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Dunu TITAN 1 — titanium-coated diaphragm earphones

Rating:
4.62121/5,
  1. 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
  2. Paulus XII
    Dunu Titan 1 (or FiiO EX1) Quick Review - A True Gem
    Written by Paulus XII
    Published May 28, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Micro-detail, transparency, instrument separation. Semi-open, soundstage. Treble. Price.
    Cons - Leakage. Sensivity (90db), does not work for European volume cap players (volume is too low) without an external amp.

    DunuTITAN1IV.jpg

     
     

     

    Specifications

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

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

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

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

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

      IMG_20150505_134323.jpg   IMG_20150526_123818_HDR.jpg

      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
  4. YoYo JoKeR
    Dunu Titan 1: Well Performing Semi-Open IEM, but Lacks Mids
    Written by YoYo JoKeR
    Published May 21, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Impressive Bass, Soundstage, Transparency
    Cons - Distant Mids


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    DSC02416.jpg


    1. View previous replies...
    2. YoYo JoKeR
      Thank you Paulus, I understood your point on mids, but somehow I could not like the actual presentation in Titan's mids, for my ears it sounded far away.
       
      & Sarath, I havent bought it, this is a review sample. You can avail these on ebay.com
      YoYo JoKeR, May 23, 2015
    3. sarathnjan007
      sarathnjan007, May 23, 2015
    4. YoYo JoKeR
  5. DJScope
    “Unique, refined, balanced and spacious!”
    Written by DJScope
    Published May 20, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Build, balanced, fun sounding, comfort, price to performance ratio, protective box.
    Cons - No mic remote, cable a bit thin, not designed to wear cable up
    Disclaimer: I did not purchase the Dunu Titan 1. I've had 2 months with them and believe I have had enough time to adequately review the Titans in depth. But of course, these are my personal opinions so please take them with a grain of salt, or two.
     
     

    Introduction

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

    A little about the Dunu Titan 1

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

     

    FR Graph

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

    Packaging & Accesories

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

    Design & Comfort

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

    Cable, Jack & Splitter

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

    Isolation

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

    Sound

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

    Treble

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

    Mids

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

    Bass

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

    Soundstage & Imaging

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

    Ratings

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

    I don’t know how Dunu come up with such great ideas, but they continue to push the boundaries and with the Titan 1 they’ve hit it straight out of the park. For the price of $115 (current PenonAudio price) this is a complete no-brainer purchase. The Titans are my automatic go to suggestion for people who look for an IEM under $150, and if you’re in the market under this budget, what are you still doing reading this review when you could be out there buying these right now? They are really a remarkable IEM for this low price. Well done Dunu!
     
    Cheers!
     [​IMG]
     

     

    1. View previous replies...
    2. DJScope
      Update: Photos are up!
      DJScope, May 24, 2015
    3. Light - Man
      Good review! I wonder how they will compare to the new Fidue 73.
      Light - Man, May 25, 2015
    4. DJScope
      @Light - Man I'm more interested in the Fidue A65 which is also a titanium driver unit for half the price!
      DJScope, May 25, 2015
  6. 520RanchBro
    Incredible Detail and Musical Immersion
    Written by 520RanchBro
    Published May 7, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great value for the level of sound quality, excellent bass response, impressive soundstage
    Cons - Lacking midrange presence with some rock and metal-based music, less isolation and more sound leakage than other IEMs,

    After trying the excellent value that is Dunu's Crius CN-13 ($27 on Amazon) I was curious to try more of their offerings, the Crius punched way over even its original price (around $60 was the original MSRP I was told). The Titan was the most intriguing to me, I loved the idea of a semi-open IEM and lets face it, they look incredible. Well Dunu actually reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try the Titan 1 and review it. I have to say, I'm glad I said yes!
     
    For this review I'll be using  my rMBP 2015 with an LH Labs Geek Out 450, just playing AAC as after a lot of A/B testing, I cannot tell the difference between it and FLAC or ALAC with this setup. I'll also be using my Modi 2 Uber & Asgard 2 desktop setup, playing mostly FLAC. When I get to the song by song breakdown I'll specific which rig was used. I've found the Geek Out to be a bit more detailed on some songs but find them generally to have about the same level of sound quality and possess similar sound signatures with IEMs.
     
