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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
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    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]
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    Happy songs to everyone!
    1. senorx12562
      ?
      senorx12562, Mar 13, 2017
  2. 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
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    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
     
    Titan 1
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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
  3. 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.
     
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    List of accessories in the box, which include the following: 
     
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    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.
     
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    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.
     
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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.
     
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    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.
     
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    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.
     

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    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
  4. 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).

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    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.

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    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
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    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
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    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.
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    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!



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    21P1250564.jpg

    22P1250735.jpg

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    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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
     

    P1020802.jpg   P1020803.jpg
    P1020804.jpg   P1020805.jpg
    P1020806.jpg   P1020807.jpg
    P1020809.jpg   P1020813.jpg

     
     

    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.
     

    P1020811.jpg   P1020812.jpg
    P1020814.jpg   P1020816.jpg
    P1020817.jpg   P1020818.jpg
    P1020819.jpg   P1020820.jpg
    P1020821.jpg   P1020822.jpg
    P1020823.jpg   P1020842.jpg

     

     
    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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. suman134
    Top class effort.
    Written by suman134
    Published May 28, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Has impressive clarity and details, awesome Highs, Huge stage for an earphone.
    Cons - Mids could have had kept up with bass and highs.

     
    Intro:-
     
      This is my first earphone from DUNU-topsound, one of the most talked about Chinese earphone brand with some high performing earphones like DN-1000 and Dn-2000 decided to up the ante with the Titan-1, their dynamic driver flagship, It’s been quite a Few months since its inception and is received with high praise from most of our fellow head-fier, Priced sensibly to go head to head with similarly priced Flagship dynamic drivers from other manufacturers, price ranges from $120 - $180(130 euro). It’s loaded with 13mm Nano class T-diaphragm to produce the best sound possible. And full metal design means no problems with built.
     
      It was supped to face tough competition from segment leaders like RE-400, Brainwavz R3 and GR-07 and maybe from IM-70, But let me clear some dust here, IM-70 is incompetent here, so do is VSD-5, I am not going to bother with the IM-70, but I will compare it with VSD-5, RE-400, and R3, and even if I don’t have a GR-07, I have AN-16 (you know what it is right?, if no, keep calm, I will explain it to you) to take its place.
     
     This time around, I am gonna leave these comparisons towards the end with a dedicated segment, still I can’t stop myself from comparing at times. Do I love comparing?
     Shell we go? Oh, How can I forget, I would like to thank DUNU and Vivian for giving me a chance to review this earphone, and let me tell you, I will be hard on it, and the biggest threat is GR-07, AN-1 in my case.
     
     About me, I like balance, no problem with V-shaped sound till its got enough details, a bigger stage and good layering will do wonders. And not much bothered about bass till it is fast, but prefer more sub bass, I will forgive everything if its got pace and mids and highs are taken care of. I love spark with my highs, I won’t kill for spark but spark is what makes a phone feel alive, too much will kill the
    cat





    and too less will kill the cat too (I know I am not making much sense), don’t like to play around EQs but I have mine applied.

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      IMG_20150528_151644.jpg    IMG_20150526_124300.jpg
      IMG_20150526_124130_1432624561987.jpg
     

     
    Accessories ergonomics and Miscellaneous:-
     
      DUNU has been really generous when it comes to accessories, DN-1000 comes with huge no of tips, 2 pairs of comply tips, spacers and a bigger carry case. Titian-1 comes with 9 pairs of tips. Three of each type,
    Sony





    hybrid styled (small bore), red core type (medium bore), and black wide bore tips. I wonder if I am asking for too much as this much tips is plenty but guess what, I would have liked a pair of comply tip out of the box, and maybe a bi-flange pair? Really, am I asking for too much?
     
      It comes with a nice hard case but is slightly on the smaller side, it helps with portability but a bit small for the earphone to be comfortable, my personal opinion obviously.
     
      And what I really missed in the box is a cable clip, I like those clips. It keeps the wire in its place, keeps it from getting caught up with other things too.
     
