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Dunu TITAN 1 — titanium-coated diaphragm earphones

Rating:
4.62121/5,
  1. cleg
    Perfect "half in-ear" earphones
    Written by cleg
    Published Jan 7, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - comfort, build quality, transparency, details, lows
    Cons - highs can be too much for somebody, good source required
    New earphones from Dunu are allways interesting, but earphones with brand new titanium diaphragm driver is even more interesting.

    • Driver: 13mm Titanium Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
    • Impedance:16Ω
    • Sensitivity: 90+- 2dB
    • Reproduction Frequency: 20Hz-30kHz
    • Cable Length: 1.2m
    • Plug: 3.5mm Stere Mini
    • Weight: 18g

    2Box.jpg
    So, some brief impressions about Titan 1 from me.

    3InsideBox.jpg
    As usual for Dunu — perfect box and accessories set. You'll get everything you can imagine: case, 6.3 mm adapter, lots of tips, providing different sound signature. Titan 1 box looks much more expensive then real cost of this earphones.

    9Fullview.jpg
    T1 are very comfortable, they looks like simple earbuds but with nozzles to guide sound into your ears. This is the perfect shape for earphones with big dynamic drivers (13 mm for Titan 1).

    11WithQLS360again.jpg
    Build quality is outstanding. Dunu Topsound have great experience both in OEM market, and making own earphones, so Titan 1 have absolutely flawless build.

    1MainPic.jpg
    T1 have low impedance and isn't really sensitive earphones (only 90 dB), so they require good DAP or amp to drive them properly.

    As for sound, T1 are really interesting. They offers more details than I've expected from single dynamic driver earphones, so sound is very clear and detailed. Lows are tight and punchy. T1 isn't fastest-bass earphones, but lows pretty impressive for me. Bass is nice controlled, and doesn't bleed to medium freq.

    Mids are detailed and emotional. Despite T1 having somewhat V-shaped frequency response, mids are nicely defined and have all details.

    Highs are nice for me, both in quality and quantity, but a friend of mine said that there is too much highs, so it can be person-dependent. Different eartips, supplied with T1 can help to tame highs a bit.

    From all sources that I have, most of all I liked T1 with QLS QA360 and Cantrance HiFiM8 — they are neutral, and allow Titan 1 to show themselves in the best way.

    For price about $130, Titan 1 is super-competitive earphones, offering both great sound and excellent outlook.

    I'd like to thank Dunu for opportunity to evaluate Titan 1.
      redfx likes this.
    1. getclikinagas
      Very professional product images. Great work cleg!
      getclikinagas, Mar 17, 2015
  2. Brooko
    DUNU Titan 1 – Innovatively Excellent ….. Build, Design and Sound
    Written by Brooko
    Published Jan 7, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Wonderful design and build quality, excellent sound - spacious, balanced (slight V), clear, great accessory range, value
    Cons - Designed to be worn down only (cable fixed so not easy to change this), isolation is below average (semi-open)
    titan38.jpg
    For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images
     

    INTRODUCTION

    My introduction to DUNU Topsound (over a year ago) was with their triple hybrid DN-1000, which rapidly became a hit with Head-Fi buyers, and was one of the first triple hybrid IEMs to show that top quality could be achieved at an affordable price. I lost touch a little with DUNU when Rocky left the company – so it was with great anticipation and gratitude that I was offered the chance to review their new Titan 1 IEM/earbud.  I just want to take this opportunity to thank DUNU (Vivian) for giving me the opportunity, and also to my friend Vic (djvkool) for facilitating the review samples and getting them to me.
     
    For those who aren’t aware, DUNU Topsound was established in 1994 originally as an OEM supplier to other companies. Since then they have developed their own branded line of high quality earphones, and gone from strength to strength with each release.  They currently have their manufacturing plant in China and head office in Taiwan. They now have more than 100 employees, and market their product range all over the world.
     
    The name DUNU is simply an acronym of the principle design points that the company strives to implement in their product range
    1. Delicate
    2. UNique
    3. Utmost
     
    I thought I’d quote this from their website, as it really does give an insight into what drives the company:
     
    DUNU’s full product catalogue can be found at http://www.dunu-topsound.com/product.html - and their products are supplied through their own storefront (globally) on Amazon.
     
    The Titans arrived to me over two weeks ago, and I’ve been using them almost every day as one of my portable IEMs – so I’ve clocked up at least 30 hours with them so far.
     
    Read on to find out my personal thoughts on the DUNU Titan and who they might be ideal for.
     
    DISCLAIMER
     
    I was provided the DUNU Titan 1 as a review unit from DUNU Topsound. I am in no way affiliated with DUNU - and this review is my honest opinion of the Titan 1.
     
    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'.   (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)
     
    I'm a 47 year old music lover.  I don't say audiophile – I just love my music.  Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up.  I vary my listening from portable (Fiio X5, X1 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > coax > NFB-12 > LD MKIV > HP).  I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5/X1 > HP, or PC > Beyer A200p > HP.  My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1 and Sennheiser HD600.  Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs - and up till now it has mainly been with the Fidue A83 or A81, Dunu DN-1000 and Altone200. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).
     
    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock.   I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock.  I am particularly fond of female vocals.  I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences.  I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880.
     
    I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher completely transparent.  I do use exclusively redbook 16/44.1 if space is not an issue.  All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line).
     
    I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences.  I am not a ‘golden eared listener’.  I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 47, my hearing is less than perfect.
     
    For the purposes of this review - I used the DUNU Titan straight from the headphone-out socket of my iPhone 5S, X5, X1 and also from the Beyer A200p when at work.  I did not generally further amp them (I did test them with my X1 and E11K), as IMO they do not benefit greatly from additional amplification (YMMV and it may depend on your source).  In the time I have spent with the Titan 1, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (break-in), and for these particular earphones I did not require much brain burn-in at all as I very much liked their sound signature from the very first listen.
     
    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience.  Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.
     

    THE REVIEW

    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
     
    The DUNU Titan 1s arrived in an approximately 170mm x 130mm x 50mm retail box.  The box “screams” high-quality product to me with s simple picture of the Titans on the front and accessory, contact, and specification information on the back and sides.
     
    titan01.jpg titan02.jpg titan03.jpg
    DUNU Titan retail box - front cover
    DUNU Titan retail box - rear
    DUNU Titan retail box - profile

     
    The box opens “book style” to show the IEMs, and on the inside cover gives some great information about the titanium transducer being used, and how DUNU have crafter it to contribute to the sound signature they were looking for.
     
    Opening a second inner cover exposes the carry case, some of the tips, and also the Titans themselves. The actual retail box is extremely well made, and very solid.
     
    titan04.jpg titan05.jpg titan06.jpg
    Front cover opened
    Inner cover opened
    Titans, some tips and carry case

     

    The carry case is one of the best cases I’ve seen so far for an IEM, and IMO an improvement on their metal boxes (used in the DN-1000 / DN-2000).  It is a sturdy moulded plastic rectangular hinged lid box (with nicely rounded pocket-safe corners) measuring approximately 90mm long, 65mm wide and 23mm deep. It has a catch/lock to keep it closed, and has a matt exterior on the rear and sides, and shinier plastic top (personally I’d prefer matt all around – better for both scratches and finger prints).  The only thing missing with the case is no internal pockets for spare tips etc – but I’m OK with that considering how pocket friendly and sturdy it is.  I love this case.
     
    titan07.jpg titan08.jpg titan10.jpg
    All of the accessories
    New DUNU carry case
    Interior of carry case


     
    The accessory pack includes 3 different varieties of silicone tips (all in S,M,L) – including some that look very close to the Sony hybrid type design, some more standard red and grey tips (again with very sturdy mounting stems) and some flatter silicones with a wider bore.  It’s great to see this option as it gives plenty of opportunity for the tips to meet your own personal sonic preferences.
     
    titan12.jpg titan14.jpg titan15.jpg
    Comparison old DUNU case
    Tips, adaptor and shirt clip
    Tips in profile

     

    Also included is a warranty card, 3.5-6.3mm adaptor, and shirt clip for the cable.
     
    All in all – a very good and well thought out accessory range.
     
    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
     
    (From DUNU’s packaging / website)
    Type
    Single dynamic driver inner ear monitor
    Driver
    13mm dynamic titanium “nano class” driver
    Frequency Range
    10 Hz – 30 Khz
    Impedance
    16 ohm
    Sensitivity
    90 dB (+/-2 dB)
    Plug
    3.5mm gold plated
    Cables
    1.2m, fixed
    Weight
    18g
    IEM Shell
    Polished metal

     
    FREQUENCY GRAPH
     
    At the time of writing, I haven’t been able to locate a frequency graph, but for the record I’m hearing a reasonably well balanced and very clear signature. I think there is a slight mid-bass hump, slight recession in the lower mids, peaks at around 3kHz and a smaller one at around 6-7 kHz.  This gives it an overall balanced but still slightly V shaped signature.  There does seem to be reasonably good extension into the sub-bass, and plenty of sparkle in the upper registers.
     
    Edit 22 May - Graph added from Innerfidelity (thanks Tyll) - as suspected, elevated mid-bass - good balance, and a slight V with an initial peak around 3kHz
     
    titangraph.png
     
    BUILD & DESIGN
     
    The Titan 1 appears to be extremely well made with a polished metal outer shell – very reminiscent of an earbud type shape – but with an angled nozzle designed to take an IEM tip and provide some measure of isolation.  The circular part of the body is 15-16mm in diameter, and designed to snugly in your ear with, the rear of the Titan shell against your antihelix, and the front underneath your tragus, with the nozzle angled forward into the ear canal.  It is designed to be worn cable down, and a ‘shallowish’ tip seal into the canal.
     
    titan26.jpg titan25.jpg titan23.jpg
    DUNU Titan rear of IEM
    DUNU Titan side view
    DUNU Titan front - nozzle and vents

     
    On the underside of the body is 11 vent holes plus there is also one more smaller one on the exterior adjacent to the cable. The right ear piece is designated with a red ring around the circumference of the main body.  The left earpiece has a blue ring.
     
    titan27.jpg titan28.jpg titan17.jpg
    Small vent near cable
    Red and blue rings
    Coiled Titans

     

    The nozzles are approximately 50mm long, have a generous lip, and have a pinhole mesh type of opening with 7 holes to allow the sound into your ear.
     
    The cable is a mesh cover from plug to Y split, then a smooth rubber from Y-split to each ear piece. The Y-split is metal with the top piece sliding off to form a cinch. The plug is a right angled gold plated 3.5mm plug, and is designed to be very friendly for portable devices.  No issues with my 5S with fitted case. The cable shows good flexibility, with no real signs of kinking, and has excellent strain relief at all the required major points (plug, Y-split and IEM body).
     
    titan20.jpg titan21.jpg titan22.jpg
    90 degree plug
    Y-split
    Y-split and neck cinch

     

    There is a moderately high amount of microphonic noise present with the upper portion of the cable – but this can be alleviated by using the shirt clip, or tucking under clothes.  In the next section I’ll also show you how I wear mine.
     
    One of the most simple but innovative designs with DUNU’s cables is the inclusion of the rubber cable tie actually on the table.  When not in use it sits unobtrusively close to the plug (I never notice it).  When you’ve finished listening to the Titans, simply carefully coil the cable and use the tie.  Simple, elegant, brilliant.  I loved this with the DN-1000, and it works equally well with the Titan.
     
    titan33.jpg titan19.jpg titan18.jpg
    Fabric covered cable below Y-split
    Innovative cable tie
    Nicely coiled cable

     

    So apart from the design to be worn cable down, I can’t really fault the design or build quality. A lot of thought has gone into the Titan – and this shines through for me.
     
    FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
     
    I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. This is often even more of an issue with shallow fitting IEMs. I initially tried the included medium and large silicone tips (wide and small bore), and whilst they fit OK, they simply weren’t to my particular preference. I did try the Sony isolation tips I have and they also worked OK. But my preferred tips with the Titans are definitely my trust Comply foams (T400s).  I used both large Ts and also medium T – and in the end the slightly longer thinner medium T400s provided both a good seal and superior comfort.
     
    titan29.jpg titan36.jpg
    Included wide bore silicone tips
    My preferred Comply T400

     
    Some may have an issue with foams attenuating the highs a little (silicone for me is definitely brighter) – but the Comply’s added length also provided me with an opportunity to wear the Titan’s over ear. This does put the body of the IEM hard against my tragus (as opposed to underneath it), and does make the fit slightly shallower still – but I still find it very comfortable, and it all but eliminates cable noise for me.
     
    Even over ear, they fit very flush, and are quite comfortable to lie down with – I have no problems sleeping with them intact.
     
    titan34.jpg titan35.jpg
    Worn as intended - cable down
    My preference - cable over ear (it can be done)

     

    Isolation is below average, but this is due to the extensive venting, which is what contributes to the Titan’s open and wide sound profile. You won’t be using these on an aircraft or in a car (at least I wouldn’t be anyway) – but they are ideal for walking where you still need to be aware of your surroundings. Also, because they are not full sealed/closed, they are ideal for exercise as I don’t get much in the way of bone conduction sound.
     
