DUNU DK-3001 Pro - Reviews
Pros: Build and comfort – Quick-Switch modular cable system – Mature, capable tuning – Wicked accessory kit
Cons: Sub-bass presence is a bit too lax for my personal tastes – Decision to go with a lose braid for the cable
Greetings!

Today we're checking out something special; Dunu's DK-3001 Pro.

Back in 2017 Dunu released the original DK-3001 to positive fanfare. While I never had the chance to try out that model, looking back on old reviews it seems much of the original's DNA remains, although with the Pro Dunu has reworked the concept. Along with the addition of an extra armature bringing the total number of drivers to four armatures and one dynamic per side, they also applied a number of tweaks and refinements to both the physical design and auditory experience that should make the Pro a more than worthy successor.

I've spent just over a month extensively listening to this earphone, comparing and contrasting it with products at prices well above and below. I think I know the DK-3001 Pro pretty well at this point and feel that it offers an impressive balance of performance for the price (which is not low), all packaged into one of the better constructed earphones on the market. If you're looking for something in that 400-500 USD price range, the DK-3001 Pro is a compelling product.

Let's check out why that is, shall we?

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What I Hear The DK-3001 Pro shares a very desirable quality with the best sounding products I've used to date, that being the effortlessness of its presentation. Some earphones always sound like their drivers are tuned to consistently perform at the extremes of their capabilities. When you increase the volume or start EQing, they still sound good but also come across like they're trying too hard. Products like the DK-3001 Pro, Campfire Audio Andromeda, and a few select others sound like everything they reproduce comes naturally to them, with little effort needed. That important detail out of the way, the DK-3001 Pro's signature sounds like it focuses on everything except the extremes. Upper treble and lower bass see reduced emphasis while the lower treble, midrange, and mid to upper bass are all similarly emphasized with nigh-perfect balance.

Treble is well extended with a smooth roll off in emphasis as you increase up and through to the brilliance region. This leads to a detailed, non-fatiguing sound that still presents itself with a welcome amount of air and spacing between notes. It's also quite suitable across various genres since the energy and clarity is there, it's just not overly energetic or in-your-face. Despite using armatures, attack and decay qualities are presented more akin to a dynamic driver with a slightly slower, less aggressive bite and linger, but with the exemplary control of an armature. It can pull apart and effectively separate the cluttered, improvisational cymbal work on King Crimson's live rendition of “Indiscpline” with ease. It all ends up sounding very natural, coherent, and well put together.

The midrange carries on these traits as well and displays some of the most realistic and natural sounding timbre I've heard. It easily rivals the more accurate dynamic-only earphones in my collection displaying none of the dry, breathy, plasticky qualities that seem common to earphones using armatures. Running through the orchestral powerhouse that is 'Gyakuten Meets Orchestra' is a joy. That said, I do like a breathy presentation which is why EarNiNE's in-house design armatures are some of my favorites. When it comes to vocal presentation the DK-3001 Pro is seriously impressive. Voices are forward and clear without the upper mid peak that causes other earphones to sound shouty and sibilant. Both female and male vocals are equally well represented with a clean articulation of subtle details. Artists with a very flexible vocal style, like Skindred's Benji Webbe, and handled flawlessly. The DK-3001 Pro can easily keep up with his impossibly quick transitions from smooth reggae to metal screaming, with some calm crooning thrown in. The powerful voices of female singers like Celine Dion and Caroline Lavelle aren't left behind either, with all their character and body on full display.

The DK-3001 Pro's low end is politely boosted with a focus on the midbass region. Midbass is very tight and well-controlled with a satisfying punch and a smooth but detailed texturing. Subbass drops in emphasis the deeper you go.While you do experience some visceral feedback, it's not going to rattle you. Instead, it stands aside to let other regions carry the track. Massive Attack's “Teardrop” is a good showcase track for the DK-3001 Pro since it puts the above qualities on display. So is the drumming on the aforementioned “Indiscipline”. Kicks hit with authority, and each note is distinct and dynamic feeling. Bringing in a modern pop track like the impressive “GIANTS” from the virtual band True Damage shows that the DK-3001 Pro is a capable earphone to pair with bass led beats. The warbling, grungy bass note that drives the track through a couple sections has just enough presence to do it's job but doesn't overwhelm like it can on some other more low end forward earphones, such as the Polaris II from Campfire Audio.

When it comes to sound stage the DK-3001 Pro isn't going to wow with a cavernous presentation like you'll find on the Campfire Audio Solaris. It's actually quite average, if not slightly above, presenting music just outside the ear. Sounds can be tossed off way into the distance and every once in a while you might experience the odd “did someone call me?” moment where you pull out one bud and look around, only to find it was something in the music. For the most part the experience is just shy of intimate. No, where the DK-3001 shines is with what it does with the sound within this space. Imaging is razor sharp and very clear in channel-to-channel transitions. Following a sound as it moves requires little concentration. Congestion was never an issue thanks to the DK-3001 Pros ability to keep individual tracks elements separate while effectively maintaining a layered and dynamic feel.

Overall I find the DK-3001 Pro to be a seriously impressive earphone. The injection of warmth and somewhat relaxed upper treble combined with a peakless upper midrange has a decidedly more Western listener appeal to it, as originally pointed out by Dunu in a chat, and that I 100% agree with. As someone that has been completely enamoured by the Chinese hifi scene for many years now, I've found myself leaning towards a more mellow but still very detailed sound in the last year or so, one that the DK-3001 Pro delivers on every front. If there was anything I would change, it would be to increase sub-bass presence slightly, but otherwise this sound signature and tuning is spot on.

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Compared To A Peer (volume matched with Dayton iMM-6)

Fearless S6 Rui (389.00 USD): The S6 Rui is packed with six balanced armatures and is one of the best bang-for-the-buck earphones I've heard. It look drop-dead gorgeous and has the performance to back it up. While it gives the DK-3001 Pro a run for it's money, there is a clear difference in refinement that separates the two. The S6 provides more upper treble energy and shimmer and to my ears has a better treble balance, with presence and brilliance regions that are more even overall. The Dunu sounds quite a bit smoother though, without giving up anything in detail and clarity, while also having a cleaner, more controlled presentation. Mids out of the Fearless are more forward and prominent without crossing into sibilant or shouty territory. It matches the DK-3001 Pro's detail and clarity but falls behind in timbre quality thanks to a hint of dryness that pervades throughout. Notes also sound a little less defined around the edges, lacking the liquid smoothness of the Dunu. Bass is more comparable oddly enough. While the DK-3001 extends deeper into sub-bass regions, emphasis is similar with the armatures in the Fearless only falling behind when dipping really deep. Midbass is more punchy and textured out of the S6 Rui, with a snappier attack and more rapid decay. While I generally prefer the meatier, heavier feel of the Dunu's low end presentation, the S6's armatures are just as capable, but in different ways. When it comes to sound stage the S6 Rui sounds slightly less wide but offers more depth. That brings with it slightly improved layering, but I still prefer the way the DK-3001 images and separates individual track elements.

Campfire Audio Polaris II (499 USD): Like the DK-3001 Pro, the Polaris II is a hybrid earphone, though with only two drivers compared to the five found within the Dunu. Treble from the Polaris is less linear leading to a brighter sound with more upper end emphasis. This gives it a more air and shimmer, while the Dunu sounds cleaner with greater note clarity, more control, and finer detail. The Polaris feels more energetic since along with the brightness comes a snappier attack and faster decay, but the Dunu sounds more mature and refined. Mids on the Dunu are more natural sounding with again, a more linear presentation from lower to upper. Vocals are well-weighted and clear with no coherence issues. Comparatively, the Polaris has more upper mid emphasis that draws out siblance already present within a recording. Timbre from the Dunu is even more realistic and accurate compared to the Polaris which was is slightly bright and lean, but still a notable step up from it's predecessor. Bass is where the two drastically differ. While the Dunu is slightly boosted, the Polaris II goes full basshead. Lots more midbass that adds a ton of warmth, along with more prominent and forceful subbass. The subwoofer-like presentation of the Polaris' low end certainly lacks the fine control and deftness present in the Dunu's dynamic driver (9.2mm vs. 13mm), falling behind in texture too. When it comes to sound stage the Polaris II sounds wider and more spacious, putting you deeper within your music. I found the Dunu quite a bit more impressive technically though. Sounds move from channel-to-channel with greater nuance and precision, tracks sound better spacious and more layered, and despite having a smaller stage to play on, instruments and effects are better separated and more well-defined. These two are clearly aimed at different markets. If you like v-shaped signatures with a big stage and crazy bass, the Polaris II delivers in a way the Dunu cannot. If you want something much closer to a balanced reference-ish sound, the Dunu runs circles around the Polaris II. They compliment vs. compete.

