Dunu DN-13 Crius Review

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Reviewed June 2011

Details: Mid-range earphone out of China clearly inspired by the design of the Monster Jamz
MSRP: est. $82 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $54 from ebay.com; $63 from mp4nation.net
Specs: Driver: BA | Imp: N/A | Sens: N/A | Freq: 10-20k Hz | Cable: 4’ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5.5mm | Preferred tips: Stock single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (5/5) – Single-flange narrow-channel (3 sizes) and wide-channel (3 sizes) silicone tips, bi-flange silicone tips, zippered carrying case, drawstring carrying bag, and integrated cable wrap
Build Quality (4.5/5) – Styled much like a squashed Monster Jamz, the Crius is surprisingly well-built, with sturdy metal shells, mesh filters, aluminum cable cinch and y-split, and good strain relief all-around. The rubberized cable is a bit stiff for my liking but the attention to detail is very good on the whole
Isolation (3.5/5) – Quite good with the right tips but the housings of the pricier Ares can be inserted a bit deeper and provide slightly better isolation
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Bothersome when worn cable-down; not an issue otherwise
Comfort (4/5) – The Crius fits like most other straight-barrel earphones but the shells are wider and shorter than those of the real Monster Jamz. Since the Crius weighs about the same, the weight distribution is more favorable to the Dunu earphones staying in the ear

Sound (6.8/10) – While its sound is extremely similar to that of the Ares on the whole, the Crius is a touch lighter on the low end than the higher-end model. The mid-bass quantity is a bit closer to neutral and the sub-bass roll-off is slightly more noticeable. As with the Ares, the bass is more tight-and-punchy than full-and-boomy – well-measured but not quite analytical and lacking some depth. The diminished bass quantity means the midrange is less warm and more prominent in the overall balance. Detail and texture levels are good and the midrange is smooth and pleasant. Similarly derived from the Ares are the issues the Crius has with busier tracks – despite being cleaner and more balanced overall, the Crius gets overwhelmed a bit too easily

The treble of the earphones is smooth and forgiving, just like that of the Ares. There are no notable treble peaks and similarly low levels of treble sparkle. A bit of top-end roll-off is still noticeable but the slightly more balanced sound of the Crius focuses more on the midrange and treble and less on the bottom end. The presentation is a little airier as a result and the sense of space is increased very slightly. Congestion is still an issue as the separation tends to collapse as things get busy. One thing is certain, however – the Crius sounds way better than real Monster Jamz.

Value (8/10) – Priced just below the Ares, the Dunu DN-13 Crius offers a slightly different sonic flavor on the same overall competency level. Personally, I prefer the more balanced sound of the cheaper Crius but the earphones share far more similarities than differences. As with the Ares, much of the value of the Crius lies in the care taken with the design, construction, packaging, and accessories and of course those looking to compare it to a ‘real’ Monster Jamz may just be very pleasantly surprised.

Pros: Well-built, well-accessorized, great attention to detail, competent sound
Cons: Cable can be noisy when worn straight down, not the best at handling complexity


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About Author

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.

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