Home / Earphone Review / Dunu DN-1000 Review

Dunu DN-1000 Review

Dunu DN-1000
Reviewed February 2014

Details: Dunu’s dual BA – dynamic hybrid earphone
MSRP: $215 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $200 from amazon.com$200 from ebay.com | $209 from mp4nation.net | $216 from CTC Audio
Specs: Driver: Dynamic + Dual BA Hybrid | Imp: 10Ω | Sens: 98 dB | Freq: 16-22k Hz | Cable: 3.9′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Stock wide-nozzle single-flanges, Stock & Comply T-400 foam tips
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (5/5) – Single-flange wide-channel (3 sizes), single-flange narrow-channel (3 sizes), and bi-flange silicone tips, 4 pairs of foam tips, eartip spacer set (6 pairs in 3 sizes), shirt clip, ¼” adapter, airline adapter, cleaning cloth, pair of cable guides, soft carrying pouch, crushproof metal carrying case, and integrated cable wrap
Build Quality (5/5) – As with all of the other Dunu products I’ve tried, the construction of the DN-1000 is very solid. The metal housings have a nice finish to them and the latest iteration of Dunu’s cable is soft, smooth, and tangle-resistant. The machined aluminum y-split and cable cinch add to the premium feel. It may be a little more impressive to see this same level of build quality on Dunu’s sub-$100 models but that doesn’t detract from the DN-1000 in the least. There doesn’t seem to be any driver flex on my unit, either. My one complaint is that the silver L/R markings can be tough to see and the small bump on the left strain relief meant to help identify the left earpiece is too close to the earphone housing
Isolation (3.5/5) – Very good for an earphone with this form factor
Microphonics (4/5) – Good when worn cable-down; excellent when worn over-the-ear
Comfort (3.5/5) – The housings are on the heavy side and large enough to hold the hybrid driver setup. The weight and size can lead to mild discomfort in the long term but the earphones lend themselves nicely to over-the-ear wear, which helps with the weight. Overall, the DN-1000 is similar to the AKG K3003 in size and fit, though its strain reliefs are not offset like those of the AKGs. Dunu’s new eartip spacers help position IEM housing farther out of the ear and can also have an effect on sound, similarly to what we normally accomplish with tip rolling. That said, the DN-1000 is a little pickier with fit than sets like the RHA MA750 and some of the possible tip/spacer combinations make it easy for the tips to slip off the nozzles

Sound (9.2/10) – Balanced armature / dynamic hybrid earphones have been gaining popularity in the past year or two, but few have impressed me as much as the DN-1000. Dunu’s new flagship does what every hybrid hopes to – combines the bass performance of a good dynamic driver with the strengths of a BA setup, in this case the popular Knowles TWFK. The bass driver of the DN-1000 performs very well, providing plenty of both mid-bass and sub-bass, and should satisfy all but the most die-hard bassheads. The bass extends deep and is pretty quick considering the quantity. The RHA MA750, for example, is slower and can sound a bit “bassier” in the conventional sense as a result.

The DN-1000 has a thinner note presentation than the RHA MA750, especially in the midrange, but also sounds clearer than the more veiled RHA set. In keeping with other TWFK-based earphones, the mids of the DN-1000 are a touch thinner compared even to some BA setups, such as the InEar StageDiver SD-2 and EarSonics SM64. That said, the DN-1000 has very little bass bleed and superb midrange clarity, helped further still by the excellent treble energy. The DN-1000 has more perceived clarity compared, for example, to the HiFiMan RE-400 and StageDiver SD-2, which both sound duller at the top end.

The top end of the DN-1000 is bright and crisp, and again rather typical of a TWFK-based earphone. It can be a touch splashy, especially at high volumes, and it takes some playing with all of the included tips and eartip spacers to get the optimal (i.e. smoothest) treble performance out of the DN-1000. I personally found foam tips (especially Comply T-400s) with a deeper seal to work best for me, and the wider single-flange silicone tips with the red spacers to be good as well. In truth, I tend to listen at lower volumes and generally quite like TWFKs, but those who expect to crank up the volume with the DN-1000 to maximize bass impact may find the treble a little too prominent. The RHA MA750, for example, has overall smoother treble and makes the DN-1000 seem a bit fatiguing in comparison. The same goes for the pricier EarSonics SM64 – its treble is smoother, especially at high volumes. 

Select Comparisons

T-Peos H-100 ($120)

T-Peos’ dual-driver hybrid is a rather unique-sounding earphone with a bright and cool tonal character. In comparison to the H-100, Dunu’s DN-1000 hybrid is bassier but also clearer – an impressive accomplishment. The midrange of the H-100 appears to be more scooped out, sounding more distant compared to the Dunu. The H-100 is also brighter and has greater upper midrange emphasis, which causes it to sound a bit “nasal” with the vocals on some tracks. The DN-1000 consistently sounds more natural in comparison. Still, despite its brightness, the H-100 is a touch less revealing of sibilance than the DN-1000, though that’s not quite enough to shift the balance in its favor. The T-Peos unit also exhibits more driver flex compared to the Dunu.

VSonic VC1000 ($125)

VSonic’s dual-armature release is based on the same Knowles TWFK driver as the DN-1000, but without the dynamic driver of the Dunu. The performance of the two earphones is very close despite the differences in sound signature. The most glaring difference is, of course, the far greater bass quantity of the Dunu. However, even in comparison to the bass-heavy DN-1000, the VC1000 sounds pretty punchy. Its bass is also tighter, and it has a more prominent midrange next to the somewhat v-shaped DN-1000.

