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Dunu TITAN 5

Rating:
4.57143/5,
Tags:
  1. Brooko
    DUNU Titan 5 – Top Sound, Budget Price – Stunning Value
    Written by Brooko
    Published Nov 29, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Design, build, sound quality, dynamic signature, value, fit, accessories, female vocal master
    Cons - Isolation due to shallow fit, may be too sharp in top end for treble sensitive people (not a con for me), male vocals slightly on thin side
    t526.jpg
    For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images

    INTRODUCTION

    My introduction to DUNU Topsound (almost two years ago) was with their triple hybrid DN-1000, which rapidly became a hit with Head-Fi buyers, and was one of the first triple hybrid IEMs to show that top quality could be achieved at an affordable price. Since then DUNU has been a consistent performer, releasing a string of very good IEMs, including the exceptional DN2000J, and extremely well regarded Titan.

    I’ve used this introduction before in my other reviews – and I think it serves as a good reminder of who DUNU is, and where they come from, so please excuse me if I state again …..

    DUNU Topsound was established in 1994 originally as an OEM supplier to other companies. Since then they have developed their own branded line of high quality earphones, and gone from strength to strength (IMO) with each release. They currently have their manufacturing plant in China and head office in Taiwan. They now have more than 100 employees, and market their product range all over the world.

    The name DUNU is simply an acronym of the principle design points that the company strives to implement in their product range

    1. Delicate
    2. Unique
    3. Utmost

    Here is a quote from their website, which really does give an insight into what drives the company:

    “With advanced technology and hi-end equipments, DUNU desires to be able to provide Delicate, Unique & Utmost products for Hi-Fi embracers. Delicate means extremely quality demanding on product process, from every little component to product manufacturing. DUNU has complete production line and equipments, including precise equipments, B&K frequency machine, IMD sputter, CNC machine, anechoic room, etc. Concerning design of product, DUNU also devotes to create unique outer appearance and balance in all sound frequency.

    Utmost is not only the expectation on products, but also the pursuit of an Earphone Manufacturer. The founder of DUNU, himself, has years of experience in OEM/ODM earphone products in which many worldwide famous earphone Brands are included. However, in order to create the most enjoyable earphone on his own, DUNU’s president establishes the brand “DUNU” and implants many hi-end equipments and hires talented employees. From then on, DUNU takes the lead in developing the first Chinese made metal earphone, developing 5.8mm Driver unit and produce the very first Chinese Balance Armature Earphone, in 2014 DUNU release China first triple driver Dynamic and Balance Armature Hybrid earphone, All these preparation are to step on the world stage and to challenge renowned earphone brands. The ultimate goal of DUNU is to provide worldwide HI-FI embracers our Delicate, Unique & Utmost earphone products.”

    DUNU’s full product catalogue can be found at http://www.dunu-topsound.com/product.html - and their products are supplied through their own storefront (globally) on Amazon.

    After the unprecedented success of the Titan T1, DUNU have spent the time listening to customer feedback and improving the new Titan series, and this has culminated in the release of the Titan 1es (budget version), T3 and T5. The review today is of the T5.

    The Titans arrived to me almost six weeks ago, and unfortunately due to my review schedule, I didn’t really get a chance to put them fully through their paces until the last three weeks. In that time though, I have clocked up many hours (at least 60+). Read on to find my thoughts on the Titan T5, and why I think DUNU have yet another winner on their hands.

    DISCLAIMER

    I was provided the DUNU Titan T5 as a review unit from DUNU Topsound. I am in no way affiliated with DUNU - and this review is my subjective opinion of the Titan T5.

    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'. (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)
    I'm a 48 year old music lover. I don't say audiophile – I just love my music. Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up. I vary my listening from portables (Fiio X5ii, X3ii, LP5 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD). I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5ii/X3ii > HP, or PC > E17K > HP. My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1, Sennheiser HD600, and AKG K553. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs, and lately it has been with the Adel U6, Dunu DN-2000J, Jays q-Jays and Alclair Curve2. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).

    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880.

    I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent. I do use exclusively redbook 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 48, my hearing is less than perfect.

    Over the last month I’ve used the T5 out of practically every source I have available – including my iPhone 5S, Fiio X1, X3,ii, X5, X5ii, X7, M3, Luxury & Precision L5 Pro and L&P5. For the purposes of this review however – I’ve used Titan T5 mainly from the X3ii and E17K. In the time I’ve been using the T5, I haven’t noticed any sonic change. And as you’ll read later in the review – although I tried them from various amplifiers – the T5 are perfect for use straight out of the headphone sockets of most DAPs – and that includes the very tiny Fiio M3.

    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.

    THE REVIEW

    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES

    The DUNU Titan T5 arrived in the now very familiar DUNU Titan book style retail box – measuring approximately 170mm x 130mm x 50mm retail box. I’ve been impressed with their presentation of their recent IEMs and the T5 is no exception. The immediate thought you get when you see the packaging is “premium”. On the front of the box you get a simple picture of the Titan 5s (complete with an illustration of the detachable cable), and on the rear an explanation of the box contents and main features of the T5. On the sides DUNU lists specifications in six languages. One notable addition to the front of the box now is the “Hi-Res Audio” logo which certifies that a product meets the Hi-Res Audio standards (must have transducer frequency performance to at least 40 kHz). While this means little in practical terms to the listener – it does reinforce that DUNU is serious about standards.

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    Retail box front cover

    Retail box rear cover

    Retail box profile


    The box opens “book style” to show the IEMs, and on the inside cover gives some more information about build material and the manufacturing process. Opening a second inner cover exposes the carry case, some of the tips, and also the Titans themselves. The actual retail box is extremely well made, and very solid.

    t504.jpg t505.jpg t506.jpg

    Inside covers

    Book stye box fully opened

    All accessories



    The carry case is a very good one for an IEM, and IMO an improvement on their metal boxes (used in the DN-1000 / DN-2000). It is a sturdy moulded plastic rectangular hinged lid box (with nicely rounded pocket-safe corners) measuring approximately 90mm long, 65mm wide and 23mm deep. It has a catch/lock to keep it closed, and has a matt exterior on the rear and sides, and shinier plastic top (personally I’d prefer matt all around – better for both scratches and finger prints). The only thing missing with the case is no internal pockets for spare tips etc – but I’m OK with that considering how pocket friendly and sturdy it is. I really like this case.

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    Stabilisers, clip, adaptor and case

    The very good carry case

    Tip selection



    The accessory pack includes 2 different varieties of silicone tips (in S,M,L) – including some that look very close to the Sony hybrid type design, a 3.5-6.3mm adaptor, shirt clip, and warranty card. Also to be included with the accessories in future is a set of silicone ear stabilisers.

    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

    (From DUNU’s packaging / website)
    I’ve listed below the T5 specifications, and because I know the three will be compared, I’ve also listed specifications for the original Titan 1 and new Titan 3 as well.



    Titan T5

    Titan T1

    Titan T3
    Type
    Single dynamic driver IEM
    Single dynamic driver IEM
    Single dynamic driver IEM
    Driver
    13mm titanium “nano class”
    13mm titanium “nano class”
    13mm titanium “nano class”
    Frequency Range
    10 Hz – 40 Khz
    10 Hz – 30 Khz
    10 Hz – 40 Khz
    Impedance
    32 ohm
    16 ohm
    16 ohm
    Sensitivity
    108 dB (+/-2 dB)
    90 dB (+/-2 dB)
    110 dB (+/-2 dB)
    Jack
    3.5mm gold plated, right angled
    3.5mm gold plated, right angled
    3.5mm gold plated, right angled
    Cables
    1.2m removable
    1.2m fixed
    1.2m, removable
    Weight
    24g
    18g
    24g
    IEM Shell
    Polished stainless steel
    Polished metal
    Polished stainless steel


    FREQUENCY GRAPH

    The graphs below are generated by a new measuring system I’m using – the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. I don’t have the calibration 100% correct yet – but the graphs I am getting are relatively close to Innerfidelity’s raw data (on other earphones), and I think are “close enough” to get a reasonable idea of the frequency response for the Titan 5. My aim is still to eventually construct a pre-set compensation curve so that I can get the graphs more consistent with calibrated curves.

    grapht5.png


    grapht5csd.png

    Later in the review, and perhaps of more use, I’ll comparatively graph the T1, T3 and T5.

    What I’m hearing (subjective)

    1. Quick, clean and well extended bass which is in very good balance to the overall signature
    2. Clean coherent mid-range with slight recession in the lower mid-range, and elevation in the vocal presence area (2-3 kHz)
    3. Clean and extended lower treble which falls short of sibilance (for me) yet remains quite bright and has very good clarity.

    BUILD & DESIGN

    The Titan 5, like its older sibling (T1) appears to be extremely well made with a polished stainless outer shell – very reminiscent of an earbud type shape – but with an angled nozzle designed to take an IEM tip and provide some measure of isolation. The circular part of the body is 15mm in diameter, and designed to snugly in your ear with, the rear of the Titan shell against your antihelix, and the front underneath your tragus, with the nozzle angled forward into the ear canal. The nozzles are approximately 50mm long, have a generous lip, and have a pinhole mesh type of opening with 7 holes to allow the sound into your ear.

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    Polished steel with excellent nozzles (note vent port)

    Front and rear

    Side view



    However, the T5 departs from the T1 in a number of ways. First up, there is just a single vent/port for the dynamic driver compared to the T1’s 11 hole vented underside. Secondly, the body of the T5 is taller than the T1 (approx. 14mm vs 11mm), so protrudes slightly further, and lastly, the T5 has a removable cable system where the T1 cable was fixed. This time there is no red ring or blue ring around the IEM body (I’ll explain why in a second).

    The removable cable on the T5 uses an MMCX connector, and is quite firm, and from my time with them so far, is one of the better MMCX implementations I’ve seen. I’ve been a bit cautious with the MMCX connector system since the issues I had with cut-out on my A83 – but thankfully so far this has not been the case with the T5. One of the differences between the T5’s MMCX connector and the connectors on the Shure series is that the T5 male connector appears to be slightly longer (about 1mm). This does make it more secure – but means that The T5 cable won’t fit the A83, and also common after-market cables won’t fit the T5 (I’ve tried with both the Shure SE series cable and also the standard cable from the new Trinity Atlas). But the good thing is that the T5 cable is beautifully made – supply, with low microphonics, and a firm connection.

    t514.jpg t515.jpg t516.jpg

    Nozzle pattern same as T1

    Replaceable cable with MMCX connection system

    Length of connector slightly longer than standard



    The other great thing about the cable is that for those who prefer cable up (my preference), then you simply swap ear-pieces. And this is why it’s smart for DUNU not to use the coloured bands. You choose an orientation which suits you, and then the actual normal fit of the earphones will let you know which is which (left and right). If you ever lose track of which is which though, there is a small “L” or “R” on each earphone body, and also on the cable connectors.

    So a welcome change from the T1, and the cable is also different in that the cloth covered mesh (below the Y split) is gone and replaced by DUNUs satiny rubber coated finish – both above and below the Y split. The Y-split is the usual DUNU cylindrical metal tube with the top piece sliding off to form a cinch. The plug is a right angled gold plated 3.5mm plug, and is designed to be very friendly for portable devices. No issues with my 5S with fitted case. The cable shows good flexibility, with no signs of kinking, and has excellent strain relief at all the required major points (plug, Y-split and IEM body).

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    Y split with cinch

    Right angle jack and attached cable tie

    Comparison T1 and T5



    The cable carries DUNU’s usual innovation with the rubber cable tie attached to the cable. When not in use it sits unobtrusively close to the plug (I never notice it). When you’ve finished listening to the Titans, simply carefully coil the cable and use the tie. Simple, elegant, brilliant. I’ve loved this all DUNU’s IEMs.

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    Comparison T1 and T5


    Comparison T1 and T5


    Comparison T1 and T5



    I cannot fault a single thing with the DUNU build – it just all makes sense, and is executed brilliantly.

    FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION

    I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. This is often even more of an issue with shallow fitting IEMs – and the Titan 5 is a shallow fitting IEM. But both types of included single silicone large tips fit me perfectly – and I think this is the stabilisers at work (I’ll get to them shortly).

    I also tried Spin-fit (perfect nozzle fitting, but for me no seal), Ostry black or blue (tuning) tips (perfect seal), Spiral Dots (again perfect nozzle fitting, but for me so seal), and comply T200s (perfect fit and seal). But with the T5s I still use Sony Isolation tips for day-to-day use which continually give me best combination of fit, seal, comfort and durability (they are a silicone tip with inner foam). It is a credit to Dunu's design that such a variety of tips fit well without coming off the nozzle

    t524.jpg t525.jpg t523.jpg

    Spin-fits and Comply T200

    Ostry tips and Spiral Dots

    My preferred Sony Isolation Tips



    One of the things DUNU are now including with the Titan series are some ear stabilisers – which are a soft silicon fin which fits over the body of the Titan, with the fin pointing upward, and allowing it to be locked under your antihelix. They work brilliantly, are very comfortable, and effectively lock the T5 in place, and work with both orientations (cable up or down). I can do strenuous exercise with the stabilisers in place, and the Titans never come loose (the same fins work with the T1 and T3). My only critique of the stabilisers is that because they are so soft, almost every time I take the T5 out of my ear, the stabilisers come off the shiny body. It isn’t a big issue, as they are easy to get back on, but a more rigid “harness” with a softer fin would alleviate the issue (I don’t know if this is possible – but worth mentioning).

    t522.jpg t531.jpg t532.jpg

    Stabilisers fit

    My son Mathew with cable down

    And again with cable up



    Worn both over ear or straight down, they aren’t quite flush, protruding maybe a millimetre or two at most, but are still quite comfortable to lie down with – I have no problems sleeping with them intact. YMMV depending on your outer ear size.

    Isolation is average to below average for external noise coming in, and I wouldn’t use these in a high noise environment. They do well enough to isolate with music playing – but are not high isolators. Where the improvement is over the Titan T1 though is in their passive attenuation of sound coming from them. They are now a lot more isolating, and I’d have no issues wearing these in a library at moderate volume (I couldn’t say the same about the T1).
    So great fit, very comfortable, reasonable isolation – how do they sound?

    SOUND QUALITY

    The following is what I hear from the DUNU Titan T5. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my Fiio X3ii as source, no EQ, and Sony Isolation silicone tips with the cable worn up. For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the X5 was around 40/120 (C weighted) which was giving me around an average SPL around 75 dB and peaks at around 80-82dB.

    grapht5channel.png

    Driver matching was excellent – as can be seen from the graph.

    Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.
    t537.jpg

    Initial Thoughts
    When I received the T3 and T5 from DUNU, I listened to both for about half an hour (T3 first and T5 second) and my initial reaction was that the while both sounded beautifully clear, the T5 was a bit bassy / v-shaped. But as time went on (past the first week), I found myself listening to the T3 less, and concentrating more and more on the T5. While I still think the T3 is a very good IEM – the T5 is the far superior one IMO, and I’m so pleased now that I didn’t try and write the review within a week of getting them (simply because my thoughts have changed so much in the last month). I sometimes think that the curse of the modern reviewer is that we try to push too many reviews out in too short a time-span, and we don’t allow enough time for the signature to be properly understood.

