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DUNU DN-2002

Rating:
4.5/5,
Tags:
  1. Zelda
    Well worth the 'Hi-Res' tag
    Written by Zelda
    Published Aug 14, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Top-notch build quality; Excellent MMCX cable; Well extended and balanced sound; Clarity and detail; Good isolation.
    Cons - More expensive than the previous models; large and heavy design; hit or miss fit/comfort.
    Full review here: LINK
     
    20028.jpg
     
     
     
    Specifications:
     
    Drivers: 2 x Dynamic 10mm + Dual Balanced Armature
    Frequency range: 10 Hz-40 KHz
    Impedance: 10Ω
    Sensitivity: 106±2dB
    Connection: 3.5mm Gold-plated
    Cable: 1.2m
    Weight: 24g
     
     
    Price (MSRP): U$D 380
     
     
    Accessories: (4/5)
     
     
    Build & Design: (5/5)
     
     
    Fit, Comfort, Isolation: (4/5)
     
     
    Sound:
     
    This time the new Dunu hybrid takes a dual dynamic + dual BA configuration, unlike their three previous hybrid model ones which had only one dynamic along the dual BA small Knowles TWFK drivers. These two dynamic are not smaller drivers but 10mm like the previous ones. After having the DN-1000 and DN-2000 for a long time already with their strong bass response, I had my doubts about the new tuning of this last one. Dunu's IEMs are not bass heavy by default, the Titan series can prove that, and dual DDs doesn't necessary equals to powerful bass either, but warm sounding they truly are, and both other triple hybrids had more than enough. To my surprise the DN2002 turned to be quite an amazing earphone, probably the best tuned of all the Dunu IEMs I've tried, and one of the most balanced and good sounding universal earphones regardless their price. Moreover, the DN-2002 hybrid results are among the best in terms of coherence between drivers type and play along in beautiful unison. The DN-1000 had that notorious incoherence, and even the 2000, while much better, wasn't free of this issue. Unfortunately, I can't comment about the 2000J as I never got a chance to try it, but the Fidue A73 (1DD+1BA) was an excellent example of a coherent hybrid, that could match the DN-1000 in many technical aspects.
     
     
    Now, as for the DN-2002 itself; starting from the low end it is very accurate with excellent control, in a very higher dynamic driver style, with great detail and well textured. It's very full in body but not overly thick, solid in note presentation and very resolving in the sub-bass region. The DN-2002 remains very clean and shows no hint of bloat, which is quite an achievement for a Dunu product with this strong bass response. While the sub-bass reach is not as deep as the DN2000, or as immersive or addicting, with this new dual dynamic setup the lowest frequencies are faster and more effortless. I'm not aware of the inner configuration of these two drivers but they play along very well. Tonally, the bass keep the typical Dunu's house warm and rich signature with enough emphasis but definitely sounds more neutral and realistic, what makes it easier to enjoy even at higher volumes. As for bass quantity alone, well, it ended being a lot less that what I was expecting, but turned up to be much nicer and delicate. The DN-1000 sounds boomy and bloated in comparison and the DN-2000 has an extra mid-bass kick, while the Titan 1 is a bit light in impact. The DN-2002 could be rated as being in a ~70 way from the Titan to the 2000, far from being light in weight but without sounding so extreme.
     
    The midrange of the DN-2002 is perfectly balanced with the bass and treble. Being under the care of the so-famous Knowles TWFK BA units, the mids are as usual very clean and slightly prominent with a high level of clarity and detail, and despite the hybrid setup and Dunu's typical warm sound, they aren't lacking in transparency or resolution. If anything, the DN-2002 won't have the extra crispiness or the very aggressive nature that these BA drivers can have. Compared to its previous siblings, the midrange sounds relatively more linear and neutral. Changes are not that easily noticed next to the DN-2000, but in an A/B test the 2000 offers a richer and fuller midrange, while the 2002 mids sound slightly smoother with a more liquid nature within them. Note thickness is really good, the perfect mix of both drivers type works as wonder, less thin than a pure TWFK based IEM such as R-50M or DBA-02/B2, but still less than the weightier Dunu's hybrids; they deserve a similar score in pure quality as a well powered Hifiman RE-600, just in a different flavor. Great for any kind of instruments with the high separation and natural decay, and very nice for vocals being slightly more upfront and realistic, and probably one of the most intelligible among similar priced hybrids.
     
    The highs are prominent but with a noticeably less emphasis for a TWFK based IEM for a smoother and better balanced overall sound from lows to highs. They're full of energy, highly detailed and resolving with plenty of sparkle and high sense of air, a tad brighter than the DN-2000, but far from being as sharp and tiring as the DN-1000. The DN-2002 shares a similar laid-back character with the VSonic GR01, but not as smooth (and slightly rolled-off) as the Westone UM3X/Pro30 and similar triple-BA that also share a TWFK inside. It's definitely a very easy to like and refined treble presentation which gives the right amount of energy to upper instruments; solid crash to cymbals, great texture to strings and bite to electric. It sounds refined and resolving all the time.
     
    Even though the DN-2002 is less bright as the similar BA IEMs, it's still very revealing. It has a more neutral tonality and the timbre is among the best within universal sets I’ve heard, while manages to escape from sounding very-analytical. The presentation is very spacious and airy. The upper end extends very far without effort. Stage dimensions are large, but not huge, the DN-2000 sounds bigger and more immersive, while the 2002 has a more competent sense of height for a more rounded 3D effect and coherent imaging.
      peter123 likes this.
  2. mark2410
    DUNU DN-2002 Earphone Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published Jul 19, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Incredible mid-range. Stupendously natural sounding. Superbly natural bass. Faintly mesmerising treble.
    Cons - So so Isolation. Wallet ouch. Will be treble light for some.
    DUNU DN-2002 Earphone Quick Review by mark2410
     
    Thanks to DUNU for the sample.
     
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/814641/dunu-dn-2002-earphone-review-by-mark2410
     
    Brief:  DUNU makes an IEM tuned just for me.
     
    Price:  £285 or US$380
     
    Specification:  Type: 2 * Dynamic(10mm) + 2 * BA, Sensitivity: 106+/-2dB, Frequency Response: 10Hz-40KHz, Impedance: 10Ω, Plug Size: 3.5mm, Cord Length: 1.2m, Weight: 24g.
     
    Accessories:  1 pair of Earhooks, 1 pair of Comply Foam eartips, 3 pairs of White Silicone eartips (S/M/L), 3 pairs of Spinfit eartips (S/M/L), 3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter, Protective box, Shirt Clip
     
    Build Quality:  Good.  Everything thing looks and feels good.  It is DUNU’s usual high standard but given their price while it’s very good it’s nothing exceptional or special.
     
    Isolation:  Well, these are pretty vented, they do after all have two dynamic drivers in them.  The result of course means that they are not the world’s greatest isolators.  Now while more iso isn’t the same thing as “better” for me it would limit the places and situations I would feel comfortable using them.  Out and about is fine, on a bus is passable but Tube or flights not so much.  Still you’ll need to use your eyes when near traffic if you’re new to IEM’s.
     
    Comfort/Fit:  They do have a bit of a weird shape but for me they worked great.  No issues at all, wearing them up I just shoved them in my ears and that was it.  I was also very, very happy to wear them for hours on end too.
     
    Aesthetics:  These aren’t lookers, they are okay but nothing particularly special.  Now they aren’t ugly either but just meh, boring and just not interesting visually.
     
    Sound:  I love these, love these sooooooooo very much.  They are tuned with my own personal preferences in mind and feel near perfectly matched to my own hearing curve.  Moderatly over bassy, quite middy and rather demure treble.  The bass is fast but not BA fast which is fine because BA bass can be a little soulless but here its grand, symphonically grand.  Lush, articulate and can sweep and soar gloriously yet it can give you a fairly quick punch when called upon.  It’s not the most aggressive though, every punch has a faint coating of memory foam over that granite below.  Its graceful and agile like something from Swan Lake.  No harshness, no abrasiveness nor jarring movements.  Okay so the most aggressive bass does have that aggression a tiny bit muted.  If you want TF10 GRRRRR punch you face then no.  It’s fast, it’s agile but its idea of aggressive is 2Cellos “Smooth Criminal” yeah you can tell there is aggression there but it’s still not abrasive on the ear.
     
    Tonally too there is a certain preference to the likes of string originating bass, cello’s, double bass’s, everything get an instant veneer of coming from something natural.  I hate the term but everything sound so “organic” in origin.  This extends to its range and depth, so that while some IEM’s at this quality level opt to try and stay linear all the way down, which while I can accept the technical merits of, it always sounds a little unnatural.  These however happily, so naturally sounding, trail and decline as they reach down low.  They just sound so natural.
     
