Dunu DN-22M Detonator Review

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Added Jun 2013

Details: Entry-level headset model from Dunu
MSRP: $50 (manufacturer’s page)
Current Price: $50 from amazon.com
Specs: Driver: Dynamic | Imp: 16Ω | Sens: 112 dB | Freq: 20-20k Hz | Cable: 3.9′ L-plug w/mic & 1-button remote
Nozzle Size: 4.5mm | Preferred tips: Hybrid-style single-flanges
Wear Style: Straight down or over-the-ear

Accessories (5/5) – Single-flange regular (3 sizes), hybrid-style (3 sizes), bi-flange, and triple-flange silicone tips, shirt clip, soft carrying pouch, clamshell carrying case, and integrated cable wrap
Build Quality (4.5/5) – Overall construction is excellent. The cable is similar to the one on the old Trident model – a little rubbery but mostly soft and flexible. The housings are metal and feel very solid, boasting also a very nice finish. A single-button mic and remote – the first I’ve seen from Dunu – is located on the left-side cable
Isolation (3.5/5) – Very good for a dynamic-driver earphone
Microphonics (3.5/5) – Quite tolerable when worn cable-down; over-the-ear wear may be restricted by mic position
Comfort (3.5/5) – The housings are one the heavy side but rounded at the front for comfort. The fit is typical of a straight-barrel earphone

Sound (6.7/10) – The sound of the Detonator is decidedly explosive, underpinned by the enhanced bass response. The low end has good extension but also quite a lot of mid-bass emphasis, which gives the earphone a slightly boomy and bloated sound. Overall, the bass is a little too enhanced for my tastes, with more impact compared to Dunu’s popular Trident model as well as the VSonic GR02 Bass Edition.

The mids are warm and smooth – not as recessed as with the GR02 Bass Edition or RHA MA-350, but still not too prominent due to the bass emphasis. Clarity is similar to the Dunu Trident and lags behind the pricier DN-23 Landmine model. The earphones remain very smooth up into the treble and roll off at the top, giving up the energy – but also the potential for harshness and sibilance – of sets such as the GR02 Bass Edition.

Although the pricier DN-23 manages to be almost as bassy with less bloat, the bass of the DN-22M intrudes on the midrange at times. This causes the earphone to sound more congested than and less natural than the DN-23. Other than that, the presentation is quite good – a little wider compared to the Trident but otherwise similarly competent.

Value (8/10) – While the Dunu DN-22M Detonator is not quite an upgrade to the popular DN-12 Trident, it does offer a slightly bassier sound with better accessories. Plus, it boasts an inline microphone and remote – the first I’ve seen from Dunu – and retains the fantastic build quality Dunu has become known for. For those in search of a bulletproof entry-level smartphone headset, it’s a tough one to beat. Purely for audio quality, the less expensive DN-12 Trident is still my recommendation.

Pros: Fantastic build quality; well-accessorized
Cons: Not as accurate as the DN-12 Trident
 


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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.

6 Comments

  1. Vik on

    Hey joker. Did you mean to say DN -17 Crater or DN- 12 Trident in the Dn-22 Detonator review? You mentioned a “Dn- 17 Trident” in it. Am I missing something?

    • ljokerl on

      I meant the Trident. Just got the number wrong.

      • Vik on

        I totally understand though. I’m actually surprised that you make mistakes so rarely considering the HUGE number of earphones that you have reviewed. I wonder how you keep track of all those crazy model names and nomenclature. Hats off to you sir 🙂

        • ljokerl on

          I just catch the majority of my mistakes myself 🙂

  2. lightpoetry on

    I just have a couple of questions:

    First, in terms of the weight, are these headphones you can use for all purposes? For example, if I want to use these at the gym, would the weight become a distraction?

    Second, in terms of build quality, I understand that the part of the headphones that actually goes into your ear is quite durable, but what about the cord? How likely is that to become defunct (and thus render at least one of the earbuds non-functional?

    Thanks for your help.

    • ljokerl on

      Ultimately it depends on your ears but if you want to use them at the gym my guess is you would probably have to wear them over-the-ear (see illustration here: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/ultimate-headphone-guide-articles-how-insert-ear-monitors). That way the weight does not dislodge them from your ears.

      The cord on Dunu earphones is above average in quality – not overly thin and tends to have good strain relief all around. I wouldn’t go out of your way to abuse them but if you store them in the carrying case and don’t yank the cable, they should last.

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