Pioneering hybrid technology, the DN-2000 brings you astonishing audio performance. Pursuing...

DUNU DN-2000 Hybrid 3 way earphone

Average User Rating:
4.6/5,
  • Pioneering hybrid technology, the DN-2000 brings you astonishing audio performance. Pursuing perfection, it combines a dynamic driver custom-made by DUNU with a Knowles balanced armature driver. It is no longer a dream to wander in the smooth and crystal-clear music as the broad dynamic performance - the DN-2000 presents all audio in full realism, from the most intricate musical nuances to the explosive soundtracks of Hollywood blockbusters. There is no need to search for the best earphone because the DN-2000 has arrived.

Recent User Reviews

  1. Gandasaputra
    4.5/5,
    "Dunu DN-2000: An Earphone Forged by Heaven."
    Pros - Balanced sound with wow factors, spacious soundstage, and excellent transparency. The supple cable, the included tips, and the housing material.
    Cons - Heaviest earphone I've ever own. Prone to smudges, oil, scratches, and dent. Mid bass could have little more presence or "oomph".

    Introduction


    Hello head-fiers! Now, you’re going to read a review of a spectacular earphone named Dunu DN-2000! It’s a hybridized earphone consisting of two Balanced Armature (BA) drivers and a 10 mm dynamic driver; although the driver configuration isn’t specifically described in their main website, I assume it has one TWFK (or two-in-one BA) driver that covers the treble and mid-range and a dynamic driver as the woofer. Hybrid earphone was considered a breakthrough in earphone technology back in 2012 and the famous one I know was the AKG K3003 which was my main coveted hybrid earphone but sadly its price was bloody expensive, costing at $1300, for such little piece. As I waited in hope that the price of AKG K3003 would drop to at least $300 (laugh as you may), recently many Asian-based companies like Dunu, T-Peos, and Sony have stepped up into the hybrid technology and thankfully, many affordable yet exceptional hybrids have been released. I finally had the opportunity to own my first ever hybrid-based earphones yet Dunu's top-tier earphone named DN-2000. Although it is still expensive ($300), it does sound really good as most head-fiers say and honestly its performance exceeds my expectation for the price I paid!
     
    Before I begin, I am sure some people know what is good with the hybrid but for those who are new, the hybrid combines the main strength that the BA and dynamic driver have while covering the weaknesses that the two drivers possess. For example, BA drivers provide excellent details and accuracy but its frequency bandwidth is limited and tends to have roll-off on certain regions, like the bottom-end, so for people who are used to listen to dynamic-based earphone or beginners might find the bass extremely lacking in single-BA driver ones. Even in multi-BA earphones, though they have their own separate driver dedicated for woofer, the bass impact never be as equal as the dynamic because they tend to be tight, short-decayed, or less boomy - I believe the BA bass is engineered for accuracy than being lively. As with the hybrid’s, the woofer configuration of dynamic driver complements the inadequate bass of BA driver with impactful bass which gives overall fun and excitement while maintaining excellent detail and accuracy.

    Although the addition of impactful-thumping-wub-wub bass may sound tasty for some, I've ventured through many reviews that most hybrid earphones tend to have a V-shaped signature which means they have strong emphasis on treble and bass, leaving the mid somewhat recessed. Yet, they are likely to have bright tonality and have emphasis on peaky treble, which may be a big problem for treble-sensitive listeners. For example, some can have recessed mid and peaky treble like Atomic Floyd’s superdarts titanium [sup]1[/sup] . Some can have sibilant and nasal midrange yet piercing treble like H-300 [sup]2,3[/sup]. For first- hybrid owners or beginners, it is recommended to pick the one that is more balanced that does not have nasty-crash-rustic treble but still pleasantly bright with clear midrange and impactful bass. I am lucky that the one I picked, DN-2000, definitely sounds great without offending my ears! But anyway, let's get on the review - I've got lots of things to say about this earphone.
     

    The Package


     
    Observe: the Dunu DN-2000 package. It is understated, simple, and bold. But it is somewhat bland;  If customers were walking down the store and see this, they wouldn’t be attracted to it but hey, it is a diamond buried within a rock – let the earphone speaks for its value instead of the package design. 
     

     
    Although the box appears little plain, it is actually well-made and feel solid. There's a magnetized flap and once opened behold, the hidden gem behind the simple black box: it's DN-2000! On the left flap, there is a direction of how to wear the earphone; also it tells you how to put the “Secure Fit” ring into the earphone nozzle, which will be discussed. Interestingly, there’s a frequency graph describing how the “secure fit” ring could affect the overall sound. But some texts are still written in Chinese. 
     

     
    As I take the covering on the right side, the earphone is beautifully placed in the black foam and shows the end of the housings with engraved letter "D", and below is the carrying case where the included accessories are put.
     
     

    The Carrying Case and Accessories.

     

     
    First is the carrying case. What I like is that the case is light, spacious, and solid. What I don't like is that the case is little too big to be put into a pocket; yet, it does not have a zipper for a secure storage. Regardless, the lid fits very firmly and will not likely to open up spontaneously. However, the "pull-out" type lid can be little difficult to be removed and may be a hassle because once opened, all the contents may burst out from the case. This will not become a problem if one opens the lid carefully or puts each contents into a designated plastic bag as shown in the right, but do bring the needed accessories or else there will be no space left to put for the earphones!
     
     

     
    Image above shows the comparison of Dunu case to Westone's in center and Audio Technica IM03's in the bottom (on left image). Based on the size and practical use, the Westone's is my most favorite because it is small, can be fitted to a pocket effortlessly, and has a zipper. The Audio Technica is bigger yet bulky but it can hold up to 2-3 earphones, and rather be put into a bag than a pocket, but still is my favorite because of the zipper. The Dunu's, for me, is rather be used as a storage to hold all the accessories.
     

     
    Next is the included accessories, plenty of stuff I might say! Dunu throws four different ear-tips and bunch other stuff but since this section has been reviewed by others in details [sup]4,5[/sup], I will be discussing the most important ones which are the "secure fit" rings and the ear-tips. 
     

    The rings


     
     

    The "secure fit" ring set comes in three different color: silver, blue, and red. The silver has the shortest length while the reds are the longest.  All rings come in two pairs so it's good that there's a replacement if one loses a pair of ring.  Each can be inserted into the nozzle of earphone in order to extend the length of nozzle. The ring allows users to customize the depth of insertion for proper fitting and adjust the sound to one's taste.
     
    As I tried all the rings, the silver ones provide the best fit, most balanced sound, yet the least peaky treble of all. I noticed that the longer the ring, the wider perceived soundstage, but the mid can be sibilant. Regardless, the depth of ear canal varies among persons so it is important to try around with the rings first until you find the fit and the sound you like best. Beware that the longer the tips, the more likely for the ear tips to fall out! Yet, all the rings do not stay securely so they can easily fall from the nozzle as well.    
     

    The ear tips


     

    Aside of the ring, Dunu provides four different ear-tips. The package describes the name of each ear-tips, except the bi-flange one, and specifies how the tips affect the overall sound.  In the left is the bi-flange, the center is the 2K dark silicone tips, and the right is the 1K clear silicone tips (note: the one in the image is the large one because I am using the medium sized tips). The last one is the foam tips but it wasn't included in the picture. 
     
    As I have tried all, here are my thoughts:
     
    1. The bi-flange has the smallest bore of all - one can see it from the image above. Also, I couldn't get a decent fit with it.
    2. The clear and the dark tips have nearly equal bore diameter; yet, I cannot find big differences of sound between the two.
    3. The dark tips are more rigid and stiffer - the sound is little brighter with these. In my ears they fit and seal too tight for my liking.
    4. The clear tips are the softest of all - it's the first ear tips attached to the earphone; yet, the clear tips fit best to my ears.
    5. The foam has same diameter and has material similar to the Comply-tips.
     
    Above all, the clear ones are my main preferred ear tips because they are soft yet very comfortable.  The clear tips disappear within my ear canal though I can still feel the weight of the housing (which will be discussed later) and they do not produce much ear pressure like the others. Furthermore, it has the most bass and smoother sound for my liking and it is the only tips I can use for over-the-ear wearing. On the other hand, this is what I like the most from the Dunu's: there is no need for tip-rolling nor buying ear-tips from another brand in case if the fit of the stock tips was unsatisfying. This is rare because most of my earphones, except Yamaha EPH-100,  required quite some time for tip-rolling which was frustrating. As with the Dunu, the included tips are sufficient for everyone to get good fit and seal.