      What I have no complains about is ergonomics, nothing to complain about fitment, no complains what so ever, only niggle I can think of is, it’s on the heavier side and as its shallow with fitting with a half in-ear desing, there is an outside chance of the earpieces falling out of ears. 90 degree gold plated plug means I am a happy man. Cable is really nice, it’s like RE-400, but better, stronger and Microphonics is kept to low level, so that one can enjoy the music without worrying about that annoying noise, comes with a nice chin or cable slider too, and about stress relievers, its fine and the jack end, and okay at the earpiece end, its good enough and nothing to worry about.
      No need to find L/R marking, Look for the ring, Red is right and Blue is left, or to make things easier, you cant wear them in the wrong ear.
     
     And you can wear this over you’re your ears too!! What else you want?
     Sadly isolation is not good, there are vents on the inner side that leak and lets noise in.
     That’s it. We are going into the main business end, Sound quality!!
     
    IMG_20150505_133956.jpg   IMG_20150527_111124_HDR.jpg
     

     
    Sound Quality:-
     
      Let me start by confirming that Titan-1 has been burnt in for more than 180 hours. I use my J3 as the primary source, and Zenfone 2 or Redmi 1s at times, both have impressive control and SQ. And I would like to confirm that Titan-1 doesn’t need an amplifier to perform to the mark, you can use your mobile device to drive it. But amplifying doesn’t hurt either. You can use your fiio amp to boost some bass if you want.
     
      These have a on your face kind of details, not as much as ER-4p or Doppios as they make you eat even when you don’t want to. Sound signature is V-shaped, and more enjoyable than say RE-400 and R3. Has superb micro detailing, and every region does its thing nicely. Wont call its smooth but cohesive will be the right word. Everything holds its own place and that makes it a smooth operator. Extension at both ends is impressive and sonic ability too is really nice, can sound metallic at times.
     
      Unlike other, I don’t like to refer to tracks in specific but I compile a few tracks, some of the constant ones are James blunt – 1973(my fav track), will.I.am –freshly (for bass), Adele - set fire to the rain, Paul lindford and Chris vrenna – most wanted mash up, Plan-B – playing with fire, Tinie Tempah- wonderman feat Ellie Goulding and George Barnett- super hero in a ball. Recently added John newman Calvin Harris – blame.
      So lets start with Bass:-
      We should thank Brooko as he did some measuring for us, and found out that it can do as low as 15 hertz, but sadly audible for the machine, for us it was close to 25 I think. Not sure, but for me, bass on these is enough, sadly midbass is more prominent, it would have been nice if sub bass had kept up with mid bass, it’s not bad but not as prominent and its presence is dwarfed in front of mid bass, moves enough air but slam is smaller when compared to S5. Texture and details is intact, another good thing is decay, its fast, and I love its pace, which R3 and S5 were slower at, even if it has missed on some sub bass, and have more mid bass, faster decay has solved most of the things.  First thing is no bleeding or anything what so ever. Thankfully, mid frequencies too are nicely merged with the bass region. Even with raised bas region, resolving details with its precision and finishing ability is enough to say that its bass is done right.
      Let’s move on to Mids:-
      As we already know it has a V shaped signature and mids are left in the valley, but does it have Details!! Not slammed on your face like doppios or T2 but man!! It’s got better detailing here, even when in the valley, its detailing and precision is enough to win my appreciation. I love its clarity and thanks to the stage it’s easy to pick instruments and their placement. Best thing is that listing to female vocals specially Adele, Jessie j and Ellie Goulding is a pleasure. Thanks to its more energetic upper mid range.
     
      Notes are thick, and are kind of dark still warm at the lower region, makes male vocals ( when compared with female) slightly slower and poised at times, which is a good thing as male vocal needs some thickness and energy, if not as excellent and cohesive as female vocals, it’s still is really good.. Another good thing is texture, and finish is good. Best thing is, it can patch up some harshness of guitars and make them sound composed and intact even when the track has some distortion. There are no audible dips which results in smoother transaction from lower to upper mid.
      Overall mids got good body, awesome clarity and details. Notes have impressive depth transparency and separation. Timber is good too, can’t ask for much.
     