Clarity is on par between the two earphones but the VC1000 has a slightly smoother top end, which is especially noticeable at higher volumes. On the whole, these earphones illustrate two very different tunings but neither really has the upper hand in performance. The DN-1000, for example, consistently seems to have too much bass when heard back-to-back with the VSonic set. The VC1000, likewise, seems to have too little but, admittedly, is closer to my own personal target than the Dunu.

Philips Fidelio S2 ($150)

The Fidelio S2 is a dynamic-driver earphone with an accuracy-oriented tuning. The DN-1000, which boasts a v-shaped sound signature, has much more of a “wow” factor to its acoustics. Its powerful bass easily outpaces the Philips set, which itself is no slouch when it comes to depth and impact. More surprisingly, the Dunu seems a bit clearer than the more balanced-sounding Philips, due in part to its brighter tonal character. The Fidelio S2 is not the most exciting earphone in the first place, and next to the DN-1000 it sounds especially dull. On the downside, the treble of the DN-1000 has a more “metallic” timbre than that of the Fidelio S2, especially at higher volumes, which is not uncommon for earphones based on the Knowles TWFK driver. The Fidelio S2 is significantly less efficient than the DN-1000, and while it is undoubtedly very proficient and more accurate overall, I couldn’t help but reach for the Dunu when given the choice.

VSonic GR07 Bass Edition ($179)

I’ve always maintained that in the case of this GR07 model, “Bass Edition” is a bit of a misnomer – while it is bassier than the regular GR07, it’s far from a basshead earphone as the name may suggest. The DN1000 has significantly more bass, especially deep bass, than the GR07 BE, and on the whole its sound signature is more v-shaped – closer to the GR02 Bass Edition than any of the other VSonic sets I’ve tried.

The GR07 BE is overall more balanced with less bass emphasis/more linear bass response and mids that are more in line with everything else. Due in part to the treble boost, the DN1000 can sound a little clearer and while the Dunu can be a little sibilant, the GR07 fares worse in this respect. The DN-1000 also has a slightly deeper, more layered presentation than the GR07 BE.

1964EARS 1964-V3 ($425)

Moving well outside of the $200 price bracket, the 1964-V3 triple-driver monitors offer a bass-heavy BA sound in a custom-fit form factor. While the dynamic driver of the DN-1000 affords the Dunu set better bass depth compared to the 1964EARS, the 1964-V3 actually has more mid-bass, which gives it a characteristically warmer, more full-bodied sound. At the same time, the BA-based bass of the 1964-V3 is a little quicker while the DN-1000, in a way consistent with its dynamic driver, has slightly softer, less immediate bass impact.

Overall, the DN-1000 sounds more v-shaped than the V3, which has a relatively forward and energetic midrange. The mids of the DN-1000 are thinner and more withdrawn while its treble is a little brighter. The Dunu is also more sibilance-prone, though the V3 itself is not perfectly smooth, especially at higher volumes.

Sennheiser IE 800 ($999)

The Sennheiser IE 800 is a rather unique earphone that does a few things very right but is somewhat let down by its design. The DN-1000 reminds me of the IE 800 in several ways, right down to the fit sensitivity. The IE 800’s treble has an extra spike that appears unless it’s inserted very shallowly, thanks to its proprietary D2CA tuning system, while the DN-1000 seems to work the opposite way with my ears, requiring a good seal for the smoothest sound. In terms of performance, the IE 800 is overall more detailed and refined, and sounds warmer without a drop in clarity. When it is inserted properly it is less bright and more forgiving of sibilance than the DN-1000, but it is five times the price with a very slight gain in refinement, which speaks volumes for the Dunu DN-1000.

AKG K3003 ($1300)

Though the K3003 and DN-1000 are separated by a huge gap in price, they are both triple-driver hybrid designs and don’t differ all that much in sound signature. To me, the DN-1000 makes for an excellent reasonably-priced approximation of the K3003. Compared to the AKGs with my preferred “Reference” filter installed, the DN-1000 has more prominent bass and a more subdued-sounding midrange. The two earphones have similar overall treble energy but because of its extra bass emphasis, the DN-1000 appears less bright overall.

The K3003 has a stronger midrange, dipping down less than the DN-1000 for a less v-shaped overall signature. Its mids appear a little clearer but overall aren’t too different from the Dunu’s, especially on tracks where the DN-1000 doesn’t have occasion to exhibit its explosive bass. The K3003 is somewhat less prone to sibilance despite similar overall treble energy – something about the way its treble peaks are positioned often makes it stop right on the verge of sibilance when the DN-1000 oversteps. Lastly, the K3003 has a slightly more spacious sound and images a touch better, though again it’s hard to justify the price difference based on the performance gap between the two earphones.

THL Recommended Badge 2014Value (9/10) – The Dunu DN-1000 is a high-end earphone of a very rare breed – one of a select few that are both quite bass-heavy and superbly clear, and also rather well-isolating. This is an especially unusual combination because bass-heavy earphones tend to have large, often vented, dynamic drivers. The DN-1000 uses its hybrid configuration to obtain rumbling, hard-hitting bass from its medium-sized dynamic driver while maintaining excellent clarity outside of the bass region. Its V-shaped signature makes it especially great for modern music – EDM, pop, and so on – and the excellent construction, though typical for Dunu, still stands out among other $200 IEMs.

