Kotori Audio Dauntless


Kotori Audio Dauntless: Willy Wonka in an IEM
Pros: Excellent Technical Performance
Good Build, Ergonomics and Packaging
Cons: Absolutely Bizarre Tonality


At a Glance:

Sound Signature: Bright

Category: C (20-100 USD), MSRP: Approx. 55 USD, Acquired at: 0 USD (Review Unit)


This Pre-Release review sample was very kindly provided to me by Ray of Kotori for me to try and review this IEM. This review is not sponsored, and no money was involved whatsoever. No external influences aside from my own will change the content of this review, and as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Ray, and to Larry Fulton of Audioreviews.org for helping me secure this unit.


The Dauntless is the inaugural IEM from Kotori Audio, a Singaporean company likely more well known for their production of audio cables. It features a single 10mm “Japanese Dynamic Driver” housed in a 3D-Printed, Molded UIEM style shell.


The Dauntless come in a medium-sized square cardboard box. The outer sleeve hosts a photo of the IEM. The sides and back host some extra information on the inclusions of the IEM, as well as some general technical specifications. The inner box simply has a stylized logo and it further opens up to reveal the (rather well-sized) carrying pouch, as well as a small box tucked in the side which houses it’s eartip inclusions.


The included accessories are quite good, the hard-shell carrying pouch looks and feels quite good and unlike other included carry cases and pouches I’ve seen before, it’s quite roomy, making it a breeze to fit stuff inside. It also comes with a carabiner for portable use.

The 2 sets of included eartips are both silicon, and while I’m not familiar with the other pair of included tips, the black tips with colored stems are quite clearly the popular Sony EP-EX11 eartips, which I find are a very respectable general purpose eartip and are quite comfy in the ear as well.


The included cable is also quite good, as I would expect from Kotori, with them making cables before this IEM. It’s a 4-core silver cable (likely the usual Silver-Plated Copper). The cable is overall very soft and quite easy to work with. It has occasional bits of shape memory but it is easily soft enough that those little kinks aren’t a problem. The fitted plug, splitter and chin slider are all made out of a hardened rubber, whilst the 2-pin connectors for the IEM itself are made out of a hard plastic. Overall, the cable is certainly quite good for the price, and a pleasant ergonomic experience.




The Dauntless are built to have a molded, pseudo CIEM style shell which can be seen with things like the concha fin, tragus depression and anti-tragus bulge. This makes them mate with the depression of your ear quite well. I found that the shells simply disappeared into my ears after a while thanks to the small size and light weight of the resin shells – something which I cannot say is the case for a lot of the other molded shells I’ve used, as they tend to be rather large and heavy in the ear. The concha fin may perhaps be too sharp for some people and indeed it can be a bother when lying down on the IEM but other than that occasional grip, this IEM is extremely comfortable.


Being an all-resin IEM, the Dauntless does not have the reassuring feeling weight of a metal shell, and being a hollow IEM, it has not the solid feeling that comes from holding a fully filled resin shell. However, looking at it closer, the fit and finish is very good for a budget IEM. Kotori says that these are hand finished, and I do see some spots here and there. However, looking at gaps and all the edges of the IEM show that it has been built quite well. For example, shining a flashlight onto the shell shows that the faceplate is actually a separate piece, but without doing so it’s basically impossible to tell. I’d certainly be concerned if I stepped on it, it doesn’t feel like a build that can hold up to abuse. But trading that off for comfort is fine, and I’m quite happy with the level of craftsmanship shown here.

Sound Review Conditions:

  • Stock 4-core, 2-pin cable
  • Stock Sony EP-EX11 tips, medium
  • Schiit Bifrost R2R DAC, Schiit Asgard AMP,Topping L30, D10s, iFi Zen DAC (Desktop), LG V50 HiFi Phone/DAP. HaaFee HA9 Portable AMP + Dongle, , Zishan Z4 DAP (Portable)
  • Deezer HiFi, Foobar 2000, Signalyst HQ Player, UAPP for LG V50



The Dauntless has a marginally recessed bass region overall, with a tonality that leans towards a linear bass region. The edge extension into the subbass is quite good, and low frequency rumble is quite well reproduced. Strangely though, I find that despite a linearity graph wise, midbass seems to take center stage with a primary sound profile that leans towards a punchy and clean sound rather than bloated and thick. Thanks to the clean response and mostly flat tonality, separation of different bass region frequencies is quite well done with differentiation solidly executed. However, sometimes I do find it to be overly clean and clinical and it does end up sounding somewhat detatched from the rest of the frequency response thanks to how precisely it sounds. Nevertheless, I quite like it, it reminds me of the HZ Sound Heart Mirror’s clean response.


