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Universal Fit item created by pro1137, May 26, 2013
Pros - Balanced Sound, bassy, but detailed
Cons - Harsh upper mid, and weight issues
Dunu by Top-Sound is famous for offering well made and accessorized earphones to IEM's to the market. They are popular on Head-Fi and around the world. With earphone offerings from a wide range of features and prices, many can usually find one that fits their needs. Today we have the new Dunu DN 23 Landmine to review. It is one of the upper echelon's of Dunu products to come out in recent times. It looks a lot like their other earphones and uses many build qualities of their siblings, but make no mistake. For this IEM is about to set off a landmine of its own. I wish to thank Rocky for sending me this review sample.
Read the full review here:
The Red Driver is the 'right' side and the Blue Driver is the left side. You can remember this as Red is right.
The Dunu DN 23's build styles are similar to the DN 22M Detonator and various other earphones that Dunu offers. This means that the driver is thickly made of a metal substance, and the wire is thin and exits straight down without offering any obvious over ear features before terminating into a 3.5mm plug. But of course, the Landmine features its own differences. The driver housing as usual, is heavy, ergonomically sized, and armed with slight colors to back the metallic look. However there is a convex dent in the driver this time around. This doesn't add any weight inbalance issues or anything, its just different from the smooth driver shapes that Dunu usually offers. There is nothing bad to say about the build of the driver unit itself. It's well built with no obvious weakness in structure or anything.
The driver housing although, with its dab of color, great feel, and look does have the same issues that its siblings have. It does get a bit oily after a bit of touching it (depends on your hands of course) and its weight works against it. Dropping the Dunu's down onto the table or anything is not recommended. The weight of the unit also means that fall damage is increased or is an actual cause for concern now. Most people can just let their earphones drop to the table with no problems. But the weight of the drivers is just enough for it to be a cause for concern if dropped while not being enough to cause any slipping out or heaviness while in the ear. I have noted this on every single review sample I have received from them.
The cable is nicely made and is one of my more preferred styles. The cable is silky like angel hair spahgetti, but also offers enough hardness to keep position without whipping around everywhere. It isn't micro-fiber braided and so can offer a bit more water resistance if some does get on it. It is also easy to clean and feels of good quality. The neck slider and cable splitter section is made extremely well. Immediately opening the package, I noticed how good the neck slider apparatus was. It's made of plastic but looks like metal with a silvery DUNU brand sign on it. It looked great, and unlike the DN22, the neck slider went all the way up.
The termination for the plug is V shaped and is made of hard plastic to prevent damage from long term use. The metal cuff at the end near the plug also adds great asthetic values to the units.
This unit is mainly microphonics free. Microphonics is the sound of the cables moving or rustling as you move around. The silky cable eliminates most of it as long as the earphones are fitted properly in the ear. Pulling up the neck slider while going on jogs will eminate the rest.
Isolation and Leak:
The Dunu's are closed and do not offer any ported openings. The heavy metal construction also prevents the majority of leaking or any problems. Of course this is entirely dependent on the user's fit and volume they are listening at. But the DUNU's do a good job of isolating most things in the world.
The DN 23's are some of the easiest headphones to use, put away and store. They do not offer an over ear design, so the driver unit itself is just those two units. The cable is fluid, and the case is small and ergonomic. Putting the units away is as easy as pinching the two unit cables together near the drivers themselves and wrapping them around your hand. Then you just put them in the soft-shell case taking note of the indent and voila. The V jack also helps when used on the go with PMP's so that it doesn't 'poke' around your pants if upside down and what not.
These are pretty sensitive. Thus, they do not need an amp to drive, but depending on who you are and how loud you listen. It could be good to use an amp to get lower volumes. As an iPod at half volume already outputs a good amount of sound through these. So be wary and always start with very low volume as you initially listen.
The DUNU DN 23's were used with my custom Project-H amplifier, iPod Touch 2G, FiiO E12 and FiiO X3 DAP. They were burned in for about 15 hours before this review was done.
The DUNU's do not really feature the highs too prominently but they are there. They are hidden away for the most part and show up if the song needs it. They are sharp and bright. This adds to some songs, but they aren't a very proper high frequency range, the resulting frequency is just that. A high frequency noise the helps with the higher pops and hits of the song. The extension is where the majority of the issue or non issue lies. For there really is no high frequency extension past the first ranges of the frequency. Too often, a product tries to add all the frequencies in, this leads to a mess of how they interact with each other, and creates very fatiguing problems. The DN 23's are able to skillfully avoid the problem through its subdued high frequency range. It's just enough to show up and work with most songs, but not enough to be reference class. This however is a feature that I love and would rather most sub $100 headphones use. If you can't do it at this price range(most can't), then don't do it.
