Plunge Audio Unity - A Look into The Musical Mirror
Pros: Exceptional clarity
Layering and separation
Next level soundstage and imaging
Clean unblemished sound
Quality of included accessories
Cons: Bass very occasionally a tad dry
Note weight is not class leading
Plunge Audio is the epitome of a boutique brand. From manufacturing to marketing, the company is a one man show. Each iem is hand built in Canada and the Unity has very unique characteristics that set itself aside from virtually all the competition. Firstly, it is not made of the typical resin or metal but of a 3d printed vinyl material. This required a special printer to be employed to take advantage of this material’s unique properties. In addition, the design of the shell itself is interesting for its nozzle angulation which more closely follows the natural curvature of the ear canal.
The Plunge utilizes a “Quad-Driver tubeless, damper-less design with a tuned acoustic nozzle chamber”. The nozzle is clear and tuning accomplished by the actual chamber where the BA drivers reside. This is a marked departure from almost all other manufacturers in both design and tuning approach. The result is a cohesive sound with incredible soundstage and imaging. More on that later.
Plunge’s main guy is Simon Fisk has a background both as a musician and an Audiologist. This is quite a potent mix with respect to the potential of Plunge Audio given the designers understanding of the basic structure of the human ear and appreciation for music.
With respect to tuning on tap is a mid-centric balanced sonic presentation with great technicalities and detail retrieval. Easy to drive the Plunge Audio Unity wasn’t overly fussy with sources but as usual will benefit from more resolving frontends. The Unity also does well with a warmer source being also somewhat less picky with tip selection than some recent iems which have graced my ears lately.
The Unity is a very well built iem. The finish is textured and quite understated. In the hands it’s easy to tell that the material used in its construction is not of the typical resin/plastic or metal.
The Unity is light in weight and medium is size. I have to point out the nozzle angle which more closely follows the natural angulation of the ear canal. This actually aids in the fitment and keeping the Unity secured in place and according to Plunge has sonic benefits as well.
The included case is unique both in it’s look and feel. It seems to be made of the same material as the Unity itself. The included accessories are of high quality. The evaluation unity I have on hand includes SednaEarfit Xelastic tips and a high quality 8-wire 7nOCC Copper/Silver Alloy Multi-Stranded Cable. Beryllium Plated Copper MMCX Connection with Aluminum/Gold plated internal leads & contacts. This is in stark contrast to some kilobuck iems that I have heard whose accessories are more at home in a budget product.
Quality throughout is the theme here. Very well dome Plunge Audio!
(Nozzle angel vs typical iem. Plunge Audio Unity on the left.)
The Plunge Audio Unity offers a balanced bass presentation. Not the iem for those who are bassheads by any means but those individuals with more discerning tastes will appreciate what is going on here.
Bass goes deep with great control. Here we have a low end that follows closely what is present in a track without added enhancements. On “Manix!” by Intelligent Hoodlum for example, the bass drops and were cleanly relayed with ample power and grunt but not overblown. The double bass on the Robert Glasper Trios incredible track “No Worries” is cleanly relayed with great definition as well. Likewise, on “Circumstance” by Wayman Tisdale this high level of detailed playback was again heard.
If anything, I would have preferred just a touch more body to the low end on some tracks with the Unity coming off a tad dry on occasion. Still if it's in the track, you will hear it. The mid-bass does not impact the lower midrange as well leaving that part of the frequency spectrum clean and undisturbed.
The midrange of the Plunge Audio Unity is clean and exceptionally open with ample detail retrieval. Technicalities are a high point here and there is a sense that everything in a track is laid bare with nothing to hide. No harshness was noted.
Vocals in general are a treat being more intimate than recessed. Amber Navran’s vocals on Moonchilds “Change Your Mind” were as whimsical as ever with every nuance enjoyed without restriction. Male vocals Get the same treatment. Gregory Isaacs vocals on the classic “Night Nurse” came through with exceptional clarity. “Tenderhearted Lover” by John Stoddart had all the emotional elements of his vocal delivery front and center.
The handling of dynamics and transients were done very well. Clean, sharp attack and natural decay. Timbre is also quite good aiding in the immersive quality of the sound.
Layering and separation are very well done with an expansiveness to the sound that is top tier. The Unity is really mirror and will play back faithfully what the track demands. The midrange is of high quality indeed.
The treble of the Plunge Audio Unity is well extended with great clarity, definition and detail. There are ample quantities of air and sparkle here as well. Also notable is detail retrieval with no harshness nor grain present. The goal it seems of the treble is to compliment the rest of the frequency spectrum as opposed to making a statement of its own.
The treble is well done and really enhances the overall sonic presentation of the Unity.
IMAGING & SOUNDSTAGE:
The Plunge Audio Unity has “next level” soundstage and imaging. With well recorded music I have yet to experience this type of dimensionality in any other iem.
The soundstage is expansive and instrument placement is solid. What is so special is where the Unity places the listener as an active participant in the soundscape. Listening to “Stimelah” by Hugh Masekela I was transported into the band itself and not just as a member of the audience. I admit that when first hearing the Unity this was somewhat startling. It took a short while to get used to this experience. Listening to the DSD of Eden Atwood’s album “Waves” at times I found my vantage point to be in the band itself.
Instrument placement was solid and being able to discern each was easy. This is something special here and is admittedly hard to describe in words.
The Plunge Audio Unity is not for everyone. For those who treasure pounding bass, thick midrange and zippy treble, this is not the iem for you.
The Unity is for those who demand to hear what is really in the music without any added filler. It is a musical mirror so to speak. It is also for those who appreciate playback with great dimensionality.
The Unity is really a labor of love from a company who I believe is poised to do big things.
The Plunge Audio Unity gets a solid recommendation.