     
    Packaging & Accessories
     
    Dunu excels in this area, tons of earths to try and a great plastic case for storing your Titans and some accessories. You'll get a plethora of different tips, a clip, and a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter. The packaging and presentation looks great, instills confidence right upon opening them. There's plenty of great pictures on other reviews if you'd like pictures, feels unnecessary for me to include them. But if you want a specific picture of something, just send me a message and let me know!
     
     
    Build Quality, Design & Comfort
     
    I absolutely love the all metal design of these IEMs, they look stunning and inspire a lot of confidence in their durability. The cable is thinner than I usually prefer, theres a nice fabric jacket up until the split where it's your usual polyethylene jacket material. The strain reliefs actually seem to be pretty robust and I have a good feeling this cable will be quite durable, which is a huge thing I look for in a daily driver IEM that I want to take everywhere. I really do appreciate that Dunu took the time to design a cable with proper strain reliefs, it goes a long way in cable durability. Comfort-wise, I've worn these for hours at a time and hardly notice them, but they are a bit bigger than some of my other IEMs, they can't match the comfort of my tiny HiFiMAN RE-600s, but they are by no means uncomfortable. Also it's very easy to quickly put these on and get a good fit and seal  almost instantly, great for a grab and go IEM.
     
    Overall I think the Titans are very well designed, well built and quite comfortable, especially for their larger size.
     
    Sound
     
    Right off the bat I can tell you the strong and precise bass impact really impressed me. It extends very low, but is also very precise, there’s no mud or unnatural decay. I think bassheads would be thoroughly impressed by the Titans, but they aren’t just a headphone for bassheads either, the quantity of bass is matched by its quality.
     
    The midrange response on the Titans isn’t as easy to explain as the bass. Lower mids feel a bit more recessed with male vocals sitting back a bit further in the mix than more mid-centric headphones and IEMs. I also felt that guitars (especially downtuned guitars used in a lot of metal genres) sounded surprisingly smooth and lacked a bit of aggression that I normally look for when it comes to doom, black and death metal. That’s just more of a personal preference thing, the lower midrange just sits back in the mix, more relaxed. The upper mids, especially female vocals, sound absolutely breathtaking. There’s just the right amount of distance where it feels like their voice is just enveloping you but it’s not so distant that it loses too much intimacy or sounds veiled.
     
    The treble response on these IEMs is quite pleasant. There’s a touch of airiness that compliments the Titans expansive soundstage but I haven’t found a track that makes the treble even minutely harsh or grating, even at very loud volumes. I think these are a really safe bet if you’re treble sensitive.
     
    The soundstage on these is so impressive for an IEM. Much more of an outside-your-head experience than other IEMs I’ve listened to. Really gives jazz and more avant-garde drone and metal a lot of space and makes for a very enjoyable experience. For some albums though, especially very aggressive metal, it takes away from the focus and aggression of the music. This is a minor gripe and more of a personal preference thing.
     
    Detail retrieval is also spectacular in my book, even better than my RE-600. Heavily layered music is such a treat to listen to on the Titans, instrument separation is impressive and it never sounds unnatural. You’ll discover new sounds and textures you’d never heard before. This is probably my favorite aspect of the Titan.
     
    Now we’ll get to a song by song breakdown of how these sound:
     
    Sleep - Dopesmoker (Stoner Doom Metal)
    Rig used: FLAC CD Rip — Schiit Modi 2 Uber — Asgard 2
     
    [​IMG]
     
    This is one of my favorite albums of all time and it’s a great benchmark for me, personally. The Titans killed it on this one! The bass and the kick drum have incredible punch and authority, gets your head banging right away! Though usually I feel heavy guitars don’t quite have enough presence with the Titans, that was not really the case here, they have a great low-end rumble, but the mids are still very much present. Man that bass though…. so good! This album and the Titans are a great pairing.
     
    Kamasi Washington - The Epic (Jazz)
    Rig Used: LH Labs Geek Out 450
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Warm and smooth with an expansive soundstage really helps this album live up it’s title. I can’t really pick out a flaw here, every instrument is presented and separated very naturally and it just feels like this how this album is supposed to sound. It’s very heavily layered and complex and the Titan keeps up no problem. Even with saxophones, trumpets, an organ, drums and other percussion and a choir all playing at the same time. Really it’s kind of hard to explain, you just have to listen to this album with the Titans, even if you hardly like jazz.
     