    The one thing I wish these did have was an i-capable cable option – as they would be brilliant for phone calls I think (allow me to finally retire my earpods). 
     
    So how does the DUNU Titan sound?  Are the sonics as good as everything else up to this point?
     
    SOUND QUALITY
     
    The following is what I hear from the DUNU Titan.  YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline).  Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my Fiio X5 as source, no EQ, and Sony Isolation silicone tips with the cable worn down.  For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the X5 was around 35-36/120 which was giving me around an average SPL around 70-75 dB and peaks at around 85dB.  I am hitting up to 50 though on tracks with better mastering.
     
    Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.
     
    Thoughts on General Signature
     
    If I was to describe the signature in a few words/phrases – I’d choose the words “balanced” (but with slight bass emphasis), “spacious”, and “smooth but clear”.
     
    I won’t beat round the bush, I loved the Titan’s sound signature from very first listen.  It really does tick most of my boxes.
     
    I’m finding the DUNU Titan to have a nice coherence between bass, midrange and treble – with just a slight V shape (mainly mid-bass emphasis) plus a bit of a peak at around 3-4kHz for vocal clarity.  There is another small peak (I think) at around 6-7kHz which is giving snares a nice flat crack and cymbals enough body to contrast the other frequency ranges. So far I haven’t encountered any real sibilance – the upper mids and lower treble are emphasised enough to give some great detail, but not overdone or splashy (with my chosen music anyway).
     
    Overall Detail / Clarity
     
    For this I always use both Steely Dan’s “Gaucho” and Dire Strait’s “Sultans of Swing” as there is a lot of micro detail in both tracks, and the recording quality for both is excellent.
    With Gaucho, the sax intro is natural sounding and very smooth, but definitely in the forefront.  Bass guitar is ever present in the background, but it’s not overpowering anything. Cymbals and snares are coming through very clearly, and the overall impression is one of cohesion.
     
    Switching to Sultans of Swing, and wow – this is dynamic and really enjoyable. Detail is fantastic.  The constant background sound is again the bass guitar.  Snares are crisp and fast – and Knopfler’s guitar is forefront and crisp – with enough edge to keep things lively. Cymbals again are present but not overstated. For my particular preferences, these opening tracks in my critical listening are very enjoyable.
     
    Sound-stage & Imaging
     
    For this I use Amber Rubarth’s binaural recording “Tundra”.  I use this because it’s a pretty simple way to get comparative data on sound-stage.
     
    It’s usually difficult to get a reasonable stage size from an inner ear monitor.  The stage is often quite small / close – with an average impression of space.  The DUNU Titan (because of its design) has a spacious and expansive stage for an in-ear monitor. It is also no slouch with imaging, providing good directional cues. In this track, the only detraction was a slight bloom on the bass (drums).
     
    I also used Loreena McKennitt’s “Dante’s Prayer” and the Titan gave quite a smooth and captivating rendition of this track. Once again the tonality of this IEM is pretty near perfect for me, and the thing that is taking a little to get used to is the distance sometimes with vocals and instruments (I’m actually turning the volume up a bit from time to time). Directional cues are again very good (the cello is where it usually is to the right, and piano slightly off center). Loreena’s vocals are sweet and nicely centered.
     
    In this track, the applause at the end is so well presented that with some headphones (HD600) I can actually close my eyes and imagine myself in the crowd.  With the Titan, I’m definitely there in the audience – it really is a strong point of the Titans.
     
    Bass Quality and Quantity
     
    I’ve been spoilt recently with impactful and good quality bass from my triple hybrid IEMs which I’ve been spending time with lately – so I was looking forward to seeing what the Titan could achieve with this new driver.  The Titan definitely has a little more bass than some of my more neutral earphones, and it does reach quite low (even with my hearing, I could easily hear 25Hz). Most of the time the bass is reasonably agile and well defined, but I have noticed the occasional track exhibiting  tiny bit of mid-bass bloom.
     
    Amongst my test tracks, one of the tracks to emphasise this was Muddy Waters by Mark Lanegan.  This blues rock track is quite dark and brooding anyway – and the while Titan handled the bass exceptionally well, the kick drum just shows a slight bit more decay than my A83. It doesn’t detract from the track though – and I really like how the gravel in Mark’s voice comes through.
     
    I wanted to see how low the bass would go in real music – so switched to Lorde’s “Royals” – and the Titan delivered – made it effortless really. Again there is some bloom from the bass guitar and kick drum – but I really think that some of this is in the recording itself. The good thing is that it doesn’t intrude into the rest of the spectrum. The amazing thing is despite the rendition of bass, the vocals are still crystal clear.
     
    Female Vocals – A Special Note
     
    I have added this section simply because around 60-65% of my music revolves around female vocals – be it jazz, pop, rock, electronic, or even opera.  I’m an unabashed fan.  For me personally, the sign of a successful IEM is how successfully it conveys emotion and timbre with my female vocalists. Other IEMs I’ve owned in the past had sometimes struggled with some of the artists I like – and this includes IEM’s like Shure’s SE535 LE (upper-mids on the SE535 LE were too forward/fatiguing with some tracks).
     
    By now I was expecting good things from the Titans – especially with its upper mid-range bump. One of my early litmus tests is usually queuing Agnes Obel – as some of her recordings can become quite strident or shouty if the mids aren’t quite right.  With the Titans, her vocals aren’t as euphonic as the Fidue A83 or Altone200 – but the magic is definitely there, and the cello also shows great timbre and tone.
     
    I then proceeded to play a medley of my other tracks from artists including Christina Perri , Gabriella Cilmi, Florence and the Machine, and Norah Jones. The Titan definitely portrays my female artists incredibly well – dynamic bass, sweet vocals, powerful when it needs to be. At times I could have just queued up more albums and strayed from my carefully laid out testing tracks. Stand-outs for me were Perri’s “Human”, Sara Jarosz “Mile on the Moon”, and anything from Norah Jones – simply captivating.
     
    Male Vocals
     
    At the other end of the scale sits a lot of my rock tracks. 
     
    The continued theme here was good bass impact, clear vocals, and nicely balanced guitars and other instruments. Unlike my Altones which had a quite recessed lower mid-range, the Titan’s still portray male vocals really well – and they don’t sound thin or lacking life.  3 Doors Down, Green Day, Breaking Benjamin, Seether – they all sound excellent and once again the vocal quality is superb. The more I listen to these, the more I’m sure I need to compare (A/B) these with my DN-1000s. The overall coherency feels similar. Another good sign with the Titans was when I queued up Diary of Jane (Breaking Benjamin). This track has a lot of guitar distortion, and can overwhelm some drivers. The Titan has no problems with it, and still manages to be clear and detailed.
     
    Time for my litmus test – Pearl Jam. And …. ding, ding, ding – winner. Great contrast, great tonality, and Vedder’s vocal presentation is spot on.  Deep enough to have timbre, but not dark, nor lacking body and depth.
     
    Genre Specific Notes
     
    Again for tracks, albums, artists – please refer to this list:  http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks
     
    Rock – Covered this one above. Very good. No problems with anything I’ve thrown at them so far.
     
    Alt Rock – First up (in my usual test rotation) is Pink Floyd’s “Money”, and the Titan delivers wonderful clarity and contrast. I do have to turn the volume back up for this track – but the presentation is brilliant. Again the overall balance is what really makes the track. Next is Porcupine Tree’s “Trains”, and again this is simply magic with the Titans. The bump in the upper mid-range really suits Wilson’s voice, and when the bass hits – brilliant! The dynamic contrast is stunning. No complaints at all.
     
    Jazz / Blues / Bluegrass – Portico Quartet’s “Ruins” is always a first stop for me when testing a new IEM with Jazz, and the Titan continues to take everything in its stride. The added sense of space really helps here as well, and I have to move on before I end up listening to the whole album. Again, key attributes are clarity, contrast, and a sense of dynamism.  Switching to some local Jazz/Funk (Sola Rosa) and boy does the Titan deliver on timbre and detail. The brass in this track is wonderful, and I’m sitting here tapping my feet with a smile on my face.
     
    Time now for some blues, with Bonamassa’s vocals and guitar being a favourite of mine. The DUNU Titan is really good with guitar, and this live performance is really compelling listening. With Joe’s vocals I can hear the emotion and again I’m floored by how good these sound. I also briefly spent time with Union Station’s “Dust Bowl Children”, and the banjo was more than aptly presented. Crystal clear, and clean.
     
    Rap / EDM / Pop / Indie – Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” was very good – crystal clear, and the bass was pretty good for my tastes. Plenty of thump. I really enjoyed this one, and I’m not the biggest rap/hip-hop fan (it’s the only album I have in this genre). Next up some straight Pop – and Adele’s vocals with piano accompaniment is once again stunning. As is Coldplay, and pretty much everything else I’ve tried today. I also tried Amanda Marshall’s “Let it Rain”, and this was a genuine “wow” moment.  This track normally has a holographic feel to it (must be the way it was recorded). The Titan is jaw dropping with the added sense of space. Quite possibly the best I’ve heard this track short of using full sized headphones.
     
    For Indie, I listened to band of Horses and Wildlight – and the Titans are an Indie lover’s dream – or more correctly this indie lover’s dream. One more – vocal clarity, contrast and cohesion – magic.
    Time for some Electronic / EDM – and Lindsay Stirling’s “Electric Daisy Violin” is another bit of  magic. The bass is thumping, the violin is clear and this track is so vibrant with the Titans. Little Dragon’s “Little Man” is equally as impressive, and any EDM or electronic music seems to work really well with the Titans. Lighter electronic like The Flashbulb is brilliant.
     
    Classical / Opera – I’ll keep this short as it is more of the same. Wonderful sense of space, dynamics, timbre and tone. Standouts for me were Netrebko and Garanca with the Flower Duet. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons was a pretty special encounter as well.
     
    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
     
    The Titan is an interesting IEM.  Despite its low 16ohm, it doesn’t have high sensitivity – so I am pushing the volume up a little further than I normally would with most other IEMs. But in a quick A/B between an amped and unamped X1 I haven’t really noticed a huge difference in dynamics. My iPhone 5S needs closer to 40-45% volume where with other IEM’s I’m often around 25% comparatively. But on all my devices the Titan is relatively easily powered straight out of the headphone out. If you have a really weak source you might have issues – I don’t.
     
    RESPONSE TO EQ?
     
    To be honest I didn’t try it.  I didn’t want to detract from the default sound.
     
    QUICK COMPARISON OTHER IEMS
     
    I’ll make this quick as the review has already become overly long. On the current Titan thread there have been questions regarding a few different IEMs (some of which I have), so here are my very quick (very subjective) thoughts:
    • Titan vs DN-1000
      Similar balance. Titan sounds fuller and more cohesive.  DN1000 is thinner, more bass. I like the Titan more.

       
    • Titan vs A71
      A71 is darker, warmer, boomier.  Titan is clearer, more balanced, more cohesive. I’m not a big fan of the A71 – so take that into account.

       
    • Titan vs Brainwavz S5
      S5 is darker but also a little hollow sounding – but still quite clear. The Titan is slightly fuller sounding but at the same time lighter tonally – more balanced.

       
    • Titan vs Altone 200
      Interesting. Altone is clearer, and bass goes lower. Depending on track the Altone can sound a little thinner – but this is the first one where I don’t clearly prefer the Titan. Biggest difference is in lower-mids and of course the sound stage.  Upper mids (vocals) actually sound quite close.

       
    • Titan vs Fidue A83
      I thought these might be very similar but vocals are quite different. A83 are a little darker and fuller + sub bass goes much lower. Titans sound lighter and slightly leaner. Both very clear. I like balance and presentation on both – and my ears are probably too much accustomed to the Titan now to be making a definitive call.
     

    DUNU TITAN 1 - SUMMARY

    Before I first received these, I had a couple of PMs from Vic and Luke (H20fidelity) – both of them suggesting that the Titan might be a good signature for me.  They both know my tastes well.
     
    titan30.jpg titan31.jpg
    Great design, and classy look
    Sound as good as they look !

     
    The DUNU Titan is an incredibly well designed, well built, and beautiful sounding “semi-open” IEM. It is relatively well balanced in frequency range, and has very good clarity for its price range. Its venting allows for a very open and spacious presentation of sound stage.
     
    The Titan will likely suit:
    1. Fans of a balanced or slightly V shaped sonic presentation
    2. People who value clarity
    3. People who do not need high levels of isolation
     
    The Titan May not suit anyone who:
    1. Requires high isolation
    2. Prefers a darker, warmer, smoother presentation
    3. Does not like wearing IEMs cable down (unless you can adapt like I did)
     
    At a current probable retail price of USD 125-150, the Titan represents an incredible bargain in my opinion, and despite having the A83, I will continue to use these regularly.
     