    The Earphone: Appearance, Cable, and Build Quality


     

     
    Meet the earphone itself, the DN-2000! The housing follows a straight-barrel design and a straight nozzle; yet, I am surprised how small it is for a multi-driver earphone. Such simplicity allows the earphone to be worn without hassle nor continuous adjustment. The diameter and length of the nozzle is just right and never be too small and short (like Westone W4) nor too long (like in ATH's IM70). The cable is made from rubberized material with a chin slider and a cable wrapper. However, the cable is not remove-able and does not have remote control, but it is good so that the earphone can be worn over-the-ear. The cable jack is reinforced with strong strain relief and ends with 90 degree fashion. As one can see from the image above, I use a cable clipper from a different brand (The Dunu's clipper is used for the W4).
     

    Furthermore, the cable is very light and supple - as supple as a shoe laces I might say. It glides over-the-ear effortlessly without putting a pressure on the top of the ears and never be microphonic. If you happen to own earphones like Carbo basso, JVC's FXT90, FXD80, or Xiaomi's Piston 2, you will understand the flexibility that those cables have. For four months of use, the cable has not shown any memory effect nor stiffen overtime. Finally, the cable never shows any "springy effect" where the cable resists to loop and springs out from one's ears when worn over-the-ear, which I experienced in VSonic's GR07 cable. Because of the suppleness, it is prone to tangle!
     

     
    The housing of the earphone demonstrates the quality of what top-tier earphone should be - it has a luxurious finish and smooth touch. It is made from a metal and overall housing is solidly made. None of the ridges or edges are sharp; yet, the silver ridges of the back housing shine under a light. However, it has one major problem: it is the heaviest earphone in my collection - it is even heavier than the heavy V-Moda Vibrato. The weight problem can be greatly reduced by wearing over the ear but the main problem is that the weight, combined with the supple cable, causes the earphone to fall easily from one's hand leaving a dent to the housing, if one was careless. Lastly, the housing is prone to scratches and oily smudges so it needs careful handling and daily cleaning. So, get yourself an eyeglasses cleaner cloth for a daily maintenance. Do not leave the earphones dangling because the housing will smash one another and creates more scratches and dents - hold the earphones upon your palms.
     

     
    Above image shows a dent caused when the earphone fell about 10 cm from my hand into a hard granite table. This happened in three months after I first own it. I cannot imagine what would happen if the earphone fell from my standing height (5.6 ft or 170.6 cm) into the floor. I wish it could have an earphone silicone casing, like a cell-phone casing, to protect it from dents, but having that would be ridiculous and unthinkable.
     

     
    Furthermore, the attached yet "patented" cable wrapper is a huge plus so one can neatly store the earphone after use as shown in the image above. I always have a habit of wrapping the cable around after use and put it into my pocket or a carrying case. The wrapper prevents the cable from getting tangled when stored. The wrapper slides along the cable but I never find it bothering; however, the wrapper cannot be removed from the cable unless if one cuts the cable (who the heck gonna do that!!). 
     

    Size: How Small is the DN-2000?


    Honestly, I have to say that it is relatively small for a hybridized earphone. I am impressed that Dunu designers manage to cram the complex three-configuration of dynamic and two BA drivers into a small straight barrel shape while other hybrids earphones tend to be bulky and have bizarre designs; one famous example is the "Frankensteinic" shape of Sony's Hybrids lineups. Yet compared to other multi-drivers earphones I have, the Dunu's is also smaller than them too, the only earphones that are smaller are Yamaha EPH-100 and Klipsch X10. The following images demonstrate size comparison of DN-2000 to variety earphones like W4, IM70, IM03, FXT90, Piston, EPH-100, and Klipsch X10 - hopefully these will give an idea for those who own the mentioned earphones.
     

     
    One can see that the IM03 and the IM70 are surely larger and wider than the Dunu, considering that they have multi-drivers set up too. 
     

     
    The W4 appears little bit bigger than the Dunu but the design of  W4 allows to sit flush on my ears concha though it requires lots of trial-and-errors to get comfortable fit.
     

     
    The FXT90 is about as equal as the Dunu - quite impressive for a dual-dynamic driver. Dunu has the cylindrical shape while the FXT90 has vertical housing with angled nozzle. 
     

     
    The Dunu has evolved from the Piston! They do have similar size and shape but the only different is the weight - the Piston is far lighter than the Dunu.
     

     
    The only smaller earphone in mind is the Yamaha EPH-100. But both still share similarities: straight barrel housing with strain relief that is perpendicular to the housing - this allows for easier to loop over the ear  and comfortable over-the-ear wearing. 
     

     
    Also, the Klipsch X10 is so much smaller than the Dunu. But I hate how the cable came out in curving fashion so wearing over-the-ear is difficult ( if I did that, I'd look like Mickey Mouse).
     

     
    For last comparison, the size of the Dunu is just as equal as coins displayed above, only little bit bigger than a penny.
     

    Comfort and Isolation - Important elements in an earphone!

     

     
    I immediately wore the earphone over-the-ear when I first got it  and did not even bother with the fins and the ear-guide hook. Overall, the fit is less fussy thank to the small sized, straight cylindrical shape, and supple cable. With the right ring and ear-tips combination, which are the silver ring and clear silicone 1K tips, the comfort is excellent - I could wear the earphone up to 2-3 hours without being fatigued. The clear ear-tips is so soft  it does not create much pressure inside my ears. The housing stay seated in the ear concha and never hit the tragus. Yet, the end-housing ridges do not irritate nor bother the ears as far as I concern. Furthermore, I use the included clipper so the cable can glide along my ears without touching the surface of top ear.  But, the weight of the housing is still bothersome and it requires little adjustment in insertion until it reaches to a sweet spot.  
     
    Isolation is just great. I drive around and commute while using this earphone ( don't try this!) and road noises are greatly reduced. Its isolation easily blocks most noise from Dyson vacuum cleaner, TV, people conversation, annoying songs and grunts at a gym; yet, the isolation allows me to listen songs on low volume without external noise interference. But its isolation never be as equal as the Shure's olive tips though. Lastly, I haven't tested its isolation on a plane but will report when I did.
     
    The Dunu sits and seals just fine when I walk around, cycling, and do stairmaster and eliptical. The Dunu still retains a secure seal even when running and jogging, but the noise transmitted from hard floor and asphalt still can be heard and bothersome - this problem is common for all earphones I used except headphones. The seal becomes a problem when performing exercises that require lying down like bench press and intensive sit-up. Also, whenever I make face expression,  grind my teeth, or grunting from a heavy lifting and pull-ups, the seal can be off too. Above all, I'd use the Dunu for a stationary cardio-exercise but I wouldn't recommend using it as a main workout earphone because the seal can be off when performing strenuous exercises. Yet, the housing durability can be a major concern because it's prone to scratches and dents. Lastly, the housing protrudes little bit but it never produces wind noises. But I cannot use this when sleeping in side posture.
     


     
    Note:
    During the course of listening, all of my observation is derived primarily from one source: Sansa Clip zip (non-rockboxed). I don't use any amps nor equalization at all as I prefer the natural, unmodified sound of earphones. All my music files are 320kbps and some are FLAC files. 

    I find that the earphone is easily driven. Most songs can be played loudly enough on 1 to 2 volume bar under 'normal volume' setting in Sansa clip zip.  So one needs to be careful when using these with non-sensitive volume bar like the Samsung S5, where the loud difference between bar is very big. Although I find no hisses in the Sansa, I actually do hear them from Samsung S5, especially when a song nearly ends. I preferably listening the Dunu from the Sansa clip because it has better volume handling. The earphones have been burned for about 1-2 days and I find the peaky treble has mellowed out and no change with the bass, but still adequately bright. Speaking of the treble and brightness, it could have been that my ears have gotten used with it since I have this for four months.

    *In the following section, I have included songs from Youtube.com to give better understanding of DN-2000 sound characteristic; however, I am afraid the quality may differ from the one I listen from my Sansa, which are in 320kbps and FLAC. So if one curious and wishes to have the same quality I listened to, I'd be happily to provide them upon request.
     