    The mid’s are epically glorious.  The mids are seriously incredible, every vocal that comes on they instantly wash with some faintly sweet, light syrup yet creamy and light in a way that no creamy sauce could every flow so fluidly. Everything sounds wonderful.  Crap vocals sound good on these, so should you slap on some truly fantastic, world class vocals and they will just take you to another world. 
     
    The Treble too is so refined, so softly genteel and with a faint shimmering sparkle.  Like the faintest and most delicate morning frost.  Which is just perfection for my treble sensitive ears.  Soooo much detail and so tantalisingly presented.  Glorious, just glorious.
     
    Value:  So yeah, it’s not cheap so it’s probably not super-duper great “value” but it’s an acoustical marvel.  You want this level of quality your wallets taking a pounding, it’s that simple.
     
    Pro’s:  Incredible mid-range.  Stupendously natural sounding.  Superbly natural bass.  Faintly mesmerising treble.
     
    Con’s:  So so Isolation.  Wallet ouch.  Will be treble light for some.
  3. Brooko
    DUNU DN-2002 : Wonderful sonic signature, questionable comfort
    Written by Brooko
    Published May 24, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Sound quality, tonal coherence, clarity and resolution, build quality, accessories, design features (cable, cinch, cable tie etc)
    Cons - Comfort if worn cable up, lack of lip on nozzle, connector band around shell has raised hard ridges (comfort)
    dn200234.jpg
    For larger views of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images

    INTRODUCTION

     
    I've had the pleasure of listening to most of DUNU Topsound's hybrid earphones (DN1000, 2000 and 2000J), and also their Titan series (1, 3 and 5), and the thing that has always struck me with DUNU has been the quality of their products, and the innovation in their design. So when Vivian first started talking about producing a multi-driver hybrid statement line (2002, 3001 and 4001), I was naturally curious. So far I've really liked most of their products, and this has been especially so with the 2000J, Titan1 and 5 – which are still favourites, and which I still rate extremely highly. So the fascination with the model I'm reviewing today was because I was intrigued – would the 2002 be modelled on the 2000, 2000J or something new? Read on to find my thoughts.
     
    ABOUT DUNU-TOPSOUND
    I’ve used this before in my other reviews – and I think it serves as a good reminder of who DUNU is, and where they come from.
     
    DUNU Topsound was established in 1994 originally as an OEM supplier to other companies. Since then they have developed their own branded line of high quality earphones, and gone from strength to strength (IMO) with each release. They currently have their manufacturing plant in China and head office in Taiwan. They now have more than 100 employees, and market their product range all over the world.
     
    The name DUNU is simply an acronym of the principle design points that the company strives to implement in their product range
    Delicate
    UNique
    Utmost
     
    Here is a quote from their website, which really does give an insight into what drives the company:
     
    “With advanced technology and hi-end equipments, DUNU desires to be able to provide Delicate, Unique & Utmost products for Hi-Fi embracers. Delicate means extremely quality demanding on product process, from every little component to product manufacturing. DUNU has complete production line and equipments, including precise equipments, B&K frequency machine, IMD sputter, CNC machine, anechoic room, etc. Concerning design of product, DUNU also devotes to create unique outer appearance and balance in all sound frequency.
     
    Utmost is not only the expectation on products, but also the pursuit of an Earphone Manufacturer. The founder of DUNU, himself, has years of experience in OEM/ODM earphone products in which many worldwide famous earphone Brands are included. However, in order to create the most enjoyable earphone on his own, DUNU’s president establishes the brand “DUNU” and implants many hi-end equipments and hires talented employees. From then on, DUNU takes the lead in developing the first Chinese made metal earphone, developing 5.8mm Driver unit and produce the very first Chinese Balance Armature Earphone, in 2014 DUNU release China first triple driver Dynamic and Balance Armature Hybrid earphone, All these preparations are to step on the world stage and to challenge renowned earphone brands. The ultimate goal of DUNU is to provide worldwide HI-FI embracers our Delicate, Unique & Utmost earphone products.”
     
    DUNU’s full product catalogue can be found here - and their products are supplied through their own store front (globally) on Amazon.
     
    DISCLAIMER
    The DN-2002 that I’m reviewing today was provided to me gratis as a review sample. I have made it clear to DUNU that I still regard any product they send me as their sole property and available for return any time at their request. But I thank them for the ability to continue use of the DN-2002 for follow up comparisons. I do not make any financial gain from this review – it is has been written simply as my way of providing feedback both to the Head-Fi community and also DUNU themselves.
     
    I have now had the DUNU-2002 since late April. The retail price at time of review is USD 375.00, and can be purchased via Amazon.
     
    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'. (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)
     
    I'm a 49 year old music lover. I don't say audiophile – I just love my music. Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up. I vary my listening from portables (including the FiiO X5ii, X3ii, X7, LP5 Pro and L3, and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD). I also use a portable set-up at work – usually either X3ii/X7/L3 > HP, or PC > E17K > HP. My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyerdynamic T1, Sennheiser HD600 & HD630VB, and AKG K553. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs, and lately it has mainly been with the Jays q-Jays, Alclair Curve2 and Adel U6. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).
     
    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880. I have a specific sensitivity to the 2-3 kHz frequency area (most humans do) but my sensitivity is particularly strong, and I tend to like a relatively flat mid-range with slight elevation in the upper-mids around this area.
     
    I have extensively tested myself (ABX) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent. I do use exclusively red-book 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 49, my hearing is less than perfect (it only extends to around 14 kHz nowadays).
     
    For the purposes of this review - I used the DUNU DN-2002 straight from the headphone-out socket of most of my portables, and also from the FiiO E17K when at work. I did not generally further amp them (I did test them with my E17K, E11K, IMS HVA and iDSD), as IMO they do not benefit greatly from additional amplification (YMMV and it may depend on your source). In the time I have spent with the DN-2002, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (break-in) over close to 30 hours.
     
    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.

    THE REVIEW

     
    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
    The DUNU DN-2002 arrived in an approximately 142mm x 177mm x 56mm retail box. The retail packaging consists of a printed sleeve over a book style reinforced board box. The sleeve carries virtually all exterior print, is printed in matt black, with white and red text. On the front is the DUNU logo, the “Hi-Res” certified logo, a high res picture of the DN2002, and a little information on the earphones (which I won't repeat now as we'll go into more detail below). The rear of the sleeve has accessory and specification information, as well as a frequency graph.
     
    dn200201.jpg dn200202.jpg dn200203.jpg
    Front of the sleeve
    Rear of the sleeve
    Inner box

     
    The inner box has a coarse textured black outer surface, and simply the word “DUNU” on the top cover. Opening this reveals the DN-2002 nestled safely in a foam holder, and a black pelican style case.
     
    The carry case is different from the original 2 piece aluminium one from the 2000 and 2000J. The outer dimensions are almost the same, and come to just under 120 x 85 x 40mm externally (including lip, clasp and hinges, but inside gives up a little space, and is actually smaller than the original 2000 series aluminium case. This one is a hard gloss plastic outer, but with good interior protection from a rigid rubber base and foam in the lid. It has more than enough room for the 2002 with some space for accessories and is pretty well built for protection. Because of the size of the carry case, it isn’t really pocket-able (trousers or jeans), but it would be ideal for a bag or casual jacket pocket. I might be a bit strange – but I'm actually liking this case better (hinged lid, less likely to show scratches)
     
    dn200204.jpg dn200205.jpg dn200206.jpg
    Inside the cover
    Case, DN-2002 and warranty sheet
    Case is perfect size

     
    The actual range of accessories is well thought out and includes:
    1. 3 pairs of white silicone tips
    2. 4 pairs of Spin-fit silicone tips
    3. 1 pair of medium T500x genuine Comply tips
    4. 1 pair of ear-hooks
    5. 3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter
    6. Pelican type carry case
    7. 1 Shirt Clip
    8. Maintenance and warranty card.
       
    dn200207.jpg dn200208.jpg dn200209.jpg
    Tip selection
    Ear guides, adaptor and shirt clip
    The new DN-2002

     
    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    (From DUNU’s packaging / website)
     
    Because people may want to compare – I've also included the specifications from DUNU's DN-2000 and DN-2000J earphones.
     
