The Metal Magic Research Homunculus has high-tier, natural voicing. It’s fairly neutral, with every range balanced against the others. Yet it’s not a slave to a flat curve. To achieve a full, organic sound, Homunculus is willing to play with the formula. As a result, you get a spacious, airy monitor with enough warmth to feel just right.
If you were over worried about the electrostatic-powered upper register, I have good news for you. The treble is buttery smooth, oh so airy, and utterly without offense. There is no coldness or sharp spikes. Warmth blendes together with great extension and atmosphere. The highs feel huge, effortless, and relaxing.
Vocals are… well, perfection. Honestly, I can’t think of any way for them to be better for my tastes. Firstly, they are nice and large on the stage. There is more of that smoothness and warmth here, but not so much to hinder agility or effervescence. Indeed, they have a lively, playful sweetness about them. And yet, for all this, the vocals are soothing, like every aspect of Homunculus.
The great paradox of these in-ears are how relaxing an experience they are, yet how quick, detailed, and textured they can be. Instruments are rendered with such precision and vitality you’d expect to find only in exciting profiles. But to my ears, Homunculus is a laidback ordeal. Just a highly capable one.
Bass is full and compelling, yet always respectful of the other regions. There is awesome rumble, frightful slam, and rich tonal color. You get the sense this driver can be pushed to some delightful extremes. The lows extend deep and are capable of elegant textural effects throughout the whole range. While the tuning is more on the neutral side, I think many bassheads will be pleasantly surprised by just how gratifying these lows can be.
The soundstage is enormous, and easily one of the biggest. It presents cube-like, with perhaps a little extra width for good measure. Imaging is extremely accurate. Element separation is excellent, though not quite the best I’ve heard. Likewise, resolution is absolutely noteworthy, but not industry leading. In other words, the technical ability is strong enough to satisfy practically anyone. You certainly don’t perceive any legitimate lack.
DITA The Dream XLS ($2,299, Review HERE) is exactly what I would look for in an upgrade to Homunculus. They share much in tonality, yet The Dream an even cleaner, more neutral render. It has the greater transparency, sharper resolution, with a finer degree of detailing. Homunculus, on the other hand, has more bass, which can be nice, as it adds extra warmth to the mix. But as DITA does not want for bass, it’s rather a moot point. Of the two, The Dream XLS is my choice, but you really pay for that slight upgrade. If your budget simply can’t take the abuse, Homunculus is an easy compromise.
The DUNU DK-3001 Pro ($469, Review HERE) is another excellent comparison, for it sits alongside the other two, matching them in tone and character in more ways than not. If DITA The Dream XLS is an upgrade to Homunculus, the DK3K1Pro is a downgrade. But not as severe as you might think, given the price difference. It possesses a slight brightness to the treble, probably due to a peak somewhere in the 2k-4k region, but it’s not a deal breaker. It’s gentle enough for most listeners. This has the effect of making the highs less natural sounding as the other two. Besides that, DUNU created something wonderful here. It’s not far behind Homunculus in clarity, transparency, detailing, soundstage, or resolution. Homunculus is better, however, in more or less everything… just not by much. This should make DUNU a temping purchase to anyone who likes this signature.