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

Rating:
4.23077/5,
  1. Cinder
    DUNU DK-3001: Your Friendly Neighborhood Hybrid
    Written by Cinder
    Published May 31, 2018
    4.5/5,
    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
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    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
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    Build
    Construction Quality

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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
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    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!
      digititus likes this.
  2. antonyfirst
    One of the best sounding high end IEM
    Written by antonyfirst
    Published May 2, 2018
    5.0/5,
    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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  3. Hisoundfi
    The future of hybrid in-ear monitors from DUNU
    Written by Hisoundfi
    Published Jan 10, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Phenomenal sound quality that breaks free from the typical hybrid sound, Full bodied and nicely balanced mid-range, All metal housings are solidly built. Package comes with a premium selection of tips (Spinfit, Comply Foam, two types of Silicone), Two premium cable options (3.5 mm standard and 2.5 mm balanced), All the accessories you need to use for multiple applications
    Cons - Isolation is below average (not an issue with music playing), Sensitivity issues with more powerful sources, Getting a consistent and comfortable fit can be tedious, Aggressively priced (but worth it IMHO)
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    At the time this review was written, the Dunu DK-3001 was listed for sale on Penon Audio and Amazon. Here are links to their listings of the product:

    https://penonaudio.com/dunu-dk-3001.html

    https://www.amazon.com/DUNU-DK-3001-Titanium-Detachable-Earphone/dp/B06XT1SYWF/

    Introduction
    2017 marked a renaissance for hybrid in-ear monitors. A couple of years ago there were only a few companies offering hybrids, primarily consisting of dual or triple driver designs, and they weren’t cheap.

    Dunu was one of the first to enter the hybrid ring with the DN-1000. They were definitely one of the early pioneers of this technology. To this day the DN-1000 (released about three years ago) is still an incredible sounding earphone that ranks very high on my list of all-time favorites.

    As more and more budget manufacturers bring dual and triple driver hybrid designs to market, the more notable names in the business are working on the next best hybrid designs. We’ve seen some pretty incredible advances in hybrids as time goes on. As previous breakthroughs in hybrid technology become more and more mainstream, the path is laid out for pioneers of the audio industry to take things to the next level. Enter the DK-3001 from Dunu.

    New designs create new trends, and for the last couple years hybrid earphones have created a stigma as being a V-signature that can provide listeners with the visceral bass impact and extension of a dynamic driver with midrange and treble accuracy of an armature driver. While many enthusiasts enjoy this type of sound reproduction, I’ve heard some hybrids that sound downright awful. There’s a fine line manufacturers teeter on that determines whether they’re utilizing this driver setup to maximize the listening experience, or bringing to market a disjointed, bloated, harsh and artificial sound. As I’ve stated in previous reviews, it doesn’t matter if an earphone has one or fifty drivers in each channel, what matters is how much fun they are to listen to.

    The DK-3001 is one of Dunu’s next breakthroughs in hybrid earphones. Dunu has made a name for themselves by staying ahead of the curve and bringing top of the line sound at mid-fi prices. The DK-3001 is just that. They’ve brought to market an earphone that breaks free from the hybrid stereotype and further advances the technology driving them. Let’s take a look and listen to the DK-3001, and find out why.

    Disclaimer

    I was given a free sample of the DK-3001 in exchange for my honest opinion and review. I am in no way affiliated with Dunu. I would like to take this time to personally thank the Dunu representatives for the opportunity to experience and review the product.


    REVIEW
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    The DK-3001 comes in a medium white sleeved box similar to previous models. A nice picture of the product is on the front along with the Hi-Res logo we see so often these days. For the record, the Hi-Res logo is awarded to earphones that have confirmed measurements that reproduce sound that covers and exceeds the limit of human hearing.
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    The back of the box features product and accessories information along with illustrations.
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    Opening the box I’m greeted with a glimpse of the earphones and case. Two high quality cables are laid underneath the foam cutout. The remaining Dunu accessories are located in the airtight carrying case.

    Specifications and Accessories
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    Description and Accessories
    Hi-Res Audio
    Four driver Hybrid Earphone
    Hi-Res Audio Awarded
    High molecular liquid crystal polymer film dynamic driver
    Knowles top audio balanced armature drivers
    Singal BA driver & Double BA driver
    Configured with Spinfit & Comply foam tips
    Premium Earphone Tips also included
    High precision S316 stainless steel housings
    3.5mm original cable and 2.5mm balanced cable enclosed
    Super purity 5N OCC cable with gold plated plug
    MMCX connector design Improve the playability
    Carrying case

    Specification
    Model No: DK-3001
    Type: Dynamic(13mm)*1 Balanced Armature*3
    F.Response:5Hz-40KHz
    Sound pressure level:110+/-2dB
    Impedance:13Ω
    Plug Size:3.5mm Gold-plated
    Cord length:1.2m
    Weight:31g


    Housings
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    The DK-3001 features a black powder coated black stainless steel metal shell. They are lightweight for the materials used and feel very sturdy. Dunu signs can be seen on the shell’s exterior.


    A red ring is located at the right channel of the MMCX connector (silver ring on the left), making it easy to identify each channel. The DK-3001 has a rotatable MMCX connection that seems premium. I didn’t have any issues using these regularly for the last few months.

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    The DK-3001 nozzle is slightly wider and shorter than the average in-ear monitor and has no lip. Although this is the case, I didn’t seem to have a lot of difficulty tip rolling for the most part (I wasn’t able to get Sony silicone tips to sit flush). The stock Spinfit tips are ideal for these earphones and will most likely be the most popular option.


    Cable, Y-Split, Cable Jack, Strain Reliefs
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    NOTE: The DK-3001 comes with two versions of the same cable, with the only difference being the jack termination. The first option is a 3.5 mm jack, the second option is a 2.5 mm balanced cable. I didn’t notice any difference between the two cables besides the termination. Rather than repeat myself, please apply the information in this section to both cable options.


    If you’ve owned a Dunu product in the past, you’ll be familiar with the jacketing used on the DK-3001. Dunu uses a premium black rubber coated cable that has minimal spring and memory.


    The DK-3001 uses a long memory wire at each channel. This wire is coated in a soft rubber that provides a decent level of comfort. One thing to note, like other earphones with this type of memory wire, the DK-3001 requires a considerable amount of wire manipulation to achieve a comfortable and secure fit. It can be tedious, but once this is accomplished it is a professional over-ear fit.


    The Y-Split is a black metal tube with a complimentary matching black metal ringed chin/neck slider. When not used the chin/neck slider sits flush with the Y-Split.


    Dunu provides a very well made (and sturdy) ninety degree metal and rubber jacketed cable jack. This is one of the best designed jacks in the business. I had no problems using this jack with any device, and enjoyed how pocket friendly the sturdy ninety degree jack was.


    Functionality
    The DK-3001 is a plug and play device geared towards maximizing the listening experience. The package doesn’t come with a microphone or remote option. The fact that it is a replaceable MMCX connector earphone, it opens up the options for an aftermarket purchase with this feature. Nowadays a nice mic/remote cable can be purchased for relatively cheap prices. My suggestion, if you do this make sure to buy an MMCX mic/remote cable with memory wire. The DK-3001 needs a memory wire to maximize and secure the earphone’s fit.


    Ergonomics, Fit and Microphonics, Isolation
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    Previous reviews have given poor scores in this criteria. While I can understand why some would have issues with the fit, if you spend some time tip rolling, experimenting with housing placement when wearing them and bending the memory wire to work best for your ears, you should get some really good results. I respectfully disagree with others who took a stance of these being unwearable.

    The DK-3001 has a disc shaped housing with a metal cylinder attached (where the MMCX connector is located). The edges of this cylinder have edges that can irritate the listener’s ear IF they are seated so they make contact inside user’s concha (the cavity of the ear). I’ve experienced similar issues with other earphones, most notably the Campfire Andromeda. I’ve been able to remedy this issue in both cases by experimenting with tips and manipulating how these earphones sit in my ear. Simply put, with the right tip and manipulation of the memory wire, I can achieve a secure and comfortable fit. Angling the housing so the cylinder rests outside my ears makes this earphone very comfortable and easy to listen to for hours.

    Before customizing the fit, I couldn’t wear these earphones for very long. After figuring things out for my ears, I was able to comfortably wear these for long listening sessions. Your mileage may vary, but I wouldn’t let other reports of a poor fit deter you from trying these earphones. Doing so might prevent you from experiencing some world class sound quality.

    Microphonics are virtually eliminated thanks to the over-ear fit and memory wire. Isolation is somewhat mediocre, as these earphones don’t provide and air tight or vacuum seal. I could easily hear my surroundings when using them. They will block some external noise, but a majority of my surroundings could be heard when music isn’t playing.

    Sound Review
    I did my demo with my usual gear. I used an LG-V20 and iPhone 6 for smartphone use, and either my Fiio X7, Aune M1S or iBasso DX80 DAP/Bushmaster D14 DAC/Amp for high fidelity portable use. For desktop use, I used my Toshiba Satellite Laptop in combination with a ifi micro iDSD playing at 32/192 kHz, or Aune S6/S7 combo. I tested them with several other sources as well. I used Google Music in its highest download quality (320 KBPS), and 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 assess and break down the gear’s response.


    Source Selection
    The DK-3001 is geared to sound great with your best portable source and music files. The earphone doesn’t discriminate against poorly recorded music, but at the same time they scale incredibly well. The DK-3001 is nicely balanced and plays all genres of music extremely well.

    Coming in at 13 Ohms and 110 dB of sensitivity the DK-3001 is a very sensitive earphone. Amplification and high gain are not needed to maximize sound quality. More powerful sources will yield a mild audible background hiss.

    Listening to them with warm and colored sources yields a different presentation from a lean and clinical sounding source, but they were equally as good and this will be a matter of preference. While I listened to them the most through my LG V20 (mainly due to convenience), my favorite listening sessions were listening to DSD files through my iFi micro iDSD, Fiio X7 and Aune M1S.

    The DK-3001 is a music lover’s earphone. They combine musicality and detail wonderfully. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to my entire music collection with them. Listen to the DK-3001 with your best portable source on low gain and I can almost guarantee you will enjoy what you hear.


    Sound Signature
    Finally, we get to the part where I feel the DK-3001 sets itself apart from most hybrid earphones!

    Having heard many of Dunu’s previous hybrid earphones (primarily the DN-1000 and DN-2000J) I was expecting an earphone that gears primarily towards detail and doesn’t shy away from sub-bass and sibilant areas. That WAS NOT the case this time around. I am pleasantly surprised with what Dunu has done here. The DK-3001 is a generally balanced sounding earphone with more mid-bass punch and warmth, and less perceptual top end as compared to their previous hybrid offerings.

    Dunu has taken four drivers and made a hybrid that is NOT V-shaped, is relatively well balanced, and also added a little color and musicality. I expect this earphone will win over the ears of those who previously stereotyped hybrid sound as unnatural.


    Bass
    Something Dunu has always done with their hybrids is offer a phenomenal bass response. That legacy continues with the DK-3001, but has a more mid-bass focus as compared to other products in their lineup. This is tastefully done and very well executed.

    Sub bass is there, and the extension is decent. During Daft Punk’s “Doin’ it Right” I could hear every note clearly and with great tone. However, I can’t classify it as visceral or robust. Mid-bass tones are a step up from the lowest registers. To my ears it seems as though Dunu’s intention was to give you all the information and present it in a more musical approach. They took the emphasis off the ends of the sound spectrum and bumped up the neighboring frequencies.

    Mid-bass is slightly forward and full-bodied. The mid-bass presentation is punchy, bold and growls when warranted. There’s no distortion to speak of. Mid-bass bleed doesn’t even need to be mentioned in this review. Kudos to Dunu for their ability really dial it in just right with the transition from mid-bass to mid-range tones. There’s a sense of dynamics that sounds a lot more natural and engaging than most other hybrid earphones. With some music genres that utilize fast paced and complex music passages, the attack and decay of bass notes did seem a micro-fraction slower than upper frequencies. This was only noticeable during critical listening, and didn’t necessarily negatively impact my impression of them.

    Mid-range
    Dunu takes a leap forward with the midrange tuning of the DK-3001. As compared to something like the DN2000J, the new DK-3001 has more color and dynamics. There’s more timbre and texture in the middle frequency ranges. The DK-3001 pulls this off while still maintaining a world class level of detail and separation. While not as clinical or detailed as the DN-2000J, I find myself enjoying it more thanks to the overall more musical nature. The midrange is highly enjoyable, and what I consider to be the best part of this earphone’s sound presentation.

    During Metallica’s “One” the multiple guitars and bass guitar weaved in and out from each other beautifully and with a natural and full presence. Unlike many other hybrids, the DK-3001 has the mid-range girth to make bass guitars sound very relevant and phenomenal. At the same time Dunu hits a sweet spot in the sense that male vocals sound natural and are never came across as bloated. Low notes on pianos have timbre. While there isn’t a range of the sound spectrum that takes center stage, mid-range is very relevant and has a unique and enjoyable sense of detail and musicality that many will appreciate.

    Upper mid-range has a forward presence somewhat similar to mid-bass tones. As previously mentioned, the more forward mid-bass presence along with the slightly forward upper mid-range give a perception of an all around more balanced, textured, dynamic and cohesive sound as compared to many other hybrids.


    Treble
    Treble hits a sweet spot for me. Similar to sub-bass tones, the information is there, but treble sounds aren’t stealing the show. Sibilant sounds are audible without being overbearing or harsh whatsoever. I can hear sharp pronunciations of the letters S and T, but it’s relaxed enough to not be strident or bothersome (even at loud volumes). Cymbal crashes actually crash, but are a step back from upper mid-range sounds. What I like most about the DK-3001 treble response is that they’ve taken the armature-ish shrillness out of it’s treble response. Those who’ve been around the earphone scene long enough should know what I’m trying to say here.

    Don’t get me wrong, the DK-3001 isn’t a “rolled-off” sound by any means. They are crisp without ever being horribly sibilant or what I consider as harsh. Of all the Dunu earphones I’ve heard, this is the most natural sounding treble presentation I’ve heard. I’m not sure if this is thanks to the more forward neighboring frequencies, or if they’ve made some changes in treble tuning. All I can say is that it works well.

    Soundstage and Imaging
    This is one criteria where I feel that what you listen to, and what volume you listen to these at will determine your impression. With modern genres and at low volumes, soundstage suffers. Increase the volume a few dB and you will hear the soundstage open up.

    NOTE: I LOVE listening to hip-hop with these earphones. I really enjoy the way hip-hop vocals are rendered. The DK-3001 will make all genres sound good, but over the course of listening to these, the DK-3001 has become one of my all time favorite in-ear monitors for this genre.

