 

¼” Converter: To plug in the DN2K in the 6.5mm headphone jacks.

 

Airplane adapter: To plug in on the airplane entertainment systems, when on flight.

 

Spacers: 1.1mm 1.2mm 1.0mm coloured rings are included to adjust the gap between eartips and driver nozzle, thereby tweaking the final sound quality.

 

Hard metal case: This aluminium case is supplied to protect and store the DN2K.

 

User Manual & Warranty card: Contains instructions to operate the DN2K and other warranty information.

 


 

Design and Build: The DN2000 has an excellent overall build quality.

 

The entire housing shell is made up of high quality metal. It is painted in matt golden colour, Feels good and heavy in hand.  The housings shell is actually tiny despite the Tri-driver presence. The nozzle is chromed. Nozzle is slightly long to accommodate spacers.

 

 

 

Dunu logo is printed on the rear side of the housing shell. Left and Right markings are particularly hard to see, since the L/R markings are very small. We know, DN2K is a hybrid IEM, and employs well acknowledged Knowles balanced armature drivers. DN2K has three drivers on each side connected in a three way configuration. 1X Dynamic driver for lows, 1X BA driver for mids, 1X BA driver for highs.

 

There is an arm stretching out of the main driver housing shell. The function of this arm is to hold ‘wings’ which are provided as accessory. The wings will sit on the outer part of ear, and hold the DN2k firmly in its place during rigorous head movement. (It looks very similar to one used in Bose IEM’s)

 

Cable has a very good build. It is light, flexible and does not get tangled. Cables have almost zero microphonics. Cable slider is embedded inside the Y splitter. The lower part of the cable also has a velcro to bind up the lengthy cable. Plug is 90 degree angled and gold plated.

 

 

 

 

My only concern in the build quality is the cable; I think the cable could have been braided to further secure the connection and longetivity.

 


 

Comfort:  DN2K is very comfortable to wear, is ergonomically designed, and its cable is light in weight and not heavy. No worries about the stretching arm on the driver housings, as their presence is barely noticeable after sometime of wearing it.

 

The provided ear tips are well designed and are ear-friendly. The presence of protruding arm does not hinder the comfort. Instead it makes sure of a better fit.

The ‘wings’ are provided in different sizes according to different ears. Spacer rings function well, and do not take the housing shell too far.

 

Only issue in comfort being DN2K is slightly heavy, but one can get accustomed to it real soon.

 


 

Sound: As for the most important part, DN2K has a very natural, expansive and pleasing sound quality. Its three way configuration works like a charm. A very appealing sound.

 

Lows: are very accurate, tight and strong; have a good impact. Depth is also good enough (but not very good)

 

Mids: sound very natural, open and appealing, and have a slight lush (like the HD600’s) I guess that is in a good way, comes very pleasing to our ears.

 

Highs: Very natural, airy, just right amount of sparkle. Highs are well perceived, with not being too smooth to cause a dark sound and not bright to cause sibilance. ‘Just right’

 

Soundstage: Very relaxed, natural and circular soundstage. Instrument separation is very good, overall feels very airy and spacious. This, I feel is very essential for a comfortable & non fatiguing listen.

 

The final sound (and comfort) of DN2K can be changed by using different ear tips and space rings.

 

Silicon ear tips provide the most natural sound. Whereas the foam’s provide the best fit and isolation, but at the cost of comfort (deep insertion). The space rings determine the exact distance the drivers are from our ears. If IEM’s are too far, IEM may fall out of ears, or sound may leak more than optimal. If they are too near, soundstage depth is decrease by a small margin.

 

Right amount of space rings results in a very excellent sound stage. DN2K puts an fully circular and relaxed stage, which is important for a natural and non fatiguing listen. Using the provided space rings, I can notice, increase in soundstage depth and overall refinement.

 

Direct competitor to DN2K is none other than the Fidue A83. The A83 is more neutral with an even more relaxed soundstage, and is more comfortable owing to over ear wearing style, and also a comparatively shallow insert than DN2K. Comparing the DN2K with A83, I feel the A83 definitely outperforms the DN2K in terms of neutrality, soundstage. The A83’s are also more relaxing to listen to; whereas the DN2K is slightly more fun to listen to; The A83 is greatly transparent and neutral, with relaxed and natural soundstage. The A83 also wins in cable quality, and ergonomics.

 


 

Amplification: The DN2K is very easy to drive, (even though it is a three way) and can be driven by almost any sources, smartphones and DAP’s. Balanced Armatures are known to be energy efficient, and low on diet. Although amp like a Objective2 does increases the sound output audibly, the difference in quality is minimal. Amplification factor is not important here, but a clean and transparent source is sufficient to drive the DN2K to their maximum potential.

 


 

Conclusion:  Without a second thought, DN2000 is a great IEM. It has a very high value aspect, sound presentation simply excellent. It scores as one of the best IEM in 300$. The DN2K is almost a perfect IEM. DN2K is an easy recommendation to any enthusiast who is looking for a quality IEM in 300$ price range. But also check out the Fidue A83 (also a very capable and great IEM)

 

The Pros: 

 

1) Build Quality: The DN2K has a great build quality. No compromise to be seen anywhere.

 

2) Sound quality: Sound quality of DN2K is very natural, expansive, and is like-able my almost anybody.

 

3) Comfort:  DN2K is quite comfortable to wear for many hours, owing to its customization options and ergonomics.

 

4) Value: I do not think there are much better performing earphones available within the same price tag as of DN2K, thus making M3 of having a superb price/performance ratio. 

 

 

The Cons:

 

1) Cable: Currently, the cable has very good build to it, but it would be more practical step to upgrade to a braided cable.

 


 

 



Posted

Pros: Sound, Build, Accessories, Design

Cons: Case

First I’d like to thank Rocky from Dunu for sending me a DN-2000 to review. Those who have been following the mid-range IEM market might have heard of Dunu and their previous flagship, the DN-1000. I have to admit, not long ago, I had never heard of Dunu, but after I heard the DN-1000, I began to read some reviews on their other products, and all their IEMs seemed to look very impressive and have a somewhat boosted bass. Dunu has recently come out with a new model, the DN-2000, which is what I will be reviewing today.

 

Some of you may have seen my Dunu DN-1000 review that I wrote a while back. I really enjoyed the DN-1000 a lot, and I found them to be a rather special and unique IEM. The bass especially was the highlight, being very hard hitting but relatively fast and detailed. I was expecting quite a lot from the DN-2000, being priced at $315. They are quite a bit more than the DN-1000, but feature the same driver configuration. Although it doesn’t state this anywhere, I think that the dual BAs are probably the same as the DN-1000’s (TWFK) but tuned differently. I am almost certain that the dynamic driver has been changed, however.

 

 

Having heard quite a few TWFK based IEMs, I have learnt that most of them that have extra drivers do not sound the same in the frequencies that the TWFKs produce sound at all. I’m pretty sure the T-Peos H300 uses the TWFKs for the midrange and treble and compared to the DN-1000, they are vastly different. I tried to keep an open mind about the DN-2000 even though Rocky had already told me what they sounded like. Anyway, let’s get onto the review.