    The Core of the Review: The Sound!

     

    In general, the Dunu DN-2000 has a balanced sound, in \/\/ fashion. It has great extension on both high and low frequencies with slight emphasis on the lowest end and upper end. Yet,  it has clear and bright midrange without being too forward nor thick. The treble carries good shimmers without  introducing peaky-shrilly sound of the lower-treble register. Soundstage, separation, and transparency are the main strengths: it is really huge with excellent depth and wide; yet, transparency and musical layering are exceptional.
     
    Bass
    It is surprising that the bass of the DN-2000 differs than most conventional dynamics. While I expected the bass of DN-2000 would be boomy,  it is actually clean, free of bloats, and has good texture in the sub-bass - like the bass notes and picks, which I love for most rock and metal songs. Compared to Yamaha EPH-100, it does not have much of mid-bass, which give overall rumble and bass body, and never be boomy. The bass mainly focuses on the sub-bass region with slight emphasis on lowest end but still carries good body and impact. At first listen I thought the bass is slightly lacking and wish it could be little more boomy, but later on I realized the bass is rather be high-quality because it extends very low, focuses on being detailed,  and rumbles when a song calls for. Importantly, the bass quantity is adequate and never be too lacking
    .
    In order to understand the Dunu's bass, let's take a quick listen on Japanese metal band Galneryus's The Ironhearted Flag Vol.1, in which their latest album consisting re-played songs from their old albums. However, all the songs sound very boomy and the bass is overly dominating compared to the old songs. One example is "The Rebel Flag"; in this track, the Dunu manages to balance the overall song by clearing up the bass fogginess and clarifying the lower notes. Even in Amon Amarth's  Where Death Seems To Dwell (Viking Metal), the double bass pedal hits very hard and has clear texture to it. Somehow when the fast pedal kicks in, the notes are too strong that my ears gave up in the middle of the song! Furthermore, I find the bass still adequate in Hiroyuki ODA's Ionosphere (trance) and Kaskade's Eyes - the bass is tight and definitely reaches deep but I wish it could have little more "oomph". Overall, the Dunu bass is mature and is between of being fun and analytic: clean, precise, free of boominess, and never sound too loose. I would not even consider Dunu's bass as being "bass-head"; it has been engineered for those who seek a balance and finesse.
     
    Mid
    One strength of the DN-2000 is the mid - it is bright and slightly forwarded but it never be too thick nor bloated, which is quite a feat.  Yet, the mid is very clear and never be sibilant. The vocal and instruments are presented with excellent clarity - I am surprised that I can finally pick up the lyrics in many songs! Also, both male and female vocal are equally good and never be shouty, but I wish the mid could be a little more lush so it would have sweetness in vocals. The best part is that the guitar instrument carries good energy and "wow-ness", which is similar to the JVC's FXT90, but the Dunu does it without being too edgy nor gritty. Some noteworthy tracks that demonstrate Dunu's mid strength are One OK Rock - Wherever You Are,  Supercell - The Bravery, and BuzzG - She and 西へ行く 
     
    Highs/treble
    As DN-2000 is considered being a bright earphone, I was skeptic that the treble would be hot, have emphasis on peaky highs, and introduce shrilly cymbals. Boy, I was wrong. I learn that a bright earphone doesn't necessarily mean the treble would be piercing. As a treble-sensitive, I never find the treble to be offensive; it is actually airy and pleasant. Most importantly, it never be too sibilant. The treble carries good brilliance and shimmers without being shrilly nor too peaky. Cymbal sounds are pronounced in detail without being too splashy, or I could say the cymbal sound little smooth and soft. 
     
    Furthermore the treble never be bothersome in some tracks that have repetitive "ts-ts-ts" sound, for example in 40m's Kotae and Gareth Emery's Exposure. Importantly, the Dunu handles the cymbals very well in a polished manner especially in Insomnium's The Only One Who Waits where the cymbals can be very splashy when listened with a wrong earphone. The Dunu manages to avoid treble harshness probably because it has slight emphasis on the mid, which gives instrument clarity, while leaving the lower-treble unaffected. Again, the DN-2000 treble is another strength because it is relatively smooth, polished, detailed, and carries good brilliance and energy without being blazingly hot. 
     
    Soundstage, imaging, and separation
    The soundstage, imaging, and separation of DN-2000 are phenomenal - I believe they are Dunu's main strengths. Actually, I was very shocked how good they are at first listen. It sounds very spacious with excellent depth and width. The head-room is enveloping and has excellent 3-Dness, image yourself  being surrounded by a song played in a concert hall. There is a "distance" between each instruments which make overall presentation sounds realistic. Furthermore, instruments separation and imaging are stunning, they are very transparent and have great musical layers so I can distinguish one instrument to another, for example, difference between bass pedals and bass guitar plucks are recognizable. Lastly, stereophonic position is very noticeable. Vocals are clearly placed along the stage and never be drown within instruments. Yet, instruments have correct right and left positioning and never fall too centered in space.
     
    To be honest, all songs sound very expansive with this and all never sound be congested nor intimate. One special song came in mind is Muse's Knights of Cydonia in a FLAC file, where it feels like being in a cinema, everything just creeps around my head (and out of my ears), and instruments separations and placement are easily distinguished. Lastly, BuzzG's Shiwa feat.Neko worth a listen too ( I have the better version, which is sung by Ryo).
     

     

    QUICK COMPARSIONS: Dunu DN-2000 versus ______
     
    Audio Technica ATH-IM03 with Sony Hybrid tips and Lunashop's cloth cable, for the better fit and seal - $300, not including the Sony tips and lunashop cable
     
    1. The IM03 is absolutely larger than DN-2000, but the IM03 is far lighter and sits flush on my ears.
    2. The  lunashop cable is significantly more supple than the Dunu, but it's more prone to tangle.
    3. Both bass are similar in which they are tight, focused on sub-bass, and have less mid-bass presence. However, the Dunu has more sub-bass quantity and has better rumbles and texture.
    4. The Dunu has more energy and more delicate (free of bothering peaks).
    5. Compared to the Dunu, the IM03 mid is more recessed. drier, and less lush. Vocal sounds more distant and instruments are less fleshed out.
    6. IM03 has tendency of being sibilant. The lower-treble / upper mid like "Ts-ts-ts" and cymbal crash have more presence. I notice the cymbal sounds splashy and lack of definition in Insomnium's The only one who waits. The cymbal crashes linger longer, my God. The treble of Dunu is far more polished, refined, and quicker decay than the IM03.
    7. Tonality, the IM03 sounds darker than the Dunu, with peaks included
    8. The IM03 soundstage is good but the Dunu's stretches out more and has better 3Dness, depth, and width. 
    9. No competition, the Dunu has better transparency and layering.
     
    Westone W4 with star silicone tips medium - $345
     
    1. The W4 is lighter and absolutely has better comfort but the fit can be finicky.
    2. The cable of W4 is frustrating - it hardens overtime and stiffens, making harder to loop over my ears. This happens on the 2nd warranty too.
    3. Overall sound is warmer, more delicate, and less energetic than the Dunu. The Dunu has the "Wow" factors while the W4 doesn't. 
    4. The W4 has more mid-bass than being sub-bass, which is somewhat rolled-off. Thanks to the mid-bass, it has more bass body  than the Dunu. Also, the bass of W4 is unique; it has pleasant body and buttery smooth and yummy impact. 
    5. The W4 mid is more lush than the Dunu; however, the mid is more veiled or recessed, I think. Instruments and vocals are  less "upfront " than the Dunu, but still instruments and vocals are presented in good clarity. Female vocals sound captivating, sweeter, and more lush with the W4. I prefer W4 for a good vocal.
    6. It has peaks in the lower-treble regions, sounding a little metallic and tingling. But it never be too offensive, only if not played too loud. It can be bothersome in some tracks with repetitive cymbals.
    7. W4 sound less spacious, but still above the average. Again, the Dunu wins in transparency.
     
