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Dunu TITAN 1 — titanium-coated diaphragm earphones

Rating:
4.62121/5,
  1. 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
  2. tomscy2000
    Redefining DUNU's Dynamic Sound with Titanium
    Written by tomscy2000
    Published Mar 1, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Robust build quality for the price, layered & articulate bass, sparkly treble, deeply detailed throughout, nice budget carry case
    Cons - Midrange is not "evocative", treble smoothness is tip-dependent (can be good or bad), metal finish is slightly rough around edges

    Foreword

     
    As the creator of the Titan 1 thread on head-fi, I have most of the information given here placed in the thread; however, this review is a coalescing and enhancement of the various aspects of the DUNU Titan 1 that I've previously discussed in the thread. Anything that I don't bring up here is probably found in the first post, or any of my other posts in the thread.
     
    Special thanks goes to Andy H. and the rest of the Taiwanese office of DUNU-Topsound for their graciousness in accommodating me in their office, as well as their continued, forthright attitude toward improvement. I admire their hardworking spirit and hope for their continued success.
     
    This review of the Titan 1 was made with a sample unit provided by DUNU. For specifications and a list of accessories, please visit the Titan 1 product page.
     

    Introduction

     
    DUNU is no stranger to head-fiers around the globe; it's been making its footprint known around these forums for quite a few years now. The Titan 1 is the first dynamic-only product from DUNU in a while; they'd been concentrating solely on hybrid products for a span of nearly two years (and continue to refine those efforts), garnering critical and mass acclaim, so when they quietly slipped the Titan 1 into their late 2014 launch portfolio, few heads turned. It was a semi-open design that looked like it came from the early 2000s, and even if it did contain a titanium diaphragm, a good lot of head-fiers probably didn't expect much out of it. My head did turn because of my prior experience with half-open IEM designs. Early in 2010, my experience with the Superlux HD381F was a revelation that cost was not tantamount to sound quality. In 2012, the crystal-clear Phiaton PS210 reaffirmed my belief in the half-open IEM paradigm. It seemed consistently practicable for audio manufacturers to create a great sounding IEM with this "half-open" style. So when DUNU came out with a titanium-coated driver in this same body design, I knew they were up to something. While titanium-coated diaphragms are not new to the industry, they do have well-documented properties that make the sound they create desirable to audio enthusiasts. Thus, I took the initiative to post about the Titan 1 in the forums. To me, it represented a sweet spot in value and performance, at the expense of absolute sound isolation (which really isn't the strength of a dynamic driver IEM anyway). Slowly but surely, interested mounted, and the Titan 1 is now a well-regarded product in its price category.
     

    Build, Ergonomics, Accessories

     
    The Titan 1, made from cast metal components, is one of the more solid offerings in its price bracket. Build quality has never been an issue for DUNU; they're known for delivering robust builds at every price point, from the body to the cables, and even its accessories. It comes with a simple plastic hard case that, while not declared to be waterproof, probably can withstand a two second dip in a bowl of water because of the ruggedized rubber on the inside surface that extends all the way to the top of the case. DUNU continues its tradition of offering great carry cases with the Titan 1.
     
    It has a ton of tips available, including a whole set of faux Sony hybrid tips, which is the tip that DUNU designed the Titan 1 around. DUNU also included another set of red core, dual-density silicone tips. Both sets were accompanied with a redundant pair, which makes the Titan 1 one of the most well-appointed IEMs in its price range. Personally, I settled on a third party brand of tips from RedGiant (see explanation here), but because these tips are difficult to come by unless you buy a pair of RedGiant IEMs, I won't attempt to recommend them to others. In fact, I hesitate to recommend specific tips for people, as everyone reacts differently to different tips.
     
    IMG_1640b.jpg
     
    Finishing of the cables above the Y-split is very good, almost Audio-Technica like in its texture; the thinness doesn't bother me. It's the cloth sheathing of the section below the Y-split that can be prone to tangling at times. Luckily, DUNU integrates its awesome rubber cable tie into all of its products, and that thing definitely promotes good storage habits. I don't imagine too many people shoving the Titan 1 into their pants pockets recklessly when coiling the cables in advance is so easy. I don't think I need to comment much on the quality of the Y-split and 1/8" plug; DUNU's cable joints are always well relieved.
     
    The only thing is that, as a $115-ish unit, the kind of attention to detail paid to the metal finishing is limited. No one will really mistake the Titan 1 for something more expensive. The brush metal finish is more Timex to the K3003's Omega. However, as it does have a rugged metal body at this price point, I won't complain.
     
    Comfort is great, personally. This sideways-mounted, half in-ear design tends to fit in most peoples' ears pretty well, and I never really feel any wear fatigue with the Titan 1. The body of the Titan 1 is small enough such that it should fit comfortably within most peoples' conchae with ease (even females'). When used properly, I don't anticipate any risk of them falling out of users' ears. The weight of the metal shells, however, will take some adjustment time for people used to very lightweight plastic-bodied earphones.
     

    Design & Packaging

     
    The aesthetics of the Titan 1 body lean toward the traditional; the sides exposed to the outside are reminiscent of the Sony MDR-EX90LP and the Superlux HD381F, while the inside half is similar to that of the Atomic Floyd Hi-Def Drum, along with a color coding ring of red or blue in the middle to denote right or left. As so, the Titan 1 isn't flashy in the least bit, save for the splash of chrome on the brushed finishing. Nevertheless, I doubt the Titan 1 would attract too many sticky-fingered bandits, and that may be a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective.
     
    Here comes arguably the weakest part of DUNU's products --- the packaging and associated graphic design. The graphic design on the Titan 1, and quite a few of DUNU's other products, is a bit unrefined. It's not for lack of effort; it's obvious DUNU has taken great pains to illustrate all of the great features found within the Titan 1 and other products, but the execution doesn't quite work in its favor. Certainly, DUNU has gotten a lot better over the years, but the design still feels a little cluttered, a bit lacking in typographic awareness, and a bit try hard --- not everything absolutely needs to be explained on the box itself. There were quite a few rough inconsistencies with regard to typography; fonts would switch from Arial to Calibri to Times New Roman, ever so distracting to even the untrained eye. I was even surprised to see that the Chinese punctuation marks, normally set centrally in space, were set down low like their Western counterparts, which is normally an error created by WYSIWYG layout programs like Microsoft Word. I won't bother discussing the English grammatical errors --- I actually believe that's easily corrected --- many head-fiers could volunteer to copy edit these box descriptions.
     
    Of course, being a company that spends the majority of its product development budget on R&D, DUNU delegates these graphic design responsibilities to a single product manager who doesn't necessarily have the kind of visual pedigree of a dedicated graphic artist and layout manager. If DUNU were to spend more money outsourcing its packaging design to a third party source, I suspect the Titan 1 would end up costing at least 10% more. That's 10% more burden on the consumer, as well as 10% more burden on the distributor, who doesn't necessarily want to take the risk of carrying products from a lesser known company. Nevertheless, I continue to encourage DUNU to take steps in improving their package design --- doing so probably begins with lessening the workload of that said product manager for a few weeks, allowing him to freely explore the realm of graphic design and typography, and having him return with a newfound sense of direction to bestow upon his fellow coworkers. I sincerely believe a boost in graphic design and layout will do wonders for DUNU's public image, especially for the all-important headphone market of Japan.
     

    Sound

     
    But enough with my snooty rant on design. Onto the good stuff. When I first listened to the Titan 1, this is what I thought:
     
     
    People have different metrics for what they regard as good sound --- the Titan 1 will fit most peoples' definitions, as I surmise most will say, "Whoa, that's pretty good sound!" when they put them on for a few moments. With a longer listen, my thoughts evolved into these:
     
     
    Bass
     
    Thus, bass is where the titanium-coated driver makes its presence known best. It feels quick, and brings out multiple nuanced layers in bass-forward music. There is quite a bit of boost to the range, so the Titan 1 will sound thumpy enough for those that desire a little bit of kick to their bass drums. Thanks to the open feel and diaphragm material, however, the Titan 1 never smothers the listener with bass. I believe this is the best kind of bass response for those that want to hear a thumpy low end but still desire a clean sound. If only more mainstream earphones exhibited this kind of response...
     
    Midrange
     
    Midrange is a different matter. Depending on personal taste, you might run hot or cold with the midrange response. People who mostly desire to hear instruments and rhythm will be absolutely thrilled with the midrange on the Titan 1; vocals are never the centerpiece of music, but they also never sound muffled --- always clear.
     
    However, I'm not so high on it because I just don't feel a lot of emotion to the midrange --- the laid-back midrange signature, to me, would be the Titan 1's biggest weakness. I hear a lot of detail, but to me, it doesn't do much to enhance a piece of music --- it's mostly just there and will never stand out as the centerpiece to a piece of music. Human beings, regardless of musical preference, are still emotionally most in-tune with, and physiologically most sensitive to the midrange, and thus for me, I tend to harbor very stringent standards for midrange performance in an IEM, regardless of price range.
     
    To me, more analytical earphones like the Etymotic ER4, UERM, and even DUNU's own upcoming DN-2000J (which itself is slightly laid-back in the midrange) are able to convey the emotional component of music through their transparency and vocal definition. In the same price range, the HiFiMAN RE-400 also does a better job in this regard.
     
    It's not to imply, however, that the Titan 1's midrange is bad. It's anything but. You'll be hard pressed to find more detail from other earphones competing against the Titan 1, especially as the upper midrange does have a bit of kick to it and is highly detailed.
     
    Treble
     
    The Titan 1 will be perceived by the majority of folk as being somewhat bright, especially in the context that the midrange is "recessed" with respect to the treble --- that alone gives listeners the sensation that the Titan 1 is "bright". The midrange, prominent is in the upper reaches, is typically responsible for vocal harmonics that often extend into the treble; thus, prominent upper mids and lower treble both add equally to the perception of brightness.
     
    Brightness shouldn't be misconstrued as overtly harsh or sibilant, however. In general, I expect sibilance with many pieces of modern music these days. People should not be confusing recording sibilance with earphone sibilance. That said, the Titan 1 is a tiny bit prone to sibilance; the time course of it is very quick, however, so the sibilance is not bothersome. Rather, the overall brightness of the earphones can be a little off-putting at times. On a track like Stacey Kent's "So Many Stars", lower sibilance (6-7 kHz) is not the issue to my ears, as the decay speed is pretty quick. Yet, I tend to hear some 8+ kHz harshness, which I tend to call "sonic junk" rather than overt "sibilance".
     
    The smoothness of the treble will depend on the tip pairing; it shouldn't be too difficult to find a pair of tips, whether they be silicone or foam-based, that help shape the treble to personal taste. Just be prepared to do some experimentation.
     