    Myrkur - Self-Titled EP (Black Metal)
    Rig Used: LH Labs Geek Out 450
     
    [​IMG]
     
    As I said earlier, female vocals sound incredible on the Titans and this album shows it off quite well, the clean singing sounds downright ethereal here with that fairly large soundstage. Instrumentally, there’s definitely a darker sound signature imposed on this album which may be your thing, but I prefer more brightness and aggression with black metal. If you’re someone who complains about not being able to hear the bass in black metal music, you’ll hear it here. The guitars sound too smooth and warm here, not cold and cutting enough for my preference. That said, plenty of fans of black metal prefer a darker sound so this could be right up your alley.
     
    Taylor Swift - 1989 (Pop)
    Rig Used: LH Labs Geek Out 450
     
    [​IMG]
     
    I may like sulking in my room and listening to black and doom metal a lot but sometimes I’m looking for something a little more pleasant and catchy! I’m not too big on pop culture and top 40 radio, but I do love listening to Taylor Swift occasionally. This album sounds just euphoric on the Titans. Bass response extends deep but keeps up quite well with the driving driving rhythms on a lot of her songs. Taylor’s voice is the star of the show here and it sounds amazing. If you like a lot of modern pop music (especially female artists), you have to try out the Titans!
     
    Chrome Sparks - Goddess EP (Electronic, Chillwave)
    Rig Used: LH Labs Geek Out 450
     
    [​IMG]
     
    The warm nature of the Titans and the expansive soundstage really lend to making a very relaxing listening experience with this EP. Deep bass and shimmering synths layer perfectly and you can really hear all of the different sounds and textures used in making this album. I’m blown away by the clarity and detail. The Titans are great for electronic music too.
     
    Radiator Hospital - Torch Song (Indie Folk/Rock)
    Rig Used: LH Labs Geek Out 450
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Again, the Titans are imposing a bit of a warmer signature here. Bass guitar sounds thick and very present. Guitars are lacking a bit of brightness and sparkle. Female and male vocals both sound excellent though. Clear and detailed and more intimate, despite the generally wider soundstage these IEMs usually exhibit.
     
     
    Conclusion
     
    Well there’s plenty more music to discover on the Titans but I have to cut the review somewhere. Leave any requests for impressions with certain albums in the comments and I’ll certainly get back to you.
     
    I must say, I’m overall very impressed by the Titans. They come with a solid array of accessories and tips and a nice little case for transporting them. They are quite comfortable for being a bit bigger IEMs and I found getting a good seal to be quite easy with the right tips. I love that Dunu did not skimp on the cable, while I haven’t had these long, the cable inspires a lot of confidence in me due to its very flexible nature and ample strain reliefs on three different point of the cable (termination, right before the splitter, on each monitor). I wish every company that made IEMs implemented strain reliefs like on the Titans.
     
    Sound-wise, they are incredibly detailed, wow! Breathtaking soundstage for an IEM in the $100-$150 price range and very authoritative bass that never sounds muddy or too slow. Highs are well balanced and never piercing or fatiguing in my experience.
     
    My only gripe is that I prefer a bit stronger midrange presence since I listen to a lot of guitar based music. For me, the guitars sound a little too smooth and warm on a lot of albums and the lack the same presence that the bass commands. This isn’t an issue of quality though, just personal sound signature presence.
     
    If you enjoy electronic, pop, hip-hop and/or jazz, I can’t recommend the Dunu Titan 1s enough, they are absolutely stellar with these genres. If you listen to rock, metal or other guitar based music and like a smoother, warmer character to your music, then you’ll like these as well. There are plenty of IEMs out there that offer ‘fun’ sound signatures that often lack detail or natural instrument separation but the Dunu Titan 1 is not one of them. 
     
