DUNU LUNA - Reviews
Pros: - snappy transient speed and solid technical chops
- incredible build and accessories
Cons: - myriad tonal quirks to the midrange and treble
- secure fit might be an issue for larger ears
Introduction
DUNU is an older Chi-Fi company, and they've been in business longer than I've been alive! The Luna is their flagship IEM which utilizes pure beryllium for the dynamic driver. Without getting into all the nitty-gritty, which I truthfully don't know jack about, this is a material that is often found in higher-end headphones like the Focal line-up. It is extremely stiff, and in theory, should translate to better PRT. While that's certainly sounds cool, let's talk about how it stacks up in practice.

In the interest of full disclosure, I want to thank Tom of DUNU for sending these along to me for review. They will be returned at the end of the review period, and as always, what follows are my honest thoughts.

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The Tangibles
I was sent the IEM itself as well as a few accessories. So no fancy packaging. Here are some brief comments on the build and whatnot:
  • Great cable and pouch for the IEM. The cable is a little springy, but it's very high-quality. Dunu clearly cares and is putting in a good deal effort here.
  • The Luna is quite small which is definitely a plus for smaller ears. However, if you have larger ears, it might feel like the IEM is a bit loose (although I doubt it'll actually fall out). As a result of the small size, it also doesn't isolate particularly well.
The Luna’s build is noteworthy to me because they’re using titanium. This is the metal of the gods: It’s hypoallergenic, essentially rust-proof, and has an extremely high strength-to-weight ratio. And even better? DUNU didn’t cheap out and run with Grade 2 titanium which is considerably more malleable and easier to machine. DUNU's making sure their stuff is going to last a long, long time.

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Lets’s quickly talk about their proprietary output swap system. This is a really simple, yet cool feature that the DUNU cables feature. There are 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm plugs available. All you have to do is line up a small notch and from there it’s plug-and-play.

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Sound Analysis
Well, the Luna is interesting. It’s certainly not lacking anything when it comes to speed – this thing is fast. Probably the quickest, snappiest transients I’ve heard of a single DD, and fairly good resolution to match. Despite the cramped staging, layering and imaging capability both seem well above average too. But what it really excels at, at least in my opinion, is dynamics. It’s terrific at scaling those macro-delineations, inflections with vocals.

Unfortunately, any further praise hits a roadblock from here – a big fat one called tonality. Simply put, the Luna is far from being tonally correct, and there’s a plethora quirks with its frequency response:
  • The low-end is unmistakably dynamic, but it decays too quickly for my preferences and seems to roll-off in the sub-bass.
  • It feels like there’s a lack of note-weight in the midrange. Vocals presents themself with a hollow, whispy nature. The upper-midrange is particularly bad because it sounds like there’s a lift. Female vocals are just shoved in your face, occasionally bordering on shout, and they’re impossible to ignore.
  • The treble has some serious peaking going on. Cymbal hits are dragged out with a distinctive screechiness, and it turns one of my favorite songs, “Amen” by Eden’s Edge, into a shrill caricature of what it should be. Forget something like “Galaxy Supernova” by Girls Generation all together.
The bass is pretty alright – not great, but I can live with it. The midrange and highs, though? They’re dealbreakers for me. Most of my listening is done at lower volumes, but I still like to have fun sometimes. Even at just say, ~75dB, the Luna is extremely fatiguing on my ears. There’s no way I could possibly see this being a daily driver.

Tuning a new driver can’t possibly be easy, and I suspect that there are certain constraints that Dunu was forced to work with. Alas, while the Luna has its merits, the tuning is not one of them. And while the Luna is indeed tip-sensitive, all the tip-rolling in the world is not going to save it, especially when it comes to those nasty treble peaks. Believe me, I tried a good number of tips, and as a younger listener, I'm particularly sensitive to treble.

Could you get used to the Luna by letting your brain “burn-in”? Absolutely. Some people might straight-up enjoy this type of tuning, and I did find myself appreciating Luna’s technical chops despite its tonal quirks. But I cannot, in good faith, ignore the shortcomings that become readily apparent in A/B comparisons.

The Verdict
The DUNU line-up has been rather hit-or-miss for me sound-wise. I like that they’re trying to switch it up, but sometimes playing it safe is the better ploy like with the DK-3001 Pro. My rating will reflect this. After all, I do try to maintain some semblance of impartialness when scoring.

As I’ve stated time and time again, though, objective reviewing does not exist. To this effect, I really like DUNU as a company. The audio industry moves fast, and you don’t survive as long as DUNU has without doing something right. One of the first things Tom of DUNU told me was “Don’t be nice for the heck of it – I know beforehand you probably won’t be into the Luna’s sound”. Know what that is? Honesty. It’s a beautiful thing, and knowing that I don’t have to be shy about my thoughts, my opinion, is more than I could ask for. More importantly, it’s great to see that DUNU’s not content to rest on their laurels. If I had a “recommended” manufacturers list, you can bet DUNU would be on it.

Attachments

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Dunu Luna Review - To reach the unreachable star
Pros: Pure beryllium diaphragm - Rich and large sound
-Deep bass extension with no stuffiness
-An absolutely stunning set of accessories
-Hassle-free earpiece design
Cons: Cable - vulnerable to discoloration
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Dunu Luna Review - To reach the unreachable star

It is finally here - Dunu released its first-ever 1DD flagship model, Luna. Although most of their products were made of a hybrid setup including DK-4001, though I have been looking forward to seeing this coming since the point when they announced their 1DD mid-range model, Falcon-C back in 2018. I remember being much excited to hear its release news and to be one of the earliest to be hitting the check-out button as it went live. Needless to say, I was satisfied with Falcon-C's build and sound quality. Luna is their next 1DD IEM to be released after Falcon-C, so I had no choice but to pull the trigger once again.


As multi-BA drivers get advanced in performance as well as new types of drivers appear (piezoelectric, EST, etc), our most classic, and our good old dynamic drivers have been constantly advancing just as much or even more. To its nature, Luna is a revolutionary achievement for not only Dunu but also for the IEM market, as Luna is one of two very first IEMs to be ever made with pure beryllium diaphragm along with A8000 from Final Audio Design. Let us now take a close look into its features and sound, as well as a compare and contrast with its contestants.




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Packaging

Luna comes in a large, square packaging that portrays a design concept similar to a spacecraft. Once the upper cover of the box is removed, four sides of the lower box would spread and reveal 7 different layers of the packaging that includes Luna and its accessories. Other than the earpieces, Luna includes all kinds of useful accessories - a high-quality stock cable with switchable connectors (2.5mm/3.5mm/3.5mm pro/4.4mm), 4 pairs of wide eartips, 3 pairs of narrow eartips, 3 pairs of SpinFit CP360 eartips, 3 pairs of CP145 eartips, a leather case, a large leather pouch, Type-C to 3.5mm portable DAC, USB to Type-C adapter, a velcro tie, and some user manuals. This is what I would call proper packaging for a top-tier product like this and perhaps the best set of accessories I have ever seen so far. Nice work, Dunu.




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Earpieces

Luna features a 10mm acoustic grade rolled foil pure beryllium diaphragm and, as said in the beginning, is one of few IEMs to be using pure beryllium drivers. Dunu has been incorporating different materials to their dynamic drivers for a long time - titanium for DN2000J, carbon nanotube for Falcon-C, and beryllium coating for their recent premium models. Besides, in the case of beryllium coating, Dunu coated the diaphragm with a beryllium layer only on the front side for DK3001 Pro, while both sides were coated with a beryllium layer for DK4001 and 17th-anniversary.


Compared to other materials, Beryllium is known to have an extremely high stiffness level which eventually leads to a much faster sonic response speed, outdoing more than twice than materials such as titanium, aluminum, or magnesium. Since that, going fully beryllium must have been the goal they were aiming for, and not surprisingly, they have accomplished it with Luna. The housing material is fully made of grade 5 titanium alloy. The earpiece is round-shaped with a concave faceplate and a polygonal connector stem. This concave front design naturally triggers a shadow within the faceplate, giving that moon-like appearance.


Along with that, the polygonal connector design and the inner side of the earpiece having light contour traces caused by the CNC machining adds a cosmic feeling to it. Although its thin joint between the connector and the earpiece may look fragile, inside the connector portion is actually screwed in with a long stem (which is also made of titanium), so there is no need to stress about it as the earpiece is built even sturdier than most other IEMs. The connectors are terminated with enforced MMCX, having the same compatibility and form as standard MMCX connectors but increased in durability and gripping force. The length of the nozzles is just about average, being very slightly shorter than the nozzles from DK-4001 and DK-3001 Pro.




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Cable

Dunu has spent just as much attention on its stock cable as they did for the earpieces. The cable material is comprised of mixed strands of Furukawa OCC Copper and DHC pure silver, shielded with silver-plated OCC Copper wires. As usual, it is terminated with their Quick switching connectors, enabling the user to conveniently switch around the plug between 3.5mm, 2.5mm, 4.4mm, and 3.5mm Pro.


The wires are marginally thicker than the Noble cable included with DK-4001 and do not negatively affect the comfort. It is very slightly springy but still soft and flattens out once worn, so microphonics are not an issue here. This cable is yet to have a dedicated name and it is unsure in the meantime if Dunu will decide to sell this cable as a stand-alone product (just as they did with Noble, Chord, and Lyre), but I would love to see that happening since the quality of this cable is spectacular.


Not only that, but Luna comes in with DTC-100, their new Type-C DAC dongle. DTC-100 is equipped with an ESS Sabre ES9118EC converter and the included USB to Type-C converter allows DTC-100 to be used on a PC, both Windows and Mac OS. It is again very surprising to see such a generous amount of accessories to be included and I take this as a big plus. Further details and specs for the DTC-100 are as the following.


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Specs for Dunu DTC-100 (Type-C DAC with USB adapter)

  • Digital-to-Analog Converter: ESSTech ES9118EC
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • Supported Formats:
    • PCM 32-bit / 384 kHz
    • Up to quad-rate DSD256 (DSD128 over DoP)
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): 120 dB (A-weighted)
  • Dynamic Range (DNR): 120 dB (A-weighted)
  • THD+N: 0.0004% into 32 Ω
  • Output Power: 25 mW into 32 Ω
  • Input: USB Audio 2.0 (USB Type-C)
  • Supports Windows 7/8/10 and Mac OS
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Sound impression - Lows

Looking at the big picture, Luna shows a gentler/calmer version of a W-shaped sound signature, making it look more like a mild w-shape with more emphasis on the lows. As a full beryllium DD IEM, Luna does create some high-quality bass. Other IEMs such as Empire Ears Legend X or Rhapsodio Zombie MK8 do be creating one stunning bass that shakes your headroom with thundering roars. Luna, on the other hand, takes a more virtuous approach with a smooth decay, but its high-density, bottomless-deep lower extension towards the ultra lows and its mellow yet wide spatial express are easy to be addicted to.


The bass strikes are superdense with thick acoustic lines but would not get obtuse in analyticity or reaction speed. These strikes are precise and perfectly controlled with proper tightness, keeping this deep and dark bass from getting stuffy. Along with that, Luna continues the upper lows without having it bloated and creating a linear flow throughout the range, further enforcing Luna's clean atmosphere - keep in mind that I am not referring to the quantity when talking about linearity here but the flow of the overall bass range. Savoring the ultra lows is one of Luna's largest charming points. Not many IEMs are capable of exposing the ultra lows with such level of clarity and texture details, and these texture grains are not dry or rough to the feeling but rather fine and smooth. Luna's large and wide bass not only excels with its extension but also with consistency and linearity. It oozes a generous amount of musicality and depth but would never get overwhelming whatsoever.




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Sound impression - Mids

As many of you may have already known, just because the lows are vivid or remarkable, that does not mean the mids will be shaded by the lows and suffer from mushy texture or lack of power. Mids show an elegant and seamless transition from the lows. Here, Dunu has proficiently overcome the common vulnerability for a bassy IEM where the lower mids are easily swallowed up by the upper lows. Compared to the other ranges, Luna's lower mids are not weaker in presentation and liveliness and keeps it just as prominent. In terms of positioning, mids feel to be on top from the lows (but with enough space between them) rather than popping the vocals in the front. This way, Luna shows prominent vocals while protecting its imaging accuracy.


Just as the lows, the density on the mids are also highly thick to its nature but also tightened up as if a much larger size of vocals have been compressed to the current imaging size - which is still large. As a result, the vocal thickness is slightly meatier from neutral with elevated crispiness on the upper mids, making male vocals to sound full-bodied while female vocals are rich in color and taste. Overall the vocal tone is fully neutral and organic but with a touch of enhancement in coloration in the upper mids, only enough to add the extra taste. Mids show a pretty linear flow throughout the range just as the lows without any audible spikes or sibilance. Instead, the sibilance area is replaced with a bit of airiness that gives some freshness and free space for the mids to mingle with the background




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Sound impression - Highs, etc.

The quantity of highs is slightly lesser than mids, though highs make their presence very clear and deliver a clean, quick snap for the strikes. Along with that, having a pitch-black background as a base, treble splashes out with full of air and fineness. It stretches out smoothly like water flow and carries an adequate amount of crisp and an organic tone. The brightness is slightly dimmed which does not degrade the details or the crispiness, but rather makes the listening smooth, delicate, and fatigue-free.


Now for the staging. What I love from Luna is that it has a very subtle style of stage exposure and let me elaborate further. The quantity and the intensity from all the three bands (lows/mids/highs) are carefully controlled to keep a smooth sound flow while being generous enough with the musicality. This allows Luna to give thorough attention to its dark and quiet background, which resultingly enriches the music to become a lot more soulful and vasty. This unexaggerated yet expansive staging creates a natural headroom as well as the imaging.




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Comparisons

-Dita Audio Dream XLS-

Both IEMs would show perfection throughout the range but once we look from a relative perspective, Dream XLS puts more weight on the mids whereas Luna puts more weight on the lows. For the lows, Luna shows a more expansive and immersive presentation thanks to its rich bass quantity and depth, but as said above, it never reaches to the point of getting muddy or overwhelming. Just as Luna did, Dream XLS has outstanding bass extension and texture details but it is calmer in quantity, focusing more on maximum cleanliness and clarity. Therefore, Luna creates a bass imaging that spreads wider and larger.


Dream XLS pulls the mids closer to the ears with a touch of 3D effect, highlighting each layering while keeping the sound surprisingly harmonic. Its brightness is also shinier and airier. Luna, on the other hand, proceeds to make a smooth transition as it enters the mid-range, not having the vocals popped out but instead takes a small step forward, keeping the natural sound flow with vocals that are even fuller-bodied than Dream XLS. The temperature is a bit warmer on Luna and slightly darker in brightness.


The upper frequencies are rather airier and more transparent on Dream XLS, but at the same time, Luna is creamier and fatigue-free without getting the atmosphere any stuffy. Highs from both IEMs are crisp and highly detailed but with differences that happen similar to what happened from mids - the quantity is similar, yet Luna mildly tones down the brightness along with the distance for the smoother listening experience.




-Final Audio A8000-

As the first two IEMs to be using pure beryllium drivers, these two were destined to be matched up. The type of sound signature that A8000 presents is somewhat similar to the way how Dream XLS does, though A8000 persues even further with its sound signature, making the difference between A8000 and Luna even bigger. Lows from both IEMs dive just as deep and similar in quantity, size, and reverbs but there is a subtle difference on the way how they end their bass - Luna lets the reverbs ring slightly more with the edge of the bass to feel more rounded, giving a stronger splash once it blows a strike. In the case of A8000, the reverbs are cleaner and calmer, with the edge of the bass being more acute which leaves it on a cleaner, crispier note.


Moving on to the upper frequencies. Luna is fuller in body, warm, and soothing while A8000 is relatively slimmer (neutral-thin), bright, and highly revealing. Mids on A8000 goes full force on clarity and transparency, carrying the vocals with an airy, cool breeze throughout the mids and highs. Mids step in close to the ears with vivid straightness, forming a highly intimate vocal presentation. Since all that, A8000 achieves outstanding detail retrieval and clearness, though it is possible for treble sensitive to find this a tad hot. Meanwhile, in the case of Luna, mids sound softer and bring in more warmth which keeps the vocals bold and clear, but also leaving no possibilities for causing any fatigue or sibilance.


The same situation goes on with the highs. A8000 would carry a brighter tense with extra crisps added to the texture. Relative to that, Luna is mildly lesser in treble quantity with darker brightness, making the treble more comfort-based. In short - if you are keen to enjoy clarity-focused signatures that carry a transparent, crispy sound, A8000 would be a better choice. Though if a warm, easy-going sound signature with stronger bass slams are your jam, Luna would work out better for you.