    Model
    DN-2002
    DN-2000J
    DN-2000
    Type
    Quad driver hybrid IEM
    Triple driver hybrid IEM
    Triple driver hybrid IEM
    Driver - Dynamic
    2 x 10mm titanium DD
    1 x 10mm titanium DD
    1 x 10mm DD
    Driver - BA
    1 x Knowles dual BA (2 BA)
    1 x Knowles dual BA (2 BA)
    1 x Knowles dual BA (2 BA)
    Freq Range
    10Hz – 40 kHz
    4Hz - 40kHz
    10Hz – 30 kHz
    Impedance
    10Ω

    16Ω
    Sensitivity
    106 ±2dB
    112 ±2dB
    102 ±2dB
    Cable
    1.2m, replaceable (MMCX)
    1.2m, fixed
    1.2m, fixed
    Jack
    3.5mm gold plated, 90 deg
    3.5mm gold plated, 90 deg
    3.5mm gold plated, 90 deg
    Weight
    24g
    21.8g
    22g
    IEM Shell
    Hockey stick/cartridge style
    Cartridge style
    Cartridge style
    Casing
    316L Stainless Steel
    303F Stainless Steel
    303F Stainless Steel

     
     
    FREQUENCY GRAPH
    The graphs below are generated using the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. I must stress that they aren’t calibrated to IEC measurement standards, but the raw data I’m getting has been very consistent, and is actually not too far away from the raw data measured by other systems except for above 4-5 kHz where it shows significantly lower than measurements performed on a properly calibrated rig. So when reading the graphs, don’t take them as gospel – or at least remember that the area above 4-5 kHz will likely be significantly higher. It is my aim to get this system calibrated at some stage in the future.
     
    The graphs are provided merely as a point of discussion, and I've included a scan of DUNU's graph from the packaging also for comparison. I've also compared the 2000 and 2000J on my same equipment – and this should give a basis for comparative assessment.
     
    2002freq.png 2000freq.png 2000Jfreq.png
    The DUNU DN-2002
    The DN-2000
    The DN-2000J

     
    You will notice an imbalance in the channels of the review sample I have. This should not be taken as a typical sign of DUNU's QC, nor do I think it actually affected the review too much. To be honest I would not have noticed it unless listening to tones or a mono track. With music it simply sounds like a normal stereo mix. And I often receive samples with some channel imbalance from other manufacturers – it is simply one of those things. I've included the channel comparisons for the 2000 and 2000J to illustrate what you should expect (in confidence) when purchasing from DUNU.
     
    My sonic impressions of the 2002 – written well before I measured:
     
    1. More akin to the DN-2000 than the DN-2000J
    2. Overall balanced but warmish sounding, and subdued in the upper end
    3. Subjectively good tonal balance overall – nice coherency from lows to highs
    4. Clean and clear sound but lacking some crispness I have been used to with other DUNU products (some may see this as a good thing)
     
     
    BUILD
    The DUNU DN-2002, like the entire range of DUNU products I’ve reviewed previously, is incredibly well built and finished. The outer shell is two tone (black and silver) and utilises 315 stainless steel which DUNU says reduces sound vibrations. The actual body is similar to the rest of the DN series in that the main shell is a “cartridge” style (cylindrical). The diameter is approximately 12mm and the main shell length is approx 15mm deep. With the addition of the 8mm nozzle length, this gives an overall length front to back of 23mm (so sizeably longer than the rest of the DM series. One of the things I like about the shell is that DUNU have rounded the front edges, which is a welcome change from the harder edges on the 1000,2000 and 2000J. The nozzle is 6mm in diameter, has no lip (for tip retention) and has mesh protection for the nozzle. Its 8mm length is tiered in two stages so that the lightly thicker stage stops tips coming right up to the base – and in this section is a very tiny ventilation hole.
     
    dn200214.jpg dn200215.jpg dn200216.jpg
    Lipless nozzle and view from front if worn over ear
    View from side
    View from rear

     
    The rear of the shell is finished in matt black, has the DUNU name on the flat section at the rear, along with a 2nd ventilation port. The rear section also houses a vertical arm which is the connector apparatus for the MMCX replaceable cable system. This sits alongside and perpendicular to the main housing, and is basically a 7mm diameter cylinder with a length of approx 16mm. Please note the "strap" which sits around this and seems to connect it to the main shell - it has raised edges is one of my comfort issues I'll mention later in the review. The connection system is proprietary and standard MMCX cables from other companies will not fit – this actually includes the cables from DUNUs own Triton series (which is a little strange). One of the nice things with the arms is that DUNU have put a red coloured ring on the right side – so you always know which earpieces is which. The male connectors also have a small notch (which matches the socket) so the cables only fit one way, and this should reduce spinning and hopefully loose connections. The connectors themselves are very tightly fit (requires some force to remove), and can also be swapped from right to left. The right male connector has an % on the hard rubber housing and the left has a raised dot.
     
    dn200218.jpg dn200220.jpg dn200219.jpg
    Right hand ear piece - rear logo
    The new cable attachment
    MMCX connector - note notches to stop rotation

     
    The cable has a very satiny smooth PVC outer sheath which exhibits very low micro-phonics (none when worn cable over-ear), and which just doesn’t seem to tangle. Like the 2000J, they have retained the four separate cores – so re-terminating to balanced should be a simple matter of simply changing and re-soldering the jack. The Y split is rigid, metal, sturdy and very practical. Dunu’s design choice with the Y split is one I’ve always liked. There is enough weight in it to keep the cable pulling down slightly, but yet it’s not overly heavy or bulky. The top section of it also detaches to become the chin slider. The design is simple, elegant, and works incredibly well. There is ample strain relief at the southern end of the Y split, and the 1.2m cable terminates at a right angled, very well built jack – gold plated, and with excellent strain relief. If I had one small question about the cable it would be that there is no real strain relief at the male MMCX connector section. Unfortunately only time will tell if this could be an issue
     
    dn200211.jpg dn200212.jpg dn200210.jpg
    Jack and cable tie
    Y split and cinch
    The fantastic "on-cable" tie in place

     
    The other brilliant design element in the cable is the inclusion of the 'on-cable' cinch (or rubber cable tidy) – the same as used on most of their releases now. This is a really simple mechanism that is unobtrusive - but means that whenever it's time to store the IEMs, the cable is always tidily looped. This remains one of the most simple, yet practical, methods of cable ties I have ever seen.
    I can’t really fault the overall build quality. Unfortunately I can't quite say the same about overall design – especially when it comes to fit and comfort.
     
    FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
    I'll start with the easy one (isolation), and we can then look at fit and comfort. Isolation is dependent on tip selection, and if you get a good seal, it is actually pretty good (above average for a hybrid IMO), but will not ultimately reach the high isolation of sealed BA IEMs. It would still be reasonably good for a busy street, or some forms of public transport though – although wouldn't be my personal choice for long haul flights.
     
    Now we get to fit – and these thoughts are more subjective. As I said above, the DN-2002 has a vertical cylinder for housing the connectors, and this sits adjacent to the main shell. Because of the design, you can easily wear the 2002 cable up or down, and connection cylinder to the rear of the external ear or the front (simply by swapping earpieces). So you essentially get 2 fitting choices up and 2 down. You can also angle the arms forward for more options.
     
    dn200223.jpg dn200222.jpg dn200221.jpg
    Examples of design vs other models
    Fidue A83, DN-2002, Oriveti Primacy, MEE Pinnacle P1
    Unfortunately for me, comfort is not the best

     
    My preferred wearing position is always over ear. If I swap earpieces, and move the connectors to the front, the connector cylinders are hard up against my tragus, and I cannot get a deep insertion without comfort issues. If I wear the cylinders to the back, the bottom of the cylinder hits inside my antitragus and causes long term discomfort that way. Also the overall girth of the body is such that (like the original DN-2000) it is always pressing unnaturally against some part of my ear. I can get used to it, but the fit is always noticeable, and in an era where other companies are able to get ergonomically designed multi-driver earphones to conform to the ear, I simply can't help but feel that DUNU really missed the boat on this one. You could have the best sounding earphone in the world, but if ultimately it isn't comfortable, then you won't wear it – or at least I won't. And unfortunately for me – the 2002 suffers from long-term comfort. I've spoken to Vivian about this, and she says that no-one else is really talking about comfort problems with the design (especially in China) – so maybe this is a “Brooko” issue. Unfortunately it is also a very real issue for me – and I can't help but think that it is something the design team should at least look at. Our ears are soft, rounded, and pliable and they do not like hard edges (at least mine don't). I also tried the ear-hooks in an endeavour to see if it would help fit. I found them quite frustrating, and gave up after about 10 minutes – the issue isn't with the cable wrapping around – it is with the housing.
     
    dn200235.jpg dn200237.jpg
    Worn cable down, comfort is not too bad
    My preferred cable over-ear is uncomfortable for me

     
    If you wear cable down - with the connector "barrel" at the very front of the IEM, then the comfort issues pretty much disappear, and this is probably how DUNU have tested them and most people are wearing them. My issue with this is that (a) it introduces some microphonics, and (b) because the housing and nozzles are straight (not angled) the fit is pretty shallow.  If it works for you this way though, then your experience will be a lot different to mine.
     
