DUNU-TOPSOUND DK-3001 (Hybrid Earphone for High Resource Sound Generator)

General Information

Product description ★ The DK-3001 is a high-end high-res Hybrid earphone that utilizes the development technology of 1 dynamic driver + multiple BA driver configuration cultivated by DUNU. ◆ 1 Dynamic Driver, 3 Balanced Armature Driver Composition, a total of 4 driver configurations, featured driver tuning that was thought out until the connection between the drivers unique to DUNU has passed through very smooth details, different from the DN series DK series No. 1 It is a high end high resolution hybrid earphone of bullets. We do not make any compromise on the sound quality, we will deliver the balance of the sounds we have reached over a year or more from the start of development. ◆ The housing adopts S316 stainless steel to raise the rigidity to eliminate unnecessary resonance and the balance door mortar driver is equipped with Knowles' dual balanced armature driver and three single balanced door mortar drivers. ★ The DK - 3001 comes with a 3.5 mm plug unbalanced cable and 2.5 mm plug balance cable as standard ◆ DUNU original upgrade cable is sold separately, but the standard 5N grade OCC 3.5mm unbalanced cable and the 5N grade OCC 2.5mm plug "balanced cable" are included as standard! If you have a DAP capable of balanced connection, you can use the balance cable immediately. ★ DK - 3001 is a hybrid earphone compatible with high reso - tone sound source released with changing the series name from DUNU 's previous DN series. ● Third-party mmcx cable can also be used with general-purpose mmcx terminal ● Knowles' balanced Door Marture Driver 3 + Polymer Liquid Crystal Polymer 13 mm Diameter Dynamic Driver Total '4 Drivers' Hybrid Earphone ● Besides 3.5 mm standard cable (unbalanced), 2.5 mm balance cable is also included as standard ● Housing uses S316 stainless steel housing

Latest reviews

Pros: Precisely harmonic sound
-Solid build quality
-Lots of accessories including 2.5mm cable
Cons: Fit may not work for some
-May cause fatigue after long listening
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Dunu DK-3001 - The steady seller

Following up with the recently uploaded Falcon-C, here comes another Dunu review. This time it will be the DK-3001, audiophile's beloved hybrid IEM of all times. DK-3001 has been staying as their flagship model for many years until recently announced DK-4001 and probably gained the most attention among their product lines. DK-3001 has a price tag of $499 which is now their second most expensive IEM.

Though before moving on to the review, let me share a quick behind story. This review was suppose to be composed a very long time ago, at least more than two years. Though my hard drive died and I've lost significant amount of review pics I've taken, including these. My written impressions were still alive, though couldn't re-do the photos since I no longer had the DK-3001 with me from that point. Though it recently came to my attention that the DK3001 photos were also preserved elsewhere.. so here it is! Photo styles and ratios are quite different from now, but I think it's good enough to post (also brings me good nostalgic memories..) Enough with that, let's now resume to the review.




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Packaging

DK-3001 comes in with the good old packaging style Dunu has been using. At the corner of the box, it shows that this one is also qualified for the JP High-Resolution standard. Not having one doesn't mean it's for no good, but at least allows us to expect some quality sound. Other than the earphone itself, the packaging includes additional 2.5mm (default being 3.5mm), 6 pairs of silicon tips, 4 pairs of Spinfits, 1 pair of foam tips, airplane adapter, 6.3mm adapter, a shirt clip, a hard case, and some paper works.




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Earpieces

The earpieces are fully made out of stainless steel and detachable to be used with any other MMCX cables. DK-3001 is packed with three BA drivers and a large 13mm dynamic driver. It has a matte black color and looks neat yet sexy, which is now Dunu's signature color. I remember the earlier batch of these had weak MMCX connector issues, but I'm quite sure they've got it fixed since their Falcon-C started to use the customized sockets.