    Sensitivity
     
    The Titan 1 is remarkably easy to drive. It's sensitive to the point where it really takes very little for any underpowered iPod or laptop to easily drive it to loud volumes. As a low volume listener, I usually set the volume slider in the Windows environment at 2-4%. Luckily, the Titan 1 also still benefits from a higher quality source, as all things being equal, the Titan 1 is nevertheless still a low impedance (16 ohm), reactive load (dynamic moving coil). This means that better, more efficient and current and voltage delivery will allow the Titan 1 to perform better. So yes, if you want to amp it, you can. From my Resonessence Labs Concero HP, which outputs a nominal 3.5 Vrms, I'm also listening at 2-4% (usually 2%),
     
    [​IMG]
     

    How I Use the Titan 1

     
    So here's the part where most people would expect to see that because I have "better" equipment like TOTL CIEMs, the Titan 1 gets thrown in the dust bin. That assertion is simply not true. Because to me, the Titan 1 is remarkably easy to insert and remove, and performs well from a variety of sources, I find myself gravitating to it as my daily use desktop IEM. It's just easy to get along with. The isolation is at a level where fan noise is cut down, but won't prevent me from noticing a ringing phone call. At very low volume levels, the laid-back midrange is less of a liability because of hearing threshold levels.
     

    Summary

     
    With the titanium treatment to the Titan 1, DUNU has launched their "Titan Series" of products. I'm looking forward to seeing them further enhance this technology, and optimize it for use in future offerings. Already, the upcoming flagship DN-2000J, with an enhanced titanium-coated LCP woofer, is sound very good indeed, and I expect DUNU to continue this trend of excellence.
     
    As a product, while not the versatile and isolating indoor/outdoor unit, the Titan 1 is an extremely capable IEM. It provides the listener spades of tactile detail with celerity, and while it isn't a product that will be tugging at your heartstrings, you'll still be able to hear just about everything else in your mix with immense clarity and transparency. For new entrants to the in-ear world, the Titan 1 is great because of its shallow, easy fit; newbies will undoubtedly be wowed by how clear it sounds. Veteran head-fiers will equally enjoy it as a speedy toy that transcends its price point with detail reserved for much higher-end products. Individuals craving an intimate, husky response will want to look elsewhere, but for nearly everyone else, the Titan 1 will be a very nice addition to their collections.
      james444, svyr, Brooko and 7 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. jpmac55
      Read your review, then some others......placed an order and couldn't be happier! 
      jpmac55, Mar 16, 2015
    3. tomscy2000
      Glad the review was helpful!
      tomscy2000, Mar 16, 2015
    4. Paulus XII
      Just to say I loved the review.
      Paulus XII, Jun 19, 2015
  3. earfonia
    Excellent sounding large dynamic driver IEM!
    Written by earfonia
    Published Apr 9, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - High level of detail, spacious sounding, very linear tonality with triple flange eartips, durable metal housing, & player friendly.
    Cons - Less than average noise isolation, stock eartips not optimum, & requires long period of burn-in.
    DUNU Titan 1 is a unique semi-open IEM. The shell is made of durable metal, and the 13.5 mm dynamic driver diaphragm is titanium-coated. It’s designed to be worn straight down, but still possible to loop the cable over the ear to reduce microphonics (mechanical cable noise when the IEM cable moves around and rubbing shirt or other object).

    01P1250577.jpg


    BIG thanks to DUNU for the review sample! I have used it for almost 3 months, when posting this review, and have no issue with the quality so far. Titan 1 build quality is very good, and the durability has been proven with more than 2 months of almost daily use.

    02P1250705.jpg


    Though for daily commute I prefer to use full isolating IEM than the semi-open one, but in some circumstances I do need semi-open IEM. For example when in office or casual listening at home, using semi-open IEM let me hear when someone call me, or when my phone ringing. The straight down wearing style is also useful when we need to unplug and plug it back frequently. Faster to wear than the common over the ear IEM. Titan 1 cable is sleeved with braided mesh from headphone jack to the Y split point. The sleeve helps a lot to reduce microphonics. So far I only heard mild microphonics when using Titan 1 while walking, not up to annoying level.

    03P1250704.jpg


    Out of the box, initial impression of the sound quality using stock eartips and iBasso DX90 as player, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I like the detail, speed, clarity, and tonality around bass to midrange. On the other hand, I was annoyed by the rather metallic treble that causes moderate amount of sibilant. The treble is peaking at more or less around 7 kHz, depending on the eartips. The bass sounds good, good level and quality. The midrange is also good, very clear and detailed, and may sound a little dry with some eartips. Only the treble was rather too much. So to me it is not really a V shape tonality, only a little too much emphasize on the treble. The 13.5 mm Titanium coated drivers seem require some burn-in.

    Passed the 200 hours burn-in, the level of sibilant did reduce, but not completely removed. At least now Titan 1 treble is much more acceptable than before burn-in. So during the first week, my early impressions with Titan 1 was pretty good but with some dissatisfaction on the treble, that to me sounds a little metallic and prone to sibilant. It sounds much better now after burn-in and 2+ months of use. I don't like the idea of burn-in, and I do prefer a good sounding IEM out of the box without burn-in, but I just share my experience here. It is not a brain adaptation because I didn't use Titan 1 exclusively during the last 2+ months, but other IEMs as well, such as DN-1000 and DN-2000. And I use the same player, iBasso DX90, most of the time. So, burn-in is a must for Titan 1, not a few days of regular burn-in, but at least a full 8 days to sounds best. Even a full 2 weeks is recommended when possible. But passed those 200 hours, the Titan 1 is quite rewarding, clean sound, good tonal balance with excellent detail and clarity.

    04P1250726.jpg


    During the first few weeks I mostly used the stock eartips, the translucent black medium bore with red core. Then I tried eartip rolling. To my surprise, some eartips significantly improved the sound characteristic of Titan 1. Using triple flange eartips for example, the metallic signature of the treble is practically nonexistent. Treble is smooth, transparent, and extended without any sibilant. Overall tonality is excellent, very good balance from bass to treble. Another excellent sounding eartips for Titan 1 is the double flange. It is just a tad less smooth, but most probably more comfortable for many than the triple flange. Both the triple flange and the double flange sound much better from the stock eartips. From this experience, I consider Titan 1 to be eartip sensitive, and eartip rolling is recommended to achieve the best sound quality.

    05P1250729.jpg




    Summary:
    In my opinion, Titan 1 is a really good sounding IEM. With the right eartips, it has very linear and balanced tonality, with excellent detail and spacious imaging. With stock eartips, tonality is not very linear. Using the black wide bore & red core eartips, tonality is natural bright. While with the black green core (Sony Hybrid alike) eartips, Titan 1 sounds a little dark and bassy. The linear tonality is only achieved when using triple & double flange eartips. I would say the linear tonality using triple flange eartips is reference grade tonality, which rarely heard even on IEMs costing many times Titan 1 price. The level of detail retrieval and spaciousness is unlike many other dynamic drivers at this size and price category. Level of detail is comparable to a very good Balanced Armature IEM. And the semi-open design makes it sounds spacious with wide soundstage. The only thing I feel a bit lacking is the dynamic impact, not yet life-like dynamic. But don't get me wrong, Titan 1 is quite lively, and it never sounded lazy. Dynamic is very good, but just not yet life-like level. To me, Titan 1 is lacking a little more oomph on the bass region, not highly engaging for music with high energy. Bass sounds rich, detailed, and extends low, but not really powerful and impactful. But for other genres such as classical, and those which benefit from natural tonality, details, transparency, and spacious imaging, Titan 1 really shines. For me, DUNU Titan 1 is definitely a keeper. Kudos to DUNU!

    06P1250722.jpg




    Highlights:
    Semi-open design; below average noise isolation.
    200 hours burn-in and eartips rolling are highly recommended.
    Quite revealing with excellent level of detail. Reveals sources or players sound signature quite well, and won't hide recording flaws.
    Sounds best with Triple flange and Double flange eartips.


    Pros:
    Excellent detail with spacious imaging.
    Very linear tonality with triple flange & double flange eartips.
    Good quality durable metal housing.
    Good cable construction, only mild microphonics (mechanical cable noise) from straight-down wearing style design.
    No driver flex.
    Very good design and quality earphone case.


    Cons:
    Require long period of burnt-in to achieve optimum sound.
    Stock eartips are not optimum. Mild to moderate sibilant is expected when using some of the stock eartips. Requires other eartips for optimum sound.
    Not suitable for noisy environment due to lacking of noise isolation.


    Suggestions for improvement:
    To include more eartips for more flexible sonic tuning, such as the triple flange, double flange, foam tips, spinfit, etc.
    Factory burn-in to make it sounds good out of the box.
    Multi-ways wearing style design, for both straight-down and over-ear wearing style.


    07P1250585.jpg




    Eartip Rolling

    Titan 1 nozzle is rather small, only 4.3 mm. Please take note of this small nozzle neck size when getting eartips for Titan 1. Main player used for eartip rolling is iBasso DX90.

    08P1250876.jpg



    Triple Flange - 5 Stars - Reference Tonality
    09P1250946.jpg


    The triple flange I use is the pair I got from Brainwavz S5, similar to many generic large size triple flange. I saw similar triple flange on Amazon sold by Earphones Plus. I have also the triple flange eartips from MEElectronics M-Duo, but it doesn't fit Titan 1, too loose. So far, IMHO, the triple flange from Brainwavz is the best eartips for Titan 1. Sound signature is best described as 'Reference grade’. Perceived as flat and balance to my ears. Bass level is probably a little on the low side, but very tight with good texture. Low bass extension is slightly reduced, and overall bass level is slightly less than what I call realistic bass, but not bass anemic. Midrange and treble are very smooth, almost without coloration, with excellent detail. Gone is the bright and sibilant sensitive treble. Using the triple flange treble is silky smooth and transparent, in perfect balance with the midrange. For vocal, triple flange is the best eartips for Titan 1. Tonal balance is also excellent for pro audio monitoring, where bass level is good, only very slightly behind the midrange, but overall tonality is very natural & balanced. Not warm and not analytical. Very natural sounding to my ears. Detail and dynamic are excellent, vivid & lively. Though some people probably prefer the more fun sound signature with other eartips, I highly recommend purist to try Titan 1 with the triple flange. Probably the cheapest way to get 'Refence Sound Quality' without breaking the bank.

    10P1250931.jpg


    I asked a friend of mine to try Titan 1 with triple flange for more than half an hour. He is a veteran audiophile with more than $100k home speaker system. He said Titan 1 with triple flange has excellent midrange and smooth treble that sound smooth like a planar or electrostatic speaker system. But he prefers to have a little more bass. When I let him tried Titan 1 with SpinFit, he said he prefers the triple flange. I know not many people comfortable with the triple flange. But for those who are comfortable with the triple flange, it is a must try for Titan 1.



    Double Flange - 5 Stars - Balanced Tonality
    11P1250944.jpg


    The double flange I used is also the pair from Brainwavz S5 stock eartips. The double flange from DUNU Trident is not compatible with Titan 1, too loose.