    One thing which I do think is contributing to the discomfort is the actual metal strap which goes around the connector and secures the connecter housing to the main housing.  This has a slight ridge (is not smooth) and this also contributes to the discomfort. Hard edges and soft ears do not mix DUNU!
     
    dn200224.jpg dn200225.jpg dn200226.jpg
    Comply foam and included silicone
    Spinfit and Ostry
    Tips that wouldn't stay intact - my Sony Isolation and Spiral Dots

     
    Another little gripe and this isn't a huge one because ultimately large Comply tips do the trick, but the lack of lip on the nozzle means that some tips I like to have options with simply can't be used (e.g. spiral dots). The smooth nozzle means that slightly looser bores won't hold and this limits my options. In this case, there are no tuning filters – so I really can't see why this is missing. Anyway – it's slightly annoying – but alleviated that there are fortunately a number of tips that do work. I tried and get successful seals with Ostry tuning tips, the included Spinfits and also the Comply tips. Ultimately I ended up going with foam for the best comfort and seal.
     
    Either worn over ear, or cable down, the DN-2002 do not fit flush with my outer ear, and are uncomfortable to lie down with. The one time I managed to fall asleep with them intact I ended up waking after an hour with very sore ears and a vow never to do try it again.
     
    So where the build is brilliant, unfortunately for me the design is not practical (for my over ear preferences) and – most importantly – could be drastically improved. This is one issue that DUNU should definitely look at in the future.
     
    SOUND QUALITY
    The following is what I hear from the DUNU DN-2002. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my FiiO X3ii and E17K as source, no EQ, and Comply foam tips with the cable worn over ear. I used the X3ii and E17K simply because paired they give me a very transparent window to the music with low impedance, and more than enough power. With the X3ii, replay gain was off, and the fixed line-out setting was default.
    dn200228.jpg
    For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the E17K was around 17-19/60 (on low gain) which was giving me an average SPL around 65-75 dB. Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.
     
    Thoughts on General Signature
    When I first listened to the DN-2002, the first impression was of a really nice balance, good detail, and very smooth and easy to listen to signature. This hasn't really changed in the time I've had them. If describing in a few key phrases, I'd describe them as smooth and balanced, with good bass response, and slightly subdued upper end. One of the things I've enjoyed with them so far is that they have such an easy going nature – but still allow good levels of detail texture and timbre through. In fact if it wasn't for the fit, these would be the ideal IEMs to simply relax with.
     
    Overall Detail / Clarity
    Tracks used: Gaucho, Sultans of Swing
     
    1. Good balance with slightly noticeable rise in the mid-bass
    2. Very good detail retrieval and although it is more overt than in your face, nothing appears to be missing
    3. Cymbals have reasonable presence and extremely good decay (they sit in the background just a little)
    4. Guitar has very good edge and sounds very realistic
    5. Very good resolution overall and surprises considering how smooth it is.
    6. Vocals in both tracks are nicely balanced
     
    Sound-stage, Imaging, and Sibilance Test
    Tracks used: Tundra, Dante’s Prayer, Let it Rain
     
    1. Very good directional cues, but just at the periphery of my head space – so not extremely wide or deep sounding (more intimate)
    2. Nicely rounded stage (which I find more important than expansiveness)
    3. Precise imaging which is very clear – not diffuse at all.
    4. Separation of instruments is above average – and again surprising clarity given the smoothness.
    5. Great contrast between vocals, piano and cello with Dante's Prayer.
    6. Immersion is very good (applause section of Dante's Prayer) with impression that crowd is around you. This is continued with the holographic presentation of “Let It Rain”
    7. Overall I would all the staging as realistic and slightly intimate rather than expansive.
    8. Sibilance is masked quite a bit in “Let It Rain” - hardly present for me, although I know it exists in the recording
     
    Bass Quality and Quantity
    Tracks used: Bleeding Muddy Water, Royals
     
    1. Very good mid-bass impact and good portrayal of timbre, tone and texture (Mark's vocals in “Muddy Waters”)
    2. Good speed and bass resolution – this is quality bass rather than simply quantity
    3. No signs of bass bleed into the mid-range
    4. Enough sub-bass for rumble (“Royals”) but not over emphasised. I quite like this presentation actually – again it sounds very much like bass done right (natural rather than emphasised)
    5. Very good separation between mid-bass thump and vocals (“Royals”)
     
    Female Vocals
    Tracks used : Aventine, Strong, For You, Human, The Bad In Each Other, Howl, Safer, Light as a Feather, Don’t Wake me Up, Ship To Wreck.
     
    1. Good transition from lower-mids to upper-mids – sounds quite natural
    2. Slightly euphonic presentation with reasonable air and a slight touch of sweetness to female vocals (much less than 2000J)
    3. Fantastic contrast between vocals and lower pitch of instruments like cello
    4. Very slight stridency with Aventine and Strong, but doesn't degrade at all with lower listening volumes
    5. Extremely good with music with highly dynamic content (Feist, FaTM) – contrast between bass and vocals is excellent
    6. Gabriella Cilmi gave me chills – always a good sign from the point of view of realism and tonality.
    7. Plays all my female vocalists extremely well – definite tick for female vocals
     
    Male Vocals
    Track used: Away From the Sun, Art for Art’s Sake, Broken Wings, Hotel California, Keith Don’t Go, Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.
     
    1. Again, really good portrayal of dynamic slam from the bass without overshadowing anything.
    2. Great presence with lead guitar and excellent harmony with lower vocals (very full)
    3. Male vocals and fem,ale vocals have very similar sense of staging or distance – nice balance.
    4. Vocals sound quite realistic – rich and full
    5. Excellent portrayal of classic rock artists like 10CC and Jethro tull. Mix of detail and tonality is very good.
    6. Brilliant with acoustic tracks – especially Eagle's Hotel California
    7. Wonderful presentation of timbre and tone with Pearl Jam – texture on Eddie's vocals was practically perfect.
     
    Genre Specific Notes
    1. Excellent with most forms of Rock, and stunning with Alt Rock too – especially Porcupine Tree and Floyd – Wilson's vocals are amazing. Constantly surprised how they manage so much detail but retain their smoothness.
    2. Wonderful with Blues and Jazz although at times I would have liked just a little more upper end to highlight some spectacular cymbal work I have in some recordings. Great with brass. Bonamassa's guitar work and vocals were wonderful.
    3. Good bass impact – but not earth shaking (for the likes of Hip-hop or EDM lovers who might look for enhanced quantity). Quality is excellent though and I'm enjoying the 2002 with all forms of EDM, Hip-hop and Trance.
    4. Pop was brilliant and the smoothness can help even out some of those peaky recordings (Adele) which can sometimes get slightly shouty in the upper mids. No lack of resolution though which is good. Indie was brilliant and again the same ability to soften some recording issues with lower treble whilst retaining the overall tonality is one the 2002's strengths IMO. Wildlight's “Dawn to Flight” was fantastic – absolutely sublime tonality.
    5. Classical on the whole was really good – stand-outs being solo piano and solo cello. Lacked a little overall depth with full orchestra and there are times I would have preferred a little more expansiveness.
     
    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
    The DN-2002 doesn’t need amplification for overall volume – but because of its relatively low impedance, if you have a source with an output impedance of anything over 1 ohm, you may want to consider an amp to correct the output impedance mismatch. All of my sources are pretty low OI and I had no issues with tonality changes.
    dn200227.jpg
     
    With my iPhone 5S around 30-35% volume is more than enough with most tracks, and the FiiOs are generally at around 30/120. I did try the DN-2002 with the E11K, E17K, and IMS Hybrid Valve but none of them seemed to be adding anything to my listening set-up other than some extra bulk. I actually found the HVA to be a little too warm, but did enjoy the E17K with the X3ii (read why below).
     
    RESPONSE TO EQ?
    The DN-2002 is a very cohesive sounding IEM which doesn't really require EQ, but if you find the easy going relaxed tonality a bit much, and would like a bit more upper end, the X3ii + E17K is a really good way to achieve this. I simply set treble to +4 and revisited my female vocals. For my tastes this was an improvement, and the DN-2002 seems to respond well.
     
    COMPARISON WITH OTHER IEMS
    These comparisons were all done with the X3ii, E17K (no EQ) – and volume matched using a calibrated SPL meter and fixed 1kHz test tone first. Here are my very subjective thoughts:
     
    dn200230.jpg dnseries.png dn200231.jpg
    DN-2002 vs DN-2000
    Comparison of all the DN-2xxx series
    DN-2002 vs DN-2000J

     
    DN-2002 (USD 375) vs DUNU-2000 (USD 259)
    Build quality including girth on the housings is quite similar. For comfort – because of my own physiology, I have to give the nod to the DN-2000 as slightly better fitting – although to be fair neither would be what I would call comfortable. Both are very similar sounding IEMs with the DN-2000 having better bass extension (more sub-bass) and a little more presence in the lower treble. Both are clear and smooth and able to give very good resolution and tonality. My personal preference here is actually for the DN-2000, but it really is because of overall fit and also sonic preference.
     
