Dunu DK-3001 - The Surprise: Relaxed and Romantic IEM

Dunu DK-3001 – The surprise: Relaxed and Romantic IEM

Dunu took on the challenge to create a multi-driver IEM at a very friendly price and they brought an awesome product to their fans! Their DK-3001 is the top-of-the-line IEM we see from them this year, and it



Introduction

Dunu DK-3001 is the top-of-the-line IEM produced by the Chinese producer DUNU-Topsound.

Dunu is a large Chinese company that grew dear to audiophiles all around the world through their excellent communication with their fans, friendly support department and through high quality and well-priced products. Many audiophiles quote Dunu as the company who produces the

While Dunu are not as implied in organizing tours for their products, they have provided excellent service to their customers and are known to have an approach similar to FiiO, where they solve most of the problems that might appear quickly and with solutions that always advantage the customers.

Dunu doesn't make many claims about the sonic abilities of their products, but they instead present the quality of the components used in their IEMs.

I have absolutely no affiliation with DUNU at this moment, I am not receiving any kind of incentive to sweeten things out or change my opinions about the product. My review will be as objective as it is humanly possible and it is a description of my general experience with DK-3001, every opinion expressed here is mine and I stand by it.



About me

My name is George Dobrescu and I am the Director of the Seventh Heart Studios game studio. I work as one of the main programmers for the company, and I am the writer for Quantum Magica and Falsetto Memories projects. I spend eight – twelve hours a day working on a computer, writing and sometimes drawing. I also take care of administrative work which means that I require a portable setup so I'll be testing the portability of iDSD as well.

Music is present all around me for a big part of that time as working with music is always more fun. With all the devices I own, I need great sound, comfort and ease of usage, not to mention that my listening volume ranges from "please stop that, it's far too loud" to "I can't even tell that you're listening to music".

My collection includes everything from Classical to Metal, from Rap to Pop, from Punk to Cabaret and absolutely everything in between. There are great artists from every type of music, and I'm one to collect their albums, and keep a tidy order for my files. 
At Seventh Heart Studios, we all love music and this has had an impact on our games as we hold the music close to our hearts and we are committed to only use ogg -q10 as the encoding format for our music since it offers the best disk space to sound quality ratio, OGG -q10 being closest to audibly transparent when compared to FLAC encoding. 

You can check out more about our games on our pages https://www.facebook.com/seventh.heart.studios/     and https://twitter.com/7heartstudios .

Personal philosophy: Music is more than a hobby or sound. Music is inspiration. Music is life. Music has meaning by itself, being the one thing that can define one's life while shaping one's imagination and creativity. Music can open doors to new plains and music can change one's mood. Music can rest the mind better than days of sleep or can give one energy better than a thousand cups of coffee. Music can be anything we want it to be and the music we experience using professional audition tools is more but at the same time it is nothing more than our way of enhancing the emotion we get from music. Love is a concept too shallow, unable to encompass what music really means to a music lover.



First Impression

I have actually never owned a Dunu IEM before DK-3001, and I have never owned a Multi Driver or a BA IEM before it. All previous reviews cherished DK-3001 as one of the best IEMs out there and it has been said to perform considerably above its price point, all of those things sparkling my interest in DK-3001. There is no DUNU official seller in Romania and I actually contacted Dunu directly, where I spoke with their lovely PR, Vivian, who has been extremely helpful answering even complex quandaries about multi BA-items and build-related questions. Dunu left a very good impression when it comes to their customer support and their passion for their job set light to the sparkle of my interest in hearing their TOTL IEM, DK-3001.


DK-3001 has been sent through DHL and it made me spend hours starring at the screen, waiting for another update about the package tracking. The packaged reached Romania fairly fast, under a few days, and the package arrived without any scratch.

It was a lonely day of Friday when the package arrived and I contacted and arranged to meet with the delivery driver somewhere outside the place where I live since it was simpler for us to do things that way. The sun was slowly fading under the clouds as a huge storm was getting close, but I was fairly optimistic that I'll get DK-3001 before the rain starts to pour. I waited around ten minutes listening to a few beautiful musical compositions on iDSD BL + Meze 99 Classics, trying to keep my excitement contained. The delivery driver was very nice and handled me the package with care, but before I managed to get back and start writing about DK-3001, a curious bystander to know more about the audiophile hobby asked me a few questions about headphones, DACs and portable AMPs.