     
    Yamaha EPH-100. unmodified. Uses stock tips. Three years straight favorites - $150
     
    1. The EPH-100 wins in comfort department: small, non-obstructive, and faaaar lighter.
    2. EPH-100's overall sound is far more fun because the bass is simply tasty - deep, impactful, and lots of bass. Yet, EPH-100 treble is smoother and the mid is far less energetic. In other word, EPH-100 is simply warm sounding earphone that is friendly and easy to the ears. 
    3. The EPH-100 can be played loudly, louder than the Dunu without hurting my ears - probably the mid is less forward and my ears handle bass better than other freqs. 
    4. EPH-100 has far boomier, deeper, and more impactful bass. It still has good texture, decays realistically, and never bleed to other frequencies. Yet the bass never be overly-dominating like its successor, EPH-M200, which I reviewed last time. The Dunu's bass is lacking compared to the EPH-100, however the Dunu has better bass clarity than the EPH-100, or tight I might say.
    5. One of the earphones I can safely use when I want to listen a "God-speed-fast-kicking-double-bass-pedals" without causing my ears to bleed.
    6. The mid is clear and it's not recessed nor forward. The vocal and instrument sound more distant than the Dunu and less "in-your-face". EPH-100's guitar instruments lack of the bite and edges compared to Dunu. 
    7. The treble is less brighter but has that small presence of low-treble / upper-mid. Still, the treble is far smoother and less hotter than DN-2000, yet less detailed too. Importantly, it never sound too peaky nor metallic.
    8. The soundstage of EPH-100 rivals the DN-2000. The EPH-100 has better depth probably because EPH-100 has more bass impact and quantity. The separation is nearly as good as the Dunu.
    9. One main problem with EPH-100 is its speaker durability. The speakers are prone of getting clogged with sweat. Yet after listening for a long time in about two hours, one side of the speaker, left side, have died out  for four times, in which one side has reduced to 90% of the normal volume. However, the speaker resurrected on its own after waiting for a while, or being magnetized- possibly the speaker is prone of being fatigued and needed to rest.
     
     
    JVC HA-FXT90 - unmodified. Uses stock tips. -$70
     
    1. The FXT90 needs some time to get used with the fit and comfort is just okay. It requires shallow fitting. Yet, required long time for burn-in to soften that edgy treble, in about +200 hours. It has tendency to have driver flex.
    2. The Dunu cable has similar suppleness of FXT90's. 
    3. The FXT90's bass is punchy but somewhat lacking in rumble compared to the DN-2000. The FXT90 has little more emphasis on the mid-bass but its sub-bass is less present than the DN-2000.  I prefer the DN-2000 bass to the FXT90. Surprisingly, the Dunu has more bass impact than the FXT90.
    4. The mid feels more recessed with the FXT90. Though both has good liveliness and energy on guitar instruments, the FXT90 sounds little too harsh and edgier than the DN-2000 (noticeable when played loudly). Vocals are simply drier (especially in female singers) and more distant-sounding. It's tonality is less lush too. Both never sound sibilant.
    5. The treble of FXT90 is similar to the Dunu in which peaky cymbals are attenuated. However, it is less extended. The treble is bright but not as "pleasantly bright" as the Dunu. The treble is less refined and harsher in FXT90, in my opinion.  
    6. FXT90 soundstage is average and not as expansive as the Dunu but the depth and height are good. The FXT90 retains excellent musical separation but the Dunu has far better 3D presentation.
    7. The FXT90 isolation is poorer than the Dunu.
     
     
    ***Note: I could go on comparing more earphones all night but to put into words, none of my collections could rival the soundstage, separation, and transparency of the DN-2000. Also it is possible that the DN-2000 is the only hybrid (yet nicely tuned) earphone I have, so it has its own unique quality. If one wishes to hear more about comparison, you could look under my user profile which lists all earphones I have. I'd be happily to compare some for you.
     

    Conclusion:

     

    Dunu DN-2000 is the first hybrid earphone I have and truthfully it is one heck remarkable earphone. The cable, the build quality, and the sound justify what a $300+ earphone should be. The cable is very supple and light; yet it can be looped over the ears easily. The housing is made solidly from a metal and never feel cheap. However, the main concern of the earphone is the weight though the Dunu provides extensive kits for comfortable wear like the ring, fins, and ear-tips selection. For me, the weight will not be a much problem if it is worn over-the-ear. More importantly, the included tips are sufficient for everyone to get good fit and seal, which is a huge plus so one would not need to spend time tip-rolling.
     
    Overall, its sound is very balanced across the spectrum. It has adequate bass body that never be lacking, clear midrange, bright tonality, and brilliant treble that never be harsh. Although its sound falls between the analytic and fun quality, it still retains that "wow" factors and liveliness; which is quite a feat. The clarity, soundstage, transparency, and musical separation are absolutely phenomenal -  they are completely different than any earphones I own. The sound continually impresses me in a long run because it just sounds great with every genres I threw at.The Dunu DN-2000 demonstrates that a good sounding earphone does not necessarily need a load of bass but it needs a good balance among the frequencies.
     
    The DN-2000 receives my strong recommendation for anyone who is seeking for a hybrid earphone. It is a worth investment for beginners, treble-sensitive listeners, and even the bass-heads who are welcome to hear refined and mature sound. Yet, the Dunu is a worthy earphone for those who want to experience a spacious sounding earphone; however, those who prefer intimate, closed sounding, or dark signature may opt for DN-2000.  Lastly, I would not recommend it as a main exercise earphone because of the weight and its high tendency to scratches and dents. The earphone is good when used for main stroll, daily housework, and stationary cardio workout like the bike and elliptical.
     
    Although the DN-2000 is considered a top-tier earphone, a new Dunu DN-2000J will be released in this year 2015 and I am eager to hear how the DN-2000 successor will sound! An upgrade of an already fantastic earphone. The limit of the sound quality is truly endless.
     
    Thanks for reading, and tune in next time!
     
     
     
     
    Reference:
     
    1. Williams, Andrew. “Atomic Floyd Superdarts Titanium review”. Trusted Review. Dec 2014. http://www.trustedreviews.com/atomic-floyd-superdarts-titanium-review

    2. Lin0003. “An Excellent but flawed IEM”. Head-fi.org. May 2014. http://www.head-fi.org/products/t-peos-h-300-3-way-hybrid/reviews/11077

    3. D_marc0. “T-PEOS H-300 Review: The Could've Been...”. D marc0's Journal: My Head-fi Journey. Head-fi.org. April 2014. http://www.head-fi.org/t/694003/d-marc0s-journal-my-head-fi-journey-new-sennheiser-urbanite-xl-review/300#post_10430476

    4. Djvkool. "Looking for Mr Perfect? Please meet Mr DUNU DN-2000". Head-fi.org. May 2014.http://www.head-fi.org/products/dunu-dn-2000-hybrid-3-way-earphone/reviews/11005

    5. Thatonenoob. " [Poor Man Reviews] Dunu's DN-2000 ". Head-fi.org. Oct 2014. http://www.head-fi.org/products/dunu-dn-2000-hybrid-3-way-earphone/reviews/11768
    d marc0, fnkcow, hqssui and 1 other person like this.
  2. Brooko
    4.0/5,
    "DN-2000 : Silky SQ, slightly rough fit"
    Pros - Build quality, SQ, balance, soundstage and imaging, clarity, accessory range, design innovation (for the most part)
    Cons - Long term comfort, microphonics, no lip on nozzle
    For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images
    INTRODUCTION
     
    Because I’ve been involved with some review samples with my Australian brethren in the last couple of years, I’ve had the chance to hear some IEMs I’ve been curious about in the last year or so, but haven’t been able to (or inclined to) purchase for myself. One of these has been the DUNU DN-2000 – and I’d like to take the opportunity to thank my Ozzie mate Vic for the loaner over the last 5 weeks.  I’ve enjoyed the opportunity immensely.
     
    For this review – I have abridged it slightly (compared to my normal reviews) mainly because the DN-2000 arrived just as an IEM, with the old case from a DN-1000, and no tips – so I can’t evaluate the packaging or accessories. Also – I have grabbed photos from Penon Audio (to cover for missing packaging and accessory shots).  I thank them for having the photo available – and duly give credit at this time.
     
    My introduction to DUNU Topsound (over a year ago) was with their triple hybrid DN-1000, which rapidly became a hit with Head-Fi buyers, and was one of the first triple hybrid IEMs to show that top quality could be achieved at an affordable price. Recently I also reviewed DUNU’s new excellent Titan IEM.
     
