New Head-Fier
My new best overall iem 🔥<$500
Pros: Build and timbre
Lows Mids Highs all are Awesome
Best all around er for the money
Cons: Could use a tad more sub bass
Dunu EST112

Excellent tonality with very realistic timbre, well tuned and natural sounding from 20-20k

Airy with no peaks treble that has excellent extension and is silky smooth and well defined

Smooth and clear vocal

Detail and clarity are top notch

Bass texture, speed and control are great, fast Midbass

3D holographic Imaging

Large wide soundstage

Great separation

Plays all genres well

Awesome build

Fit and comfort are great

Accessories are worthy of the price tag

Modular cable 2.5 3.5 4.4 size connectors

Handle EQ very well Especially in sub bass WOW

Sound signature is a neutral tonality with slight elevation in bass and upper mids

13.5mm dynamic woofer has a dual-sided beryllium coating

balanced armature driver from Knowles for mids and lower treble

two EST drivers from Sonion for high and ultra-high frequencies

10Ω with a sensitivity of 110dB means easy to drive

Doesn’t really shine in any one genre but is good in all

Sub bass starts to roll off a tad early and could benefit from slightly more low end

Will be too low end shy for bass heads and probably too neutral for treble heads

1DD, 1 Armature driver, and two electrostatic drivers. Its price is set at 489.99USD.

Last edited:
Having been using mine for a little over a month, easy rec if your budget can stretch to around $500. No real complaints with these barring some very minor nitpicks like wanting a bit more treble extension.

Glad Dunu didn't cheap out on the accessory kit unlike other companies like Moondrop. The entire kit you get is very classy and high quality.

Will keep an eye on the Dunu brand and will very likely get a future Dunu IEM.


Headphoneus Supremus
Dunu EST 112 - A tri-brid that gets it right
Pros: Solid build, excellent tonality, fantastic stage and imaging.
Cons: Large size won’t fit everyone, only average isolation
disclaimer: I have reviewed several Dunu models and found most of them above average (with one exception) so when I as approached about reviewing the EST 112 I quickly accepted. The EST 112 was given to me for purpose of review by Dunu. I don’t have any financial affiliation with Dunu or any of its affiliates, nor have I received compensation beyond the in-ear itself for this review. If you have an interest in learning more, please see Dunu’s website or follow them on Facebook. The EST 112 can be purchased directly from Dunu’s website or from most of the usual outlets.

Unboxing / Packaging:

The EST 112 (shortened to 112 from here out) comes boxed in a book-fold style box with a slip-cover over it. The slipcover has the exploded diagram of the internals on the front and the specifications in Chinese and English on the reverse. The box itself makes a nice presentation case as well as storage with subtle logo on top and the earpieces and cable displayed in a heavy foam tray in what is vaguely reminiscent of a stethoscope shape. Under that top layer, another foam layer holds the jacks (2.5, 3.5, and 4.4mm), the tips (two types in three sizes each), and then the soft case is hiding beneath a flap on the right hand side. Inside the soft case are a set of comply foams, three sets of spin-fit tips, a cleaning tool, a 6.35mm adapter, and an airline adapter. This is a very complete kit regardless of price as it covers pretty much all the useful accessories. The one thing I would like to see is a proper 6.35mm jack for the modular cable system rather than using an adapter after the fact.



Shells on the 112 are machined aluminum with the faceplate being polished with the Dunu name and design and the inner shell being matte and a bit darker colored. Shells are the typical inverted teardrop shape and are medium in height and width but larger than average in depth. Depth is slightly over 1/2 the height of the earpiece where most of the rest of my collection is closer to 1/3rd. Weight is slightly above average as well but they sit well in the ear and the cables distribute weight well so they are not uncomfortable for extended wear. Face-plates have a large vent directly over the nozzle. A second vent is on the under side directly over the dynamic driver. This small pinhole vent can be obstructed depending on fit in the ear and will cause a shift in signature if obstructed. Nozzles are part of the inner shell rather than a separate component and do have a lip for tip retention. Installing tips is difficult initially as the bore is slightly undersized so there is little if any possibility of the tips coming loose under normal use conditions. MMCX connectors are housed in a raised extension of the inner shell on the forward side of the shell near the top. Connectors are gold plated brass and are well centered inside the extensions with no play or glue. I would warn that the depth of these may be a problem for some as they sit more on the ear than in it. If you have smaller ears, I suggest auditioning before purchase as the size may be an issue. If it is, try the Sa6 as it is a little easier fit and also a great product.



The EST 112 is a tri-bred model using a 13.5mm dynamic driver, a customized Knowles ED balanced armature tweeter, and a pair of Sonion EST Supertweeter electret drivers. The naming convention reflects this 1 dynamic, 1 BA, 2 EST so not the most original of names, but at least more descriptive than most. This is an interesting mix of drivers as the 13.5mm dynamic was designed in-house at Dunu and has a beryllium coating on both sides of the diaphragm for enhanced stiffness while remaining as light as possible. The Knowles ED package is customized specifically to mate to the dynamic driver as tightly as possible, and the twin ESTs provide additional top end extension compared to a BA top end. Nominal impedance is listed as 10Ω with a sensitivity of 110 dB/mW. This makes the 112 easy to drive, but susceptible to problems caused by high output impedance of some sources. With most recent portables having an output impedance of less than 1Ω, this won’t be as big an issue as it would have been four or five years ago when it was not uncommon for sources to have output impedance of nearly as high that of the 112. I found it was easy to drive using a phone and dongle or a low powered dap, but it does scale well with additional power and with improvemetns in dac. My favorite pairing is with the WM1A which put the micro-detail level of the 112 on full display.



The first time I used this cable was with the Sa6 and I commented at that time that the cable alone might be worth the cost of the Sa6. It is extremely well thought out and is the best modular cable I have used to date. It comes with 3 90º jacks in 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm respectively. The user chooses which to use and it latches into the connector (Dunu calls it the Quick-switch modular system) on the cable very solidly without being overly heavy or bulky in the process. Cable material is 8 core mono-crystalline silver plated copper with 6 strands in clear casing and 2 in dark gray that provides an interesting contrast in the braid. The splitter is a silver barrel that matches the jack housing. A chin slider in the form of a silver bead rests neatly on top of the splitter with 4 wire braids exiting to the earpieces. The cable terminates in pre-formed earhooks and .78mm bi-pin connectors that fit down into recesses in the shells themselves for added strength. This cable is a lighter-weight version of the Dunu Hulk and I think I prefer it as it hits a nice balance between weight, durability, and comfort.



DUNU EST 112 FR.jpg


Sub-bass has good reach with roll-off not evident until the lower 20Hz range and a mild elevation for its entire range with a center at around 60Hz. The dynamic driver here is fast enough that even the sub-bass has good texture and doesn’t feel mono-tone as they often can. Mid-bass is fast with good note weight and drops back so gradually from the sub-bass that it can hardly be noticed. The FR graph shows a mild V but listening does not, listening shows good linearity with a sub-bass and upper-mid emphasis added. The mid-bass has good transient speed and I was impressed with the amount of detail and texture combined with enough impact to provide good realism. The 112 won’t please the basshead crowd as it doesn’t over-power the signature and instead steps forward only when called upon. You’d be forgiven for thinking the 112 was a bit bass light if the source material isn’t bass heavy.


Lower mids follow cleanly from the mid-bass with very little bleed and no obstruction but do carry a little weight and warmth from the mid-bass. There is no discernible recess or drop-off when moving from mid-bass to mids. Lower-mids have good note weight with male vocals having a natural timbre and bass guitar having a pleasant tone as well. Guitar growl is also nice and sharp edged and realistic. Moving into the true mids, strings have good energy and texture and are well presented. Female vocals do step forward slightly in the mix due to a upper-mid lift and this is the one place there is a bit of that typical BA tonality at times with male vocals carrying a bit more weight than their female counterparts. Again the upper-mid push rises to roughly the same level as the bass emphasis so doesn’t jump out as the dominant feature, but does help vocals cut through the mix and give the 112 a bit of life that a true neutral lacks.


The lower treble drops back quickly after the upper-mid push and keeps the 112 from getting quickly fatiguing. As we expect with the combination of armature and electret drivers, treble detail is quite good with plenty of micro-detail and nuanced textures. Snare rattle is exceptionally good with crisp lead edges and natural decay and may be the best I’ve heard at this price. Cymbals have good eneare not metallic but again need a touch more energy to feel entirely real. There is a little extra energy added back at 9kHz before a drop between 10-11kHz but it wasn’t large enough to bother me and I tend to be very sensitive to 9kHz spikes so I suspect if you are like me and see a peak in that range and run the other way, this one is probably pretty safe. Final roll-off is above my hearing threshold and air and sparkle are quite good as we expect from an electret driver. Overall, the tuning here walks the line well with enough energy to sound natural but not enough to be quickly fatiguing. This is not to say a steady diet of treble rich tracks won’t fatigue as that is unavoidable, but the 112 itself isnt adding to that which the source presents.

Soundstage / Imaging:

Soundstage is one of the big strengths of the 112. It gets a little tiresome to write about soundstage on in-ears as most are way behind a good open back headphone and even the good ones leave a bit to be desired in the broader scheme of things. I am happy to report that the 112 has a nicely sized and proportioned stage with echos reflecting like you expect in tracks like “so lonesome I could cry” and instrument separation is above average as well. This makes seating the orchestra straight forward without any odd placements or overlaps. Layering is good as well which helps as tracks get more complex and faster. I noted very little compression in the dynamic driver even with the busiest bass passages as well. Imaging is also very good with the 112 being a capable in-ear for gaming or movie watching. Most of the image is in front of the head with good stereo separation and lateral spread .


Boy is this a tough one. There are so many good iems in the $500 range these days that picking one or two to compare is always going to leave people asking why you didn’t compare it against X instead of Y. I picked the obvious compares of the Dunu Siblings, the DK 3001 Pro and Sa6, the Moondrop S8/A8, and the Fiio Fa9/FH7. Now if that is the list I whittled it down to, imagine the starting point. This price range is crowded with lots of good options so standing out is a tough one.

First up has to be the Dunu Sa6 as this is one of the current market leaders and many will ask “why dilute your own pool?”

The Sa6 differs a lot physically from the 112 with its acrylic and stabilized wood shell, bi-pin connector, and all balanced armature internals. It is smaller and thinner than the 112 with an easier fit for smaller ears, although I spent more time fiddling with the Sa6 to find a good fit than I did with the 112. When the Sa6 hit the market not long ago, it made quite an impact as the bass has enough impact to fool you into thinking it could be a dynamic driver and above the lows, the tuning and detail are on par with models costing a lot more. The 112 has a little less mid-bass and a bit more sub-bass compared to the Sa6 so those missing that rumble will prefer the EST. Mids are fantastic on both so hard to declare a winner there. Treble is tuned very differently with the 112 having less lower treble emphasis and a much higher roll-off while the Sa6 has more lower treble and then drops back considerably earlier. Those looking for top-end sparkle and air will prefer the 112 while those who are a bit treble shy will likely enjoy the Sa6 a bit more.


The Dunu DK-3001 Pro is arguably the parent of the Sa6 with a dynamic driver for lows and the same complement of balanced armatures above that point. Following the lineage, it is either a grandparent or a great uncle to the EST 112.

Shell shapes are entirely different but both use a brushed metal shell, mmcx connectors, and the 13.5mm dynamic driver. Lows are very similar on these two with the 3001 having more sub-bass emphasis and a little more mid-bass as well while to my ear the 112 is a bit faster and cleaner in those same ranges. Mids favor the 112 but not by a lot as the tonality is a bit better and the 3001 suffers from some plasticity in the mids that the 112 manages to avoid. Treble detail also favors the 112 by a good margin. To my ear, the 112 is a direct successor to the 3001 pro having improved on it in most measures.