-Dunu 17th Anniversary-

There is some price gap between the 17th and Luna, yet I believe this would be a fair if not fun comparison due to their same driver configuration and since the 17th model being a pre-flagship model after Luna. Despite I love the 17th and its sound signature, the performance gap between these two is apparent. Luna produces an incomparably deeper and detailed bass response in terms of depth, extension, and weightiness. Although I have been thinking 17th achieves quite a decent bass details and quantity, Luna's massive bass scaling and deep punches makes 17th to be lacking the whole bottom end.


Mids are more refined on Luna with a slight advantage on the tonality as well. Along with that, vocals scale larger with ever better focus point, spotlighting the vocals a lot better. Luna also achieves more thickness on the lows and mids, giving a full-bodied sound but without getting any obtuse - in fact, Luna shows a stronger and faster impact. The overall sound is significantly thicker in color with deeper, higher, and wider staging, providing immersive dynamics. There are no doubts about the 17th still being a valuable and fantastic performer, yet the game completely changes once compared with Luna.




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Verdicts

Dunu has been well known for crafting some great hybrid IEMs throughout the price range, yet they have brought renovation to themselves by ruling them all with a single, well-made driver. I am glad to see my long wait has been worth as Luna lived up to my rather picky expectations that have developed over time, which was not only limited to sound quality but also on various aspects - builds, cable, accessories, and so on. As said, Luna is a remarkable achievement for Dunu being one of the first to be incorporating pure beryllium diaphragms and, most importantly, creating one hell of an IEM. If you dig the naturality of single dynamic driver IEMs and looking for a top-notch, full-bodied sound, Luna is undoubtedly the one to take into some serious consideration for.










Dunu Luna has been purchased by myself.
I am not affiliated with Dunu and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
Watermelon Boi
Watermelon Boi
Hoegaardener70
Hoegaardener70
Thank you very much for your comparison to the a8000, I fully enjoyed reading your insights!
SLC1966
SLC1966
Excellent review of the Luna. As always I really like your photography!
Pros: Lush natural sound, effortless macro-resolution, richly layered sound, sumptuous vocal, good transparency, non-fatiguing treble, fast transient response, panoramic soundstage, nuanced timbre, invincible construction, excellent do-it-all cable
Cons: Lack a bit of air, details and sparkles, the bass does not extend fully, average imaging, little sound benefit return due to very high price
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SOUND: 9/10
CONSTRUCTION&DESIGN: 8.5/10
ACCESSORIES: 9/10
VALUE: Do not apply
Today I will review the flagship DUNU LUNA.

Beryllium dynamic drivers are often used for earphones, but it’s not always specified for which part of the drivers. It can be coated on a diaphragm of another material, used for the dome or like the Luna or Final Audio A8000, the whole diaphragm can be made of 100% pure beryllium. All this will inflict on the final transient response speed, even the microscopic difference in thickness between Luna and A8000 will inflict on it too.

I have always been a fan of beryllium coated drivers, which tend to improve both speed and clarity, but the real revelation is when I listen to A8000, the transient speed was just from another world and it feels like I was listening to a hybrid IEM with dedicated divers for lows, mids and highs.

When I heard DUNU launch a flagship full-beryllium IEM at half the price of the A8000, I jump in review tour boat with euphoric expectation.

Now let’s see in this review if these 1700$ earphones offer a pristine sound experience that won’t make you regret the consequent investment.

The LUNA sell for 1700$ and I suggest you to buy them directly from the official DUNU STORE for peace of mind about after-sale service.

SPECS:

Driver Configuration: 10 mm Acoustic-Grade Pure Beryllium Rolled Foil with Polyurethane Suspension

Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.2% at 1 kHz

Sensitivity: 110 dB at 1 kHz

Impedance: 16 ohm@ 1KHz

Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 40 kHz

Plug: Patented DUNU Quick-Switch Modular Plug System

Connector: Patented Catch-Hold MMCX Connector

Cable Length: 1.2 m

Cable Material: Mixed Strands of Furukawa Electric Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) Copper & DHC Silver, with Silver-Plated OCC Copper Shield Surround

Net Weight: 10.3 g


ACCESSORIES, CONSTRUCTION&DESIGN

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As there wasn’t a full package included in the review tour, I can’t judge unboxing but the number and quality of accessories are impressive enough. The cable is a flagship one that uses ”Mixed Strands of Furukawa Electric Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) Copper & DHC Silver, with Silver-Plated OCC Copper Shield” as well as a very practical modular jack with 3 types of plugs (2.5mm, 3.5mm and 4.4mm balanced, 3.5 single-ended). This cable do show the full potential of LUNA sound and became my go-to cable for a lot of my IEM. Apart from the cable, you have a very generous amount of ear tips (including mostly spin fit ear tips) and a very nice looking leather carrying case that is near as big as a purse, so you can store a lot of things in it.


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The construction of LUNA isn’t particularly yealing ‘’I’m a 2K luxury IEM, look at me’’ and it’s a blessing because it attires the attention of anybody, includes suspicious characters. It’s beautifully sober in design, inspired by DK series housing. The material used for whole housing is Titanium Alloy Grade 5, which is extremely durable and solid and not prompt to easy scratching. Back of housing is concave within a circular shape and create a beautiful shadow effect and light reflection. The texture is a little rough, which permits a very good grip and this back housing dip help to push IEM inside your ears with your thumbs and achieve a more easily perfect fit. All this is meticulously machined and inspires a long life span. In terms of comfort, I find them perfect for me and never encounter a long time comfort issue. To note I have rather big ears, as well, those who like deep fit will find LUNA shape and nozzle not long enough. Anyway, they are light, small and very comfy with long ear tips.


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ISOLATION is just a little above average and you will hear some outside noise if listening at low volume. This is perhaps due to the venting hole at top of housing, or type of metal used. In terms of noise leakage, it’s minimal and near insignificant apart if you are surrounded by a bunch of people suffering from hyper-hyperacusis.


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DRIVEABILITY is both easy and not overly sensible even with high 111db sensitivity due to normal 16ohm impedance (at 8ohm it would be surely prompt to overdriven issue). What the LUNA love is an enough powerful DAP with very clean sound. The best pairing is with my Xduoo X20, which is ultra-clean slightly cold sounding and offers 300mW balanced output with ultra-low THD.

SOUND

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Source used: Ibasso DX90, Xduoo X20 (balanced), Xduoo X3, Audirect BEAM2, X20 and DX90+JDS LABS ATOM

If you were afraid the LUNA sound too technical, bright or clinical, or overly similar in tonality or timbre to the Final A8000, you can be reassured it is a completely different beast and follow a more musicality minded tuning where warmth meets speed. It has a unique meaty sound that kept great transparency through its nuanced timbre density. We are in W shape sound territory, which is my favorite sound landscape to climb. All curves, no spike.

SOUNDSTAGE is out of your head and panoramic, it’s wider than deeper and surrounds you in a circular way around you. While it’s not the must airy and vast spatiality, its far from being overly closed up. You’re near the musicians with the LUNA, feeling in the same big room as them.

IMAGING is very good but not particularly sharp or precise, instrument separation is lively but without a lot of space between them, still, due to weighty sound dynamic, you have both front and stereo separation which give sens of space between layers even if not very deep. With the LUNA you don’t really become a ‘’pre-made critical listener’’, the sound goes at you in all its macro-cohesion, it does not feel cut in micro-pieces for you so you have an ultra-highly-resolve definition of every instruments singularity.

TONALITY is a dynamic neutrality, with warm bass, forwards mids, and smooth delicate treble. W shape signature where mids and lower treble is the more fowards and low bass have good weighty slam that can move air, treble is thick and well rounded.

TIMBRE is lush, thick and nuanced in texture. It’s a natural timbre, free of too much grain but near 50% opaque because of it’s rich density.

BASS is greatly influenced by ear tips you use, wide bore ear tips make these more U shape sounding while longer ear tips like KZ Starline (my favorite and cost near nothing) keep the balanced W shape tonality intact. Sub presence region is boosted, not in extension but more in fatness around 100HZ region, so we have a high-end boomy presentation with good round slam that can go quite impactful and have a fast articulation. In other hand, the separation between mid and high bass isn’t very crisp and the kick lack a bit of forward crisp punch impact. While not perfect, I appreciate this bass for it’s a chunky presence that do not veil mid-range while it adds natural fullness to vocal. For acoustic bass, it will have a good dynamic that tends to extract its presence, but the extension will stop to soon. For synth-bass it’s perfect, offering superb articulation with impressive layering that adds physical excitement to rendering. For toms, again, the extension will not feel supernatural but have good (too) rounded slam. Unfortunately, you can’t tweak extension with ear tips, just presence-impact. I feel guilty to appreciate THAT much ‘’imperfect’’ bass, but it’s rendering is so unique, both fast and dense, in fact, it act as if the bass was a little slow but it isn’t at all this is where I’m puzzled, sometimes you feel like if the DUNU was dual DD of 2 different compositions. In a track like ‘’View from a satellite’’ from PORTICO QUARTET, we have an incredibly enjoyable sound experience where the kick bass is the star of the show and fast transient speed flexibility is euphoric, the LUNA love to slam and jam whatever the number of kicks and digital toms it has to deal with, sound layering here is phenomenal with the wide synth pads layers floating with great transparency, the saxophone positioning between low kick, just behind the fast snare hits, and this round juicy thumping beat, super weighty in attack and full in timbre. So delectably sweet bass hit!


MIDS, Oh, the sweet, lush, clear, and lively mids! I really adore them and their transition with treble is so natural that some might not understand how well-tuned they are. For once, we have weighty mids that don’t sound bloated with the bass, for once piano can be played in whole register and sound magnificently full! Yes, the LUNA love pianist and let me tell you that this is my number one instrument to judge any IEM, I could just write review listening to solo piano and this might happen because it’s very rare that earphones can deliver both natural tonality and dynamic technicality of this instrument and if they do, like Final Audio E5000 or A8000, they will lack proper separation or timbre fullness. This is where LUNA shows the unique agility of pure beryllium drivers. Listening to‘’Miles’’ from last JAMILA WOODS album is a real delight where crisp snappy percussion, fast round thumping bass, light background electric bass line sound super lively and dynamic but let the stage clean for Jamila’s voice to fully blossom. Her lush vocal is wide and transparent with a smoothed edge free of sibilance, it’s natural, not very textured with just a little hint of upper mids brightness so the definition do not mix with rest of music due to an overly warm tonality. So, both vocal and piano excel with the LUNA, but instruments like electric guitar will perhaps lack a bit of bite, while an acoustic guitar will lack hint of sparkle, both showed with full-bodied tonality and effortless clarity. With the LUNA we have a full mid-range with a good amount of lower mids, which is something very rare, and the resolution is highly articulate.


TREBLE has more of its energy in the lower region and extra crispness in the upper region, it’s not a flat and neutral approach of the highs and it’s slightly tamed in the region that adds texture to the instrument. Some percussions like snare and hit hat will sound fuller while metallic percussion will sound sharper and more delicate, lacking a bit of density. Cymbals crash have natural long decay and stay in the back, no splashiness neither trebly spike. LUNA has rolled off ultra-highs which stole a little bit of air to the overall presentation. Most sound dynamics come from bass, mids, and lower treble. As said, the extra crispness in high can push forwards metallic percussions, some will find this exciting and others will find it a little distracting for jazz music where suddenly the drummer feels in the front stage. Thigh and fast are the highs, with a very snappy attack but not alot of brilliance or decay, here its fast decay and have more crunch than crisp. The LUNA are more musical than analytical and show you details in a natural way, if you actively search them you will find them, in term of sound layers it’s more evident to discern than micro-detailing because here it’s the cohesion of macro-resolution that excel.


QUANTITYQUALITY
BASS: 7.5/108/10
MIDS: 8.5/109/10
TREBLE: 8/108.5/10
ATTACK-DECAY: 8.5/109/10
SOUNDSTAGE-IMAGING: 8/10
TIMBRE-TEXTURE: 8.5/10
8/10
9/10


COMPARISONS

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VS DITA FEALTY (1500$)

TONALITY is brighter, more neutral and colder.
SOUNDSTAGE is taller and deeper with about the same wideness, the IMAGING is less holographic and isn’t as much layered but has more precise placement.
BASS is more recessed, doesn’t have any slam but has more texture and more linear extension.
MIDS are less present, leaner in presentation with more upper mids boost. They are thinner in timbre and less dynamic and weighty in attack.
TREBLE is more emphasized and extended, it digs more micro details and adds more texture and sparkle, upper treble is notably more aggressive too.

All in all, the LUNA sound warmer, fuller, more natural and musical with a more bodied and balanced presentation in dynamic, while not as technical and neutral as the FEALTY, it’s more versatile and engaging listen that does favorize bass and mids while FEALTY is the opposite by taking all its energy from treble boost.


VS FINAL AUDIO A8000 (2000$)

So, here we have a real PURE BERYLLIUM battle….but a whole different tuning approach too. The A8000 push transient speed to its limit while the LUNA is more about mids and timbre fullness. One thing to note too: the A8000 are way harder to drive and less versatile in the pairing.
SOUNDSTAGE is notably less deep, but feel taller and wider, IMAGING is less accurate and crisp so you struggle to spot instrument in a higher range.
BASS isn’t as realist sounding as the A8000, due to warmer resolution and slightly more boomy articulation which add more slam instead of natural extension, it sounds a little slower too.
MIDS are fuller, lusher and weightier in attack but less transparent and textured than A8000, the vocal is more forward and piano sound less thin and dry.
TREBLE is more relaxed, thicker, less offensive than more detailed and analytical highs of the A8000.

All in all, here it would be a matter of tonal preference, if you’re more about speed and details, the intensely resolved A8000 will blow your mind, if your more about musicality and vocal, the LUNA is just unbeatable.

CONCLUSION

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Did I love the LUNA earphones? Oh yes, I adore them because they hit the right balance between musicality and technicalities and keep intact the wow effect when it’s due to good mastering-recording of music.

Will I buy them? No, because I can’t afford that amount of money, but if they were selling at 500$ used I would jump on them. And to me, 500$USD is near a month of salary.

To those that can afford the LUNA, I envy you and wish you to be transformed into an audiophile frog, you spoiled prince! No but seriously….congrats! (sigh)

The DUNU LUNA is an audacious IEM that does not try to use pure beryllium driver to show you how fast and detailed it can go, it’s agility behold in its musical fluidity and lush tonal balance. It’s both smooth in timbre and weighty in dynamic, flexible in attack and thigh in decay, warm in details and sharp in macro-resolution, it’s a cocktail with sirup sugar (and no lemon) that taste addictively refreshing.
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Pros: Timbre
Bass
Overall Sound
Build Quality
Cons: Availability of the ERLKONIG
Price
Comparison: ERLKONIG, Thummim and Luna

This review will be a comparison among the Vision Ears LE ERLKONIG, the MMR Thummim and the Dunu Luna. I was able to spend some time with the Thummim on an audition from MusicTeck, and I own the LE ERLKONIG and the Luna. The Dunu Luna was included in this comparison because I was asked by Arijitroy2 to compare it along with the other two. That is what I did, and I decided to do it by using some select albums and tracks to show you what I preferred and to hopefully provide a feel for the 3, along with what I think is the best. I have used this format in the past on some of my posts, so hopefully you will like it. Please think of this as sort of a review in comparison among the 3 vs a detailed review explaining everything about primarily one IEM. As many have already reviewed each individual IEM in detail already, I did not feel that to be necessary. Please read any of the other posted reviews of these IEM’s for more specific details, especially in terms of build specifics and packaging. Please think of this as some additional comparative information, and as mentioned above, I do hope that you will have a greater feel for each after reading it.

The albums listed below were not predetermined. I had been auditioning the Thummim and decided to do this comparison and take some notes on what I was hearing in comparison to the ERLKONIG and Luna. These just happen to be the albums I took notes on. These are 3 top IEM’s, so do not expect any bashing, they are all too good for that. This is a matter of what do I feel is the best of 3 outstanding IEM’s.


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Dunu Luna and N8, LE ERLKONIG, MMR Thummim

All listening was done using my Cayin N8 BB using its 4.4mm SS output. I do feel that is the best output on this device (though the tube output is excellent as well, it was not used in this comparison), and highly recommend it as one of the best DAP’s based on sound quality alone. For EDM I was using my Hugo 2 (I also used it for some tracks that I did not use to take notes on). I added in a comparison to my home system on a few albums/tracks to judge which IEM was the most accurate. Obviously, “accuracy” here will mean closest in sound to my home system. My home stereo system consists of Rockport Altair 2 speakers connected to Viva electronics (Preamp, and mono-block amplifiers). I adore my home system, so that is why I use it from time to time as a comparison. As I am sure you are aware, the ERLK has a choice of 4 different sound signatures. For this comparison I left the ERLK in Position 2 which is my favorite position at this time. Position 2 increases the bass over one of its neutral settings while still possessing a fabulous midrange and treble.

