General Information




Model: DUNU SA3

Frequency Response: 5 Hz - 40 kHz

Impedance: 13 Ω

Sensitivity: 112 ± 1 dB at 1 kHz

Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.5% at 1 kHz

Shell: High-Precision, 3D-Printed Biocompatible Photopolymer Resin

Faceplate: Handmade Photocurable Resin

Cable length: 1.2 ± 0.1 m

Cable connector: 2-Pin (0.78 mm)

Plug type: 3.5 mm Single-Ended TRS

Cable material: High-Purity, Silver-Plated OCC Cable

Product weight: 12.5 g

Latest reviews

A new format
Pros: Beautiful hand-painted shells
High-quality detachable cable
Accurate timbre from top to bottom
Excellent vocals reproduction
Non-fatiguing highs
Cons: Treble is a little subdued
Bass lacks gusto
Shells are large for a 3-driver unit
DUNU is an IEM manufacturer with a great track record when it comes to producing high-quality earphones. They recently launched their Studio series in-ear monitors and in this review, I’m looking at the entry-level model, the DUNU SA3.

The SA3 has 3 balanced armature drivers per side, a 2- electronic crossover and gorgeous 3D-printed shells. Let’s see how it performs.

DUNU website: https://www.dunu-topsound.com/

This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.


  • SA3 box front
  • Box rear
Package and Accessories
The SA3 box comes wrapped in a dark blue cardboard sleeve which has the model number on the front and a specifications list on the back. Inside the box, you’re presented with the leatherette carrying case. Underneath the case is a smaller box which holds the rest of the accessories. Let’s break down the contents of the box in a list.

  • DUNU SA3 earphones
  • Detachable silver-plated OFC 0.78mm 2-pin cable
  • 9 pairs of silicone eartips
  • Cleaning tool
  • Leatherette carrying case
  • Documentation
  • DUNU SA3 unboxing
  • SA3 box contents
Design, Comfort & Noise Isolation
The SA3 shells are 3D-printed photopolymer resin with gorgeous hand-finished Hokusai blue faceplates. Speaking of the faceplates, each one has been hand-painted, meaning that every individual unit is unique.

Apart from the white and blue Hokusai paint, the left faceplate has the number 3 in gold while the right side has DUNU branding. It’s a relatively simple but striking design and colourway.

DUNU SA3 Hokusai faceplate

In terms of comfort, the DUNU SA3 is about average for a 3D-printed shell. They are a bit large considering there are just 3 drivers inside. However, I find the ergonomics pleasing and the SA3 has slightly above-average passive noise isolation thanks to its closed ventless design.

They’re perfectly suitable for noisy environments and that passive noise isolation would also be really beneficial if you were performing live and using these as your stage monitors.

The included SPC OFC cable
Cables are something that DUNU has traditionally done extremely well. I’m happy to say that the SA3 cable is also really nice. It’s a braided 27 AWG Kevlar-reinforced, high-purity silver-plated OFC cable with transparent insulation.

At the top, the transparent plastic 2-pin connectors are mercifully straight (I HATE those angled ones!) which is a godsend for people like myself who have larger ears. The standard heat-shrink ear guides are present but thankfully not too aggressively curved which makes the fit more natural.

The chin slider, Y-split and matching straight 3.5mm plug are all ringed aluminium and look pretty slick. In terms of handling, this cable rocks: it’s very malleable, drapes nicely and has minimal microphonics (which can be mostly eliminated using the cable cinch). It’s good to see that DUNU still make some of the best cables out there when it comes to universal IEMs.

View of the BA drivers inside DUNU SA3

Gear used for testing
  • iPhone with Shanling UP4
  • iBasso DX120
  • PC -> iFi Audio ZEN DAC
With a low impedance of 13 Ω and sensitivity 112 dB, the DUNU SA3 has been designed to work with any source. Indeed, it can be driven with just about anything including phones, PCs, tablets, DAPs and does not require any extra amplification.