    With acoustic and rock music, the DK-3001 soundstage is rather large, and only gets larger the louder you turn the music up. They get a high score in this criteria.

    In terms of imaging, I really think there’s something special about the midrange of these earphones. Although there’s not an extreme sense of soundstage depth, the combination of warmth, dynamics, separation and detail in the mid-range pushes me to give them a very high score.

    Comparisons
    20180110_193916.jpg
    Fidue Sirius ($999 to $1250 USD on many sites)
    The Sirius is an incredibly well built and great sounding earphone from one of Dunu’s biggest competitors. It’s one of the first four driver hybrids to hit the scene, and doesn’t come cheap (twice as expensive as the DK-3001).

    Holding the two in my hand they are both solidly built. However, the Sirius build quality is a large step forward. From the housing to the cable, materials on the Sirius appear to be more premium in just about every way. In terms of accessories I give them a draw.

    When it comes to sound, they’re both great. The Sirius is a more technical and slightly leaner sound with a more even representation of each frequency. That doesn’t necessarily mean it sounds better. It is more technical, but the Dunu packs a more musical and warmer signature that to my ears is more fun to listen to. The Sirius bass is more sub-bass focused while the Dunu is geared towards mid-bass and warmth. Bouncing back and forth between the two, Dunu gets a decisive advantage in mid-range presentation. The Sirius mid-range (although excellent) is a bit more flat and sterile in comparison to the Dunu offering. Let that be a testament to how good the Dunu mid-range is. Treble presentation is a draw. The high frequencies of the Sirius are more even and extended, but the DK-3001 is more clean and fun sounding to my ears.

    The Sirius is more source friendly at 20 Ohms and will perform better with a larger number of portable sources. The Dunu will work primarily with low powered sources.

    At the end of the day, I may give a slight edge to the Sirius, but not as much as the price would indicate. The Dunu is a more engaging sound with the lesser build quality. Sirius is the more technical and balanced sound with a more robust build and source applicability. Considering the DK-3001 is half the price, I’ll leave it up to you to decide what meets your preference (and price point) better.

    BGVP DM5 ($65 to $75 USD on many sites)
    The BGVP DM5 is another four driver hybrid earphone that comes in at a budget price. Just like the DK-3001, it features a dynamic driver and three Knowles armature drivers.

    Comparing the two, I’m actually more impressed by the shape and build quality of the DM5 housings. The DM5 has a more ergonomic shape and fit, and is made of all metal. Other than that, the DK-3001 is superior in every other way (sound, cable and accessories).

    The DM-5 follows the trend of the typical V-shaped hybrid sound. DM5 has a much more forward sub-bass presentation that is looser and boomier than the DK-3001. The DK-3001 bass response is tighter, more responsive and balanced than the DM5. The DK-3001 mid-range is leaps and bounds better than the DM5, making the DM5 seem dry and lifeless in comparison. Treble on the DM5 is more sibilant and harsh at higher frequencies. I can’t turn the volume up too high on the DM5 without the treble being to harsh. This comparison shows a classic comparison of the typical V-signature hybrid that misses the mark in terms of sounding natural, and also shows how Dunu has grown with their hybrid tuning. While the DM5 offers a lot of technology and doesn’t sound bad for the price, they fall short in bringing an earphone that can compete with the new top of the line hybrids that are hitting the market. The DM5 represents what hybrids were and sometimes still are, which isn’t necessarily bad. The DK-3001 represents what hybrids of the future will be.

    Conclusion (TLDR?)
    20180110_200420.jpg
    The DK-3001 is an advancement in hybrid technology and tuning. Their signature is an impressive blend of detail, balance and musicality. Simply put, they're a ton of fun to listen to. They break free from what we’ve grown to expect, not only in terms of earphones with this driver set up, but also what I’d expect a new Dunu earphone to sound like. They sound incredible to my ears (with a low powered source and high quality recordings).

    The DK-3001 is not cheap, but the sound quality I get from them justifies the asking price. The question is whether something will come along that outperforms this earphone at a lower price. At the moment there isn’t much that comes to mind. The DK-3001 rocks my entire music collection and makes every genre sound awesome. The DK-3001 isn’t selling technology alone, they’re selling technology that makes top dollar sound quality. I’ve had a lot of time to listen to these earphones, and I can say in all honesty that these earphones compete with the best in-ear monitors in the world in terms of sonic presentation (with the proper source and music files).

    The DK-3001 isn’t perfect product for everyone. The fit of these earphones is not the most ergonomic and ideal. However, with the right tips and a little patience you can achieve a great fit and make this a non-issue.

    When rating a product I have to take all criteria into account. The DK-3001 gets four and a half stars for build quality (they use high quality materials throughout), five stars for accessories, five big stars for sound, and four stars for fit and isolation. All in all I give the DK-3001 four and a half stars. They are phenomenally tuned, and with the right source and tips they will be the prize earphone in many people’s personal audio chains.

    20180110_200341_HDR.jpg
    Thanks for reading and happy listening!
    1. Dobrescu George
      Nice work!
      Dobrescu George, Jan 11, 2018
    2. Hisoundfi
      Thanks, George!
      Hisoundfi, Jan 11, 2018
  4. Hello1
    Dunu DK-3001 - Review After 6 Month of Use
    Written by Hello1
    Published Nov 3, 2017
    3.5/5,
    Pros - High sound quality
    Cons - Build and fit problems
    That’s going to be a short review, focusing only things that you might not read in other reviews.


    First, Dunu DK-3001 are my personal earphones. It’s not a loan, not a review-and-sell or demo item sent out by store or manufacturer. I bought these in early Summer 2017 for my own money, short after they were released.
    IMG_0138.jpg


    Housing

    They utilize metal housing and are rather heavy. Weight is not that big deal for over-the-ear fit, but I would still prefer plastic housing: lighter, softer, you can put them with your player or smartphone in one pocket without worrying of scratching it. Also these headphones, being metal, are quite cold to the touch when it’s cold weather outside.


    Cable

    Cable itself looks and feels good, I had no problem with it. The same story with L-shared 3.5mm plug: good and durable I don’t expect it to be a problem for anyone. But it’s also metal and a bit edgy, which, again, not nice for putting earphones in the same pocket with smartphone.


    Things are a little worse with over-the-ear memory cable: its a bit too long and goes further than my ears end. Because of that it’s more exposed to shaking from regular part of cable during walk. That’s why memory cable tends to loose its over-the-ear grip and sometimes I have to use my hands to make grip more confident.


    Detachable cable MMCX connector

    This is the biggest problem of Dunu DK-3001 for me. These are my first earphones with MMCX connectors, I don’t know how bad thing are in other models that have it, so I will say only about DK-3001.


    At first connector is very tough. I wanted to detach cable just out of interest and was applying force that I was afraid to pull harder because I could damage earpiece or cable, but cable was still there. When I managed to finally detach cable, second and third attach/detach were easier and easier. Not good tendency. After time MMCX connectors may became loose enough to lose earpiece.


    But that’s not it. After series of cable attach/detach, earpieces started to spin around cable with no resistance at all! When earphones were new, they had pleasant spin resistance that allowed to fix specific position. Take a look on how easily they spin now:
    Dunu1.gif Dunu2.gif

    It has a big impact on wear comfort, you can’t fix their position in ear anymore. And even worse: when walking, music starts to disappear! Because of bad cable connection, randomly but continuously, music just may jam for a fraction of second. This problem is big enough for earphones to become, basically, unusable on the street. When not walking, say sitting at home, they still do ok until MMCX connector gets minimal physical stress.


    Good news is that I think it’s more cable rather than earpiece problem. How do I know that? There is another, useless for me, 2,5mm cable in accessories. When I plugged it for a first time, it was tighter and I even had a spin resistance. That’s why I’m going to buy new cable and hopefully my earphones become usable on the street again.


    Fit

    Nozzles are quite short and fit is quite shallow, I would prefer them to have a deeper fit. Also they don’t have 2 or 3 flange tips in accessories, they could compensate that. But overall fit is Ok for everyday, but definitely not good enough to do sports. Noise isolation is average.


    Sound

    I had negative experience with Hi-Fi players, that’s why I’m listening them straight out of my MacBook Pro 2015 and IPhone 7.


    They sound good for money. Personally for me they are one of best I ever heard. But here I must say that I never listened latest high-end $800+ IEMs and didn’t compare them to others directly.


    Tonality is near neutral. To my taste, I would prefer them to be bass heavier, they don’t have much bass. In terms of quality, bass is quite good and extends deep, but not perfect: it also lacks a bit of punch. I used to own earphones that were cheaper and could make this bass pressure better (those were AKG-inspired Astrotec AX-60).


    Highs are typical for 3-4 driver balanced armature earphones: nice, detailed, but also a bit edgy and may be uncomfortable when listening music loudly. I prefer to reduce highs for 2-3 db’s in equalizer at 4-5-6 kHz band.


    Mids are detailed, music has good spaciousness.


    Verdict

    I tried to pay attention to potential pitfalls. All facts mentioned above, like metal housing or sound signature, etc, are not downsides, of course. It all boils down to personal preference. Except fit and cable issues. Consider all these, if it’s not a problem - these headphones may be just perfect for you.


    If you already bought them, I strongly recommend you not to detach cable unless you have necessity for that.
      1TrickPony likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Hello1
      I connected and disconnected the MMCX connector repeatedly, that's how it came loose.
      Hello1, Feb 6, 2018
    3. Hello1
      Small update in case if someone is interested: I bought new 3-rd party cable and replaced default one. With new cable, sound disappearing is gone, IEM's function properly now. But loose MMCX grip remained and they still spin like on gif's in review. But now it's only a comfort issue. I'm Ok with what I have now. This build problem is not specifically my unit's problem, all DK-3001 have it, so I'm not sure if warranty can help here.
      Hello1, Feb 6, 2018
      Dobrescu George likes this.
    4. Dobrescu George
      @Hello1 You know, Dunu is just extremely friendly, although the issue appeared on a few units, they still walk the extra mile to help you, if you send them back to them and let them do the warranty!
      Dobrescu George, Feb 6, 2018
  5. Zelda
    Dunu DK-3001 – Masters of hybrids?!
    Written by Zelda
    Published Sep 13, 2017
    4.5/5,
    REVIEW: Dunu DK-3001

    dk3001 (6).JPG


    Dunu Top-Sound strike again with another Hi-Res In-ear product! It’s been more than 2 years since the new hybrids models were announced, the DN-2002, DK-3001 and DK-4001. Last year we had the release of the first 4 driver, the DN-2002, which set a different drivers’ setup having two large dynamic drivers combined with the minuscule Knowles dual BA already adopted on the first triple hybrid earphone from the company, the DN-1000. Dunu surely take their time; it is around another year later that the first of the DK series finally appears to the worldwide market. The company certainly doesn’t like to rush things, and that’s a good thing, because the DK-3001 certainly delivers.



    Dunu TopSound Website

    DK-3001 page




    Specifications

    • Drivers: Single Dynamic (13mm) + Triple Balanced Armature
    • Shell material: 316L Stainless Steel
    • Frequency range: 5Hz ~ 40KHz
    • Impedance: 13Ω
    • Sensitivity: 110±2dB
    • Cable: 1.2m; 3.5mm Gold-plated
    • Weight: 31g



    Price (MSRP): U$D 499


    dk3001 (16).JPG


    Accessories

    • 3 pairs of single white silicone eartips (S/M/L)
    • 3 pairs of single grey silicone eartips (S/M/L)
    • 1 pack of SpinFit CP100 eartips in the 4 sizes (XS/S/M/L)
    • 1 pair of Comply Foam T-500 (Medium size)
    • Case
    • Clip
    • Airplane and 6.35mm adapters



    Like with any of the previous models, the Dunu package does not skimp on anything. From the box itself the DK-3001 already inspires premium quality. The unboxing is hassle free and everything arrives very well packed and nicely arranged.
    As usual, the accessory array is not lacking at all. However, the replaceable earguides are not included anymore, and instead of that, the DK-3001 arrives with 2 detachable cables with fixed memory wire on them, one of standard 3.5mm termination which is already attached to the earpieces and an extra 2.5mm balanced plug, and both included the very useful Dunu patented cable wrap from the very early budget models.


    dk3001 (19).JPG

    Design

    With the DK-3001 we’re finally seeing a whole new design from the previous Dunu’s hybrids models which all had a straight and quite large design. While the DN-2002 with its extra added dynamic driver already took a slightly different form factor it still had that larger design. Personally, I found the DN-2002 a step over the DN-1000 and 2000, especially with the unique detachable cable design and slightly smoother finish. However, this DK-3001 has a much more compact design with a strict over-ear fit that may or may not be welcome by many users. While the DN-2002 was the first from Dunu to have a 4 driver hybrid setup, it was done by adding the extra driver to the 1DD+2BA configuration. The previous hybrids were based on the Knowles BA small twin TWFK drivers adding the Dunu’s own dynamic part. The DK-3001, goes back on having just one dynamic unit and then adding another balanced armature, which is apparently an extra Knowles ED single unit. I don’t know the actual setup among these BA drivers, which one was used for mids and which for highs, but it has been very well tuned regardless. The large 13 speaker is obviously placed on the rear part of the shell and the 3-BA pack were apparently put towards the front angled nozzle part, something not easy to achieve considering the much compact design.

    dk3001 (26).JPG


    dk3001 (27).JPG

    As for build quality, needless to say that being a Dunu product it should be the best possible, simply flawless. Since the beginning of the company Dunu has impressed with the tough well assembled quality and has already became a reference to what really good quality should be. The DK-3001 follows the toughest material used on the DN-2002, a whole Stainless Steel (316L grade) shell design, as described on the product specifications. Truth or not, these are one of the best built earphones around the market. There a couple of vents that can be easily spotted on the earpieces, one towards the outside part and the other at the inner side.