When comparing IEM’s on the albums and tracks I both listened fully, and I also would use sections to immediately compare so that there were only seconds in between listening to each IEM. I did this to preserve Auditory memory, which as you all know, is extremely short. And yes, this all started to get “nuts” after many hours. Without further ado, here are my thoughts.


Soular Energy – The Ray Brown Trio

Listening to this and comparing how the IEM’s sound as compared to my home system (Rockport Altair 2’s) the ERLKONIG is hands down the more accurate and matching sound to my home system. I also like it the best personally. It’s tone, tight bass, detail of Ray Brown’s bass, etc. are the closest to my home system.

The Thummim provides more bass (even than my Rockports) but less tight. The overall timbre is darker than on my home system and darker than the ERLKONIG. Not in a bad way, but darker (warmer) and less accurate. It still sounds very good, and lots of detail comes through on Ray Brown’s bass.

The Luna is lighter sounding than the ERLKONIG and lighter in sound than my home system. Close. Again, very good detail in the bass. When listening to the Luna for a time and then the Thummim, the Thummim may at first seem too dark and into the bass. When listening to the Thummim for a while and then the Luna, the Luna sounds very light in comparison. They are two different renditions, one a little brighter and one a little darker than the ERLKONIG and my home system.

My favorite is the ERLKONIG and I would say it is not close. It just sounds better with tighter bass, great detail, and the best timbre of the group.
Second goes to the Thummim. I do feel its bass is a little too prominent, but still very good sound.
Third to the Luna, but close. Again, a different presentation than the Thummim.

I would certainly call the Thummim colored, but it does it in a good way. With lots of detail in a bass heavy presentation and soft mids (vocals will be softer than on the ERLKONIG, though there are no vocals on this album).


Don’t Smoke In Bed - Holly Cole

The Thummim does a nice job on the presentation and Holly Cole’s voice. It is still a darker presentation than the others, but it is good. Detailed bass, though at times more than should be present. On occasion it seems slow/muddy as compared to the ERLK. Still a nice presentation. But it does not create the same sense of presence provided by the Luna and ERLKONIG.

The Luna handles the bass well on this album. It also provides more air and quality of tone to Holly’s voice. On “Je Ne T’Aime Pas” it is a very intimate presentation. Holly is right there with you. An overall nicer timbre than on the Thummim.

The ERLKONIG presents this album beautifully. Holly’s voice comes across a little less bright than my home system, more romantic which gives her a gorgeous timbre. As I have said in the past on Headfi, the ERLK comes across as neutral leaning romantic in any deviation from neutral. The bass is tight, impactful and detailed. Holly Cole is right there with you on “Je Ne T’Aime Pas.” Even nicer and more intimate than on the Luna.

My favorite for this album is again the ERLKONIG and it is easily heard.
Second goes to the Luna.
Third to the Thummim, though I feel a bit of a gap between it and the Luna on this album.


Boston - by Boston

The Thummim does a great job on this rock album. As the album is a bit bright, the Thummim handles it well. The bass of the Thummim comes through, and the pace it displays on the rhythm is easily picked up. The guitars sound great. It is still darker in presentation than the other IEM’s, but it can be welcome at times on this album. Nice drum detail as well. It produces the sound with a nice clarity.

The Luna provides a bit brighter presentation again, but its bass and detail are there. It definitely sounds good here, and it keeps the vocals from getting sibilant. The Thummim provides more bass power, but the Luna is close, and probably the more accurate.

The ERLK again has the best overall timbre. It can handle the bass as well though the Thummim provides a bit more. However, the ERLK is tighter.

Here, I might pick the Thummim as best for this album. It’s dominate bass providing an overall richer sound, and it tones down the brightness of the album just a little.
I will go with the ERLK for second and Luna Third. You can make a case for the ERLK to be first here as well, but I am very happy listening to the Thummim, and I am not wishing for any of the other IEM’s.


STYX – Greatest Hits

Same story here. I started listening to the Thummim on this album and loved its sound. Bass, vocals, everything sounding great. Great bass details when present. The vocals were beautiful. Switching to the ERLKONIG, it is just better. Tighter bass, just as or even more impactful and the vocals were gorgeous. A little more open and yet more intimate at times than the Thummim.
The Luna would be a little lighter presentation with great vocals as well. Detailed bass that was not as powerful as the other two. Still a top tier production, but ERLK and Thummim had an edge in direct comparison.

By the way, I do feel all 3 will be enjoyed by anyone who owns them. I like all 3, but I am trying to provide an order.


The Greatest Showman

“Never Enough”

I love how Lauren Allred does this song. One of my favorite female vocal performances. The recording is not that great though, in comparison to Norah Jones or Holly Cole recordings for example. Her vocals can induce ringing in my ears on this recording. The Thummim prevents this and still sounds open and detailed. A great presentation.

It is on recordings like this that the Luna shines. Luna allows the vocals to have more presence and air than the Thummim, yet also prevents the ringing that can be easily produced by even great IEM’s.

Truth be told, the ERLKONIG actually has the better tone, however, its accuracy hinders it here for me. Although the best timbre to Lauren’s voice, they induce that ringing in my ear I was talking about. I can lower the volume to correct it, but the Luna and Thummim do not require any volume modification.

On this song the Luna is my favorite with the Thummim second and the ERLK third.
On the rest of the album I do not have this issue and the ERLK sounds the best. The Thummim is also good, but again to the warmer side of things. The Luna also good and provides its signature lighter presentation. I would probably take the Luna second for the rest of the album and the Thummim third with its warmer presentation and driving bass. It makes it a different but fun presentation.


Senor Mouse – The Forever Album - Chick Corea, Clarke and White

Same signatures here. The ERLK is the most accurate and has the best timbre and sound. The Piano notes, the bass strings, the drums, all presented great.
The Thummim provides the warmer presentation as compared to the ERLK, and the Luna the brighter presentation as compared to the ERLK. These differences are all easily heard by the way. This is not hair splitting. These are significant.

May favorite is again the ERLK with its great tone, tight drums, and bass. The Thummim I also liked allot and place it second. The notes were coming out of a black background. Really good.
The Luna with its brighter presentation is third though also very good. Less bass and less warm than the other two.

A brief story. I was listening to this track and the “Forever” album on the Thummim and saying to myself how great it sounds. Then I decided to compare it to the ERLK on “Senior Mouse” as I just talked about. When I did that, I was wowed by the ERLK. It was just better in every way (tone, tightness and impact of the bass, the piano, etc.). I was shocked that I could be so happy with the Thummim on this track, and then listen to the ERLK, and easily hear it reproduced at yet another level.


Holst The Planets - Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic

I like to use “Mars” and “Jupiter” to assess how an IEM (or any speaker for that matter) can handle classical music, bass performance complexity, etc. There are also the trumpets, drums, sub bass, etc.

The Thummim provides a good presentation. It can produce the sub bass rumble, the drums and the trumpets, etc. all very well.
The ERLK also does it, and again, with less warmth providing to me, the better timbre while losing nothing in the bass or sub bass.
The Luna is also excellent with a less warm presentation than the Thummim that works well here.

The ERLK is again my favorite and with the LUNA my second favorite and the Thummim close. All 3 do a good job, but the added warmth of the Thummim hurts it here as it is not as open sounding.


Come Away With Me – Norah Jones (Hi Def)

I like all 3 allot on this album. The ERLK and LUNA might be a touch more intimate.
My favorite here in a close call would be the Luna. All 3 are excellent. The ERLK and Luna have a bit more open presentation, the Thummim slightly more laid back and warm, but excellent. All in a good way.


LA Woman – Doors

ERLK again number 1.
Luna or Thummim in 2nd depending on if you want a brighter tone (Luna) or warmer (Thummim). You cannot go wrong either way.


Aqualung – Jethro Tull (Hi Def)

Thummim again does a great job on this album. Nice clarity and when the bass is called, it delivers. Locomotive Breath is definitely in its wheelhouse. The driving bass is easy to hear and the right weight.
The ERLK and LUNA are actually even better. The Luna provides a tighter bass and has more presence to Ian Anderson’s voice. The ERLK is in another league altogether. Just awesome. The bass comes pouring through and is very tight. Ian’s voice is clear and just sounds terrific. This is the hidef recording, and wow is the ERLK perfect for it.


EDM
SYZYGY 02 by OPIUO

How about a little EDM just to round things out. All 3 will handle the bass. I like the ERLK, followed by the Luna and then the Thummim. The ERLK and Luna open it up a bit more. The Thummim still is a bit warmer and not as tight, but still great. The point here is all 3 have no issue.


Summary

Overall, I do feel the ERLK is the superior IEM of this battle. I would place the Thummim in second and the Luna third. There were also many times I preferred the Luna over the Thummim and a few times over the ERLK. All 3 are excellent IEM’s. The Luna is the obvious “buy” of the 3 (great packaging too by the way) based on its list price ( $1699 for the Luna, $4499 for the Thummim and the ERLK is sold out).

The sound signatures were easy to distinguish with the ERLK having the more accurate sound and the best timbre as I described. Using the ERLK as our point of reference, the Thummim is warmer while the Luna is Brighter in presentation. In summary:

- If you like thick and warm, the Thummim is your IEM.
- If you like a brighter signature with a bit less but tighter bass, the Luna is your IEM (it is also the most comfortable to me by the way if you have fit issues).
- If you want a bit of accuracy coupled with the best timbre, bass impact, and tightest bass of the bunch, then you will want the ERLKONIG.

Now, if you are asking “do I want a Thummim?” “Yes,” I do. Will I pay list price? “Probably not.” It provides an altogether different (Warm/dark) perspective which can be of interest on particular recordings, and especially “bright” sounding albums. It is different, and unlike a top home system with 500lb speakers, you can simply put a different IEM in your ear, and have a completely different presentation. This, to me, is what makes the Thummim a great compliment to most any IEM available. The Luna can do the same from the perspective of a lighter presentation that somehow manages to keep the vocals smooth, airy and detailed. That said, the LE ERLKONIG is King!
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Pros: Highly comfortable due to its small size and light weight, nice accessory package, modular connector system, reference tuning with mid-bass prominence
Cons: Cable cinch is tighter than it needs to be, upper trebles slightly muted
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Introduction

With the release of the LUNA late last year, DUNU brought to market its newest flagship IEM incorporating a singular aesthetic design, top quality materials for its construction, and the application of pure beryllium rolled foil as the driver material. Enlisting the expertise of a US based company that is a world leader in beryllium processing for the aerospace industry, including NASA, this dynamic driver is the key element to the superlative sound the LUNA possesses.

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Impressions

In March of this year, DUNU began a tour for the LUNA and I happily joined a few weeks ago. I received the review sample that included the LUNA and its cable/connectors, tips, and case. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the folks at DUNU for allowing me the chance to try out the LUNA and compare it to my reference IEM, the final A8000.

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Let me start by saying the LUNA is much smaller than I had imagined, as well as being incredibly light. The titanium alloy casings do a great job here in making the LUNA a very comfortable fit, the best I've yet experienced in a universal design. A highly notable feature are the modular connectors that snap into place: included is a 3.5mm TRS, a 3.5mm TRRS, a 2.5mm TRRS, and a 4.4mm TRRS. Very nicely done! The cable itself is an aesthetically customized version of the DUNU NOBLE, an OCC silver/copper hybrid.

Performance

For my review, I used both my AK240SS and HiBy R5 as my sources playing lossless files. No EQ was used in my critical listening sessions.

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Miles Davis / Kind of Blue / "So What"

One of my desert isle albums, this 1959 recording has a presence that captures this improvisational session with vivid realism. What immediately hits you is how the LUNA captures the mid-bass with a bit of bloom adding a layer of relaxing warmth to the sound. Then Miles' trumpet comes into play, creating a sense of raw energy that keeps your head swinging to and fro. All beautifully rendered with great depth separation of the other band members.

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Junip / Junip / "Line of Fire"

With the first strum of the guitar on this song, this indie band takes one's listening to a special place indeed. The mid-bass adds warmth which thickens the lower-mids a tad, but not in an objectionable way, to my ears. As the song progresses, the sound becomes more dense and somewhat edgy in the upper-mids, yet softens with the trebles.

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Kate Bush / Aerial / "How To Be Invisible"

Kate Bush albums often have an ethereal quality to them, and a highly transparent transducer makes the listening experience all the more rewarding. The LUNA does very well in this regard although not to the level of the A8000 which adds a sparkle to the utmost trebles whereas the LUNA sounds less illuminated. Still, though, my favorite female artist is reproduced in this song with a silky smoothness that brings a smile to my face.

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Fever Ray / Fever Ray / "Triangle Walks"

Swedish electronica with a big sound, this song is well suited for the LUNA's overall tonal character, in my view. As before, the usual traits remain consistent with an elevated mid-bass (sounds really, really good with this genre!), slightly peaky upper-mids, and smooth trebles. Lots of stuff going on here in regards to the soundstage with excellent depth albeit less so with width and height.

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Comparison between the LUNA and the final A8000

The A8000 has been my reference IEM due to its superlative transparency, the hallmark of its design. The A8000's performance is strongly attributed to the same driver material as the LUNA, a pure beryllium rolled foil dynamic driver. Yet the difference between them is not subtle at all. Where the LUNA has a mildly elevated mid-bass, the A8000 is more neutral in this area; its sub-bass, however, having more energy to my ears.

The largest area of difference between the two sound wise is in the midrange response as I hear it. Although the LUNA can get edgy at times in the upper mids with certain recordings, overall there is much more presence in the entire midrange with the A8000, and not without its faults. Some will find the A8000 too bright sounding, but I really love its tuning in this critical area of the frequency range. The LUNA's trebles are somewhat muted compared to the A8000, but have a smoothness that can be intoxicating. Less than stellar recordings will generally fare better played by the LUNA. On the other hand, the A8000 clearly has a bigger overall soundstage, so it really is a matter of tradeoffs and sensitivities as to which one reigns supreme.

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Summary

The LUNA has been my first experience with DUNU, and I walk away impressed by its commitment to release a flagship model that not only excels in reproducing music with emotion and impact, but that delights with its refined aesthetics as well. I strongly recommend giving it a listen with your favorite recordings.
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Pros: technical performance
build and fit
accessories
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Pros: Compact and refined design/build
Excellent balanced cable with port flexibility
Comfort and ergonomic fit
Smooth, cohesive, dynamic sound with excellent macro details
Cons: In-canal fit isn’t deep enough
No foam tips included in box
Slightly peaky, scratchy treble
Some lack of punch
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Intro

I have to admit that while I've known about Dunu, the Shenzhen-based headphone earphone-maker hasn't been one on my radar amid the stark ramp-up of high-end IEMs (and prices) of the past few years. That said, I've always viewed them as a league different from the vast affordable Chi-Fi options that have flooded the in-ear market as of late. Or in another respect, quality over quantity.

Dunu has gradually climbed its way up the IEM ranks, and with the new launch of the Luna and $1700 asking price, has entered into a serious arena of some of the best earphones on the market. What is it equipped with? A Titanium housing, conceptually-rounded to evoke aspects of the moon (and abstractly, our vehicles used to visit it), and single Beryllium dynamic driver. Note that we're not talking about any of that "Beryllium-coated" nonsense. The diaphragm is a pure, Beryllium (foil), first in its technique of being rolled into form and bonded to a polyurethane suspension (said to be a tough challenge in itself). This synopsis breaks down the keys point to know about the sky-reaching Luna.

The Rundown

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> I won't dwell too much on the design, as you can tell in pictures if it's your jazz or not. I'd call the Luna design interesting rather than good-looking. There realistically isn't much outside of a puck-shaped chassis with a concaved cap and stem attached to the side. There is some styling of course, like the asymmetric slope to the cap at a profile view and beveled edges on the stem, but you have to inspect it to notice these details. Just in hand, it can't help but see a silver sweet tart. The concaved cap even makes it feel like one too. Everything is metal and sturdy, which is great, but Fiio is also doing this on much lower-priced earphones. Suffice to say, despite all the moon and spacecraft inspiration in the design, I wouldn't say the design should be significant factor in the buying decision.

> All that said, the Luna's earpieces advantageously have notably small footprints and are lightweight and low-profile. Some mobile audiophiles want a headphone that doesn't draw attention but is refined and feels great in the hand. Luna is this.

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The raised slope of the Luna’s conceptual cap reminds me of a crater. Another cool realization is if you look at the cap head-on, it resembles the orbital path profile taken to the moon.
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I don’t know if it was intentional, but the cylindrical stem attached to the circular body gives me a Star Trek Enterprise kind of vibe.

> Dunu just passed along a leather pouch with Luna's essential goodies (excluding the retail-included USB-C HiFi DAC dongle and smaller carrying pouch), so I don't have a proper unboxing to display. Luna's set of accessories is impressive on most fronts but the tip variety should have been better (i.e. foam tips).