I managed to quickly get back in my room and started unpacking DK-3001, excited like a little kid who sees something for the first time. We got to admit, Dunu did an amazing job with the package, everything leaves a feeling of high quality and luxury, there are a ton of very useful extras in the package, along with a beautiful carry case.

Of course, with an item like DK-3001, the most important aspect of it was not the package, but the sound, so I carefully plugged them in iDSD BL and pressed play.


I decided to listen to DK-3001 while taking a walk outside since this helps me focus better on the music that is playing. The main choice I made was taking a lonely evening walk through the Politehnics park to admire the sunset while wearing an interesting IEM and experimenting their sound. Before leaving my home, I played a bit with the tips and found that Spinfits offer incredible comfort and isolation with DK-3001, so I put on one of the included pair of Spinfits and started walking.

The first song choice is an energetic and complex song as I want to see how the well-renowned BA drivers within DK-3001 will handle an overly complex song like Dance Gavin Dance – The Robot with Human Hair Part 4. I’m mesmerized with all the details they are able to show, but at the same time romanced by the polite and friendly presentation they have.




Packaging:

First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:





It looks like Dunu cares about offering a top experience to their customers, so they offer a rather impressive package with their DK-3001, the package including some rather useful extras. There is a wide selection of tips, two cables one of which is balanced, a glossy black carrying case, a shirt clip, an airplane adapter, and an adapter for 6.3mm outputs.

The first sight Dunu surprises their buyers with is a white rectangular box which sports an image of their DK-3001 IEMs, the information that DK-3001 is a 3BA + 1 Dynamic IEM, and, of course, the Hi-Res Audio sticker. There is not much information on the top and sides of the box, but there is an interesting headline on the bottom of the box. “Dunu – Delicate, Unique & Utmost”. To some degree, all three adjectives can be used to describe DK-3001 and their sound, and I actually like the slogan and want to put to test how much each of those attributes represent Dunu and DK-3001’s sound in general.


The back of the box includes quite a bit of information in both English and Chinese. The first interesting bit of information is that DK-3001 features an MMCX detachable cable and that it will be compatible with aftermarket upgrade cables. It is good to keep in mind that this allows the replacement of broken cables as well. The dynamic driver is made out of a “High molecular liquid crystal polymeric film”. All three BA drivers are made by Knowles and they promise to bring in an energetic sound along with a life-like experience. The housings of DK-3001 are made out of S316 stainless steel. For cable lovers, it seems that the included cables are 5N OCC cables with gold plated plugs.

It is interesting to have all this information nicely presented on the box, along with other useful information. The box is slightly similar to Apple packaging, but in Dunu’s case it includes a bit more information. The typical warranty for DK-3001 is one year, but you shouldn’t expect them to be breaking in many years of usage, especially considering the solid build quality, and the detachable cables.

After you remove the white cover, you will find a black cardboard box with a magnetic lock mechanism, with “Dunu” written on it.

Inside you can find DK-3001 seated in a foam cutout, along with the carrying box and all the accessories included with DK-3001.


This is what you’ll find within the box when purchasing DK-3001:

-      Dunu DK-3001 IEMs

-      A Single Ended Cable featuring a memory wire ear hook that goes around the ear and that helps fixing DK-3001 for better comfort.

-      A Balanced Cable featuring the same design as the single ended one

-      Dunu Branded Carrying Case. It is a glossy carrying case that looks similar to the ones made by Pelican and similar to the ones included by FiiO with their F5 IEMs.

-      Comply Foam tips that fit DK-3001

-      Spinfit Tips. Those proved to be much more useful than I imagined they’d be before trying them on.

-      White and Gray tips for DK-3001, each with their own sonic signature, coming in three sizes.