    Note: In the interest of full disclosure these were sent to me from Dunu for review and I did not purchase them. Thank you to Dunu for letting my try these excellent IEMs.
    1. slowpickr
      Nice review.  Took a lot of effort.  I am finding that the Titan's work with about every genre I throw at them.  Definitely one of the best IEM purchases I've ever made.
      slowpickr, May 8, 2015
    2. 520RanchBro
      Thanks! Yeah the detail and clarity on these really surprised me. Just trying to experiment with tips now.
      520RanchBro, May 11, 2015
  7. TwinACStacks
    Titan is truly a Titan
    Written by TwinACStacks
    Published Apr 30, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Great Bass, overall a surprisingly spacious presentation
    Cons - If it only had detachable Cables.
    Since receiving this pair they have rapidly become my Goto's I really can't think of anything Bad to say about them. I can see where some could find them a little bright (silibant ?) depending on tip selection. Fortunately I'm not bothered by Treble frequencies. Easily inserted into ear, Great cable with cloth sheathing on lower portion. I find these outstanding at most any price point particularly for their +- apprx. $100 USD cost. Not the best isolation but I have no problem with it.
      JAMEZTHEBOI likes this.
  8. earfonia
    Excellent sounding large dynamic driver IEM!
    Written by earfonia
    Published Apr 9, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - High level of detail, spacious sounding, very linear tonality with triple flange eartips, durable metal housing, & player friendly.
    Cons - Less than average noise isolation, stock eartips not optimum, & requires long period of burn-in.
    DUNU Titan 1 is a unique semi-open IEM. The shell is made of durable metal, and the 13.5 mm dynamic driver diaphragm is titanium-coated. It’s designed to be worn straight down, but still possible to loop the cable over the ear to reduce microphonics (mechanical cable noise when the IEM cable moves around and rubbing shirt or other object).

    01P1250577.jpg


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

    02P1250705.jpg


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

    03P1250704.jpg


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

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

    04P1250726.jpg


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

    05P1250729.jpg




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

    06P1250722.jpg




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


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


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


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


    07P1250585.jpg




    Eartip Rolling

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

    08P1250876.jpg



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


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

    10P1250931.jpg


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



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


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

    12P1250932.jpg

    13P1250933.jpg


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

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

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



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

    15P1250950.jpg


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



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


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



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

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



    Stock Eartips:
    17P1250733.jpg



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

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



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

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



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

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




    My DUNU IEMs:
    18P1250745.jpg




    Comparison

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

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


    Compared to DUNU DN-2000:

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


    Compared to DUNU DN-1000:

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


    Compared to Audio-Technica ATH-IM70:

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




    Players & Amplifiers Matching

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

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

    19P1250625.jpg


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

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



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



    20P1250568.jpg

    21P1250564.jpg

    22P1250735.jpg

    23P1250736.jpg




    Specification (From DUNU’s packaging / website):
    Type : Single dynamic driver inner ear monitor
    Driver : 13mm dynamic Titanium “nano class” driver
    Frequency Range : 10 Hz – 30 Khz
    Impedance : 16 ohm
    Sensitivity : 90 dB (+/-2 dB)
    Headphone jack : 3.5mm gold plated
    Cable : 1.2m – Y cable
    Weight : 18g
    IEM Shell : Polished metal



    Equipment used in this review:

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

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

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



    Some recordings used in this review:
    1. View previous replies...
    2. davidtriune
      Thanks a lot for this review! Really helpful.
       
      I'd like to confirm that the Earphones Plus large triple flange tips are the exact same thing as the ones packaged with the Brainwavz S5. Just the colors are different. I asked Brainwavz support and they said so :)
      davidtriune, Feb 5, 2016
    3. Wesley Tian
      Hi, I really enjoyed reading your review. I have a question though. Do you know where I can get the double flange ear-tips that you mentioned? The "Brainwavz S5 stock eartips". Thanks.
      Wesley Tian, Mar 5, 2016
    4. harry501501
      wow, had these for a while and enjoyed them but the Trinity Deltas took over as my first choice on the go. Just messing around with the reviews and noticed what you said about double flange so tried them (although I took them from Delta as only set I can find right now, so they are a bit loose). WOW, what a change, much fuller sounding vocals and generally less aggressive sounding treble. Will be a flip of a coin each time I am going out which ones to take.
       