Hifiman RE800 Silver (599 USD): The RE800 Silver features a single 9.2mm dynamic driver on each side that utilizes Hifiman's 'Topology Diaphragm' tech. Despite their differences in acoustic design, they both succeed in providing a refined, detailed, hi-end sound, though slightly skewed in different directions. The RE800 is brighter overall with more upper treble presence and a similar lower treble presentation. The extra upper end energy combined with clean lower treble gives the RE800 a more lean, analytic sound next to the Dunu, despite a slightly looser note presentation. Both are quite quick with an impactful attack on notes and realistic decay. Mids from both are a standout with the RE800 having a brighter, thinner presentation thanks to a lift in the upper mids. I'd give it a very slight edge in micro detail and clarity over the Dunu, hardly noticeable unless really listening hard. Timbre is nigh identical for the most part, though the RE800s brighter nature does lend it to sound slightly less natural at times. Bass on the DK-3001 Pro is stronger with more mid and subbass emphasis, though I find the RE800 offers greater extension and improved texturing. The RE800 is also a little quicker and more nimble, though decay out of the Dunu feels more natural. When it comes to sound stage the RE800 feels wider and deeper with it's vocal presentation set slightly further from the ear by default, but when it comes to technicalities the DK-3001 Pro isn't bested. Sounds sweep from channel-to-channel with more precision, layers to tracks are better separated and have more dimension, and instruments feel even more defined and well-separated on congested tracks. If you prefer a neutral-bright sound, the RE800 Silver will better meet your needs, but for everyone and everything else the DK-3001 Pro will be the superior pick.

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In The Ear I've used a few Dunu earphones in the past and ergonomics have always been good, even when their designs have been somewhat unconventional. Take for example the original Titan 1, 3, and 5 which were earbud-like in shape, but with a nozzle. They were light, low profile, and slept in the outer ear with little fuss, though the short nozzle demanded a suitable tip to compensate for some users. There are wisps of this older design in the DK-3001 Pro, but thanks to a number of elements that modernize it, it ends up being one of the most satisfying earphones I've ever worn.

Size is a big factor in this. Despite being a five driver hybrid containing four armatures and a reasonably large 13mm dynamic, the DK-3001 Pro is impossibly small. It is dwarfed in size by the Campfire Audio Solaris which has one less driver. The Shozy x AAW Hibiki MK.2 towers over it, and that contains a long 10mm dynamic. Dunu's engineers have brilliantly packed a swath of drivers into the DK-3001 Pro's shell without compromising on size, ergonomics, or sound. Other aspects of the shell that help make this such a pleasant earphone to wear is the nozzle length and angle. The nozzle protrudes at about a 70 degree angle which combined with the tapered interior of the shell means there is little beyond the ear tip and base of the shell interacting with your ear. This lack of contact combined with the small size and over ear design of the cable leads to a very stable, unobtrusive fit. I can use the DK-3001 Pro for hours without any fatigue settling in. That is despite this being a fairly weighty little earphone. The DK-3001 Pro is made from S316 stainless steel with a unique internal design to help eliminate harmonic resonance. The ergonomics are so good and weight distribution so perfect that the weight means virtually nothing in the long run.

That weight also makes them feel like the premium earphone they are, aided further by the sort of build quality you would expect at this price point. The DK-3001 Pro has a very in-depth design with lots of angles and details. That's easy to mess up. Dunu didn't. Seams are clean and tight. Everything sits flush with no unslightly gaps or misaligned sections. The c-shaped faceplate (or metal hood according to the box art) is a mix of brushed material with tapered, unpainted edges that show off the sheen of the metal. Even the tiny Dunu logo is masterfully done, with the small break in the left arm of each U remaining. The attention to detail is crazy impressive. Likely due to space constraints, the MMCX receptacle is contained in a horizontal arm that organically forms out of the top of the housing. It's similar to what TinHifi has done with the T2/T3/T4, but in a different orientation. In combination with the curved plugs of the included cable, it all feels very natural when worn.

Speaking of the cable, it too is quite nice. On one end is a set of angled MMCX plugs out of which tightly curved, preformed ear guides protrude. They do a fantastic job of keeping the cable wrapped securely around the ear, even during wild head movements. Above the y-split are two very light, thin, loosely wrapped strands of brown/copper coloured wire. Those pass through a clear rubber strain chin cinch and into a metal y-split where they reconnect into a four wire braid. This braid is not very tight, something I have criticized other brands for in the past. It works a much better here because the sheath remains flexible and does a good job of minimizing cable noise, but with is a hardness to it that keeps the braid neat and tidy with none of the sloppiness I've seen elsewhere. It behaves so much better than other, similar cables I've used. This braided design carries on down from the y-split to Dunu's Quick-Switch modular plug system where you get to select the plug you want to use from the four included options; 3.5mm single-ended / 2.5 mm balanced / 3.5mm 'PRO' Balanced / 4.4 mm Unbalanced/Balanced. Like with the earphone itself, this plug system is much more intricate than it needs to be with fine knurling for grip, copper and silver accent bands, and clear indicators necessary to line up the plugs for proper installation. It all feels and looks quite impressive, unquestionably befitting of the price tag.

Despite what I read prior to the DK-3001 Pro showing up, I actually found it to be pretty well isolating. With no music playing, the clacking of my keyboard and my wife's videos playing in the background were much less intrusive than I was expecting. With music playing, even at my characteristically very low volumes, these outside elements pretty much faded completely. The same can be said walking along the sidewalk with cars whizzing by. It all ends up being tossed to the wayside in favour of whatever you are listening to. Since at the time of writing we are still experiencing a lock down due to Coronavirus, there are no crowded, extremely noisy areas I can visit to really put the isolation to the test. I would still expect the DK-3001 Pro to handle it fairly well though, especially if you favour foam tips.

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In The Box The DK-3001 Pro provides a doozy of an unboxing experience forcing me to look back to 2018's RHA CL2 to find something comparable. The 3001 arrives in quite a large box for an earphone with a very descriptive sleeve wrapped around it.

On the front of the sleeve is the usual branding and model information as well as a transparent image of the 3001's shell showing off the driver layout inside. I'm quite glad Dunu added this front and (off)centre because it shows off just how impressive the engineering that went into this product is. The DK-3001 Pro is not a large earphone whatsoever and you would otherwise have been left wondering how they fit five drivers, four balanced armatures and one fairly large 13mm dynamic, inside such a compact shell. Flipping to the rear of the sheath you are presented with a breakdown of the components that make up the 3001 Pro. The c-shaped crossover unit is particularly impressive and something I personally have no come across before. Generally it's just a small rectangular chip slotted in somewhere, but Dunu went the extra mile to fully integrate it into the design in a way that would not compromise things. Below this breakdown is a list of specifications.
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz-40kHz
  • THD: <0.5% @ 1kHz
  • Impedance: 20 ohms
  • Net Weight: 16g
  • Cable Length: 1.2m
  • Connector: Custom catch-hold MMCX connector
  • Sound Pressure Level: 112dB +/- 2 @ 1kHz
Sliding off the sheath reveals a matte black, textured box with Dunu printed in glossy black lettering. Gripping the front flap and pulling away to break the magnetic seal allows you to lift the top. Once inside the experience continues, feeling more premium than usual. Printed underneath the lid is a user guide for Dunu's quick switching connector system for the includes MMCX cable. It's a very intuitive system that doesn't involve anything more complicated then lining up the dots on the connector ports and cable plug, then pushing them gently together. No twisting, no locks to mess about with. Just plug and play. Resting on top of the contents of the box is a sheet of paper, very similar in thickness and texture to wax paper sans wax, with “Designed by Dunu” printed in glossy silver lettering. Ribbons protrude around the edges on either side. Lift out the sheet and you find the DK-3001 Pro attached to the Lyre cable neatly wrapped and tucked into a foam insert. Down the right side of the insert are the various plug options, all set within their own individual cutouts. Removing this first foam layer reveals a number of additional accessories below, either set within their own foam cutouts or hidden within a smaller cardboard box. In all you get:
  • DK-3001 Pro earphones
  • Lyre MMCX cable
  • 4 Quick-Switch Modular Plugs (3.5mm single-ended / 2.5 mm balanced / 3.5mm 'PRO' Balanced / 4.4 mm Unbalanced/Balanced)
  • Leatherette storage case
  • Spinfit Custom tips (s/m x 2/l) + silicone spacing rings
  • Grey single flange tips (s/m/l)
  • Red single flange tips (s/m/l)
  • Comply T-500 Isolation foam tips (m)
  • 1/4” adapter
  • Airplane adapter
  • Earphone cleaning brush
That's a pretty exhaustive list of extras isn't it? The case is on the large side, about the size of a traditional wallet, with plenty of room inside for the earphones, cable, and a few extras. There is even an extra pouch inside in which you can place extra tips, the cleaning brush, and/or the 1/4” adapter. I'd use it to carry the DK-3001 Pro and FiiO BTR3K with the clip case installed, then tuck it all into the back pocket of my jeans. The selection of tips of various sizes and [single-flange] styles is quite welcome since you are sure to find something that will work for your ears, however, some may lament the absence of any bi- or tri-flange tips. Overall a minor omission in what is otherwise a very comprehensive unboxing experience and accessory kit.