Moondrop is quite possibly Dunu’s strongest competitor across the full range from budget to flagships so it would be remiss not to include the S8 and A8 that are Moondrop’s competitors at this price point and share a lot of commonality to the EST112 and Sa6.

The two Moondrop models (s8 and a8) can be covered in a single discussion as they share more than not. Both use the same acrylic shell and are about the same size as the 112 but considerably thinner so fit is a bit easier. The A8 and S8 share most of the same signature characteristics as they share all the same components except the bass drivers where the s8 uses a Sonion 37 and the a8 uses a Knowles CI package. Both have some plasticity due to the all balanced armature arrangements with it most evident in the mids. That is about the only knock I can throw at these two at the price point and the S8 is favorite of mine as it has a bit more sub-bass and a bit fuller low end compared to the A8. Having said that, I prefer the 112 over the A8 and maybe very slightly over the S8 for its mid-range presentation and better sparkle.

If Moondrop isn’t the strongest competitor to Dunu, Fiio probably is. Fiio has concentrated on the lower end market but increasingly is moving into the higher price ranges and offers some tremendous iems for the spend in those mid-tier brackets. The two closest to the EST112 are the Fa9 and FH7.

The FH7 is arguably the Fiio version of the 112, Aluminum shells with mmcx connectors, a 13.5mm beryllium diaphragm dynamic, and customized Knowles DFK and SWFK balanced armature packages are the defining features of the FH7. Even size is similar although the FH7 is somewhat thinner than the 112 but is large enough that either probably warrants auditioning before purchase for smaller ears. The FH7 offers tuning filters to adjust the sound so is a bit more versatile in that respect but none of those filters bring the mids up to the level of the 112. To my ear, Fiio did a great job with the lows and highs on the FH7 but the mids are just not up to that same standard. I listen to a lot of strings so this is a cardinal sin for me but may not have as big an impact for others. To me, bass favors the FH7 slightly, mids favor the 112 considerably and treble is a wash.

Arguably, the Fa9 is closer to the Sa6 than the 112 but it is the other Fiio product at the $500 mark, so I include it here. Shells are acrylic and smaller than the 112 so fitment may be a bit easier. Tuning options are provided by switches this time instead of screw on filters but arguably are less intuitive with one switch being for impedance and two for tuning. Sub-bass rumble favors the 112 with its dynamic driver over the armatures of the Fa9 and mid-bass is also a bit more detailed on the 112. The Fa9 has a bit of a dip in the lower mids that also keeps it from challenging the 112. Overall, I prefer the tuning of the Fh7 over the Fa9 and the 112 over both of them.

Thoughts / Conclusion:

Dunu has been crushing it lately with the 3001 Pro, 4001 Pro, Sa6, and now EST 112 all becoming solid recommendations in my opinion. The EST112 combines some of the features of the 3001 and others from the Sa line and represents Dunu’s first foray into the electret drivers that have recently become available. I am particularly impressed with the the lows and mids on the 112 which seems a little odd considering its dual EST drivers that focus on the top-end. I expected the 112 to have plenty of top end, and it does, and I figured the big dynamic would have good impact and it does, but that leaves the middle ground where the dynamic and balanced armature overlap to handle the mids. Generally this is a problem area as mixing two drivers to cover any single range often results in some in coherency and often the mids suffer when a sub-woofer tuned dynamic is combined with a BA tweeter with the idea that the mids will be ok between the two. The 112 pleasantly surprised me as the mids sound no less coherent or present than the mid-bass or lower treble and even though they are partially served up by an armature, that typical plasticity associated with BA drivers is minimized and rarely on display here. The EST112 isn’t perfect as the treble tuning won’t please everyone, and bassheads will lament that it doesn’t have enough punch but for all of us in the middle ground, it offers a great listen for the budget and is dangerously close to things costing a lot more. I may just like it better than my JH and that says a lot.


  • Dunu-EST112-cable2.JPG
    487.1 KB · Views: 0
  • Dunu-EST112-ear1.JPG
    461.4 KB · Views: 0
  • Dunu-EST112-jack.JPG
    456.3 KB · Views: 0
Is it worth spending this much money on EST112 or getting a planar ( hifiman edition xs) headphone instead?
to me, that depends entirely on your use case. A closed back in-ear can be used a lot of places an open back over-ear model simply cannot. Would I pick the sound of the EST over the Edition X? no. Are there times I use the EST instead of my Arya? yes


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Great sound signature. Amazing cable. Great value.
Cons: Huge shells might be uncomfortable for some. Highs are rolled off. Bass could use just a bit more thump.

I’ve really enjoyed all of DUNU’s recent IEM releases in the past year. I’ve been eying tribrids for a bit now and I happened to get both the THIEAUDIO Clairvoyance(thanks ANT) and the DUNU EST 112 at the same time so I’ve had quite the fun experience with tribrids so far. The 112 uses a bigger single DD, 1 BA and 2 Sonion EST drivers. This makes for a somewhat bigger(chonky) metal housing for the IEMs. Also included is the new DUW-02S cable which is a different braid vs the standard DUW-02.

Quick shoutout to Kevin from DUNU for sending the EST 112 to test and review. While I always appreciate the chance to test and review products sent in from manufacturers, it never affects the rating of my review.

The EST 112 can be picked up from DUNU at their website below.

Onto the review of the EST 112! My personal preference is a dynamic hybrid iem where I get good hitting bass and have a detailed treble with decent mids. When it comes to an over ear headphone I prefer a spacious sound with a deep low end, the mids to be more forward and the highs to be a little bright with some sparkle. I listen to a lot of genres but I hover in the classic rock, blues and edm music with some rap here and there.

Gear Used​

IPhone 12 pro with headphone adapter, iFi micro iDSD Signature, Lotoo PAW S1, SMSL SU-9 feeding the SP400 amp.

Looks and fit​

The 112 comes in a rather plain matte silver shell with a design etched into the faceplate. This is by far the most basic design I’ve seen from DUNU recently. The shells are fairly thick and kinda heavy but they made the nozzle/stem slightly longer than normal IEMs which makes for a deeper and secure fit. I had no real comfort issues with the 112 during long listening sessions. Though I feel that if I took these out on a walk, I might run into seal problems as the shells are heavier.

Packaging and accessories​

I got a review unit that didn’t come in standard packaging so you may wanna check other reviews to see stock accessories and the unboxing presentation. I did however get a few classic DUNU tips, spinfit tips, 3 different terminated connectors and the standard blue leather DUNU pouch.


These final impressions were done off a mix of the Lotoo PAW S1 and the SMSL SU-9 connected to the SMSL SP400. These are what the EST 112 sounds like to my ears. This was also using the CP100 stock eartips from spinfit. Things like ear tip selection and DAC/amp selection will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

The EST 112 uses a bigger 13.5mm dynamic driver so the low end sounds fairly detailed. It’s still a little light in terms of sub bass but I found the mid bass had a more noticeable thump and rumble. I think the low end sounds really good overall but for my personal preferences I would prefer just a bit more low end punch. Mids get a bigger focus here with a noticeable boost. While not as intense as DUNU’s ZEN/LUNA, it still can sound a hair too intense on different sources. Vocals come off crisp and detailed but it's only when things like snares or other sharper noises happen that the boost to the mids is noticeable. Treble is the weak point here. While I found the top end decently detailed, It really didn’t impress me all that much. I had figured with the two EST drivers than the treble would be a little brighter sounding. Those looking for a smoother presentation up top will enjoy the EST 112. My personal gripe with the upper treble was that I didn’t feel like I was getting the sparkle I personally look for in an Mid-Fi IEM. There wasn’t as much “air” up top either.


Soundstage is about average for an IEM in this price bracket. Depth and width are about average. I get a feeling of the music being a little closer to my head and I’m neither impressed nor disappointed. Imaging was fine. I tend to not have any problems with average soundstage IEMs when it comes to imaging. Things were easy to pick out but I definitely wasn’t wowed by any means.

Cable rolling​

I did try a few different cables and really didn’t notice a difference outside of using their CHORD cable with the EST 112. I did end up using the DUNU DUW-03 cable as I like the looks and heavier cable as the IEMs are more stable in my ear with that cable. The CHORD cable seems to add a bit of warmth to the EST 112 and it was fairly noticeable during testing but I can’t confirm this wasn’t just placebo. I do think the stock cable is fine though, still a little light in thickness and weight for my personal tastes. I don't really recommend a different cable unless you want something that looks different.

Stock cable​

The stock cable is thin and lightweight but nicely braided. I find it a bit strange to include the DUW-02S with the EST 112 since the IEM is somewhat heavier than other IEMs. This makes the balance of the IEM feel weird when worn. It feels like the ear guide and cable don’t do much in terms of keeping the thicker shell 112 secure in my ear. That being said, I do think this a fantastic cable. Plus it’s another quick disconnect termination system which means you get a balanced cable right out of the box. They also include 2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm pentaconn plugs which is fantastic iIMO. If the IEM fits your ears better and they feel secure with the stock cable, then I’d say skip replacing it with something else.

Tip rolling​

While I did try some standard tips, I ended up sticking with spinfits for the rest of testing. Specifically the new CP100+ that's been recently released. The CP100 included with the EST 112 does look the same honestly but with a different color scheme on the stems vs the normal CP100. The CP145 works too but I found I liked the deeper fit of the CP100+ better overall. As with all IEMs, bore size and material can really make a difference. I found the smaller bore CP100 did well at keeping the low end thumpy while keeping the mids and highs a little less focused. The CP500 worked with a slightly strange fit but the 112 sounded a little too bright with those tips for my tastes.

IEM comparisons​

THIEAUDIO Clairvoyance​

The Clairvoyance does have a few more BA drivers over the 112. It also comes in a little over $200 more as well. I think the Clair sounds better than the 112 overall. The Clair has a warm-ish top end but still manages to have some sparkle and bite in the upper treble. It also has a more spacious and airy sound over the 112. The shell is smaller than the EST112 and is lighter in weight as well being all acrylic vs metal like the 112. I do think the Clair is worth it over the EST 112 but not by a lot. There is also the problem of QC on the Clairvoyance. It’s a total of 8 drives stuffed into a smaller shell. Higher chance for things to sound off or drivers not being properly matched. The EST 112 gets 90 percent of the way to the Clairvoyance so it at least gets close and for a bit less price wise.


While the ZEN is a single DD, I still thought I would do the comparison since it’s the next step up in DUNU’s line up. The ZEN has a better low end and a huge focus on the upper mids/lower treble. The ZEN can get a little sibilant at times because of this. Staging is both wider and deeper on the ZEN as well. Both IEMs have a hard time keeping the energy up in the higher frequencies but I do think the EST 112 is my preferred tuning over the two. I do however like the stock cable and smaller shells of the ZEN. For everyday use I still rock the ZEN but for critical listening I still throw either the EST 112 or the Clairvoyance on instead. I think the ZEN will be a specific use buy over the more balanced sounding EST 112.

Amping Combinations​

Lightning headphone adapter​

This is an ok pairing. The EST 112 gets more than loud enough off the dongle and it sounds pretty good. I did feel that extra amping off balanced did sound a little better but I think I could get away with just the dongle and be fine.

Lotoo PAW S1​

The S1 is my goto dongle for my Ipad and Iphone. I like the warm and spacious sound the S1 delivers and it paired well with the EST 112. While one can easily get away with the apple headphone dongle, I think the added flavor of the PAW S1 really adds a little life to the 112. Lows have a little extra thump, mids and highs sound ultra smooth yet retain their detail. Staging was a bit wider as well. A wonderful pairing IMO for the EST 112.

iFi micro iDSD Signature/ SMSL SP400​

While the doesn't need desktop levels of power to run, it did just fine off both amps. The iFi Signature still outputs way too much power for IEMs in general but I liked that I could use their xBASS boost option to give the 112 a little more juice down low. The SP400 is what I use for final impressions since it is the closest thing to neutral without sounding lean or clinical that I own. The 112 sounded the best off the SP400 and had the most speed and detail off that amp. Do I think a desktop amp is needed for the EST 112? Absolutely not! I personally like to use IEMs at my desk more than over ear headphones so I use desktop amps a lot with my IEMs.

