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Dunu TITAN 1 — titanium-coated diaphragm earphones

Rating:
4.62121/5,
  1. masterchile
    dunu titan 1 nowdays
    Written by masterchile
    Published Mar 11, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - good soundstage, quality, clarity
    Cons - lacks bass, maybe you can find somthing best for the price
    Code:
    [color=rgb(33, 33, 33)] Today I bring you a review of the dunu titan 1, an audiphone icon that is characterized by having a great soundstage and have even said that it has more soundstage than the shure se425 which I can say that it is so and defends very well to the New headphones that have come out today. 1. What's in the box: The box has a solid box to carry them, adapter 3.5 to 6.3, several tips of different sizes and clip for clothes. But the box is of another level, very luxurious and well made .... Here are some pictures.[/color]
    http://s2.subirimagenes.com/fotos/previo/thump_970478417229955102075521863.jpg
    http://s2.subirimagenes.com/fotos/previo/thump_970478817269336102075521865.jpg
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    http://s2.subirimagenes.com/fotos/previo/thump_970478617269244102075521863.jpg
    http://s2.subirimagenes.com/fotos/previo/thump_970478517237032102075521861.jpg
     
     
    Code:
    [color=rgb(33, 33, 33)] 2. With what audio probe: ibasso dx100, nuforce icon hd, ipod nano 7g and lg g4. Honestly makes a better match the nuforce since the ibasso is very defined but with the lg g4 is doing well too. 3. Characteristics of sound: honestly here we will find a very tight bass but of very good quality, clear sound defined, very good means but they stay a little behind, the treble or the brightness is something very prominent and can become a little annoying but like To improve that I will speak later. What most impresses of these audionos is the separation of instruments, soundstage and the 3d feeling that leaves, that actually surpasses those of its price even in these days. 4.Construction and material: These earphones are made to last with a metal construction and in a cord-like part, these earphones would easily last 2 years or more. 5.Comparations: -Dunu titan 1 vs fiio ex1: Honestly they are almost the same around the sound but there is no significant difference ... The titan 1 is a little less shiny and comes with more accessories but if I had to choose between the two, I would leave Definitely for the fi1 ex1 ... in aliexpress the ex1 cost 65 dollars and the dunu titan 1 82 dollars so it is much better to pay the 65dollars since they are almost the same. -Dunu titan 1 vs Brainwavz M2: The m2 do not have much soundstage but they are more recommended to people not audofila since it satisfies the needs that a person does not audiophile (great bass, much impact, not so good and not very high prominent means ), But the main protagonist here is the impact, so the hype that impacts almost all the time. Now the best! The mod: To solve the hissing in high notes or in the cymbals simply place tape or something that is affirmed in the metal, in 2 holes of the 12 that has and put 2 tips together (one with the largest hole to fit, What is next seen in the images).[/color]
    http://s2.subirimagenes.com/fotos/previo/thump_970478917273918102075521855.jpg
    http://s2.subirimagenes.com/fotos/previo/thump_970479017273203102075521855.jpg
    Happy songs to everyone!
    1. senorx12562
      ?
      senorx12562, Mar 13, 2017
  2. akshayshah12
    Brilliant IEMs
    Written by akshayshah12
    Published Jun 21, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Clear highs, overall SQ, Soundstage, Tight bass with nice extension, Accessories
    Cons - Overall build quality, non replaceable cable
    Most about these IEMs is already said in many reviews already out there so keeping it short. SQ is brilliant. Sounded clearly a notch better than Shure SE215 to me. Could easily be the best sub 100$ IEMs out there in terms of sheer sound quality. Lacks in isolation department. Knocking off the half star just because, at asking the price, the design could have been better from durability perspective.
  3. harry501501
    Most fun IEM I've heard!
    Written by harry501501
    Published May 29, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Wide unique soundstage, detailed, accurate bass, fantastic value
    Cons - Little artificial treble
    I've only been in this game since January but have bought a new IEM every month (at pay day obviously). Nothing yet has come close to being my go-to IEM. (I should note...I bought the Titans for £100 but then returned them for the Fiio EX 1s which were the same IEM but rebranded for Fiio... and only £50.... wow.)
     
    I also have Soundmagic e10, Re400s, Havi B3 Pro 1s, Trinity Audio Deltas V1, MEE Pinnacle P1s and I've heard and returned Dunu DN2000s just today.
     
    BASS - I originally thought they didn't have much bass impact but once I used Comply Foam T-500s that changed. It then become nice and accurate with a good mid bass thump. I sometimes EQ a little bit more sub bass. Bassheads won't like these imo.
     
    MIDS - Little recessed but still detailed. They have a slight bit of warmth (which i like). Vocals sound great, especially harmonies which come out fantastically with it's HUGE soundstage. Guitars have great body. I originally thought they lacked a bit of detail, but once I heard other IEMs known for detail and microdetail i realised they were just as competent. They just place the details around the soundstage, but everything is there. i bought the Dn2000s to give me a pair that I could marvel at microdetails but it took me by surprise just how similar the Titans could be when needed.
     
    HIGHS - Probably it's weakest factor. They can be heard but can sound a bit artificial to my ears. Some may find them a wee bit fatiguing at first, but again the foam tips helped that with me. I'm not anywhere close to being a treble head but I like to hear a bit of detail which these def do. They don't have problems with sibilance either.
     
    SOUNDSTAGE - Most people will pick this as the biggest draw. It's huge due to the vent holes. Nice and airy, vocals and instruments have great placement, stereo effect is well done even though they can sit way out your head at times. Very 3D like. the Havi B3 Pro 1s have a very large soundstage and they also use it in a very effective realistic way, but to me it is ruler flat whereas the Titans is just as wide but has better depth and height and is more airy... just bigger.
     
    FIT - Very comfortable, very light. Isolation isn't great though down to the vent holes so you will hear everything going on around you on the go, but it doesn't effect the listening experience. They sound great still... they just greater in a quiet atmosphere.
     
    Genres - I think they do well for all types of music, especially rock. make anthems sound amazing. It's like fireworks in your ears. Guitars and harmonies bursting all round you. Modern pop and electro sound great. i don't listen to classical but I'd think they'd do quite well with big orchestras.
     
    i use these with Xduoo X3 which compliment it very well. i also use it with Fiio e10k and it just just as well. Doesn't need amping imo, and is very forgiving with low bitrate songs... unlike the Mee P1s lol
     
    I have two other great sets in the Deltas and MEE P1s. They are great for different reasons, but the Titans still outperform them for a fun listen (the Deltas are close though as they have a similar mid bass punch which i like). This is a lot to do with that great soundstage though. It's just so unique.
     
    For £50 you are getting a SUPERB IEM... no wonder it is sitting at Number 2. The value is unreal tbh. Not sure if Fiio will keep them at this price point, but they compete with IEMs four times as expensive imo.
  4. avitron142
    Simply Excellent - a Giant Contender
    Written by avitron142
    Published Jun 11, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Spacious and Excellent Sound quality, Build quality, Design, Comfort, Fit.
    Cons - Isolation
    Introduction:



    If you're part of this site, you've heard of open-back headphones. Well, today I learned that over-ear headphones aren’t the only cans with different “open” designs; some IEM’s, less frequently, also feature a somewhat open shell - the DUNU Titan 1’s have a half-open, and half in-ear design.

    So what's the benefit? Think about a semi-open IEM the same way you would regard a semi-open headphone – An open design allows for a more spacious, larger sound (more "3D", binaural, etc.) while sacrificing isolation. If there was a choice between the closed and open for sound quality, open-back will win almost every time.

    So it’s a bit refreshing to see that DUNU’s tried to go take a bit of a risk here and attempt something new. In addition to the aspect of the Titan 1’s being open, there’s also the “half in-ear” design. This allows for a bigger driver, encased in the half of the IEM that isn’t in your ear - this makes the Titan 1 bigger than most other general designs, as the other designs... have to fit to your ear, and this one doesn't. Generally IEM's run into the issue of having to cram one (or five, or ten for bragging rights) drivers into each ear, and try to replicate something about... ~30x bigger? Any headway on keeping IEM's comfortable while allowing for more space to get the drivers correctly is a win for me.

    Does the open design raise the sound quality here to be above market? Let’s find out.

    I am in no way affiliated or work for DUNU. For this review, I’ve received the Titan 1 as a review sample courtesy of DUNU Topsound.


    Packaging:



    The box itself is of the same type of that of the DN-2000J; it’s a stealthy black box that feels sturdy and well made. I'm happy DUNU’s not only willing to put money into the headphone, but also into the external presentation as well - it just looks neat. On the back, like the DN-2000J’s box, it says a few things about the Titan 1’s, as well as the accessories it comes with.

    Opening up the first flap reveals more information about the Titan 1’s, specifically the titanium coated diaphragm DUNU implemented here. Opening up both flaps gives us a sneak preview at the Titan 1’s, as well as some of the tips and the carrying case.

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    Accessories:

    First off, the tips. There’s 3 pairs of translucent gray tips (small, medium, and large), 3 pairs of (what appears to be) Sony Hybrid tips, which are well known for their comfort, and 3 pairs of all-black tips with a noticeably larger nozzle size,. I cannot say whether the Sony hybrids are real - the ones I have from my own collection are knockoffs to begin with, so someone else will have to elaborate on that one.