The midrange of the Dauntless is... certainly less straightforward than the bass and the treble regions to put lightly. Overall, there are a bunch of bizarre dips and elevations in certain regions I cannot quite get my head around in the context of proper tonal balance. Firstly, the lower midrange has an audible hump that makes male vocals sound downright weird, and also occasionally blunts female vocals. In this region, despite an overall bright tonality and clean bass region, I find that there can be a lack of clarity and transparency, particularly for vocals which have a tendency to sound muffled. As a result of elevations in the frequencies above and below it, the centre midrange leans towards being quite recessed as well, though perhaps not as tonally bizarre as the rest of it. The upper midrange shares a similar problem as it is weirdly inconsistent in presentation, with occasional hints of being relatively tame and even slightly blunted with warmer and thicker sources, but also moments where female vocals and instruments take on a bizarre, bright, metallic sheen. It’s all over the place. Not much more I can say.


This section of the review is going to be fairly straightforward and frankly, the same word used to describe the overall signature of this IEM is easily applicable here. The Dauntless has bright treble across pretty much the entirety of it’s treble response and while it’s no Fischer Omega Spark, it’s pretty extreme. Overall, I think that the treble response is relatively well controlled for just how much of it there is, however for most listeners it will still be too much, no matter how well controlled it is. It’s well extended and has a good amount of upper range air, but with massive peaks at pretty much every juncture. Even with the relatively narrow bore Sony EP-EX11 tips it is still bright. With the lower treble there’s an overly forward sense of incisiveness on transients and a rather pronounced snap to cymbals. The mid treble is likely responsible for the metallic sheen and contributes to overly bright and fatiguing tonality. Forced detail is naturally exaggerated by quite a bit (though this driver does resolve quite well). I’ll cut this here, I could say more but that’s enough. It’s very bright is all that needs to be said



Somewhat shockingly, the overall technical performance of this rather good and consistently good. First up, soundstage is rather wide and has very much decent depth for the price. Front and Back staging is somewhat better done than some comparable IEMs and the sideways stage is certainly better than most including other technical kings like the HZ Sound Heart Mirror. Imaging and Separation are both good as well. Imaging is precise, and it is certainly more finite than what I expected for the price. Likely also helped by the tonality, separation is great with a general incisiveness to everything in the mix and a notable lack of much smearing. Detail retrieval, forced or otherwise and bright tonality notwithstanding is also rather good here with resolution seemingly being a strong suit of this particular driver. There isn’t much more to say here, the Dauntless is a peerless technical king that topples even the Heart Mirror and makes the tonal quirks of this IEM all the more puzzling and unfortunate.


To be quite frank, this is a set that is not for everyone, it’s a set that you need to have extreme treble resistance to listen to much after all. It’s a technically excellent IEM that has some massive tonal bizzareness to say the least. The value proposition here is quite varied and it really just depends on your personal tastes for the tonality of this IEM. In the end, what I can say is, it mostly sounds like it graphs, with excellent technicalities. Recommended with heavy reservations

I know Kotori .... I have 4 cables from this company and I must say that although different from each other (according to your needs) they are really good sounding cables, and very well made.
Hi, nothing bizarre for me, the tonality is correct in my ears. I prefer the black eartips too, sounds better (fatigue free). Using a balanced copper cable.
I have to listen them longer, but first impression makes me think that they are quiet phenomenal! Details, instrument séparation are more than expected, great even on busy tracks (ex: stoner rock). Mid bass have good impact, very clean (as everything in fact), sub bass are there too (when the music calls them).
Not a basshead iem, neutral with some warmth (different from hz heart mirror in that sense), very enjoyable sound!


