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Dunu TITAN 1 — titanium-coated diaphragm earphones

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

    Foreword

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

    Introduction

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

    Build, Ergonomics, Accessories

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

    Design & Packaging

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

    Sound

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

    How I Use the Titan 1

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

    Summary

     
    With the titanium treatment to the Titan 1, DUNU has launched their "Titan Series" of products. I'm looking forward to seeing them further enhance this technology, and optimize it for use in future offerings. Already, the upcoming flagship DN-2000J, with an enhanced titanium-coated LCP woofer, is sound very good indeed, and I expect DUNU to continue this trend of excellence.
     
    As a product, while not the versatile and isolating indoor/outdoor unit, the Titan 1 is an extremely capable IEM. It provides the listener spades of tactile detail with celerity, and while it isn't a product that will be tugging at your heartstrings, you'll still be able to hear just about everything else in your mix with immense clarity and transparency. For new entrants to the in-ear world, the Titan 1 is great because of its shallow, easy fit; newbies will undoubtedly be wowed by how clear it sounds. Veteran head-fiers will equally enjoy it as a speedy toy that transcends its price point with detail reserved for much higher-end products. Individuals craving an intimate, husky response will want to look elsewhere, but for nearly everyone else, the Titan 1 will be a very nice addition to their collections.
      james444, svyr, Brooko and 7 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. jpmac55
      Read your review, then some others......placed an order and couldn't be happier! 
      jpmac55, Mar 16, 2015
    3. tomscy2000
      Glad the review was helpful!
      tomscy2000, Mar 16, 2015
    4. Paulus XII
      Just to say I loved the review.
      Paulus XII, Jun 19, 2015
  2. Niyologist
    The Titan 1. One of the best IEMs I have ever reviewed.
    Written by Niyologist
    Published Feb 26, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Deep, Detailed, Impactful, Nicely Extended and Quick bass. Spectacular Midrange. Very Easy to drive. Amazing Build Quality.
    Cons - The vents that help with the soundstage gives average isolation as a result. Not entirely for bassheads.
    Thanks to Vivian from DUNU, I was able to listen to the best IEMs I place in my ears. I have reviewed a few IEMs such as the MEELEC M9, A151, CC51, M-DUO, JVC FXT90 and recently the Havi B3P1, but I have never heard and seen anything like the Titan 1. It's like combining the FXT90's Soundstage depth (it's slightly deeper than that), the Havi B3P1's rendering of detail and the sturdiness of the M-DUO (the Titan 1 is definitely sturdier though). I have auditioned the Titan 1 for at least 50 hours and it had a few changes from the bass to treble and everything in between. 
     

     
    Specifications:
    1. Driver: 13mm Titanium Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
    2. Impedance:16Ω
    3. Sensitivity: 90+- 2dB
    4. Reproduction Frequency: 20Hz-30kHz
    5. Cable Length: 1.2m
    6. Plug: 3.5mm Stereo Mini
    7. Weight: 18g
     
    I used my neutral, yet warm Xuelin IHIFI 770C (EQ Settings: Rock) for this review.
     
    I will focus on several categories in this review and those are: 
     
    Build Quality/Accessories/Fit/Isolation/Sound Quality/Sensitivity 
     

     
    Let's start with Build Quality:
     
    This is one of the most impressive parts of the Titan 1. The bottom half of the cable is braided with a nylon material below the the metal Y-Split and above the metal right angled jack. The Y-Split says DUNU on it, along with Titan 1. Although right above the Y-Split, there's the think rubber cord. The strain relief is great. It's reinforced and compliments the sturdiness of the Titan 1 well. Along with that, there's the metal housing and the titanium coated diaphragm to ensure longevity and excellent sound quality. There are vents on each earpiece and that's probably for enhanced the soundstage and clarity. Finally, there's the Blue and Red Color Coded earpieces. The left earpiece has a blue ring around it. The right earpiece has a red ring around it. The nozzle is at a 120 degree angle and it has a hexagon shaped vent on the nozzle. Along with DUNU's signature D's on the back of each earpiece. The last feature the Titan 1 has is the rubber wraparound on the nylon cable for properly wrapping the cable. The great thing about the cable with that it doesn't have any memory cable issues and very little cable noise. 
     
    Accessories:
     
    9 Pairs of eartips (3 Pairs Red and Black) 1PS/1PM/1PL which are similar to the Havi B3P1 eartips. 6 Pairs are black 2PS/2PM/2PL. 
     
    A Small Carrying Case with a rubber stopper on the bottom (Similar to a Pelican Carry Case you would see with Westone IEMs, but a weaker and smaller version, still great though).
     
    3.5mm to 6.5mm Gold Adapter 
     
    Shirt Clip.
     
    Fit: I used the small single flange eartips and I was good to go. Those with any type of ears will greatly appreciate the fit and comfort of these IEMs. I can wear them for hours upon hours with no discomfort. The best way to wear the Titan 1 is in a cable down style. Over the ear is slightly tricky.
     
    Isolation: It's average. It works okay in noisy areas, but you will have to crank up the volume. 
     
    Now here's the big part of the review.
     

    Sound Quality: 

    Bass: 4 Words to explain it. Quick. Impactful. Clean. Detailed. It's because of these, it never intrudes into the midrange frequency at all. Even if the bass doesn't hit hard enough for bassheads, it can still satisfy those who like punchy bass. It's definitely more powerful than the Havi B3P1. It's bass performance is around the lines of my FXT90. That's why I loved my FXT90 for a long time. It works pretty well with any Electronic Music like Dubstep, Trance, Hard Dance and some of the faster sub genres such as Japanese Hardcore and Hardcore. I listened to Out The Speakers (Feat. Rich Kidz) by A-trak, Milo and Otis (MP3-320 kbps)(Sub Genre: Trap) and you can hear the pulsing bass without interfering the midrange. It's powerful, yet controlled. You can hear the bass fluctuating from deep sub bass to just below mid bass quite clearly. 
     
    Midrange: This part of the frequency is what give these IEMs life. The midrange frequency is quite detailed. The level of detail sometimes dwarfs my B3P1 in comparison. The female and male vocals are quite surreal at times, although it depends on the audio quality and type you are listening to. I listened to Yesterday (Extended Mix) by DJ THT (MP3 320 kbps)(Sub Genre: Hard Trance) and if you close your eyes, it sounds like she's saying "Yesterday" towards you in such a natural voice at the front and middle of the stage. Even tracks with any form of guitar performs well through the Titan 1. I listen to a lot of Rock and Metal and I just can't get enough of the crunch from the electric guitars and amazing acoustics from the drums and cymbals. The track that fully demonstrates that is Angel Halo by Rio Hamamoto (MP3 320 kbps)(Genre: Rock). There's no upper midrange sibilance to speak of. That's probably one the reasons why I can listen to the Titan 1 for hours.
     
