Dunu DN-17 Crater Review
More High Res Photos: (Click to show)
Build Quality: The build quality of the Dunu DN-17’s are very good for the most part. The driver casing is metal and reflective. IT does not feel cheap. The driver tip is also of high quality. No problems with the mesh or surrounding parts. However, the opening of the “port tube” that opens up into the rear of the IEM has some problems. Some material from within the driver was coming out (a few strands). The port itself also isn’t super finely shapped, but that is something that really matters to the perfectionists themselves. However the DN-17 is too durable with too much metal. It drops fast and even with weeks of using them, placing them on the table as one normally would, would make them hit the table due to their mass. And when the drivers hit together, it creates a sound that worries the user. I would say that the build materials should be rethought next time around. They are good but too heavy when taken out., and cause mishaps because most earbuds are not as heavy.
Read the review here:
Microphonics: The cables do make a sound sadly. They aren’t noisy to the point that moving yourself while sitting down creates unbearable noise , but walking around with them in the usual position creates a bit too much noise. Wearing them over and behind the ears is recommended. Demo pic below.
Demo pic: (Click to show)
Cable Tangling: The cables are also a bit easier to tangling that usual and it is even harder to get them loose. The plastic material used on the cables creates more friction than most cables and makes it hard to slide past each other, the heavy drivers make it harder to untangle as well
Isolation: How well the tips fit your ears and which tips you use make this different for some, but the standard tips that came on the DN17 by default fit me extremely well. They block out a very good amount of noise with music playing. Conversation, trains, regular cars go by without any problem. Harley’s and other motorcycles still pose a problem however. The DN17’s do not leak much sound either. The “port tube” may make some think that it leaks, but that is not the case.
In Ear feel: The body despite being heavy, doesn’t have any ill effects when in the ear. It fits well and doesn’t block anything really, it may be a bit too long for sleeping with your ear to the pillow though. They stay in the ear easy, but again, everyone’s ears are different.
Tips: The default tip fit me very well. No problems, they were firm and fit well with the Crater. However the same can not be said about the double flanges. The double flanges were not made and do not fit the DN17 Crater in any way. I was a bit baffled that they were even included when they didn’t even secure onto the IEM.
Sound Quality: I have tried and used these with many different genres of songs. They were EDM, metal, pop, rock, hard rock, jpop, jrock, classical, house, dubstep, jazz , rap, R&B and anything really.
Highs: Harsh and uncontrolled is the only way to describe it. They got better than initial thoughts but are still in bad shape despite constant burn in. They get to a point when the high that is shown to you as a listener is just a plain high frequency and not even the song anymore. They come in at bad times and are like I said, uncontrolled. They don’t end in the right spots and start in the wrong ones as well. For the high pitched cymbal hits and other quick high frequency hits and pops, they work well, but when you need to rely on the highs to come out and show themselves, is when it fails. They are harsh, and are not accurate. They in terms of quantity are abundant. Songs that may require some more high frequency, get it.
Mids: The mids and vocals prefer those with more intimate voices, mainly females and males with a good soft but slightly assertive voice such as the lead singer from Electric Light Orchestra or Adam Leviine from Maroon 5. The preference isn’t night and day but is there. The upper regions of the mids and vocal regions are also harsh. They are sharp and become uncomfortable even when the volume is low. The mids themselves have decent depth. They aren’t too shallow or deep. But if I had to pick , they are still on the shallower side of things. They don’t have authority to them and are often over run by background sounds and instruments around. They are also not very clear, it takes a bit more effort to descipher the words to a song you don’t know. Instruments at this range also are hard to tell apart. The sound from instruments will sometimes just blend into a sonic burst of frequency rather than the instrument itself if you are not paying attention. The instruments in this range and the vocals clash frequently producing a unclear lower end of the vocal range and a much too free upper vocal range that gets near to the high frequency cousin that leads to piercing and sharpness. However, when the number of instruments or people reduce, the mids are very well pronounced, this is more typical in jazz.
Lows: The Dunu’s strongest point is there lows. They are of decent tightness and punch. They don’t generally overtake and run into the other ranges and give you bass overload or leaking into the mids but it does happen every now and then. They are of decent depth but their extension and range is very short. The mid bass is the most prominent, with the upper base being a bit lower and lower bass being very hard to detect. Very consumer oriented, although it is not boomy. They are a good addition to the rest of the music without overpowering or underpowering, but they are also not the right combination, lower bass and some upper bass is needed.
Seperation: The Dunu’s do not favor multiple instrument setups, the separation is very abysmal and hard to hear apart.
