Pros: Excellent clarity & extension. Musical, exciting presentation (U-shaped tuning) with sparkly treble and thundering bass.
Cons: Bass can sound a tad loose if you are used to tighter-sounding headphones.
I've been looking for a good pair of portables to complement my ATH-EM9d (which are nice, but they provide no isolation and they lack bass, which meant they aren't suitable for many genres or movie-watching). Ideally I wanted something I can travel with that would isolate the cabin noise on trains and airplanes. I already own several full-sized cans and have never enjoyed dragging those around when I travel, so I started looking into IEMs.
After reading an extensive number of reviews, I narrowed down my choices to the Xiaomi Piston 3, Yamaha EPH-100, and the Dunu DN-1000 (I know they each belong to very different price tiers, but I wanted to know how big the differences are in sound quality before deciding how much I actually want to spend, heh).
Well, the Xiaomi Piston 3 hasn't arrived yet so I can't offer a comparison, but between the Yamaha EPH-100 and the Dunu DN-1000, the Dunu easily won by a huge margin (sorry Yamaha, looks like I'll be returning you...) Below are my impressions.
Accessories, Craftsmanship, & Comfort
Dunu threw in just about everything except the kitchen sink - frankly given the sound quality at the price I got it at ($160 brand new from Amazon), I would have been happy with half of the included accessories. There are eartips of all shapes and sizes, an accessory pouch, a hard carrying case, and two adapters (one for airline, which is perfect for what I need).
Craftsmanship on the Dunu appears to be excellent - the entire housing is metal and seems to be very solidly constructed. I did wish the cable were user-replaceable mainly because the housing seem difficult to disassemble and if anything goes wrong with the cable, I won't know what to do. But other than that, can't complain.
Comfort-wise, I found the foam tips to provide the best long-term comfort as well as the best seal. The housing is quite large and heavy for an IEM, and I found all the silicone tips to require the use of spacers to provide proper seal and comfort (and even then they don't seal as well, or are as comfortable, as the foam tips). The best silicone tip combination I found was the use of blue or red spacers coupled with the wide-bore single-flange (semi-transparent) black silicone tips.
Just absolutely breathtaking! These are the first BA-based IEM's I have tried, and I was just blown away by the detail and clarity present in the treble and mid-range. I had read some reviews saying that the BA drivers made the treble brittle and unpleasant, but I didn't find this to be the case. At least based on the materials I listen to, I didn't find the treble to be harsh or sibilant. There's just the right amount of sparkle without being offensive.
The bass is thunderous and goes down really deep, which is definitely a trait I like (I love sub-bass over mid-bass, as I am used to the AKG K550/K553). That said, there's just a little bit too much of it sometimes and I feel the bass could be a bit tighter (the K553 is about how I like my bass, and I do feel the bass is tighter on that). The texture of the bass on the DN-1000 is fairly fluid and dynamic, which is in stark contrast to the fast and crystalline texture of its BA-based mids and treble. The effect is most comparable to listening to speakers that have separate tweeter & subwoofer units, that's the best way I can describe it. It takes some getting used to, as I have never heard this quality in a headphone before.
This may be less of an issue when I am traveling, though, since as a general rule bass needs to be enhanced when there's background noise. I have a feeling I'll find the sound signature of the DN-1000 to be just perfect when I am on a train or airplane.
All in all, very happy with my purchase and looking forward to updating my impressions with further listening.
About me: I'm a Musician, Producer and Audiophile stuff lover for over 25 years. I've developed ear training since I was a kid learning piano and later with singing lessons. Producing music is also a good exercise. So yes, I can say I'm a music aficionado and love portable audio. When I hear something special I have a need to share my experience with others, so here I am trying to be as objective and straight to the point as possible. Hope you enjoy my reviews.
As usual, directly into what matters the most: the sound.
Burn-in: 150 hours. No noticeable change in the BA's; dynamic driver (bass) has slightly improved.
Prefered spacer/tips: red ring + stock bi-flange with wide bore
Source: FiiO X3 + iFi iCan Nano
First thing I've noticed when I first listened to DN-1000's was like having a Stereo system in miniature. Few IEMs (if any) at this price point will give you such fidelity, detail and finesse. It's truly impressive, but let's go into more detail.
Bass is so impactful and so tight, it gives me a musical experience I have never had with a IEM. It's like I'm hearing a full size can and it's no cliché. Sound is rich and full, bass has great extension, there's body, there's rumble, there's completely realistic drums and bass guitars with impact and attack. Bass kicks you in the gut when necessary. Sub-bass goes very deep, under 10Hz the dynamic driver still vibrates in my ears. These IEMs deliver serious sub-bass, bassheads could kill for this in an apocaliptic scenario. This is with a stock bi-flange tip with wide bore + red ring. Red spacer ring will give you more treble extension and amplify soundstage depth and this is the best combo I've found for this IEM. Absolutely the best, makes a world of a difference to any other tips/rings. Bass is pretty fast on Hard Rock like Three Days Grace, Daughtry, Shinedown, Nickleback, Seether, etc. Definition is pretty good from low to mid bass and did I mention its tight? With the forementioned tips I consider it's near basshead levels.
Mids are clean, transparent and organic, with minimal bleed from the mid bass. Liquid. Mariza and Mariah Carey voices sound as real and pure as they are live. It's like if they are singing for you, private, you hear every word, every breath, the vibrato, it's breathtaking. You can pick up details you just can't with for example, the Titan 1/FiiO EX1 and those are fantastic with vocals. But DN-1000 mids are more refined and detailed. Titan 1 gives you a good idea (a pretty good one indeed), DN-1000 shows you the full picture. Mids are more forward than the more V shaped Titan 1, DN-1000s are more balanced.