 

**Disclaimer** These were given to me in return for an unbiased, truthful review.

 

 

Unboxing & Accessories
Dunu is known for including a ton of accessories with their IEMs, but often, their box is not nearly as nice. Boxes don’t really matter that much, but they do leave a first impression on customer and both the DN-1000 and DN-900’s boxes left me wanting a bit more. However, Dunu has certainly stepped up with the DN-2000. Quite simply, the unboxing experience is epic and think the DN-2000 is the most impressively packaged IEM that I have seen. It makes their DN-1000 and H300 packaging just seem plain bad.

 

The Dunu DN-2000, like their other models come with a wide variety of accessories. There is literally everything that you need in there. It comes with a cable clip, 6.35mm adapter, 10 pairs of tips, including a pair of foams, the wings, ear hooks, spacers, airplane adapter and of course, the wonderful silver case. I do have one gripe about the case though. Yes, it looks absolutely stunning, but it is really not that practical, not unlike the DN-900 one. It is just too big to carry around everywhere. My favourite case for IEMs is the TF-10/DN-1000 case, it is sturdy, compact and nice looking. I do hope that in the future Dunu go with those cases instead.

 

 

 

Design, Isolation & Cable
Let’s start with the build quality. Dunu has a reputation for building IEMs which are extremely tough with their metallic exterior and the DN-2000 is no different. Instead of the silver that they used in the DN-1000 and 900, they opted to go for a gold colour this time. The DN-2000 doesn’t quite feel as sturdy as the DN-1000, but it is a lot lighter and is less prone to slipping out of your ears. As far as looks go, I might just prefer the DN-2000 a little more, but this depends on people. The plug on the DN-1000 is smaller and I am not a fan of the DN-2000’s serial number being on the plug, but it’s no big deal. The included wings are so that people can get a more comfortable and secure fit. If you wear them over the ear like I do, you can’t use them, nor do you need to. If you are wearing them straight down, however, they do help a bit. The strain reliefs feel solid enough, but not too solid, it definitely feels like it will stand up over time.

 

The isolation is nothing special here. You can get quite a deep insertion if you use the red spacers, but it just doesn’t isolate that well. I would say that are on par with the DN-1000 in this regard, but they seem a bit worse because the heavier bass of the DN-1000 seems to drown out more background noise. Overall, the isolation is very acceptable, but don’t expect Shure or Etymotic isolation here.

 

 

I believe that the cables used in the DN series are all the same and I really do love them. People on the Dunu DN-1000 thread have been complaining that the cables go still around the top, where the cable goes into the housing, but I really have not experienced this with the DN-1000s at all. Maybe it has something to do with sweat or something. The cable is very soft, flexible and there is that cable winder thing. I never really use it, but who knows, you might really like it.

 

 

Testing Gear
This was very interesting. I actually liked the DN-2000 best straight out of the DX90. Adding an O2 amp seemed to make the upper midrange a little dull and adding the UHA760 didn’t really change anything. The O2 sounded almost identical to the DX90 by itself, but I think the lower bass may have been a little softer, which I didn’t like. I also tried the DN-2000 with other players such as the DX50 and HM700. They actually paired quite well with the DX50, being very articulate and clear, but the upper midrange was a little sharp. The HM700 was an OK pairing, but it was nothing special. The DN-2000 doesn’t need much amping, but it really scales well with a better source.

 

 

Sound Quality
I really liked the two IEMs that I have heard from Dunu – the 900 and 1000. Both of them were unique and I especially enjoyed the bass, their dynamic drivers really did pack a nice punch. I’ve always had a thing for hybrid IEMs after the 1plus2 and RDB v1 because I love the clarity and detail from BAs, but prefer the rumbling dynamic driver bass. Both the DN-900 and DN-1000 achieved this and I was quite certain that the DN-2000 would best both of them. Boy, was I surprised when I heard them! They were quite different from what I was expecting.

 

 

Bass
The reason why I prefer dynamic driver bass over BA drivers is that no BA driver IEM that I have heard has managed to achieve the bass that the best dynamic driver IEMs that I have heard. The best bass that I have heard from an IEM would have to be the 1plus2, followed by the RDB v1 and I must say that DN-2000 does mighty fine for its price. The DN-1000 is a lot bassier and it took me quite a while to adjust. The bass was a lot less in quantity that I was expecting, but it completely blew me away with its quality. It is simply so detailed, so clean, so fast, so hard to fault. The DN-1000 was a little too bassy for me and initially the DN-2000 lacked a little bass, but after a little more listening the bass quantity seemed to increase and now it is the perfect balance between fun and neutral. It is incredibly detailed with a solid impact and it much faster than the DN-1000. Sub-bass is quite linear, but it does not have as much rumble as the DN-1000, which also makes it cleaner. The quantity is a bit more than neutral, there is no doubt about that. I really think that the bass is perfect for its cost and I really could not ask for anything more.

 

Midrange
Every dynamic and TWFK hybrid that I have heard are all somewhat V shaped, some more so than others. The DN-1000 was quite V shaped, the treble was north of neutral and the bass was very heavy. As a result, the mids were pulled back, a little more than my liking. I find that when the midrange is recessed, I have to turn then volume up a little to compensate for the softer vocals. When I first listened to the DN-2000, it was clear that the midrange was not as recessed as the DN-1000, it was still pulled back, but not as much, probably something to do with the less heavy bass. The midrange is a hair brighter than then the DN-1000, which is quite neutral in terms of tonality. Even when I turned them up, there was no hint of sibilance, which was a relief, because that was my main concern when Rocky told me that the DN-2000 had brighter mids and treble compared to the DN-1000. However, some people hear sibilance in then DN-1000, which I don’t hear at all, so if you are one of them, then you will probably hear sibilance in the DN-2000 as well. Clarity and detail is exceptional and vocals sound so clear. The midrange is perfect if you like a slightly brighter signature.

 

Treble
Ah, treble is perhaps the most debated thing about IEMs because some people, like me, are more tolerant to treble, while others are extremely sensitive to it. I once read a review on the SE215s which said that the treble was too hot for him and that he just could not stand this. I found this rather weird because I own a SE215 and I, along with many other SE215 owners agree that the treble is quite rolled off. Anyway, I find that the DN-2000 is just about at my sweet spot, maybe a tiny bit more than what I prefer. I prefer the silver spacers over any of the other colours. The pink/red ones just sound a bit too bright. The silver ones are perfect for me. The detail of the cymbals are quite stunning. Every tap of the drumstick on the cymbals are well defined and they are so realistically rendered. The cymbals are not too sharp but definitely not dull, just right. They seem a little bit brighter than the DN-1000’s treble, which can be either good or bad depending on what sound signature you like. Personally, I don’t really mind. I do prefer the DN-2000’s treble because it is cleaner and it sounds more airy overall.