    A common summary question I ask myself is would I buy these, and would I recommend them to friends or family.  The answer is a resounding yes.
     
    At this price point, along with my A83, the DUNU Titan would be the best IEM I have heard (for my tastes) in the last 12 months.
     
    Once again I’d like to thank Vivian at DUNU and Vic for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
     
    RECOMMENDATIONS TO DUNU
     
    It really is hard to recommend any changes – these are simply “that good”.  If there is anything I would like though, it would be the ability to wear them “properly” with the cable over ear. I realise this is unlikely, so at some stage I will probably simply reterminate them and swap the ear pieces.
      daduy, earfonia, djvkool and 9 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. DrSHP
      thanks for your great review.i am using fiio x3k plus fiio ex1( dunu titan1) and they are wonderfull.
      i do not use my other headphones after buying ex1.
      DrSHP, Nov 16, 2015
    3. jrazmar
      brooko, now that you have tried both the Zen 1.0/2.0, which do you prefer on pure SQ alone?
      jrazmar, Dec 1, 2015
    4. Brooko
      Two quite different earbuds jrazmar - and depends on hwo you personally prefer wearing them.  To those who must have foam (for comfort), no question - Zen 1.  For those who prefer naked - Zen 2.  For those who can wear either - depends on the level of warmth you prefer (Zen1 is slightly warmer).
      Brooko, Dec 2, 2015
  3. H20Fidelity
    A Special One indeed, Dunu...
    Written by H20Fidelity
    Published Jan 10, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Comfort, Detail, Soundstage, huge price to performance ratio, package, organic presentation,
    Cons - Due to design isolation is only average, highs can sound a little metallic if pushing volume to extremes.
    It was about a year ago give or take a few months I was introduced to my first Dunu product, DN-1000 hybrid and boy was I impressed at the performance it offered for $200 USD. As anyone on Head-fi would know the Chinese company Dunu aren't strangers to the portable audio scene and recently they've developed something new for us to check out, actually, one of many new products. So today lets take a look at their "half in-ear" designed and christened Titan 1.

    I must thank Dunu for the sample!
     
     
    DSCF3782.jpg

     
    Price: $115 from Penon Audio: http://penonaudio.com/DUNU-TITAN1  

    (Can also be found on eBay from other sellers)

    Dunu website: http://www.dunu-topsound.com/
     
     
    The earphones use a 13mm titanium coated diaphragm which apparently helps retain an energetic natural sound, it's a little different to your regular IEM design as the insertion is only 'half insertion' so to speak. Rather than a common in-ear monitor this Dunu product is designed to be worn half way between an ear-bud and full monitor (worn down). What this means is you're still inserting a tip into your ear but not quite as deep as your commonly found IEM, (Dunu DN-1000) for example.
     
    Specs:
     
     
    Type
    Single dynamic driver inner ear monitor
    Driver
    13mm dynamic titanium “nano class” driver
    Frequency Range
    10 Hz – 30 Khz
    Impedance
    16 ohm
    Sensitivity
    90 dB (+/-2 dB)
    Plug
    3.5mm gold plated
    Cables
    1.2m, fixed
    Weight
    18g
    IEM Shell
    Polished metal

     
     
     
    Virtual unboxing:

    The carton your new toy arrvies in is well thought out giving a real feeling of gratification as you get through the wrapping. Its very much comparable to Beats by Dre experience with the heavy cardboard box and door / flaps that open outwards. I actually like the layout, especially some of the included information presented. It shows Dunu care about the presentation of their products and for the price of just $115 roughly this stands out being one of the best packaging experiences I've seen.
     
     
     
     
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    Design / Build / comfort / Isolation:
     
    The housings themselves are quite sturdy made from polished metal, they look the piece too with their almost mirror finish, its the kind of end result in person that shimmers or sparkles when the right light angle hits it, this might be a plus or a minus for you but rest assured in person they certainly look the part. Each housing weights approx 4.4 grams (with no tip)  so Dunu managed to keep the weight down whilst containing these huge 13mm drivers.
     
    That's one thing about this design, because of the concept you're able to fit a large dynamic driver into the housing which is a good thing for increasing head-stage and sound properties. You can see where Dunu were going with the concept all along. Whether it be to fit the large drivers or comfort which we'll talk about later, the entire design simply works.

    Rubber strain reliefs, as you'll see below are quite long and sturdy, the cable has been sheathed, everything's been thought out well to cover any missing pieces. Even the jack with its chrome plated appearance will stand the test of time. So much so, I found it quite hard to fault any of the build on this product.

    Let's not forget that sheathed cable below the Y-spilt once again which really makes the cable feel durable, you won't be stretching or breaking it in a hurry with this statement - it just feels very strong, robust and firm below the Y-Spilter.
     
    Moving onto comfort, due to the design they're incredibly pleasing to wear. One can lay on their side in bed if they wish, the housings once sealed naturally become invisible to feel, this is a great thing in conjunction with the soundstage we're going to speak about later as there's nothing better than not feeling an IEM in your ear whilst music is all around you. Higher the comfort better the experience you're going to have focusing on music and this is one very strong area of Dunu Titan.

    Isolation, one would think due to the half in-ear design and venting that isolation is terrible well, not the case. Whilst you're able to have a conversation and possibly hear cars passing you in the street the level of isolation is more than acceptable. Of course, you shouldn't expect the world to be blocked out but one might just be surprised, I know I was.
     
     
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    Accessories:
     
    Included in Titan 1 package is quite an assortment of tips and a nice carry case, not much as we've seen with the Dunu DN-1000 packaging last year but that to some extent was a little overkill for anyone. For those unaware DN-1000 package came with so many tips and little assortments it was kind of overwhelming but very welcome from Dunu in the long run and user experience. This time round they've supplied 3 different types of tips, one really nice hard clip shut carry case, a shirt clip and 3.5 - 6.3 adapter. So toned it down fractionally.

    Let's take a look at the tips first, adapter and shirt clip.
     
    As you can see there's a set of Sony hybrid clones in S/M/L (this is what I use by default on Titan 1)
     
     There's also another strange looking set with a flush front and some red core tips (which are different from Heir tips btw)
     
    DSCF3786.jpg
     

    Last but not least the excellent hard plastic carry case which simply screams a much welcomed feature, its perfect size for storing your product, also able to keep in your pocket. So many companies have their own little bizarre concept on carry cases, most of which look great but don't really serve their purpose correctly. I can see this time round not only does the case look the part, remain strong and sturdy its also small enough to simply slide in a shirt pocket with room to spare.
     
     
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    Sound Quality:
     
     
    Most of my listening was done during this review lead up with Cowon J3 running 16/44 FLAC files. I have other DAPs here that worked quite well such as FiiO X1, iPod Touch 4G, Cowon iAudio 9, Sansa Clip Zip, Colorfly C3, practically any source will drive Titan with its 16ohm impedance however for me the main pairing was Cowon J3.
     
     
    DSCF3796.jpg
     

    In a nutshell:

    in the nut of a shell Titan's sound leans towards being slightly bright and semi-analytical, its tuning isn't terribly far from neutral but does lean toward having a slight emphasis in the upper regions which makes it sound quite clean, clear and high in detail, clarity. The bass is a fraction forward but nothing to really mention in regards to taking any control over the presentation. Whilst the treble is quite shimmery and a little strident at times this is really only if you lift the volumes to extremely high levels or listen to poorly mastered tracks in the high end. Timbre is also quite natural and the entire presentation leans towards quite an organic one due to the dynamic diaphragm with impressive soundstage.
     
    Let's find out more though.


    Bass:

    Like I said above the bass on Titan isn't really forward but does a good job showing presence if the track requires, its one of those cases you've probably heard before where a low end tends to behave itself only coming out to play when called upon. Texture and clarity are good and does a fine job staying away from the mid-range. I've come to hear the bass leaning into sub-bass territory regions than mid-bass so there's no bloating or clouding into the lower-mids, just very clean right through and quite accurate for the price range.  Would it be for a bass-head? Hmm, probably not though not a bass light earphone by any means.
     
     
    Mids:

    At the heart is where the real magic occurs, the mids are very detailed for this price, whether it be the tilt in tonality helping Titan be revealing I can say confidently this product exhibits more detail than my Vsonic GR07 MK2, (which I do enjoy), the timbre is natural has good presence but sounds a little thinner than usual, like we said above the tonality makes Titan sound quite analytical to an extent and the note weight is a contrast of this. I especially think the mids are well suited to female vocals, acoustic, but not limited to EDM, or ambient music, it can also pull off Jazz very easily. So really the genre question can be tailored for anything with this earphone.

    I must double express the detail levels especially in the upper mid-range are very high on this earphone for its price, you won't find many others that can perform at this level in detail retrieval so smoothly. Its certainly a stand out feature and one that shouldn't be ignored for anyone looking at getting the best bang for your buck!
     
     
    Highs:
     
    Up in the top end its well behaved with decent extension though nothing over the top  its not rolled off in anyway and certainly showing detail at all times. if anything sometimes it can sound a little metallic if pushed too hard, which gives the earphone a shimmery, tinny sound but this is quite an extreme from my testing, for most parts the high end of Titan stays in check and quite comfortable, so you shouldn't have any problems at all if highs tend to bother you. 
     
     
    Soundstage / spaciousness:

    If one word comes to mind its the word 'spaciousness'. I'm not certain how Dunu did it, whether be the venting, large drivers or design aspect but the soundstage on Titan is definitely a strong point also the head-stage is quite large (the actual size of each instrument or vocal) the image itself. I have no problem hearing samples cueing up outside either side of my ears and the amount of air due to the drivers tuning is quite high. Center channel depth is also very good hearing samples layer themselves way back through the stage. The staging is one strong point of Dunu Titan beside that high amount of detail we mentioned. Very very capable indeed and gives the listener an appealing, entertaining experience.

    Its an absolute pleasure laying down in the dark listening to some of my favorite albums with Titan, listening to instruments cue around me. Its worth the $100 odd just for this alone despite everything else we've talked positive about this product. If you're fan of soundstage you really need to check this out, something goes hand in hand with the comfort, air and staging which just screams a great bedtime listener. 

     
    Separation / imaging:

    More strong points, whilst the separation isn't strongest of all earphones I've heard I don't believe it needs to be, it does a good job, never smears or become congested. When you add the imaging on top along with this separation its about what you've expect for the price-range,  doesn't excel or fall behind. just doing its job whilst keeping everything in check. The imaging however does quite well as it has lots of room to space instruments out due to the large stage, placing each sample inside is quite easy. Let's not forget that large head-stage again which gives each sample quite a big image inside your head overall.
     
     
    DSCF3799.jpg
     

    Conclusion:
     
    I have no problem recommending this product for anyone, whether they're into high-end or mid-stream the beauty is Titan 1 manages to pull it all off for $100 and you really need not worry about the lower price once you've heard it. To me it meets that fine line where it does enough 'and some more' also one of those products that makes me think 'do I I really need anymore'. Not all products I review do this but occasionally one comes along where I think 'this is all you really need", Titan does that job perfect. Throughout the review I was trying to find faults and things to dismiss but the only thing I  found was treble and its sometimes metallic sheen if pushing Titan into extreme volume levels.

    In short, its a product I highly highly recommend if not for the soundstage and detail then for the high comfort levels and build it offers. A few years ago $100 (roughly) wouldn't get you anywhere near this performance let alone an entire package of such quality. So by all means go ahead and buy one, you can thank me later!

    ~H20
      svyr, Brooko, djvkool and 4 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. H20Fidelity
      H20Fidelity, Jan 10, 2015
    3. Ivabign
      Great review and an interesting IEM - did you try them with amplification? Just wondering if more power (Scotty!) would take them to another level....
      Ivabign, Jan 30, 2015
    4. H20Fidelity
      @Ivabign I've tried some brief amping using DX50 / JDS C421 and Tralucent DacAmp One. I cannot say they go to another level, if anything I preferred the sound direct from the source alone. It seemed to sound a little restriced with the amp but still nice overall. DN-1000 on the other hand amps really well with everything I tried. So, its not going to hurt them but there wasn't any dramtic improvment for me.
      H20Fidelity, Jan 31, 2015
  4. twister6
    A great example of thinking outside the "shell"
    Written by twister6
    Published Jan 19, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - excellent sound, comfortable fit, solid build quality, great selection of accessories
    Cons - poor isolation, semi-open sound leakage
    Before I start my review I would like to Thank DUNU for providing me with a review sample.  Also, I would like to mention that you can still get Titan 1 at remarkable $115 from Penonaudio: http://penonaudio.com/DUNU-TITAN1
     
    Nowadays not too many headphone manufacturers are willing to take risk thinking outside the box.  I guess when it comes to headphones, it's not an easy task to re-invent the wheel and still make it sound good, so it's more typical to see a traditional earpiece shell design (bullet/cylindrical shape or some modified "bean" shape) with a single or multi driver config using dynamic or BA or hybrid combination of both drivers.  But if "UNique" is a part of your brand name and design philosophy, you can expect some very pleasant surprises just like I found with my previously reviewed hybrid driver ALPHA earbuds or this new dynamic driver TITAN 1 hybrid-housing (semi-earbud shell with an angled nozzle) earphones from DUNU.  As a matter of fact, I don’t even recall auditioning another single dynamic driver IEM which in a blind test could be mistaken for a hybrid 3-way in-ear monitor.  The second I took Titan 1 out of the box and put them in my ears - I was blown away by a performance of this 13mm single dynamic driver IEM with a titanium coated diaphragm.  Here is what I found.
     
