I currently have 3 hybrids with me on hand thanks to a friendly Australian member.
Astrotec AX60 ($400) (non-bass filters)
Dunu DN-1000 ($200) (red rings)
T-Peos H-200 ( $250) (SPC 7N upgrade cable)
Because I only have limited time left with AX60 I'll give a quick run down and my thoughts.
Source used Colorfly C3 with FLAC (no amp)
Does AX60 really live up to the $400 AUD price tag next to these cheaper alternatives? Well it does, and it doesn't and that's really going to depend on personal preference. For me I cannot beat the tonality of DN-1000, from the first second I heard it, I was a very impressed. Where AX60 is warmer/smoother in the mid range and a touch bassy the Dunu leans opposite and has that clarity, air and crisp detail extension I lust for in an earphone.
So while I think AX60 is more refined the Dunu and H-200 are both a touch more transparent, to break it down they sound clearer at lower listening levels, but can also cause early fatigue, this doesn't however hinder AX60's ability to remain the most coherent of all 3 to these ears. I can clearly hear more samples coming through the layers on AX60, even though it's warmer detail just comes through effortlessly for most parts. I can hear background instruments and vocalists push through with ease and that's one technical ablity I'm really fond of in the Astrotec and IEM's in general. Hearing more of the music!
The low end is certainly most enhanced on AX60, with the right tips and a decent seal it can become a little bass heavy with certain genres (namely genres already mastered to enhance bass, EDM etc etc) So while I do enjoy to some extent and prefer that low end really filling out the stage what I'm finding is when I lift the mid range to get detail levels I enjoy that low end can become a little intrusive at times hindering the experience. Remembering this is only for my preference, I believe there are people out there who lust for a punchy deep low end AX60 will provide that with great satisfaction. I think between all 3 I prefer the speed and texture of H-200 dynamic driver the most, it has a similar bounce to it I once found in TF10 like a bubble of bass that surges from below the stage has good shape and clarity. On the other hand the Dunu is quite well behaved, maybe a touch bass heavy but not near AX60 levels.
In the mid range I actually find the Dunu the most airy in the upper mids so another point goes to them for that (preference), as I've said tonality is a big thing to me as is air in the upper mid range to lower treble, I enjoy experiencing a mid range like it's floating inside (around) my head free as bird so to speak, so when you add the tonality of Dunu and air it out classes both H-200 and AX60 for my preferences. But lets get back to that cohesiveness, something AX60 just uses to put on a show.
Edited by H20Fidelity - 11/6/13 at 3:23am
To me AX60 has the widest and most immersive stage, it's expansive and very involving you get a good reproduction of a song no matter which genre, it sounds a little larger in headstage and soundstage width than both the others, so will AX60 has some warmth and that bass may become a little hard hitting when un-required, this cohesiveness and soundstage width steals the show to my ears. I may need to lift the volume a fair amount to make detail jump out but the way AX60 puts a song across with it's rather unique and rather classy timbre is very hard to beat and I'd say that's where your extra money will go.
Really to sum up I like all three of them, and very much DN-1000 clarity, transparency and tonality over both the others. I love AX60 for that coherent immersive stage and H-200 for having that raw detail and somewhat aggressive upper mid range with the right sources and guitar crunch. It's really a tough call on which is better because all three do something very right while other has the missing piece. But I cannot say besides the impressive 3D staging AX60 completely pulls away flawlessly, but what does in this hobby when personal preference is at stake, each persons ears are different.
One of each please will do me just fine!
Special mentions for....
AX60 design (I think it's very impressive but a non detachable cable is thumbs down)
DN-1000's cable (very well built and has a feeling of quality to me, strain reliefs could be a concern)
H-200's detail extension in the upper mids (some Taylor Swift songs just don't sound the same with anything else I've heard)