-      An airplane adapter

-      A shirt clip



I like to see a large number of extras included with a IEM and DK-3001 is excellent in this aspect, including more accessories even than some high end IEMs. While some of them will serve very specific purposes, like the airplane adapter, some of the other accessories will be helpful for many users. The inclusion of a dedicated carrying box is also greatly appreciated and there is enough space within to include DK-3001 with a cable attached, spare tips and a little bag of silica dehumidifier. All in all, DK-3001 provides a fun unboxing experience along with a great package.



What you should look for when considering a IEM (In-Ear Monitor)

When purchasing an IEM, there are a few factors you should take into account to ensure that you’ll have the experience you wish for. Sooner or later, all those factors will come into play one way or another:

-      Sound quality. This is, by far, the most important aspect of every purchase when you invest in high end audio products, and the sonic abilities along with the frequency response / sonic signature widely differs from IEM to IEM.

-      Comfort / ergonomics. The fit and comfort are quite important, especially if you plan on using the same IEM for hours in a row, or in a live performance.

-      Isolation. Every IEM will offer some degree of isolation, but there are both models that focus on ultra-isolation from the outside noise, while other models have other central focus points. DK-3001 isolates noise pretty well, especially if it is used with larger tips.

-       Good Value.

-      Interesting/Intriguing design. Every user will have a personal preference and taste for what an “interesting design” is, but it is generally recommended to pick a IEM which you consider to be aesthetically pleasing, or in simpler words, good looking.

-      Drive-Factor: How easy it is to drive and how prone to hissing it is, since certain IEMs and headphones will require special sources to offer the best performance.

-      Accessories included. It is better to have a large selection of tips and accessories included with a IEM.

-      Build Quality and Warranty. While it is good to have a solid warranty included with Every IEM, having a solid build quality is better.



Technical Specifications

Impedance
13 Ohm
Connector
3.5 mm SE + 2.5 mm BAL
Frequency Response
5 Hz – 40 kHz
Rated Power 
110dB / mW
Weight
~31g
Cable length
1.2m
Driver number
4 (1DD+ 3BA)
Driver Type
Hybrid, Dynamic + BA, Vented
Coupling type
In-Ear
Includes Balanced cable
Yes
IEM body connector type
MMCX
BA Drivers Type
Knowles



Build Quality/Aesthetics

Dunu DK-3001 is built fairly well, the body of the IEMs being made out of a stainless metallic alloy, the cables being fairly sturdy but not too thick and the whole design coming pretty well together.


The tips are not that hard to remove, especially since there is no lip on the bore, but in all fairness, they don’t fall with typical usage.

The MMCX connectors are extremely secure and feel rather solid, the cables being quite hard to remove. Both the single ended and the balanced cable seem to have a similar build quality, feeling both sturdy and flexible. It would be good to practice extra care when removing the cable since by design MMCX connectors can be pretty sensitive and the ones in DK-3001 are very tight.

There are very little chances of debris being caught in DK-3001, Dunu having installed two metallic meshes on the bores, to protect the intimate parts of their IEMs.


Aesthetically speaking DK-3001 looks futuristic yet simple, with a touch of playfulness. The rings on the cables bring a futuristic accent to DK-3001’s body and while there are traces of industrial notions in their design, one can wear DK-3001 to a business meeting without having any reason to feel concerned with their looks.

The ear hooks on the cables will give off the feeling that DK-3001 is made to be worn over-the-ear before even touching them, but that is a good thing considering the improvement in fit they provide.



Testing

I have tested DK-3001 together with FiiO X5ii, Hidizs AP200, Opus #3, iFi iDSD BL, HiFiMAN Megamini, with a wide selection of music.


  

Fit / Comfort / Isolation

DK-3001 has a round shape, with the words DUNU and a line etched in the metallic side that comes in contact with the ear. A vent hole is positioned on the same side of the IEM, but given the thick line etched in their body, the vent hole is generally left open and will enable proper venting with DK-3001.