    Thoughts on General Signature
    If I was to now describe the signature in a few words/phrases – I’d choose the word balanced, with an upper mid-range emphasis, beautifully clear, and an intimate rather than spacious vocal presentation.
    The Titan 5 in a short time has become one of my favourite IEMs, and reminds me a little of Trinity’s Delta, but with less quantity (yet more articulate and faster) bass, and a little brighter / clearer top end. But it is closer and more akin to the signature of the DUNU DN2000J (you’ll see why in the comparisons).

    The T5 has really impactful, but also quick and well textured bass that is never too boomy, but extends really well, and is only there when called for (does not dominate). The mid-range is the type of mid-range I absolutely love – maybe a little thin (comparatively) on lower mids, but has a peak in the 2-3 kHz (vocal presence area) and again at around 6 kHz – which falls mainly short of sibilance for me (related to listening volume) but lends a sweetness to female vocals which I absolutely adore.

    Overall Detail / Clarity
    Tracks used: “Gaucho”, “Sultans of Swing”

    The clarity is stunning on both tracks, but more than that, the balance is also really good. Bass guitar is present and supplies a good constant backdrop without overpowering. Vocals are up front, but mesh nicely with piano, guitar, and brass. Finer details are excellent – easy to discern, but not spot-lit. Cymbals in particular are brilliant because I can hear the decay, and it’s not splashy or overdone. Knopflers vocals in Sultans don’t sound weak, and guitar has good edge or crunch. The micro detail is really good. I could listen to this presentation for hours.

    Sound-stage & Imaging
    Tracks used: “Tundra”, “Dante’s Prayer”, “Let it Rain”

    Amber Rubarth’s binaural track was up first, and the imaging is amazingly good and very precise. Stage is definitely not overly expansive, and more intimate than wide or deep – but it doesn’t feel under-done or constricted. Overall stage is perhaps right at the peripheral edge of my head space.

    Next was “Dante’s Prayer” and although I’ve known for a while now how good these are, it wasn’t until I started critically listening that I realised how good. The first thing to hit was how good the piano sounded (full and natural), and then the cello hit and the goosebumps started. To cap it off Loreena started singing and the captivation was complete. Again imaging is the strength here (pin-point), and the size of stage is intimate, but still well-articulated (very good separation and sense of individual instruments). One of the reasons I use this track is for a particular point at the end of the performance when the last note dies, and the applause starts. With my HD600s, I’m in the crowd, and this has also happened occasionally with IEMs. With the T5 I’m in the crowd - jazz club rather than the arena it’s actually recorded in – but immersive, and that is what I treasure more.

    I finished with Amanda Marshall’s “Let It Rain” for two reasons – it has been miked to give a holographic feel (and the T5 renders this perfectly), and it’s a good track to test sibilance (I know it is in the recording). At my listening levels, the sibilance is pretty much unnoticeable – but with increased volume it starts to rear its head. So if you are a high volume listener, then it is something to take note of (although an EQ cut at 6kHz should clean it up).

    Bass Quality and Quantity
    Tracks used: “Bleeding Muddy Waters”, “Royals”

    Mark Lanegan’s track is first up. This blues rock track is quite dark and brooding – but is a good test of bass bleed and also male vocals. The T5’s bass is just effortless with this track – good impact without being over emphasised – and no sign of bleed. Mark’s vocals are perhaps a little on the thin side, and I guess this is the trade-off with having such a good upper mid-range. For all that though, I can still hear the “gravel” in Mark’s voice and the track remains really enjoyable.

    “Royals” is my sub-bass impact test – and the T5 again was just wonderful – enough low rumble to show the impressive extension, but again the balance is impressive, and it is the quality and speed of the bass which is really impressing me. Ella’s vocals are sweet and crystal clear, and mesh brilliantly with the energy and impact of the low bass. Really impressive.

    Female Vocals
    Tracks used: “Aventine”, “Strong”, “For You”, “The Bad In Each Other”, “Howl”, “Safer”, “Light as a Feather”

    By now you already know what I’m going to say here, so I’ll shorten it a bit. In a word “euphonic”, and for my tastes, perfect. Aventine was first up, and Agnes Obel can be slightly strident if the vocal mix is a little out. The way the T5 presents this track is as good as I’ve heard it. The cello is deep, rich and captivating, and in contrast with her vocals, you have a combination I could listen to for hours.

    I’m also aware that the T5’s upper mid-range is quite forward which has in the past brought fatigue to me with earphones like Shure’s SE535, but this is definitely not fatiguing (even after some hours).

    Next was London Grammar, and again Hannah’s vocals were haunting in their presentation – this is as close to perfection with female vocals as I’ve heard.

    And this was the repeated theme with every female vocalist I tried. Standouts for dynamics were Feist and FaTM – the combination of bass impact and vocal “beauty” (I honestly can’t describe it another way) were breath-taking. But even slower tracks like Cilmi’s “Safer” or anything by Norah were equally as captivating. I should stop now because I know I’m gushing – but for me they really are that good.


    Male Vocals
    Tracks used: “Away From the Sun”, “Art for Art’s Sake”, “Broken Wings”, “Diary of Jayne”, “Hotel California”, “Keith Don’t Go”, “EWBTCIAST”

    The continued theme here was good bass impact, clear vocals, and nicely balanced guitars and other instruments. And for the most part the T5 delivered Rock brilliantly – but …….

    Male vocals are definitely a little thinner, and this is the cost of having such a perfect mid-range for female vocalists. What I like with the T5 is the dynamic contrast and clarity – especially with the overall impact from drums, mid-range bite of guitar, and upper detail from cymbals. It makes for a great listen. But Todd’s voice (3 Doors Down) definitely doesn’t have the same depth as when listening to it on my U6. It still sounds very good – but there is a difference and it should be noted.

    Older classic rock (10CC, Eagles, Nils Lofgren) was also very listenable and one of the strengths of the T5 is presentation of guitar – especially acoustic. Saying that though, faster music is definitely no issue for the T5, and even Breaking Benjamin’s ‘wall of sound’ with “Diary of Jayne” came nowhere near overwhelming the T5’s drivers.

    My litmus test is always Pearl Jam – if Vedder sounds good to me, then they’ve passed my personal test. And the presentation is really good – the emotion and timbre is captured nicely. I’d still like just a little more depth, but I’m not willing to trade that for the default female vocalist presentation, and I can always EQ slightly anyway.

    So brilliant for female vocals, but just a little thin for male vocals (still enjoyable though) – what about specific genres?

    Genre Specific Notes
    Again for tracks, albums, artists – please refer to this list: http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks

    Alt Rock – Really good for both Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, and the slightly higher pitch of Wilson’s vocals really suited the T5 well. What I like is the level of detail they are delivering, and this is really apparent with Pink Floyd’s “Money” – too often the detail on this track can be lost, especially with too much bass. The overall balance is what really makes the T5 shine.

    Jazz / Blues / Bluegrass – If you haven’t checked out Portico Quartet, you should. They play a fusion of jazz and electronic, and their track “Ruins” is usually a first stop for me when genre testing a new IEM. The T5 is wonderful with this track – a perfect mix of double-bass, sax, and cymbals. Sometimes I’d like a little more space in the presentation, but for low volume listening, there aren’t too many better. Key attributes once again are clarity, contrast, and a sense of dynamism. Bonamassa was another one to shine with the T5 – it renders guitar brilliantly, and does a pretty good job with Joe’s almost husky vocals too.

    Hip-hop / EDM / Trance – This is where the T5 shows some additional strength, and the bass (which most of the time is perfectly balanced) suddenly shows some extra depth and impact. It is still articulate, quick, and textured – but now there is a visceral quality with it. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is crystal clear, but still portrays the sort of impact that should make most bass-heads happy. Likewise Little Dragon and also Lindsay Stirling show similar qualities, and it’s amazing how the T5 can be so well balanced for one track – and then when extra bass is called for in the track, it just stands and delivers. I really enjoyed a bit of Trance with AVB, and especially when it was coupled with female vocals.

    Indie – I’ve been listening to a lot of Indie music lately – Band of Horses, Wildlight, Yesper (my collections seems to be growing at an alarming rate actually) – and the T5 (like the T1s) are IMO an Indie lover’s dream – or at least this Indie lover’s preferred sound anyway. Wildlight especially (Dawn To Flight) was incredible.

    Classical / Opera – Strings were wonderful, and I was enjoying Mutter’s rendition of Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons so much I actually ended up listening to the entire recording. Kempffs rendition of Moonlight Sonata was very good, but didn’t quite convey the overall timbre as well as I’ve heard. Netrebko and Garanca rendition of Lakme’s Flower Duet was a standout, but once again Pavarotti (while good) wasn’t quite there.

    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

    The Titan T5 is easily driven out of a smartphone or DAP, and although on my iPhone 5S I’m sitting around 45%, and in the 40-50/120 range on the Fiio, there is still plenty of headroom left, and the T5 never feels as though it is lacking.

    t538.jpg

    I also volume matched and compared X3ii vs X3ii + E17K, and there was no discernible audible difference in dynamic presentation – so I think it is pretty safe to say that extra amping won’t be necessary. Based on the specs alone (32 ohm and 108dB SPL), straight out of the headphone out of most sources should be more than enough. Even Fiio’s new M3 sounds wonderful as a source.

    RESPONSE TO EQ?

    I wouldn’t be one to change this too much as I love the default sound, but I revisited some of my male vocalists and applied some subtle alterations in the lower mid-range, and reduction in the upper mid-range, and the T5 responded well. With such a clear signature, they are reasonably easy to apply EQ to, and seem to respond well to some tweaking.

    QUICK COMPARISONS

    I’ve measured all 3 Titans, and outlined my subjective thoughts on their tuning below. To perform the comparisons, I used a calibrated SPL meter, and matched each with a 1 kHz test tone, and then used a splitter plus volume attenuator so that I could fast switch and know that each was precisely volume matched.

    grapht5vt3vt1.png t535.jpg

    Titan 5 vs Titan 1
    Quite similar sounding with very similar bass presentation. T5 mid-range is a little more forward and this gives the feeling that the T1 has a little more soundstage. Mid-range is also very similar, but the T5 carries overall detail a little further. T5 has more articulation (or apparent detail) with cymbals, and also reaches just a bit lower with sub-bass. Build is similar, but the T5 has better isolation, replaceable cables, and can be worn cable up. My preference T5. The T1 requires comparatively more power, and is approximately 3.5 dB lower in volume is played at the same source level.


    Titan 5 vs Titan 3
    This time the difference is more stark. The T3 is a lot leaner, and also seems more forward in the vocals (this may be because of the lower bass volume). And the biggest change is in the bass, and comparatively the T3 is almost anaemic. It does give the T3 a lot more mid-range emphasis, but unfortunately for my tastes this isn’t a good point. The overall balance just seems to be missing, and when fast switching, the T3 just tends to sound slightly tinny. Build is essentially the same. T3 is easier to drive and at the same source volume, the difference is just a shade under 4dB. My preference is very much the T5, and I’d actually also take the T1 over the T3.


    grapht5vdeltav2KJ.png t536.jpg

    Titan 5 vs Trinity Delta (gun-metal filter)
    I chose to compare these two as they are very similarly priced, and are comparable in overall quality. The Delta is harder to drive, and at the same source level is ~ 5.5 dB less than the T5. The Delta has a bigger bass response and sounds richer, and thicker than the T5. The T5 comparatively sounds quicker and cleaner. Both have quite forward vocals, but in this case, the Delta is even more forward than the T5 which sounds almost relaxed comparatively. Both have stellar builds & the main feature difference is the Delta’s filter tuning system vs the T5’s removable cables. Both are wonderful earphones and in this case the Delta is just a little warmer and fuller – but my preference would be slightly favouring the T5’s overall presentation.


    Titan 5 vs DN2000J
    I chose this comparison because although there is a big difference in price, the two sound quite alike. The DN2000J are slightly easier to drive, and at the same source level there is a difference of ~ 3dB. Both have very similar bass delivery both in quantity and speed. The DN2000J has a slightly thicker and richer mid-range, and to me probably has the best overall balance of all the IEMs I’ve listed above. The T5 is slightly brighter and slightly leaner, but the two signatures are closer than contrasting. For anyone wanting to know roughly how the DN2000J sounds, or vice-versa, the T5 is a good indicator. My preference ultimately would be the 2000J for everything except comfort – the T5 is simply a joy to wear.


    grapht5v2kj.png

    DUNU TITAN 5 - SUMMARY

    The DUNU Titan 5 is an incredibly well designed, well built, and well executed IEM. It is relatively well balanced in frequency range, and has exceptional clarity for its price range. Some may feel that the overall presentation is slightly V shaped, and I can live with the assessment too – but for me there is more overall balance there than colouration. There is definitely an emphasis on the upper mid-range, and this take precedence over the lower mid-range a little. For female vocals it is among the best I have heard, but the downside of this is that male vocals can be a little thin comparatively.

    The addition of the removable cables has been executed well and allows me to wear them in my favoured cable up position.

    The Titan 5 will likely suit:

    1. Fans of a balanced or very slightly V shaped sonic presentation
    2. People who value clarity
    3. Fans of a euphonic presentation of female vocals

    The Titan 5 may not suit anyone who:

    1. Requires very high isolation
    2. Prefers a darker, warmer, smoother presentation, or is treble sensitive
    3. Has a mainly male vocal oriented library, and likes deeper timbre and tone

    At a current RRP of USD 135, the Titan 5 represents incredible value in my opinion, and despite having higher end IEMs including the Adel U6, DN2000J, and q-Jays, I will continue to use these regularly. At this price point they are an easy 5. One of the best IEMs I’ve heard all year.

    A common summary question I ask myself is would I buy these, and would I recommend them to friends or family. The answer is a resounding yes.

    Once again I’d like to thank Vivian at DUNU for giving me this wonderful opportunity to review their Titan range.

    RECOMMENDATIONS TO DUNU

    It really is hard to recommend any changes – as I think you have really hit the target with the T5. My only requests would be to perhaps think about releasing an iPhone compliant cable (volume & track controls) as an add-on option, and also to see if the stabiliser bodies could be made just a little firmer.


    t534.jpg
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Brooko
      Harry - I'll reply by PM
      Brooko, May 15, 2016
    3. FoxxMD
      Awesome review!
       