-hidden highs, little presence, but smooth for the ranges it does present, good as its non analytical-
The mid range of the DN 23's are quite prominent, instruments hit and they hit hard. Dunu is quite known for a spike in the upper mid range, and that is visible here as well. This allows cymbals, guitars, and other string instruments to have that sharpness to them. Rock genres benefit from the upper mid spike, however it is often done improperly. This happens when its not smooth, the spike is too high, or the speed of the mid range isn't able to keep up with the instruments. I am personally sensitive to upper mid spikes, these thus for most rock do get fatiguing for me. It isn't a problem if the mastering is good, but most modern rock isn't, and that is where the problem lies. The mid instruments are more prominent in presentation than the vocals and thus a bit more weight to them in how they sound.
The instruments own detail is quite average. You can indeed hear what is being played, but they don't personally stand out. The upper mid spark brings them alive, but they are still overall a bit dull. The seperation however is quite good if the recording is good. They don't mush together and do allow themselves to be discriminated from others.
Overal, I'd say that the mid range is done wonderfully and it is thanks to its slightly dulled qualities. This is not a reference earphone, however it does work well with songs that are mastered well. The slight dulling allows it to be more compatible with a wide range of genres. Bad mastered rock is still going to be a problem with the Landmine's due to the upper mid spike, but for the most part, it is masterfully done for a big range of genres.
-prominent mids, upper mid sparkle, average detail but upper mid instruments are sharp, multi-genre able-
The vocals are quite forward but are a bit dull. The lower and mid vocal range is a bit more laid back (its already forward) whilst the upper vocals do have that sparkle that the upper mid spike also gives them. This means that as they go to hit the high notes, the vocals do 'shine' and bring themselves out. This works quite well for classic rock genres and hip hop as it allows for the singer to be front and center. However, I would like it more if the vocals distinguished themselves from the rest of the song. The vocals are very close the the mid range instruments and the seperation is just enough to tell them apart, but not enough for a truly spacious feel.
-close to the mids, but forward and are brings out the singer, average separation, lack of space-
The DN 23's are a bassy headphone, but the bass doesn't overwhelm the rest of the ranges. The mid bass does slightly intrude into the vocal and mid range areas as they will get a bit muddied up, but its only slightly, and only if the song is a fairly bassy one needless to say. For the most part however, they work well with the song and provide bass when needed and don't go overboard when there isn't need for them. The mid bass thump is fairly prominent and is what is the most prominent in this range. The upper mids are there and offer a good basis for the low end after the mids, but the mid bass is really what is there. The sub bass and extension however is a bit poor after the mid bass, they don't dig deep and don't offer the same kind of presentation as the mid bass. The bass operates when a needed 'oomph' is required in the song, but doesn't intrude when there isn't a need for it. The bass is tuned wonderfully for the Landmine.
-mid bass centered, poor sub bass and extension, works with the song to fullfill the bass role without going over-
Overall: The DN 23's work well with a majority of genres. The upper mid spike allows for artists and instruments to sound sharper, but are personally too much for me and thus are fatiguing. Many are not like this, and with great mastered tracks, the upper mid sparkle is fantastic. Instruments are really brought to life and the artists are prominent in their sonic reproduction. The lack of high end extension or quality is fine with me, as its not totally gone and still helps well with the sound. Overall, I'd say that the DN 23 is a very well put together unit that balances the 3 ranges out well enough to sound good with a big portion of music. If you don't get fatigued by sharp mid ranges, then these are great headphones for you as they offer a good sound for the price
F Responce: 16Hz to 22KHz
Sound Pressure Level: 120+-2dB at 1KHz/1Vrms
Impedence: 16 ohms
Noise Attenuation: 26dB
Plug Type: 3.5mm Gold platted
Cord length: 1.2m
Build Quality: 8/10 (for drop potential)
In ear feel: 8/10
Sound quality: 8.5/10
Pros - Bass, bass and bass. Sweet and delicate highs.
Cons - See Pro’s. Its sound sig is highly flavoured.
DUNU DN-23 Landmine Quick Review
Full Review at http://www.head-fi.org/t/676274/dunu-dn-23-landmine-review
Thanks to DUNU for the sample.
Brief: An awe inspiring bass cannon.