    Treble: This part of the frequency adds on the life. It's bright, but not sibilant. It's not laid back either. It's slightly energetic, but it's also quite detailed. I listened to Moon Trance by Linsdsey Stirling (256 kbps) (Sub Genre: Instrumental) and I was captivated by her violin performance in that track. That was all I was focused on. It was accurately rendered and I found myself playing that track over and over again 5 times. Due to the energetic nature of the Titan 1, the airiness of the treble was not lacking at all. 
     
    BTW, which brings me to the Soundstage.
     
    Soundstage: This part of the Titan 1 is amazing. It's quite large, but not as large as the Havi B3P1 (10% smaller, not a big deal). It doesn't matter anyway, I'm quite content with the width and depth. The depth of the soundstage is definitely deeper than the B3P1. 
     
    Imaging/Separation: I'm impressed with the imaging. The Titan 1 is vivid. Pretty similar to the Havi B3P1. Maybe exactly the same, but the detail rendering of the Titan 1 gives it the edge and outpaces the B3P1 by a small margin. I listened to (Don't Fear) The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult (MP3 320 kbps) and demonstrates the imaging quite well. Now as for the separation, it's also quite similar, despite the Titan 1 having a slightly smaller soundstage. Even though the Titan 1 has a smaller soundstage, the separation is definitely better though. I can hear more spacing between the vocals and instruments. 
     
    Last part of the review.
     
    Sensitivity: The Titan 1 is very easy to drive. I matched it with my Xuelin IHIFI 770C and it didn't require any amping. Every volume notch I turn it up to, it gets steadily louder. I find myself having the volume at 22-26/70 on my Xuelin IHIFI 770C. I even matched it with my not-as-powerful Elephone P3000s Smartphone and I still didn't have to put it up to maximum volume. 
     

    Conclusion:

    The Titan 1 not only demonstrates high build quality, but it also demonstrates high sound quality. For those of you that are looking for a balanced set of IEM. That has excellent build quality, above average accessories and great fit. Along with a great soundstage and with excellent imaging and separation that's easy to drive. Plus if you don't mind the average isolation for under $130, then look no further than the Titan 1. 
     
    Overall Score: 93/100
      jpguy likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. drbluenewmexico
      Yes you did, and you are right on!  I'm listening to TIDAL right now through
      my HTC M8 with the Titans and the sound is amazing, afrofunk is alive in
      my head!  very great experience!
      drbluenewmexico, Feb 27, 2015
    3. kahaluu
      Great review. These are definitely on the radar. 
      kahaluu, Feb 28, 2015
    4. benbenkr
      Nice review! I've always wanted to get a DUNU, but for whatever reason they've never been comfortable for me. This looks to be a good fit.
      benbenkr, Mar 1, 2015
  3. mark2410
    DUNU TITAN 1 Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published Feb 23, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - So vastly open. Epic bass depth. Dazzling treble.
    Cons - Negligible isolation. Too much of that dazzling treble.
    DUNU TITAN 1 Quick Review
     
    Thanks to DUNU for the sample.
     
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/756209/dunu-titan-1-review-by-mark2410
     
    Brief:  DUNU make an open backed IEM
     
    Price:  £90 or I found for $115 (I presume that’s US$)
     
    Specification:  Driver: 13mm Titanium Diaphragm Dynamic Driver, Impedance:16Ω, Sensitivity: 90+- 2dB, Reproduction Frequency: 20Hz-30kHz, Cable Length: 1.2m, Plug: 3.5mm Stereo Mini, Weight: 18g
     
    Accessories:  All of the accessories.  9 pairs of tips, shirt clip, attached cable wrap thing, a 6.15mm to 3.5mm adapter and a hard little case.  Case is particularly functional.
     
    Build Quality:  It’s a DUNU, they are always excellent and this is no exception.
     
    Isolation:  Erm, more than buds but it’s probably the least isolating IEM I’ve encountered.
     
    Comfort/Fit:  It’s got a funny shape but worked perfectly in my ears, worn up or down it was effortless and comfy.
     
    Aesthetics:  Reasonably pretty I think.  I always like when makes do a little red and blue splash so you can tell the ears apart too. Pretty and practical in one.
     
    Sound:  As big sounding as any IEM as ever done.  So much air and so much space, the symphonic sense of scale these can deliver is superb.  Close your eyes and you can practically feel an entire orchestra before you, so vast and yet so close it all feels just a hair out of arms reach.  Such immense space and air yet retain an intimacy that all sounds so natural.  Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” sounds like your there.  The big open driver gives you that air.  It also give you epically deep bass with oodles of agility like a big open can, can, yet due to being so close to your ear it doesn’t roll off.  It goes down to the point I think it’s my hearing that gives out.  The mids, are beautiful.  Airy open and delicately expressive.  Sadly it’s a bit behind the bass in quantity.  Then the treble, oh god they have airy and flighty treble like fairies dancing across the surface of a pond.  It’s however way too abundant for my ears and I needed the treble reducer EQ option and that was with comply’s on.  Treble junkies I’m sure will be falling over themselves to grab a pair but for me, they spike in the lower treble and edge towards sibilance.  That with the rest as they extend, my ears got very tired very quickly.  Combine that with being so open, so little isolating, that you naturally want to crank the volume.  My ears did not like that, just too much treble for me.
     
    It’s awesome for soundstaging and for offering that big can, open backed flavour in IEM form.  DUNU are living up to the Unique in their name in that regard here.
     
    Value:  Sound capabilities here for the money are excellent as DUNU’s normally are.  The issue is, treble quantity aside, these isolate so little and normally people pick IEM’s for outdoorsy use.  You want sounds blocked and these don’t really do that so it’s a bit of a queer duck.  I’d only really use these in doors alone, where I could just use proper big open cans.
     
    Pro’s:   So vastly open.  Epic bass depth.  Dazzling treble.
     
    Con’s:  Negligible isolation. Too much of that dazzling treble.
      jpguy likes this.
    1. ayaflo
      5 years I have been into audio and your reviews are just the most poetic... along with the ex-head-fi'er Kiteki! Although I am biased because I have a Titan 1 on the way but you use words to convey better physical dimension that is pleasant to the ears and mind alike.
      Thanks as always.
      ayaflo, Feb 23, 2015
    2. mark2410
      awww, thank you.
       
      btw i tend to wax more lyrical in the full reviews.  the quicks i try to keep to about 500 words but the fulls can run as long as they like.
      mark2410, Feb 23, 2015
  4. peter123
    DUNU Titan 1, premium everything!
    Written by peter123
    Published Feb 22, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Great sound and ergonomics, excellent value
    Cons - Sound leakage and isolation is less than average
    First of all I'd like to thank DUNU and Vivian for giving me a chance to check out the DUNU Titan 1 in ear earphone.
     