 

 

Soundstage & Imaging
From the DN-1000 to the DN-2000, the most noticeable upgrade for me would have to be the soundstage. Those who have read what I think about the DN-1000 will know that I hear it as having a large soundstage that is very well presented. The DN-2000, however, takes it up another notch and every aspect of the soundstage is improved on. It is wider, taller and has more depth to it. I get a feeling that there is more space compared to the DN-1000 and the entire presentation just feels more realistic. It is almost as if the DN-1000 is like a band performing on a stage while the DN-2000 is as if they are in a concert hall. I am extremely impressed with the DN-2000’s soundstage.

 

Wow, the imaging on these simply blew me away. These have a very unique way of presenting music and as a result, they are quite different from the DN-1000. Compared to the DN-2000, the DN-1000 seems a little 2D and flat whilst the DN-2000 has a way of layering the music. I can’t really explain it, but it is quite interested. Instruments seem a little smaller than the DN-1000 on average and it seems like I am sitting back a row. The imaging is more precise and cleaner than the DN-1000’s. This is clearly an upgrade from the 1K and I love it!

 

 

Separation, Detail & Clarity
The DN-2000 really doesn’t seem to do anything wrong and it excels in these three areas as well. Let’s start with the separation, it’s just wonderful. Just about every TWFK driver IEM I have heard is detailed and generally they have good separation. To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting much of an upgrade over the DN-1000 in this area, because after all, they do use the same drive and the DN-2000 doesn’t cost vastly more right? Well, no, the DN-2000’s separation is amazing and it truly trumps the DN-1000 here. Instruments can be easier made out and the softer sounding things in the background are more noticeable as well. Overall I am extremely impressed by what Dunu have managed to do here.

 

For me, usually if an IEM has strong separation, its detail will be good as well. This case is no different. I swear that I heard some microdetails there that I just could not make out when I was listening to the DN-1000. Overall, the brighter sound signature really does bring out the details weaved into the music and honestly, I don’t think you are going to get much, if any, improvement unless you are looking to spend around $1000 on a pair of IEMs. The detail on the DN-2000s are stunning for their price.

 

The clarity, not unlike the details, really show through because of the DN-2000’s tuning. I must applaud Dunu’s designer, he has really tuned the DN-2000 very nicely. It really brings out the details from them and the clarity on the instruments and vocals are just as good. Instruments sound sharp and the decay is just right, neither too short or too long and vocals are nicely balanced, but are among the clearest I’ve come across in its price range. From memory, it absolutely smashes the AX60, which are in the same price range.

 

 

Accuracy
This section is basically just contrasting the DN-2000s to what I perceive as perfectly flat. For me, they have a slightly boosted bass response, a slightly pulled back, cool midrange and a slightly upfront, bright treble. If you are looking for a flat IEM, the DN-2000 might not be the best choice. From what people say, those who are after a neutral sounding IEM, the ER4S is a good choice, or, the Noble 4 that I have on hand is also a good IEM, but it costs quite a bit more. They do, however, sound very natural and is great for someone who wants a relatively neutral but fun sound.

 

 

Comparisons
I will compare these to what people view as the main competitor, the T-Peos H-300 and the Noble 4 that I also happen to have on hand. I won’t bother with a DN-1000 one because the entire review contains heaps of DN-1000 references already.

 

DN-2000 vs H-300
I find the H-300 has a very controversial sound signature – that is, some people will love it, while others will hate it. If I had to be on one side, it would have to be the hate side, because I really do not like it at all, but it’s not that simple. The H-300 is a very capable IEM, but it has quite a horrible tuning. The bass is very nice and more potent than that of the DN-2000, especially in the mid-bass. I will call them a draw, which one is better depends on your preferences. The midrange of the H-300 is its largest flaw for me, being peaky, sibilant and nasal sounding. It simply cannot compete with the DN-2000’s clear, detailed midrange. Those that find the DN-2000’s midrange a little bright will find the H-300’s mids unbearable. The treble has the same problem of being too emphasized and is just too bright for me. It actually blocks some details because the cymbals linger too long and are overly emphasized. The DN-2000’s soundstage and imaging is much more capable and so is its separation and detail. For me, the DN-2000 is the undisputed champion over the H-300, I just cannot see myself preferring the H-300anytime soon.

 

DN-2000 vs Noble 4
The Noble 4 is the first IEM designed by the wizard I have heard and boy, am I impressed. It really doesn’t do anything wrong, it produces a very unobtrusive sound that you really can’t hate. And I love it. It is very balanced and detailed, as well as having nice imaging. The only thing that is lacking is the soundstage, which is quite apparent next to the DN-2000. The bass is lighter and more neutral, which some may prefer, but I just think that the DN-2000’s bass has more dynamics and better detail. The midrange is a harder call, both are on the cooler side of things, the DN-2000 more so than then N4. The mids are more upfront with the N4 whilst the DN-2000 has ever so slightly recessed mids. It really comes down to your preference, I can’t call this one. The treble is beautifully extended on both of the IEMs, but the DN-2000 is brighter. Again, I feel technically they are too close to call, but personally I think I might just prefer the N4 treble by a hair. The imaging is ever so slightly better on the DN-2000, whilst the soundstage is quite a lot larger. Detail and separation are about the same, but strangely, I find the DN-2000 slightly more detailed while the N4 has slightly better separation. Overall, I’d have to say I prefer the DN-2000 by a bit because of it’s very expansive soundstage, and do note that the Noble 4s cost $450 while the DN-2000s cost $315, so this is quite a feat, because the N4s are one of the best IEMs I’ve heard under $500.

 

 

Conclusion
Well we’ve finally reached the end and I feel the urge to again, say how good I think the DN-2000s are. Sure, they have some minor flaws, but what doesn’t. I think that if Dunu added a detachable cable and a smaller case, people would be willing to pay a lot more. In terms of sound, they certainly punch well above their price and personally, I think that look great. For $315 I really can’t ask for anything more. As always, I hoped this review helped and feel free to leave comments below. 

Posted

Pros: Incredibly addictive midrange and vocals, superb bass and treble, and excellent everything else

Cons: Non-rounded rear edges could be slightly uncomfortable depending on your ear size and shape

 

 

First of all, a big THANK YOU to @rockywu for providing the review unit. It is much appreciated, and my humble ears are feeling so incredibly honoured to be included as one of the first reviewers

 

This is the second triple hybrid IEM from Dunu (DN2k), and the third hybrid overall; the first one being the well-regarded, the legendary DN-1000 triple-hybrid (DN1k), and there’s also the mid-centric DN-900 dual-hybrid.

 

When I first heard about DN-2000, @rockywu boasted that this will be an improvement over the DN1k, and overall will be a better sounding unit. I was rather sceptical to be perfectly honest as I was not sure how to improve something that is already incredibly good-sounding IEM. As we all know (or at least those of us who’ve heard or owned DN1k) upon its release, DN1k ‘set’ the standard to hybrid IEM in terms of sound and value. In my humble opinion, it really did smashed many of its similarly priced competitor, as well as some of the higher-priced competitors

 

So, upon receiving the DN2k, my expectation is kind of high, and the most intriguing thing for me is finding out how this is tuned.