    The different nozzle sizes for each pair of tips probably make a difference in sound, although I like the sound the way it is – with the default pair of tips that are on the Titan 1’s (Sony hybrid – medium). One thing that I noticed was that there wasn’t any Comply tips. Call me crazy, but I’d rather have 6 pairs of regular tips and one pair of Comply than 9 pairs of tips certain consumers will never use if they’re a foam-tip fan. I can’t really fault DUNU for this though, as they did provide 9 pairs of tips.

    However, for future products, I would love to see the different nozzle sizes supplemented with bi-flange and tri-flange tips. Some guys only get a good fit with bi/tri-flange, and there's always the customer who’s a sworn fan of Comply (there seems to be many of them recently). By taking out the larger nozzle tips and providing even one pair of foam, and one pair each of medium bi-flange and tri-flange, there’s minimal extra cost but potentially more happy customers.

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    Note: Although there are 5 sets of black tips in each picture, the 2nd and 3rd rows from the top are the Sony hybrids, as well as the pair of tips that came on the Titan 1 (not shown here).

    The case itself is made of plastic, although it is definitely more pocketable than the one that comes with the DN-2000J. It’s a clasp-operated case, and as a hardcore zipper case fan, it just doesn’t appeal to me as much on the go. Just to give it a bit of though – imagine you’re on the bus or train and want something from inside the case. Popping open the case through the clasp could be risky; if you’re not careful, everything inside the case could fall out. That is why I’m a zipper-case fan – it doesn’t give you any surprises when opening, and is generally longer lasting. While DUNU got the size and form factor right, and I applaud them for that, I hope a zipper case can be a consideration in the future.

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    The Titan 1's is the black, small case. The metal DN-2000J's case is on the right.

    The last few accessories are a shirt clip, a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter, a cable cinch, and the warranty card. The shirt clip can be used to reduce microphonics, as I’ll elaborate in the microphonics section later on. The cable cinch is a brilliant way to keep your cable wrapped up without it being a mess, so it’s an idea I definitely approve of.

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    The accessories have been thought out well; as I can see, DUNU doesn’t skimp here. I do think though that a few switches in the types of accessories, while not costly, can really give this product a major boost in this department. However, it would be wrong for me to say that it didn’t do well here, only that I can see it going from 'great' to 'amazing' with little effort.

    Build Quality & Design:

    The housing of the Titan 1’s are cast out of metal, and DUNU lives up to its good name in build quality once again. The easiest way I could describe the shell is that it gives the appearance almost exactly of an earbud, with a round and symmetrical shell, except that is has a nozzle protruding at an angle for the tips to be on. I won’t go into the science behind it, but all you have to know is that the design provides a very snug fit in your ear. But more on that in the fit & comfort section later.

    While there are L/R markings on the housing of the Titan 1, they are hard to see, as they blend in with the shiny metal of the housing. Well, DUNU went with color coding on this one - around the shell there is a red/blue stripe, depending on the earpiece. The red stripe is for the right earpiece, and the blue is for the left. While it may be a little hard to remember at first, as the colors don’t exactly have any connection to left/right, it’s easy to get the hang of, and a very efficient way to tell which earpiece is which. No need anymore to squint at the housing to tell whether it says ‘L’ or ‘R’, now you just have to look at the color. A very clever idea, and a point in DUNU’s favor here. I certainly like it.

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    As you can see from the pictures under this paragraph, the main housing of the Titan 1’s have two rows of holes punctured into the shell, and one hole on the back of each housing. To my understanding, this is what makes it “semi-open”. While you won’t be listening from these vents (not that I know of anyway), they do let out air, which removes some of the reverb and provides a more spacious feel to the sound – I’ll continue speaking about this in more detail in the sound section.

    There is ample stress relief where the cable meets the housing, and for this price range, there’s not much else I could ask for in that regard.

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    The cable itself is braided before the Y-split, and regular (unbraided) after the split. I like the look of this thin, but braided wire; I just wish though that it would provide more protection from microphonics, as that’s what I thought braided cables are meant for. Either way, it has a nice, classy look that I really like, and that’s what counts. [​IMG]

    The Y-split feels nice, and also is very light, so you don’t have to worry about the split weighing down the earphone too much. There is also stress relief leading up to the Y-split, and it seems overall well made.

    The Titan 1’s have a right-angled 3.5mm jack, and has nice stress relief there as well. I like the fact that it is made out of polished metal, and that DUNU completely opted for the right-angled jack in many of their products – it’s definitely more efficient with music plays, tablets, and smartphones, as the stress relief stays parallel to the device, rather than perpendicular to it, so including this practice greatly reduces the risk of breakage near the cable.

    TL;DR – the jack is nice, neat, and unobtrusive. A thumbs up from me here.

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    Overall, the build quality is top-notch, and this is a hallmark or DUNU’s workmanship. It certainly seems long lasting, so potential buyers should not be worried about breaking the headphone, or tearing the cable. The design, while looking somewhat quirky, really works in your ear, and that’s what counts.


    Fit & Comfort:

    Like I was saying earlier, the unique “half in-ear” shape of the Titan 1’s really provide a great fit in your ear. While only the tip goes into your ear canal, the Titan 1’s remained in my ear even when I tried shaking it out, and I’m able to wear it for over an hour with no discomfort. I’ve went with the default tips, as they are the ones that worked best for me straight out of the box. I’m sure that using foam tips will probably provide a better seal, but I can’t say how and in what ways they will affect the sound signature. Probably more bass with a slight sacrifice in detail.

    Comfort wise, I have no complaints. The tips are comfortable enough in my ear for long listening sessions, and because of the snug fit, I’m more prone to using these on the go than other earphones I have – just pop ‘em in and let them stay. I have no problems with the metal housing touching the back of my ear, but YMMV.

    The tips go more into my ear than usual IEM’s do (for me, anyway), so people who like a shallow fit will probably have to compromise on a deeper fit for this one. Keep in mind that the deeper fit affects microphonics, and I’ll touch on that later.

    It is important to note that the Titan 1’s can only be worn down, due to its design, so around-the-ear IEM enthusiasts should make note of it before buying the Titan 1’s. However, it doesn't seem to budge from my ear worn down, so I'm not sure there's much reason why someone would want to wear it around the ear to begin with, besides for reduced microphonics.

    Overall, I’m really digging the fit the Titan 1’s provide, and I’m more than willing to sacrifice the looks when they are on the table for a really snug fit in my ear. In the ear, other people can’t really notice the “half in-ear” design, so these actually look very normal when being worn.

    Isolation & Microphonics:


    As a semi-open earphone, there is inevitable sub-average isolation. This is a tradeoff for the sound it provides; BUT it's still something that potential buyers should know about. You won’t be using these to block out noise on the bus or train, but it is great for more quiet places on the go, where you can’t always bring a bulky over-ear headphone with you. The form factor of an IEM makes it a great choice to just chuck-and-go, and the Titan 1’s are no exception.

    Unfortunately, the Titan 1’s cable (or the deeper fit of the tips, I’m not really sure) does create considerable microphonics, even with the braided cable. Since the Titan 1’s can’t be worn over the ear, there’s no getting around it. However, DUNU does provide a shirt clip, which reduces the microphonics overall. I would have still liked there to be less, as not everyone likes using a shirt clip. Since this is a problem central to many, if not most IEM's (especially those which have the tips deeper in the ear canal), I can't fault DUNU here, or any company in particular. I just hope we find a good way to solve this problem with IEM's soon.

    Sound:


    While I didn't burn-in the Titan 1’s as much as they recommended on the general forums, I did put this through ~10 hours of burn-in tracks – frequency sweeps, frequency shapes, white noise, pink noise, brown noise, baby noise (gotta love new cousins), you name it. And since I'm pretty darn pleased with the sound (spoiler alert), I hope my impressions are worth something here.

    I listened to the Titan 1’s with the Shozy Alien player, as well as my Cowon J3. Amplification is for a later section, stay tuned

    Bass/Lows: The Titan 1’s have a punchy lower regions that is quite layered. It does have a bit of a boost, primarily in the mid-bass region, however in the long run you’ll actually want this, and does not by any means obstruct the rest of the frequency. The lower end of the frequency ends up being nuanced, and has nice “thump” like sound. It’s controlled quite well, although I did hear from many people that a large amount of burn-in (which I unfortunately was not able to do yet) most definitely improves the bass control even more.

    Think of it like an AKG K7XX type of bass – true, it has a boost, but because of the open back design, the lower region helps create an enveloping sound that is the envy of many headphones. The same goes with the Titan 1’s; it’s semi-open design helps it smooth out, so to say, and it never feels too much, only large enough to give life to the music.

    I’m happy with the bass. It’s not every day where you have an IEM with an elevated bass that is this enjoyable. And by “enjoyable”, I don’t mean “fun”, because that’s a term used to describe bass-heavy headphones that any non-basshead feels overpowers the frequency. No, the Titan 1’s are enjoyable, and I mean that coming from a balanced listening perspective. I am by no means a basshead, so feel confident that you’ll enjoy the lows if you’re a balanced listener too.

    Mids/Vocals: I’m not much of a vocal fan, so I can’t comment on the “magic” certain vocals have. However, on the Titan 1’s they have a nice amount of clarity, and although they take an ever-so-slight beating from the elevated bass, they are as enjoyable and as detailed as ever to me. However, on a few tracks, they due sound *slightly* thin, but nothing that’s very noticeable to me.