Price: US$85 or €79 (£68)
Specification: Type HQ (10mm), Sound pressure level 120+-2dB, Impedance 16 ohms, Frequency response 16 Hz - 22 KHz, Noise Attenuation 26dB, Weight 28g, Plug Size 3.5mm Gold-plated, Cord Length 1.2 m
Accessories: Everything. A hard case, a soft baggy, a bunch of tips, 6.25 to 3.5 mm jack, aircraft adapter, shirt clip, and of course the greatly useful built in cable tie.
Build Quality: Nothing short of excellent. DUNU have about the best build quality you’ll see anywhere.
Isolation: Rather good for a dynamic. It’s sealed so you block out enough for most day to day things, not really quite up to daily Tube commutes or trips to New Zealand. As ever easily enough to get you run over if our not looking where you’re going.
Comfort/Fit: Great, no issues what so ever despite it being a sealed dynamic.
Aesthetics: The finish on them is superb, that high lustre, burnished near black outer looks good. It’s probably more subtle than some would like but it’s, in my opinion, first rate. I also greatly like the red and blue accents on the buds. In short they tick the boxes of everything I like visually in an IEM.
Sound: BASS!!!!!!! I could really leave that as the full review and I don’t think it would be overly remise to do so. The bass is entirely what the DN-23 is about. It’s of an excellent quality being both highly impactful and full bodied enough to do essentially any bass style you should ask of it. Fast punchy dancy pop or smooth, rich, sombre jazz it can do with equal effortlessness, but it’s still a bass cannon. There is a lot of bass. Lots and lots and then lots more on top and it never really goes away. The mids and highs are very competent. The mids are rich and flowing, the highs detailed, sweet and delicate. I could say much praise worth about the highs but it’s all about the bass. Just so much bass, so much power! I haven’t the slightest fear that there are not loads of people that want just this sort of bass. It is awesome.
Awesome if you want a magnificent bass beast. Less so if you don’t really want the bass overshadowing the rest. It’s a bit of a shame as the rest of the sound spectrum is very competent particularly the highs, them I really liked. It’s a very flavourful sound you’re getting here and as long as you’re happy with that flavour you’re on to a winner here.
Value: Great bundle as always. Superb build too. Sound is great but highly bass centric so great if you want that, if you want more balance then it’s not really the IEM for you.
Pro’s: Bass, bass and bass. Sweet and delicate highs.
Con’s: See Pro’s. Its sound sig is highly flavoured.
Pros - lots of accessories, solid build
Cons - heavy
Points of Reference
home: modded Hifiman HE-6, custom Beyer COP w/T50rp drivers
portable: VSonic GR07, Nuforce NE-770, modded Sennheiser Amperior, modded Pioneer HDJ-2000
The Landmine comes with a generous array of accessories. Included are the usual adapters for 6.5mm and airline use, a shirt clip, *two* carrying cases (one hard, one soft), and a whopping ten pairs of tips to fit a wide assortment of ears. All the tips share the same silicon texture, and come in varying sizes and stiffnesses, and one set of double flanges. I was hoping there would be a foam one in there, but alas no.
There's also a card to write down when you send it in for repairs/warranty. Um, ok, I guess a little foresight never hurt.
Build Quality and Cabling
These are very solid feeling iems, with a nice metallic form factor and a bit of heft. I do find them a bit heavy though. The splitter and chin slider are a nifty assembly that actually took me a while to realize that it actually came apart. The jack itself is at 45° and seems reasonably well built with a slim form factor.
The cable isn't anything out of the ordinary. Just the right thickness to it, good flexibility, low memory (though still little kinks). The strain relief on the jack is good, allowing a mild degree of flex. I wish the strain relief on the earpieces were a little softer to distribute the stresses over a wider area.
Microphonics are rather low, which was surprising as I didn't notice anything particularly special about the cable. I think perhaps the tip I chose actually made a difference here. In any event, with music playing the cable noise was pretty much a non-issue for me. Wearing the cable over the ear only made a slight difference.
There's a cable wrap built in to the cable which is a nice touch. I kinda wish it were detachable though, so I can pilfer it and use it with other iems or headphones.
With the wide assortment of tips, I did manage to find one pair that fit me reasonably well (the small stiffer one with orange centre). This is a rarity for me, as I have a notoriously difficult time getting iems to fit me properly. As such, these actually provide an above average isolation for me. On the flip side, the stiffer materal does make them feel a bit “tight” and took me a bit more time to get used to. Even then I don't like to have them in for more than an hour.