    DN-2002 (USD 375) vs DUNU-2000J (USD 288)
    The 2000J has similar overall build characteristics as far as quality goes, but this time there is a difference in the size of the housings (2000J is slightly smaller) and the relief is palpable. The 2000J is a lot more comfortable for me. This time there is a bit more change in overall tonality with the 2000J having a lot more upper mid-range and lower treble presence. The 2000J also has marginally more bass presence (a similar bass profile though) – yet the 2002 sounds warmer and smoother due to it's more subdued mid-range and treble. Undoubtedly the 2002 sounds the more tonally correct and balanced earphone overall – but it doesn't stop me appreciating the characteristics of the 2000J (I love its unabashed clarity and brighter presentation). This will come down to preference.
     
    DN-2002 (USD 375) vs ORIVETI PRIMACY (USD 299)
    dn200232.jpg 2002vsprimacy.png
    DN-2002 vs Oriveti Primacy
    Comparative freq graph

    Build quality overall is of a similar standard, but where the Primacy stands out is with its very ergonomic form factor and nicely rounded edges. It literally disappears when worn and there really is no competition in this area – the Primacy is simply superior. Sonically the two are similar up to a point with the 2002 offering more balanced and natural sounding tonality, where the triple hybrid Primacy has more sub-bass extension (and this is quite noticeable), a real peak in the vocal presence area and a large peak in the lower treble. The Primacy sounds comparably more intimate, very clear in vocals, and it's one fault is that it can at times become a little fatiguing to me. Overall I like the 2002's tonality but the Primacy's form factor and comfort.
     
    DN-2002 (USD 375) vs JAYS q-JAYS (USD 279-299)
    dn200229.jpg
    2002vsqjays.png
    DN-2002 vs Jays q-Jays
    Comparative freq graph

    Once again both IEMs are phenomenally built, and once again the 2002 is soundly beaten in fit and comfort. The q-Jays are a dual BA (no dynamics) so this obviously aids fir and comfort. Sonically the two are somewhat similar although the 2002 sounds a little smoother, more natural, and a little warmer. The q-Jays seem quicker, cleaner, and slightly leaner – but they also have a lower treble peak which is very apparent when doing A/B comparisons. Of the two, the 2002 does sound tonally more natural. This one will come down to preference – but the q-Jays really suit my own tastes and for me the comfort and form factor would win out as well.

    DUNU DN-2002 – SUMMARY

     
    There is an awful lot to like about the 2002, and this is especially so with its sonic ability. It has a realistic natural tonality about it which is smooth yet lacks no detail or resolution. The balance between bass, mid-range and treble is very cohesive, and I could find no real faults with it. For my own personal preference I would have liked perhaps a touch more upper mid-range and also lower treble – but that is easily fixed with EQ. Bass is quick and well textured, and the overall transition from lower to upper mids is seamless. The overall tuning and balance is the DN-2002's strongest point.
     
    The build and accessory package is typical DUNU – very good quality, and not really skimping on anything which should be required for the overall package. But where I do have problems is the form factor and overall fit. I think DUNU would have been much better to try shells which are much more ergonomic, and I fear if they don't start looking in this direction for future releases, they are ultimately going to be overtaken by other companies. One only has to look at the likes of the Primacy from Oriveti, or Pinnacle P1 from MEE to see where the market is heading. And DUNU have always been one of the great innovators – so I do hope they take this critique on-board. If you naturally tend to use IEMs cable down though, and can manage a good seal, the DN-2002 become more than just viable, and I suspect you'll find very little fault with them. Unfortunately for me - I am pretty much an over-ear user. One thing DUNU should fix regardless is the "strap" holding the "connector" housing to the main shell.  This has raised edges - and these simply do not go well with soft ears.  A definite design fault and one which should not have passed the original testing phase.
     
    The RRP looks to be USD 375 and at this price the DN-2002 is not a cheap IEM. If it wasn't for my issues with the comfort / fit, I would recommend them wholeheartedly. However I would be remiss if I didn't suggest that it might be a good idea to try them first if you are considering buying them. If you are lucky enough to have no fit or comfort issues, then you are getting a fantastic sounding IEM.
     
    Once again I’d like to thank Vivian at DUNU for giving me this wonderful opportunity to review their products. 4/5 or 80% for me. I can't fault their sonics, but can't ignore the design issues with comfort for my over-ear preference.
    dn200233.jpg
     ​

    UPDATE 6th JUNE

    A little update to my review - and also a big shout out to Vivian and her engineers for sending me replacements.  They didn't need to, I didn't ask for them - and it just goes to show how much DUNU want to make sure things are right.
     
    1. The graphs  are generated using the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. They aren’t calibrated to IEC measurement standards, but the raw data I’m getting has been very consistent, and is actually not too far away from the raw data measured by other systems except for above 4-5 kHz where it shows significantly lower than measurements performed on a properly calibrated rig. So when reading the graphs, don’t take them as gospel – or at least remember that the area above 4-5 kHz will likely be significantly higher than m,y measurements.
    2. The graphs are provided merely as a point of discussion, and are useful as a comparison to other IEMs that I've measured on the same equipment.
    3. DUNU kindly sent me a copy of their own graph - which I think shows the similarities between the results we're getting.  Theirs shows a channel measured with and without a full seal. Not sure if it was left and right, or both measurements of one only
     
    Anyway - last week I received the replacement pair of DN-2002, along with an upgrade cable DUNU are considering.  The issue with my first pair of 2002 (the ones I reviewed) was some channel imbalance in the bass. It was pretty much unnoticeable with music playing, and didn't detract from my enjoyment of the 2002.
     
    The replacement pair is graphed below.  There is still some imbalance, again only with the bass.  When I took the measurements I used the exact same tip for both channels (foam tip which gives a great seal).  I also took 4 measurements of 5 iterations, so 20 in all, and took the closest matching average measurements to build the graphs. The seal is definitely a good one. Any channel imbalance is unnoticeable again, and these sound every bit as good as the first ones.
     
    upgrade2002freq.png upgrade2002oldvnew.png
    New DN-2002 channel measurement
    1st pair vs 2nd pair

     
    Main difference is that the channel matching is a lot closer, and this pair have a higher peak at 9kHz.  They still sound really good, and would be my favourite DUNU release to date (sonic signature).
     
    Here is DUNU's graph for comparison:
    XDN-2002Graph.jpg
    But this time Vivian included something a little special that they've been working on.  An upgraded copper aftermarket cable.  Its two twisted pairs (4 separate wires which are twisted to a quad below the Y-split. This means converting to balanced is as simple as changing the jack. The cable is really supple, looks really good, reasonably low microphonics (over ear) - there are some, but it isn't bad. The connectors are a lot skinnier, and actually fit snugly inside the existing connectors. Not sure if they intend changing to something a little more suited to the socket dimensions, but I actually like these the way they are. The jack is right angled, quite heavy duty, and looks really amazing. Only one small nit-pick is that it's not friendly with my iPhone case - but it's only a small critique as it fits everything else fine.
     
    The best thing about the cable is that it fits over-ear brilliantly - tends to stay there rather than occasionally unlooping. It is probably the small bit of extra weight and the suppleness.  So looks good, fits well - how does it sound?  Exactly the same as the other cables actually (c'mon you knew I was going to say that [​IMG]). But to make sure - I measured.  There was a volume difference of around 0.5 dB - but as you an see, the freq response is pretty much identical:
     
    upgrade2002cablecomp.png
     
    So is the cable upgrade worth it - hard to tell as I have no idea of whether its being offered as an extra or included for future accessory packs.  I really like it though, and if it was reasonably priced I'd probably get one for the aesthetics and improved fit.
     