The fit is over the ear and has proven to be quite subjective. For me, DK-3001 has been very comfortable while using the large (White) or medium (Red) Spinfit tips, but I’d like to mention that users with larger ears / larger ear canals will have a slightly better general comfort with DK-3001. The angle at which the bore is placed seems fairly good, but everyone has a unique ear shape and it is impossible to guarantee that it will work for every single user out there.

The ear hooks support most of DK-3001’s weight while the tips support the rest of the remaining weight, most of times DK-3001’s bodies barely touching the ears.

The isolation is fairly good, with proper fit DK-3001 providing enough isolation from the outside noise to make listening at low volumes a real pleasure, even in a busy room or in the busy streets of Bucharest. Traffic noise and general conversation doesn’t really get through when using larger tips, and although DK-3001 is vented by design, they are not open. I’ve listened to DK-3001 at low volumes for more than a few times, and experienced no problems with isolation.



Sound Quallity

Dunu DK-3001 has an intriguing signature, relaxed, clear and natural. The sound is fairly transparent throughout the scope, although the top end is smooth and polite rather than neutral. The dynamics are natural and the general sound is fairly vivid. The treble is smooth and less present than the midrange, the signature being natural with a soft type of treble giving it a friendly approach that will hide mistakes in many songs. The bass is fairly present and has a liquid character to it, but it’s speed is pretty good, being a natural type of bass with a natural decay.


DK-3001 makes a great IEM for playing a wide array of music, starting with Electronic, Jazz, Classical, Orchestral, Rock and Pop.

Like with any High-End IEM, it is possible to hear a lot of details and micro-details, small changes in nuance and cymbal hits, but those are presented softly, DK-3001 having a romantic character, presenting music with love and passion rather than technicality and utmost precision. In this aspect, DK-3001 has some characteristics also present in FiiO F5.



Little disclaimer: 

I have tested DK-3001 with a wide array of sources like FiiO X5ii, iDSD Black Label, Opus #3, HiFiMAN Megamini, Xiaomi Mi Max, Hidizs AP200, and a few others. Every source holds a signature of its own, providing changes to the signature of DK-3001, this should be kept in mind when reading sonic impressions.

DK-3001 has also been extensively tested against other IEMs and headphones, both from a similar price range but from other price brackets.



Channel balance


I detected no Channel Imbalance with DK-3001, although no IEM I tested so far presented any channel imbalance.



Hiss

DK-3001 is slightly sensitive to hiss. A hiss-free source is necessary for those who are bothered by hiss, but it shouldn’t be audible or too distracting while music is playing.



Bass

DK-3001 entices the listener with a full and clean bass, seasoned with a natural decay and a great impact. The bass can be felt when the song asks for it, but the amount of sub-bass is slightly less than the amount of bass and mid bass, leading to a “full” and slightly warm sound for DK-3001.


A basshead might lust for another touch of sub-bass, but this can easily be adjusted with a bit of EQ. Most people will be satisfied with the amount and the naturalness of DK-3001’s bass.

The textures in the bass are all well-rendered and its character please one’s ears, especially with songs that rely on either huge bass notes, like electronic music, or music that relies on an acoustic clean and strong bass representation where the bass guitar is played vividly in its own space.

Maretu – White Happy – The beginning of the song is strong and bears good impact on the listener. Female vocals are presented on a soft and warm tone while the synths play in multiple layers around the listener. There is a clear sense of detail and many effects can be heard while the guitars have a playful and fun tone to them. The transient response is very good throughout the whole spectrum, the synth notes being fast enough to play with the listener’s ears, the bass having a slightly longer decay, making the song sound full and funky, with the treble being presented on a calm and relaxing tone, giving the female vocals an even friendlier tone than they usually have. The tragedy presented in the song is slightly amplified by the happy tone it is played in, making the listening experience quite interesting.

Bitter Ruin – Trust – The song starts with a playful combination of acoustic guitars presented on a friendly and relaxed tone. The rather soft and smooth top end will take some bite away from the guitars, making the strings sound more like non-metallic strings. This will be a nice addition for people who’d like to avoid harsh signatures. Fine nuances in tonality, especially details in voices can be perceived quite well. Female voices sound clear and come with good strength, sounding happy and enthused rather than shouting, although they should be a bit more abrasive in this song. The male vocals are clear and crispy, the vocal tone is spot-on and the whole presentation feels realistic. Bass notes are rendered with excellent texture and tactile feeling to them. The whole song tells its story well, although a tad polite and friendly.

