DUNU Detonator DN-22m Review
Thanks to DUNU for the sample.
First Impressions: As always Dunu put together a quite stunning package. The accessory bundle has been exemplary and it’s continued here. Looking at the buds too they seem very nice, the build quality on these really does make you want to go back and check their RRP. Is it nice stuff, simple as that.
Sooo quickly whipping them out of the box and into the ears. Clearly it’s a bit of a warm and smooth one. Oooh bit of bass in there too, that’s quite a bit of bass. Not sure if it’s enough to get annoying but it’s pushing the limits of what I’d want. Quality is nice mind so it just might grow on me. Burn in time me thinks.
Source: FiiO E7/E9 combo, 1G Ipod Shuffle and Galaxy Nexus.
Lows: Right off the bat I noticed the bass and it remains rather present. It’s a bit more present than I want and it not as linear as I’d like either. It’s got a fair old hump to it and in the upper bass range it’s pretty elevated while right down low it fades away. In the bits where it’s focused though it’s powerful and controlled. Stopping and starting nicely and feeling pretty damn solid too. A little bit of texture gets lost in the quantity but it has great timing and a natural tone to it. It didn’t feel wildly artificial and boosted. This leads me to find the bass as one of these big but makes you smile sounds. I found the low end timing especially to be just so eminently fun and rhythmically bouncy. No matter what I threw at it it responded with a joviality I really liked. Everything was so well timed, its just so much fun!
Quantity wise it’s a bit much I’ll grant you and it’s a bit humpy but it’s all forgivable. Indeed I swiftly forgave them. On technical points they aren’t spot but I don’t care, these have real life and soul to them.
Mids: On paper blah blah whatever, these are not about the on paper stuff. These are not aiming for accuracy or intended for monitor usage. These are all about the smooth, enveloping warm gooey liquidy flowing mids. They have enough detail to keep me happy and what not but they don’t want you to listen to these with a critical ear. They are the sort of thing you do not listen to the IEM, you listen to the music. So it’s not one for analytical freaks, lol they’ll hate it but if you just stop trying and relax these are so enjoyable. They make the music come alive and I’m kinda loving them. Technicalities may be fudged a bit but the timing’s so fun and the tone so natural these just nail happy, fun noise.
Quantity wise they are a bit behind the bass bit in front of the highs. They are a touch on the warm and if you’re looking for tonnes of air around a vocal this isn’t for you. I don’t care though; they feel so effortless and entertaining.
Highs: Well I’m not a treble lover and the highs here are fine for me. They are rather subdued. They don’t have the best clarity in the world, nor the best detail. They don’t extend super well and they don’t shimmer terribly well either. To top it off they have a bit of a hard edge to them too. So in short nothing great but they are sufficiently toned down so as to hide its short comings. The highs are third out of three. Still I find it all blends together well. Even on very treble happy songs the presentation is fine. Just don’t try too hard to listen to them analytically. Take what’s here as a whole and just enjoy them.
Soundstage: They have the scale and power down no problem. Distance and instrument separation, err not really. They just don’t have the air for either but then they are sealed dynamics so what did you expect?
Fit: For a sealed dynamic I had no trouble. Popped in my ears and that was it. Up or down was effortless.
Comfort: They are heavy little buds but worn up its not noticeable. Down a bit more so and worn down the mic always caught no my collar which I find ever annoying.
Cable: Top class, the cable with the Y spitter, jack, chin slider and the cable tie thing. You couldn’t ask for better at this price.
Accessories: DUNU put together a better accessory package than anyone else. It’s that simple. You get 8 pairs of tips, a shirt clip, the inbuilt cable tie thing which I love and then you get not only a hard case but a soft baggy. What’s more its about the best baggy you’ll ever see too. No one else does accessories like DUNU do.
Microphonics: Like normal, worn up none really, wear down you do. It’s not terrible and you do get the shirt clip and chin slider to help though.
Phone Use: Acoustically these were not at their best from my phone, they liked more power. Otherwise they worked fine. The button worked, play, pause, skip and the microphone seemed to work fine too. For the mic being sat very near my ear I was told I could be heard clearly still.
Amped/Unamped: These don’t need amping to sound fun but for the bass to be the best it can be an amping does make a notable difference. Still I recognise that these cost so little normally they won’t see a big amp and since they are mic’ed these are really meant to live with a phone. On my phone they lost that solidity and absolute authority. They still were lots of fun just with a little something missing.
Isolation: These are sealed so the isolate pretty well. Not quite up there at the daily Tube commute level but enough to get you through the odd flight and any normal out and about stuff. As ever, more than enough to get you run over if you aren’t looking where you’re going.
Value: I like these. You get a very enjoyable sounding IEM, with a mic and a great accessory bundle. At the moment though these seem very hard to actually buy, the only place I seem them for is £37.61 and coming from Spain. Given the RRP is US$45 that seems a bit high. Still while I’m not saying you can’t get better audio you won’t get the all-round package that’s here. DUNU always put together a hugely compelling and good value bundle.
Conclusion: On paper these have too much bass, it’s too humpy and the highs are too meh. Yet I find myself not caring at all and just enjoying the music. These are all you should want form a cheap IEM. Fun in spades, eminently rhythmic and bouncy and just all-round pleasing. They have a grand old vibrancy to them and enthusiasm that I find very compelling. The timing on them is just spot on too. The timing I think is what nails these in to place as so very pleasing.
On more technical merits these are rather flawed as you would expect at this price but I don’t care and I don’t think you will either. These aren’t meant to be used for trying to listen critically. And I mean to either the Detonator’s or the music, it’s not what they do. They are solely about being entertaining and fun
The bundle here as ever with DUNU is a real boon too. You get a shed load of things, everything you could possibly want I think. Pair that up with the great build quality and the value is just superb. I mean you could tell people these cost a lot more than they do and they wouldn’t have any reason to doubt you. Chuck in how fun they sound and these I think could be my favourite little bundle I’ve seen from DUNU yet. The Detonator is may be cheap but you’d never know to look at it and is such an entertainer, I really like it.
Edited by mark2410 - 6/4/13 at 7:26am