    Pics below:
    dn200238.jpg dn200239.jpg
    The replacement 2002s with the new cable
    Connectors and jack - 4 separate conductors

     
    dn200240.jpg dn200241.jpg
    The jack is heavy duty -  love it
    New skinny connector vs standard

     
    dn200242.jpg dn200243.jpg
    New connector in place
    The fit is actually really good and they seem to be very secure

    1. View previous replies...
    2. Brooko
      For me, the FLC8S has better fit and more tuning options. The 2002 has better build and better default signature. Pick which is more important to your preferences. I genuinely like both.
      Brooko, Aug 9, 2016
    3. Arsalan
      I bought this earphones last week. Could a replace cable (like "Brevity 5N CGOCC-A SPC" from Null-Audio) make the sound even better?
      thanks
      Arsalan, Aug 15, 2016
    4. Brooko
      In my personal opinion it won't make much (if any) difference.  I've tested multiple cables with may different earphones - and unless you are dramatically changing impedance, and have a bumpy impedance curve in the earphone to start with, any changes will be minor.  My advice - if you want to change the sound a bit - use EQ.  You'll get a better more consistent result, and it will be a mile cheaper.  Changing tips will have more of an effect than cables 99% of the time.
      Brooko, Aug 15, 2016
  4. HiFiChris
    A less bright and slightly bassier Adaption of the DN-2000J
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published May 17, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - soundstage, control, DN-2000J's sonic strengths with audibly less brightness/stridency, tonal harmony
    Cons - over-the-ear fit can be difficult, slight roll-off towards sub-bass, subjective design criticism
    P1030032.jpg

     
     
     
    Preamble:

    Founded in February 1994 originally as an OEM manufacturer, the Chinese audio company DUNU has grown in the past few years and launched many in audiophile circles highly appreciated in-ears, whereof the Titan 1, an in-ear with semi-open design that reminds me more or less of an “earbud with a nozzle”, was one of their most appreciated and discussed in-ears in the last time, next to the fabulous hybrid DN-2000J that I also really like myself except for the sometimes too bright upper mids and middle highs.

    Lately, DUNU’s Vivian approached me, telling me the first model of new hybrid in-ears that were unveiled a few months back, were ready. So without further ado, just little time later, the postman showed up with a package containing the hybrid quad-driver DN-2002 in-ears that feature two dynamic drivers for the low frequencies and each a Balanced Armature for the midrange and treble, aligned in a three-way design.
    The MSRP is $379, so it is just little more expensive than their objectively excellent DN-2000J. Just adding $30 more for an in-ear with one more driver and replaceable cables is really fair in my opinion.
    How does the DN-2002 compete against the DN-2000J and other hybrid in-ears? Let’s find it out together!


    Technical Specifications:

    MSRP: $379
    Drivers: 4 (2x dynamic, 2x BA)
    Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 40 kHz
    SPL: 106 +/- 2 dB
    Impedance: 10 Ohms
    Cable length: 1.2 m


    About Hybrid In-Ears:

    As you can read from the technical specifications and mentioned multiple times in the preamble, the DN-2002 is a little different from most In-Ears and doesn’t only use dynamic or Balanced Armature transducers, but combines both in one shell.

    Most In-Ears use dynamic transducers for audio playback which have the advantage of covering the whole audible spectrum and achieving a strong bass emphasis without much effort. Valuable dynamic drivers are often said to have a more bodied and musical bass that has a more soft impact and decay and lacks of the analytical character that BA transducers are known for. On the downside, in contrast to headphones with other driver principles, dynamic transducers often have a lower resolution.

    Higher-priced and professional IEMs mostly use Balanced Armature transducers, which usually have got a higher resolution than dynamic drivers, are faster, more precise and have got the better high-level stability, which is important for stage musicians that often require higher than average listening levels. On the downside, it is quite hard to cover the whole audible spectrum with just a single BA transducer and strongly emphasised bass is only possible with multiple or big drivers. Some people also find In-Ears with BA transducers to sound too analytical, clinical or cold (in several active years in a German audio community where I wrote multiple reviews, gave dozens of purchase advice and help, from time to time I heard people that got into BA earphones for the first time using these attributes for describing BA earphones, especially their lower frequencies).

    Hybrid IEMs unite the positive aspects of both driver principles and use one dynamic transducer for lows reproduction and at least one BA driver for covering mids and highs, wherefore the often as “musical” described bass character remains and the BA transducers add resolution and precision to the mids and highs – and that’s what the DN-2002 does with its technology. It is addressed to those people who perceive the clinically-fast character of BA transducers as unnatural, but want to keep the mids’ and highs’ resolution, speed and precision.


    Delivery Content:

    What you will probably notice if you are familiar with DUNU’s more recent previous products is that the DN-2002’s packaging varies a little, now having a printed cardboard slipcase with a sturdy black cardboard book-style package box underneath.
    The slipcase sleeve is designed not unlike their previous products, showing a large picture of the in-ears on the front (along with the Comply Foam and SpinFit logos – yes, DUNU is now a SpinFit partner). The back is, typically for DUNU, really nicely arranged, showing and explaining all features with little pictures and text on the upper two thirds and giving information about the technical specifications in the lower third.
    The actual packaging/container can now be slid out, is entirely black with just a silver DUNU logo on the magnetically attached book-style lid that can be opened up. Inside, one will then see the in-ears and a new Peli-Case-style carrying case that contains a 6.3 to 3.5 mm adapter, a shirt clip, two ear guides, one pair of Comply Foam tips, three pairs of white silicone tips and last but not least a bag with three pairs of SpinFit tips (a fourth pair/size is already installed on the in-ears).

    The delivery content is not bad but DN-2000J’s was much more impressive.
     

    P1020999.jpg   P1030001.jpg
    P1030002.jpg   IMG_1447.jpg
    IMG_1448.jpg   IMG_1449.jpg
    IMG_1450.jpg   IMG_1466.jpg

     
     

    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    Honestly speaking, I personally don’t find the design of the DN-2002 appealing. The DN-2000J is elegant and sleek, the DN-2002 is rather averagely looking. Not particularly cheap at all but not special either. Its form language somewhat reminds me of Audio Technica’s older models. Not a bad thing but I personally dislike the bodies being halfway silver and halfway black; I would have preferred either entirely black or silver shells. Sure, the large cylindrical shape was used for the two dynamic woofers, but I personally don’t like the colour choice – I much prefer the looks of the DN-2000J, Titan series and the design renders of the DK-3001 and DK-4001.
    But as you know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so let’s move away from that irrelevant digression.
     

    IMG_1451.jpg   IMG_1452.jpg

     
     
    The actual bodies that contain the drivers are cylindrically shaped and rather on the large side. The front segment is made of CNC-milled steel, the rear one of high quality matte black plastic and features a DUNU logo on the faceplate.
    The cables are attached to a cylindrical bridge on the sides and feature rotation-locked and very firmly sitting MMCX connectors to drastically minimise wear – a really good thing. What I find quite handy is that the right earpiece sports a nice glossy red ring for easy side recognition next to the classical side-marker letters.
    The in-ears are really well built and feel very sturdy.
     

    IMG_1453.jpg   IMG_1454.jpg

     
     
    The cable is of very high quality and one of the most flexible and best seeming non-twisted/-braided cables besides the one Jays is using for their q-JAYS. It is basically identical to the one that is used for the DN-2000J but has got rotation-locked MMCX connectors. The angled 3.5 mm connector (that is made of metal) shows the serial number; the y-split and cable cinch are made of metal as well. For sure, the DN-2002 has also got DUNU’s patent-pending silicone cable management tool.
    The cables above the y-split have got an air canal on the inside and can be squeezed which should improve durability – the cable of the DN-2000J has got the same air canal. Though, I would still wish an additional, real strain relief directly at the in-ear bodies near the MMCY connectors, as despite the air canals, the cable might still get stressed near that part.
     

    IMG_1457.jpg   IMG_1458.jpg

     
     
    The carrying case looks and feels rather cheap compared to DN-2000J’s superb aluminium case but is nicely bolstered on the inside and if it helped to keep the price down, I don’t see it as a too negative aspect, nonetheless a DUNU logo on the lid would be desirable.
     
     

    P1030003.jpg   P1030005.jpg

     
     
    A cool addition is that the white silicone tips are branded with the DUNU logo.
     

    IMG_1461.jpg   P1030006.jpg
    P1030007.jpg   P1030008.jpg
    P1030009.jpg   P1030010.jpg

     
    P1030018.jpg   P1030022.jpg
    P1030023.jpg   P1030025.jpg
    P1030035.jpg   P1030041.jpg

     
     
    Comfort, Isolation:

    The in-ears are relatively large – overall together with the bridge, they are larger than the DN-2000J, so one shouldn’t have the smallest ears for a good fit and seal. In my large ears, I don’t have any fit or comfort issues at all, but the lower section of the cylindrical bridge touches my conchas when wearing the in-ears with the cables over the ears which is however not the intended wearing style (a workaround is turning the in-ears by 90 or 180° (the latter would be actually wearing them down but guiding the cables over the ears), then the bridges don’t touch my ears anymore and comfort is excellent).
    The in-ears are actually intended to be worn with the cables down. The more professional “around the ears” style that is also the industry standard for higher priced and professional in-ears, as it improves fit/comfort and highly reduces microphonics, is not as easy because of the large bridges, however it is possible but depends on one’s ears (or can be done if the sides are swapped, but then the red ring is on the “wrong” side). The best method for me is to insert these in-ears regularly “cable-down” and then to guide the cables around my ears.
    I’m wearing the DN-2002 with the cables around the ears. I do so with about all in-ears (and even some earbuds). Microphonics are then close to nothing.
     