    Pianos sound SO good on the Titan 1’s – I can listen to them for literally hours on this little IEM, and probably will. Gosh, the musical sound of the Titan 1’s will make this one a winner for me. I could not even tell from pianos the slight V-shape frequency that the Titan 1 has; piano performances sound incredibly balanced, and are full of emotion. I would ramble on and on about this, but I now have to re-listen to Final Fantasy 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10-2, and 11 piano collections, so pardon me, but I have a lot of listening to do in the next two days.

    Reluctantly moving on to guitars, they also sound well done, and definitely feel fuller due to the capable bass. They have a musical feel, which is definitely a strong suite of the Titan 1’s. They also have a good amount of clarity, despite the helping hand from the bass.

    Highs: The highs definitely don’t seem bright to me – they are well-refined and textured though. Drums sound great, and well as violins. They are just short of crisp – but they are clear, and I enjoy them a lot as well.

    Clarity: The Titan 1’s, I’m happy to say, don’t sound “closed in” like many other IEM’s I’ve tried – this is probably due to its semi-open design. So if you’re looking for an IEM while looking to stay away from the dreaded “veil” that very often comes with it, the Titan 1’s should be near the top of your list.

    Soundstage: Very spacious, due to the semi-open design. The sound is wide as well as deep, but I can’t help but have the impression that the sound seems to be coming from a slightly “taller” place than I’m used to, and the left/right sounds are a little bit behind center – but this is a refreshing take on the sound, and by no means bad. Just a little different is all.

    However, the sound definitely doesn’t seem to feel closed in at all, and soundstage here is bigger than most IEM’s I’ve experienced, price range or not. Definitely one of the strongest points of the Titan 1.

    Detail: Despite being quite detailed, it is at the end of the day a $115 IEM, and sometimes it’s easy to forget that. The detail is good for its price range, but isn’t the crowning glory of this IEM. However, I have no complaints with it, so do not take this as one.

    Frequency Shape: I would say the Titan-1’s are slightly V-shaped, but the midrange definitely does not take the backseat in my listening experience with these. Think V-shaped in slight quantities, but not in how laid back the sound is.

    Overall Tonality: The Titan 1’s are quite balanced, and really good sounding in general. They are a very "musical" IEM In my experience, and give “life” to the music, so to speak. It has a little bit of a warm sound, but the open design makes sure it’s only slight, and keeps a nice distance so whatever you're listening to isn’t exactly in your face. I would say that the open design transforms “warm” to “lush”, and if I had to describe it, that’s the word I would use – a word that I’ll probably never use in real life, but it’s the best I can do to describe the Titan 1’s.

    Separation: I would have thought that the instrument separation would take a little bit of a beating due to the Titan 1’s musical take on sound, and that it’s inevitable with the type of tonality it wants to produce – but it surprised me here with being quite decent, despite its musicality, and especially despite its price. I was very happily surprised when finding this out. Guitars/orchestras/pianos/vocals etc. are all able to be parsed out. Definitely something I’m a fan of here.

    Coherency & Flow: Excellent. The musical nature of the Titan 1 makes this top notch, and has a beautiful flow that is very hard to match. The crowning glory of the Titan 1 in my opinion - just sit back and listen, you'll forget this is in your ear at all. ‘Nough said.

    Hiss: I really don’t get hiss with this, even on the Shozy Alien, which is quite hiss prone with sensitive IEM’s. These don’t seem to be sensitive at all, and because of this, my volume is slightly higher with the Titan 1 than with, say, the DN-2000J.

    EQ: Don’t. Just… no. It sounds so great without, I’m skipping this section.

    Genre Recommendations: Piano, piano and piano, of course. And violin, and guitar. Frankly, all instrumental music I’ve tried with the Titan 1 was nothing short of amazing in this price range. Classical (violin) orchestras performed much better than what I thought it would; the elevated bass is not showing at all with my classical music, which is strange, but works. In short, I would be very comfortable using this for classical music, and it has the slight treble clarity that is integral to this specific genre. Standard electronic music sounded great with these. EDM specifically is a bit too bassy for my tastes at this point in time, but I have a hunch this will improve with ample burn-in, so this isn’t the last word on this genre. Hip hop, and other vocal-centric genres, aren’t exactly the strong suites of the Titan 1, but they don’t sound bad by any means. Rap sounds great due to the Titan 1’s elevated bass, and male rappers have a nice edge to their voices here. Jazz sounds good here as well, but due to the near-crisp highs, they can sound a bit harsher in this genre than what I would want them to be.

    Basically, acoustic music is its strong point, although it performs well with a variety of genres. This IEM is more geared for the musical listener rather than the analytical one (looking at you DN-2000J), due to its musical flow, but it has enough for attentive listeners to enjoy as well.

    Sound Summary: The Titan 1’s sound amazing for its price, and it’s just so easy to recommend these. They are geared towards a more musical perspective - however, they tick off all the right boxes and then some. The semi-open design gives this a really refreshing sound that I could listen to for hours. They are simply great sounding, and I am very interested to see how these will change for the better with the churn' and burn-in. If there would be one section would say gets a bit left behind the others, it would be the vocals. This is YMMV though, and as an instrumental listener, I’m not really qualified as other head-fi’ers to comment on this.

    Amplification:

    At 16 ohms, these don’t really need amplification, and are well-driven by most source players. While I did not see a positive difference with my Fiio E12 (and actually I preferred the sound without it), I have to tell you though that the Shozy Alien -> Meier Corda HA-2 -> Titan 1 had me drooling. The most noticeable differences were primarily in a bigger and more realistic soundstage (standard amp pros), and a buttery smooth bass. However, amplification is really not a necessary factor here, with its output impedance, and if you are going to use an amp, make sure it’s a decently transparent one.

    Value & Conclusion:

    At $115, this IEM is an absolute steal. Its buttery and smooth sound is way above its price range, and has me forgetting time and time again how relatively cheap they are, given their performance. The build quality is top notch, and the innovative design definitely brings many benefits to the table, in terms of both comfort and sound. As a drawback of this otherwise wonderful design, one thing to keep in mind is that they don’t isolate very well, so don’t buy these thinking that they will block everyone else out. Keeping that in mind, though, for someone who wants both amazing sound and phenomenal comfort in a pocket’s reach, I cannot recommend these more at this price range.

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    - Avishai Zitron
    1. Wildcatsare1
      Great review, Avitron142, really enjoy mine working out or mowing the lawn.
      Wildcatsare1, Jun 14, 2015
  5. Paulus XII
    Dunu Titan 1 (or FiiO EX1) Quick Review - A True Gem
    Written by Paulus XII
    Published May 28, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Micro-detail, transparency, instrument separation. Semi-open, soundstage. Treble. Price.
    Cons - Leakage. Sensivity (90db), does not work for European volume cap players (volume is too low) without an external amp.

    DunuTITAN1IV.jpg

     
     

     

    Specifications

    Driver: 13mm Titanium Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
    Impedance:16Ω
    Sensitivity: 90+- 2dB
    Reproduction Frequency: 20Hz-30kHz
    Cable Length: 1.2m
    Plug: 3.5mm Stere Mini
    Weight: 18g
     
     
    A word: detail.
     
    First of all I've had so many well known 3 driver IEMs, as well as a 4 driver IEM (along with other "top-tier" dynamic drivers like the Sony EX1000 for eg.) that I don't usually get easily impressed by low/mid-end IEMs. Well, these have totally changed my view of things.

    Bass is tight and articulated (but not basshead levels), excelent definition and texture, very clean, sub-bass goes deep, I can hear it as low as 15Hz and even feel it vibrating at 10Hz, just the right quantity without bleeding into the upper regions, highs are very detailed and sparkly with great extension, this is the best part of this IEM for me, sparkle is really something I missed with the W40's and FX700 for a while, mids are so clean and clear, exceptional transparency, they provide one of the most clear vocals I've heard, both male and female.  What else can I say? At this point and after proper A/B I can say for sure that they outclass my 500€ Westone W40 in so many aspects. Detail-retrieval/micro-detail is excelent, we're talking spades of details here, they have amazing clarity, way above W40, transparency/brightness (W40's darker), treble sparkle, impressive instrument separation, air between instruments and "ultra-wide" soundstage, airiness/delicacy, astonishing treble. When I A/B to W40 in most tracks I've tested, W40's sound muddy in comparison, which was quite a surprise. There's micro-details I can detect on Titans, that are masked with the W40s. Not they're not there, but not with that transparency. Music sounds more alive and cleaner with the Titan 1. Watching movies is a totally new experience with IEMs due to the transparency that W40 do not have due to its warm and dark signature (too much after listening to Titan 1). Vocals come up super clean and clear and all the sounds in the background are crisp and clear, oh-so-natural, unlike the W40s that sound dark and somewhat veiled. Dynamic expression and PRaT are very good as a result. I'm enjoying songs I didn't care about with the W40's.
     
    Due to this transparency and precision, instrument separation is more palpable than W40 as you have a better perception of the instruments that surround you in the almost "holographic" soundstage. A result of them being semi-open as well. W40 being darker, doesn't show all the micro-details Titan's do, or at least not with such transparency. This gives Titan 1 a great advantage right here over a 400€ more expensive IEM. I'm insisting on Westone W40 as we are talking about a 4 driver 500€ IEM from a 50 year old company vs a new single dynamic driver 120€ IEM that sounds like a "top-tier". The secret seems to rely under the "Aerospace Nanotech Titanium Diaphragm" and obviously, the engineering. The size of the driver (13mm) also helps with dynamic range.

