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Dunu TITAN Series (new for 2019: Titan 6) [Page 196]

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  1. tomscy2000
    Table of Contents
    Characteristics of "half in-ear" earphones
    What DUNU might bring to the table...
    Visit to DUNU Headquarters, 01/21/2015
    Upcoming TITAN Series Models
    Impressions/Review List
    External Links

    I'm a longtime fan of "half in-ear" designs for IEMs. My very first review on head-fi (see '[REVIEW] Superlux HD381F --- Bargain Bin Bliss') was for the Superlux HD381F, which was an amazing $15 IEM. It was of a half in-ear design (a near facsimile of the EX90LP, except clad all in cheap plastic). It all started off with the Sony MDR-EX90LP (and EX85LP), which set the standard for the design. Since then, there have been a ton of different products that utilize this obliquely mounted vented driver paradigm:
    1. Superlux HD381/F/B (based off the MDR-EX90LP) (Manufacturer's Published FR)
    2. Phiaton PS210 (Independent Measurements by Rin Choi, InnerFidelity)
    3. Brainwavz Beta (based off the MDR-EX85)
    4. Maxell HP-CN40 (Independent Measurements by: ADC, Rin Choi)
    5. Atomic Floyd TwistJax/PowerJax/HiDefDrum (Independent Measurements by GoldenEars)
    6. Philips Fidelio S1/S2/TX1/TX2 (Independent Measurements by: InnerFidelity, ADC, GoldenEars, Seeko)
    ...and many more... (It could be argued that many of Audio-Technica's CKM products could also be counted in, and perhaps even Sony's products too, but I'm concentrating on highly vented designs that resemble the Sony MDR-EX85 and EX90LP most closely.)
    Characteristics of "half in-ear" earphones

    Two words: BIG. DRIVER. Half in-ear designs all use large diaphragm, usually in the realm of 13-16 millimeters. Conventional logic tells us that in this case, bigger is indeed better. After all, a 13.5 mm diaphragm has nearly double the surface area of a standard 9 mm diaphragm. The increased surface area means that consistency of the diaphragm would be easier to maintain in a massive production line, amongst other technical reasons.
    "Half in-ear" designs all share one major drawback --- sub-par isolation. However, they also allow the listener to experience a wide-open feel to the music, and that's why "half in-ear" designs have been manufacturers' preferred choice for delivering great sound at a reasonable price. But as good as might sound, they've never been the ones on the bleeding edge of transducer technology.
    What DUNU might bring to the table...

    In early 2015, DUNU upped the ante by introducing a half in-ear model called the TITAN 1:
    The TITAN 1 has been well-received head-fiers as the first of its kind to utilize a titanium-coated diaphragm in such a form factor. People who have had extensive experience with titanium-coated drivers (such as the ones used in many HiFiMAN earphones) know that the sound does improve with respect to transient speed and less breakup resonance in the treble region. Thus, the TITAN 1 has made some promising earphone for making up for the classic shortcomings of half in-ear designs --- bass and treble roll-off.

    Visit to DUNU Headquarters, 01/21/2015

    I spent the afternoon at DUNU's corporate headquarters in New Taipei City and auditioned both the Titan 1 and Alpha 1 for a second time. I'd been meaning to go to their office for a while but have not been able to find the time until now. DUNU's offices are nestled on the 16th floor of a large office complex that houses many other companies, including a video game development studio, amongst other industries. I was placed in their meeting room, a room filled with DUNU paraphernalia wall to wall.
    Armed with my iPhone 6 and the Celsus Sound Companion One, I got to listening. The Titan 1 was mostly like how I remembered it at the audio show in December --- balanced, with mildly boosted but well-controlled bass response, as well as overt detail but non-strident treble. No longer having to fight the loud ambiance of a showroom floor, the Titan 1 provided great detail in the quiet sanctuary of the DUNU meeting room.

    Later, Andy H. (pictured above) and another DUNU representative (whose name escapes me at the moment) chatted with me about the development of both the Titan 1 as well as their future plans. They were quite happy with the Titan 1's critical success thus far and hope to continue the momentum with the "Titan Series" --- expect more DUNU models with titanium nano-treated diaphragms in the near future.


