DUNU DN-2000 Review

147

Dunu DN-2000
Details: Second-generation hybrid earphone from DUNU

MSRP: approx $315 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $259 from amazon.com$295 from ebay.com $315 from CTC Audio (US/Canada)
Specs: Driver: Dual BA + dynamic hybrid | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 102 dB | Freq: 10-30k Hz | Cable: 3.9′ L-plug
Nozzle Size: 5mm | Preferred tips: Wide-channel single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down (preferred) or over-the-ear

Accessories (5/5) –  Single-flange wide-channel (3 sizes), single-flange narrow-channel (3 sizes), and bi-flange (3 sizes) silicone tips, foam tips, eartip spacer set (6 pairs in 3 sizes), ear fins (2 pairs), ear stabilizers (2 pairs), shirt clip, ¼” adapter, airline adapter, cleaning cloth, pair of cable guides, crush-resistant metal carrying case, and integrated cable wrap
Build Quality (4.5/5) – Like other DUNU earphones, the DN-2000 is very solidly constructed. The gold- and coffee-colored metal housings have a matte finish and the cable us DUNU’s typical TPE – soft, smooth, and tangle-resistant. “Genghis Khan” is printed on the side of the housings in Cyrillic script – not really sure why. The machined aluminum y-split, plug, and cable cinch add to the premium feel. The earfin retention nubs help identify left and right earpieces more quickly
Isolation (3.5/5) – Some of the best among hybrid earphones
Microphonics (4.5/5) – Very good when worn cable-down; nonexistent when worn over-the-ear
Comfort (3.5/5) – The DN-2000 is similar to the older DN-1000 in size and shape. It is moderately large and a bit heavy for a straight-barrel design but can be worn cable-up, which makes it feel lighter in the ear. DUNU provides an extensive fit kit with plenty of eartips, three sets of eartip spacers (same ones included with the DN-1000), and new earfins in two different styles. The eartip spacers change where the eartip sits on the nozzle and can be used to position the housings farther out of the ear. They have an effect on sound similar to what is normally accomplished with tip rolling. However, some of the possible tip/spacer combinations make it easy for the tips to slip off the nozzles and it really does take some experimenting to find the optimal combination.

The earfins are installed using a retention arm on the side of the housing and are meant to keep the earphones in the ear more securely, likely a reaction to those who complained about the weight of the DN-1000 model. On the whole, DUNU has done all they can to make the earphone comfortable, allowing dozens of different combinations for the fit (and sound), but the DN-2000 still would not be my first pick for smaller-sized ears

Sound (9.3/10) – Having tested the hybrid IEM market with the impressive DN-1000, DUNU attempted to improve on the formula of combining robust dynamic-driver bass with clear mids and treble with a second-generation hybrid, the DN-2000.

The DN-2000 is by no means lacking in bass, but its low end is a little less emphasized than that of the DN-1000. There’s not really a mid-bass hump to deliver a conventional bass-heavy sound, but there is still plenty of low end presence on the whole. Bass extension is especially impressive – there is more depth to the low end of the DUNU than that of the pricier AKG K3003, for instance. Indeed, the AKG unit, in its “reference” configuration, delivers less enhanced but also slightly tighter bass than the DN-2000.

Compared to the VSonic VC1000, a high-end reference-flat BA earphone, the DUNU provides a bassier sound with a thicker, more natural note presentation. It comes out ahead of the TWFK-based VSonic set in overall SQ – something the DN-1000 didn’t quite manage.

The sound sig of the DN-2000 is a little v-shaped (or u-shaped, to be more exact) but its midrange is more prominent than that of the DN-1000, resulting in better overall balance as well as even better clarity and intelligibility. Clarity is just a hair behind the AKG K3003, which has slightly tighter bass and a thinner note presentation.

The treble of the DN-2000 is nicely extended and plenty sparkly. In fact, one of the earphone’s greatest strengths is great end-to-end extension, which is only made more apparent by its emphasis on deep bass and treble that carries much of its energy up high, as opposed to the upper-mid/low treble region.

Worth noting is that the DN-2000 is very sensitive to fit when it comes to treble quality. With the right combination of eartips, spacers, and insertion depth it’s quite refined for the quantity present. There’s definitely enough to properly convey the energy of cymbals, and yet compared to the DN-1000 the new model is slightly more tolerant of harshness and sibilance due to smoother lower highs. It’s still far from what I’d call “forgiving” and can be said to teeter just on the correct side of sibilance, but fares better than most earphones of the type.

The presentation of the DN-2000 is wide and airy – typical for a mildly v-shaped earphone with broad end-to-end extension, but more expansive than most. The soundstage is wider and more open compared to the DN-1000 and even the K3003, putting the DN-2000 well above average in that regard, but its low end can get boomier than that of the AKG unit on bass-heavy tracks, which doesn’t do the soundstage any favors. 

Select Comparisons

VSonic GR07 Classic ($99)

Compared to the dynamic-driver VSonic GR07, the DN-2000 has an advantage in bass depth and treble smoothness, the note presentation is a little thicker, and the soundstage is a little more even in depth and width. The GR07 and even GR07 Bass Edition don’t have the sub-bass of the DN-2000 and sound more sibilant and less smooth up top. The DN-2000 has a slightly thicker and more natural note presentation, but bass control and overall clarity are on-par with the VSonics. The soundstage of the DN-2000 is a little more even in terms of width and depth and just better-imaged overall. 

T-Peos Altone200 ($185)

The Altone200 is an impressive earphone, especially considering the much lower price tag, but lacks some refinement compared to the DN-2000. The DUNU is a little warmer and more balanced, with a more full-bodied midrange. However, the bass of the more v-shaped Altone2000 seems more impactful and digs deeper, standing out more next to its thinner, more recessed midrange. Clarity is very impressive with the T-Peos unit, augmented by its brighter treble. The DN-2000 can usually keep up in clarity, but only barely. Up top, the T-Peos is a little hotter through the upper mids and lower treble, with greater tendency towards sibilance, while the DN-2000 is smoother and more refined. 

DUNU DN-1000 ($200)

The DN-2000 is about $100 more expensive than the model it supersedes. I don’t know if it can be called a direct upgrade over the DN-1000, but it does offer a few improvements. The most noticeable is the presentation – the higher-end model is more spacious. It creates a wider, airier, more spaced-out sonic image, making the DN-1000 sound more intimate and a touch congested in comparison. Part of the reason the DN-2000 is able to do this is a slight decrease in bass emphasis. Its sound is more balanced than that of the lower-end model, but it is by no means light on low end presence and maintains impressive bass impact, detail, and extension.

The midrange of the DN-2000 is more prominent and in better balance with the low end, which contributes to better vocal clarity. The treble has plenty of energy but seems to be a touch more refined on the newer model. The DN-2000 is nicely extended and just as sparkly as the DN-1000, but a little more tolerant of sibilance when it comes down to it. All in all, I consistently preferred the DN-2000, but the differences are subtle enough that I wouldn’t advocate DN-1000 owners to throw away their earphones just yet – hip-hop and EDM listeners, for example, may not see much benefit from the new tuning or even find the bassier, slightly more v-shaped DN-1000 preferable. 

Fidue A83 ($280)

The A83 and DN-2000 are both high-end triple-driver hybrid earphones that, to my ears, differ most in presentation, with the A83 having a more out-of-the-head sound but appearing more distant and diffuse, and the DN-2000 sounding more focused and cohesive, but also a bit more closed-in. The Fidue set carries less emphasis in the sub-bass region and more in the mid-bass region, which actually makes its low end sound a little more integrated into the overall sound but takes away from the slam of the bass. The midrange of the DN-2000 is a little more recessed but has better crispness and definition in comparison. The DN-2000 also tends to be smoother up top with the right combination of tips and spacers.