    For those who aren’t aware, DUNU Topsound was established in 1994 originally as an OEM supplier to other companies. Since then they have developed their own branded line of high quality earphones, and gone from strength to strength with each release.  They currently have their manufacturing plant in China and head office in Taiwan. They now have more than 100 employees, and market their product range all over the world.
     
    The name DUNU is simply an acronym of the principle design points that the company strives to implement in their product range
    1. Delicate
    2. UNique
    3. Utmost
     
    I thought I’d quote this from their website, as it really does give an insight into what drives the company:
     
    DUNU’s full product catalogue can be found at http://www.dunu-topsound.com/product.html - and their products are supplied through their own storefront (globally) on Amazon.
     
    Although the DUNU DN-2000 arrived to me around 5 weeks ago, I’ve had to split my time with various other review units, so I haven’t had as much time with these as I’d like. But they need to go back “over the ditch” this week – so at this stage I’d estimate around 15-20 hours total with them so far. Read on to find out my personal thoughts on the DUNU DN-2000.  I realise I’m once again late to the party on this one.  Does it improve on the DN-1000, and is it worth the heftier price tag?
     
    DISCLAIMER
     
    I was provided the DUNU DN-2000 as a loaner unit from fellow Head-Fier djvkool. I am in no way affiliated with DUNU and this review is my honest opinion of the DN-2000.
     
    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'.   (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)
     
    I'm a 47 year old music lover.  I don't say audiophile – I just love my music.  Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up.  I vary my listening from portable (Fiio X5, X1 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > coax > NFB-12 > LD MKIV > HP).  I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5/X1 > HP, or PC > Beyer A200p > HP.  My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1 and Sennheiser HD600.  Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs - and up till now it has mainly been with the Fidue A83, Dunu Titan and Altone200. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).
     
    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock.   I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock.  I am particularly fond of female vocals.  I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences.  I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880.
     
    I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher completely transparent.  I do use exclusively redbook 16/44.1 if space is not an issue.  All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences.  I am not a ‘golden eared listener’.  I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 47, my hearing is less than perfect.
     
    For the purposes of this review - I used the DN-2000 straight from the headphone-out socket of my iPhone 5S, X5, and X1.  I also used my Beyer A200p and also the E11K amplifier, but IMO they do benefit from additional amplification.  In the time I have spent with the DN-2000, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (break-in), but am aware that my impression of their sonic footprint has changed over time with use (brain burn-in).
     
    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience.  Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.
     

    THE REVIEW

    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
     
    As I explained earlier, all I will document here is what the DN-2000 normally comes with, and include the pictures from Penon.  I can’t comment further as I have not seen either the retail packaging or accessory package.
     
    DUNU DN-2000 retail box (photo courtesy Penon Audio)
    Accessory range (photo courtesy Penon Audio)

     
    The DN-2000 are packaged in a black retail “book style”. Inside the box you should get (if purchasing from Penon):
     
    1. DN-2000 in-ear earphone
    2. 10 sets of Eartips (inlcuing 1 set of foams, and 3 sets of dual flange tips)
    3. 1 pair of Earhooks
    4. 3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter
    5. 3.5mm Female to 2-pin Male Adapter (airline adaptor)
    6. Aluminum alloy box
    7. 6 pairs of metal adjustment rings
    8. 4 pairs of rubber fitting ‘fins’
    9. 1 Shirt Clip
     
     
    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
     
    (From DUNU’s website)
    Type
    Triple driver hybrid IEM (inner ear monitor)
    Drivers
    1 x 10mm dynamic and 2 x balanced aramature drivers
    Frequency Range
    10 Hz – 30 Khz
    Impedance
    16 ohm
    Sensitivity
    102 dB (+/-2 dB)
    Plug
    3.5mm gold plated (right angled)
    Cables
    1.2m, fixed
    Weight
    22g
    IEM Shell
    Metal– cartridge style

     
    FREQUENCY GRAPH
     

    The frequency graph above is copied from Innerfidelity’s excellent website, and thanks go to Tyll for his ongoing services to the audiophile community in providing these.
     
    What I’m personally hearing from the DN-2000 (which doesn't quite match the graph) is a relatively flat but well extended bass (very good extension to the sub bass), a relatively balanced and quite clear mid-range, and very smooth treble with some roll-off .  The only other thing I’d comment on would be that for me the upper mid-range can sound a little subdued (can give some of my female vocalists a slightly darker sound than I’m used to).
     
    BUILD & DESIGN
     
    The DN-2000 is extremely well made with a polished metal (matte) outer shell in two tone (champagne coloured mid section and silver bass and nozzle).  It is very reminiscent of the DN-1000 both in shape and size. The main body is 12.5mm in diameter (slightly wider at the base), and 20mm from the rear plate to the tip of the nozzle.  The nozzle itself has no lip (to allow fitment of the adjusting rings and is approximately 8mm in length. The nozzle itself is just over 5mm in diameter, and the tip is protected with fine mesh.
     
    Side view - no lip on the nozzle
    Front view and nozzle

     

    On the rear exterior of each shell is Dunu's logo.  L&R markings are quite small, and located on the protrusions for attaching the fitment “fins”, and IMO could have been more prominent / easier to identify.  This is alleviated somewhat by a small bump on the left hand cable (at the relief exit) – making it also easy for non-sighted people to find left from right (top marks DUNU).
     
    Opposite side view showing clip for stability fins
    Rear view

     

    On the side of each body (attached to the base plate) is a small metal “clip” to which you attach the fin for more stability (when worn cable down), or remove and wear cable up. More about this in the “fit” section below.
     
    The cable is a very smooth PVC outer, and appears extremely well put together.  I can't see this breaking any time soon - and it's pretty much tangle free as well.  There is a short (but adequate) cable relief at the DN-2000 shells, Y split, and longer relief at the right angled 3.5mm jack (which is smart phone case friendly).

     
    Excellent Y split and "hidden" neck cinch
    90 deg jack & in-built cable tie (brilliant)

     

    The Y split is rigid, metal, sturdy and practical.  One of the great things about the Y split is that there is enough weight in it to keep the cable pulling down slightly.  The other thing I love about this Y split is that the top section of it detaches to become the chin slider.  The design is simple, very elegant, and works incredibly well.  The other fantastic (to me anyway) design element in the cable is the inclusion of an 'on-cable' cinch (or rubber cable tidy) – the same as used on the DN-1000 and Titan.  This is a really simple mechanism that is unobtrusive - but means that whenever it's time to store the IEMs, the cable is always tidily looped.  For me (being slightly OCD), I simply LOVE this inclusion.  So simple - yet so practical.  
     
    There is a moderately high amount of microphonic noise present with the upper portion of the cable when worn down – but this can be alleviated by using the shirt clip, or tucking under clothes. The microphonics are considerably lessened when worn over ear.
     
    Brilliance of the cable tie - always a tidy coil
    JVC FXD tips fitted - but note wide body and sharp front corner

     

    Before we go into fit, I'll briefly touch on the inclusion of the coloured rings (or spacers).  The DN-2000 is designed to allow you to fit one of three different sized spacers (or fourth option - use none at all) - that then allow the tips to be closer or further away from the body of the IEM.  Changing this theoretically affects the frequency response, and also the insertion depth.
     
    Sound tuning rings
    Sound tuning rings profile

     

    As Vic’s DN-2000 didn’t come with any rings, I used the ones from my DN-1000 which are exactly the same. Once again, I tried different settings and different tips - and whilst I like the idea (it definitely has tweaking options for the enthusiasts here), I wonder how effective it is.  I tried all of the different rings, eventually removing them all together - but to be honest I found that any change in frequency response (for me) was marginal and I doubt I could tell anything in a proper blind test.  It's also likely that the few mm change between rings would be nullified by the actual change in fit each time you use them (ie I guarantee that my insertion depth with the same rings will be different almost every time I use them). One other thing I noticed with the rings is that on tips like the JVC FXD tips, the inner sleeve of the FXDs would often slide right over the rings rendering them ineffective anyway.
     