Amping thoughts​

The EST 112 doesn't need a lot of power to run like older EST IEMs. I would say it will be a personal preference on what you think you would like to use with the 112 as I think sounds pretty good from most sources.

Overall thoughts​

What do I think of the EST 112 at $489.99? I think it's fairly well tuned and minus some personal gripes with the thicker and heavier shell, I think it's a wonderful deal value wise. It sounds like a good IEM that I would expect to cost a little closer to the ZEN or Clairvoyance and it comes with an amazing cable that has the option to switch the plugs for different gear. I really don’t have anything bad to say about the 112 and It gets a full recommendation from me. I think DUNU did pretty well here, though I’m hoping for a smaller or at least lighter shell on their next tribrid. DUNU has knocked it out of the park for me personally these last few releases so I hope they can keep up the steam for future releases. Thanks for reading!
Last edited:
In your honest opinion is it worth buying this iem or should I go for headphone in this price range?
This is still a great IEM. I keep it on my nightstand and use it most nights before going to sleep. This or the variations from Moondrop are fantastic.
  • Like
Reactions: EQbumb
I just got my EST 112, with the package of accessory, it feels much better than Variations. Btw i have the blessing 2 as well. The cable the and metal shell really are more rigid

Audio Fun

100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Class leading tonality
Realistic timbre
Silky yet well defined treble
Smooth and clear vocal
Detail retrieval and clarity
3D holographic Imaging
Soundstage width
Fit and comfort
Cons: Slightly more bass will be welcome
Shell is on the thick side ( it is fairly reasonable consider there are 13.5mm DD and the EST driver )
Not the best treble performance for EST drivers for its price range. (But one of the best timbre out there)
Dunu is the Chinese company founded in 1994, they have been in audio market for the long time and well known by the audiophiles community. The EST112 is their new IEM in their EST line up, which is the follow up to the DK series. The price of the EST112 is $489USD, the driver configuration is 1DD+1BA+2EST.


I would like to thanks Kevin and Tom from Dunu for given this opportunity, and the review will be based on my honest opinion through the music I listen to.

Package & Accessories
The EST112 come with the large sizes box, there are the brand name, model name and IEMs illustration located at the front cover, whereas the specifications at the rear side of it. There is the black box with the brand logo located at the middle after remove the cover. After flip open the box, the IEMs are sited in the foam with the cable pre connected. The other accessories and ear tips are clearly contained in the box/ foam under it respectively.





Accessories list:
1 pair x Dunu EST112 In-Ear Monitors
1 pcs x MMCX Patented Catch-Hold Detachable Cable with self-locking quick-switch modular plug system (contains 2.5mm/3.5mm/4.4mm plugs)
3 pairs x Grey Silicone Eartips (size S/M/L)
3 pairs x White Silicone Eartips (size S/M/L)
3 pairs x SpinFit Eartips (size S/M/L)
1 pairs x Foam Tips
1 pcs x Blue Lather Carry Case
1 pcs x Cleaning Tool
1 pcs x Microfiber Cloth
1 pcs x 3.5 to 6.3 mm Adapter (DC-16)
1 pcs x Airline Adaptor


The accessories it come with the EST112 are really great and feel premium. The carry case include is nicely made with leather and finished in blue color, there is the fluffy material inside for better protection.



The EST112 come with three different types of ear tips (included the SpinFit CP100) and additional pair foam tips to provide the best sound and fit. There are cleaning brush and the airlines adapter included. The microfiber cloth is also included, which is nicely made with Dunu logo.



The EST112 come with 4 core branded High-Purity Monocrystalline Silver-Plated cable, it has 3.5 mm L angled connector in bronze metal shell. The plug part feature the self-locking quick-switch modular plug system which allow the user to switch around the connector type easily and quickly. It features the Patented Catch-Hold MMCX Connector connector with L&R indicator to show left and right. The Y-splitter are in bronze metal shell as well as the MMCX male connector. There are cable slider in transparency plastic shell. It is overall flexible and well build cable.



Design & Build & Comfort
The EST112 has large but well ergonomic design. The shell and faceplate are finished in metal. The Dunu branded logo are sported at the front faceplate with a radiance design around it, beside that, there are the big vents call “Air Control Impedance System (ACIS)”, which is located under it. There are L&R indicators on the rear side of the shells respectively. The overall design on EST112 is gorgeous and futuristic.



The build on the EST112 are outstanding and feel solid. The IEMs are made with three pieces of metal, the nozzles, shell and faceplate, which are all 5-axis CNC lathe and finished with a scratch-resistant gunmetal anodiz. The faceplate are made with stainless steel with polished finished. On the other hand, the shell are made with metal and it is well rounded. There are no shape edges or glue around the gap of the shell. The filter on nozzle are made with metal to prevent from the ear dust. The MMCX female connectors are tight, and the connector do not have sign of wear and tear after I swapped few times of cable.



The fit on the the EST112 are good for me, thanks to the well ergonomic design. The nozzles is on the short side, and the shell is relatively large, so people with small ear may find it hard to fit in. The isolation is average, and thanks to the ACIS there are no pressure build up after a few hours of wearing.



Technical specifications:
Frequency response: 5Hz- 40 kHz
Impedance: 100at 1 kHz
Sensitivity: 110dB ± 1 dBat1 kHz
THD: <0.3%at 1 kHz



I pair up with the stock cable and SpinFit tips, as I find out it is the most comfortable to fit, and run through my music library on the Fiio M11 and Topping E30.


Overall tonality
The EST112 has a mildly U shape tonality, with a slightly warmer than neutral tone. It is presented in the clear and smooth manner.

The bass is clean and tight. It has good levels of sub bass extension with naturally decay speed, which have more quantity compare to mid bass. The bass has good levels of impact and punch with moderate amount of rumble. On the other hand, it has above average levels of speed and control. The detail retrieval and clarity are really well. It is overall light but punchy bass.

The midrange is mostly neutral with slightly warm tuned, the midrange is presented in clear and smooth manner. The lower midrange has fair amount of bodies with good levels of depth, presented in clean and clear manner. The upper midrange are slightly forwarded than the lower midrange, it is presented in highly transparent yet lively manner. The midrange clarity and detail retrieval are amazing, but there are touch of warmth and fullness, so it doesn’t sound too analytical.

The treble is vividly yet silky, and it is presented in the smooth manner. The lower treble has good amount of the brightness and energy without being too harsh. The upper treble has good amount of airiness and crisp definition, with the EST driver been used, the upper treble sound full of glossy. A extremely transparent and detail treble is the typical BA driver can not be handled, that being said, the EST112’s treble is definitely punch above its price range.

Soundstage and imaging
The soundstage is really really wide and feel extremely open, the depth are also above the average.
The imaging is 3D holographic.

Tansio Mirai TSMR-4 PRO ($319USD)

There are less sub bass but more mid bass on the 4PRO, it lead the tonality warmer. The bass on both are clean and pretty tight, but the EST112 has more natural timbre and decay speed due to the dynamic driver. The 4PRO has slightly clearer bass and it is snappier, where the EST112 has better impact and punch. The 4PRO provide cleaner rumble, while the EST112 has fuller rumble. The detail retrieval and clarity are touch better on 4PRO.

The midrange has more V shape tonality on 4PRO with more energetic presentation, on the other hand, the EST112 is warmer and relatively smoother. The lower midrange has better depth and and additional lushness on EST112, whereas the 4PRO has leaner tone with better clarity. The upper midrange has more vividly and forwarded presentation on 4PRO, while the EST112 are relatively laid back and smoother. The detail and clarity are slightly better on 4PRO.

The treble is both well controlled with good amount of brightness, but the 4PRO is relatively peakier. The lower midrange on both have good levels of energy, and without any fatiguing, but the EST112 has smoother presentation here. The upper treble has more crispness on 4PRO, on the other hand, the EST112 has more airiness with silkier expression. The detail retrieval and clarity slightly better on EST112.

Soundstage and imaging
The soundstage is wider and and slightly deeper on EST112.
The imaging on both are well done, but the EST112 is better.

Oriveti OH500 ($499USD)

The bass has overall fuller and lusher tonality on OH500, on the other hand the EST112 is cleaner and has less organic presentation. The sub bass both extended well, there are quantity on OH500. The OH500 provide more rumble with slower decay speed, on the other hand, the EST112 provide faster and tighter bass. The OH500 has a smoother presentation and provide fuller slam and punch harder, where the EST112 provide more neutrally done bass, and still remain good amount of punch and impact. The detail retrieval and clarity is better on EST112.

The midrange has again lusher and more organic kind of presentation on OH500, where as the EST112 is clearer and tuned more neutral and colorless. The lower midrange has more bodies on OH500 and sound warmer, while the EST112 sound cleaner and clearer, both have good amount of depth in presentation. The upper midrange has more lively and forwarded presentation on EST112, on the other hand, the OH500 is more laid back and relatively smoother. The detail retrieval and clarity are both pretty well.

The treble has better extension on EST112 with more vividly presentation, where the OH500 is more laid back. Both of them have smooth and fatiguing free presentation, but the EST112 has more energy and extra brightness in lower midrange. There are more airiness and feel opener on the EST112, the EST112 also has extra silky kind of texture that OH500 doesn’t have. The detail retrieval and clarity are slightly better on EST112.

Soundstage and imaging
The soundstage is wider on EST112, while the depth is similar.
The imaging are both pretty well, but the EST112 is slightly better.

Vision ears Elysium (around$2500USD)
Due to the driver configuration is somehow similar, I decided to this comparison.

There are more sub bass quantity and fuller rumble on the EST112, while the Elysium has more mid bass quantity. There are more punchy and impactful presentation on EST112, on the other hand the Elysium has faster and clearer bass. The bass are both tight and pretty clean, but he EST112 provide a natural-er decay. The detail retrieval and clarity are similar.

The midrange on both are pretty neutral and sound natural yet smooth. The midrange has better textured and sound richer and it is more color on Elysium, on the other hand, the EST112 sound cleaner and relatively brighter and slightly thinner. The lower midrange sound fuller on Elysium, whereas the EST112 sound clearer. The upper midrange sound smoother with better depth on Elysium, while the EST112 sound more vividly and relatively brighter. The detail retrieval is better on Elysium, where clarity is tad better on EST112 throwing the brighter tone.

They both extended well. The treble sound smoother and relatively darker on the Elysium, on the other hand, the EST112 sound brighter and crisper. The lower treble on both are smooth and silky, there are more energy and tuned brighter on EST112, on the other hand, the Elysium is smoother and little bit life less. The upper treble are fairly similar, both of them are full of glossy with good amount of crisp on the top end. The EST122 has more airiness presentation on the top end. The detail retrieval and clarity are both better on Elysium.

Soundstage and imaging
The width is comparable, and it is deeper on Elysium.
The imaging is slightly better on Elysium.

Compare to my relatively more objective Head-fi star ranking, this ranking will be more subjective based on my personal preference and it doesn’t take price into my consideration.