    Unlike the DN models that could be worn on both up and down cable setup, the DK-3001 has a fixed over-ear design. With the flatter shape the earpiece just don’t stick out of the ears anymore. At first, getting a right fit with the new DK was not very easy, the nozzle is not as long as should have been for an over-ear design and the shells are not entirely smooth. While I usually preferred the single gray or white eartips from Dunu pack, the Spinfit gave the best results with the 3001. After some days the fit is very intuitive and surprisingly much more comfortable than even the DN-2002 which I already found better than the DN-1000 and DN-2000 (never tried the 2000J, unfortunately). The Spinfit also help to relieve the tighter contact between the metal earpieces and the outer ear. Maybe an extra pair of rubber/silicone rings could be useful (like those included on the 2000J). The DK-3001 is not as sealed as the DN-1000 or 2000, and thus the noise isolation level drops a bit in comparison, and even the 2002 is better in that regard. The 3001 is still a bit above average, good enough to daily commute, but not very recommended for very noisy environments.

    dk3001 (13).JPG


    Lastly, the cable is also special. The DK-3001 is the first of Dunu’s IEMs to finally use the more standard MMCX connection, without the ‘lock’ feature that was on the 2002 or the proprietary type of the Titan 3/5. However, being the Dunu flagship the cable connection is extremely tough and the reason of that is the split regular MMCX plug, which makes a much stronger attachment to the earpiece socket. Indeed, it is really difficult to detach the cable without using extra strength. There are fixed long memory-wired guides, reminiscent of the Sony EX and upper XBA options. The whole cable is of very good quality, thick yet pliable and without a hint of microphonics effect. Like with the DN-2002, the upper half of the cable tends to stiffen after some short time. The plug is terminated in L-shape and also made of strong metal material.

    dk3001 (21).JPG dk3001 (14).JPG

    Sound

    Main sources: Xduoo X3, Aune M1s (Single & Balanced 2.5), Lotoo PAW5000 and PAW Pico; Topping NX5, Headamp Pico Slim.
    Also briefly listened with Fiio X1-ii, X5-ii, X7, Cowon M2, Plenue D.


    The production of a good earphone is never an easy task, even more when getting into the higher hybrid types. Just a few years ago there weren’t so many companies that dare to take a gamble and release a more affordable hybrid to the masses. Today the market is simply saturated by way so many companies and random brands that just keep releasing a new hybrid IEM every now and then, and not limiting themselves to the basic 1DD+1BA equation but any kind of combination. It is never the type or amount of drivers that really matters in this game, but the actual tuning, crossover, impedance matching and coherence between the two drivers tech. The Dunu company is not a novice anymore; just a few years ago with the release of their first hybrid model, the DN-1000 that retailed around the lower U$200 tag, they managed to show their true capabilities. The DN-1000 was a very strong contender, though not 100% perfect with its very low impedance and noticeable drivers (in)-coherence; a typical ‘flaw’ for hybrid IEMs. Things got even better with the DN-2000 and later on with the 2000J version which adopted the special ‘titanium coated’ dynamic driver (similar to the one applied on the Titan 1). The last year DN-2002, while added the extra dynamic driver it still kept the Knowles dual TWFK formula. With this DK-3001 we can finally see something new in the Balanced Armature section but also go back to the single dynamic counterpart.

    Personally, I find the results to be very impressive. The ED+TWFK combination brings a new flavor to the Dunu family and the single large 13mm dynamic brings back the strength of the DN-2000 which reminds of the older single dynamic IEMs from the company. The DK-3001 has slightly improved in terms of drivability and source matching with a bit of higher impedance, and practically zero incoherence issues with most of the sources it was played with.

    While the tips selection is nice and usually gives some place to tweak the sound a bit, for the DK-3001 the different results were less noticed while the source selection played a much important role. Had to settle down with the Spinfit option as those give the best comfort fit result that despite the arguable design improvements, the DK’s shells are still not the most ergonomic thing among universal IEMs out there. The strict over-ear design is also more open and well vented and definitely has its effects on the sound presentation being more open and airy. The tuning is typical of Dunu with a lively sound, slightly warm, highly detailed with a large stage presentation. It does give the sense of a very wide U-shape frequency response but the separation is well achieved letting the midrange play an important role.

    First things first, we got a Dunu single driver, and 13mm is a large diameter for an in-ear, which sits completely outside the earcanal but so close to the BA units. The bass is big and powerful, and can be aggressive enough if needed. However it shouldn’t be mistaken as a massive overdone bass, because the DK-3001 still has a long way to classify as heavy-bass, dark or too warm. On the contrary, while it has the sheer power it is not missing the excellent control, accuracy and most importantly, the speed to keep up with the BA part. Extension is great and the sub-bass reach is very effortless. It won’t have the ultra-high speed of a multi-BA setup at this price could offer, but on the other hand, it has that more natural texture, instruments weight and greater dynamics that the more hi-fi dynamic drivers are always praised for.

    The DK-3001 has a strong sense of transparency, easily noticed when paired with different sources; not something really source dependent nor picky, but able to point out the source sonic characteristics. This is more perceived at mid frequencies. Overall, the midrange on the DK-3001 has excellent musicality and realism, natural timbre and great separation. Like many hybrids it brings the extra warmness from the dynamic driver, which Dunu IEMs always have, and then mixes it with the balanced armatures speed and resolution. It has a well put weight for instruments and clarity and sweetness for vocals; full texture for male vocals, and extra brightness at the upper mids for female. It reminds more of the DN-2000 being rich and full but also shows the better definition and forwardness of the 2002, yet sounds much more airy.

    The highs come forth in a better form compared to the previous hybrids from Dunu. No idea which of the BA drivers is in charge of this region as both ED and TWFK take part as treble drivers on so many IEM and CIEM products. Whichever the case, the treble on the DK-3001 is better extended with a more natural and realistic texture all the way. Transition from upper mid to low treble is smooth, though there is a lot of energy and sparkle with its lively signature. The sound is very open and better layered than the DN-2002 and better controlled too. The DN-1000 was much sharper and unforgiving, whereas the DK-3001 is much more refined.

    Stage, imaging and resolution are among the strongest points here. Finally, the DK-3001 model is closer to resemble a larger headphone set with the more open and well vented design and much bigger stage dimensions. The right and left separation is great, even without going to the 2.5mm option. Straight from the standard 3.5mm output the overall speed on the 3001 is still not best, however the use of extra amplification or balanced cable option can help to rise this 4 driver hybrid to a higher level. From both the Aune M1s and Pico Slim amp the bass and overall speed is much higher. The midrange takes a more forward yet not thicker position and the highs gain a greater timbre. While I liked how the DN-2002 performed with extra amplification being more neutral, the DK-3001 sounds more engaging with the livelier signature.


    In a closer comparison next to its predecessors, the DN-2000 and 2002 (triple and quad hybrids), the DK-3001 shares the Dunu house typical sound, being full and very engaging. The low end impact and amount is similar to the 2000 which is powerful and rumbly, but the 3001 brings a deeper and cleaner response which is even above the 2002’s quality. The 2000 is also more colored and the 2002 a bit more mid-forward, whereas the 3001 is more open, balanced and clearer. I didn’t have any serious issue with the treble on the other two (unlike the DN-1000), and yet find the treble on DK-3001 more comfortable and natural. Stage is a win for the 3001 hands down and so is the imaging and 3D surrounding effect.

    dk3001 (7).JPG

    dk3001 (8).JPG


    Value


    At the retail price of $500, the DK-3001 is surely not a very affordable audio piece, and the price keeps going higher with the release of every new model. The last year DN-2002 model released at the $380 price tag already impressed with its best build quality, and which I personally found a strong improvement over the previous DN models in terms of fit, comfort and even overall sound quality. Is the DK-3001 worth the extra money? It depends. This last item from Dunu has the highest build quality possible for a portable earphone, and finally brings a brand new design and internal driver’s configuration. With its strict over-ear fit, it is definitely more compact, but still not for everyone; a hit or miss for sure, worthless if you don’t get the good fit but (almost) perfect if you do. Luck or whatever you may call it, I find the DK-3001 to be much more comfortable than expected, with a more shallow fit that gives up on some isolation, but pays back with greater sonic capabilities. The sound performance is excellent, more open, airy, natural and with a much wider soundstage and spacious presentation. It has a better synergy too, and one of the best hybrids out there. Well done Dunu, and looking forward to the DK-4001!



    [UPDATE:]

    Impressions - DUNU 2.5mm Balanced Upgrade Cable (SHOCS2401)

    dk cable 2 (6).JPG

    Specifications

    • Wire: UP-OCC 7N Copper & OCC Silver
    • Cable: 4-core (24 AWG)
    • Plug: Japanese Oyaide 2.5mm TRRS - Also available in 3.5mm TRRS and TRS
    • Length: 1.2m


    Price: ~U$D 195


    Design

    Like any Dunu product, this upgrade cable has an excellent build quality, finish and properly chosen materials. The balanced 2.5mm plug is an original Oyaide plug of tough quality and yet compact and lightweight. It has a strong connection to either the player or adapter in use. The y-split is also metal (apparently aluminum) with the usual ‘Dunu’ writing on it. The cable slider consists of a very simple short rubber tube; nothing premium looking, but works fine. The upper part of the cable has fixed earguides made of long heatshrink tubes tightly attached to the twisted cable. They have a strict fixed over-ear fit, and while there’s no memory wire (unlike the stock cable of the DK-3001), they are soft and easy to fit around the ears. The MMCX plug are metal too, and as the cable is meant for the new DK-3001 in-ear, the connectors feature the same special split that provides a very strong fit and connection to the earpieces regardless the IEM used as long as it has MMCX standard sockets.

    As for the main cable part, it consists of four wire cores which are separated in two pairs; each pair tightly twisted, and then twisted again to form the whole cable. The internal wire material is of good quality, mixing two different type of wires OCC copper and silver 26AWG, making it a ‘hybrid’ cable as well.

    The outer covering is rather thick and very solid but behaves very well when moving around. However, due the cable material (wire) it may start to show some discoloration effect after a rather short period of regular use. Probably a typical oxidation effect that doesn’t affect the sonic performance or the ergonomics of the cable, but something that should be taking in count for an aftermarket upgrade cable, at least at this price point.

    The only thing that’d be lacking is the usual Dunu cable wrap, which was always very useful when storing the earphones.



    Sound Impressions

    The cable was tested both with 2.5mm balanced output DAPs like the Aune M1s and Lotoo PAW5000, and various other sources with 3.5mm output using the extra adapter for 2.5mm to 3.5mm.

    Main impressions are based on the own Dunu’s DK-3001, as this cable is mainly made for this IEM model, and compared to the included stock cables (both 3.5mm and 2.5mm). For further impressions the Dunu upgrade cable was also tried with other IEM sets, and also compared with some aftermarket cables.

    Using the both cable wires, Copper and Silver (pure, not silver-plated), the Dunu cable approaches to take advantage of the wires characteristics. From other copper cables, the sound tends to be slightly warmer and fuller on the lower end, with a smoother texture, while the silver brings higher detail and effortlessness to the upper regions. This is not a universal rule as the real results depend on the implementations and quality of the materials, cable impedance, and obviously the source in use.

    First of all, paired with the DK-3001 IEM, and on the single mode (with extra adapter), there’re some hearable improvements on the overall sound performance. The included cable on the DK-3001 is already of very good quality, so differences may be less noticed. The signature and capabilities of the DK-3001 are kept the same, though the sound gains better extension and more natural timbre. There is also a little gain in bass presence with a better rounded texture. Midrange is fuller, slightly warmer and richer too. The tonality feels more natural and the sound is more effortless on the whole.

    A similar effect was noticed with the Oriveti New Primacy and iBasso IT03 (Triple Hybrids), where the sound was cleaner through the midrange and fuller on the lows. Gain in the treble and overall detail is less obvious as the Primacy has a smoother signature. For the IT03, the extra bass was too much to my liking, but the midrange was more enjoyable.

    With multi-BA sets, like the popular Westone UM 20 and 30 Pro and, much less known, the 3RM from 1216.ears (detail oriented 3-BA in-ear) they gain a weightier bass and midrange response. Treble is more effortless on both, though the smoother effect is more favorable to the brighter, reference tuned 3RM, whereas the both UM sounded too smooth for their ‘stage’ tuning.

    However, as recommended by Dunu, the best performance is obtained on the balanced mode. The Aune M1s balanced output has strong improvements over its single-ended output, and the results with the Dunu DK-3001 are impressive. The stage is much bigger with excellent extension. It already has a wider effect, but the depth and height are even greater. Bass is very resolving, tight, fast and dynamic. Better air and separation through the midrange, with a more natural texture and improved tonality. With the stock cable there is a minor more artificial timbre and less dynamics.

    Compared to the recently released MEE Audio cable, also with 2.5mm balanced termination, the presentation of the sound is less colored and smoother and a bit more laid-back overall; similar to other silver-plated copper cables I’ve tried. Expectedly, the differences are easier to notice on the balanced output. On the MeeAudio cable the bass sounds less free and extended, mids a bit flatter and highs calmer. With the Dunu cable brings a more airy and open sound with large stage; especially with the DK-3001 where its more open design takes the advantage of the balanced output.

    Next to the Linum Super BAX G2 cable, with the Dunu cable (single output 3.5mm only) sound is richer and fuller in texture and more energetic. On the other hand, the Linum higher cable gives a much more neutral tonality, where the bass is softer and midrange a tad cooler and leaner.

    Lastly, against the more expensive the PlusSound X series, and with also a similar hybrid wire type (copper + silver). The PS I have is 3.5mm single ended and does have the upper hand over the Dunu when used with the adapter. However, on its balanced mode, the Dunu can hold its ground pretty well vs. the twice priced PS hybrid wire. The PS is richer and stronger on the lows, with a more sense of musicality trough the mids. The balanced Dunu has a more open presentation and the greater right-left channel separation gives a more surrounding feel. Again, not a fair comparison as I cannot test the balanced capabilities of the PS option.

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  6. Hifihedgehog
    The DUNU Legacy Continues
    Written by Hifihedgehog
    Published Aug 30, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Tight, deep bass; confident, organic midrange; smooth AND detailed treble; generous assortment of accessories; comfortable in all ear sizes
    Cons - Very, very slight shelving in the very high treble
    The DK-3001 is DUNU’s newest flagship earphone, representing the culmination of over two years of development and their latest crowning achievement in the premium earphone market. More than two decades ago, DUNU had its humble beginnings as an OEM/ODM manufacturer dating back to 1994. Over the years, DUNU have demonstrated the rare combination of high fidelity, robust construction, and incredible value in IEM (in-ear monitor) design for the price points they have targeted. As a result, DUNU’s product portfolio has caught the ears and attention of headphone enthusiasts and value seekers across the world. Notably, their TITAN series of earphones in particular has set the price-performance standard for $50-$150 price range, trading blows with earphones costing triple or more.


    In this regard, the DK-3001’s demonstration of performance and value today is no exception and consistently true to its roots. Fit and finish that is tasteful, professional, comfortable and ergonomic thanks to the carefully polished and positioned components and the wide selection of provided tips for large, medium, small, and very small ear types. Accessories and box presentation is elegant and generous especially with the fold out packaging, balanced silver cable, and hard carrying case with padded interior and water resistant seal. This lavish level of premium treatment is what would normally be expected from earphones costing $1000 or more (such as the AKG K3001i).