> The stock cable is standout. It feels like a quality third-party cable you'd buy when the cable that comes in your IEM's box doesn't quite cut it - not too thick, not too thin, ample length, doesn't tangle (numerous strands, so there's a little stiffness to it), and doesn't feel flimsy whatsoever. The kicker is at the termination.

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> Cleverly, instead of pack multiple cables in the box to account for our confounded world of port selections, Dunu just includes one balanced cable, with a changeable termination. All the common choices for portables are present: 3.5mm unbalanced, 2.5mm or 4.4mm (pentaconn) balanced, and even 3.5mm balanced for good measure. This is a cool approach that eliminates waste from having to produce multiple cables.

> Fit is terribly important with IEMs. The proficiency of the in-canal seal can make or break an earphone. The Luna is comfortable, and the earpieces don/doff very easily/naturally. The cable stem that sticks out of the circular chassis is positioned perfectly outside the ear and to guide the cable routing around the ear. I'm not generally a fan of memory wiring around the ear, but in this case, it's not thick or stiff and not bothersome whatsoever.

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> However, the seal is where there's a lofty concern. The Luna's are a shallow earphone (the amount you can push them in is below average). This will be a contention for a lot of users. Where I usually wear medium tips, I had to go for the largest tips I could find to get an appropriate seal. Even then, it's not a super tight seal. Not going in deep also impacts sound isolation, which was average for me in the case of the Luna's. This is especially since Dunu exclusively uses SpinFit tips for the Luna, which are generally good for fit but poor for isolation. Dunu should have made the nozzles longer to mitigate the shallow fit.

> Fortunately, the Luna's nozzle diameter is standard. I could easily throw on a large pair of Final E tips, which improved bass and isolation compared to the thinner membrane SpinFits.

> Admittedly, the sound quality of the Luna wasn't the easiest for me to assess, or in other words, put my finger on how exactly the sound was great but also why I felt something was lacking. Eventually, after lots of time with the Luna, rotating between different DAC/amps (Chord Mojo, iFi Micro iDSD BL, and Chord Hugo 2) and comparing with another high-end earphones (Shure KSE1200, Sennheiser IE 800, and Shure SE846), I've reached some fair conclusions.

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> I hate to start with a negative, but the Luna's somewhat hot treble is the first thing my ears caught, and it did not get better with burn-in (neither brain nor driver burn-in) during my two-week review period. Granted, this will be a YMMV kind of thing. I have ears that pick up on treble peaking, and it's a trait that I've noticed on other closed-back, highly-resolving headphones I've reviewed in the past - the RHA CL2 Planar in-ears and Focal Stellia over-ears (which also use a Beryllium driver), as well as my daily driver KSE1200 electrostatic in-ears.

> If one isn't careful with tuning and push the driver too far, you'll get an unnatural, metallic quality to your treble, resulting in sounds that can be described as shrill, scratchy, or thin. In my experience, the RHA CL2 are the biggest culprit of this. The Focal Stellia just has a hint of metallic-ness in the treble but no where near unacceptable. My personal KSE1200 IEMs can be called bright and treble prominent, but Shure did a great job to keep it more natural than metallic-sounding. So where does the Luna stand? It'd pit it right between the CL2 and Stellia - not unacceptably harsh like the CL2 but treading a little too close. For instance, higher frequency vocals inescapably have a scratchy tssssss to them. I stress that my ears pick up on this, where yours may not. I'd say in this respect, the Luna played better with my Mojo than Hugo 2.

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The iFi Micro iDSD BL is a great source for the Luna. It sharpens up some of the smoothness while giving it lots of space to breathe. The Micro iDSD BL’s treble can sound a bit sharp with some of my headphones, but somehow it doesn’t emphasize the Luna’s treble peaking.

> Another aspect I struggled with was impact. I might sound crazy, but the Luna have slam while also being delicate at the same time. I struggled with how to describe this for a while. The bass is large, like a rolly, encompassing bubble when really called on by the track, but it never really hits hard. It's almost like it starts to and doesn't follow completely through. What I may be describing is a lack of punch. This isn't to say the frequency range dips or the detail isn't there, nor is it a lack of decay. These technicalities are satisfactory on the Luna, and the pleasant warmth from being a dynamic driver certainly shows. My critique feels backwards, because I hear the mid-bass as stronger than the sub-bass (measurements even show this), but somehow it's missing the punch that I feel should be there.

> The transition from bass to mid-range is excellently cohesive. A strong quality of the Luna is how airy and filled-out it sounds throughout, and this is especially appreciated in the mids. There's a slight dip in the upper mids that is noticeable but in no way distracting. Via my Hugo 2, I realized a standout ability of the Luna to display macro details, like spatial definition and layering, so effortlessly. Actually, a/b'ing with my SE846 IEMs makes the SE846 sound 2D in comparison, which is not how I would have ever described them. The SE846 has a wider stage no doubt, but the Luna most certainly works within an evenly spaced bubble around you. Although I love a wide stage, I personally prefer an even presentation. It feels more natural.

Dunu_Luna-17.jpg

The warmth and smooth treble of the Mojo made this pairing my favorite.

> As touched on, macro details are fantastic with the Luna. I think I can say it's the best thing about these IEMs. When dynamics and dimensionality are both handled excellently, it does a lot for the listening experience. This is amplified by the Luna's clear and effortless instrument separation and articulation. This aspect pushes the listener to just fall into the music than analyze it.

> Micro details on the other hand (which to me means qualities like pronounced note articulation/extension, small audible nuances, brilliance, and decay) are just above-average - not quite as pristine and resolving as I'd picture a beryllium dynamic driver being. The Luna's reproduction sounds smoothened as a whole, which makes for a pleasant listen but doesn't have that crisp, pin-drop detail that many audiophiles may look for from an advanced driver. It may be a taste decision from Dunu, because the Focal Stellia as I remember was sounded sharper. Furthermore, when I switch from the Luna to my KSE1200, it's like a veil is lifted, and I can hear ever little detail so clearly where they were subtle with the Luna. This isn't to say that I would describe the Luna as veiled or not resolving. It shows more detail than other dynamic driver IEMs I've used, but it's no where near as resolving as an electrostat (not that many earphones are; the mention is a reference on performance).

Conclusion

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I feel like I've been hard on the Luna. It's a really good IEM - cohesive, engaging, above-averagely detailed, and pleasant-sounding, with no critical flaw to speak of. The treble is pushed a little far, but even with a treble sensitive person like me, I can still listen to it and enjoy. Its smooth, warm, tonally-proper, encompassing, dynamic, separated, and articulated sound is hard to argue with and I imagine will work for a lot of audiophiles that want to just enjoy music as much as they want to pick it apart.

However, at $1700, you have to be more than just a really good IEM. Where the Luna stands out is its macro capabilities. With the right DAC, you'll be given a very fun, encompassing experience, which not many IEMs at this price point can rival. Is this enough for the large price tag? That'll be up to you to decide.
subguy812
subguy812
Sounds like you didn't have the proper tips on the Luna. The sound"issues" you encountered are a symptom of not using the proper tips.
joshnor713
joshnor713
Nope. Tried many tips. As I noted in the review, the nozzle diameter is pretty standard on the Luna's. Most of the tips I have fit. My favorite ones are shown in the pics (Final E Type).
Currawong
Currawong
Nicely succinct review. I'm having as much trouble trying to work out how to describe the sound.
Pros: Build and accessory pack
- Awesome stock cable
- Bass texture and speed
- Delightful lower-midrange
- Resolving treble: sparkly yet not harsh
- Headphone-like imaging and soundstage depth
- Fantastic instrument separation
Cons: Slightly shallow nozzle
- Lack of sub-bass rumble at the extreme end
- Upper-midrange glare
- Needs above-average volume to sound best
- Soundstage width is not class-leading
- Price
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How good is good enough?

That is the one question I keep asking myself as I encounter yet another top-of-the-line (TOTL) gear. At this price, diminishing returns start creeping in, you begin splitting hairs, focusing on not only the whole picture but also the abstract representation of it all.

Dunu has been in the IEM game a long time. They were also one of the first IEM brands that got the hybrid setup right. Beyond the hybrid stuff, their single dynamic models have also been quite memorable. I myself bought the Dunu Titan 1 (reviewed here) and it has a solid place in my collection due to its airy soundstage and impeccable imaging.

The Dunu Luna is a single dynamic driver flagship. That’s not been too common lately as most have focused on multi-BA/hybrid setups with their top-end offerings (Audeze, Final, Hifiman a few exceptions). I’m quite glad though that Dunu went the other way — less is more, et cetera. This price bracket is rather uncharted territory for Dunu since they’ve never really competed at this level before. So there would be a lot of scrutiny involved along with the typical shade-throwing as to how only brands with a history of high-end offerings should dabble in this range.

Lots of ground to cover. Let’s get right into it.

If you prefer to watch the full video review rather than, well, read through a wall of text, click below:

Note: the ratings given will be subjective to the price tier. Dunu was kind enough to send me the Luna as part of the Review Tour (thanks Tom!) Disclaimer

Sources used: Yulong Canary, Questyle QP1R, Cayin N6 II, LG G7, E1DA PowerDAC V2
Price, while reviewed: $1700. Can be bought from Dunu’s Official Website.
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Build: The Luna has an understated yet striking design. There are no sharp angles, everything is rounded and smoothed out. Such lack of angles often leads to blandness but the Luna exudes character. The grade-5 Titanium alloy shells are practically perfect with subtle grooves around the nozzle and the stem that shimmer as light scatters across them.

The concave face-plates have raised ridges that snugly caresses your thumbs. The metal nozzle is angled to help with ergonomics, and it has a raised lip to keep the eartips in place without them sliding out.

There are two visible vents: one atop the mmcx stem, and another on the inner-side just above nozzle. The text DUNU Beryllium is etched onto the outer circumference of the IEM and is mostly out of sight. Meanwhile, the mmcx connector is further reinforced using a catch-hold mechanism. Basically, there is a substantial amount of friction between the mmcx port and jack once the cable is plugged in, so the IEMs don’t spin around like most mmcx ones.

Picture perfect.
5/5

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Accessories: At first, a disclaimer: Dunu sent a reduced package for the Luna Review Tour, and all of us on the EU tour basically got the big purse/bag chock-full of eartips, the earphones and swappable plugs of various terminations. Frankly, it’s a good decision to ease up logistics given the current COVID-19 situation (the full package weighs over 2.5kg).
The retail package is one of the most luxurious unboxing experiences you will likely have, and goes toe-to-toe with the awesome IER-Z1R unboxing experience. Heck, Dunu even throws in extras like a type-C DAC dongle along with a USB-A to USB-C adapter and another smaller carrying case just to round the whole thing up. You get loads of Spinfit tips (13 pairs to be exact) and they are of rather high quality.
A special mention goes to their custom cable. It’s an OCC Copper/DHC Silver mixed strand cable and has great ergonomics. No kinks or loose braids, very pliable and the memory hook is rather supple. It does have some heft but I reckon that the quick-switch termination system is responsible for the weight.

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Speaking of the quick-switch system, it’s very convenient. You just pull at the plug-end and it snaps out. The internals of the quick-switch mechanism seems akin to a miniaturized 4-pin XLR connection. The connection was solid throughout despite routine plugging/unplugging operation and I think this will last a while. My only gripe: this whole mechanism adds a lot of weight at the jack-end of the cable and extends the length of the L-shaped plug which can be a bit of a bother in the following manner:

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Yeah, I nitpick.
5/5

Comfort:
The lightweight shells and the angled nozzle coupled with the smoothed out inner shell should make this a very comfortable wear, but there’s a catch — the nozzle length. While it’s not that short a nozzle (Sennheiser IE800 still takes that crown) it’s not long enough for a deep-fit, which is essential to get the best out of Luna. As a result, using tips with a longer stem (e.g. Azla tips, or the Spinfit/Final ones) is necessary for most. I myself went with the Spinfit CP-100 and got good results but your mileage may vary. Do note that isolation is only average at best, so this is not an IEM I’d recommend for commuting. Then again, I’m not too inclined towards yanking out a nearly 2 grand IEM in the middle of the metro while precariously balancing myself between two grab-bars.
4.5/5

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Now, onto the sound. The big selling point of the Luna is its 10mm single-dynamic driver. More accurately: the material of the driver-diaphragm. It is one of the world’s two “first” pure Beryllium driver-diaphragm earphones (other Beryllium touting IEMs use a vapor deposited Beryllium coating). In fact, apart from Focal Utopia, I can’t think of another headphone that had a pure Beryllium driver-diaphragm. The reason behind choosing Beryllium is it’s exceptional stiffness (287 GPa), which combined with the relatively low density (1.85 g/cubic cm) results in extremely fast sound conduction speed (12.9 km/s). The material being very brittle in room temperatures is also challenging to work with. The whole driver manufacturing process is extremely time consuming in fact and also needed fair amount of R&D. It’s best to point toward’s Dunu’s promotional video regarding the drivers since it’s visualized a lot better there:

The tech is impressive, no doubt, but the proof is in the pudding, or sound in this case.

The sound impressions below were mostly formed with the CP-100 tips and Yulong Canary desktop DAC/Amp as the source.

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Lows: Perhaps the most contentious part of Luna’s signature would be the lows. Bassheads will find it lacking in sheer volume and grunt, whereas those who prefer a more neutral response would feel right at home. I myself am veering towards “a bit more rumble would be perfect”, so there you go.

The bass response is mostly flat, and if not for the gradual roll-off post 28Hz — I’d be ecstatic. As it stands, the bass response is fine for most genres, and even some bass-line heavy tracks (e.g. Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name) sound fantastic. The issue arises with tracks that have deep sub-bass rumble, case in point: John Mayer’s Your Body Is a Wonderland. The section from 2:50–3:14 mark feels tad undercooked.

Ironically, another John Mayer track, Clarity, shows off the biggest strengths of the Dunu Luna’s bass response: speed, texture, and impact. There’s no bass-bleed while bass resolution is excellent with different instruments displaying their subtly different textures. Double-bass pedals exhibit a distinctly different thump from the downstroke thock of grand pianos. Meanwhile, the speed displayed in fast-paced tracks have a planar-like feel to them, albeit with more body and slightly slower decay. The impact, meanwhile, is instantaneous and can feel a bit jarring at first if you’re coming from an all-BA/regular dynamic driver earphone. Rest assured, you get used to it quickly and then there’s no going back (until your bass-head heart yearns for sub-bass extravaganza).

In short: almost perfect bass response. Almost.
4.5/5

Mids:
Dunu Luna’s midrange is quite… peculiar. The lower-mids have a slight sense of warmth to it, but due to the boosted upper-mids (it looks especially scary on graph) there’s an uncanny clarity to the whole midrange.

Fortunately enough, the 4KHz boost that grabs your attention instantly on the graphs doesn’t quite have the same effect in reality. Yes, the tonality is shifted towards the upper-mids rather than absolute neutrality but it’s not shouty. On certain tracks (Gin Blossom’s Jealousy) it can creep ever so closer to shoutiness despite never really crossing the line. This is mostly displayed on tracks with compressed dynamic-range (and tracks with a lot of processed sound, e.g. Electronica) while well-mastered tracks have been absolutely fine.

Speaking about tonality, the lower-mids are mostly spot-on. My reference headphone for midrange tonality is the HD650, and these sound eerily similar to them in the lower mids. Baritone vocals are portrayed realistically (check the usual Colin Hay track) with ample amount of heft, but not so much that it ends up sounding boxy. It’s the upper-mids that has slight coloration due to that boost. Thus, female vocals can often become a bit tiring to listen to, as is the case with Frou Frou’s sole studio album: Details, or Wolfclub’s Tears (a rather extreme example). This dichotomy is the sole reason why I can’t quite declare Luna’s midrange as perfection.

On a similar note, no thanks to that 4KHz boost string instruments get a bit of extra bite, which is welcome in many tracks. Damien Rice’s Cannonball is one such example as Rice’s entire vocal range (including the breathing) is rendered naturally, whereas the two acoustic guitars are placed further forward. Another one of Luna’s strengths lies in live performance/concert rendition, just listen to Blue October’s The Worry List (Live at Texas).

Micro-detail retrieval along with instrument separation is top-notch and technically I can’t quite fault it.

To summarize: Coloration in the upper-mids is counterbalanced by a warm lower-midrange. Overall excellent detail-retrieval and instrument separation. Male vocals are mostly superb, female vocals can be a bit spotty depending on track/mastering. Timbre in general is realistic, with the aforementioned caveat of upper-registers.
4.5/5

Treble:
Perhaps the one thing that best showcases the true prowess of this Beryllium diaphragm is the treble response. It’s immaculate, for my tastes at least. I listen to quite a few heavy metal/metal/hard rock genre and sub-genres and hi-hats or cymbal hits are things I’m always particular about. Often the treble is sizzly, resulting in a wince rather than an ensuing head-bang *side-eyes to Noble Khan*.