    P1030021.jpg   P1030027.jpg
    P1030028.jpg   P1030029.jpg

     
     
    Isolation is actually not bad for vented in-ears – it is somewhat above average, about on-par with the DN-2000J but doesn’t yet reach closed models’ levels.


    Sound:

    Although I am no real long-period burn-in believer with headphones, I let the DN-2002 burn in with noise and sine signals for 100 hours before the brain-in period started – just in case.
    For listening, I mainly used the iBasso DX80, DX90 and LH Labs Geek Out IEM 100. The tips that I used were mainly the largest white silicone tips but also the largest included SpinFit tips (just for comparing them to the regular tips). No other tips than the included were used.

    Tonality:

    White Silicone Tips:
    Let’s have a closer look (more precisely listen) at the white silicone tips, as the SpinFit tips didn’t work out for me as advertised (more about that further below).

    The sound with the white silicone tips still reminds me of the DN-2000J however with more bass, somewhat gentler treble and less thin mids. So the (upper) highs are still somewhat on the brighter side but the bass is meatier. Mids take a slight step back but not too much. Some v-shaped tendency? Yes, but with less concentration on the sub- but more on the midbass, not unlike the DN-2000J but with more impact and meat.

    Without much vent covering, the DN-2000J was more on the leaner, brighter side. Compared to the super flat Etymotic ER-4S, it had 5 dB more bass than neutral. Compared to the UERM that is also considered as a neutral in-ear, it had just about 2 dB more bass (actually a bit less). It was an overall rather bright in-ear with just slight v-shaped tendency. With more vent covering or installed sub-bass rings, the bass increased somewhat, became fuller. Sitting in my ears, the vent wasn’t covered much, so it was a quite balanced in-ear with more closeness to the bright and lean side in the midrange and middle highs. The DN-2002 is different: it is meatier, bassier, more impactful. The highs are somewhat on the bright side but clearly less lean. Vocals are flatter, not lean anymore. It was definitely designed for those who found the DN-2000J too shy in the bass and too lean and strident in the vocal and treble range. It also sounds a bit bassier and less lean than the DN-2000J with attached bass rings.

    The DN-2002 has approximately 7 dB more bass than the ER-4S and ca. 4 dB more than the UERM, nonetheless it sounds not just a little bassier than the DN-2000J (ca. 5 dB more bass than the ER-4S) – why? Simply because the DN-2002 has a bit more upper bass and lower root than the DN-2000J, which is already responsible for most of the perception of bass heft and impact. Then of course, the DN-2002 is not as lean in the midrange and has less middle plus lower treble quantity that compensated for the DN-2000J’s modest bass elevation. I’ve double- and triple-checked it with an equalizer – the DN-2002 doesn’t have that much more bass quantity but does not sound just a little bassier (lowering the DN-2000J’s treble and upper mids by about 4 dB, it becomes obvious that it sounds subjectively not just a little less bassy because of the treble that compensates for the lows – and increasing DN-2002’s treble, it is suddenly perceived as less bassy as before).

    Let’s see what I am hearing, listening to music and using an equalizer (to check for the intensity of emphasises) as well as sine generator (the DAC-Amp I used for the sweeps was the HiFime 9018d because of its super low output impedance):
    The lows’ emphasis starts rising down from about 650 Hz in the upper middle root, the climax is being reached at 180 Hz. Level then remains stable from there on down to 50 Hz. After that, in the sub-bass, it rolls evenly off with just little presence below 30 Hz. As the climax is already being reached quite high, the weight on low notes is somewhat heavier and thicker compared to in-ears that have their bass’s climax set at lower frequencies. With that emphasis being more of a humped than straight lined shape, the fundamental range gains some warmth and weight as well as upper bass kick (for my very personal preference, the climax could be set somewhat lower with just a little less fundamental warmth and upper bass kick or with more sub-bass quantity as compensation).
    Midrange is quite flat and takes a step back after 1.5 kHz in the lower treble/presence area. Vocals therefore sound neutral and neither thin nor warm and appear natural although there is slight warmth on very low voices – but without skewing tonal midrange balance at all. I then hear a broad-banded peak at 4 kHz that is however still slightly below the ground-line, afterwards in the middle treble between 5 and 6 kHz, level is somewhat recessed and adds enough headroom for a broad-banded emphasis between 7.5 and 10 kHz (EQ experiments show around 4 dB). Super treble past 10 doesn’t have much less level and is surprisingly flat and high extending past 16 kHz.

    The DN-2002 works excellent with most genres and sounds natural (though, if you don’t like a forward upper treble and want a leaner, neutral bass, these still might be probably not the best choice for you). Rock, Metal, Pop, Acoustic, Instrumental, Country, D&B, Classical, Rap, Hip Hop and Jazz as well work really nice. Tonal balance is natural with some weight to the lower notes. Trumpets, violins and cymbals sound realistic. However, I find Electronical music with high treble density and generally tracks with high treble density or when a note hits exactly the peak frequency to be somewhat strident at times because of the upper highs’ emphasis – way less often than with the DN-2000J but more than with the UPQ Q-music QE80 which has audibly even more upper treble energy but sounds smoother to me with tracks that have high treble density.
    The DN-2002 is not for the ones who want a lean, flat, low quantity bass. Although it is definitely no basshead in-ear at all and not particularly really bassy, it has a firm upper plus midbass and lower plus lower middle fundamental range, giving the sound good weight and kick when called upon. The added weight also comes in handy in noisy and bass-masking environment such as public places in larger cities.

    SpinFit Tips:
    As mentioned earlier, the SpinFit tips didn’t work for me as advertised. I guess it could be because of my ear canals that are quite wide and straight. I am able to get a good fit and insertion angle with about all in-ears and there are just few exceptions that are different. With the vast majority of in-ears, the SpinFit tips reduce the (especially upper) treble in my ears, which is the total opposite of what the measurements I made indicated. With most in-ears, my measurements actually show increased treble quantity with the SpinFit tips compared to the standard ones – which is quite strange, as I hear it as the exact opposite. There are just very few exceptions that when the in-ears don’t fit well in my ears and don’t have a sufficient angle, the SpinFit tips then work as intended/advertised, increasing treble energy and extension in my ears.
    And well, with the DN-2002, it is the first case: measuring the frequency response with the SpinFit tips, the graphs actually show that treble levels increase – in my ears however, I hear it all differently: the bass gains some level, the upper treble decreases. The upper frequencies in general are less prominent, are more in the background but also sound less edgy, smoother. This might probably vary among individuals with different ear canal shapes, as I have read that for many people, the SpinFit tips work as intended with most in-ears.

    As a result and personal preference, I used the regular white silicone tips for further listening and comparisons instead.
     

    P1030004.jpg   P1030016.jpg

     
     
    Resolution:

    The DN-2002 adapts one of the DN-2000J’s great strengths – detail retrieval.
    Just as with the DN-2000J, I see the amount of details to be somewhere between the UE900 and Westone W4R of which I find the latter to be one of the highest resolving sub-$1k UIEM (but everything else about the Westone is not really suiting my subjective taste at all, honestly speaking).
    Speech intelligibility is excellent, with good retrieval of singers’ variances, the overall density of fine details is really good, the upper range is pretty refined and very detailed and clear (even slightly more refined and differentiated than DN-2000J’s).
    The bass is superbly controlled, pretty fast and nonetheless with a really nice and tactile body. The body is somewhat less present than the DN-2000J’s but as compensation, decay is quicker and the bass therefore appears a little more arid (at the cost of slightly less tactility) – do you remember my DN-2000J review where I wanted the bass to be a little bit more arid/quicker at times? I think DUNU has nailed it with the DN-2002. The bass doesn’t reach the level of details and speed of a good closed BA woofer but is quite well comparable to a vented BA bass and superbly suits those who don’t like the dry, clinical BA character but want more musicality and body without having to give speed as well as control a miss. Attack is quick. Multiple bass lines and quick double- and triple-kicks and punches are no mud but precisely separated from each other. Decay is a little slower than with better closed-back BA woofer but not slow at all – it is somewhat quicker than the already fast DN-2000J’s bass and almost as quick as FLC8s’ woofer; it’s the magic of DUNU: a really high quality dynamic bass with some nice body but excellent control and really good speed.

