***(18/12) Today, I have just received my brand new Rooth LSX5, a quad-BA/dynamic universal hybrid, I will update my review in a few days time comparing DN-900 to LSX5 after I spend some time with it, as well as letting it settled and burnt-in, brain and mechanical ***
First of all, a big THANK YOU to Rocky Wu from Dunu for giving me this opportunity. When he asked me if I would like to review the DN-900, I accepted it gracefully without thinking twice, especially after my love affair with DN-1000, which is to me, one of the best sounding IEM that I have heard, to date.
7 days of burn-in, brain and mechanical, there is no significant changes detected, except perhaps the bass settled down a bit and becoming more controlled
Packaging and accessories
The packaging of the 900 is rather different to all the previous Dunu, there is no hard card box with magnets, it is rather simple white box with the yellow pelican-esque case dominating the fascia
You get loads of tips, loads, including the two types of unique dual-flanges, the black and the clear ones. Unfortunately however, due to their bore size, I feel that they don’t sound as good as the wide-bore turbine-style grey single-flange. IMHO, using a small-bore tips will make the sound to be a little strange (the treble is becoming a little veiled) – though this could be just a subjective view of mine. I do prefer to use wide-bore tips with this, however the fact remains that both of the dual-flange will give perfect seal, the white one especially, though you need to push this right in, Ety-style.
Now some people might not agree with this, but I LOVE the yellow case. It is different, and to me it adds value. It is not a Pelican case, rather a Dunu-made one, but feels as solid and robust as the real Pelican, if you have both the 900 and 1000, this case can fit both of them in, perfect for holidays
You can also play with the adjustment rings; red, blue, and silver, just like to 1000’s. The red is the most balanced one, and the silver is the bassiest, blue is somewhere in the middle
The body is similar to 1000, except this one is smaller, and made from a lighter material. Right and left is perfectly labelled and visible; the cable quality is excellent too, as well as being tangle free. Even though it doesn’t feel as solid and sturdy as the 1000’s, it will still be able to withstand some rough handling to some extent, as well as knocks and bumps. It passed a drop test from desk height (about 1m high, and drop once) to a concrete floor with flying colours
The weight and the size of the barrel-style body makes it very comfortable to wear over an extended period of time for the average people, except perhaps those who have a very tiny canal. You can fit it deep or shallow; there is minimal difference in the sound, so long as you have a very good seal
The bass is hard hitting, and goes down deep. Out of the box, it feels to me like the bass is similar to the 1000’s, but after a week of settling in and familiarising, I found that it may not be as thick and impactful as the 1000’s. It has decent speed and textures, though it might not be fast nor quick enough for heavy metal. Quality wise it is still lacking behind the 1000’s. AX60, or even H-200’s, but definitely better and more refined compared to other dual-hybrid such as AF78 and DBA700.
This is where it shines brightly, the mid is forward, maybe even slightly aggressive in some case, and intimate. Vocals feels close, has excellent textures, and it has some good thickness to it, similar to Westone3’s, although it is nowhere as thick as, say, SM3 or TF10. Listening to vocal-based tunes are such a bliss with this, I have been enjoying listening to Cold Chisel (good ol’ Barnsey), Missy Higgings, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, even the newer generation of Taylor Swift, Hayley Williams, Lana del Rey, Elle Goulding, and so on. It just renders vocals superbly. However, it lags behind the 1000’s in clarity
The treble is smooth, warm, laid back, and non-fatiguing. I have had some extremely long session with this, some up to 4 hours straight at work, and not once I feel any strain, or fatigue. Extension is excellent, though I hear a slight roll off, though a treble-full tune such as Destiny’s child’s Bills, Bills, Bills still sounds superb, I have yet to come across any sibilance, peaks, and harshness. It’s nowhere near as energetic and sparkly as the 1000’s, and not as detailed either, perfect for those who are sensitive to treble, to put it bluntly, its treble is completely the opposite of IEM’s such as Brainwavz B2 or TDK IE800
Soundstage and Amping
Soundstage is good, it has some width and depth, but I feel it is more intimate, and not as airy nor expansive as the 1000’s
The 900 does not require any amping whatsoever, there is very minimal difference in quality/signature between unamped, and amped. When amped, it adds a slight thickness to the mids and bass.
To follow up on the superb DN-1000 would be challenging, but DN-900 certainly has done that with flying colours, it is not as accomplished nor as refined as its older brother, but I’m certain it is not intended to be, rather, they both complement each other perfectly.
If there is anything I would change, it would be the small-bore tips, as I mentioned earlier, since I don’t like how it sounds when using the small bore tips. Other people might think differently.
Price wise, MSRP is $115 which is spot on, and it’s certainly weighs a lot more than the price, IMHO this is one of the best, if not the best IEM under $150, but of course it all depends on individual taste, anyone who likes a mid-centric sound with a very good bass, this one is certainly for you.
2013 has been Dunu’s year for certain, especially within the $100-$200 market , I for one, can’t wait for the day that Dunu decides to have a go at multi-armature IEM, because judging by the last 2 hybrid releases, I’m sure that anything Dunu touches will become gold
Edited by djvkool - 12/18/13 at 2:46am