    Here is just one practical example of the test tracks that I normally queue up during evaluation sessions that revels in the DK-3001’s exceptional performance. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’s cinematic introduction is convincing, anchored and riveting. There is just the right amount of definition, presence, smoothness, and substance in Lady Galadriel’s voice to make for a crystalline allure that is fitting for the preface. The subsequent Battle of Dagorlad is rife with clanking, whooshing, growls and yells that are realistically sharp and bold, never straying towards either brashness or muffling. The sheer impact of the earthshattering shockwave that follows the iconic fall of the dark lord Sauron takes one’s breath away. Throughout the remainder of the film, DK-3001’s holds this command of dynamics and detail, rendering the jangling of metal and echo of environments, aloof and effortless in the heat of the battle and in the stillness of the epic journey.


    In short, sound reproduction is dynamic, neutral, and detailed, making the DK-3001 the best universal in-ear monitor I have heard to date. Granted, there is a very slight upper treble shelving that is vaguely apparent which leads some to characterize them as warm or undetailed. For an individual like myself who generally gravitates towards bright, detailed headphones, I must disagree. I find this one minor deviation in the frequency response easily dismissible since the display of detail and clarity is simply breathtaking throughout.


    Putting this into perspective, the Sennheiser HD 600 and Denon AH-D5000 are warmer and tubbier and the AKG K 701 has a far sharper cut off in the ultra-high frequencies (greater than 12 KHz). Hypothetically, if I were presented the choice of selecting either this or the Sennheiser HD 800 (which I had on extended loan just prior to my obtaining this review sample), I would pick the DK-3001 without question. Indeed, the DK-3001’s bass goes deeper and is more fleshed out, its midrange is more neutral and well-defined, and its treble transitions far more smoothly. Given its astounding value, I recommend the DUNU DK-3001 without reservation to any experienced audiophile looking for a competent and compelling earphone at its comparatively low price of $499.

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  7. subguy812
    DUNU DK-3001 a Tale of Pleasure and Pain
    Written by subguy812
    Published Aug 20, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Sound quality
    Cons - The "ridge", isolation, short angled nozzle
    DUNU DK-3001

    http://www.dunu-topsound.com/

    http://www.dunu-topsound.com/DK-3001.html

    3001-2.png

    A Little Technical Stuff:

    · Drivers Dynamic(13mm) *1

    Balanced Armature *3

    · Frequency range 5 Hz-40 KHz

    · Impedance 13Ω

    · Sensitivity 110±2dB

    · Connections 3.5mm Gold-plated

    · Cable 1.2m

    · Weight 31g


    DUNU DK-3001
    -MRSP: Universal fit $499, at the time of the review they can be found on Amazon for $470

    I want to thank Vivian from DUNU as her quick responses and communication was top notch. She provided me the DK-3001 in exchange for my honest review. I call them like I see them or hear them in this case, be it good, bad, or ugly. Thank you, Vivian, and DUNU.


    DUNU = Delicate Sensation
    Unique Design
    &
    Utmost Quality



    I have had the privilege, over the past five or six years, to own and listen to so much quality portable gear. It has been both a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because it is a fantastic hobby that I enjoy immensely and a curse because it is a black hole for my spare time as well as my spare money. Anyone that has gone down this rabbit hole will concur that their wallet and the contents inside don’t have as much quality time together as they once did. While I have enjoyed writing, and sharing my reviews it is very time consuming. I continue to hone my style and format with each review I pen, hopefully one day it will become second nature. The general style and format of my reviews is “down to earth”. In other words, not as much science and more of what you are going to experience when you have them on or in your ears, what would I want to know if I was trying to decide on a purchase. The overall experience that you can expect when you decide to part with your hard-earned dollars.


    I think it is important to realize that there is no “best” gear, no end game. The end game is only when you decide to tap out of this hobby. People rarely agree on the “best” features, “best” accessories, “best” comfort or “best” sound signatures because it is a very subjective hobby. Reviews should aid you in your search and decision to purchase. Many times, it appears that a product checks many of your personal boxes, on paper, but you never really know until you have firsthand experience, but that firsthand experience is not always easy to obtain because there aren’t a lot of high end audio shops in which you can demo these items. Thus, the reviews do help a wide range of people. Don’t focus on the scores or ratings in reviews, focus on the content, the common threads, the patterns within the many different reviews you read before making a decision.


    Onward and Upward…

    On the rarest of occasions, a piece of gear will come into my possession and I have no pre-conceived notions regarding a specific piece of gear. An item in which you think meh, okay, I will give it a listen but it isn’t really exciting you. I don’t read a lot of reviews prior to receiving a review sample, as I don’t want to jade my thoughts. However, when I am going to make a purchase I always read reviews. When I read reviews, I begin to find the commonality or pattern from review to review, ie. the bass rumbles or it has good transparency or it doesn’t color the music in the case of a DAP. I can then formulate a pretty good idea of what to expect from the sound, the build, the overall experience based on common trends in reviews.

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    The DUNU DK-3001 is one of those products that was sent to me without having any real expectations of the product, except for a few positive comments about sound and a couple of negative comments about comfort that I had read online. I will concur, the sound is “all that” and the comfort is the DK-3001’s gorilla in the room. To say I was surprised and impressed by the sound of DUNU’s DK-3001 would be an understatement. On first listen I had one of those “Holy F***” moments, but in a good way, as I didn’t see this coming. The sound really caught me off guard, I apologize to DUNU but I just didn’t expect this level of quality sound. I rarely try to use statements referencing price, because what is expensive to one person is not always expensive to another. In this instance, it is very evident that the DK-3001 packs a punch that can compete with other IEM’s at close to twice their price, one example would be the Fidue A91, another hybrid, which I used to own. I had only briefly listened to one other DUNU product and to be honest it was way too bright for me and I sold it the same day I received it, the DN-2000j. I am very sensitive to bright or harsh treble and the DN-200j in my opinion was a great deal too harsh for me. The DK-3001 is just a fantastic offering and the sound quality is so surprisingly good and enjoyable, this IEM is truly plug n play. No worry about burn-in, no sound signature that has to grow on you, no fatigue, just an easy product to listen too. It is not all rainbows and unicorns with the DK-3001 as I have some niggles with isolation, comfort and obtaining a good seal, but the sound is easy like Sunday morning. I will touch on the negatives of this IEM later but I am excited to see what DUNU comes to the table with in the future once the “comfort” issues are addressed.


    A Little Marketing Hype:

    DK-3001 Premium Hybrid 4way in-ear headphone

    The MMCX detachable plug and socket design on the cable offers endless choice of replacement and upgrade.

    Premium triple balanced armature drivers produce perfect transient response while retain a nature yet energetic sound, to recreate a impressive life-like experience.

    Premium delicate metal craft, high precision engineering designed S316 stainless housing decrease harmonic resonance to ensure the high definition sound and durability.

    Features:

    Dynamic Driver (13mm)

    Triple Balanced Armature

    316L Stainless Steel

    Hi-Res AUDIO

    Join us and witness the growth of DUNU ….


    WHAT’S IN THE BOX:


    · DUNU DK-3001

    · Protective case

    · 1x 3.5mm single-ended cable

    · 1x 2.5mm balanced cable

    · Wide array of ear tips Spinfit, Comply and stock tips

    · 3.5mm Female to 6.5mm Male Adapter

    · Aircraft adapter

    · Shirt-clip

    I have included some photos of the packaging and the box, but I really don’t think there is any reason to talk about a box unless it is something super special.

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    I used three sources, A&K Kann, Opus #2 and LG G6 when casually and critically listening in preparation for the review. After intensive listening I would say the Opus #2 is my favorite overall pairing. This is becoming redundant in most of my reviews as the Opus #2 is my reference player. Honestly, I haven’t really found a bad pairing with the Opus #2, unless it requires and incredible amount of power to drive it and then I recommend the Kann. The LG G6 drives the DK-3001 quite well and was capable of driving the DUNU to an adequate level. I did not have the opportunity to test any other cable options because I do not have any aftermarket MMCX cables.

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    Build and Quality:

    The DUNU DK-3001 is incredibly well built and finished with a modern, yet plain look, kinda like the girl next door as opposed to the cheerleader type. I like the look, even the acrylic IEM’s I have are plain and understated, I am just not a real flashy dude. The outer shell is made from stainless steel and in DUNU’s camp they feel this provides adequate resonance without creating negative harmonics and excessive resonance. The stainless housing would bode well for owning these well into the future from a durability standpoint. It is an MMCX connector, which I mentioned above, and while I greatly prefer a 2-pin style it appears to be a solid connection in this instance. The right MMCX connector is labeled with a red ring for the right side. The shell is not large, and folks with small ears can rejoice. It has an angled nozzle, albeit a little on the short side and each monitor is labeled (R) and (L), as if the fit wouldn’t be hint enough.

    I guess it is as good of time as any to mention my biggest problem with this IEM. There is a “ridge” on the inside of each IEM, the part touching the inside of your ear. I will affectionately from this point forward refer to it as the “ridge”. The “ridge” is most certainly one of those things that was designed to make you scratch your head and ask why. Why would put a “ridge” on a surface that will make contact with human flesh. Maybe they tested these only on Asian ears but I really can’t expect Asian ears to be any different than the non-Asian variety from a fleshy standpoint. I love this IEM, but I don’t love the “ridge”. It certainly creates the largest hurdle when trying to find absolute comfort as it rubs the inside of your ear. This is obviously my opinion and how I am affected so YMMV. I have found that twisting the DK-3001 so that the cable connector is bent towards my head and sliding the Spinfit ear tip close to the sound end of the nozzle it keeps the “ridge” from making solid contact with my inner ear.

    I generally prefer JVC Spiral Dots with the wide bore, but I found the JVC tips would stay in my ear when I removed the IEM from my ear so that was obviously not going to work. I honestly hate when companies don’t include a lip that assists in holding the ear tip on the IEM. I wish more companies would include a lip, similar to Dita the Dream as it certainly makes tip rolling easier. That said, the included Spinfit were the best ear tip I found when using the DK-3001, for sound and comfort. Some of the others I tried include the Final Audio, Symbio and stock ear tips.


    Hallelujah! With the ear wire/cable connector and Spinfit adjustment, I can now listen for semi-extended listening sessions and have even dozed off with them in my ear(not a good idea), with an almost acceptable amount of comfort, but never bliss.

    The cables are rubbery, smooth and supple. At the MMCX connector end they are thicker as to safeguard the stress point. The cables have an integrated cable strap and a right-angled plug that will plug into the source of your choice. One other thing I must mention is the cables have ear guides and boy are they some ear guides, some long as hell ear guides. These are not your conventional, uncomfortable ear guides but they are soft rubber and can be formed easily and without causing duress to your upper ear or behind your ear. I am not a fan of ear guides but if you must use them these are fine and one of the better ear guides I have used, albeit they are excessively long, long for no apparent reason. I think it is pretty awesome that DUNU includes both cables 2.5mm balanced and 3.5mm in the package so the consumer can pick their poison.

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    Let us review the sound, shall we?


    Presentation:

    Overall, this is one enjoyable, easy to listen too, no fuss, no muss IEM. It does what it should and that is it allows you to enjoy the music, and it is musical as hell. The bass of the DD unfolds and creates the warmth to the overall signature. It is a 4way and all of the drivers work well together to create a pleasant tone and signature. It is an excellent all-arounder that I found to compliment all genres of music. It delivers its presentation quite well in balanced or a SE output, but I found the 2.5mm balanced to yield slightly better results. I used the DUNU mostly as my everyday portable IEM on my morning walks. I found it to pair really well with the 3.5mm headphone jack of my LG G6 and together it made my morning walk incredibly enjoyable. The overall sound has body and is full and richly alive.

    Isolation is not a strong suit of the DK-3001. The shallow fit does not allow for a totally isolated environment. I would think the shell size is not the culprit here but the fact that the shorter nozzle impedes the depth of insertion. Although I found the isolation to be adequate on my morning walks as total isolation is not always safe around traffic or any of the other unpredictable hazards my dog stumbles onto during our walk.

    The clarity is top notch when listening to all of my recordings, as an example, Dire Straits Sultans of Swing was presented with all parts being delicately and clearly unveiled and I found myself wanting to bump up the volume to baptize myself in the song. The cymbals, and guitar work were exceptionally clear and without a hint of bleed over into the mids from the bass of the dynamic driver. The decay of the cymbal crashes is totally natural and displayed a superior realism.

    The soundstage is not the largest I have heard but it does have a nice width, a moderate depth and an above average height. I found its stage to be perfectly aligned with the overall sound signature. You can easily hear the placement of the instruments on the stage in an organized and coherent fashion. With regards to the detail, I will say there are more detailed and analytical TOTL IEM’s in the market. However, the midrange and treble do a great job of supplying enough detail to satisfy the listener and blend the details in with the overall musicality of its presentation. If I didn’t have IEM’s at three and four times the price I would never even question the amount of detail I am hearing and would be perfectly satisfied with the DUNU, I would not consider the overall detail to be lacking. The air around the notes is ever present and better than average as you can clearly hear air between each note. I also am impressed to hear the air around the entire range of bass notes, one has to love a well-tuned dynamic driver. Again, I feel it is important to mention that the DUNU are the least expensive IEM in my possession and they do a fine job with overall presentation when compared to my other IEM’s but I certainly don’t think it is fair to compare them with the Zeus, Dream or the EM10.

    Bass

    In the low-end region, you get a sub-bass that goes deep and rumbles with natural decay. The snappy bass can also hit hard when called upon. I found the speed of the bass to be reasonably fast for a dynamic driver, as I never heard any appreciable lag. The speed is truly impressive considering the fact that the bass is capable of being very articulate and full sounding at the same time. The DK-3001 actually is one of the better bass deliveries I have heard, but the Dita Dream holds the top honor. Still, it is quite impressive that I mention the DUNU and Dita in the same sentence.

    A dynamic driver once again delivers the goods in the DUNU as it is refined, clean, articulate and packs one hell of a punch while deliciously serving you a healthy offering of sub bass. Fortunately, with all of its fullness the mid bass stays where it belongs and does not bleed into the midrange causing any muddiness or negative impact on clarity. Impressive bass overall!

    Mids

    The mids are crafted to provide the listener with a detailed and full sound experience. Vocals have a full, rich tone. Listening to vocals is when I detect a slight warmth to the midrange. I would not say the kind of warmth that interferes with the detail or air in the mids, but there is a warm presence. There is great clarity in all areas of the midrange and nothing interferes with any of the nuances in the music you are listening too. I never detected anything in mids that made the sound appear cramped or congested. Sometimes when an IEM has a full sound it can also create some congestion but not the DK-3001. What you need to imagine with the DUNU is a sound that has clarity and detail in its midrange but with enough warmth to fill in the gaps to create an overall fullness in the sound. I hope I articulated this clearly enough to understand.