      Thanks
      harry501501, May 6, 2016
  9. Hisoundfi
    "Remember the Titan" ~The DUNU Titan 1 In-Ear Monitor
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Apr 3, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Incredible resolution and clarity, Unbelievable price to performance ratio, Great build quality
    Cons - Below average isolation, Channels have to be swapped to be worn over the ear
    At the time this review was written, the Dunu Titan 1  was on sale for $115.00 USD on Penon Audio . Here is a link to a listing of their product at the time of the review:
     
    http://penonaudio.com/DUNU-TITAN1
     
    Introduction
     
    The Titan 1 is already making waves on Head-Fi at the time I am writing this. I became interested in it  when some of my respected Head-Fi friends could not stop raving about them. After hearing the endless praise they were receiving, I knew I had to get my hands (and ears) on a pair and experience them for myself. They did not disappoint!
     
    Disclaimer
     
    My pair were purchased online from a group purchasing site. I am providing a review for the sole purpose of giving this terrific IEM the exposure it deserves.
     
    My Background
     
    Please allow me to share a little bit about myself so you can better understand my observations. I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, amplifiers and earphones that intrigues me, ESPECIALLY if they can be had for low prices. I’m a budget-fi guy. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will can discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased many, and I mean MANY different headphones and earphones ranging from from dirt cheap to hundreds of dollars higher end products. For me, its more about getting great price to performance ratio, and hearing a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound. With this hobby we tend to often times pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that price DOES NOT necessarily indicate good build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have tested and reviewed.
     
    The Package
     
    The Titan one came in a very simple medium sized black box with white and gray lettering and a close up of the monitors on the front.
     
    DSC_0004.jpg
     
     
    The back of the box had some nice information about the product, as well as pictures and descriptions of the accessories. The sides of the box had the item’s specifications.
     
    DSC_0005.jpg
     
    Opening the box revealed information about the product’s technological advancements and the benefits of it’s nano class diaphragm, as well as a graph showing the difference between itself and a conventional driver. A second flap had information about Max Barsky and his accomplishments as a musician.
     
    DSC_0007.jpg
     
     
    Opening the second flap revealed the IEMs, three sets of tips, and the carrying case.
     
    DSC_0008.jpg
     
     
    Specs
     
    Driver:          Titanium 13 mm dynamic
    Frequency Range:     20Hz~30Khz
    Impedance:         16 Ohm
    Sensitivity:         90 +- 2dB
    Rated Input Power:    Not Listed
    Plug:             3.5mm gold plated (right angled plug)
    Cable:             1.2 meter cable
    Weight:         18 grams
     
    Extra Accessories
     
    The accessories package was very nice, offering everything you would need and nothing you don’t. There was a large selection of tips, including my personal favorite Sony-esque hybrids. The rubber and hard plastic container that had a nice locking mechanism and release button. It is very solid and a great home for the Titan when not in use. The only issue I can see with the case is that if you take off the “screen protector” material on the top of the case it is prone to scratches (not a big deal). You also get a ¼ adapter that is of the utmost quality.
     
    DSC_0014.jpg
     
     
    The Titan 1 comes with 9 pairs of tips:
     
    3x Sony Hybrid-like silicone tips (sizes S,M,L)
    3X black silicone tips with a wider bore and flat end (sizes S,M,L)
    3X black/red silicone tips with a rounded end (sizes S,M,L)
     
    DSC_0011.jpg
     
    There are plenty of tips for just about everyone to get a secure fit and seal.
     
    Housings
     
    The housings are very impressively built out of polished metal (looks to be stainless steel). There isn’t a single piece of plastic on the housing. Even the screen/port at the end of the hozzle is a part of the housing, with 7 drilled holes for sound to come through. This is unique, and a very cool approach in my opinion. The housings each have a colored ring to indicate which channel is which (red/right, blue/left). There are several vent holes drilled in the inside of the housing where it rests in your ear. DUNU logos can be seen both on the inner and outer part of the shell.
     
    DSC_0017.jpg DSC_0016.jpg
    DSC_0018.jpg
     
     
     
    Cable, Y-Split & Strain Reliefs
     
    From the housing to the Y-split, the cable is typical rubber material used with most earphones at this price point. Strain reliefs from the housing are perfect in my opinion, with enough strength to keep everything in tact, and enough flex to prevent shorts in the wire.
     
    The Y-split is made of the same polished metal as the housing, and just above it is a cable cinch of the same metal material. The cable cinch has a notch milled so it can fit right into the Y-split when not in use.
     
