PAIRING WITH SOURCES:-
FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
SENSITIVITY: 112 ± 1 dB at 1 kHz
IMPEDANCE: 26 Ω at 1 kHz
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION: < 0.3% at 1 kHz
From the specs one can guess that driving this IEM should not be a huge problem and that’s true too, it does not take a much to make this single DD IEM sing. Drive it out of a mobile phone and it sounds good, only thing compromised are separation, stage and note’s weight. Thankfully not much micro details are lost. Use a clean sounding source and Falcon Pro is will comply.
When driven out of my daily driver Redmi Note 10 pro (Compared to LG G7) it sounds a bit more restrained with note’s depth and weight and the stage loses some depth while gaining some intimacy. Details at the base of instruments are missing but it’s not bad at all. When driven out of Earmen Sparrow the Zen sings at its fullest potential delivering excellent details and coherency, lower end gains a bit more body and the whole spectrum gains more definition and resolution. The stage too exhibits better height and width.
NOZZLES AND THEIR VARIATIONS:
One of the USP of the Falcon Pro is its tuning nozzles. It has 3 of these. These nozzles do affect the sound signature but it doesn’t restrict the natural feel irrespective of the nozzle used. Don’t be fooled by the name, atmospheric immersion is the bass nozzle and it does bring reasonable amount of bass elevation but it’s nowhere close to bass-head level. This nozzle has very good mid range and slight less sparkly highs.
The reference nozzle feels right in place with its emphasis being more even but still have 80% of the thump and rumble of the bass nozzle. The transparency nozzle elevates the treble region but it too has marginal elevation without sacrificing bass thump or mid range clarity. Pick any nozzle, none has a bad side to it, no piercing or bloating can be found with any. All sound very good while bringing some changes in emphasis.
DUNU has been very enthusiastic about their single DD IEMs with “Eclipse” driver technology and the Falcon Pro is the cheapest IEM with this tech. It has an independently suspended 10mm A.D.LC. driver with 1.6T flux density. This sounds promising because A.D.L.C. drivers have been very good, musical and fun to be precise. The Falcon pro is not a very fun sounding IEM though. The ZEN was a lot more fun while this is a bit sedated when it comes to extra bit of excitement. It is a bit calmer and mature with notes, it doesn’t have the warmth or brightness, neither has extra agility or lethargic feel, if this were a flagship, this could have been one of its USP. This might be because of the anti-resonance shell design but this type of presentation is very rare in this price range.
The Falcon Pro sound varies with its nozzles but the base sound is very clean. DUNU knew what they are doing but this level of cleanliness with a sub-$200 IEM is very rare. I love all the nozzles of this IEM but this review is done with the Atmospheric immersion nozzle. I have used my Micro sig and Qudelix 5k for this review.
Falcon Pro is not a bassy IEM. It doesn’t exaggerate the lower end while delivering a reasonably full and wholesome lower end. It doesn’t have the extra oomph or punch, nor does it move plenty of air, what it has is a well rounded lower. It has good volume, weight and feel. I do find the sub-bass extension to be sub-par. It doesn’t overwhelm the cheaper Fiio FD3, leave alone the similarly priced Tri i3 pro when it comes to feel and volume. It does have a slightly different shape to its lower end though as it rises sharply at the mid-mid bass region giving it a bit of mid bass bloat (this bloating is less pronounced with the reference and transparency nozzles). This bloat does bring good volume and body to it but it feels a bit odd. The upper bass is well defined with good control and nicely blends into to the lower mids. Lower end has excellent cleanliness, control and separation. The dynamic abilities too are exceptionally good, better than the i3 pro but I definitely would have liked a bit more texture and details.
Even when the bass is not big it isn’t fast either. Slightly slower decay gives the lower the weight but it doesn’t feel as punchy.
In my eyes, the lower end is the life of the IEM. It has the essence of the music. Falcon Pro can be a bit more in the V when used with the transparency nozzles but the Atmospheric immersion nozzles has it well balanced even when it too has a bit of dip giving it a more W shaped signature.
In general, the mids range is very good, especially vocals are exceptionally good. Both male and female vocals have some of the best tonality and good texture. Notes have well defined body with precise form and energy along with finishing. Instruments have excellent finishing and control but there are no unrequisited aggression or bite but are slightly lacking a bit of definition at base of the notes. There isn’t any problem with the macro details but the more intricate details are not the best. It does have a bit more energetic upper mid but is clean and devoid of unnecessary offence.
Falcon Pro has an excellent treble region especially when we look at the transparency and clarity of instruments with macro details. It has excellent accuracy with body as the notes have nice base and very good finishing definition. There is good sparkle and energy keeping the treble lively and crisp. The marginal rise of energy at the upper mid region is carried over delivering and very relevant yet refined treble. There is barely any problem with layering and separation but the slight lack of finer details do feel a bit haunting since IEMs like i3 pro do provide the extra texture and details at a lower price point.
The biggest positive is the consistency, it doesn’t get hot or cold and has a some of the best uniformity when it comes to emphasis. The balance and level headed feel is simply a lot mature for it’s price.
STAGE AND IMAGING:
The stage size of the Falcon Pro is bigger than average. It has excellent height and does provide a well rounded feel but the X+axis could have been slightly wider. I do find the background and foreground distinction lacks a bit of contrast as the imaging places all the instruments in a very similar plane. It doesn’t have excellent sonicality either as the vocal notes nearly fill the stage vertically taking the dynamic cue placement out of equation. It has one of the most evenly spread instruments, it doesn’t have any concentration or emphasis problem whatsoever.
This IEM has a very similar driver but does not have the balance or consistency of the DUNU.
This is a whole heartedly bassy IEM, sub-bass dominated, with much bigger volume and greater impact, the extension is better, notes have similar form but have a bit less detail and are slightly mushy thanks to slower decay. Mids are the weak point and the Flacon Pro nearly decimates it with better clarity and transparency but the Honeydew gets back with slightly better texture and more transparent micro details. DUNU has better finishing definition while the Campfire has better definition at the floor. Treble is a whole different game. This where the USA based brand pulls the most number of punches lands most of them. DUNU has a calmer and mature tuning but the Honeydew is more lively and energetic with better clarity and crispier notes. Both the IEMs have similar treble extension but the Falcon is a bit better with upper treble transparency. DUNU has the more mature tuning with better macro details and both have similar technical abilities but have their say in different parts of the spectrum.
Stage wise both are very different from each other. While the DUNU has stage filling mid range notes the CFA has stage filling treble. Tough to pick one here but pick the one which suits your preference.
I know some of you guys have an impression that Falcon Pro is a fun sounding IEM but it too has one of the most mature tuning. It has three possible sound outputs and all of these are very good with tonality and consistency. This IEM does have its priorities sorted. It doesn’t bleed or deliver a boomy lower end as it’s well poised and controlled. The mid and treble regions are one of the best uniform emphases with an IEM around $200. It’s not all rosy though. Falcon Pro lacks some essential texture and details. It doesn’t have the more intricate and complicated details.
Don’t pick it to be the fun companion, there are cheaper options like Fiio FD3 and Tri i3 pro for that, pick it for an all round experience. It sounds like a joker of all trades as it doesn’t excellent at any specific part of spectrum but then again it’s consistency and maturity is not available with any other IEM under $500. Set your priorities, pick wisely!!