    Built and accessories:
    DUNU didn’t fall for the temptation to keep package and accessories cheap on this offering. Everything from the retail package to the shirt clip and the storage box feels premium. DUNU also included a 3,5 mm to 6,3 mm adapter and 9 pairs of silicon tips. That being said I didn’t get the best sound with any of the included tips but find the perfect match with the tips from the Sony MH1C.
     
    IMG_2045.jpg
     
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    The Titan 1 is a semi open design giving them a great soundstage but also less than average isolation and more than average sound leakage.
     
    The Titan 1 is easy to drive and works great out of portable devices.
     
    The design of the Titan 1 is, as already mentioned, semi open and it uses a single 13mm titanium coated dynamic driver. Housings are all metal and also feel very well built.
     
    The cable is clothed from the y-split and down and microphonics is about average. The cable also feels premium as a whole and offers a well designed y-split, chin slider and great strain reliefs both at the housings as well as on the end with the L-shaped 3,5mm connector.
     
    The fit of the Titan 1 is pretty shallow due to its design but I find them to be very comfortable and I’ve had no problem wearing them for several hours continuously.
     
     
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    IMG_2081.jpg
     
    The specs:
    Type: Dynamic, 13mm
    Sound Pressure Level: 90dB+/-2dB
    Impedance:16Ω
    Frequency Range: 20Hz - 30kHz
    Plug: 3.5mm stereo plug
    Weight:18g
     
    Sound:
    I've let them play for over 200 hours and I've used them while travelling, while working out, at the office and at home and I've not found any weaknesses to the way they're constructed. I've been using them with my Xperia Z3Compact phone, FiiO X3 dap (with and without amp) and with my Geek Out720 playing music from my computer. As already mentioned isolation and sound leakage is a challenge with the Titan 1 but I’ve used them both in the gym as well as on some shorter flights without having people looking strange at me.
     
    For this review I've used the DUNU Titan 1 paired with my HTC One M7 feeding my Audioquest Dragonfly dac/amp.
     
    The sound of the Titan 1 feels well balanced with a slight emphasis in the bass region. The soundstage is wider than average for an IEM and the depth is also excellent. I wouldn’t describe the Titan 1 as neither warm nor bright sounding but find it rather neutral and, as already mentioned, very well balanced. It also offers great clarity as well as very good separation and imaging.
     
    Both the bass and treble extension is very nice and balances on the verge on what I prefer in both ends. The mid bass is very well controlled and never do they feel overly boomy but they certainly do not feel thin either. If the recording has sibilance in it there’s a big chance that the Titan 1 will let you hear it but playing around with different tips will help eliminate this.
     
    I find the Titan 1 sounding great with all kinds of different music but it certainly excels with female singers such as Eva Cassidy, Norah Jones, Ane Brun etc.
     
    Comparison:
     
    IMG_2083.jpg
     
    DUNU Titan 1 ($115) vs Audio-Technica CKR-10 ($240):
    The Titan 1 and CKR-10 are both easy to drive but both also scale well with a better source.
     
    The CKR-10 has a more intimate sound signature and while the Titan 1’s keep up with them on female voices the CKR-10’s, being fuller and warmer, makes male voices sound more natural. The CKR-10’s are warmer, fuller, smother and has better soundstage depth but less width. The CKR-10’s also has slightly more sub bass extension, more mid bass and better layering in the bass region.
     
    DUNU Titan 1 ($115) vs Havi B3 Pro 1 ($59):
    The B3 Pro 1 needs a lot more power than the Titan 1 to perform its best.
     
    The B3’s has slightly less mid bass and significantly less sub bass impact. Soundstage is about similar in width but the better bass extension on the Titan 1 makes the depth feel better on them. The B3’s sounds overall thinner with less clarity.
     
    DUNU Titan 1 ($115) vs Philips Fidelio S2 ($99):
    The Titan 1 and S2 are both similar in power requirement and both scales nicely with a better and more powerful source.
     
    The Fidelio S2’s share a lot of the design with the Titan 1 and they both present a pretty balanced sound with an extra lift in the bass region. The S2 has slightly less bass impact (especially sub bass) and a smaller soundstage while the treble on both are very similar. The S2 feels slightly congested compared to the Titan 1’s and also lose out in clarity.
     
    Summary:
    The DUNU Titan 1 is an excellent in ear earphone that rivals or surpasses the best IEM’s I’ve ever heard before. It sounds great with all kind of music and accessories and built quality is top notch. In all this is a very solid offering and at the $115 price tag it’s an easy recommendation.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. RedJohn456
      Great Review Peter, and I really appreciated the fleshed out comparison section! 
      RedJohn456, Feb 22, 2015
    3. peter123
      Thank you guys, I really appreciate the support!
       
      @drbluenewmexico I'm using CM11 ROM on my HTC and with apps like UAPP or Hibymusic it's able to output digital signal through USB, hope this helps.
      peter123, Feb 23, 2015
    4. yangian
      Hi, Peter, so can you say titan is more 3D than Havi or very similar? Thanks.
      yangian, Mar 5, 2015
  5. thatBeatsguy
    Master of All Trades
    Written by thatBeatsguy
    Published Feb 21, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Unmatched sound quality at this price. Great build for daily use.
    Cons - Isolation and leakage are an issue. Very sibilant when used with stock tips.
    Intro
     
    Before I begin, I would like to sincerely thank Vivian at DUNU for providing the review sample of the TITAN 1 in this review. Please note that I am neither affiliated with DUNU or any of its employees, nor am I being compensated for writing this review (aside from being provided the review sample). All opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own unless otherwise specified, and all pictures are taken and owned by me. YMMV.
     
    Delicate, Unique, and Utmost – these are the three words that DUNU adopts as its philosophy for creating their IEMs. If you’ve been around the forums of Head-Fi for a while, you’ll probably know DUNU as a popular company based in Taiwan, manufacturing great bang-for-buck IEMs that rival that of top-end Western IEMs. This week, we’re taking a look at their latest release – the Titan 1. Early impressions and reviews state these are some of the best IEMs in their price range – how do they stack up? Find out after the break.
     