    Though I already have been spoiled with unboxing experience of DUNU Alpha earbuds and have seen premium packaging of other DN hybrid models, I was still very excited with Titan 1 box in front of me.  From a high res cover image to a detailed description of the design elements and the list of included accessories, you can see how much pride DUNU takes in their product.  Flipping the magnetic cover of the box open reveals more detailed info about these headphones and a display setting with earpieces, the case, and some of the eartips.  With DUNU, no matter if it's their $50 or $300 model, you can always expect a premium packaging and a very generous selection of accessories.
     
    Unboxing pictures.
     
    dunu_titan1-01_zpsca381979.jpg
     
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    Looking closer at the included accessories, you will find a total of 9 eartip pairs in three groups with Sony look-a-like hybrids (S/M/L), narrow bore red-core hybrids (S/M/L), and wider bore silicone tips (S/M/L).  You also get 1/4 adapter and a shirt clip which comes handy since Titan's cable has some noticeable microphonics.  Also, included is a very cool hard shell storage case.  With so many manufacturers using generic storage pouches or zipper cases, this one is a rather unique slim hard shell plastic case with a non-slip rubber padding on the bottom and a layer of interior rubber lining.
     
    Accessory pictures.
     
    dunu_titan1-07_zpsf63cad52.jpg
     
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    Moving on to a design, you will see a few common elements carried over across different premium DUNU models.  Starting with a headphone connector, you have a gold plated right angle plug in alloy housing with a rather long and durable strain relief.  From there you have a fine braided cloth sheathing cable going up to a common side of y-splitter where it also has a nice strain relief at the joint.  As an attached bonus, you will find DUNU's signature rubber cable wrapper which comes handy in cable management when you ready to store your headphones.   Y-splitter has a form of a slim alloy cylinder with a matching retractable chin slider.  Cables going up to earpieces have a soft rubber shielding and a decent strain relief at the joint of the housing.  As I mentioned before, there is noticeable microphonics contributed by this cable which you can mitigate by using a shirt clip.
     
    Shells itself look like a piece of art.  They have all premium quality metal alloy body and a color-coded accent ring (red for the right side), though there is also metal etching with L/R marking.  Looking from the back you can mistake it for a typical earbud design, but once you flip it to the other side - you will see a short angled nozzle.  For me it was a perfect arrangement since I have a rather wide and shallow ear canal opening and inner-ear which can't accept earbuds.  Here, with a selection of red-core large hybrid tips, I was able to get a perfect seal which yielded an excellent bass quantity!  Furthermore, on the inner side of the earbud disc you have a total of 11 air vents which contribute to an amazing soundstage at a price of a very noticeable sound leakage to the point where Titans sound like semi-open IEMs.  In my opinion, it's a small price to pay for such a great sound performance.
     
    Overall fitment was excellent, very comfortable, and hardly even noticeable due to a rather lightweight metal housing.  Shells were not sticking out of my ears by too much, and headphones were sitting comfortably flush, to the point where I was able to lie down with my ear facing the pillow without being pocked.  Of course, YMMV since we all have different inner-ear anatomy.
     
    Design detail pictures.
     
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    I started this review with a bold statement that in a blind test you can mistake Titans for a hybrid driver IEM.  Typically it's not an easy task to achieve a wide dynamic tuning with a decent bass performance and detailed presentation of high frequencies utilizing a single dynamic driver.  Thus you either have to look for ultra wide bandwidth drivers, like those found in DITA Answer, or settle for a partitioned hybrid design with a mix of dynamic and BA drivers.  In case of Titan 1, DUNU was able to tweak a tuning of their single titanium driver, creating what appears to my ears as a v-shaped cut in lower mids separating bass and upper mids/treble to achieve such “hybrid” separation.
     
    From what I’m hearing, I found the sound of DUNU Titan 1 to have a smooth bright detailed tuning (approaching analytical level) with a noticeable bass emphasis, definitely north of neutral.  The lows and highs balance each other quite nicely, and you have a decent separation of instruments and vocals with an impressive imaging/position.  Also as I mentioned before, soundstage is wide and airy and feels like a performance from semi-open headphones.
     
    In more details, bass has a nice extension with a rather polite level of sub-bass rumble (comes out to play more only when called upon) and a fast mid-bass punch.    Bass is well controlled, no sign of spillage into lower mids.  Mids are very clean and detailed, but not peaky or harsh.  They do sound a bit thin due to a leaner lower mids, but overall tonality is quite organic which shows itself extremely well in presentation of vocals.  Treble is bright and crisp, but not too bright or harsh, more on a smooth side.  Obviously, not even a sign of sibilance.
     
    I know, some might ask, can it stack up to "real" hybrids?  It definitely leaves my recently reviewed TTPOD T2 in the dust where Titan has a better extension of lower end, a much better retrieval of details in upper mids/treble, and wider soundstage.  I also enjoyed it more than Altone 200, where Altone has a deeper bass impact and its higher frequencies are much brighter and harsher in comparison to Titan.  It also has an advantage over some other dual hybrids like AX-35 and DGS100 where those had either too much bass bloat with not so clear low end or more veiled upper mids.  In comparison to A83, Titan took a step back where it wasn't able to keep up with Fidue's deeper sub-bass, fuller body more natural mids, and slightly improved soundstage, though you have to keep in mind A83 is almost 3x the price of Titans.
     
    In conclusion, I was very impressed with a performance and a design of DUNU Titan 1 headphones.  Everything from a durable build quality to the amount of included accessories, from a premium packaging to a rather innovative shell design, and a single titanium driver tuning resulting in a sound signature with a balance of smooth analytical highs and clear lows – demonstrated a true thinking outside the box.  The only downside remark I have for Titans was a poor sound isolation with nearly semi-open sound leakage which resulted in my wife kicking me off the couch because these headphones were "super loud" lol!!!  Also, its hybrid shell design combining earbud and angled nozzle might not be everyone’s cup of tea if you require a deeper in-ear insertion.  But if those limitations are not of you concern, DUNU Titan 1 is one fine in-ear headphones to consider!
      Light - Man and Brooko like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. twister6
      @Brooko :  Thank you my friend!  Likewise, a big fan of your review work!
       
      Oh, and I absolutely agree with you and hope people won't take it in a wrong way - I don't mean semi-open like DT880.  Perhaps, 1/2 semi-open would be a better amount of leakage :wink:  In no way should this be a show stopper because these little guys are phenomenal!!! 
       
      Another point about review style, I don't trust a brain burn in and found it playing mind tricks on me where on quite a number of occasions bright/sibilant sig IEMs all of a sudden started to sound smooth to my ears.  Then, you switch to another pair for a/b and get a reality shock.  That's why I get free air burn in out of the way, and do "burst" listening/testing, often switching between different headset to reset my ears :)  And of course, just as yourself, I have a handful of trusted reference tracks which I know inside out and always use for listening analysis.
      twister6, Jan 19, 2015
    3. mrmoto050
      As usual an excellent review, great pictures, very thorough.
      mrmoto050, Jan 19, 2015
    4. Paulus XII
      Definitely sounds like a hybrid.
      Paulus XII, Jul 16, 2015
  5. Zalithian
    Titan 1 - A Titan in sound only
    Written by Zalithian
    Published Jan 28, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Clarity, price, comfort, spacious
    Cons - vocals, edgy, lack of isolation
    I try to keep my reviews simple and understandable so I don't go into a large amount of detail with each part. There are others here that do an excellent job at very in depth and detailed reviews. I'll leave that to them.
     
    It's been a while since I have been involved in this hobby but occasionally I log into the site to check things out and message some people. Due to this, I haven't had any experience with Dunu before. I have only briefly heard of them when browsing the site. I logged in recently and had a message from Dunu offering me a chance to listen to the Titan 1. I'd like to start by thanking Vivan and Dunu for contacting me and giving me a chance to hear the Titan 1. I received the Titan 1 on January 19th and I have been listening to it as often as time allows. I've gotten acquainted with how it sounds with all the genres I listen to and I feel pretty comfortable with my overall thoughts on the Titan 1.
     
    Looks are first though. They give you the initial impression of what to expect. When I received my Titan 1 box it made me feel confident about how the Titan 1 will sound. The Titan 1 is well packaged, looks nice, and was easy to open. There are many assorted eartips which made is easy for me to find the right fit. There's a nice and slim little carrying case to help you bring them around. These IEMS are actually quite small for their design. They are much smaller than I expected.
     
    Now, onto the sound:
     
    First impressions - Initially I said that these have great clarity and a good sense of space. I also mentioned that these have bass that's a little on the lean side. I still agree with this today. They have a bit of a V shape but I feel like some of this is attributed to the overall distance and sense of space you get with the Titan 1.
     
    What makes the Titan 1 good?
     
    The Titan 1 is a very good IEM. There are some things that it does very well and would make someone want to buy it. First, the Titan 1 has a spacious sound with excellent instrument separation. I love listening to classical, OST's, jazz, and other similar genres with it. It has a big and wide sound which makes it great for pinpointing instruments, making things appear like they're coming from different places, and dealing with layered music where there are multiple vocal tracks, background vocals, or other things. Next, it has excellent clarity. The Titan 1 has slightly boosted treble and light mid bass. This, combined with the spacious sound allows for excellent overall clarity. While the Titan 1's midbass is not terribly impressive I find it to be very good for listening to bass lines, especially in lower-sub bass levels. I highly recommend this to people who love orchestral music, jazz, movies, clarity, and a wide soundstage. I found these a dream when listening to certain music genres as mentioned previously. You want details? You want separation? You want great lower bass? It's all here for you.
     
    What are some things that might turn you off from the Titan 1?
     
    As mentioned above, while the Titan 1 has great clarity, spacing, and lower bass I personally find that the mids leave a little to be desired. I would say mids are the main weak point of the Titan 1. There is nothing especially wrong with the mids of the Titan 1, but with the IEM's presentation it is not well suited to certain genres and music. One thing I always value in an IEM is the mids, specifically vocals. I love listening to really vocal oriented music sometimes. When I listen to that kind of music I would not pick the Titan 1. The presentation is too laid back for me. If you want that intimate feeling of a singer singing to you then this is not for you. While some IEMS put you on stage or in a small room with the music, the Titan 1 does not. It's more like an auditorium, comparatively speaking. Everything sounds a bit distant and this has the most impact on vocals. There are a couple more notable things - like the design. You can potentially wear these over the ear but it will depend on the person and personal fit. These are designed to be worn cable down. I prefer over the ear myself. The last thing I want to mention is sound leakage. Some people have apparently reported this. I can see how it may be an issue but I think it's "something to think about, not something to worry about" if that makes sense to you. If you are in a crowded library during mid terms and you like to listen to your music really loud then maybe you need to consider it. Otherwise I don't think this is an issue.
     
    If I could change one thing..
     
    I would change the vocals and make them a little more intimate sounding. Is this possible? I don't know. But if it were possible, that's what I would do.
     
    Final thoughts:
     
    The Titan 1 is a very respectable IEM. Dunu did a great job on this one. The price seems good for what you're getting. People who value clarity and soundstage should definitely look into buying a pair of these. They are excellent at what they do and come at a great price. I would recommend these most to people who primarily listen to instrumentally oriented music such as OST's, classical, jazz, and progressive rock (think Opeth - Damnation). For people who listen to music that requires a lot of bass impact like hip hop, dubstep, or vocal oriented/poorly recorded music then I would probably look into buying something else.
     
    That being said, everyone has different preferences and I always encourage you to try something over just listening to another person's opinion. :)
      DaddyMojo likes this.
  6. Dsnuts
    Outstanding sound and design.
    Written by Dsnuts
    Published Jan 31, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Solid design, engaging clear and precise sound.
    Cons - leaks sound like an earbud, cord tends to catch some static.
    51Il5bZi7tL._SL1000_.jpg
    Specifications:
    Driver: Titanium Diaphgram Dynamic Driver 13mm
    Sensitivity: 90+- 2dB
    Reproduction Frequency: 20Hz-30kHz
    Cable Length: 1.2m
    Plug: 3.5mm Stere Mini
    Weight: 18g
    Comes With:
    1 x Titan 1 Earbuds
    1 x Carrying bag for storage
    1 x 3.5mm to 6.3mm gold adapter
    1 x Gold plated 3.5mm plug and rigid alloy splitter
    Paste

     I would like to give a shout out to Vivian and Dunu-Topsound team for giving me an opportunity to review these earphones. It took me a while to get these properly burned in but was definitely fun to hear them along the way. Dunu does recommend that owners of the Titan 1 burn in the earphones for roughly 200 hours. I will get into what this does for the sound later but for now I have to agree 100% on this. These actually sounded fantastic out of the box. You can certainly hear their potential and their sound signature but to really get the Titan 1 Dunu wants you to hear. You have to remember these drivers have a titanium coating that make the drivers very stiff. Perhaps only second in stiffness to the carbon nanotubes JVC uses. 
     