The weight also factors in to a bit of discomfort as they do literally feel heavy, and they can eventually dislodge when walking unless you wear the cable over your ear. Even then, I have smallish ears to the cable wasn't quite flexing enough to form comfortably around my ear. It wasn't bad mind you.
I actually didn't even know the price of these when I picked them up for review. Upon first listen, my initial thoughts were “well, sounds like a $60-80 iem”. So then I looked them up and the MSRP is $80. Guess I was spot on there.
First of all, the Landmine are very sensitive. You do not want to run these off any sort of amp with high gain. Anything with a noise floor is also pretty much out of the question. It also sucks if your amp is susceptible to interference, because that gets very very loud (as a random aside, my cell phone interference sounds like an Atari game... assuming you kids even know what an Atari is). While the higher sensitivity means louder sounds and typically better battery life for your portable device, I
If I had to sum up my sonic impressions here: decent performance, “consumer” oriented sound.
Bass resolution is average. It reaches quite deep and has some decent body to it, but lacks a strong punch. Turning it up just makes it muddy. Electronica comes through quite well here. I got the sense that it was more of a bass shelf rather than midbass hump. Either that or the hump is exceedingly wide across the entire range (so a bit like the typical Senn HD600/650 shape). If I had to hazard a guess, it feels like the entire bass shelf is about +6dB up.
Moving into the mids, the transition is quite smooth and gently slopes down. Since there's no sudden drop, there isn't that typical midrange recession that some may be familiar with, but the sound will seem a little less defined in the vocal range due to the stronger bass and midbass presence. There isn't much else that particularly stands out about the mids here.
As we move into the upper mids, there's a brief drop before it start slowly climbing to the first low treble peak. This would be my main gripe with the sound. Clarity isn't the greatest for vocals or strings. The tones are there, but lack definition. At the same time though, they also have a really heavy weight to them due to that broad treble peak. On headphones with narrower peaks this may manifest as ringing or a sharpness that can be grating. In this case though, it's not so much a sharpness as it is like a slow pressure build. It's fatiguing, but in a different way. In a way it actually lends quite well to percussion and cymbals as they hit hard and fast.
So my feel for the overall sound is that it is a literal V-shape. Gentle slope down from an elevated bass, then a gentle slope up in the low treble. After that it's the typical treble wobble, and here all bets are off because the shape of your ear canal takes over. I only noticed one other peak after the first one, so overall control and resonances seems good.
Overall soundstage is decent but nothing to write home about. For me, I find most of my sense of staging comes primarily from the upper mids, so obviously with the dip then treble peak things won't sound quite right. There was also a very slight channel imbalance in mine (with the right side riding ever so slightly higher around the 1-2kHz range), so that was affecting my sense of stage as well. I'm sure most people wouldn't even notice that, but I'm playing through specific test tones and sweeps for the sake of this review.
Now all this makes it sound like I'm ragging on the sound, and in a way I sort of am, but I'm not done. All the above was listening at home, running through an iBasso D10.
Playing through a Nuforce HDP, things were different. The gain was too high so I had almost no useable range on the pot, but the sound was much groovier. The higher output impedance made the Landmine even more bass sloped and drummed down the treble... but you know what? That's ok. Now we're at a thumpy groovy sound and it's just fun to listen to.
On the go I played through just my Sansa Fuze. It wasn't too different from the D10, but while outside the V shape is actually more suitable. The midrange is what your ear is naturally acclimated to, and you lose the top and bottom when there's external noises coming in. So the boost from the Landmine actually helps give a more even sound when out and about, with a welcome bass presence and a treble that no longer felt heavy. Overall, I enjoyed these far more when used outside than indoors.
- generous selection of tips and accesories
- good build quality
- good fit and isolation
- low microphonics
- heavier than average
- V-shaped sound: gentle slopes on both sides
- deep but only moderately punchy bass
- very broad treble peak gives a non-resonant but heavy pressure feeling
- better for on the go rather than home listening
Pros - Solid value for the $85 MSRP, Generous accessories, Outstanding DUNU build quality, Nice cable with minimal memory effects.
Cons - Metal construction might be too heavy for some, Cable is quite microphonic, No foam tips included.
DUNU Landmine DN-23 Review by TrollDragon
This is my third review for the Chinese IEM manufacturer DUNU, in this review I will be looking at the Landmine DN-23 in-ear monitor.
DUNU provides aesthetically pleasing packaging which is consistent across their complete product line. The packaging consists of an outer sleeve that has a picture of the Landmine DN-23’s on a totally black background. When the sleeve is removed, the box underneath, complete with side flap and magnetic catch, opens to reveal the DN-23’s in a very pleasing manner with the hard storage box below.