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Final Thoughts Dunu has been around for a long time and have always been reliable in their releases of products that perform exceptionally well for the price. The DK-3001 Pro is no exception. The tuning of this earphone is handled beautifully. The tapered extremes drawn attention to everything in between showing off just how well balanced and technically capable it is. It sounds natural, it is crisp and clear, and neither fatigue nor sibilance are part of the equation. The DK-3001 Pro has a very dialed in, mature, and well-thought out tune that has many peers, yet few that can stand toe-to-toe and command the same level of respect upon detailed inspection.

And not only does it sound phenomenal, it is built to the same overly high standard thanks to extremely ergonomic steel shells that are nigh flawless in their construction. The included cable, Lyre, is a high quality piece of hardware too. I'm not a fan of the loose braid, but the sheath feels durable, it's flexible, and the successful implementation of Dunu's new Quick-Switch modular plug system means it is versatile. Such versatility is further helped along by Dunu's generous inclusion of a swath of high quality accessories that range from nearly a dozen pair of tips to four different plug options. The DK-3001 Pro really is the complete package.

Thanks for reading!

- B9

**If you enjoyed this review, there are tons more like it over on The Contraptionist.**

Disclaimer A huge thanks to Lillian with Linsoul for asking if I'd like to review the DK-3001 Pro, and for arranging a sample for review. The thoughts within this review are my subjective opinions based on over a month of use. They do not represent Linsoul, Dunu, or any other entity. At the time of writing the DK-3001 Pro was retailing for 469.00 USD: https://www.linsoul.com/products/dunu-dk-3001-pro

Gear Used For Testing LG Q70, FiiO M3 Pro, Earstudio HUD100, Earmen TR-Amp, Asus FX53V, TEAC HA-501

Some Test Tunes

Supertramp – Crime of the Century
Slipknot – Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)
Daft Punk – Random Access Memories
Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid
King Crimson – Lark's Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black
Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma
The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy
Steely Dan – The Royal Scam
Porcupine Tree – Stupid Dreams

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Pros: + Build Quality
+ Comfort
+ Colored, engaging mids
+ Sparkly, airy treble
+ Bass depth / extension, and speed
+ Great Detail
+ Amazing package
+ Good Value
Cons: - Average Passive Noise isolation (Good since it is vented, but just average compared to all that is on the market)
- Needs a good source to sound their best, would not recommend without a midrange source at least
- A bit sensitive to hiss
The Opera Leader - Dunu DK-3001 PRO IEMs Review


Dunu DK-3001 PRO may not be the current flagship from Dunu, but it is their most sold IEM at the moment of making this review, having a price point of 470 USD, and being popular thanks to the beautiful V-Shaped sound, an excellent clarity and detail, and thanks to the support of Dunu, which has been stellar. The main competitors I will be comparing it with are FiiO FH7, iBasso IT04, HIFIMAN RE800 Silver, Final Audio B3, and IMR R2 Aten. Pairings with iBasso DX160, FiiO M11, Hiby R6, Shanling M2X, and Opus #2 should make this review interesting and cover most grounds.



Introduction

Dunu did not start so great, and at the beginning, they were part of FiiO, and they were the company creating some of the earlier FiiO IEM models. In the meanwhile, Dunu has grown considerably, and they are now a standalone company, who designs and delivers IEMs, starting with entry-level models, and all the way to proper flagships. They are known for being friendly, having one of the best support there is, and they never disappointed when it came to providing a product that will live for a really long time.

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Dunu, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I'd like to thank Dunu for providing the sample for this review. This review reflects my personal experience with Dunu DK-3001 PRO. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in Dunu DK-3001 PRO find their next music companion.



About me

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/about.html



Packaging


First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:





















The package of DK-3001 PRO is just as impressive as that of DK-4001, which I just reviewed on Audiophile-Heaven. Besides the DK 3001 PRO, which are seated neatly in a foam cutout, we now have a selection of 4 plugs for the modular cables, and it comes with selections for Balanced TRRS plus in 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm formats.

There is also a selection of tips inside the package, and Dunu did not forget to include my favorite, the spinfit tips. Foam tips are included as well, and there is a 3.5mm to 6.3mm adapter, so you can connect the DK-3001 PRO to something with a larger output, or to a guitar amplifier.

Foam tips are also part of Dunu's excellent package, and I can only say that I'm impressed, it is on par with FiiO FH7, but also on par with Dunu DK-4001, which is almost double in price.

The total package includes:

1 pair x DUNU DK-3001 PRO In-Ear Monitor
1 pcs x Detachable Cable with MMCX Connector
4 pcs x DUNU QuickSwitch Modular Connectors (3.5mm TRS, 3.5mm TRRS, 2.5mm TRRS &amp; 4.4mm TRRS)
1 pcs x 6.3mm Headphone Adaptor
4 pairs x SpinFit Silicone Eartips (size S/M/L), 1 pair came pre-installed
3 pairs x Grey Silicone Eartips (size S/M/L)
6 Pairs x Custom SpinFit eartips spacer
1 pair x Comply Foam Eartips (M)
1 pcs x Premium Leather Case
1 pcs x Cleaning Tool
1 pcs x Flight Adaptor



What to look for when purchasing a high-end In-Ear Monitor

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/what-to-lookl.html



Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort


The build quality of DK-3001 PRO has almost nothing to do with the build quality of the older DK-3001, and the pro version feels much more like a downsized DK-4001, rather than an upgraded DK 3001.

Just like the bigger brother, DK 4001, the DK-3001 PRO is a 5-Driver hybrid IEM, with knowles Balanced Armature Drivers inside, and a single Be dynamic driver. The body is made of metal, and it is one of the most comfortable IEMs I have ever put on my head. The level of comfort the guys at Dunu are having these days is absolute madness. I've no clue how they went from DK-3001, which wasn't very comfy, despite fitting, to DK-3001 PRO which is hands-down an experience I want. Often I mention this, but a comfy IEM will get more ear time from me, because I need to feel okay with what I'm wearing, DK-3001 PRO doesn't have just the comfort, it has the sonics as well.



There is no driver flex, and I'm happy the guys at Dunu never have any driver flex. Microphonic noise are also at zero, and there's a good level of passive noise isolation. In fact, for an IEM that has venting, I was quite impressed with the levels of passive noise isolation. It is still no ER4XR, and IEMs that have a custom build, like Lime Ears Model X, or IEMs that are made to isolate more, or are all-BA in design, like FiiO FA7, but for casual usage, it is excellent, having about 15 dB of passive noise isolation. This is enough for you to listen to music without having to crank the volume at the maximum volume but enjoy your songs.

The MMCX connectors are glued to a separate part from the main body, and it looks like a totally different cylinder that just holds the MMCX connectors. The happy part here is that the MMCX connectors are top quality, and if you read my review on DK-3001, you probably know I complained that the MMCX connectors were too tight on the original, and they became loose after a few usages, but DK-3001 PRO has a totally different version, and this time around I'm happy to report the MMCX connectors are of the highest quality.



There are no imperfections in the overall build, and I am happy to report that even the cable is top notch, and similar to the Hulk in both build and concept, but without the thickness which made the Hulk a bit impractical. This is a biggie for me, because I always felt that Hulk was too thick and heavy to recommend to everyone, especially if you wanted to use it portably. Dunu caught up on that and DK-3001 PRO, and they made a light, awesome-sounding cable, with soft ear guides, and with the modular plug concept, like the DK-4001 and the Hulk. Although you have your spicy collection of plugs that should cover everything transportable, Dunu includes an adapter for planes, and even a 6.3mm adapter for sources that have a 6.3mm Single Ended output.