 

The components that I used for this review are as follows

  • iPod Classic (straight, and through C&C BH)
  • Sansa Clip+
  • Desktop (through Aune T1)
  • MacBook Air (straight out, and through Dragonfly)
  • 320k MP3’s, 16/44 and 24/96 FLAC’s

 

Packaging and accessories

 

The packaging of DN2k is very well made, very well designed, and can easily be displayed in retail stores and shopping centres. The usual hard carton outer with book style opening, which reveals graphical information on the other side of the lid, and the right side displays the unit itself with a transparent plastic cover.

 

 

 

 

 

Tips wise, you literally get tons of them; the clear silicone ‘bass/liquid’ tips (S/M/L), the grey silicone ‘delicate/resolution’ tips (S/M/L), the dual-flanges silicone tips (S/M/L), and a pair of foam (M)

Further on, you also get few pairs of fins and wings, airline adaptor, large adaptor, 3 sizes of spacer rings (owner of DN1k and DN-900 will be familiar with these), a pair of ear guides, and a shirt clip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last but not least, the silver carry box. It does feel solid, however, personally I still prefer the Pelican-esque yellow case that comes with DN-900

 

Build Quaility, Isolation, and Comfort

 

The body is barrel type, almost identical to DN1k. Feels incredibly solid and can withstand some rough treatments

 

In general, the weight is slightly lighter than DN1k, however, for some reason the rear outer ring body, where the Dunu logo is, DN1k feels smoother and rounder, whereas this feels a little rougher. As a result of this, it feels slightly more uncomfortable compared to DN1k, especially during long session. Thankfully, Dunu has included some fins and wings to add to comfort, as well as holding the earpieces in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isolation is on par with DN1k, and to some extend it can depends on the size and depth of your canal, for those whose canal is deeper and bigger, you can push this right in for deeper fit, and hence isolate slightly better to those who can only do shallow fit.

 

SOUND QUALITY

 

A quick note here before we go on to the sound, historically I like using large-bore tips whenever possible, mainly because of the bigger soundstage, and enhanced bass effect to some extent. The same applies here, for the purpose of this review, I am using the grey turbine style tips that came with DN1k, to me, this is one of the best silicone tips that I have ever used. I also use the UE single flange, and MEElec single flange, all of which are large bore

 

Bass

 

First and foremost, this is not for basshead, it has less impact and power compared to its sibling, DN1k. I would say that the bass is tuned in the middle between neutral and DN1k level, but the best thing is that it can really slams hard and leave you breathless when called upon, for example in tracks such as Estelle’s Make Her Say, and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ Cowboy Boots

 

The timbre and extension are just nothing short of superb, the way it renders the bass drum in Jack Johnson’s ‘Upside Down’, and ‘What You Thought You Need’ leave you wanting for more, just the perfect quantity. The bass extends way down to sub bass level and almost beyond, as I can hear the bass all the way down to 10hz without any problem whatsoever. H-300 and DN1k for example, I can only pick up the bass from around 15hz.

 

Hip hop and RnB lovers, I can understand that they might be hanging for more, as unlike H-300 and DN1k, there is almost no lingering decay. EDM lovers however, in my opinion this is perfect for it, in Pryda’s ‘F.A.T’ the bass hits deep, hard, and fast.

 

Midrange

 

This is the centre showcase of DN2k, the midrange is slightly forward, incredibly detailed, clear, and oh-so-sweet, and overall, it’s just absolutely addictive. Ever since I received my unit, and after the first listen, all I want to do is just to listen to vocal tracks, especially live, acoustics, jazz, or unplugged albums. In comparison to DN1k, the latter sounds warmer, slightly thicker, and a touch muddy. Have a listen to Natalie Cole’s track ‘Walkin’ My Baby Back Home’ and you will know exactly what I mean about how addictive the midrange and vocal are.

 

Vocals are renders beautifully and so sweetly, full of energy, and incredibly airy, especially female vocals, and it’s free from peaks and distortion, so much so, when listening to album such as Diana Krall’s Live in Paris, Peter Malick Group feat Norah Jones’ The Deluxe Collection, or Natalie Cole’s ‘Still Unforgettable’, after every tracks, it makes you just want to repeat the last song you played.

 

I can almost say that I almost can’t fault the midrange at all, however, there are some occasions where I picked up slight peaks when I turn the volume up too high to an almost unhealthy level., but then again, not many people would listen this loud

 

Treble

 

The treble is clear, has excellent extension, has the perfect amount of sparkle, brightness and warmth, and yet, it is clean from peaks and sibilance. It sits nicely just behind the midrange, a good example of this can be heard in Diana Krall’s ‘I Love Being Here With You’ from ‘Live in Paris’ album, the cymbals sit behind the guitar and vocal. In comparison, something like H-300 renders the cymbals pretty full on in your face

 

This is one area where the similarities to DN1k can be heard, though in the case of DN2k’s, it is a bit more detailed, and has slightly more sparkle

People who are sensitive to bright treble should not be concerned at all, as I can listen to this all day and night without getting fatigued. Also, just like the midrange, it is free of peaks and sibilance.

 

Soundstage, Transparency, Imaging, Timbre,  and Amping

 

Soundstage is pretty big, wide, and has a decent depth. It’s not as deep as DN1k, H-300, nor AX60 however.

Transparency and Imaging, although they are excellent, they are slightly less refined compared to H-300, although I must say, I do think that the brightness and sparkle of H-300 are the reason why it sounds a bit more transparent

 

Timbre is also brilliant, tracks such as Jack Johnson’s “What You Thought You Need” and Maroon 5’s “Secret” sound unbelievable, as snare drum, and both bass and acoustic guitars are rendered superbly.

 

Amping, although is not necessary for DN2k, but it does help to some extent, especially in the bass department. By having a little bit more power pumped through its drivers, it certainly benefits the bass as it adds to the fullness of the bass.

 

COMPARISON TO OTHER HYBRIDS

 

T-PEOS H-300 (Triple Hybrid)

 

These 2 show how far hybrid IEM’s have become, and how good of a product you can get for around $300. With similar pricing, and released around the same time, there is no doubt that these 2 are competing for our hard earned money.

 

To start things of, in the bass department, there is one clear winner there, the H-300. With its big, thick, and deep bass, DN2k bass feels incredibly light and soft next to it. However, DN2k bass is tighter, quicker, and has much shorter decay, and therefore more suitable towards genre such as rock, metal, or even EDM. I also feel that DN2k’s bass has slightly better extension, and for a non-basshead, H-300’s may sounds a touch boomy.