Fever the Ghost – The Source – The song starts with a streak of funky bass notes played in symphony with a few synth notes. The texture of the bass is liquid and dynamic while the mids feel warm and friendly, the whole song being playful and relaxing. The voices are rendered with a strong sense of space and air to them, again on a fairly joyful tone. The vocals of this song can easily come off as shouty some setups, thing which was partially intended in the mastering process, but DK-3001 presents them in one of the most romantic ways I ever heard them. There is a good sense of width to the whole song and certain special effects can feel as if they travel through the listener’s head, or rather, like an entire sonic experience is taking place around the listener. DK-3001 provides good detail retrieval abilities, but those are slightly romanced by the soft presentation of the top end, everything being presented in an organic matter rather than within an analytic approach.



Midrange

We proceed to the midrange of DK-3001, only to be surprised by the excellent tonality and signature. The voices, both male and female, sound natural and they are usually slightly enhanced with a slightly romantic tonality to them. Pianos and guitars bear vivid and clear textures to them, being possible to hear fine nuances that are given by different materials used in the guitar strings. There is a sense of smoothness and relaxation in the sound that will increase the emotional impact and attachment certain songs have. This will also enhance certain undertones and fine textures present in slow songs like Ballads and Cabaret. 

Screamed or generally shouty vocals can sound smoothed out a bit and will sound friendlier and easier to listen to than they are in general, this effect taking away some harshness from violent metal music.


Ballads sound especially sweet and bear great emotional impact with DK-3001, while metal music can sound a tad too relaxed and friendly. Pop, Opera, Electronic Music, Classical and Jazz work extremely well with DK-3001.

Dope – Sing – The song starts slowly with a groovy bass tone played along a cool guitar notes combination, with the drums being played somewhere in the background, keeping the rhythm of the song through the intro. The ballad from dope has a great emotional impact, the sweet voices along with the warm and slightly thick guitar tones providing a romantic environment. The message that music should surpass everything and exist within everything is delivered clearly to the listener and the whole song has a great spatial presentation, each instrument having a spot of its own. All in all, I had to listen to this song a few times before I could continue writing, sometimes feeling bits of tears in my eyes as the singer went forward with his parts.

 Maximum The Hormone – Zetsubou Billy – The start of the song is pretty quick and has a good clarity to it. The intro voices are clear and there is a good sense of warmth in the vocal tone. The screamed voices sound crispy, although the slightly relaxed tone of DK-3001 makes the song feel like a romantic version of its own, a fun experience rather than a typical song sang by Maximum the Hormone. The bass notes are always strong and bear a good impact, although the voices and the guitar notes are the central elements of the song.

Cold War Kids – Passing the Hat – The song starts with an excellent combination of thick bass notes and drum hits. The voices start with good emotional emphasis, while a lonely cymbal can be heard somewhere in the background. Pianos are crisp and bear a good tonality, while the guitars feel airy and natural. The bass is almost always a forward element of this song, while the voices keep bearing a great emotional impact. The story of the song is delivered well and it is possible to hear the singer’s emotional struggle.



Treble

With a soft and polite character, DK-3001’s treble tilts the whole signature towards a romantic character, making even poorly recorded albums more fun to listen to, gently hiding all mistakes, like problems with harshness and sibilance. 

The treble holds a good detail level, usually revealing fine cymbal crashes, but DK-3001 is not an analytical IEM by its nature, so details are presented in an enthusiastic and romantic way, rather than being exposed and enhanced like they usually are with BA setups. The smooth character of DK-3001’s treble will surely please “relaxed” signature lovers, being a reminder of HD650’s signature.