The SA3 has a neutral presentation with a slight emphasis on the vocal range. It has above-average clarity and good detail. But what really stands out is the accurate timbre and uncoloured nature of the sound.

This would certainly be a good set for monitoring midrange instruments and the human voice but it’s not the most engaging presentation when it comes to music listening. Having said that, certain music genres such as vocals-based, acoustic and classical can sound great with these. For other types like hip-hop, electronic and jazz etc., it doesn’t fare so well.

DUNU SA3 frequency response graph
The SA3 bass is neutral and quite linear albeit with a typical balanced armature sub-bass roll-off. The mid-bass has a touch of warmth and has great definition, control and speed but very little overall impact.

This is not an IEM for bassheads; the quantity of bass just isn’t there and basslines sometimes have difficulty contending with the midrange. However, in terms of speed, texture and control, the BA drivers excel as expected. Furthermore, the lightness of the bass prevents any bleeding into the midrange which allows that region to shine.

Continuing the generally neutral character of the SA3, the midrange is uncoloured and accurate in tone. Vocals in particular, really stand out and sound, in a word, exceptional. Male voices are lean but natural although they might sound slightly gravelly on leaner sources.

Female vocals are intimate and intoxicating. In Above and Beyond’s “Can’t Sleep – Acoustic” Annie Drury’s voice sounds pure and articulat and floats effortlessly above the music. The piano and trumpet notes appear vibrant and clear without being glaring and the violins have a nice, natural resonance.

The treble is slightly laid back and emphasizes the lower treble range to give it sufficient spirit. However, the large dip starting at 9.5kHz draws some of the energy out of the treble, along with some of the detail one would expect to accompany a lean tonality such as this.

It’s a fairly safe treble tuning that doesn’t offer much in the way of sparkle or shimmer but on the plus side, it’s non-fatiguing and doesn’t show any signs of sibilance. Even inherently sibilant recordings such as The Pineapple Thief’s What We Have Sown album are tolerable on the SA3, despite having so little bass weight to counterbalance its upper registers.

The soundstage dimensions are about average in width and depth. The stage position is somewhat forward, making vocals intimate and fairly close to the listener. Imaging is good and there are good positional cues but layering is just moderate. Thanks to the fast transients of the BA drivers, the stage feels organised and doesn’t feel congested.

DUNU SA3 with box
NF Audio NM2+ ($169)

DUNU SA3 (red) vs NF Audio NM2+ (grey).
The NF Audio NM2+ is a single dynamic driver IEM. The reason I’m comparing this with the SA3 is that it’s also aimed at musicians and has a reasonably neutral tuning. Although the graph above suggests these 2 IEMs have a similar bass quantity, that is not the case.

The NM2+ has better overall bass impact and extension, particularly in the sub-bass where the NM2+ has a rather exciting deep rumble and reach. The bass hits harder, moves more air and provides a more stable platform to counterbalance the raised upper midrange. It’s not quite as fast and isn’t as textured as the SA3 bass but it feels more natural in terms of the overall tonal balance.

Vocals aren’t as forward as they are on the SA3 but are slightly smoother in comparison. Those looking to specifically monitor vocals would be advised to use the SA3 for their neutral transparency and vocal nuance.

TenHz P4 Pro ($150)
DUNU SA3 (red) vs TenHz P4 Pro (grey).
The TenHz P4 Pro is a 4 BA driver unit. Both IEMs share similarities but the P4 Pro has a more dynamic presentation with increased lower bass and treble quantity. P4 Pro’s sub-bass gives produces a more tangible sub-bass rumble although the SA3 has slightly better extension. The SA3’s bass has superior definition and texture but is pushed back further in the mix.

When it comes to vocals, the SA3 is in a class of its own in this price range and it comes off more nuanced and articulate than the P4 Pro. Midrange resolution goes to the SA3 too due to its more linear bass and subdued treble. However, the P4 Pro has mildly better detail retrieval thanks to its extra treble presence, in addition to a more vivid attack on percussion instruments.