 

Moving on to the midrange, DN2k trumps over H-300 with its clear, sweet, and detailed midrange. H-300 has this strangely tuned midrange that makes vocal feels constraints, and that annoying upper mid spike, which I was having some troubles with. Furthermore, vocals feel a lot sweeter and easier on the ear, and a lot less fatiguing, as there is no noticeable spikes anywhere in DN2k’s midrange.

 

To the treble, I think this is rather on par, depending on your treble preference, and your resistance towards bright treble. I love H-300’s treble with its amazing clarity and details, but at the same time, listening for a long session can cause fatigue. DN2k’s on the other hand, the treble cohesion with the midrange is just superb, it’s slightly bright too (though not as bright as H-300’s), has slightly better extension, and sits just slight behind the midrange. Despite the brightness, it is nowhere near as fatiguing as H-300, and I can absolutely listen to DN2k all day and all night without any fatigue whatsoever.

 

H-300 has slightly bigger and deeper soundstage compared to DN2k, imaging and transparency is just about on par with each other. I personally prefer DN2k, but I can see most bassheads would prefer H-300

 

Sony H3 (Triple Hybrid)

 

Another decent triple hybrid with its unique ‘Sony’s house sound’, first of the rank is the bass, compared to DN2k, H3’s sounds a little slow and boomy, though it has much bigger impact, and sub-bass is just about the same. H3’s bass is also warmer and slightly thicker

 

Moving on to the midrange, DN2k is yet again the clear winner here, as H3’s midrange sounds recessed, veiled, and grainier. The vocal of H3 also sounds distant and much less prominent compared to DN2k.

 

Treble wise, both of them have similar extension and detail level, though H3’s sounds slightly warmer and grainier, and on the other side of the coin, DN2k’s is brighter, and has better clarity.

 

AudioFly AF140 (Triple Hybrid)

 

I wasn’t going to do this comparison to be honest as I will be doing a full review of this very soon, but I thought since I have both review units with me at this moment, I thought what the hell, and decided to give AF140 a day dedication just for comparison purposes

 

Let’s start with bass, AF140 has bigger impact, though with its slightly boosted midbass, it sounds a little muddy compared to DN2k. It also has warmer and thicker bass, though DN2k wins in the sub-bass department and it also has better extension.

 

Midrange wise, DN2k is the clear winner here, AF140’s sounds a bit recessed, a little veiled, and the vocals sound a bit distant compared to DN2k, and DN2k is doing a much better job in rendering the vocals. Treble wise, AF140 has a warmer and darker treble compared to DN2k, and it also sounds mellower. Soundstage wise, width is similar, and DN2k has slightly better depth.

 

Rooth LSX5 (Five-drivers Hybrid. Universal)

 

One of my recent favourite, we compare the midrange to start of proceedings, which  unfortunately sounds a little  peaky and vocals sound a bit harsh compared to DN2k.

 

In the bass department, speed, extension, and depth are similar, though impact wise the LSX5 has the upper hand here, as well as having a warmer and thicker bass note.

 

Last but not least, LSX5’s treble also sounds a touch harsh and much more prone to sibilance, however, it does sound more refined.

 

Conclusion

 

 

 

How do you improve on excellence? The answer is DN2k. Dunu has done an excellent job here is the sound tuning of DN2k, as in my opinion, it is one step ahead of DN1k.

 

I honestly can’t fault this awesome unit, as I absolutely love everything about it, it I have to pick one fault, then it would have to be a non-rounded outer rear body, which can lead to uncomfortableness in over ear wearing, and straight down to some extent.

 

I can’t remember any other IEM that made me fall in love on first listen, except maybe Tralucent 1P2 (but let’s be fair here, this thing cost quadruple of DN2k’s), and perhaps UE TF10, which gave me an introduction to the world of multi-driver IEM.

 

Even at $315 MSRP, this certainly punches way above its price level, and leaves its similarly priced competitor on their wake, at this point of time, to be honest I prefer the sound of DN2k, even if compared to the more established and pricier 5-drivers hybrid competitors such as Rooth LSX5 and UM Merlin.

 

Well done Dunu, and I will surely be interested and intrigued on how are you going to improve the sound even further with DN-3000 

Posted

Pros: makes rock music come alive-- great bass, isolation, and a nice short attack of punch

Cons: could use more of a wider soundstage...

I just got these bad boys yesterday- so far am really happy-- the mids and trebles really are great. these sound way better than the triple fi 10, shure 535s i used to have, and the westone (um3x i think) that i had..

these give a lot of unique feeling to each album i've listened too- and made it feel like i was listening to each album again for the first time. the isolation is so good that i don't have to turn the volume loud up at all when listening.i haven't been to active with these yet, and i worry about fit, but haven't put on the over the ear holders. presentation of the box was really nice; but i wish the metal case was smaller-- who can fit that in their pockets when out and about ? (And i have a note 4 phone....so that's saying something)  update, after a couple days, fit is still an issue for me....

 

Overall happy to recommend these- they sound great ! there's seperation of instruments but just wish it could be a bit wider- that'd be my only complaint.

but there's just a really nice attack of the bass that i really like about these- and it makes the music come alive and feel fresh !

Posted

Pros: Clarity, Transparency, Surprisingly detailed bass

Cons: Treble which lacks extension

As there already four reviews I shall keep this one short and sweet.

 

Initial impressions: Holy cow! Accessories galore, beautiful balanced sound and more accessories.

 

The sound has grown on me over the months and actually changed my sound preferences. Overall these are what I would call neutral but not necessarily natural. The flavor consists of dry, clean, transparency with a bite of lemon.

 

Treble: In a nutshell basically the treble is very detailed but doesn't quite have the extension to reach its ambitions. It can be very sharp at times with a bad recording and prone to sibilance with the wrong tips and spacers. I find it a little brittle and forced but timber is pretty good and it tries its very best to throw as much detail at you as it possibly can. 

 

Mids: Wow this is one thing I love so much about these iem's. Clear and transparent I wouldn't call them forward but they certainly aren't recessed and with a slight volume boost can be brought forward to your own liking. Coming from the Fischer amps Fa-4e XB I suddenly realized what I had been missing all this time, emotion ! Although the mids can be a little thin at times with the right track, ear tips, spacers and volume the mid range can become highly addictive as you get caught up in each instrument and listen to vocals shining through their pronounced transparency and emotion into your ears and into your heart. The 2000s have made me rethink what I like most when listening to music and the mid range whilst not quite perfect has shed some light on what I love most.

 

Bass: Surprises is what the Dunu offer in the bass department. I am a self confessed bass head and although I would not call these bass heavy by any stretch they have this innate ability to just slam, bang  and rumble when awoken. The bass to me is almost perfect, ask me about eight months ago to listen to these and say that statement I would have laughed in your face. But then again preferences change and these have altered my thinking, I now know music doesn't have to be clouded with a heap of artificial bass to sound musical. It's a pleasure to listen when the sub bass kicks in it always reaches deep with such great quality and texture one can only really expect from a dynamic driver.    