    12P1250932.jpg

    13P1250933.jpg


    Pretty close to the triple flange tonality, double flange midrange and treble sound slightly less smooth. Also a tad brighter sounding than the triple flange. Overall tonality is still very balanced from bass to treble. Although the treble is not as smooth as the triple flange, but still smoother than the stock 'black large bore' & 'red core' eartips. Approximately close to SpinFit treble, just a tad smoother. Kind of in between the smooth treble of triple flange and the sparkling treble of SpinFit. Both triple flange & double flange are excellent eartips for Titan 1. Comfort wise, double flange probably the better choice, since it doesn't insert into the ear canal as deep as the triple flange. Comparing double flange to SpinFit, I prefer the double flange.

    I asked another friend of mine, Leonard, a sound engineer, to try Titan 1 with the double flange eartips. He tried it for about 2 hours with various genres, and this is his comment:

    "Titan 1 with double flange eartips were truly a sound revelation for my ears! The tonal balance is overall linear with a slightly enhanced treble that creates an open and detail revealing sound without altering the mix in any dramatic way. It shines especially on acoustics that occupies the upper range of the sound spectrum (cymbals, strings, light percussion, etc). I find this combination quite comfortable for prolonged use, making Titan 1 a suitable companion in studio for various mixing situations. It is not usual for me to get quickly impressed by something, but in this case I am beyond words."



    SpinFit - 4.5 Stars - Natural & fun sounding with some extra treble sparkle.
    14P1250952.jpg

    15P1250950.jpg


    Treble is slightly more sparkling with SpinFit, slightly brighter, more transparent, more sparkle, and not as smooth as the bi/triple flange. Bass level is also slightly more than the triple flange. Compared to the triple flange, tonal balance with SpinFit is slightly more V shape. Only slightly, overall can still be considered balanced. SpinFit is the next best eartips for Titan 1 after the double flange & triple flange. SpinFit sounds better than all the stock eartips, more natural with better soundstage, and seems to shift up the treble peak to higher frequency, so treble sounds less peaky and less sibilant than stock eartips ('black large bore' & 'red core').



    Comply T500 - 4.3 Stars - Natural sound with excellent comfort.
    16P1250740.jpg


    IMHO not as good as the triple/double flange and SpinFit, but still sounds pretty good. Good option if comfort is an issue with triple/double flange, and SpinFit is difficult to get. Imaging is narrower than SpinFit, and there is a slight emphasize on the upper midrange that makes the midrange presentation is more forward than SpinFit. Treble is good with good extension and sparkles, and not prone to sibilant. No metallic color on the treble, better than stock eartips. Bass is probably same level as the triple flange, less than SpinFit. What is slightly lacking with the foam tips is the spaciousness & dynamic. Imaging is somehow lacking of depth when compared to triple/double flange and SpinFit. Don't get me wrong, the foam tips sounds quite open, not congested, but I don't hear much information of the room acoustic in the recording as good as triple/double flange and SpinFit. The dynamic also less lively, so overall tonal balance is good and natural, but lacking liveliness and dynamic punch. Sometime may sound a bit dull, sounds like the very low bass and the upper treble extension are rolled off a little, not as good as the SpinFit and the triple/double flange.



    Comply S400 - 4.0 Stars - Similar to T500, with a tad less bass.

    Similar sound signature to T500, with slightly less bass, that makes overall tonality sounds a little dryer. I prefer the T500 over the S400 for foam tips.



    Stock Eartips:
    17P1250733.jpg



    Stock eartips: Black large bore - 4.3 Stars – Natural bright, slightly V shape.

    The treble peak seems to be shifted up a bit than the red core eartips, somewhere in between red core and SpinFit, so slightly less sibilant than the red core eartips, but slightly more sibilant than SpinFit. Bass is slightly stronger than the red core eartips. Those who like bass the black large bore and the Sony hybrid alike eartips are the better option. Overall performance is about the same, probably slightly better than red core eartips, and slightly less than SpinFit.



    Stock eartips: Translucent Red Core (medium bore) - 4.0 Stars – Natural bright, slightly V shape.

    Bass sounds fuller with more volume than foam tips and triple flange, about the same as SpinFit. Midrange is slightly recessed and treble is slightly more sibilant than SpinFit. Overall is mildly V shape tonality. The only downside when compared to SpinFit is a little too much emphasize on the treble that makes Titan 1 starting to become prone to sibilant. Cymbals sounds rather glaring, and mild to moderate sibilant on pop recording vocal is expected. Overall tonality is not as natural as SpinFit.



    Stock eartips: Black small bore with colorful core (Sony Hybrid Alike) – 4.0 Stars – Natural dark, bass emphasized.

    The better stock eartips to avoid sibilant, but also the least transparent. Bass is more emphasized than other eartips, better choice for bass lover. Among the stock eartips this Sony hybrid alike eartips is probably the safest option, especially for those who is allergic to sibilant. Initially, before burn-in, I don't like this eartips, as the tonal balance sounds less natural. But after 200 hours burn-in, it is probably the better option among the other stock eartips for disco and pop music, but not for classical.




    My DUNU IEMs:
    18P1250745.jpg




    Comparison

    I use what I consider optimum eartips for every IEM in this comparison:

    DUNU Titan 1: double flange from Brainwavz. IMHO using double flange for comparison is a more useful due to comfort issue of the triple flange for many people.
    DUNU DN-1000: JVC EP-FX8M-B
    DUNU DN-2000: Stock translucent grey eartips, with silver ring
    Audio-Technica ATH-IM70: Large red bore eartips bought from Lunashop.


    Compared to DUNU DN-2000:

    DN-2000 sounds warmer, smoother, and more cohesive. Both have very linear tonal balance, but DN-2000 tonality to my ears sounds more balance, while Titan 1 has a little shelf up around the treble region, slightly brighter sounding than DN-2000. DN-2000 has better bass and low bass extension. Vocal sounds fuller and more intimate on DN-2000. DN-2000 also has slightly better instruments separation, especially for complex orchestra piece. Both have comparable spacious imaging. Detail retrieval is comparable as well, with DN-2000 being a little better. DN-2000 somehow manages to retrieve a very high level of micro detail without being analytical sounding. In my opinion, overall DN-2000 sounds better.


    Compared to DUNU DN-1000:

    DN-1000 is generally less bright and more bassy than Titan 1. Titan 1 sounds slightly leaner than DN-1000. Tonality wise, my personal preference is closer to DN-1000 tonality, I like full bass sound. DN-1000 sounds smoother and slightly more intimate, and overall sounds fuller. Vocal sounds fuller on DN-1000, and a little sterile on Titan 1. But please take note; this is with other eartips other than the triple flange. With triple flange, vocal is smooth natural, and doesn't sound sterile. Titan 1 is slightly more neutral in tonality. Detail retrieval is comparable between the two. DN-1000 is slightly more musically engaging due to fuller bass. But Titan 1 has better bass quality, faster with better detail and texture. Being a single driver IEM, Titan 1 does excel in coherency over the entire frequency spectrum, although DN-1000 can be considered triple drivers IEM with very good coherency, but still, frequency spectrum coherency sounds better on Titan 1. I would say, Titan 1 sounds technically correct, but DN-1000 is more musically engaging.


    Compared to Audio-Technica ATH-IM70:

    Titan 1 has better clarity, detail, spaciousness and treble extension. While ATH-IM70 sounds warmer and more intimate sounding, with much bigger and more engaging bass. IMHO, Titan is a more neutral sounding, but IM70 has more oomph on vocal and bass. I will take Titan 1 for classical, and IM70 for pop.




    Players & Amplifiers Matching

    Although Titan 1 has a rather low 90 dB sensitivity, but it is relatively easy to drive. Being a single driver IEM, it is not really affected with high output impedance of player / amplifier. I tested with HifiMeDiy Sabre USB DAC (UAE23) that has 200 ohms output impedance with no issue at all, tonality still sounds balance and natural. This is indicating that Titan 1 impedance is quite linear across the entire frequency spectrum. Also tested with smartphone, my Samsung Galaxy S4, Titan 1 sounds great as well.

    Tube amplifier often has good chemistry with the slightly analytic signature of Titan 1. Titan 1 loves my Audio-Technica AT-HA22Tube headphone amplifier. It sounds wonderful with tube amp, especially for vocal, jazz, and pop. While for classical I still prefer my Yulong DA8 headphone output, smooth and detailed.

    19P1250625.jpg


    From all the players & amplifiers I tried, Yulong DA8 is the best sounding DAC+Amp combo for Titan 1. Somehow Yulong DA8 headphone output manages to keep the clarity and transparency at optimum level without any sibilant. Very lively, smooth and transparent. With Yulong DA8, all eartips that don't sound very good with other players, sound quite ok and acceptable. Most logical explanation probably due to the sound signature of Yulong DA8 that is smooth & detailed. Yulong DA8 headphone output with discrete 1 watt class A amplifier also sounds more dynamic and lively.

    So far I don't find any issue with players or amplifiers. I tested Titan 1 with various sources, DAPs, DACs, and amplifiers, so far Titan 1 has always been easy to drive and player friendly.



    DUNU Titan 1 is a great sounding IEM. A breakthrough of what 13.5 mm large single dynamic driver can achieve. Congrats to DUNU!



    20P1250568.jpg

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    22P1250735.jpg

    23P1250736.jpg




    Specification (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)
    Headphone jack : 3.5mm gold plated
    Cable : 1.2m – Y cable
    Weight : 18g
    IEM Shell : Polished metal



    Equipment used in this review:

    Earphones:
    DUNU DN-1000
    DUNU DN-2000
    Audio-Technica ATH- IM70

    DACs & Headphone Amplifiers:
    Audio-Technica AT-HA22TUBE
    Audioquest Dragonfly v1.0c
    Bravo V2 Headphone Amplifier
    Centrance DACport
    iBasso DX90
    Fiio X3 2nd Generation
    ifi micro iDSD (firmware 4.06)
    ifi micro iCan
    Samsung Galaxy S4
    Yulong DA8

    Computer & Player:
    DIY Desktop PC: Gigabyte GA-H77-D3H-MVP motherboard, Intel i7-3770, 16 GB RAM, Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit SP1.
    foobar2000 v1.3.3 (ASIO Proxy 0.7.1.2)



    Some recordings used in this review:
    1. View previous replies...
    2. davidtriune
      Thanks a lot for this review! Really helpful.
       
      I'd like to confirm that the Earphones Plus large triple flange tips are the exact same thing as the ones packaged with the Brainwavz S5. Just the colors are different. I asked Brainwavz support and they said so :)
      davidtriune, Feb 5, 2016
    3. Wesley Tian
      Hi, I really enjoyed reading your review. I have a question though. Do you know where I can get the double flange ear-tips that you mentioned? The "Brainwavz S5 stock eartips". Thanks.
      Wesley Tian, Mar 5, 2016
    4. harry501501
      wow, had these for a while and enjoyed them but the Trinity Deltas took over as my first choice on the go. Just messing around with the reviews and noticed what you said about double flange so tried them (although I took them from Delta as only set I can find right now, so they are a bit loose). WOW, what a change, much fuller sounding vocals and generally less aggressive sounding treble. Will be a flip of a coin each time I am going out which ones to take.
       