      It has bigger stage when compared to other IEMs but its shape is slightly odd with nice depth but its gets narrower with distance, like a cone, impressive never the less. With placement and layering, imaging is impressive too.
       The Highs:-
      Where is spark, spark kahan hai!! Haan hai hai, thand pai gi sadey nu. Look at this Spark!! I was dying for this I think, look at its sharpness details layering positioning and clarity, it’s like a katana, cutting through without any blood on itself. Nicely moves on from mids to highs, with increase in energy and sharpness.
      Listen to that cymbal, that’s what I call a crashing with serious body and precision, but when you up the volume, it can hurt, will irritate and annoy, but no sibilance to be precise. Lower treble is slightly emphasized but are not splashy or anything but give more energy to cymbals and other instruments.
      It has impressive resolution to be precise.
     
      IMG_20150505_155455.jpg   IMG_20150527_111340_HDR.jpg
     
      IMG_20150527_111637.jpg  

     
     NOW, comparisons:-
     
    First one up is R3:- More balanced and smoother, no emphasis on any part of the spectrum, don’t have that mid bass bump or lack of sub bass, but loses with decay, slightly slower, lack some clarity, body and micro detailing of Titan-1. Has better cable and isolation, sounds dull in comparison. Titan-1 is more reveling and has better transparency, has impressive highs with sharpness. Vocals on R3 is more even for both gender, it’s neutral and doesn’t have thicker lower mids.
     When it comes to staging R3 is more even, depth is good with better width, titan-1 has even better depth but width gets narrower.
     
     Over all I will give it to the Titan-1 but R3 is equally impressive with its balance.
     
     RE-400:- Similar to R3 but has better bass control and precision, decay is impressive when it comes to bass. Lower Mids on RE-400 have some veiling, highs are good with good extension but Titan manages to make a better impression with better energy, precision and similar extension. Sadly RE-400 lacks some low end extension, sonic ability is similar but I will have to give it to RE-400 as it edges ahead. Titan-1 wins with micro detailing. Re-400 is smoother overall where Titan-1 has impressive highs.
     Stage of RE-400 has good depth but width is narrow and even overall. I don’t need to tell you that Titan-1 has more depth.
     
     I give it to Titan-1. Unless you want some serious balance.
     
    AN-16:- Has better sub bass and more extension, doesn’t have that big mid bass bolt, decay is slightly faster. Mids have similar body and are more forward, which makes it more balanced, timber is impressive and don’t sound metallic like Titan-1. Notes are thick but not as deep, similar layering and precision, resolving details is slightly better with mids, sounds more vivid. Where AN-16 loses is at highs. It lacks that much of energy, but enough to keep me seated. Stage has far lesser depth but is wider hence sounds flat.
     
    I am confused, can’t pick one, I think one should have both, pick as per your mood. Sadly one can’t have AN-16 anymore.
     
    VSD-5:- this one is interesting, V-shaped but not as much as Titan-1. VSD5 lack much details and transparency with the mids but it’s got better bass and depth, impressive sound signature, really cohesive, most cohesive one of this lot. Stage is slightly lacking with depth but its imaging is really impressive. If VSD5 had some more micro detailing, transparency and reveling abilities, I would have picked it over Titan-1.
    But for now, Titan-1 wins with a big margin.
     

     
    Let’s conclude our proceedings:-
     
     Titan-1 is an impressive earphone and ready to take on heavy weights of its price range, dealing in home runs or say sixes and fours only. The best part was its sparky highs. Ability to have composer even with bad tracks is appreciable. Its micro detailing, transparency, reveling ability and imaging with stage is outstanding.
     It’s not exactly Balanced, but will please the crowd with its impressive clarity and signature. And for me Titan-1 will be slotted just below doppios along with AN-16, only because of its slightly V-shaped signature. Address that and it will stand shoulder to shoulder with even more expensive earphones, earphones 2-3 times of its price.
     This much is good much I think.
    That’s it from me guys, Have a good day. Enjoy!! And thanks for reading.
     

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      IMG_20150526_124317.jpg   IMG_20150528_151644.jpg

      IMG_20150526_124430.jpg   IMG_20150527_111712.jpg

     
     Cheers!!
      Brooko and Paulus XII like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. romeo1990
      A really nice read. 
      romeo1990, Jun 4, 2015
    3. suman134
      Thanks mate.
      suman134, Jun 4, 2015
    4. suman134
      Thanks mate.
      suman134, Jun 4, 2015