 

Sounstage, Instrument Separation: Where to begin this is kinda a mixed bag on a good day these things have a great soundstage, well placed not entirely three dimensional but fairly encompassing shines with some good trance tracks :wink_face:. I don't know how to fully articulate this part of the sound signature as it really varies from track to track all I will say is width is great but over all height could be improved for a more holographic sound. These do posses the skills to separate instruments very well and present the music in an airy manor giving each instrument its own personal space to breath.

 

In conclusion I find these to be an incredible bargain for the price. If you're after a balanced iem with great transparency and great sub bass just get these and be done with it. There are areas where I feel like things could be improved but this is a touch more subjective rather than objective.

 

Warning: Do not pull the grey wings to hard back as I managed to pull the back piece of my earphones off, whilst still fully functioning its not recommended you do this I almost cried thinking I had broken them, although nothing a bit of super glue can't fix ha.

 

Gear used: Clas Solo-db + Duet + Balanced interconnect.  Tips, spacers used: Finally settled on the blue spacers and foam tips due to overall comfort and isolation. 

Posted

Pros: Natural sounding, very smooth tonality, with very good detail.

Cons: A bit mid centric for my sonic preferences.

Hybrid 3 ways: 2x Balance Armature + 1x 10mm Dynamic driver
http://www.dunu-topsound.com/DN-2000.html

 

 

 

I've let around 6 of my friends (non head-fier's) to try DN-2000, without first telling them how much it cost, or what technology behind it, simply just ask them to try it, and to see their initial honest impression. All impressions were an honest "WOW". They simply amazed by how beautiful DN-2000 sounds. DN-2000 does have that initial ‘Wow’ factor. But frankly, after using them regularly for about a month now, that wow factor does fade a little on me. I guess it is simply because the bass is a bit lacking to my liking.

 

 'Highly refined sonic character' maybe the simplest way to describe DN-2000 sound signature. It has natural tonal balance with very good level of detail and resolution. Wide frequency coverage from very low bass to upper treble, in a natural manner, flat smooth without any annoying peak and dip. Clarity and transparency are good, without sounding analytic. Spacious and open sounding, with very focused and clear imaging. Very clear instrument separation and placement. DN-2000 renders the room or hall reverberation very clearly in a natural manner. Somehow I can hear room's reverberation easier on DN-2000, better than DN-1000 and FX850. I notice this quality when I was listening the album of Dr. Chesky's Sensational, Fantastic, and Simply Amazing Binaural Sound Show. DN-2000 is simply sensational with binaural recordings. Maybe one of the best IEM for binaural recordings.

 

I was expecting DN-2000 to be an upgrade from my favorite DN-1000, but in my opinion, it is not. They have different sound signature, and I don't consider DN-1000 (with the JVC EP-FX8 eartips) inferior to DN-2000. IMHO both DN-1000 and DN-2000 are in the same level of top quality IEMs. It is a matter of personal sonic preferences, they are great in their own way.

 

 

Midrange is the strength of DN-2000, sweet, smooth, spacious, and detailed. Simply charming and beautiful midrange. A tad warmer than DN-1000, but not as warm as FX850. The midrange could be beautifully mesmerizing, but the quality is highly dependent on the headphone amplifier. When the pairing is not optimal, the midrange sounds loose, lacking definition, with nasal-sounding vocal. There is a little emphasize on 400-600 Hz area on DN-2000, but the intensity is quite different from player to player. I heard the highest intensity of that mid hump is when DN-2000 paired with DX90. For recording like the Chesky ‘The World Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recording’, I hear a rather annoying nasal sound on the vocal, slightly stronger than what I perceived as natural vocal sound. The midrange also sounds a bit glaring, and less detailed. This unnatural nasal sound and ‘midrange glaring’ could be one of the indications of whether the player / amp are a good matching for DN-2000 or not. From the gears used in this review, the DACs and amp seem to be more capable to drive DN-2000 properly than the DAPs. Fiio E12DIY with AD8599 Op-Amp + LME49600 buffer is one of my favourite amp for DN-2000. The ring adjustment reduces this mid hump. The silver ring gives me the most balanced tonal balanced with the 2K Tips.

 

 

Comparing the headphone output of DX90 and the headphone output of Fiio E12DIY using DIY switch box.

 

DN-2000 somehow reminds me of my Beyerdynamic T1. They don’t share the same tonality, but there are some midrange qualities that make my mind relate it to my T1. Most probably the sweet, smooth, spacious, and detailed midrange of DN-2000. T1 still excels in detail, but DN-2000 as an IEM, also has an excellent level of detail. Using foobar equalizer, I tried to equalize DN-2000 to mimic T1 tonal balance, to observe the difference of bass and treble level between the two. The estimated result is, DN-2000 has about 4 dB more bass (80 Hz downward), and about 3 dB less treble (8 kHz onward) than T1. To my ears, only from the tonal balance perspective, I prefer DN-2000 tonal balance than the T1's. I always feel my T1 is a bit bright and lacking a bit bass. But T1 as a full size headphone is still better in detail and spaciousness. This is just a simplistic comparison to give some idea of how DN-2000 sounds in comparison to T1. In this comparison, I used Yulong DA8 headphone output for DN-2000, and Yulong A28 balanced headphone output for T1.

 

Bass has very good low bass extension, good body, and at natural level. But bass rather lacking of bass slam and impact. Bass level is the lowest among the 3, but still considered natural and far from anaemic bass. Simple EQ to shelf-up 50-80 Hz region improves the bass nicely. On foobar I just need around 2-3 dB shelf-up on 55 & 77 Hz, and then gently roll down. But on my DAP like DX90 and X5, sometime more than 3-4 dB boost is what I like. All EQ don't behave in the same manner, so the level of bass boost might vary.

 

When reading user impressions on the impression thread, mostly agree that the bass although extends low but lacking of punch and impact, and the midrange is very beautiful. But for the treble, there are mix impressions. Some say the treble rolls off early, some say neutral, some say bright. I did experience both the treble that sounds roll off early and neutral. I don’t experience bright treble, unless the recording is bright and DN-2000 just honestly reveals it. As mentioned before, DN-2000 quite sensitive with the amplifier. With Fiio X5 headphone output I hear soft treble that lacks of extension, but when connected to Fiio E12DIY amplifier with input from Fiio X5 line out, the treble extension is open up and DN-2000 treble sounds neutral and very transparent, especially when using the silver ring adjustment.

 

 

DN-2000 with the stock 2K eartips, without ring adjustment, treble is silky smooth and slightly softer than the midrange level. Treble extension is reasonably good, and I don't consider the treble rolls off early, but treble is not as airy as DN-1000. The midrange level is slightly more dominant than the treble, especially when listening classical music at low volume. I do prefer to have slightly more airy treble when listening classical. But for Chesky and other modern genres recordings, treble and midrange sound balanced. So I consider the DN-2000 treble is sometime on the softer side of neutral, but not lacking and not bright. Silver ring helps to improve the soft treble to a more balance level with the midrange.