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Cables

Those two included cables each have 2.5mm and 3.5mm termination. Cable materials for both are 5N OCC Copper and they're very smooth. They have memory earguides which is one of the most comfortable earguides I've experienced so far, fitting like a glove. The material feels quite similar to the ones that come with Sony IEMs. Besides that, there's a silicon cable strap attached near to the plug which I found it very convenient for use.





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Sound Impressions: Lows

DK-3001 has an energetic W-shaped sound signature. I've tested the DK-3001 with AET07 & Spiral Dot eartips. Ultra/sub-bass calmly spreads out deep and dark, making it feel like to be holding up the upper frequencies. The sub-bass quantity is just about the right amount, similar to those typical slightly v-shaped signatures. Strike and decay is quite fast and keeps the edges of the bass clean and vivid. DK3001 is generous when it comes to presenting the bass, though it achieves this without excessively increasing the bass amount, making it suitable for both old-school and trendy genres. Both the quantity and quality should be appreciable for most audiophiles.




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Sound Impressions: Mids

Mids are pulled out forward with a bright and lively tone. I could see it from the first glance that Dunu has done a great job forming that good harmony with DD and BA drivers as DK3001 possess a quite a unique characteristics. It doesn't feels like a full DD IEM nor a full BA IEM but doesn't feel awkward at all.

Vocals are expressed in an energetic, enthusiastic way to the point where it feels like the vocals are getting blasted out after a full charge. It has a slightly cool temperature but not so far from being neutral. Upper mids are cooler with more air, leading into a refreshing sound. The sibilance are pretty nicely controlled and trimmed, so there aren't any noticeable peaks or spikes to it. Though due to the relatively bright upper mids, it's hard to say it's suitable for a long listening usage. However I should point out that the reason behind is quite different from those typical bright sounding IEM as the slight fatigue happens because of the temperature, not from the sibilance - I'd say 2~2.5 hrs would be good to go without ear fatigues.

The thickness on the mids are neutral but I found female vocals to sound more attractive due to the additional sparkles on the upper frequencies. For a short comparison with Dunu's previous hybrid IEM DN-2002, mids on DK-3001 sound smoother, more coherent and stabilized.




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Sound Impressions: Highs, etc.

DK-3001 follows that shiny, colorful that started from the mids. Treble strikes are on point right on the middle and decays very quickly, but the real good part is that this IEM still does a nice job picking up the small reverbs, despite the fast decay. Trebles have the similar cool tone temperature but slightly takes a step back from the mids, keeping the vivid existence but doesn't get so hot. The textures are well refined without getting dry. Its deep diving bass and vibrant, refreshing upper frequencies create quite a wide headroom, both sideways and up/down. The slight highlight on the layering keeps the sound spatial and engaging. Each frequencies are naturally but distinctively organized, not only making each frequencies to vividly pop out but also for vocals and instruments. Due to all these characteristics DK-3001 matches very well on various genres including classicals, but especially with stringed instruments.




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Verdicts

Listening to these would explain all why DK-3001 has been a steady seller worldwide. It just a lovable sound that many would appreciate - wide, dense, and refreshing sound characteristics are hard to go wrong. Previously reviewed Falcon-C is great too, but DK-3001 out performs on almost every aspect. In fact, DK-3001 doesn't lose out much even in terms of imaging (or image specifying), which is very impressive while we're talking about a hybrid multi-driver IEM compared to a single driver IEM. Normally single driver IEMs always outdo multi-driver IEMs with a noticeable gap, so you'll get the idea on how well these were tuned.

So wrapping up this review, if you're looking for a sub-flagship IEM with W-shaped rich sound signature I would definitely check these out first before hopping onto the new gears. I know DK-4001 has just been released, though now would be a good time to look back and light up the attention on these as it still performs great against equally priced new products. It's a highly reputed IEM that's hard to go wrong.