      I would like to get either these or the Fiio EX1s but I'm not sure what level of isolation I want. I want them mainly for work in a quiet office and for riding my bike around the city (I want to be aware of my surroundings). The T5 is more attractive sonically and for the replaceable cable, but the T1 seems like a better fit for my environment. Which pair would you suggest? Exactly how different are their levels of isolation? Thanks!
      FoxxMD, Jun 29, 2016
    4. Brooko
      Both are in essence IEMs (they both seal in your ear with tips) - but the T1 simply has more vent holes.  This means it lets a little more ambient in and also a little more out.  The volume both ways will depend on your surrounding, and also the volume level you are listening at.  It's really hard to comment on what will suit you best - because I'd just be guessing really (not knowing the other factors).  If you tend to listen louder, and like a bit more isolation - get the T5.
      Brooko, Jun 30, 2016
  2. DJScope
    Return of the Titan
    Written by DJScope
    Published Dec 13, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Smooth sound signature, improves on already great innovative design, replaceable cable, can now be worn cable up and down
    Cons - No mic remote, slight veil with male vocals

    DUNU Titan 5

    "Return of the Titan"
     
     
    It’s been a while since I’ve come across another DUNU product. I did have short stints with the DN-1000 and the Alpha 1 but the Titan 5 was my first proper time since the Titan 1. The Titan 1 was one of those really unique products that stood out in the market for a few reasons; not just exceptional sound quality but design and innovation. Since then, DUNU have released 3 new products based on this initial innovative design of the Titan 1: these are the Titan 1es a budget option, and the Titan 3 & 5 which are, from what I would gather, the true successors of the Titan 1. I’ve not heard the 1es or the 3 so cannot comment on their signature, but the Titan 5 really does take this innovative design into a new direction, which to me is a real winner.
    The “Titan” name comes from the use of a Titanium coated dynamic drivers which are touted to have “high power handling, for its exceptional clarity, fast transients, deep reaching bass, sweet and emotional vocals, as well as the delicate and smooth treble extension”. While that those sound very impressive, it’s not too farfetched.
    The Titan 5 has now gotten the “Hi-Res Audio” certification if that means anything to you.
     

    A little about the Dunu Titan 5

    More info at the Dunu website: http://www.dunu-topsound.com/TITAN5.html
    Frequency response​
    10 - 40 000  Hz
    Impedance​
    32 Ohm
    Sensitivity​
    108  dB (±2)
    Plug​
    Gold Plated 3.5mm (1/8”) 90° Angled
    Cable Length​
    1.2m (OFC)
    Speaker diameter​
    13mm Titanium Dynamic Driver
    Weight​
    24 grams

     

    FR Graph

    Thanks to @Brooko for letting me use his measurements.
    Follow this link to Brooko's uber indepth review
     
    FRGraph.png
     
     

    Packaging

    The box is pretty much EXACTLY the same as the Titan 1, except that it has Titan 5 written on it. It really is very much the same including the accessories. In fact the only new addition is the stabiliser hooks or as I call them “wings”. These are a great addition for those who have fit problems wearing them cable down. I never felt like I needed them, so never used them for the Titans, though have tried then on the Titan 1 just to see how it works with those extra holes; it work brilliantly for those curious.Because the packaging is exactly the same I will quote from my Titan 1 review:
     
    The Titans come in a medium sized box; dimensions are 13cm x 17cm x 5cm. It’s very well presented. On the front you are shown exactly what you a purchasing. Everything is well contrasted, bright writing on black background: everything stands out very well. You get all the relevant information in different languages. Very nice.
    Under the front flap there is some background information about the Titans, including the frequency response diagram to show you what they’re trying to target and what difference a titanium driver makes compared to a standard driver unit.
    They also included a little plug for a Ukrainian band called “Max Barski”. Quite the coincidence since I was born in Ukraine.
    Behind the little window you’ll see the beautifully designed housings of the Titans. Open the door and you are presented with 3 pairs of what looks like Sony hybrid silicone ear tips and a wonderful protective box. I must say that this is by far the best protective box I’ve seen to date that comes free with an IEM at this price. It’s made of hard plastic and has a sturdy locking mechanism to keep your already heavy duty looking earphone in tip-top shape so you can chuck them in your bag without any worries what so ever.
    Additionally, underneath the plastic holder you get another 6 pairs of ear tips: different colours and styles of more of the Sony hybrid “clone” tips and a set of standard black tips, a shirt clip, and a 3.5mm (1/8”) to 6.3mm (1/4”) gold plated adapter. And of course, you get a warranty card which also has a maintenance log for all your warranty claims.
     

    Design

    The design has been slightly tweaked with the Titan 5. DUNU have dropped the ultra open configuration and have opted to use only 1 port-hole. Many users were complaining about the lack of isolation, and of course this was the obvious fix, and it worked a treat.
    Another change was the inclusion of a removable cable. This is one of the best feature any IEM company can implement that would increase the value of their products dramatically. A removable cable not only means that you can replace it in the unfortunate event of the cable breaking, and I know it happens to even the most expensive IEMs and it’s happened to me plenty of times to know how important it is to have this feature. The cable uses quite a hefty looking jack which houses an MMXC connector. It feels very durable and tactile and the connection is very secure.
    One more complaint that people had with the Titan 1 was the fact that it was only designed to be worn cable down, and wearing it cable up, or over the ear, meant that you were forced to swap the channels around, which was not a huge issue but made me a little OCD thinking about it, so I never did it. With the addition of a removable cable, you are now able to switch the channels around to suit both cable up or down to your preference and listen to the music as you wish till you heart is content.
    It does show a lot about the company when they listen to the criticism and instead of defending their products they set out to fix those issue to come back with something better.
    One more thing that needs a mention is the fact that the earpiece housing is now made of stainless steel making it noticeably heavier, and holding the whole Titan 1 in one hand (earpieces, splitter, cable and jack) and just the earpieces of the Titan 5 in the other feels about twice as heavy. Since it sits very snug and securely in me ears, I don’t find this to be an issue, but it’s something to note.
     

    Cable

    It is a shame that the Titan 5 didn’t come with a remote/mic cable. It was one of my main gripes with the Titan 1 and I guess it was not asked for enough to make the cut. Of course, it being a removable cable means that I could just buy an aftermarket cable that has a remote.
    Nonetheless, the cable is an undoubtable upgrade to the Titan 1. Visually, it’s almost exactly the same. It loses the fabric sheaving which I’m not a big fan off. As well as the Y-splitter, neck cinch, and jack are now (anodised?) black with a very nicely machine chamfered on the edges to give it a silver accent. It retains the brilliant strain relieves and their patented cable lock, and more importantly and rubber material. The rubber sheaving of the Titan 5 is probably the best cable material I’ve had the pleasure of holding in my hand. It feels soft and strong, and it does not kink or retains any memory, as well as it’s very supple and doesn’t have any microphonics or mechanical noise at all. Top marks for that! It love this cable so much that I actually have plans for a project to make a MMXC to 2 pin adapter so I can use this cable with other IEMs.
     

    Isolation

    The isolation is as expected: exceptional. The removal of most of the port holes means that you get much less sound leakage in and out. It’s not the best isolation, average at best, but it is adequate for your daily commute on public transport. It's definitely an improvement.
     

    Driveability

    The Titan 5 is easier to drive than the Titan 1, which is great if you ask me! I don’t have any problems powering them with my phone and they do scale nicely with more power. They paired exceptionally well with the FiiO X1 and xDuoo X2 & X3, and even better with the Audio-GD NFB-15.32.
     

    Sound

    Along with all the other numerous positive changes to the Titan 5, the sound has also been improved for the better in my opinion. The Titan 5 retains the slightly V shaped, fun, yet balanced signature, but with a smoother and slightly more punchy and fun attitude. There are a lot of aspects I like with the way the Titan 5 sounds.
     

    Treble

    As much as I loved the Titan 1, I had a little issue with harshness in the lower treble region which made it hard for me to enjoy them for long. Being a CAD drafter professionally means that being mentally fatigued is a very bad thing even if it’s just slightly. The Titan 5 does away with this harshness by smoothing out the lower treble region and pushing the emphasis not on one single region but along the whole treble spectrum, which in effect makes for a more coherent and dynamic delivery of percussion elements and give a much more comfortable listen for almost all genres. Because there are no particular peaks that I can notice in the treble region, it may seem to some that there is somewhat a veil on the detail retrieval. I would say that this is akin to the “Sennheiser veil” as some call it, where the HD650 has actually very good detail retrieval, air and sense of space but it is not portrayed in a forward manner, rather a smooth and laidback way which I really like, and yes I would say that they do sound somewhat like the HD650 from what I remember them.
     

    Mids

    The midrange has very nicely filled out and smoothly textured. It sounds particularly good with strong female vocalists. There is a very nice natural timbre but some elements can sound a little washed out. For instance male vocals sometimes seems a little too smooth. This makes male dominated tracks sound less detailed than the rest of the music and it kind of takes away from the harmony of the composition. Nonetheless, most of the time it is not an issue, and I found myself really enjoying listening to even the most flawed recordings as I slaved away at work. The signature is just too smooth not to enjoy.
     

    Bass

    The bass is also much improved. It now hits harder and goes deeper with a much meatier note. It’s a little more mid bass orientated as opposed to the Titan 1, and the bass may leak into the lower mids just a tiny fraction, but what it does is put this really slight bloom on the signature that warms it up and adds to the smoothness. I did enjoy it quite a bit. It’s not for bass heads, but a safe bet that most will like this type of bass.
     

    Soundstage & Imaging

    As mentioned earlier, because there is now only 1 port in each earpiece, this means that the soundstage performance does get somewhat of a hit. It’s smaller and more intimate, but this is not necessarily a bad thing because the imaging performance is still as exceptional as it was if not better. I found myself actually using these over my full sized cans when watching movies and playing games. Playing games in particular was a very enjoyable experience as you still get a good enough sense of positioning, this coupled with the comfort and security in the ear made for some great long gaming sessions.
     

    Ratings

    This is how I've scored the Titan 5:
     
    ratings.png
     
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    Conclusion

    Coming back and rereading my Titan 1 review did bring a lot of nostalgia which made the experience with the Titan 5 all that much more special to me. The Titan 5 really takes the success and innovation of the Titan 1 and makes it better in almost every way. Is the Titan 5 a real successor to the Titan 1? I would say yes with a ‘but’. I think that the Titan 1 is still a very unique and splendid IEM and should be sold alongside the Titan 5 for years to come. I find myself losing myself in the music with the Titan 5 more than what I did with the Titan 1 and this is what gives it the edge above its predecessor, and for that I give the Titan 5 a well deserved 5 stars along it's older brother.
    Great job to DUNU for another great product and I’m very excited to experience you upcoming line-up of hybrid IEMs in 2016.
     
    Cheers!
     [​IMG]
     

     

      Brooko, H20Fidelity, d marc0 and 4 others like this.
    1. Paulus XII
      Great review. Thanks :)
      Paulus XII, Dec 13, 2015
  3. nmatheis
    Dunu TITAN 5: TITAN 1's Beefy Big Brother
    Written by nmatheis
    Published Oct 23, 2015
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Retuned with more more bass. Increased isolation. Attractive design. Above average soundstage.
    Cons - More conventional soundstage. Larger earpiece strain reliefs. Heavier earpieces.

    t T5_Official.jpg

    Dunu's teaser for the forthcoming Titan 5.

     

    *****UPDATED MID-NOVEMBER WITH PICS & THOUGHTS ON THE NEW EAR STABILIZERS*****
     

    INTRODUCTION

    I'm going to let you in on a secret: I never tried the original Dunu TITAN 1. Why? The many excellent reviews were balanced out by reports of weak bass and aggressive highs. These discrepancies made me leery of trying them. But when I saw Fiio sponsor a tour for the EX1 (basically a Fiio-branded TITAN 1 - LINK to review), I signed up. Here was my chance to hear one of the most hyped IEM of 2015. If I didn't like it, no worries. If I did like it, maybe I'd end up buying it. Either way, I'd find out if the hype was deserved. Okay, okay. I'm not talking about the TITAN 5, you say. You're right. This is the convoluted back story into how I stumbled into reviewing the TITAN 5 (T5 from here on out).
     
    So, to pick up where I left off... 
     
    With Dunu on my mind, I stumbled on a thread (LINK) announcing Dunu's new hybrids. I'm a previous DN-1000 owner and hybrid believer, so when I saw the announcement I contacted Vivian at Dunu and asked if I could get some review loaners to review and then tour in the US & Canada. Those of you who know me, know I love to tour the gear I get for review. It's a great way to let some of my fellow Head-Fi members try out new gear before they commit to buying it. They can also share their experience with the Head-Fi community. It's been a lot of fun so far. Anyways, Vivian told me that while the new hybrids were still in pre-production mode, she could send me the new T3 and T5 for review. Since I was getting the Fiio EX1 in for review, I thought it would be a lot of fun to get the new T3 & T5 in at the same time and see what I thought of them. So I told Vivian yes, and here we are.
     
    Here's some information about DUNU from their Brand Story page:
     
    DUNU: Delicate, Unique & Utmost

    With advanced technology and hi-end equipments, DUNU desires to be able to provide Delicate, Unique & Utmost products for Hi-Fi embracers. Delicate means extremely quality demanding on product process, from every little component to product manufacturing. DUNU has complete production line and equipments, including precise equipments, B&K frequency machine, IMD sputter, CNC machine, anechoic room, etc. Concerning design of product, DUNU also devotes to create unique outer appearance and balance in all sound frequency.
     
    Utmost is not only the expectation on products, but also the pursuit of an Earphone Manufacturer. The founder of DUNU, himself, has years experience in OEM/ODM earphone products in which many worldwide famous earphone Brands are included. However, in order to create the most enjoyable earphone on his own, DUNU’s president establishes the brand “DUNU” and implants many hi-end equipments and hires talented employees. From then on, DUNU takes the lead in developing the first Chinese made metal earphone, developing 5.8mm Driver unit and produce the very first Chinese Balance Armature Earphone, in 2014 DUNU release China first triple driver Dynamic and Balance Armature Hybrid earphone, All these preparation are to step on the world stage and to challenge renowned earphone brands. The ultimate goal of DUNU is to provide worldwide HI-FI embracers our Delicate, Unique & Utmost earphone products.

     

     
    Dunu's Website: LINK.
     
    Dedicated Dunu TITAN thread: LINK.
     
     

    DISCLAIMER

    There is no financial incentive from Dunu for writing this review.  I am in no way affiliated with Dunu, and this is my honest opinion of the TITAN 5.  I would like to thank Dunu for giving me a chance to test drive and tour the TITAN 5, and I hope my feedback proves useful for my fellow Head-Fi members as well as for Dunu.
     
     

    ABOUT ME

    I'm a 43 year old father who loves music.  While I listen mostly to electronic and metal these days, I do listen to a wide variety of music - from electronic (Autechre, Boards of Canada) to modern/minimalist composition (John Cage, Philip Glass) to alternative rock (Flaming Lips, Radiohead) to jazz (John Coltrane and Miles Davis) to metal (Behemoth, King Diamond) to classic rock (Eagles, Rush).  
     