 

Treble quality is good, no annoying peak and dip, very smooth and sounds natural, although slightly less airy when compared to DN-1000. DN-2000 treble is affected by the value of the amplifier output impedance, so always use amplifier with less than 10 ohms output impedance for best treble clarity and transparency. Not only output impedance, but also the amplifier high frequency characteristic can be easily heard from the perceived treble quality.

 

Overall dynamic is good, lively, & never sounds compressed. But bass dynamic is just average due to slightly lacking of bass slam and impact.

 

Many multi drivers IEM suffers from incoherency between the drivers, that the drivers don't sound coherently in the same phase, like an ideal one single driver. This is mostly caused by the less than optimum crossover circuit, or the drivers don't have the same speed, as the woofer usually heavier and slower than the tweeter. From what I hear, DN-2000 does not suffer from any incoherency. Coherency is excellent on DN-2000 when properly paired with matching amplifier.

 

Beside the grey 2K silicone eartips, Comply T-500 foam eartips is my next favourite eartips for DN-2000, especially for classical music, for a more airy sound. Comply T-500 sounds slightly better than DN-2000 stock foam eartips, less bright, with a more natural airy treble. The JVC EP-FX8 eartips are not very good on DN-2000, sound thin and bright, lacking of bass and midrange body.

 

I tried all the ring adjustment, and I prefer the tonal balance of the 2K Tips with silver ring. The silver ring reduces the mids level a little bit, and improves the bass and treble level. But I’m also fine with the tonality without any ring. The blue and red rings shape the tonality more towards V shape tonality.

 

DN-2000 might not be for bass lover. Those who are looking for powerful bass with good bass slam and impact better look elsewhere. But for those who are looking for natural tonal balance with highly refined sonic characteristic will find DN-2000 is hard to beat at any price level.

 

 

 

 

Tonality: Natural with slight warm accent. Smooth, refined, and detailed. Slight emphasize on the midrange area.
Bass: Natural in level, good bass body, extends very low, but rather lacking in bass punch and impact.
Midrange: Simply very natural, beautiful & refined. Slightly fuller, warmer, and more forward than DN-1000.
Treble: Silky smooth and detailed, slightly softer then the midrange level, good clarity but slightly lacking of airiness.
Detail: Very detailed, but in a natural way, not in an exaggerated way like what we use to hear on analytic IEMs.
Imaging: Spacious and 3 dimensional, renders room acoustic in natural manner.
Dynamic and Transient: Bass dynamic is a bit weak and not so realistic, but midrange to treble sound fast and realistic.
Noise isolation: Good.
Comfort: DN-2000, like DN-1000 has large diameter nozzle, around 5.8 mm diameter. This large nozzle could be an issue for small ear canals. For me, DN-2000 is very comfortable, as comfortable as the DN-1000. I always wear it over the ears, so the grey silicone fins are not useful for me. Shape wise, I prefer the DN-1000 housing, smooth bullet shape, without the hook for the silicone fin. 

 

 

Build & design: Housing design doesn’t look as good and durable as DN-1000. Hard edges are prone to dent and scratches.

 

DN-2000 after around 1 month of use. Some scratches on the hard edges.

 

 

Burn-In

I didn’t notice any significant changes before and after 2 days burn-in.

 

Effect of high output impedance amplifier
Multi drivers IEM tonal balance is usually prone to amplifier output impedance due to their crossover circuit.  Tonal balance could change drastically with the change of amplifier output impedance, like what I found with ATH-IM02, where the treble level increases quite a lot with the increase of amplifier output impedance.

 

In this review I use the two outputs of LH Geek Out 450 for the test, one with 0.47 ohm output impedance (low Z), the other one with 47 ohms output impedance (high Z). I noticed when moving from low Z to high Z output, the treble level reduced, resulting a warmer and less transparent sound. The differences is mild to moderate, not really extreme. The high output impedance causes DN-2000 treble rolls off early. DACport has around 10 ohms output impedance, and DN-2000 sounds wonderful with DACport. I also tested with a DIY extension that I put 22 ohms resistor in series in the connector, treble level reduction started to become too evident, but generally still acceptable. So I conclude that DN-2000 still performs quite well with amplifier output impedance up to 20 ohm, which is practically acceptable. Beyond 20 ohms treble will start to sound too soft. For those with high output impedance player or DAC, like 1st gen AK100 (20 ohms) or old version of Meridian Explorer DAC (50 ohms), or when using smart phone that generally has rather high output impedance headphone output (in the range of 50 ohms), please take note.

 

More reading here:
http://www.head-fi.org/t/705687/review-of-audio-technica-ath-im01-ath-im02-ath-im03-ath-im04-ath-im50-ath-im70#post_10270915

 

On DN-2000, low output impedance will improve clarity and transparency, while high output impedance will reduces the clarity and transparency. Output impedance of 10 ohms or lower is recommended for best performance. Output impedance higher than 20 ohm is not recommended, as DN-2000 started to lose too much treble clarity & transparency.

 

Gears matching
Although DN-2000 is relatively easy to drive, and doesn't require large voltage swing to drive it, it does demand for good pairing, and also reveals the sound quality of the player / amp quite transparently. When it doesn't sound so good, don't quickly blame DN-2000, because it might just reveals the truth of the source sound quality, or simply it doesn’t pair well with the amplifier.

 

I don’t find my Fiio X5 and iBasso DX90 pair well with DN-2000. For DN-2000, Fiio X5 headphone output lacks of clarity, sounds like it has sharp and early low pass filter that reduces the treble clarity and transparency. While on DX90, the midrange sounds a bit loose, kind of amplifying the 400-600 Hz hump, which makes vocal sounds a little nasal-sounding. But when using the line output of the DAP, connected to Fiio E12DIY headphone amplifier, the combo sounds great on DN-2000, much better well driven bass and midrange, and much better clarity and transparency. Also improves upper treble extension. So DN-2000 does demand for good quality amplification, and quite picky on that. For my case, for portable setup, to use my Fiio E12DIY for my DAP is kind of a must for DN-2000, because I simply not really satisfied with the sound quality of DN-2000 when driven directly from my X5 and DX90, even though both DAPs have low output impedance on their headphones output.

 

Some of the best pairing would be with:
Yulong Sabre DA8, Centrance DACport, Dragonfly, & Fiio E12DIY with AD8599 Op-Amp + LME49600 buffer.

 

Geek Out 450 sounds great as well, but DN-2000 has better chemistry with the above.
I found with DN-2000, Geek Out 450 background noise is audible, more audible than other IEMs. Although it is just a very soft hiss noise. Besides that, GO 450 is also too powerful for DN-2000. I only have around a maximum of 18 levels of volume to play with, and normally my listening volume would be around 12-15 on windows volume fader.

 

 

 

Pros:
One of the best sounding IEM from the natural and refined sound perspective, regardless of the price.
Optimum sound from stock eartips, with other various types of eartips and ring adjustment for flexible sound tuning.
Easy to drive, doesn't require high voltage swing. But low output impedance of 10 ohms or lower is recommended.