    ~~ Aesthetics ~~​

    Packaging, Accessories

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

    Design, Build, Microphonics

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

    Fit, Comfort, Isolation

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

    ~~ Sound ~~​

    Specs

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

     
     

    Equipment, Burn-in

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

    Sound Quality

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

    Other Media

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

    EQ Response

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

    Value

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

    Comparison

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

    ~~ Conclusion ~~​

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

     

    Shout-Outs, Gallery

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

    Changelog

     
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      earfonia and DJScope like this.
    1. derrickmarvel
      This reminded me of Superlux HD381 series. But I suppose they're much better.
      derrickmarvel, Feb 22, 2015
    2. earfonia
      Nice review! Agree on the eartips selection to tame the treble.
      earfonia, Feb 23, 2015
    3. cocolinho
      Great review. I'm with you with everything except highs. For me, out of the box with included eartips (sony's style ones) : no issue (main headphones are HD800 so this might explain why)
      As bonus, if bass could tighten up a bit after burn-in it would be nice though
      cocolinho, Mar 2, 2015
  6. lin0003
    Another Excellent Offering From Dunu
    Written by lin0003
    Published Feb 6, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound Quality, Balanced Tone, Good All Rounder
    Cons - Isolation
    First I would like to thank Vivian for sending me a Titan 1 to review. Dunu is a brand that has crept into the IEM market with their multiple budget IEMs and their DN-1000 and 2000, both of which I have reviewed. Both of the models I have tried were on the bass heavy side with a crisp and sweet midrange and well balanced treble. The Titan 1 is a model that they have released recently and is a very unique design.
     
    DSC_0152.jpg
     
     
    Dunu’s TWFK hybrids have been praised extensively by many members and they have grown on me tremendously. I had no reason to suspect that the Titan 1 was going to be any different, but keep in mind that those were hybrids whereas the Titan 1 has a single dynamic driver. Just from looking at them you can easily tell that they are very different looking IEMs. Whereas most IEMs adopt a more traditional barrel style or “Shure” style, the shape of the Titan 1 is reminiscent of an earbud.
     
    I am typically not really a fan of single driver IEMs, but there have been some exceptions and I approached the Titan 1 (will be referred to as T1 from now on) with few expectations. These are a fair bit cheaper than both the DN-1000 and 2000, being priced at $115 suggesting that it will be closer in performance to the cheaper $130 DN-900 and will be a direct competitor to the popular RE-400. So let’s go ahead and see how it did.
     
    **Disclaimer** These were provided to me for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
     
     
    Unboxing & Accessories
    The T1 box is nothing short of impressive for the price. It is one of the nicest presented IEMs I have seen regardless of price. The box feels very sturdy and hard, should be able to protect your IEMs in shipping. It looks fantastic, with the specifications on the side and details about the earphone and driver as well as the accessories on the back. Upon opening the magnetic flap, you are greeted with some more information about the features of the T1 and a picture of the frequency graph. It is very thoughtful how they have multiple languages on the box. Through the transparent film, you can see the T1s and after opening another flap, you are greeted with the T1, a few sets of tips and a very nice black case. Underneath that section there are more tips and a warranty sheet should you need it in the future. There is an adapter inside the case if you plan to use it with a device that has a ¼ output. There is a cable clip too, oops.

     
    DSC_0143.jpg
     
     
    The T1 doesn’t shower you with a plethora of accessories like the DN-900, but it certainly has all the necessary ones. I loved the TF-10 style case that the DN-1000 had, but I did not like the DN-900 or DN-2000 cases at all. Don’t get me wrong, they were great, but just unnecessarily large and your IEMs would just flop around in them. The T1 case is much nicer, not the sturdiest, but nice looking and very practical. It is the perfect size and holds the T1s with no extra room. You can fit an extra adapter or cable clip if you want to. I really like the press to unlock feature; Dunu should use this sort of case for all their future IEMs. The cable clip is very useful and I found the tips to be quite good. I am using them with the medium size black and red tips. Overall Dunu does very well here as they have done in every other product I have tried from them.
     
     
    Design, Isolation & Cable
    This is where things start to get interesting. I have never come across another IEM that is quite like the Titan 1. They are “half in ear earphones” and I couldn’t really describe them any better. A single 13mm “nano class T-diaphragm driver” is in each ear. They do seal, but you don’t really feel like other IEMs I’ve tried. The round body kind of just sits in your ear like those old gen apple earbuds. They are certainly very comfortable and I can wear them for hours without any issues. The body is made entirely of metal and feels very sturdy, once again that typical Dunu build quality. There is a red band and blue band on the right and left sides respectively to indicate which is left and right more easily. They are have R and L on them. Overall this feels like it is a product of very high quality and is very impressive for the price.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
     
    Summary
     
    DSC_0151.jpg
     
    The Titan 1 is a perfect sounding IEM for the price point and it is unrealistic to ask for anything better. It is the most complete in the sound department in the price range by a wide margin and as far as I know, there is nothing that can challenge it. So is it the undisputed budget IEM king? Well not quite. The isolation is simply terrible so there will be no chance that you can use this outside where it is noisy, but if you primarily use your IEMs in a quiet environment and you have $115 burning a hole in your pocket, there is nothing that gains a higher recommendation from me. It eats the RE-400 for breakfast and is a solid step up from the DN-900. TBH, I actually feel like (from memory) that the performance of the T1 is closer to the DN-1000 than 900; that is really how good it is. No onto the rating. I considered giving these a 4.5 because of the isolation, but if I don’t give this a 5, than what deserves a 5; nothing is perfect right? It is an amazing IEM that is worth more than a look if you are in the market for an IEM. 
      jpguy likes this.
  7. bhazard
    Who said two are better than one?
    Written by bhazard
    Published Feb 3, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent clarity, huge soundstage, huge value
    Cons - slightly sibilant
    Dunu Titan 1
     
    Dunu may not be a recognizable name in audio amongst the mainstream masses in the United States, but they absolutely should be. Based in Taiwan and China, Dunu has been making exceptionally good In Ear Monitors for some time now. The powerhouse DN-1000 along with the more refined DN-2000 have blown away and satisfied many who have tried them. Dunu’s combination of high quality materials, a plethora of accessories, and top notch sound quality have solidified them as a major player for audio enthusiasts.
    The Titan 1 is a bit of a shocker. Being a single dynamic driver, I did not think the Titan 1 would ever approach the quality of the DN-1000 and DN-2000. This IEM wasn’t even remotely on my radar, as newer doubles (dynamic and hybrid) and triple hybrids have been released or will be soon. A single dynamic driver at around $100 couldn’t possibly keep up with these… or could it?
    In this case, not only does the Titan 1 keep up… it sounds better than many multiple driver in ears, for $100! The SQ comes shockingly close to the DN-2000 as well, and in some areas, I feel the Titan is better.
     