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Dunu DK-3001 has been purchased by myself.
I am not affiliated with Dunu and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.
Pros: Excellent treble resolution and tonality, well-metered mid-bass response, good impact and rumble, excellent construction, includes balanced cable, large accessory package, natural timbre
Cons: Ergonomics not suited for listeners with small ears
DUNU DK-3001: Your Friendly Neighborhood Hybrid
A hybrid IEM is one that uses at least one dynamic driver in concert with at least one other balanced armature driver. This, in theory, allows the IEM to leverage the strengths of the dynamic driver to compensate for the weaknesses of balanced armature drivers. Such thinking is what drove DUNU to build their flagship IEM, the DK-3001, with three balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver. Designed with sound-quality and durability as a priority, the DK-3001 seems like a compelling offering. But how hard does it work for its price tag?

You can find the DK-3001 for sale here for $480.

About My Preferences: Heads up, I’m a person! As such, these words are my opinion, and they are tinged by my personal preferences. While I try to mitigate this as much as possible during my review process, I’d be lying if I said my biases are completely erased. So for you, my readers, keep this in mind:

  • My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass. A slightly recessed, but linear, midrange, and a well-extended, but not overly strong, treble.
  • I have a mild treble sensitivity.
Source: The DK-3001 was powered like so:

HTC U11 -> USB-C adapter -> earphones

or

Hidizs AP100 3.5mm out -> FiiO A5 3.5mm out -> earphones

or

HiFiMAN SuperMini -> earphones

or

PC optical out -> HiFiMe SPDIF 9018 Sabre DAC 3.5mm out -> earphones

All music was served as MP3 @320Kbps or as FLAC. The DK-3001 is source dependent and seems to prefer sources that have ~ 1.6 Ω of output impedance.

Tech Specs
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz-40KHz
  • SPL: 110+/-2dB
  • Impedance: 13Ω
  • Cable length: 1.2m
  • Weight: 31g
Sound Signature
Sonic Overview:

The DK-3001 articulates a warm presentation with some boosting to the vocals at 1–2KHz and has a smoothly increasing emphasis on treble from 4KHz to 10KHz. Midrange recession is well metered and reminiscent of a V-shaped sound signature. The bass has a notable mid-bass hump that synergizes well with its sub-bass. Overall a quite rich sound signature.

Treble: Songs used: In One Ear, Midnight City, Outlands, Satisfy, Little One, Send The Pain Below

The DK3001’s treble is cohesive, resolving, and well toned. The faint amp-buzz in the intro of In One Ear was easily distinguishable. Literally, each slam of the high-hats throughout the entire song was defined and distinguishable, with remarkable directional specificity too. In Send The Pain Below you can clearly hear the fingers of the rhythm guitarist sliding up and down the strings during the bridge and opening, a feat made possible only by the remarkable precision of the DK-3001’s treble.

Treble-bound synths and sound effects sound pretty darn good as well. Any reasonably mastered electronic song will demonstrate this, but in this case, Midnight City, my benchmark song for testing synths, proved it quite easily. The rhythm synth that plays in the background of the song during the intro and choruses was distinct and easily audible throughout the entire song, and never sounded sharp or blown-out.

Midrange: Songs used: Flagpole Sitta, Jacked Up, I Am The Highway, Dreams, Too Close, Little Black Submarines

The DK-3001’s midrange is built to handle all sorts of different mastering styles. Its extra warmth gave Flagpole Sitta, a song mastered with an uncommon level of linearity, a good amount of warmth and wetness, almost like a well-tuned speaker system. Bass guitars (which live both in the lower midrange and the bass frequencies) sound well defined with distinctly weighty characteristic, especially in Flagpole Sitta and I Am The Highway.

Both electric and acoustic guitars take on a lifelike tonality that often escapes multi-BA ChiFi IEMs. With the Dk-3001, it’s not uncommon to be able to hear the individual plucking of an acoustic guitar or listen to fingers sliding down the individual frets of the neck during an electric guitar’s chorus. This makes listening to rock and jazz and absolute pleasure, the earlier of which the DK-3001 seems to be particularly suited to be paired with.