Pros: Voluminous bass with excellent midrange clarity; lots of eartips included with many possible fit configurations; very well-made
Cons: Treble can get peaky typical of a TWFK earphone; a bit heavy in the ear

Note: the DN-1000 receives my first-ever “recommended” badge. Products that achieve a 9/10 value rating, make one of our buyer’s guides, or are otherwise especially worthy of recommendation will be eligible to receive this badge in the future. It is my hope that this will further help our readers make sense of the increasingly large number of competent in-ear earphones.

About ljokerl

Living in the fast-paced city of Los Angeles, ljokerl has been using portable audio gear to deal with lengthy commutes for the better part of a decade. He spends much of his time listening to music and occasionally writes portable audio reviews across several enthusiast sites, focusing mostly on in-ear earphones.

96 comments


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  1. Hi Joker, I recently bought a pair of DUNU DN-1000′s. I was so excited for it but when I first listened to music with it, I felt like the left earphone was louder and had more bass than the right. I tried all the different eartips and even switching sides but it still felt like the left one was louder. Do you think this was a factory defect and I should exchange it?

    • Also, any recommendations for good eartips ?

      • It sounds like a channel imbalance, which would be a manufacturing defect. To be more certain about what you’re hearing, it helps to put your audio source in “Mono”. If you’re using an Apple device like an iPod Touch or iPhone there’s a setting for that under General->accessibility. Then you will eliminate stereo effects and it’ll be easy to hear imbalances.

        A slightly more tricky but even more sensitive way is to use a frequency sweep. Youtube is not the ideal platform but it will do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX27e9SrlfA

        If your headphones and hearing are balanced, the sound will remain “centered” in your head for the entire sweep. If you feel like the source of the sound is moving left or right, there’s a balance issue. Treble is almost never balanced so just ignore everything ~3-4kHz and up.

        There’s a nice variety of eartips in the box – you should be able to find something that fits.

  2. Hi there |joker|, how does the bass of these compare to the Shure SE215s in terms of quantity and quality?

  3. Hi, thanks for all the reviews, my phonak pfe 122 have just broke, I am cosidenrinn what IEM should I buy now, I liked the pfe 122(black filters) signature, I found the bass, a little muddy, I have a budget around 200 dollars, I am thinking about Dunu 1000, hifiman re 400, brainwavz B2 and vsonic gr07 classic, I dont know much about sound sig, since I have try few headphones, Which of these do you think would fit my preference more?, I listen clasic rock and metal, and I dont like bassy sound.

    Thanks

    • Out those the B2 has the tightest bass by a good margin. I’d go for that (Or the similar VSonic VC1000 – whatever is less expensive). Second place would probably be the GR07.

      • Hi joker, it’d be great if you could post our own “THL – Sound Glossary”. As there might be few terms (layering, separation etc) that would have been missed out in “Describing Sound A Glossary” – Head-Fi and there might be few terms which have a slightly different meaning from your point of view…

        • Great minds think alike – this is already on the to-do list and in progress to a small degree. Probably not going to happen until next year though with all the other things that need to be written up.

      • Thanks for the answer man, I can find Brainwavz less expensive, so I will try them, I hope they fit my preferences.

  4. hey joker as you mentioned the dunu 2000 has a larger soundstage but less bass. my question is would you be able to boost the bass to dn-1000 level with an amp or software and achieve a better overall sound. Vice versa is there any point in doing the same with the dn-1000. which option will give me the better sound overall.

    • You’re better off with the DN-2000 as your starting point as bass is one of the easier things to add. As long as you’re doing it in moderation there shouldn’t be any adverse effects.

  5. Hi Joker

    I am currently using a pair of Brainwavz B2 and Cowon J3/ smartphone as my music player. Is this a good upgrade for me? I am also thinking of getting a headphone (momentum over the ears/Sony MDR-1A). If you are to choose between an earphone or a headphone what will you choose?

    Also is there a need to buy an AMP? Based on the number of reviews I have read, I think it is ok to just use it directly with most of the recent players.

    I often listen to POP songs by the way.

    • It’s an upgrade only if you feel that the DBA-02 is lacking in bass and want what is basically the closest you can get to a DBA-02 with enhanced bass. Otherwise it’s a sidegrade at best.

      Can’t say much about those cans as I’ve only tried the Momentum briefly and the MDR-1A not at all. The Momentum has a warm and smooth signature so you probably won’t get as much detailing out of it as you will out of a good in-ear monitor, but it’s good for what it is.

      As for amping, there’s a lot of factor to consider but I generally don’t consider it necessary for most IEMs given a decent source. I went a little more in-depth on the subject here: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/vsonic-vc1000/#comment-27328

      • Thanks for the quick response. I have already auditioned the Dunu DN 1000 and it is really great compared to my B2s. Honestly, I felt that I don’t wanna use my B2 anymore after trying it out. Will try to spend more time auditioning the IEM on the next couple of weeks. I wonder how it sounds like if I am to use a comply t-500? The demo unit is using the stock transparent tips.

        I feel like that I am gonna drop the idea of buying a full sized headphones and just settle with an IEM. My ears are sweating too fast when using them.

        By the way are you referring to Brainwavz B2 when you are mentioning DBA-02? I know that they are somewhat similar.