Score system:
4/10 and below: Waste of money
5/10: Average
6/10: Above average
7/10: Good
8/10: Great
9/10: Excellent
10/10: OMG

Dunu EST112:
Overall tonality: 8/10
Bass: 7/10
Mids: 9/10
Treble: 8/10

Overall: 8/10

The Dunu EST112 is a well designed and build IEMs with extremely solid tonality. The EST112 has clean and lively tonality, with tight and controlled bass, clear and smooth midrange and silky yet vividly treble. The EST drivers been used show the outstanding soundstage and treble performance, which is class leading in this price range. This will be my favorite sub $500USD IEMs, great work again, Dunu!! Thank you for reading, Happy Listening!!

Dunu official website: https://www.dunu-topsound.com
Dunu EST112 product page: https://www.dunu-topsound.com/est-112
Last edited:
Thanks for such a detailed review! :thumbsup:
Audio Fun
Audio Fun
Thanks for all your kind words!


New Head-Fier
Worth the money with one caveat....
Pros: - The warm midrange is very enjoyable on acoustic tracks.
- The boosted treble makes orchestral tracks sound extra lively.
- Satisfying bass impact and resolution.
- Imaging and soundstage are overall impressive for the price.
- Interchangeable plugs allow you to run balanced (2.5mm or 4.4mm) or unbalanced.
Cons: - The bass, although satisfying for most, will leave bass-heads wanting more.
- Treble peaking can cause fatigue on longer listening sessions.
- Treble resolution needs work.

DUNU's new EST112 IEMs have received mixed reviews as of their release. Some reviewers stated that this IEM "punch above its price," some disagrees, and some are confused about why it exists. The mixed reviews may be partially due to another one of DUNU's IEM, the DUNU SA6, being very close in price and arguably one of the best IEMs below $550. Having tried and owned the SA6, I can agree, it is a tough IEM to beat. However, the EST112 does have qualities that might be more appealing to some listeners. The big question now is, are those qualities enough to justify NOT saving up $60 more for the SA6? That's what I'll be answering today.


Personal Impression

From a straightforward comparison, I can see why some called the DUNU EST112 "living in the shadow" of the SA6. The SA6 is one of the most versatile IEM on the market below $550. It works with many genres of music, delivering well-tuned, neutral, smooth, yet sparkly and fun sound. Technical performance is also excellent, with great details and separation, good imaging, and competent soundstage. Long story short, the SA6 is one of the most enjoyable IEM I've ever tried, every song I played on it was fantastic. On the other hand, the EST112 is a hit or miss.

I didn't get the same level of enjoyment I did from the SA6 with the EST112. The problem is the lack of resolution in the treble compared to the SA6. The occasional treble peaks also made longer listening sessions not viable. I'm pretty sensitive to treble, so this might not be the case for some listeners, but regardless, I've always found the treble on this IEM to be the "deal-breaker" in one way or another. A deal-breaker compared to the SA6, not in the market as a whole.

Sound Breakdown

Starting with the bass, the EST112 hits very well. Each note feels impactful and controlled. It's not a bass-head IEM, but enough to be considered bass-boosted and fun to most listeners. Overall detail is also excellent for the price. The only negative I can give about the bass is, and we're in nitpicking territory here, the sub-bass extension. It reaches decently far, but it always leaves me wanting more out of it.

Compared to SA6: EST112 hits with more authority and produces slightly better resolution. SA6 with bass-boost hits a touch heavier but still fall half a step short in details.


Midrange and vocals have an overall warmer tone. It's slightly forward and relaxing in an almost comforting way. Male vocals feel full and weighty, while females feel nuanced, with both highs and lows nicely represented. Clarity is also exceptional.

Acoustic sounds beautiful, taking full advantage of the extra warmth to give the feeling of smoothness and comfort.

Compared to SA6: SA6 vocals sound more true to life and a bit recessed, while EST112 leans warmer and more forward. Which is better comes down to preference; both are beautiful in different ways. The SA6 has better clarity, with vocals feeling more well defined. The SA6 also takes a small victory for versatility; the natural signature works well with more genres.


Treble in the EST112 is bright and forward but blunt in execution and has occasional peaks. That's the first thing I noticed while listening to these IEMs; the treble resolution came across as a bit sanded off. Percussion hits are not as snappy, top-end electronic notes don't shine quite as clear, and the overall feeling is, for lack of a better word, a bit blunt. Regardless, it still sounds great. The extra spark makes orchestral tracks come to life, with strings and woodwind instruments benefiting the most. The lack of detail doesn't make the EST112 unenjoyable in any way, but it will leave some wanting more.

EST112 also has treble peaks that may cause fatigue to some listeners. I cannot listen to these for more than one or two hours without feeling the need to lower the volume or switch IEMs.

Compared to SA6: This is not a fair battle. The SA6 does treble better than any other IEMs I've tried. It's very sparkly and smooth, great details, and no signs of peaking at all. It's an overall more enjoyable treble experience. The only thing the EST112 has over the SA6 in the treble is that it's more forward and louder, bringing more life to specific genres than the SA6. Besides that, the SA6 is significantly better.


Technical Performance

The soundstage is decently wide, and nothing feels squeezed. Its width is just about wider than what most would consider an "in your head" experience. For the price, it's terrific.

The imaging is good. I'm almost disappointed because it's just a step away from being impressive. You can pinpoint the vocalist, but the instrument placements are blurry. You can pick out the general direction of each instrument, but not the exact location in relation to the other instruments. Again, nearly impressive!

Overall detail is competent across the lower to midrange frequencies but lacking in the top-end. Separation is excellent for the price; no complaints here.

The Good & The Bad

The Good

  • The warm midrange is very enjoyable on acoustic tracks.
  • The boosted treble makes orchestral tracks sound extra lively.
  • Satisfying bass impact and resolution.
  • Imaging and soundstage are overall impressive for the price.
  • Interchangeable plugs allow you to run balanced (2.5mm or 4.4mm) or unbalanced.
The Bad
  • The bass, although satisfying for most, will leave bass-heads wanting more.
  • Treble peaking can cause fatigue on longer listening sessions.
  • Treble resolution needs work.


The most direct competition to the DUNU EST112 is its bigger brother, the DUNU SA6. Because of the SA6, it's difficult to recommend the EST112. The SA6 is simply more well-rounded, with little to no compromises or flaws. EST112 lacking or exhibiting deficiencies in the area that it highlights (treble) is the big downside. If it executed the treble on par with the SA6, it would be a high recommendation. A couple of reasons to get the EST112 over the SA6 would be the extra power and resolution in the bass, or you enjoy a warmer midrange signature. However, you still have to be okay with the trade-off in the overall treble quality.


DUNU EST112 is a great IEM for the price, with the only misfortune that another IEM from the same company is a legend with a similar price tag. It has a great soundstage, imaging, bass, and midrange, with only flaws in the treble lacking sufficient details and occasionally peaking. If you like warm midrange, these are beautiful and should be in your consideration if under $500 is your budget. If not, the SA6, unfortunately, takes the victory and is worth saving extra to purchase.

This DUNU EST112 is a personal unit purchased from hifigo.com
All opinions are my own.

Great Review! 💝


Reviewer at Ear Fidelity
Dunu EST112
Pros: Great tuning
Technical Capability
Good looking
Brilliant cable with even more brilliant interchangeable connectors
Great accessories
Fantastic value
Noone simply hates Dunu
Cons: Bulky, might not suit everybody

Dunu EST112 is a Tribrid IEM, combining a 1DD, 1 Armature driver, and two electrostatic drivers. Its price is set at 489.99USD.


Dunu is one of the most prominent Chinese IEM players for a long time. They’re pretty similar to Moondrop in one thing – all of their products are fantastic. That’s no different this time.
Dunu has invented the system of changeable connectors in their cables, which means that you can have one cable for all sound sources. In my opinion, that’s a really outstanding thing. Some companies like FiiO are trying to implement that system in their offer but based on that what I know, they are not even close to Dunu’s level.
The other new thing is, well, EST112. It’s the cheapest IEM with a Sonion double electrostatic driver, but this doesn’t mean that it’s bad.

Packaging & Build Quality​

Those two can make a mess.

The first impression is amazing. The box has an inside look to the earphone on the front and specifications on the rear part.
But what’s inside? A lot. And I mean that, a lot. At first, you’ll see IEMs, the cable, and connectors. Under that, you’ll find eartips and a blue leather case. Dunu had hidden some extra things inside that case, Spinfit eartips, one pair of foam tips, an airplane adapter, 6,35mm jack adapter. That’s a pretty long list, but all of the products inside are excellent-made.
Talking about build quality, let’s start with the earphones. They’re both pretty big, made of matte metal, with fancy glossy parts on the faceplate. The metal shell is as solid as a rock. Their size results from the big, 13,5mm dynamic driver inside and the electronics for electrostatic drivers.
When I took them to hands for the first time, I thought about how I would fit these beasts into my ear. And… that ain’t a problem. Their shape feels like it was made for me. I have some space around the shell, so even people with small ears will fit them easily. If you’ve got bigger ears than a regular human being, the cable will make EST112 sit tight in your ear.
The cable is, well, spectacular. It doesn’t tangle, has a pretty loose weave, so you can even stretch it a little. In hand, it feels like an overboiled spaghetti, loose and soft. It’s way thicker than Campfire standard cables. It’s like Fir VxV’s cable, but with four strings, not two, but more flexible. I think Imma use it with all MMCX IEMs I’ve got, as I’m using Cross Lambda with all 2pins.


Everything you need.

Dunu spent a lot of time testing their prototypes, from the tough V-shaped signature to a similar one that 64Audio Nio provides. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to borrow Nio’s for comparison, but that’s what we can read from the graphs.
So, what did Dunu applied to their newest EST112?
For sure, it’s a new shell. Their previous IEMs have a different shape, more regular, I’d say. This time it’s a more ergonomic earphone, which is about to fulfill your ear and makes it one of the most comfortable IEMs I’ve used.
The next thing is the dynamic driver. It’s the third generation of their 13,5mm woofer, coated with beryllium on both sides. Compared to the second generation, it is 13% lighter, and basing on Dunu’s words, it provides a better soundstage by 9%.
Another part that improved bass quality is the bass reflex. As Dunu says, it allowed bass and midrange to become faster, more textured, and better separated. I can’t prove it because I couldn’t listen to their previous prototypes (but I’d love to), so we have to trust their words. Well, listening to the final product, I must admit it’s probably the best sub 500$ IEM on the market right now, so they definitely had known what they were doing.
EST drivers – the first thing you’ll probably think about that is, “oh no, I need an energizer.” Well, not this time. The whole needed electronic are built in both shells, and with 10Ohm impedance and 110dB of sensitivity, you don’t need much to empower them. But we’ll be back to this at the pairing section.
A closer look at that quick-switch connector.


One cable, three possibilities.

The cable used in EST112 is an upgraded DUW-02 cable, named DUW-02S. It’s a monocrystalline silver-plated cable with a patented Catch-Hold MMCX connector and a patented Quick-Switch modular system.
As I mentioned before, it’s a really soft and lightweight cable with the highest made-quality.
MMCX connectors are stiff, but they’re easier to release than the ones that Campfire Audio uses. Many IEM fans hate MMCX because, with cheap earphones, it can rotate, bend a little, and so on. This time, you have to put some power to spin the EST112.
The attachable jack connectors are another wonderful thing. I think it’s the eighth wonder of the world. If not the whole world, definitely the audio one.


Get lost in the sound.

