Pros: Build quality, quality to price ratio, packaging
Cons: Microphonics when worn down
The DUNU Trident came packaged in a familiar looking box, those who have either the Crius, Ares, or Hephaes will notice similarities. A rather large white box presents the users with a picture of a female dancing and the Tridents. On top the DUNU logo appears, on the bottom the model name. There is also some writing in Chinese, though I do not read Chinese so I'm not sure what it says. On one side of the box there's a pictures of highlights of the Trident such as the leather carrying case and the high quality cables. On the other side an enlarged profile picture of the Trident is shown. The back showcases product information and specifications in Chinese and in English.
That information is all on a cardboard sleeve that is slid up or down to reveal a black cardboard box that has the DUNU logo and opens like a book held closed by unseen magnets giving it a high quality feel to it that owners of other DUNU products will be familiar with. When opened the user is greeted by the Trident sitting securely in a velour coated plastic casing with the leather carrying pouch sitting below it. The housing is lifted up to reveal the included tips. DUNU decided to include a wealth of tips such as: Single flange wide nozzle (S/M/L), single flange thin nozzle (S/M/L) and a pair of bi-flange tips which are small sized.
The Trident come well packaged for the price though as someone who cares about the environment I wish DUNU had made the packaging a bit smaller. Aside from that everything looks fantastic! Elegant, high quality packaging with a good selection of tips and a nice looking carrying pouch. This is definitely above average for the price point.
Design and Build Quality
With the Tridents DUNU decided to go with unique cone shaped design that fits well in my ear. The Tridents are definitely well made with a seemingly unibody aluminum housing that has nice weight to it inspiring confidence in the build quality. Each housing is color coded either red (right) or blue (left) on the outside of the housing around the sleek DUNU logo. The housing is two toned, a grey body with a gold outside. This gives the Trident a sleek look to my eyes, good choice!
The housing leads to a decent length stress relief that feels solid. The cable is nothing special, but it feels high quality, I have no concerns about the durability of the cable here. The cable comes to a y-split that has DUNU plastic coated, a sleek integrated cable draw looks very nice. The cable terminates into a 45 degree gold plated 3.5mm plug that feels well built.
Once in your ears they feel decently comfortable. They're not winning any prizes here, but they feel secure in my ears with a semi-deep insertion. Isolation is decent, slightly better than average with about 60%-70% of noise blocked out with no music playing and all of it blocked out with music playing at a reasonable volume. Microphonics are somewhat apparent with the Trident worn down, but not a problem when worn over ear. For those who have Comply 400 series tips or Sony Hybrids these will fit without a hitch.
The Tridents are built to the excellent build quality standards DUNU has set with their IEMs. Everything on the Trident and attached to the Trident feels incredibly solid. The comfort is average here, while the isolation is a small step up from average. The whole package would make me think these are closer to $100, which impresses me that the Trident so well built, while maintaining a good sound.
As usual I've allowed 50 hours of burn-in before making judgements.
Astonishing balance for the sound price is the first thing that comes to mind with the Trident. I recently reviewed the Brainwavz Beta and praised their sound quality to price ratio and the Trident are very close to being as much as a value. The Trident have a rather balanced sound that leans slightly warm with decent clarity. The lows are borderline great on these. The lows extend well, have some decent mid bass slam and have decent detail in the bass department. Unfortunately the bass is a tad slow and slightly bloated, this causes fast paced electronic music to feel slightly behind, as if the Trident are playing catch up. Despite the slightly bloated bass the mids still have good presence and punch to them. The mids are slightly forward and rather sooth sounding making the Trident more than adequate for alternative rock or other mid-centric music. The highs leave something to be desired here though. The highs aren't bad, but they're laid back and not really the focus. There's no sparkle in the highs unfortunately. The highs are rather clear though when they are by themselves with no sign of sibilance!
The soundstage is average here, I really miss the fantastic imaging the Betas gave me when listening to these. Instrument separation is decent though, I never felt congested when listening to anything. Each instrument has room to breath, a small amount, but enough to give them room to pick apart. As good as the Trident sound though for the price they sound somewhat flat to me. They just aren't as musical as the Brainwavz Beta where I feel a part of the music. The Trident's just don't pull me into the music as much as the Betas. With that said the Trident are still a lot of fun to listen to music on.
Let's test some tunes!
This is a dubstep song so it has a substantial amount of sub-bass with a lot of mid-bass slam. There's also a lot of sound effects and samples in this song. The intro sounds very good, the vocals are smooth, the synth is nice and fuzzy, but the samples sound a bit flat. The intro ends and the sub-bass kicks in. The Tridents extend well, and the mid-bass has nice impact. The sub-bass is heard, but I don't feel it. The balance of the song still sounds good though, while the bass rumbles I can still hear the vocals and other instruments clearly. The Tridents sound decent for bass heavy music to my ears.
A classic song with great energy to it. Again with the Trident I feel they are a bit flat in sound taking away a lot of the energy from this song. The guitars have nice crunch to them and the vocals are smooth and have nice presence. The drums sound clear and on level with the bass, though a bit fuzzy. Everything sounds good, but the song just doesn't come to life.
I chose this due to the fantastic balance of the various instruments, it's imaging and due to it's classical like similarities. The violin and other string instruments sound nice, going in and out of focus, but the depth isn't enough to give the song the 3d imaging that makes this song immersive. The vocals sound clear and the piano is warm and fuzzy. Every once in a while one of the violins will hit a high note and it gets a bit grainy causing me to slightly wince. Sigur Ros sounds good on these, but it's missing the depth to make me immersed in the song.
This is one of my favorite recent hip-hop songs and despite it's iffy mastering it's something I'm familiar with. The bass is expectantly boomy and the song has good energy to it. the samples during the chorus and the "21st century schizoid man" sample sounds very grainy enough to make me wince. The bass is definitely the star here, but Kanye's vocals sound good through these, though at times I feel as if the vocals are trying to push through the bass. I think hip-hop fans will really enjoy these all things considered though.
This is a wonky electronic song with a lot of energy in it. The synths sound wonderful right away and the vocals sound on point. The synths aren't phasing in and out as much as I would like though, there's not enough depth to the soundstage unfortunately. The song maintains a nice balance to it though through the various vocals and the bass coming in. The bass is a bit prominent though pushing the synths a bit back in the mix. The song sounds fun though as it should, yes I said it sounds fun if you listen to Animal Collective you'll understand.
The DUNU Trident are a fantastically built budget IEM with good sound to them. The soundstage and imaging aren't it's strong suits and at times it causes the songs to lose energy. The sound though is great for the price, a nice balanced sound that leans a bit to warm side. These IEMs are a great recommendation for all types of music and are definitely a great budget IEM that will withstand some abuse. For the $40 asking price these are very hard to beat as a complete package, DUNU shows again that it's more than capable of making a well priced, built and sounding IEM.
Come see more pictures of the Trident here!