    Anyway - nice idea - but leads to one of the design issues I have with the DN-2000.  By allowing for the change of rings, they can't accommodate a lip on the nozzle.  Because of this - anyone trying for a really good seal / deep insertion with some of the tips may very well find themselves removing the DN-2000 from your ears, and finding the tips still in your ears.  This doesn't happen for me with comply foams (they stick on the DN-2000 pretty well), but I found that with virtually any silicone tips (including the JVC FXD tips), I often had to go fishing (in my ears) for the missing tips.  It happened often enough to be very annoying.  If I was to have my choice between tip stability and tweakability with the rings, the rings would be discarded.  Others may have different ideas.
     
    FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
     
    I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. My normal go-to with the DN-2000 would be Comply T400s.  I know they work, and they manage (most of the time) to stay on the nozzles.  However I was recently given a set of JVC FXD tips (L) from another Head-Fier (Bram), and I have to say, these go extremely well with the DUNU earphones (DN-1000 and DN-2000), providing a fantastic seal, and very good sound. So for the remainder of the review I simply used these.
     
    JVC FXD fitted - note protruding clip with fins removed
    JVC FXD fitted - when they compress, sharpish front edge irritates this wearer

     

    Either over ear, or cable down, they fit very flush, and would be OK to lie down with – but I couldn’t sleep for long with these.  This leads to the second and third design flaws (IMO). First let’s talk about the fins.  Brilliant idea – and works really well.  Basically they tuck inside the antihelix and help stabilise the DN-2000 inside your ear.  This works wonderfully for me, and the fins provide no discomfort for me personally. My issue with comfort is two-fold.  Firstly the body is quite wide, and after an hour I begin to feel physical discomfort just outside the entrance to my ear canal.  It is the large width that is causing it.  Secondly, in my preferred cable up position – removing the fins allows the metal fastener to be exposed, and this causes some serious discomfort within a relatively short time (within the first hour). I understand the update to the DN-2000 (the DN-2000J) will address the issue of the girth of the body, and I’m really looking forward to the changes it makes.
     
    Fin stabilising system - works surprisingly well - very innovative
    Fins and attaching clip

     

    Isolation is above average for a hybrid (so far I haven’t seen a vent), and I’d be keen to try these out in an aircraft.  They are not bad in a car with music playing – still some background noise, but not enough to detract from the music. Because of the isolation, there is a bit of bone conduction noise when walking.
     
    So good marks on isolation, and OK on fit – but issues with long term comfort.  Now how does the DN-2000 sound? 
     
    SOUND QUALITY
     
    The following is what I hear from the DUNU DN-2000.  YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline).  Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my Fiio X5 as source, no EQ, no spacers, and JVC FXD tips in use with the cable worn down.  For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the X5 was around 25-30/120 which was giving me around an average SPL around 75 dB and peaks at around 85dB.  I am hitting up to 40 though on tracks with better mastering (eg Tundra).
     

     
    Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.
     
    Thoughts on General Signature
     
    If I was to describe the signature in a few words/phrases – I’d choose the words “balanced” , “clear”, “smooth” and “detailed”.
     
    I’m finding the DUNU DN-2000 to have a nice coherence between bass, midrange and treble – with a quite nice balance overall – just a very slight V shape (mainly sub-bass emphasis). At the ‘sharp end’, I’ve been trying to put my finger on what is happening with the mid-range and treble, because even though it is very clear, and practically grain free (really smooth), I do find it lacking just a little in upper mid-range and lower treble for my tastes.  This gives a very smooth presentation, but can make some of my female vocalists not quite as euphonic as they are on other IEMs (A83), and there is also less sparkle.  On the plus side, male vocals are better, and there is absolutely no sibilance.
     
    Overall Detail / Clarity
     
    For this I always use both Steely Dan’s “Gaucho” and Dire Strait’s “Sultans of Swing” as there is a lot of micro detail in both tracks, and the recording quality for both is excellent.
     
    With Gaucho, this would be quite possibly one of the best presentations I’ve ever heard of this track with an IEM. Sax is detailed, but smooth, vocals are to the front and tonally perfect, and the bass is punchy and well textured. Personally I’d like a bit more cymbal splash – but that is a small critique when the rest of the track is this good.
     
    Switching to Sultans of Swing, and once again wow – this is dynamic and hugely enjoyable. Detail is very good.  The constant background sound is again bass guitar – but it’s not overpowering anything.  Snares are crisp and fast – and Knopfler’s guitar is crisp and compelling – with enough edge to keep things lively. Cymbals again are present and polite rather than emphasised. Best of all, Knopfler’s vocals are just wonderful – again tonally brilliant. A great start. 
     
    Sound-stage & Imaging
     
    For this I use Amber Rubarth’s binaural recording “Tundra”.  I use this because it’s a pretty simple way to get comparative data on sound-stage.
     
    It’s usually difficult to get a reasonable stage size from an inner ear monitor.  The stage is often quite small / close – with an average impression of space.  The DUNU DN-2000 has a good sense of spaciousness for an IEM, and whilst I wouldn’t call the stage overly expansive, it is providing reasonable width and some sense of depth with this track. Imaging is excellent – very clean and clear on positioning.
     
    I also used Loreena McKennitt’s “Dante’s Prayer” and the DN-2000 gives a nice sense of width, but again not quite the depth which is possible with this track.  Again though – the overall presentation is hugely impressive, captivating, tonally brilliant, and with both piano and cello portraying excellent timbre.  Directional cues are again very good (the cello is where it usually is to the right, and piano slightly off center). Loreena’s vocals are nicely centered – but quite intimate.
     
    In this track, the applause at the end is so well presented that with some headphones (HD600) I can actually close my eyes and imagine myself in the crowd.  With the DN-2000, I’m definitely there in the theatre, but maybe not quite in the   audience – they are to the side and front of me. Still it is a very compelling performance, and one I’ve completely enjoyed.
     
    Bass Quality and Quantity
     
    I’ve been spoilt recently with impactful and good quality bass from my other triple hybrid IEMs (Altone 200, DN-1000 and A83), so I was looking forward to seeing how DUNU had tuned the DN-2000 Titan.  The bass on the DN-2000 reaches impressively low (even with my hearing, I could easily hear 25Hz). The bass is very agile and well defined, and I’ve noticed no mid-bass bloom. Bass impact, texture and speed so far have been top notch.
     
    Amongst my test tracks, one of my go-to test tracks is “Bleeding Muddy Waters” by Mark Lanegan.  This blues rock track is dark and brooding – and exposes any mushiness or imbalance in bass cohesion. The DN-2000 was practically perfect with this track, clean and impactful bass, and the gravel in Mark’s voice comes through easily.
     
    I wanted to see how low the bass would go in real music – so switched to Lorde’s “Royals” – and the DN-2000 definitely delivered. When the bass guitar kicks in, there is nice rumble, and the best thing is that the vocals remain sweet, clear, and well defined.
     
    Female Vocals – A Special Note
     
    I have added this section simply because around 60-65% of my music revolves around female vocals – be it jazz, pop, rock, electronic, or even opera.  I’m an unabashed fan.  For me personally, the sign of a successful IEM is how successfully it conveys emotion and timbre with my female vocalists. Other IEMs I’ve owned in the past had sometimes struggled with some of the artists I like – and this includes IEM’s like Shure’s SE535 LE (upper-mids on the SE535 LE were too forward/fatiguing with some tracks).
     
    The one thing I’ve noticed so far has been how well the DN-2000 has handled vocalists like McKennitt and Lorde. But how would it handle some of the tougher artists like Agnes Obel – as some of her recordings can become quite strident or shouty if the mids aren’t quite right.  With the DN-2000, her vocals aren’t as perfectly euphonic as the Fidue A83 or Altone200 (missing some of the upper mid-range maybe) – but the overall presentation while darker than I really prefer is still good enough to be enjoyable.
     
    I then proceeded to play a medley of my other tracks from artists including Christina Perri, Gabriella Cilmi, Florence and the Machine, and Norah Jones. The DN-2000 portrays my female artists very well, again very slightly darker than I’m used to, but nothing onerous or uninvolving. Standout for me was Feist (The Bad In Each other) – the bass was just so dynamic, and the resulting contrast with her vocals was sublime. Quickly summarising, I’d say that while the DN-2000 doesn’t quite beat my Altone or A83 for female vocals, neither does it perform poorly.  Respect from me for well-tuned BA drivers.
     