      Thanks
      harry501501, May 6, 2016
  4. getclikinagas
    DUNU Titan 1 – Half In-ear || Full detail package || Double bang for your buck
    Written by getclikinagas
    Published Jun 18, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Excellent detail retrieval, Very good price,Sonic space, Good soundstage, Organic slightly V shaped sound signature, Packaging
    Cons - Could do with more refinement in mid-bass, Treble could do with more delicacy, Isolation(trade-off), overly egdy treble at high volume
    DUNU Titan 1 – Half In-ear || Full detail package || Double bang for your buck
     ​

    Index : (Clickable)
     
    1. Packaging Accessories and Build
    2. Comfort and isolation
    3. Efficiency and perceived FR
    4. Sound
    5. Stage, space and imaging
    6. Comparisons: The Titanium Trifecta
    7. Conclusion
    8. Bonus: Some subjective drivel
    titan2.gif


     
    DUNU has been around for quite a while now (earlier as an OEM) and have managed to have a recommended IEM or two in the budget price brackets. Their higher offerings, the DN1000 and DN2000 triple hybrids, wowed Head-fi and cemented DUNU as a force to be reckoned in the 200-400$ bracket. The Titan-1($115) comes barging into a very crowded and competitive price segment, that has seem a few gems prevail the hype storm. Will the Titan 1 be one of those gems we will still talk about a few years down the line?
     
    Packaging Accessories and Build
     
    P1010421.gif   Frontall.jpg
     ​
     
     
    At 115$, the packing is pure class. The thick double flap (magnetic) cardboard box, layout, and accessory list makes for a pleasing experience before the first listen.
    The accessory list is extensive and I was able to find a secure fit for my narrow ear canals in no time (small Sony-hybrid like tips). I do feel that double/tri flange tips should also be included, for a shallow fit IEM like this. Quite a few people on the Titan 1 thread have found the sweet spot with multi-flange tips (For ex. See earfonia’s review)
     
    The cable is half cloth half rubber. The cloth half isn’t prone to kink like the RE400 and does a pretty good job in suppressing microphonics. However, the same cannot be said for the rubber half which easily picks up mechanical noise. The best solution for this is to wear them cable-up, but this is not possible unless the channels are swapped. The 3.5mm jack is beefy and the strain relief seems sturdy enough to do the job. Time will tell if the Y spilt holds up. The strain reliefs exiting the housing are relatively thinner and inflexible. In the first month of use, I took extremely good care of them, and decided to put them to the test throughout the second month “for the greater good” (no case, buried in bags, stuffed in pockets, used as a bungee cord etc etc.. you know… the usual stuff). Happy to report that, other than a few scuff marks on the outer face, everything looks as good as new. “Excellent build” is the two month verdict.
     
    Special mentions:
     
    Case.gif   IMG_0066.jpg
     
    1. The carry case is classy. All black, very sturdy, rubber padded inside, Anti slip base, nice click to close, maybe a touch shallower than I hoped.
    2. The Rubber belt-like clasp on the lower cable is a very nifty. I do not know of other IEMs that have this feature. If you do know of one, you know what I’m talking about. Quick storage and retrieval is a breeze. I think DUNU has patented this design, but I hope to see this on all IEMs.
     
    Comfort and isolation
     
    Face.jpg   Back.jpg
     
    The colour coded metal housings are the half in-ear type. This design allows a large diaphragm to be placed nearly perpendicular to your ear canal and also allow some interesting vent designs. The Titan 1 housings are almost 1.5 cm in diameter and the angled nozzles are 0.5cm to 0.75cm in length. They fit just perfectly in my concha and anti-tragus, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few complained of discomfort. The vents are positioned in a unique way. 11 small circular vents on the inside face of the housing and one vent on the outside face just under the stem.
     
    As you can imagine the isolation, with this level of venting, should be poor. I found that the isolation wasn’t as poor as proper open back IEMs like the Signature Acoustics O16. The Ostry KC06(which isn’t an open IEM) also offers similar levels of isolation. The Titan-1’s are not ideal or advisable for use on the go, unless you need poor isolation of course (to aid spatial awareness).
     
    Efficiency and perceived frequency response
     
    The Titan-1 is pretty efficient and was easily driven by my Sansa Clip, LG G2 and Geek Out 450. The Geek Out 450 sounded better rounded than the other two (not by much though), and has been used for the Sound section below.
     
    The sub-bass rolls off below 25Hz (quiet setting). The climb from the sub-bass to mid bass feels like a gradual curve. This gradual climb only seems to dip a tiny bit around 600Hz and 1300Hz. There are slight bumps around 2200Hz and 4800Hz before I notice a small dip at 8600Hz. There is a growing emphasis through and beyond the transition from the upper mids into the treble. Except for a peak at around 12.8KHz, the treble was well behaved before it dropped off at 17.6KHz. On the whole, I was impressed at how controlled and smooth the sweep sounded compared to my other sets. Onto the real-world tests now:
     
    Sound
    Primary list of music used
     
    Bass: The Titan 1 has the come-only-when-called-upon type of bass. This description is reserved for IEMs that deliver are able to maintain a very clean background and deliver a surprising bass kick out of no-where. This capability gets slightly weaker as we climb into the Titan 1’s midbass.
    The overall decay is fast but lingers a tiny bit beyond “fast”. I suspect the housing-design/sense-of-space also has something to do with this. What this does is, deliver a dash of warmth that contributes to the organic experience. The detail retrieval is very impressive (This is something you will read over and over throughout this review). The gradual mid-bass hump could do with a little more refinement (more about this in the RE400 comparison). This is also more apparent because of the transparency throughout the rest of the range.
     
    Mids: There has been a mix of opinions on the extent of midrange recession. I would classify the signature as a mild V shape that is not blatantly obvious in a majority of my music. The U is quite apparent when switching from a neutral/mid-forward IEM or on tracks with some inherent midrange recession (that gets exaggerated). After two weeks of using the Titan 1, I never felt like I was missing out on detail in the midrange and only on occasion (15%) wished for more midrange emphasis. Female vocals have better presence compared to the male vocals(extend will vary depending on the recording)
     
    Highs: The detail retrieval is astonishingly good. I have read a few reports of slight harshness/sibilance. I’ve probably lucked out with the tips, because I haven’t heard the treble cross the line. There is undoubtedly a slight treble emphasis but it only gets jarring at very high volumes. This lack of harshness contributes to the organic signature. However on the whole, it lacks some delicacy and finesse (see RE272 comparison). The treble can be considered edgy depending on the recording and listening volume, but I did not find it fatiguing.
     
    Stage, space and imaging
     
    The sense of space/stage is attention grabbing in the beginning (early listening) and then settles into a very natural enveloping stage that is starkly discernible when A/Bing with other IEMs. The L/R extension is above average, but that is not the (most) impressive bit. With most IEMs the sound cues start to fill your head, and after a certain virtual distance, start to feel confined. This is different from the positioning of individual cues ion the stage. The former has more to do with the “space” the cues occupy. On the Titan 1 the sound cues begin to fill your head and then radiate beyond. This feature in particular is very impressive and sounds very natural. The lesser than average isolation is a trade-off for the excellent sense of space that the Titan 1 offers.
     
    Comparisons: The Titanium Trifecta
     
    HIFIMAN RE400: The RE400 needs no introduction to the Head-fi scene. This 100$ titanium pellet has a warm neutral/slightly mid-forward signature with smooth treble. The Titan 1 is bassier, slightly V shaped with more emphasised treble. Not an obvious comparison here. The Titan 1 has the edge in sub-bass presence and as a result, presents similar levels of detail in a more noticeable/obvious manner and is is more enjoyable. The story is not the same when we climb into the mid-bass. Head-to head, the Titan 1 mid-bass seems woollier and less refined in comparison. The RE400 also edges the Titan 1 in mid-bass details retrieval and presentation. Both may not sound ideal(mid-bass response), but I find the RE400 to be more natural in this regard. The midrange is more linear on the RE400 and is more forward compared to the Titan 1 whilch has relatively recessed lower mids but more prominent upper mids. The level of detail is at similar levels, with the RE400 sounding relatively drier. The smooth treble is a contrast from the Titan 1 which is sounds edgier and more in-your-face, in comparison. Perceived detail retrieval is higher on the Titan 1 but I think the RE400 does remarkably well(but is not as upfront about it). The soundstage and space presented by the Titan 1 is more natural and enveloping that the more conventional RE400(in this regards).
    On the whole, I feel they are both technically adept and cater to slightly different audiences. I would recommend the Titan 1 over the RE400 as a transition IEM for someone wanting to venture into neutral waters(before diving head-first).
     
    HIFIMAN RE272: This legendary, now discontinued titanium micro-driver beauty is my absolute benchmark for treble detail-retrieval and presentation. The Titan 1 reminded me of the detail retrieval and nuances the RE272 brought out in my music. They differ mainly in presentation of that detail. Both, I will say, have emphasized highs (more so on the Titan 1). Both stay clear of sibilance or harshness(at normal listening volumes). Both have similar levels of detail(RE272 is slightly ahead). The similarities however end here. The RE272 manages to serve up this detail on a smooth black granite platter, while the Titan 1 chooses an ornamental shiny platinum platter. It is very easy to get lost in all the RE272 detail. The Titan 1 however, makes you take notice of every detail but not in an annoying way. 
     
    Conclusion:
     
    The pleasing all-rounder signature, excellent build, accessory list, and extremely competitive price is a winning formula when competing in a crowded price segment.
     
    What DUNU has done is take a neutralish/detail-oriented IEM and add just the right amount of pizazz. While there is room for some tweaking and refinement, I think the Titan 1 will weather the hype and gain a place in the top recommendation lists for all-rounder IEMs ~100$. I am definitely looking forward to the next iteration.
     
    Wrapup.jpg
     ​
    Bonus: Some subjective drivel:
    I am sensitive to sharp/peaky treble and cannot stand a recessed midrange(but I always try to make sure I stay as objective as possible in my review). That said, I didn’t find myself frowning with the Titan 1 singing in my ears. Yes, the midrange is slightly recessed and the treble is a little emphasized, but they never cross the line. Some expert tuning right there. I still break out the RE400 for that beautiful midrange and the Ostry KC06 when I need to be pumped up. The RE272 is the special one. It is undoubtedly my detail and treble presentation benchmark.
    I don’t particularly enjoy the Titan 1 at very low listening volumes(before sleep/studying etc.). The midrange slips just beyond my threshold and distracts me. I have the relatively midforward RE400 for that.
     
    I would like to thank Vivian (DUNU) for giving me the opportunity to share my honest opinion on the Titan 1. I would also like to apologize for the delay. I just wanted to get it right, so I spent as much time as possible carefully internalizing the signature.
     