Luna walks the fine line between excess treble energy and proper treble sparkle. The treble extension is excellent with ample amounts of air beyond 10KHz. Transient response is exceptional, with instantaneous attack and a natural decay (unlike the ultra-fast unnatural blips of typical BA drivers). In terms of tracks that showcase this, take Slipknot’s Liberate for example. It’s a rather heavy track with blistering fast drum work by the one and only Joey Jordison. Man, earlier Slipknot was ruthless until they slightly mellowed up for that one weepy album and that nearly emo song *cough* Snuff *cough*. Glad that they’re past that with We Are Not Your Kind, but I digress. Luna keeps up as well as anything out there in this price bracket. Same applies to Porcupine’s Trees The Sound of Muzak where every cymbal strike is accurately defined. No smearing whatsoever, and the attack-decay pattern is realistic.

To bring up a slightly lighter track, take Dave Matthews Band’s Crash into Me into account. This particular rendition has a rather elaborate arrangement with jingles, triangles and tambourines chiming in. Luna perfectly portrays the airy shimmer of the triangles along with the subtle taps of the cymbals.

Another unusual characteristic of the Luna is its ability to deal with compressed dynamic-range tracks. Silversun Pickup’s Future Foe Scenarios can turn into an incoherent mess in lesser earphones, not so much here. The heavily distorted guitar riffs neither overshadow the cymbals nor the vocals. Thus, if you listen to a lot o indie tracks the Luna can be a good option.

TL;DR: Excellent treble that will serve nearly every genre/musical taste well, with perhaps the exception of those looking for even more pronounced treble, or those who are rather treble-averse.
5/5

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Note: the following two sections may have varying perceptions for each individual due to a number of factors e.g. pyschoacoustics, insertion depth, ambient noise etc.

Soundstage: Stage width is not class-leading, but both stage height and depth are excellent. Instrument placement is determined by the mastering of the track itself, with certain tracks having very up-front instrumentation (Third Eye Blind’s Exiles) and some having sparser presentation (Third Eye Blind, again, but this time The Background).
4.5/5

Imaging:
Now, this is more like it. When I first listened to the Luna, for the first hour or so I couldn’t quite pin down why songs sound slightly different on them versus most other IEMs. After a while, I realized that it’s their headphone-like instrument placement. Swapping between these and the Final Sonorous III (a headphone with excellent imaging and even wider stage than the Luna) often resulted in an eerily similar imaging, which is odd as headphones have pinna interaction (thus helping in localization) whereas IEMs don’t have that luxury (most of them, that is, Audeze iSines apart).

Cardinal imaging is spot on, and the only weak point I can mention is the imaging of events happening at the very back of your head, which even many headphones struggle to realistically portray. For an IEM and considering all the limitations, this is excellent performance.
5/5

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Source and Amping: Luna can easily get loud out of most dongles and phones. However, they can exhibit hiss with higher noise-floor sources, so keep that in mind. I personally found it to perform the best out of Yulong Canary with its slight warm tonality complimenting the Luna well. Questyle QP1R was also great though I had to use low gain since higher gain levels showed slight amp hiss.

On the plus side, Dunu Luna is source output-impedance agnostic. So even if you have something with a rather high output impedance you will likely be safe from Frequency Response anomalies.

Select Comparisons

Unfortunately, I couldn’t audition the IEMs I planned to compare with the LUna at the stores I usually visit, nor could I contact other local enthusiasts due to the COVID-19 lockdown situation. I had plans to compare these against Sony IER-Z1R and Campfire Solaris among others, but alas.

The ones I could compare to mostly fell short. Among the classic single-driver IEMs, the Sennheiser IE800S and Beyerdynamic Xelento both have inferior build quality, accessory package and most importantly: sound quality.

Sennheiser IE800S sounds bland and lacks the midrange prowess of the Luna. Detail retrieval is a downgrade whereas the treble response is far more peaky with that dreaded 5KHz spike. Soundstage is a tad wider, but imaging is hazy in comparison to the Luna. Sub-bass is more boosted on the Sennheiser but then falls flat in terms of dynamics, overall bass texture and speed.

The Beyerdynamic Xelento Remote, meanwhile, struggles to keep up with the Luna in terms of nearly every technical parameter: bass speed/texture, micro-detail retrieval, dynamics, treble extension, imaging/soundstage. It’s a wash. Only on certain tracks can the Xelento’s overall warmth be more inviting than the less forgiving Luna. That’s about it.

Let’s talk about the de facto standard of kilobuck IEMs: Campfire Andromeda (2019). I myself have never quite found the Andromeda appealing due to the lackluster BA bass, but I do admit that on the technical side these had its own set of strengths. Build quality and comfort I’d give to the Luna, as despite the dense shell of the Andros I’ve seen a number of them color-chipped ones. The Luna cable is also markedly better, on an entirely different plane in fact. The Andros have more boosted bass (depending on your source’s output impedance, mine was 0.6ohms), but bass texture and dynamics go to the Luna. I really like the lower mids presentation of both of these IEMs, but the Andros had a more cluttered midrange due to slightly more emphasized lower mids, while the Luna managed to pull off clarity without sounding thin. Upper-mids are more restrained on the Andros, thus more enjoyable with female vocals for longer listening sessions. Overall detail retrieval goes to the Luna by a margin in my book. Luna just sounded more effortless and even in busier tracks instruments never smeared into one another. The treble continues that trend, so does imaging and instrument separation. The Andromeda did have a wider soundstage, but that’s about it.I’d likely update this section once/when the lockdown is finally lifted and I/we can roam about freely.

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Conclusion


When I first listened to the Luna, I didn’t quite find it jaw-dropping enough. It quickly grew on me, however, and now is one of my most favorite IEMs out there.

The build is exemplary and the accessories are plentiful which is taken a step further by the extravagant packaging. The bass is mostly excellent. The midrange has remarkable technicalities and portrayal of male vocals, while female vocals might have some added glare depending on track/mastering. The treble, meanwhile, is perfect for my taste and suits a varying range of genres. Soundstage, imaging and instrument separation is akin to certain full-sized headphones and should satisfy most buyers.

The big elephant in the room is, sadly, the price tag. At $1700 the Luna has to battle established flagships like the Sony IER-Z1R, Campfire Solaris, and the 64Audio U12t (to name a few). Furthermore, DUNU also has to consistently showcase top-tier customer support and reliability/quality assurance to appeal to the higher end buyers. In the former case, it’s often up to the listener since personal preferences swing the tides by a large degree at the upper-echelons. The latter is being addressed via Luna by prominent presence in audio forums and quick, transparent communication. They’ve been very up front about the technical details and tuning decisions of the Luna, which is definitely a refreshing approach. To take things a step further, Dunu is also offering a Private Client Program so that you can listen to them at home before deciding to purchase. They’ve left no stones unturned — I’d hand them that. Time will prove the rest.

At the end of it all, is the Luna good enough?

It’s more than good enough.

#HighlyRecommended

Test tracks (as Tidal playlist):
https://tidal.com/browse/playlist/04350ebe-1582-4785-9984-ff050d80d2b7
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S
Spie1904
I wonder what’s different between your review and riverground since you agreed on all points except female vocals. I wonder if it’s tip related or just personal preference perhaps. You describe it as a potential weakness where riverground’s review says it’s one the best he has heard :)

Great and informative review.
I’m getting my pair by end of this month and hoping it will fit my smaller ears comfortably.
Finally a TOTL that looks like it could work for tiny ears :)
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kmmbd
kmmbd
@surfgeorge thanks a lot for your kind feedback. I did try the Z1R a while ago and have some very short impressions, but it's all based on auditory memory and thus not too reliable. Even then, Z1R as I recall had more visceral sub-bass rumble and mid-bass thump. Also the stage was definitely wider and more immediately impressed anyone who managed to get a fit with the Z1R. I do remember thinking that Z1R had recessed lower mids, whereas on the Luna the lower mids are pretty much spot on as per my tastes. But of course, I will update this section once I re-listen to the Z1R.
kmmbd
kmmbd
@Spie1904 I'd reckon it's more of a personal preference. I personally prefer a bit tamed upper-mids as I'm more sensitive to the 3-6KHz region. Despite that for most female tracks I found Luna to be excellent (e.g. I very much enjoyed listening to Loreena McKennitt on them, along with Elisa). I did find the final E-type tips tamed the female vocals somewhat, but it also muted the treble even further which I found more detrimental in comparison.

It has a pretty flush fit once you get the correct eartips. Shouldn't be much of an issue for smaller ears I'd reckon. Hopefully you'll enjoy yours once they arrive.
Pros: Excellent Build Quality
Beautiful and Elegant Design
Small and Compact footprint
Genius Cable System
Fast, Accurate, and Punchy Mid-bass
Sensational Female Vocal Representation (Best I've heard)
Spacious Soundstage & High Precision Imaging
Cons: "Lightweight" Sub-bass
Treble section could be overbearing depending on tips used
Some might have trouble with having a secure fit and seal
DUNU LUNA Review



Introduction

DUNU established itself as its own brand in 2006. They may sound like a fairly young company, but the people behind the brand have been in the development and manufacturing of pro and consumer goods since 1994.
With their amount of experience, impressive staff, their own high end testing equipment, production facilities, and in-house driver development, it’s no wonder they’re making quite a buzz in the audiophile world.
“To innovate for music lovers” is DUNU’s mission. They highly cater to the taste of audiophiles around the globe, and their most recent flagship is a testament to that mission.

So here I introduce the LUNA.

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The LUNA is DUNU’s latest flagship, and it’s their first set to cost $1,699US.
DUNU’s claim to fame is their development and use of the “World’s First” Pure Beryllium Dynamic Driver inside the heart of the LUNA.
So why is it such a big deal? Well, Beryllium is well known to be the ideal material used in high-end speakers and a few full sized headphones, such as Focal’s well regarded co-flagships, the Utopia and the Stellia; which costs $3,990US & $2,999US respectively.
I will expand on Beryllium later.

First, let’s talk about the build and design of the IEM’s.

For the build, they’ve used a custom-modified grade 5 titanium alloy that is an aerospace grade material. This makes the LUNA one of the toughest IEMs out there. But using such a material is known to produce ringing. Therefore, DUNU’s engineers reformulated the alloy with the use of other rare earth metals to minimize it. In turn, this allows the unrivalled driver inside the LUNA to show off its unique sound.

Next, let’s talk about the design.

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If it isn’t obvious already, DUNU’s concept for the LUNA is its relation to the moon.
Having been 50 years since humankind’s first journey to the moon, they wanted to reflect the spirit of the landing and wanted to elevate the manner in which IEMs are perceived.
The main body of the LUNA serves as the representation of the ever changing phases of the moon. This is shown whenever light hits the circular concave faceplate at different angles.
While the main body represents the moon, the cable connector interface symbolizes the Apollo spaceship. I do think their approach was done quite brilliantly, and I am a fan of the design.
As for the fit, they’re actually compact in size at almost the same volume as the Shure SE846, which itself fits in almost every ear. The LUNA fit nicely in my ear, but I had to do some tip rolling to find the best seal. In the second section, I’ll talk more about how tip rolling could help LUNA’s quirks.

While the star of the show are the earphones themselves, I also have to mention the cable that comes with the LUNA.
The cable is made out of combined strands of OCC Copper and DHC Silver, with a Silver-Plated OCC Copper Shield Surround.
While the materials are impressive, it’s the cable system that I’m completely sold on!
It features their patented Quick-Switch Modular Plug system, which comes with all the needed terminations a person would use.
This terminates (see what I did there? *wink*) the need to completely switch the cable or the need to use an additional conversion dongle when switching between your DAP to other DAC/AMP systems you might have.
This on its own is pretty genius!

Now comes the most important part.

How do they sound?
Well...the short answer is, they sound AMAZING.
But you’re not here for that right?
So here I’ll go into detail on how the LUNA handles each frequency range.

I chose to use my Onkyo DP-X1 to do this review. While it might be showing age already, it’s still a very capable DAP. (but then again if I had more money, I’d love to have an upgrade either from Sony’s, A&K’s, or FiiO’s flagship offerings. Someone, sponsor me please…*laughs*)

First, let’s have a go at the BASS section.

To me, the LUNA’s bass sounds more neutral with a bit of fun and warmth on the mid-bass side of things. To many, the sub-bass region might sound a bit lightweight. In comparison to my other IEMs I have with me, I do have to agree. Testing out the sub-bass, my go to track is LA PARISIENNE by BFRND. The Intro just hits you with a full course of BASS, and sadly, the LUNA just doesn’t give much rumble down low to bring tears to my eyes. But do try it with your IEMs. It's a fun track to test out sub-bass rumble. Now onto that fun and warm mid-bass. The LUNA is amazingly detailed here, it gives so much body to bass instruments. For example, the fretless bass on the track, Pictures, by Kozo Suganuma, just sounds as lifelike as it gets. The LUNA also gives a nice rendering to kick drums and toms.Bring me the Horizon’s song, Run, is a good track to showcase this. On the 2nd verse, it’s filled with drum fills (*wink-wink*), which sounded really enjoyable and didn’t sound muted on the LUNA.


Let’s move on to the Midrange.

Okay, GUITARS, VIOLINS, and pretty much any string instrument sounds full and engaging on the LUNA. On the guitar side of things, listen to the track, Say Yes, by TWICE. The acoustic guitar throughout the song just sounded so lively and pleasant to my ears. Another great track for strings is the track, Ink to Paper, from the Violet Evergarden OST. The LUNA made me get lost in the beauty of the strings.

While still part of the midrange, I wanna talk about Vocals on the High Mids of things as I listen primarily to a lot of female vocal centred tracks.This is a frequency where female vocals on the LUNA truly shine for me. But I also want to say that male vocals are still just as impressive. For example, on the track, Daijoubu by Radwimps, the vocalist’s voice sounds well modulated and lush and never thin sounding while being on the higher register.

Now onto the High Mids.

Personally, the high mids on the LUNA is the special sauce. The elevation from 1kHz to the peak at around 4kHz gives female vocals such an airy and encapsulating sound.
Breathier vocals such as the ones in the track, Leyre, by Akiko Shikata. Her vocals just sound so ethereal and intimate on the LUNA. It’s here where I think they might have outshone the FitEar TG334/MH334 as the best IEM for female vocals. (Now, this is just based on memory, but the excellent performance of the beryllium driver and the way it has been tuned by DUNU has given me a sensation with female vocals that no other IEMs have ever given me. Though, there is one other IEM I wanted to have more ideal listening time with. The Empire Ears Wraith had ear catching female vocals as well, but I haven’t had a chance to formally take them home to have an extended listen to judge it. So for now, I have to say the LUNA’s are by far the best IEM for female vocals I have heard thus far.)
While the high mids are great for female vocals, the elevation and peak at 4kHz does have its drawbacks, but this is where the tip rolling I mentioned earlier might help you out as well.
I’ve started out using both the JVC Spiral Dot tips and Final E tips and having favoured the former for giving the most “Air”. But due to that, some instruments, especially the “bagpipe” (not too sure what the instrument is) in the track Hiraite Sanze, by Akiko Shikata, got quite a bit overbearing to my ears. So here came the Sony Triple Comfort tips from the IER-Z1R. People have said this helped them tame the energetic highs of the Z1R’s, but since I didn’t have that problem with the Z1R’s, I had them just sitting in the box. So low and behold, I used them on the LUNA and IT WORKED!
The tips have calmed down the shoutiness of the bagpipe and any other instrument that got overbearing in that section.

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The Highs.

I actually like the highs on the LUNA. To me, it just sounds neutral-bright without sounding scrawny. Woodwind, percussion, and especially music box instruments take the front stage here. The overtones they generate get very well highlighted on the LUNA. For example, on the instrumental version of the track, Kasuka na Kaori, by Perfume. The intro’s music box section and other instruments at the higher frequency used throughout the song sounded dense while still being delicate. The highs never got too energetic to the point of sibilance. It has stayed well controlled and has more than enough attack to be engaging and detailed.


Okay moving on to imaging and soundstage.

While the LUNA does have an impressive soundstage, its mid-forward tonality gives it a more intimate rendering, especially on the vocals. However, it still gives more than enough width and height to the stage. On the track Wherever You Are, Wherever You May Be, from the Violet Evergarden OST, the LUNA gave it quite a spacious yet intimate staging. This is more than enough room for even bigger recordings.

Now, for imaging and instrument separation, let’s use the track I just mentioned. All the instruments are rendered with high precision. I’m very impressed by what the engineers at DUNU have done to achieve this with a single driver.
It has turned me into a believer in the “less is more” approach. This is also what I’d like to say about the Sony IER-Z1R, which consists of only 3 drivers. I strongly believe that the Z1R is one of the best, if not, the best IEM for the incredible staging and highly detailed imaging it produces. I’ll talk more about it in the comparisons.