Audiofly AF180 ($550)

Audiofly’s quad-driver AF180 is very good competition for the DN-2000, offering a slightly warmer and smoother sound at the expense of a bit of clarity and spaciousness. The DN-2000 has more bass quantity with deeper sub-bass reach, providing more “slam” on top of greater overall presence. It has a slightly more v-shaped signature, however, and sounds brighter than the AF180. The Audiofly unit boasts more upfront mids and sounds a little warmer and more natural. Clarity is on-par much of the time, but occasionally the brighter DN-2000 pulls ahead, which also affords it better intelligibility. Up top, the DN-2000 is a little bolder and can harsher as a result, whereas the Audiofly is a bit more tame and smooth. The DN-2000 also has a wider presentation while the AF180 sounds a little more intimate – but still plenty spacious and well-imaged for an IEM.

LEAR LUF-4B ($565)

The DN-2000 holds its own very well against the nearly twice as expensive LEAR LUF-4B, the bass-heavy version of LEAR’s universal-fit quad-BA earphone. The LEAR unit is a little warmer than the DN-2000, with slightly more powerful but nonetheless tighter bass. The DN-2000 actually sounds a little boomy next to the LUF-4B, but is brighter and otherwise clearer. The LEAR has more emphasis in the upper midrange and lower treble region, whereas the DN-2000’s brightness comes from emphasis higher up. This leads to the DN-2000 occasionally sounding smoother and more forgiving, but on most tracks the two are pretty even in that respect. The presentation of the LUF-4B is a touch more closed-in whereas the DN-2000 sounds a little more airy and open.

For the sake of fairness, I also pitted the DN-2000 against the less bassy LUF-4F model. The 4F puts up a better fight in ways that matter – while it still carries more emphasis in the upper midrange and lower treble, sounding harsher and less forgiving as a result, it is clearer than the DN-2000 and has a more neutral sound. Bass quality is even better than with the LUF-4F, though quantity is also reduced to below-DN-2000 levels. The bassier DN-2000 is warmer and a touch less balanced and coherent on the whole. 

Custom Art Harmony 8 Pro (approx. $1100)

The Harmony 8 Pro is a high-end custom-fit earphone with a very clear, resolving sound that I thought would make for a good way to gauge how much room for improvement there is left with the DN-2000. The most noticeable difference between the two is in the bass region, where the H8P is rather flat and the DN-2000 isn’t. The bass of the DN-2000 is deeper, with greater sub-bass quantity as well as impact. However, next to the H8P, the low end of the DN-2000 sounds quite overbearing and fairly muddy. In addition to tighter bass, the Custom Art unit sounds more neutral. It also has an advantage in clarity and sounds more laid-back and spacious versus the more intimate DN-2000, with better imaging and detail resolution.

Value (9/10) – DUNU’s latest flagship, the DN-2000, pulls out all the stops in an attempt to improve on the preceding model. The packaging is significantly nicer and the accessory pack is bordering on excessive, adding several new bits and bobs to the DN-1000’s already-extensive kit to help stabilize the earphone in the ear. With all of the various eartips and accessories, it is a tinkerer’s dream, though that also means it requires more time and effort to use effectively.

THL Recommended Badge 2014In terms of sound quality, the DUNU DN-2000 is a successful hybrid design. It manages to leverage the bass of the dynamic driver without having it overwhelm the mids and highs, maintains pretty good coherency, and extracts the expected clarity and detail from the balanced armatures without losing note thickness. In its price range, it is one of the IEMs to beat for sheer performance.

Pros: Great end-to-end extension, deep bass, wide presentation, good clarity; very well-made; extensive fit kit and accessory pack
Cons: Physically large and a bit heavy in the ear


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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.

147 Comments

  1. Sandra on

    Hi ljokerl !

    Any advice on using all these spacers/fins/stuff that come with it?
    The tiny booklet and the box art leave quite a lot to be desired in terms of “what do all these fins/stuffs even do.

    I’ve just received these as gift and I am super confused about what to do with the fins and how to pick the right “spacer rings”

  2. Summonette on

    Hi!

    Looking into buying a decent DAC (for use with motherboard’s SPDIF/optical out) and Dunu 2000

    Have a very good local price on FiiO E17 (last specimen remaining in nearby brick-and-mortar shop, 70% off retail price)

    Would it make a good pair for Dunu 2000 ?

    • Abbiba on

      In my experience, dn 2000 almost always sounds better with low impedance amps. I personally own a aq dragonfly, Cambridge dacmagic xs and an oppo ha-2. These sound best using MacBook Pro (2015). although apple consistently uses Currus audio chips with m.not much differences between them. Imho these are too efficient to be driven with an amp.

      That being said even though the price ranges are quite varied between the amps I own, Dunu mostly sounds similarly over driven on all of them.

      • Summonette on

        Thanks!
        The FiiO E17 has about between 0.1 and 0.6 ohms of output impedance, which seems rather low, so… I guess it should be okay-ish.

  3. Abbiba on

    Hello Again, I find myself back in the pool again looking for earphones the sound like Fidelio S2 (Airy and Easy Sounding.) Except this time with more mid-bass impact and possibly smoother treble. Got any suggestions?

    • ljokerl on

      Sennheiser IE80 maybe, with the bass turned down a bit? Not a lot of earphones out there that sound as airy as the Philips and yet have more mid-bass and smooth treble..

      • ABBIBA on

        Tha sounds like a good option. Hope you are doing well. Are you liking any of the new earphones that came out in 2016. Basically I want something un-colored and tight but with more mid-bass than dunu, same sub-bass, forward mids and subdued but faithful treble.

      • ABBIBA on

        I Have decided to buy something in between:
        NuForce HEM 8
        Shure Se535
        XBA-Z5
        Westone W40

        Awaiting your guidance.

        • ljokerl on

          I have not tried the HEM 8, and I don’t like the XBA-Z5. It’s a borderline basshead earphone that’s way too expensive to have as much bass bloat as it has.

          The SE535 might be too flat for you (doesn’t really have a mid-bass boost, and isn’t as impactful as the Fidelio S2 or DN-2000) but it is very smooth and refined. I like it and it fits your other requirements except for the sub-bass and mid-bass being a lower quantity. This is going to be a true for a lot of the good “balanced” IEMs I have been recommending this year – Aurisonics Rockets, Audio-Technica IM02, Audiofly AF180, etc. All great new(er) earphones, but none have bass to rival the DN-2000.

          The W40 is a little more complicated, it does have good mid-bass but its sub-bass is not as linear/extended as that of the DN-2000. It also has a bit of a dip in the upper midrange that will be especially obvious to you coming from the Fidelio S2 (which has a mild boost in the same region). The result will be a slightly “dull” presentation. It would take me a while to get used to it coming from the S2 and DN-2000, and I struggle to call it “uncolored”. The Shure is probably a better option on the whole in this case, but my original recommendation was a dynamic earphone (the IE80) because most BA sets will struggle to match the bass (depth, quality, and impact) of the DN-2000 while also providing more mid-bass. The only BA set I can think of that’s an exception is the EarSonics Velvet, but those are very pricy.

          • ABBIBA on

            Hey, Thanks for the recommendation!! I bought S2s through your reference and they are simply epic. The more I listen to them the more I admire them, I got them for about 80$ and they are my endgame iems, they just get somewhat grainy/fatiguing for EDM use. I am due to receive ie80s and se535 sometime next week. I always wanted to try ie80 buy didn’t as I am generally not a fan of earphones with tuning options. I waste too much time fiddling.

            Might try velvet if either doesn’t work out. I heard shures before but it was with an iPhone headphone out and they sounded quite unimpressive, especially compared to the 2000. I had gotten them recently and the efficiency / sound quality just murdered them.

            However, I am now using wired IEMs mostly at home driven by a dac and can live with in-efficinent designs.

            I find myself missing the Sony sound but Z5s obviously sound like they are way overpriced and not hi-fi enough.

            Do you have any recommendation under 200$ that can be a fun/bassy sonyesque mainstream earphone or does IE80 already satisfy this?