Finally, we’ve come to the most valuable and most challenging part of each review. This time, it was even tougher to write because I kept forgetting that I had to write the review each time I turned on the music. And I think that’s the best short description of Dunu EST112. Those IEMs allow me to forget about the whole world. I can close my eyes and paint the music in my head. That’s a truly wonderful thing that can be provided by audio devices, fully saturated sound that lets us dream while we’re listening to music. But okay, let’s start being more exact.
The bass is definitely the kickin’ one. It won’t beat you like Jan Błachowicz beaten Israel Adesanya, but it still provides an incredible kick that’s not under nor overpowered. It’s faster than the one in Campfire Audio Vega 2020, more similar to Craft Ears Four’s one, especially in the CIEM version. Bass’ flexibility is easily shown at the beginning of “A Real Hero” by Electric Youth and College, where it starts with highly textured midbass, then comes with a fast and proper kick just to become the powerful subbass, which fulfills the sound at the end. Overall, the bass is way more prominent than the one you can hear in the Fir Audio VxV, with more texture but with a similar speed. And, let me remind you that the EST112 costs half of VxV’s price.
Sit down, be humble. Bitc… sorry, I forgot that I’m writing a review one more time.

The midrange is charming with its warmness and calming but yet engaging style. That’s a little unusual style that lets me dive in the chair with closed eyes and start dreaming with gentle swinging to the music. It doesn’t matter what music genre is that, some country, pop, rap, older rock, or jazz. The lowest male vocals are a little smoothed, but they shock with their depth. They sound like they’re coming from hell, with the comprehensive and robust beginning. And that isn’t bad, trust me. It just makes them more powerful, with a more substantial meaning in the whole show.
Female vocals and higher male vocals, even those like Kendrick Lamar’s one, are different. They aren’t smoothed, it’s very close to being a natural part, but as I mentioned initially, it’s delicately warmed. In addition, the midrange got a fine extension of microdetails. There’s nothing that can hide from you.
Universal as politicians’ words.

The treble is another excellent part of the sound. It provides a genuinely natural style, with many details, which delicately reminds the Fir VxV treble. If you’ve listened to them, add more sparkliness, and push it delicately to the front. That is it, the Dunu EST112 treble. So, I’d like to tell you more about the moments when it shines, because that’s an exciting thing. I think all of you have seen the bonfire for one time. Do you remember those all sparks that were going up to the sky, but they were extinguished at 2-3m above the ground? It’s similar here. Some violins, drum plates, or words of the vocalist rise from nowhere to expire after a moment and let the listener fell into dreams about them. Of course, they aren’t sharp at any point, so that you can be calm about that. Maybe I’m weird, but that’s how I’m feeling it.
The soundstage is impressive in the music, plays really wide and deep, the height also doesn’t disappoint. But maaaan, the holography is something that just makes me look like “WOW.” Jesus, I’m trying to write down its description for the third time in the row, so I’ll try to do it most efficiently.
Imaging and holography are outstanding. There are many layers of the sound sources, but they’re trying to keep in line, not to disrupt each other, thanks to another wild part of the soundstage, which is the separation. It means that they’re placed in the set place, moving, but not into another sound source. Never. There’s no way for one instrument to crush into another. Of course, there’s so much space that the music can use, so it’s easier to do that.
And a little “who asked” part. That’s pure magic what EST112 can do with vocal in “Knee Socks” by Arctic Monkeys. The lyric that starts around 2:30 is feeling like it’s rolling on the other side. Amazing.
After the excellent soundstage in the music, what surprised me is how it acts in video games. It’s just not useful at all. It’s cringing like a baby animal in danger. So, after all, it’s hard to use them with gaming, especially in competitive games.


EST112 is probably taking a lead in terms of value.

Dunu EST112 (489,99USD) vs. Campfire Audio Vega 2020 (899USD)
CFA Vega 2020 are a lot darker than their cheaper opponent. They put a solid subbass layer at the ground when EST provides that only when it’s essential. The vocal in Vega is put deeper, and it’s more nasal compared to the more natural and only delicately warmed vocal in Dunu’s IEMs. The treble is way more delicate and hidden in Vega 2020, with better details reproduced by electrostatic drivers in the EST112.
In terms of soundstage, it’s short – EST112 provides way better imaging in music when Vega works better in games. In terms of height, depth and width, they’re quite similar.
Dunu EST112 (489,99USD) vs. Fir Audio VxV (999USD)
Fir Audio VxV is a way more transparent pair of IEMs, but there are some similarities between those two. Starting with the lowest frequencies, VxV is more patient and calm, with similar speed, less texture, and of course, less power in the kick. When I can say that the subbass of EST112 is like nothing compared to Vega 2020, the Fir’s one is blankly related to EST112.
VxV’s midrange is delicately more splashy in higher parts but also colder and more transparent. As I mentioned before, the EST112 has a little warmed mids, with a charming style. Treble is pushed back in the VxV, with more minor shiny parts, but the details are similar.
Staging is also likely the same in both IEMs but shown differently. Sound sources in EST112 have more space around them when in Firs, it’s placed closer to each other.


Dunu EST112 is quite sensitive for sound sources in terms of signature, but its quality remains the same even with cheaper sound sources, like EarMen Eagle. Even with the small amount of power that Eagle provides, it isn’t a problem for Dunu EST112 to spread its wings. Obviously, the volume isn’t a problem. Mainly I was swinging between 10 and 25% of volume.
Of course, there are changes in the sound that you can’t just walk through, like delicate softness in the bass, when I’ve paired EST112 with xDuoo XD-05 Plus, but those are only cosmetical things. I didn’t spot any gamechanger when I was plugging in different DACs, amplifiers, or combos. The only thing that bothered me is a slight hiss with xDuoo XD-05 Plus, but that’s really silent and doesn’t disturb when the music plays.


EST112 will flip your world upside-down.

Dunu has made a little crush on the audio market with EST112 that can easily fight with other IEMs that costs twice as Dunu’s newest release. It’s matching all equally important subparts into one excellent pair of IEMs. Gently saturated sound, perfect layering and imaging, highest build quality, and valuable accessories. I don’t need anything more than this. I have spoken.

Highly recommended.

Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
  • Headphones – Campfire Audio Vega 2020, Meze Rai Penta, Final A8000, Unique Melody MEST, Campfire Audio Solaris LE, Fir Audio VxV, Craft Ears Four UIEM
  • Sources– Cayin N3Pro, JDSLabs Atom stack, SMSL SU-9 + SH-9, EarMen Eagle, EarMen TR-AMP, ddHiFi TC44B


Headphoneus Supremus
Solid new entry from Dunu
Pros: Exceptional value for EST driver product
Great cable and shell design
High quality build
Good resolution and detail retrieval
Generally balanced, easily likable sound signature
Cons: Slightly harsh in the upper mids
A little bit of sibilance and peaky upper-treble
Large shell may not fit everyone

The Sonion-developed electrostatic tweeter driver has been gaining a lot of popularity in the past year or two with many manufacturers jumping on this bandwagon. The EST driver, at least in my opinion, combines some of the characteristics of a standard balanced armature driver and some of the high powered electrostatic driver. But, first, let's not confused Electrostatic Tweeter with a real electrostatic driver, like the one used in the Shure KSE-1200 and KSE-1500 or a typical Stax-brand headphone. Those require a separate energizer unit to power the incredibly insensitive drivers. With that said...

Dunu is the latest headphone brand to announce an EST-featured in-ear monitor to their lineup, and this newest model comes in at just $489 and is packed with a pair of EST drivers, as well as their 13.5 mm dual-sided beryllium-coated dynamic driver, and a single custom Knowles BA driver. This new product is called the "EST 112", and the major selling point is the simpler-driver arrangement, which drives the cost down significantly, making this new product the lowest EST tri-brid offering on the market (to my knowledge), cutting down even the Thieaudio Monarch and Clairvoyance twins.

Before I dive into my review, I would like to thank Tom from Dunu for sending this prototype of the EST 112 to me prior to the launch for a preview of the product. I was told that this final prototype's tuning is the same that will be in the production unit, with some possible cosmetic changes for the packaging.


The EST 112 comes in a rectangular box that has a exploded CAD-view of the EST 112's parts on the cover, much like was featured on some of the other Dunu packages prior. The EST 112 comes, again, with a series of tips, a case, and a new cable that I have yet to see or use before. This Dunu cable is reminiscent of the original DUW-02 cable that I really enjoy, but with improved braiding that's thicker, but just as pliable and maneuverable as before. It's aptly called, DUW-02s.

The DUW-02s cable is immensely better than the DUW-03 cable that comes with the SA6 and Zen products. Like the other Dunu products, this cable comes with their patented modular cable connectors that pop off and are replaceable with other heads for different amp configurations.

The metal shells are pretty large, and easily the largest of any of the Dunu IEMs I've tried. There is a reason for this, of course, and that's to house the two EST drivers and their own mini energizers, and the larger 13.5mm diameter woofer. Because of the larger shell size, thicker depth, and angle of the nozzle, I did have some trouble getting a good quality fit with my ears. I do want to note that I do have occasional problems with fitment in my right ear on a variety of in-ears, however this one was troubling all around.

I did manage to get a decent fit and good seal using SpinFit 360 tips, which are wide bore, but a little shallow and designed for true-wireless IEMs. These did give me comfort while wearing the EST 112, though may not have provided the deepest insertion depth possible, although, they did go in my ear fairly well and did not stick out.

The design on the faceplate is a mirrored metal look with a circular fan pattern that remind me a little bit of wings. There is also a chrome-mirror appearance on the bezel of the faceplate that give this unit a shiny, but not too showy look. It's a subtle but classy design.

The face plate also features a slit opening that looks like a vent port. There is another pin hole sized vent on the inner-side of the shell.

Sound Impressions​

I was excited to put these on at first because I have grown to really like the Dunu set of gears that they've shared with me over the past 2 years and each one seemed like a step up from the previous release. The latest two units: the SA6 and the Zen are among my favorites in their price class and driver configurations.

When I first put on the EST 112, I did have to play around with several tips to get an adequate level of seal and insertion to give it a fair shake. When I finally landed on the first available tips, I did find the EST 112 to have a little bit of upper mid-range forwardness and a bright shrill sound (shouty?) that wasn't the most enjoyable. I went back to the drawer and pulled out some more tips and finally settled on the Spinfit tips I mentioned previously.

This led me to a much more accurate representation to what I expected from listening to the Dunu EST 112 and more closely aligned with the measurements I took later. The EST 112 presented a fairly neutral tuning, but with a slightly warm lower midrange, and a forward mid-range. This mid-range was still "peaky" at times, but not as bad as when the tips weren't fully seated right. The treble range is fairly smooth, but peaky (confused? more on this later), and does extend a little bit into the upper range, though isn't the most airiest of IEMs I've heard.

The EST 112 has an interesting blend of refinement and rawness to it that is makes me really appreciate it most of the time, but then it'll do something that I feel is slightly lacking. Some of this is due to the tuning, which I do find just a little too sharp in the upper-midrange and it can be a tad fatiguing. When I played through a score of trio-jazz records, the constant cymbals and hi-hats can leave my ears with a little bit of ringing after removing the IEMs.

It is similar to the sensation I mentioned in some of my previous reviews, most notably the written and video review I wrote on the Unique Melody MEST Custom In-Ear. Over time with the MEST, I did get used to this tuning, and my ears adjusted and the sensation subsided. For the most part, this was also the case with the EST 112, but there is still the occasional splashy hit that bothers me.

Despite this kind of uneven upper treble response, the EST drivers do show off their semi-ethereal being on this unit. I think the simplicity of the driver configuration does help drive this point home, and showcases the drivers more so than some of the other offerings I've tried. The treble range has a unique softness that is also well-defined and silky sounding, and it's something I commented on in my Empire Ears Odin and Vision Ears Elysium reviews. It's effortless in its presentation, sans the occasional splashy ringing harmonics.

My little complaints on these little peaks are more than likely due to the inherent frequency response of the EST drivers themselves than anything, as they do have inherent peaks starting at 4 Khz and 13 Khz from memory. That said, for the most part, the EST drivers have a nice sheening effect that does gloss over the peaks a bit where I think a typical BA driver may not be as able to.

