I have to say it’s nice to once again settle down with a pair of universal IEMs. Its crazy too think I pretty much used to cover them solely but it is awesome to be looking at a lot more types of stuff. The DN-2000 is still a relatively new IEM from Dunu with it being their newest model to date. Be that as it may I have had them a while and just not found the time to write about them BUT I have found the time too use them… a lot! The reason is quite simply because they are great, the best model Dunu has put out hands down, yes it is the most expensive but I think it’s the most mature, balanced and detailed monitor they have done. Now I have tried a lot of their stuff and every time I get one it’s a similar experience. The EPIC packaging, with a billion different accessories, wows you, then you awe at how robust they are, they like to use metal and make a very solid earphone and with the last few products, I have checked out some innovative method of tuning the sound. The other thing I have noticed how the price and sound of the models has been progressing and even with the steeper price tags, they have still maintained their value for money.
The DN-2000s predecessor was the DN-1000 and I found it too be big leap for Dunu as well as being very close to flooring me. It was the foundation for the DN-2000 being their first hybrid design using a twin balanced armature unit, the Knowles TWFK too be precise and a 10mm dynamic driver, which coincidently is identical too what the this uses, just with a different tuning and likely a different dynamic driver. The DN-1000 just had a few coherency problems and for me, just had too much bass. If you look at the Dunu DN-2000 you may question it, your eyes wont see much different because they look very similar and that goes for the specs as well but the price is still increased. It is just one of those cases where you have too trust the company because whatever they changed worked.
The housing is a little different but it is still a phat barrel like design. It is a little smoother and lighter as well, which was also a problem with the 1000, weight! You also have a little notch that allows you too fit these new silicone ear guides that come with the earphone. The housing give me not a single worry, they are tanks and the cable is also great, flexible, sturdy and very manageable. They only slight concern would be the fairly small strain reliefs into the housing and I would much prefer removable cables but I can let that slide.
The included accessories are exactly what you want and it isn’t just a case of give them loads, they are designed and practical. Take the tips for example, you have a soft, flimsy clear silicone tip that they have labeled “bass/liquid” tips, a much firmer grey silicone tip that is for “delicate/resolution”, some dual flanges for isolation and then for those who like them, foam tips. Other than the foam tips they come in 3 sizes and thats just it. Not only can you find a perfect fit but also by going through the tips you can play with the sound. Tip rolling is always something that has been important wit universal IEMs but isn’t something that is always so easy right from the start. The tips aren’t the only things dedicated too helping the fit either and that’s where we go back to xthe included ear guides. The ear guides come in too types, a small fin and a much larger wing. They help support the earphone in your ear as well as ease the weight of them and they work very well. You also have the ear hooks if you ant to wear the earphones other your ears, how I prefer to use these. The second type of sound tuning comes in some brightly coloured metal o-rings. Because of the short stubby shape of the earphones you cant always get the deepest insertion but by applying this o-ring, which come in three thickness’s, too the sound nozzle you can achieve a deeper insertion, slightly tweaking some attributes of the sound. You also get a great hard metal storage case, ¼ inch adapter, airline adapter and a shirt clip.
Because of their size I actually find them quite snug in your ear, especially when the weight is distributed by using one of the accessories. They could seem a little big to smaller ears but I find these generally pretty alright. Isolation can be made pretty good with a dual flange and the thickest o-ring but without an o-ring and single flange it is fairly ordinary, maybe a little on the weaker side but I have still used them quite a lot in loud environments such as using a ride on mower. They also do not suffer from microphonics with a very silent cable.
Now when you put a £180 IEM in your ear and you instantly feel a sense of de ja vu, its not always the best type. But when you feel a sense of similarity too the likes of the AKG K3003, it is overwhelming in a very positive way. In fact I think I have too go ahead and say this is the most impressed I have been on first listen to a sub £200 earphone and I don’t say that easily because I have heard a bloody lot in that price range. It is funny because in terms of driver integration for hybrids I knew they had come a long way in perfecting that on the more expensive models but this is the first time I have truly heard someone get it spot on so cheap.
So I said earlier that I found the DN-1000 had a bit too much bass, for me anyway, well the sound signature has been changed with this model. For me they got it pretty close to ideal, the reduced the bass, brought the mids forward and refined the treble, I know that’s a lot of difference for a small price boost between the two monitors. What that leaves us with is a fairly balanced earphone, with a very strong midrange presence, impactful and organic bass and a shimmering treble. This could perhaps be the earphone that we all dreamed about when the hybrid concept was born, at a time when I along with many others loved the sound a Knowles TWFK provided in earphones such as the Fischer Audio DBA-02 and Rock It Sounds R-50 but just wanted a slightly more weighty bass. This has that super detailed and forward midrange of them earphones and they also have the very extended treble although these don’t seem as sibilant of crashy as the models mentioned, these are certainly better behaved while still being sparkly.
Of course its when that 10mm dynamic driver gets involved that you get a bass that a TWFK on its own could just never deliver. Now while with other models like the DN-1000 and some from T-PEOS, they felt a need to over compensate for the weak bass of a TWFK on its own, Dunu have not been a bit more smart with what the dynamic driver is doing and kept it under strict rules. The bass is now articulate and natural with a little linger to the decay. It is a little more present in the mid-bass that it is the sub-bass leading for a slightly spongy and soft sound although the 10mm driver can still reach fairly deep, it just isn’t thundering up a rumble, it just has that feel that is a bit more subtle.
It integrates effortlessly into the midrange, which have stricken a wonderful balance between the higher and lower mids, not favouring male or female vocals. Imagine the midrange of the DBA-02 but less fatiguing but still as detailed because that’s what these give you. They are sweet, up close and really quick and they really do a great job at captivating, they grab you, pull you in and don’t let go and they really are the star of these earphones. Now are they perfect, hell no. But you really do have to raise the price of comparison products to see why. Compared the Hidition Viento-R, custom IEM, the focus in the midrange is just a little blurry on the Dunus. They seem to just lack a touch of concentration. I don’t mean they are muddy or confused sounding just the sound is not quite as tight as other stuff I have, albeit more expensive. In its price range though, I cant think of anything that is this magical in the midrange, and that what matters.
The treble shimmers and sparkles with great clarity and extension. It manages to contain a good tone though; it is a little behind the upper midrange and holds itself under control from the persuasion of being sibilant that the TWFK seems to possess. It is a little thicker in treble than the DBA-02, R-50 and also the hybrids from T-PEOS I have tried but it doesn’t slack in detail because of this, oh no it is still under a magnifying glass.
I find the presentation to sit you very close to the stage; you get some good width and even a little bit of depth to the soundstage. It certainly delivers a bigger experience to both the HiFiMAN RE-400/600 (which are also further away that the Dunu), two of my other favourite universal IEMs.
The Dunu’s truly are a spectacular achievement, too keep the price affordable and the sound good is becoming something a lot more companies are managing but I don’t feel like anyone has quite pulled it off like this. As an all rounder, this is one the best choices at any price range and under £200, it should be your only choice if you want a nice balanced sounding earphone that isn’t too picky about what it is driven from or what music you play. With Dunu you know they haven’t just stopped with the sound quality either, when you get past that you get all the tuning tools to play around to get the perfect for you and of course there is the epic packaging, what a great product