    DSC_0021.jpg
     
     
    From the Y-split to the cable jack, the cable has been covered in a kevlar or kevlar-like material. The cable in it’s entirety is very flexible and with little to no memory. Also, a nice bonus is the rubber cable tie that is attached to the cable. It make winding these things up a breeze. It is a very nice touch.
     
    Cable Jack
     
    The cable jack is the same polished metal used in the housing and Y-split. The Titan 1 sports a ninety degree angled, and gold plated 3.5mm plug. the strain relief at the jack is one of the most well done strain reliefs I’ve seen. I don’t see anything shorting out here, or anywhere on the cable for that manner (if handled correctly).
     
    DSC_0022.jpg
     
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics
     
    Think of a earbud with a angled hozzle coming out of it to make it an in-ear monitor. That is exactly what the Titan 1 is. That is really clever if you ask me, because you are using the whole ear to support the fit, making it not only very comfortable, but also a very secure under the ear fit. Well done DUNU! I normally am not a fan of in-ears that are designed to be worn cable down, but they really hit a home run with this concept! The Titan 1 can also be worn over the ear by swapping channels. If you don’t mind swapping channels it works extremely well.
     
    Worn cable down, you do get some microphonics. When worn over the ear, microphonics is reduced significantly.
     
    DSC_0024.jpg DSC_0023.jpg
     
                                                                          
    Isolation
     
    Because of the venting design the Titan does not isolate very well, and leaks sound more than your average in-ear monitor.
     
    Review Materials
     
    I primarily did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware, and Sony Walkman F806/Cayin C5 amplifier for portable use. For desktop use I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a HIFIMEDIY Sabre ES9023 USB DAC/Bravo Audio Ocean Tube amplifier with a Mullard 12AU7 tube for higher impedance, and a Fiio E18 USB DAC & Amplifier. Both were run at 24 bit, 96000 Hz. I also tested them with other DAPs and amplifiers as well. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I make sure that any gear I test has a minimum of 30 hours of play time before writing any type of review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
     
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake
    “Madness” by Muse
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk
    “Some nights” by Fun
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie
    “One” by Ed Sheeran
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to asses and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Sound Signature
     
    Ahhhhhhh, now we get to the good part! These are great! It’s an aggressive, up front and in your face sound that is really addictive. Right out of the box they seemed a bit hot up top. Whether it be burn-in or time to adjust, I now find the treble to be just right and in accordance with the rest of the spectrum of sound. With the Titan 1, you get a slight V-signature with some of the best resolution and separation you can get in an IEM. The sound quality of these competes with everything I have, and will give many in-ear monitors at a much higher price range a run for their money.
     
    Bass
     
    The bass is forward on these. When running test sweeps I noticed a slight roll-off at sub-bass regions, especially from 10 Hz to about 40-50 Hz, but from there it takes off. The mid bass region definitely does jump out in front, but it is done with NO noticeable bleed. Trust me, you will get plenty of bass response, and mid bass and lower mids will have plenty of weight and punch. It really sets itself apart in how it handles midbass frequencies. To have that forward presentation and still be very resolving is seldom executed with in-ear monitors.
     
    Mid Range
     
    Mid range is something that is a mixed bag with the Titan, and something that makes this pair special. It takes a small step back from the bass and treble. Starting from the lower midrange, you will hear a very thick note presentation with a good amount of warmth and texture. However, as you listen and span across you will notice it going from very warm and lush lower midrange frequencies, and progressively get a little cooler and crisper sounding moving up to the upper mids and treble area. It is a smooth transition, and all the while it maintains a sense of clarity and separation that is world class.
     
    Treble
     
    It is crisp and very clear. If the Titan 1 didn’t have the awesome resolution it does, I would say the treble can be harsh, but because you can make out every high hat and cymbal crash with incredible accuracy, it is a joy to listen to. I enjoy the Titan 1 at medium listening levels. listening to them at loud volumes for too long leads to fatigue for me. All in all it’s a very high resolution monitor that has a beautiful shimmer and sparkle in it’s upper registers.
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
     
    This is a hard one to draw a conclusion on. In one sense, they sound “big”, but at the same time the forward mid bass can make you feel like they are not as open or airy as other in-ears. The best way I can explain is that it’s a “front row at the show” type of sound.
     