  6. Hi joker as you mentioned “The Dunu DN-1000 is a high-end earphone of a very rare breed – one of a select few that are both quite bass-heavy and superbly clear, and also rather well-isolating.” and these look amazing for the price. if there any other contenders (even if they don’t have a full review) that fit your previous statement then let me no. i just want an ok before i buy them and to be sure there the best bet. thank you

  7. I just bought these because my HA-FXT90 began to rattle :/ Would you recommend I purchase an amp? I source music from Spotify at 320 kbps from the iPhone 5s, or music with an AIFF encoding at 44.1 kHz at 16-bits from a 6th gen iPod Classic. I read over the details and feel that I inadvertently conveyed a pretentious tone but I just want to provide a comprehensive breakdown of my setup for your best insight. Thanks for the advice :)

    • Chances are you won’t get more than a minimal improvement amping these from two such decent sources. The DN-1000 is a hybrid system and can be affected by source but in my experience the iPhone and 5.5+gen classic are both very capable of driving both BA and hybrid earphones properly.

  8. Hi Joker! I’m considering buying the Dunu DN-1000. This will be my first really true high end IEM. I’ve experienced only the Philips SHE3590 previously.

    I really liked the Philips, with it’s v-shaped sound signature, but my second pair of the SHE3590 broke this week and I’m thinking about going in for a really good IEM this time.

    I’ve narrowed my choices down to the Dunu DN-1000 here, the HiFiMan RE-400 Waterline, VSonic VC1000 as high end ones, or going for cheaper options like Sony MH1C or Xiaomi Piston 2 or VSonic VSD1S.

    So I want to go either high end, or the cheaper low end.

    My initial choice was the HiFiMan RE-400 Waterline, but I’m having reservations over the bass level. Is it comparable to the Philips?

    Considering that the Philips SHE 3590 are my only reference, can you advise me how the above sound with regards to the Philips? I especially like the bass on the Philips, so please let me know which ones deliver bass similar or better than the Philips?

    Thank you Joker! :)

    • The RE-400 and VC1000 have quite a bit less bass than the Philips. The mid-range earphones you are considering will do better in that regard, but aren’t hugely better than the SHE3580s overall. The Piston or MH1C, being as cheap as they are, are worth getting for a slight upgrade in sound quality but the MH1C is not exactly v-shaped. The DN-1000 has the best deep bass of all of these, a v-shaped sig, and clarity that is almost on-par with the VC1000. It’s the only one that can really be considered a full-on SHE3580 upgrade.

      • Thank you for the recommendations Joker! Just a few more questions re. EQing up the HiFiMan RE-400 Waterline and VSonic VC1000.

        If I EQ up the bass side of these two IEMs, how do they respond to it? Does the sound get distorted? Can they then compete with the SHE3590 on bass levels with EQing?

        I also came across the Yamaha EPH-100 and wanted to know how does it compare to the rest of the IEMs I’ve mentioned here…

        Finally, if I go for the Dunu DN-1000, I’m going to get it from bigbargainsonline on Ebay. They’re going for $210, and I was wondering if I should be considering any other IEMs in this price bracket. Is there any IEMs I’ve missed and should also consider?

        Once more, thanks Joker, you’re the man! :)

        • I doubt you will be able to EQ the RE-400 and especially VC1000 enough to keep up with the SHE3590. The difference in bass volume relative to the midrange is quite large – at least 10dB at the bottom end. With the huge number of enhanced-bass earphones on the market, I don’t see why you would want to do that anyway.

          The EPH-100 is a great bass-heavy earphone but it is not really v-shaped, and also a little behind the DN-1000 in clarity, etc. I like it quite a lot for the price, though.

          The DN-1000 is the best v-shaped earphone I’ve tried in its price bracket.

          • Thanks Joker, Dunu DN-1000 it is! :)

          • Before I buy the DUNU DN-1000, just wanted to ask you one last last last question! :D

            Is the price difference between the DUNU DN-1000 and the Philips SHE3590 worth it? How much better is the DUNU DN-1000 over the Philips SHE3590 really? Big margin or small margin, not worth the price gap between those two?

            Thank you Joker! Am really looking forward to my foray into the audiophile world :P

          • That’s not really a question I can answer for you – there’s definitely diminishing returns in play here and with all things audio you never get 2x the performance for 2x the money. The sound of the Philips I rate somewhere in the upper 7.x range and the Dunu is a 9.2. It’s a noticeable gap, but it won’t be night and day to most listeners (those with more audio experience will perceive the gap as being larger, of course).

            In any case, whether it’s worth the money depends on how important the incremental improvements are to you and to your wallet. Some people can use $10 earphones without ever wondering about what could have been, and others spend thousands of dollars upgrading their DAC for that 1% improvement.

  9. Finally got a Dunu DN 1000 :) had it for a month now and underwent heavy mental / physical burn-in and comparison with my other IEMs.

    Sub bass up my alley. Strong and fast, almost basshead level (depending on the tip, seal, and ring used), and does not overpower other frequencies.

    Mid bass is slightly disappointing for me. They are there, is consistent, has great depth and positioning, but not enough for me to effectively distinguish bass tones because they are just lacking in loudness.

    Mids are a bit recessed but not too alarming. It has some girth but for me nothing beats the mids on the RE400 with are lingering and revervey.

    Mid Highs and Upper Highs are satisfyingly detailed and sparkly. I also managed to tone down the sibilance by using foam tips.

    Virtual Imaging is the best that i have experienced by far. Very nice when listening to tracks that has lots of bleeps and bloops.

    Soundstage is just enough to give the music depth and transparency.

    Cables has a premium feel where it’s thick enough and squeezing them makes me aware that dunu did not go cheap with the amount of reinforced wire inside.

    The included Ear Loops adds playfulness and diversity of usage.

    I’m now planning to get the T Peos H300 for comparison :)

  10. How would you line these up against Velodyne Vpulse’s? I bought a pair of the Velodynes when they first came out – and recently the left ear bud started cutting in and out. I proceeded to buy a second pair which failed, literally a week afterwards. I enjoy how the VPulses sound – but need to get my hands on something that doesnt have such a high failure rate.