Protest The Hero – I Am Dimitri Karamazov And The World Is My Father – The sibilance and harshness usually present in this song are clearly alleviated by the smooth and relaxed signature of DK-3001, the IEMs instead revealing a beautiful guitar layer that has a musical and melodic feeling to it. The voices still bear good impact and they deliver the tragedy of the story pretty well, the song being about a protagonist who is sent to army and whose aspirations are slowly killed by his family’s aspirations. The entire song sounds like a romantic-sad song rather than a shouty and bright composition. While I’d have liked a bit more energy and sparkle in the treble, I am in love with the romantic presentation of the guitars and how every guitar note has a melodic and lovely touch to it. The experience is something one surely has to listen, to fully understand.

IOSYS – Professional Breeders – The start of the song is vivid and quick, all synth and elements are presented fast and with good precision. The bass notes bear amazing impact and depth, while the synth notes have a great texture to them. Female voices are especially sweet and enthusiastic with this song, the whole combination making one move his body while listening to this song. The chorus parts are playful and dynamic, there are many layers skillfully separated and presented with enthusiasm to the listener, while the smoothness in the top end makes the song an even more fun experience for the listener. DK-3001 is clearly a very good IEM for EDM and Electronic music in general. For the record, I couldn’t stop myself from listening to this song until I reached the end, and I kept moving my body while listening to it.

Kishida Cult – Highschool Of The Dead – The song starts with its typical snazzy and speedy intro while multiple guitars can be heard playing simultaneously. The direct change to romantic and sweet female vocals is sudden, but welcome. The whole song sounds sweet and there are many guitar layers in the background. I love the way the fuzzy guitars are woven with the drum patterns and the melodic voices, hearing it all in an airy soundstage being quite an impressive experience. For the record, I listened to this song multiple times before proceeding with writing other parts of this review. I just had to.



Soundstage

DK-3001’s soundstage is an interesting surprise, leaving a most positive impression. It is large and quite coherent, instrument layering being fairly good as well. There is a clear distinction between different instruments and there is a good sense with the spatial positioning of instruments.

Like with most IEMs, the soundstage grows larger when using larger tips. There is a good sense of width and depth to the scene. The whole presentation is airy and large, especially large for an IEM and there is no space to complain, at times DK-3001 having a larger soundstage than ie800, but with a similar depth.

There are moments when guitar tones travel all the way through the sonic landscape, surprising the listener by coming from very specific directions or areas. Listening to songs that rely heavily on soundstage to sound their best is a real pleasure and I think that DK-3001 is an exemplary performer in the soundstage size department.



ADSR/PRaT

DK-3001 provides natural sounding ADSR (Attack Decay Sustain Release) characteristics. The transient response is fairly quick, but it doesn’t go faster than a natural type of response, voices and bass having fairly good response times. The ADSR character for treble and midrange is slightly faster than it is for the bass, but this doesn’t seem to affect the general coherency of DK-3001 in any way. Since the dynamic driver is probably centered on the bass and the BA drivers are probably taking care of mids and treble, some users might feel the difference in decay length between bass and the mids/treble, but the midrange and top end decays are still leaning towards a natural length rather than a short decay.

The dynamic range is reproduced faithfully and there are no signs of unnatural dynamic compression or such, the sound being quite vivid in general. Instrument separation is amazing with some songs, especially with electronic music, DK-3001 having quite an impressive performance for its price. 



Drive factor / Source Synergy

DK-3001 is very easy to drive, having an impedance of just 13 OHMs. In exchange, this makes DK-3001 slightly prone to hissing, but they should be okay with most sources out there.



Portable Usage

Given their over-the-ear design and their good isolation along with their easy-to-drive character, DK-3001 is quite suited for portable usage. The carry case included in the package also hints to a portable usage scenario intended for DK-3001.

Besides a little sensitivity to hiss, DK-3001 can be safely driven from most sources, although it scales fairly well with better sources, Opus #3 and iDSD BL providing considerably more details, a better defined soundstage, and tighter transients than Xiaomi Mi Max or less precise sources. DK-3001 can also be enjoyed out of a mini-DAP like HiFiMAN Megamini, the combo being fairly nice sounding, although there are some very slight amounts of hiss present. Less sensitive users might not even notice that hiss is present. 