Bass: Songs used: Moth, Gold Dust, In For The Kill (Skream Remix), War Pigs (Celldweller Remix)

The DK-3001’s dynamic driver is very capable. It presents you with a bass that is full of impact and rumble. While it doesn't have as solid a presentation as, say, the B400, it has a much livelier and more life-like tonality than many of its BA-only competitors. It never overwhelms to stocky lower-midrange and avoids ever devolving into a mess; it’s quite professional in that way.

Bass speed is a bit above average for dynamic drivers but doesn’t reach the levels of titanium or PEEK drivers. It does, however, decay naturally and allow for the expression of complex tones and resonation.

EDM enthusiasts and bass-heads will find a friend in the DK-3001. Its a refreshingly capable take on a bassy-yet-detailed kind of IEM. I’ve not encountered one like this in a while, the last time being when I bought myself a Rose Cappuccino MK. II.



Packaging / Unboxing


Build
Construction Quality

The DK-3001’s shells are built entirely from a smoothly finished metal. Pressed with precision into the metal is a DUNU logo on both pieces. On the inner face of the shell is a small vent.

The nozzle is above average in the length. It is topped with a fine metal mesh that sites essentially flush with the nozzle’s tip.

A cylindrical volume is attached to the DK-3001’s shells. It contains the MMCX connectors. They are very firm and are attached quite well to their housing. The stock cables have zero free rotation, and can only be moved when deliberate force is applied. I expect them to naturally loosen over time, however.



The DK-3001 comes with two cables: one terminated with a 3.5mm jack and on terminated with a 2.5mm balanced jack. Other than their terminations, the cables are identical. The Y-splitter, chin slider, and jack housing are each made from a smoothly finished metal, capped with a silver accent. both the Y-splitter and jack housing have quite good stress relief.

The MMCX jacks are housed in plastic and are joined directly with the memory-wire ear-hooks on the cable. They act as a natural stress relief, so no extra reinforcement is necessary here.

Comfort

The DK-3001, in spite of its radical shape, is quite comfortable to wear. Due to its insertion depth, it is easy to get a nice seal using both silicone and foam eartips. I had no issues wearing the DK-3001 during my extended listening sessions.

Accessories


Inside the box you’ll find

  • 1x hard carrying case
  • 1x pair of Comply eartips
  • 4x pairs of SpinFit eartips
  • 6x pairs of silicone eartips
  • 1x airline adapter
  • 1x 1/4in adapter
  • 1x shirt clip
  • 1x 2.5mm cable
As is with most of DUNU’s products, the DK-3001 is exceptionally well-equipped. The vast array of silicone eartips included all but guarantees that you’ll find comfort with them. If that fails, you still have class-leading foam eartips to fill-in the gaps (haha, get it).

The included case is light, very hard, and features a cushioned interior. I have no doubts that the DK-3001 can survive some very harsh encounters when inside this case.

Comparisons
1: 1More Quad Driver ($200)

The Quad Driver, like the DK-3001, makes use of three balanced armature drivers and a single dynamic driver. They are both V-shaped, but the DK-3001 has a more pronounced and wetter mid-bass. The DK-3001 also features a more resolving treble that conveys more detail than the treble of the Quad Driver. And unlike the Quad Driver, the DK-3001 has an articulate lower-midrange, one that doesn’t get overwhelmed by the mid-bass. Given their price-differences, this is to be expected, but the DK-3001 decidedly outperforms the Quad Driver in every respect, at least to my ears.

2: DUNU Falcon C ($220)

The Falcon C is a fundamentally different type of IEM from the DK-3001. The Falcon C features a single dynamic driver while the DK-3001 uses a mix of both dynamic and balanced armature drivers. As far as sound goes, the DK-3001 is much more V-shaped and warm. The Falcon C has a more bright sound signature with a leaner mid-bass response and a similar sub-bass response. The rumble and punch of the Falcon C is cleaner than the DK-3001’s rumble and punch. The Falcon C’s dryer bass response is less suited for electronic genres than the DK-3001’s is, though. The Falcon C has similar levels of detail retrieval to the DK-3001 in the midrange and bass but ultimately loses to the DK-3001’s array of balanced armature drivers for detail retrieval in the treble.