DK-3001 PRO scales a lot with the source, although it is really easy to drive, so you won't necessarily have to worry about the source, but at the same time, it will thank you if you're using a better source. And even if DK-3001 PRO, being an earphone, can't physically talk to you, your ears will thank you. You get the point.



Sound Quality

I actually am more than enthusiastic about the DK-3001 PRO. I was a fan of DK-3001, it was a HD600-sounding IEM, that had a huge soundstage, was pretty sweet, but it's fit made it hard for me to really quantify its sound like I do with most IEMs, because I had an odd fit, and just like when I was young and wearing IEMs with the largest tips to make the soundstage the largest possible, the sound was a bit vague and dispersed with DK-3001. With the PRO, things are completely different, I'm getting a much better instrument separation, more dynamics, more punch, and a sound that I'm actually in love with. I have used Earmen TR-AMP, FiiO Q5s, Cayin N5ii, Shanling M0, and iBasso DX220 (AMP7/AMP8/AMP9) for the sonic impressions with DK-3001 PRO.



The sound of DK-3001 PRO can be described as lively, engaging, V-Shaped, wide, energetic, dynamic, punchy, sparkly in the highs, having a nice amount of low impact, and being really sweet in the mids. The treble has a soft - wet nature, so although it has good sparkle, it is never harsh or fatiguing. Some may consider the DK-3001 PRO to be balanced towards neutral, and especially if you're a basshead, or looking for more bass, DK-3001 PRO has just the right amount to be tasteful for metal and pop, but there may be other options for EDM and Hip-Hop. It is more V-Shaped than FH7 from FiiO, but has less bass and warmth than FA7 from FiiO.

Starting with the bass, it is deep, and has one of the quickest speeds out there. The character being wet rather than dry means that the bass also feels natural in presentation, but has excellent detail and clarity. On songs like Tophamhat-Kyo - Princess, I hear a really clean presentation, and on Melanie Martinez - Play Date I can also hear a really nice large presentation where the bass is called for, but also good control so the whole sound isn't too warm or thick. The upper bass has excellent control as well, and doesn't color the entire sound too much.



In fact, most of the coloring people mention for DK-3001 PRO is in the midrange, but it is not in the form of a bassy or thick coloring, rather the midrange sounds musical, a bit forward, despite the IEM being mostly V-Shaped, and the midrange doesn't feel recessed. There are some dips and peaks through the midrange, which make female voices sweet, and male voices stand out for both timbre and depth. Even for a song like Maroon 5 - Animals, both the voice has a colorful presentation, Adam Levine's voice has the right timbre, and the overall instrumental, although is simple, sounds open and engaging. The best part is that even the upper midrange has good control, and it never gets harsh or hot. I wouldn't call the presentation neutral because DK-3001 PRO is well bodied, and has a slightly sweet midrange.

The treble is another happy situation, because the wet character of DK-3001 PRO makes even pretty open and sparkly songs sound good. On PSY - Gangnam style, which is a song that has a pretty strong top end, DK-3001 shows excellent control, but also extension and air. The overall sound is really wide on DK-3001 PRO and for those suffering from claustrophobia, DK-3001 PRO is a great example of an IEM that manages to have a wide stage. The depth is also good, with excellent instrument separation and layering.

The dynamics are also excellent, and I'm happy to report that you're going to stay engaged and enjoy your music with DK-3001 PRO. The only people who it isn't made for, are those who are looking for a smooth or relaxing IEM, where I could happily recommend DK-4001 instead, as it is closer to that type of signature.



Portable Usage

Since the isolation is only average, and the overall driving power needed is low, but it scales with the source, you're probably going to want to invest in a good source, at least a Cayin N5ii, FiiO M9, iBasso DX 120, Shanling M2x. It will sound better with a high-end DAP like FiiO M11, iBasso DX220, or QLS QA361.



For actual portable usage, I find DK-3001 PRO to be excellent, it isolates enough for me to enjoy music on-the-go, but it doesn't do a perfect isolation like Etymotic ER3XR, which doesn't really fit for travel, because sooner or later you're going to run into some trouble if you're totally disconnected from the outside world. You do need that type of security for concerts, or if you're an artist, but there's also the option of going custom.

There's also the price argument, where DK-3001 PRO is quite pricey, and taking a more expensive IEM probably means taking care of it. This is because if you're going to do some jogging, running, or other exercise, you may drop them, but this is where things get interesting, because DK-3001 PRO doesn't have a very tangle-prone cable, and it also doesn't have driver flex, so unless you're really careless, you shouldn't have any issues using them outdoors.

They don't have IPX protection and such, so don't drop them in water, and don't take them for a swim.



Youtube Video

Dunu DK 3001 PRO Youtube Video Review:


Comparisons


The comparison list includes big names, like FiiO FH7, HIFIMAN RE800 Silver, iBasso IT-04, Final Audio B3, and IMR R2 Aten. All of those are direct competitors, thanks to the price point they are sold at, and all of them are fair competitors, all having been well received by the market, and currently all of them being best-sellers.



Dunu DK-3001 PRO vs HIFIMAN RE800 Silver (470 USD vs 600 / 300 (sale) USD) - The first IEM in this list is one that holds the crown for being the most comfortable IEM I reviewed to date, simply because it has a body so small, it never really touches your ears, besides the tip. And that is great, but that meant a sacrifice, and the sacrifice was in the cable, it is not detachable. This makes RE-800 Silver work only with Single Ended outputs, and a ton of companies make sources that have really good sources with Balanced outputs, like FiiO with their BTR5 and BTR3K, which are both affordable sources with great sound. Once we get over that, the package for DK-3001 PRO is much better, as you really need Spinfit tips for both for both DK-3001 and RE 800 Silver for the best comfort. In terms of comfort, both are great, both have similar degrees of passive noise isolation. Even sonically, they are fairly similar, the biggest differences being that R E 800 Silver is more heavily V-Shaped, it has more bass in quantity, the bass is slightly slower, and the treble is slightly more sparkly and has more attack. There's also the midrange, which is more recessed on RE800 Silver, but slightly. All in all, both do an excellent job at sounding great, being engaging and dynamic, and both make really compelling choices, the main reasons to go for RE800 Silver being the attractive price they currently have, as for DK-3001 PRO, it has better cable, detachable cable, comes with more tips, and has a more balanced sound.

Dunu DK-3001 PRO vs iBasso IT 04 (470 USD vs 500 USD) - IT04 has a great package from the start, and also comes with great tips, and a cable that can be both balanced and Single Ended. The main difference is that It-04's cable doesn't have the 4.4mm Balanced and the 3.5mm balanced options. On the other hand, the comfort is great for both, but IT04 has some driver flex, and may not fit for really small ears. IT-04 has a more neutral sound, which is slower in speed, so if you're looking for less bass quantity, but with a natural speed, a more open-sounding treble, which is really airy, and for a lighter overall presentation, IT-4 surely knows what's up. By comparison, DK-3001 pro sounds more engaging, more colorful, has more bass, quicker bass, has a smoother treble, with less treble emphasis.

Dunu DK-3001 PRO vs Final Audio B3 (470 USD vs 500 USD) - Final B3 is the type of IEM that I fell in love with from the first listen and which I still cherish a lot, thanks to its colder, yet musical signature that is revealing, wet character, and great detail. It has a more limited headroom, so you can't really EQ it, but it has a warmer midrange than DK-3001 PRO, and although the mid doesn't have quite the same body, it has a special way of revealing textures that makes B 3 sound more refined. In terms of package, both have a good selection of tips, Final having Final Tips, while DK-3001 has Spinfit. The cable of DK-3001 is better, having that modularity going on, while B-3 has only a Single Ended cable included in the package. The bass is deeper and has more control, and better speed on DK-3001 PRO, the midrange is more colored on DK-3001 PRO, but has more warmth on B3. The treble is sweeter on B3, has a more open presentation, but the soundstage is larger and deeper on DK-3001 pro, and the treble has a more wet character. B3 is slightly more textured, where DK-3001 PRO is more detailed in general.

Dunu DK-3001 PRO vs IMR R2 Aten (470 USD vs 500 USD) - R2 Aten is one for the bass, and bass it's been. The depth and amount of bass R 2 has is simply out of this world, along with the type of body they have for each instrument, and the kind of ferocious presentation they have. The treble is also sparkly, although a bit hot, thanks to the ceramic driver. Most people would refer to this sound as a V-Shaped sound, but I already consider it a very aggressive V-Shaped sound, having a really recessed midrange, which doesn't have quite that much body, and a really strong bass and treble. By comparison, DK-3001 PRO sounds far more balanced, with a more natural sound, R-2 Aten sounds like it was tuned strictly for fun and to be impressive, but can get a bit fatiguing, especially if you're sensitive to strong bass or strong treble. DK-3001 PRO has less fatigue. Also isolates more from the passive noise, as the large opening at the back of the R2 Aten really makes for a poorly isolating IEM.