    I'm primarily a portable audio enthusiast. My portable music journey started with the venerable Sony Cassette Walkman and then progressed to portable CD players, minidisc recorders (still have my Sharp DR7), and finally on to DAPs like the Rio Karma, iRiver IHP-1xx, iPod 5.5, iPhones, and the newer crop of DAPs from Fiio and iBasso.
     
    Being a portable audio enthusiast, I typically listen with IEMs but am enjoying listening with full-size headphones more and more and tend to like u-shaped sound signatures, although I break out v-shaped IEM & HP from time to time for fun.
     
    As with a lot of people my age, I've got some hearing issues.  I've got mild tinnitus and suffer from allergies, which can affect hearing in my right ear.  I'll admit it, I'm not blessed with a pair of golden ears.  That said, I've been listening to portable gear for a long time and feel confident in assessing audio gear - just wanted to be transparent up front.



     
     
    SPECS
    1. Driver: 13mm titanium coated dynamic
    2. Frequency Response: 10Hz-40KHz
    3. SPL: 108±2dB
    4. Impedance: 32Ω
    5. Plug: 3.5mm Gold-plated L-plug
    6. Cord Length: 1.2m
    7. Weight: 24g
     
     

    PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES



    I'll let the packaging speak for itself. It's essentially the same as the TITAN 1, so if you've seen that you'll know what to expect.
     
    Front
    Titan-10.jpg
     
     
     
    Inside (This is a great opportunity for you to exercise your imagination and pretend that this is the T5 box)

     
    Carry case

     
    Tips

     
    Ear Stablizers

     
    Not pictured: Shirt clip + 1/8" plug adapter.
     
    So you get the T5, Heir and Hybrid style tips in S, M, and L, the hard carry case, a shirt clip, and an 1/8" plug adapter. Not bad. I'll say right now that I'm not a fan of Heir style tips. They always seem to slip out of my ear canals. The Hybrid style tips are grippier and stay put in my ears much better, so that's what I gravitated towards. While the hard case works very well with the EX1, the T5's housings are just a bit too big to allow the case to close properly. There were many times where I had to reposition the T5 in order to get the lid to snap shut. I'd suggest Dunu include a slightly taller case in the future. Just another 5mm would make all the difference and wouldn't add too much bulk. I didn't try the shirt clip with T5, but I've used the same clip with my DN-1000, and it works just fine.
     
     
     

    BUILD & ERGONOMICS

    The T5 are a half in-ear design, which allows them to include a large driver without compromising on comfort. I'll walk through the various design and ergonomic features of the T5 in pictorial format below.
     
    Here's an view of the T5's inner face. 

     
    It's a nice all-metal design. My only comfort concern can be seen in this picture. The seam where the front and back housing meet, while not overtly sharp, does tend to end up digging into my ears a bit during long listening sessions. It doesn't bother me during shorter listening sessions and is really only an issue during longer sessions. It's not a major issue, but I thought I'd mention it. My thought is that it digs in due to the heavier housings, as this wasn't an issue with the EX1. Vivian did let me know that I'll be receiving an additional accessory to make the T5 even more comfortable. It should arrive soon, and I'll update this review as needed with pics and my thoughts on the new accessory.
     
    TITAN + Ear Stabilizers


    So here's the mysterious "comfort accessory". They're soft silicone ear stabilizers, and they work a treat! As mentioned above, I found the newer TITANs to dig into my ears after a while. With the ear stabilizers in place, this was alleviated and I could wear them comfortably for extended periods. And not only do they work for the TITAN 3 & TITAN 5, they've also been confirmed to work with TITAN 1 with no vent hole blockage. So if you're an interested TITAN 1 owner, contact DUNU and let them know!
     
    T5 vs. EX1

     
    Those of you familiar with the T1 (or EX1) are looking at that picture, thinking where did all the vent holes go? Yup, Dunu eliminated most of the vent holes with the T5, and it's definitely noticeable in the soundstage department. While T5 has a nice (if conventional) soundstage, it lacks the open, airy sound that made the originals really stand out from the crowd. A couple more things I'd like to point out in the picture above are the brushed metal inner housing and color coding on the original. I'd love it if the entire housing was brushed metal. I much prefer the more subdued, less reflective aesthetics of brushed metal. I'd also love to see the color coding carried over to the T5 but with less candy-like colors - a nice dark red for right and black for left would be classy and useful, since the L/R identifiers are very low contrast. 
     
    Detachable cables

     
    Dunu designed the T5 with detachable cables. This means you don't need to worry so much about them shorting out, since Dunu will offer replacements (and compatible upgrade cables designed for their new hybrids). It also means the housing and strain reliefs needed to be bigger to accommodate the connectors and caused a 33% weight increase over the originals. As mentioned above, this did lead to  some discomfort issues for me over time, but I'm hoping Dunu's new accessory will help abate that issue. A bonus is that you can now wear them over ear without inverting channels. Since they're a chiral / handed / sided design, you just need to swap L/R channels if you want to wear them over ear. Incidentally, the connectors are very similar to VSONIC's VSD series connectors. I tried to swap them, but they didn't quite fit and I didn't want to force them. Dunu's implementation is much better in my opinion, being quite easy to remove and connect whereas VSONIC's connectors often got stuck and had many reports of cutting out over time. I've been listening to the T5 for quite a while now and have had absolutely no issues with the connectors. I'm looking forward to what Dunu's upgrade cables bring to the table.   
     
     
    To illustrate the difference size, here are some pictures. Fiio EX1 on top. T3 & T5 on bottom.


     
    Y-splitter and chin slider

     
    3.5mm L-plug

     
    Dunu's awesome cable management feature. Wish all my IEM had this!

     
    Here's what T5 look like worn down vs. over ear. 
    FullSizeRender-7.jpg FullSizeRender-8.jpg
     
    While they're designed to be worn down, they can be worn over ear fairly easily - although I'd again reiterate that the original's smaller strain reliefs made over ear wear even more comfortable.
     
    To sum up: I like the overall design / build but question the need for detachable cables. It seems IEM manufacturers caught detachable cable fever recently. Quite honestly, I'd take the smaller housing and strain reliefs and associated lighter weight of the original any day. EX1 disappeared in my ears much better than the new design. That said, I'm sure the detachable cable will be attractive to many prospective buyers who've also caught detachable cable fever. Beyond that, the vent hole redesign leaves me wondering what T5's tuning would sound like with the open, airy soundstage of the originals, which I suspect leaving in the numerous vent holes would've retained. Perhaps in the next iteration...
     
     
    SOUND
    I'm going to keep this section simple. There are more reviews coming soon. So if this isn't detailed enough or doesn't answer all your questions, just hold on and I'm sure one of those will answer your questions. You can always hit up the TITAN thread, where those of us who've gotten early access have been describing their experience. In particular, I'd suggest you start on page 150 with this post (LINK). There's some good discussion and FR graphs after that which will help you decide which TITAN is right for you.
     
    I mainly listen to experimental electronic and metal and use those genres to evaluate HP & IEM. During my time with the T5, I mainly used them with the Fiio X5, Shanling M3 DAP (LINK to review), and the newly released Shanling M2 I have in for testing and US tour (LINK to the M2 thread I started). 
     
     
    I know a lot of people are asking themselves how the new TITANs differentiate themselves from the original beyond the physical redesign. Reviews from people I trust (EXAMPLE) indicate that T1 and EX1 sound identical, so the EX1 will be my T1 surrogate for this review. As mentioned above, I'm going to keep it simple with some notes I took while listening to my Fiio X5.

     
    Fiio EX1
    It's the hardest to drive, has the worst isolation, but has the most unique sound. Regarding driving power, a comfortable listening level in a quiet rom was 35 on Low Gain out of my X5. That actually indicates to me that the X5 isn't actually hard to drive - just harder to drive than the other TITANs. To get an initial sense of isolation, I snapped my fingers by my ears while music was playing. The snaps were dulled but still clearly audible. Later I listened to them while walking in my neighborhood, and while they were definitely less isolating than my other IEM it wasn't night and day. It certainly wasn't egregious, and I clearly had a better sense of environmental awareness. Soundstage was open and airy for an IEM at any price point. I was quite impressed with the holographic sound. It actually reminded me a bit of my HiFiMan HE400 in this respect.  Not the same mind you but reminiscent nonetheless. The basic sound signature is a u-curve. Bass is relatively flat with just enough mid-bass emphasis to add a bit of punch - definitely neither weak nor boomy. Mids are neutral and clear but are a bit lacking in sweetness and emotion. The upper end is a bit edgy but didn't verge into sibilant territory for me and is something I could easily be happy with. 
     
    Quite honestly, the EX1 exceeded my expectations, pushing a lot of the right buttons for me. Soundstage was fantastic, providing a very holographic listening experience. Bass was deep enough for a satisfying listen with electronic music but also fast enough to keep up with the rapid fire kick drums oft employed in metal music. Mids were definitely the weak point but were present enough not to call EX1 recessed. They're the aspect of EX1 most ripe for improvement. While the upper end was a touch harsh, it wasn't as aggressive as I was expecting and provided a good level of detail without veering into fatiguing territory. I see what the hype was about now. EX1 sounds nice!
     
    Ok, now we have our baseline. How do the new TITANs compare?

    Dunu TITAN 3
    T3 are the easiest to drive of the bunch. To get a comparable volume, I was able to turn my X5's volume down to 28 while listening in a quiet room. Isolation is on par with typical dynamic IEM. I could barely hear my fingers snapping when music was playing and environmental noise in my neighborhood was mostly blocked. Soundstage is much more conventional. Gone is the original's very open, airy almost holographic sound. T3's sound signature is just on the warm side of neutral. Bass sounds similar to the EX1's but a bit flatter. Nonetheless, it was still satisfying with a wide range of music. The key difference is the mids, which are more present vs. EX1. Whereas the EX1's mids were neutral, the T3 brings them forward - especially the upper mids. This makes female vocals pop. Those of you who know me know I'm a big Bjork fan and routinely use her Biophila album when testing new IEM. T3 were hands-down the best of the TITANs for bringing out the best in Bjork's voice. EX1 and T5 were still satisfying but failed to convey the same emotional presence the T3 did. Similar to the low end, the T3's upper end sounds similar to EX1 but takes the edge off. If you thought the originals were a bit on the harsh side, T3 should solve that issue for you.
     
     
    Dunu TITAN 5
    T5 are just a bit harder to drive than T3. To get a comparable volume, I had to turn my X5's volume up to 30 while listening in a quiet room. Isolation is identical to T3, so on par with typical dynamic IEM. Soundstage is still quite conventional, but I found the soundstage larger vs. T3. And just like the T3, you'll be missing the original's open, airy sound. T5's sound signature is a mild v-shape. Bass is the star of the show. It's more prominent than the other TITANs but is well-done - not loose or boomy. The mids are neutral and remind me of the EX1, whereas the upper end is quite reminiscent of the T3. Revisiting Bjork for a minute - where T3 really made Bjork's voice pop, the T5 made the bass drops more satisfying. But when switching to The Eagles, I found the T5's bass made the bass guitar more prominent than I was used to. EX1 and T3 feel truer to the music in this respect.
     
    TLDR
    1. T3 takes the general EX1 sound, adds in more prominent mids (especially upper mids), more refined upper end, and better isolation. It also brings a much more conventional soundstage.
    2. T5 takes the general EX1 sound but adds in more prominent bass, more refined upper end, and better isolation. It also brings a much more conventional soundstage but not as much of a compromise as T3.
     
     
    SUMMARY
    So what do I think of the TITAN lineup? Well, first of all I'm going to admit that I'm saddened that it took me this long to hear the originals. The EX1 are a superb IEM. Sure they've got a few flaws, but their open, airy soundstage and well-balanced sound signature more than make up for the small amount of harshness up top. They're also a very comfortable IEM. Hearing the T3 & T5 makes me confident in saying that Dunu's made a good case for product differentiation in the TITAN lineup. I could see people gravitating towards the different models based on their sound signature, soundstage, and isolation preferences. Personally, I gravitate towards EX1 for it's open, airy sound and T3 for improving the original's sound with improved mids. While I like the T5 and think it's a solid IEM, it just doesn't call out to me like the others do.
     
    What did I feel could be improved? I'd love to see what the T3 & T5 would sound like with the same tuning but additional vent holes to give them a more open soundstage - even at the expense of decreased isolation. I also question the validity of using detachable cables, which adds complexity, added weight, and larger housings. This resulted in he new TITANs being less comfortable than the originals for me. I'd also like to see a thicker carry case, as the larger housing make it difficult to close which wasn't a problem with the EX1. Beyond that, I think all three TITANs are great IEM. It's just a matter of choosing which suits your needs.
     
    EDIT: As noted above, the new ear stabilizer work very well to alleviate the minor comfort issues I was experiencing. Good job being proactive, DUNU!
     
    I'd like to give a hearty thanks to Vivian at Dunu for giving me the chance to review and tour the TITAN 3 and TITAN 5. I really enjoyed my time with them. Be on the lookout for a US & Canada tour opportunity!
    1. View previous replies...
    2. onraid
      thx great
      onraid, Nov 25, 2015
    3. harry501501
      Hi, I love the EX1s, although it's night and day, would you be able to suggest an over ear or on ear with a similar sound signature. The Titan1s/Ex1s are just so musical and fun. I've been trying to replicate that sound to no avail lol.
       
      I've tried and failed with...
       
      Senn HD25iis
      AKG K550s
      Sony MDRs
      Grados (awful headphone, truly awful).
      Senn Hd205s.
      harry501501, Apr 9, 2016
    4. harry501501
      Sorry, i hit post to soon. I'm thinking of trying DT990, M50x, Philips F X1 or X2.
       
      I tried Senn Momentum 2.0 On Ear too. They sounded great, but again a little too neutral. Everything sounds boring after listening to the Titan 1s.
       
      Too jump in on this review, I've had both Titan X1 and Fiio EX1. Both are the exact same, but there is a £40 price difference. i ordered them both and sent the Titan 1s back and kept the fiios
      harry501501, Apr 9, 2016
  4. suman134
    The Titanic 5.
    Written by suman134
    Published Jan 22, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Build quality, detachable cables, enjoyable sound signature, fantastic female vocals.
    Cons - Slightly vailed male vocals, bassy signature, heavy.

    INTRO:-
     
     DUNU as we all know is one of the most consumer friendly brands around. Initially they were not there with top of the line earphones. But with DN-1000, DN-2000 and Titan-1 they just blasted into the scene with a bang and since then they have set the benchmark for others.
     
     Following the success of Titan-1 DUNU decided to extend the Titan line up with Titan 3, 5 and ES. Titan 3 being the one with mid in focus and 5 being the one with everything in balance are priced exactly same at $139 and ES the cheaper version of the original Titan is priced $60. Titan-3 and 5 are Hi-fi certified too.
     