    THE MOD: To satisfy my basshead needs, I had to cover 2 venting holes (of 12) with tape and this turned them into a bass heavy IEM. So try as many combinations of tips as you can (large lite blue bore ones seems to be the best), try them over the ear, etc. This IEM can be pleasantly bassy with a proper seal. 2 ports covered with tape is the sweet spot too after much experimentation with venting holes, if you want more bass. Mids come up a bit more forward too. Some that have tried this say they sound more balanced, much better than before. For me, personally, there's no comparison. Even sub-bass benefits from this mod and the mids alone justify the mod as they can sound a bit recessed sometimes. So, more bass (still not basshead levels, nor intrusive into the mids), more intimate vocals.

    A word about isolation: Wearing them over the ear (swapping channels) and with the right tips, I can't hear much noise outdoors when listening to music. And talking about semi-open, they sound like an open full size can. Leakage can be a problem, people hear what you're listening to at 1 meter or so. And they even recognize the band (like happened to me today. "You are listening to Evanescence. Love that band". I was perplexed. lol).
     
    Just a note about the treble: I'm a treble-head, this does not affect me, but Titans have alot of treble quantity (above average), so the ones sensitive to treble might need to EQ it down a bit. I don't notice any sign of sibilance but a few others do ocasionaly, especially with bad mastered or too compressed tracks, its probably because 95% of my music is FLAC. But I much welcome this treble since it's the first time treble in a IEM sounds like a speaker.
     
    So is this IEM for me? It depends of your sound sig preference. Titan 1 is a detail monster with great bass (but not basshead levels), they sound spacious, "3-dimensional" and alive, with a great sense of fidelity across the whole spectrum. Treble is its strongest point. If this is your coup of tea, so yes, these are for you. If you prefer a warm, mid-centric and dark IEM like the SM3 or the W40, these are the opposite. But in terms of micro-detail, clarity and transparency, Titan 1 trumps both. They sound crystal clear and resolving, with sparkly, airy and exciting treble, clear mids and thick, tight bass.

    Conclusion: Coming from W3, UM3X, SM3, Sony EX1000, JVC FX700, W40 and so many others, I dare to say the Dunu Titan 1 is absolutely one of the best sounding IEMs I have ever tried, being the transparency and delicacy the main reasons, besides all that I've mentioned above. All in all, a true gem in my vast collection and the one I'll be using many times for sure. Titan 1 competes with and trumps many of the so called "top-tiers" and this means alot to me. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
     
     
    My congratulations to Dunu for making something so special and unique at a price most can afford.
     
     
    Have a look at golden-ear.net for more reviews, news and ratings
    1. View previous replies...
    2. wasad4
      No, what I meant was between the dunu titan 1 and the rha-ma750, who comes out on top? xD
      wasad4, Aug 3, 2015
    3. Paulus XII
      Sorry for the confusion. Titan 1 hands down.
      Paulus XII, Aug 3, 2015
    4. wasad4
      No problem, thanks for the help!
      wasad4, Aug 3, 2015
  6. YoYo JoKeR
    Dunu Titan 1: Well Performing Semi-Open IEM, but Lacks Mids
    Written by YoYo JoKeR
    Published May 21, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Impressive Bass, Soundstage, Transparency
    Cons - Distant Mids


    Me: I am a 21 year old student living in a small town in India. I would like to call myself a music enthusiast, rather than an audiophile. I was inspired by music since childhood, and as the time passed, the passion of music grew in me, and that subsequently led me to join Head-Fi. Eventually, I found the pleasure of listening to music mainly by the HD600 and recently, by the seductive LCD2 headphones, and realized the true components of recorded music. I usually like to listen to Indian Classical Music along with Bollywood songs. My main listening genres include classical, vocal, instrumental, jazz and sometimes pop.  With time, my sonic preferences have very much grown. I avidly admire transparency, accuracy along with neutrality, and my favorite headphones are Sennheiser HD800 & AKG K812, & I generally prefer to listen to full sized gears. In an earphone or In-Ear Monitor as we call it, I expect very neutral, detailed sound delivery with a decent soundstage & transparency, accuracy along with a good comfort & reliability. Isolation should also be manageable, & the design of IEM should not harm our ears or ear canal.
     
    I am an average consumer & a humble enthusiast, I love to pen down my thoughts, &  express my feelings. I do not receive for any sort financial benefits through this review. My articles are a purely my honest writeup aimed for fellow enthusiasts here at Head-Fi community. My profound thanks to Topsound team for arranging a sample unit of Titan1 earphones for my evaluation. 

     
    Intro:  Dunu-Topsound, or simply known as Dunu, is a famous Chinese IEM manufacturer. The brand was established in 1994 as an OEM parts maker; it has evolved since then to manufacture full scale IEM’s and has earned the esteemed ISO-9001 certificate. They also have numerous patents & rights with respective to their products.Their R&D headquarters is located in Taiwan, & factory & marketing offices in mainland China. Dunu has its self develped IEM making machineries & manufactures earphones in its own factory.The Titan1 is their latest IEM offering & uses a unique nano titanium coated diaphragm. According to Dunu, performs better than both BA & regular dynamic drivers.
     
    DSC02398.jpg
     
     
    Dunu: Delicate, Unique & Utmost
     
    Specifications of Titan1 as per Dunu:
     
    Drivers: 13 mm Dynamic
     
    Rated Impedance: 16 Ω
     
    Frequency Range: 10Hz-30 kHz
     
    Weight: 18 grams
     
    Pressure level: 90dB
     
    Plug: 3.5mm Gold Plated
     
    Cable: 1.2m

     
    Let’s proceed to the review,
     
    Packaging and Accessories: The Titan1 arrives packed inside a strong and sleek Dunu style flip-open black cardboard box, on which features and other information have been mentioned upon. Once the box is flipped open, housing shell is seen resting inside a transparent window, the rest of cable and the accessories are packed inside the hard case. I can confidently say that Dunu has done some real premium packaging out here. The hard case can be lifted off to reveal the storage compartment, in which all the included accessories are present. Huge amounts of accessories included in the package, and again are made up of good quality. Packaging is done in a premium way “The Dunu Style” Really nice and satisfying.
     
    DSC02392.jpg
     
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    List of accessories in the box, which include the following: 
     
    DSC02403.jpg
     
    Eartips: Plenty varieties of good quality eartips are included to fit almost any kind of ears.
     
    Shirt Clip: To reduce microphonics and to secure the hanging cable to the shirt.
     
    ¼” Converter: To plug in the Titan in the 6.5mm headphone jacks.
     
    Hard case: This hard fibre case is supplied to protect and store the Titan IEM.
     
    Warranty card: Contains warranty information.

     
    Design and Build: The Titan has a good overall build quality. Design stands apart from rest of IEM’s as this has kind of hybrid mixed up design: half of earbud outer unit & nozzle similar to an IEM.
     
    DSC02404.jpg
     
    This helps in a increased driver size without compromising comfort. The Titan1 is semi-open design (observe the vents), and is not fully closed. The entire housing shell is made up of high quality hard plastic with a exterior steel finish. These are very light in weight. Dunu logo is printed on the rear side of the housing shell. Left and Right markings are easy to see, and are clearly indicated by colour code. Strain reliefs are well implemented, and do their jobs. Splitter is nicely finished, no nitpicks anywhere.
     
    DSC02412.jpg
     
    DSC02414.jpg
     
    DSC02406.jpg
     
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    Plug is 90 degree angled and gold plated.  Overall, Cable has a good build. First half of the cable is rubberized, slightly thinner than expected, but alright does its job & and the second half has mesh finish to it.
     
    DSC02408.jpg

     
    Comfort:  The Titan1 is comfortable enough to wear in general; it is light weighed & ergonomically designed. These IEM’s are shallow insertion type & does not irritate our ear canals, since the nozzle is quite short, hence fit depends partially on outer body. But to my ears, it did not quite fit properly & therefore requiring few adjustments after some time. Since Titan1’s are semi-open back IEM’s, these will not completely isolate the listener from outside noise. This level of isolation is not very good for a traveler in noisy surroundings, but manageable.

     
    Sound: Dunu's Titan1 has a very neutral, very clear & airy, detailed sonic character, but has slightly distant mids. It is very transparent and detailed. We have to keep in mind that, with in-ear IEM’s, sonic presentation may feel different with different fit. Therefore fit/angle is the deciding factor for sound being perceived by ears.
     
    DSC02413.jpg
     
    Burn in: These performed well right out of the box, and burn in provided little or no significant audible changes.  But on the safer side, Let’s say a playback of 20 hours provides very slight audible improvements. Bass prior to break-in is slightly loose, and eventually it becomes more accurate, Mids will sound more open, Highs become slightly smoother; soundstage opens up by a margin.
     
    Lows: are accurate, tight and refined; but have a excellent impact and depth, owing to their new titatnium drivers.
     
    Mids: Noticeably recessed, but airy and clear. Vocals, classical are not quite pleasurable.
     
    Highs:  Detailed treble with slight grains and sparks. Unforgiving on bright recordings.
     
    Soundstage: TheTitan1’s soundstage is very airy and circular soundstage. Depth is excellent. Instrument separation is very good.
     