    Male Vocals
     
    At the other end of the scale sits a lot of my rock tracks. 
     
    The continued theme here was coherence, balance, clarity and impact. The only problem I normally have with my Altones is that whilst they are brilliant with female vocals, they sometimes aren’t so good with male vocals (just don’t convey the lower male vocal range).  Here is where the DN-2000 shine, great tone and timbre on all my rock tracks – and that sub-bass impact just really helps rock overall. 3 Doors Down, Green Day, Breaking Benjamin, Seether – all sound excellent and the vocal quality is superb. When I played Diary of Jane (Breaking Benjamin), there was no guitar distortion (this track can overwhelm some drivers), and the DN-2000 remained clear and detailed.
     
    My litmus test still is Pearl Jam (huge fan). Once again, wonderful vocal presentation, and excellent overall – but missing just a little more cymbal emphasis which I know is there with my HD600s (and definitely with my T1s). This isn’t at all bad though – I’d just love that last little bit of sparkle.  I guess it’s a small price to pay though for the rest of the presentation.
     
    Genre Specific Notes
     
    Again for tracks, albums, artists – please refer to this list:  http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks
     
    Rock – Covered this one above.  In a word, excellent.
     
    Alt Rock – First up (in my usual test rotation) is Pink Floyd’s “Money”, and the DN-2000 delivers pretty good clarity but I’d personally prefer just a little more sparkle. Next is Porcupine Tree’s “Trains”, and this track is very good – not missing anything. The bass impact is wonderful, and the speed and definition of the bass is incredibly good. PT on the DN-2000 is a winner for me.
     
    Jazz / Blues / Bluegrass – Portico Quartet’s “Ruins” is very good displaying nice dynamic contrast, and very good clarity. I did find the sax just perhaps lacking a little body (exhibited a touch of hollowness and stridency), and this was repeated with Miles Davis trumpet in the track “So What”.  Otherwise though, the detail was very good, and the double bass presentation was fantastic. Classic Jazz gets a tick.
     
    Switching to blues, and Bonamassa’s vocals and guitar have always been a favourite of mine. The DN-2000 is stunning with Bonamassa, perfectly blending the emotion of his vocals and the magic of his guitar. I then briefly played Union Station’s “Dust Bowl Children”, and it was very enjoyable. Once again for my own personal preferences though, I’d like just a smidge more upper mid-range and lower treble (a little more sparkle).
     
    Rap / EDM / Pop / Indie – Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” surprised me.  I was expecting to maybe be left wanting on the bass impact, but the quality of the bass is so good that it just perfectly fits with this track. It is in’t bass head quantity by any means – but it definitely has slam. I’m again impressed. Sticking with the bass heavy tracks, and queueing some Trance (Armin), and EDM/Electronic (Linday Stirling & Little Dragon), once again the overall quality of the bass, and the fact that it is sub-bass oriented makes it eminently enjoyable.
     
    Straight Pop is next – and the DN-2000 easily delivers wonderful renditions of Adele and Coldplay. The stand out once again though is Amanda Marshall’s “Let it Rain”, and (like the Titan) this was a genuine “wow” moment.  This track has a holographic feel to it (the way it was recorded). The DN-2000 really does go nicely with Marshall’s vocals, and there is nothing in this track that feels out of place or contrived. I could listen to this sort of presentation for hours (comfort aside).
     
    For Indie, I listened to both Band of Horses and Wildlight. The DN-2000 was brilliant with the former, and just a little short of perfect euphonic sweetness with the latter (close though).
     
    Classical / Opera – I’ll keep this short as it is more of the same. Wonderful sense of space, dynamics, timbre and tone. Standouts for me – Kempff’s solo piano and Keating’s cello. Pavarotti was also extremely good, while Netrebko and Garanca (with the Flower Duet) were just a hint darker than I’m used to.
     
    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
     
    I covered this in the introduction – but to me the DN-2000 definitely doesn’t need any extra amplification. They were easily powered out of all my portable devices.  I also performed my standard test – volume matched, and then compared the X1 and X1+E11K. There was no real change in dynamics to these ears. 
     
    QUICK COMPARISON OTHER IEMS
     
    I’ll make this quick as the review has already become overly long. I’m anticipating questions regarding the DN-2000 in comparison to my other triple hybrids (Altone 200, DUNU DN-1000 and Fidue A83), so here are my very quick (very subjective) thoughts:
     
    • DN-2000 vs DN-1000

      Similar balance. But the DN-1000 actually sounds a little brighter in the upper end (more sparkle), whilst the DN-2000 sounds just as clear, but a little more refined and smoother. DN-1000 seems to have slightly more bass impact, but DN-2000 has more bass quality/definition.
       
    • DN2000 vs Altone200

      Altone is much more V shaped, bassier and brighter. DN-2000 sounds fuller, darker, but overall more balanced. Altone has more comparatively bass impact, and sounds slightly clearer – but also thinner. The Altone is much more comfortable to wear – it isn’t close!
       
    • DN2000 vs A83

      The contrast between these two is interesting.  For overall balance I’d give it to the DUNU. The A83 is still full bodied, but you really notice the dip in the lower mid-range after listening to the DUNUs for a while. The A83 comparatively are brighter, and also bassier.  When listening to male vocals, the DN-2000 sound more coherent and more realistic. When listening to female vocals though, the A83 are still stunning, and for my tastes the tables are completely turned.

    DUNU DN-2000 - SUMMARY

    I’d been looking forward to trying the DN-2000 for a while.  I’d read some of the reviews when they first came out, and hoped to be able to review them, but up until now, the opportunity never presented itself. I’m so glad I’ve had the chance though, and my sincere thanks goes to Vic for giving me some quality time with them.  Once again the generosity among fellow Head-Fiers (and within the Head-Fi community) is wonderful.
     
    To sum up -
     
    The DUNU DN-2000 is a relatively well balanced (both frequency and tonality) hybrid IEM.  It has excellent bass quality and quantity, good clarity, and vocal presentation (both male and female), and exhibits reasonably good sound-staging, and very good imaging. Its treble is very smooth and grain free – but I personally find it lacking a tiny bit of sparkle. In short, it is a genre master, and very enjoyable IEM sonically to listen to.
     
    Its build and innovative features are on the most part excellent – with very good implementation of the new ear stabilising fins, and I think everyone already knows that I love the attached cable tie.
     
    Where the DN-2000 misses the mark for me is in overall comfort (too big, with a sharpish edge), and also with the nozzle having no lip.  I love the sound of the JVC FXD tips on the DN-2000 but unless I’m very careful, they invariably stay in my ears if I’m taking them out in a hurry. Given the arguably insignificant benefits of the spacers, is it time to go back to something more conventional?
     
    So big question – would I recommend the DUNU DN-2000?
     
    On sonics alone – yes.  It is one of the best sounding earphones I’ve heard in this category.  The A83 and DN-2000 are natural competitors on this turf – with both having wonderful SQ performance. However for current long-term comfort issues, I’d be cautious – and I’m afraid even if I could currently afford the DN-2000, I’d be ultimately saying no. Others may not have this problem – but for me it is very real.
     
    Thanks again to Vic for the opportunity to try them.  4 stars from me – based on sonics, build, and innovation.  Only points off really are for my personal comfort issues and those darn nozzles.
     
    RECOMMENDATIONS TO DUNU
     
    I know you are currently working on the DN-2000J – with a smaller overall body, and titanium drivers (which will hopefully give it a little more upper end sparkle).  I look forward to trying these when they are released because you have made a really wonderful sounding earphone with the DN-2000.  If you did want a solution for the nozzles – can I suggest going with a screw in nozzle in 3 different lengths (interchangeable).  It would give people the ability to tune the sound – but allow you to go back to incorporating a lip on the nozzle again. It also then gives you a chance to look at internal filtering options as another attraction.  The combination of mozzle length and internal filter would be unique, and fit your Company motto well.
     
    This idea given freely, and if adopted the only thing I’d like would to be to try the new release.
     
    djvkool, H20Fidelity and Uberclocked like this.
  3. YoYo JoKeR
    5.0/5,
    "DUNU DN-2000: A great Three Way IEM"
    Pros - Sound Quality, Build Quality, Comfort, Value.
    Cons - Cable could have been braided.


