This is my first review, so I hope I provide enough information. I am proud to be a member of Head-Fi, and I hope that I will be able to make more contributions in the future.
Dunu's flagship Tai-Chi model comes very well packaged. It is clean and crisp, which makes it extremely appealing to my eyes. The red-black-white colour scheme is very eye-catching, and the photos on the box provide satisfactory detail.
I was very pleased with the appearance of the headphones after removing them from the box. The packaging holds the headphones in place well, as well as the accessories.
I was very, very happy with the accessory kit. I wasn't really sure what to expect here, as most pairs of in-ears I have had came with extra tips, and that was it, nothing else. Thus I was happy to have an abundance of tips, as well as a hardshell carry case, leather carry pouch, airline adaptor, 1/4" adaptor, extra ear hooks, as well as a number of the dampeners.
There are a number of tips included. I had some trouble with fitting the tips into my ears, which I will explain later, but I am currently using the smallest black tips.
The carry case is brushed aluminum. It fits the headphones nicely and has good build quality.
The leather pouch is REALLY nice. I mean, I don't have much background in leather products, but it's very very nice, from what I can tell. If it was a bit bigger, I'd buy one for my iPod. It's that nice.
I am satisfied with the overall build quality of the Dunu Tai-Chi's. The housing, although very light, seems like it will hold up under average use. The silver cable has a good, strong feel to it, and is very appealing to the eye.
The cable splitter and cinched is constructed from a strong black plastic with a matte finish. It feels very strong.
The headphone jack is housed with the same strong black plastic as the splitter, and feels just as strong. The jack itself is gold-plated, I believe.
The DN-19 is marketed as having a customizable sound signature, using the different coloured headphone tips in conjunction with small black insertable dampeners. The black tips enhance the bass, while the grey tips provide more of a neutral response. By inserting the black dampeners, one can lessen the bass levels even more, and when used with the grey headphone tips provide the most balanced/neutral response. When using no dampeners and the black headphone tips, the bass is at its highest levels.
I had a long, long struggle with making the DN-19s fit in my ears properly. With other in-ears, I have used medium tips and had almost perfect or perfect seals, so it was a surprise to me to have such an issue with fit and sealing. I tried the default medium black tips at first, but didn't get a proper seal, having almost no bass response. I proceeded to try every set of tips, finally settling with the small black set, only because I had the best seal with them.
Once I had a seal, I played a few bass-heavy electronic tracks, including the original mix of Faxing Berlin by Deadmau5 and Illmerica by Wolfgang Gartner. I was pretty satisfied with the sound, but I decided to break them in overnight to see if there were any differences. I only broke them in for seven or eight hours, just to see if they had changed at all. To my ears, they hadn't changed significantly, but later I will burn them in more, and update on whether or not the sound has changed.
The headphones are marketed as being bass-heavy, and that they are. The bass is rich and full, providing a fantastic experience when listening to all sorts of music. While the bass is quite heavy, it doesn't overpower the mids or highs on most songs, in my opinion. There were a couple of songs that I was unsatisfied with the sound on, particularly the vocals. I thought they were recessed and felt distant. For most listening, these headphones are great. I am satisfied with the clarity of the high end, and the midrange was pretty solid as well.
The soundstage on these is about average, I feel. There was nothing about it that really wowed me, but it provided a satisfying depth to the music, especially electronic music.
Isolation was about average. Because of the issues I had with fit and whatnot, I don't have the best isolation from the outside, although it did noticeably reduce the volume levels of atmospheric noise. Nothing special here.
Overall, I thought that the headphones were very, very satisfying. I used them while I was snowboarding a few days ago, and they successfully stayed in my ears. I would give them an overall 8.5/10, only reduced because of the fit issues I had/have with them.
Thanks to Rocky from Dunu-Topsound for the review set!