            Also, wanted to know what your main source dac/amp for reviewing earphones is.

            • ljokerl on

              Under $200 definitely the Yamaha EPH-100. Such a fun earphone, definitely one to buy before it disappears from the market.

              I always try multiple sources but I use an old Fiio E07k for a lot of listening as it’s a good representation of what the average buyer of mid- and hi-fi IEMs is using – decent technical specs, but affordable enough for most.

              • ABBIBA on

                Hi joker, got the SE535. gotta say everything except sound is first class. Fit is epic, they look amazing.

                Soundwise, these couldn’t be more different to S2s for me. Most of it is to my liking but there is no instrument separation, bass is rolled off, mids are super smooth. no graininess and absolutely un-fatiguing. Also, quite forgiving of bad recordings. These don’t sound like any BA I’ve heard.

                Gotta say I am liking these quite a lot when I tell the audiophile in my head to for get that these are 400$.

                Do you think this sound is achievable in a cheaper shure or is se535 needed to be bearable soundwise.

                • ABBIBA on

                  wanted to add that I got the se535 ltd-j

                • ABBIBA on

                  Unfortunately mids are colored.

                • ABBIBA on

                  Se535s are working out great, useless for edm and although un-inspiring in mids, quite unfatiguing and user friendly. is there anything else that exists with same sound profile but clearer mids. Might IM02 be a silver bullet to problem?

                • ljokerl on

                  The lower-end Shures don’t sound as good as the SE535… if going lower end I’d definitely pick a different brand, like Westone (W20) or Audio-Technica (IM02). I don’t think either is better than the SE535 for what you want though. Perhaps the old TDK BA200, it has a slightly brighter and clearer take on the same sort of sound, but you’re unlikely to find a pair at this point, they’ve been discontinued for a while.

                  • ABBIBA on

                    Ok. Thanks! These will serve me for a long time then. Cheers!!!

              • ABBIBA on

                Got IE80, ticks all boxes. Fit could be better. SE535 no contest, going back. Thanks!!

              • ABBIBA on

                IE80 too sibilant. I think I like the se535 sound/fit enough to use as a general earphone.

                Still waiting for your answer for anything thats cheaper.

              • ABBIBA on

                EPH-100 is lovely.

  4. Justin on

    Hi Jocker,
    Im upgrading from the RHA ma750 and im considering the FLC8s, DUNU 2002 and DUNU 2000j. Im looking for about the more clarity and detail than RHA MA750 with strong (not too much) bass response.
    Also do you think there will be a significant difference in clarity and bass response in these 2 DUNU’s compared to FLC8s?
    Thanks

    • ljokerl on

      I’m not familiar with the DN-2002. The FLC8 and DN-2000 have similar clarity, both are equally an upgrade to the MA750 in this regard. Bass is also fine with both the FLC8 and DUNU, slightly different in balance but ultimately not very different between the two. You’d have trouble telling them apart if you were looking only at clarity and bass response.

  5. Squall on

    Hey joker, it seems there’s now the DUNU DN-2002, possibly the first quad driver hybrid. Have you had a go? How would it compare to DN1000/2000 or UE900?

    • ljokerl on

      Not yet, but I will soon.

  6. Hifi-man on

    Hi,
    i need your Help 🙂
    DUNU DN-2000j, Sennheiser IE 800, RHA T20 or Ultrasone IQ?
    Thanks

    • ljokerl on

      Not knowing what your criteria are I would go IE 800 for the most bass, DN-2000 (not J) for the most balanced sound, IQ for a good compromise *if* you’re willing to put in some time to play around with the fit. Otherwise T20.

      • Hifi-man on

        I need to find a headphone to work well with most/all genres.I live in Germany and i can buy the Sennheiser IE 800 for 490€, Dunu dn-2000j for 300€, U-IQ for 459€.
        The sound quality and clarity+ strong Bass (not so strong) is very important to me.
        Wich one is better choice and more compatible with iPhone 6s?
        Thanks

        • ljokerl on

          I’m not a huge fan of the DN-2000J over the regular DN-2000. Seems like the IQ would be a good buy in this case but it’s a large and somewhat oddly-shaped earphone so if there’s any chance you can try it before buying (or get it from a place that accepts returns) that would be a good idea.

      • Scott Holland on

        I know this is an older post, but why not the 2000j, and have you had a chance to listen to the DN-2002?

  7. stephan s on

    I lost previous IEMs, Shure SE215. I really loved them, and I would replace them in a heart beat, but I would also like to upgrade. I haven’t had a lot of exposure to good gear, so I don’t even know what I want. I think I want something close to balanced, on the warmer/bassier side. I don’t like a deep V or U. I’ve tried Beyer DT770 and Senn HD598 and I always came back to my SE215s.

    I’ve tried out the Shure SE315 and I feel like they are maybe incrementally better but they are missing something that the SE215 had. The SE215 seemed to emphasize a certain frequency range that highlighted a lot of background details, for example the decaying reverb of drum hits.

    I have had other people recommend the SE535, but they seem to only get mediocore reviews.

    I found these earphones by searching for the highest sound rated IEMs on the site at a price of less than $500.

    Do you think I would like these as an upgrade from the SE215?

    • ljokerl on

      Well, the DN-2000 is indeed a U-shaped IEM. Pretty mild, but still pretty much the opposite of an SE535 in sound tuning, and definitely not a direct upgrade from the SE215 and other lower-tier Shures.

      If you want an IEMs that’s on the warmer/bassier side rather than v-shaped, there are a few good options such as the Sennheiser IE80, Sony XBA-H3, and the Yamaha EPH-100 (this last one is very good value in my opinion). If you were looking for more neutral but still smoother/relaxed rather than bright/energetic like the DUNU, the best option would be the Aurisonics Rockets.

  8. Abbiba on

    Hi joker, Hope you’ve been well. I just bought fidelio s2 as the RHA t20is were not fitting as well as I liked. These fit great and sound most inoffensive of the pairs i’ve heard recently. Also, I bought bose soundsport and was pleasantly surprised to find that they were quite loud and no more muffled vocals and bloated bass. The last time I tried these I was worried if I was going deaf :).

    • ljokerl on

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying the S2, at least! Great earphones, I hope Philips doesn’t completely neglect IEMs in their Fidelio lineup going forward.

      • Abbiba on

        I have been using earin wireless iems since couple of days. Although they don’t hold a candle to anything wired, once you go full wireless there is no turning back. I am due to receive Bragi shortly. Do you have any thoughts or impressions on these.

        • ljokerl on

          I have a Bragi Dash impressions post in the works, should be live next week. After using the Dash I am a believer in the convenience and functionality of wireless IEMs, but from a sound quality standpoint they have a very long way to go before being suitable for serious music listeners.

          • Abbiba on

            Yep. Hiss is there. Sound is horrible. It’s not much better even playing from onboard storage. The only thing I liked is the lights. I thought earins were bad but after listening to these they sound way better. There is a good bit of detail and clarity lacking in these. Waiting for version 2 or maybe 3 for these to be good.

            • ljokerl on

              Yeah, the hiss is a serious problem and the sound is on the lower end of what single BAs are capable of. You can get something that sounds very similar in a wired form factor for $40 if so inclined, and those won’t hiss.

              Came to the same conclusion as you about either waiting for a future revision or (more likely) for someone else to get “true wireless” IEMs right.

    • Christian Wagner on

      Hello Joker

      I was hoping you could give brief comparisons between the Dunu 2000 and the Westone 4/R.

      My RE600s have gone missing and I think either of these may have a little more on the low end without out giving up too much of the 600s awesome mids.
      thanks

      • ljokerl on

        They’re both somewhat different from the RE-600 in sound tuning. The DN-2000 is more V/U-shaped, with a lot more emphasis on deep bass, less emphasized mids, and much brighter, more energetic treble than the RE-600. It’s like a more extreme version of the comparison I made between the DN-2000 the AudioFly AF180 in the review above.