     Here are some links:-
     http://penonaudio.com/DUNU-TITAN5
    http://www.lendmeurears.com/dunu-titan-5/
    http://www.amazon.com/DUNU-Dunu-Titan-5/dp/B0186UZR76
     
    What I have here is the Titan-5, the one which is supposed to be the balanced one, uses the same 13mm titanium diaphragm driver as the original titan( Titan-3 too has the same driver). What has changed is the cable, its detachable now (Titan-3 too). Visually it looks more or less like the original titan but there are some cosmetic changes. Sound characteristics have changed enough for Titan-5 to stand out as a Titan on its OWN facing completion from R3, GR-07, fidue A73 and other earphones.
     
     Before we start let me tell you something about me. I like it balance. No problem with V-shaped sound till it’s has enough details, a bigger stage and good layering does wonders for me. And not much bothered about bass till it is fast, but i prefer more sub bass, I will forgive everything if its got pace and mids and highs are not ignored. I love spark with my highs, balanced will do too, I won’t kill for spark but spark is what makes an earphone sound alive, too much will kill the cat and too less will kill the cat too. I don’t like to play around EQs but I have mine applied.
     
    Before all, I would like to thank Vivian and DUNU for this sample unit. And would like to apologize for this delay!!

    IMG_20160121_132925.jpg   P60122-101038.jpg
     
    P60122-101215.jpg   IMG_20160122_160027.jpg
     

    ACCESSORIES ERGONOMICS AND MISCELLANEOUS:-
     
      Titan-1 comes with 9 pair of tips, Titan-5 has 6 pairs, sony style and red core type tips in 3 sizes missing the wide bore ones, enough for most of us. 5 has the exact hard carry case, cable clip is there too in addition to that there is a pair of earpiece wings that helps with fitment, thanks to these, unlike the original, 5 doesn’t fall out easily, even you can take this for a run and still it won’t fall. There is a cable tie too keep the earphone from tangling. There is a 3.5mm to quarter inch converter as usual.
     
     This time around Titan-5 has removable cable, if you think your earphone will sound better with some other cable, go ahead swap it, or change it if the cable gives up on you!! It has the most common MMCX type connectors. An awesome feature most people were asking for, I must admit. Cable is different though. It’s not externally braided anymore, all rubber, but its good, one of the best I must say (with wings). Not bouncy, microphonics is low. Cable tangles a bit but not badly. There is chin/cable slider too.
     
     Ergonomically Titan-5 is marginally better than original. Nothing to complain about, this time 5 isnt as prone to fall out as 1 was. Full metal body means it’s slightly heavy but not much. This time we have only one air vent. Back of the earpiece is bigger and longer to accommodate the connector. Back plate has a brushed metal design with 5 written on it, neat never the less.
     
     It’s comfortable to wear, no irritations at all.
     
     Isolation is better than the original but still not better than average. It’s good for a half in-ear though.
     
     This time DUNU haven’t left any stone unturned when it comes to features. Its loaded with everything people complained 1 was missing. Can’t ask for much can you? I can!! Comply tips!! One pair, medium, Please, do.

    IMG_20160122_115558.jpg   IMG_20160121_141847_HDR.jpg
     

    SOUND QUALITY:-
     
      Let me start by confirming that Titan-5 has been burnt in for more than 180 hours. I have used my J3+E5 as the primary source, and Zenfone 2 or Redmi 1s at times, both have impressive control and SQ. And I would like to confirm that it doesn’t need an amplifier to perform to the mark, your mobile device can drive it easily. But amplifying helps with improvement is stage size and layering. Amp it if you can, its good otherwise.
     
     Unlike the 1, 5 doesn’t have an “on your face” kind of signature, its laid back, smoother, calmer and doesn’t bite from the word go which is a good thing for those who wanted the original to be a bit less aggressive.
     
     It’s a really neutral sounding earphone, not much warm, slightly dark and mildly bright at times. Sonically its not comparable to re-400 or the original titan, but its comparable to R3 and IM-70.
     And for your info, I have used Brainwavz style black tips at times, but for this review I have used red core tips. Both sound similar.

    IMG_20151129_091416.jpg   IMG_20160117_150020.jpg
     
    IMG_20151204_112303_HDR.jpg   P60118-141812.jpg

    Let’s start with Bass:-
     
     DUNU says it’s the balanced but to me its bassy. Some people complained about 1’s bass, here you go, eat it now, not lean anymore, its meaty and full. Bass has plenty of impact and ready to pounce when asked for. It doesn’t move much air and slam is slightly lacking when compared to bass head earphone. Yes, I own bassy earphones too, XB90EX, Hisound crystal and ckx-9 to name some.
     
     Extension is better than original, 5 has better sub bass too but again mid bass takes the center stage. Bass in general is not as fast as I like but not bad for general users. Slightly better decay will do well. Bass sounds slightly loose and wooly, bass lovers will like it for sure. . You will hear every bass note, drums, bass guitars, it’s there but slightly lacks accuracy and will instantly grab your attention.
     
     Even when bass is slightly over done and feels slightly off, even when it feels like bleeding a bit, its composed enough. All I can say is Titan-5’s bass is engaging and full, will suit pop music better and average consumers will like it.
     
    Analytical listeners and serious audiophiles will find this bass slightly bothering, slightly, not much. [​IMG]
     
    Mid range:-
     
     Plenty have changed here when compared to Titan-1. Titan-5 is not exactly V shaped, but still slightly. Yes its bass is over done but doesn’t overwhelm vocals, tuba, sax, piano or other instruments.
     Mid range is not sharp any more, its smoother and soothing, doesn’t bite like the original but still has similar details, notes are thicker hence won’t cut deep. Thicker notes make 5 sound slightly less detailed. I am neither impressed nor disappointed with this mid. It complements the whole signature, it just lacks the precision of the original.
     
      Lower vocal notes are thicker, not dark, slightly warm at lower region, which makes male vocals slower and poised at times, if not as excellent and cohesive as female vocals, its still sounds good. Female vocals sound precise and to the point, now this is the thing done close to perfection with exact amount of thickness and energy.
     
     Another good thing is its texture and finish, not a single hint of grain or sluggishness (which is tiny case with 1). Best thing is, it patches some harshness and make instruments sound smooth and pleasing even when the track has some distortion, simply put, Titan-5 has little to no distortion. There are no audible dips while transacting from lower to upper mid and that makes it fluent and effortless.
     
      Overall mid range have better body, slightly less clarity and micro detailing, better timber, when compared with original. 5 is not the reveling kind, it’s mid is more of pleasing type with fatigueless signature.
     
      It has bigger stage when compared to other IEMs and better shaped when compared to the original. It’s nicely rounded and evenly spread with nice width height and depth.
     
    Highs:-
     
     I have to admit, when compared to Titan-1, Titan-5’s highs are not as energetic and slightly boring. It still has enough presence with cymbals, trumpets and violins. If you found the original doing a bit too much up top, Titan-5 will suit you.
     
     Highs are nicely balanced. Extension is good. Lower highs are not much emphasized, not splashy. If you are worried about sibilance, let me tell you it is nowhere to be found. Not even close. Can be slightly bothering with rock and heavy metal if you are sensitive to spark but, its fine, really.
     
     Layering, separation, instrument placement, everything is up to the mark. Has nice transparency too.

    CONCLUSION:-
     
     It’s a new titan with plenty of changes. Cosmetic changes are,
    • New detachable cables with rubber coating all the way.
    • Lesser air vents
    • Comes with lesser tips. ( missing the wide bore ones)
    • Ships with earpiece wings for stability.
      Sound wise:-
    • It has bigger and deeper bass.
    • Overall signature is thicker and smoother.
    • Sonically it is less exciting.
     
     All in all Titan-5 is a crowd pleaser. Those who didn’t like leaner and sharper Titan-1 will like this for sure. It is meaty and full bodied.
     
     When compared to other in this price range, it just hangs in the middle, not excellent at anything, not bad at anything. Over all I will prefer it over IM-70, Brainwavz S5 and even R3, but I won’t pick it over the original or RE-400.
     
     That’s it from me guys.
     Enjoy your music. Cheers.

    IMG_20160117_150020.jpg   IMG_20160122_160001.jpg
     
    IMG_20160115_230145.jpg   IMG_20160117_145748.jpg

      archdawg, JoeDoe, Nafis and 1 other person like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. suman134
      @Brooko coming from a BA set up, and compared to Titan-1, 5 is slightly over with bass for me. I will take your advice sir, Let me rephrase it.
       
       Thanks for the feedback.
      suman134, Jan 23, 2016
    3. Brooko
      Don't change it Suman - you need to state it exactly as you hear it.  That's the beauty of getting multiple reviews with different subjective points of view :)  I was just stating my own impressions of it.  If you get a chance to listen to the T3 as well, I'll be interested in your thoughts. And there have been a few so far who regard the T5 as being bassy and the T3 as balanced.  I just don't happen to agree with them (and neither does DUNU apparently).
      Brooko, Jan 23, 2016
    4. flippant1
      I found the Dunu 1000 to have the deepest Bass of any Dunu including the 2000J. And I have tried them all. Brooko- How do you find the Bass in comparison to the 1000 and 2000J? I know the 2000J is considerably more $$ than the T5 but as I read it , you seem to find the T5 to be the most satisfying  experience, single driver vs all. Do I read you correctly?
      flippant1, Feb 10, 2016
  5. Hisoundfi
    Hi-Five! An entertaining high resolution V-Signature to add to the Titan legacy. The DUNU Titan 5 in ear monitor with MMCX detachable cables.
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Dec 29, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - High resolution and fun tuning, Authoritative bass punch that extends well, Nice lower midrange timbre, Extended high and low frequencies
    Cons - Upper midrange/treble and/or bass will be overwhelming to some people
    20151118_103503-2.jpg
    At the time of the review, the Titan 5 in-ear monitor was was on sale on Penon Audio’s website. Here is a link to their listing of the product:
     
    http://penonaudio.com/DUNU-TITAN5%20?search=titan%205
     
    Note: I reviewed the Titan 3 and Titan 5 at the same time. The beginning of the the reviews are nearly identical with grammatical edits to match the product to the corresponding review. They are nearly identical products in terms of build and packaging. If you have read the other review, you might want to skip straight to the sound impressions.
     
    Introduction
    Almost a year ago, the original Dunu Titan 1 was released. It was an all metal housing earphone with a unique design and fabulous sound. I gave the original Titan 1 a five star review. When I heard that there would be a successor to this beast of an earphone, I knew I had to try it.
     
    Disclaimer
    I was given an opportunity to review the Titan 3 in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Dunu.
     
    My Background
    I AM NOT a numbers and graphs audiophile or sound engineer. Personal audio enthusiast? Absolutely! Headphone junkie? Possibly…
     
    There’s something about quality DAPs, DACs, Amplifiers and Earphones that intrigues me, especially if they can be had for low prices. I will buy the $5 to $500 earphone that looks promising, in hopes that I will discover that one new gem that can compete with the big names in this industry. If you look at my Head-Fi profile you will see that I have purchased MANY different headphones and earphones, ranging from from dirt cheap to higher end products. For me, this hobby is more about getting great price to performance ratio from a product, and have a variety of different gears with varying builds and sound to mix and match. With personal audio gear, we tend to pay a lot of money for minor upgrades. One thing I’ve learned over the last few years is that just because a headphone has a higher price tag, it doesn’t mean that it has superior build and sound quality.
     
    I’m always looking for great audio at a great price. I’m after headphones and IEMs that give me the “WOW” factor. I can appreciate different builds and sound signatures as long as they are ergonomic, and the sound is pleasing to the ear. It is my pleasure to share my experiences with audio products and make recommendations based gear I have owned and used.
     
    REVIEW
    20151229_175437.jpg
    The Titan 5 came in a box that follows the same theme as the original Titan 1 earphone, sporting a black box with white letters. The front of the box has the name of the product and picture of the housings and cable along with the “Hi-Res” logo on the upper right hand corner.
     
    20151229_175446.jpg
    The back of the box featured pictures and descriptions of the detachable cable, titanium diaphragm driver and housings along with the accessories.
     
    20151229_175503.jpg
     
    20151229_175456.jpg
    The left side of the box displayed specifications in six different languages (including English). The right side displayed the Dunu logo and slogan (delicate, unique & utmost)
     
    Specifications and Accesories
     
    Specification

    Model No: TITAN 5

    Type: Dynamic(13mm)

    Frequency response: 10Hz-40KHz

    Impedance: 32Ω

    Plug size: 3.5mm Gold-plated

    Cord length: 1.2m

    Weight: 24g

    Accessories

    DUNU TITAN 5 Earphone

    6 pairs of silicone eartips

    Shirt clip

    3.5mm to 6.5mm adapter

    Carrying case

    1 pair of fitting rubber

    20151229_180112.jpg
    The entire Titan lineup comes with a great selection of tips, including my personal favorite Sony-like silicone tips. If those don’t work there is also slightly more rigid pair of black/red silicone tips as well. Also included are a pair of silicone fins that fit over the Titan housing, helping the earphone sit more securely in the ear.
     
    Housings
    20151229_180313.jpg
    The Titan 5 features metal housings that are very solid and reminiscent of the original. The main difference I noticed is that there is far less in terms of driver venting holes on the inside of the driver. The housing shape is a hybrid design with traits from both earbud and an in-ear monitors.
    20151229_180523.jpg
    The outside of the housings displays the number five etched into the metal shell.
     
    Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
    20151229_180835.jpg
    The cable is an exclusive detachable MMCX style jack that connects at the bottom of the housing. The cable has a flexible black cable with very little spring and virtually no memory, same as many of Dunu’s other cables. I really enjoy the type of cables they use, and am glad they continue to use this type. The Y-split is a black metal jacketed housing with a chin slider that fits flush with the Y-split. The Dunu logo is painted on the Y-split jacket. The cable jack is a ninety degree gold plated 3.5mm jack. The black metal plating on the jack has a specific serial number painted on it. Strain relief is excellent at the jack. There is strain relief where the cable meets the MMCX connectors. There is no strain relief at the Y-split. Something Dunu does that I really appreciate is the added cable winder accessory at the lower end of the cable. This helps keep My earphones neat and untangled when winding/unwinding them.
    20151229_181117.jpg
     
    Functionality
    The Titan is meant for music enjoyment. there are no microphones or remotes to take away from the high fidelity experience
     
    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
    My original gripe about the original Titan earphone was that it didn’t support an over ear fit without swapping the channels. Dunu addressed this by offering the exclusive detachable MMCX cables. The first thing I did was swap channels on the titan and go over the ear, which is my preferred way of wearing just about every in-ear monitor.
     
    Just like the original Titan, the under the ear fit is phenomenal. the earbud-like disc shape in combination with metal nozzle sets up for a snug and comfortable fit.
     
    Microphonics are much better than average when worn down, and eliminated when worn over the ear. Isolation on the Titan 3 is better than the original, but still somewhat mediocre as compared to the average in-ear monitor.

