Pros: Punchy bass, lots of accessories
Cons: Lacks high frequency extension
First off, I'd like to thank Rocky for the chance to review the Dunu DN-23! I received this set as a free review sample I get to keep.
My equipment I'll be used is my Project H Amp/DAC consisting of a custom Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC and an Objective 2 amp with Burr Brown OPA2134 opamp.
My last.fm profile can detail the music I generally listen to: http://www.last.fm/user/mechgamer123
It consists of classic rock, indie rock, modern rock, classical, anime OSTs and music, Jpop, and some electronic thrown in the mix.
I'll start off by talking about the packaging and build quality of the DN-23s. Pictures speak a thousand words, so here are a few thousand words:
The front of the box reminds me of another headphone company that I won't mention, but I won't nitpick the box too much. Not like anyone stares at the box of their new headphones very long before diving in!
Inside, we get an excellent set of accessories including two carrying cases! This is the first time I've seen an IEM with two different cases!
Lots of tips included in the package as well!
Onto the IEMs themselves:
The build quality of the housings is very nice. They definitely don't feel like they'll split in half any time soon. The cable can be a bit microphonic at times though.
The Y-split seems to be made out of aluminum or some other nice metal, and is definitely excellent. While I'm not a huge fan of 45 degree angle connectors, I'll save my rant for another time and say the 3.5mm connector is good as well.
A quick note about isolation as well. These have the best isolation of any dynamic IEMs I've heard in recent memory. This of course depends on which tips are used. With Meelectronics' Tri-flange tips installed, isolation is absolutely stellar.
If I were to summarize the DN-23's overall sound signature, it would be punchy bass, clear mids, and fairly smooth treble. There's not a lot of distortion I can pick up either, which is excellent.
The bass on the DN-23s is north of neutral, but not overbearingly so like the atrocity that is the Wooduos. The bass delivers a nice fun punch while not totally overpowering the mids. The bass boost stays mostly in the sub-bass, but also goes a bit into the mid bass as well. It's definitely an excellent bass that's great for listening on the go.
The mids on the DN-23 are pretty good as well. They're not recessed or forward, just the way they're supposed to be.
The treble is where things go awry. First off, there's a slight treble spike somewhere in the 6khz area that can make some recordings with female vocalists slightly simbilant. Also, as with all the other bassy IEMs I've heard, the high frequencies are lacking. After 14khz, it starts rolling off quite a bit.
Both of these problems are easily remedied though. Changing tips can affect the severity of the 6k spike, and for this reason I'd recommend using the bi-flange tips included in the package, or some Meelec Tri-flange tips. With either of those, the spike is quite minimized. The Tri-flanges also make the bass a bit louder than the bi-flange tips as well. The high frequency rolloff can be fixed as well with EQ. On iTunes, boosting the 16k band by 8-10dB. Once you do this, you get an excellent IEM that's neutral with a bass boost.
In closing, the Dunu DN-23 is definitely an excellent IEM for the price. The sound signature is easily likable, and the included accessories are very nice. I'd definitely recommend them if you're a basshead and don't mind a bit of high frequency rolloff (or are willing to do some EQ).