The Box Contents:
The Landmine DN-23 IEM’s
Rigid EVA protective case with a DUNU logo zipper pull.
Soft leather-like draw string pouch
Airline Adapter (Does anyone even use these?)
3.5mm to 6.5mm Adapter
Sony Hybrid’s in S/M/L
Large Bore’s in S/M/L
Double Flange in M
Warranty / Maintenance Card
(I would still like to see some foam tips in a S/M/L included with newer product.)
The DUNU Landmine DN-23
The Specifications of the DUNU Landmine DN-23
SPL 120 +-2dB
Impedance 16 Ohm
Frequency Response 16Hz~22KHz
Noise Attenuation 26dB
Cord Length 1.2m
Plug Type 3.5mm (45° Angle)
Like the Detonator DN-22M which I have previously reviewed, the DN-23’s are manufactured very well, the body is all metal, hence the 28g weight. The chrome finish on these is extremely well done; DUNU logoed aluminum end caps provide a nice touch. A red and green band around the body of each earphone denotes the R and L designations.
A non detachable cord terminated with a 45° angled 3.5mm TRS jack has a rubbery coating and very little memory, it is a nice rubber coating that does not stick to everything like silicone does.
The Y Splitter and slider have a nice aluminum look to them and the slider moves very smoothly on the cable.
Standard DUNU cable management is included on the cable and is a handy feature for keeping the cable in check. As you wrap the cable around your fingers the cable strap holds everything together with no tangle when you want to use the DN-23’s again. I have found the cable to be quite microphonic.
I tested these with the Colorfly C3 and an iPod Nano 3rd Generation, the two players had absolutely no problems driving the DN-23’s to well above a tolerable listening level.
I even plugged the DN-23’s into the FiiO E11 that is always strapped onto the C3 and there was a very prominent hiss to them. I was just testing out the Bass Boost on the E11 with these, a resistance adapter will solve the hiss problem on the E11 but you really don’t need an amplifier at all.
To quote Wreckx-N-Effect
“All I wanna do is zoom-a-zoom-zoom-zoom and a boom-boom”
The bass on these just deliciously sweet, I just kept digging out Bass-centric music to throw at them and they performed flawlessly.
I tested these with the following albums:
Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five: Greatest Message’s
Bob Marley and the Wailers: Personal Compilation
A State of Trance 500: CD2 Mixed by Paul Okenfold
Infected Mushroom: Army of Mushrooms and Friends on Mushrooms Volume 1
Juno Reactor: Shango and Gods & Monsters
Daft Punk: Random Access Memories
Metallica: Self Titled (The Black Album)
Rammstein: Made In Germany
Led Zeppelin: Mothership
Plus many more throughout the test period.
To my absolute enjoyment, I have found the DN-23’s to have the familiar V shape of the Ultrasone HFI-780’s that are my current goto headphones for EDM and other bass-centric music.
The bass on the DN-23’s is a warm and sturdy bass, not the loud overpowering tubby bass of a few other inexpensive IEMs I have tried. The DN-23 could use a little more quantity of bass, but these are not sold with an “Extreme Bass” sticker anywhere to be found on the box. It does have a definite presence that makes one want to dance and bop around… the Daft Punk RAM album will have you up and moving in no time while wearing these. Sweet non sibilant highs that are a pleasure to listen to, the Rush and Rammstein albums that I played sounded very nice with the DN-23's as well as the EDM did.
The DN-23 is another exceptional product from DUNU-TOPSOUND that I will enjoy as my “on the go” IEM, I’m going to refer to these as my mini “Sones” which I do enjoy and they get quite a bit of head time these days. In my opinion there are not many items worth the MSRP, but the $85 asking price is very reasonable and I will recommend them to friends who are looking for a great little IEM.
The metal construction on these is heavy which might be a deal breaker for some, personally I find it gives them a sense of quality as soon as you lift them from the box and this is something that you don’t find in many products these days.
Solid value for the $85 MSRP.
Outstanding DUNU build quality.
Nice cable with minimal memory effects.
Metal construction might be too heavy for some.
Cable is quite microphonic, it can be minimized by wearing over ear and with the clip.
No foam tips included.
Like a good cigar, the DN-23’s are one of life’s little pleasures to be thoroughly enjoyed.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rocky and DUNU for the sample I received for review.
Thanks for reading.
Pros - Smooth, easygoing sound signature, No sibilance, Great accessories, Solid build
Cons - Bass lacks more control than I'd like, Might be too light on the treble for some,
Introduction First, I’d like to thank the folks at DUNU for selecting me to review the DN-23 Landmine IEMs.
