DUNU Trident (DN-12) Review
Thanks to Frogbeats for the sample
First Impressions: The box looks exactly like that of other DUNU’s but I not the absence of the hard case. That’s a bit of a shame but I guess it’s not really the end of the world, particularly given the look of the hard case. The rest looks the same, the high quality cable, the jack is straight though. The buds I must say look very pretty and probably in my opinion are the best looking of the DUNU range. Pretty and different but not too LOOK AT ME!!!!!
A quick listen and I rather like them. A touch heavy on the low end but pretty evenly balanced. Now it’s been a while I had anything at this price in my ears so I can’t say anything with certainty because the ears do forget but….. this may be the best you can buy for £19.
Source 1G iPod Shuffle with and without a 75 ohm adapter added
Lows: Good, maybe too good at this price. Right now, pre M6 A/B’ing I am very impressed. This is what I would consider to be a dirt cheap IEM (okay I know normal people may think of almost £20 on earphones as a lot) and they are actually enjoyable. The bass is biggish but a good halfway between punch and bloom, as good as you can possibly expect at this level. A little listen to the M6 and its every bit as good but its bigger, fuller, richer, and god help me, more likeable. Yes that’s right it’s bassy but I like it. Is it that’s its August, the festivals on and the sun is beaming in through the plate glass window like a giant laser beam? No idea but I am really liking it. It abundant but is ever so carefully walking the line between fun and too much and getting it just right. This might not be all the bass some want but I cannot for the life of me seeing anyone finding it deficient. It’s also quicker than it really has any right to be at this price and quantity level, it’s nimble enough to turn its hand to quick punchy pop and do it well but in the next breath do a little Julie London and ever so softly let a low note linger and flow. I really cannot fault it in anyway other than in quantity. For many round Head-Fi its will be a bit on the abundant side but for normal consumers used to farty bass cannons at this sort of price it may well be too little.
Mids: I do think these while a little V shaped are still pretty good stuff in the mid range. Vocals come through cleanly and with a grand level of fluidity. The only thing I could possibly nit-pick is that these prefer a liquid vocal to a dry one. I really couldn’t ask for much more in this price range. It might be nicer if it stood out a little from that pretty substantial low end too. Still I’m being overly picky. This does a grand rendition of every vocal I’ve heard through it. Acoustic guitars are very nice too but aren’t just quite as snappy as I want but then I remember what is costs. So while they aren’t crisp they do sound wonderfully rich and textured, it’s a very pleasurable and enjoyable sound.
Highs: This is where you would always expect the cheap stuff to show themselves up a bit and this does a teeny tiny touch too. The only reason I mention this is because the rest is such an impossibly high standard that the treble can on occasion be a little scratchy. You really have to work at it for that to happen though and these are not inclined to spit out a huge amount of treble. Should you force the issue the Tridents will do their best to smooth and sweeten those highs but ultimately it’s still a low cost product. I should point out though that is does a much nicer job than the M6 does and retain much more composure. It is on the whole beautifully smooth and genteel but with enough light and shimmer to keep everything alive, its exactly the right way to do it.
Soundstage: Grand. These have a rich full sound and offer a pretty sizeable sense of scale. They may not have pin point placing or super clear instrument separation but they offer a very appealing soundscape before you.
Comfort: On the whole these were comfortable but they are a touch weighty and after a long day in my ear they did feel in need of a little rest. You can never quite say how this will translate to others but if you were going to be bouncing about all day I could see these maybe not being the world’s most suitable.
Fit: Not a problem, shoved in ears and I was done.
Cable: It’s very nice. Probably not the best in the world but it very much looks like one that should stand up to a bit of punishment. Note, the jack is straight on this unlike the other DUNU’s I have seen. Its looks sturdy to me but I know not everyone like straight jacks. Oh and it still has the cable tie attachment on the cable.
Microphopnics: As I wore these up I pretty much got none. If you wear these down then you do get a chin slider to combat the problem so it shouldn’t be a big issue either way.
Isolation: Maybe on the slightly better side of things for a dynamic. They gave no venting issues so I assume there must be a vent in there somewhere. It’s fine for normal use, out and about, on a bus etc etc. You know the usual, enough to get you run over if you’re not used to it but not what you want for flights to New Zealand.
Accessories: You get a bunch of tips and a rather nice little baggie case thing. Not the best package in the world but given it has the cable tie things built in and its dirt cheap you should be thankful for anything really.
Amped/Unamped: Was there a difference? Yeah of course there was but it’s wasn’t night and day and just when is a £20 IEM getting plugged into an amp. Never is when I’m thinking.
Value: Well take a guess. Yes that’s right these are fantastic value, they sound pretty fab for this price and in my opinion they are one of the best looking IEM’s period. The cable is great, the build is great, just what more could you really ask for? For the money there is nothing I can really hope to pick fault with.
Conclusion: As time has marched on the venerable M6 has remained great value and has steadily decreased in price. The Trident has swung in out of nowhere and is taking it on head to head and let me tell you it’s a real fight to the death. They are both great but in the end I think the M6 makes a couple of mistakes, a hint of sibilance here and there a bit of harshness now and again. The Trident does none of these things. Its only arguable failing is that it’s a bit big on the low end but that’s hardly a failing, to many it’s a boon. I really cannot think of anything else right now that’s anywhere near as good as those two at their price, there is the Brainwavz M1 but it’s 45% more expensive. Okay so that percentage isn’t a lot in numerical terms but proportionally it’s a lot. I honestly and genuinely cannot fault how the Trident does anything. Not just that, hand on heart I can say I actually like it and have enjoyed my time listening to it, believe me, for a £20 IEM that’s a pretty impressive achievement.