Both straight down and over the ears wearing style.

Good build quality with solid metal housing.

Sounds good out of the box requires no or minimum burn-in.

Soft and flexible cable with no coiling memory effect.

 

Cons:
Quite particular with equipment pairing. But very rewarding when paired right.

Slighlty lacking of bass slam and impact.
Large nozzle limits the choices of third party eartips, and might not fit small ear canal.
Driver flex. For some people driver flex matters, for me it is not. Many of my IEMs have driver flex issue, and I don't consider it as an issue.
Relatively small cable for the relatively heavy housing. I hope the small cable will last.
Non-detachable Cable.

Hard edges at the outer part of the housing are prone to dent and scratches.
The hook for the silicone fin might cause discomfort.

 

Suggestion for improvement (maybe for DN-3000):
In my opinion, DN-1000 smooth bullet shape is better and more elegant than DN-2000 shape with hook and silicone wing. I suggest DUNU to collect some user feedback for the design, whether the silicone wing, or the smooth bullet shape is preferable. Hard edges are to be avoided.

The bass. I suggest DUNU to get Audio Technica ATH-CKR9, and let it burn-in for 200 hours, after that analyze the CKR9 bass quality. If DN-3000 can have CKR9 bass, DN-2000 midrange, and a more airy treble, it simply will become the best IEM in the world.

To include Comply T-500 foam eartips in the package.
Detachable cable with balanced cable included.

Ring adjustment is too thin and loose. It’s better if the ring is thicker with some grip to the nozzle.

 

 

Specifications:
Type : Hybrid 3 ways
Driver Unit : 1x Knowles Twin Balance Armature + 1x 10mm Dynamic driver
Frequency Response : 10 - 30,000 Hz
Impedance : 16 ohms

SPL : 102 +/- 2 dB

Plug : L shape 3.5mm 24 Gold plated stereo Mini plug

Cord Length : 1.2m Y shape OFC cable
Detachable Cable : No
Left & Right marking : Clear. Left dot & L/R print on housing.
Weight : 22g
Accessories : 9 sets of silicone eartips, 1 sets of foam eartips, 1 pair of Earhook, 3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter, 3.5mm Female to 2-pin Male Adapter, Aluminum alloy box, 6 pairs of metal adjustment ring, 4 pairs of fitting rubber, Shirt Clip. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Genghis Khan’ in Mongolian text is engraved on the DN-2000 metal housing.

 

Discussion thread here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/727286/review-and-comparison-of-dunu-dn-1000-dn-2000-jvc-ha-fx850

Posted

Pros: Epicness, amazing instrument separation, superb scale.

Cons: Golden, the bothersome sticky out bit, oversized case.

DUNU DN-2000 Quick Review

 

Full Review at http://www.head-fi.org/t/728105/dunu-dn-2000-review

 

Thanks to DUNU for the sample.

 

Brief:  DUNU take’s it to the top.

 

Price:  US$316 or £186 sans HMRC’s cut

 

Specification:  Driver Unit: Dynamic (10mm)*1+Balanced Armature*2, Sensitivity: 102dB+/-2dB, Impedance:16Ω, Frequency Range: 10Hz - 30kHz, Plug: Ø3.5mm stereo plug, Cable length :1.2m, Weight:22g

 

Accessories:  11 pairs of Eartips, 1 pair of Earhooks, 3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter, 3.5mm Female to 2-pin Male Adapter, Aluminium alloy box, 6 pairs of metal adjust ring, 4 pairs of fitting rubber, Shirt Clip

 

Build Quality:  Excellent.  It’s just what we have come to expect from DUNU

 

Isolation:  Good for having a dynamic driver in them.  Suitable for normal use, out and about stuff but not up to the level offered by some deep sitting BA IEM’s.  Still, as ever, easily enough to get you run over.

 

Comfort/Fit:  Okay the metal protrusion on the side cased discomfort if no rubber thingy was attached.  Without them the sticky out bit stabbed my ear.  Swapping left and right cured that issue but I don’t get why its there to begin with?  Fit though was fine, tiny bit of air pressure issues but nothing to worry about.

 

Aesthetics:  Well I get that golden is supposed to look fancy but I’m not a big fan.  I just don’t love how they look.

 

Sound:  Top tier.  These are priced in the same area as other high end stuff, IE8, TF10, UM3 level and these are easily a match for them.  Actually these sound like a cross between the IE8 and the UM3.  Bass is big and powerful.  Mids are clear and focused, highs are clean and sparkly.  Basically, these are awesome and epically spectacular.  Their presentation steels the UM3’s incredible sound separation and the vastness of the IE8.  The bass is taught and likes to try the UM3’s punch but injecting some of the scale and expansion form the IE8.  Mids too occupy a middle place between them.  Focused and detailed like the 3 but with a hint of life (I found the UM3 very deadpan vocally.)  Highs, for a BA, sparkle and shimmer well enough to sound rather more natural than most.  The real stand out feature though is the soundstage and instrument separation.  Vast, drama, dynamism, power, authority, scale, you get the idea.  They sound epically scaled.  They are also super sensitive, so they hiss but also they are so easily driven and can sound magnificent even out of a phone. (Paired super nicely with my N5.)  The DN-2000 is a W shaped epic aural monster.  If you’re after sedate or a monitor, this isn’t it, even handed it may be but it’s just too aurally epic and grandiose to be a humble monitor.

 

Value:  Well it is expensive but you easily get what you pay for.

 

Pro’s:   Epicness, amazing instrument separation, superb scale.

 

Con’s:  Golden, the bothersome sticky out bit, oversized case.

DUNU DN-2000 Hybrid 3 way earphone
By:
Description:

Pioneering hybrid technology, the DN-2000 brings you astonishing audio performance. Pursuing perfection, it combines a dynamic driver custom-made by DUNU with a Knowles balanced armature driver. It is no longer a dream to wander in the smooth and crystal-clear music as the broad dynamic performance - the DN-2000 presents all audio in full realism, from the most intricate musical nuances to the explosive soundtracks of Hollywood blockbusters. There is no need to search for the best earphone because the DN-2000 has arrived.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandDUNU
ColorChampagne gold
EAN6954587300203
FeatureDesigned for artists and music professionals Effectively reduce the environmental noise by 26 dB Premium metal box for easy storage and protection 6.3mm to 3.5mm plug and Airplane included for frequent travalers. Hybrid technology suits music of all genres
LabelDUNU
ManufacturerDUNU
ModelDN-2000
MPNDN-2000
PublisherDUNU
StudioDUNU
TitleDUNU DN-2000 Hybrid 3 way earphone (2BA+1Dynamic driver)
Package Height2.36 inches
Package Length10.24 inches
Package Weight0.97 pounds
Package Width7.09 inches
PartNumberDN-2000
ProductGroupCE
ProductTypeNameHEADPHONES
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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