New Head-Fier
Kotori Audio Dauntless Review: Tight and Bright
Pros: Tight, clean textured lows
Very comfortable shells
Great technicalities
Cons: Highs can get too intense
Kotori Audio is a company from Singapore that produces cables for in-ear monitors. Recently, they decided to create their own IEM, hence, the Dauntless is born. As of writing this review, the Dauntless is up in Kickstarter, where you can get it for an early bird price of just 44 USD, while stocks last. After the crowdfunding campaign, it will go back to its regular retail price of 69 USD. The Dauntless was provided to me for free by Kotori Audio in exchange for this review.

International purchase link (Kickstarter)

Driver unit: 10 mm dynamic, PU (polyurethane) + PEEK (polyetheretherketone) composite membrane
Impedance: 12.2 ohms
Sensitivity: not specified
Frequency response range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz

Poco X3 paired with FiiO KA3, iBasso DC03, Shanling UA1, Tempotec Sonata E35 and Zishan U1

Test tracks:
Africano - Earth Wind and Fire
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gurenge - Lisa
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Monsters - All Time Low
Ours - Taylor Swift
Stay - Mayday Parade
Snuff - Slipknot
Yesterday Once More - Carpenters
So Slow - Freestyle
Aurora Sunrise - Franco
Attention - Pentatonix
Blue Bird - Ikimono-gakari
You're Still The One - Shania Twain
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is(Will Understand) - Irma Thomas
Salamin - Slapshock
AOV - Slipknot
Hey Jude - The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
...and a lot more.

Unboxing and Accessories:
The Dauntless comes in a small black and white sleeved box. Removing the sleeve and the top lid will reveal the fabric carrying case with a rather large logo of Kotori Audio at the top containing the earphones with the cables already attached. The cable has a velcro strap and a plastic cap for the plug. Underneath is the instruction manual and right next to the case is a smaller box that contains a carabiner and two sets of silicone eartips in small, medium and large sizes.

The shells are made of 3D-printed resin with a smooth, glossy finish. The faceplate is decorated with the Kotori Audio logo in silver color. Kotori Audio also decided to not put a vent in the shell. The shells are also smaller than average, so it should be comfortable even for those with small ears. The nozzles have a lip that helps eartips stay in place, and equipped with a fine metal mesh.

The cable is a basic twisted 4-core silver plated copper. This is your typical cable commonly included in custom in-ear monitors. It is thin and very flexible but some minor microphonics can be heard. The male 0.78 mm 2 pin connectors, splitter, chin slider, and L-type 3.5 mm gold plated plug are all made of hard rubber.

Now let's get to the sound.

The lows are clean and rolls off early. Subbass has minimal presence. The depth is slightly below average accompanied by a tight, quick decay. Midbass is slightly more upfront. Its weight is slightly below average as well and sounds more like a "thud" than a "thump".

Overall, the lows of the Dauntless reminds me of a balanced armature driver. For the most part, the lows have sufficient substance but can feel lacking sometimes especially in tracks where you expect the bass to takeover.

The mids are slightly forward. Lower mids have an average weight but there is a bump in the upper mids that boosts female vocals and gives it extra shimmer. This also results in a slight hint of shoutiness when female singers hit some high notes. Percussion and string instruments sound open, airy, and has good definition.

Overall, the Dauntless has that midrange that is focused on clarity but does not lack body at all. Shoutiness can rarely be perceived but it is otherwise negligible in most tracks.

The highs have a very significant elevation. Treble reach is great for a dynamic driver, along with an above average level of decay. Lower treble is boosted but well-controlled so sibilance is never an issue, but the upper treble can sometimes get out of hand causing instruments like lead guitars to get a little too aggressive on some tracks.

Overall, this is the most dominant part in the Dauntless' sound. There is a good amount of air here but it does get a little too much sometimes and might cause fatigue over long periods of listening.

Soundstage and Imaging:
The stage of the Dauntless has an average expansion. The width and the height expands equally. Imaging is slightly above average with each note having good resolution. The layering and instrument separation is also slightly above average and congestion is minimal even in tracks with multiple instruments playing at the same time.