    I am really impressed by sound quality of these IEM’s (except mids). The Titan1 portrays music in such a way that, one feels as if the music is all around him owing to its semi-open design (excellent soundstage for an IEM in this price). But for listeners who love vocals or classical may be left disappointed. These are appreciably transparent in character. It has very airy, a vast 3D like soundstage.
     
    Mids is definitely & obviously is recessed in the Titan1 & thus giving out a V shaped sound signature. It is the only thing to be compromised when switched over to Titan1. But in rest of terms, it provides in all sonic characters like accuracy, details, soundstage, instrument separation, imaging, dynamics and what not. Instruments placement & positioning is really great.   Neutral, detailed, transparent are the key words for Titan1. But presentation is in a ‘V’ form, with distant mids which appear to be recessive. Thre amount of acutal mid frequencies presented in the Titan is less about 15% when compared to a flat sounding IEM. Low volume listening is pretty impressive. One can hear these in very low volumes, yet it retains all the details & elements present in a track. Comfort and fit plays a vital role in sound being perceived to our ears.

     
    Amplification: The Dunu Titan1 rated at 16 ohms, and designed to be power efficient, and hence is very easy to drive, and can be driven by almost any sources, smartphones and DAP’s. Although setup like an O2/ODAC does indeed increases accuracy, soundstage and dynamics noticeably, and the difference in quality is clearly audible for an attentive listener. Power is not a important aspect here, but a transparent setup indeed does help in increasing SQ;

     
    Conclusion:  I feel theTitan1’s are really very performing pair of IEM’s, especially considering their price. Sound quality is excellent, is very pleasing, with a great transparency & soundstage. But in actual presentation, mids are presented in a distant fashion, probably due to its larger soundstage. This may not please enthusiasts who love to listen to classical and vocals. But again Dunu’s Titan1 is one of the most performing IEM available in 150$
     
     
    Pros: Sound presentation here is very neutral, detailed, & airy. Its very accurate. The soundstage, instrument separation, clarity, resolution is appreciable, but mind the decreased mids. For me, this resulted in incompleteness & imbalance in sound spectrum in actual listening sessions. Value:  After understanding all the qualities Titan1 offers us, it is understood that it also offers a good price/performance ratio for IEM’s under 150$.
     
     
    Cons: Mids are a trade off when going for the Titan1’s.
     

    DSC02416.jpg


    1. View previous replies...
    2. YoYo JoKeR
      Thank you Paulus, I understood your point on mids, but somehow I could not like the actual presentation in Titan's mids, for my ears it sounded far away.
       
      & Sarath, I havent bought it, this is a review sample. You can avail these on ebay.com
      YoYo JoKeR, May 23, 2015
    3. sarathnjan007
      sarathnjan007, May 23, 2015
    4. YoYo JoKeR
  7. 520RanchBro
    Incredible Detail and Musical Immersion
    Written by 520RanchBro
    Published May 7, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great value for the level of sound quality, excellent bass response, impressive soundstage
    Cons - Lacking midrange presence with some rock and metal-based music, less isolation and more sound leakage than other IEMs,

    After trying the excellent value that is Dunu's Crius CN-13 ($27 on Amazon) I was curious to try more of their offerings, the Crius punched way over even its original price (around $60 was the original MSRP I was told). The Titan was the most intriguing to me, I loved the idea of a semi-open IEM and lets face it, they look incredible. Well Dunu actually reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try the Titan 1 and review it. I have to say, I'm glad I said yes!
     
    For this review I'll be using  my rMBP 2015 with an LH Labs Geek Out 450, just playing AAC as after a lot of A/B testing, I cannot tell the difference between it and FLAC or ALAC with this setup. I'll also be using my Modi 2 Uber & Asgard 2 desktop setup, playing mostly FLAC. When I get to the song by song breakdown I'll specific which rig was used. I've found the Geek Out to be a bit more detailed on some songs but find them generally to have about the same level of sound quality and possess similar sound signatures with IEMs.
     
     
    Packaging & Accessories
     
    Dunu excels in this area, tons of earths to try and a great plastic case for storing your Titans and some accessories. You'll get a plethora of different tips, a clip, and a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter. The packaging and presentation looks great, instills confidence right upon opening them. There's plenty of great pictures on other reviews if you'd like pictures, feels unnecessary for me to include them. But if you want a specific picture of something, just send me a message and let me know!
     
     
    Build Quality, Design & Comfort
     
    I absolutely love the all metal design of these IEMs, they look stunning and inspire a lot of confidence in their durability. The cable is thinner than I usually prefer, theres a nice fabric jacket up until the split where it's your usual polyethylene jacket material. The strain reliefs actually seem to be pretty robust and I have a good feeling this cable will be quite durable, which is a huge thing I look for in a daily driver IEM that I want to take everywhere. I really do appreciate that Dunu took the time to design a cable with proper strain reliefs, it goes a long way in cable durability. Comfort-wise, I've worn these for hours at a time and hardly notice them, but they are a bit bigger than some of my other IEMs, they can't match the comfort of my tiny HiFiMAN RE-600s, but they are by no means uncomfortable. Also it's very easy to quickly put these on and get a good fit and seal  almost instantly, great for a grab and go IEM.
     
    Overall I think the Titans are very well designed, well built and quite comfortable, especially for their larger size.
     
    Sound
     
    Right off the bat I can tell you the strong and precise bass impact really impressed me. It extends very low, but is also very precise, there’s no mud or unnatural decay. I think bassheads would be thoroughly impressed by the Titans, but they aren’t just a headphone for bassheads either, the quantity of bass is matched by its quality.
     
    The midrange response on the Titans isn’t as easy to explain as the bass. Lower mids feel a bit more recessed with male vocals sitting back a bit further in the mix than more mid-centric headphones and IEMs. I also felt that guitars (especially downtuned guitars used in a lot of metal genres) sounded surprisingly smooth and lacked a bit of aggression that I normally look for when it comes to doom, black and death metal. That’s just more of a personal preference thing, the lower midrange just sits back in the mix, more relaxed. The upper mids, especially female vocals, sound absolutely breathtaking. There’s just the right amount of distance where it feels like their voice is just enveloping you but it’s not so distant that it loses too much intimacy or sounds veiled.
     
    The treble response on these IEMs is quite pleasant. There’s a touch of airiness that compliments the Titans expansive soundstage but I haven’t found a track that makes the treble even minutely harsh or grating, even at very loud volumes. I think these are a really safe bet if you’re treble sensitive.
     
    The soundstage on these is so impressive for an IEM. Much more of an outside-your-head experience than other IEMs I’ve listened to. Really gives jazz and more avant-garde drone and metal a lot of space and makes for a very enjoyable experience. For some albums though, especially very aggressive metal, it takes away from the focus and aggression of the music. This is a minor gripe and more of a personal preference thing.
     
    Detail retrieval is also spectacular in my book, even better than my RE-600. Heavily layered music is such a treat to listen to on the Titans, instrument separation is impressive and it never sounds unnatural. You’ll discover new sounds and textures you’d never heard before. This is probably my favorite aspect of the Titan.
     
    Now we’ll get to a song by song breakdown of how these sound:
     
    Sleep - Dopesmoker (Stoner Doom Metal)
    Rig used: FLAC CD Rip — Schiit Modi 2 Uber — Asgard 2
     
    [​IMG]
     
    This is one of my favorite albums of all time and it’s a great benchmark for me, personally. The Titans killed it on this one! The bass and the kick drum have incredible punch and authority, gets your head banging right away! Though usually I feel heavy guitars don’t quite have enough presence with the Titans, that was not really the case here, they have a great low-end rumble, but the mids are still very much present. Man that bass though…. so good! This album and the Titans are a great pairing.
     
    Kamasi Washington - The Epic (Jazz)
    Rig Used: LH Labs Geek Out 450
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Warm and smooth with an expansive soundstage really helps this album live up it’s title. I can’t really pick out a flaw here, every instrument is presented and separated very naturally and it just feels like this how this album is supposed to sound. It’s very heavily layered and complex and the Titan keeps up no problem. Even with saxophones, trumpets, an organ, drums and other percussion and a choir all playing at the same time. Really it’s kind of hard to explain, you just have to listen to this album with the Titans, even if you hardly like jazz.
     
    Myrkur - Self-Titled EP (Black Metal)
    Rig Used: LH Labs Geek Out 450
     
    [​IMG]
     
    As I said earlier, female vocals sound incredible on the Titans and this album shows it off quite well, the clean singing sounds downright ethereal here with that fairly large soundstage. Instrumentally, there’s definitely a darker sound signature imposed on this album which may be your thing, but I prefer more brightness and aggression with black metal. If you’re someone who complains about not being able to hear the bass in black metal music, you’ll hear it here. The guitars sound too smooth and warm here, not cold and cutting enough for my preference. That said, plenty of fans of black metal prefer a darker sound so this could be right up your alley.
     
    Taylor Swift - 1989 (Pop)
    Rig Used: LH Labs Geek Out 450
     
    [​IMG]
     
    I may like sulking in my room and listening to black and doom metal a lot but sometimes I’m looking for something a little more pleasant and catchy! I’m not too big on pop culture and top 40 radio, but I do love listening to Taylor Swift occasionally. This album sounds just euphoric on the Titans. Bass response extends deep but keeps up quite well with the driving driving rhythms on a lot of her songs. Taylor’s voice is the star of the show here and it sounds amazing. If you like a lot of modern pop music (especially female artists), you have to try out the Titans!
     
