ZEN by DUNU: our first model designed around next-generation driver platform ECLIPSƎ
Jan 28, 2021 at 10:42 AM Post #631 of 1,247

Scuba Devils

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 14, 2020
Posts
1,231
Likes
2,905
Location
Ireland
Mine beside me at my wfh desk and listen at any opportunity I find! Meetings often get in the way...

20210128_145900.jpg
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 10:48 AM Post #632 of 1,247

zachgraz

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Posts
299
Likes
64
Location
Vienna - Austria
I mean, to me if you are using an iem at this price range on a regular phone. That would be like having a beast computer but using it with a 480p monitor lol.
I do not agree. It depends on the phone but nowdays even the cheapest DAC chips built into modern phones are not that bad any more. I was using an audiophile HTC10 for a few years and now I am using a Samsung M30S which is one of Samsung's cheaper phones and there is not much difference between the two soundwise. Now I am using a FiiO BTR5 balanced with the Zen. I would recommend to get a FiiO BTR5 as a relatively cheap sound upgrade to most smartphones out there.
 
Last edited:
Jan 28, 2021 at 10:50 AM Post #633 of 1,247

RikudouGoku

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 24, 2019
Posts
6,486
Likes
16,057
Location
Sweden
I do not agree. It depends on the phone but nowdays even the cheapest DAC chips built into modern phones are not that bad any more. I was using an audiophile HTC10 for a few years and now I am using a Samsung M30S which is one of Samsung's cheaper phones and there is not much difference between the two soundwise. Now I am using a FiiO BTR5 balanced with the Zen - this is a clear uppgrade to most smartphones out there. I would recommend to get a FiiO BTR5 as a cheap upgrade to most smartphones out there.
it is the amp that will make the change, not the dac and with most smartphone, they have very low output power. DDs like their power.

The BTR5 should be enough for most iems.
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 10:56 AM Post #634 of 1,247

corgifall

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Posts
800
Likes
920
Location
Colorado
it is the amp that will make the change, not the dac and with most smartphone, they have very low output power. DDs like their power.

The BTR5 should be enough for most iems.
I agree. Most phones internal amps aren't enough to make headphones shine. In my case, it's almost a requirement for my iPhone to have something external as the official apple headphone adapter can't power most of my stuff to a sound quality level I like.
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 11:01 AM Post #636 of 1,247

hi-fi amateur

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 20, 2013
Posts
348
Likes
124
it is the amp that will make the change, not the dac and with most smartphone, they have very low output power. DDs like their power.

The BTR5 should be enough for most iems.

To be fair the Zen’s are super easy to drive. I can get them pretty loud on just the apple dongle. Although yes, you can squeeze more SQ out of them from a better source, but you lose some convenience imo.
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 11:04 AM Post #637 of 1,247

RikudouGoku

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 24, 2019
Posts
6,486
Likes
16,057
Location
Sweden
Would the DD hifi TC35i or TC25i be powerful enough (30mW @ 32ohm) or would it be best to look at something like Luxury&Precision W1?
30mw is very low, not much higher than most smartphones.

I suggest that you take a look at stuff like the Ifi Hip dac, Fiio BTR5, Qudelix 5K, E1DA 9038S.
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 11:51 AM Post #639 of 1,247

kmmbd

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Posts
493
Likes
2,109
Location
Munich, Germany
Do you really need some kind of good to great amp to make these worth it?
You need a clean amp with low noise floor and ideally low output impedance (<1ohm). You don't need a powerhouse. Your phone ain't doing justice to the Zen, rest assured.
Hi anyone can compare the CA Andromeda to the Zen?
Which version of Andromeda? Campfire releases a new Special Edition every other Sunday after all. :p

Kidding aside, I can do a little comparison but I should be frank: I compared the Andromeda (2019) vs the SA6 and got my comparison notes with me. I didn't do a direct A/B comparison against the Zen, so a few things might be off, though the points I'm gonna raise are less likely to be off-the-mark.

I will briefly skip over build/accessories etc. Andromeda and Zen are both built extremely well. I prefer the stainless steel/metal shell over Resin shells personally but all of Zen/SA6/Andromeda have great build. Andros do have the color fading issue so there's that. Accessory wise it's hard to beat Dunu. You get a nice pin with the Andros but I'm yet to see anyone use one of those so...

