In one of the most frequent of occurrences these days at Inearspace, I will be introducing yet another Dunu IEM that I am about to review. The development team at Dunu just don’t stop working and I am already getting whispers from my contacts over within Dunu of new even better models. Lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet, we will focus on the latest product to drop from the Chinese brand, the DN-2002. Falling into their range of hybrid monitors, this marks the start of a new revival of their hybrid series, with a fresh housing and removable cables to boot! It also has become the priciest Dunu going, at £270 but with two more hybrids in the DK3001 & DK-4001 round the corner, prices could keep on raising. While having previously found great success with their hybrid arrangements, with the DN-2000 and its J variation being award winners from us and the DN-2000J my favourite Dunu earphone to date, they have decided not to develop on their previous formula. Instead of using just a single dynamic with two balanced armature drivers, they have upped the anti equipping an additional dynamic (a second titanium 10mm), meaning two drivers from each technology. As ever, a lot of pressure comes with the huge success of the previous incarnations and can they continue to raise the bar of what is possible in this mid priced in ear monitor market?
A Change in Aesthetic
Removing the sleeve I found the presentation and haul of accessories to not be quite as radical as usual, impressive nonetheless but not overwhelming. The coolest thing for me had to be the tip inclusion. This has always been a strong point for Dunu but now they have levelled up by partnering with SpinFit. Not only do you get 4 pairs of them but also some Comply and traditional silicon tips. The included case is like a miniature pelican case but doesn’t feel as solidly made. It isn’t bad but not up to the standards they set early on with the metal crushproof cases they used to include. You also get a 1/4 inch jack, shirt clip and some ear guides for over the ear use.
Now while the previous DN models were never the biggest lookers or even getting top marks for ergonomics, they were always good enough to pretty much all end users and by shrinking down the size with the DN-2000J, I don’t think there were any complaints other than the desire for removable cables. Now as of the latest Titan models, Dunu have introduced MMCX connectors with their models and that is indeed the case here but Dunu have done more than just add that to what we previously had, the housing is a complete overhaul. Now I think this could be a bit of a hindrance because while I managed to find a solid seal out the box, Josh really did not have a good time with his smaller ears, complaining on comfort and sound levels due to them not fitting right, they were super uncomfortable for him. Now the design which seems to be inspired by Audio Technicha’s ATH-CKR9 doesn’t look that problematic right away, simply being a barrel with what looks like an extension on the side just to allow the removable cable. What seems to be the problem is that the tube that the MMCX is attached to will block insertion in smaller ears such as Josh.
Personally I can get a seal with these but it certainly was a more finicky experience than I am used to. I find that a correct fit is easier achieved when looping the cables over my ears and they don’t feel quite as out of place in my ear either. Actually once in place they have stayed there and hardly give me any grief. I think getting the seal will be the more frequent issue here, especially with smaller ears and for some not as used to tip rolling and IEM fitting.
Before we go onto talk about the overall build quality of this earphone I just want to commend them for what they have done with the utterly useless MMCX connector. They have not done anything out of the ordinary and created their own version of this connector like jays did, they have implemented in such a way I don’t actually hate it. Instead of it being loose and spinning at its own will, which eventually leads to poor connections, Dunu have made a thread for the MMCX housing which actually locks it in place securely. You can of course still use any after market cables and the only downside is that they obviously won’t lock in but that is hardly Dunu’s fault. Very cool.
Onto the overall built quality and we have housings that are also a hybrid of sorts, with a plastic ring around a metal barrel. Being a majority share of metal I can’t find any faults and obviously I have said enough when it comes to the cable connectors. As for the actual cable it is what we have seen time and time again on the last haul of Dunu products which is a solid enough cable with the fancy little cable wind up. The only worry I have is where the cable goes into the MMCX housings it seems to be quite pinched. I am excited for the next two models as I have seen some pictures of them with some fancier looking braided cables!!!
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