    Specifications:
    1. Driver: 13mm Titanium Diaphragm Dynamic Driver
    2. Impedance: 16Ω
    3. Sensitivity: 90+- 2dB
    4. Reproduction Frequency: 10Hz-20kHz
    5. Weight: 18g
     
    Build Quality: 
    1. Semi open, ported metal alloy shell
    2. Aesthetically pleasing, strong build
    3. Titanium coated diaphragm
    4. Tweed + plastic coated non microphonic cable
    5.  
    The Titan 1 can easily be mistaken as an earbud at first glance. The 13mm driver is housed inside a sturdy circular metal casing which sits quite comfortably and firmly in my ears. The casing is ported both in the back and in the front, creating a semi-open sound. Isolation is not the Titan 1’s strong suit, and if played loud enough, others around you will notice and hear your music.
    The cable is half rope like toward the bottom, half plastic up towards the ears. Microphonics are near nonexistent, and the cable feels strong enough to take a commuter or athletes beating.
     
    Accessories:
    1. Carrying case
    2. 9 pairs of eartips (S/M/L)
    3. 3.5mm to 6.3mm gold adapter 
    4.  
    Dunu never seems to disappoint here. The carrying case holds several different types of eartips which change the sound a bit, ear size dependent. The quality of the tips are quite good, although my favorite to use were M sized JVC Spiral Dot tips, by far.
     
    Sound Quality:
    1. Exceptionally clear. Sounds more like a BA/dynamic hybrid.
    2. Slightly enhanced bass. Slight V signature
    3. Can be a bit bright at certain high frequencies. Certain tips solve this
    4. Huge soundstage. Better than the DN-2000 here.
     
    Titanium diaphragms are not new in the audio world. Klipsch uses titanium diaphragms in their compression drivers, and anyone who has listened to a Klipsch speaker knows it can be exceptionally clear and powerful, yet at times piercingly bright. In my custom built speakers, I had a choice between Titanium and Polyimide, and I went with the polyimide diaphragm since the Titanium was too harsh.
     
    I was afraid the Titan 1 would suffer the same fate… great clarity, but insufferably bright. Thankfully, this isn’t the case.
    The Titan 1 is EXCEPTIONALLY clear, not just for a single dynamic, but for earphones in general. Every note, every detail shines right through the mix. All of the instruments and sounds from complicated Thrash Metal progressions to pop vocal ballads are presented with near absolute clarity.
    Bass is slightly north of neutral, especially in the midbass. While not bassy by any means, there is a slight boost here compared to the more neutral DN-2000. With some slight EQ and Bass Boost, a thicker, pleasing bass becomes available.
     
    The mids may be slightly recessed, but much less so than you may perceive. Nothing is lost in the mix, although it is noticeable that the low and high end get a slight boost over them. No frequencies bleed over into the mids, which is one of the main ingredients of the Titan’s clarity.
     
    Highs were a bit troublesome at first. With the default tips, some high frequencies were noticeably sibilant and piercing out of the box. This is what I was afraid of with the Titanium. At this point, I decided to burn in the driver a bit and find new tips to try.
     
    I had a revelation based on my DN-2000 experience. I found the DN-2000 to also be a bit too bright with highs… until I added Comply foam tips. After that, I loved the DN-2000.
    It turns out that the Titan 1 also reacts favorably to Comply tips, and even more so with JVC Spiral Dot tips (medium size). These tips smooth out the peaks that I find harsh without removing any of the detail. While the highs are still boosted a bit, they remain engaging and non-fatiguing.
     
    The soundstage. Huge. Throw on a live concert, and the sound envelops you.
     
    All of this from a $100 IEM. Fantastic.
     
    Thoughts:
     
    It’s only February, and the Titan 1 may be the biggest surprise and value of 2015. Earphones under $300 rarely do all the things right that the Titan 1 does, and the Titan 1 does them for ~$100. Buy them.
     
    Thanks to Vivian @ Dunu for the review unit.
      jpguy likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Gandasaputra
      Dunu has became my #1 favorite brand after having the DN-2000. Definitely will get the Titan - my DN-2000 needs a brother. I don't find DN-2000 bright tho; I use the clear, 1k tips and sound all fine and dandy.
      Gandasaputra, Feb 3, 2015
    3. twister6
      Great review!
      twister6, Feb 4, 2015
    4. Ap616
      Good work bhazard!
      Ap616, Feb 4, 2015
  8. Dsnuts
    Outstanding sound and design.
    Written by Dsnuts
    Published Jan 31, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Solid design, engaging clear and precise sound.
    Cons - leaks sound like an earbud, cord tends to catch some static.
    51Il5bZi7tL._SL1000_.jpg
    Specifications:
    Driver: Titanium Diaphgram Dynamic Driver 13mm
    Sensitivity: 90+- 2dB
    Reproduction Frequency: 20Hz-30kHz
    Cable Length: 1.2m
    Plug: 3.5mm Stere Mini
    Weight: 18g
    Comes With:
    1 x Titan 1 Earbuds
    1 x Carrying bag for storage
    1 x 3.5mm to 6.3mm gold adapter
    1 x Gold plated 3.5mm plug and rigid alloy splitter
    Paste

     I would like to give a shout out to Vivian and Dunu-Topsound team for giving me an opportunity to review these earphones. It took me a while to get these properly burned in but was definitely fun to hear them along the way. Dunu does recommend that owners of the Titan 1 burn in the earphones for roughly 200 hours. I will get into what this does for the sound later but for now I have to agree 100% on this. These actually sounded fantastic out of the box. You can certainly hear their potential and their sound signature but to really get the Titan 1 Dunu wants you to hear. You have to remember these drivers have a titanium coating that make the drivers very stiff. Perhaps only second in stiffness to the carbon nanotubes JVC uses. 
     
    Dish type earphones are my forte and got me started a while ago with the MP8320 and various Audio Technicas  that use this design but these here Titan 1s to me was a complete surprise in many ways. I always thought Audio Technica's dish style earphones were always among the best in the category but these have come along to say otherwise. I applaud audio manufacturers that come out with something new. Something exciting in the much crowded field of earphone design. However design is one aspect that works only if the sound follows suit and these here earphones does just this. To me 2015 so far has been all about raising the bar. What do you get for that magic $100 plus number now a days?
     