As for the sound, Andros have one thing where they reign supreme: soundstage/imaging. Soundstage esp is better than both SA6/Zen though Zen matches it for stage depth but not the width. Another aspect is treble extension/air which is better on the Andros (this may change depending on source output impedance).

Now, back to the bass where Dunu SA6 is clearly superior to the Andros whereas the Zen just pummels it mercilessly. It's that graphic of a beatdown for the Andros, can't blame it though due to those BA drivers pulling all the weight. The midrange is very interesting and depending on genres one might sway either way. I prefer the Zen/SA6 midrange rendition due to having a lot of Rock/Metal songs in my playlist. Andros got a bit subdued upper-mids so distortion guitars lack the crunch. Also growling vocals are less satisfactory and vocals in general sound less engaging to me. Then again, if someone prefers more laid-back vocals with a particular smoothness (Andros hallmark) they will find the Campfire IEM more suited to their needs. The treble, as mentioned before, goes to Andros but this is where my biggest issue with the Andromeda pops up: the absurd impedance-curve of these IEMs.

Long story short, they can sound bassy and dark-ish to absurdly bright depending on the output impedance of the source. Also, they hiss a lot out of most sources. It's a severe pain to match these IEMs to your source (and I will highly recommend something like @iFi audio IEMatch) whereas the SA6 plays nicely even with 10ohm output impedance and the Zen, despite being hissy, doesn't change the tonality so drastically.

Last but not the least: timbre. Zen has more lifelike/natural timbre vs both SA6 and Andromeda. It's no contest really. If you want your woodwind instruments and nylon string guitars to sound as they should: Zen is the way to go.

In the end, if you want something different from the Andromeda, the Zen will be a very good option, if not one of the best options out there. If you want an upgraded version of Andromeda though, this ain't it.
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 12:08 PM Post #640 of 1,247

zachgraz

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Posts
299
Likes
64
Location
Vienna - Austria
Hi folks, I have finished my comparision Zen VS Luna. The Zen is going to stay and the Luna is up for sale.
The main differences between the two to me are bass and mids. There is more bass in the Zen and it is a very natural, precise DD bass - it is really great. The mids on the Luna are a little more elevated to my ears. I do not get much difference in the highs at all but the overall timbre is slighly different between the two. I would not say better or worse, just different. I am using a 9-band EQ on my Samsung smartphone (+FiiO BTR5 balanced) and doing so I am able to bring the sound of Zen closer to the Luna. I increase the area around 500Hz by 2db and I reduce bass a little and the sound gets very close to the Luna. Soundstage is bigger on the Zen for me.
Interestingly the frequency response is not exactly my taste on both but that does not matter as I use EQ. I decrease the bands 2khz, 4khz and 8khz quite a bit.
Especially at 4khz there is way too much energy for me with both the Luna and the Zen. But I have found EQ settings where the Zen sounds absolutely magical to my ears.
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 12:21 PM Post #642 of 1,247

riverground

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 22, 2015
Posts
1,217
Likes
2,794
Location
Toronto, ON
I've got to re-shoot after seeing that calm organization going on. I'm never good at arranging like that. Maybe I'll imitate you? :)

I actually feel so rusty with product photography now. So I've just been keeping it simple and decide to go for what's easier for the eyes.

I'll be playing around more later after work.

I like your tabletop though. It looks so nice!
 
Jan 28, 2021 at 12:37 PM Post #643 of 1,247

zachgraz

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 19, 2005
Posts
299
Likes
64
Location
Vienna - Austria
How much do you decrease?
Well it is actually quite shocking considering I generally like close to neutral to slightly warm frequency responses. I do not change much with the IBasso IT00 for example.
2khz: -4db
4khz: -7db
8khz: -6db
 
Last edited:
Jan 28, 2021 at 1:02 PM Post #645 of 1,247

RikudouGoku

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
May 24, 2019
Posts
6,486
Likes
16,057
Location
Sweden
Tonality aside, how resolving and technical capable is the zen compared to BA sets and is it a reasonable step up from something like the starfield/kxxs?
I believe the Zen is a few leagues apart from the starfield/kxxs in technicalities. Those 2 arent exactly known for their technical ability even at their price range.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top