Both IEMs have average soundstage dimensions but I’d say the P4 Pro has a bit of extra depth because vocals aren’t so upfront as the SA3, giving the P4 a little more breathing room.

SA3 with Shanling Q1 DAP
The DUNU SA3 poses a bit of a conundrum; On one hand, it has class-leading vocals reproduction plus excellent timbre, transparency and technical performance. Furthermore, the build quality, accessories and aesthetic are fantastic. On the other hand, the neutrality of its bass and the laid back treble ultimately result in a sound that oftentimes lacks engagement and fails to excite.

As a tool for midrange monitoring (particularly vocals), the SA3 is hard to match at this price. For music consumption, however, it works for certain genres but falls flat with others. That’s not to say this is a bad in-ear monitor, just that it’s not really ideal as an all-rounder.

  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
  • Impedance: 13 Ω
  • Sensitivity: 112 ± 1 dB at 1 kHz
  • Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.5% at 1 kHz
  • Shell: High-Precision, 3D-Printed Biocompatible Photopolymer Resin
  • Faceplate: Handmade Photocurable Resin
  • Cable length: 1.2 ± 0.1 m
  • Cable connector: 2-Pin (0.78 mm)
  • Plug type: 3.5 mm Single-Ended TRS
  • Cable Material: 27 AWG Kevlar-reinforced, High-Purity Silver-Plated OFC
  • Product weight: 12.5 g
Thanks for the review! We agree that the Studio SA3 doesn't have the pomp and circumstance of most in-ears. Rather than listening excitement, it is voiced to 'disappear' --- hence the tempered bass and non-fatiguing highs, but without loss of vocal clarity. Emphasis is indeed on vocal articulation, i.e. consonant intelligibility and lexical tone. Interestingly, while we don't necessarily tune the Studio line for professional applications, we learned from our Thai distributor that a local musician, Palaphol Pholkongseng, chose the SA3 as his stage monitor of choice.
Pros: Overall really mature tonality
Natural timbre
Female vocal presentation
Engaging yet smooth
Detail and clarity
Imaging and layering
Fits and comfort
Cons: Slightly light and lack on bass punch
Dunu is the Chinese company founded in 1994, they have been in audio market for the long time and well know by audiophiles community. The SA3 is their entry level IEM in their Studio line up. The Studio series is their brand new line up, and it is also the first time they using the all BA set up in their IEMs. The price of the SA3 is $139USD, the driver configuration is 3BA.


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

Package & Accessories
The SA3 come with the small and compact box, there are the brand name, model name and series name located at the front cover, whereas the specifications at the rear side of it. After remove the cover, there is the black box with Dunu logo, and it contain the carry case with IEM and cable inside. There are ear tips and cleaning tool on the bottom of box after removing the cover.




Accessories list:
1 pair x DUNU SA3 In-Ear Monitors
1 pcs x 0.78mm 2 Pin Detachable Cable with
4 pairs x Blue Silicone Eartips (size S/2xM/L)
3 pairs x Grey Silicone Eartips (size S/M/L)
3 pairs x White Silicone Eartips (size S/M/L)
1 pcs x Blue Leather Case
1 pcs x Cleaning Tool
1 pcs x Manual + Warranty Card


The accessories it come with is really good for its price range. The carry case include is nicely made with leather and finished in blue color, there is the fluffy material inside for better protection.



The SA3 come with three different types of ear tips for provide the best fit and sound to the users. It also come with the additional cleaning tools, which is nice to see that in the price range.



The SA3 come with the 4 core high-purity monocrystalline silver plated OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) cable, it has 3.5 mm straight connector in silver metal finished. It features the 0.78mm 2 pin connector with L&R to show left and right. The Y-splitter are in metal shell, whereas the 2 pin male connector are made with plastic material. There are cable slider in silver metal finished. It is overall well looking and flexible cable.