    Dish type earphones are my forte and got me started a while ago with the MP8320 and various Audio Technicas  that use this design but these here Titan 1s to me was a complete surprise in many ways. I always thought Audio Technica's dish style earphones were always among the best in the category but these have come along to say otherwise. I applaud audio manufacturers that come out with something new. Something exciting in the much crowded field of earphone design. However design is one aspect that works only if the sound follows suit and these here earphones does just this. To me 2015 so far has been all about raising the bar. What do you get for that magic $100 plus number now a days?
     
    First there was Zero Audio's DuoZA earphones with their large but light pill like housing using dual drivers that is one of the best sounds for the money hands down. Then these Titans 1 was getting some attention. I can say with certainty not only does the Titan 1 hang with the DuoZA but does a few things better. I am a fan of both these earphones as they both have raised the bar on what to expect for your money. Both have a different tuning/sound of course and there for I honestly think both are worthy of your collection.
     
    So lets start the read. I would like to start with the design of the earphones and what you get in the package.
    011915183522.jpg
     
    Out of the box the Titan 1 gets a good arrangement of earphone tips, 1/4in stereo adapter, shirt clip, nice plastic case and very nice looking metal dish type earphone.
    011915184029.jpg
     
    The all metal housing has a very quality feel and build to them. In fact here is where the Titan 1 gets the thumbs up. The solid design of these earphones is quality. It would not surprise me one bit if these earphones lasted longer than your average earphone. The cord is a solid rubberized and while it does transmit some microphonics it is no more than average in the external noise category. For guys looking for absolute quiet, microphonics free sound these will not work for you. These are more of a semi open design than anything closed in but this is the trade off for the sound these have. These earphones are not a large earphone by any means. They are about the size of your average earbud actually without the thick foam covering. So while these certainly look nice and fit easy enough for your average ear shape, how does this design lead to a better sound?
     
    011915184053.jpg
     
    On first listen soon after I took these pics these had a clarity and a proper stage for earphones that I immediately appreciated. Nothing bothers me more than earphones that have that in your head stage and muddiness in sound. The first thing that caught my attention was how deep the treble sounded. A little bit harsh on open listen but I had a feeling burn in would help the treble get proper. And proper it has gotten. I mentioned earlier that there are a few sound traits that I feel the Titan 1 does better and while the treble extension and detail can be debatable regarding both of these earphones. These have a sizzle and shine in the treble region that not too many earphones can do. Looking at the treble and bass enhancement of these earphones due to the titanium coating.
     
    011915183336.jpg
     
    So what does this optimized difference do for these earphones? The raised treble and bass regions are right. However what one needs to know is that this doesn't mean harsher,sharper and a  peaky fatiguing treble with a bloated or bigger bass. The Titan 1s are described to be V shaped in sound, however after the longer extended burn in Dunu recommends, I can say it is more of a U shape in sound than a V. Treble for being "enhanced," I am finding a non fatiguing controlled treble range that clearly has some of the best depth, attack, shimmer and decay among single dynamics. I would have kept my GR07 if the treble was more like it is on the Titan 1s. 
     
    One of the best way to hear micro details in the treble region is how high hats are portrayed. Flat and one note these are not.High hat rides for jazz or rock music takes on a dimension that makes it seem like you are hearing BA levels of detail for the highs. Natural reverb from the drum kit which lesser earphones just do not portray is easily heard on these earphones. So it went from a somewhat strident with potential for a true treble greatness that actually went there with the burn in. As of today I am not hearing any grain or stridency at all in the treble region.
     
    Basically what the 200 hours of your time burning these earphones does is tighten the Titan 1s sound. The treble region as well as the bass while the mids actually fill out and come a bit more forward because the treble and the bass tightens and refines a bit more than on open box. I remember when I first heard the Titan 1 the center band of the mid section did seem a bit more reserved than the upper and lower regions. Today I am not hearing this reservation and this has helped out in the imagery of the earphones which is spot on by the way. One of the strong suits of these earphones how good the imagery is. Well recorded music with layers of sound that should be in a particular area of the recording are portrayed with ease on these earphones. The ability of the treble region on these earphones made me realize just how important treble is to the overall sound an earphone portrays. The treble lends to the overall clarity and tonality of the sound and while these earphones have a tonality that leans more toward neutrality another aspect that separates these earphones is the full bodied bass region. 
     
    Bass to me is just as important to the overall sound while the mids portray most of what we hear in an particular tune the bass end of these earphones can be described as enhanced. But not in the way we associate, enhancement. When you guys read that these have extra bass. Does Sonys XB sound comes to mind? Bass is enhanced in the way that the treble is enhanced. The bass has tightness, speedy attack, well textured and comes warm and full bodied. Which if you think about it we got a mostly neutrally toned earphone in sound,  regarding the mids, while the treble has that shimmer and precision that adds to the clarity. The bass end has its own set of dynamics. Not only does it keep up with the rest of the sound. From memory every single titanium coated phone I have heard the bass had a HD quality to them. These are no exception. Bass that is enhanced in a recording be it for hip hop or pop music to rock  these let you know the low end was enhanced in the recording. Lesser bass enhanced earphones the bass region is always there meaning you get bloat when your music does not need that extra bass. You can tell the quality of the low end of these as music with no low end enhancement has. No low end enhancement. The ability of the bass end makes the sound of the Titan 1 versatile and has the type of bass that I would consider very solid quality. Sure there will be guys that say it is a bit much for a true neutral sound. I don't think Dunu was going for a true neutral sound from the get go. The ability of the warm agile bass lends to most types of music and stays away from other frequencies of sound.
     
    So what I am hearing from the Titan 1s is something that single dynamics do not really do, a clearer distinction for the treble, the mids and the bass. 3 separate tonalities. Bell like clarity for treble, neutral spot on imagery rich, clear mid section and a full bodied warm low end with great ability.  How many single dynamics have you heard that can do this?
     
    The mids of these earphones while taking a bit of a step back from the enhancement of the treble and the bass region is actually done very well. What makes or breaks a sound is how clear the mids are and the mid bands of these earphones not only have the clarity that is set throughout the overall sound but the imagery and depth of the mids are excellent. Vocals have distinct clarity in the region and while male vocals could use a bit more fullness, vocal and instruments natural reverb and depth is heard much like the treble region. Sound balance is key in stage perception and to me these have a wider stage perception and a bit if extra clarity due to the mids taking a bit of a step back from the treble and the bass. A truly balanced earphone will not get you what the Titan 1 does. If the mids were more forward in the mix here perhaps the clarity, perceived stage and imagery might suffer a bit.
     
    In the end, the duoZAs are actually the better balanced earphone and actually has the larger stage to do it, requiring a larger stage to do this.  But the Titan 1s has a one of kind shimmer in the treble region that make the duoZA sound a bit reserved in comparison. A warm full bodied quality bass end and imagery that is among the best for a single dynamic easily in the price range. Do I recommend the Titan 1s? Considering these earphones have handed the CKM series of earphones from AT their collective arses in sound. Considering this is one of the best sounds for the price. Absolutely..
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Dsnuts
      I know it would be easy to just start listening to them with lesser burn in. Do it. Let them drivers blast for 2 weeks. It will be worth your time. 
      Dsnuts, Feb 3, 2015
    3. waynes world
      Got to 200 hours of burn in on the Titan1's. I loved them from the start, and I love them even more now. Again, great review Ds!
      waynes world, Mar 15, 2015
    4. Paulus XII
      Definitely did. The 200hrs are indeed crucial.
      Paulus XII, May 28, 2015
  7. bhazard
    Who said two are better than one?
    Written by bhazard
    Published Feb 3, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent clarity, huge soundstage, huge value
    Cons - slightly sibilant
    Dunu Titan 1
     
    Dunu may not be a recognizable name in audio amongst the mainstream masses in the United States, but they absolutely should be. Based in Taiwan and China, Dunu has been making exceptionally good In Ear Monitors for some time now. The powerhouse DN-1000 along with the more refined DN-2000 have blown away and satisfied many who have tried them. Dunu’s combination of high quality materials, a plethora of accessories, and top notch sound quality have solidified them as a major player for audio enthusiasts.
    The Titan 1 is a bit of a shocker. Being a single dynamic driver, I did not think the Titan 1 would ever approach the quality of the DN-1000 and DN-2000. This IEM wasn’t even remotely on my radar, as newer doubles (dynamic and hybrid) and triple hybrids have been released or will be soon. A single dynamic driver at around $100 couldn’t possibly keep up with these… or could it?
    In this case, not only does the Titan 1 keep up… it sounds better than many multiple driver in ears, for $100! The SQ comes shockingly close to the DN-2000 as well, and in some areas, I feel the Titan is better.
     
    Specifications:
    1. Driver: 13mm Titanium Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
    2. Impedance: 16Ω
    3. Sensitivity: 90+- 2dB
    4. Reproduction Frequency: 10Hz-20kHz
    5. Weight: 18g
     
    Build Quality: 
    1. Semi open, ported metal alloy shell
    2. Aesthetically pleasing, strong build
    3. Titanium coated diaphragm
    4. Tweed + plastic coated non microphonic cable
    5.  
    The Titan 1 can easily be mistaken as an earbud at first glance. The 13mm driver is housed inside a sturdy circular metal casing which sits quite comfortably and firmly in my ears. The casing is ported both in the back and in the front, creating a semi-open sound. Isolation is not the Titan 1’s strong suit, and if played loud enough, others around you will notice and hear your music.
    The cable is half rope like toward the bottom, half plastic up towards the ears. Microphonics are near nonexistent, and the cable feels strong enough to take a commuter or athletes beating.
     
    Accessories:
    1. Carrying case
    2. 9 pairs of eartips (S/M/L)
    3. 3.5mm to 6.3mm gold adapter 
    4.  
    Dunu never seems to disappoint here. The carrying case holds several different types of eartips which change the sound a bit, ear size dependent. The quality of the tips are quite good, although my favorite to use were M sized JVC Spiral Dot tips, by far.
     
    Sound Quality:
    1. Exceptionally clear. Sounds more like a BA/dynamic hybrid.
    2. Slightly enhanced bass. Slight V signature
    3. Can be a bit bright at certain high frequencies. Certain tips solve this
    4. Huge soundstage. Better than the DN-2000 here.
     
    Titanium diaphragms are not new in the audio world. Klipsch uses titanium diaphragms in their compression drivers, and anyone who has listened to a Klipsch speaker knows it can be exceptionally clear and powerful, yet at times piercingly bright. In my custom built speakers, I had a choice between Titanium and Polyimide, and I went with the polyimide diaphragm since the Titanium was too harsh.
     
    I was afraid the Titan 1 would suffer the same fate… great clarity, but insufferably bright. Thankfully, this isn’t the case.
    The Titan 1 is EXCEPTIONALLY clear, not just for a single dynamic, but for earphones in general. Every note, every detail shines right through the mix. All of the instruments and sounds from complicated Thrash Metal progressions to pop vocal ballads are presented with near absolute clarity.
    Bass is slightly north of neutral, especially in the midbass. While not bassy by any means, there is a slight boost here compared to the more neutral DN-2000. With some slight EQ and Bass Boost, a thicker, pleasing bass becomes available.
     
    The mids may be slightly recessed, but much less so than you may perceive. Nothing is lost in the mix, although it is noticeable that the low and high end get a slight boost over them. No frequencies bleed over into the mids, which is one of the main ingredients of the Titan’s clarity.
     
    Highs were a bit troublesome at first. With the default tips, some high frequencies were noticeably sibilant and piercing out of the box. This is what I was afraid of with the Titanium. At this point, I decided to burn in the driver a bit and find new tips to try.
     
    I had a revelation based on my DN-2000 experience. I found the DN-2000 to also be a bit too bright with highs… until I added Comply foam tips. After that, I loved the DN-2000.
    It turns out that the Titan 1 also reacts favorably to Comply tips, and even more so with JVC Spiral Dot tips (medium size). These tips smooth out the peaks that I find harsh without removing any of the detail. While the highs are still boosted a bit, they remain engaging and non-fatiguing.
     
    The soundstage. Huge. Throw on a live concert, and the sound envelops you.
     
    All of this from a $100 IEM. Fantastic.
     
    Thoughts:
     
    It’s only February, and the Titan 1 may be the biggest surprise and value of 2015. Earphones under $300 rarely do all the things right that the Titan 1 does, and the Titan 1 does them for ~$100. Buy them.
     