Kotori Audio Dauntless (1 DD, 69 USD) vs. TinHiFi T3 Plus (1 DD, 69 USD)
The T3 Plus has a tad more quantity in the lows. The T3 Plus is able go deeper and with a slightly stronger rumble. Length of decay is just about the same. The midbass of the T3 Plus has more powerful slam and is also more loose. The Dauntless has slightly thinner mids in both the lower and upper section, also the level of clarity is slightly better in the Dauntless. The mids are also a bit more forward. The T3 Plus on the other hand, has more substance and body in the mids and yet the difference in the transparency is very minimal. In the highs, it is evident that the Dauntless has more bite, better reach, and longer decay. Cymbals has more presence and sound more defined in the Dauntless. With the soundstage, they have about the same size in the width but the T3 Plus has more height and the difference is very noticeable. Imaging is almost identical but the T3 Plus has very small edge in the separation of instruments.

Cold or bright sounding gears are a bit rare especially in the budget range, and it's good to see them slowly growing in population. The word "dauntless" means showing fearlessness and determination, and Kotori Audio was able to show that characteristic by giving this in-ear monitor a somewhat uncommon tuning. A slight reduction in the treble could improve the Dauntless in terms of comfortability, but nonetheless, the Dauntless is a good choice for those who are looking for an analytical sounding gear.


1000+ Head-Fier
Review: Kotori Audio Dauntless - Right the First Time
Pros: Excellent midrange clarity and transparency
Precise bass
Well-extended and clean treble
Comfortable fit with great isolation
Affordable price
Cons: Insufficient depth in the soundstage
Lack of sub-bass rumble

Powered by a single 10mm PU+PEEK composite dynamic driver and tuned for technical listening, the Dauntless render your music with exceptional precision and clarity.

Thank you to Ray Tan from Kotori Audio for providing the Dauntless for review purposes. This review is originally published on Headphonesty.
Kotori Audio is a relatively new audio company that started with manufacturing IEM cables. I have auditioned a few of their products and I am glad to have them in the market because they genuinely understand what audiophiles want. They are passionate and implement many creative ideas that no other manufacturers dare to try.

The founder of Kotori Audio, Ray Tan, approached me in October with their first pair of IEMs, the Dauntless. I immediately agreed to provide my honest opinion as I am eager to know what the Dauntless can deliver. Let’s reveal their actual color in this article!


Company Introduction​

Kotori Audio is a Singapore-based company founded by Ray Tan, an audiophile and audio hobbyist. Ray can relate to the typical audiophile journey: trying out different products, buying some, regretting a few of them, and accidentally destroying a couple along the way.

Looking at the audio industry over the years, Ray feels that many manufacturers are churning out "new" products simply for business gain and profit, without considering the user's needs and wants. With all his experience as a consumer, audiophile, and hobbyist, he founded Kotori Audio to offer products and services that minimize the unpleasant feelings that the current market can create with consumers.

“Here at Kotori audio, we create products for a purpose - to share the joy of the hobby with others.” - Kotori Audio

Technical Specifications​

  • Form: IEMs
  • Drivers: 1 x 10mm dynamic driver with PU+PEEK Composite Membrane (made in Japan)
  • Impedance (Ohm): 12.2Ω @1kHz 100dB
  • Sensitivity (dB): Not stated
  • Frequency Response (Hz): 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • Removable Cable: Y
  • Source Jack: 3.5mm
  • Cup/Shell Jack: 0.78mm 2-pin


I received a pre-release version of the Dauntless, with no outer sleeve. However, I did receive the inner box and complete accessories. The retail version will have a white sleeve covering the inner box.

The unboxing experience is relatively straightforward - the Dauntless ships in a black box with a shiny logo. The IEMs are well-protected within the carry case in the box.

In the box​

  • Dauntless IEMs
  • Carry case
  • 3 x silicone ear tips (S, M, and L)
  • 1 x Ultra-Flexible Cable (3.5mm/ 0.78mm 2-Pin)
  • 1 x Carabiner hook

The Dauntless ships in a black box with a shiny logo.