Design & Build & Comfort
The shell on SA3 has a semi-custom style design. The shell are in blue color with slightly transparent design. It is made with the 3D printed biocompatible photopolymer material, while the faceplate are made by Photocurable Resin material. The faceplate has beautiful design, with a white brush painted on the blue faceplate, which is the hand painted. There are golden Dunu logo located on the left earpiece, while the 3 in gold color sport on the right earpiece. There are L&R mark on the inner side of the IEM to indicate left and right. There are no vents on the SA3.



The build quality on SA3 are really good and feel solid, especially for its price. The shell are well rounded, with out any gap and sharp edges. The SA3 has resin filled in at the sound bore part to about 1/2 of the IEM for holding the components. The BA driver in side are perfectly placed at the place, while the wire inside are well organized. There are two sound bore in the IEM, with a metal filter at the nozzle part for prevent the dust. The 2 pin female connectors are tight, and do not have sign of wear and tear after I swapped few times of cable.



The SA3 are on the large side and the nozzle are bit short, but it doesn’t effect the fits in any way. The fits on SA3 are really good, thanks to the semi-custom shell design, and it has above average isolation. The peoples who own the small ear may find out it fit really tight, but not the problem for regular size ear at all. There will be the pressure build up after listening for a hour.



Technical Specification
Frequency response: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
Sensitivity: 112 dB
Impedance: 13 Ω @ 1 kHz
Total harmonic distortion: <0.5% at 1kHz



I use the blue ear tips with stock cable run through my music library on the Fiio M11. The blue ear tips has fuller and forwarder midrange presentation follow by white one then black one. The black one has more balanced presentation, while the white one has more emphasis on bass, the blue one has more emphasis on midrange. The treble has sparkle and airiness on blue tips are better follow by black one then white one.


Overall tonality
The Dunu SA3 has close to neutral and slightly warm tonality, presented in smooth and engaging manner.

The bass is linear and close to neutral, with moderate amount of sub bass. It has moderate sub bass extension with quick decay speed. The Bass has average impact, rumble and punch, While the clarity and detail retrieval are really good. The Bass has good level of speed and control. It is overall clean and tight bass.

The mids is close to neutral and well balanced with slightly warm tuned. The low mids has moderate amount of bodies with good level of depth presented in clean and clear manner. The upper midrange has well emphasized with great transparency levels, it has good amount of bodies and presented in vividly and engaging manner. The midrange show really good levels of detail, clarity and transparency without sounding too thin or fatiguing.

The treble has good levels of brightness, but it never get harsh or fatiguing. The treble is smooth and well controlled. The upper treble has good amount of sparkle with average amount of crisp. The treble has good amount of airiness.
The detail retrieval and clarity are really well.

Soundstage and imaging
The soundstage has average depth with good level of width.
The imaging are really good, especially for its price.

IKKO OH1 ($139USD)

The OH1 has more sub bass and bass quantity compare to the SA3. The sub bass has better extension on OH1. The bass has more weight on OH1, and it has more impactful rumble and punch on OH1. The bass are warmer on OH1, While the SA3 are smoother and has better speed and control. Both have similar amount of detail, while the SA3 offer better clarity.

The midrange are more recessed and warmer on OH1, whereas the SA3 are more balanced and fuller. The lower midrange has slightly fuller bodies on SA3, while the OH1 are cleaner. The upper midrange has more lively but thin presentation on OH1, while the SA3 are fuller and more realistic in my opinion. The transparency levels are both pretty good. They have similar amount of detail. The OH1 has better clarity.

The treble are slightly brighter and smoother on SA3, while the OH1 are and more open. The treble has thinner and dryer presentation on the OH1. The upper treble has more sparkle and airiness on SA3, whereas the OH1 are less prominent here. The detail retrieval are both pretty similar. The OH1 has better clarity.

Soundstage and imaging
The soundstage are slightly wider on OH1, depth are better on SA3.
The imaging are better on SA3.

Final audio E4000 ($149USD)

The E4000 has more sub bass and bass quantity compare to SA3. The sub bass has better extension on E4000 with slower decay. The bass has more weight and rumble on E4000, whereas the SA3 has better impact and speed.
The E4000 has warmer and smoother bass, while the SA3 also has smooth bass but more cleaner. The SA3 has better control on bass along with better clarity and detail.