    Thanks!!

    • These are much more hi-fi overall – clarity, detail, imaging, treble presence – are all much better, but they also don’t have the bass quantity of the vPulse. If you’re willing to give up some of the bass impact and rumble for a much more refined overall sound, by all means go for the DN-1000. If you would rather have something with bass closer to the vPulse, there are other options in this price, such as the Yamaha EPH-100, FutureSonics Atrio MG7, and RHA MA750.

      • Thanks for the reply. Am now trying to decide between the MA750i and the B&W C5. Seems like the B&W are reviewed well – but am not sure about the fit. On a positive, both are available locally and both have ‘easy’ return policies. Maybe I’ll start with the C5′s and if I cant deal with the fit, give the MA750i’s a try? There are too many choices out there! :)

        • I’m not a fan of the C5′s fit or sound, but if you have the ability to try both and decide which to keep, that’s definitely the best thing to do.

          • Thanks for the reply.

            I actually worked backwards from where I said I was going to. I started with the MA750I’s.

            Initial thoughts – HOLY BRIGHT. Tried all available tips that came with them – also tried some Comply’s – no matter what – they sounded far too ‘bright.’ SQ was awespme – just sounded like they were tipped a little farther ‘north’ than what my tastes liked. They were SUPER comfortable to wear – no doubt about that. Bass was ‘ok’ – some tracks it they seemed dead on – other tracks – they were obviously lacking. Took them back this evening to swap for a set of C5′s…

            Initial thoughts on the C5′s – more subdued when it comes to the mids/highs. Bass seems deeper and more plentiful. I’ve only had them in for 20 minutes and can tell already that my ears prefer the sound produced from these suckers. Very ‘level’ sound – bass does not sound too heavy, and neither does midrange or high’s.

            Still on the ‘stock’ tips – but will trial Comply’s tomorrow with them and see what happens.

            Neither the MA750i nor the C5 can reproduce bass with the quantity that the VPulse’s did. I wish the quality control from Velodyne would get better – even after having trialed these 750i and C5′s recently – I would still jump back to the Velodynes immediately if I knew they were going to last for more than 6 months. The bass output from the first set I had was just out of this world – especially for a set of $100 in-ears.

            Just wanted to say thanks for the honest recommendations!

  11. I need PRO HELP Joker.

    The dunu and vsonic seller here in our country stopped selling those bran of IEMs and i was forced to look for an alternative.

    I found a seller that offers a sony xba 30 (triple BA) for a very affordable price but without warranty. Prob is, i couldn’t find any detailed review nor a test unit plus i’m in the dark when it comes to the durability of sony’s IEMs.

    What do you think joker? Should i take a leap of faith or just keep looking for another option? Also, do you have any impression on how the xba 30 sounds like?

    • I’m honestly not a huge fan of the XBA-3, which the XBA-30 is based on (not sure how much of an improvement it is). The XBA-3 to me is not very natural-sounding, a little too v-shaped and metallic in tone. I felt it was about on-par with the $100 MEElectronics A161P. I chose not to review it because I didn’t feel it was a great value at the time (it was about $200 then). Build quality on it seems a little above average, if you’re getting a great price (say, under $80) I would just get it and not worry about it too much – just treat it like you would any other expensive small piece of electronics.

  12. I have a question joker,
    How would you rank the detail production between the dn1000, re400, gr07, and x10?

    Also, comfort became a big issue for me recently since my new job requires me to listen through recordings for atleast 4hrs a day and i have developed this weird habit of falling asleep with an IEM on (then to wake up with a soar ear because the IEM was pressed between my ears and the pillow), do you think the dn1000 will let me do those with atleast minimum discomfort?

    Thanks :)

    • The DN1000 has fantastic detail resolution through the mids and highs, as good as if not better than the others you’ve listed, but in the bass department it gives up a little bit of detail to the RE-400/GR07 just because it’s bassier than both of those. The X10 is the worst of the bunch here in detail – treble rolls off too quickly and it also has quite a lot of bass.

      I would not consider the DN1000 for sleeping though – it’s not small and it doesn’t sit flush in the ear. Compared to it, the RE-400 is simply tiny and disappears inside my ear when worn, and the X10/GR07 aren’t far behind. It’s painful to think about falling asleep on my side with the DN1000 :/

  13. Hey Joker, getting the DN-1000 soon, but my laptop has a pretty noisy headphone jack. Any recommendations for a small, portable dac or amp that would be suitable for these? Thanks!!

  14. Fantastic Review.

    Between Astrotec AX60 & DN1000, which one do you suggest?
    Here is my criteria in the same order
    1. Best sound quality
    2. Great soundstage
    3. Tight and punchy bass
    4. soft on treble. I cannot stand harshness.
    5. No amp, preferbly
    6. more on fun side sound signature than neatral and dull.

    Do you have any other suggestion apart from above in $200 range? Thanks very much.
    - Prax

    • Unfortunately I haven’t tried the AX60 but from everything I’ve read it seems to lose out to the DN-1000 in value.

      That said, the DN-1000 is just not soft on treble. It’s not harsh per se, but it tends to be very energetic up top. Otherwise it meets your requirements but if soft treble is a must-have you may want to consider something with slightly lower overall SQ but a smoother response up top. In the “fun”, bassy category this would be something like the RHA MA750 or Yamaha EPH-100.

      If you’re willing to live with more accurate bass for better overall SQ, the Sony MDR-7550 has a fantastic soundstage and very smooth treble. It doesn’t have significantly enhanced bass, though.

