DUNU DK-3001 Unboxing

DUNU DK-3001 Pros&Cons

Pros

  • Incredible sound
  • Many accessories included
  • Build quality
  • Sturdy hard case

Cons

  • On the pricey side
  • Included eartips don’t offer both great sound and comfort
  • Prone to hiss

dk-3001-box
DUNU DK-3001 Specs

  • Impedance: 13-ohm
  • Drivers: 3x Balanced Armatures + 13mm Dynamic driver
  • Frequency response: 5-40000 Hz
  • Sound Pressure Level: 102 +/- 2dB
  • Cable length: 120cm
  • Weight: 31g

Packaging

The DK-3001 offers some pretty premium packaging. The front of the outer sleeve proudly boasts about the hybrid system, whilst the back offers some more in-depth details and specs, such as the use of Knowles balance armature drivers and the included 2.5mm balanced cable.
Once the outer sleeve is removed, you’re left with an entirely black box which opens like a book.
Opened up, you’re presented with the DK-3001 ear-pieces, as well as the plastic hard case; quite the stylish presentation.

dk-3001-black-box

What’s in the box?

  • DUNU DK-3001
  • Protective case
  • 1x 3.5mm single-ended cable
  • 1x 2.5mm balanced cable
  • 4 pairs Spinfit eartips
  • 1 pair Comply eartips
  • 4 pairs clear silicon eartips
  • 3 pairs grey silicon eartips
  • 1/4″ adapter
  • Aircraft adapter
  • Shirt-clip

dk-3001-box-contents

Accessories

DUNU packed in quite a few items with the DK-3001, most notably are the 12 pairs of eartips. That’s quite a ridiculous number. Although, that’s not a total of 12 different pairs. For the clear eartips you get 1 pair Large, 2 pairs Medium, and 1 pair small. The grey eartips are the exact same as the clear eartips (minus 1 pair of Mediums). So, really, you’re getting 8 pairs of unique eartips
Perhaps the most surprising inclusion is that of a 2.5mm balanced cable. Not many IEMs (or headphones for that matter) come included with multiple cables, even less a balanced cable. Of course, unless your AMP or DAP has a balanced connection, the balanced cable would be of no use to you, but it’s a nice addition nonetheless.

The included hard case is especially nice. It seems to be either an original, or high quality duplicate Pelican Micro case. It seems very strong and durable, perfect for storing and protecting your fancy, pricey new investment.

Also included is an aircraft adapter, which will allow you to plug the DK-3001 into an aircraft’s entertainment console. Thankfully the DK-3001 doesn’t have a high impedance, otherwise the in-flight system may have had some trouble driving it to an acceptable volume level.

Design

Design-wise the DK-3001 is quite understated. It certainly feels premium and well-built, but from looks alone you’d never guess that this is a seriously top-shelf performer. It’s a bit like sticking a full-on NHRA racing engine in a Volvo V70. No one will know just what a rocket it is, until they try to take it on. This is definitely one of the DK-3001’s most charming factors, as the sound really takes you by surprise.
The cable, in particular, looks rather standard and unassuming. Whilst the housings do have some heft to them, they’re not overly heavy. However, the weight does pose somewhat of a problem once they’re in your ears. I had quite a challenging time trying to get comfortable with the DK-3001 after only a few minutes of wearing them. It seems their weight tends to rotate them slightly, until eventually the MMCX connector housing exerts a small amount of pressure on the concave part of the Antihelix. This isn’t painful, just a bit annoying as it pulls your focus away from the music. As such, it’s super important to setup the memory wire hooks correctly for your ears in order to avoid this issue. Once the wire is sorted, the DK-3001 is quite comfortable.

dk-3001-iem

Sound

Right off the bat it should be mentioned that whilst the included Spinfit eartips are fantastic for comfort, they simply don’t do the DK-3001’s sound any justice. The mid-range was severely recessed, whilst the bass was excessively present, so much so that I thought for a second “$500 for this?”.
What the Dk-3001 really needs is some wide-bore eartips, such as the double-flange tips that are included with the MEE Audio Pinnacle P1. These wide-bores simply gave the DK-3001 such a coherent, well balanced, incredibly detailed sound signature. The fact that this is a hybrid setup (utilizing both balanced armatures, as well as a dynamic driver) allows you to experience the best of both worlds – the wonderful bass response of a dynamic driver, along with the detail retrieval of balanced armatures.
DUNU really have a winning recipe here, as the DK-3001 offers some seriously good sound for such a small package.