    First there was Zero Audio's DuoZA earphones with their large but light pill like housing using dual drivers that is one of the best sounds for the money hands down. Then these Titans 1 was getting some attention. I can say with certainty not only does the Titan 1 hang with the DuoZA but does a few things better. I am a fan of both these earphones as they both have raised the bar on what to expect for your money. Both have a different tuning/sound of course and there for I honestly think both are worthy of your collection.
     
    So lets start the read. I would like to start with the design of the earphones and what you get in the package.
    011915183522.jpg
     
    Out of the box the Titan 1 gets a good arrangement of earphone tips, 1/4in stereo adapter, shirt clip, nice plastic case and very nice looking metal dish type earphone.
    011915184029.jpg
     
    The all metal housing has a very quality feel and build to them. In fact here is where the Titan 1 gets the thumbs up. The solid design of these earphones is quality. It would not surprise me one bit if these earphones lasted longer than your average earphone. The cord is a solid rubberized and while it does transmit some microphonics it is no more than average in the external noise category. For guys looking for absolute quiet, microphonics free sound these will not work for you. These are more of a semi open design than anything closed in but this is the trade off for the sound these have. These earphones are not a large earphone by any means. They are about the size of your average earbud actually without the thick foam covering. So while these certainly look nice and fit easy enough for your average ear shape, how does this design lead to a better sound?
     
    011915184053.jpg
     
    On first listen soon after I took these pics these had a clarity and a proper stage for earphones that I immediately appreciated. Nothing bothers me more than earphones that have that in your head stage and muddiness in sound. The first thing that caught my attention was how deep the treble sounded. A little bit harsh on open listen but I had a feeling burn in would help the treble get proper. And proper it has gotten. I mentioned earlier that there are a few sound traits that I feel the Titan 1 does better and while the treble extension and detail can be debatable regarding both of these earphones. These have a sizzle and shine in the treble region that not too many earphones can do. Looking at the treble and bass enhancement of these earphones due to the titanium coating.
     
    011915183336.jpg
     
    So what does this optimized difference do for these earphones? The raised treble and bass regions are right. However what one needs to know is that this doesn't mean harsher,sharper and a  peaky fatiguing treble with a bloated or bigger bass. The Titan 1s are described to be V shaped in sound, however after the longer extended burn in Dunu recommends, I can say it is more of a U shape in sound than a V. Treble for being "enhanced," I am finding a non fatiguing controlled treble range that clearly has some of the best depth, attack, shimmer and decay among single dynamics. I would have kept my GR07 if the treble was more like it is on the Titan 1s. 
     
    One of the best way to hear micro details in the treble region is how high hats are portrayed. Flat and one note these are not.High hat rides for jazz or rock music takes on a dimension that makes it seem like you are hearing BA levels of detail for the highs. Natural reverb from the drum kit which lesser earphones just do not portray is easily heard on these earphones. So it went from a somewhat strident with potential for a true treble greatness that actually went there with the burn in. As of today I am not hearing any grain or stridency at all in the treble region.
     
    Basically what the 200 hours of your time burning these earphones does is tighten the Titan 1s sound. The treble region as well as the bass while the mids actually fill out and come a bit more forward because the treble and the bass tightens and refines a bit more than on open box. I remember when I first heard the Titan 1 the center band of the mid section did seem a bit more reserved than the upper and lower regions. Today I am not hearing this reservation and this has helped out in the imagery of the earphones which is spot on by the way. One of the strong suits of these earphones how good the imagery is. Well recorded music with layers of sound that should be in a particular area of the recording are portrayed with ease on these earphones. The ability of the treble region on these earphones made me realize just how important treble is to the overall sound an earphone portrays. The treble lends to the overall clarity and tonality of the sound and while these earphones have a tonality that leans more toward neutrality another aspect that separates these earphones is the full bodied bass region. 
     
    Bass to me is just as important to the overall sound while the mids portray most of what we hear in an particular tune the bass end of these earphones can be described as enhanced. But not in the way we associate, enhancement. When you guys read that these have extra bass. Does Sonys XB sound comes to mind? Bass is enhanced in the way that the treble is enhanced. The bass has tightness, speedy attack, well textured and comes warm and full bodied. Which if you think about it we got a mostly neutrally toned earphone in sound,  regarding the mids, while the treble has that shimmer and precision that adds to the clarity. The bass end has its own set of dynamics. Not only does it keep up with the rest of the sound. From memory every single titanium coated phone I have heard the bass had a HD quality to them. These are no exception. Bass that is enhanced in a recording be it for hip hop or pop music to rock  these let you know the low end was enhanced in the recording. Lesser bass enhanced earphones the bass region is always there meaning you get bloat when your music does not need that extra bass. You can tell the quality of the low end of these as music with no low end enhancement has. No low end enhancement. The ability of the bass end makes the sound of the Titan 1 versatile and has the type of bass that I would consider very solid quality. Sure there will be guys that say it is a bit much for a true neutral sound. I don't think Dunu was going for a true neutral sound from the get go. The ability of the warm agile bass lends to most types of music and stays away from other frequencies of sound.
     
    So what I am hearing from the Titan 1s is something that single dynamics do not really do, a clearer distinction for the treble, the mids and the bass. 3 separate tonalities. Bell like clarity for treble, neutral spot on imagery rich, clear mid section and a full bodied warm low end with great ability.  How many single dynamics have you heard that can do this?
     
    The mids of these earphones while taking a bit of a step back from the enhancement of the treble and the bass region is actually done very well. What makes or breaks a sound is how clear the mids are and the mid bands of these earphones not only have the clarity that is set throughout the overall sound but the imagery and depth of the mids are excellent. Vocals have distinct clarity in the region and while male vocals could use a bit more fullness, vocal and instruments natural reverb and depth is heard much like the treble region. Sound balance is key in stage perception and to me these have a wider stage perception and a bit if extra clarity due to the mids taking a bit of a step back from the treble and the bass. A truly balanced earphone will not get you what the Titan 1 does. If the mids were more forward in the mix here perhaps the clarity, perceived stage and imagery might suffer a bit.
     
    In the end, the duoZAs are actually the better balanced earphone and actually has the larger stage to do it, requiring a larger stage to do this.  But the Titan 1s has a one of kind shimmer in the treble region that make the duoZA sound a bit reserved in comparison. A warm full bodied quality bass end and imagery that is among the best for a single dynamic easily in the price range. Do I recommend the Titan 1s? Considering these earphones have handed the CKM series of earphones from AT their collective arses in sound. Considering this is one of the best sounds for the price. Absolutely..
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Dsnuts
      I know it would be easy to just start listening to them with lesser burn in. Do it. Let them drivers blast for 2 weeks. It will be worth your time. 
      Dsnuts, Feb 3, 2015
    3. waynes world
      Got to 200 hours of burn in on the Titan1's. I loved them from the start, and I love them even more now. Again, great review Ds!
      waynes world, Mar 15, 2015
    4. Paulus XII
      Definitely did. The 200hrs are indeed crucial.
      Paulus XII, May 28, 2015
  9. Zalithian
    Titan 1 - A Titan in sound only
    Written by Zalithian
    Published Jan 28, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Clarity, price, comfort, spacious
    Cons - vocals, edgy, lack of isolation
    I try to keep my reviews simple and understandable so I don't go into a large amount of detail with each part. There are others here that do an excellent job at very in depth and detailed reviews. I'll leave that to them.
     