    Chrome Sparks - Goddess EP (Electronic, Chillwave)
    Rig Used: LH Labs Geek Out 450
     
    [​IMG]
     
    The warm nature of the Titans and the expansive soundstage really lend to making a very relaxing listening experience with this EP. Deep bass and shimmering synths layer perfectly and you can really hear all of the different sounds and textures used in making this album. I’m blown away by the clarity and detail. The Titans are great for electronic music too.
     
    Radiator Hospital - Torch Song (Indie Folk/Rock)
    Rig Used: LH Labs Geek Out 450
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Again, the Titans are imposing a bit of a warmer signature here. Bass guitar sounds thick and very present. Guitars are lacking a bit of brightness and sparkle. Female and male vocals both sound excellent though. Clear and detailed and more intimate, despite the generally wider soundstage these IEMs usually exhibit.
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    Well there’s plenty more music to discover on the Titans but I have to cut the review somewhere. Leave any requests for impressions with certain albums in the comments and I’ll certainly get back to you.
     
    I must say, I’m overall very impressed by the Titans. They come with a solid array of accessories and tips and a nice little case for transporting them. They are quite comfortable for being a bit bigger IEMs and I found getting a good seal to be quite easy with the right tips. I love that Dunu did not skimp on the cable, while I haven’t had these long, the cable inspires a lot of confidence in me due to its very flexible nature and ample strain reliefs on three different point of the cable (termination, right before the splitter, on each monitor). I wish every company that made IEMs implemented strain reliefs like on the Titans.
     
    Sound-wise, they are incredibly detailed, wow! Breathtaking soundstage for an IEM in the $100-$150 price range and very authoritative bass that never sounds muddy or too slow. Highs are well balanced and never piercing or fatiguing in my experience.
     
    My only gripe is that I prefer a bit stronger midrange presence since I listen to a lot of guitar based music. For me, the guitars sound a little too smooth and warm on a lot of albums and the lack the same presence that the bass commands. This isn’t an issue of quality though, just personal sound signature presence.
     
    If you enjoy electronic, pop, hip-hop and/or jazz, I can’t recommend the Dunu Titan 1s enough, they are absolutely stellar with these genres. If you listen to rock, metal or other guitar based music and like a smoother, warmer character to your music, then you’ll like these as well. There are plenty of IEMs out there that offer ‘fun’ sound signatures that often lack detail or natural instrument separation but the Dunu Titan 1 is not one of them. 
     
    Note: In the interest of full disclosure these were sent to me from Dunu for review and I did not purchase them. Thank you to Dunu for letting my try these excellent IEMs.
    1. slowpickr
      Nice review.  Took a lot of effort.  I am finding that the Titan's work with about every genre I throw at them.  Definitely one of the best IEM purchases I've ever made.
      slowpickr, May 8, 2015
    2. 520RanchBro
      Thanks! Yeah the detail and clarity on these really surprised me. Just trying to experiment with tips now.
      520RanchBro, May 11, 2015
  8. Dsnuts
    Outstanding sound and design.
    Written by Dsnuts
    Published Jan 31, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Solid design, engaging clear and precise sound.
    Cons - leaks sound like an earbud, cord tends to catch some static.
    51Il5bZi7tL._SL1000_.jpg
    Specifications:
    Driver: Titanium Diaphgram Dynamic Driver 13mm
    Sensitivity: 90+- 2dB
    Reproduction Frequency: 20Hz-30kHz
    Cable Length: 1.2m
    Plug: 3.5mm Stere Mini
    Weight: 18g
    Comes With:
    1 x Titan 1 Earbuds
    1 x Carrying bag for storage
    1 x 3.5mm to 6.3mm gold adapter
    1 x Gold plated 3.5mm plug and rigid alloy splitter
    Paste

     I would like to give a shout out to Vivian and Dunu-Topsound team for giving me an opportunity to review these earphones. It took me a while to get these properly burned in but was definitely fun to hear them along the way. Dunu does recommend that owners of the Titan 1 burn in the earphones for roughly 200 hours. I will get into what this does for the sound later but for now I have to agree 100% on this. These actually sounded fantastic out of the box. You can certainly hear their potential and their sound signature but to really get the Titan 1 Dunu wants you to hear. You have to remember these drivers have a titanium coating that make the drivers very stiff. Perhaps only second in stiffness to the carbon nanotubes JVC uses. 
     
    Dish type earphones are my forte and got me started a while ago with the MP8320 and various Audio Technicas  that use this design but these here Titan 1s to me was a complete surprise in many ways. I always thought Audio Technica's dish style earphones were always among the best in the category but these have come along to say otherwise. I applaud audio manufacturers that come out with something new. Something exciting in the much crowded field of earphone design. However design is one aspect that works only if the sound follows suit and these here earphones does just this. To me 2015 so far has been all about raising the bar. What do you get for that magic $100 plus number now a days?
     
    First there was Zero Audio's DuoZA earphones with their large but light pill like housing using dual drivers that is one of the best sounds for the money hands down. Then these Titans 1 was getting some attention. I can say with certainty not only does the Titan 1 hang with the DuoZA but does a few things better. I am a fan of both these earphones as they both have raised the bar on what to expect for your money. Both have a different tuning/sound of course and there for I honestly think both are worthy of your collection.
     
    So lets start the read. I would like to start with the design of the earphones and what you get in the package.
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    Out of the box the Titan 1 gets a good arrangement of earphone tips, 1/4in stereo adapter, shirt clip, nice plastic case and very nice looking metal dish type earphone.
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    The all metal housing has a very quality feel and build to them. In fact here is where the Titan 1 gets the thumbs up. The solid design of these earphones is quality. It would not surprise me one bit if these earphones lasted longer than your average earphone. The cord is a solid rubberized and while it does transmit some microphonics it is no more than average in the external noise category. For guys looking for absolute quiet, microphonics free sound these will not work for you. These are more of a semi open design than anything closed in but this is the trade off for the sound these have. These earphones are not a large earphone by any means. They are about the size of your average earbud actually without the thick foam covering. So while these certainly look nice and fit easy enough for your average ear shape, how does this design lead to a better sound?
     
    011915184053.jpg
     
    On first listen soon after I took these pics these had a clarity and a proper stage for earphones that I immediately appreciated. Nothing bothers me more than earphones that have that in your head stage and muddiness in sound. The first thing that caught my attention was how deep the treble sounded. A little bit harsh on open listen but I had a feeling burn in would help the treble get proper. And proper it has gotten. I mentioned earlier that there are a few sound traits that I feel the Titan 1 does better and while the treble extension and detail can be debatable regarding both of these earphones. These have a sizzle and shine in the treble region that not too many earphones can do. Looking at the treble and bass enhancement of these earphones due to the titanium coating.
     
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    So what does this optimized difference do for these earphones? The raised treble and bass regions are right. However what one needs to know is that this doesn't mean harsher,sharper and a  peaky fatiguing treble with a bloated or bigger bass. The Titan 1s are described to be V shaped in sound, however after the longer extended burn in Dunu recommends, I can say it is more of a U shape in sound than a V. Treble for being "enhanced," I am finding a non fatiguing controlled treble range that clearly has some of the best depth, attack, shimmer and decay among single dynamics. I would have kept my GR07 if the treble was more like it is on the Titan 1s. 
     
    One of the best way to hear micro details in the treble region is how high hats are portrayed. Flat and one note these are not.High hat rides for jazz or rock music takes on a dimension that makes it seem like you are hearing BA levels of detail for the highs. Natural reverb from the drum kit which lesser earphones just do not portray is easily heard on these earphones. So it went from a somewhat strident with potential for a true treble greatness that actually went there with the burn in. As of today I am not hearing any grain or stridency at all in the treble region.
     
    Basically what the 200 hours of your time burning these earphones does is tighten the Titan 1s sound. The treble region as well as the bass while the mids actually fill out and come a bit more forward because the treble and the bass tightens and refines a bit more than on open box. I remember when I first heard the Titan 1 the center band of the mid section did seem a bit more reserved than the upper and lower regions. Today I am not hearing this reservation and this has helped out in the imagery of the earphones which is spot on by the way. One of the strong suits of these earphones how good the imagery is. Well recorded music with layers of sound that should be in a particular area of the recording are portrayed with ease on these earphones. The ability of the treble region on these earphones made me realize just how important treble is to the overall sound an earphone portrays. The treble lends to the overall clarity and tonality of the sound and while these earphones have a tonality that leans more toward neutrality another aspect that separates these earphones is the full bodied bass region. 
     
    Bass to me is just as important to the overall sound while the mids portray most of what we hear in an particular tune the bass end of these earphones can be described as enhanced. But not in the way we associate, enhancement. When you guys read that these have extra bass. Does Sonys XB sound comes to mind? Bass is enhanced in the way that the treble is enhanced. The bass has tightness, speedy attack, well textured and comes warm and full bodied. Which if you think about it we got a mostly neutrally toned earphone in sound,  regarding the mids, while the treble has that shimmer and precision that adds to the clarity. The bass end has its own set of dynamics. Not only does it keep up with the rest of the sound. From memory every single titanium coated phone I have heard the bass had a HD quality to them. These are no exception. Bass that is enhanced in a recording be it for hip hop or pop music to rock  these let you know the low end was enhanced in the recording. Lesser bass enhanced earphones the bass region is always there meaning you get bloat when your music does not need that extra bass. You can tell the quality of the low end of these as music with no low end enhancement has. No low end enhancement. The ability of the bass end makes the sound of the Titan 1 versatile and has the type of bass that I would consider very solid quality. Sure there will be guys that say it is a bit much for a true neutral sound. I don't think Dunu was going for a true neutral sound from the get go. The ability of the warm agile bass lends to most types of music and stays away from other frequencies of sound.
     