    Treble

    The highs have sparkle and detail without harshness, sibilance or any sharpness that is undesirable to someone sensitive to harshness in treble. The clarity and extension are ever present and not rolled off. The treble extends with a resolving sheen but unlike the earlier DUNU I tried, it’s highs do not make my back teeth hurt as if I bit into aluminum foil in an amalgam filled tooth. There is not as much air in the high range as there is in the other ranges, but there is a good linear quality and texturing thrown in for good measure. Cymbals have a realistic chhh sound as opposed to an unnatural shhh sound. My fear of DUNU treble has been met head on and conquered with the DK-3001.

    In Closing

    I smiled at first listen. The DUNU DK-3001 was one pleasant surprise. The sound is truly a pleasure and effortless. Straight from the box I fell in love with the sound without even trying. I hope DUNU focuses on improving comfort and isolation in future models. In my opinion, once you fiddle with the IEM to find the comfort sweet spot, the DK-3001 will provide you with a real pleasant listening experience, at least in moderate doses. DUNU DK-3001 gives the customer so much for their money, many accessories, two cables, incredible sound that challenges much higher priced competition. In a day when the prices for TOTL IEM’s just keep rising it is really refreshing to know that you can receive TOTL sound quality for less than $500.

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  8. PinkyPowers
    The Angry Teeth of Love – A Review of the DUNU DK3
    Written by PinkyPowers
    Published Aug 19, 2017
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Outstanding warmth, bass, and tonality. Exceedingly smooth
    Cons - Uncomfortable. Even painful, if seating less than perfect. Lacks resolution and detail.
    DUNU 02.jpg

    ~::I originally published this review on The Headphone List. Now I share it with my Head-Fi fellows.::~

    ::Disclaimer::
    DUNU provided the DK3001 free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.

    The DK3001 sells for $469.98 MSRP
    DUNU-TopSound.com
    DK3001 on Amazon

    _______________________________________________________________

    I could not avoid the DK3001, whether I wanted to or not. The goddamn thing came at me from all angles, like a swarm of Kamikaze fighter planes. I had to tell Nic I could not review it for him, since I’m already reviewing it for Joker. The tears he wept betrayed the reassuring utterances that he understood and would not hate me for long.

    Oh, the pressures of being Pinky… how they weigh on a soul.

    I consider the DK3001 a tremendous achievement. Seldom do I stumble upon a piece of gear I can love and loathe in more or less equal measure. These IEMs sound so good to my ears, all while actively trying to destroy them with razor-sharp edges. Finding a comfortable fit is like trying to seat a Shuriken in your ears; an agreeable orientation is one elusive bitch.

    Without any of my usual hyperbole, understand that I’ve experienced pain. Real pain. That hardly ever happens. With all the IEMs I’ve tried, a little discomfort is usually the worst that might befall me, while fiddling with fit. But DUNU has made a nasty tool for torment here.

    The number one rule of IEM design, as established by the Pinky Doctrine of 1766, states, “There must exist in the structural form of the monitor no sharp edges.”

    DUNU broke the golden rule. The faceplate of the DK3001 is raised in relief by a steep slope, ending in a razor cut-off. Now, I know they imagined that was a safe place to put such a thing. It’s the faceplate, after all. Why would that touch any part of a person’s flesh?

    Well, in Asia, I bet they never see this problem. But for larger Western ears, the IEM can fit deep enough into the canal the faceplate can rest at an angle DUNU did not foresee, and come in contact with a part of your ear. After about forty minutes, I’m in so much pain I can’t have ANYTHING in my ear for quite a while.

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    It took me a lot of trial and error, but I have found a trick that seems to work fairly well for me. First, I knew some satisfaction by using the biggest SpinFits included with the DK3001. But I also needed to add spacers, so the tips sat high on the nozzle of the IEM. While this did keep the shell far enough out of my ear to avoid touching that ridge, the sound was too hollow for my tastes. Clearly the seal was not the best, and there was leakage. But none of my other tips came close to giving me a painless experience, so I grudgingly accepted it.

    However, weeks later, after ****ing around with them more, I gleaned some new insight. I had shaped the memory wire wrong. I know how to shape memory wire to make all IEMs fit their best. All, it seems, except the DK3001.

    You see, most shells need to go in at a slight angle, because your ear canal is at an angle, and it fits in naturally that way. So I shape the memory wire at that angle in relation to the shell. That is wrong for the DK3001. You want this shell to go in PERFECTLY straight. The nozzle is at a strong enough angle to throw the sound down your ear in the right direction. But you want to keep that sharp ridge centered, and away from the edges of your ear.

    I reshaped the memory wire to be flat with the shell, so the shell would go in flat with my ear. And vualá! I can even use my Large JVC Spiral Dots now, with no spacers!

    This does not mean perfect comfort, though. There are enough problems with this design that true comfort is never going to be possible.

    Another thing that’s crappy is the cable. But it’s not really crappy. Just a bit. That memory wire I talked an awful lot about is the longest you’ll ever find. It’s absurdly overdone. A good-size memory wire only needs to be half that, at the very most. The rubber sheath is heavy, and springy, and there is this foolish rubber cable-wrap permanently attached to the plug. For all that, still, it’s a decently comfortable cable, with little-to-no microphonics, that somehow avoids interfering with whatever clothes I decide to wear. Indeed I’d call this cable quite serviceable. Oh! And there’s a balanced version included! That’s a nice treat.

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    The DUNU DK3001 is a 4-way hybrid IEM, utilizing three Balanced Armatures for mids and treble, and a bad-ass 13mm Dynamic Driver for bass. It’s warm and smooth, with absolutely stellar air. I don’t mind telling you, I was nervous to test a DUNU, as I’d always read now bright their treble is. But the DK3001 is utterly natural, without a fatiguing note to its name.

    That treble is masterfully peaked and raised over the other frequencies. Not to accentuate detail, and thus sharpness, but for air and light. The tuning is such that all this extra treble is smooth and natural, simply countering all that warmth from the lower frequencies. It’s needed to accomplish the remarkable balanced the DK3001 showcases.

    Vocals possess a rich, warm fullness. But also more transparency than I expected, mingling with that treble air for a very open, clean presentation. DK3001 is not about high resolution, or aggressive details. I’m sure people will feel they lack in these areas. But sweet lord it makes up for it with the degree of naturalness… the rightness, of tone. Within the first hour of listening, straight out of the box, I was teary-eyed. I didn’t know what has happening… what part of the signature I was reacting to. I just knew I loved what I heard. Desperately loved it.

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    Much of that love is earned by the low-end. If you want to impress Pinky, there’s no quicker way than with killer bass. It might not be enough to sustain my enthusiasm—I do require more than that—but it’s an EXCELLENTplace to start. DUNU’s bass is breathtaking. It extends so bloody far, with monstrous impact and rumble. And yet it’s really not overshadowing anything. Nor does it seep much into the mids. That airiness is here also, giving the lows such breath and spaciousness. DK3001’s bass has a depth and maturity that sounds more like full-size open-back headphones. It’s so realistic, with a very organic decay.

    Soundstage is better than average. I won’t say it’s enormous, but you certainly feel a great since of space, like listening in a large, acoustically warm hall. Height is good, but depth is difficult to determine. The reason for this is the layering and separation isn’t great. Nor is resolution very high. so instruments are a little hazy and undefined. Imaging is decent, but again, the sharpness of the elements could be better.

    Comparing DUNU to the Campfire Audio Dorado ($999), and I hear much less air. The treble might sparkle more with Dorado, but there’s much less of it, making the whole presentation warmer. Light is also less, as is clarity. Dorado’s highs have a thick, sweet character I’ve come to associate with their TAEC design. It’s fun, and has its own beauty, but the DK3001 sounds airier, and more natural.

    Dorado’s mids are its weakest asset. They are seriously warm, and lack clarity. A real sense of veil covers them. DK3001 is just as rich and full, but has more air and transparency. And certainly more clarity. On both IEMs the vocals come through strong, but DUNU simply gives you a cleaner render.

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    Bass is Dorado’s forte. It’s titanic. Until I got my hands on the DK3001, this was the best bass I’d heard. But now, I can hear how it lacks some of that air and realism that DUNU offers. Dorado’s bass is larger, and perhaps that’s its only fault here. It’s too big. DUNU holds it back just enough as to let it shine all the more. It balances everything so well that the whole signature sounds its best. Dorado doesn’t quite have that balance.

    The DK3001 and Dorado share a lot in common. Soundstage width is about the same. DUNU owning greater height, and maybe a touch more depth. Imaging is more or less the same. Resolution isn’t great on either. Separation is good, but again, that resolution makes the elements a little hazy.

    The greatest difference between these two, apart from the price, is ergonomics. Dorado is the most comfortable IEM I’ve ever tried, and DK3001 is the least.

    Taking this over to the Noble Audio Sage ($599), and I immediately miss the dynamic driver bass of DUNU and Dorado… even though Sage has nearly the same quantity as DK3001. Now, Sage does some interesting **** with its low-frequency Balanced Armature. It has one of the most natural-sounding bass I’ve heard from a Balanced Armature, being full and deep, with slightly slower decay. But still, it’s no dynamic.

    Sage’s treble is decent, but I feel it’s rolled off too early. DK3001 gives you better extension, greater air and light. Yet they share a lot in high-end tonality. Both IEMs have very clean, natural-sounding treble. Sage is not without air. In fact, it does quite well in that department. Better than Dorado. But DK3001 does beat them, handily.

    Sage has very warm, smooth vocals, like DUNU. But they fall more on the side of Dorado, with a veiled, low-detail quality. DK3001 is clearer, possessing more air and transparency. They are both rich and weighty, producing lifelike timbre.

    Soundstage is very much alike on all axes. As is imaging, separation and layering. These three IEMs are mediocre in resolution, and I couldn’t name a winner or loser. They’re each “meh” in this category.

    Again, Sage is quite comfortable, especially with a good cable. Whereas DUNU is anything but.

    Recently I came into possession of an in-ear monitor that shares DK3001’s driver configuration. Just like DUNU, it’s a 4-way, with three BA’s for the mids and highs, and a single dynamic for the lows. This earphone accomplishes all those things I love about DK3001, but also gives you world-class resolution and transparency, along with industry-leading soundstage, on all axes. And that would be the 64Audio tia Fourté. At over seven times the price, I don’t feel right about doing an in-depth comparison with DUNU. Suffice to say, it’s better at everything. That’s not a cop-out. It’s genuinely better at everything. With the exception of bass. I actually prefer the quantity of bass, particularly mid-bass, DUNU offers. Gives the music a warmer tone, which I love. Still, I thought it was interesting to see two IEMs share so much in common, and yet sit so vastly far apart in price and performance. How do they do it?!

    I don’t imagine you’ll find a source that ***** with the DK3001 too much. Well-balanced tuning usually makes a monitor highly compatible with a wide variety of devices. Still, with all that treble, however smooth it may be, you could see some trouble if the source has too much upper-range energy. So be aware of that.

    DUNU & Opus2 01.jpg

    theBit’s Opus#2 is ever so slightly warm, with god-tier resolving power, and superb dynamics. Highs and lows are meaty and attack strong. Mids are the most natural and realistic I’ve ever heard. The DK3001 finds its soulmate here, in a DAP which exemplifies its own best virtues, and pushes it as far as it can go in those areas it struggles with, like detail-retrieval.

    The Opus#1 is my favorite mid-tier DAP. It’s not as warm as #2, nor as full, but there’s more energy. Like a younger brother. Its treble, especially, owns some extra bite. But it’s not enough to turn the DK3001 from its awesomesauce ways. In fact, the Opus’ dynamic-neutral presentation gives DUNU a favorable tilt towards resolution.

    DUNU & Opus1 01.jpg

    DUNU & i5 01.jpg

    Cayin i5 is not as solid a pairing for DK3001. Because this DAP renders very warm and smooth, it does nothing to aid in this IEM’s struggle with details and resolution. What Cayin does best is brute-force musicality, with super power in the bass department. The DK3001 really comes alive. It’s not the clearest or most accurate sound, but it’s a lot of fun.

    If you’re on some dastardly-low budget and still want an i5-like powerhouse sound, Shanling’s M2s will gladly fulfill your needs. You lose a little refinement. A little depth. But tuning is spot on. The M2s is a tiny little player which excels at big and warm.

    DUNU & M2s 01.jpg

    Well there it is. The DUNU DK3001. My ears may hate having them in, but they love what is heard when they are. Is this the masochist’s IEM? Or maybe a devious stratagem to train the populous to become masochists? But to what end? Is there a new wave of Punishment Porn on the horizon? How will this impact the economy?

    I’ll need to ponder this further, and reexamine my own private appetites… see if I can’t stretch my personal boundaries.

    Peace out.

    -~::Pinky_Powers::~-

    DUNU & Opus2 02.jpg
  9. crabdog
    4 times the pleasure
    Written by crabdog
    Published Aug 17, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Fantastic build quality. Bundled accessories and great cables (2 included). Balanced, detailed and smooth sound.
    Cons - Some minor comfort issues
    DSC_0025.jpg

    Introduction

    With their headquarters in Taiwan and manufacturing plant in Dong Guan City, Guangdong, China DUNU is quickly becoming one of the big players in portable audio. Established in 1994 the company began as an OEM/ODM manufacturer. Fast forward ten years and the DUNU brand was officially launched in 2004 and started creating earphones under the same name. Since then they've had a string of successful product launches including the very popular DN range and have become one one of the major respected names in the business. They've invested heavily to the best equipment for their manufactures including "the most advanced professional Anechoic Room among Asia earphone manufacturers".

    Today the company continues to innovate and has recently released their current flagship model the DK-3001, a 4 driver hybrid earphone consisting of a 13mm dynamic driver and triple balanced armature drivers which we'll be checking out today.

    Disclaimer

    This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. I am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions here are my own, based on my experience with the product. The DUNU DK-3001 currently retails for around $470 and can be purchased from Amazon and other trusted audio stores. You can check out the company's full lineup on their product page here.

    Like most people on this type of site I'm a lover of music. In my younger days I spent several years as a hip-hop DJ (using real vinyl and turntables) as well as producing a variety of music on computer using a combination of MIDI and live instruments. I did a Home Studio Sound Certificate at the Milton School of Audio Engineering in Brisbane, Queensland which covered the setup of audio for playback and recording in a studio environment along with other basic engineering principles. Nowadays I prefer to simply listen to and enjoy music.