        The W4/W40 is more similar to the RE-600 in the sense that it has pretty prominent mids (minus a dip in the upper midrange that the RE-600 doesn’t have) and a very smooth, slightly warm sound. It also has more bass than the RE-600. However, because of its smooth sound coming from the RE-600 there’s no upgrade in clarity or detail resolution, so I’d personally worry about being slightly disappointed with that when recommending it as an upgrade. With that said, if you’re just looking to keep the prominent mids while getting more bass than the RE-600, the Westones do that.

  9. Charlie on

    Would the DN-2000 be a good upgrade from the GR07? I really love the overall sq the GR07 and the treble doesnt bother me one bit. How would the mids compare with each other? Is the treble that much smoother on the Dunu set than the GR07s? I really like the bite of the treble on them. Just want to upgrade in other aspects such as the soundstage and bass depth.

    • ljokerl on

      Most of the difference between them is in the bass and soundstaging. Mids and treble aren’t hugely different, the GR07 just has a peak or two right in the “sibilant” range while the DN-2000 does not. Since you’re not bothered by the GR07’s treble this likely won’t make much of a difference for you. The DN-2000 is otherwise not treble-light by any means, so nothing to worry about there.

  10. matt on

    I’m jumping back and forward between dn 1000 and dn 2000j. I heard the dn 2000j can soujd very bright… which i hate, that makes me think the dn1000 may suit me better? BUT I really like the fact the dn 2000 is a step up in clarity, especially mids.

    What I’d like to ask though… is it a $100 upgrade on mid clarity? I do like a bit of articulation and micro detailing, but not to the point of losing the fun factor.

    I love the titan 1s, and have recently purchased the Trinity Audio Deltas which I also like. The Deltas though are rich and smooth, but still decent details. They do sound very warm though. Maybe a tad too warm.

    • ljokerl on

      DN-2000 or DN-2000J? They don’t sound the same. The DN-2000 I think would be worth the extra $$ because in addition to the clarity you’re also getting bass quality (and quantity) closer to what you’re enjoying with the Titan 1 and slightly better overall balance compared to the DN-1000, without losing the fun factor. Plus, though this is purely anecdotal, another reader just recently upgraded from a Titan 1 to a DN-2000 and has been very pleased with the switch.

  11. Abbiba on

    Hi |joker|, I received the t20is, these sound nothing like dynamic earphones, there is too much of ue-700 in them. I am noticing lot of micro details reveal themselves and btw glitch mob sounds excellent on these. These will be a nice replacement for my falling apart ex-1000. What would be your recommendation for an upgrade to sennheiser m2 ie with slightly brighter sound and better bass definition but no reduction in bass quantity, efficiency and composure under loud volume.

    • Abbiba on

      just realized that I had a bad seal, bass is pretty intense with the right tips. Sounds Completely different now, this is what I was looking for 🙂

      • ljokerl on

        Very good illustration of the importance of a perfect seal 🙂

        • Abbiba on

          yep. Also, these show what an incredible achievement dn2000s are, I keep switching phones and dn 2000s continue to surprise me with ear piercing clarity and incredible bass detail.

          Does another earphone exist that does bass better than dunu?

          • ljokerl on

            I don’t think so, no with that level impact and depth at least. You start getting into the realm of things being different rather than better or worse. For example the FLC Tech FLC8 has very comparable bass quality with a little less quantity, which would be better for someone who found the DN-2000’s sub-bass slam a bit excessive, but otherwise isn’t an upgrade or downgrade.

  12. Abbiba on

    Hi Joker, I have been a long time reader of your reviews, Few years ago I got the ex-1000 and was very satisfied with them. Few months ago I got DN 2000s and these are my daily drivers now. Many thanks for your excellent reviews and recommendations.

    I am trying to find a good pair of earphones for outdoor use with a mic and sound tuning closer to the DUNUs, is there anything out there that might satisfy.

    • ljokerl on

      Thanks – very glad the reviews have been helpful!

      Ignoring highly expensive IEMs such as the AKG K3003i and Ultrasone IQ, the closest you can get to something like that would be to outfit a good, detachable-cable hybrid earphone with a headset cable. I’m thinking Fidue A83, plus any MMCX cable with a microphone.

      I do prefer the DN-2000 to the A83, though, so if you’d rather compromise a little on the sound tuning instead of investing over $250 in an outdoor IEM, you have a few options for “step-down” earphones that are tuned a little differently, but can be much better value – for example the Philips Fidelio S2 and Etymotic HF3. Both emphasize balance and clarity (with slightly different approaches between them) and are pretty inexpensive compared to what you’re used to and neither will keep up with the DN-2000, but they both sound great for <$150. I've also heard the MEE Pinnacle P1 is comparable to the DN-2000 (and they have a mic) but I haven't received my pair yet.

      • Abbiba on

        will try fidelio, i just don’t like bass from B-As. There is not enough thump/slam imho. I’ve tried se535, ue900 and xba-4i(this has loads of bass just not the kind i want) but was unimpressed. akg/ultrasone are out of reach anyways. i’d rather wait for the custom dunus i saw were coming sometime.. Do you think i will like the RHAs. I might like more bass and not notice the reduction in clarity due to using in a noisy environment.

      • Abbiba on

        On a separate note I find that Music like drink the sea buy glitch mob has a very dark mix and sound terrible to me on buds that are not a bit bright. what’s a good earphone for such kind of music, preferably something in the under 400 range. Can go bit higher if a better phone is available.

        Just scooped up the pinnacle p1 on amz. looks like a winner.

        • ljokerl on

          You’re right, in a noisy environment the extra bass of something like the RHAs might be worth the clarity tradeoff. Plus the isolation would be a hair worse on Fidelios.

          Anyway, now I’m curious as to how you get one with the P1 – from my understanding it’s relatively lean for a dynamic earphone.

          I would think that Glitch Mob would sound quite good on the DN-2000, which is not exactly dark. The FLC Technology FLC8/S would be a small step up from that for what you want and still <$400, but I don't know if it really makes sense to own both that and the DN-2000 at the same time - they're just not different enough.

          • Abbiba on

            I have received the pinnacle p1s, they do sound bit lean as you said but I liked the sound overall. The balance is excellent but I feel that the midrange is slightly colored and highs sound rolled off (not an issue in general because it does reduce fatigue for me.) The main issue is that these are in-efficient, I am using one step less than max on an iPhone 6s. on dunu I don’t usually go past mid way.

            I thought about FLC8/s but I am not a fan of it’s appearence. Also fildelios as you said have less isolation which is an issue. right now I am using sennheiser momentum in-ears they satisfy all the criteria except sq. bass is definition free and highs are pretty dull.

            How efficient are the RHAs (thinking T20i) or Ety hf5s or Er4s and can they approach dunu levels of sound pressure? do suggest any other iems that might suit better.

            • ljokerl on

              T20 is very efficient, has no issues with iPhones. HF2 is fine also, maybe a bit less so but definitely not problematic. ER4 – depends on the version. The ER4S is a little hard to drive. I believe the ER4PT without the S adapter should be on-par with HF2 (but there’s no remote on this or other ER4 models).

  13. Jane on

    Hi Joker!
    Thanks for great review.

    Are you planning on taking a look at DUNU 2000J ?

    • ljokerl on

      I have one but I feel like it’s a bit of a dumbing down of the original DN-2000s sound. Perhaps more consumer-friendly, but also not as unique and special. More like an AKG K3003 lite.

      • Jane on

        So, say, hypothetically, if one liked deep bass but also valued clarity a lot (and couldn’t go for Custom Art Harmony 8 Pro lol 😉 ), one would better go for DN-2000 than DN-2000J ?