The midrange are both smooth and slightly warm. The midrange has more engaging presentation on SA3 compare to E4000. The lower midrange has more bodies on E4000, whereas the SA3 has more clarity. The upper midrange has more emphasis on SA3 and sound more forwarder. The SA3 has more vividly upper midrange, both are pretty natural in term of timbre. The detail retrieval and clarity are better on SA3.

The treble are more brighter and has better extension on SA3. The E4000 has more laid back presentation. The upper treble has more sparkle and airiness on SA3 and feel more open, while the E4000 are more smooth here. The detail and clarity both better SA3.

Soundstage and imaging
The soundstage are wider on E4000, deeper on SA3.
The imaging are better on SA3.

BQEYZ Spring 1 ($139USD)

The are more sub bass and bass on Spring1. The sub bass has better extension on Spring1, the SA3 has quicker decay speed. The bass has more punch and rumble on the Spring1. Where as SA3 has better speed and control. The bass are fuller on Spring 1, while the SA3 are smoother. The bass on both have similar amount of detail retrieval and clarity.

The midrange both smooth, but the SA3 has fuller and more natural timbre. The lower midrange has more bodies on SA3, whereas the Spring1 has more clarity. The upper midrange on both are push forward, but the SA3 has fuller and more vividly presentation. The detail retrieval are better on the SA3. The clarity are better on Sphttps://www.dunu-toring1.

The treble are brighter on Spring1 and extended further, while the SA3 are more smoother and fuller. The upper midrange on both has good amount of airiness and sparkle. The treble on both have good detail retrieval. Both have good levels of clarity.

Soundstage and imaging
The soundstage are wider on Spring1, where as SA3 has depth.
The imaging on both are similar.

The Dunu SA3 are well build IEM with unique looking, especially for the price range. The tonality on SA3 is really well done, it has engaging yet smooth presentation. The female vocal is realistic and well position, probably the best for its price. The SA3 will be added to my top tier for best $100-$150 USD list.
Thank you for reading, HAPPY LISTENING!

Dunu official website: https://www.dunu-topsound.com
Dunu SA3 product link: https://www.dunu-topsound.com/sa3-detail



Last edited:
Vocal reference
Pros: Highly coherent tuning
Remarkable vocals with great presence and spot on tone
Engaging and fatigue free treble with good extension
Very good instrument separation and precise imaging
Well extended sub bass with good rumble
Very good resolution
Cons: Leaner lower mids on reference sources means less engaging presentation with weaker bass line (SA3 sound much more engaging with beefier sources!)
Product Page : https://www.dunu-topsound.com/sa3-detail
Price : 139$​

Fit, Build & Isolation
The SA3 shell are made of a transparent blue lightweight 3D printed biocompatible photopolymer resin. The shell is a bit surprisingly bigger than the 6 drivers SA6, and is ergonomically shaped with a metal grille to protect the bore.

The SA3 feature a 2pin 0.78 connector which the choice Dunu made for all Studio IEMs in the lineup. As usual with Dunu the SA3 comes with a nice 27 AWG kevlar-reinforced, high purity silver plated OFC with a (fixed) 3.5 termination (as opposed to the SA6 interchangeable plug system).

The cable is supple and nice to wear and of high quality for an entry level IEM.


Dunu is a well established brand in the audiophile world, which started as an OEM for famous brands. Since 2014, Dunu builds its own IEM and now has a fairly complete lineup of dynamic and hybrid IEMs (Titan series, DN series, DK series and the flagship Luna I reviewed recently) but until the launch of the Studio series with SA3 and SA6, no full BA IEMs.

The Studio series is a totally new lineup and the SA3 targets a new market segment with an entry level reference tuned 3 BA IEM.

I was curious to see how the first Studio series IEM sound, let’s check this out!