    My taste in music has changed a great deal over the years. For a long time my only interest was in rap and hip-hop music. Now though I listen to all kinds of music including jazz, classical, rock, psytrance, folk and ambient. I listen to music everyday using portable gear consisting of a DAP and mostly IEMs or simple desktop setup consisting of a laptop and DAC at work and my desktop setup at home which is based around my PC or Shinrico D3S with a DAC, often but not always including a tube amp and full-sized headphones or speakers.

    My preferred sound signature is fairly balanced with slightly elevated mid-bass and deep well-extended sub-bass, clear and resolving midrange with a touch of warmth and clean, airy treble. I'm not offended by brighter sounding gear but dislike any sibilance. The majority of my music is 16/44.1 flac files as I stopped using physical media (CD/vinyl) many years ago and prefer the convenience of digital formats.

    I often list a number of tracks or albums that I have used for testing a specific product in my reviews and they usually relate to things I've been listening to at the time of the review but note that during all my testing there are a number of ADDITIONAL standard tracks that I use for testing various aspects but do not list these in my reviews.

    DK-3001 Specifications

    Drivers Dynamic(13mm)*1
    Balanced Armature*3
    Frequency range 5 Hz-40 KHz
    Impedance 13Ω
    Sensitivity 110±2dB
    Connections 3.5mm Gold-plated
    Cable 1.2m
    Weight 31g

    Packaging and accessories

    The DK-3001 box is wrapped in a white sleeve of high quality cardboard with a large image of the earphone on the front. On the back are some features along with details on the included accessories.

    Removing the sleeve reveals the textured, black box underneath which is simply adorned with the DUNU brand name in silver print. Opening the magnetically sealed box you're presented with the earphones, secured in a felt covered black foam inlay and a Pelican style, protective plastic case.

    The earphones come installed with a pair of medium size, white silicone tips. The other included accessories are:
    • Warranty card
    • Shirt clip
    • 6.35 mm adapter
    • Airline adapter
    • 3 pairs of gray silicone tips
    • 3 pairs of white silicone tips
    • 4 pairs of Spinfit tips
    • 1 pair of Comply foam tips
    • 1 3.5 mm single-ended MMCX cable
    • 1 2.5 mm balanced MMCX cable
    • 1 protective plastic case
    That's a pretty satisfying collection of accessories (which you should expect for something in this price range) that covers everything you need. It's nice to see a wide variety of ear-tips included and surprisingly even the stock Large silicone tips are big enough for my over-sized ear canals - thank you DUNU!

    20170711_205010.jpg 20170711_205024.jpg 20170711_205152.jpg 20170711_205222.jpg 20170711_205310.jpg DSC_0168.jpg

    The carry case is actually really nice too. On the bottom of the inside is a thin layer of rubber with DUNU embossed into it and under the lid is a layer of black foam. There's just enough room inside for one of my budget DAPs (Benjie X1/T6, Ruizu A50) and the earphones so it's quite handy.

    DSC_0160.jpg

    I loved the cable on the DN-2000 so was very pleased to see that the DK-3001 comes with one in a similar style, albeit this time with memory wire. The PVC sheathed cable is smooth and supple so it doesn't have or form any annoying kinks and is also very tangle resistant. Due to the high quality of the cable and being worn over-ear there are virtually no microphonics present.

    The angled MMCX connectors have good strain relief and the right one also has a red indicator ring that makes it very easy to determine which side is which. This is something I really like to see on IEMs and a lot of other manufacturers neglect the smaller details like this.

    Moving down the cable we come to the metal Y-split which is adorned with the DUNU logo and strain relief. There's a metal cable cinch here as well that joins seamlessly with the split when not in use making it more attractive and unobtrusive. This kind of attention to detail really adds to the overall experience.

    DUNU's excellent rubber cable tie is present here too, and it's probably the best solution I've seen to date for securing and storing cables. Finally, the cable terminates in a right angled, gold-plated metal plug which again has very good strain relief.

    Quite simply DUNU produces some fantastic, high quality cables that are some of the best I've ever used.

    20170711_205524.jpg DSC_0157.jpg

    Build, comfort and isolation

    Crafted from stainless steel the DK-3001 shells are exceptionally well built. The main body is a circular disk shape with a protruding, angled nozzle. On the top is a horizontal female MMCX connector. The two sides of the disk are immaculately joined with the seams being barely visible even on close inspection.

    On the outer sides of the shells is a raised circular area with DUNU printed in white and surrounded by a silver circle.

    Overall the quality of the shells and the finish is superb and in line with what you'd expect for something that costs a substantial amount of money.

    In terms of comfort I find the DK-3001 to be pretty good but for one small grievance. The nozzle length and overall shape are good but the raised ridge on the outer sides (where DUNU is printed) specifically the aforementioned silver ring has quite a sharp edge and I find that during long sessions it causes an uncomfortable hot spot in my outer ear. It's not a major problem (and in fact might not be a problem for others at all, depending on ear shape) but I feel it could have been easily avoided by simply rounding or smoothing those ridges a little.

    For isolation I would say these are about average for a hybrid IEM. The most significant determining factor will be how good a seal you get with your selected ear-tips. They do a fairly good job of blocking outside noise but can't compare with something that fully fills the conch of your ear. Having said that though, these are definitely suitable for most normal situations and environments.

    DSC_0155.jpg DSC_0148.jpg DSC_0143.jpg DSC_0153.jpg DSC_0164.jpg

    Sound

    Sources used for testing
    • Benjie T6
    • Acoustic Research AR-M20
    • ATC HDA-DP20
    The DK-3001 is an interesting and complex beast when it comes to sound. Cohesiveness is excellent with the 4 drivers in each side working together to form a perfectly blended and unified sound. The general sound signature is fairly balanced with some emphasis on the bass with fairly forward mids and a neutral treble. The sound is organic and natural, coming across as deceptively smooth and non-fatiguing, very musical and engaging.

    Bass has a fullness with loads of impact even at low volume pumping it out effortlessly. Edges are a little soft and decay falls off naturally but it's not slouch. It manages a full-bodied punch without any signs of sluggishness or being overbearing. It's one of the best implementations of bass I've heard in an IEM and the way DUNU has maintained such impact with an agility and balance goes to show they really know about tuning. Sub-bass has a little less emphasis but is just as impressive and is far reaching in its extension. The rumble can be felt as much as it is heard and the stainless steel of the shells keeps a tight reign on things and stifles any distortion or loss of control.

    Midrange carries over the same smoothness as the other frequencies yet is really packed with exquisite detail. Instrument separation is stellar with plenty of space between different elements. Male and in particular female vocals are both rich with innate tonality and realism bringing lyrics to life. Lovers of classical will also be pleased with the magical resonance that the DK-3001 brings to string instruments and piano notes in tracks like "Andare" from Ludovico Einaudi's Islands Essential Einaudi. Guitars sound great too, like in Distant Dreams' "Sleeping Waves" there's texture in abundance to be heard.

    Not content with a partial mastery of the spectrum the DK-3001 also owns the treble regions. There's great extension here and natural timbre abounds but perhaps best of all is it achieves this while never becoming strident or losing detail but finds that sweet spot in between. This is one of those IEMs that you can turn up loud on brighter tracks without feeling the icy needles of pain and instead just get purely immersed in the music. It does all this without 'darkening' the sound and cymbals still ring and shimmer the way they're supposed to.

    Soundstage is another strength of the DK-3001. It's not the widest in terms of space but depth is very good. The percussion instruments at the beginning of Mathias Eick's "Hem" are outside of the head-space and the separation of the trumpet and violin is very clear and you can really sense the positioning of both in the track. You'll never feel boxed-in listening to this IEM.

    DSC_0026.jpg

    Comparisons

    Custom Art FIBAE 2 - demo unit ($550 USD):

    I only spent a short time with the FIBAE 2 and took some notes. I did have the DUNU with me at the time so was able to do some A/B testing but keep in mind the time was short so take this comparison with a grain of salt.

    I found both of these to have a similar sound signature, with slightly elevated bass and forward midrange. The FB2 has a little more treble emphasis but is still polite and does not have any sibilance. Both are very detailed while maintaining musicality and non-fatiguing sound. I found the FB2 to be far more comfortable and it also had much better noise isolation.

    TFZ Balance 2M ($199 USD):

    The TFZ has more mid and sub-bass. Vocals are a little more forward while treble is a little more recessed. Noise isolation of the 2M is superior as is comfort. Soundstage similar on both but separation and imaging goes to the DUNU. The cable on the DK-3001 is far superior as the 2M cable is very prone to tangles. Build and materials are good on both. The DK-3001 is the superior IEM as far as sound is concerned but it is more than double the price. The TFZ Balance 2M is still a very good alternative for the money, especially if you like some extra bass.

    LZ A4 ($195 USD):

    The LZ A4 has been well received by many enthusiasts and with good reason. It's a very competent and engaging IEM that comes with loads of options for customization. After switching through various setups I settled with the black rear filter and gray front or what I call "The Batman". The A4 can go toe to toe with the DK-3001 in terms of detail but doesn't have the same level of cohesion that DUNU's offering achieves. The DUNU's bass to my ears falls somewhere between the Black and Red rear filters of the A4. With my setup the A4 carries a little less weight in the mid-bass but keeps pace just as deftly. The higher frequencies are a little more pronounced on the A4 giving it more of a V-shaped signature. The A4 has the eager energy of a promising youth while the DK-3001 comes across as a seasoned veteran, its moves are second nature and effortless compared to the more aggressive, showboating style of the A4.

    For build quality the DUNU comes out ahead due to its more premium materials but the A4 is still really well put together for something less than half the cost. Both IEMs could be improved on ergonomically but I have a hard time trying to think of how the DK-3001's sound could be any better than it already is.

    Conclusion

    Despite the increased price tag of the DUNU DK-3001 I wasn't sure what to expect with this IEM. From my previous experience with the DN-2000 I knew the build quality would be very good and the audio quality would likely be pretty good as well. Well before the first song had finished playing I knew that DUNU had achieved something special with this release. As time went on my respect for this flagship model only grew and I am still in awe of the level of sound that this thing can produce. How the company managed to bring such detail, separation and engagement together with a full-bodied, smooth and non-fatiguing signature is beyond my comprehension.

    There is however still some room for improvement in regards to comfort and ergonomics. There's no doubt about the quality of materials and build - this is an exceptionally well manufactured earphone with a well-rounded bundle of accessories in addition to one of the best cables out there but the comfort level leaves something to be desired. I do hope (and believe) that this will improve with future releases.

    Considering the price point of just shy of $500 I would definitely rate the audio quality of the DK-3001 as near perfect but taking into account the slight comfort issues this one gets 4.5/5 total. If you're exploring IEMs in this price range you really ought to put this one on your (very) short list.
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  10. Dobrescu George
    Dunu DK-3001 - The Surprise: Relaxed and Romantic
    Written by Dobrescu George
    Published Aug 6, 2017
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Relaxed Signature, Smooth Sound, Strong Bass, Large Soundstage, Good Instrument Separation, Good Comfort, Large Number of Accessories Included, Useful Carrying Case, Great Value, Musical, Romantic, Natural
    Cons - A tad too polite for metal music, The sound Might be too relaxed for some.
    Dunu DK-3001 – The surprise: Relaxed and Romantic IEM

    Dunu took on the challenge to create a multi-driver IEM at a very friendly price and they brought an awesome product to their fans! Their DK-3001 is the top-of-the-line IEM we see from them this year, and it

    [​IMG]


    Introduction

    Dunu DK-3001 is the top-of-the-line IEM produced by the Chinese producer DUNU-Topsound.

    Dunu is a large Chinese company that grew dear to audiophiles all around the world through their excellent communication with their fans, friendly support department and through high quality and well-priced products. Many audiophiles quote Dunu as the company who produces the

    While Dunu are not as implied in organizing tours for their products, they have provided excellent service to their customers and are known to have an approach similar to FiiO, where they solve most of the problems that might appear quickly and with solutions that always advantage the customers.

    Dunu doesn't make many claims about the sonic abilities of their products, but they instead present the quality of the components used in their IEMs.


    I have absolutely no affiliation with DUNU at this moment, I am not receiving any kind of incentive to sweeten things out or change my opinions about the product. My review will be as objective as it is humanly possible and it is a description of my general experience with DK-3001, every opinion expressed here is mine and I stand by it.



    About me

    My name is George Dobrescu and I am the Director of the Seventh Heart Studios game studio. I work as one of the main programmers for the company, and I am the writer for Quantum Magica and Falsetto Memories projects. I spend eight – twelve hours a day working on a computer, writing and sometimes drawing. I also take care of administrative work which means that I require a portable setup so I'll be testing the portability of iDSD as well.

    Music is present all around me for a big part of that time as working with music is always more fun. With all the devices I own, I need great sound, comfort and ease of usage, not to mention that my listening volume ranges from "please stop that, it's far too loud" to "I can't even tell that you're listening to music".

    My collection includes everything from Classical to Metal, from Rap to Pop, from Punk to Cabaret and absolutely everything in between. There are great artists from every type of music, and I'm one to collect their albums, and keep a tidy order for my files.

    [​IMG]
    At Seventh Heart Studios, we all love music and this has had an impact on our games as we hold the music close to our hearts and we are committed to only use ogg -q10 as the encoding format for our music since it offers the best disk space to sound quality ratio, OGG -q10 being closest to audibly transparent when compared to FLAC encoding.

    You can check out more about our games on our pages https://www.facebook.com/seventh.heart.studios/ and https://twitter.com/7heartstudios .

    Personal philosophy: Music is more than a hobby or sound. Music is inspiration. Music is life. Music has meaning by itself, being the one thing that can define one's life while shaping one's imagination and creativity. Music can open doors to new plains and music can change one's mood. Music can rest the mind better than days of sleep or can give one energy better than a thousand cups of coffee. Music can be anything we want it to be and the music we experience using professional audition tools is more but at the same time it is nothing more than our way of enhancing the emotion we get from music. Love is a concept too shallow, unable to encompass what music really means to a music lover.



    First Impression

    I have actually never owned a Dunu IEM before DK-3001, and I have never owned a Multi Driver or a BA IEM before it. All previous reviews cherished DK-3001 as one of the best IEMs out there and it has been said to perform considerably above its price point, all of those things sparkling my interest in DK-3001. There is no DUNU official seller in Romania and I actually contacted Dunu directly, where I spoke with their lovely PR, Vivian, who has been extremely helpful answering even complex quandaries about multi BA-items and build-related questions. Dunu left a very good impression when it comes to their customer support and their passion for their job set light to the sparkle of my interest in hearing their TOTL IEM, DK-3001.