EMI

I couldn’t detect any EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) with DK-3001 during prolonged tests. I even walked under high tension power lines and listened to DK-3001 right next to the WiFi router, but wasn’t able to detect any EMI.

IEMs are not very prone to EMI in general, but it is this test should still be done with all equipment. 



Comparisons 

I spent a good amount of time with DK-3001 and went between DK-3001 and other IEMs and headphones, both from a similar price bracket and from other price brackets to get a few comparisons.


DK-3001 vs Etymotic ER4-XR – The first difference that comes in foresight is the difference in fit, DK-3001 being a shallow-insertion type IEM whilst ER4-XR is a deep-insertion type IEM. Due to their design, ER4-XR also provides more isolation from the outside noise, but DK-3001 provides a good amount of isolation as well. The sound has a fuller tonality on DK-3001, the bass has a considerably longer decay and the mids and treble also have a slightly longer decay(s). The top end is similarly smooth on both although by direct comparison, DK-3001 feels more energetic. If we consider ER4-XR to be mid-centric, then DK-3001 would be a naturally toned IEM with a very slight V-shape to their frequency response.

DK-3001 vs FiiO F5 – There are many differences between DK-3001 and F5, including the price brackets they are a part of, but there are some similarities as well. Judging from FiiO’s past partnerships with Dunu, like the one for creating EX-1 and other IEMs, it might almost feel like judging two IEMs from the same company. FiiO F5 has with more presence in the low end with a larger amount of bass, where DK-3001’s low end is less enhanced and leans towards the natural side of things. They both have a natural to longer decay to their sound. Surprisingly, F5 has a similar width to their soundstage. The top end is smooth on both F5 and DK-3001, but DK-3001 has more energy up top where F5 is tuned to sweeten the sound and be a smooth performer.

DK-3001 vs EN700 BASS – The fit and comfort could be seen as similar when comparing DK-3001 and EN700 BASS directly, but EN700 BASS has a slightly thinner bore which might work better with some users. The bass is similar on both models, but the mids tend to have more depth to them on DK-3001. EN700 BASS has a very good soundstage already, but DK-3001 has even more width and depth to the soundstage. The top end is on the smoother side of things with both DK-3001 and EN700BASS, although by direct comparison, DK-3001 once again has more energy.

DK-3001 vs Sennheiser M2 IEBT – M2 IEBT is a Bluetooth IEM by design, but comparing a DK-3001 powered by a high quality source with a high quality Bluetooth setup holds very interesting results. The bass is quicker on DK-3001, but the quantity is larger on M2 IEBT. The mids might come off as recessed on M2 IEBT when compared to how the mids are presented with DK-3001, and the top end is sparkier, featuring more presence and energy with M2 IEBT, DK-3001 being quite polite and smooth in direct comparison. The difference is most noticeable in the lower highs and in the upper mids, where DK-3001 tends to be linear / smooth while M2 IEBT has an energetic / enthusiastic approach. The decay lengths are generally shorter on DK-3001, but we have to keep in mind that the price brackets are also quite different, M2 IEBT costing less than half of DK-3001’s price.


DK-3001 Vs Sennheiser ie800 – Sennheiser ie800 has been my benchmark IEM, and even a benchmark for headphones for quite a while so far, and I still hold it close to my heart. DK-3001 starts off by having a longer decay in the bass department, ie800 coming off as quicker, also having more quantity in the sub-bass department. In the midrange, DK-3001 and ie800 are comparable in technical ability, detail retrieval and instrument texture, although ie800 holds the edge for the technical part of the sound, while DK-3001 has a slightly more natural sound since ie800 has a slightly recessed midrange. The top end is very different between the two, ie800 having a very energetic, realistic and lively approach, while DK-3001 has a polite, friendly and relaxing approach to the top end.