From the very first second listening to SA3 it’s clear that Dunu has built a reference IEM with subtle touches. The SA3 sound very clean, articulate and fast with no particular emphasis on any part of the range with the notable exception of a clear vocal emphasis. Background is black and totally exempt of hiss and the resolution is quite good. The soundstage features very good width but average height and depth but is very good considering the price range. The stage is coherent and imaging is very precise with good layering.

Now, let’s dive a bit deeper!

Bass is quick and clean with a snappy attack and quick decay, ranging from a bit lean and dry (DX160) to just north of neutral and more organic (Lotoo PAW S1).

Sub bass is well extended and for a BA a fairly impressive rumble, I didn’t expect this out of the SA3 but given the shell size and what I can see I’d say the balanced armature driver is on a bigger side which in my experience does help.

Relatively to the sub bass, the mid bass presence is lesser and I felt myself wanting for a bit more slam there out of the DX160. Switching to the Lotoo PAW S1 there is quite a bit more mid bass presence with more power to the bass line with better toe tapping factor. The AAW Capri DAC/cable for the iPhone fell somewhere in between the leaner mid bass of the DX160 and the fatter ones of the PAW S1. On the flipside the SA3 packs very nice detail and impeccable control as well as excellent speed.

The mids are on the leaner side out of DX160 with a slight lower mids dip for clarity but not so much that it would sound hollow or thin.

Again the source affected how I heard the SA3 and the Lotoo PAW S1 is adding just a little more lower mids presence which makes the SA3 fuller bodied, straying from the pure reference presentation of the DX160 but I feel the S1 is more natural sounding. The AAW Capri cable again fell somewhere in between the DX160 and PAW S1. The upper mids are consistent across sources and the SA3 sounds very articulate with good separation of instruments and nice bite with a safe tuning and no peaks.

Vocals are remarkable on the SA3, as I hinted above there is a clear vocal emphasis and vocal stand out with great vocal presence and a very faithful tone as well as plenty of detail. Female vocals convey good nuances and emotion with a slightly sweeter twist on the PAW S1, and male power have good power on the PAW S1 but can be lacking there with the DX160 lacking a bit of body.

The SA3 treble is a display of a well mastered tuning : it packs enough lower treble energy to be exciting and engaging yet is neither agressive nor fatiguing. I found the lower treble tone to be spot on and unlike bass and mids, unaffected by source.

The upper treble on the flipside was significantly better on the DX160 with better extension and more presence with airier and more refined presentation. The DX160 retrieves more detail and shows what the SA3 is capable of there and I was very pleased by its performance. Combined with its black background the SA3 exhibits very good resolution and even more so considering the price point.


The launch of a new lineup is always a very exciting time, and I looked at the Studio series launch with anticipation. After a fun acclaimed hybrid range and a stunning dynamic driver flagship, what would Dunu do with all BA IEMs with a reference tuning?

If you’ve read my SA6 review you know I loved it’s reference tuning with its beautiful organic touch. The SA3 is a purer reference with a clear and beautifully done vocal emphasis. I must say I love how complimentary the Studio series is to the DK Line.

If you’re looking for an engaging entry level reference IEM with solid technical foundations and an emphasis on vocals, along with good sub bass extension and rumble then the SA3 should definitely be on your list! If you want a more organic take and can afford mid tier pricing then check out the SA6.

Listening notes
I spent approximately 20 hours with the SA3, listening on iBasso DX160, Lotoo PAW S1 using the stock cable and also the AAW Capri lightning cable out of the iPhone.

Special Thanks
Thanks to Kevin at Dunu for providing a review unit of the SA3. As usual, this review is my honest opinion. No incentive was given for a favorable review.

  • Three Sets of Ear Tips (S/M/L each)
  • Cleaning Loop
  • Blue Leatherette Carry Case
  • Specifications
  • Frequency Response: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 112 dB
  • Impedance: 13 Ω @ 1 kHz
  • Cable Connector: 2-Pin (0.78 mm)
  • Cable Material: 27 AWG Kevlar-Reinforced, High-Purity Silver-Plated OFC
  • Cable Resistance / Capacitance: 0.5 Ω / 300 pF (max.)


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