Dunu DK-3001 PRO vs FiiO FH7 (470 USD vs 450 USD) - We leave the best for the final, like usual. FH7 is pretty much what dreams are made of in the world of IEMs, or at least this is how I've been describing it, so I figured it is a really awesome place to start. The package is excellent for both, and so is the default cable, but DK-3001 PRO has that modular cable which offers a wider usage scenario compared to FH7. There's also the case, which is actually pretty similar now that I think about it. The ergonomics, though, aren't exactly similar, and FH7 is larger, so DK-3001 PRO will fit with more ears, and better. The sound is more neutral on FH7 from FiiO, with less bass emphasis, with a colder, more neutral midrange, and a more neutral treble. FH7 sounds really reference, without much bloom or color in the midrange, where DK 3001 PRO sounds more colorful in the mids, has more bass emphasis, warmer midrange, and with a softer, smoother treble, although it doesn't have less extension. You could say that DK3001PRO is a less serious and more fun tuning, where FH7 is serious, reference. The stage of FH7 is marginally larger, but both have similar overall instrument separation and clarity / detail.



Recommended Pairings

The pairing list will include iBasso DX160, FiiO M11, Hiby R6, Shanling M2x, and Opus #2, thus covering all of the important and popular DAPs that you may be pairing DK 3001 PRO with. I also tested them, and had excellent results with Earmen Tr-Amp, FiiO Q5s, and Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, all of those being excellent pairings, and DK-3001 PRO being fully drivable from a source as tiny and affordable as iBasso DC 01.



Dunu DK-3001 PRO + iBasso DX160 (470 USD + 400 USD) - Probably the best pairing I've done, especially in terms of pricing, being really balanced, DX160 is the DAP that I recommended a lot lately, because it comes with good CPU, good battery life, excellent dynamics, and great build quality. Not only that, but with DK-3001 PRO it highlights all of the advantages of DK-3001 PRO, from the colorful and engaging midrange, to the quick and deep bass, to the sparkly, yet non-aggressive treble. Every advantage possible when driving DK-3001 PRO and wanting a healthy V-Shaped sound.

Dunu DK-3001 PRO + FiiO M11 (470 USD + 400 USD) - FiiO's M-11 is the star when it comes to midrange DAPs, and together with DX160, they dominate the market, because they have everything, streaming, a quick CPU, enough RAM, and a really smooth and useful interface. The biggest difference is the sound, where M 11 has a sparkly treble, that edges on sounding a tad digital, and DX160 has a more natural sound. M11 is wider in the soundstage, really wide, where DX160 has a more rounded soundstage, where both the depth and the width are similar in size. The midrange is also colder on M11, and more natural on DX160. With DK-3001 PRO, if you want a more holographic, wide sound, M11 reaches that perfectly, and it also gives them a slightly more balanced bass, with a quick speed, but slightly more neutral presentation and amount.

Dunu DK-3001 PRO + Hiby R6 (470 USD + 650 USD) - There was only one question when it came to R 6, and that was whether the high output impedance would have any effect on DK-3001 PRO. It does have some effect on the sound, but it doesn't get quite as hissy as you would imagine. Instead, I can hear some hiss in the background, but it is much quieter than my music, and once I turn something to my typical listening levels, that gets drowned out. I can also notice that the sound is thinner, and brighter with R-6 than with most pairings, so please keep that mind, if you want a slightly brighter DK-3001 PRO, you should check out R6, otherwise, there are other options at similar prices that may be more to your liking.

Dunu DK-3001 PRO + Shanling M2X (470 USD + 220 USD USD) - This one was not necessarily one of my favorite pairings, but it was among the pairings I would be most likely to be using if I wanted to stay on a lower budget. This is because M-2x is a pretty great DAP, with a colorful and engaging midrange, but the bass is a bit slower, so it doesn't quite match up with the quick, impressive bass of DK-3001 PRO. I was happy with the treble performance though, M 2X has a wet character as well, so the sound was never one bit harsh, and although M-2-X gives a slight bump to the treble, it is always pleasing. With Tidal and other streaming apps, you have a very wide usage scenario with M 2 X.

Dunu DK-3001 PRO + Opus #2 (470 USD + 1200 USD) - I really wanted to hear DK-3001 with an ultimate DAP, and besides DX220 from iBasso, I remembered having # 2 from Opus, so the pairing was unavoidable. I fell in love with the overall sound, the natural midrange, and clean background of #-2, paired with the deep staging really complimented the overall sound of DK-3001 PRO. Not to mention this, but the sound was exceptionally clean and detailed, without being one bit analytic, everything staying organic and musical, with a natural timbre, totally a recommended pairing.



Value and Conclusion

In terms of value, DK-3001 PRO is outstanding, and even when the market already has some gems, Dunu proved that they can design something even better than what was already there, or at least something that can make a place for itself. There was a void left in the market, at this price point, and Dunu predicted pretty accurately that no one else was going to fill it, so they designed their DK 3001 PRO, and it did the trick, winning me over, as well as thousand others from all over the world.



The unboxing experience is rather awesome, and it is something to die for, all Dunu IEMs having been absolutely stellar in terms of the package. With a ton of accessories, a good selection of tips, great cables, and aesthetically pleasing carrying cases, they leave nothing to be desired.

In terms of build quality and comfort, once again, they leave nothing to be desired, and you'll fall in love with the comfort DK-3001 PRO has, and even after having been wearing them for a while, I simply don't want to take them off. No driver flex, average passive noise isolation, no comfort issues, no hard edges, a small shape, good for most ears, and with a comfy cable, that is also modular, I'm in Heaven with DK-3001 PRO.

The sound is also Heaven for me, a V-Shaped engaging sound, with a colorful midrange, that emphasizes both deep male voices, and sweetens female voices, with excellent detail, and a wider stage, with good layer and natural timbre, I'm really happy listening to rock, metal, and even slower music like Jazz. The bass was actually a highlight, by its quality, but not by the amount.

 https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/hall-of-fame.html

Before the end of this review, I want to add the DK-3001 PRO to Audiophile-Heaven's Hall Of Fame, because the sound was great, especially for the price, the comfort was awesome, and the overall build is awesome, the cable also rocks, there's literally nothing holding back this puppy, except for the competitors and whether or not it matches your own tastes. Dunu has shown us that they can improve an already great product, and refine the experience of their customers to be top-notch.



At the end of this review, if you're looking for a colorful midrange, quick, but well defined and deep bass, sparkly treble, but with a wet and soft character, wide stage, and great comfort, you should totally look into DK-3001 PRO, especially with the modular cable, and excellent overall ergonomics.



Full Playlist used for this review

While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

Youtube Playlist


TidalPlaylist

https://listen.tidal.com/playlist/64555551-ec3c-4279-ae44-248fdfcf6c4b

Song List

Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
Eskimo Callboy - Frances
Incubus - Summer Romance
Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir
Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
Doctor P - Bulletproof
Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare
SOAD - Chop Suey
Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
Eminem - Rap God
Stromae - Humain À L'eau
Sonata Arctica - My Selene
Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Metallica - Fuel
Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
Masa Works - Golden Japang
REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
Dope - Addiction
Korn - Word Up!
Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
Fever The Ghost - Source
Fall Out Boy - Immortals
Green Day - Know The Enemy
Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
A static Lullaby - Toxic
Royal Republic - Addictive
Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
We Came As Romans - My Love
Skillet - What I Believe
Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Yasuda Rei - Mirror
Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
Falling Up - Falling In Love
Manafest - Retro Love
Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
Zomboy - Lights Out
Muse - Resistance
T.A.T.U &amp; Rammstein - Mosaku
Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
Pendulum - Propane Nightmares
Sirenia - Lithium And A Lover
Saving Abel - Addicted
Hollywood Undead - Levitate
The Offspring - Special Delivery
Escape The Fate - Smooth
Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
Dope - Rebel Yell
Crazy Town - Butterfly
Silverstein - My Heroine
Memphis May Fire - Not Over Yet
I hope my review is helpful to you!