DK-3001 vs HiFiMAN RE-800 – HiFiMAN RE-800’s price tag is closer to ie800 than DK-3001, but the comparison could still be considered fair since music lovers interested in DK-3001 might also consider purchasing a pair of RE-800. HiFiMAN RE-800 has a considerably shorter decay to its bass, having a quicker bass, where DK-3001 could be considered to have a slightly larger amount of bass. The midrange is slightly more forward on DK-3001, RE-800 being more better in its instrument separation. The top end has more energy on RE-800, DK-3001 being considerably more relaxed by direct comparison. RE-800 has a bit of a peak at 6-7kHz that will enhance its technical abilities, where DK-3001 is fairly more even across that same area. The instruments are precisely separated on RE-800, while DK-3001 will play them together.


DK-3001 vs HiFiMAN RE-2000 – This comparison might be slightly unfair, considering the difference in price, RE-2000 costing almost 4 times the price of DK-3001. There are differences in the technical performance, RE-2000 managing to be as much of a detailed and analytical performer as it is a natural and musical performer, while DK-3001 is leaning towards a musical performance more than it is an analytical performer. The bass is tighter and has bigger size with RE-2000, while it has a longer decay on DK-3001. The midrange is presented in similar fashion, but the top end has a realistic presentation with RE-2000, having more sparkle and energy, and bringing forward more details. 

DK-3001 vs Oriveti New Primacy – This is a very interesting comparison actually, as I just received New Primacy recently, but I already listened it quite a bit. New Primacy has a tighter low end with less amount of sub bass and bass, and considerably shorter decay on the low end. In the mids, New Primacy and DK-3001 have similar presentations, both having pretty spot-on tonality, with New Primacy having a slightly forward midrange presentation in comparison with DK-3001. There is a good sense of stage width and depth with both, but DK-3001 presents music with more space, while New Primacy can feel slightly more intimate. Where DK-3001 tends to be relaxed and smooth in the top end, New Primacy tends to have slightly more sparkle and present music with slightly more energy, although they don’t have any harshness or sibilance either. Even so, the upper midrange tends to be more forward on New Primacy, with DK-3001 being the relaxed and polite performer. On a technical level, both New Primacy and DK-3001 have a very good technical performance, each for their own price.



Value

Dunu DK-3001 is priced at a very friendly price point of 500$, being one of the least expensive TOTL IEMs out there.

Considering all the cool extras Dunu included with their DK-3001 IEMs, along with the excellent sonic performance, especially for their price point, DK-3001 represents a very good value. With a price tag of 500$, DK-3001 barely enters the realm of TOTL IEMs prices, but they manage to be a HD650 in a IEM while still offering a good amount of isolation and portability. DK-3001 includes a set of Spinfit tips and even a cool-looking carry case in its package, being a whole-package IEM.

The very good default cables, along with the balanced cables will also add to the total value DK-3001 represents. All in all, DK-3001 can be recommended to both performance lovers and to budget-conscious music lovers.



Conclusion

Dunu DK-3001 is surely one of the best IEMs one can recommend at their price point, their performance is withstanding and the number of included accessories is surely a great addition to their value.


Being the current Top-of-The-Line offering from a budget oriented company like Dunu, DK-3001 proves itself as one of the most interesting IEMs I tested to date and there’s little to complain about although if I really had to find a downside to them, that would probably be the maybe too friendly top end, which might not satisfy a purely neutral treble lover.

DK-3001’s signature will please most music lovers out there, featuring a similar signature to the well-known HD650. With a strong and deep bass featuring a natural-to-long decay, a sweet and detailed midrange and a polite top end, DK-3001 is compatible with almost any music you can throw at it and will be a IEM that will bring you pleasure for many hours in a row.

The build quality is also excellent and besides the cable connectors being quite stiff, DK-3001 looking like they could take a beating before showing any sings of wear. 

Whether the 500$ price tag is good enough for you, is something only you can device, but I can almost surely say that you won’t be disappointed by the package or the sound of DK-3001. It is a great choice and if you have precisely 500$ to purchase a IEM, and you want it to bear the signature of HD650, DK-3001 is clearly worth checking out. 




Thank you for reading! I hope that this review is of help to you! Stay safe, and please remember to have fun while listening to music!







Link to the writer’s head-fi page: https://head-fi.org/members/dobrescu-george.170938/



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