    Music Recommendations
     
    I think these are great for all genres, but will sound best with live performances, acoustic and rock music.
     
    Comparisons
     
    GR07BE ($125 to $150 USD on many sites)
     
    Bass extension and response on the GR07BE is superior, and for an in-ear monitor it still amazes me to this day. But, the buck stops here for the VSONIC. Titan 1 has more energy to it’s tuning, and their amazing resolution, texture and detail in both mids and treble regions makes the GR07BE seem dull and lifeless in comparison. All in all, the GR07BE is outclassed by the Titan 1. That is saying a lot!
     
    T-PEOS Altone 200 ($175 to $200 USD on many sites)
     
    The Altone 200 can hang with the Titan 1 in terms of clarity, but the highs are harsher and more fatiguing. Titan is smoother, and has a more textured and open feeling to it’s sound, making the T-PEOS offering seem slightly congested in comparison. Both are good, but in my opinion the Titan sounds just as good, if not better at half the price.
     
    Ostry KC06A ($55 to $85 USD on many sites)
     
    The KC06A packs a great package with plenty of sub bass rumble and a nice treble response, but the Titan mid range outclasses the Ostry. In this comparison the trade off between the two is sub bass (advantage Ostry) and crystal clear midrange (Titan 1). I give the advantage to the Titan 1 because the quality mid range makes the sound more cohesive.
     
    Conclusion
     
    The Titan 1 is a perfect example that you don’t need several drivers packed into a custom shell and at the cost of a mortgage payment in order to create world class sound. These are a refreshing approach that brings something unique to the table, both in terms of build and sound quality. Upon concluding this review, I rank this earphone second in my in-ear collection, just barely behind the Fidue A83. Dunu did a stellar job with this one, and at a price that is almost too good to be true. I highly recommend them!
     
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
      leobigfield, Brooko, peter123 and 2 others like this.
    1. twister6
      Who can forget the Titan :)  Excellent review, my friend!!!  Always enjoy your write ups!
      twister6, Apr 3, 2015
    2. leobigfield
      Very nice review!
      leobigfield, Apr 3, 2015
    3. Paulus XII
      If Titan 1 is "just barely behind the Fidue A83", why would you take A73 "hands down" over Titan 1? Sounds like A73 is better than A83. Is this what you think?
      Paulus XII, Jun 22, 2015
  10. kamcok
    Inexpensive, solid and fun all rounder !
    Written by kamcok
    Published Mar 16, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Solid build, great sound, well accessorized, inexpensive
    Cons - large ear piece. average isolation at best
    Since there are already other introductions and unboxings of the Titan 1, I will not discuss the contents of the box and go straight to my impressions. 
     
    Disclaimer: I did not purchase my Titan 1 but I was sent a review unit by DUNU; the review unit arrived on the 03/02/2015 and I’ve listened to it since then. 
     
     
    Build Quality & Comfort
    DSC_2664.jpg
     
     
    The body is made of metal right to the nozzle which ensures rigidity unlike some earphones with plastic nozzle despite having a metal body. 
    The ear piece of the Titan 1 is not exactly light but, the weight is not noticeable when worn because of the way they fit.
    Despite the rather large body of the earphone, it fits very well and is quite comfortable.
     
    The cable design is similar to that of the RE-400, with a plastic coating on the top half and fabric sheath from the y-splitter downwards.
    However, I feel that the Titan1 executed this design far better than the RE-400, with the fabric side being more supple and less microphonic.
    It also has strain reliefs in the right places (under the ear piece, under the Y splitter and above the 3.5 jack)
     
     
    Con: The rubber cable tie is quite large and non-removable... It is also not the easiest to use
    I would prefer some velcro strip like the one on my CT-200 which can be removed and can be rolled up easily when not used.

     
     
     
     
    Sound
    I will mention the aurisonics rockets as a comparison every now and then as it was my main IEM even though they are at a different price range.
    The aurisonics rockets is the IEM that has made me stop buying any new IEMs since I received them.
     
    Soundstage
    The first thing that jumped at me was the sheer size of the sound stage of the Titan1. 
    It doesn't have the same depth as the Aurisonics rockets that makes me check if the sound are actually from my speakers, but it is still very wide !
    I love using this IEM when playing on my electric drum set as it provides a very realistic sound and able to recreate side panning of each pads. 
     