Now, we’re finally moving on the final part of the review!

I’m surprised you’re still here lol
Well, thank you for keeping up with my ramblings.
You deserve a cookie!

(For the comparison, I used the same tracks I’ve mentioned in the review.)

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Sony IER-Z1R (-2DD,1BA- $1,999US)

These two can’t be any more different from each other.
The Z1R has a slight V-Shape tuning, while the LUNA’s are somewhat “warm-neutral” with a high-mid elevation.
You’ll be able to hear this clearly as the Z1R are more about fun and energy, while the LUNA’s are “lacking” the Z1R are overflowing with.
In the sub-bass section, the Z1R hits deeper and with higher authority.
Here’s where it gets tricky. To me, the LUNA’s mid-bass sounds just as organic as the Z1R. But it does punch a bit more than the more controlled mid-bass of the Z1R. While the Z1R wins in the more organic sub-bass rumble, the LUNA wins it by a hair in the punchier mid-bass presentation. Moving to the mids, there’s no contest here. Guitars and other String instruments just sound more rounded and leaner on the LUNA. While the Z1R is still impressive on its own, it’s just a little more hollow sounding in comparison. As a result, male vocals take a hit on the Z1R. It just sounds anemic compared to the LUNA's meatier male vocal presentation.
Now, here is where both are equally impressive with just a difference in presentation. Female vocals on the Z1R are just as full bodied and airy as the LUNA, but are presented farther away from you. The LUNA’s more intimate presentation allows the listener to almost feel the vocalist’s breathing in their ears. The effect is absolutely ethereal. So I must give the LUNA the edge in the female vocal presentation.
In the highs, the Z1R has the edge overall. The highs on the Z1R just sounds more extended and presents more flare. While it may be energetic, it never gets sibilant. The LUNA’s highs sound calmer and smoother in comparison. Both are very well detailed up top, but the Z1R just gives it more shimmer.
In the soundstage department, the Z1R never ceases to amaze me every time I compare them with other IEMs in the market. With that being said, I do have to say that the more intimate nature of the LUNA does have its own charms. Although the LUNA is not on par with the Z1R’s 3 dimensional staging, it still presents a wide soundstage. But then again, I still haven’t heard another IEM that beats the Z1R in staging.
However, when it comes to imaging, I didn’t really hear much difference between the two. Both are great in that regard, but I just have to give the edge to the Z1R because of how it handles space the imaging just goes along with it.

JH Audio Layla (-12BA- $2750US)

For the Layla, I always have the bass dial set at 2 O’Clock. This gives the neutral low-end a bit more excitement. Let’s talk about that low-end, the Layla’s sub-bass has more rumble than the LUNA. But while the Layla may have deeper rumble and sub-bass quantity, the LUNA has better mid-bass presentation. The mid-bass of the LUNA is really where it’s at, it just sounds organic and very reminiscent of the Z1R’s but with more punch. With this, bass instruments just have more weight to them compared to the Layla’s “neutral” mid-bass response. Moving to the mids, it’s pretty much the same deal here. The LUNA gives more life to instruments that fall into this range. String Instruments especially just sound more natural on the LUNA. The Layla unfortunately also suffer in the higher mids, as vocals, especially female vocals, just sound flat and hollowed out compared to the LUNA’s airy and dense vocal voicing. Next, we arrive at the Layla's biggest weakness; the highs. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the Layla’s highs when I got it; it was smooth and detailed. But when comparing it to newer flagships, it falls flat and almost dark. The LUNA’s highs could get a little sharp but it never fatigues my ears. In comparison to the Layla, the LUNA is more detailed and gives you more excitement in the higher regions. It really comes down to your preference here. A lot of people, myself included, still like the Layla’s sound signature, as it's a very easy to listen to IEM. It’s also one of the reasons why I liked the Empire Ears Wraith. A lot of people think it sounds dark, but to me, it’s one of the most analytical and relaxing IEM to listen to. In my opinion, it’s pretty much an evolved Layla.
The only area the Layla does have an advantage over the LUNA is the slightly deeper soundstage. The Layla does go a touch deeper with similar width and height as the LUNA. In Imaging though, I have to say the LUNA is cleaner and a touch more accurate with better placement and separation.

FitEar Monet17 (-4BA- Roughly about $1560US converted from Japanese Yen)

These two are quite similar in some aspects but very different in the others.
Sub-bass response is one of the differences. The LUNA’s sub-bass is truly its “weakness” It just doesn’t give excitement. While the Monet17 isn’t as impressive as the IER-Z1R, it comes fairly close to how organic the rumble is presented. I gotta say it’s one of my favorite sub-bass presentations from a Quad BA Driver IEM. Both IEMs have similar mid-bass warmth and punch. But I do have to say, the LUNA gives a bit more air and space in this area while the Monet17 gives more heft.
In the midrange, they’re also somewhat similar, both are full bodied, and offer rich male vocal presentation. When it comes to string instruments, especially on guitars, it becomes a bit interesting. The LUNA is better at rendering clean guitars while the Monet17 crushes it with distorted guitars. The “Tuned especially for Anime Music” becomes clearly apparent here with the Monet17. When you pair it with exactly that genre, they become quite unbeatable. It’s also quite apparent on the high-mids. Monet17’s high-mids are smoother with just enough air and sparkle to make it easier to listen to the usual higher pitched female vocals on Anime songs. Moving to the highs is where it differs again, the Monet17 produces a bit more energy and sparkle while the LUNA gives it a bit more clarity and extension. I gotta say while comparing these two, I’ve come to love the Monet17 quite a bit more now. I’m impressed with the tuning. Being able to keep up with how unique sounding the LUNA is, is quite something. Especially having been 5 years its senior.

Shure SE846 (-4BA- $999US)

Boy oh boy, the good old SE846s. I’ve had it pretty much since it got launched. It still holds a special place in my ears. But unfortunately, like the Layla, while they’re still quite impressive on their own, comparing them to newer IEMs is hard to take in. Either way, we still have to compare the two as it was requested by a user on Head-Fi. So let’s begin.
The deep reaching bass response in the SE846s is still honestly quite impressive for a full BA specced IEM of its age. But unfortunately that’s just about it now. In all other aspects of the spectrum, it’s rather boring and lifeless in comparison to the much livelier and unique sound being produced by LUNA. The LUNA’s mid-bass extending to the midrange just sounded fuller with so much warmth to spare; high-mids have more edge, and have better detail and extension in the highs. It’s sad to say but the SE846 have been completely outclassed by the LUNA.

Conclusion

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Here we are guys, we’re finally at the end. It’s quite the journey for me writing this review.
I still have so much to learn about writing, I’m not even sure if what I wrote made sense to you, but thank you so much for giving me your precious time to read my ramblings. I will do even better the next time I write a review.
So after doing an extensive listening with the LUNA, I really have to applaud the whole DUNU team for creating such a unique sounding IEM. I’ve stated this in my first impression post, and I still stand by it. The uniqueness of the LUNA is what makes it a hard IEM to ignore, especially if you’re like me who enjoys a lot of female vocal centric music.

A HUGE shoutout to the DUNU team for the opportunity to be a part of the US/Canada Tour!

I’ll have darker days from now on, as I’ll be saying goodbye to the LUNA. She will now move on to the next lucky person along the tour. I’ll definitely miss listening with them.

I’m excited to hear what their skilled engineers bring to the table next.

Hope you all find my review helpful enough for you to decide if the LUNAs are the right IEMs for you.

Until next time!

Cheers,

Matz
subguy812
subguy812
Nice Review sir!
riverground
riverground
Thank you very much everyone!

I'll work even harder on the next review!
DUNU-Topsound
DUNU-Topsound
Everyone agrees --- it's an incredible first review effort! Truly a great read!
Pros: Over the top accessories package consisting of 2 pouches, 1 USB dac, Large variety of spin fit and standard silicones, $400 Dunu Noble cable with 4 different quick change connectors, high quality titanium shell. Smaller extremely durable housing meaning it will be very comfortable to use. Clean transparent balanced tuning with great detail and dynamism. Not a hissing magnet like a lot of other flagship earphones.
Cons: Average in isolation. Slight sub bass roll off. Will let you understand what your missing from your other in ears. Very transparent of the source your using.
DUNU LUNA
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DUNU LUNA has been a revelation to me. I had no idea just how good a single dynamic can really get till I heard the LUNA. After getting the right tips and plugging the LUNA into my Fiio M15. I knew it was a match that I had to continue to explore. The LUNA touts some interesting materials and tech behind the sonics and for what it is worth. DUNU team came out the gate with a bold name to a new flagship that really caught my attention.
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This earphone is proof positive that more drivers don’t get you more sonics. Using a single 10mm pure Beryllium dynamic with a polyurethane suspension. Housed in a grade 5 titanium alloy housing. The build is impeccable and is what you would expect from a flagship model.
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Opening the Luna is a treat to behold. A big box is what you get and inside that box unfolds layers and layers of goodness in the way of accessories, a USB C dac which was a surprise, 2 pouches, the cables the phones a whole lotta tips and the phones. It is a substantial amount of goodness you get in this packaging. Another surprise to me on opening the box was just how small the earpieces were. Marketing material on their web page would have you believe it is as grand as the moon as the name would indicate. But in reality, in sound only.
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The earphones themselves are actually about the size of your garden variety earbud without the foam covering. Very ergonomic with no awkward angles, a brawny size or edges to deal with. The Luna is actually one of the smallest earphones I own. I am very certain the Luna will fit 99% of people that try them and with great comfort. The housing is about as solid as it will get for any earphone. I wouldn’t want to test a 10ft drop but I have little doubts these will take a fall like that with no issue.
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The modular clear version of their reference Noble cable ( RP $399.99) is included in the packaging. When asked about the cable.
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“The cable with the Luna is the NOBLE cable in clear. We had to silver-plate the surrounding shielding so that the copper shielding doesn't oxidize all green and look ugly. Otherwise, the setup is the same. The conductors are alternating strands of Furukawa OCC copper and DHC silver. The shielding (non-conducting) is coiled OCC copper (or in the case of the LUNA, silver-plated copper).”

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If you can’t tell by now Dunu took the time to really think over “the package.” I am here to tell you. You get a top of the line package with the best of the best of what they have in the box. I can honestly say not all companies will do this. So this to me is refreshing and is something that should be a standard for a flagship model. I applaud Dunu for not cutting corners on the whole package of what you get. It is always a good sign that the packaged accessories and unboxing experience is of a flagship caliber.
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Noble cable I feel matches extremely well with the Luna, sonically and aesthetically.The modular quick switch system should be the standard for all cables. With so many sources we all use now a days. All with some type of balanced out. This quick change system is so much better than actually changing cables from single ended to a balanced one. It comes with all the popular and the most usable connectors in the box. 3.5mm single, 3.5mm balanced, 2.5mm balanced,4.4mm balanced. Easily switched on the fly. With the cable already matched perfectly for the Luna. Now onto the other aspect of sound optimization.
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Tips. As discussed on the impression thread for the Luna. Since each one of us has a unique inner and outer ear. It is imperative that you find the right tips to use for the Luna. Dunu was gracious in providing a good variety of tips including some spin fit premium silicones to try out and you are bound to find a few sets that will match up well for you.

You can’t have enough tips in the earphone game and I can tell you Dunu went above and beyond what most manufacturers throw in for tips. In the end I chose an aftermarket Azla Sendafit tip with a wide opening that fit me well and gives me the best sound sonically. My thoughts about the Luna are all based on the stock cable, Azla tips and the Luna using my sources. Fiio M15, Shanling M6 pro, M5s, M3s, IBasso DX160 and my IFI Black label.
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I have been listening to my Luna for the entirety of the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic in my State and so I have a good understanding of their sonics. They got well over 300 plus hours of burn in and use during this time. Truth about my splurge on the Luna. I was actually saving a bit to get a set of the IER Z1R but decided to go all in on Dunus new flagship. Why so? Sometimes you get that gut feeling. Looking at this design and all that went into it. There is no way these are gonna be a mediocre sounding earphone. So I went for them. Why not. Worse case scenario I can sell 'em off and buy whatever else I would like to try..
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Well that didn’t happen. I am happy to report that as impressive as the big box of accessories are, the sound is even better. First time I put on the cable and threw them in my ears. I knew I was dealing with something serious. These are reference IEMs for a reason, and have a high level of detail represented in all regions of the sonics. I have to admit I was a bit worried about 2 aspects of the Luna. One being its small size, I was worried the sound stage would suffer and the other concern was for bass.
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As a very important note. If you're curious about the Luna, I encourage you to try and demo the Luna for yourself and not base your perception of them off of graphs. What you might think these sound like based on a graph and how they truly sound are 2 different things. If I was just to strictly base the Luna on graphs it will tell you sub bass is rolled off and has a lot of energy toward the treble region. While there is a bit of a roll off but that don’t mean these don’t rumble in the lowest of notes. In fact this might surprise you but these sound fantastic for bass genres. EDM and even hip hop. As an avid bass fan. While these are not a bass first sounding IEM. They represent in the region splendidly well. Will get to that a bit more later.
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Luna to my ears was a treat from the start. Charles Mingus’s, Boogie stop shuffle sounded spectacular with the Luna. Couldn't get them out of my ears. Horns, strings percussion sounded so right so involving, so spacious, a quick listen ended up being a 3 hour session of all my favorite tracks. One after another. The Luna and my Fiio M15 I gotta say has a synergy that is hard to duplicate with anything else I have heard or owned. I am all too happy to report as small as these shells are. The sound is everything but. It has a fairly large scope of sound for in ears and how it projects sound is magical. You're not dealing with a 2D plain of sound here. Slight nuanced detail from your tracks will come at you from all directions. Well recorded acoustical tracks especially sound superb.

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Dunu Luna has a finely tuned balanced sound signature for the base of the sound with a lean toward the upper frequencies for exacting clarity and precision. That treble emphasis will have the Luna having a slightly cooler yet accurate tonality, adding a reference level of detail and transients. Shows a slight warmth in the bass to the mids. Ample fullness for lower octave instruments which ends up sounding very natural and true to the recordings. Where it excels is its ability to portray vocal nuance and instrument positioning, layerings in recordings.
DSC07137.JPGPenon Leo Plus cable pictured with Luna.

Showing how transparent the sonics are on the Luna, your sources also matter here. If you own a bright neutral source. You're gonna hear a bright neutral source. Have a full bodied extremely well layered sonically superior dap like the M15 and now you're dealing with end game type earphone and DAP synergy on the go. Some friendly advice: play the Luna on a great sounding dac amp or player and then you will see what Luna can really do. That saying good things in better things out applies here. The Luna will let you hear the sonic ability of each player used with the Luna. Hence the Luna has become my defacto earphone tester for sources.
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Sonically the resolving qualities of the pure Beryllium is in full force here and it clearly shows an ability to show you exactly what is in your quality tracks. It has a clear, clean extended transparent treble response. Treble has emphasis over the mids and bass which adds shimmer, clarity and air to the overall tone. The bass end has an equal amount of ability which again the graphs don’t necessarily show you. These are not a bass first IEM so you can’t go into a Luna purchase thinking they will have big bass. They don’t but on the opposite end they don’t sound lacking either. Being a middle porridge of the bass spectrum and emphasis with excellent punch, quickness and that low end textured rumble. These are tuned to be accurate more so than enhancing any area for the low notes. There is slightly more mid bass emphasis than sub bass but again with the right tips the sub bass is plenty good on the Luna and reaches deep.
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The mid treble does have some extra emphasis but was deliberately done to bring out the best qualities of the Beryllium dynamic being used in the Luna. I can say without reservation there is no aspect of the Luna that sounds lacking or overly cooked. Some might prefer a more relaxed treble end but I believe the Luna has a great balance of one part dimensional dynamics and another part transparency that makes you take note of their precise presentation. Vocals do not sound shouty and bass is accurate. While tonality leans a bit on the cool side of neutral there is nothing the Luna won't reveal to you. And that is to be expected. You get sound ques from every angle when listening to them. They almost sound binaural due to the extremely well layered sound of the Luna.
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A spacious sound with a well rounded stage that surrounds your hearing. While the Luna does not have the widest of IEM sound stages it is so well imaged with a perfectly proportioned depth to height ratio of sound it portrays in ear sonics with absolute type realism that is hard to replicate for other in ears. It is the mid range that I find very special on the Luna. Again the graphs don’t show you just how good vocals and instruments sound on the Luna. Be it male or female. It projects sound exactly how recordings portray it. Breathy and rangy be it Adele’s vocals to Sam Cooke's more analogue larger roomier studio recordings. Each tune has a tone, a uniqueness of the track sounding meticulous using the Luna, and that is something I can’t say with a lot of my other earphones. Shows a true resolving character that you have to hear to truly understand.
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Stringed instruments be it Eric Clapton fingers sliding on his guitars to Yo-Yo Ma’s Cello suites low reverb penetrates and represents with a very realistic and accurate defined renditions. The Luna demands attention and leaves you with the emotion of the recording and ultimately this is what listening to music should be about.