According to Kotori Audio, the stock cable is named “Ultra-Flexible Cable”. I can confirm that it is supple and does not create significant microphonics when moved around. The only con I can think of is that this white cable may eventually turn yellowish when the outer sleeve gets dirty. Otherwise, the cable is perfect for daily usage.

The stock cable is supple and neatly braided.


The Dauntless have a semi-custom 3D printed shell using industrial hard-tough resin. The body is then coated with skin-safe lacquer, which gives it a shiny piano-like finish. The overall physical appearance is modern and classy, especially with the silver Kotori Audio logo.

The nozzle is averagely long and wide, making it easy for users to source ear tips. The lip on the nozzle could be deeper to better secure the ear tips. I occasionally lose a tip when I remove the IEMs from my ears.

The Dauntless provide excellent isolation and I can happily use them on noisy public transport and most external noises are blocked. Besides splendid isolation, the Dauntless also provide a comfortable fit. Some semi-custom IEMs have extreme insertion, which irritates my ears. I am glad to report that Dauntless do not!

The Dauntless shell is coated with skin-safe lacquer, which gives them a shiny piano-finish.
There is a lip on the nozzle to secure the ear tips, but I feel the lip can be deepened to catch the ear tips better.
Dauntless utilizes 0.78mm 2-pin connectors, which make cable-rolling easy!


The Dauntless are powered by a Japanese-made 10mm dynamic driver with a combination polyurethane (PU) and polyetheretherketone (PEEK) composite membrane. The configuration is simple to design, but the sonic quality does rely heavily on the manufacturers’ tuning.

Dauntless Sound​

The Dauntless sound signature is towards the brighter side, emphasizing the midrange and treble. They remind me of the Campfire Audio Orion, which I like a lot. There are a lot of details delivered by Dauntless, and every piece is handled decently.

The Dauntless are a good candidate for entry-level audiophiles looking for a pair of affordable IEMs with clarity.

The soundstage is wide but with average depth due to the lack of extension in the sub-bass. The headroom is more towards planar (two-dimensional) rather than three-dimensional.

The Dauntless sound signature is towards the brighter side, emphasizing midrange and treble.


The bass is fast, unlike typical dynamic driver-powered IEMs, which often have slower attack and decay responses. The quick and lean bass makes the Dauntless sound bright and transparent. They do not have much sub-bass extension to create headroom depth, but you can still feel their presence.

According to Ray, to achieve the fast response speed using a dynamic driver, they sacrificed including a vent on the shell intended to mitigate driver flex. The driver's response is more immediate by sealing the shell and suffocating the dynamic driver, but bass extension and volume are sacrificed. This tweak is the reason why the Dauntless bass is lean and fast.

To achieve the fast response speed in a dynamic driver, Kotori Audio sacrificed the vent on the shell.


Thanks to the bass precision, the Dauntless transparently present the midrange. There is no coloration due to bass bleed. The midrange position is slightly forward on the stage, but it is not shouty. The timbre of Dauntless in the mid-frequency is accurate too.

The upper midrange is spacious and airy. Despite having more emphasis, the midrange is still comfortable to listen to without fatigue. The presentation is smooth and soft when listening to female vocals. It has good penetration and tickles the eardrums.

I auditioned Adele’s latest album, 30 with the Dauntless. The vocals are presented with a spacious body and preserve sufficient air. The fidelity is outstanding!

The Dauntless present midrange transparently, thanks to the bass precision.


Despite having more upper-frequency focus, the treble is well-handled. I did not experience fatigue from piercing treble or sibilance. This tuning makes the Dauntless a pair of unique IEMs - more like all-rounder single BA IEMs with better detail retrieval capability than typical single dynamic driver IEMs.

There is sufficient space and air in the treble to avoid it becoming too “stiff”. The spacious soundstage allows the treble to flow smoothly and comfortably. The treble of the Dauntless has a controlled decay and does not get distorted when reproducing very high frequencies.

The Dauntless have better detail retrieval capability than typical single dynamic driver IEMs.