DUNU is no stranger to me, as I’ve reviewed quite a few of their products in the past. Now, I have DUNU’s latest release, the DN-23 Landmine. At $80, it slots in below DUNU’s DN-19 Tai-Chi flagship and above the also recently released DN-22 Detonator. So, does the Landmine measure up or is it a dud? Read on to find out.
Accessories: 10 pairs of silicone eartips (Sony Hybrid clones, standard spherical and one pair of biflanges), a shirt clip, Airline adapter, 1/4” adapter, cable winder (connected to the cable), soft drawstring leather pouch and square clamshell carrying case.
Design and Build Quality: The Landmine is similar in build quality to other DUNU IEMs I’ve reviewed like the Hephaes and most closely resembles the Crius, with its metal housings with a slight bulge in the middle to accommodate the driver. That said, the build quality on the whole is excellent, with a thick but flexible cable, a metal Y-split and chin slider, well relieved housings and a nice 45 degree plug and pre attached cable winder.
Comfort: With the Sony Hybrid style single flange tips, I had no problem getting a good fit that remained comfortable over long listening sessions.
Isolation: The Landmine isolates slightly above average. Good, but not quite on the level of balanced armature earphones.
Sound Quality Burn in: The DN-23 Landmine was given 50+ hours of burn in time prior to review. No significant changes were heard.
Being the obvious focus of the sound signature, the low end is expectedly strong with nice extension but tends to put a bit more emphasis on mid bass tones than sub bass. Because of the prominence of the mid bass, the low end can sometimes intrude on the mids but not excessively so.
The midrange is recessed slightly and warm and smooth in character thanks to that big mid bass. On the whole, I find the midrange quite enjoyable and pleasant due to its warmth and total lack of annoying piercing peaks but it is a bit smeared because of the mid bass prominence. Highs are similarly de-emphasized in comparison to the bass. Accompanying a relative lack of sparkle and shimmer, the highs are nicely clear and, like the midrange, free of irritating sibilance peaks.
Truth be told, after reading some other reviews, I was expecting stronger bass than I actually got. That’s not a bad thing, nor does that mean the Landmine is anything short of what I’d call “bassy”. No, the Landmine’s bass sinks in slowly as it lacks a really immediate punch, though it has the authority behind the soft impact to sufficiently rattle your eardrums. The Landmine’s bass is the kind that can catch you off guard. Sneaky, but enjoyable.
Compared to other IEMs like the HiSoundaudio Wooduo 2, the Landmine doesn’t deliver the same kind of seismic impact. I don’t hold that against the Landmine though as, to be frank, nothing I’ve heard can match the Wooduo 2 in terms of sheer impact and power except maybe the Monster Miles Davis Tributes and Future Sonics Atrio M5.
When I was trying to think of how to describe the sound signature, two words immediately popped into my head. Smooth and mellow. And that’s what the Landmine is about. Even its bigger than average bass presence doesn’t distract from that. In many ways, the Landmine reminds me of the atmosphere of a jazz club. Smooth, calm, warm but you’ll definitely notice the bass when it comes out to play.
Monster Miles Davis Tributes
The Landmine offers more mid bass impact and presence with less emphasized sub bass and admittedly less control than the MDT. In terms of overall fidelity, the Landmine just isn’t on the level of the MDT but being less than a quarter of the MDT’s original $399 retail price, I don’t expect it to be, either.
The MH1C and Landmine differ most obviously in the way they handle bass rather than pure quantity. Like the MDT before it, the MH1C is more emphasized in the sub bass regions than the Landmine whereas the Landmine carries more mid bass emphasis. In terms of overall fidelity, I’d give a slight edge to the MH1C but I can’t recommend it wholeheartedly due to its terrible cable and lack of accessories in the bulk packaging you’re likely to find them sold in. If, like me, you’d rather not be bothered with such an irritating cable, just get the Landmine. Even considering the MH1C’s lower price, it’s a pain to use on the go compared to the Landmine.
As one of my benchmarks in the $100 and under price bracket, I’m not surprised that the Landmine can’t measure up overall. It does have a more consumer oriented sound signature with a much stronger low end presence than the RE-400. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if someone were to choose the Landmine over the RE-400 due to the latter’s flatter and more neutral sound, which isn’t for everyone.
Conclusion At $80, the Landmine runs up against some very, very stiff competition as companies continue to deliver better sounding products for less money than in years past but the wealth of included accessories and impressive build quality give DUNU a competitive edge that other companies can’t quite match in many cases, especially within this price bracket.