The low end of this IEM is powered by the 13.5mm dynamic driver and for the most part it is quick and nimble is less weighty than other tunings I've heard. It's more about precision and speed here, and that's somewhat reminiscent of most beryllium-coated or pure beryllium (Final A8000 or Dunu Luna) in-ears I've heard in the past. This does lend itself to match better with the mid-range BA driver and the EST, however, I do find that there is occasionally a bit of disjointed cohesion between the drivers.

This cohesion isn't a big problem on most tracks I heard, but it was a little bit more noticeable when I listened to Of Monsters and Men's "Hunger." The basslines felt separated from the rest of the track on this one and it didn't feel like one cohesive pack.

That said, though, there is a price and a budget constraint at play here. And most multi-driver-type hybrids and tribrids I've have cohesion issues, and even some multi-BAs in the lower price tiers. There are actually very few IEMs where I feel that the entire frequency spectrum sounds effortless and cohesive as one unit, outside of a single dynamic-driver IEM. Those few cohesive rarities belong in pricier-tiers than this EST 112 at its sub-$500 pricing, which I was as shocked to hear as I've had in while on pricing. Lately, it's the sticker-shock is more on the exorbitant pricing increases and not the opposite.


As previously mentioned, Dunu has released two stellar IEMs in this price category in the recent past with the multi-BA SA6 and the single dynamic-driver Zen. How do these two compare to this new tri-brid EST 112?

Of the three, I probably would choose the Dunu SA6 as my own personal choice, but they all have their own strengths and weaknesses relative to one another that the prospective buyer will have to compromise with.

The reason I like the SA6 more is because it has the most forgiving tonal balance of the three, has the smallest and most comfortable fit, and my personal favorite in the looks department. Of course, your miles will vastly vary as each SA6 is unique due to its use of real stabilized wood with varying stain colors that is a surprise at unboxing. The SA6 lacks a little bit of low end girth and dynamics compared to the others as well.

The Zen offers the most organic and realistic sound, with a very punchy and warm presentation using its single dynamic driver, and more so than the EST 112. I find the Zen's presentation the most forward and in-your-face of the three, which is a little too intimate for my personal tastes (I like open and wide space for my musical choices), and the occasional shrills of the treble peaks in the 8-9K, which is also apparent in the EST 112.

In actual tonal balance, the EST 112 and Zen have the most in common. They both have a warmer mid-range body, with a bit more upper-midrange energy than the SA6 and a slight peak at 8-10KHz that can cause a little ringing for my ears.

But the EST 112's electrostatic tweets does smooth out this characteristic more so than the SA6 and I find it's treble response the most interesting and smooth of all three.

So the quick comparative version:​

Bass: Zen
Mids: Zen or SA6
Treble: EST 112
Soundstage: SA6 or EST 112
Imaging: SA6
Dynamics: Zen
Transient Speed: EST 112
Resolution: SA6 or EST 112

Fit: SA6
Style: SA6
Cable: EST 112's DUW-02s by a mile


Do I like the EST 112? Yes, it's pretty good. Is it my favorite? Probably not. But it does treble a bit differently than other products in this price range, and that's a unique characteristic it has. Dunu has 3 solid units now in this price class that can compete with others. I do think that this is maybe my least favorite of the three mentioned here, but it can hold its own against others.

It is in tough competition with the Moondrop Blessing 2 and Blessing 2 Dusk, which are priced lower, but this one also brings to the table the latest driver technology and the typical Dunu package of goodies which are a step above most of its competition.


Member of the Trade: Earbud Maker
Ultra Instinct
Pros: Well tuned natural sounding tri-brid
Bass texture, speed and tightness
Well balanced male/female vocals and natural
Airy but non-peaky treble and very good extension
Huge soundstage
Details (macro/micro)
Instrument separation/imaging
Natural timbre from bass to treble
Modular cable
Jack of all genres
Cons: Master of none
Slight BA timbre in the mids
Bass extension
Not for bass/treble-heads
Poorly mastered tracks will show it
high cable resistance
Might be too big for people with small ears


EDIT 2021-07-11: Lowered the rating from 5/5 to 4.5/5 due to diminishing returns thanks to the GS Audio GD3A.

: I received this review unit from Dunu. Thank you very much.

Price: 490 usd


FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 5 Hz – 40 kHz (HI-RES Audio Certified)

IMPEDANCE: 10 Ω at 1 kHz

SENSITIVITY: 110 ± 1 dB at 1 kHz


LENGTH: 1.2 ± 0.1 m

MATERIAL: 4-Core, High-Purity Monocrystalline Silver-Plated Cable (DUW-02S)

CABLE CONNECTOR: Patented Catch-Hold MMCX Connector

PLUG CONNECTOR: Patented DUNU Quick-Switch Modular Plug System




4.4 mm TRRRS Balanced

3.5 mm TRS Single-Ended

2.5 mm TRRS Balanced

Grey Balanced Tips (×3, S/M/L)

White Core Tips (×3, S/M/L)

SpinFit Tips (×3, S/M/L)

Foam Tips (×1)

Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Cleaning Brush

DUNU DC-16 3.5-to-6.3 mm Adapter

Airplane Adapter

Carry Case (Navy)



Cable: 4 core modular SPC cable that is very lightweight and pretty soft. Metal connectors and dividers except on the mmcx which is plastic. Has a working chin-slider but L/R markings are very hard to spot. Resistance is pretty high at 0.49 ohms (2.5/4.4mm) and at 0.54 ohms with the 3.5mm jack. The aesthetics in my opinion isn’t very good looking either and with the high resistance it makes the cable a bit disappointing IMO.





Build: Entirely made out of aluminum including the nozzle and it has a metal mesh. The lip on the nozzle allows for 2 ways of placing the tips, one that allows for a deeper fit and the other with a shallower fit. It is vented, size is a bit bigger than average.

Fit: works well for me and shouldn’t be a problem for most people except for the ones with very small ears. Insertion is a bit deeper than average but depending on tip fitment on the nozzle you can get a deeper insertion that’s a bit too deep for me personally.

Comfort: Very good for me.

Isolation: Average, nothing special. It does have a pretty big vent that makes it semi-open like the Dunu Zen, but since it covers my entire ears, the isolation doesn’t really suffer because of the vent.

Setup: Ibasso DX160 (low gain, volume around 25), Elecom EHP-CAP20 tips L, stock cable 4.4mm

Very good texture as expected from beryllium DD´s. Tightness and speed are also very good and sounds very clean because of that. Quantity is elevated above neutral but I would have liked to have more quantity, fortunately the texture is good enough to “compensate” for that and sounds very good in the end. Sub-bass is slightly emphasized over mid-bass but both are still fairly even.

Mid-bass: Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), Clean because of the speed and tightness. Texture is good as well. The (02:55-03:01) section with the chopper is clean.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), Good texture, speed and tightness but needs a bit more quantity to make it more fun.

Sub-bass: Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), good extension and decent rumble. But needs to rumble more on a track like this. Punch is tight and fast with good texture but also needs more quantity.

Will Sparks – Sick like that (03:08-03:22), very good texture, speed and tightness along with quantity.

Mids: Forward or recessed vocals when the track calls for it, very good vocal balancing between male/female as well as quality, as both are excellent. Very good details as well without being shouty. The weakness here is that the EST112 is more of a “jack of all genres, master of none” type of iem, so tonality can sometime lack some brightness or warmth depending on the track, but still good enough to sound natural.

Female-vocals: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), Very good tonality for both the vocals (bright) and the instruments (warm) and the timbre is very good so it sounds very natural. Vocals are slightly forward but not too much and is very fatigue free. Both macro and micro details are very good.

Yuki Hayashi – MightU (01:58-02:55), good tonality and timbre, although vocal tonality could be brighter and quantity a bit more forward.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), not peaky at all but still very detailed. That EST driver is doing a great job at putting out detail that isn’t peaky.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Crescent (02:07-02:26), a bit shouty.

Male-vocals: Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (00:57-01:17), Excellent tonality and timbre, very natural sounding while it is clean and detailed.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), good tonality but could be warmer. Timbre is natural and it is clean and very detailed.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), Excellent electric guitars that are very detailed and natural while it isn’t sharp.

Deuce – America (03:03-03:16), Poor mastering and shows it in your face, quite peaky treble.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Cello timbre, details and texture are very good but tonality could be warmer. Violin timbre, details, texture and treble extension are excellent but tonality could be brighter.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), Good tonality, timbre, details and clarity.

Soundstage: Very good soundstage in width and depth so it sounds holographic.

Tonality: Slightly bass boosted neutral, the bass boost is to make it a bit more fun and not sound boring and yet not color the sound beyond that, this iem is a “jack of all genres, master of non” type. It is very versatile and has a very good ability to change its tonality to adapt to the track, whether it is to be brighter or warmer, note weight is also not too thick nor thin so it complements its versatility very well.

This does however limit its ability to play a specific genre to its full potential, because it does tend to either lack some more warmth or brightness to be fully tonally correct (happens mostly with the vocals).

Details: Both macro and micro details are very good.

Instrument Separation: Separation is very good but imaging is a step behind the separation.

Songs that highlight the IEM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4wfiUmta0g https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5Gg2DfJVIY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvFmOIkuOfg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLUguXpUIb0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dVItTfITb8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8JN3gFWm3c https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVTXPUF4Oz4

Good genres:
OST, orchestral, rock/metal, electronic

Bad genres: A “jack of all genres, master of none” type of iem so there aren’t any genres (in my library at least) that it does particularly bad with. But hip-hop and EDM needs more bass quantity so they are probably the genres it performs the worst with. And badly mastered tracks will be shown in your face just how bad they are…


IEM: Tanchjim Oxygen, Final Audio Type E tips L, cable A6 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), lower extension on the EST112 as well as more rumble. Punch quantity is also a bit higher as well as tighter, faster and more textured.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), more quantity, texture, faster, tighter and more textured on the EST112.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), similar speed and tightness but a bit more quantity and texture on the EST112.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), very similar vocal tonality as well as forwardness. But more detailed and cleaner sounding overall on the EST112. Instrument tonality is also better on the EST112 due to it being too bright on the Oxygen. Timbre is a bit better on the Oxygen though.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), peakier and more fatiguing on the Oxygen.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), Instrument and vocal tonality are better on the EST112. More detailed on the EST112 as well. Naturality is better on the EST112 due to it having better tonality but otherwise timbre is fairly close.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), a bit sharper and more fatiguing on the Oxygen.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Cello tonality, texture, detail and timbre are better on the EST112. Violin tonality and timbre are a bit better on the Oxygen but similar details and texture.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), better tonality on the EST112 a bit shouty on the Oxygen in comparison.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), wider and deeper on the EST112 gives it a more holographic soundstage. Imaging, details and instrument separation are better on the EST112 as well. Timbre is a bit better on the Oxygen, but mostly with the violins as the rest sounds very natural on the EST112.

Overall: The EST112 is better than the Oxygen except for female vocal/acoustic tracks where they are somewhat even but even then, the EST112 is outperforming the Oxygen with the technicalities.

IEM: Fiio FD5, Elecom EHP-CAP20 tips L, stock cable 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), Extends lower and rumbles a bit more on the FD5. Punch quantity is similar, but tighter, faster and more textured on the EST112. Sounds a bit bloated on the FD5 in comparison.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), tighter, faster and more textured on the EST112 so its cleaner but a bit more quantity on the FD5.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), cleaner on the EST112 due to tighter and faster bass and individual bass strikes are more distinct. FD5 has a bit more quantity while texture is similar.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), a bit better instrument tonality on the FD5 (warmer) but much better vocal tonality, details and more forward on the EST112. Timbre is a bit better on the FD5 though, but naturality is overall better on the EST112 due to the tonality.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), a bit peakier on the FD5 and more fatiguing as well.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), more forward vocals on the EST112 but tonality is a bit better on the FD5 due to the warmth. Cleaner and more detailed on the EST112 while timbre is better on the FD5.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), sharper electric guitars on the FD5, more natural on the EST112.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Cello tonality is better on the FD5 but more detailed on the EST112 while texture and timbre are similar. Violin tonality, texture, details and treble extension are better on the EST112 while timbre is similar.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), tonality is better on the EST112, similar airiness but more detailed on the EST112.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), Similar soundstage, but better imaging, separation, details on the EST112. Timbre is better on the FD5.