    [​IMG]

    DK-3001 has been sent through DHL and it made me spend hours starring at the screen, waiting for another update about the package tracking. The packaged reached Romania fairly fast, under a few days, and the package arrived without any scratch.

    It was a lonely day of Friday when the package arrived and I contacted and arranged to meet with the delivery driver somewhere outside the place where I live since it was simpler for us to do things that way. The sun was slowly fading under the clouds as a huge storm was getting close, but I was fairly optimistic that I'll get DK-3001 before the rain starts to pour. I waited around ten minutes listening to a few beautiful musical compositions on iDSD BL + Meze 99 Classics, trying to keep my excitement contained. The delivery driver was very nice and handled me the package with care, but before I managed to get back and start writing about DK-3001, a curious bystander to know more about the audiophile hobby asked me a few questions about headphones, DACs and portable AMPs.


    [​IMG]

    I managed to quickly get back in my room and started unpacking DK-3001, excited like a little kid who sees something for the first time. We got to admit, Dunu did an amazing job with the package, everything leaves a feeling of high quality and luxury, there are a ton of very useful extras in the package, along with a beautiful carry case.

    Of course, with an item like DK-3001, the most important aspect of it was not the package, but the sound, so I carefully plugged them in iDSD BL and pressed play.

    [​IMG]

    I decided to listen to DK-3001 while taking a walk outside since this helps me focus better on the music that is playing. The main choice I made was taking a lonely evening walk through the Politehnics park to admire the sunset while wearing an interesting IEM and experimenting their sound. Before leaving my home, I played a bit with the tips and found that Spinfits offer incredible comfort and isolation with DK-3001, so I put on one of the included pair of Spinfits and started walking.

    The first song choice is an energetic and complex song as I want to see how the well-renowned BA drivers within DK-3001 will handle an overly complex song like Dance Gavin Dance – The Robot with Human Hair Part 4. I’m mesmerized with all the details they are able to show, but at the same time romanced by the polite and friendly presentation they have.



    Packaging:

    First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It looks like Dunu cares about offering a top experience to their customers, so they offer a rather impressive package with their DK-3001, the package including some rather useful extras. There is a wide selection of tips, two cables one of which is balanced, a glossy black carrying case, a shirt clip, an airplane adapter, and an adapter for 6.3mm outputs.


    The first sight Dunu surprises their buyers with is a white rectangular box which sports an image of their DK-3001 IEMs, the information that DK-3001 is a 3BA + 1 Dynamic IEM, and, of course, the Hi-Res Audio sticker. There is not much information on the top and sides of the box, but there is an interesting headline on the bottom of the box. “Dunu – Delicate, Unique & Utmost”. To some degree, all three adjectives can be used to describe DK-3001 and their sound, and I actually like the slogan and want to put to test how much each of those attributes represent Dunu and DK-3001’s sound in general.

    [​IMG]

    The back of the box includes quite a bit of information in both English and Chinese. The first interesting bit of information is that DK-3001 features an MMCX detachable cable and that it will be compatible with aftermarket upgrade cables. It is good to keep in mind that this allows the replacement of broken cables as well. The dynamic driver is made out of a “High molecular liquid crystal polymeric film”. All three BA drivers are made by Knowles and they promise to bring in an energetic sound along with a life-like experience. The housings of DK-3001 are made out of S316 stainless steel. For cable lovers, it seems that the included cables are 5N OCC cables with gold plated plugs.

    It is interesting to have all this information nicely presented on the box, along with other useful information. The box is slightly similar to Apple packaging, but in Dunu’s case it includes a bit more information. The typical warranty for DK-3001 is one year, but you shouldn’t expect them to be breaking in many years of usage, especially considering the solid build quality, and the detachable cables.

    After you remove the white cover, you will find a black cardboard box with a magnetic lock mechanism, with “Dunu” written on it.

    Inside you can find DK-3001 seated in a foam cutout, along with the carrying box and all the accessories included with DK-3001.

    [​IMG]

    This is what you’ll find within the box when purchasing DK-3001:


    - Dunu DK-3001 IEMs

    - A Single Ended Cable featuring a memory wire ear hook that goes around the ear and that helps fixing DK-3001 for better comfort.

    - A Balanced Cable featuring the same design as the single ended one

    - Dunu Branded Carrying Case. It is a glossy carrying case that looks similar to the ones made by Pelican and similar to the ones included by FiiO with their F5 IEMs.

    - Comply Foam tips that fit DK-3001

    - Spinfit Tips. Those proved to be much more useful than I imagined they’d be before trying them on.

    - White and Gray tips for DK-3001, each with their own sonic signature, coming in three sizes.

    - An airplane adapter

    - A shirt clip

    [​IMG]

    I like to see a large number of extras included with a IEM and DK-3001 is excellent in this aspect, including more accessories even than some high end IEMs. While some of them will serve very specific purposes, like the airplane adapter, some of the other accessories will be helpful for many users. The inclusion of a dedicated carrying box is also greatly appreciated and there is enough space within to include DK-3001 with a cable attached, spare tips and a little bag of silica dehumidifier. All in all, DK-3001 provides a fun unboxing experience along with a great package.



    What you should look for when considering a IEM (In-Ear Monitor)

    When purchasing an IEM, there are a few factors you should take into account to ensure that you’ll have the experience you wish for. Sooner or later, all those factors will come into play one way or another:

    - Sound quality. This is, by far, the most important aspect of every purchase when you invest in high end audio products, and the sonic abilities along with the frequency response / sonic signature widely differs from IEM to IEM.


    - Comfort / ergonomics. The fit and comfort are quite important, especially if you plan on using the same IEM for hours in a row, or in a live performance.

    - Isolation. Every IEM will offer some degree of isolation, but there are both models that focus on ultra-isolation from the outside noise, while other models have other central focus points. DK-3001 isolates noise pretty well, especially if it is used with larger tips.

    - Good Value.

    - Interesting/Intriguing design. Every user will have a personal preference and taste for what an “interesting design” is, but it is generally recommended to pick a IEM which you consider to be aesthetically pleasing, or in simpler words, good looking.

    - Drive-Factor: How easy it is to drive and how prone to hissing it is, since certain IEMs and headphones will require special sources to offer the best performance.

    - Accessories included. It is better to have a large selection of tips and accessories included with a IEM.

    - Build Quality and Warranty. While it is good to have a solid warranty included with Every IEM, having a solid build quality is better.



    Technical Specifications

    Impedance - 13 Ohm

    Connector - 3.5 mm SE + 2.5 mm BAL

    Frequency Response - 5 Hz – 40 kHz

    Rated Power - 110dB / mW

    Weight - ~31g

    Cable length - 1.2m

    Driver number - 4 (1DD+ 3BA)

    Driver Type - Hybrid, Dynamic + BA, Vented

    Coupling type - In-Ear

    Includes Balanced cable - Yes

    IEM body connector type - MMCX

    BA Drivers Type - Knowles



    Build Quality/Aesthetics

    Dunu DK-3001 is built fairly well, the body of the IEMs being made out of a stainless metallic alloy, the cables being fairly sturdy but not too thick and the whole design coming pretty well together.


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    The tips are not that hard to remove, especially since there is no lip on the bore, but in all fairness, they don’t fall with typical usage.


    The MMCX connectors are extremely secure and feel rather solid, the cables being quite hard to remove. Both the single ended and the balanced cable seem to have a similar build quality, feeling both sturdy and flexible. It would be good to practice extra care when removing the cable since by design MMCX connectors can be pretty sensitive and the ones in DK-3001 are very tight.


    There are very little chances of debris being caught in DK-3001, Dunu having installed two metallic meshes on the bores, to protect the intimate parts of their IEMs.

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    Aesthetically speaking DK-3001 looks futuristic yet simple, with a touch of playfulness. The rings on the cables bring a futuristic accent to DK-3001’s body and while there are traces of industrial notions in their design, one can wear DK-3001 to a business meeting without having any reason to feel concerned with their looks.


    The ear hooks on the cables will give off the feeling that DK-3001 is made to be worn over-the-ear before even touching them, but that is a good thing considering the improvement in fit they provide.



    Testing

    I have tested DK-3001 together with FiiO X5ii, Hidizs AP200, Opus #3, iFi iDSD BL, HiFiMAN Megamini, with a wide selection of music.

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    Fit / Comfort / Isolation

    DK-3001 has a round shape, with the words DUNU and a line etched in the metallic side that comes in contact with the ear. A vent hole is positioned on the same side of the IEM, but given the thick line etched in their body, the vent hole is generally left open and will enable proper venting with DK-3001.

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    The fit is over the ear and has proven to be quite subjective. For me, DK-3001 has been very comfortable while using the large (White) or medium (Red) Spinfit tips, but I’d like to mention that users with larger ears / larger ear canals will have a slightly better general comfort with DK-3001. The angle at which the bore is placed seems fairly good, but everyone has a unique ear shape and it is impossible to guarantee that it will work for every single user out there.

    The ear hooks support most of DK-3001’s weight while the tips support the rest of the remaining weight, most of times DK-3001’s bodies barely touching the ears.


    The isolation is fairly good, with proper fit DK-3001 providing enough isolation from the outside noise to make listening at low volumes a real pleasure, even in a busy room or in the busy streets of Bucharest. Traffic noise and general conversation doesn’t really get through when using larger tips, and although DK-3001 is vented by design, they are not open. I’ve listened to DK-3001 at low volumes for more than a few times, and experienced no problems with isolation.



    Sound Quallity

    Dunu DK-3001 has an intriguing signature, relaxed, clear and natural. The sound is fairly transparent throughout the scope, although the top end is smooth and polite rather than neutral. The dynamics are natural and the general sound is fairly vivid. The treble is smooth and less present than the midrange, the signature being natural with a soft type of treble giving it a friendly approach that will hide mistakes in many songs. The bass is fairly present and has a liquid character to it, but it’s speed is pretty good, being a natural type of bass with a natural decay.

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    DK-3001 makes a great IEM for playing a wide array of music, starting with Electronic, Jazz, Classical, Orchestral, Rock and Pop.


    Like with any High-End IEM, it is possible to hear a lot of details and micro-details, small changes in nuance and cymbal hits, but those are presented softly, DK-3001 having a romantic character, presenting music with love and passion rather than technicality and utmost precision. In this aspect, DK-3001 has some characteristics also present in FiiO F5.



    Little disclaimer:


    I have tested DK-3001 with a wide array of sources like FiiO X5ii, iDSD Black Label, Opus #3, HiFiMAN Megamini, Xiaomi Mi Max, Hidizs AP200, and a few others. Every source holds a signature of its own, providing changes to the signature of DK-3001, this should be kept in mind when reading sonic impressions.

    DK-3001 has also been extensively tested against other IEMs and headphones, both from a similar price range but from other price brackets.



    Channel balance

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    I detected no Channel Imbalance with DK-3001, although no IEM I tested so far presented any channel imbalance.



    Hiss

    DK-3001 is slightly sensitive to hiss. A hiss-free source is necessary for those who are bothered by hiss, but it shouldn’t be audible or too distracting while music is playing.



    Bass

    DK-3001 entices the listener with a full and clean bass, seasoned with a natural decay and a great impact. The bass can be felt when the song asks for it, but the amount of sub-bass is slightly less than the amount of bass and mid bass, leading to a “full” and slightly warm sound for DK-3001.

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    A basshead might lust for another touch of sub-bass, but this can easily be adjusted with a bit of EQ. Most people will be satisfied with the amount and the naturalness of DK-3001’s bass.

    The textures in the bass are all well-rendered and its character please one’s ears, especially with songs that rely on either huge bass notes, like electronic music, or music that relies on an acoustic clean and strong bass representation where the bass guitar is played vividly in its own space.

    Maretu – White Happy – The beginning of the song is strong and bears good impact on the listener. Female vocals are presented on a soft and warm tone while the synths play in multiple layers around the listener. There is a clear sense of detail and many effects can be heard while the guitars have a playful and fun tone to them. The transient response is very good throughout the whole spectrum, the synth notes being fast enough to play with the listener’s ears, the bass having a slightly longer decay, making the song sound full and funky, with the treble being presented on a calm and relaxing tone, giving the female vocals an even friendlier tone than they usually have. The tragedy presented in the song is slightly amplified by the happy tone it is played in, making the listening experience quite interesting.

    Bitter Ruin – Trust – The song starts with a playful combination of acoustic guitars presented on a friendly and relaxed tone. The rather soft and smooth top end will take some bite away from the guitars, making the strings sound more like non-metallic strings. This will be a nice addition for people who’d like to avoid harsh signatures. Fine nuances in tonality, especially details in voices can be perceived quite well. Female voices sound clear and come with good strength, sounding happy and enthused rather than shouting, although they should be a bit more abrasive in this song. The male vocals are clear and crispy, the vocal tone is spot-on and the whole presentation feels realistic. Bass notes are rendered with excellent texture and tactile feeling to them. The whole song tells its story well, although a tad polite and friendly.

    Fever the Ghost – The Source – The song starts with a streak of funky bass notes played in symphony with a few synth notes. The texture of the bass is liquid and dynamic while the mids feel warm and friendly, the whole song being playful and relaxing. The voices are rendered with a strong sense of space and air to them, again on a fairly joyful tone. The vocals of this song can easily come off as shouty some setups, thing which was partially intended in the mastering process, but DK-3001 presents them in one of the most romantic ways I ever heard them. There is a good sense of width to the whole song and certain special effects can feel as if they travel through the listener’s head, or rather, like an entire sonic experience is taking place around the listener. DK-3001 provides good detail retrieval abilities, but those are slightly romanced by the soft presentation of the top end, everything being presented in an organic matter rather than within an analytic approach.


    Midrange

    We proceed to the midrange of DK-3001, only to be surprised by the excellent tonality and signature. The voices, both male and female, sound natural and they are usually slightly enhanced with a slightly romantic tonality to them. Pianos and guitars bear vivid and clear textures to them, being possible to hear fine nuances that are given by different materials used in the guitar strings. There is a sense of smoothness and relaxation in the sound that will increase the emotional impact and attachment certain songs have. This will also enhance certain undertones and fine textures present in slow songs like Ballads and Cabaret.

    Screamed or generally shouty vocals can sound smoothed out a bit and will sound friendlier and easier to listen to than they are in general, this effect taking away some harshness from violent metal music.


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    Ballads sound especially sweet and bear great emotional impact with DK-3001, while metal music can sound a tad too relaxed and friendly. Pop, Opera, Electronic Music, Classical and Jazz work extremely well with DK-3001.

