Pros: Warm, bassy sound with upper mid airyness
Cons: Slightly on the harsh side, and lack of true detail
Dunu by Top-Sound is famous for good price to performance earbuds as well as the amount of accessories they include with their very well built units. Dunu introduces the Detonator as an earbud for phone users so that people can catch calls and talk. This earbud features a microphone with push function terminated by a V angled jack. Now let's see what Dunu has to offer this time
These are some incredibly well built units. The earbud unit itself is literally a solid chunk of metal. They are heavy with 'authority'. Each wire termination into each other has plastic cuffs surrounding the wire to prevent wear and tear. The V jack, splitter, and wires to the buds show this quite well.
However, after the driver and safe guards against tear. This is quite a normal earbud for $50. The wires are thin and plastic wrapped. Skinny and mobile. The flexy/motion of the wire does have some kinks in it. It's not fully fluid like spahgetti, but it won't matter to most people. The splitter and chin adjuster also has some issues. The microphone blocks the chin adjuster from slidding all the way up to the chin itself. This won't let your fully secure it, but it does reduce some motion of the wire. The housing of the mic assembly is a bit light. Nothing especially noteworthy about it. It should also be noted that Dunu's in general also have some problems due to the 'weight of authority' they hold. They hit stuff hard if you drop them onto a table after you are done. This requires extra caution to not damage the unit or other things around it. One can usually just pull the earbuds out without worry. But with the Detonators, you have to watch out.
As this is an earbud, microphonics will be audible. However, due to the relative fluidity of the wire and heavy weight of the drives. The noise produced is quite negligable for most people and should not be a problem. Pulling up the chin slider to the highest position(right below the mic) will create even less cable swing and rub noise. You may also attempt to wear the earphones with an over ear style.
Isolation and Leak:
How well it isolates will largely depend on your fit with the unit. But I have had little to no problems with isolation or leak. The heavy material used and sheer amounts of tips that Dunu provides do allow for a good fit on most people. Of course this is when music is playing. Leak is not all that much of a problem either due to the narrow tip design and the material used as well.
Dunu bundles a new indented medium hard fabric case with the DN22M. This allows for easy storage and usage from your pocket. The relative fluidity of the wire (and it being lightweight) with the compact driver sizes do allow for quite easy usability. Take it out and put it into your ears. However two things must be noted. The weight of the drivers themselves do pose a problem when falling out or being taken off as they will come down with force. And, I myself can not get a perfect sonic fit. The left driver no matter what will still produce more bass than the right.It may be the driver or it may be me. My ears are quite different on the inside.
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So if you read enough, you will note that how the jacks are on the DN 22M will matter depending on what you want to use it with. As this may cause some problems with audio playback or even mic usage. The DN 22M works with the format Apple (and most of the world now) is using so this is good news. However if you do get problems, just note what you may have as an issue.
The DN 22M boasts quite a good mic. I was quite surprised when I tested and heard it. Background noise isolation is above average and my noise was nice and clear. However this was a local recorded test. Talking on the phone will achieve different results as the audio will be heavilly compressed and sent.
I am quite surprised by Dunu's mic on the DN 22M. This was tested with iPhone 4S.
These do not need to have an amp. If you wish to use one, go on ahead but they do not require one for more quality. Please keep in mind that if you wish to use an amp, the microphone function will not work as you are now plugging directly into a only 2 channel amp(unless the amp has mic support which is unlikely).
These are efficent enough to not need an amp.
Sound Quality Introductions:
I went into the DN 22M with varried thoughts on how it might perform. Hearing it these past weeks have put me at rest that Dunu is working on many issues I have found with their past products of the price range.
This is really the problem section of the DN 22M. This and the upper mid range(which can be said to be close to the same thing as the problem here leaks to there) are really the problems of the DN 22M but they are not by far killers. Dunu's past units and many other manufactuer's at this price range typically have two qualities to their high freq range. Piercingly harsh or subdued to the point that it can't even be said to be audible. Dunu's like to go with the first route. The DN 17's(version 1) had some extreme issues with the high frequencies, and the DN 22M's do as well but they have been fixed in some ways. The highs still pierce and have no quality to them. Good highs will actually be musical representations still, bad highs that are visible here are just a burst of high frequency sound. This is what is here on the DN 22M (as well as on most units in the price range). They are sharp yes, but hold no value to music or sonic reproduction. The DN 22M's however do hold a big advantage. They are not nearly as harsh and fatiguing. This of course depends on the song you are listening to, some don't really get into the high range as much which is a huge positive for the Detonator, but for those that do, it will be a negative(but not nearly as big). Anyway, the DN 22M's highs while piercing, are still much smoother than the highs of most units I've heard at this price range. The highs produced with the DN 22M don't have any real musical repdroduction ability, but don't 'scatter' around and lead to more harshness as usual. A good sign out of a range of bad ones.
The upper mid range freq get similar problems as the highs. After a few hours of burn in, they have subsided. The upper mid has a spike. This makes cymbals and other instruments at that range sharp. They are not like the high range where they lack any reproduction ability, they still have articulation and 'actual sounds' comming out. But they do get a bit hard to listen to after a bit depending on the songs. The regular mid instruments are pulled back. They aren't forward and take a side role from the vocals usually. They are about as loud yes, but that isn't what forward role or backwards one is. The mid instruments are not the center of attention. The vocals are laid back and have a veil on them. Not bright and outgoing, but a bit laid back with the lack of a mid to top vocal sparkle that really brings it to life. The articulation of the vocals thus do sufer a bit. The mids would actually be fantastic if the highs and upper mids were cleaned up from their issues. The mids get their own space and rarely get intrusions/leaking from the other frequencies. High frequency bursts do get in the way of them sometimes though, but its more of the highs being louder than actual leaking and muddying of the highs.
The DN 22M's are definately a more bassy earphone, but not as bassy as a non dampened DN 19 and DN 17. The DN 22M provides a good amount of sub, and mid bass to go along with songs just enough without going over. Not really for bass heads (the highs will scare them away anyway), but for people wanting a more balanced sound. The sub bass production on these is quite nice. They do have weight that is usually absent from earbuds of this price point. The mid bass also goes along well with many songs. Sometimes it gives a nice rush and bump while other times, it is barely noticeable. It doesn't muddy the mids.
(keep in mind that the left ear is getting more bass than the right, I am using the left ears as the one for the 'more bass')
The DN 22-M's don't exactly have a wide sound-stage, it is more of a closed sound. They do have the ability to aritificially create one well as I have seen with my test tracks, but on their own, they don't have much to say about the soundstage.
The highs and upper mids will lead to fatigue after a while, much better than the DN 17 V1 though.
The DN 22M for $50 is definately proof that Dunu is stepping up their game. I really dig the vocals on these. If it wasn't for the problems with the highs and upper mids, I would really dig these. It is warm and fun sounding boasting a balanced sound(for the price). It doesn't over accentuate any of the frequencies, they just do their parts. The good microphone adds even more claim to Dunu's ability to listen and improve upon their units. The DN 22M's does have many draw backs, but it also includes some good value for the balanced sound it gives and the microphone.
Driver Size: 9mm
Microphone: -45 +5dB
Sound pressure level: 112+-2dB
F Responce: 20Hz - 20KHz
Noise Attenuation: 26dB
Build Quality: 9/10
In ear feel: 7/10
Sound quality: 7.5-8/10