    So what I am hearing from the Titan 1s is something that single dynamics do not really do, a clearer distinction for the treble, the mids and the bass. 3 separate tonalities. Bell like clarity for treble, neutral spot on imagery rich, clear mid section and a full bodied warm low end with great ability.  How many single dynamics have you heard that can do this?
     
    The mids of these earphones while taking a bit of a step back from the enhancement of the treble and the bass region is actually done very well. What makes or breaks a sound is how clear the mids are and the mid bands of these earphones not only have the clarity that is set throughout the overall sound but the imagery and depth of the mids are excellent. Vocals have distinct clarity in the region and while male vocals could use a bit more fullness, vocal and instruments natural reverb and depth is heard much like the treble region. Sound balance is key in stage perception and to me these have a wider stage perception and a bit if extra clarity due to the mids taking a bit of a step back from the treble and the bass. A truly balanced earphone will not get you what the Titan 1 does. If the mids were more forward in the mix here perhaps the clarity, perceived stage and imagery might suffer a bit.
     
    In the end, the duoZAs are actually the better balanced earphone and actually has the larger stage to do it, requiring a larger stage to do this.  But the Titan 1s has a one of kind shimmer in the treble region that make the duoZA sound a bit reserved in comparison. A warm full bodied quality bass end and imagery that is among the best for a single dynamic easily in the price range. Do I recommend the Titan 1s? Considering these earphones have handed the CKM series of earphones from AT their collective arses in sound. Considering this is one of the best sounds for the price. Absolutely..
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Dsnuts
      I know it would be easy to just start listening to them with lesser burn in. Do it. Let them drivers blast for 2 weeks. It will be worth your time. 
      Dsnuts, Feb 3, 2015
    3. waynes world
      Got to 200 hours of burn in on the Titan1's. I loved them from the start, and I love them even more now. Again, great review Ds!
      waynes world, Mar 15, 2015
    4. Paulus XII
      Definitely did. The 200hrs are indeed crucial.
      Paulus XII, May 28, 2015
  9. HiFiChris
    The beginning of a Tale of Titans: the Titan 1 offers really good value and build
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Dec 16, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - value, build quality, engaging sound, huge and spacious soundstage, design, bass speed
    Cons - slight midrange veil, treble a tad artificial, cloth-coated cable looks awesome but may fray over time, weak isolation due to the semi-open design
    Preamble:

    Before I start with my actual review, I want to give out a big thank DUNU-Topsound for providing me with a sample of the Titan 1 in-ears (http://www.dunu-topsound.com/TITAN1.html) in exchange for my honest opinion and evaluation.

    Founded in February 1994 originally as an OEM manufacturer, the Chinese company DUNU has developed in the past few years and launched many in audiophile circles highly appreciated IEMs, whereof the Titan 1, an in-ear with semi-open design that reminds me more or less of an “earbud with a nozzle”, was one of their most appreciated and discussed in-ears in the last time.
    This review on the Titan 1 IEMs of the company DUNU that is well known for their titanium-coated drivers is the “upbeat” of a following comparison with the new models Titan 3 and Titan 5.


    Technical Specifications:

    Price: ~$115
    Driver type: dynamic, 13 mm, titanium-coated
    Frequency response: 20 H – 20 kHz
    Sensitivity: 90 dB (+/- 2 dB)
    Impedance: 16 Ohms
    Cable length: 1.2 m


    Delivery Content:

    Typically for DUNU, the Titan 1’s delivery content is quite good, although not as impressive as with their more expensive models.

    The packaging is valuable, sturdy and designed with the typical DUNU-style. The front shows a large picture of the in-ears, the back gives information about the delivery content with corresponding little pictures and more information about the in-ears. The left side features the technical specifications in various languages; the right has got a strap for opening the magnetic lid and features the words that DUNU stands for: “Delicate Unique & Utmost”.
    On the inside, the left side of the upper side’s lid describes the assets of the titanium coating, gives information about the metal bodies and shows the effects of the titanium layer in a frequency chart. On the right side, there is an introduction of a musician called Max Barsky as well as a small plastic screen with the in-ears behind.
    With the help of another strap, this side can be opened up as well and reveals the in-ears as well as a warranty card, a really nice carrying case (more about that later on), a cable clip, a 6.35 to 3.5 mm adapter as well as three different styles of silicone tips in three different sizes (among are the pre-installed Sony-like hybrid silicone tips, hybrid silicone tips with red stem as well as flat wide-bore silicone tips). Therefore, the consumer can chose his preferred style of tips that also have a slight impact on the overall sound signature.
     

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    Aesthetics, Build Quality:

    The silver in-ear bodies are made of stainless steel, feature a premium build quality, have got classical “L” plus “R” side markers as well as DUNU logos and letterings. As a very convenient feature, both sides have got circular, coloured rings in the centre for very easy side identification.
    Apart from the sound outlet holes in the nozzle, I count at total 12 other perforated holes in the metal housings which make the Titan 1 somehow a mixture of in-ears and earbuds.

    The L-shaped 3.5 mm connector which contains the serial number as well as the y-split with the “DUNU” and “Titan 1” lettering and the chin-slider are made of the same silver metal.
    The very flexible cable is cloth-coated below the y-split, which on one hand feels great, looks great and reduces microphonics, but on the other may fray over time and lose the great looks. The cable for sure features DUNU’s patented cable management tool which I really got used to over time on the DN-2000J, wherefore I also like it on the Titan 1, although I’d like if it was removable for sportive activities when the source device is in no pocket (just like Fidue’s more or less similar tool which is removable), but that’s just my minor preference and no negative point in the evaluation.

    With a firm press on the button of the nice carrying case, the lid snaps open. The bottom on the outside has got a rubber mat that is skid-proof on most surfaces. The lower half of the case’s inside is bolstered with rubber, but the upper is unfortunately not and has only got a hard plastic surface.
     

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    Comfort, Isolation:

    The semi-openly designed in-ears are best worn like earbuds with the cables straight down, which works out quite nice, however people with very small auricles may have fit issues, which is definitely no problem for me who has quite large conchas, wherefore the in-ears sit very comfy in my ears. Once the chin-slider is moved up, microphonics are lowered and not too present.
    Wearing the Titan 1 true-sided with the cables over the ears is possible in my case and without many comfort issues, but “doesn’t feel right”, wherefore I recommend inserting the IEMs like you would for wearing them with the cables straight down, but after that you guide the cables over the ears, which is easily possible due to the low y-split and reduces microphonics even more.

    As the in-ears follow a semi-open design, isolation is pretty low, although still audibly better than with earbuds or most full-sized open-back headphones and not as bad as I thought after having read some impressions.


    Sound:

    Although I don’t believe much (if at all) in burn-in of in-ears, I have fully burnt the Titan 1 in before listening, just as it is recommended for them.
    My main source devices were the iBasso DX80 and DX90 as well as sometimes the iPhone 4 (which is jailbroken and tweaked for a better music experience) and LH Labs Geek Out IEM 100. Music material was mainly stored as FLAC and WAV files, but I also used some 320 kBps cbr MP3 files.

    The following sound impressions were written down based on listening with the red-core hybrid tips, as they subjectively offered the best sound quality for me.

    Tonality:

    The Titan 1’s general tonality can be described as having a bassy character with a mildly v-shaped tendency.
    The lows are very even without real roll-off down to 25 Hz and extend from the low registers of the sub-bass up to the middle fundamental tone area. The emphasis is quite present with about +6 dB compared to more neutral in-ears (like the Etymotic ER-4S), though lows don’t appear bloated which is also because of the quick and arid bass impact (more about that further below). The mids appear a bit less present and also have got some emphasis in the upper mids/lower highs, wherefore voices are a shade on the brighter side, just as with the Fidue A73, which I personally like better than overly dark mids (and for those who are wondering, the Titan 1’s mids are not really obviously too bright, but just brighter that you may actually be used to and only with the Sony-Style Hybrid tips, but become – at least in my ears – tonally correct with the red-core tips).
    At 7.5 kHz, there is a moderate peak in my ears, which is, along with the slightly relaxed middle treble, most likely the main reason why the Titan 1 is often perceived as mildly v-shaped.
    There is nothing to criticise about the upper treble extension above 10 kHz, as it is pretty good and there is a nice amount of subtle super-treble sparkle.

    Tuning Options:

    Just as with most of DUNU’s in-ears, the Titan 1 comes with a good selection of ear-tips that shape the sound more or less obviously.
    The black Sony-style hybrid tips have got minimally brighter upper mids that are quite identical to the Fidue A73. The red-core hybrid tips make the mids appear more correct in my ears and sound overall a shade darker; the black wide-bore tips subjectively lower the mids and treble even more, wherefore the whole sound appears bassier.
    By the way, the middle and upper treble sound a bit artificial and unnatural in my ears when I use the Sony-style tips, but that problem gets solved with the red-core tips which also seem to add a little resolution to the highs.