    Thanks for reading. Do let me know if you have any thoughts on where I can improve my reviewing style(For ex: Not descriptive enough in XXX section).
    Always remember that each reviewer will have a slightly different take on the sound. It is important to go through as many reviews as possible and build a consensus of what the IEM will sound like. You could also pick a reviewer a two who you feel has similar tastes/perception as you (from reference reviews).
    Other reviews of the Titan 1 can be viewed at this link. Let us know if you have any questions regarding the Titan 1 over at the main thread. Tomscy2000 has organized the impressions and review links in the OP so that will be the best place to start.
    It goes without saying that auditioning something is the best way to go. Every other option is a distant 2nd, 3rd and so on, but we need to work with what is possible.

    1. View previous replies...
    2. getclikinagas
      @Peter West Thanks! It's always nice to see your impressions mirrored in a review.
       
      Thank you for sharing. Have you heard the Ostry KC06? The Titan 1 does remind me of them in many ways.
      getclikinagas, Jun 22, 2015
    3. Nusho
      comparison with gr07 if youve tried it?
      Nusho, Jun 24, 2015
    4. getclikinagas
      getclikinagas, Jun 24, 2015
  5. 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.
     
    IMG_2045.jpg
     
    IMG_2046.jpg
     
    IMG_2047.jpg
     
    IMG_2048.jpg
     
    IMG_2073.jpg
     
    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.
     
     
    IMG_2074.jpg
     
    IMG_2075.jpg
     
    IMG_2076.jpg
     
    IMG_2077.jpg
     
    IMG_2078.jpg
     
    IMG_2079.jpg
     
    IMG_2080.jpg
     
    IMG_2081.jpg
     
    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
  6. 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.
     
     
     
     
    DSCF3783.jpg
     
     
    DSCF3784.jpg
     
     
     
    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.
     
     
    DSCF3789.jpg
     
     
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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.
     
     
    DSCF3787.jpg
     
     
    DSCF3788.jpg
     
     
    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
  7. Hisoundfi
    "Remember the Titan" ~The DUNU Titan 1 In-Ear Monitor
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Apr 3, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Incredible resolution and clarity, Unbelievable price to performance ratio, Great build quality
    Cons - Below average isolation, Channels have to be swapped to be worn over the ear
    At the time this review was written, the Dunu Titan 1  was on sale for $115.00 USD on Penon Audio . Here is a link to a listing of their product at the time of the review:
     
    http://penonaudio.com/DUNU-TITAN1
     
    Introduction
     
    The Titan 1 is already making waves on Head-Fi at the time I am writing this. I became interested in it  when some of my respected Head-Fi friends could not stop raving about them. After hearing the endless praise they were receiving, I knew I had to get my hands (and ears) on a pair and experience them for myself. They did not disappoint!
     
    Disclaimer
     
    My pair were purchased online from a group purchasing site. I am providing a review for the sole purpose of giving this terrific IEM the exposure it deserves.
     
    My Background
     
    Please allow me to share a little bit about myself so you can better understand my observations. I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, amplifiers and earphones that intrigues me, ESPECIALLY if they can be had for low prices. I’m a budget-fi guy. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will can discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased many, and I mean MANY different headphones and earphones ranging from from dirt cheap to hundreds of dollars higher end products. For me, its more about getting great price to performance ratio, and hearing a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound. With this hobby we tend to often times pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that price DOES NOT necessarily indicate good build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have tested and reviewed.
     
    The Package
     
    The Titan one came in a very simple medium sized black box with white and gray lettering and a close up of the monitors on the front.
     
    DSC_0004.jpg
     
     
    The back of the box had some nice information about the product, as well as pictures and descriptions of the accessories. The sides of the box had the item’s specifications.
     
    DSC_0005.jpg
     
    Opening the box revealed information about the product’s technological advancements and the benefits of it’s nano class diaphragm, as well as a graph showing the difference between itself and a conventional driver. A second flap had information about Max Barsky and his accomplishments as a musician.
     
    DSC_0007.jpg
     
     
    Opening the second flap revealed the IEMs, three sets of tips, and the carrying case.
     
    DSC_0008.jpg
     
     
    Specs
     
    Driver:          Titanium 13 mm dynamic
    Frequency Range:     20Hz~30Khz
    Impedance:         16 Ohm
    Sensitivity:         90 +- 2dB
    Rated Input Power:    Not Listed
    Plug:             3.5mm gold plated (right angled plug)
    Cable:             1.2 meter cable
    Weight:         18 grams
     
    Extra Accessories
     
    The accessories package was very nice, offering everything you would need and nothing you don’t. There was a large selection of tips, including my personal favorite Sony-esque hybrids. The rubber and hard plastic container that had a nice locking mechanism and release button. It is very solid and a great home for the Titan when not in use. The only issue I can see with the case is that if you take off the “screen protector” material on the top of the case it is prone to scratches (not a big deal). You also get a ¼ adapter that is of the utmost quality.
     
    DSC_0014.jpg
     
     
    The Titan 1 comes with 9 pairs of tips:
     
    3x Sony Hybrid-like silicone tips (sizes S,M,L)
    3X black silicone tips with a wider bore and flat end (sizes S,M,L)
    3X black/red silicone tips with a rounded end (sizes S,M,L)
     
    DSC_0011.jpg
     
    There are plenty of tips for just about everyone to get a secure fit and seal.
     
    Housings
     
    The housings are very impressively built out of polished metal (looks to be stainless steel). There isn’t a single piece of plastic on the housing. Even the screen/port at the end of the hozzle is a part of the housing, with 7 drilled holes for sound to come through. This is unique, and a very cool approach in my opinion. The housings each have a colored ring to indicate which channel is which (red/right, blue/left). There are several vent holes drilled in the inside of the housing where it rests in your ear. DUNU logos can be seen both on the inner and outer part of the shell.
     
    DSC_0017.jpg DSC_0016.jpg
    DSC_0018.jpg
     
     
     
    Cable, Y-Split & Strain Reliefs
     
    From the housing to the Y-split, the cable is typical rubber material used with most earphones at this price point. Strain reliefs from the housing are perfect in my opinion, with enough strength to keep everything in tact, and enough flex to prevent shorts in the wire.
     
    The Y-split is made of the same polished metal as the housing, and just above it is a cable cinch of the same metal material. The cable cinch has a notch milled so it can fit right into the Y-split when not in use.
     
    DSC_0021.jpg
     
     
    From the Y-split to the cable jack, the cable has been covered in a kevlar or kevlar-like material. The cable in it’s entirety is very flexible and with little to no memory. Also, a nice bonus is the rubber cable tie that is attached to the cable. It make winding these things up a breeze. It is a very nice touch.
     
    Cable Jack
     
    The cable jack is the same polished metal used in the housing and Y-split. The Titan 1 sports a ninety degree angled, and gold plated 3.5mm plug. the strain relief at the jack is one of the most well done strain reliefs I’ve seen. I don’t see anything shorting out here, or anywhere on the cable for that manner (if handled correctly).
     
    DSC_0022.jpg
     
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics
     
    Think of a earbud with a angled hozzle coming out of it to make it an in-ear monitor. That is exactly what the Titan 1 is. That is really clever if you ask me, because you are using the whole ear to support the fit, making it not only very comfortable, but also a very secure under the ear fit. Well done DUNU! I normally am not a fan of in-ears that are designed to be worn cable down, but they really hit a home run with this concept! The Titan 1 can also be worn over the ear by swapping channels. If you don’t mind swapping channels it works extremely well.
     
    Worn cable down, you do get some microphonics. When worn over the ear, microphonics is reduced significantly.
     
    DSC_0024.jpg DSC_0023.jpg
     
                                                                          
    Isolation
     
    Because of the venting design the Titan does not isolate very well, and leaks sound more than your average in-ear monitor.
     
    Review Materials
     
    I primarily did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware, and Sony Walkman F806/Cayin C5 amplifier for portable use. For desktop use I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a HIFIMEDIY Sabre ES9023 USB DAC/Bravo Audio Ocean Tube amplifier with a Mullard 12AU7 tube for higher impedance, and a Fiio E18 USB DAC & Amplifier. Both were run at 24 bit, 96000 Hz. I also tested them with other DAPs and amplifiers as well. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I make sure that any gear I test has a minimum of 30 hours of play time before writing any type of review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
     
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake
    “Madness” by Muse
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk
    “Some nights” by Fun
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie
    “One” by Ed Sheeran
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to asses and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Sound Signature
     
    Ahhhhhhh, now we get to the good part! These are great! It’s an aggressive, up front and in your face sound that is really addictive. Right out of the box they seemed a bit hot up top. Whether it be burn-in or time to adjust, I now find the treble to be just right and in accordance with the rest of the spectrum of sound. With the Titan 1, you get a slight V-signature with some of the best resolution and separation you can get in an IEM. The sound quality of these competes with everything I have, and will give many in-ear monitors at a much higher price range a run for their money.
     
    Bass
     
    The bass is forward on these. When running test sweeps I noticed a slight roll-off at sub-bass regions, especially from 10 Hz to about 40-50 Hz, but from there it takes off. The mid bass region definitely does jump out in front, but it is done with NO noticeable bleed. Trust me, you will get plenty of bass response, and mid bass and lower mids will have plenty of weight and punch. It really sets itself apart in how it handles midbass frequencies. To have that forward presentation and still be very resolving is seldom executed with in-ear monitors.
     
    Mid Range
     
    Mid range is something that is a mixed bag with the Titan, and something that makes this pair special. It takes a small step back from the bass and treble. Starting from the lower midrange, you will hear a very thick note presentation with a good amount of warmth and texture. However, as you listen and span across you will notice it going from very warm and lush lower midrange frequencies, and progressively get a little cooler and crisper sounding moving up to the upper mids and treble area. It is a smooth transition, and all the while it maintains a sense of clarity and separation that is world class.
     
    Treble
     
    It is crisp and very clear. If the Titan 1 didn’t have the awesome resolution it does, I would say the treble can be harsh, but because you can make out every high hat and cymbal crash with incredible accuracy, it is a joy to listen to. I enjoy the Titan 1 at medium listening levels. listening to them at loud volumes for too long leads to fatigue for me. All in all it’s a very high resolution monitor that has a beautiful shimmer and sparkle in it’s upper registers.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
     
    This is a hard one to draw a conclusion on. In one sense, they sound “big”, but at the same time the forward mid bass can make you feel like they are not as open or airy as other in-ears. The best way I can explain is that it’s a “front row at the show” type of sound.
     
    Music Recommendations
     
    I think these are great for all genres, but will sound best with live performances, acoustic and rock music.
     
    Comparisons
     
    GR07BE ($125 to $150 USD on many sites)
     
    Bass extension and response on the GR07BE is superior, and for an in-ear monitor it still amazes me to this day. But, the buck stops here for the VSONIC. Titan 1 has more energy to it’s tuning, and their amazing resolution, texture and detail in both mids and treble regions makes the GR07BE seem dull and lifeless in comparison. All in all, the GR07BE is outclassed by the Titan 1. That is saying a lot!
     