Where to Buy​


Although they are the first pair of IEMs from Kotori Audio, the Dauntless show a high level of maturity in tuning. Using a dynamic driver, they achieve excellent fidelity through tuning techniques, such as sealing the driver vent. The Dauntless may be the best choice for those looking for a pair of sub-USD$100 IEMs with a bright sound signature and excellent clarity.

For those who are considering gaining some experience before entering the high-end portable audio market, I strongly encourage you to try the Dauntless. They are a great low-cost introduction to how high-end IEMs sound!
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The Dauntless First
Pros: Crisp highs
Warm natural vocals
Tight impactful midbass
Comfortable sound for long listening sessions
Cons: Bass lacks extension
Vocals can sound too laidback on certain tracks
Kotori Audio, known for their value-for-money IEM upgrade cables, are now looking to make their own IEMs. Let’s take a closer look at Kotori Audio’s first attempt at an IEM, the Dauntless!


Disclaimer: The earphones were loaned to me by Kotori Audio for review, which has to be returned. This does not affect my opinion on the product in any way whatsoever. I was told to give my honest feedback on the product.

Sound: Vocal-centric with crisp highs and tight midbass

Driver: 1x Composite 10mm Dynamic Driver
Socket: 0.78mm 2-pin socket
Price: Early Bird Special @ 60 USD (90 USD usual)
Where to buy it: Kickstarter

  • Crisp highs
  • Warm natural vocals
  • Tight impactful midbass
  • Comfortable sound for long listening sessions
  • Bass lacks extension
  • Vocals can sound too laidback on certain tracks
Suitable Genres: Vocals-focused tracks, funk, blues



1 Set Sony eartips (S, M, L)
1 Set standard eartips (S, M, L)
1 x semi-hard earphone case
1 x earphone cable (3.5mm; L-shaped jack)
1 x Kotori Audio Dauntless

The package that the Dauntless comes in is very decent as it includes the necessities. I like that it comes with a set of Sony eartips as it’s one of the most comfortable ear tips that I have used (more on this later).


The semi-hard earphone case has the Kotori Audio logo imprinted into it, giving it a very tasteful unique look. It would have been nice if they had included a cleaning tool to lightly dust off earwax that might be on the earphone itself.

Overall, the package is decent and rather complete with a nice touch to their earphone case. However, it would have been nice if it included a cleaning tool.

The Dauntless has a very minimalistic look; outfitted in a glossy piano black shell with their logo on its faceplate in silver. However, as I always mention, having a glossy finishing results in it being a fingerprint magnet sadly.

In most cases, if it is lightweight, it usually feels quite cheap. However, the Dauntless defies that by being light and not feeling cheap. I feel that it is because of the lacquer used on the shell, giving it a somewhat “thick plastic” feeling.

Good build quality and look overall!

The IEM is lightweight and that makes wearing the Dauntless very comfortable especially for longer listening sessions like writing this review while listening to it. The earphone is also shaped in such a way that it fits nicely in my ears without any weird angles that poke against my ears.

The seal of the left earphone was initially off when I used the medium sized Sony eartips but I resolved that by changing to the small sized ones instead. Seal is great and there is no distortion to the sound when using the earphone with the right eartips. Changing back to the standard eartips, the medium size fits comfortably with no issues at all.

Before talking more about the sound, the setup I used to test are as follows:
Player - Fiio Q5s TC from Sony Xperia 1 iii
Cable - Stock
Eartips - Included Sony eartips


The Dauntless is a fast, vocal-centric earphone that has slightly more emphasis in the highs and a tight mid-bass. Vocals are forward with a tad of warmth to them, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on the genre that you’re listening to. Separation is good for a single dynamic driver IEM as I am usually able to discern quite a lot of details easily, especially in the mids section.

Highs are very crisp and quite forward sounding. The highs does not overpower but it also never shies away unlike most earphones; it will definitely be there when the high-hats are being played or when cymbals crash. It is especially satisfying when the cymbals crash with a ton of energy, it makes you want to groove to the music.