  15. Hi there Joker!

    Great review man, i love reading your posts, they really help with choosing the right sounding IEM.

    I had the EPH 100, and boy did i love them.
    They made everything sound pleasing, the smooth bass and over roll worm feel were great for the type of music i listen to; Mainly PsyTrance, and some rock – Pink Floyd, Zeppelin and such.
    (only problem was that the treble – especially the HiHats – sounded a bit metallic, like tin)
    Sadly after having moisture issues with them i had to give them back.

    Now reading this review of the DN 1000, they seem like a good fit.
    What do you think? considering the style of music i listen to and the fact that i absolutely loved the EPH100?
    And if not them, What other IEMs would you recommend?

    Cheers,
    Itiel

    • The DN-1000 may be a little bright for you – it’s definitely got more presence in the lower and mid- treble regions compared to the EPH-100. If you found the Yamahas a little metallic I would personally stay away from anything with the TWFK driver (such as the DN-1000 or, for example, the UE700).

      There aren’t many EPH-100 alternatives in this price range and they can be split into two categories – sets that have good bass but aren’t as smooth in terms of treble, for example the DN-1000, VSonic GR07 Bass Ed, JVC FXT90, and to a lesser extent the RHA MA750 – and sets with smoother and more natural treble than the Yamahas – for example the HiFiMan RE-400 and Sony MDR-7550 – but also significantly less bass quantity. For the type of sound you seem to be after, with the strong bass and warmer tone, the first category seems to be a better match and from there the MA750 is probably the best EPH-100 alternative, but it’s not an improvement in overall treble smoothness.

    • I feel the same way you do about the EPH 100, I love everything about them except for the distracting metallic treble.

      The Klipsch X10 have a very similar listen IMO, but with a much more smooth/natural sounding treble. A/B testing the EPH 100 and X10, it is obvious that the X10 has a little excess bass bloat, and not as wide of a sound stage… But after listening to the X10 for a while it’s easy to forget (unlike the EPH100 treble) and just enjoy a natural and fatigueless music delivery.

      That said, I’m here because the DN-1000 are enroute to my mailbox and I can’t wait to hear them!

  16. i am looking forward to buying dn1000(Imp: 10Ω ) and philips fidelo x1 (circumaural open cans with Imp: 35Ω ).
    i recently read an article about damping factor according to which the output impedence of the dap or amp to which i will be pairing them with, should be around 2Ω for dn1000 and 4Ω for my cans.

    now here are few of my questions:

    is it really important to go strictly by this theory? will i be changing the sound signature a lot if i don’t go with 8:1 theory?
    if yes what output impedance of dap/amp should i go for which will do good with both my iem and cans or can i change the impedance of cans/iem or dap/amp externally?

    according to that article the damping factor should be “8:1 not less than that” but can it be more than that??

    • how about fiio x3 without amp???

      • It’s fine to have a high damping factor. You don’t want to go lower than 8:1 because it will change the behavior of the drivers. This is not always a negative – for example the Klipsch X10 is more balanced when used out of a device with high output impedance. There are some portable amps that have an impedance switch but you don’t really need it. The X3 should work for pretty much everything from an output impedance standpoint at 0.3 ohms.

        • hi, thanks for clearing this up!!!

          and one more question:

          by now i have read many reviews of dn-1000s and almost all of them have mentioned about the absence of lips on the nozzles of dn-1000s, due to which the tips tend to slip off like you have mentioned in your review too. one of the reviewer also wrote that when he removes dn-1000s from his ear the nozzle comes out while the tips quite often stayed inside his ears :D

          is it that bad…??? are the provided rings are of any help here??? :/

          also i don’t know if you have tried the different combination of tips and rings but do they really have big effect on sound???

          • The rings actually shorten the nozzle so no, they don’t help. However, as noted in the review above, I only had the eartips slip off when using certain rings in combination with certain eartips. I never had the clear tips slip off when not using any rings, for example.

  17. Hi Joker. It’s me again :)

    I am waiting for a restock of the hifiman re400 in my country when i learned about the dunu dn1000.

    What do u think has better micro detail production between those 2 IEMs?

    Originally, my preferred sound is like this: any level of sub bass, well detailed mid bass, spacious or atleast forward mids (i hate recessed mids), well detailed mid highs, any level of high.

    Hope u can guide me on making the right choice.

    Thanks!

    • I think before considering the different detail levels you should consider how very different the sound signatures are, with the RE-400 being slightly mid-centric and the DN-1000 being quite the opposite.

      If you like forward mids I would not really recommend the DN-1000, not because the mids are very recessed but because that’s not where the focus is at. The RE-400 seems to fit that requirement of yours better. It also has a very small advantage in bass tightness (which seems to be what you want over the deep, enhanced bass of the DN-1000) and very well-done treble. Perhaps the absolute detail levels in the midrange and treble are a touch higher with the DN-1000, but in your case I feel the RE-400 is more suitable overall.

      • Ur the MAN joker!

        Thanks again for the detailed suggestion :)

        I’ll keep waiting for the re400 (since i don’t want to purchase it online)

  18. Thanks for review, this model seems very interesting. May I ask if this in any way is suitable for jazz? (AFAIK, more mid-centric models are usually preferred for this genre)

    • I personally would want a more balanced-sounding earphone for jazz, or at least one with a little more midrange presence relative to the bass. Not a lot of options for that if you want the enhanced bass of the type the DN-1000 has, though.