    T-PEOS Altone 200 ($175 to $200 USD on many sites)
     
    The Altone 200 can hang with the Titan 1 in terms of clarity, but the highs are harsher and more fatiguing. Titan is smoother, and has a more textured and open feeling to it’s sound, making the T-PEOS offering seem slightly congested in comparison. Both are good, but in my opinion the Titan sounds just as good, if not better at half the price.
     
    Ostry KC06A ($55 to $85 USD on many sites)
     
    The KC06A packs a great package with plenty of sub bass rumble and a nice treble response, but the Titan mid range outclasses the Ostry. In this comparison the trade off between the two is sub bass (advantage Ostry) and crystal clear midrange (Titan 1). I give the advantage to the Titan 1 because the quality mid range makes the sound more cohesive.
     
    Conclusion
     
    The Titan 1 is a perfect example that you don’t need several drivers packed into a custom shell and at the cost of a mortgage payment in order to create world class sound. These are a refreshing approach that brings something unique to the table, both in terms of build and sound quality. Upon concluding this review, I rank this earphone second in my in-ear collection, just barely behind the Fidue A83. Dunu did a stellar job with this one, and at a price that is almost too good to be true. I highly recommend them!
     
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
      leobigfield, Brooko, peter123 and 2 others like this.
    1. twister6
      Who can forget the Titan :)  Excellent review, my friend!!!  Always enjoy your write ups!
      twister6, Apr 3, 2015
    2. leobigfield
      Very nice review!
      leobigfield, Apr 3, 2015
    3. Paulus XII
      If Titan 1 is "just barely behind the Fidue A83", why would you take A73 "hands down" over Titan 1? Sounds like A73 is better than A83. Is this what you think?
      Paulus XII, Jun 22, 2015
  8. Tom22
    Attack of the Titan Part 1: Holographic Space! Highly Recommended!
    Written by Tom22
    Published Jun 5, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Fairly balanced sound with a bit of flair in the bass & treble, Great build quality, comfortable, low isolation, nice accessories
    Cons - low isolation, upper mids a bit peaky, could use a bit more subbass
    The last few years, Dunu had incredible success with their hybrid multidriver earphones such as the DN 1000, DN 2000, and at the time of writing this, the DN2000J seems to be following suit with it’s predecessors.
    So when I heard of the release of the Titan 1s, I was very intrigued on how DUNU was going to replicate the success they had with their hybrid earphones in a 13 mm titanium coated dynamic driver, with a half in ear/earbud design.
     
    We’ll lets find out! Before I begin I liked to thank DUNU for sending a sample of the Titan 1s out for an honest review. I am not paid for this review nor affiliated with DUNU.
    Below is my video review of the Dunu Titan 1s, if you enjoyed the video- please subscribe, like, and share + comment*
     
    Titan 3: http://www.head-fi.org/products/dunu-titan-3/reviews/15085
    Titan 5: http://www.head-fi.org/products/dunu-titan-5/reviews/15084
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Accessories:
    The Titan 1s come with a nice array of accessories. They include:
    1. 1 hard shelled carrying case (with a rubber interior, for better protection for the earphones)
    2. 1 shirt clip
    3. 1 ¼ inch adapter
    4. In terms of eartips: *the eartips included I felt make the Titans 1 vary in tuning slightly.
      1. 3 sets of the black-multicoloured hybrid silicone eartips- darker & bassier
      2. 3 sets of the grey-red hybrid silicone eartips- most v shaped
      3. 3 pair of black wide bore silicone eartips most –most revealing, open forward*
    Overall: 9/10
     
    Design
    The Titan 1 has a very clean and quite elegant design. I find its quite difficulty to pull off a silver metal housing design without looking gaudy. I believe that DUNU has pulled it off! The surface is has smooth finish, like well-polished chrome, exuding a premium feel. The right and left earpieces are easy distinguished with colored rim around the earpiece (L-Blue, R-Red).
    Overall: 8.5/10
     
    Build Quality
    The Titans are just fantastic! They have a fully metal housing with an angle metal nozzle that feels a bit weighty in the hand, but just oozes quality. The earphones are nicely reinforced as whole. The top half of the cable has a rubber sheath that I found quite supple and flexible, while the bottom half of the cable is a fabric wrapped, for added durability.  The bottom half of the cable also comes attached with a cable management system (which I found very useful and quite unique) allowing the cables to be wrapped neatly into the hard shell carrying case. Lastly, as stated above, the L shape jack is elegantly built with a relatively slim body for easy entry into thicker smartphone cases, without any added bulk.
    Overall: 9/10
     
    Comfort
    The Titans are very comfortable, as they can be easily inserted and removed effortlessly. They have a shallow insertion, so those sensitive to shoving things in to their ear, shouldn’t have any concerns over the Titans. The body of the housing is rather large, with a little edge where the front and back of the housing meet, so my ears did feel a small sore spot after 2 hours or so.  However, I would like it if the nozzle was just a bit longer, which would really make them disappear in my ears. (this can be alleviated with longer aftermarket eartips if needed).
    Overall: 8/10
     
    Isolation
    This category is subject to debate, because it would depend on the environment you are intending to use the Titans. The Titan’s design has multiple vents (which helps with its acoustic properties) but as a result the isolation to be quite poor. I believe the Titan 1s was intended for use at home or in quiet neighborhoods, to allow for good situational awareness. This means that I wouldn’t recommend the Titans for noisy environments (ex busing, subway, noisy cafes)
    Overall:If you want to be isolated from the world- 5/10
    Overall: If you want to be aware of your surroundings- 9/10
     
    Sound
    Thankfully, the sound makes up for its lack of isolation, as the Titans 1s has quickly shot up the ranks with my top favorite earphones, the VSONIC GR07BE, Hifiman RE400. They are perfect for when I’m in the mood for some excitement, while still retaining a clean, open sound. 
    *I was told the Titans improve after about 200hrs of burn in/ listening time- To my ear, I did not detect any changes compared to the “out of the box” sound of the Titans.*
     
    Bass
    The Titan’s bass is slightly elevated in the midbass, but nowhere near enough what I considered basshead in terms of quantity, and remains very linear down low.. However, the bass is tight, fast with enough thickness to be very satisfying for bassy music, but not so much as to intrude into quieter passages. The bass has good extension down low, with enough visceral “grunt” to satisfy me.  The midbass has nice presence, and I feel it’s the good combination of quantity and quality (while creeping up a bit in the midrange, the thickness it provided was more then welcome (I prefer it), while remaining nicely balanced, and proportioned to the midrange and the treble.
     
    Midrange
    The midrange is a bit thinner and drier in its presentation, however it retains good warmth to sound natural, while staying very clear as well.  I feel that the upper midrange can cause female vocals can sound a bit peaky at times (depending on the tip used)(This can be alleviated with the use of comply foam tips, I trialed the T-400s with very good results). However, once acclimated to the Titans, I miss the energy it brought when comparing to other earphones that have a dip in this region.
     
    Treble
    The treble of the Titans is clean and crisp with very good resolution. The treble is well extended, refined with plenty of air, shimmer and detail. Again, the Titans are just good, clean fun.
     
    Soundstage
    This aspect is definitely the Titan 1’s calling card, as the soundstage is superb as it images well with a great sense of air and space, with great separation. The soundstage lends well for acoustic music for a nice sense of ambiance, while providing allowing EDM to run freely and effortlessly.
     
    Compared to the VSONIC VSD5 ($60-70)
    The Dunu Titan 1 has a tighter bass, with a more refined treble, and the soundstage is more open and expansive, the midrange is also warmer.
    Firstly, the VSD5 has a stronger subbass, and on the other end, the treble is also less refined, and conveys a “splashier” presentation. VSD5 can come across as a bit analytical compared to the Titan 1s because of the cooler presentation in the midrange.
    On the other hand, the VSD5 provides much better isolation than the DUNU, so I feel the VSD5 would be better suited in noisier applications.
     
    Comparing them to the Hifiman RE400 (retail $99. Now ~$79)
    I felt that Titan 1s are more interesting to listen to. The Titan 1 has a more elevated bass, and the treble was more textured and detailed. The RE400s treble seems “grainer” and less clean.
    That said the RE400s are a smoother listen overall, with a more midforward sound. The upper mids don’t have that “edge” that the Titan 1s exhibits, which makes the midrange “thinner” sounding. It has a more centred imaging which some may prefer whereas the Titans could be attributed as “disperse”.  I find I could fall asleep listening to the RE400s over the Titan 1s. (though its nowhere near as well built as the Titan 1s).
     
    Comparing to the GR07Be (retail $179.99. now ~$120)
    The Gr07BE has is tighter in the bass with a slightly more pronounced subbass and fuller in comparison.  Where as on the Titan 1s, there seems to be more emphasis on the midbass, allowing for more solid weight and punch while retaining a good control as well.
    The upper mids on the Titan 1s have a more emphasis then the GR07BE, so this may result in some detractors finding them a bit harsh for female vocals and cymbals, but it retains great clarity despite this.Comparing the treble, the Gr07BE have a thinner “papery” texture to the treble, where as the Titan 1s have a bit more of a “metallic shimmer”. In terms of soundstage, I find the Titans to be more expansive, and better at portraying depth than the GR07BE.
    Overall: 9.5/10
     
    Conclusion
    While I can’t say that the Titans 1s are made for everyone. They are not for those looking to isolate themselves from the outside world, nor are they for those sensitive to emphasized upper mids- lower treble, which can be a bit bright for some.
     
    However, for everyone else, I can’t think of a better earphone bring the same level of a bit of excitement and energy, while still remaining very clean and articulate as well. Added with the fact that they have superb build quality, with a comfortable fit that can slip in and out of my ears easily. This makes the Titans 1 easily one of my go to earphone, a earphone that can compete toe to toe the likes of VSonic Gr07BE and Hifiman RE400, and that’s a great place to be! Superb Job Dunu!
     
    Final Score:
    Those seeking more isolation: 49/60=81.7%
    Those wanting less isolation: 53/60= 88.3%
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Tom22
      @H20Fidelity thank you very much! I enjoy making them! still working on my video editing skills (which a year or so ago, was non- existent).
      Tom22, Jun 7, 2015
    3. Tom22
      @DJScope thank you!!
       
      @getclikinagas thank you, I certainly hopes so! my writing definitely could use work!
      Tom22, Jun 7, 2015
    4. Decommo
      @Tom22 Great Review and I found your review from Amazon. I am keen to purchase either Titan 1 or DN 2000. Which one do you think is better? i am mainly listening Accoustic, female vocal, Hard-Rock and Electronics. I do not listen classical. Noise isolation is not major concern since I will be using mainly at home. Look forward to hear your thoughts. Thank you. 
      Decommo, Jan 25, 2016
  9. DJScope
    “Unique, refined, balanced and spacious!”
    Written by DJScope
    Published May 20, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Build, balanced, fun sounding, comfort, price to performance ratio, protective box.
    Cons - No mic remote, cable a bit thin, not designed to wear cable up
    Disclaimer: I did not purchase the Dunu Titan 1. I've had 2 months with them and believe I have had enough time to adequately review the Titans in depth. But of course, these are my personal opinions so please take them with a grain of salt, or two.
     