    Resolution:

    The resolution is on a very good level and among the best of dynamic driver in-ears in the price range of around $100+. The Titan 1 sounds very clear, clean, vivid and lively, but there is one thing that perishes a bit, namely the mids: they are not really recessed, but their resolution lacks a bid behind the lows’ and highs’ resolution, wherefore voices sound a little shallow (it is a bit like with the Logitech UE900: the mids’ resolution is really not bad at all, but the bass and treble are better in this regard, wherefore the mids appear a bit excluded in comparison).
    Treble is sparkly and detailed with good air and differentiation, just as the quick, textured and responsive bass that somehow gives a teaser of how the DN-2000J’s lows sound (although the Titan 1 surely does not reach its light-footedness, details and texture and sometimes appears a tiny bit blunt in comparison, but does a really great job). The bass department is very arid and fast for a dynamic driver, with an excellent bass speed and transient speed in general.

    Spatial Presentation:

    Just as I have expected, the soundstage is really widely extending to the sides, with a remarkable depth, as well as layering and an easy-going character.
    Regarding size, the Titan 1 is quite similar to the Brainwavz R1 or UERM, though with a bit less width, but with the same sheer limitless seeming depth.
    Layering is very well done with good spatial separation for dynamic in-ears, and musicians as well as sound elements are placed pretty well in the imaginary room. What I like the most about that imaginary soundstage is, as just said twice, the quite inexistent seeming borders to all sides.

    ---------

    In a short comparison with:

    Brainwavz M3:
    The M3 is in my opinion currently the best dynamic driver in-ear in Brainwavz’ product portfolio and among my personally favoured dynamic in-ears around 100€ (and above). It has got a fairly balanced signature with a good spatial presentation, especially regarding layering, although there could be some more width, but this IEM sounds extremely natural for its price.
    The Titan 1 is among the best in-ears around $100 as well, though it does not necessarily outclass the M3, but is rather a very good alternative with a different flavour and a better build quality. In some areas the Titan 1 better than the M3, but also a tad inferior in others. The M3 is the more balanced IEM out of the two and probably a shade more natural and authentic as well. The Titan 1 resembles a more “modern”, mildly v-shaped sound signature and may be really wowing at first listen, but once the new toy syndrome has ebbed away a bit, a more objective comparison is possible and the technical differences appear closer than they seemed to be before. All in all, the area where the M3 shines in comparison is the midrange resolution which is probably the IEM’s greatest strength and reminds me of a Balanced Armature’s detail retrieval and speech intelligibility. Other than that, the treble detail is pretty close on both in-ears, although the Titan 1 might be a tad better by the thickness of a razor blade. In the bass department, the DUNU is the overall winner with the more even extension and the overall quicker impact, better control as well as speed and seizable texture.
    When it comes to the soundstage, the M3 is definitely no slob at all and has got a remarkable spatial depth with smooth layering, but the Titan 1 is even a bit better – its soundstage is very widely extending in all directions, with a better width than the M3’s and a borderless extension to all sides. Instrument separation and –placement is a bit better as well and so the Titan 1 is overall the slight winner with a more organic yet at the same time responsive and quick low-range.
    And therefore the Titan 1 is one of the better in-ears in the price range around $100, with a good spatial and open presentation, yet it is also not perfect, though it comes close to that status in some areas.


    Conclusion:

    The Titan 1 feel very nice and are really well built and definitely among the better models in their price range, although they also do not outclass other in-ears. What you get though are very spacious and roomy sounding in-ears with a modern and well-made street sound without any harshness or annoying dips – the sometimes described over-present treble is definitely nothing I hear, although the mids are rather on the brighter side.
    The Titan 1 does many things right for the price, but there are some things as well that make me rate it with “only” 4.5 instead of 5 stars: one thing is the midrange resolution that is a bit lower than in the other areas. The bass is very responsive and quick for a dynamic driver and has got a nice body while maintaining a good slam and speed, but it also sounds a tiny bit blunt at times, which is the second little drawback. The third is the cable’s nylon coating which feels and looks really nice, but will fray over time (there are already some small signs of it).
    The Titan 1 is a technically and sonically great in-ear in its price range with a valuable build quality and a nicely extending soundstage with loads of air and quite precise instrument placement plus layering, but it is no “competitors’ destroyer” and has some little drawbacks which however don’t stop it from being really really nice in-ears.

    All in all, I come to a distinct “thumbs up” and rating of 4.5 stars (94%) that are very close to being five – if there was no nylon coating or the mids’ resolution was a tiny bit better (compared to the treble and bass), it would have been a straight 5.
      twister6 likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. HiFiChris
      @Tom22
       
      :) Thanks.
      Looking forward to checking out your review/impressions once they're up!

      I actually prefer the Titan 3 more because I consider them as being the better all-rounders and suiting my personal tonal (long-tern) preferences more, but there are areas where the Titan 5 are a minor tad more refined.
      Nevertheless, all of the three Titans are imo excellent for the price and offer very solid performance bit each with a different tonality and presentation.
      If I'm not aiming for a neutral tuning, I especially like the Titan 1 for Electronical, the Titan 5 for Rock and the Titan 3 for about everything.
      HiFiChris, Dec 17, 2015
    3. Harley1962
      I enjoyed reading your very thorough review, but I I always seem to "find" good IEM's a year or two "later" than everybody else!
      For example I have a pair of RE-400's still "like new" in the box, which I haven't even fully broken-in, but I'm now looking to upgrade my IEM choices to better "match" my home set of cans (Beyer T90), while keeping the price UNDER $250.
       
      As I listen to mostly Classical, Straight Jazz, some World and Alternative Folk, etc..do you feel the Titan 1's would be a significant improvement to the RE-400's, or would I probably have to spend a bit more $$...any suggestions would be appreciated. Using iBasso DX80 + JDS Amp
      Harley1962, Apr 18, 2016
    4. HiFiChris
      @Harley1962
       
      Unfortunately the RE-400 is an in-ear I have not heard yet, so I couldn't say whether the Titan in-ears would be an upgrade. The most important thing is to know what your priorities are and what sound signature you prefer. For a very open soundstage and with a somewhat v-shaped signature (though, the amount of bass highly depends on your ear anatomy and how close the vents sit to the concha), the Titan 1 would be a great in-ear. For a better balanced and more mid-focused signature, the Titan 3 would be a good alternative but with smaller soundstage (fit is crucial with that model - if the vents aren't perfectly sitting in your ears, sound will be thin and canny).
      For a balanced and slightly dark signature, the Audio Technica ATH-IM02 would be a good choice - precise imaging, realistic and natural sound.
      HiFiChris, Apr 19, 2016
  10. Wesley Tian
    BEST EARPHONES $100-$250 range. VERY VERSATILE, GOOD FOR EVERYDAY USE. A sound audiophile's will love, but not flat/boring for the normal person
    Written by Wesley Tian
    Published Nov 30, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Openness, sound quality, clearness, bass, comfort, versatility, cheapness, audiophile quality
    Cons - Sound leakage
    My search for the perfect pair of buds is finally over! I have long waited for the perfect set of earphones. A pair that not only sounds good, but looks good, and is comfortable. A pair that not only isolates sound, but also sounds open at the same time. Enter the DUNU Titan 1s. These are so good that I can't believe it. At a price of only $118 at the time I bought it, these are a ******* amazing deal. I just returned the RHA T20is that I bought a week ago. Comparing these two popular buds, the RHA loses in comfort, portability, design, sound and openness. The only thing that the RHA is better at is isolation, but not by far. Additionally, I feel that unless you are going to be in a very loud environment constantly, it is better to be able to hear a bit of what is going on around you. I plan to use these earphones while biking, eating, walking, at home, in bed, at work, in the library, at school, on the bus, and on the plane. Basically, whenever I don't need to be talking to people. The only drawback that I noticed from the reviews before buying these was isolation, looks, and the fact that it is made in China. I can confirm that isolation is not a problem, looks is debatable and very subjective, and feel free to ignore it being made in China because it is much better than any other American or European earphone I have ever tried.

    Sound: 10/10
    Better than RHA t20i at 249.99. Better than V-Moda Crossfade LP 2 199.99Better than BlueBuds X 169.99, better than Audio-Techinica M50x 199.99

    Sounds very playful. 
    Bass: Extremely Strong, clear,
    Highs: Extremely clear
    Mids: Very good

    Isolation: 8/10
    Enough to block chatter, not so much that you wouldn't be able to hear a car honking it's horn

    Comfort, 9.5/10, a bit tight but that may be necessary for a good fit
    Tried on the default set of earbuds attached to the model and they fit amazingly. Haven't bothered to try on the other buds for a better fit.

    Openness: 10/10
    Perfect mix of closed and openness
    These are indeed very open, does leak a bit of sound, just look at the design, it has a unique 7 open hole design. Sounds spectacular. Like you are in a club or music room.


    If this doesn't convince you, feel free to check any other reviews. But, seriously. I've done WAY too much research already and this is the final result.
    Also, you will regret not getting these.
    About me: College student, spend most of time in library, dorm, biking to class.

     
    Day 2 Update, Lowered to 4.5 Stars, Can't believe I didn't even notice that these had mediocre wire, and no in-line mic. Still very worth it; nothing is perfect and these are well worth the sacrifice of the mic and in-line control.
     
      DJScope likes this.
    1. DJScope
      Caps lock broken? :p Haha!
      DJScope, Dec 1, 2015
    2. jrazmar
      I have not tried any Dunu earphones myself but I suggest you try the VE earbuds especially the Zen. That might change your mind. :)
      jrazmar, Dec 1, 2015