     
    Sound Review
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-G3 with the latest firmware for portable and smartphone use, and either my Shanling H3 or Sony Walkman F806/Cayin C5 amplifier for a high fidelity portable use. For desktop use I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a HIFIMEDIY Sabre ES9023 USB DAC/Bravo Audio Ocean Tube amplifier with a Mullard 12AU7 tube for higher impedance, and a Fiio E18 USB DAC & Amplifier in both high and low gain. Both were run at 24 bit, 96000 Hz. I also tested them with other DAPs and amplifiers as well. I used Google Music downloaded in its highest download quality (320 KBPS) and I also streamed FLAC via Tidal streaming service. I also used purchased and downloaded tracks in MP3, FLAC, WAV and DSD. I make sure that any gear I test has sufficient playtime before writing a review.
     
    I used my usual same songs for testing gear:
    “Limit to your love” by James Blake (bass speed, punch, response)
    “Doin’ it Right” by Daft Punk (sub bass)
    “Get lucky” by Daft Punk (bass to midrange transition resolution, male vocals)
    “Madness” by Muse (soundstage, separation)
    “Some nights” by Fun (soundstage and male vocals)
    “The soundmaker” by Rodrigo y Gabriela (texture and imaging)
    “Bassically” by Tei Shi (bass to midrange resolution, female vocals)
    “Skinny Love” performed by Birdie (female vocals, acoustic playback)
    “One” by Ed Sheeran (male vocals, acoustic playback)
    “Outlands” from the Tron Legacy Soundtrack (symphonic presentation, imaging)
    “Sultans of swing” by Dire Straits (detail, separation, balance)
    “And Justic for All” by Metallica (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
    “Ten thousand fists” by Disturbed (driver distortion, treble response, rock playback)
     
    Note: Other tracks were used, but the listed songs were primarily used to asses and break down the gear’s response.
     
    Source Selection
    The Titan 5 is relatively easy to drive at 32 Ohms and can be driven by just about anything that plays music and has a 3.5 mm plug. They are a high resolution earphone that doesn’t shy away from upper midrange and treble frequencies. Their bass forward signature will make them somewhat forgiving with poorly recorded music, but will also upscale well with better files and sources. I didn’t see any particular benefit from using amplification or a more powerful source. Feed them some high bitrate files and higher quality recordings through a more neutral and high fidelity source and you will be rewarded with some impressive sound quality.
     
    Sound Signature
    These are the V-signature out of the group. Despite the consumer friendly approach in tuning, they are fabulous thanks to their high level of resolution. They pack a meaty bass, timbre rich lower midrange and crisp and an up front treble response. They don’t shy away from some sibilant sounds, but the crisp upper frequencies work well in combination with the rich and slightly boosted lower tones.
     
    There’s a richness to their tuning that makes them work well with almost every genre. What I honestly heard is a bass boosted Titan 3. Looking at graphs online, it made even more sense what I was hearing. The treble response of the Titan 3 and Titan 5 is pretty much identical, with the Titan 5 packing boost in the bass and lower midrange (most likely just different venting on the same titanium driver).
     
    Bass
    The Titan 5 is far and away the bass champion of the Titan family. The bass is a robust and dynamic bass that is pretty well rounded. The Titan 5 bass isn’t necessarily the cleanest and tightest bass you will hear, but the authoritative presentation packs just enough resolution to be incredibly entertaining. It’s subwoofer bass to my ears with a good amount of punch and rumble. The driver will dig deep enough for listeners to realize they are missing some of these low notes with other earphones.
     
    Midrange
    The mids are slightly recessed and for the most part midrange takes a step back from other frequencies. Although this is the case the midrange isn’t far enough back for me to say that they are necessarily lacking. The forward bass carries into the lower midrange, giving them a warmer feel to instruments and vocals. The Titan 5 goes from a musical and Timbre rich lower midrange and finishes with an aggressive upper midrange. The Titan 5 could get a little shouty at times. Although having a lifted upper midrange and treble area, one thing to note is that the Titan 5 seems perceptually less harsh because of their forward lower frequencies.
     
    Treble
    The top end of the the sound doesn’t shy away from a crisply pronounced letter S or T, but for the most part the Titan 5 does it tastefully. The Titan 5 will butcher already sibilant recordings, just be aware of this.
     
    With the treble tuned where it is, there is a nice crisp finish that helps create a nice sense of space. The treble extends pretty well and makes acoustic music and live performances sound great. Cymbal crashes and treble sounds for the most part have very fast attack and decay.  
     
    Soundstage and Imaging
    The forward bass response in combination with an aggressive upper midrange and treble gives the a better than average, but intimate soundstage. I really enjoyed the high resolution. The V-signature does a great job keeping the signature very musical and entertaining.
     
    Comparisons
    How could I not compare the this guy to it’s brothers?
     
    Titan 1 ($100 to $135 USD on many sites)
    The original Titan was one of my first five star reviews. Although there were some things about them I don’t feel were absolutely perfect, there was no denying their phenomenal sound quality. To this day the Titan 1 is still heavily used in my rotation of preferred in-ear monitors.
     
    Both models have nearly identical packaging and accessories. They feature almost identical builds, with the main exception being the detachable cables of the new model and decrease in the number of venting holes on the inside of the driver. In terms of build and accessories, a very slight advantage goes to the Titan 5 because I’m able to swap channels and go over the ear with the channels reversed.
     
    The Titan 5 sets itself apart from the original titan by being an edgier and less neutral tuning. On the end of each side of the frequency range the Titan 5 continues to extends and lifts from where the Titan 1 stops. This can be great, but also at times more fatiguing to my ears. While there were times when the Titan 1 would make things seem more natural and enjoyable to listen to, the bass and timbre the Titan 5 added an oomph that the Titan 1 couldn’t achieve. The Titan 5 is definitely the more Hi-Fi of the two.

     
    Titan 3 ($135 USD on many sites)
    The Titan 3 seems the most neutral and midcentric of the Titans from what I heard. They feature a somewhat linear and extended bass presence, which carries into a nicely balanced and natural sounding midrange. The upper midrange and treble has a few decibel lift that helps accentuate vocals and give the sound a nice amount of forward presence.
     
    Build and accessories is a tie because it is pretty much identical.
     
    Comparing versions 3 and 5, I can understand why Dunu would offer both models at the same time. They are completely different approaches. The Titan 3 is more linear and balanced. Titan 5 has a much more boosted lower frequency response. Treble responses on both are nearly identical.
     
    The boosted bass of the Titan 5 puts more low end warmth on midrange tones. One thing I do appreciate with the Titan 5 is how the added bass and warmth helps take the focus off of the crisp treble, making them perceptually less fatiguing. The Forward bass response of the Titan 5 also set up much better for modern genres of music.
     
    If I’m jamming Mumford and Sons, or Adele, or anything that features vocals I’m reaching for the Titan 3. If I’m jamming some Skrillex, Macklemore, or just about any modern genre of music I’m reaching for the Titan 5. If I’m going to be listening to a bunch of different music and with no particular genre, I will probably go with the Titan 1.
     
    Conclusion
    The Titan 5 is the party animal of the bunch. The bass comes out to play with an authoritative and robust rumble that is complimented with an equally forward upper midrange and treble that gives them a crisp and extended feel. It is a high fidelity earphone that will appeal to a large audience of people looking to upgrade to a higher level of resolution while maintaining a fun V-signature. It falls into a sweet spot as a basshead meets audiophile. For the price they are a value and a top pick for people looking for a higher caliber earphone.   
     
    20151229_180313.jpg
     
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
  6. HiFiChris
    A refined Titan 1 with a bit more "oomph" and less "splash"
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Dec 16, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - resolution, bass speed, value, replaceable cables, build quality, natural soundstage (not as large as Titan 1's though), about no midrange veil
    Cons - below-average isolation
    Preamble:

    Founded in February 1994 originally as an OEM manufacturer, the Chinese company DUNU has developed in the past few years and launched many in audiophile circles highly appreciated IEMs, whereof the Titan 1, an in-ear with semi-open design that reminds me more or less of an “earbud with a nozzle”, was one of their most appreciated and discussed in-ears in the last time.
    After the successful Titan 1, the Titan 3 and Titan 5 have been added to DUNU’s “Titan”-range. They are not meant to replace the original Titan 1, but rather as alternatives in the product range, featuring a different tonality and other features, like for example replaceable cables with MMCX connectors.

    This review (including comparisons with the Titan 1 as well as Titan 3) concentrates on the Titan 5 and is the third part of my Titan-review-series.
    Before I go on, I also want to give a huge thanks to DUNU-Topsound and their Vivian for sending me a Titan 5 to check out in exchange for my honest opinion.


    Technical Specifications:

    Price: ~ $135
    Driver type: dynamic, 13 mm, titanium-coated
    Frequency response: 10 H – 40 kHz
    Sensitivity: 108 dB (+/- 2 dB)
    Impedance: 32 Ohms
    Cable length: 1.2 m


    Delivery Content:

    Typically for DUNU, the Titan 5’s delivery content is quite good, although not as impressive as with their more expensive models.

    The packaging is valuable, sturdy and designed in the typical DUNU-style. The front shows a large picture of the in-ears, the back gives information about the delivery content with corresponding little pictures and more information about the in-ears. The left side features the technical specifications in various languages; the right has got a strap for opening the magnetic lid and features the words that DUNU stands for: “Delicate Unique & Utmost”.
    On the inside, the left side of the upper side’s lid describes the assets of the titanium coating and briefly describes the in-ears’ sound signature. On the right side, there is an introduction of a musician called Max Barsky as well as a small translucent plastic screen with the in-ears behind.
    With the help of another strap, this side can be opened up as well and reveals the in-ears as well as a warranty card, a really nice carrying case (more about that later on), a cable clip, a 6.35 to 3.5 mm adapter as well as two different styles of silicone tips (one type less than the Titan 1) in three different sizes (among are the pre-installed Sony-like hybrid silicone tips and hybrid silicone tips with red stem). Therefore, the consumer can chose his preferred style of tips that also have a slight impact on the overall sound signature. As a new accessory, two soft white silicone hooks also come included.
     

    IMG_20151204_144416.jpg   IMG_20151204_144433.jpg
    IMG_20151204_144444.jpg   IMG_20151204_144458.jpg
    IMG_20151204_144520.jpg   IMG_20151204_144622.jpg
    IMG_20151204_144649.jpg   IMG_20151204_144938.jpg



    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    The silver-coloured, CNC-milled and triple-polished in-ear bodies are made of stainless steel, feature a premium build quality, have got classical “L” plus “R” side markers as well as DUNU letterings. As a very convenient feature, the “faceplates” feature the number “5”.
    Apart from the sound outlet holes in the nozzle, I count only one additional vent in the body (in contrast to the Titan 1’s 12).
    Contrary to the Titan 1, Titan 5’s bodies are not colour-coded (the circular rings are just dark grey), which has a simple reason: the Titan 5 (as well as Titan 3) have got replaceable cables with MMCX connectors, wherefore the bodies can be swapped if one wants to wear the in-ears with the cables over the ears.
    For the price range, user-replaceable cables are a really nice feature and fortunately don’t increase the overall price much.

    The L-shaped 3.5 mm connector which contains the serial number as well as the y-split with the “DUNU” lettering and the chin-slider are made of black metal.
    As opposed to the Titan 1, Titan 5’s cable is not cloth-coated below the y-split, which I see as a benefit (it can’t fray), although it doesn’t look as cool/special.
    Of course, the Titan 5 also features DUNU’s unique, patent-pending cable management tool that eases rolling off the cable and keeping it in that shape.

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

    IMG_20151204_145223.jpg   IMG_20151204_145400.jpg
    IMG_20151204_145445.jpg   IMG_20151204_145541.jpg
    IMG_20151204_145608.jpg   IMG_20151204_145637.jpg
    IMG_20151204_145652.jpg   IMG_20151204_145707.jpg



    Comfort, Isolation:

    By swapping the sides of the cable connectors, the in-ears can now also be worn correctly with the cables around the ears.

    The in-ears are best worn like earbuds with the cables straight down, which works out quite nice, however people with very small auricles may have fit issues, which is definitely no problem for me who has quite large conchas, wherefore the in-ears sit very comfy in my ears. Once the chin-slider is moved up, microphonics are lowered and not too present.
    By swapping the sides, it is also possible to wear the Titan 5 correct-sided with the cables over the ears, which was not possible with the Titan 1. Personally, just like with the Titan 1, I prefer to wear the Titan 3 like earbuds (straight down insertion), but with guiding the cable around my ears then. Just like with the classical over-the-ear style, microphonics disappear then.
    New included accessories are the soft silicone hooks that can just be pulled over the in-ear bodies and guarantee for a more secure fit.

    As the in-ear bodies are pretty much closed, isolation is audibly stronger than the Titan 1’s, but still lower than mediocre. Additionally, the Titan 5 also isolates slightly more than the Titan 3 in my ears.


    Sound:

    Although I don’t believe much (if at all) in burn-in of in-ears, I have fully burnt the Titan 3 in before listening, just as it is recommended for them.
    My main source devices were the iBasso DX80 and DX90 as well as the HiFime 9018d. Music material was mainly stored as FLAC and WAV files, but I also used some 320 kBps cbr MP3 files.

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

    Tonality:

    The Titan 5 is DUNU’s bassiest in-ear out of their Titan series and kind of follows the Titan 1’s rather gently v-shaped tonality, but adds a little more bass and a more even, less emphasised treble.
    The whole lows are (compared to a strictly flat IEM like the Etymotic ER-4S) emphasised by circa 9 dB. The elevation reaches from the deepest sub-bass at 20 Hz (yeah, the Titan 5 has some really nice “cellar-rumble”) to about 160 Hz. From there on, level evenly decreases to 500 Hz where it becomes neutral. The emphasis really solely concentrates only on the bass and a bit the lower and lower middle root tone range and commendably stays out of the other fundamental range frequencies or mids.
    Speaking of the mids, they are free of any emphasis or coloration (voices are tonally correct in my ears) and the presence area is also not really lowered.
    Just like the Titan 3’s, Titan 5’s treble starts evenly rising from 3 kHz on and has got a broad-banded emphasis at 6 and 7 kHz. At 8 and 9 kHz, level is a bit less present, but more than the Titan 3 in this area. In the super-treble, I hear a peak both at 12.5 and 14 kHz; overall treble extension is really good.

    On a personal, subjective side-note: the bass is quite strong, but really fast as well as well made, as it does not really bleed into the fundamental tone range and doesn’t make the sound unnecessarily “phat” or warm, but also mainly concentrates on the “real” bass. Solely looking at the lows, there is a very strong resemblance to the Triple.Fi 10’s bass (however both have got a different tuning especially in the treble where the Triple.Fi 10 follows more the route of a “classical” v-shape with recessed middle as well as lower and emphasised upper highs).