     

    Introduction

    I first heard about the Dunu Titan 1 from @H20Fidelity. He told me, and I quote “Dunu Titan is the go.” Hype for the Titans grew really fast! The more I read the reviews and impression the more I needed to get my hands on them, so I contacted Dunu directly to get me a pair. Boy was everyone right! Let’s find out why…
     

    A little about the Dunu Titan 1

    More info at the Dunu website: http://www.dunu-topsound.com/TITAN1.html
     
    Frequency response​
    20 - 30 000  Hz
    Impedance​
    16 Ohm
    Sensitivity​
    90  dB (±2)
    Plug​
    Gold Plated 3.5mm (1/8”) 90° Angled
    Cable Length​
    1.2m
    Speaker diameter​
    13mm Titanium Dynamic Driver
    Weight​
    18 grams

     

    FR Graph

    Thanks to Mr. Tyll Hertsens for measuring these wonderful headphones!
    Follow this like to get more of the measurements of the Titans.
     
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    Packaging & Accesories

    The Titans come in a medium sized box; dimensions are 13cm x 17cm x 5cm. It’s very well presented. On the front you are shown exactly what you a purchasing. Everything is well contrasted, bright writing on black background: everything stands out very well. You get all the relevant information in different languages. Very nice.
    Under the front flap there is some background information about the Titans, including the frequency response diagram to show you what they’re trying to target and what difference a titanium driver makes compared to a standard driver unit.
    They also included a little plug for a Ukrainian band called “Max Barski”. Quite the coincidence since I was born in Ukraine.
    Behind the little window you’ll see the beautifully designed housings of the Titans. Open the door and you are presented with 3 pairs of what looks like Sony hybrid silicone ear tips and a wonderful protective box. I must say that this is by far the best protective box I’ve seen to date that comes free with an IEM at this price. It’s made of hard plastic and has a sturdy locking mechanism to keep your already heavy duty looking earphone in tip-top shape so you can chuck them in your bag without any worries what so ever.
    Additionally, underneath the plastic holder you get another 6 pairs of ear tips: different colours and styles of more of the Sony hybrid “clone” tips and a set of standard black tips, a shirt clip, and a 3.5mm (1/8”) to 6.3mm (1/4”) gold plated adapter. And of course, you get a warranty card which also has a maintenance log for all your warranty claims.
     
     

    Design & Comfort

    The design of the Titans is very robust, futuristic and industrial. The housing looks to me like it is machined from a single piece of aluminium. It’s quite a funny design because from day one my wife called them the UFO earphones, and that’s what I’ve been calling them because of its strange “flying saucer” shaped design that integrates the design principles of both earbuds and in-ear monitors. Strange it may be, but looks may be deceiving, and that’s exactly the case here; they’re some of the most comfortable cable down earphones that I’ve had the pleasure of putting in my ears. Yes! They are very comfortable, which is surprising for a metal ear piece sitting in your ear. Unfortunately they’re not designed for wearing over the ear, which is a bit of a bummer, but because they’re so comfortable wearing down, and they stay in like glue with the correct tips, that the thought of wearing them over the ear goes away very quickly.
    The housing sports 11 port holes on the housing and 7 holes on the nozzle. In my humble opinion this is a double edged sword. On one hand it means that less dirty will make its way inside the housing, but on the other hand it means that if debris does indeed get inside, good luck cleaning it out. But despite all that, I personally think that it makes the unit look a tonne more badass and industrial.
     
     

    Cable, Jack & Splitter

    The cable here is brilliant! I don’t know what they’ve done with it, but it just does not tangle. I can wrap it into a ball, chuck it in my pocket and after going to my destination, pull the clump of wire out, hold one wire and pull on another, and in most cases, the cable will just twist, turn and unravel itself like magic. It maybe the fact that the cable is made from 2 different materials. The cable from the jack to the Y-splitter has a fabric sleeve and the ear piece cable is a supple but dense and smooth rubber. Overall the cable feels very sturdy, though it looks quite thin. I would say that the cable is very much like the Xiaomi Pistons 2.0.
    This is where I go on to say, “WHY U NO REMOTE???” I really do think that the Titans would be THAT much better if it had a mic and remote for mobile phones. We live in the 21st century people!!!
    The jack is a very nice machined aluminium cylinder which feels amazing in the hand. The strain relief looks very sturdy and overkill, but that’s very welcomed in my books. The jack has a unique serial number on it, which is also a very nice touch.
    The Y-splitter is also a cylinder and looks very much like the jack housing that’s a smaller diameter. It sports the Dunu Titan 1 logo. Bottom of the spitter is a smallish strain relief and above is an indent where the neck cinch fits perfectly inside. My only gripe with this is that the neck cinch moves freely up and down. It would’ve been nicer if the connection here was either a slight interference fit or a twist lock of some sort. Of course, nothing is 100% perfect.
     
     

    Isolation

    There is none! Moving on…
     
    But serious, the Titans are the epitome of open design IEMs. They leak everything out and let all the sound in. So much so that my co-worker can tell me exactly what song I’m listening and which part of the song I’m up to, and he sits about 8-9m (26-27 feet) away from me. This isn’t always a downside because when I use earphones outside I dislike the fact the I cannot hear the traffic or what is going on around me and have to keep my volume down to do so. Not with the Titans, I can ramp the volume up to enjoyable levels and still hear everything from my surroundings. This would be perfect for cyclists and people who love to go for a jog or run.
     
     

    Sound

    I can describe the Titans sound signature with many words, some that come from the top of my head are: fun, balanced, engaging, spacious, coherent and full. The tonal balance is very interesting as its balance is not through the whole spectrum but at all the correct areas; having peaks in areas and not many dips that take away from the enjoyment and clarity of the music. For some tracks it sounds warm and on others it sounds cold, and on an occasion it’s a mixture of both. Detail retrieval is also very good and coupled with it's good staging and layering makes for some great critical listening.
     

    Treble

    The treble is indeed a little peaky and has track induced sibilance. It's not a sibilant earphone in itself but can get there with some pieces of music. I think this is inherited from the titanium driver. The Xiaomi Pistons 2.0 with its beryllium coated driver has this characteristic as well. But on the case of the Titan, the peakiness is not located in one area of the mid/lower treble; it extends far and well up without getting too sibilant or metallic. Here be airiness and sparkle, and there is plenty of it. A very enjoyable listen indeed. The only issue I have with this is that it does get a little bit fatiguing after a couple of hours of non-stop listening.
     

    Mids

    Balance! The Titans do seem to have a little bit of a boost in the mids, and it’s very welcomed. It’s accompanied by both treble and mid/upper bass to give you a very natural vocal and acoustic experience. There is still a vocal track that I need to find that sounds bad with the Titans. Male vocals are full, clear and alive, and female vocals shine and sing.
     

    Bass

    It is a little elevated in the mid bass region, but not a lot, and it doesn’t leak or overwhelm the mids at all. It’s not linear but is more balanced then most fun sounding IEMs. It extends quite low and stays impactful and coherent with good speed.
     

    Soundstage & Imaging

    It’s like listening to a concert in your head. The imaging is very accurate and has lots of layering to boot. Coupled with the above average soundstage width and depth, it evokes some really immersive listening. It’s not as wide or deep as the Havi B3 Pro 1 but that’s actually a good thing; the Havi being a little distant at times makes the listening laid back and in the background, but the Titans make it a “here and now” kind of “party in your head” type of listening. It makes you want to put your hands up, stand up and join the party. Yes, it’s like that.
     

    Ratings

    As Head-Fi doesn't properly show the ratings, this is how I've scored the Titans:
     
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    Conclusion

    I don’t know how Dunu come up with such great ideas, but they continue to push the boundaries and with the Titan 1 they’ve hit it straight out of the park. For the price of $115 (current PenonAudio price) this is a complete no-brainer purchase. The Titans are my automatic go to suggestion for people who look for an IEM under $150, and if you’re in the market under this budget, what are you still doing reading this review when you could be out there buying these right now? They are really a remarkable IEM for this low price. Well done Dunu!
     
    Cheers!
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    1. View previous replies...
    2. DJScope
      Update: Photos are up!
      DJScope, May 24, 2015
    3. Light - Man
      Good review! I wonder how they will compare to the new Fidue 73.
      Light - Man, May 25, 2015
    4. DJScope
      @Light - Man I'm more interested in the Fidue A65 which is also a titanium driver unit for half the price!
      DJScope, May 25, 2015
  10. conquerator2
    Brilliantly-built IEM with a big & engaging sound
    Written by conquerator2
    Published Jun 5, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build quality, design, very detailed and exciting sound, excellent soundstage, well priced
    Cons - Might be too aggressive for some, slight U-shape [subjective], average comfort & isolation
    Dunu TITAN 1 Review
     
    Disclaimer: The following review is my subjective assessment of this earphone, which was kindly provided to me by Vivian of Dunu as a review sample. I am in no way affiliated with Dunu and I receive no monetary income for my reviews. The sound, build and comfort descriptions come from my subjective impressions of said product. I thank Dunu for this opportunity. I hope you enjoy the read ^_^
     
    Introduction
    - I received the Titan 1 in mid-April. My initial thoughts were that the Titan 1 is quite an aggressive and detailed earphone, surpassing my current favorite, the RE-400, in some ways. That said, it has a very different signature, so it would not be fair to compare them directly. While the two complement each other nicely, the Dunu can work quite well on its own and I imagine it could potentially become a favorite for many, as a well-priced travel companion.
     
    Specifications:
    Dunu Titan 1
    20150601_170616.jpg [​IMG] 
    Type: 13mm titanium dynamic driver, in-ear monitor
    Frequency Response: 20Hz - 30KHz
    Impedance: 16Ω
    Efficiency: 90dB/mW [+-2dB]
    Weight: 19g [with cable]
    MSRP: ~129$ 
     
    Equipment: 
    Media: HiFiMAN HM-601LE Digital Audio Player
    Source: HiFiMAN HM-601LE DAP
    DAC: HM-601LE integrated [TDA1543 chip]
    Amplifier: HM-601LE integrated [OPA2104]
    Headphones: Dunu Titan 1 via a 1/8 plug to the HM-601LE
    Files: FLAC, 128-320kbps MP3, 256kbps AAC
    Cables: N/A [Stock earphone cable]
     
    Packaging/Accessories
    - The Titan 1 comes in an exquisite packaging. The box itself is made from all-black and sturdy plastic, giving it a rugged and reinforced feel. It has a picture of the earphone in front and the specifications & contents list on the back. A flap on the right side is used to open up the box, revealing more information about the earphone on the left and a display-esque window on the right, showcasing the earphone and revealing some information about Max Barsky, bringing into sight a second flap. Pulling it finally showcases the beautiful earphones themselves, as well as additional ear tips and a very nice carrying case. This high quality case houses more tips and a ¼ adaptor plug. Finally, underneath the plastic mold that held the earphone and case, are the service and warranty cards. This is one of the most intuitive and classy packaging I’ve ever had the pleasure to unbox. There is no excessive bling, but the whole thing feels very luxurious and effective, containing all the essentials from the carry case to a plethora of plugs in a well thought out package. The quality it radiates is amazing and would no doubt satisfy many, regardless of price. Other headphone manufacturers should definitely take note of just how much packaging potential can be squeezed into a consciously priced product.
     