      • Many thanks! O’d also like a bit more mids and balance. We’ve told with about Hifiman RE-400, but to my regret it won’t pair fine with iBasso according to some comments.

        I was also adviced to look at T-PEOS H-200 and new hybrids from Sony, XBA-H1 and XBA-H3, as well as some Final Audio (Japanese) models. Any opinions on some of these?

        It would be terrific to find something decent within USD 300 range, but it seems like not an easy task.

  19. Oh…also, Happy Valentines Day!

    • Thanks!

      Honestly, I think you’re pretty well-set. I’m not sure what bitrate Spotify Premium streams at (or is equivalent to if they have their own codec) but there might be room for improvement there if it’s below 320 mp3 equivalent.

      If it were me I’d be pretty happy with that setup – the DN1k and B2 are both upper-tier IEMs that compliment each other well. You could upgrade to a custom down the line but it’s a big investment and if you’re happy not really necessary.

      I would add a nice set of near-field monitors for home use, or even proper speakers if space and budget allow :p.

      • Excellent, thank you for your reply. Spotify uses Ogg Vorbis with bitrates ranging from 96kbps to 320kbps usually depending on the age of the song. I just really like their catalog and the convenience of having music everywhere. I thought about customs but I can’t make that big of an investment. For speakers, I have the Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 plugged into the O2 but I usually don’t listen to them because I like turn it up and that distracts my family.

        I just had one last question. I recently bought the Hifiman Re-400 (now sold) since it was well received by you and others. As expected from reading reviews, the Re-400′s response was ruler flat with a touch of bass. However, it didn’t excite me very much nor did I find them to be better than the B2. Can you please describe the sound difference between the Re-400 and the B2?

        Thanks.

        • I’ve never said the RE-400 was better than the B2. Compared to the B2, it sounds warmer and its balance is more mid-centric. The B2 sounds a bit thinner in the midrange. It is also brighter, with significantly more treble energy. The HiFiMan set is smoother, but also a bit dull-sounding in comparison. To me, the B2 sounds a little more balanced and complete due to the added treble intensity, but is also less forgiving. It has a slightly wider soundstage as well.

  20. Great review Joker…I wanted your opinion on something. I currently own the DNK (for fun times) and the Brainwavz B2 (for analytical times). I have good music sources – Spotify Premium music streaming paired with either a nwavguy O2 + ODAC (at home), Fiio E10 (at work), or Audioquest Dragonfly (travel). I also have the AKG-K545 for over the ears, which I absolutely love with no plans of upgrading it anytime soon. Overall, I’m pretty happy with my set-up. It took almost 3 years of researching, buying, and selling different items to get to where I am today.

    What do you think would be a good next step for me? Or should I continue to enjoy the good life until the next big thing?

    Thanks again and keep up the great work!

  21. okay thank you for answering my questions you have been a great help.

  22. Awesome review!
    Do you think the dn 1000 is an upgrade from the eph 100? i listen to edm and alternative rock. in terms of sound stage and mids is it a upgrade?

    • It’s an upgrade in clarity and overall resolution but might sound a little bright up top if you’re used to the EPH-100. The mids are pretty different between the two – the EPH-100 has strong, warm, lush mids while the DN-1000 has somewhat less forward but very crisp and resolving mids. I love the soundstage depth of the EPH-100 but I don’t think it can keep up with the spaciousness of the Dunus overall.

      • what do think about the speed dn 1000 are they slower than the eph 100. how does the seperation of instuments differ

        • Ideally I would need an EPH-100 handy to answer that question more specifically but I have no complaints about the the speed or instrument separation of the DN-1000. It’s quicker than the RHA MA750, for example, and separates instruments better.

  23. Great review Joker! I like the idea of spacers. Loved the select comparisons. Have you listened to the AX60, KEF M200, T-peos H200. These are right up the Dunu’s alley.
    “Voluminous bass with excellent midrange clarity”, makes me wonder what they have in store with the DN2000.

    PS: I see your photoshop skills are evolving :P

    • Unfortunately I haven’t heard the AX60, KEF, or H200. I have the Astotec AX35 hybrid (single BA + single dynamic) and while it’s quite good for the price I don’t think it’s quite as good as the DN-1000.

      PS: that badge took me longer than writing the review :p

      • Many thanks for the great and detailed dn1k review, Joker. I wonder if you personally would recommend them over Rock-it R-50 for exclusively classical music? I know you liked the signature of R-50, especially their excellent mids. Thank you for your opinion

        • The added dynamic bass driver makes a big difference between the R-50 and DN-1000 so you’ll have to decide whether you want the low end lean (R-50) or enhanced (DN-1000). The VSonic VC1000 sounds fairly similar to the R-50 so you can get a decent idea of the differences using the DN-1000/VC1000 comparison above. Personally I prefer the more balanced sound of the VC1000 or modded R-50, but that doesn’t mean you will.

          • Many thanks, Joker. Yes, sometimes I wish the bass had little more “body” when listening to piano, let’s say. But violins, violas, or cello sound really fantastic, lively and liquid through R-50. So I think dn1k are probably not worth extra money for me at the moment, (maybe the rumoured dn2k will have more balanced and flatter signature, better suitable for this music genre). I feel that some really significant upgrade from R50 would probably be very expensive. Thank you again for your valuable remarks and those great reviews you publish

          • Well, with all the things you like about the R-50, the DN-1000 is just going to be more of the same good thing, but with added bass oomph. I have the DN-900 in the queue as well but I’m not sure how I feel about it at this point. More to come on that in the future.