Overall: The EST112 is a better iem from tonality to technicalities. But if you want a bassier iem the FD5 is better as it is more fun, timbre is also better on the FD5 but exceptionally good on the EST112 considering it is a tri-brid. The EST112 is a more versatile iem though, so it will most likely suit more people than the FD5.

IEM: Sony MDR-EX1000 (EQ), Final Audio Type E LL tips, stock cable 3.5mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extends lower and rumbles more on the EX1000. Punch quantity is a bit higher on the EX1000 while texture is similar. Tighter and faster on the EST112 though and cleaner.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), similar quantity and texture. But tighter and faster on the EST112 as well as more detailed and cleaner.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), very similar bass in quantity and quality. But gets affected by the treble where it sounds grainier on the EX1000 and much cleaner and detailed on the EST112.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), more tonally correct vocals on the EST112 as well as more forward, detailed and cleaner. Instrument tonality however is better on the EX1000 due to the warmth.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), more relaxing and fatigue free on the EX1000.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), better tonality on the EX1000 for both vocals and instruments. But is grainier on it and not as detailed and clean as on the EST112.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), sharper on the EX1000 despite being warmer. Treble on the EX1000 is its biggest weakness even with EQ.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Cello tonality is better on the EX1000 but texture, details and clarity are better on the EST112. Violin tonality, texture, details, clarity, treble extension and even timbre is better on the EST112. The violin timbre on the EX1000 is heavily bottlenecked by its treble so it doesn’t sound very natural despite being a single DD set.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), tonality, details and clarity are better on the EST112. Vocals are also a bit recessed on the EX1000.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), soundstage is a bit wider on the EX1000 but similar depth. Imaging, instrument separation and details are however better on the EST112. Timbre is actually better on the EST112 due to the poor treble tuning bottlenecking the overall timbre and naturality on the EX1000.

Overall: The EST112 is better than the EX1000 even with EQ on it. Bass and the soundstage are the only factors that are better on the EX1000.

IEM: Dunu Zen, Final Audio Type E tips LL, stock cable 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extends a lot lower and rumbles more on the Zen. Punch quantity is a bit higher but texture is a lot better and is also a bit tighter and faster on the Zen.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), similar quantity but better texture speed and tightness on the Zen.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), cleaner on the EST112 but more textured and a bit higher quantity with the Zen.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), instrument tonality is similar but better vocal tonality with the Zen due to it being brighter and more forward. Details however are better on the EST112 overall due to it having a ton more micro-detail, although macro detail is better with the Zen. Clarity is also better on the EST112 and there is a lot more air to it. Timbre is a bit better on the Zen but overall naturality is better on the EST112 due to it being tuned a lot better with the treble (and no upper-treble roll-off).

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), a lot sharper on the Zen and more fatiguing.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), tonality is better on the EST112 due to it being warmer and is also more detailed and cleaner sounding.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), sharper and more fatiguing on the Zen.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), cello texture, timbre and tonality are better on the Zen but similar detail. Violin tonality is a bit better on the Zen due to it being brighter, but details, treble extension are better on the EST112 with similar timbre due to it being bottlenecked a lot by the upper-treble roll-off in the Zen.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), better tonality and much more air on the EST112.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), another league with the soundstage on the EST112. Micro details are also a lot better on the EST112 but a bit better macro details on the Zen. Imaging and instrument separation are also better on the EST112. Timbre is similar.

Overall: The EST112 is the better tuned iem that’s also more technical. The only area where the Zen is better is the bass and it’s a big difference there and also the included cable is better with the Zen. Mids are tied while treble is just superior on the EST112. I only recommend the Zen over the EST112 for electronic music, otherwise the EST112 is both a better sounding, versatile and much better value.

IEM: Fiio FH3, Final Audio Type E tips LL, cable A3 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extension is similar but rumbles a lot more on the FH3. Punch quantity is also a lot higher on the FH3 but speed, tightness and texture are better on the EST112.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), quantity is a lot higher on the FH3 but texture, speed and tightness are better on the EST112 and sounds cleaner.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), cleaner due to the faster and tighter bass on the EST112. More quantity on the FH3 though, but more textured on the EST112.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), similar vocal forwardness, but better tonality (both vocal and instruments), timbre, details and cleaner on the EST112. More BA timbre in the FH3, much more natural sounding on the EST112.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), a bit more relaxing on the FH3 due to the extra bass quantity giving it more warmth.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), tonality, timbre, details and clarity are all better on the EST112.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), a bit more relaxing on the FH3 due to it being warmer.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), cello tonality, timbre and texture are similar but more detailed on the EST112. Violin tonality, timbre, detail, texture and treble-extension are better on the EST112.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), a bit better tonality on the EST112 as well as better timbre and details.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), wider and deeper soundstage on the EST112. Details, instrument separation, imaging and timbre are all better on the EST112.

Overall: The EST112 is superior in all aspects except the bass where the FH3 has a lot more quantity and will be better if you want a bassier iem.

IEM: IKKO OH10, Elecom EHP-CAP20 tips L, Cable A1 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extends and rumbles a lot more on the OH10. Punch quantity is also a lot higher on the OH10 while speed, tightness and texture are a lot better on the EST112. A lot cleaner on the EST112 and is a bit too much bass on the OH10.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), a lot more quantity on the OH10 while the EST112 is a lot faster, tighter and more textured. Sounds a bit bloated on the OH10.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), a lot cleaner on the EST112. Too much quantity and sounds somewhat bloated on the OH10.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), instrument tonality and timbre are a bit better on the OH10. But vocals are a lot better on the EST112 with tonality, details, clarity and is more forward as well.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), peakier and more fatiguing on the OH10.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), Vocal tonality is better on the OH10 due to the warmth and timbre is better as well. But is recessed and a lot cleaner and more detailed on the EST112.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), a bit more fatiguing on the OH10.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Cello tonality, timbre, details, texture and clarity are all better on the EST112. Violin tonality, timbre, details, texture and clarity are all better on the EST112.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), tonality, details and clarity are better on the EST112. Too much bass and recessed vocals on the OH10 but better timbre on it.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), a lot wider, deeper and airier soundstage on the EST112. Details, instrument separation and imaging are also better on the EST112. Timbre and coherency are a bit better on the OH10.

Overall: The OH10 is better if you want a more fun iem (a ton of bass, almost basshead) but otherwise the EST112 is superior from tonality to technicalities.

IEM: Sony XBA-N3, Final Audio Type E tips LL, Cable A6 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extends lower and rumbles a lot more on the N3. Punch quantity is a lot higher on the N3. But speed, tightness and texture are a lot better on the EST112.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), muddier bass on the N3 due to it being looser and slower along with a lot more quantity. Texture is also better on the EST112 and sound cleaner but less fun.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), a lot cleaner on the EST112 due to faster and tighter bass along with better texture. A lot more quantity on the N3.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), aside from instrument tonality which is better on the N3, everything else on the EST112 is in another league.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), more relaxing and fatigue free on the N3.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), tonality is a bit better on the N3 but has recessed vocals and the details and the clarity are a lot better on the EST112. Timbre however is better on the N3 and coherency is also better.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), more relaxing and fatigue free on the N3.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), cello tonality is a bit better on the N3 but is a bit too warm but texture, details and clarity are better on the EST112 while timbre is similar. Violin tonality, details, texture and treble extension are better on the EST112 while timbre is similar.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), tonality and timbre are better on the N3 but cleaner and more detailed on the EST112.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), airier soundstage and wider and deeper on the EST112. Imaging, details and instrument separation are better on the EST112. Coherency and timbre are better on the N3 though.

Overall: Bassheads will like the N3 more than the EST112 and it has better coherency and timbre as well. But otherwise, the EST112 is superior from tonality to technicalities.

IEM: Sony XBA-Z5, Final Audio Type E tips LL, Cable A3 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extends lower and rumbles more on the Z5. Punch quantity is also higher on the Z5, but tightness, speed and texture are a lot better on the EST112.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), more quantity on the Z5 but tighter, faster and more textured on the EST112. Quite a lot cleaner on it while it is muddy on the Z5 in comparison.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), more quantity and muddy on the Z5, a lot faster, tighter and more textured on the EST112.

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), instrument tonality is better on the Z5 due to the warmth but timbre is worse. Vocals are a bit weird on the Z5 and doesn’t sound very natural and the tonality is also a lot better on the EST112. Details and clarity are in another league on the EST112.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), more relaxing and less fatiguing on the Z5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), better tonality and a bit better timbre on the Z5. But cleaner and a lot more detailed on the EST112.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), more relaxing and less fatiguing on the Z5.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), cello tonality is better on the Z5 but details and texture are better on the EST112 while timbre is similar. Violin tonality, timbre, details, texture and treble extension are better on the EST112.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), a bit better tonality on the EST112, a lot cleaner and more detailed as well.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), wider and a bit deeper on the EST112 and a lot airier. Details, imaging, instrument separation are a lot better on the EST112. Timbre is similar.

Overall: The Z5 is the more fun iem but otherwise the EST112 is next league from tonality to technicalities.

IEM: LZ A7 (pop-red), Final Audio Type E tips LL, cable A3 4.4mm

Djuro – Drop that bass (01:15-01:30), extends and rumbles more on the A7. Punch quantity is also higher but sounds bloated in comparison. Much faster and tighter on the EST112 along with better texture.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Pretenders (01:18-01:47), more quantity on the A7 but tighter, faster and more textured on the EST112 so it sounds a bit bloated on the A7.

Metallica – fight fire with fire (01:11-01:52), bloated on the A7 in comparison to the cleaner EST112 due to faster and tighter bass. Texture is also better on the EST112

Mids: Hiroyuki Sawano – OldToday (01:25-01:52), Instrument tonality is better on the A7 due to the warmth. But a lot better vocals on the EST112 in tonality, details and clarity as well as more forward. Timbre is similar though.

Evanescence – Bring me to life (01:18-01:35), more relaxing and fatigue free on the A7. A lot more clarity and cleaner on the EST112 though.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Scapegoat (00:57-01:17), tonality is better on the A7, but a bit better timbre and a lot cleaner and more detailed on the EST112.

Treble: Linkin Park – Shadow of the Day (03:24-03:42), more relaxing and fatigue free on the A7.

Hiroyuki Sawano – Lose (string version) (01:22-01:59), Cello tonality is better on the A7 with similar timbre but better details, clarity and texture on the EST112. Violin tonality, timbre, details, texture and treble extension are better on the EST112.

Hiroyuki Sawano &Z (02:18-02:57), tonality, details and clarity are better on the EST112.

Technicalities: Shiro Sagisu – Hundred years war (02:24-02:57), wider and deeper soundstage as well as airier sounding on the EST112. Imaging, instrument separation, details and timbre are all better on the EST112.

Overall: The A7 is a more relaxing and fun set than the EST112 but otherwise the EST112 is next level on pretty much all factors.

Source synergy: Not very picky, the differences between the Ibasso DX160 and the Schiit Asgard 3 were miniscule. With the JDS Atom, the tonality did get a bit brighter as the Atom tend to do. But still a very small change and the EST112 doesn’t need any specific amp to sound good.


Conclusion: The EST112 is a very well-tuned iem that is tuned to be very versatile with very good technicalities.