Soundstage: I was quite surprised at the soundstage of the DN17 crater, it isn’t as wide as a full open but for an IEM it is a good feature and thing to have. The soundstage isn’t very artificial but has moments when you “reach the outrebounds” and get that feeling of fakeness coming back to you.There is a slight pulling back effect, think of Slogic by Ultrasone. While Slogic moves you back noticeably, these pull you back a tiny bit. Dunu simply presents you with a soundstage on a IEM.
Burn in: These have been burned in for approx. 50-60 hours. Burn in did help drastically, but they stopped past 10 hours. Extensive burn in is not needed.
Sibilance: There was some at first, but it later was gone for the most part. The sharp highs replaced it though.
Initial Impressions: This is where when I first got the IEMs, I would wear them and quickly jot down my thoughts on them, randomized thought, messy language and bad grammar, just quick notes.
Initial Pre burn in impressions: (Click to show)
Wide soundstage, everything sounds a bit “far away”. Not very accurate of the artists though, the separation of the vocals from the background is not very favorable in my opinion. The upper end of the vocals or mids are a bit harsh. The bass isn’t very existent. They do have some extension but lack of quantity makes it hard to tell. Instrument separation is abysmall, the cymbals and other instruments aren’t easy to tell apart, the entire range is a bit muddy and unclear, the soundstage is artificial in its feeling. No pro favorism towards female vocals as of yet. Mid bass is present is the most present of the entire low frequency range, not extremely tight or loose. Highs are a bit harsh and don’t really accurately represent the actual sound of the instrument, upon playing a bassy song, the low frequency shows but is quite muddy. It doesn’t punch, it really is close to a car stereo in the sense that it isn’t fast and lingers for a bit, vocals are a bit recessed in terms of depth and expansion and how realistic they are. Has a “V” type signature. Sibilance is detected, it’s not heavily serious but it is quite present.
Soundstage:Articicial and although “Wide, is closed off.
Lows: Muddy, slow paced, extension is there but the quantity of the other area’s beside mid bass is hard to tell apart. Isn’t very punchy.
Mids: No preference for male or female, doesn’t accurately represent the artists voice, feels layered like there is something just above the vocals. The vocals don’t expand(although too much is bad) it’s very static, like stuck in a small box or position without room to leave “that box” of confined space. Also a bit sibilant and recessed despite the vocals being more present than everything else. V signature can be detected. Guitars and string instruments and other background instruments that is present at around this range are not accurately presented and hard to tell apart and are behind the vocals a bit too much.
Highs: Not very present. It doesn’t “reach” up to the highs and when a song does try, the highs get harsh and the IEM backs off “from the challenge” a bit fatiguing when the highs do appear but they disappear so quickly that it’s not really a problem unless the song tries to force high frequency notes.
Seperation: Abysmal, that is all. Hard to tell instruments or really anything apart.
Testing: Most of the time spent with the DN17 was directly out of an iPod Touch 2G. It was also tested with the Audio-gd NFB 12.1, Custom Objective 2 amplifier,FiiO E5, and Arcam rPAC. The end review was written by the follow:
ComputeràS/PDIFàAudio-gd NFB 12.1 Fixed line out w/ Dual Wolfson WM8741àOFEC audio RCA cableàCustome Objective 2 with Burr Brown OPA2228.
The dark blue unit to the right is a custom Objective 2 Amplifier with a Burr Brown OPA2228 and JRC NJM4556.
Driveability: The DN-17’s are extremely easy to drive as the specs may indicate. Getting to an almost loud volume brings the iPod volume controls to about half.
Amp: These do not need an amp at all. They are earbuds and are meant to be portable. These IEM’s do not warrant carrying around an amp with you.
Conclusion: The sound Quality of the DN17’s in my opinion for the price of $83 is not favorable for most genres. The DN17 loses out and gets unbearable with any song that gets too complex in instruments. That is its main problem. I have found that the best genres are simple classic, rap and hip hop, and especially Jazz where the not as congested mid range and light use of the high frequency range and good soundstage helps the most. The sound gets extremely unbearable and metallic with more instruments and the different frequency ranges start pouring and mxing into each other.
Sound Pressure: 102+-2dB
Freq. Responce: 16Hz-22KHz
Noise Attenuation: 26dB
Plug size: 3.5mm Gold platted
Build Quality: 9/10 (solid, but should make driver lighter in future)
Isolation: 9/10 (depends on ears)
In ear feel:8.5/10
Ease of use:7/10 (heavy driver and frictional cables)
Sound Quality: 6/10
The rating sections scores are dependent on the price of the IEM's.
Comments, both negative and positive are welcome, questions or anything whatsoever!
Edited by bowei006 - 2/23/14 at 9:56pm