  24. Really nice review!
    I have the GR07BE and its a plus that you made a comparsion too. You recommended me the EPH-100, when I asked what would be better if I would get a more fun, warmer, less harsh earphone with slightly more bass. What do you think DN-1000 vs EPH-100? I could sell my GR07 BE and get this or the Yamaha. I would use with i4 unamped.
    Is this similar to Brainwavz M2?
    Thanks for the great help!

    • The DN-1000 has more treble energy than the Yamaha. It has more of both bass and treble than the Brainwavz M2. Specifically for smoother treble than the GR07BE the EPH-100 would still be a safer choice – the DN-1000′s treble is more sensitive to fit and volume. It CAN be smoother than the GR07, but isn’t always.

      • With the GR07BE not the treble which is annoying for me, rather the overall harshness with rock, for example Bon Jovi. With soul or pop or even rap its great, the bass is like enough for me.
        The problem that the EPH-100 has a weak cable, and I am not so careful and I dont really like to buy something not durable.. Plus I cant buy it now in my county. I dont know if the Dunu would worth the plus 60USD after selling my GR07BE. So hard…

        • I guess the question is what makes the GR07 sound harsh for you, if it’s not the treble? In my experience it is excessive presence or lack or smoothness in the 4-10kHz range/region that makes any earphone sound harsh . Neither the GR07BE or DN-1000 are perfectly smooth there but their peaks and dips are positioned differently and the GR07 is on balance a little worse than the DN-1000 in this respect.

          • Maybe my fault and I cant describe what I feel. I feel the GR07 actually a bit weary and with some music I cant enjoy, because I hear too sharp tunes, too many details. When I listen to rap or blues I dont really feel that. I dont know maybe this earphone is “too good” for me? :D Before this I had a Brainwavz M2.

          • I have to mention that its maybe because I listened from Realtek Integrated “magic”, from iPhone 4 its better. Maybe I should get a soundcard or something. But still its not smooth.

          • What do you think, an USB DAC PCM2704 (based) like Muse X5 would give the level of the iPhone (or more)?

          • I’m pretty sure we’re talking about the same thing, just using different words. The M2 is significantly more relaxed at the top end than either the GR07 or DN-1000. Smoother, if you will.

            And yes, source can definitely have an effect but in this case it’s a characteristic of the earphones. Some sources may provide a smoother response than others with either or both earphones, but the extent will be limited. For me the Fiio E7 is sufficient to drive the DN-1000. Haven’t tried the Muse X5 or any similar DACs.

          • Since then I had the opportunity of listening the DN-1000, and I’d prefer the GR07BE over the Dunu. The Dunu has a peak in the highs which is quite annoying for me. The sound is not warmer for me than the GR07BE.
            My problem with the GR07 that its sometimes harsh, and (mostly) not highs, its just often shrill/sharp, not with vocals, rather with like Bon Jovi Have a nice day, and I also hear annoying sibilance! with that (and similar rock, or like Rammstein) track. I realized that the bass is not lacking for me in the GR07BE. With these tracks GR07BE is exhausting and also a bit unpleasant.
            I am looking for smoother/warmer sound. You told me before that DN-1000 wont be a good choice, you were right again :) Would you advise to get the Yamaha EPH-100? Somebody recommended the TDK IE800 too.

            Thanks for your great help, I hope I will find the appropriate sounding earphone. :)

          • The EPH-100 might be too far in the opposite direction but if you have a way of trying it, it’s certainly worth a shot. In the upper mid/treble region that usually causes harshness it is smoother than both the GR07 and DN-1000. It is also warmer, but since you decided that the GR07 BE has enough bass for you that may or may not be a good thing.

            I haven’t tried the TDK IE800.

          • Thank! I will buy one, and if I dont like I will send it back in 7 days.
            Does there exist any other possibility beside the EPH-100. Probably I could live with more bass, but inspite of that I felt first that the GR07BE bass light, I dont feel it anymore, I got used to it, and now its fine for me. :)

          • Is that anything that would worth a shot beside the EPH-100?

          • Possibly the Monster Trumpets but I enjoyed the EPH-100 a little more. The RHA MA750 is a good one too but coming from the GR07 might not be strong or clear enough in the midrange. It’s also a little bassier than the DN-1000, never mind the GR07BE.

          • I just bought the EPH-100 this week after your recommendation. Its not bad, for me more fun than the GR07BE. Although I bought it for 100EUR and for that money I feel the cable too thin, and also there is a moisture problem (earphones will be quiet if I run or something, after ~5 miutes the sound comes back, annoying). The clarity is nice, but the highs are a bit weird. Overall its a nice phone but I would try something elso more durable, if its possible.
            So I will send it back, and I ordered the RHA MA750. I can buy that for the same amount of money, do you think that is a better package, that can be a better choice? I know the mids are weaker and the build quality is more robust.
            Thanks)

          • I’m not sure if any earphones in this price range were designed with sweat resistance in mind (except the Westone ADV1) so that’ll definitely just be a luck of the draw sort of thing.

            The MA750 feels very nice – the build is certainly more impressive than with the Yamaha. Time will tell whether it’s all for show or if the durability is as good as it seems.

  25. Great review, I am not surprised to see that HiFiMan RE-400 keeps coming in costlier IEM’s review for even a small comparison to let the others(who have RE-400) know that what they will lack and gain in the reviewed IEM if they will go for it. RE-400 is truly a gem at this price-point.

    • It is, but in this case it’s also a vastly different sound signature :P. There are three IEM benchmarks always within my reach – the Sony MH1C, RE-400, and my aging GR07 mkI.

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