    After playing with all the tips I noticed that I got different sound signatures from them. This could be accounted due to the difference in bore size/ fitting/ materials used. 
     
    The IEM came with 3 sizes of 3 differently designed tips; (S/M/L) of red tips, hybrid black tips and plain black silicone ones.
    DSC_2674.jpg
     
    The ones I used and compared are the ones that fit my ears best and are shown below 
    from left to right (L\L\M) The large black ones simply don't fit at all.
    DSC_2678.jpg
     
     
     
    General sound quality/signature 
    The sound signature is quite balanced, although, it sounds much more "fun" than analytical.
    The bass is quite impactful with a strong presence that would satisfy even bass heads. 
    However, it won't creep up when not needed making the IEM suitable for most genres. 
    Although it does not have as strong of a punch as to something like ATH-IM70, the presence is well defined.
    Both the sub-bass and mid-bass are presented in a balanced proportion 
    The mid range is lush and warm yet still very clear; both male and female vocals sound very nice.
    It is also clean from bass leak which I'm sure everyone would appreciate. 
    The Titan 1 is quite detailed although it is not at the level of aurisonics rockets, however, I would say the earphones are way above average at its price range. 
    The treble is present at just right amount with some sparkle and is non sibilant or harsh.
    I personally am not very good at pointing out what’s good in the highs but I can definitely point out when something is wrong (sibilant/ too bright/ splashy; none of which were present in Titan1)
     
    Differences between tips
     
     
    Red hybrid tips: These are the first tips that I tried and I had it on for about 2 weeks. These tips made the IEM sound a bit more airy and a tad brighter than the others but still with impactful bass. 
    However, it’s not as warm as the other hybrid tips
     
    Multicoloured hybrid tips : I quite enjoyed the Titan1 after sticking with these tips to the point that it's now my daily driver. In comparison to the red tips these gave a slight warmer tone to the mids/low mids and a notched down highs, giving it a smoother “tube-like” sound relatively speaking.
     
    Plain black tips : These tips have a larger bore size in comparison to the other two which might account for the difference in sound signature that I experienced. I'm not a fan of these ones because they are a bit too warm and the bass becomes a bit too thick. After a while it becomes a bit tiring for me to listen to. This is just my own preference and others might actually prefer this sound. 
     
    I alternate between the black and red tips depending on my mood
    The difference in sound signature that I experienced could be accounted due to the difference in tip sizes so your mileage may vary.
     
    Overall score for sound (8.5/10)
     
    Isolation :
    Tip-dependent. Good (7/10) at best, not great due to a vent at the back of the ear piece and shallow fit.
     
    Leakage:
    More than average “half in-ear design” (6/10)
     
    Microphonics:
    Almost absent, the cable is well designed and the way they fit almost eliminates microphonics. It is still present at a low but ignorable level when songs are playing.
    (8/10)
     
    With the overall practicality of this IEM ,my other headphones and IEMs have been getting almost no hours.  I’ve been using this IEM a lot more than my aurisonics rockets / CTM-CT200 simply because of the following reasons :
    • They can be powered easily and sound good out of any device including smartphones
    • They can be taken in/out of the ears a lot more easily
    • They won’t fall out despite “imperfect tip seal” due to the design of the ear piece
    • They have a fun sound signature that suits a lot of genres
    • Interestingly they sound excellent with my DTX522K electric drum set, providing wide soundstage and realistic sounds
     
     
     
    TL:DR
     
    Pros:
    1. Great sound quality, awesome soundstage
    2. Sound signature is fun (balanced with bass boost) and would be liked by majority of people
    3. Great build, comfortable
    4. Great accessories
    5. Easy to drive
    6. Priced just right, performs better than competitors at its price range
     
    Cons:
    1. Low impedance – may hiss
    2. Leaks substantial amount of sound
    3. Hard case given is quite small; barely fits the IEM
    4. Cable wrap is large and non-removable
    5. Large ear piece – can’t sleep with them on
     
     
    I would recommend this IEM for sure but I want to emphasise that people should try an IEM before they buy wherever possible. For the price and the package that you get however, it is unlikely that you would be disappointed by the Titan1.
     
     
    Apologies for cluttered format / any misspelling or grammatical errors.
      jpguy likes this.