    Tuning Options:

    Just as with most of DUNU’s in-ears, the Titan 5 comes with various ear-tips that shape the sound more or less obviously.
    Compared to the red-cored hybrid tips, the “Sony”-style hybrid tips with black silicone have got the minimally brighter treble and upper mids in my ears, but don’t differ in the other areas.

    Resolution:

    Just like the Titan 1 and Titan 3, the Titan 5 has got a really good resolution and is definitely among the best in-ears in its price range.
    The bass is free of any softness and surprisingly fast, punchy, precise, arid and controlled for a dynamic driver, with an excellent transient response. Even towards sub-bass, nothing softens. Due to the stronger emphasis, the bass is only minimally softer than the Titan 3’s or Titan 1’s, but really just very slightly. Lows are still really fast, controlled and are not strained or overchallenged at the slightest. Despite the speed, the bass body is really nice and somehow gives a teaser of how the DN-2000J’s lows sound (although the Titan 5 surely does not reach its light-footedness, details and texture, but does an excellent job on its own).
    The treble is really differentiated, detailed and is better done than the Titan 1’s: the Titan 5’s (and Titan 3’s) high frequencies sound more refined, more natural.
    With the Titan 1 as well as Titan 3, there is one thing that slightly bothers me about the mids: on their own, the mids are high-resolving and precise, but compared to the lows and highs, their resolution very slightly lacks behind, although the segmentation is quite even and the Titan 5’s resolution distribution is a tad more even than the Titan 1’s. It is a bit like with the Logitech UE900: the mids’ resolution is really not bad at all, but the bass and treble are a bit better in this regard, wherefore the mids appear a little bit excluded in comparison, but are very precise on their own (but the treble and bass seem to reveal a tad more details). However, this difference between the mids’ and treble’s/bass’ resolution is even less present on the Titan 5 (only about the thickness of a razorblade) and out of the three Titans, the Titan 5 has got the most cohesive resolution (although the Titan 3 is also slightly better in the mids than the Titan 1, but the Titan 5 does even a tad better, probably due to different dampening in the bodies). It’s not that the other two Titans are bad resolving in the mids (the difference between the three is minor), but the Titan 5 is just a tad more refined and detailed with voices in my ears.

    Soundstage:

    I think it was clear that the Titan 5 wouldn’t span such a large soundstage as the Titan 1 beforehand, as the bodies are less open. However, the Titan 5’s spatial presentation is, from what I perceive, definitely larger than average, both in terms of width and depth. The soundstage of the Titan 5 also appears a bit larger than the Titan 3’s, especially in terms of spatial depth.
    The depth-to-width-ratio is very balanced, with a perfect balance between depth and width in my ears.
    Instrument separation, -placement and layering are really good as well as precise and the soundstage never appears congested.

    ---------

    vs. Titan 3:
    The Titan 5 sounds thicker, as it has got the more elevated bass and lower fundamentals. Titan 5’s and Titan 3’s treble are quite similar, however the Titan 5 has got more upper highs, wherefore I personally find it better suited for Rock music.
    Regarding resolution, they are quite identical: both have got fast, punchy and arid lows (though the Titan 5’s bass is a very tiny bit less arid due to the stronger emphasis), detailed, well-separated treble and have got a mids’ resolution that is very good but very slightly lacks behind the bass’ and highs’, however it is even more unobtrusive with the Titan 5.
    In my ears, the Titan 5 has got the slightly larger soundstage and sounds a tad more open, with the stronger spatial depth, however both are not as large/open sounding as the Titan 1.

    vs. Titan 1:
    The Titan 5 adds about 2 or 3 more dB in the lows and is quasi the more refined version of the Titan 1, with a more detailed treble and the minimally better midrange resolution.
    Just as also with the Titan 3, Titan 5’s treble is more even than Titan 1’s and therefore appears more natural and better refined.
    In terms of resolution, they are quite identical: both have got fast, punchy and arid lows (the Titan 1’s are however minimally more arid), detailed, well-separated treble and have got a midrange resolution that is very good but very slightly lacks behind the bass’ and highs’, however this is hardly audible with the Titan 5.
    Due to its semi-open design, the Titan 1 has got the larger soundstage, but the Titan 5 does not sound congested either and generates an imaginary soundstage that is larger than just average, has got a precise instrument placement as well as layering.


    Conclusion:
    The Titan 5 is a very convincing in-ear and in my ears a “Titan 1 reloaded”: besides the exchangeable cables, the overall tuning was also improved – the Titan 5 sounds a bit bassier (but just as fast and arid), but at the same time has the more natural, more even treble, and DUNU also got rid of the nylon-coated cable that could fray over time. Although the soundstage is smaller, it is still larger than average and precise.
    In short, just like the other two Titan in-ears, the Titan 5 is overall very convincing and (like the Titan 3) does some things a tad better than the Titan 1.
    Overall, it scores easy 5 out of 5 stars.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. triplew
      Hi Chris much thanks your earlier advice, wondering if this tonality great Titan 5 sounds similar to the EQ-ed Titan 1es? Or they are still in different league?
      triplew, Jan 14, 2017
    3. HiFiChris
      @triplew
       
      To my ears, both are on the same technical level. 
      HiFiChris, Jan 15, 2017
    4. triplew
      @HiFiChris
      I see, thank you!
      triplew, Jan 16, 2017
  7. Hifihedgehog
    From TITAN to TITANIC: A Positively Splendid Step Up from a High Hitting Beginning
    Written by Hifihedgehog
    Published May 17, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Natural and fast moving midrange; smooth and articulate across the spectrum; rock solid build quality
    Cons - Lacks the last bit of upper treble definition; very slight upper bass bleed into the lower midrange
    DUNU is an inspiration in the world of earphones, a company having come out of relative obscurity and gained a name for itself with its value-packed, trend-setting IEMs, notably the TITAN 1, that compete with products costing hundreds more from manufacturers with decades in the industry. DUNU's product line is the sort of David and Goliath story that is the win-win that we all long for because it drives competition and lowers pricing, it forces the old guard to stay on their toes and up their game, and it makes for sweeping reviews and active discussions.
     
    But between every battle, there are skirmishes, for every tock on the clock, there is a tick, and following every major breakthrough, there are subtle improvements. Along these lines, DUNU's TITAN 5 is a minor collection of tweaks to an already phenomenal product, the TITAN 1, making for an instant easily recommendable successor.
     
    For starters, the same build quality you knew and loved about the original TITAN 1 is here to stay with added improvements that in no way detract from former glory. The same polished and utilitarian, rigid and rugged stainless steel housings now feature detactable cables making cable replacements and upgrades a snap.
     
    The TITAN 5's spectular sound quality, also the hallmark of the TITAN 1, is both an upgrade and yet also a side-grade. While its familar-and-yet-improved sound eliminates and straightens out the very slight aberrations and edginess of its predecessor, the TITAN 5's sound signature is warmer and more musical. This is the IEM equivalent of the HD 650 coming from the HD 600.
     
    In particular, you will notice smoother, less forced transitions from bass to midrange to treble resulting in a more natural, unified sound as a whole. Dynamics and detail stand out because, for example, the heft of a bassdrum kick is followed by its hum and rattle in its drum casing without jarring distortion and undue emphasis.
     
    If I were to nitpick, the upper bass does bleed ever so slightly into the midrange. In head-to-head comparisons, even my Denon AH-D5000 that has a penchant for bass impact is less obtrusive--but the Denons are not bass monsters as some reviewers historically miscategorized them. The uppermost treble could do with a teeny bit extra shine and sparkle to make the projection of vocals more airy and the outlines of instruments more discernible. But the overall sound is so close to perfect that there is still excellent bite and definition for everyone but the most sizzle thirsting of treble heads and detail mongers.
     
    Make no mistake: the TITAN 5 has not taken a step back but is TITANIC compared to the likes of competing products from Etymotic, Shure, and Ultimate Ear and many others. The TITAN 5 delivers the TITAN 1's performance and craftsmanship with much appreciated tweaks from top to bottom. If you are looking for the new king of the TITAN line, the TITAN 5 now bears the price-performance crown, punching well above its weight better than ever.
     
    Thank you to DUNU, especially Vivian, for the opportunity to review this unrivaled product. Setbacks, including health and family struggles, tried my patience and likely yours as I worked to produce this review. I look forward to the bright and promising future of IEMs thanks to DUNU's untiring pursuit of immersive audio from fetching earphones.
      archdawg and stalepie like this.
  8. Tom22
    Attack of the Titan Pt 5: Renewed Bassy Hope
    Written by Tom22
    Published Jan 25, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - great slam and punch in the bass, tight, fast, clean, and nice sparkle, detachable cables, build, easy fit
    Cons - so-so isolation
    Keeping the Nano-titanium drivers, Dunu intends to pack all the “Titan-Goodness” into a better isolating package, with the Titan 3 and Titan 5.
    Despite the grand response the Titan 1 garnered, a common complaint is the lack of isolation in its semi-vented/open nature.  Dunu has taken criticisms to heart and went back to the drawing board to address that issue as well as various others that had surfaced since. Lets find out how they did!
     
    20151224_2333410.jpg    20151224_233420.jpg
     
     
    Below I have included a video review to supplement my written portion, I will also include a link to my Dunu Titan 1, and 3 review for better reference for readers.  (Skip to the sound section of the Dunu 5 review, for relative comparisons)
    Titan 1 Review:http://www.head-fi.org/products/dunu-titan-1-titanium-coated-diaphragm-earphones/reviews/13302
    Titan 3 Review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/dunu-titan-3/reviews/15085
    Disclaimer- I would like to thank Dunu (for providing me with the Titan 3) to review as well as my peers in the Dunu Titan thread, for arranging for the Titan 3 and 5 for the Demo Tour!
    [​IMG]
     
    Accessories:
    Dunu includes a variety of goodies with the Titan 3. There is 3 pairs of the Sony silicone hybrids (black, color-coded tips), 3 pairs Red and Grey Silicone, a shirt clip and a ¼ inch adapter.
    Of course one of the biggest additions is the inclusion of the silicone fin guards, providing a rubber bumper guard against the edge of the housing and the concha of your ear. (Simply put, it helps in terms of comfort).
    To protect the earphones, included is a hard shell plastic carrying case that snaps shut for safe storage. The case is nicely made but I would like it if it was a few cm thicker (to compensate for the bigger earpieces, with the detachable cables), and for better clearance for the cable (so it doesn’t crimp when closing it). (or swap to a round semi-hard zippered carrying case).
    Overall: 8.5/10 (Dunu has taken out the 3 pairs of the black silicone tips found in the Titan 1)
    20151224_234249.jpg     20151224_233007.jpg     20151224_233032.jpg
     
     
     
    Design:
    Keeping the Half- Earbud/ half in ear design that many including myself enjoyed, allows more room for the engineers at Dunu to make way for the large titanium coated drivers. The simple, yet flawless chrome housing is something to be admired. The only way to differentiating between the Titan 3 and the 5 is the on the Logo of the earpieces (labeled 3, and 5 respectively).
    Overall: 8.5/10
    20151224_233039.jpg    20151224_232810.jpg    20151224_233025.jpg
     
    Build Quality:
    Dunu has clearly been listening the feedback from their consumers, through the implementation of the detachable mmcx cables. It’s quite hard to seamlessly integrate a practical and durable detachable cable, especially with mmcx connectors (it seems Dunu fall on the good side), as it did not suffer from sound cutting in and out when the cable spins. The cables are very well made and Dunu did away with the fabric portion of the cable that’s found on the Titan 1. With plentiful reinforcement in high stress joints, the Titan 3s exude the luxurious feel of a premium product found much higher then what it price indicates.
    Overall: 9.5/10
    20151224_232853.jpg   20151224_233105.jpg
     
    Comfort:
    The shallow fit half earbud/in ear fit, will easily garner many fans looking for a comfort of a silicon/foam eartip, while ensuring the slipper-like fit of traditional earbuds.  That’s said the housing is on the larger side and those with smaller ears may not find the titans to be very comfortable considering the slight edge around the body of the earpieces. (Dunu addressed this issue with the silicone fin guards included in each Titan 3, and 5 package.
    Overall: 8.5/10 (smoothing out the edges and providing the silicone fin guards helped)
    20151224_233530.jpg   20151224_234436.jpg    20151224_234446.jpg   
     
    Isolation:
      While it’s an improvement over the Semi-open Titan 1s, the Titan 5s won’t be nearly enough for those seeking isolation comparable to the likes of Shure or Westone
     Overall: 6.5/10
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    Sound:
    Having the opportunity to listen to the entire Titan line up, has allowed me to better understand what demographic and what sound Dunu is targeting with each respective Titan.
     
    The Quick Skinny
    Titan 1: Open, spacious, Thinner, Edgy upper mids
    Titan 3: More Balanced, fuller midforward sound, with a splash of Brightness
    Titan 5: Tastefully bassy, fun sound (without the bloat), take the Titan 3 + a slight bump in the bass and treble
     
    Titan 5 Breakdown:
    The Titan 5 caters more towards those seeking a bit more punch in the low end, while still maintaining the clean, crisp sound the Titans are known for. The Titan 5 definitely has the broadest appeal of the Titans.  It’s the smooth talker and fun baby brother. If I had to pick one Titan to serve me on daily basis, the 5s would definitely be my pick.
    For this review I used the included sony hybrids: I found the Titan 5 was less picky with the tip selection.
     
    Bass:
    With a strong but tastefully “meaty” bass, the Titan 5s has a nice taste of the “fun” without sacrificing the detail and depth. They have deeper, harder hitting bass with a more robust punchy midbass, making the most well rounded Titan, a perfect companion to help drown out some of the shuffling and rumbling environmental sounds.
     
    Midrange:
    The midrange is slightly recessed, relative to the Titans 3. However, in the grand scheme of things, it’s more similar in quality to my VSONIC GR07BE’s midrange, except a bit warmer in comparison. While the 5s will not immediately grab your attention with its clarity like the Titan 1, 3 would, I feel the 5s have the widest appeal. With the nice sense of warmth in the lower mids  male vocals, have a nice body and  fullness, making the preferable for those that find the GR07BE to be a bit dry.  On the other end, the upper midrange is the most friendly towards female vocals in the Titan family, like the Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande by easing off in this “rather sensitive area”.
     
    Treble:
    A sparkly treble, makes Titan 5s fun to listen to, while still project nice detail, without being “aggressive” or “in your face”. I was quite content with its balance of detail and fun.  Also, I felt the treble extended slightly farther and imaging slightly better and wider than the Titan 3s.
    Overall: 9.3/10
     
    Comparing to the Titan 5 to the Titan 1
    It seems to be better at portraying depth then the Titan 1, with deeper and more  authority in the bass. While the Titan 1 is more open and spacious, it also seems a bit flat in its presentation. Packing more heat in the bass helps the Titan 5 better cut through ambient noise.
     
    Comparing the Titan 5 to the Titan 3
    The Titan 5 I believe has a wider (and safer) appeal for a multitude of users and genres, while I feel the Titan 3 to have more of a “niche” tuning, which may be bit unforgiving for some users (especially those that come from warmer and darker sound signatures). The 5s, has wider and slightly better imaging compared to the 3s.
     