    Thanks to Vivian @ Dunu for the review unit.
      jpguy likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Gandasaputra
      Dunu has became my #1 favorite brand after having the DN-2000. Definitely will get the Titan - my DN-2000 needs a brother. I don't find DN-2000 bright tho; I use the clear, 1k tips and sound all fine and dandy.
      Gandasaputra, Feb 3, 2015
    3. twister6
      Great review!
      twister6, Feb 4, 2015
    4. Ap616
      Good work bhazard!
      Ap616, Feb 4, 2015
  8. lin0003
    Another Excellent Offering From Dunu
    Written by lin0003
    Published Feb 6, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound Quality, Balanced Tone, Good All Rounder
    Cons - Isolation
    First I would like to thank Vivian for sending me a Titan 1 to review. Dunu is a brand that has crept into the IEM market with their multiple budget IEMs and their DN-1000 and 2000, both of which I have reviewed. Both of the models I have tried were on the bass heavy side with a crisp and sweet midrange and well balanced treble. The Titan 1 is a model that they have released recently and is a very unique design.
     
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    Dunu’s TWFK hybrids have been praised extensively by many members and they have grown on me tremendously. I had no reason to suspect that the Titan 1 was going to be any different, but keep in mind that those were hybrids whereas the Titan 1 has a single dynamic driver. Just from looking at them you can easily tell that they are very different looking IEMs. Whereas most IEMs adopt a more traditional barrel style or “Shure” style, the shape of the Titan 1 is reminiscent of an earbud.
     
    I am typically not really a fan of single driver IEMs, but there have been some exceptions and I approached the Titan 1 (will be referred to as T1 from now on) with few expectations. These are a fair bit cheaper than both the DN-1000 and 2000, being priced at $115 suggesting that it will be closer in performance to the cheaper $130 DN-900 and will be a direct competitor to the popular RE-400. So let’s go ahead and see how it did.
     
    **Disclaimer** These were provided to me for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
     
     
    Unboxing & Accessories
    The T1 box is nothing short of impressive for the price. It is one of the nicest presented IEMs I have seen regardless of price. The box feels very sturdy and hard, should be able to protect your IEMs in shipping. It looks fantastic, with the specifications on the side and details about the earphone and driver as well as the accessories on the back. Upon opening the magnetic flap, you are greeted with some more information about the features of the T1 and a picture of the frequency graph. It is very thoughtful how they have multiple languages on the box. Through the transparent film, you can see the T1s and after opening another flap, you are greeted with the T1, a few sets of tips and a very nice black case. Underneath that section there are more tips and a warranty sheet should you need it in the future. There is an adapter inside the case if you plan to use it with a device that has a ¼ output. There is a cable clip too, oops.

     
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    The T1 doesn’t shower you with a plethora of accessories like the DN-900, but it certainly has all the necessary ones. I loved the TF-10 style case that the DN-1000 had, but I did not like the DN-900 or DN-2000 cases at all. Don’t get me wrong, they were great, but just unnecessarily large and your IEMs would just flop around in them. The T1 case is much nicer, not the sturdiest, but nice looking and very practical. It is the perfect size and holds the T1s with no extra room. You can fit an extra adapter or cable clip if you want to. I really like the press to unlock feature; Dunu should use this sort of case for all their future IEMs. The cable clip is very useful and I found the tips to be quite good. I am using them with the medium size black and red tips. Overall Dunu does very well here as they have done in every other product I have tried from them.
     
     
    Design, Isolation & Cable
    This is where things start to get interesting. I have never come across another IEM that is quite like the Titan 1. They are “half in ear earphones” and I couldn’t really describe them any better. A single 13mm “nano class T-diaphragm driver” is in each ear. They do seal, but you don’t really feel like other IEMs I’ve tried. The round body kind of just sits in your ear like those old gen apple earbuds. They are certainly very comfortable and I can wear them for hours without any issues. The body is made entirely of metal and feels very sturdy, once again that typical Dunu build quality. There is a red band and blue band on the right and left sides respectively to indicate which is left and right more easily. They are have R and L on them. Overall this feels like it is a product of very high quality and is very impressive for the price.

     
    The isolation is obviously not going to be good. They are almost classified as earbuds and they do not sit deep in your ear at all. There are multiple vents that let sound in, which doesn’t help the isolation either. I would say that for an IEM they are probably the least isolating that I have heard, but they are definitely a little better than earbuds. I would recommend you use them indoors and not in any sort of noisy environment.
     
    DSC_0150.jpg
     
     
    The cable is one of my favourite, the cable up to the Y- split is clothed and very flexible. Above that, the cable is rubber coated. This feels very different to the DN-2000’s cable. Pretty sure that the cable is 1.2m. The plug is gold plated and has a serial number on it and feels very solid. The Y-splitter is awesome as well, made out of alloy and with a matching cable cinch. The strain reliefs on the plug, Y-split and the earphones all feel tough enough to last, but flexible enough to take the pressure off the cable. Overall, the Titan 1 is a very well designed IEM considering its shape.
     
     
    Testing Gear
    Although the Titan 1 is a budget earphone, don’t let that price tag fool you into thinking that it doesn’t scale well with better equipment because it definitely does. Despite this, they certainly do not need a great source to sound good though. When I got them, I first tried them off my Xperia Z2 and immediately they sounded great, but I found that they improved quite a bit with better gear such as the iBasso D-Zero MKII and DX90. A good budget player is the Clip+, you really can’t go wrong with that little thing. On the Sansa is sounds more punchy and energetic than with the 2 more neutral sounding iBassos. I’ve had that Clip+ for almost 3 years and it is still going strong lol. Anyway, back on topic I preferred the DX90 the most, I felt like the Clip+ was a bit too bass heavy so these sonic impressions are based on the DX90/Titan 1 combo.
     

     
     
    Sound Quality
    One area Dunu has never let me down in is sound quality I have tried all the higher end models in their DN series (900, 1000 and 2000) and all have impressed me with their sound/price ratio. So you are probably thinking that the T1 is a little worse than the DN-900 considering its price right? Well, let me assure you that this is not the case all. The T1 is one of the best IEMs in its price range and is more than a worthy competitor to the DN series.

     
     
    Bass
    I admit I was expecting a rather bass heavy sound before I heard the T1, but once I heard it I knew that this wasn’t going to be the case. Dunu usually have an emphasized lower end and I thought that this might be the case as well because of the single dynamic driver, but I actually found the bass to be rather neutral but a little bit heavy. Bassheads who love the DN-1000 because of the bass will likely not enjoy this as much as the 1K. The bass is very punchy, lively and very fast. I felt like the detail and control of the T1 is something that not many IEMs in this price range can match. There is a nice weight to bass notes, but zero bleeding into the midrange. I found there to be very good bass extension and I didn’t detect any sub-bass roll off; actually, I thought that sub-bass might have been more emphasized than the mid-bass which was interesting. You can really feel the rumble from some tracks. Overall the bass packs a solid punch, but not near the basshead levels that some may expect.

     
    DSC_0148.jpg
     
     
    Midrange
    This is where I fell in love with the Titan 1, it is simply much better than its competition. Its analytical yet highly realistic tone means that mids are exciting and detailed without becoming boring. Vocals sound remarkably alive and detailed, very realistic indeed. I feel like they might be a little pulled back, but it was never an issue for me. Back to vocals, where I feel like this really shines, female vocals are especially nice with a slightly sweet tone to them which is due to the slight upper midrange/lower treble “spike”. Despite the accentuation in that area, I did not feel troubled by it and found it to be a pro rather than a con. The amazing midrange extends to instruments as well, especially string instruments. I felt like the T1s captured a lot of detail that I really wasn’t expecting it to. However, I felt like it could have reproduced pianos a little better, they felt a little too thin for me, but I am really nit-picking here. The midrange may be a little pulled back, but it really steals the show.

     
    DSC_0145.jpg
     
     
    Treble
    The treble is not as upfront as common TWFK driver IEMs. Don’t get me wrong, it has nice extension, but I feel like there is a slight dip in the mid-treble region and as a result, the treble feels a little darker than it really is. I feel like the overall treble is quite neutral, leaning towards the warmer side of things and is quite detailed. I know that it might sound like I am putting this out negatively, but it is going to be a nice feature for many people. Keep in mind that I am a little bit of a treblehead and come from a HD800. Cymbals have a nice amount of sparkle to them and are very controlled. At no point did I feel like it was harsh, even at higher volumes. I know that many people are not as tolerant of treble as I am and will appreciate this greatly. Bottom line, the treble is very safe and non-offensive. It won’t really blow you away with its detail, but it certainly did not leave me wanting more. It is a very solid sounding IEM at this price point.

     
    DSC_0126.jpg
     
     
    Soundstage & Imaging
    This is another area that I was really surprised by. I I’ll go out and say that the soundstage on this little gem is the best I have heard on any IEM under $200 and not by a small margin. It really is expansive and even better than the DN-1000 from memory. It definitely destroys the DN-900 and RE-400, but more on that in comparisons later. The width is impressive and so is the height, but what I was really blown away by was how well the T1 captures the depth of the stage. This is something very little IEMs of any price range can do and maybe the Titan 1 does it because it is not like typical IEMs. Whereas most IEMs portray the music in a more 2D way especially at this price point, the T1 steps out of its norm and manages to show that unique depth into the music.

     
    The imaging is also awesome and perhaps this is aided by the multiple vents. Maybe this is a trade-off between isolation and soundstage/imaging. I found the imaging to be very precise and sharper than what I am used to and you can really see what I am talking about it you really listen to them closely. Everything is layered like the DN-2000 and it leaves many other more expensive earphones in the dust. Top marks in this category.
     
    DSC_0147.jpg
     
     
    Separation, Detail & Clarity
    The separation is good, but just short of some multi BA IEMS around this price range. It handles most tracks with no issues and even on congested tracks it doesn’t do too badly, but sometimes I feel like some instruments can be overshadowed by others. If you listen closely you can still hear them in the background, but they are not as clear as they are on some other models. It does quite well here, but not really a standout.

     
    The Titan 1 manages to pull off the feat of being fun yet very detailed. Despite the separation not being great, the detail is actually really good. Small microdetails manage to shine through, though obviously not as clear as some higher end IEMs. I tried out some Maroon 5 tracks on these which surprisingly actually has quite a bit of small details here and there and the Titan 1 handled them very well. The felt like something that costed around $200 and honestly they were much better than anything under $100. I think the detail on these is superb and definitely very impressive.
     
    Clarity is something else that the T1 is good at. Due to the upper midrange/lower treble bump that we discussed previously, vocals are a lot more clear than normal and instruments sound sharp and maybe even a little thin. I wouldn’t classify these as cold sounding by any means, but they are not what you might find as warm at all. Clarity is great on these and it is one of the long list of great things about the Titan 1.
     
    DSC_0146.jpg
     
     
    Dunu Titan 1 vs Dunu DN-900
    Naturally it makes sense to compare the DN-900 to the Titan 1. After all, they are from the same company, it’s like a little bit of sibling rivalry. Priced at $130, the 900 is a mere $15 more than the T1, which makes it interesting to see which one comes out on top. Starting at the lower end, the bass is much more prominent on the 900 and it will likely satisfy bassheads which may find the T1 disappointing. I feel like both are of very good quality, the T1 edging the DN-900 out to my ears and it really comes down to which sound signature you prefer. The midrange is a clear win to the Titan 1 IMO. The DN-900 is warmer and less detailed and doesn’t quite capture the energy the T1 does. Vocals especially are much better on the T1. The treble is quite similar, the 900 sound a bit more flat to me, the T1 still has that lower treble peak that gives it its trademark sound. The T1 is a bit more detailed and more energetic, I prefer the T1 treble. Soundstage and imaging is simply no competition and the T1 is miles ahead of the DN-900. The T1 is also more detailed by a fair margin and better with clarity and separation. To me, the Titan 1 is the clear winner in terms of sound, but if you need that isolation, the DN-900 or RE-400 might be better for you.

     
    Dunu Titan 1 vs HiFiMAN RE-400
    I’m sure that if you are reading this review you have almost definitely heard of the RE-400, it is perhaps the most widely recommended sub $100 IEM out there and after hearing it the reason why is very clear. It is incredibly versatile and seems to sound good with almost everything. So how does the Titan 1 challenge the RE-400? Once again, let’s start at the lower end. The bass is one thing that I just felt like the RE-400 is lacking in quantity and a little bit in quality. Mid-bass has very little punch to it and sub-bass has almost no rumble. The Titan 1 completely trumps it here and there is simply no competition. The midrange is a much closer battle. The RE-400’s midrange is very liquid and flat, leaning towards the warm side. The Titan 1 is similarly neutral, but its tonality leans the other way. It really comes down to a matter of preference between these, both are great in their own right. The treble of both are slightly towards the warm side, the RE-400 more so than the T1. Both aren’t spectacular in this area and once again it will come down to a matter of preference. Soundstage and imaging of the RE-400 isn’t anything special and the Titan 1 is much better and this is the case with clarity and detail as well. Both are awesome IEMs, I just feel like the Titan 1 is in another league in terms of overall sound, but once again, that isolation may prevent some people from getting it.