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K
Krissdevalnor
thank you very much for this return.
I particularly appreciate the comparisons you have made between the different headphones and the association reports which allow me to have a clearer vision compared to my own tastes.
Pros: Great packaging
Excellent build quality of the iems, the wire, and the adapters
Nice and comfortable fit
Good balanced sound
Nicely priced
Cons: Did not like the custom tips, though there are so many of them (Isolation issues)
Note: This pair was bought from Hifigo. (Link)

Dunu is also known as Dunu-Top sound, It is a China-based earphone manufacturing brand, they offer a brilliant sounding pair of in-ear monitors with a strong and sturdy build quality. They have conquered the Chi-fi earphones market in the Mid and High price sections, they have products starting at around 150-200$ and their product range goes up to 1649$ with Dunu Luna as their flagship model. The Dunu Luna is the world’s first pure beryllium in-ear monitors, where not only the driver is coated with pure beryllium, in fact, the entire earpiece is made up of Pure Beryllium material.

Dunu Dk-3001 Pro is a five driver hybrid pair of an in-ear monitor from the brand which offers a single beryllium dynamic driver unit working together with four Knowles balanced armature drivers, it is said to be a purely balanced pair of in-ear monitor and today in this review we will find out how true that quote actually is.

Packaging and Build:

There are a lot of accessories included with DK-3001 Pro like there is a beautiful green colored leather carry case, three pairs of custom Spinfit silicone tips, a black colored box containing six pairs of silicone tips, several Spinfit gaskets to adjust the Spinfit tips, an airplane adapter, a 3.5mm-6.35mm headphone adapter, and cleaning brush. So, you see the box came with a lot of accessories, all of these are of great quality

The earpieces are made up of 316L stainless steel shells colored in black, even the ear nozzle is made up of black colored stainless steel material. The faceplate has a beveled design within which there is a Dunu logo on both the earpieces, They have printed R and L on the inner side of earpieces to differentiate between the right and left side easily. The earpieces have an extended side for MMCX connectors, the MMCX connectors are gold plated and seem strong and sturdy. Overall the earpieces have a very strong stainless steel shell, they look beautiful with a small form factor.


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The wire is a kind of attraction in the package, Dunu actually makes this modular plug cables, and it is a single pure crystal copper cable with 4 strands, 2 on each side, the cable has got all kind of plugs included here like, 3.5mm single-ended, 3.5mm balanced, 2.5mm balanced, or 4.4mm balanced. So, it doesn’t actually matters which player or device you will be using with the Dunu, it has got a plug for any audio port on them.


Sound Quality

The pair surely needs a decent amount of burn-in after which it sounds a lot better. The entire frequency range feels buttery smooth and has a crisp texture to itself, let’s discuss different parts of the frequency response range in detail.

Lows:-

In Dunu DK-3001 Pro the lower end is handled by the beryllium dynamic driver unit, which provides a quick lower end, it offers a quick bass response, which has good thump to itself, has a depth feeling to it, the bass is not overpowering, so bass-heads don’t expect that soul-shaking heavy bass, but from what it offers it provides adequate amounts of bass, which is neither elevated nor it feels less, Drums in Dreams by Fleetwood Mac, Billie Jean by Michael Jackson have a clean and detailed depth to them. Listening to bass-heavy tracks like Bad Guy by Billie Ellish, Bet by Octavian, the sub-bass shows great rumble, the best part is tuning is so clean and crisp that the bass doesn’t overlap over the other frequencies and entire music output feels really clean and natural.

Mids:-

There are two Knowles Balanced Armature drivers which handle the Mids-High section in Dunu DK-3001 Pro, the pair actually shines in the Mids section for me, The vocals are pure bliss, listening to Cover sessions by Boyce Avenue, The Blower’s Daughter by Damien Rice was a mesmerizing experience. The vocals felt alive, there was a good depth to the voice of Hannah Reid from London Grammar, the heaviness of her voice gave me goosebumps the first time I heard it on the Dunu. The vocals are just perfect, acoustic details in songs like Hotel California by Eagles are rendered properly, there is so great clarity to those vocals, no muddiness at all. Sometimes I popped the volume to higher levels just to check if there is any kind of fatiguing but no, the voice didn’t fatigued even at higher volumes. The mids shine really greatly, I liked the mids performance the most in the DK-3001 Pro.

Highs:-

Again there are separate two Knowles balanced armature drivers working in the Ultra-High area of the frequency range, and believe me those instrument details, the instrument detail reproduction is simply unique, the music is reproduced so brilliantly that instrument details even in quick songs like those by Opeth, Kiss could be identified separately and very easily. There is no sibilance of any kind even at higher volumes, cymbals in Dreams by Fleetwood Mac showed great depth and detailing, Drums in Digital Bath by Deftones were really awesome. The highs portion showed me great extensions and soothing experience, I am actually very sensitive to harsh treble earphones, I couldn’t cope with sharp earphones for more than half an hour but with the Dunu DK-3001 Pro, I listened straight for up to 5 hours many a time.

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The iems offer a brilliant wide staging, the staging shows great depth too, I listened to Binaural tracks by Yosi Horikawa to test the staging and imaging and its just superb. I listened to many MTV Unplugged Live recordings just to enjoy the wider staging.

It gives a brilliant instrument imaging, and one can easily recognize different instruments placements in live recordings.

Overall the Dunu DK-3001 Pro offers a brilliant, balanced, and natural sound output, with utmost clarity, crispy vocals, and rich details in the higher end with longer extensions. It shows great detail retrieval in the entire audio frequency range, provides a soothing and relaxed sound output. I simply loved the pair for its brilliant performance in the mids section.

Finally:

The Dunu DK-3001 Pro is an outstanding pair of in-ear monitor with a hybrid driver setup, offering a lightweight stainless steel design with a great quality modular plug type pure copper single crystal cable. A box full of accessories included in the package is a plus, the pair provides a never experienced balanced output with utmost claret and great mids performance. The detail retrieval in the treble section is just amazing, I tried almost all genres of music with the pair, with different DAP’s and it paired well with all the daps, but I loved it the most with the Dethonray DTR1. The pairing was just amazing, it was full of synergy. The pair shines a lot with powerful sources. I really enjoy this pair of mine, it is actually one of a keeper, I don’t think I will be selling this powerhouse of an earphone any time soon, feels worth every penny that I paid for it and even much more.
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Pros: Excellent build quality
Improved design for fit and comfort
Sound quality: Control, forward midrange, treble quality
Wide array of accessories
Value
Cons: Still not the most comfortable from Dunu
Low to average isolation
Difficult to install the included Spinfit
Review – DUNU DK-3001 Pro



Website – Dunu TopSound


Specifications

  • Driver(s):
    • Bass: 13 mm Dynamic Driver with Dual-Sided Beryllium Coating
    • Mids/Highs: Custom-Spec Knowles Balanced Armature Drivers
    • Ultra highs: Custom-Spec Knowles Dual Balanced Armature Driver
  • Frequency response: 5 Hz - 40 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 112 ± 2 dB
  • THD: < 0.5% @ 1 kHz
  • Weight: 16g
  • Housing material: 316 Stainless Steel CNC Machined
  • Wire: High-Purity (OCC) Copper
  • Cable length: 1.2 mm
  • Cable connector: Patented Catch-Hold® MMCX Connector
  • Plug connector: Patented DUNU Quick-Switch Modular Plug System

Price
: U$469.

Official Dunu DK-3001 Pro page

The review is based on a DK-3001 Pro demo unit arranged by DUNU company.






The box presentation is very impressive. A larger box than any of the previous Dunu earphones with everything properly organized. The upper layer holds the DK-3001 Pro earphones along with the four available plugs. Underneath are the leather green colored case, 3 pairs of Spinfit CP360 tips, a 6.3mm adapter, a brush and a small box with extra tips, airplane adapter and silicone rings to act as ‘spacers’ for the nozzle when trying different tips. The leather case is nice if a bit flashy and has enough space to hold the earphones with an extra inner elastic pocket. It is not the most compact case to carry around, larger than a regular wallet, but nonetheless is of good quality.












Design

The DK-3001 Pro follows the similar design introduced with the original 3001 and same tough build quality. With the DN-2002 the stainless steel material upgraded to 316F and was also used on the 3001. I don’t know how impressive and better can the much pricier DK-4001 be, but as any Dunu product build quality here is as always top notch. The steel material is thick and super solid, and also heavy for such small earphones. ‘Liquid metal’ of the Falcon-C was lighter, but for their own reasons they decided not to use them here again. The general shape and size of the earpieces may maintains the DK-3001 model, but like on the DK-4001 it has been improved to a smoother more rounded finish, fixing some obvious comfort issues. Inside the metal shells are five drivers, a hybrid setup of a large 13mm dynamic beryllium driver for low frequencies and 4 Knowles balanced armature drivers, apparently specifically customized for the Dunu tuning, a dual BA driver for mids and highs, and a smaller tweeter dual BA for ultra-highs. All packed in a compact shell.