Interestingly, even though the DK-3001 is a sealed IEM, its sound signature is very reminiscent of full-sized open-back headphones. It’s dynamic, present, and immersive. But where this special pair of IEMs really shine is in stage-width and detail retrieval.
Thanks to the 13mm dynamic driver, you get some powerful, solid, well controlled bass. With the right eartips the bass is well textured, and extends low, but never overpowers the rest of the frequencies to make the DK-3001 feel bloated and/or dark. What’s great is that the bass is only really present when it needs to be…a testament to fantastic tuning by DUNU’s team.
Whilst vocals can sound ever so slightly distant, they never sound recessed, but rather add to the fantastically wide sound stage. However, this imaging doesn’t feel forced or artificial…just different to what you’d normally expect with the vast majority of other IEMs.
Something I personally love about the MEE Audio Pinnacle P1 is how they present string instruments, especially electric guitars; they just portray a real sense of naturalism to the texture of the strings, whilst electric guitars have a satisfyingly engaging distortion. The DK-3001 is no different. Its sheer ability to draw out the tiniest of micro details is quite astonishing. Whilst on some other IEMs/headphones those details are still present, they simply don’t come across quite as clear and separated from the rest of the sounds.
Normally, on other IEMs/headphones that offer this level of clarity, the high frequencies can become a bit too hot. Oddly enough, this doesn’t seem to be a problem for the DK-3001. Rather, these are very well controlled and never become fatiguing, even after several hours of listening. Compared to most IEMs/headphones, the DK-3001 is on the bright side. But, in reality, they are natural sounding, offering plenty of detail without ever feeling clinical.
Overall, the DK-3001 offers a really addictive, sound signature.

The only issue, really, is that the DK-3001 is quite prone to hiss due to the high sensitivity and low impedance. Therefore, care should be taken when pairing them with an AMP or DAP which produces above average hiss.

Read: MEE Audio Pinnacle P1 In-Ear Headphones Review


Value

So, if we consider all of the above, does the sum of that equal $500?
Well, if the DK-3001 was a car, it would be the Nissan GT-R R35. Now, anyone who is even remotely interested in cars would know exactly what this means.
Back in 2007 when Nissan launched the R35, it caused quite a stir. It was the product of engineering witchcraft and of mythical proportions, at a price-point which suggested mathematical improbability. Not only could it hang with, but in many cases utterly decimate many German and Italian thoroughbred supercars. What it was, was “the poor man’s supercar”.
Design-wise the DK-3001 may not have quite the same aesthetic appeal as exotic custom IEMs, but it’s incredibly difficult to fault its sonic performance.
The $500 price-tag of the DK-3001 certainly isn’t cheap, especially if we consider that items such as the iFi Micro iDSD BL, Chord Mojo, or even Fiio’s X5iii and X7 can be found for the same price (or cheaper). However, the sheer level of sonic capability of this IEM is still something to be truly admired.
As such, is it possible for us to even imagine another set of IEMs which can exceed the DK-3001’s technical performance? Perhaps – but at what cost?

Read: Fiio X5 3rd Generation Audio Player Review

 

Rating

The NO BULL rating system is designed to take as many aspects of the device into account as possible. As such, we have a basic rating, as well as a final rating. The basic rating rates the product purely as a high quality portable audio device, and is generally a good indicator of how it stacks up to its rivals in terms of standard features and specs. The final rating, however, grants bonus points for any extra features and specs that aren’t quite as common, and is a great way to judge the product as a complete package.


Packaging
Look and feel: 9 / 10

Included Accessories
More than 3 pairs of eartips included: YES
Protective case: YES

Build
Quality control: 10 / 10
Seems durable: YES
Microphonics: 9 / 10
Comfort: 8 / 10

Sound
Relatively balanced signature: YES
Soundstage: 10 / 10
Detail retrieval: 10 / 10
Sibilance: 9 / 10
Instrument separation: 10 / 10
Isolation: 7 / 10
Hiss: 6 / 10


Portability

Small size: 8 / 10
Relatively low power required: 9 / 10
Weight: 8 / 10

Value
Competitive price-point: YES
Relative value: 7 / 10

Basic Rating: 8.6

Bonus points
Removable cables: YES
Number of cables included: 2
Premium cables: –
Pairs of eartips above 3 pairs: 5
How premium the case looks and feels: 8
Battery life above 8 hours: –
Bluetooth: –
Apt-X: –
Volume/remote controls: –
Metal body: YES
Interchangeable filter system: –
Premium look and feel: –
Use of exotic materials: –
Bluetooth connection quality: –
1/4” adapter included: YES
Cable management: YES
Aircraft adapter: YES

Final Rating: 9.7

 

Many thanks to DUNU for sending us the DK-3001 for review!

 

Check Samma3a Earphones Shop for All options

 

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