Bass is quick agile with an excellent ranginess and attack. Textured sub bass is addictive with a good rumble on the Luna. I would sum it up as more accurate in the bass department than emphasized. Just like the rest of the sonic representation, transparency is shown in the low notes. Bass of the Luna is not highlighted like a lot of earphones but is dependent on how much bass is in the recording. This is the reason why the Luna does not fail for something like RnB or hip hop. Bass was the one area that actually surprised me. The tonality in the bass department is absolute in how it is portrayed and has the ability to morph into any type of low note that is required. Sound separations related to layering of the tracks, each individual instrument has its own space and when taken as a whole the Luna leaves a lasting impression.

The Luna sounds absolutely superb for music which is what it was intended for and in that regard it is a big win for enthusiasts that are looking for exacting qualities in an earphone sound. Sonic details in all parts of the sound when mixed with an airiness and spacious sonic goodness you get something that is special that takes musical enjoyment to a different level.
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For my own personal taste. I would like to have just a bit more in the sub bass region, but what makes the Luna shine is a more complete approach in a carefully designed flagship. The tuning is meticulous and balances a fine line between energetic detail mixed with a full on dynamic flare. Ultimately I have nothing that sounds quite like the Luna in my collection and this is from hearing and owning 100s of earphones. They let you know exactly how good your sources and quality tracks are. The Luna will speak to the very reason why you listen to your music in the first place and for that very reason, I feel they succeed. You can find more information about the Luna here. As always stay safe so you can enjoy your music. Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts on the Dunu Luna.
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Pros: Good technical performance
Good resolution
Fast punchy bass
Beautiful design
Cable is fantastic
Cons: Treble is a bit peaky and fatiguing
Sub-bass rolls off
Fit doesn't feel secure
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The Dunu Luna is an all-new in-ear monitor which features Dunu’s latest driver: a 10mm beryllium foil dynamic driver with a polyurethane suspension that allows for cleaner and more controlled pistonic driver movement. The Luna retails at $1699, putting it at the top of Dunu’s current lineup, well establishing it as their product flagship.

The Dunu Luna was provided to me by Tom of Dunu as part of a loaner tour on Head-Fi. I will be shipping this unit to the next person in-line immediately following this review release.

Driver
I’ve gone over beryllium drivers before, in my recent review of the Focal Utopia, as well as my very own headphones, the ZMF Verite, although that Verite driver is a coated-beryllium driver. In this case, Dunu uses beryllium in a rolled-foil form, making it the first pure Be driver that I am aware of. Others, like the Shozy Form 1.1/1.4 that I’ve also reviewed, are Be-coated drivers over a traditional plastic driver film.

The Dunu driver is only 10mm, which is smaller than their DK-series of hybrids, which feature a 13mm Be-coated driver. With the smaller driver also comes a smaller shell, this time machined from a titanium alloy, which is finished in a silver-matte appearance and flows quite nicely with the Luna name and theme. It’s a very simple, yet modern and sleek design which I really enjoy, and looks right in-line with the other Dunu IEMs.

Fit
The smaller fit does present a small challenge in getting a good fit and deal. Having small ears, I usually don’t mind and favor smaller IEMs, but the Dunu Luna’s small round shape and shallow nozzle length made me always worry about it losing seal or dropping out. Now that said, once I established a good combination of fit and seal, I never really had issues of leaking sound or it falling out of place, but the mental thought of it was always in the back of my mind because it didn’t feel very secure. I ended up with using Size Large Spinfit tips with this earphone, and they are also included in the unit.

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Accessories
So along with the Spinfit tips in all sizes, Dunu also includes their own generic style silicone tips, as well as foam ones. The Luna comes with a large carrying case that has plenty of room for extra accessories and a small Digital Audio Player if you so choose. The cable is a light silver, almost white color with mmcx connectors to the Luna, and Dunu’s patented quick connector on the source end. The package comes with all 4 available connectors – 3.5mm, 3.5mm balanced, 2.5mm balanced and 4.4mm balanced. It also comes with a 6.35mm adapter.

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Sound Remarks
The Dunu Luna has a general sound signature that is warm, punchy while having a focused energy in the lower treble that some may find brighter than neutral. In total, I find it to have a nice balance of punchy bass and a tasteful upper boost, although it can be occasionally sharp. Let’s talk about it a little more in detail.
When I popped on the Dunu Luna and some tunes, my first impressions where that it was very resolving, with a good amount of detail retrieval, and a surprisingly punchy and warm sound, that I may not have expected just from staring at the graph and focusing on that lower treble peak. Yes, there’s no denying it’s not present, but it’s not nearly as bad as it may look. I also found the Luna to have quick, yet very controlled transient response that I’d expect with a Beryllium driver.

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Bass levels are just above neutral, with a bigger focus on mid-bass than sub-bass although it can reach low. There is definitely a punchy attitude to this IEM, although its slam factor isn’t gigantic, it can still provide some when needed. Like I mentioned, bass response on the Luna is very agile, providing good clean and fast response that is good to bring out micro-details from songs. Texturing is good, and overall, I enjoy the bass, though I would prefer more focus on sub-bass than the punchy and warmer nature of the mid-bass boost of the Luna.

In “Cherry-Coloured Funk” by Cocteau Twins, the very opening of the track kicks off with a powerful bassline that is played back with the expected grand nature on Luna. This attribute does lend itself to the mid-bass and warmer style of the IEM, however I did find Liz Fraser’s vocals to be a bit too strained and peaky. Her voice is ethereal already, and headphones and IEMs that exaggerate upper mid-range and lower treble frequencies can make her voice stand out and become overly harsh and fatiguing and the Dunu Luna does hover that fine line.

In Chrvches’ “Get Out”, I found the general sound was very punchy although only had a decent amount of slam. During the bridge, however, I felt the bass and mid-range textures were presented very well on Luna, but again, my main concern is that the chorus, where Lauren Mayberry echoes her “Get Out” song title over and over again, to sound a bit bright and fatiguing.

This isn’t necessarily going to be a problem for every song or style of music, but I do find that the Luna’s 3-6KHz region is over-emphasized and I wish it was tamed down a few decibels so it wasn’t so far removed from the midrange.

This extra presence isn’t always bad though. In the bluegrass pop tracks, “Gravity” and “Restless” from Alison Krauss & Union Station’s early 2000 record, “Lovely Runs Both Ways,” I find that the strings, whether they are guitars, mandolins, dobros or fiddles – they have a nice exacting sound that has nice harmonics that flow and are well conveyed with emphasis. Yes, it can be a little sharp at times, but in general, I don’t find it troublesome at my lower listening volumes. In addition, here, the angelic sound of Krauss’ famous voice is placed in the entire spotlight.

The mid-range has a little bit of warmth to it, which I wasn’t necessarily expecting. It’s not thick by any means, but it has enough body that it doesn’t sound thin. When I listened to some live tracks by the band, Brad, the late Shawn Smith, sounded excellent. His bravado voice carries a lot of the energy I expect. His vibrato-style of singing comes in with good detail and texturing. Stone Gossard’s guitar-work is also clean and precise, and imaging seems to match what I see on-screen well.

In Air’s “All I Need”, vocals sound more forward than other in-ears. The synth melodies the French band produces are very energetic and occasionally shrill, while guitars are well-defined. This song has a lot of textures and layering built-around the keyboards and guitars and I find the Luna plays them back well, however, music like this can be fatiguing over time.

“Rain on Tin” by Sonic Youth, however, sounds excellent. I wish this band were still together, but alas, we still have their wonderful back catalog to choose music from, and like I’ve mentioned before, the Luna’s strengths are its precise string-play, good instrument separation, and (for better or for worse), it’s lower treble harmonics. With Sonic Youth’s abundance and mixture of electric guitars, all on different filters and effects, playing various riffs in full harmony, the Luna does a good job of separating the guitar chaos into a coherent rock song.


Comparisons

P1040127.JPG


The Dunu Luna is a single dynamic flagship IEM and so the comparisons expected are probably to other higher-tier solo dynamics. Unfortunately, I do not have any on hand to demo side-by-side. From memory, I find the Luna to be a cut above the Campfire Vega and Atlas and unfortunately, I have not had the chance to listen to the other new beryllium driver IEM, the Final A8000. While both the Vega and Atlas have much more bass emphasis, I find both to be a bit muddy and lacking clean texture. The Vega is also a bit harsh and sibilant, and extremely fatiguing to me. The Atlas seemed to sound different from the first time I heard it and the following times. That said, I think it’s respectable, but still falls short in the major technical areas that the Luna stands out on.

When comparing to IEMs I do have on hand, I find it’s closest in sound to the Hidition Viento, which I now own both in universal and custom form. While the Viento is a 4-BA IEM, and does not feature a dynamic driver, it does share similarly large pinna gains, though it’s not as boosted in 5KHz as the Luna is. I find the Viento to have a more natural tonality than the Luna and perhaps even image a little better. The Luna is punchier and slightly warmer, and generally presents bass more naturally though both are on the quicker side of things. Viento actually reaches deeper in sub-bass though. In terms of just raw resolution, I think the are both quite close with perhaps a small edge to the Luna, as it mixes both clean raw resolution with a more natural harmonic sound, even if it’s slightly bright. I still prefer the Viento over the Luna though, and that’s based on tonality being more accurate and the better subbass extension.

Dunu Luna vs Viento-B Uni.png


The qdc Anole VX impresses more in resolution and bass response, while the Luna has a nice well-controlled punch sound that the VX sometimes doesn’t have – punchiness, as opposed to control. That’s something the VX may top Luna in, though again, it’s close. The VX’s bass is weightier and has nice subbass rumble, while also have nice clean texture and resolution, something that the Luna can do too, but without as much weight. I think both have slightly off-skew tonality when it reaches the treble region, with the Luna overly bright around 3-5KHz, and VX having a sharp peak at 7.5KHz which, in both cases, can cause some music to sound a bit plasticky or sharp.

Dunu Luna vs VX.png



Conclusion


P1040106.JPG


I did not know what to really expect when I got the Luna in. I had not really looked at other reviewer impressions nor had I taken a deep look at the frequency response. I always wondered how a full Be driver could behave in an IEM after experiencing the benefits on the Focal Utopia and Stellia in full-sized headphones. For the most part, I think Dunu succeeded with many of the technical aspects of in-ear audio. I find the Luna has good resolution, transient response, and a nice punchy bass.

Where it does lack is overall timbre and tonality. I wish there was just a little bit more sub-bass boost, and a little tamer lower treble. It’s not as bad as other IEMs I’ve tried in the past, but it can be a little fatiguing at times. When I gave this feedback back to Dunu, they mentioned that dampening the driver to tune down the treble peak would reduce a lot of the technical aspects that the Be driver and limit the potential of the driver.

As it is for most things, it’s a game of compromises. Just like the qdc Anole VX, which excels in technical performance, it does give way to some minor tonality aberrations. The Luna’s trade-off between technical performance and treble gain and inconsistencies is a question for each listener to answer. Besides that, I find the overall package of the Luna to be great with the big complement of accessories, a large well-designed case, and a beautiful cable with quick-connectors for every source.
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Pros: - At high volume: simply my best experience so far for classical and acoustic instruments-based music with an iem.
- Very high level of details
- Timbres are reproduced perfectly
- Wide and deep soundstage
- Fantastic package and stock cable
Cons: - Gives its best when playing music in medium-high / loud level
- Less enjoyable with electronic-based music
- Not very suitable for the train in terms of isolation
Before anything I would like to give a special thank to @DUNU-Topsound for including me on their European Tour at the last minute and despite the Covid crisis. I kept the Dunu Luna for a week before having to send them to the next person.
Warning: I'm not that used to particating in such tour and making review so you won't find highly technical terms here but I tried my best to give an honest and comprehensive feedback on my experience with the Luna.



1. Dunu and my context

Dunu is not a newcomer in the iem business. I must admit that I've discovered their products quite recently with their hybrid line DK 3001 and DK 4001, as well as with their Hulk cable that is built like a tank and provides for the different connectors that you can switch on the same cable. I dont know if Dunu is the first brand to offer this kind of possibility but it was definitely a great idea and the Hulk cable had a great success here in France for both its performance and connector system (thank you @lafeuill ).



I tried the hybrid models during a meetup and was not that impressed. Conditions were not ideal but I usually stick with my first impressions. However, I kept the idea that Dunu was on the right track and that it was definitely a brand to keep on the radar for the future.

2. The Luna

When I heard about the Luna with a pure beryllium 10mm mono driver, I was quite curious to hear the result. I'm a long time Final Audio fan and wanted to go with the A8000 but the price tag was quite high and first feedbacks not so conclusive for me. I will not go over the detailed specifications as you can find them on Dunu's website here or here but the A8000 and the Luna share some things in common in their conception.

For the tour, I was not provided with the full package that comes with the Luna, which seems very complete. Having already purchased a few pricey iems, I must say that this box is definitely on the top range of this kind of product:

See pictures from Dunu here

Instead, the Luna came in a small leather box that contained the most important features: the iems, the cable with its different connectors and several tips.

I had no particular issue to fit the Luna. I used my usual Spinfit and all went well. The isolation is not the best I have ever had with an iem but it's decent enough for listening at home or at work. I tried them in the subway and in the train but they are not designed for this kind of use.

One side note: the connectors are available in the usual 2.5mm TRRS, 3.5mm TRS, 4.4mm TRRS but also in 3.5mm TRRS. I know this last one will probably remain unused by most the of clients but for some guys (like me) that own and cherish the QLS QA361 (some other DAPs offer this output as well but they remain quite rare), this is definitely something that we can appreciate !

3. Items used for the review

I've done a few buy/sale of iems in the last years, most of these would never stay too long with me. Eventually, when I could buy the Jomo Flamencos, they fullfilled all my desires and I still have them after more than 1y now.

I got the 64 Audio U12T only a few weeks ago but I already can tell that they will stay as well (if I can keep them, cash-wise).



In terms of sources, I must confess that I've never heard that many differences between DAPs to justify heavy investments. Even if I could try some of the most expensives ones, I kept a QLS QA361 which is for me quite unbeatable in price / quality ratio if you can manage the UI and the absence of streaming.



3.5mm TRRS :)


I also got a E1DA 9038S G2 a few months ago. Again, I don't see how you can beat this one in terms of price / quality as it's better for me than most of my previous setups for headphones... for less than 100 USD ! If you don't know this piece of gear, please take a look, it's definitely worth it.

This 9038S with a dedicated smartphone and a simple USB C OTG cable and you have all the streaming capacities you need, with the most up-to-date user experience possible as you benefit from the power of a smartphone and not of a DAP (try to run Roon on a DX200 ahahah).



4. The Sound

I started my listening sessions with the QLS in standard mode as it is my reference setup for iems. After a couple hours of going from one track to another, I realized that I had more than doubled the volume since the beginning of the listening. These iems definitely push you to listening at quite high level !

As it requires power, I gave it a try with the 9038S. This one is so powerful that it's usually dedicated for full headphones such as the Final Audio Sonorous VI or D8000, or my previous TH900 (>550mW@16Ohm@1kHz@THD=1%) . You can forget about plugging sensible iems on this one...

Anyway, I started with some classical music and was lucky to do so. The Luna are just grandiose when playing either musical chamber or symphonies. You benefit here from all the strength of the Luna: very high level of details, large and profound soundstage together with a good imaging which lets you pinpoint all the instruments quite precisely.

I go to classical live concert once in a while and I was very surprised to find such a faithful reproduction of the different instruments' tones. Well done Dunu !

If you have the change to try the Luna, put some Bach's organ works and you will feel like you're in a church. No, a cathedral ! If the soundstage is wide and deep I also note one other key element :echoes are managed perfectly and the sensation of space feels really real, you don't really realise that you have iems on...

I had roughly the same whoa effect when switching to jazz, blues and acoustic music. From my small experience with iems, I have never loved instruments' reproduction so much (except maybe the Audeze LCD i4 but are they really iems?). It's both realistic but not “flat and boring”. Real live and vivid experience.

After the organ work, take a listen to : Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate “Ruby” (who said that there are no sub with the Luna ?!) and Joel Grare “La Femme de l'Eau” … whoa effect guaranteed with the Luna.

Moving on the playlist, rap came into play and I had to decrease the volume quite instantly. Treble were way too much for me on the snare drums of tracks like A$AP Rocky “PMW” or Kendrick Lamar's “Swiming Pools”. Compressed or poorly recorded tracks were quite unpleasant with the 9038S and the Luna... However the Luna is not really responsible here as the 9038S can be quite sharp on this kind of music.