     
     
    Summary
     
    DSC_0151.jpg
     
    The Titan 1 is a perfect sounding IEM for the price point and it is unrealistic to ask for anything better. It is the most complete in the sound department in the price range by a wide margin and as far as I know, there is nothing that can challenge it. So is it the undisputed budget IEM king? Well not quite. The isolation is simply terrible so there will be no chance that you can use this outside where it is noisy, but if you primarily use your IEMs in a quiet environment and you have $115 burning a hole in your pocket, there is nothing that gains a higher recommendation from me. It eats the RE-400 for breakfast and is a solid step up from the DN-900. TBH, I actually feel like (from memory) that the performance of the T1 is closer to the DN-1000 than 900; that is really how good it is. No onto the rating. I considered giving these a 4.5 because of the isolation, but if I don’t give this a 5, than what deserves a 5; nothing is perfect right? It is an amazing IEM that is worth more than a look if you are in the market for an IEM. 
      jpguy likes this.
  9. thatBeatsguy
    Master of All Trades
    Written by thatBeatsguy
    Published Feb 21, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Unmatched sound quality at this price. Great build for daily use.
    Cons - Isolation and leakage are an issue. Very sibilant when used with stock tips.
    Intro
     
    Before I begin, I would like to sincerely thank Vivian at DUNU for providing the review sample of the TITAN 1 in this review. Please note that I am neither affiliated with DUNU or any of its employees, nor am I being compensated for writing this review (aside from being provided the review sample). All opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own unless otherwise specified, and all pictures are taken and owned by me. YMMV.
     
    Delicate, Unique, and Utmost – these are the three words that DUNU adopts as its philosophy for creating their IEMs. If you’ve been around the forums of Head-Fi for a while, you’ll probably know DUNU as a popular company based in Taiwan, manufacturing great bang-for-buck IEMs that rival that of top-end Western IEMs. This week, we’re taking a look at their latest release – the Titan 1. Early impressions and reviews state these are some of the best IEMs in their price range – how do they stack up? Find out after the break.
     

    ~~ Aesthetics ~~​

    Packaging, Accessories

    The packaging, I have to say, is pretty fancy for an Asian company. I mean, other Asian companies have packaging for IEMs that range from the ordinary (Brainwavz) to the blatantly frugal (Final Audio Design). The Titan comes in a solid box which opens via a flap on the right side. Specifications are listed on the left side, and some marketing babble on the back. Opening the flap, you’re treated to a tease of the Titan 1 through a small window in yet another flap. Under the first flap, you have a more detailed description of the Titan 1’s features in English and Chinese, as well as a frequency graph. The inner flap seems to be dedicated to someone named Max Barsky. Whether he’s affiliated with DUNU or not I have no idea, as the flap makes no mention of his connection to DUNU whatsoever. Pretty dumb, if you ask me, but let’s move on. Opening the inner flap, you finally have the Titan 1 in its full glory, along with some eartips and its included hard case.
     
    (Just a Thought: As fancy as the box feels, though, I can’t help but notice how the package is undoubtedly Chinese. Grammatical, typographical, and typesetting errors are here and there, the choice of font is horribly tasteless, the imagery feels shoddily plastered-on, and overall it just doesn’t cut it for me. I know I’m just ranting here, but that’s my opinion, so feel free to agree or disagree however you want; but…ew.)
     
    Taking out its contents, you are treated to a Brainwavz-like shower of accessories, with 9 pairs of eartips, a hard plastic case, a shirt clip, a 3.5 to 6.3mm adapter, and a one-year warranty effective from the date of purchase. If there’s anything wrong with this collection of accessories, it’d probably be that the opening mechanism of the hard case is a little worrying. Otherwise, no complaints here. Let’s continue.
     
     

    Design, Build, Microphonics

    The “D” in DUNU stands for “Delicate.” Though I can’t say that about their build (they’re hardly delicate), I can say that about their design. DUNU paid delicate and meticulous attention to the little details that adorn the Titan 1. Now, let’s start with the housings. If you haven’t noticed already from the pictures, you’ll see that each housing has a coloured metal ring in blue and red. These serve as very useful left/right indicators – a design feature I more often see on Western-branded IEMs. I’m pretty glad to see an Asian brand implement this useful detail, leaving something other local competitors could learn from (Brainwavz, I’m looking at you). Now, going down the fabric-reinforced cable, we have a rubber thingamajig hanging around below the Y-split. What is this, you ask? Well, to put it simply, it’s kinda like a twist tie, which is used to keep the cables together when you’re not using them. This design feature, now, is literally one-of-a-kind. Fellow audiophiles, let’s face it: what brands, aside from DUNU, utilize this rubber tie? Now, I mean, we’ve all seen twist ties supplied with IEMs, but what about the actual twist tie on the cable, always at the ready whenever you need it? As far as I know, nothing comes up – in fact, DUNU even patented the design (so I guess that means you probably won’t see that little thingy in other IEMs in the future…). As they say, “the little things often matter the most”; in DUNU’s case, this couldn’t ring any truer.
     
    The “UN” in DUNU stands for ‘UNique.’ Well, I can’t argue with them about that; the design of the Titan 1 sure is one-of-a-kind. I could pretty much say these are the missing link between earbuds and IEMs – and as you can see from the pictures, I’m pretty sure you would agree with me there. First off, the earbud characteristics: the Titan 1 has a huge 13.5mm dynamic driver in those housings, and as such simply sits on the outside of your ear canal. The IEM characteristics are the angled nozzles which form a seal in those canals.
     
    And finally, we have the final “U,” which stands for “Utmost.” And I have to say, they nailed that word square in the forehead. DUNU took utmost care to ensure the Titan 1 becomes an IEM that will last. Full metal housings, metal Y-split, metal right-angled jack – nothing feels like they’re about to fall apart anytime soon. The cable from the Y-split down is reinforced with fabric, which is a nice touch. The Y-split is a little scantily-clad, however, and I would like longer strain reliefs on the housings, but aside from that the build is great.
     
     

    Fit, Comfort, Isolation

     Being a semi-open IEM (or a hybrid IEM, if you will), the fit also stands on an interesting middle ground between earbuds and IEMs. I personally hate earbud-style fit with a passion – the large drivers press against my ears very painfully. However, this is not the case for the Titan 1, as their hybrid design allows the 13.5mm driver to sit comfortably outside the ear canal while the nozzle does the rest. If I might add, the driver actually seems to work like wing-tips like those I see on some sport-oriented IEMs (or the DUNU DN-2000), and actually help in providing a more secure fit. The Titan 1 is also very, very comfortable, and I could wear them for hours on end without any issues. However, their design prevents them from being able to be worn around-the-ear which I prefer.
     
    The isolation on the Titan 1 is much like its design – semi-open, if you will. It leaks a pretty good amount – enough for people to hear it play at normal listening volume in a quiet room. Its isolation is also pretty much the same – even with music playing at a normal listening volume, I could hear the clacking of my keyboard pretty clearly. However, this is only in closed-in conditions and doesn’t really reflect the performance I get when out and about. Using Comply T-400 foam eartips outside, their isolation wasn’t that bad, and the din of the city streets pretty much nullifies the tiny noise that leaks from the Titan 1, so in short, it’s not that bad. Silicone tips tell a slightly different tale, with worse stats across the board here, but otherwise it’s actually nice to have a little less isolation for a little more awareness outside.
     
    (Just a Thought: Early into the review process, I found that the Titan 1 doesn’t really fit Comply tips and other eartips with a wide entry bore very well. To fix that I performed a little mod which involves taking the nozzle of an eartip you don’t use, and cutting it down to size so it fits in the dent of the Titan 1’s nozzle. Make sure the eartip you’re using has a nozzle only slightly wider than the nozzle itself. Do this right, and you can fit wider-bore eartips and Comply eartips at your will. However, you will have to take the ring off to fit the stock eartips on.)
     
    [On Second Thought: The T-500s may not fit on the Titan 1 without performing a mod, but smaller Comply eartips like the T-200 do.]
     
     

    ~~ Sound ~~​

    Specs

     
    Headphone Type
    Semi-open in-ear monitor (straight-down only)
    Driver Type
    1x 13.5mm dynamic
    Frequency Response
    20 – 30,000 Hz
    Max. Input Power
    N/A
    Sensitivity
    90 ± 2 dB
    Impedance
    16 Ω
    Weight
    18 g (without cable?)
    Cable
    1.2m (4’) round fabric-reinforced cable
    Connector
    3.5mm (1/8”) 90-degree gold-plated TRRS connector
    Accessories
    Hard carrying case
    3.5 to 6.3mm (1/8” to 1/4”) adapter
    3x sets grey/red silicone eartips (S/M/L)
    3x sets black narrow-bore colour-coded silicone eartips (S/M/L)
    3x sets black wide-bore silicone eartips (S/M/L)
    Shirt clip
    1 year (12 months) warranty

     
     

    Equipment, Burn-in

    The source equipment used in this review is my iPod, iPad, and my PC, all running the Titan 1 unamped. For the EQ test, I use EQu (iOS app) and Electri-Q (on PC via Foobar2000). As always, my list of test tracks can be viewed here for reference, although I will mention a few songs in the review for a more specific point of reference. If a link is available, I’ll also link it below. The eartips used in the review are mainly Comply T-400 tips, as well as a few other sets.
     
    Prior to writing this review, the Titan 1 was burned-in for at least 50 hours (the actual number is actually over 100) with music, games, and movies. Over that time, I didn’t notice any changes in sound quality, so if you’re worried that you need to burn them in for over 200 hours, then rest assured. Before I go any further, please take all the following opinions with a grain of salt, as my tastes will probably differ a lot from yours.
     
    Anyways, without further ado, let’s begin!
     
     

    Sound Quality

    My impression of the Titan 1 at first listen was simply: Wow. I was impressed from the very first listen, so much that I spent a lot of time listening to them while they burned-in. They were that impressive. Let’s take a look as I answer why.
     
    Bass:
    To be honest, I expected very little to come out of the Titan 1 in the bass department, mostly because of its unassuming earbud-IEM hybrid form factor. But I had no idea what was waiting for me when I played my test tracks. Despite their semi-open design, they had a surprising amount of bass punch and extension which makes them great for bass-heavy genres like rap and EDM (Going Quantum - Raw). They are well-separated from the rest of the audio spectrum and have zero bass bleed that I could detect. The low-end also has very good control, speed, and a neutral tonality, which allows them to reproduce acoustic and electric bass really well (Daft Punk – Give Life Back to Music). However, the Titan 1 does lack the quantity that bass-lovers will be looking for (sorry, guys), but for me, the Titan 1 has me covered here.
     
     
    Midrange:
    I had very high expectations for the Titan 1’s midrange. I really did. It’s safe to say, however, that the Titan 1 exceeded those expectations with flying colours. Their midrange is amazing. Compared to the rest of the spectrum, they are slightly recessed – and you can notice this in certain bass-heavy tracks – but cue up some acoustic instrumental tracks, and the midrange takes centre-stage. It has exceptional clarity and a neutral tonality that reproduces practically everything in the book – from pianos to synthesizers, vocals to vocoders (Daft Punk – Within) – without fail. It also has very good micro-detail retrieval and isn’t as forgiving to bad recordings as a lot of other IEMs I’ve tried – this might not be a very pleasing aspect to a lot of people, but it’s a very welcome quality to me. Now, couple that to its huge, expansive soundstage and you have a midrange package that’s impossible to pass up.
     
     
    Treble:
    Now here’s where things start to vary on the Titan 1. Depending on the eartips you use, the treble of the Titan 1 can be painfully sibilant or smooth and snappy. Using the stock narrow-bore eartips, the sibilance isn’t as bad as I stated it is at first. However, switch to the included wide-bore eartips and you will probably see hear what I mean. A quick fix for this, though, is when you have Comply or other foam eartips lying around that you could use. The ones I use (T-400) really dull down the sibilance while still retaining the crisp, airy goodness of the treble. But as I stated earlier in the review, you will have to perform a little mod to fit the Comply tips in, so that will be another thing to consider if you want to use Comply eartips with them.
     
     
    Soundstage/Presentation:
    Oh God. Oh Lord. The soundstage on the Titan 1 is heavenly. Playing an epic orchestral piece through them (Cœur de Pirate – Metal Gleamed in the Twilight), the sheer amount of space really brings on a whole new perspective to the track – and I’ve listened to it dozens of times before. The air between each of the instruments, the layering, the imaging...the song simply comes alive in a way none of my other IEMs could ever achieve. And don’t get me started on pianos and guitars (Yiruma – Indigo). It’s simply breath-taking.
     