    10/10
     
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    Build Quality & Design
    - The Titan is exceptionally well built, while also being visually stunning. The housings are all metal with a nice heft to them. They are clearly marked with a blue circle for left and a red circle for right. Both shells and the cable have chunky strain reliefs to maximize durability. The cable itself feels very nice and does not tangle. It also has a patented coiling mechanism, which ensures the cable, when coiled, is always securely held in place and does not unwind. The splitter is metal as well and the adjustable piece stays securely wherever it is moved. The 1/8 headphone jack is angled and feels as great as the rest. Overall, I have had no quibbles with the build quality so far and there is little doubt that this exceptionally crafted earphone is built to last, while looking luxurious and feeling as solid as anything, no matter what price range.
     
    10/10
     
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    Comfort/Fit/Isolation
    - Due to the chunkiness and sheer size of the shells, they are not the most comfortable earphones and some adjusting had to be made to get them to sit well in my ears. That said, after some fidgeting I managed to get a comfortable and secure fit, in no small part thanks to the large and generous selection of included tips, varying from small to medium and large. I’ve settled on the stock smaller tips. The isolation on these is average due to their semi-open design. As you can see above, the Titan has some vents and while their sound leakage is minimal, they allow some external noises to leak in. I’ve used them for public transportation regularly and while I did not find it too bothersome, the closed RE-400, for example, offers superior isolation and comfort.
     
    7.5/10
     
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    Bass
    - This earphone has a very deep and punchy bass, with good tightness. This is probably the best bass response of all earphones that I had the pleasure to hear. The sub-bass is potent down to 30Hz, extending linearly to the mid and upper bass frequencies. The overall bass response is slightly elevated from what I consider neutral but it is not bass-heavy and there is no leakage to the midrange. Thanks to its even bass presence every bass instrument, as well as synthetic bass feels grand, sounds good and is just very enjoyable to listen to in general. The best thing is certainly the fact that despite this presence and nice impact, it really still remains pleasantly tight, without any mud or boom to mar the clarity. This is hands down my favorite mix of extension, impact and tightness and for accomplishing that the Titan gets full points in the bass department.
     
    10/10
     
    Midrange
    - The midrange is smooth, slightly recessed even, but only compared to the potent bass and forward treble. The details still come through very well, even surprisingly so, considering the slight U-tilt of the Titan. It is mostly due to the linearity that the Titan displays all the way to 2KHz, which gives everything in that range a nice, smooth and rounded sound, without any abrasive peaks or subtracting dips. The first emphasis, albeit slight, is from 2 to 4KHz, which gives instruments and vocals in the upper midrange quite nice energy and rawness with especially guitar riffs sounding amazing. It might cause a slight abrasiveness or steeliness at times, however, and as such is not always welcome. Overall, the instruments come in surprisingly clear throughout, with those in the emphasized range having an extra sheen of energy and clarity.
     
    8/10
     
    Treble
    - In the treble, things get a bit rocky as additional peaks and dips are introduced. There are peaks in the 5, 7 and 8KHz regions as well as a mild dip in the 6 – 7KHz area. At 8 KHz the treble starts to roll-off slowly, rolling off completely at around 15KHz. The series of peaks introduces a few negative elements, first being the way cymbals are presented. The cymbals have an unnatural tizziness to them, resulting in their steely presentation, which sounds more like a ‘tssss’ than a cymbal crash, followed by a decay that sounds artificial as the ‘tssss’ slowly disappears. Another being increased tendency to sound harsh with sibilants, where any emphasis on that particular range makes them sound harsh and unpleasant. The mild dip is not a problem on its own, though it might highlight some of the issues caused by the peaks. The treble has very good presence overall, with good extension and a fair amount of air, partially owing to the semi-open design as well. The treble is not bad, but it is certainly a bit rough and peaky and I would prefer a smoother, less aggressive and more rounded presentation. External noises also tend to drown out the lower frequencies somewhat, which does not do this issue any favors. I would say the peaks give the treble slightly too much presence overall, but the issue is mostly isolated to vocals and cymbals and dependent on mastering as well.
     
    6/10
     
    Vocals
     
    A] Male
    - Male vocals have good presence and heft, with decent clarity throughout. They never sound recessed or veiled, and voices have quite good air. The only complaint is with the sibilance, where ‘s’ and ‘t’ can sound too prominent and harsh. It is not always an issue but when the mastering is brighter, you will hear it. From my experience, female vocals tend to be more problematic with regards to sibilance.
     
    8/10
     
    B] Female
    - Female vocals sound delicate with nice presence and come through very clearly. Again, there is no recession or veils and the sound is quite airy too. Once again, the only problem is sibilance with less than stellar mastering. I have quite a collection of female vocal music and most of it is listenable through the Titan. These are not always as enjoyable as I’d like, however, resulting in general harshness.
     
    7/10   
     
    Sibilance
    - Sibilance can be an issue with the Titans. I would say they are below average at coping with sibilance. They will not absolutely murder your ears but they won’t smooth it either. This should be attributable to the treble and presence peaks that are located in the upper midrange and lower and mid treble.
     
    4/10
      
    Soundstage
    - The soundstage is excellent on these and is hands down one of the strong points of the Titan. Instruments sound very spacious and spread nicely across a large virtual space, evenly from left to center to right. Especially instrumental pieces can sound stunning, where the instruments appear and disappear in a vast plane. This is clearly a significant step up from my RE-400 IEMs where the soundstage is quite decent, but nowhere near this spacious. It is in part due to the enhanced treble, which improves soundstaging properties. This is certainly a very impressive display for any IEM, though the soundstage will always be a bit different and more diffuse sounding than that of a full-size headphone. Note that this is not necessarily a drawback and I, for instance, find this effect quite enjoyable. Certainly not bothersome in the slightest and the Dunu shines here.
     
    10/10
         
    Imaging
    - Imaging capabilities are likewise great, with instruments being fairly easy to pick up. The peaks and dips in the frequency response do make certain instruments a bit more prominent in the mix and easier to pick up, while others are a bit more laid-back and slightly more difficult to pin down accurately. It is not a significant issue though and I think the Titan images exceptionally well, where all the instruments and voices pop up in their little locked spaces, without ever missing any important details. The slight variance in presence is not of much significance here as it has minimal influence on imaging prowess.  
     
    8.5/10
     
    Instrument separation
    - Instrument separation is likewise excellent, superseding the imaging capabilities. Airy instruments are well separated and locked in the stage, popping and disappearing as the track progresses. Congestion or instrument overlapping is never a problem with the large soundstage and stellar imaging, with no weird abnormalities in placement to be found. No part of the stage ever feels empty either, with even coverage, good presence and decent amounts of air whirling through the virtual scape. There is no denying the Titan packs a big sound, but it never falls short in the technicality department either.
     
    9/10
     
    Detail/Resolution/Finesse
    - The Titan 1 always reveals all the important nuances and micro details that are present in the recording. In fact, doe to the aggressive treble they sometimes reveal too much. At times, I find such treble presentations to detract from detail perception, but the Titan rarely ever reached those levels in my setup. It offers detail and resolution in spades, with finesse falling slightly behind at times due to the occasional abrasiveness in the midrange andtreble but overall this earphone is very capable in all these areas.
     
    9/10
        
    Air
    - The Titan is quite capable in terms of air reproduction, though I believe a more balanced treble would allow it to shine through even more. Still, there is never any lack of air. The instruments never feel congested, veiled or smoothed over. The semi-open design makes sure there is always enough breath. Overall, though air comes through nicely, I feel there is even more potential here and that some amount is indeed masked by the aggressiveness of the treble.
     
    8/10
      
    Timbre, Realism & Decay
    - As touched upon, the cymbals are the most problematic and do sound off most of the time, at least to my ears. Other instruments like violins and guitars can also have a steely edge to them, but to a much more tolerable degree. The instruments do not sound as natural and real as I would like, sounding a bit forced and tinny instead. They do always have enough energy, which is advantageous, but I would trade a bit of that extra energy for a more realistic tone and decay. Not the worst offender, but not top of the class either. Fairly enjoyable presentation, if not completely accurate and lifelike.
     
    6/10
     
    Overall Cohesiveness/Balance
    - The TITAN 1 is a slightly U shaped and colored earphone. There is very good presence and heft to the bass, with the midrange being smooth, while retaining the necessary amount of presence to avoid sounding recessed. The treble has some peaks and dips, which puts it on the aggressive and forward side, with an energetic and engaging presentation. With excellent soundstage dimensions, imaging capabilities and instrument placement, there is no doubt the drivers are capable of producing good music, though the tuning and the treble integration leaves some room for improvement. It does shine with many genres, especially instrumental music, but I would not classify it as a true all-rounder due to its energetic and aggressive signature. As is, it is not the most cohesive and balanced headphone, but it does surprisingly well when all the ingredients are mixed together to result in a spicy and generally tasty dish.
     
    7.5/10
     
    Subjective value for money/Conclusion
     
    The aggressive and exciting signature is not for everyone, as some might prefer a smoother and overall mellower experience for travelling. Furthermore, there is stiff competition around the $100 range and below, spanning many good earphones. However, where the Dunu clearly pulls ahead is attention to detail and build quality, which are both exquisite for the price. The sound is also very good, especially bass response, soundstage and instrument separation, but it is not as uniformly excellent as the rest and preferences will undoubtedly play a part. If you prefer an energetic, slightly U-shaped but fairly balanced sound that is high on technicalities, wrapped in a visually stunning and well-built package, then the Dunu is the earphone for you. If you prefer mellow and smooth sounding earphones instead, then the Titan might not be the best bet. Disregarding preferences and taken for what it is, the Dunu TITAN 1 is a great earphone for the price, retailing for around 130$ and mostly sounding and certainly looking the part.
     
    Overall Value 8/10
     
    More Pictures
     
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      money4me247, Za Warudo and Stillhart like this.
    1. Arcmarqs
      these or the HiFiMans Re400?
      Arcmarqs, Jun 12, 2015
    2. conquerator2
      Different sound. Aggressive vs smooth. I prefer smoother tonalities
      conquerator2, Jun 13, 2015
    3. conquerator2
      If anyone would be interested in this earphone, shoot me a PM :}
      conquerator2, Sep 15, 2015