Nozzle has been noticeable improved. It is longer but also wider, and more importantly, adds a lip to hold the ear tips properly. It provides a deeper, more secure fit. There are two vents, one on the inner side and the other on the outer. From the included ear tips selection the gray tips fit very easy along the whole nozzle length. The single red-core tips are more generic ones and are much tighter to fit on the nozzle. The Spinfit are the CP360 model, which were designed primarily for True-wireless earphones, so quite surprising they are included for the DK-3001 Pro which have a much wider nozzle when the CP100 and CP145 fit better.


The more rounded finish was done mainly on the inner side of the earpieces smoothing all the previous sharp edges on the DK3001. As result, the ‘Pro’ is noticeable more comfortable than the 2002 and 3001 – still not as great as the Falcon-C, and really wished they could implement a more ergonomic design. Isolation hasn’t improved and is about average or below with any of the silicone ear tips.


The cable is a whole innovation for Dunu. It is a 4-core OCC copper wire in a thin and soft shiny outer jacket. It is quite better and refined than the own Dunu previous ‘upgrade’ cables. It is lightweight and very soft and looks nice too combined with the all black matte painted housings. The lower part is softly braided with the four wires, while the upper half right and left sides are twisted. There are thin heatshrunk tubes attached at the end of the cable to give a more natural over-ear wearing.


The main feature of the cable here is the modular plug system, “Quick switching connector” as Dunu may call it. It is not own Dunu idea actually as we’ve seen it on the Dita Audio cables, but Dunu have implemented it in their own design. The main connector has four pins inside which connect to any of the audio plugs, and so you won’t need any extra adapter all the cables plugs are included, standard 3.5mm, and 3 balanced 3.5mm, 2.5mm and 4.4mm (Okay, maybe are missing the more dedicated XLR pin cables, but that is too much to ask). On the shells side, the cable uses MMCX connectors with the same 4-split design as the DK-3001 cables that provide a more solid connection and are also difficult to detach – now officially called ‘Catch-Hold’ if you prefer. The y-split and all plugs are well protected with aluminum gunmetal covers.









Sound Quality

Sources: iBasso DX220 & AMP9, DX160; HiBy R6 Pro & R5; Shanling M5s; FiiO M6 & M5; Oriolus BA300s.

The sound on the DK-3001 Pro is very different than the previous hybrids of Dunu (DK-4001 aside), from the DN-1000 up to the original DK-3001. Each newer model proved to be differently tuned offering certain improvements, but all of them (and could include the single CNT Falcon-C) presented a lively, more or less v-shaped sound. Taking the first DK-3001 as reference then the ‘Pro’ is more an opposite kind of sound rather than an ‘upgrade’ tag may suggest. In fact, naming this as 3001 is misleading if we consider it stands for the 3BA + 1D setup, when the 3001 Pro is a 4BA + 1D like the 4001 pricier model.

Anyway, the DK-3001 Pro is another example that Dunu can well implement both driver techs into a coherent and harmonic sounding single earphone. ‘Balanced’ may not be the first word that would describe the sound here. Instead, the 3001 Pro is tuned for a more midrange-centered signature with good amount of lows and highs to maintain a good overall balance, just not highlighted as in v-shaped earphones. So far it is the most natural sounding earphone from Dunu.

The dynamic driver used for lows gives more quality over quantity. The bass is certainly more than neutral but does not have that common mid-bass lift that any of the other Dunu IEMs had or other mid-tier competitors. It is still not lacking in body or texture because it has a warm tilt that gives enough fullness and weight to notes. The sub-bass has fair extension but it is even behind the mid-bass in quantity and impact; kind of unexpected considering the hybrid drivers’ setup and even a large 13mm dynamic driver. The control is very good and the lower power helps for more accuracy and layering, though is a bit dense with average speed. It may sound less ‘fun’ but then also very clean, and in exchange it is more versatile when pairing with different sources.

Midrange is the main attraction of the DK-3001 Pro, and of the most balanced at this price. It is forward and very rich, not too thick and just a bit colored. There is no bass bleed just some sense of warmth, remaining very clear and articulated. Very equally weighted from low mids to upper the range. Instruments have mostly a neutral positioning, while vocals tend to stand out more forward taking more attention; they have sweet texture with emotion. It is not the totally smooth or liquid midrange, there is some sibilance, yet offers a very natural timbre and coherence around this price tag.

Treble continues the same forwardness from the upper mids, being focused on the lower-treble region and then smoothing down towards the upper range – it well mirrors the bass presentation where the mid-bass is more pronounced and sub-bass more reserved. The DK-3001 Pro is not a bright earphone per se like the IT04, qdc Fusion, RE-2000 or the own Dunu Falcon, and so is more forgiving, relaxed and less splashy. Treble quality, on the other hand, is really good – it has very natural texture for balanced armature units and good layering and treble dynamics. Extension is still limited but is quite open and effortless.

Soundstage is decent just a bit more than average. Width and depth are equal but do not extend very far, missing the out of head feel. It still is airy and detailed, but considering the more open-design IEM of the shells I was expecting a greater staging than the original 3001 if called a ‘Pro’ version and the long ~3 years from its release. Going balanced in either 2.5mm or 4.4mm mode helps a little bit in extension but soundstage does not improve that much. Even out of the DX220 it still feels limited, and while something like the Oriolus BA300s tube amp can help a bit more, the changes are not that significant to justify carrying the extra amplifier.



Comparisons

DK-3001 (3BA & 1D)

The original non-Pro version is more lively, v-shaped sounding. Bass is much greater, especially in the mid-bass being more forward and powerful, thicker in texture and less tight, but then has more of a ‘fun’ factor. Midrange is more distant, thinner, and not as balanced and coherent, with less body in the low-mid and highlighting the upper-mid. Treble is brighter, more energetic but can show a touch of sibilance than the ‘Pro’ which has a better and natural treble quality.


iBasso IT04 (3BA & 1D)

Like the above DK-3001 the IT04 is also v-shaped, but differently presented and differs from the 3001 Pro even more. It is warmer and much greater in bass quantities, but also more balanced between sub and mid bass, more bodied and has greater extension. The IT04 is thicker on low-midrange, more weighted and dense for instruments and more body for male vocals, while upper-midrange is cooler. Treble quality is close, though the IT04 has more treble energy and is more even through the whole upper range. DK3001 Pro still stands out in more natural treble timbre. Soundstage is a win for IT04. It is wide and deeper, more extended and can really shine when using on balanced output.


qdc Fusion (4BA & 1D)

The Fusion is also a hybrid 5-drivers model. Drivers’ size and type are different on the Fusion but both have 2 BA for mids, 2 for highs (3001 Pro is actually a 2BA mid/high and 2BA for ultra-high) and a dedicated dynamic for lows. Both IEMs have very even sound from bass, midrange and treble but differ in their tonality and texture. The DK-3001 Pro is thick and smoother, whereas the Fusion is linear and cleaner. Fusion is more extended in the bass, very effortless and very dynamic, where the 3001 Pro is more focused on the mid-bass; not too much in quantities, especially if compared to the above IT04, but it is slower and more dense. Bass speed is also higher on the Fusion. Midrange balance is similar, although the DK-3001 Pro can be more vocal centered with its sweeter texture. Treble in the Fusion is brighter and a bit sharp. Soundstage is similar in width, but Fusion has more depth, with more air and 3D presentation.


final B1
(1BA & 1D)

The B1 is something between the DK-3001 and 3001 Pro. The B1 has greater bass than the 3001 Pro, but less than the original 3001. Bass extension is a bit better on the B1 despite a smaller dynamic driver (6.4mm vs 13mm). Midrange is very similar too, though the B1 is thicker and richer but a bit less forward, being more balanced with bass and treble. Like the 3001 Pro, the B1 gives good texture to vocals, even sweeter. The B1 has more treble quantity and also can show more sibilance. Soundstage is very close on both earphones, if just the B1 a bit wider, although the DK-3001 Pro has a more impressive natural treble. The Dunu has the better value for $100~200 less than the B1 and arrives in a very complete package.