        • Lorelei on

          The 2000J has a thinner and brighter signature which for my tastes just doesn’t sound as good as the original 2000. The 2000 has a fuller sound across the spectrum while the 2000J appears to be lacking in the lower frequencies. The beauty of the original 2000 is that it’s very good in virtually every area without making substantial sacrifices in any of them – particularly in having reasonably tight and deep bass without much negative impact on midrange and treble clarity.

          The only benefit to the 2000J in my opinion is the improved tip retention, they fall off easily on the 2000 which is a bit annoying – but it wouldn’t be hard to solve that yourself (tighter aftermarket tips or a tiny dab of CA glue).

          I’ve been using the DN2000 for over a full year of hard use now (rarely kept in case, well-travelled, dropped, etc) and no problems, I can recommend them from a long-term reliability standpoint.

        • ljokerl on

          The post above is great, I just want to add that for deep bass especially I would also go with the DN-2000 over DN-2000J. It has almost no mid-bass emphasis so all you get is extended sub-bass and unadulterated clarity.

  14. Anthony on

    I am currently using a pair of Yamaha EPH-100. I would like a noticeable upgrade, but fear that the improvement would not be worth the dollar. I want like to listen to more details, but still have bass. For comparison, I have tried the Hifiman RE400, but the bass is lacking. Under your recommendation (list), I went for the Yamaha EPH-100, which I think is better than the Shure SE215, Hifiman RE400, and JVC FXT90.

    Would a DN-2000 or DN-2000J or FLC FLC8S would be much of a upgrade? I can get the DN2000 for USD200, DN2000J for USD280, FLC8S for USD365. For reference, I can get the Shure SE535 for USD320.

    Are they anymore recommendations other than the above listed?

    Thanks.

    • ljokerl on

      You are right in that the EPH-100 is tough to upgrade from. The DN-2000 is a great earphone but it’s not tuned like the EPH-100 – it has significantly less bass (especially sheer impact) and a noticeably thinner and brighter sound. The FLC8S is the same way, and the SE535 has a more balanced sound that’s still nothing like the Yamahas (which is not to say you won’t like it, just that it can hardly be called a straight upgrade).

      Out of what I’ve heard, the closest IEM in the DN-2000’s price range to an EPH-100 upgrade is the Sony XBA-H3 – it has a warm tone, pewerful bass with great depth, and very smooth treble that is nonetheless not rolled off – all things that make the EPH-100 stand out. But it’s not a huge upgrade by any means.

      I’ve made a similar recommendation in my EPH-100 review here: http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/yamaha-eph-100/#comment-115669

      • Anthony on

        From what I read, the sony H3 doesn’t isolate sound and wind, and is more suited at home. Maybe the sony A3 or Z5 will be better? I don’t know. They look at they stick out from the ears a lot.

        • ljokerl on

          The A3 and Z5 have very similar designs to the H3. None of them are great options to maximize isolation or minimize wind noise.

        • nellatl on

          I tried the sony h3. They were just loud, but nothing really organized or went well together in my opinion.

          I bought them at best buy. They were next to the marshmellows and beats by Dre. While the sennhiesers are in the Magnolia high quality section. That should say a lot!

          Moreover sound isolation is always important. For, well… sound.

          Also according to my audioligist, sound isolation protects the health of your ears because you dont have to turn the music all the way up to hear it. Therefore, that’s a huge indication about the quality of the sony H3’s.

          Try the audio technica ckr9 or 10. As well.

  15. Yash on

    hi joker
    Thanks for your amazing reviews!
    I’ve been researching to buy the perfect set of earphones and I guess I would really like the dunu 2k
    The only problem is that I’m a bass head because I listen to a lot of melodic dubstep and EDM and like to go pretty crazy on the drops
    But I also highly appreciate the detailed high and mids
    Since the dunu 2k don’t have that much of a bass thump, could you recommend me some in ear head phones which would be similar to these but with better bass and sub bass?
    Thanks in advance!

    • ljokerl on

      The DN-1000 has a little more bass emphasis, and saves you ~$100 as well.

      If you want significantly more bass boost, however, then you’ll either have to accept a slight compromise in overall clarity and detailing (e.g. Sony XBA-H3, Yamaha EPH-100, RHA T20) or pay more to get both the resolution and the extra bass (e.g. EarSonics Velvet, Sennheiser IE800).

      • Yash on

        What about the astrotec ax60?
        I heard they’re bass monsters, but how’s the clarity and detail?

        • ljokerl on

          Don’t have those. I have the lesser AX-35 and it’s quite decent for the price, but not really relevant here,

  16. Harshmeet on

    Hello Joker,
    I was wondering what would be a suitable upgrade for the Dunu 2000? I’ve had these for more than an year now and I feel like moving forward. Suggestions on better sound quality and comfort as compared to the 2000’s? Price range $300-$500.

      • Harshmeet on

        What about the earsonics sm64 and velvet?

        • ljokerl on

          EarSonics tunes their stuff differently – warmer, thicker, smoother, etc. Not to say it’s worse than the DUNUs, but I usually look for more similarity when recommending upgrades.

  17. PG7 on

    I know it’s still early for audiofly af180 review
    but what’s audiofly-af180’s score ?
    I want just to make sure I order the good iem.
    would you compare 180 to ie 800 or ie 80 in terms of soundstage which sound better and play instruments with 3d presentation ? and How do you like your headphone sound ? did you eq them ?
    what’s your ref. IEM and CIEM ?
    Many Questions sorry Joker

    • ljokerl on

      They don’t really sound similar on the most basic level, so it doesn’t make much sense to compare them in details. The AF180 is very balanced, quite smooth, pretty much flat overall except for an upper midrange dip. I rank it about on-par with the DN-2000 reviewed here.

      The IE80 is smooth, but bass-heavy. The IE800 is bass-heavy also, but more v-shaped in overall balance (the exact severity of this depends on fit, strangely).

      You should settle on which general sound tuning you want before focusing on the finer points of soundstaging and presentation – otherwise it’s like you’re comparing a sports car and a truck focusing only on seat comfort.

      For similar reasons my reference IEM/CIEM is whatever makes sense in the context of what I’m reviewing. I’m not going to bechmark a flat-sounding $1000 custom if I’m reviewing a $25 basshead headphone, and vice versa.

      • PG7 on

        I like lcd 3 sound ,rich ,very good with vocals ,imagine the lcd 3 with hd 800 pinpoint imaging ,soundstage .that’s my best dream iem or ciem .any Ciem or Iem can do that ?

        • ljokerl on

          Not sure, I don’t have an LCD-3 or an HD800.

          • Woo7 on

            how about 3d presentation with everything sound natural nor dark treble but little bet sparkly or natural , the bass goes very deap with good texture, mids natural with emotional vocals ,and pin point separation with very good clarity .
            very hard to find ciem sound like that ?

            • ljokerl on

              I don’t have many of the super expensive custom IEMs that have come out in the past year or two – maybe sound like that is not hard to find these days, I don’t know. The best one I have is the old JH Audio JH13 Pro and I think it does all that, but of course not having tried anything better I don’t know what I/it may be missing.

  18. Jd on

    Hi joker

    I have had the gr07be for a while thnks to you
    Its really wonderful

    Unfortunately, i lost it somewhere

    Now im thinking of getting another gr07be or would you rather recommend this dunu 2000?

    Primary source would just be samsung note 4 or 5 as i dont want to carry too much stuff as much as possible

    Or if ever, would you recommend using one to let them really shine?

    Thanks

    • ljokerl on

      While I do consider the DN-2000 to be a better earphone on the whole (a little clearer, a little tighter, not as sibilant when fitted properly, etc) it really depends on whether you’re willing to spend twice as much money on something you may or may not like more than the GR07 BE, which is still a superb value for money. The overall balance of the GR07 BE is somewhat different compared to the DN-2000 and since you’ve used it for a long time, chances are you’re really accustomed to it. Than again, you may appreciate the improvements the DN-2000 brings to the table, so you really can’t go wrong with either.

      And while the GR07 is more source-agnostic, the DN-2000 still works fine with higher-end smartphones.