Guitar solos on the Dauntless are usually very satisfying to listen to due to its high energy. Listening to the guitar solo in “Melody Lane” is especially satisfying when it hits the end (climax) of the solo. As a guitarist, I get so absorbed in that solo and it is just so satisfying!

If you are someone that loves listening to electric guitar solos and enjoy that high energy cymbal crash in your music, then this definitely provides that. However, I do have to comment that if you are one that dislikes highs and wants it to be more laidback, then this is definitely not it.

The Dauntless has fast, impactful and forward mids, making this a delight to listen to for genres such as funk. Vocals are natural sounding with a hint of warmth, giving the vocals depth. The Dauntless actually has more forward mid-high and mid-bass regions, giving me the initial impression that it was the mids that were more forward. Though this was the case, I still feel that the mids are still the highlight of this earphone.

When listening to my usual rock music, drums seemed to be rather impactful (which has more mid-highs and mid-bass for the snare and tom toms respectively) but seem to lack that same presence in the rhythm guitar section such as in “Fuyu no Hanashi” and in “Soft Vinyl Figure”.

Surprisingly, they perform well for funk, probably due to the high energy that it’s able to provide. The guitars, drums and vocals in funk tracks are being played very well through it. One such example is in the track “Light As Anything” where the percussive strumming of the guitar and drums are impactful and fast, and the vocals have that nice warmth and coarseness to it.

Moving on to vocals, I like that on most tracks the vocals sound very natural with a touch of warmness to it. On “Trying to Figure It Out” and “Smokin Out The Window”, I love how the vocals sound very smooth and natural, which most earphones at this price range (and even higher) usually can’t get right. This warmness, however, sometimes makes the vocals sound too laidback on certain tracks especially when the vocalist is already being overpowered by the instruments such as on “The Handler”.

To summarize, mids are fast and impactful with more emphasis in the mid-bass and mid-high regions. Vocals are smooth and warm but the warmness of it can make vocals sound too laidback on certain instrument heavier tracks.

Bass on the Dauntless treads mostly on the midbass region, with it being impactful and tight. The bass extension leaves more to be desired as the bass tends to fade very quickly and does not rumble deep enough nor linger longer like how I would usually prefer.

Moving on to my usual bass guitar benchmark, the bass on “Overnight” is a pleasure to listen to as you can clearly tell the bassline apart from the rest of the layers. It has just enough depth in the verse and when it transitions to the chorus with a deeper bass, it is still very much discernable with good tonal quality. On the other hand, the bass in “Skate” and “The Way You Look Tonight” (Maroon 5) makes it slightly less enjoyable due to the bass extension not being as extended. Just when you think the bass is going deeper, it hits a limit and stops there, making it not as satisfying.

In “Cheating on You”, I like that the kick drum has a good enough kick that doesn’t overwhelm me, but I would have liked it if each kick of the kick drum would rumble more while fading out like how I experienced it on my Fir Audio M5.

Overall, I like that the midbass of the Dauntless is really fast and impactful which is great for certain tracks. However, in certain tracks, the lack of that bass extension can be its crutch.

For soundstage, it sounds as if you are listening to the music in a larger studio room for most tracks. You get quite a good amount of space between each instrument layer and it does not sound too narrow.

In the imaging aspect, tracks have a decent imaging but is highly dependent on how the track has been mixed. In most cases imaging is decent enough, with good Left, Right and Center imaging. In well mixed tracks, you usually get a 5 directional sound (Left, Right, Center, Center-Left, Center-Right).

I also noted that on certain tracks where there are a lot more instruments, the sound can be rather congested sounding; with the vocals usually still being the most prominent layer. However, it seems to be resolved by driving the earphone with a more powerful source such as using my Topping DX30 Pro.


During the first few days of writing the review, I did not know the price of this earphone and had the impression that this was a 100-ish USD earphone based on the sound. However, upon knowing the price, I can easily recommend this earphone to anyone. If you are someone that likes warm natural vocals, good midbass kick and crisp highs on a budget, then definitely consider the Dauntless. Not many earphones in this price range have good vocals and especially highs, so don’t miss out on this IEM especially during their Kickstarter! Once again, keep up the good work, I can see this having more potential in the future!

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