Pros: Comfortable, coherent yet enjoyable sound
-Premium stock cable with switching connectors
-Quality accessories
Cons: May sound a tad light/flat for some
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Dunu DK-3001 Pro: Hybrid upgrade

Well, Dunu surprised us with another unexpected product. Previously, their DK-4001 was the long-awaited successor to the DK-3001, but the increased price is no small money and may have possibly left out the original DK-3001 users who couldn't afford the extra cash - which is why DK-3001 Pro was born. DK-3001 Pro is the replacement (or upgraded) model of the original one, sitting right under DK-4001 in position. Let's now take a look at the overall spec, sound impressions, and comparisons with Dunu's other models.



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Packaging

The packaging is overall similar to DK-400, but with a white cover on the outer package. The cover already provides a good insight into the internals of DK-3001 Pro, but let me talk about that just after this. The provided accessories are absolutely stellar - in fact, even better than DK-4001.


Other than the earpiece, it comes with a custom-grade stock cable, 4 sets of different plug connectors, a leather case, 3 pairs of red core silicone tips, 3 pairs of transparent silicone tips, 4 pairs of SpinFit CP360 silicone tips, AV converting jack, airplane jack, a pair of Comply foam tips, and last but not least, 6 pairs of custom SpinFit eartip spacers. And yes, these spacers are the reason why I consider the accessories to be superior to DK-4001. It's pretty much a silicone ring that could be installed prior to the eartips, providing that extra step which leads to deeper insertion.



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Earpieces


First off, let's talk about the drivers. DK-3001 has a 3BA+1DD hybrid setup, total having 4 drivers per side. The flagship model, DK-4001 has an extra 1BA driver, making the setup to be 4BA+1DD. Interestingly DK-3001 Pro also has a 4BA+1DD setup, technically being closer to DK-4001 rather than DK-3001 - but not identical.


Not only DK-4001 has a thicker beryllium coating but also the A.C.I.S bass port system and the PVD coating procedures gone through on both sides of the diaphragm. Those executions are the reason why the price jumped so high, so it makes sense why they haven't applied DK-3001 Pro with the same procedures.


The design factors are a lot similar to DK-4001 but a little slimmer and lighter. The fits are a lot more ergonomic than the old DK-3001 and I'm sure most will not have a problem fitting these into their ears. The housings are made of CNC'd stainless steel and give a matt premium feel to the touch. The MMCX connectors are greatly improved in gripping and durability with the patented catch-hold connectors.



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The nature of hybrid IEMs

One of the drawbacks that I personally feel from hybrid IEMs are those highly boosted 3D effects on the imaging and especially on the vocals, due to how the drivers are positioned; BAs up-front, DDs all the way back. Dunu was well known for its popular hybrid IEMs but this was sort of a problem they had to solve to advance with their products, so they came up with a solution.


DK-4001 had all four 4BA drivers placed right in front of the dynamic driver and facing sideways to minimize the distance of the drivers. As a result, the sound became well fused with much more coherency. For DK-3001 Pro, Dunu had 2BA drivers placed just as DK-4001 did (placing right in front of the DD) while the rest of the 2BA drivers were placed right in front of the nozzle. So why did Dunu decided to still partially use the classic "right in front of the nozzle" setup for the BAs? Let's talk that below on the sound impression section.



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Cable

The included cable is a real nice one too. Having a dedicated name called Lyre, it is made of high purity OCC copper cables embraced with double refining techniques. Lyre also comes along with its popular Quick switching connectors, allowing to swiftly switch around with the included 4 connectors - 3.5mm, 2.5mm, 4.4mm, and 3.5mm Pro. Dunu has announced that both Lyre and Noble (DK-4001 stock cable) will be available to be purchased separately, so make sure to keep your eyes on them if you're looking for a quality, affordable cable with an awesome switching feature.



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Sound impressions: Lows / Staging


DK-3001 Pro has a slightly w-shaped signature, gently elevating lows/mids/highs from flat which keeps the sound very balanced yet musical. The ultra-lows are actually very impressive despite its controlled quantity, keeping the presentation clear and tightly controlled in reverbs. It's just about the right amount of reverbs to keep the ultra-lows plentiful but keeping the borders clean.


Mid-bass feels deep with nice darkness, dropping hard with a fast and dense thud. The strike and decay are on point, throwing a quick jab with liveliness and weight without falling behind in response speed. The mid-bass has a similar quantity with typical slightly v-shaped IEMs - I'd say the quantity sits in the middle between flat and basshead. It's just the amount that anybody could enjoy unless you desire flat or hardcore bass-heavy signatures. Overall the bass from DK-3001 Pro creates pleasantly wide and spatial imaging but aims more for an opened-feeling, resulting in a vivacious, chill atmosphere.



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Sound impressions: Mids


As already referred on the earpieces section, hybrid IEMs generally have distinctively up-close vocals with the boosted 3D effect - gaining the fun, losing the neutrality. DK-4001 placed all four BA drivers leaned next to the dynamic driver, minimizing the physical distance between the drivers and fusing the sound close to each other as possible.


That would be the most ideal setup in terms of coherency and neutrality, but with some potential drawbacks such as grainier texture, lighter depth, etc. Plus, there are a good amount of people that rather loves the typical 3D-ish sound that comes from many hybrid IEMs in the market, so it's better not to leave them out. Seems like Dunu aimed to hit the sweet spot that could satisfy both parties by creating a coherent sound with a neat amount of 3D effect applied to it as a garnish.


The results are satisfying. Mids are moist, natural yet entertaining and take a step forward from the lows/highs but not to the point where it's bulged out. Vocals present a lively yet sweet tone with a neutral brightness, being able to switch back and forth from warmth to chill. There is no noticeable sibilance or spikes and keeps a very steady distance from the ears throughout the mid-frequency. Vocals have a neutral thickness, making it ideal for both male and female vocals.



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Sound impressions: Highs / Separation


Highs are crisp, tidy, and vibrant. It takes a slight step back from the mids with lesser quantity, but that doesn't mean the treble details are compromised. There's an appropriate amount of spacing between the mids and highs, allowing the treble to be presented with clear separation, texture, and layering. The highs don't feel to be attached though, as the mild airiness from both the mids and highs serves to gently connect this "free space", keeping a harmonic sound.


And yes, the highs do have airiness but in a very small portion for maintaining its neat presentation - I'd say it's the minimum amount just enough to keep the sound organic and naturally flowing. The materialistic hardness on the trebles is solid but not rock hard or metallic. It's an organic hardness to keep the sound smooth and comfortable while having a vivid crisp on the bites. The overall separation is stellar - not flying all over the place but precisely organized and distributed.



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Comparisons


DK-3001 Pro desires an organic, soft, and warm signature compared to DK-4001. Not that I'm saying DK-4001 is off from neutrality, but DK-3001 Pro barely expresses the metallic tone that occasionally appears from DK-4001. The upper frequencies are less aggressive and keep a further distance away from the ears, making a lot more comfortable to listen to. Overall it feels calmer, flatter, and slightly lighter in bass shades. It's also slightly more laid-back but just enough to make the sound comfortable.


As I compare DK-3001 Pro with the original DK-3001, the differences are day and night. DK-3001 Pro presents a lot more organic, neutral, and comfortable sound with significantly improved harmonics, while DK-3001 has stronger coloration and stiffness. DK-3001 was a successful IEM but many have shown complaints about the sound being a tad bright and harsh.



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Verdicts


Dunu jumped back into the audiophile market with a fierce and I'm happy to see that. Continuing the legacy of DK-3001, the new DK-3001 Pro lives up to the expectations very well inside out. Not only the fits, cable, function, and connectors have been improved but also the all-rounder characteristics which more people could really jam into. I'm also impressed with Dunu to be paying much attention to the little things like eartips spacer. It gives me a good insight into their degree of passion they really put on their IEMs.


Looking back and forth on Dunu products, I'm sure enough to say DK-3001 Pro is born upon the demands of asking for a more comfortable sound from its original model, while DK-4001 is the one that took a big step forward and advanced even further with DK-3001's signature. DK-3001 Pro finally filled up the spot that Dunu has been missing for a while and would be a great choice for those who wanted to enjoy the "Dunu sound" in a more comfortable manner.



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RELATED REVIEWS

DK-4001 Review / DK-3001 Review / Falcon-C Review

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Thanks to Dunu for providing DK-3001 Pro for an honest feedback/review.
I am not affiliated with Dunu and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
frix
frix
awesome work with the photography!
iBo0m
iBo0m
Great work! :) Do you have comparison to DUNU 2000j?

@frix +1 :)
Watermelon Boi
Watermelon Boi
@iBo0m Thank you! It's been very long since I tried DN2000J (and tried it for a very short session), though I remember DK-3001 Pro being a lot more refined and smooth compared to that while DN2000J was visibly brighter and a little harsh to my ears.
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