  19. bzzt on

    First of all much thanks to ljokerl for this amazing list! I’ve been lurking and following this list for a good 3 years now I think (it’s ok to feel weird) and finally pulled the trigger on the Dunu DN-2000s today and oh my, my ears are so happy.

    I used to be bass oriented as I’m a bass player and my ears are tuned to listen down low. Coming from JVC-HAFX1X which has skull shattering bass, I kinda grown out of the signature. I was planning on buying RE400 as my first good quality IEMs but I’ve read on some reviews somewhere that theirs are easily broken so that stopped me for a time then this amazing deal came with the DUNUs and went ahead.

    Now to the sound, like I said I kind of want to steer away from the V-shaped signature as I grew out of it and wanting a mid focused pair. Now one might say the DUNUs especially the DN-1000s that I also auditioned are still V-shaped but the DN-2000s are perfect! The mids I longed to hear for so long is prominent and the controlled but oh so detailed bass on these is simply superb. The basshead part of me is very much enjoying and my craving for full range of frequency is nothing but sated. Thanks ljokerl and the THL team!

    • ljokerl on

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying the DUNU DN-2000! They are a very unique IEM with that super shallow V-shape that lets the sub-bass shine through.

      You made the right choice with the DUNUs over HiFiMan, by the way – I don’t think you’d have liked the RE-400 as much coming from the FX1X.

      • bzzt on

        Oh I’m enjoying them immensely indeed! Ever since owning this IEM is literally the last thing I hear at night and the very first thing I hear when I wake up.

        However I think I’m not doing it justice using only iPhone 5 (Onkyo HD Player) as my source so I’ve been eyeing the FiiO E17K to go with these. However I’ll be only using the Amp section since iPhone 5’s lightning connector requires the Camera Kit to use digital out and that would be a mess to carry around. But there are rumors that FiiO lightning LOD is in the works so if that comes to fruition it would be fantastic as I can make use of the DAC section as well. But I read that iPhone DACs are quite decent anyway. I’m not planning on getting external DAP anytime soon though, my phone as source is just too convenient.

        Do you think these would pair well with iPhone 5 -> E17K?

        • ljokerl on

          The amp section on iPhones isn’t so bad either. I usually don’t recommend double-amping (i.e. hooking an amplifier up to a headphone jack), especially for earphones that don’t need tons of power. The DN-2000 requires a very clean source with low output impedance, but high current/voltage output seems to be of lesser concern to it. I’d personally wait to go full digital (iPhone -> DAC) if you don’t want a dedicated player.

          • bzzt on

            Oh I totally forgot the double amping part. Ok scratch that. I’m just leaning towards the dac/amp functionality of e17 for desktop use with Fidelio X2 in the near future. But in any case, if I decide to go for external DAP, an ibasso dx50 perhaps, will it benefit my IEM and Fidelio X2 since it’s not hard to drive anyway? Thanks for your insight

          • ljokerl on

            I’m not too familiar with iBasso DAPs but I don’t see why that wouldn’t be the case.

  20. Rafael Pastore on

    Joker, have you heard the Dunu Dn-2000j? How it compares with the Dunu Dn-2000?

    Do you think it they are good value/money? Does the Dn-2000j worth the extra U$ 80?

    Thanks in advance,
    Rafael

    • ljokerl on

      I have a DN-2000J but I haven’t had a chance to listen to it at length. I do know it sounds different from the DN-2000 and seems to have a slightly more conventionally v-shaped sound signature. What I’m not sure about yet is that the new tuning is an improvement, vs just a marginally different flavor of an equally capable earphone.

  21. Rafael Pastore on

    Dear Joker,

    Have you listened to the new Dunu Dn-2000j? How does it compared to the Dunu Dn-2000?

    Currently i have a Westone 4, how does the Dunu Dn-2000 compares to it in terms of clarity and sound signature?

    Thanks in advance,

    Rafael

    • ljokerl on

      Compared to something as radically different in tuning as a W4, the differences between the DN-2000 and DN-2000J will be basically negligible. The DUNUs have a more v-shaped sound tuning than the W4 and are clearer. They will be also brighter and thinner than the Westones, which tend to be warmer and more muffled and have more recessed upper mids.

  22. Rafael Pastore on

    Joker, how does the Dunu Dn2000 compares with the Audio Technika CK10?

    • ljokerl on

      DN-2000 has more bass, and its sound is a little thicker and more full-bodied overall as a result. Its signature is a little more v-shaped thanks to the bass as well, but aside from all that it’s not very different from the CK10.

  23. Batman+robin on

    Hey joker, I’m been seeing quite a lot of reviews on headfi praising the somewhat new Dunu titan1, some saying that it provides the best sound for its price, and others even go to day that they’re better than the gr07s.I’m quite curious about your opinion of it, could you do a review of it

    • ljokerl on

      Yes, I’ll do one in the fall.

  24. Ezekiel_77 on

    Hi Joker. How would the UE900 compare to this and the Fidue A83? I’m looking for something neutral with slight warmth, good mids and spacious soundstage. Listen to a bit of everything except classical. Which would you recommend?

    • ljokerl on

      UE900 is quite a bit more neutral than these (especially the A83). I’d probably go with that or one of the other neutral/warm-tilted sets such as the TDK BA200, Sony MDR-7550, or the new Audiofly AF180 if you can swing $550.

  25. KC33 on

    Hi Joker, have you had a chance to demo the 2000J? Some folks are comparing them to the AKG K3003, wouldn’t that be nice for around $300! Actually I think, more accurately, that Dunu’s goal was to model them after the K3003 and had pretty good success. I’m pretty sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t know already but I thought I’d mention it.

    • ljokerl on

      The 2000J sounds very similar to the regular 2000, but yes, as I’ve said on my hybrid roundup, the current crop of <$400 hybrids (and the DN-2000 especially) are not far removed from the K3003.

      • KC33 on

        I should have put this in my original comment but would you say the 2000J is a full step up from the DN-1000? If not would you say the FLC-8 a better move up? I love the sound signature of the DN-1000 but would love to upgrade to something with a bit cleaner bass and more present mids.

        • ljokerl on

          For the two things you are after, the DN-2000J is indeed an upgrade. It’s a more balanced DN-1000, which means less bloated bass and more present mids, among other things. Not a night and day difference, mind you, but if it was then it really wouldn’t be a DN-1000 successor. The FLC8 would work as well, of course, as it can be a bit more balanced than the DN-2000 depending on configuration.

  26. Johanes on

    Hi,
    I’m ex sony ex1000 user, planning tu buy DN2000.
    How its sound compared to ex1000?
    I sell ex1000 because its treble peak piercing my ear, beside that its perfect iem, even i like it better than my ex 334.
    Should I buy DN2000 or back to EX1000.

    • ljokerl on

      That’s probably the only reason you could give for getting rid of your EX1000 that would cause me not to recommend the DUNU. The DUNU is pretty versatile and you can do a lot with the included spacers to tame its treble, but it never really becomes a smooth-sounding earphone. IMO you will at best succeed in moving the treble emphasis slightly compared to the EX1000 – that might work out better for you, but it might not. Either way, I wouldn’t recommend it unless of course you can demo the DN-2000 before buying.

      • Johanes on

        Thank you for your suggestion.
        Will try to get the demo unit.
        😀

  27. William on

    Tests with the dn-2000…
    I bought the new DAP Fiio X3 2nd gen at 215$ on amazon. Very neutral in terms of acoustic signature playback compared to the iBasso dx-50 for instance. Better then the first version of X3. A good value for money imho. I made some tests with 2 different IEMs with a different sound shaping. Then on next week I’ll test it with some headphones as well.

    Balanced-shaped test: With the IEMs Dunu dn-2000. Great sound performance, very very balanced and full of details in the Mids frquencies… I would say “omnivorous” with any kind of music, a perfect bundle with the X3 with classic music. I love them. I bought the Dunu at 295$ on amazon too.