    It's been a while since I have been involved in this hobby but occasionally I log into the site to check things out and message some people. Due to this, I haven't had any experience with Dunu before. I have only briefly heard of them when browsing the site. I logged in recently and had a message from Dunu offering me a chance to listen to the Titan 1. I'd like to start by thanking Vivan and Dunu for contacting me and giving me a chance to hear the Titan 1. I received the Titan 1 on January 19th and I have been listening to it as often as time allows. I've gotten acquainted with how it sounds with all the genres I listen to and I feel pretty comfortable with my overall thoughts on the Titan 1.
     
    Looks are first though. They give you the initial impression of what to expect. When I received my Titan 1 box it made me feel confident about how the Titan 1 will sound. The Titan 1 is well packaged, looks nice, and was easy to open. There are many assorted eartips which made is easy for me to find the right fit. There's a nice and slim little carrying case to help you bring them around. These IEMS are actually quite small for their design. They are much smaller than I expected.
     
    Now, onto the sound:
     
    First impressions - Initially I said that these have great clarity and a good sense of space. I also mentioned that these have bass that's a little on the lean side. I still agree with this today. They have a bit of a V shape but I feel like some of this is attributed to the overall distance and sense of space you get with the Titan 1.
     
    What makes the Titan 1 good?
     
    The Titan 1 is a very good IEM. There are some things that it does very well and would make someone want to buy it. First, the Titan 1 has a spacious sound with excellent instrument separation. I love listening to classical, OST's, jazz, and other similar genres with it. It has a big and wide sound which makes it great for pinpointing instruments, making things appear like they're coming from different places, and dealing with layered music where there are multiple vocal tracks, background vocals, or other things. Next, it has excellent clarity. The Titan 1 has slightly boosted treble and light mid bass. This, combined with the spacious sound allows for excellent overall clarity. While the Titan 1's midbass is not terribly impressive I find it to be very good for listening to bass lines, especially in lower-sub bass levels. I highly recommend this to people who love orchestral music, jazz, movies, clarity, and a wide soundstage. I found these a dream when listening to certain music genres as mentioned previously. You want details? You want separation? You want great lower bass? It's all here for you.
     
    What are some things that might turn you off from the Titan 1?
     
    As mentioned above, while the Titan 1 has great clarity, spacing, and lower bass I personally find that the mids leave a little to be desired. I would say mids are the main weak point of the Titan 1. There is nothing especially wrong with the mids of the Titan 1, but with the IEM's presentation it is not well suited to certain genres and music. One thing I always value in an IEM is the mids, specifically vocals. I love listening to really vocal oriented music sometimes. When I listen to that kind of music I would not pick the Titan 1. The presentation is too laid back for me. If you want that intimate feeling of a singer singing to you then this is not for you. While some IEMS put you on stage or in a small room with the music, the Titan 1 does not. It's more like an auditorium, comparatively speaking. Everything sounds a bit distant and this has the most impact on vocals. There are a couple more notable things - like the design. You can potentially wear these over the ear but it will depend on the person and personal fit. These are designed to be worn cable down. I prefer over the ear myself. The last thing I want to mention is sound leakage. Some people have apparently reported this. I can see how it may be an issue but I think it's "something to think about, not something to worry about" if that makes sense to you. If you are in a crowded library during mid terms and you like to listen to your music really loud then maybe you need to consider it. Otherwise I don't think this is an issue.
     
    If I could change one thing..
     
    I would change the vocals and make them a little more intimate sounding. Is this possible? I don't know. But if it were possible, that's what I would do.
     
    Final thoughts:
     
    The Titan 1 is a very respectable IEM. Dunu did a great job on this one. The price seems good for what you're getting. People who value clarity and soundstage should definitely look into buying a pair of these. They are excellent at what they do and come at a great price. I would recommend these most to people who primarily listen to instrumentally oriented music such as OST's, classical, jazz, and progressive rock (think Opeth - Damnation). For people who listen to music that requires a lot of bass impact like hip hop, dubstep, or vocal oriented/poorly recorded music then I would probably look into buying something else.
     
    That being said, everyone has different preferences and I always encourage you to try something over just listening to another person's opinion. :)
      DaddyMojo likes this.
  10. twister6
    A great example of thinking outside the "shell"
    Written by twister6
    Published Jan 19, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - excellent sound, comfortable fit, solid build quality, great selection of accessories
    Cons - poor isolation, semi-open sound leakage
    Before I start my review I would like to Thank DUNU for providing me with a review sample.  Also, I would like to mention that you can still get Titan 1 at remarkable $115 from Penonaudio: http://penonaudio.com/DUNU-TITAN1
     
    Nowadays not too many headphone manufacturers are willing to take risk thinking outside the box.  I guess when it comes to headphones, it's not an easy task to re-invent the wheel and still make it sound good, so it's more typical to see a traditional earpiece shell design (bullet/cylindrical shape or some modified "bean" shape) with a single or multi driver config using dynamic or BA or hybrid combination of both drivers.  But if "UNique" is a part of your brand name and design philosophy, you can expect some very pleasant surprises just like I found with my previously reviewed hybrid driver ALPHA earbuds or this new dynamic driver TITAN 1 hybrid-housing (semi-earbud shell with an angled nozzle) earphones from DUNU.  As a matter of fact, I don’t even recall auditioning another single dynamic driver IEM which in a blind test could be mistaken for a hybrid 3-way in-ear monitor.  The second I took Titan 1 out of the box and put them in my ears - I was blown away by a performance of this 13mm single dynamic driver IEM with a titanium coated diaphragm.  Here is what I found.
     
    Though I already have been spoiled with unboxing experience of DUNU Alpha earbuds and have seen premium packaging of other DN hybrid models, I was still very excited with Titan 1 box in front of me.  From a high res cover image to a detailed description of the design elements and the list of included accessories, you can see how much pride DUNU takes in their product.  Flipping the magnetic cover of the box open reveals more detailed info about these headphones and a display setting with earpieces, the case, and some of the eartips.  With DUNU, no matter if it's their $50 or $300 model, you can always expect a premium packaging and a very generous selection of accessories.
     