    Me: I am a 21 year old Engineering student living in a small town in India. I would like to call myself a music enthusiast, rather than an audiophile. I was inspired by music since childhood, and as the time passed, the passion of music grew in me, and that subsequently led me to join Head-Fi. Eventually, I found the pleasure of listening to music mainly by the HD600 and recently, by the seductive LCD2 headphones, and realized the true components of recorded music. I usually like to listen to Indian Classical Music along with Bollywood songs. My main listening genres include classical, vocal, instrumental, jazz and sometimes pop.
     

     
    Intro:  Dunu-Topsound, or simply known as Dunu, is a famous Chinese IEM manufacturer. The brand was established in 1994 as an OEM parts maker; it has evolved since then to manufacture full scale IEM’s and has earned the esteemed ISO-9001 certificate. The DN2000 (popularly known as DN2K) is the flagship In Ear Monitor offering from Dunu. DN2000 is the big brother of the famed DN1000.
     
    Dunu: Delicate, Unique & Utmost
     

     
    Specifications of DN2000 as per Dunu:
     
    Drivers: 1X Dynamic, 2X Balanced Armature
     
    Rated Impedance: 16 Ω
     
    Frequency Range: 10Hz-30 kHz
     
    Noise Attenuation: 26dB
     
    Pressure level: 102dB
     
    Plug: 3.5mm Gold Plated
     
    Cable: 1.2m
     

     
    Let us see what the DN2000 has got for us,
     
    Packaging and Accessories: The DN2000 arrives packed inside a strong and sleek Dunu style flip-open black cardboard box, on which features and other information have been mentioned upon. Once the box is flipped open, The DN2K housing shell is seen resting inside a transparent window, the rest of cable and the accessories are packed inside the hard case. I can confidently say that Dunu has done some real premium packaging out here. The hard case can be lifted off to reveal the storage compartment, in which all the included accessories are present. Huge amounts of accessories included in the package, and again are made up of good quality. Packaging is done in a premium way “The Dunu Style” Really nice and satisfying.
     

     

     

     

     

     

     
    List of accessories in the box, which include the following: 
     

     
    Eartips: Plenty varieties of good quality eartips are included to fit almost any kind of ears; pair of foam tips are also included.  
     
    Wings: These have the job of securing the DN2K on our ears and make sure they don’t fall off.
     
    Ear Hooks: These come in to play when DN2K is worn upside down, securing the cable over out ears.
     
    Shirt Clip: To reduce microphonics and to secure the hanging cable to the shirt.
     
    ¼” Converter: To plug in the DN2K in the 6.5mm headphone jacks.
     
    Airplane adapter: To plug in on the airplane entertainment systems, when on flight.
     
    Spacers: 1.1mm 1.2mm 1.0mm coloured rings are included to adjust the gap between eartips and driver nozzle, thereby tweaking the final sound quality.
     
    Hard metal case: This aluminium case is supplied to protect and store the DN2K.
     
    User Manual & Warranty card: Contains instructions to operate the DN2K and other warranty information.
     

     
    Design and Build: The DN2000 has an excellent overall build quality.
     
    The entire housing shell is made up of high quality metal. It is painted in matt golden colour, Feels good and heavy in hand.  The housings shell is actually tiny despite the Tri-driver presence. The nozzle is chromed. Nozzle is slightly long to accommodate spacers.
     

     

     
    Dunu logo is printed on the rear side of the housing shell. Left and Right markings are particularly hard to see, since the L/R markings are very small. We know, DN2K is a hybrid IEM, and employs well acknowledged Knowles balanced armature drivers. DN2K has three drivers on each side connected in a three way configuration. 1X Dynamic driver for lows, 1X BA driver for mids, 1X BA driver for highs.
     
    There is an arm stretching out of the main driver housing shell. The function of this arm is to hold ‘wings’ which are provided as accessory. The wings will sit on the outer part of ear, and hold the DN2k firmly in its place during rigorous head movement. (It looks very similar to one used in Bose IEM’s)
     
    Cable has a very good build. It is light, flexible and does not get tangled. Cables have almost zero microphonics. Cable slider is embedded inside the Y splitter. The lower part of the cable also has a velcro to bind up the lengthy cable. Plug is 90 degree angled and gold plated.
     

     

     

     
    My only concern in the build quality is the cable; I think the cable could have been braided to further secure the connection and longetivity.
     

     
    Comfort:  DN2K is very comfortable to wear, is ergonomically designed, and its cable is light in weight and not heavy. No worries about the stretching arm on the driver housings, as their presence is barely noticeable after sometime of wearing it.
     
    The provided ear tips are well designed and are ear-friendly. The presence of protruding arm does not hinder the comfort. Instead it makes sure of a better fit.
    The ‘wings’ are provided in different sizes according to different ears. Spacer rings function well, and do not take the housing shell too far.
     
    Only issue in comfort being DN2K is slightly heavy, but one can get accustomed to it real soon.
     

     
    Sound: As for the most important part, DN2K has a very natural, expansive and pleasing sound quality. Its three way configuration works like a charm. A very appealing sound.
     
    Lows: are very accurate, tight and strong; have a good impact. Depth is also good enough (but not very good)
     
    Mids: sound very natural, open and appealing, and have a slight lush (like the HD600’s) I guess that is in a good way, comes very pleasing to our ears.
     
    Highs: Very natural, airy, just right amount of sparkle. Highs are well perceived, with not being too smooth to cause a dark sound and not bright to cause sibilance. ‘Just right’
     
    Soundstage: Very relaxed, natural and circular soundstage. Instrument separation is very good, overall feels very airy and spacious. This, I feel is very essential for a comfortable & non fatiguing listen.
     
    The final sound (and comfort) of DN2K can be changed by using different ear tips and space rings.
     
    Silicon ear tips provide the most natural sound. Whereas the foam’s provide the best fit and isolation, but at the cost of comfort (deep insertion). The space rings determine the exact distance the drivers are from our ears. If IEM’s are too far, IEM may fall out of ears, or sound may leak more than optimal. If they are too near, soundstage depth is decrease by a small margin.
     
    Right amount of space rings results in a very excellent sound stage. DN2K puts an fully circular and relaxed stage, which is important for a natural and non fatiguing listen. Using the provided space rings, I can notice, increase in soundstage depth and overall refinement.
     
    Direct competitor to DN2K is none other than the Fidue A83. The A83 is more neutral with an even more relaxed soundstage, and is more comfortable owing to over ear wearing style, and also a comparatively shallow insert than DN2K. Comparing the DN2K with A83, I feel the A83 definitely outperforms the DN2K in terms of neutrality, soundstage. The A83’s are also more relaxing to listen to; whereas the DN2K is slightly more fun to listen to; The A83 is greatly transparent and neutral, with relaxed and natural soundstage. The A83 also wins in cable quality, and ergonomics.
     

     
    Amplification: The DN2K is very easy to drive, (even though it is a three way) and can be driven by almost any sources, smartphones and DAP’s. Balanced Armatures are known to be energy efficient, and low on diet. Although amp like a Objective2 does increases the sound output audibly, the difference in quality is minimal. Amplification factor is not important here, but a clean and transparent source is sufficient to drive the DN2K to their maximum potential.
     

     
    Conclusion:  Without a second thought, DN2000 is a great IEM. It has a very high value aspect, sound presentation simply excellent. It scores as one of the best IEM in 300$. The DN2K is almost a perfect IEM. DN2K is an easy recommendation to any enthusiast who is looking for a quality IEM in 300$ price range. But also check out the Fidue A83 (also a very capable and great IEM)
     
    The Pros: 
     
    1) Build Quality: The DN2K has a great build quality. No compromise to be seen anywhere.
     
    2) Sound quality: Sound quality of DN2K is very natural, expansive, and is like-able my almost anybody.
     
    3) Comfort:  DN2K is quite comfortable to wear for many hours, owing to its customization options and ergonomics.
     
    4) Value: I do not think there are much better performing earphones available within the same price tag as of DN2K, thus making M3 of having a superb price/performance ratio. 
     
     
    The Cons:
     
    1) Cable: Currently, the cable has very good build to it, but it would be more practical step to upgrade to a braided cable.
     

     

     


    Gandasaputra and HungryPanda like this.

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