    V-shaped Test: with the IEMs Ubsound Fighter aluminum. Perfect sound performance, stricktly v-shaped acoustic signature with textured and deep basses, the Highs are clean and rich in details, the Mids are warm and a little behind with a great soundstage. Very good with dance/electronic music, rock, pop, swing and jazz. A good value for money imho, I bought the Ubsound Fighter directly on the online-shop area of the ubsound.com website at 69$. I love their soundstage and the Italian style & design.

    The main songs listened during the test.
    Imany: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lpkqVQ-u_X0
    Adele: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQl3WQQoQ0
    John Legend: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=450p7goxZqg&feature=youtube_gdata_player
    Metallica: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj75Arhq5ho&feature=youtu.be
    Imany: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=hjvybhRUym8
    Dire Straits/Eagle: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5GFZkKNFuPM
    Carl Cox (dance/Ibiza Spain): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XHms8POkG0Q

    These songs are masterpieces imho. Try to believe 😉 ditto

  28. Bobbty on

    Great Review! I purchased these and love them. I had a very hard time finding a USA seller until I finally came across Ampwave Audio in Colorado. Just letting people in the U.S. know they can order from them without having the hassle of long shipping delays and customs fees. I got mine in 2 or 3 days. Here is a link: http://ampwaveaudio.com/collections/dunu/Dunu

    • ljokerl on

      Hmm… pricing is competitive. Looks like a good find for anyone who doesn’t want to risk a 3rd-party seller on Amazon.

      • V-007 on

        I got the dn 1000. My last decent set was the klipsch s4i. The dn 1000 are unbelievable. My only small wish is they were just a bit louder. They’re like 5th gear loud and I’m looking for 6th gear. Would you recommend the 2000 in that sense or something else? Also what is your experience with these and gym / workouts, sweat etc?

        • ljokerl on

          Volume is easy – a simple amp will give you more of that. It’s not normally a concern with higher-end earphones so the DN-2000 is no more efficient/louder than the DN-1000.

          I am pretty sure these are not sweat resistant at all, so I’d get a sweat-resistant (or disposable) set for the gym.

          • V-007 on

            I wanted a nice pair to work out with. I was hoping maybe these could do double duty.

            Any recommendations for the amp?

            Is the loudness simply a function of the dB rating. The 1k are 98db +- 2 and the 2k are 102 +- 2, not a drastic difference. I have seen some I think that were 108/110ish? I think. If the loudness is a function of the dB rating, anything you recommend in the higher dB range (even different brand)?

          • ljokerl on

            Sensitivity, yes. It tells you how much sound pressure you’re getting at 1mW of input power (sometimes it is measured in dB/V, but this is rare).

            The problem is that manufacturers are not consistent with each other in reporting sensitivity and sometimes the figures can downright give the wrong idea. For example, an earphone can be advertised at 95dB at 1mW but sound very loud and shows high efficiency in independent measurements, whereas another can have 100dB @ 1mW on the box and sound much lower than average. Typically the figures are enough to determine the general trend but not great for differentiating between two earphones.

            But again, this is not something a lot of people pay attention to in the audiophile community because it simply doesn’t matter – a click or two from your phone or mp3 player will compensate for any difference in efficiency between two earphones, and many people use an amp anyway. For simply boosting volume even a Fiio E6 will do.

      • Fede on

        (Just a word of caution: I checked directly with DUNU if AmpWave is effectively the DUNU Official distributor for USA as they claim, and I’ve got this answer: “Well, AmpWave Audio not our official retailer in USA and other area, actually we have no idea where they got our products to sell.”)

        • ljokerl on

          Good info! So like I said, buy at your own risk as they may not be backed by the manufacturer officially when (if) it comes to warranty and such.

  29. TOni on

    I am looking for a great audiophile universal iem without breaking the bank, i mean not spending more than 500 or 600 euro. I am really impressed with the awesome reviews the Dunu DN-2000 are getting everywhere, including yours with a 9,3 score in sound quality.
    I just saw today your old review of the german Inear Stagedrivers SD2 with the same score in sound but way better fit with similar custom iems shape. In your opinion (having heard both), what is the best can? Could you give me some recommendations for that budget?

    Thx and keep up with these fantastic reviews!

    • ljokerl on

      This is a decision you have to make based on your preferred sound. The SD-2 is very smooth and a little warm, with punchy but not “enhanced” bass, forward mids, and treble that’s just a hair relaxed. The DN-2000 is the opposite – the deep bass is a little enhanced, the midrange is more distant, and the treble is bright and sparkly. I can’t even say I prefer one to the other because the tuning is so different between them.

      There are several great earphones in this price range – the “best” choice really depends on your preferred sound. For instance
      Warm and smooth with mildly enhanced bass (more bass than SD-2 but less than SD-3) – EarSonics SM64:
      http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/earsonics-sm64/
      Flat with a bit of added treble sparkle – AudioFly AF180 (review coming in the spring)
      V-shaped with mildly enhanced bass and forward upper midrange/treble – LEAR LUF-4:
      http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/lear-luf-4-luf-4f-luf-4b-luf-4c/
      Flat/balanced – Etymotic ER4:
      http://theheadphonelist.com/headphone_review/etymotic-research-er-4s/

      • TOni on

        Thanks man. Didn’t know about the audioflys. They seem really good but there are not many reviews out there.

        • ljokerl on

          I compared them to the DN-2000 in the review above. These two are probably my favorite new universals from 2014. Agree that Audiofly suffers from a lack of both awareness and distribution. I probably wouldn’t have paid attention to them if I didn’t get to try some of their products at a show.

  30. asc on

    Hi Joker,

    Thanks for the awesome review. The DN2ks hiss terribly on my ipod classic. Do I need an amp/dac to get rid of that, or should I just look for other IEMs if the ipod classic is my main source? My ER4Ps don’t hiss at all on the ipod.

    Thanks!

    • asc on

      I guess I should add that the hiss is present even when the tracks are paused, as long as the volume is anything other than muted. Very frustrating!

      • ljokerl on

        I don’t have an iPod Classic but I’m not hearing a significant amount of hiss with my Fiio E7, so it seems that even an inexpensive amp is sufficiently good. It’s up to you if you want to try the amp route or go for a less sensitive in-ear, of course. It’s worth noting that different people have different tolerance to background hiss as well.

        • asc on

          Thanks. Between the hiss and the discomfort (I think they’re just too wide for my ears with any tips), I’m going to return them and stick with my ER4Ps for a while.

    • ljokerl on

      Yes, later this month.

  31. Peter on

    Nice review Joker, I just got the DN-2000s myself. Using them with my Fiio X1. I am happy with the sound, but I’m curious what they sound like with an amp. Do these IEMs benefit much from an amp? Thinking about pairing them with a Fiio E12A, but if these IEMs don’t really gain much from the addition of an amp, I’d rather not buy one.

    • ljokerl on

      I don’t have an X1 but with my Hi-Fi DAP (HiFiMan HE-901) I don’t see an improvement when using an amp at all. My phone does benefit slightly from an amp/DAC but I’m sure its audio output is not as good as that of the X1.

  32. Anuj Aggarwal on

    Hi Joker,

    I am a big fan of your recommendations. I have been reading you since few years now. Your thread @ head-fi is superb. I have purchased using your recommendations and I have felt really good.

    There are 2 requests to make :-

    1. Can you please please please this time review Vsonic VSD5 sooner than everything else. A lot of audiophiles have been waiting for it – now it is finally out and all of them want to hear your comment before making a purchase.

    2. I have a taste for crystal clear sound – I like punch tight bass, I listen to all sort of music, from old classic to extreme rock. Can you suggest me a earphone in 0-100 USD and 100-200 USD each ?