Summary
DUNU’s hybrid flagship, the DK-3001, truly lives up to its moniker. Featuring a rich and engaging sound signature, plenty of detail retrieval, and a lively timbre, the DK-3001 carves out for itself a respectable image. After spending some time with the DK-3001, it is plain to see that it is one of the top choices for an IEM at this price-point. And while its ergonomics may not suit people with smaller ears, those whose anatomy can accommodate its unique shape will be glad they took the time to listen to it, especially if you are a fan of V-shaped sound signatures and heaps of bass!

As always, happy listening!
Pros: Extremely high quality sound, in terms of tone balance, layer separation; sense of rhytm, imaging. Easily competes with IEM's costing several times the price.
Cons: Not the most comfortable (but works very well with foam tips); I would have preferred a different connector for the replaceable cable.
One year and half ago, I reviewed the Dunu DN2002 and found them to be one of the best sounding IEM’s for the price. They were very neutral, rich sounding, both in terms of tonality and detail retrieval.
Their biggest quirk was a large housing for the hybrid driver design, discomfortable to several users, especially in the ability to keep the seal between the eartips and ear canal. The problem could be solved by using foam tips, but they would still feel quite large and heavy. The sound, though, was amazing.

After several months, DUNU finally put the DK3001 in production, with a different driver assortment compared to the DN2002: where the DN2002 are composed of two dynamic drivers and two balanced armature drivers for each channel, the DK 3001 use 3 balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver for each side.
DUNU is not new to experimenting with so many creative solutions in terms of driver combinations, and this sets them apart from most manufacturers.
As a start, the DK3001 is a bit more comfortable than the DN2002, the housing is more balanced, although still quite large.

In terms of sound signature, the DUNU DK3001 are a side step to the DN2002. The DN2002 has slightly rolled off highs, excellent midrange, and very good bass response. The DK3001 has more bite. The DK3001 is a slight U-shaped take over the DN2002 signature. It has, primarly, more aggressive-energic high frequencies, and more powerful bass. They retain the sense of naturalness and warmth of the DN2002, but everything is a bit more tilted, rhytm inducing, toe tapping. The general sense of satisfaction is drawn by both the fullness and the “kick” coming from the bass liveliness and treble richness. The more powerful high frequency output, compared to the DN2002, translates to a crisper perception during the listening sessions. Still, the higher volume is perceivable without being sibilant: this means there aren’t any spikes in the lower / middle treble, which would have proven unpleasant. The treble response must very extended, rolling off only at very high frequencies, and gently. I guess the three balanced armature drivers taking care of the midrange and treble frequency range, allow for fine tuning and lack of regions that can get out of control.

Usually, I wouldn’t regard a “U” shaped headphone much, because in most cases, this would mean “sucked-out midrange”, and hollow signature. But the DK3001 is so organic, natural sounding and the additional crispness and bass impact over the DN2002 are more akin to adjustments. I would say both are on a similar level, where the DN2002 has a lower profile approach, naturally letting the music flow and almost disappearing, while the DK3001 give it push and could actually be preferable due to the stronger sense of “feeling” the music, the additional sense of speed, transparency, refined treble and slightly more comfortable housing.

There is something that I would see from Dunu, though, and it’s related to the connectors used by the removable cable plug/socket design: MMCX connectors, in the past, gave me some problems, getting loose over time (for example with my TFZ earphones). In my experience, a 2 pin connector would be more reliable in the long run.

This is the only fault I can really find in this product, which is otherwise stellar in its price bracket and can compete, and kill, models costing twice as much.

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