This is for you if:

  • You want a versatile iem that can play anything
  • You want to try a well-tuned and natural tri-brid with Sonion EST´s
  • You want a highly technical iem with good tonality and timbre
  • You want a fun but still “audiophile” tuned iem
This is NOT for you if:

  • You want a specialist that specializes in a single/few particular genres
  • You want to use it for badly mastered tracks (it shows you how bad they are in your face)
  • You want a basshead or treblehead iem
(The title “Ultra Instinct” is a reference to Goku´s strongest form right now, which parallels the EST112 being my current flagship.)

Thanks for reading.




Sony MDR-EX1000:

Low-shelf: 80hz, Q:0.6, Gain: 4db

Low-shelf: 200hz, Q:0.6, Gain: 2db

Peak: 3300hz, Q:2, Gain: 2db

Peak: 5500hz, Q:2.2, Gain: -6db

High-shelf: 10 000hz, Q:0.7, Gain: 2.5db

Preamp: -6db

Cable source:

Reference/test songs:
Last edited:
@RikudouGoku you are bad for my wallet... Thanks for another great review. Couldn't resist after reading this, and knowing that your IEM tastes tend to be similar to mine.
@TWidXugA hahah, sorry for your wallet, thanks for the trust!
Excellent review! I got my unit 3 days ago. Single handedly crushes every other IEM I had before getting the 112. I was maining the Starfield and Meze Rai Solo for months but wasn't completely satisfied with either.

The Starfield comes reasonably close to the EST 112 tuning wise but is easily beaten in technicalities, The Solo is easily worse in both departments but is a reasonably decent option in the sub $200 range provided you aren't sensitive to peaks, the Solo has a big upper midrange peak.


Reviewer at hxosplus
Pros: - Very balanced and natural tonality
- Excellent timbre
- Silky smooth highs
- Great bass extension
- Dynamic
- Wide soundstage
- Comfortable
- Nice design
- Build quality
- Modular cable of high quality
- Accessories
Cons: - A little bulky
- Soundstage could do with more depth
The EST 112 was kindly provided free of charge after my own request and is under the ownership of Dunu.
Dunu never asked for a favorable review and as always this is my honest and subjective evaluation of it.
This is my first Dunu review so I don't have any previous models to compare.

The Dunu EST 122 retails for $489.99 and you can order it directly from Dunu


The EST 112 is Dunu's first quad-driver triple-hybrid pair of in-ear monitors.
The number 112 denotes the driver configuration of the pair.
It is equipped with a large 13.5mm dynamic woofer, a high-performance Knowles balanced armature driver, and two Sonion EST drivers.
These four drivers are fitted inside beautiful & lightweight aluminum alloy ear cavities with designer stainless steel face panels.
The pair is tuned to produce a relaxing, gentle sound signature with lively, resolving output.


Technical specifications

The large 13.5mm dynamic woofer has a dual-sided beryllium coating.
Its diaphragm is thicker with a finer & regular grain pattern so it helps bass and lower midrange frequencies maintain their palpable texture and separation with ultra-low distortion ratings.
A revised diaphragm topology allows for a 9% greater effective sound reproduction area.
Combined with refinements to beryllium deposition, diaphragmatic mass is now 13% lighter than that of the previous generation.
The layered beryllium is now even thicker, with a finer, more regular grain pattern than ever before.
Additionally, a revised motor structure carries a 20% improvement in magnetic flux density at the coils. This augmented driver design, married with Dunu’s proprietary Air Control Impedance System (ACIS), allows bass and lower midrange frequencies to maintain their palpable speed, texture, and separation, along with improved distortion characteristics.


A high-performance balanced armature driver from Knowles handles the mid-high frequency response with a transparent and reference response to produce lively and engaging vocals with high-resolution clarity.
Long gone are the days when EST drivers were only being used in high-end headphones.
The technology is advancing at a rapid speed with its implementation in many flagship IEMs.
Dunu has implemented two high-performance EST drivers from Sonion (a highly renowned audio driver manufacturing brand) that present a smooth, elegant, and well-detailed high and ultra-high frequency response.
Development work was largely spent on fine-tuning crossover points to optimize driver corner frequencies, resulting in a cohesive, neutrally voiced sound signature.

Housing build quality and fit

Machined from lightweight aluminum alloy via a 5-axis CNC lathe and finished with a scratch-resistant gunmetal anodize, the durable shells encapsulate doubly reengineered driver circuitry.
Stately, polished stainless steel faceplates cap off the package in a simple, yet timeless design.
The EST 112 is very beautifully designed with a modern twist that we liked a lot.


Build quality is excellent and the mmcx connectors are nicely integrated and feel sturdy.
The shells are lightweight at 7.5gr each and while they are a little bulky the fit is excellent with a custom like feeling.
They fit very easily without extra pressure and sit comfortable inside the ear without causing any kind of discomfort or irritation even after an extended period of use.
After you get them properly fitted then sound isolation is good and well above average.


The EST 112 is bundled with its premium 1.2m DUW-02S cable.
It is a high-quality mmcx , Litz braided silver-plated copper cable with Dunu’s patented Quick-Switch modular plug system.
Apart from the standard 3.5mm single-ended plug, the package includes 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced termination plugs.
Build quality and handling are excellent and the plug system is very sturdy and easy to interchange.
The mmcx plugs are patented catch - hold and reinforced while the part of the cable that hooks around the ear is stiffened and protected with an extra layer of nylon.



The EST 112 comes fully bundled with a lot of accessories.
There are three different kinds of ear tips , one of them being spinfit , with three pairs of sizes for each plus one pair of memory foam tips.
A hard carrying case of good quality is included plus an extra carrying pouch , a cleaning brush , a 3.5mm to 6.35mm and a flight adapter.



Sound impressions

The EST 112 is rated at 10Ω with a sensitivity of 110dB so they are very easy to drive and they don't pose special power requirements but noise floor can become an issue.
Moreover they respond extremely well to upstream gear and while they were readily enjoyable with entry level stuff like the ddHiFi TC44B the experience got seriously uplifted climbing higher the quality ladder to players like the FiiO M11 Pro or even higher to the iBasso DX300.


The EST 112 does require some serious burn in of at least 50 hours because out of the box the dynamic driver is much slower than the EST units and bass feels slow , hollow and distanced.
After that time it settles down and all the drivers sound perfectly integrated and aligned , a proof of the well implemented crossover design.

The EST 112 is one of the best tuned iems we have ever experienced till now with a very natural and balanced sound signature that favors timbre and tonality.
A very mature sound profile that feels successful in the way that it provides a speaker like timbre that concentrates at connecting the listener with the music rather than merely producing sound.

Bass quantity is more than sufficient with all the extension down to the sub area while maintaining an accurate response up to the mids without any extra emphasis following a Fletcher-Munson loudness curve.
There is no mid bass bloat or colouring so the EST 112 is able to portray successfully all the various bass instruments even in very crowded passages without masking.
Take for example Mahler's 6th Symphony first movement where the double bases dominate the passage but we can also clearly distinguish the cello desks and other low pitched instruments like a bassoon solo.
The dynamic driver recovery is very fast and bass feels tight and well controlled with great depth and layering in a very dynamic and impactful result.
This is not the visceral bass that will blow your head away but you can't call it lean either and it strikes a balance between fullness and clarity so purists are going to love it while bass heads may find it a bit lacking.


Mid range is slightly and tastefully elevated in order to be present without lagging behind.
The region is nicely portrayed without glare and is left ample space to shine without becoming dominant.
Voices are full bodied and well articulated while solo woodwind stands out rounded and clear with horns blazing away with excellent brass timbre as for the electric guitar solos they are just electrifying.
Harmonies are blended together in a shivering and very addictive experience that is usually reserved for much more expensive earphones.

Rising to the higher frequencies we meet the real star of the show.
Nicely extended and perfectly balanced without any signs of brightness and hardness they stand out for being lively and luminous but silky smooth and polite.
This is not a boring and lifeless metallic sounding treble , we are talking here a horn loaded experience with full bodied notes , finely articulated with excellent timbre and ultimate quality.
Harpsichord higher registers are one of the most difficult instruments to reproduce, posing great challenges to every headphone but the EST 112 passed the test with flying colors and we were able to tell even the instrument maker , so good was the timbre and the sound palette.
The silky smooth treble performance does not imply that this is a forgiving iem but on the contrary as is always the case with high quality gear it is very transparent and faithful to source.
So it is going to expose everything that is badly recorded but on the other hand it will highlight and breath life to well mastered material.

Another striking aspect that left us impressed was the very natural time decay especially at the complex higher frequencies.
Bells , high huts , cymbals and other high percussion instruments fade away in the most effortless and natural manner adding greatly to the overall sense of reality.

Detail retrieval and clarity throughout the whole band are exemplary and if you think that you are missing something then you should probably check with your dac/amp and not the EST 112.
But don't think it as an analytical self exhibitionist iem because in our case we are only served with the finest extracts and the pure essence infused into the whole picture rather than provoking unnecessary attention.


The soundstage is astonishingly wide but rest assured that it is always fully proportional and naturally expanded without artificial widening.
There is a certain lack of depth layering so we perceive a more two dimensionally expanded plateau rather than a fully holographic and reverberant scene.
Separation is excellent with precise pinpoint positioning and enough space for each instrument to breathe so we never get the congestion feeling even with large symphonic works.

As a whole a very lifelike and musical experience well suited for all kinds of music but especially gratifying with classical and jazz where it reigns supreme and without near competition.

Brief comparison against the FiiO FD5 ($319.99)

The FiiO FD5 (with the standard nozzle) reviewed here is a five star favorite of ours but there are several differences between the EST 112. (level matched by ear)

Bass extension is the same as both iems don't roll off and can easily reach down to the lower notes.
But while bass tuning on the EST 112 can be considered neutral and linear that's not the case with the FD5 where we can hear a significant boost reaching upper bass.
So bass response is accentuated and while it feels more visceral and full it is slower , less detailed and more loose and above all low bass is masking bass and upper bass.
As that is better suited for one note bass heavy electronic music but can't compete with EST 112 reference tuning when the music calls for busy passages full of various low instruments.

From lower mid up to mid range tuning is almost the same and timbre done well with both iems.
FD5 voices , especially woman sound more rounded and full bodied but detail retrieval and clarity are better on the EST 112 which is a better technical performer.

Higher frequencies are tuned more or less the same , very evenly and without any annoying harshness or brightness.
But again quality and clarity are much better for the EST 112 that punches ahead with more smooth and finely articulated sound.
The EST 112 is more detailed without feeling analytical and truth is that clarity is much better for the whole frequency band.

Soundstage on the FD5 might feel a little deeper and while it doesn't lack on wideness the EST 112 is greatly extended with better precision on instrument placing and much airer presentation.

The FD5 is less expensive and a fine one driver performer but the EST 112 perfectly integrated multi driver array gives it a significant edge in all departments and especially in the overall emotional depth.
A reference tuning mostly suited for the snobbish classical music listeners while the FD5 is the perfect EDM and bass head companion.

At the end

The Dunu EST 112 is plain and simple a true high end performer that punches well above its price point and sets new standards at the mid price category.

Perfectly tuned and with an exemplary technical integration is characterized by it's effortless way to present music in a natural and engaging manner able to communicate a great sense of musicality and emotional depth.

The EST 112 is probably the best mid priced iem in the market right now and not only is very highly recommended but we would dare to go as far as to suggest it as a must buy per se.

Test playlist

Copyright - Laskis Petros 2021
Last edited:
@Ichos You had compared with FD5 default nozzle above... I'm wondering how it would be in comparison to FD5 narrow nozzle as that is the preferred combination of many FD5 users including me. pls share
I will do it in a couple of days.
Codename john
Yes for sure. Not at all. Great iem. The highs are superb
  • Like
Reactions: Ichos