    But let’s pause for a moment, and get right back down to earth for a bit. Like I said, the soundstage is big. Very big. Bigger than the Brainwavz R3, which has the biggest soundstage out of all my IEMs currently (that is, until now). It’s also very airy, which adds a lot of space for instruments to breathe and really shine as I’ve also mentioned. Presentation and imaging is easily one of the best I’ve heard for an IEM at this price.
     
     
    (Just a Thought: The Titan 1 clearly has everything going for them, that’s for sure; but alas, my pair just so happened to have a slight channel imbalance between the drivers. The difference is about 3dB maximum [the right earpiece is louder], which honestly isn’t a huge difference, but a difference nonetheless. Most of the time, I don’t seem to notice it, but at certain times I do notice it, and when I do, it becomes a very glaring issue. I start to notice it very randomly, however, so there’s a chance it could be just me. But I still believe it’s a physical channel imbalance, which is most likely caused by a QC glitch or something like that. Most of that usually happens by chance, so I’m not going to start to complain about it.)
     
     
    Summary:
    I can’t really summarize the sound of the Titan 1 in 1 sentence, but I’ll give it a try anyway: The Titan 1 is one of the best-sounding IEMs in its price range – and easily the best I’ve ever heard so far. If you want me to describe it concisely, though, you’re out of luck if you’re too lazy to read the whole section. Apparently I’m too lazy to sum it up myself.
     
     

    Other Media

    Games:
    If my infatuation with the Titan 1’s overall signature is any indication, their gaming performance is currently unmatched by any of the IEMs I have in my collection right now. Excellent clarity, impressive soundstage, and pinpoint imaging all roll up to create one Titan of a gaming IEM. It easily blows any “gaming” ‘phones, headphones or IEMs, straight out of the water at this price.
     
    Movies:
    I’ve said this several times before in my reviews, but I’ll say it again – I’m not a very big fan of movies, and as such I don’t watch them often. In turn I don’t really have a very well-versed opinion on an IEM’s performance with movies. However, it’s not that different from music, so to sum it up, the Titan 1 is a very good IEM to watch movies with, with its impressive soundstage, depth, and control over the entire audible spectrum.
     
     

    EQ Response

    I honestly never found myself EQ’ing the Titan 1 while I reviewed them, mostly because they already sounded perfect to me with the Comply eartips. However, they were pretty responsive to EQ when I attenuated down the treble to smoothen it out.
     
    Apparently, the Titan 1’s gargantuan drivers are also capable of becoming basshead IEMs with some EQ. They ran perfectly fine with a 10 dB boost (boosted like so) without distorting one bit, so bassheads, you might still have hope after all with the Titan 1. These drivers are really, really capable.
     
     

    Value

    The DUNU Titan 1 is priced at a staggering $130 retail, but you can see it normally go for an even more shocking $115 in most retailers. Now, I know $130 isn’t staggering per se – I mean, even I myself could afford this – but the resulting price-to-performance ratio of the Titan 1 is. Having some of the most well-rounded packages for an IEM I have ever seen so far, there’s no doubt the Titan 1 is a bargain at this price.
     
     

    Comparison

    I found that, though the DUNU Titan 1 is pretty amazing when reviewed per se, their true value and performance really shines when you place them amongst other IEMs in their price range. Let’s see how they stack up.
     
    Versus Master & Dynamic ME03 ($160):
    Previously I crowned the M&D ME03 as one of the best – if not the best – IEMs I have in my current collection. Well, I guess his crowning didn’t last very long, as the Titan 1 very quickly took its place and now sits upon that throne. Though the ME03 still sound really good, the Titan 1 easily edges it out in terms of…well, pretty much everything. The low-end is deeper and has more rumble. The midrange is clearer, more neutral, and has a more analytical reproduction of instruments. The treble is, after fixing the sibilance, snappier, airier, and smoother. The soundstage, well...like I said, the Titan 1’s soundstage is currently unmatched by any of my IEMs. Ever.
     
     
    Versus Brainwavz R3 ($130):
    A fellow $130 contender, the Brainwavz R3 was a great IEM that held up to everything I threw at them – literally – with their top-class build quality coupled with great sound. But the Titan 1 is kind of the other way around – in short, top-class sound coupled with great build. Compared to the R3, the Titan 1 has deeper, stronger bass, crisper treble, and overall a more full-bodied sound. The Titan 1’s soundstage is also noticeably deeper, resulting in a more realistic presentation of instruments. I can’t make this any clearer: the DUNU Titan 1 is the winner in this matchup.
     

    ~~ Conclusion ~~​

    They say nothing in life is perfect. Well, I guess that’s probably true. But in the case of the DUNU Titan 1, it’s pretty damn close. The Titan 1 easily has one of the best – if not the best – sound signatures at this price, but in order to do that, it needed to make some sacrifices. Luckily for us, DUNU knew what sacrifices to make, and in doing so they created what is for me the best IEM at $130. Period.
     
     
    Category
    Score
    Comment
    Packaging, Accessories
    8/10
    Fancy packaging for a fancy IEM, complete with flaps, marketing mumbo-jumbo, a frequency graph, and an abundance of accessories. But who the hell is Max Barsky?
    Design, Build, Microphonics
    8.5/10
    A basic form factor, great build, and good microphonics make for an IEM that will more than hold up to daily use.
    Fit, Comfort, Isolation
    8/10
    Though its form factor makes you unable to wear the Titan 1 around-the-ear, they are very comfortable and should fit most ears without a problem. Isolation and leakage is a bit of an issue, however.
    Microphone
    N/A
     
    Bass
    9/10
    The Titan 1’s 13.5mm driver allows them to pump out a startling amount of bass, which is the right amount for stuff like EDM, yet retains full control and accuracy for more delicate forms of music.
    Midrange
    9/10
    The Titan 1’s midrange has exceptional clarity, a neutral tonality, and a smooth overall presentation. In short, It’s amazing.
    Treble
    7.5/10
    The Titan 1 is horribly sibilant straight out of the box, but with foam eartips that attenuate the treble, it’s just right for me.
    Presentation
    9/10
    The Titan 1’s soundstage is by far the largest I’ve heard in an IEM, and their presentation and imaging is equally amazing.
    Other Media
    8.5/10
    For gaming, I wouldn’t look any further from the Titan 1 to give me top-class competitive performance. For movies, I wouldn’t look much further than this, either.
    EQ, Amping
    8/10
    The Titan 1 is very responsive to EQ and could handle pretty much any setting you throw at it (given you know how to EQ properly).
    Value
    8.5/10
    Even at their retail price of $130 dollars, the Titan 1 still remains an incredible value if you’re looking for the absolute best sound at this price.
    Total
    8.5/10
    The DUNU Titan 1 makes some sacrifices in the way of isolation and other little tidbits, but it does so to further its sound quality, which is by far the best I’ve seen at this price.

     

    Shout-Outs, Gallery

    I’d just like to again sincerely thank Vivian at DUNU for providing the sample unit of the TITAN 1 for review. Reviewing the Titan 1 was a lot of fun and I really hope to see some more offerings from DUNU this year (like their upcoming flagship IEM, the DN-2000J). As always, the rest of the images taken in this review can be viewed here.
     
    As always, this is thatBeatsguy signing off; thanks for reading!
     
     

    Changelog

     
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      earfonia and DJScope like this.
    1. derrickmarvel
      This reminded me of Superlux HD381 series. But I suppose they're much better.
      derrickmarvel, Feb 22, 2015
    2. earfonia
      Nice review! Agree on the eartips selection to tame the treble.
      earfonia, Feb 23, 2015
    3. cocolinho
      Great review. I'm with you with everything except highs. For me, out of the box with included eartips (sony's style ones) : no issue (main headphones are HD800 so this might explain why)
      As bonus, if bass could tighten up a bit after burn-in it would be nice though
      cocolinho, Mar 2, 2015
  10. peter123
    DUNU Titan 1, premium everything!
    Written by peter123
    Published Feb 22, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Great sound and ergonomics, excellent value
    Cons - Sound leakage and isolation is less than average
    First of all I'd like to thank DUNU and Vivian for giving me a chance to check out the DUNU Titan 1 in ear earphone.
     
    Built and accessories:
    DUNU didn’t fall for the temptation to keep package and accessories cheap on this offering. Everything from the retail package to the shirt clip and the storage box feels premium. DUNU also included a 3,5 mm to 6,3 mm adapter and 9 pairs of silicon tips. That being said I didn’t get the best sound with any of the included tips but find the perfect match with the tips from the Sony MH1C.
     
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    The Titan 1 is a semi open design giving them a great soundstage but also less than average isolation and more than average sound leakage.
     
    The Titan 1 is easy to drive and works great out of portable devices.
     
    The design of the Titan 1 is, as already mentioned, semi open and it uses a single 13mm titanium coated dynamic driver. Housings are all metal and also feel very well built.
     
    The cable is clothed from the y-split and down and microphonics is about average. The cable also feels premium as a whole and offers a well designed y-split, chin slider and great strain reliefs both at the housings as well as on the end with the L-shaped 3,5mm connector.
     
    The fit of the Titan 1 is pretty shallow due to its design but I find them to be very comfortable and I’ve had no problem wearing them for several hours continuously.
     
     
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    The specs:
    Type: Dynamic, 13mm
    Sound Pressure Level: 90dB+/-2dB
    Impedance:16Ω
    Frequency Range: 20Hz - 30kHz
    Plug: 3.5mm stereo plug
    Weight:18g
     
    Sound:
    I've let them play for over 200 hours and I've used them while travelling, while working out, at the office and at home and I've not found any weaknesses to the way they're constructed. I've been using them with my Xperia Z3Compact phone, FiiO X3 dap (with and without amp) and with my Geek Out720 playing music from my computer. As already mentioned isolation and sound leakage is a challenge with the Titan 1 but I’ve used them both in the gym as well as on some shorter flights without having people looking strange at me.
     
    For this review I've used the DUNU Titan 1 paired with my HTC One M7 feeding my Audioquest Dragonfly dac/amp.
     
    The sound of the Titan 1 feels well balanced with a slight emphasis in the bass region. The soundstage is wider than average for an IEM and the depth is also excellent. I wouldn’t describe the Titan 1 as neither warm nor bright sounding but find it rather neutral and, as already mentioned, very well balanced. It also offers great clarity as well as very good separation and imaging.
     
    Both the bass and treble extension is very nice and balances on the verge on what I prefer in both ends. The mid bass is very well controlled and never do they feel overly boomy but they certainly do not feel thin either. If the recording has sibilance in it there’s a big chance that the Titan 1 will let you hear it but playing around with different tips will help eliminate this.
     
    I find the Titan 1 sounding great with all kinds of different music but it certainly excels with female singers such as Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones, Ane Brun etc.
     
    Comparison:
     
    IMG_2083.jpg
     
    DUNU Titan 1 ($115) vs Audio-Technica CKR-10 ($240):
    The Titan 1 and CKR-10 are both easy to drive but both also scale well with a better source.
     
    The CKR-10 has a more intimate sound signature and while the Titan 1’s keep up with them on female voices the CKR-10’s, being fuller and warmer, makes male voices sound more natural. The CKR-10’s are warmer, fuller, smother and has better soundstage depth but less width. The CKR-10’s also has slightly more sub bass extension, more mid bass and better layering in the bass region.
     
    DUNU Titan 1 ($115) vs Havi B3 Pro 1 ($59):
    The B3 Pro 1 needs a lot more power than the Titan 1 to perform its best.
     
    The B3’s has slightly less mid bass and significantly less sub bass impact. Soundstage is about similar in width but the better bass extension on the Titan 1 makes the depth feel better on them. The B3’s sounds overall thinner with less clarity.
     
    DUNU Titan 1 ($115) vs Philips Fidelio S2 ($99):
    The Titan 1 and S2 are both similar in power requirement and both scales nicely with a better and more powerful source.
     
    The Fidelio S2’s share a lot of the design with the Titan 1 and they both present a pretty balanced sound with an extra lift in the bass region. The S2 has slightly less bass impact (especially sub bass) and a smaller soundstage while the treble on both are very similar. The S2 feels slightly congested compared to the Titan 1’s and also lose out in clarity.
     
    Summary:
    The DUNU Titan 1 is an excellent in ear earphone that rivals or surpasses the best IEM’s I’ve ever heard before. It sounds great with all kind of music and accessories and built quality is top notch. In all this is a very solid offering and at the $115 price tag it’s an easy recommendation.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. RedJohn456
      Great Review Peter, and I really appreciated the fleshed out comparison section! 
      RedJohn456, Feb 22, 2015
    3. peter123
      Thank you guys, I really appreciate the support!
       
      @drbluenewmexico I'm using CM11 ROM on my HTC and with apps like UAPP or Hibymusic it's able to output digital signal through USB, hope this helps.
      peter123, Feb 23, 2015
    4. yangian
      Hi, Peter, so can you say titan is more 3D than Havi or very similar? Thanks.
      yangian, Mar 5, 2015