The top end is superbly refined, detailed and extended, bright and crisp, with a realism in cymbals and percussion instruments that I haven't heard since along time ago with IEMs and a very beautiful sparkle. Even Westone W40 and Earsonics SM3 do not compete. Especially because they don't have this transparency and air/brightness. Titan 1 is also not at the same level of refinement, delicacy and finesse. Treble on the DN-1000 is so polite and detailed, I think it touches perfection. True high resolution. Put the wrong tips and you won't hear half of it. So try them all, including 3rd partys.
All of this leads to an unbeatable PRaT (Pace, Rythm and Timing), dynamic expression and pinpoint accuracy for the price. In my opinion dynamics and fun factor are way above Titan 1 and even Westone W40. Instrument separation is a bit better, the sufficient to let you listen to sounds with a precision you can't with the Titans and more so with the W40's. Micro-detail is better perceived too. Soundstage depth is also superior, in fact took me some time to adapt to these levels of depth. Width is excelent for a closed IEM. Very open sounding, especially with the dual flanges with wide bore. Another thing that impressed me compared to the Titans is timbre. It's *almost* as good as the JVC woodies, something Titans are not as good at. DN-1000 gives you a superior degree of fidelity that justifies the price difference.
This is an agressive IEM in a good way. Treble is smooth, not a hint of sibilance (yet north of neutral), but in a whole, sound is very dynamic and energetic. Crunchy guitars with attack, agressiveness and power in the drums with great body and impact, very realistic experience. For vocals and jazz, they're phenomenal, so delicate and gentle with an analytical level of detail retrieval. They are somewhat similar to the Sennheiser IE800 that I have auditioned recently. Would be hard to choose a winner without a direct A/B. DN-1000 makes most of the IEMs I've had lately (with the exception of the H300) sound boring, dull and lifeless..
If you're after something really high fidelity that gives you a true audiophile experience and you love bass, at 199€, there's no competition in my opinion. You're getting a triple driver IEM for half of what you would have paid in the past for an SM3 or UM3X and more recently, W40 (400€). And it's an hybrid with a dynamic driver, that delivers super tight bass, ideal for EDM lovers, without sacrificing any detail. The 3 driver configuration does a great job separating frequencies, DN-1000 never congests, even with the darkest of the Metals. Westone W40, for eg, a 4 driver setup, does congest in the more complex passages, maybe because it's darker and veiled than DN-1000. Instrument separation is top notch, at the same level of the legendary UM3X, but the instruments are cleaner and clearer, you can pinpoint them effortlessly. DN-1000 performs above Westone W40 in my opinion and by quite a significant margin. Just to give you an idea of how well the Dunu competes with the top-tiers. Tips/rings are the key, once again try them all. I found the bi-flanges with wide bore + red rings to be the secret ingredient for the DN-1000s. With these rings, since they're long, the tips can stay inside your ear, but you can fatten the nozzle of the IEM with some medical tape and they will fit firmly. Just a side note.
Listen to a cello with these and you won't forget it... Add the whole orchestra and you'll be delighted with the realism. I just close my eyes and there's an immediate smile in my face.
Rings. What are they for? There are 3 sizes: silver is the smaller one, blue in the middle and red is the bigger one. What they do exactly is to add more treble extension and amplify soundstage depth. With the red ring you can listen to sounds you just can't with the silver or blue rings.For me, this extra treble extension means micro-detail and fidelity, so personally, for my taste, the reds are the way to go. Soundstage depth is also incredible with the red rings, makes my listening experience more engaging and satisfying. Naturally, your mileage may vary, so try them all.
As always DUNU is making the difference, they made it more recently with Titan 1 and the older DN-1000 is no exception. They offer you sound quality of IEMs that cost alot more. Whats interesting here is that you have a basshead (or close to it) IEM with the properties of much more analytical IEMs and at least for me, this is lots of fun and enjoyement that for the price you pay, its something...
Pros: Gorgeous, cohesive, sound. Strong Bass, but not overpowering. Crystal clear highs.
Cons: On the heavy side for an iem.
I stumbled upon these a few weeks ago while searching for a pair of "under $200" iem's that weren't as bass heavy as my Bowers & Wilkins C5 S2's are. My search has ended with the DUNU DN-1000. This is just a fantastic all around iem. Best in price range clarity mixed with deep bass extension that is not over done or bloated. Thank you! Finally an under $200 iem that has a fun/warm, but BALANCED sound. I love "V" shaped iem's and headphones as much as the next guy, but there is a time and place for everything. When the situation calls for a nicely balanced, yet slightly warm sounding iem, that you don't mind taking on the road with you, these fit the bill nicely.
Pros: - Build quality looks solid - Gorgeous, sultry, balanced sound. Super clear highs, forward mid's, and bass is not overpowering. - Hybrid BA & Dynamic drives work very well together. The sound is very cohesive. - Accessories galore!!! Hard case, soft case, over ear guides, airplane adapter, 1/4 adapter, tip guide rings, tips, tips, more tips! - 1 year warranty
Cons: - A little heavy, but once you find a good fit, they are pretty secure. - No domestic support. Must send to Taiwan if anything goes wrong.
*Notes: I used the grey foam tips, and silver 1.2mm spacers.
Conclusion - I'm very happy I took the risk and bought these. I never heard of Dunu before, but they are now on my radar in a big way. The DN-1000 is a fantastic hybrid iem that has crystal clarity, rich mids, and ample bass that is balanced and controlled. This is a "Best in Class" choice for an iem under $200.