    Comparing the Titan 5s with the Vsonic Gr07BE
    The Titan 5s have a thicker, more pungent bass, making the bass more satisfying in when the bass drops. The GR07BE has a drier leaner midrange, making the Titan 5a more warm sounding. Treble-wise, the Titan 5s take the edge off the treble compared to the GR07BE which helps brings out the more texture and detail.
    The Titan 5s are bit more efficient than the GR07BE
     
    All in all those looking for a slightly smoother and bassier alternative to the Gr07BE should take a serious look at the Titan 5s, especially since they feature detachable cables, and a more premium build (those shiny earpieces).
     
    Note**Tape mod
    For fun I decided use the “tape mod”: by using scotch tape to tape the rear vent (by the nozzle) making the bass very solid and visceral making it and overall warmer sound. I felt this began tipping the balance towards the bass a bit too far, in my opinion. 
    As stated in my Titan 3 review, you can experiment with the how big or small to poke the hole in the tape, to adjust the level of dampening and bass.
    Of course the isolation improved with this modification, and best of all its cheap and reversible! note- the potential for driver flex does increase due to the lack of venting
     
    In conclusion:
    The Titan 1 will turn heads with its impressive holographic and spacious imaging.  The Titan 3 draws you in with its impressive clarity and its clean, “scalpel-like” midrange. The Titan 5 I feel has a good mix of what makes the Titans great, fun, clean, while still sounding decently spacious.
    Highly recommended! The Titan 5 is right in my wheelhouse, with a fun, yet detailed sound, they shot right to the top as one of my favorite earphones to date.
     
    Possible feedback
    - A possible tuning change Dunu can implement is maybe taking off maybe 2-3 dB off the upper mid-lower treble, just to smooth out the potential of harshness.
    The case is nicely made but I would like it if it was a few cm thicker (to compensate for the bigger earpieces, with the detachable cables), and for better clearance for the cable (so it doesn’t crimp the cable when closing it). (or swap to a round semi-hard zippered carrying case).
     
    Overall: 50.8/60= 85%
      archdawg and Radec like this.
  9. lin0003
    Affordable Perfection
    Written by lin0003
    Published Dec 31, 2015
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound Quality
    Cons - Isolation

    Dunu Titan 5 Review

    First of all, I’d like to thank Dunu for sending me a sample of the Titan 5 to review. I’m quite familiar with Dunu as a brand and I’ve heard many of their higher end offerings including the DN-1000 and DN-2000. A while ago, I reviewed the Titan 1, which I found to be an IEM which punched well above its price bracket and truly outshone other IEMs in the same price range. The Titan 5 is a higher end model in the same line and the two IEMs share numerous similarities.
     
    T5_Official.jpg
     
    Given the fact that I enjoyed the Titan 5 so much, I really looked forward to trying out the Titan 5. The 5, like the 1, utilises a single dynamic driver in a style which is rather reminiscent of an earbud. Given the fact that they look almost identical to the Titan 5, I expected a similar Dunu house sound and that is just about what I got.
     
    The pricing of the Dunu Titan 5 is $195SGD from LendMeUrEars or around $140USD at the time of writing and is priced just a little bit above the Titan 1. It is, however, cheaper than the DN-1000 and under half the price of the DN-2000.
     
    **Disclaimer** These were provided to me for free in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
     
     

    Unboxing & Accessories

    The Titan 5 comes with a very similar package to the Titan 1, it does a very good job with protecting the earphones, and provides you with all the relevant information and details. Overall, the packaging looks excellent.
     
    There aren’t that many things that come with the Titan 5, but it comes with most of the necessary accessories. There are 6 sets of tips, a standard 3.5mm to ¼ inch adapter, a pair of stabilisers, a cable clip and a case. The case is the same one that the Titan 1 uses, which is a relief. I did not enjoy the DN-900 and DN-2000 cases at all. It does its job and protects the IEMs well. The tips were a bit of a letdown, they felt a little flimsy and none of them really sealed very well. I used some aftermarket “Heir” tips (grey and red). The wings or stabilisers worked very well, maybe a tad big for my small ears, but they did their job and the IEMs didn’t even come close to falling off.
     
    t3-5-6.jpg
     

    Design, Isolation & Cable

    The Titan 5 is based very heavily on the Titan 1 design and both are built very well. With the housing constructed primarily of steel, the IEMs feel very solid and looks great too. One of the best upgrades the Titan 5 has is the addition of a removable cable. This way you are able to simply buy another cable if the cable breaks rather than sending it in for repair. Comfort is good, without the wings I wore them for hours with minimal discomfort. With the wings, however, they became significantly less comfortable, but they were much more stable in my ear. They can be worn both straight down and over the ear, though it is a little bit hard to keep them over the ears. The Titan 5 feels like a truly high end a very well built product.
     
    The isolation is a little better than the almost non-existent isolation on the Titan 1, but it is nowhere near impressive. These look like earbuds and hardly isolate any better than regular earbuds. The vents and very shallow seal means that it is very easy for sound to get in. I’d say that it is only a good idea to use them inside where there is not a lot of noise.
     
    The cable is good, and pretty much the same as every other Dunu cable I have used. The strain reliefs are rather well built and do their job. The cable is perhaps a little thin, but this also means that it is very flexible. The cable is around 1.2m long and come with a slider above the y-split, which is a relief. This makes wearing the IEM over the ear much easier. The plug feels pretty solid and I didn’t experience any cuts outs at all, something that happens sometimes with IEMs which have a removable cable. Microphonics is also very good, both worn up and down.
     
     

    Testing Gear

    Most of my testing was done on the D14-P5 with PS, but I also gave it a run with DX80 and an iPhone 6. All of the devices and combinations drove the IEM sufficiently, it isn’t an overly demanding IEM, but I did feel like the performance improved appreciably when the IEM was amped very simply on the IP6. The best combination was expectedly the iBasso stack, but they sounded almost as good on the DX80. With amping, the bass seems to be punchier and hits harder. The overall sound is more controlled and smooth. I would recommend pairing the Titan 5 with a DAP or with a cheap amp.
     
     

    Sound Quality

    Given how impressed I have been with every single one of Dunu’s IEMs that I have tried, I had no reason to suspect otherwise with the Titan 1. The Titan 1 took the spot of my favourite budget IEM and given the low pricing of the Titan 5, it replaces the Titan 1 in that spot for me. The Titan 5 is a truly impressive IEM when it comes to sound quality and is perhaps the best performer when it comes to price/performance that I have heard.
     
    t5_frontside.jpg
     

    Bass

    Generally, I have found Dunu IEMs to be somewhat V shaped with an emphasised bass and the Titan 5 is no different. The bass is definitely the highlight for me, it is perfectly balanced, not too much and not too light. The bass is punchy and energetic; it manages to have very good impact while staying very fast. There is no bloat whatsoever. The detail of the bass is extremely impressive, not just for an IEM of this price range, but for higher end IEMs as well. The bass is controlled well and at no time did I feel like it got too much. The mid-bass was emphasised more than the sub-bass, which I actually found to be rather neutral. Bass extension was very good and I didn’t feel like the bass rolled off at the lower registers. The sub-bass was quite flat – not emphasised, but no early roll off either. Rumble is good, but it isn’t for bassheads who like to hear an emphasised sub-bass, you won’t find it here. The tone of the bass is one of the most well balanced without sacrificing overall clarity that I have heard in an IEM.
     
     

    Midrange

    The midrange is undoubtedly pulled back a little but I wouldn’t exactly call it recessed. It has the same tone that I love from the Titan 1, but it improves on it in terms of clarity. There is a sense of realism while still being somewhat analytical. Yes, they were definitely pulled back a little, but I didn’t feel like this bothered me at all. It really shines on female vocals, where it sounds very sweet and extremely clear. There is a little bit of an upper midrange boost and this means that vocals sound crystal clear. Male vocals sound a little sharper than I would usually like, but it wasn’t too bad. Instruments sounded clear and generally had a natural timbre to them, but with pianos I found the Titan 5 to be a little thinner than I usually like. Stringed instruments sounded very natural and realistic while being very detailed, more so than the Titan 1. A small issue I had was minor vocal sibilance on higher volumes. Despite the midrange being a little pulled back, I found them to be very impressive, which excellent detail and realism.
     
     

    Treble

    The treble feels more upfront than the Titan 1, which I find to be a good thing. Gone in the mid treble dip and this is instead replaced by an upper treble boost. Extension is better on the Titan 5 and I felt like the treble was quite smooth with no significant peaks, but it is definitely on the brighter side of neutral. Something I realised was that it is more refined than the slightly grainy treble of the Titan 1. Treble detail is excellent and it really shines with cymbals. They have just the right amount of sparkle and a good decay. The treble was not harsh at all, and I didn’t feel like there was any sibilance at all, even at high volumes. Something I have to pick on is how they present the micro details. They presented some minute details in the treble that I really wasn’t expecting to here, from a soft bell to a guitar string. The treble is wonderfully balanced and extends beautifully. While I wouldn’t exactly call his bright, it is very clean and detailed without being harsh.
     
    DUNU2BTITAN2B5-2.jpg
     

    Soundstage & Imaging

    The Titan 1 really surprised me with just how large the soundstage was and for the price, I had never heard anything like it before. The Titan 5 has a similar soundstage to the Titan 1. Together, they are two of the best IEMs in regards to soundstage under $200 by quite a margin. The vents and earbud design probably has something to do with this. The large soundstage does come with a horrendous isolation though. It is perhaps even larger than the DN-2000. The width and height is impressive, but what is even more so is the depth, or more specifically, how the Titan 5 presents the depth of the stage. The stage has a very 3D feel to it and is something nothing I have heard (other than the Titan 1) does in this price range.
     
    The imaging is equally as impressive and here is it even better than the Titan 1. It is very precise and it presents a sense of space very well. Instruments and where they were was very sharp and the layering is all awesome. I think that the Titan 5 is maybe even better than the DN-2000 in this area.
     
     

    Separation, Detail & Clarity

    The separation improves on the Titan 1, but it still falls a little short of multi BA IEMs in this price range. The single dynamic driver of the Titan 5 isn’t as good in this area as multiple BA drivers. It handles most tracks with ease, but on some busier passages, the music starts to be a little more congested. It isn’t too bad at any time, but it is worth mentioning that it doesn’t do quite as well as other top contenders here.
     
    The Titan 5 is the most detailed IEM under $200 that I have personally tried. I think that this is pretty clear to me, not much comes close. It is much more detailed than the Titan 1 because of the more open treble. It isn’t one of those analytical IEMs however; it’s far from that actually. I’d actually say that the Titan 5 is one of the more fun IEMs that I have heard, it combines energy with detail for a very convincing package.
     
    The Titan 5 excels in clarity due to the slightly accentuated upper midrange and upper treble. Instruments sound very clear as do voices. This is mostly a positive, but in some instances, this can mean that the sound is not quite as realistic as I would have liked.
     
    Dunu-Titan-5-7-300x169.jpg
     

    Summary

    I wrote that the Titan 1 was the most perfect sounding IEM at its price and now the Titan 5 is, IMO, superior at a slightly higher price. Nothing comes close to it at its price point. However, this does not mean that this will necessarily be the choice for everyone. With an IEM, noise isolation is important to many people and unfortunately, the superior sound of the Titan 5 is met with a terrible isolation. When choosing an IEM in this price range, the Titan 5 is my first recommendation by far purely based on sound quality, but of course, you have to consider how important isolation is to you because this trade-off means that you will be limited as to where you can actually use this. 
     
    As always, thanks for reading this review and I hoped it helped. And just a note, the photos are taken from Google, if you own any of them and want me to take them down send me a message. 

      archdawg and menuki like this.
  10. mark2410
    DUNU TITAN 5 Quick Review by mark2410
    Written by mark2410
    Published May 2, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - First rate sound quality. Staging and scale are epic.
    Cons - Negligible Isolation. That lower treble peak. Its siblings exist.
    DUNU TITAN 5 Quick Review
     
    Thanks to DUNU for the sample.
     
    Full review here http://www.head-fi.org/t/806906/dunu-titan-5-review-by-mark2410
     
    Brief:  DUNU have triplets.
     
    Price:  £95 or US$140
     
    Specification:  Driver: 13 mm Titianium drivers, Frequency Response: 10 Hz- 40KHz, Sound pressure level: 108 +/- 2 dB, Impedance: 32 Ohm, Plug Size: 3.5 gold-plated plug, Cord length: 1.2m
     
    Accessories:  1 X case, 1 X 3.5mm to 6.3mm audio adapter, 1 X shirt clip, 6 pairs of silicon tips
     
    Build Quality:  Very nice.  The buds are CNC’ed metal, the cable is removable from the beds and thusly replaceable if you kill it.  The cable feels alright, very light and flexible and the jack is metal as usual.  It’s a rather nice package.
     
    Isolation:  Well it’s a very open IEM, hence the isolation it offers is very slight.  If you want isolation then this isn’t for you.
     
    Comfort/Fit:  For me great.  I mostly wore them up which worked fine by swapping right and left.  With that done I was happy to wear all day.  Worn down I found their shallow fit made them regularly tugging and being distracting.
     
    Aesthetics:  They look pretty good I think.  Nothing amazing but still quite nice.
     
    Sound:  Well the meat of thing, they sound pretty damn fantastic.  Seriously they are wow for an IEM, the air, the scale, the airiness, the detail levels are all crazy.  No question the TITAN 5 is amazingly good.  The problem is its slight V shape sound isn’t really the best suited to their abilities and thus I constantly think the 1 and 3 are what I’d go with.  It’s a shame really for the 5 as they are great.  The bass is a big full bodied affair, so clean and sculpted yet willing to rise up at a moment’s notice.  The treble is a little less well behaved.  When pushed its upper mid / lower treble range want to get a little bit excitable and “assertive.”  It will leap out and scream at you a little.  The mids, clean, open and highly detailed.  They really are a breathy wonder in their own right, they really are.  Trouble is I’d pick the 1 or the 3 over the 5 in pretty much every situation I can think of.  The range shows the driver which I’m sure they all share is freakishly good but the tuning here, these want to be proper audiophile IEM’s and the tuning I can’t see appealing to hard core audiophiles.  On the other side I can’t see it being as dramatically V shaped as might make it more popular with the masses.  It feels a little bit like its sitting in a room by itself, not quite one thing nor the other. 
     
    So the Titan 5 is a great IEM, it’s just its siblings are every bit as capable but with preferable sound signatures.
     
    Value:  Excellent.  The sound quality and capabilities for their price you get a bargain just like everything with DUNU stamped on it has been.
     
    Pro’s:  First rate sound quality.  Staging and scale are epic.
     
    Con’s:  Negligible Isolation.  That lower treble peak.  Its siblings exist.
      jinxy245 likes this.