    Update, 2015/10/08
    I apologize for not keeping up with this thread (and all other threads I may be involved with), but I've been extremely busy. Today, I managed to meet with the DUNU guys in the Taipei office during my lunch break. I got to hear (extremely briefly) the very first engineering prototypes of the DN-2002 and DK-4001.
    One of the very first engineering prototypes of the DK-4001.
    Engineering prototype of the DN-2002
    Keep in mind that these are literally the very first prototypes they've disclosed (the ones they were showing off at the Beijing audio show), so they're not at all finalized in form factor and especially not in sound signature, but the DN-2002 looks good in terms of build quality and looks --- it has the vague feel of the Audio-Technica CKR series but manages its own identity, even from the DN-2000/2000J --- I'd even harbor to say the housings are more comfortable because they've ditched the shark fin tabs (though some others will miss them). Sound-wise, it's clearly the "bass-oriented" model of the DN series, but it's not a "basshead" earphone and more balanced than I assumed they'd sound. I've made some suggestions to them regarding the bass response. As for the DK-4001, I can tell it's a prototype. It needs a bit of work in the treble refinement department, but I can hear the potential. I've also made suggestions to them about it.
    I also have pilot samples of the 1es, 3, and 5 on hand. I've barely had time to listen and will make sure to reserve some time this weekend, but what I can state unequivocally right now is that I am mighty impressed by the Titan 3.
    That's it for now.

    Short Impressions of Upcoming Titan Series Models, 2015/10/14
    Titan 1es
    As the entry-level model of the Titan series, the 1es does away with the full-metal construction of the original Titan 1 with a half-plastic construction. It is lightweight and can be at times insubstantial feeling, but anyone concerned with the weight of the all-metal Titan models will find the weight just fine with the Titan 1es.
    The diaphragm, however, is still Titanium-treated and the sound of the 1es shows. For an earphone of this price range, the Titan 1es is filled with detail. The tuning differs from the the Titan 1 in that the midrange is placed a bit more forward,
    Titan 3 & Titan 5 [Incomplete]
    As a listener that primarily listens at low volumes and tilts toward earphones which are neutral and detail-oriented, I find myself most attracted to the Titan 3. DUNU has designed the Titan 3 to be its vocal-oriented model, and the sound signature reflects that purpose. The vocals are present and the focus of the sound, but do not mistake the earphone as being "mid-forward". It sits neither overly forward nor backwards, but nevertheless feels ever-present, and I'm confident the (uncompensated, IEC-60318-4 nee IEC-711) FR will reveal a linear rise of ~9 dB or more between 800 and 3000 Hz.
    If the mastering engineer wasn't very diligent about de-essing a track or was commanded to compress the file into equal loudness death, then neither the Titan 3 nor the Titan 5 will give you a free pass. The Titan 3 is a little more stringent and will notify you of most "tsss" and "tchhhh" sounds in your music, but luckily, as the sibilance area peaking sounds quite broad with a 8-10 kHz basin, the new Titans won't batter your CN VIII with sibilance. Thus, the clarity of the Titan 3 bites, but isn't overtly sibilant, leading me to believe that the 6-8 kHz region isn't pronounced, but rather the 4-6 kHz region. The Titan 5 is less peaked in this region, but the midrange rise is less apparent and overt clarity and sense of transparency isn't there with the Titan 5, because of the elevated bass, which should be at least 3 dB higher than the Titan 3's between 80-200 Hz. 
    is the Titan 3 better extended than is the Titan 1? It's probably not too different, but the difference is that, with my ears, I hear more upper treble (9-12 kHz) resonance with the Titan 1, and I do not hear it with the Titan 3 (nor the Titan 5), so I perceive better treble extension with the Titan 3.
    Both models contain good levels of detail but aren't overly aggressive with leading edge attack.