What we have here is a pair of earphones that delivers great but not exceptional sound for the money. I don’t think anyone would be remiss in purchasing these if they’re looking for powerful bass and a completely fatigue-free listening experience, though I wouldn’t recommend these to treble lovers as these are markedly subdued in that regard.
For fans of Hip-Hop, EDM, Pop and R&B, the DUNU Landmine should definitely be considered as it sounds great with those genres and its added bass thump makes these very fun to listen to.
This review was re-posted from my site, Musical Musings
Pros - Punchy bass, lots of accessories
Cons - Lacks high frequency extension
First off, I'd like to thank Rocky for the chance to review the Dunu DN-23! I received this set as a free review sample I get to keep.
My equipment I'll be used is my Project H Amp/DAC consisting of a custom Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC and an Objective 2 amp with Burr Brown OPA2134 opamp.
My last.fm profile can detail the music I generally listen to: http://www.last.fm/user/mechgamer123
It consists of classic rock, indie rock, modern rock, classical, anime OSTs and music, Jpop, and some electronic thrown in the mix.
I'll start off by talking about the packaging and build quality of the DN-23s. Pictures speak a thousand words, so here are a few thousand words:
The front of the box reminds me of another headphone company that I won't mention, but I won't nitpick the box too much. Not like anyone stares at the box of their new headphones very long before diving in!
Inside, we get an excellent set of accessories including two carrying cases! This is the first time I've seen an IEM with two different cases!
Lots of tips included in the package as well!
Onto the IEMs themselves:
The build quality of the housings is very nice. They definitely don't feel like they'll split in half any time soon. The cable can be a bit microphonic at times though.
The Y-split seems to be made out of aluminum or some other nice metal, and is definitely excellent. While I'm not a huge fan of 45 degree angle connectors, I'll save my rant for another time and say the 3.5mm connector is good as well.
A quick note about isolation as well. These have the best isolation of any dynamic IEMs I've heard in recent memory. This of course depends on which tips are used. With Meelectronics' Tri-flange tips installed, isolation is absolutely stellar.
If I were to summarize the DN-23's overall sound signature, it would be punchy bass, clear mids, and fairly smooth treble. There's not a lot of distortion I can pick up either, which is excellent.
The bass on the DN-23s is north of neutral, but not overbearingly so like the atrocity that is the Wooduos. The bass delivers a nice fun punch while not totally overpowering the mids. The bass boost stays mostly in the sub-bass, but also goes a bit into the mid bass as well. It's definitely an excellent bass that's great for listening on the go.
The mids on the DN-23 are pretty good as well. They're not recessed or forward, just the way they're supposed to be.
The treble is where things go awry. First off, there's a slight treble spike somewhere in the 6khz area that can make some recordings with female vocalists slightly simbilant. Also, as with all the other bassy IEMs I've heard, the high frequencies are lacking. After 14khz, it starts rolling off quite a bit.
Both of these problems are easily remedied though. Changing tips can affect the severity of the 6k spike, and for this reason I'd recommend using the bi-flange tips included in the package, or some Meelec Tri-flange tips. With either of those, the spike is quite minimized. The Tri-flanges also make the bass a bit louder than the bi-flange tips as well. The high frequency rolloff can be fixed as well with EQ. On iTunes, boosting the 16k band by 8-10dB. Once you do this, you get an excellent IEM that's neutral with a bass boost.
In closing, the Dunu DN-23 is definitely an excellent IEM for the price. The sound signature is easily likable, and the included accessories are very nice. I'd definitely recommend them if you're a basshead and don't mind a bit of high frequency rolloff (or are willing to do some EQ).
Pros - Build quality, sound overall, bass quality and quantity, included accessories
Cons - Cable seems prone to memory effects, strain reliefs could be a bit longer, heavy- leads to less comfort
First, a big thanks to Rocky (rockywu0204 on Head-Fi) at DUNU for the review sample!
This is the DUNU DN-23 Landmine in-ear headphone. It's an incredible headphone.
Preferred tips - Stock narrow nozzle tips, Shure Orange foam, Monster Supertips Foam
Accessories - Hard case, Soft pouch, 3 sets of single flange tips in 3 sizes (Narrow nozzle, wide nozzle, and hybrid styles), 1 pair of bi-flange tips, 1/4' adapter, airplane adapter, shirt clip.
Packaging - DUNU uses similar packaging for all of its IEMs. If you're familiar with it, then this should be of no surprise.