End of the review and comparisons are hence based on listening with the QA361 (in high gain this time, to feed the Luna beast what it deserves :wink:)

Results were way better on rap and electronic music and the Luna provided a great performance. The bass is definitely quick and can be powerful when required, transforming the Luna in a quite punchy iem at high volume.

I specify high volume regularly as the experience is very different depending on the volume. At low level, you don't really gain a spectacular experience with the Luna, wheras it's definitely not the same iem at high volume where it gives its best.

I did not have the sensation that the Luna were boring but they did not provide a sensational experience on this kind of music, when they were extraordinary when playing instrumental music.

Comparison with the Flamencos (both switches off + Dunu Hulk cable)
What's immediate when you take the Flamencos after the Luna is how musical the Jomo iems are and how the Luna is a more “reference” tuning (again, I did not say flat or boring. I owned the PP8 previously and really had a great time with them).

The soundstage is wider with the Luna and I found that the Luna could retrieve just a bit more details.

Although the Jomo are not the most enjoyable iems with rap or electronic music, they are more “all rounder” than the Luna as I could live with this only pair (if I had to, ahah).

Comparison with the U12T (+ Dunu Hulk cable)
The U12T are more comfortable with all kinds of music that involve rhythm box. This is my “go to” iem for rap and electronic and everything with strong kicks. The U12T provides a more complete experience of this music, no matter the volume. You just want to get up and move, it's less contemplative than the Luna for this music.

I'm not really convinced by the FR graph but the bump in low frequencies of the U12T vs. the small lack for the Luna is not the only reason (I don't find that the Luna is too shy in the bass region). It's also a matter of quality of the bass and the U12T is hard to beat here.

However, the Luna is more pleasant for classical and acoustic instruments-based music. I found the level of details a bit higher on the Luna as well. When the Luna gives a whoa effect, I haven't felt such thing with the U12T on any instrumental music.

The presentation is a bit different, with the U12T I feel like I'm on the stage, whereas I'm in the 7 to 10th rows with the Luna.

These iems provide a different experience and are quite complementary, either depending on the style of music and/or how you like to listen to your music.

5. Conclusion

Very few iems gave me the “whoa” effect and the Luna is among them. If you lean towards classical or acoustic or any music with natural instruments, you should put the Luna in your radar and give them a chance when you can. Feed them with enough power and you will enjoy one of the best iem experience available. Plus you will get a premium package and won't need to worry about cable rolling.

If you need a pair for music in the background when working or for rap/electronic, the Luna will give you a good performance, but not its best.

Thank you Dunu for making this Luna – I can't wait to see what other card you have in your sleeve.
misteral201103
misteral201103
Nice review! Excellent balance between technical and informal :) You mention you had the PP8 before - how does the Luna compare? PP8S is my daily driver and I consider them peerless (without doubling the cost), so interested to know if they have some competition.
arijitroy2
arijitroy2
Great review! Glad you comapred it with U12T since I sold that before I got a Luna :D But I absolutely agree with the amping part brings the joy out of Luna. I was using DX220+AMP8EX with Luna so far which was great, but it was quite on the reference side since both are tuned that way. But I decided to add the Oriolus BA300s JP to the chain and wow that changed everything! Added quite a bit body on the low end on Duna now and a bit warm too!
LinkAudio
LinkAudio
Luna with mid gain higher volume bass is more pronounced than high gain lower volume.
Pros: Class leading macro and micro dynamics provides a uniquely vivid presentation
Superb clarity, resolution and ability to retrieve detail
Reference tuning with smooth and natural delivery
Class leading timbre accuracy both for instruments and vocals
Very open and coherent soundstage with pinpoint precise imaging
Very compact shells, small footpring
Superb build quality and fantastic “stock” cable
Cons: Isolation is only average
Product page : https://www.dunu-topsound.com/luna
Price : 1699$



Fit, Build & Isolation
The Dunu Luna is clearly a superb piece of engineering, the housings are precision machined entirely from a custom-modified grade 5 titanium alloy. This is a flawless build worthy of a flagship and an even smaller footprint than the curent hybrid lineup.

The small footprint makes for a very comfortable fit, even more so than the hybrid line up that was pretty good to begin with. The footpring is such that even with custom silicon tips the Luna does not protrude much and the lightweight means there is absolutely no strain.

On the flipside this also equates to limited isolation and in noisy environments and for low volume listeners like me you will hear the outside world. Things do improve a lot with custom silicon tips.

Last but not least, Dunu provided a stunning cable with similar braiding and shielding as the Dunu Noble cable that is sold along with the DK-4001 with the same fantastic plug system that is so versatile. The cable is mixed strands of Furukawa OCC copper and DHC silver, with silver plated OCC copper shield surround.



Introduction
Dunu is now a well established brand in the audiophile world, which started as an OEM for famous brands. Since 2014, Dunu built its own IEM and now has a fairly complete lineup of dynamic and hybrid IEMs (Titan series, DN and the top DK series). I have reviewed the excellent DK-4001 and upcoming are DK-3001 Pro and DK-2001.

Back to the Luna, one might say it’s a big milestone for the company and as usual they didn’t spare any effort to build what is clearly a statement product from the grade 5 titanium housing to the rolled foil beryllium driver (a first ever in an IEM). And, last but not least, one of the best unboxing experience ever designed (I didn’t get the box though for Tour practical reasons given the box size but the video speaks for itself).

Dunu_Luna_Beryllium_Driver-1068x601.jpg


Luna’s dynamic driver is at the heart of what makes it unique as we’ll see further in the review. Dunu explain that “Beryllium has an extremely high stiffness-to-mass ratio that allows to provide a very high speed of sound at over 12,000 meters per second, around two and a half times faster than other commonly used cone/diaphragm materials like aluminum”. Dunu clearly tackled a feat of engineering and manufacturing with this driver, and they say it’s 10x longer to build than a regular beryllium coated driver. “The major engineering hurdle DUNU had to overcome during the development of the LUNA was the process of getting the rolled foil beryllium diaphragm to be bonded circumferentially to a very thin polyurethane suspension. Doing so required formulating bespoke glues, lightweight and thin enough so as not to impact the total weight of the acoustic system, and reliable enough to be glued evenly against a very thin lip and still confer enough durability to sustain the immense mechanical energy delivered during driver excursion.”



The uniqueness of the rolled foil driver is its ability to maintain pistonic motion of the driver, even at the edges of a diaphragm. Dunu says it preserves the imaging properties of the music being reproduced. ” The structure of the beryllium metal is retained even at very high frequencies, translating to remarkable treble evenness. All these unique properties of beryllium enable audio designers to gain extra octaves of clean, non-distorting, non-ringing, high-resolution sonic output at both ends of the sonic spectrum.”

How does all this bleeding edge engineering translates in the real world?
Let’s see!



Sound
Dunu states that “Luna was tuned to a reference sound signature — deep and natural imaging, even and smooth from top to bottom, and maximized for extension at both ends. The result is the most supremely detailed, transparent, sumptuous sounding earpiece ever crafted by Dunu.”

From the very first minutes, it was clearly apparent that Dunu had reached its goal in terms of tuning but it’s not what struck me upon first listen. No, what struck me is how different Luna sounded to anything I had heard before. This is the first time since my first audition of KSE1500. The KSE1500 was a shocker because I had no frame of reference of electrostatic and the blazing fast transients were just different from anything I had heard. This translated into a very different presentation of sound, note that I am not talking about anything related to the frequency range distribution. Those who read my first impression of Luna were a bit puzzled that I wouldn’t mention anything about bass, mids, treble and the overall signature. This is not only because it’s a reference tuning that doesn’t favor any part of the range but because its uniqueness lies elsewhere.

From the get go I was focused on why Luna sounded so different from anything I had heard. All the more puzzling that we’re still in the realm of dynamic driver technology and I have heard and owned my fair share of flagship dynamic. So what’s so different about a rolled beryllium foil dynamic driver? It didn’t take long for me to realize that it’s the off the charts macro (and micro) dynamics. A quick tour of Large ensembles playing pieces like Wagner’s Ride of the Walkyries (act III) or the opening of John Williams Star Wars theme is something to behold from Piano to Forte! The presentation is grandiose and powerful and you can hardly believe this comes out of such tiny earpieces… of particular notice is the ability of the Luna to handle quiet passages just as well and superbly. Wow… Beyond impressed, I was stunned. On top of that remarkable speed, rich textures and exceptional timbre accuracy certainly stood out.

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the Luna’s signature, even if its uniqueness doesn’t lie in the frequency range distribution it still does matter!



Bass
I always had a thing for dynamic driver bass, the fact that the driver does push air contrary to balanced armatures definitely comes into play with a more physical sense of rumble.

From that standpoint the Luna certainly does not disappoint with superb sub bass extension and control but what stood out was how rich the nuances are conveyed. Ageispolis “Aphex Twin” delivers a physical sub bass with perfect control and the bass is beautifully textured as well. This is not something I would ever say of sub and lower bass, they’re either here or not with good control or not. The Luna provides a sense of micro nuances in intensity that I yet have to hear in any IEM and I was able to pick up on details I had never heard before. Manu Katché “Introducciòn” and the Unstatic album as a whole was a real treat. On the flipside the presentation is not the snappy hard hitting bass that bass head rejoice too, but rather a powerful yet smooth delivery. Attack is progressive and full of nuances in intensity, rather than a fast attack delivering a “sudden punch” like say Campfire Vega.

The mid bass stands out with incredibly rich textures, the Luna gave me the best portrayal of Steve Davis double bass and Elvis Jones drums in John Coltrane’s “Equinox”, with the smallest cues in interpretations conveyed beautifully. I actually played that track several times in a row as I was so mesmerized. So far my all time favorite dynamic for mid bass was JVC FW10000 but Luna takes things a step further with a more nuanced presentation, a more natural tone and richer textures yet. In a different genre, GoGo Penguin “Raven” reveals how fast the Luna’s bass can be and Luna’s dynamic driver is definitely much faster than your regular dynamic, maybe not as fast as a balanced armature but close. Impressive!

Mids
The Luna’s midrange is typical of a reference tuning. It’s not a warm and thick midrange but a clear, open and very articulate midrange with plenty of space between instruments and just the right amount of bite to my ears.

Lower mids have good presence and the Luna is full sounding and provides male vocals good power but just the right amount to preserve tonal accuracy. The Luna has body but is not of the warm and thick kind. It’s a balanced midrange, with a lot of clarity and bite, with good measure.

Male vocals are accurate and rich. Eddie Vedder’s “Broken heart” is deeply seated and simply beautifully portrayed and full of emotion conveying a wide array of nuances. This is also true upper in the range and James Blake “Vincent” is truly mesmerizing. Female vocals do shine as well and Diana Krall “Pick yourself up” is simply as good as I have heard it, period. Still upper the register, Etta James at Last gave me shivers with the ability to rise to the edge without ever going to far. The Luna is clearly a fantastic IEM for vocals because of the accuracy and lifelike nature of the tessitura. I honestly haven’t heard any IEM like the Luna before, even among the best dynamic drivers. This gives a sense of intimacy, the singer’s presence is so strong and emotional.

This is also true of instruments, the Luna’s accuracy and rich textures makes everything sound so different from what I am used to. Gerry Mulligan’s “Chelsea Bridge” was quite an experience, a richer one than ever before, and I know it by heart. There is a sense of “being there” with the Luna that derives from its ability to convey such rich nuances and a lifelike presentation as well as its exceptional dynamics. I have mentioned the ability of the Luna to handle large orchestral arrangements, but obviously those qualities stand true whatever you decide to listen to.

The upper mids section is superbly done with – to me – the right amount of bite. Electric guitars on blues were a pure treat, I am thinking John Mayall “The Devil Must be Laughing” but in other genres Nils Lofgren “Keith don’t go’ or the Pixies “Where is my mind” were both stunning examples. I enjoyed Jazz a lot with the Luna as well and the Luna does justice to Miles Davis trumpet and Coltrane’s saxophone in “So What”.

Treble
The Luna’s treble reveals a very refined tuning, one that is focused on providing a airy and vivid picture. The lower treble energy is great but characteristic of the presentation of the Luna remains smooth at all times which makes for a very vivid yet non fatiguing presentation (depending on source and personal sensitivity though it might be too much for some still). The upper treble extension and presence participates to superb resolution and a very open soundstage with excellent separation and class leading imaging.

Lower treble is very energetic, which is clearly apparent in tracks such as Miles Davis “Concierto de Aranjeuz (Adagio)”, flugelhorn, trumpet, castanets and percussive shakers are all magnificently portrayed. This is a track with a wide dynamic range between quiet passages and sudden burst of energy. It’s typically very hard to portray this track well and out of the LPGT, the Luna does a magnificent job. It goes to the edge of my own sensitivity but never crosses the threshold which makes up for a thrilling experience. I reckon that despite the Luna smooth delivery its very vivid nature will probably be too much for some. This is a bit hard to describe but treble is never shrill or piercing but it is definitely intense and while its delivery is smooth it doesn’t smoothen out the energy (if that makes sense).

To be honest, even though I am a Jazz fan I always had issues with Miles Davis energetic treble sections and the Luna reconciled me there and I found myself enjoying those sections a lot. In a very different genre but oozing treble energy, the much faster “Bishop school” from Yussef Lateef is a restless jazz-funk track with a mix of tambourine, drumkit percussion, string and brass sections, flute with a rythmic sense of urgency that is hard to convey. The Luna’s speed is clearly revealed here and it’s vividness and smoothness, combined with great separation help the Luna handle this complex track like a breeze.




Verdict
I must say I had high expectations for the Luna from the first day I heard of the upcoming new Dunu flagship and the R&D aspect were interesting but I never expected the Luna to sound this different to anything I have heard. I expected the Luna to be among the best dynamic like the JVC FW10000 and potentially make history like Sony EX1000 or Sennheiser IE800. I didn’t expect to be met with an experience as fresh and new and different as I had when I auditioned Shure KSE1500, no less.

In a time where everyone is playing with new technology (eStat, magnetostatic) and goes hybrid, Dunu boldly went the other way and set to push single dynamic driver technology to what I think is probably the top of its capability and it shows! The rolled foiled beryllium driver property certainly makes a difference. As I said time and again in this review, macro dynamics in particular are stunning, many full size headphones are not up to par with the Luna and it’s a major accomplishment to be able to do this with that small a driver .

Dynamics alone sets the Luna apart – it’s in a different league altogether – but the reference yet organic tuning translate into a unique listening experience. Contrary to Shure KSE1500 that sounds unique and different but ultimately un-realistic to me (a bit to “ethereal” for lack of a better word) the Luna sound unique but with a fantastic sense of realism. I wrote several times there is a sense of presence, being there with the artist in person (no, I won’t use the “live” word) that draws you into the music. Isn’t that what we all are looking for ultimately?

If you’re looking for an IEM with class leading dynamics, spot on accurate timbre, fantastic speed and beautiful textures then look no further, the Luna will take you to the moon and beyond!

Listening notes
I spent approximately 200 hours with the Luna, listening on Lotoo PAW Gold Touch using the stock cable.

Special Thanks
Thanks to Dunu for providing a review unit of the Luna and Thomas for organizing the EU Tour. As usual, this review is my honest opinion. No incentive was given for a favorable review.

Originally published at
https://iem.reviews/2020/04/01/dunu-luna-to-the-moon-and-beyond/

Accessories


Specifications
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
  • TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION: 0.2% at 1 kHz
  • NOMINAL IMPEDANCE: 16 Ω
  • SENSITIVITY: 110 dB at 1 kHz
  • DRIVE MODULE: 10 mm Acoustic-Grade Pure Beryllium Rolled Foil with Polyurethane Suspension
  • HOUSING MATERIAL: Titanium Alloy, Grade 5 (Ti-6Al-4V, TC4, with modified rare earth metal formulation)
  • NET WEIGHT: 10.3 g
  • CABLE LENGTH: 1.2 m
  • CABLE MATERIAL: Mixed Strands of Furukawa Electric Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) Copper & DHC Silver, with Silver-Plated OCC Copper Shield Surround
  • CABLE CONNECTOR: Patented Catch-Hold® MMCX Connector
  • PLUG CONNECTOR: Patented DUNU Quick-Switch Modular Plug System
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davidmolliere
davidmolliere
@Bookbear See previous comments, Custom Art made these :)
meringo
meringo
@davidmolliere how would these compare to say the Periodic Be? I love my Custom Art FIBAE4, wondering if this might be a nice alternative every now and again.
Thx1326
Thx1326
WOW!... I'm sorry... and I don't mean any disrespect. The reviews were all very well done but are you kidding me??? A single driver, some metal, some wire: $1,699.00!!! So they are about 3 times the price of gold.... maybe we should fund our 401K's with IEM's???? I'm sorry, but can you spell profit margin? I hope you enjoy them - you should at that price.

Enjoy the music!
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