    Dope – Sing – The song starts slowly with a groovy bass tone played along a cool guitar notes combination, with the drums being played somewhere in the background, keeping the rhythm of the song through the intro. The ballad from dope has a great emotional impact, the sweet voices along with the warm and slightly thick guitar tones providing a romantic environment. The message that music should surpass everything and exist within everything is delivered clearly to the listener and the whole song has a great spatial presentation, each instrument having a spot of its own. All in all, I had to listen to this song a few times before I could continue writing, sometimes feeling bits of tears in my eyes as the singer went forward with his parts.

    Maximum The Hormone – Zetsubou Billy – The start of the song is pretty quick and has a good clarity to it. The intro voices are clear and there is a good sense of warmth in the vocal tone. The screamed voices sound crispy, although the slightly relaxed tone of DK-3001 makes the song feel like a romantic version of its own, a fun experience rather than a typical song sang by Maximum the Hormone. The bass notes are always strong and bear a good impact, although the voices and the guitar notes are the central elements of the song.

    Cold War Kids – Passing the Hat – The song starts with an excellent combination of thick bass notes and drum hits. The voices start with good emotional emphasis, while a lonely cymbal can be heard somewhere in the background. Pianos are crisp and bear a good tonality, while the guitars feel airy and natural. The bass is almost always a forward element of this song, while the voices keep bearing a great emotional impact. The story of the song is delivered well and it is possible to hear the singer’s emotional struggle.



    Treble

    With a soft and polite character, DK-3001’s treble tilts the whole signature towards a romantic character, making even poorly recorded albums more fun to listen to, gently hiding all mistakes, like problems with harshness and sibilance.

    The treble holds a good detail level, usually revealing fine cymbal crashes, but DK-3001 is not an analytical IEM by its nature, so details are presented in an enthusiastic and romantic way, rather than being exposed and enhanced like they usually are with BA setups. The smooth character of DK-3001’s treble will surely please “relaxed” signature lovers, being a reminder of HD650’s signature.

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    Protest The Hero – I Am Dimitri Karamazov And The World Is My Father – The sibilance and harshness usually present in this song are clearly alleviated by the smooth and relaxed signature of DK-3001, the IEMs instead revealing a beautiful guitar layer that has a musical and melodic feeling to it. The voices still bear good impact and they deliver the tragedy of the story pretty well, the song being about a protagonist who is sent to army and whose aspirations are slowly killed by his family’s aspirations. The entire song sounds like a romantic-sad song rather than a shouty and bright composition. While I’d have liked a bit more energy and sparkle in the treble, I am in love with the romantic presentation of the guitars and how every guitar note has a melodic and lovely touch to it. The experience is something one surely has to listen, to fully understand.

    IOSYS – Professional Breeders – The start of the song is vivid and quick, all synth and elements are presented fast and with good precision. The bass notes bear amazing impact and depth, while the synth notes have a great texture to them. Female voices are especially sweet and enthusiastic with this song, the whole combination making one move his body while listening to this song. The chorus parts are playful and dynamic, there are many layers skillfully separated and presented with enthusiasm to the listener, while the smoothness in the top end makes the song an even more fun experience for the listener. DK-3001 is clearly a very good IEM for EDM and Electronic music in general. For the record, I couldn’t stop myself from listening to this song until I reached the end, and I kept moving my body while listening to it.

    Kishida Cult – Highschool Of The Dead – The song starts with its typical snazzy and speedy intro while multiple guitars can be heard playing simultaneously. The direct change to romantic and sweet female vocals is sudden, but welcome. The whole song sounds sweet and there are many guitar layers in the background. I love the way the fuzzy guitars are woven with the drum patterns and the melodic voices, hearing it all in an airy soundstage being quite an impressive experience. For the record, I listened to this song multiple times before proceeding with writing other parts of this review. I just had to.



    Soundstage


    DK-3001’s soundstage is an interesting surprise, leaving a most positive impression. It is large and quite coherent, instrument layering being fairly good as well. There is a clear distinction between different instruments and there is a good sense with the spatial positioning of instruments.

    Like with most IEMs, the soundstage grows larger when using larger tips. There is a good sense of width and depth to the scene. The whole presentation is airy and large, especially large for an IEM and there is no space to complain, at times DK-3001 having a larger soundstage than ie800, but with a similar depth.

    There are moments when guitar tones travel all the way through the sonic landscape, surprising the listener by coming from very specific directions or areas. Listening to songs that rely heavily on soundstage to sound their best is a real pleasure and I think that DK-3001 is an exemplary performer in the soundstage size department.




    ADSR/PRaT

    DK-3001 provides natural sounding ADSR (Attack Decay Sustain Release) characteristics. The transient response is fairly quick, but it doesn’t go faster than a natural type of response, voices and bass having fairly good response times. The ADSR character for treble and midrange is slightly faster than it is for the bass, but this doesn’t seem to affect the general coherency of DK-3001 in any way. Since the dynamic driver is probably centered on the bass and the BA drivers are probably taking care of mids and treble, some users might feel the difference in decay length between bass and the mids/treble, but the midrange and top end decays are still leaning towards a natural length rather than a short decay.

    The dynamic range is reproduced faithfully and there are no signs of unnatural dynamic compression or such, the sound being quite vivid in general. Instrument separation is amazing with some songs, especially with electronic music, DK-3001 having quite an impressive performance for its price.



    Drive factor / Source Synergy

    DK-3001 is very easy to drive, having an impedance of just 13 OHMs. In exchange, this makes DK-3001 slightly prone to hissing, but they should be okay with most sources out there.



    Portable Usage


    Given their over-the-ear design and their good isolation along with their easy-to-drive character, DK-3001 is quite suited for portable usage. The carry case included in the package also hints to a portable usage scenario intended for DK-3001.

    Besides a little sensitivity to hiss, DK-3001 can be safely driven from most sources, although it scales fairly well with better sources, Opus #3 and iDSD BL providing considerably more details, a better defined soundstage, and tighter transients than Xiaomi Mi Max or less precise sources. DK-3001 can also be enjoyed out of a mini-DAP like HiFiMAN Megamini, the combo being fairly nice sounding, although there are some very slight amounts of hiss present. Less sensitive users might not even notice that hiss is present.



    EMI

    I couldn’t detect any EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) with DK-3001 during prolonged tests. I even walked under high tension power lines and listened to DK-3001 right next to the WiFi router, but wasn’t able to detect any EMI.

    IEMs are not very prone to EMI in general, but it is this test should still be done with all equipment.



    Comparisons

    I spent a good amount of time with DK-3001 and went between DK-3001 and other IEMs and headphones, both from a similar price bracket and from other price brackets to get a few comparisons.

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    DK-3001 vs Etymotic ER4-XR – The first difference that comes in foresight is the difference in fit, DK-3001 being a shallow-insertion type IEM whilst ER4-XR is a deep-insertion type IEM. Due to their design, ER4-XR also provides more isolation from the outside noise, but DK-3001 provides a good amount of isolation as well. The sound has a fuller tonality on DK-3001, the bass has a considerably longer decay and the mids and treble also have a slightly longer decay(s). The top end is similarly smooth on both although by direct comparison, DK-3001 feels more energetic. If we consider ER4-XR to be mid-centric, then DK-3001 would be a naturally toned IEM with a very slight V-shape to their frequency response.

    DK-3001 vs FiiO F5 – There are many differences between DK-3001 and F5, including the price brackets they are a part of, but there are some similarities as well. Judging from FiiO’s past partnerships with Dunu, like the one for creating EX-1 and other IEMs, it might almost feel like judging two IEMs from the same company. FiiO F5 has with more presence in the low end with a larger amount of bass, where DK-3001’s low end is less enhanced and leans towards the natural side of things. They both have a natural to longer decay to their sound. Surprisingly, F5 has a similar width to their soundstage. The top end is smooth on both F5 and DK-3001, but DK-3001 has more energy up top where F5 is tuned to sweeten the sound and be a smooth performer.

    DK-3001 vs EN700 BASS – The fit and comfort could be seen as similar when comparing DK-3001 and EN700 BASS directly, but EN700 BASS has a slightly thinner bore which might work better with some users. The bass is similar on both models, but the mids tend to have more depth to them on DK-3001. EN700 BASS has a very good soundstage already, but DK-3001 has even more width and depth to the soundstage. The top end is on the smoother side of things with both DK-3001 and EN700BASS, although by direct comparison, DK-3001 once again has more energy.

    DK-3001 vs Sennheiser M2 IEBT – M2 IEBT is a Bluetooth IEM by design, but comparing a DK-3001 powered by a high quality source with a high quality Bluetooth setup holds very interesting results. The bass is quicker on DK-3001, but the quantity is larger on M2 IEBT. The mids might come off as recessed on M2 IEBT when compared to how the mids are presented with DK-3001, and the top end is sparkier, featuring more presence and energy with M2 IEBT, DK-3001 being quite polite and smooth in direct comparison. The difference is most noticeable in the lower highs and in the upper mids, where DK-3001 tends to be linear / smooth while M2 IEBT has an energetic / enthusiastic approach. The decay lengths are generally shorter on DK-3001, but we have to keep in mind that the price brackets are also quite different, M2 IEBT costing less than half of DK-3001’s price.

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    DK-3001 Vs Sennheiser ie800 – Sennheiser ie800 has been my benchmark IEM, and even a benchmark for headphones for quite a while so far, and I still hold it close to my heart. DK-3001 starts off by having a longer decay in the bass department, ie800 coming off as quicker, also having more quantity in the sub-bass department. In the midrange, DK-3001 and ie800 are comparable in technical ability, detail retrieval and instrument texture, although ie800 holds the edge for the technical part of the sound, while DK-3001 has a slightly more natural sound since ie800 has a slightly recessed midrange. The top end is very different between the two, ie800 having a very energetic, realistic and lively approach, while DK-3001 has a polite, friendly and relaxing approach to the top end.

    DK-3001 vs HiFiMAN RE-800 – HiFiMAN RE-800’s price tag is closer to ie800 than DK-3001, but the comparison could still be considered fair since music lovers interested in DK-3001 might also consider purchasing a pair of RE-800. HiFiMAN RE-800 has a considerably shorter decay to its bass, having a quicker bass, where DK-3001 could be considered to have a slightly larger amount of bass. The midrange is slightly more forward on DK-3001, RE-800 being more better in its instrument separation. The top end has more energy on RE-800, DK-3001 being considerably more relaxed by direct comparison. RE-800 has a bit of a peak at 6-7kHz that will enhance its technical abilities, where DK-3001 is fairly more even across that same area. The instruments are precisely separated on RE-800, while DK-3001 will play them together.

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    DK-3001 vs HiFiMAN RE-2000 –
    This comparison might be slightly unfair, considering the difference in price, RE-2000 costing almost 4 times the price of DK-3001. There are differences in the technical performance, RE-2000 managing to be as much of a detailed and analytical performer as it is a natural and musical performer, while DK-3001 is leaning towards a musical performance more than it is an analytical performer. The bass is tighter and has bigger size with RE-2000, while it has a longer decay on DK-3001. The midrange is presented in similar fashion, but the top end has a realistic presentation with RE-2000, having more sparkle and energy, and bringing forward more details.

    DK-3001 vs Oriveti New Primacy – This is a very interesting comparison actually, as I just received New Primacy recently, but I already listened it quite a bit. New Primacy has a tighter low end with less amount of sub bass and bass, and considerably shorter decay on the low end. In the mids, New Primacy and DK-3001 have similar presentations, both having pretty spot-on tonality, with New Primacy having a slightly forward midrange presentation in comparison with DK-3001. There is a good sense of stage width and depth with both, but DK-3001 presents music with more space, while New Primacy can feel slightly more intimate. Where DK-3001 tends to be relaxed and smooth in the top end, New Primacy tends to have slightly more sparkle and present music with slightly more energy, although they don’t have any harshness or sibilance either. Even so, the upper midrange tends to be more forward on New Primacy, with DK-3001 being the relaxed and polite performer. On a technical level, both New Primacy and DK-3001 have a very good technical performance, each for their own price.




    Value

    Dunu DK-3001 is priced at a very friendly price point of 500$, being one of the least expensive TOTL IEMs out there.

    Considering all the cool extras Dunu included with their DK-3001 IEMs, along with the excellent sonic performance, especially for their price point, DK-3001 represents a very good value. With a price tag of 500$, DK-3001 barely enters the realm of TOTL IEMs prices, but they manage to be a HD650 in a IEM while still offering a good amount of isolation and portability. DK-3001 includes a set of Spinfit tips and even a cool-looking carry case in its package, being a whole-package IEM.


    The very good default cables, along with the balanced cables will also add to the total value DK-3001 represents. All in all, DK-3001 can be recommended to both performance lovers and to budget-conscious music lovers.



    Conclusion

    Dunu DK-3001 is surely one of the best IEMs one can recommend at their price point, their performance is withstanding and the number of included accessories is surely a great addition to their value.


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    Being the current Top-of-The-Line offering from a budget oriented company like Dunu, DK-3001 proves itself as one of the most interesting IEMs I tested to date and there’s little to complain about although if I really had to find a downside to them, that would probably be the maybe too friendly top end, which might not satisfy a purely neutral treble lover.

    DK-3001’s signature will please most music lovers out there, featuring a similar signature to the well-known HD650. With a strong and deep bass featuring a natural-to-long decay, a sweet and detailed midrange and a polite top end, DK-3001 is compatible with almost any music you can throw at it and will be a IEM that will bring you pleasure for many hours in a row.

    The build quality is also excellent and besides the cable connectors being quite stiff, DK-3001 looking like they could take a beating before showing any sings of wear.

    Whether the 500$ price tag is good enough for you, is something only you can device, but I can almost surely say that you won’t be disappointed by the package or the sound of DK-3001. It is a great choice and if you have precisely 500$ to purchase a IEM, and you want it to bear the signature of HD650, DK-3001 is clearly worth checking out.




    Thank you for reading! I hope that this review is of help to you! Stay safe, and please remember to have fun while listening to music!




    Link to the review on Audiophile Heaven: https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.ro/2017/08/dunu-dk-3001-surprise-relaxed-and.html

    Link to the official Thread on Head-Fi:
    https://head-fi.org/threads/dunu-dk-3001-iem-4-driver-1dynamic-3ba.852732/

    Link to the official product store on Ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/DUNU-DK-3001-Hybrid-earphone-3BA-1Dynamic-driver-1-year-limited-warranty-NIB-/182678369021?

    Link to the writer’s Head-Fi page: https://head-fi.org/members/dobrescu-george.170938/

    Audiophile Heaven: https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.com/

    Audiophile Heaven on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiophileHeaven/
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