    Unboxing pictures.
     
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    Looking closer at the included accessories, you will find a total of 9 eartip pairs in three groups with Sony look-a-like hybrids (S/M/L), narrow bore red-core hybrids (S/M/L), and wider bore silicone tips (S/M/L).  You also get 1/4 adapter and a shirt clip which comes handy since Titan's cable has some noticeable microphonics.  Also, included is a very cool hard shell storage case.  With so many manufacturers using generic storage pouches or zipper cases, this one is a rather unique slim hard shell plastic case with a non-slip rubber padding on the bottom and a layer of interior rubber lining.
     
    Accessory pictures.
     
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    Moving on to a design, you will see a few common elements carried over across different premium DUNU models.  Starting with a headphone connector, you have a gold plated right angle plug in alloy housing with a rather long and durable strain relief.  From there you have a fine braided cloth sheathing cable going up to a common side of y-splitter where it also has a nice strain relief at the joint.  As an attached bonus, you will find DUNU's signature rubber cable wrapper which comes handy in cable management when you ready to store your headphones.   Y-splitter has a form of a slim alloy cylinder with a matching retractable chin slider.  Cables going up to earpieces have a soft rubber shielding and a decent strain relief at the joint of the housing.  As I mentioned before, there is noticeable microphonics contributed by this cable which you can mitigate by using a shirt clip.
     
    Shells itself look like a piece of art.  They have all premium quality metal alloy body and a color-coded accent ring (red for the right side), though there is also metal etching with L/R marking.  Looking from the back you can mistake it for a typical earbud design, but once you flip it to the other side - you will see a short angled nozzle.  For me it was a perfect arrangement since I have a rather wide and shallow ear canal opening and inner-ear which can't accept earbuds.  Here, with a selection of red-core large hybrid tips, I was able to get a perfect seal which yielded an excellent bass quantity!  Furthermore, on the inner side of the earbud disc you have a total of 11 air vents which contribute to an amazing soundstage at a price of a very noticeable sound leakage to the point where Titans sound like semi-open IEMs.  In my opinion, it's a small price to pay for such a great sound performance.
     
    Overall fitment was excellent, very comfortable, and hardly even noticeable due to a rather lightweight metal housing.  Shells were not sticking out of my ears by too much, and headphones were sitting comfortably flush, to the point where I was able to lie down with my ear facing the pillow without being pocked.  Of course, YMMV since we all have different inner-ear anatomy.
     
    Design detail pictures.
     
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    I started this review with a bold statement that in a blind test you can mistake Titans for a hybrid driver IEM.  Typically it's not an easy task to achieve a wide dynamic tuning with a decent bass performance and detailed presentation of high frequencies utilizing a single dynamic driver.  Thus you either have to look for ultra wide bandwidth drivers, like those found in DITA Answer, or settle for a partitioned hybrid design with a mix of dynamic and BA drivers.  In case of Titan 1, DUNU was able to tweak a tuning of their single titanium driver, creating what appears to my ears as a v-shaped cut in lower mids separating bass and upper mids/treble to achieve such “hybrid” separation.
     
    From what I’m hearing, I found the sound of DUNU Titan 1 to have a smooth bright detailed tuning (approaching analytical level) with a noticeable bass emphasis, definitely north of neutral.  The lows and highs balance each other quite nicely, and you have a decent separation of instruments and vocals with an impressive imaging/position.  Also as I mentioned before, soundstage is wide and airy and feels like a performance from semi-open headphones.
     
    In more details, bass has a nice extension with a rather polite level of sub-bass rumble (comes out to play more only when called upon) and a fast mid-bass punch.    Bass is well controlled, no sign of spillage into lower mids.  Mids are very clean and detailed, but not peaky or harsh.  They do sound a bit thin due to a leaner lower mids, but overall tonality is quite organic which shows itself extremely well in presentation of vocals.  Treble is bright and crisp, but not too bright or harsh, more on a smooth side.  Obviously, not even a sign of sibilance.
     
    I know, some might ask, can it stack up to "real" hybrids?  It definitely leaves my recently reviewed TTPOD T2 in the dust where Titan has a better extension of lower end, a much better retrieval of details in upper mids/treble, and wider soundstage.  I also enjoyed it more than Altone 200, where Altone has a deeper bass impact and its higher frequencies are much brighter and harsher in comparison to Titan.  It also has an advantage over some other dual hybrids like AX-35 and DGS100 where those had either too much bass bloat with not so clear low end or more veiled upper mids.  In comparison to A83, Titan took a step back where it wasn't able to keep up with Fidue's deeper sub-bass, fuller body more natural mids, and slightly improved soundstage, though you have to keep in mind A83 is almost 3x the price of Titans.
     
    In conclusion, I was very impressed with a performance and a design of DUNU Titan 1 headphones.  Everything from a durable build quality to the amount of included accessories, from a premium packaging to a rather innovative shell design, and a single titanium driver tuning resulting in a sound signature with a balance of smooth analytical highs and clear lows – demonstrated a true thinking outside the box.  The only downside remark I have for Titans was a poor sound isolation with nearly semi-open sound leakage which resulted in my wife kicking me off the couch because these headphones were "super loud" lol!!!  Also, its hybrid shell design combining earbud and angled nozzle might not be everyone’s cup of tea if you require a deeper in-ear insertion.  But if those limitations are not of you concern, DUNU Titan 1 is one fine in-ear headphones to consider!
      Light - Man and Brooko like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. twister6
      @Brooko :  Thank you my friend!  Likewise, a big fan of your review work!
       
      Oh, and I absolutely agree with you and hope people won't take it in a wrong way - I don't mean semi-open like DT880.  Perhaps, 1/2 semi-open would be a better amount of leakage :wink:  In no way should this be a show stopper because these little guys are phenomenal!!! 
       
      Another point about review style, I don't trust a brain burn in and found it playing mind tricks on me where on quite a number of occasions bright/sibilant sig IEMs all of a sudden started to sound smooth to my ears.  Then, you switch to another pair for a/b and get a reality shock.  That's why I get free air burn in out of the way, and do "burst" listening/testing, often switching between different headset to reset my ears :)  And of course, just as yourself, I have a handful of trusted reference tracks which I know inside out and always use for listening analysis.
      twister6, Jan 19, 2015
    3. mrmoto050
      As usual an excellent review, great pictures, very thorough.
      mrmoto050, Jan 19, 2015
    4. Paulus XII
      Definitely sounds like a hybrid.
      Paulus XII, Jul 16, 2015