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DUNU's new Flagship "Tai-Chi" DN-19 Review (Pictures coming soon)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Info about DUNU's newest Flagship the DN-19 "Tai-Chi":

tomscy2000 has compiled a lot of interesting and useful information in this thread

http://www.head-fi.org/t/619044/impressions-dunu-dn-19-tai-chi-prototype-and-a-q-a-with-dunu-representative-rocky-dai

 

Rocky himself has posted a few photos and info of their companies newest Flagship:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/619674/simple-impressison-of-dunu-dn-19-tai-chi

 

First Impression:

 

Bass is indeed enhanced A LOT with the screw-able damper off, pointing to bassy, bloated, muddy.

With the damper on however, it gets much more balanced, clarity much more improved, but the bass still has a lot of punch.

 

 

 

 

Review

 

Delicate, Unique N Utmost (DUNU), is a Taiwan-based company, perhaps most known in Head-Fi for it’s popular bang/buck IEM Trident (DN-12).

 

I will be introducing DUNU's 2012 Flagship, the DN-19 a.k.a "Tai-Chi".

 

Note:

The DN-19 features a inter-changeable tube system that enhances specific region of frequency.

I noted at my first-impressions that without the tube plugged, the bass is way too bloated/bassy for me, so I will be conducting this review with the more balanced, tube-plugged version.

 

 

Specification

Driver: Single Dynamic Transducer

F. Response: 16Hz~26KHz

Impendence: 16 Ω

Sensitivity: N/A

Cord Type & Length: 1.3m L-Plug

 

Accessories:

Hard Metal Case (UE like)

Soft pleather pouch

3.5 to 6.5 adapter

Airplane adapter

Shirt Clip

Cleaning Cloth

Sony Hybrid-like tips 4 pair (S, Mx2, L)

Single-Flange (in White) tips 3 pairs (S, M, L)

Two sets of Ear hooks

10 pair of tube-plugs

You also get a accessories box, a place to keep all of your accessories, which is a very nice touch!

 

Score (5/5)

 

Build Quality

The phones itself seems to be made out of hard plastic, and doesn't creak under pressure.

 

Nozzle features a metal mesh filter.

 

Cable is a little bit too rubbery for my taste, and sometimes tangle, but resists memory quite well.

 

 

L-Plug is thick and beefy, one of the best I've ever seen.

 

Good strain relief all around.

 

 

Cable Guide is more rigid than VSonic’s… I’m not sure which one I like more, as I almost never use cable guides.

Even without the cable guide, the cable doesn’t fight on my ears, but it helps to use the cable guide while doing rigorous movements like jogging or any other sports.

The inclusion of cable cinch also helps a lot.

 

 

Build quality is excellent, and attention to detail is typical DUNU, nearing perfection.

 

Score (5/5)

 

Isolation:

Average isolation.

The phone's body itself prevent deeper insertion, therefore, using a bi-flange tip will certainly help a lot.

 

Score (3.5/5)

 

Sound Quality

Source: PC + iBasso D-Zero DAC/AMP Combo

              iPod Touch 4th Gen

 

Bass:

Bass can be too powerful and loose sometimes, and seems to bleed into the mids a little.

(Thankfully, the bass seems to be more controlled while using an amp)

Bass is also missing a little bit of texture and detail

(Again, a reminder that I'm reviewing this with the tube plugged in)

 

Mids:

Mids are a little laid-back, neutral, leaning towards dry, but in no way thin-sounding.

 

Highs:

Highs contains some sparkle, but in no way near sibilant like the GR07.

It's adequately there.

(Highs detail and texture definitely improved too using the sparkly D-Zero)

 

Instrumental Seperation and Imaging is equally good.

Not the best, but not bad either.

 

Micro Detail, however, is excellent.

Tiny little details can be heard very clearly, seperated from everything else.

This is, however, does not always mean good.

This little details sometimes can take you away from focusing on the music and on the little details instead.

 

Clarity is good for a dynamic transducer, but still can't compare to the BA-based CK10.

Sounds a little veiled.

 

Transparency is average.

At this price-point, any good phones will reveal at least the good tracks from the bad tracks, and that is what the DN-19 does, but it isn't to your face, and therefore more forgiving than the very transparent CK10.

 

Soundstage Width is good, not as wide as the GR07, but still above average.

Similarly, the DN-19 also has some Depth to it, but still not as good as the dual-driver layered FXT90.

 

 

Usability:

After a few months of experience, I've come to realize that usability plays an important part in the "portable" world.

Assuming that you're buying an IEM for the sake of portability, this makes the usability of the IEM very important.

A great sounding IEM with horrible microphonics and mediocre isolation won't let you 100% enjoy your music on the move.

 

 

So, I'm pleased to say that I have no usability issues with the DN-19.

Mostly thanks to the over-the-ear design, microphonics is low to non-existent;

decent isolation.

 

The only small gripe I have is, because of the over-ear design and larger body, it's harder than usual to get a good fit.

 

Summary:

A very respectable V-Shaped performer, especially for the price-range, and the adjustable sound tube, which is a plus.

 

Coupled with excellent build, a bundle of useful accessories, and great costumer service, it isn't hard to say that this is a great deal.

 

 

Note:

As I have stated above, bass can really be overwhelming in the no-plug mode.

 

Special thanks to Rocky Tai from DUNU, to whom which gave me the privilege of reviewing this particular IEM.

 

My review is based on the pre-production sample, Rocky informed me that DUNU has made, and I quote, "minor changes to enhance SQ after, mainly on clarity with notable bass reduce"


Edited by Xinn3r - 8/16/12 at 12:53am
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

Finally finished my DN-19 Review,

 

Again, thanks to Rocky for giving me this privilege.

 

I will continue to do some more critical listening with my DN-19, and will edit my review accordingly if I feel like my opinion has changed.

 

For those who have questions, feel free to ask!

post #3 of 7

This will sound odd but perhaps you could try partially plugging the vent. Closed can cause a midbass bump while too open can just be overwhelming. Sometimes you can find a happy point where the bump moves lower so that while you're increasing the overall amount, it actually sounds more correct.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

This will sound odd but perhaps you could try partially plugging the vent. Closed can cause a midbass bump while too open can just be overwhelming. Sometimes you can find a happy point where the bump moves lower so that while you're increasing the overall amount, it actually sounds more correct.

Thx for the tip!

I'll try that as soon as I go home.

 

EDIT: Updated the Note under the review, Rocky has informed me that the final production will have minor changes to enhance SQ after, mainly on clarity with notable bass reduce

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xinn3r View Post

 

EDIT: Updated the Note under the review, Rocky has informed me that the final production will have minor changes to enhance SQ after, mainly on clarity with notable bass reduce

 

That's good to hear. The prototype I heard could stand to have better clarity with both plugged and unplugged port positions. Maybe when I have the time, I'll talk to Rocky to see if I can hear the final production version.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

 

That's good to hear. The prototype I heard could stand to have better clarity with both plugged and unplugged port positions. Maybe when I have the time, I'll talk to Rocky to see if I can hear the final production version.

Agreed, the only thing I find lacking is the bass aspect, other than that, it's pretty awesome for the price, that's why I'm glad to see they really care about our feedback.

post #7 of 7

I've written my own full review of the DN-19. I think some of you may find what I have to say interesting.

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