    Impressions/Review List for the Titan 1 (Alphabetical Order) [Last Update: 2015/05/23]

    1. @520RanchBro: (Full Review)
    2. @Baycode: (Full Review)
    3. @bhazard: Impressions (#1), (Full Review)
    4. @Brooko: Impressions (#1)(#2)(#3), (Full Review)
    5. @cleg: Video Unboxing/Impressions (#1), (Full Review)
    6. @Djinnenjous: Impressions (1)
    7. @DJScope: Impressions (#1)(#2)(#3), (Full Review)
    8. @djvkool: Impressions (#1)
    9. @Dsnuts: (Full Review)
    10. @earfonia: Impressions (#1)(#2)(#3), (Full Review)
    11. @ericp10: Impressions (#1)
    12. @fallen angel: Impressions (#1)
    13. @getclikinagas: Impressions (#1), (Full Review)
    14. @H20Fidelity: Impressions (#1), (Full Review)
    15. @HiFlight: Impressions (#1)(#2)(#3)
    16. @jant71: Impressions (#1)(#2)
    17. @lin0003: (Full Review)
    18. @luisdent: Impressions (#1)
    19. @MarcusL: Impressions (#1)(#2)(#3)
    20. @mark2410: Impressions (#1), (Synopsis, Full Review)
    21. @n05ey: Impressions (#1)
    22. @Niyologist: (Full Review)
    23. @Paulus XII: (Mini-Review)(Review)
    24. @peter123: (Full Review)
    25. @shotgunshane: Impressions (#1)
    26. @thatBeatsguy: Impressions (#1), (Full Review)
    27. @tinyman392: Impressions (#1)
    28. @Tom22: Impressions (Unboxing)(#1)(Video Review)
    29. @tomscy2000: Impressions (#1)(#2),  (Full Review)
    30. @TwinACStacks: Impressions (#1)
    31. @twister6: (Full Review)
    32. @YoYo JoKeR: (Full Review)
    33. @Zalithian: Impressions (#1), (Full Review)
    External Links

    1. Electroacoustic Measurements at InnerFidelity (by @Tyll Hertsens, expect a @ljokerl review in the near future?)
    Baycode, cleg, H20Fidelity and 3 others like this.
  2. lookingforIEMs
    Very interested in this.very. would love to hear a super tuned RE0.
  3. tomscy2000
    A resurgence of the RE0 would be cool, but this might be a little different. If DUNU can replicate the fun DN-2000 type of sound in a semi-open design, I'd say they're onto something. While they don't isolate very well, half in-ear designs are underrated; their unique wide open sound presentation is something everyone would appreciate.
  4. jant71
    Interested to hear how these will turn out. A bit disappointed to see the F.R. spec for the low end. 20Hz is the most rolled of the DUNU upper line($150 or more), atm. Alpha-1 is 10Hz, DN2000 is 10Hz, and DN-1000 is rated to 16Hz. Not sure how well they made up for that half of the classic shortcomings.
  5. fnkcow
    Subbed! Interested to see what Dunu can come up with again!
  6. Deviltooth
    I'd like to read more about this new earphone.  I've heard and liked the Phiaton PS210.
  7. tomscy2000
    Alright, seems like there's interest. I'll talk to Dunu about doing a review for it, then.
    Jordandxb likes this.
  8. djvkool
    Very intrigued to hear what Dunu can do with a titanium DD, they have had some excellent-tuned hybrid.
  9. tomscy2000
    I'll be meeting with Dunu representatives next weekend, so i'll try to get some impressions in and understand it a little better.
    getclikinagas likes this.
  10. Deviltooth
    Sounds good.  If you get the chance please ask them what the price will be for international customers.
  11. nick n
    Thanks for checking on this.  Nothing on Yahoo Japan auctions yet :)
    Personally always thought it was the better of the designs.
  12. djvkool
    Look at what just turned up at my work today... [​IMG]
    First impression to follow
  13. mochill
    impression plz :)
  14. lookingforIEMs

    Relax!!! :joy: let him burn them in both psychologically and physically!

  15. fattycheesebeef
    Wow! Wanted to get DN-2000, but I guess I'll wait for this release! :D
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