    What I have so far felt is GR07 Bass, GR07 Classic, VSD3S, HifiMan RE400, Havi B3 Pro II – Or may be VSD5. I can also get Shure SE215 or Klipsh X11i. What would be your recommendation among this? Who is the best one. Also can you tell me between GR07 Classic and BE which one is better. Looking at VSD3S’s lower price they seem extremely lucrative. Please help. !!

    • ljokerl on

      Thanks

      1) I don’t have a VSD5 to review and I don’t think I will get one until I’ve posted full reviews of the VSD3/VSD3S, which I haven’t had time to finish.
      2) GR07/GR07BE/VSD3S are all very good options for what you seem to be after if you like your bass slightly enhanced and don’t mind a bit of potential sibilance. The RE-400, on the other hand, has non-enhanced (but very tight, of course) bass and is much smoother. The B3 Pro is not too different but has a slightly thinner, brighter, less intimate sound than the RE-400. I tend to favor the RE-400.

      The SE215 and X11i are more on the warm and bassy side. Not too much, but enough that I wouldn’t call them neutral-sounding.

  33. getclikinagas on

    Excellent review to close the year. The extensive A/B comparisons helped put it in better perspective. Thanks

    The housings themselves don’t look huge but I can see why the weight coupled with the design could be uncomfortable after a while(especially for small ear canals). I really hope to see the AX35 nozzle design on more IEMs. I somehow feel that would be universally comfy.

    Not much to fault sound-wise is there (personal preferences aside). Question: Which IEM(in your opinion) is the most versatile, south of 400$?
    Are there any genres the DN2000 wouldn’t shine with?

    PS: Wow. That Audiofly is intriguing. Review in the works?

    • ljokerl on

      Yeah, wanted to end the year with something I’ve been promising for a while. It was either this or the Sennheiser Momentum In-Ear.

      Anyway, if it was my pick and I could only have one IEM, I’d go with an ER4S but that’s just me. Like you said, personal preferences aside there’s not many problems to find with a lot of these high-end IEMs, but even less so with flatter-sounding ones. The DN-2000 is a little less forgiving and it does have enhanced bass. Don’t think that detracts heavily from its ability with any particular genres, but the Ety would still be the safe choice for me.

      The AudioFly is very impressive indeed. Need to get a replacement for my unit as it has a mild imbalance between left and right. Will work on the review after I get a new one.

  34. chocolatethunder on

    Hi joker,

    Thanks for doing a review on my favorite IEM: DN-2000.

    Do you think either Shure SE846 or Sennheiser IE800 is a significant upgrade to the Dunus?

    Thanks,
    Sam

    • ljokerl on

      SE846 – maybe. I didn’t like the fit so I don’t know if I got it to sound as good as it can, but it had potential. I actually prefer the DN-2000 to the IE800 – the Sennheiser is less balanced and doesn’t have any other advantages, really. Maybe a little more crisp up top and a little more layered, but I’d still rather listen to the DUNU.

  35. DaveJ on

    Hi Joker
    and thanks for your excellent review, as always.
    I wonder if you personally would recommend DUNU DN 2K over something like Rock-it R-50 (justifying the extra bucks) for classical music EXCLUSIVELY? Is the DN2K detail, soundstage and presentation, mainly in the midrange region, really worthwhile? I cannot praise more my R50 from that point iof view and do not see any reasonable and cost-effective upgrade at the moment, but the build quality of R50 may force me to look for some IEMs in the future.
    Many thanks
    David

    • ljokerl on

      I doubt it will be of much benefit for classical short of making instruments like the double bass sound a little more fleshed-out at the low end. The mids of the more v-shaped DN-2000 won’t be as much a focus of the presentation as with the more balanced R-50, which may even be a step back from what you want in this case.

      • DaveJ on

        Great, thanks a lot, Joker!
        Best wishes and PF 2015
        David

  36. John on

    Hi Joker,
    Great review! Is there any way of making the mids more clearly focused. They seem a bit diffused to me ?

    • ljokerl on

      Other than just playing around with the tips and spacers, not much you can do. It’s still a slightly v/u-shaped earphone so you won’t find be able to get the mids to equal an Ety ER4S.

  37. Marcus on

    Does this mean we can expect to see the Dunu DN1000 come off the buyers guide, or will the DN200 make the list elsewhere since its less v shaped? Many thanks for the excellent review.

    • ljokerl on

      Good question – been wondering about this myself. The DN-2000 still qualifies as v-shaped overall, but the DN-1000 fits in more people’s budgets and is still a good earphone for <$200. They might end up sharing a buyer's guide spot (i.e. "if you have an extra $100 to spend and want a slightly clearer, more balanced, and more spacious sound, get the DN-2000").

  38. john booker on

    thank you and a great review!

    I bought a fiio x5 a few weeks ago and am blown away by it compared to my sony xperia. I now want to buy the Fiio 12a to attach to it.

    Have been using a pair of Klipsch x10i’s which i was very happy about previously but have decided to upgrade to match the better output of the fiio.

    Tried some Sennheiser ie 80’s but found way too bassy and very little mids even when bass adjust turned fully down.

    Stagediver threes also seem too bassy.

    I have been considering custom art music two’s which will cost around $500 with impressions, these DN-2000 for $300 and have been offered new ie800’s for approx. $560, might even be lucky and get custom art pro 330v2 for $610 if enough bidders on massdrop

    So I could get these and the amp for the same price as the Senheisers or the custom arts

    Whats your impression? As good as music twos? Sennheisers a steal at $560?

    • ljokerl on

      I can’t commend on the Music Two as I haven’t tried it, but I suggest you approach this from a sound signature standpoint rather than a value standpoint. It really wouldn’t matter if the IE80s were $200 instead of $400 – you still wouldn’t like them.

      The X10s are warm and smooth-sounding. If you found the mids on the IE80s lacking you will not like the IE800 as it’s a bass-heavy, v-shaped earphone (more so than the DN-2000). The Pro 330v2, on the other hand, is even more balanced, neutral, and accurate than your X10. It’s not bass-heavy at all.

      Once you figure out which sound you want to go with for your upgrade, you’ll be able to eliminate most of your options. At that point it makes sense to consider the value proposition of each of your options at whatever prices are available to you.

      • john booker on

        Thanks for your feedback its very welcome, have realised I like a balanced neutral and accurate sound most, can I infer that the dn-2000 tends towards v-shape? If so I can probably eliminate them, I don’t have a particular genre that I favour so am after something good across the spectrum,hence why I prefer accuracy

        Thanks again for replying so soon

        • ljokerl on

          Yes, that is correct. No need to infer – I said it in the review above:

          “The sound sig of the DN-2000 is a little v-shaped (or u-shaped, to be more exact)”

          • john booker on

            thanks for your help

  39. William on

    Dear Theheadphonelist team, what a wonderful review! congratulations for the stellar job done. The dn-2000 seems to be a real masterpiece then…
    I’ve got already the dn-1000 (I use this IEM with iBasso dx-50 so a warm source), but the dn-2000 are amazing to be quite frank.
    I heard and read on several web articles and brief reviews that the dn-2000 is a bit more n-shaped compared the previous dn-1000, they meant with a softer bass frequency than the dn-1000. Well, always full and deep bass, but less prominent compared to the dn-1000. At the same time, the mids of the dn-2000 are more honest and detailed.
    What do you think abot that? thanks in advance for your kind reply.
    Cheers W.

    • ljokerl on

      Yes, that’s what I said when comparing the DN-2000 to the DN-1000:

      “Part of the reason the DN-2000 is able to do this is a slight decrease in bass emphasis. Its sound is more balanced than that of the lower-end model, but it is by no means light on low end presence and maintains impressive bass impact, detail, and extension. The midrange of the DN-2000 is more prominent and in better balance with the low end, which contributes to better vocal clarity.”

      Less bass (but not lacking by any means) and better mids/less v-shaped sound.

      • William on

        Thanks.
        I just wanted to be sure about your feeling.
        Cheers W.

        • ljokerl on

          Glad I could clarify!

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