    Soundstage:

    As I perceive the soundstage to be identical to DN-2000J’s, I decided to just copy and paste my thoughts on the triple-driver, as I don’t really have much more to add: “Soundstage and spaciousness are two of the DUNU’s greatest strength and top notch. [DN-2002’s] spaciousness is [almost] as easy-going, roomily and effortless as the UERM’s, which means that there are no real perceptible borders to the sides and that the soundstage varies in expansion, depending on the track.
    Lateral expansion as well as depth are very well and extensively marked, but luckily don’t sound artificially stretched.
    Instrument placement on the imaginary stage is very precise and instruments have got a very good separation from each other, without bleeding into each other. Also layering is very homogeneous and without any gaps.
    Hats off, that’s pretty nice.

    It has a good expansion both in terms of width and depth. It is not the largest overall soundstage and does not reach full-sized headphones’ levels but is quite spacious, of good quality and especially precise.

    ---------

    In Comparison with other Hybrid In-Ears:
     
    IMG_1467.jpg
     

    ORIVETI PRIMACY:
    The PRIMACY has got less upper bass and lower root, therefore sounding slightly less bassy. The PRIMACY extends deeper in the bass and has more sub-bass without roll-off. PRIMACY’s mids are a little brighter. In the treble, it is smoother in at least 90% of the time and only comes more obtrusive if a note hits its exact, narrow peak frequency in the upper highs.
    Regarding resolution, both aren’t far apart at all but the DN-2002 sounds overall somewhat more refined and differentiated in the mids and treble. Bass speed and control are pretty similar, but here the DN-2002’s “DUNU-magic” kicks in where the bass is super controlled and fast as well but has still a nice body and level of detail.
    The DUNU’s soundstage is wider but especially deeper and with the more precise instrument placement, separation as well as layering.

    UPQ Q-music QE80 (Fidue A83 OEM):
    The DUNU has got slightly more bass. QE80’s mids sound a bit brighter and more distant. The UPQ has got more level in the presence area and is therefore a bit more critical with bad recordings. In the treble, the QE80 is more forward, also in the upper treble, and therefore thinner sounding than the DN-2002. The DUNU has the more realistic upper end timbre, especially audible with violins. Although the UPQ has got more upper treble quantity, it sounds a bit smoother and less edgy with music that features a dense treble.
    The QE80 has the better tactile, more liquid bass body. With fast recordings however, the DUNU shows its supremacy as it has got the better controlled and faster plus more arid bass. In the midrange, I wouldn’t be able to say whether one in-ear is better to the other – they are just differently tuned here, with about similar details. In the treble however, the DN-2002 unveils more details and sounds more differentiated.
    Soundstage width is identical but the DN-2002 has got more spatial depth and better instrument separation, portrayal of emptiness and layering.

    FLC Technology FLC8s (red-black-green/gunmetal filter combination most of the time for the comparison):
    The FLC8s has got somewhat less upper bass and lower fundamental range with these filter combinations, about similar midbass quantity and (much) more sub-bass (DN-2002’s is rolled off in the lowest registers below 50 Hz). Mids are about similar with the FLC’s being minimally brighter by a hairbreadth and a little more distant with these filter combinations. In the middle highs, the FLC is somewhat more relaxed. Depending on the used nozzle filters, FLC8s’ upper treble is either about comparably present (gunmetal) or somewhat more emphasised (green). While the FLC’s upper treble emphasis is narrow, DN-2002’s is broad-banded. With both in-ears however, upper treble realism is identical.
    The FLC is overall slightly more refined and detailed. We’re speaking about nuances and no worlds, though. What the DN-2002 doesn’t reach is the FLC8s’ super detailed and liquid, UERM-like midrange. The DUNU doesn’t lack much behind but the FLC reveals more fine nuances in the mids. In the treble, both are almost identically detailed and the FLC is probably just minimally more revealing by a razorblade’s thickness. In the bass, the FLC’s dynamic woofer is minimally quicker and more arid. However, the DUNU has got the nicer, more magical body and is just slightly “slower”.
    FLC8s’ soundstage is a little wider than the DUNU’s, however less deep. In terms of spatial precision and instrument separation, the FLC is slightly more precise, with instruments that are very cleanly placed and sharply separated from each other – even slightly more than the DUNU’s. The DUNU has the somewhat nicer layering though.
    It is a very close call overall with the FLC being just slightly better.

    DUNU DN-2000J (grey silicone tips, no spacers, no sub-bass ring):
    The DN-2002 doesn’t have much more bass (just about 2 dB more) but sounds not just a little bassier – how can that be? It’s actually quite simple to explain: the DN-2000J is brighter in the midrange, lower as well as middle treble, whereas the DN-2002 has less bright mids and shows less level in the lower and middle treble. As a result, the upper bass and lower plus middle root appear more present, which is also because DN-2002’s lows blend a little more into the upper root/lower mids.
    The DN-2000J sounds thinner and brighter, the DN-20002 is bassier and less bright. The quad-driver model also has less present upper mids/presence area and is therefore a bit more forgiving with bad recordings.
    There is just a minor difference in resolution: the DN-20002 has got slightly better separated and more refined seeming highs wherefore it sounds a bit more natural in the treble. It also has the somewhat quicker decay wherefore the bass has a little less body but is a bit more arid.
    Soundstage is spot-on similar in my ears.
    I’d call it more a side-grade to minor upgrade on the technical side.

    ---------

    I know the biggest questions some probably have is whether the DN-2002 is an upgrade over the DN-2000J. Firstly, it depends on one’s sonic preferences – the DN-2000J is brighter, leaner, has got a lower quantity bass and the brighter mids and middle highs. On the technical side, sound preferences excluded, I would say the DN-2002 falls somewhere between a side-grade and a small upgrade. Treble refinement and differentiation seem to have improved a little, bass decay is slightly quicker. There are no major differences on the technical side, just small updates. If one has the DN-2000J and really likes it, I see no real reason to get the DN-2002. However, if one finds the DN-2000J’s mids a bit too lean and middle treble too strident at times and wants a somewhat higher quantity, meatier low-end with a more kicking bass, the DN-2002 seems like a good way to go.


    Conclusion:

    P1030042.jpg
    DUNU has done a great job with the DN-2002: it is addressed to all who find the DN-2000J to be too thin, bright and weak on low notes. Bass is strong, especially in the upper bass and therefore firmly kicking, however not suppressing the other frequencies. The soundstage is identical to their triple-driver flagship and really nice. My slight disfavour of the DN-2000J that I sometimes find a little bit too bright and lean in the midrange as well as middle highs has been resolved with the DN-2002. It keeps DUNU’s special bass character with excellent control and speed, however slightly less body than the DN-2000J. As compensation, DN-2002’s lows are a bit quicker and more arid – and its treble seems a slight bit more differentiated.
    Is the very slight clarity/differentiation increase along with the slightly more arid bass worth the upgrade from the DN-2000J if you already have one? No. Is it worth getting the DN-2002 if the things mentioned in the review sound appealing to you and you found the DN-2000J too bright, lean and shy in the bass but liked it otherwise? Then definitely yes.
    Personally, I would wish a bit less upper bass but instead more sub-bass quantity. This doesn’t influence my rating as it is my preference and yours might differ. What is objectively better is the midrange balance – DN-2000J’s was a little too bright at times.

    All in all and for the price, I would go slightly up in sound quality rating for the price and hybrid in-ears compared to the DN-2000J (94%), giving the DN-2002 overall 95.5% for the price and performance as a hybrid in-ear (possible improvement as with most in-ears: somewhat more natural upper treble with tracks that have a high upper frequency density). What could be improved a little (regarding non-sound-related things) would be probably a better native over the ear fit by using a shorter bridge, better strain relief directly at the MMCX connectors, a nicer looking carrying case (get a DUNU logo on it at least) and different looks (inner and outer body parts with the same instead of different colour).
    With a 70% sound/price to 30% build/fit rating, I get to an overall rating of 4.6775 out of 5 possible stars.
      Carlsan, Raketen, Brooko and 15 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. HiFiChris
      HiFiChris, Jan 21, 2018
      mgunin likes this.
    3. HiFiChris
      @mgunin

      [continuing here since the editor only allows so many characters] It also contains a comparison with the FLC8S. It's written in German but with a Google Translate option below the navigation bar. To sum it up, when it comes to technical abilities, both are rather close. Still I see the FLC as ultimately somewhat ahead in certain areas. Where the DUNU is unmatched though and unique in its own is bass texture and layering in the lows (at the cost of some speed and tightness).
      HiFiChris, Jan 21, 2018
      mgunin likes this.
    4. mgunin
      Many thanks, Chris! The translation turned out a bit unclear in both English and Russian, that's why I have posted a question here. Still, I see that both are quite close and FLC has a bit better value for the money (and tuning ability, which is a good extra). Guess I can't go wrong for a DX80 pairing.
      mgunin, Jan 21, 2018