Dunu DK-3001 In-Ear Earphone Review

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Design –

The DK-3001’s carry the same premium build that we have come to expect from Dunu. From the S316 stainless steel housings, the same used in premium watches, to the extraordinarily supple cables, the DK-3001 oozes a quality of exclusivity. But the DK-3001 departs from the vast majority of Dunu’s earphones by assuming an over-ear form factor, a well-considered choice given the weight of the earphones. While I do think Dunu are on the right path to assuming such a design with a removable cable, their limited experiences with this form factor do manifest by way of some comfort and fit issues.

From a design standpoint, the earphones earn their high asking price with that stainless steel construction feeling appreciably more solid than plastic or even aluminium competitors. The DK-3001’s look super sleek with an incredibly refined matte finish; each facet is perfectly milled and the two halves of the housings meet with great precision. While they’re still less perfect than models from 1More, for instance, one MMCX connection is flush while the other was slightly protruding, the earphones are easily among the most well-constructed and aesthetically striking I’ve come across. They do have quite an unorthodox design for an over-ear, those rounded housings departing from the pod style earphones popularized by manufacturers like Westone and Shure, but I admire how compact the Dunu’s are considering the driver array inside. For comparison, they are appreciably smaller than the 1More Quad Driver, Westone UM 50 Pro and BA Campfire Audio earphones.

The DK-3001’s have a low-profile fit that barely protrudes from the ear, making them perfectly feasible to sleep with. Their outer faces have concave divots to aid insertion and I didn’t find them to exacerbate wind noise when out and about. Dunu’s meticulous design extends to the inner surface of the earphones, which is very flush save for the ridge for the BA drivers. This is topped off with well-angled nozzles of pleasing length, resulting in a reliable fit. That being said, due to the design of the nozzles, the tips sit quite low on the nozzle, resulting in a shallower fit than one would expect; I would classify them as medium depth earphones. In culmination with the two small vents on the outer and inner faces of the earphones, the DK-3001’s provided above average isolation but still nowhere near the amount offered by fully sealed earphones. They still provided more than enough isolation for public transport and with foam tips, they would likely be adequate for a short plane trip, but if you’re a frequent traveler, a fully sealed earphone will likely suit you better.

But despite their weight and shallower fit, the DK-3001’s maintain fit stability comparable to stronger sealing earphones. Taking them for my usual 6km run and the earphone stay put without requiring adjustment. Isolation was sufficient even along the highway and wind noise and microphonics were negligible. That being said, during longer stationary usage, the comfort niggles of those unconventional housings did irk. My main issue is with those top mounted MMCX connectors that form a hotspot at the back of my ears after less than an hour of listening. The connectors look to be purely aesthetic and a more integrated connector would be both less prone to damage and endlessly more comfortable long-term; I would very much like to see this in future iterations of Dunu’s over-ear earphones. As they are, the DK-3001’s aren’t unwearable and this issue can be alleviated by slightly rotating the earphones forward, but they don’t disappear isn the ear like the Oriveti New Primacy and even the larger Campfire Audio earphones.

But moving onto the more positive aspects of the earphone, I’m delighted to report that the new cable equipped on Dunu’s DK series earphones are of excellent quality. The 5N OCC unit is incredibly supple and smoothly textured with exemplary strain-relied on all terminations; the cables remind me of those included with the Audio Technica CK10 and CK100, some of the best I’ve felt on any iem to date. They’re also of great thickness all the way through, terminating in a super beefy case friendly right angle plug.

The cables have integrated cable straps which are of a grippier rubber than those included with the Titan earphones, I didn’t find them to slide around as easily making them less obtrusive during daily use. As aforementioned, the DK-3001’s are pretty stable in the ear. This is due to the ridiculously long memory wire segment, likely implemented to support the weight of housings and prevent the cable from flicking over ear since the connectors are elbowed. I don’t mind a well-implemented memory wire, but I’m not sure why Dunu made the memory wire so long as it makes the earphones difficult to coil for storage. They were perfectly comfortable during use but still a little excessive.

Of note, neither cables have a remote though the adoption of a standard MMCX connector does make replacements simple, just be aware that the stock cables have elbowed connectors due to the orientation of the earphones housings. Cables with straight connectors do feel a bit awkward, but certain third party cables, such as the UE900 cable, also include angled connectors that feel much more ergonomic. The MMCX connectors were very tight and reliable during my month of testing and I experienced no intermittency.

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About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and full-time student, Ryan's audio origins and enduring interests lie within all aspects of portable audio. An ongoing desire to bring quality audio to the regular reader underpins his reviewer ethos as he seeks to bring a new perspective on the cutting edge and budget dredge alike.

1 Comment

  1. Carsten on

    Thanks for the review! How do they compare to the DN2000? I’m completely in love with the sound of them, but they become uncomfortable after a while… Is the V/U-shape less pronounced?

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