The outer box is a simple package. The image of the DN-23 is embossed slightly outward. On the back shows some information about the product, along with pictures of it and its accessories.
Upon removal of the outer box reveals...another box! This time, the 'D' and DUNU logo are embossed outwards. Nothing else is on the outside of this box. Inside the box is the headphone itself, the hard case, and the soft pouch. Underneath that is the warranty card.
Build - DUNU has a reputation here for making incredibly well-built headphones. The DN-23 is no exception. The housing is probably the most well-built housing that I've seen yet on an IEM. It's made completely out of metal and has a chrome finish. The backside features a 'D' representing DUNU in a brushed aluminum finish. These two things alone make the DN-23 a regal-looking headphone. Left and right indicators are the blue and red stripes on the headphones. Similar to Monster, I suppose. The Y-split on the cable is made out of solid aluminum. Very, very good. Cable cinch is also made out of aluminum. The cable terminates to a 45 degree 3.5mm jack with good strain relieving.
On the downside, all the metal makes the DN-23 pretty heavy for an IEM. I feel like I have to be extra careful not to drop or let them fall out of my ears, in fear that they might just snap off of the cable. I realize that this is mostly me just being paranoid, but the DN-23 is pretty heavy. Also, strain reliefs are just average. I think they could/should be longer, but I'm just glad that they're there at all. The cable feels a bit plasticky. Cables like this have shown to be prone to memory effects.
An interesting feature of the DN-23 is the patented cable tie-like attachment on the cable. It is made of silicone and can keep the wires tidy when needed.
Comfort - With the completely metal and weighty build of the DN-23, I've felt some strain on my ears just because of the weight. I have noticed this the most with the included hybrid-style tips. I much prefer foam tips over silicone for these in terms of fit, which is rare for me. Foam, especially the Shure Orange Foam tips remove most of that pressure on the ears from the weight. For sound, however, I prefer the stock narrow nozzle tips. Sound comparisons will come later in this review.
Isolation - DUNU advertises a 26db noise reduction with the DN-23. I would definitely say that's accurate. The isolation does, however, vary by tips, as usual. I'm quite impressed overall with the isolation due to the design. Since it is a bit wide in design, isolation would be assumed to be less than that of the DN-23.
Sound - Bass, bass, such incredible bass..
Bass - Wow. Just, wow. The DN-23 has some of the best bass that I've heard in a sub-$100 IEM; the most, too. There is so much bass. But it is tight, controlled, and detailed. I mean, wow. Honestly, every time I put these in, I'm blown away by the bass. There is a lot of sub-bass, which I love. Mid-bass has less presence than the sub-bass, but still is very plentiful. There is a good amount of warmth, but it's not bloated or overpowering whatsoever. EDM has never sounded this good out of an IEM before.
Mids - Mids are recessed. This is to be expected. I don't really have that much to comment on here. Perhaps "Just good" is a good term? They're cleanly presented and fit nicely into the rest of the spectrum.
Treble - *Sparkle Sparkle*. The treble of the DN-23 is exactly how I like it- sparkly, but not to the point of being sibilant. It's detailed and well-presented. I just love it.
Soundstage - The DN-23 has a good amount of space to it. Depth and width are both good. Certain tips can improve or diminish that factor.
Which brings me to the tips..
From left to right: Hybrid style, Wide-nozzle (bi-flange below), Narrow nozzle
Stock Narrow Nozzle - My preferred silicone tips. These tips really bring out the best in bass performance.
Stock Wide Nozzle - I don't like these with the DN-23 whatsoever. The stems are a bit short for a good fit on the DN-23. They have a more shallow fit.
Stock Hybrid Style - Practically identical to the Sony hybrid tips. These are the most uncomfortable tips in my opinion. However, Sony hybrids are normally uncomfortable for me anyways. Soundstage seems more congested with these.
Stock Bi-flange - These don't really even fit the DN-23. I don't know why DUNU included them. The stem is too wide.
Shure Orange Foam - These tips give a more balanced sound overall- less bass, less treble, more mids. The change is not really drastic, though. These are the most comfortable tips in my opinion. Soundstage seems to be slightly improved with them as well.
Monster Supertips Foam - The sound seems to be similar to the stock narrow nozzle tips. These, however are more comfortable in my opinion, and increase the amount of space in the presentation somewhat.
Overall - I'm highly impressed with the performance of the DN-23. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to a bass-lover. At the price of $80, I don't know of an IEM that has the quality and quantity of bass that these do. Truly incredible headphones.