In the final part of 2019, DUNU DK-2001 successfully replaced the DN series with the latest technologies of 2020 standards, bringing to it numerous key improvements.
- Deeply extended bass response
- Rumbles in the sub-bass
- A surplus of accessories
- Modular plug design on cable
- Excellent stock cable
- Good resolution
- Accurate highs
- Transparent mids
- Modular plug needs to be purchased separately
- Carrying case is too small
Since 1994, DUNU from China researches and designs high sonic performance IEMs for music lovers. With the implementation of cutting edge technologies, premium, high-resolution, and dynamic sounding IEMs are produced for audiophiles who are always pursuing the best. With intensive experience as an original design manufacturer/original equipment manufacturer (ODM/OEM), DUNU understands the demand and market trend, hence designing IEMs that can fulfill the needs.
Throughout these years, DUNU is actively engaging audio enthusiasts and audiophiles from various countries to reflect their releases. Sonic performance and price to performance ratio come hand in hand for every release. Together with their flagship, Luna, the DK-2001 was announced in CanJam Shanghai. Could this release of DK-2001 continue to preserve the mission and vision of DUNU?
Sit back, relax, and let DUNU blow you away.
This is my first DUNU IEM experience and I’m already impressed by the efforts that DUNU put into the packaging. The DK-2001 comes in a relatively premium and large box, as compared to IEMs with similar pricing. From the outer box, we get to anticipate how cool the IEMs look by the photo printed. Turn to the back of the box and specifications of the DK-2001 are listed clearly in Mandarin and English.
Removing the outer sleeve, the inner case is a black cardboard box with DUNU’s logo printed. It looks classy and premium.
Opening the inner box, the DUNU DK-2001 presents itself to the users with the stock cable attached. The provided stock cable is a high-purity silver-plated Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) copper Litz (Type 1) cable.
Removing the top layer, there is an accessory box underneath. Besides the box, there is a blue leather pouch for the IEM storage. In the box, these are the accessories you can find:
- Modular 3.5 mm single-ended plug
- Cerulean blue leatherette zip-up carry case
- DUNU DC-16 3.5-to-6.3 mm adapter
- Cleaning brush & loop
- ‘Balanced’ silicone ear tips (4 pairs) – orange
- ‘Transparency’ silicone ear tips (3 pairs) – clear
- ‘Vocal’ silicone ear tips (3 pairs) – red
- Memory Foam tips (1 pair)
- Cable: high-purity silver-plated OCC copper (Litz Type 1)
- Cable length: 1.2 mm
- Connector: Catch-Hold MMCX connector
- Driver configuration: 13 mm beryllium-coated dynamic driver (Low) and three custom-spec Knowles BA drivers (1 mid-high, 2 ultra-high)
- Impedance: 13Ω
- Sensitivity: 109±2 dB at 1 kHz
- Total harmonic distortion: <0.5% at 1 kHz
- Net weight: 14g
Comfort and isolation are the priorities of DUNU in this release. By utilizing the second generation of DK ergonomics, which was released with DUNU DK-4001, the shell of DK-2001 is designed to provide a comfortable wearing. The nozzles are crafted with a lip to ease the ear tips installation and secure it firmly.
Besides that, the insertion angles of this IEM have been researched and optimized to cater to a wide variety of ear shapes. Moving to the material, DUNU chose 316 stainless steel to craft the shell of the DK-2001. It has better resistance towards corrosion and heavy usage as compared to 303F stainless steel which is used in the DN-2000 series.
DUNU utilizes their registered Catch-Hold MMCX connector. Despites its patented design, it is compatible with a third party upgrade or replacement cable. The Catch-Hold design reduces the chance of cable turning and hence increases the longevity of the connector.
One key improvement found in DK-2001 is the increase in the number of drivers. Utilizing three custom-specification Knowles balanced armature drivers (one for mid-highs, two for highs and super-highs), coupled with a 13 mm dynamic driver for the lows, the DK-2001 exhibits a similar acoustic design structure to its elder brothers in the DK series, namely DK-4001, DK-3001 Pro and DK-3001.
With the help of advanced processes that enable retaining proprietary control in the thickness and grain pattern of physical vapor deposition (PVD), uniform films of beryllium is coated on both sides of the dynamic driver to allow better tuning in lows frequency.
DUNU has long experience in designing not only the IEMs, but also the accessories for each release. One of the highlights of the DK-2001 is the stock cable. It features the patented Quick-Switch modular plug cable system. This allows users to switch between 3.5 mm single-ended, 2.5 mm balanced, 3.5 mm ‘PRO’ balanced, and 4.4 mm balanced connections with the simple pull of a highly secure circular latch.
By default, the 3.5 mm single-ended plug is included in the packaging of the DK-2001. For users that are in need of different connections, they can purchase the other plugs from DUNU’s official websites. To obtain a better audition result, a 2.5mm balanced plug was sent to me together with the DK-2001.
The stock cable is built with individually-enameled strands of high-purity silver-plated OCC copper Litz Type 1 wire. This cable will be sold separately by DUNU in the near future. It can be a good replacement or even an upgrade cable for other IEMs.
The case provided in the packaging is blue leather. There is a small pocket in the case for users to store the modular plug or the cable. This is a thoughtful design because the modular plug is facing a high risk of disappearing if there is no dedicated storage space.
Fitting and Isolation
I would call the small shell of the DK-2001 a unique selling point. My girlfriend, who has small ears, is able to obtain a good fit with the correct size of ear tips. She is normally unable to wear IEMs comfortably. We both don’t feel any fatigue after listening for long periods of time. This could be one of the solutions for those who have difficulties in fitting IEMs into their ears.
Moving to isolation, it’s above average. With the help of its slightly elongated nozzle, it can block out most surrounding noises. I am able to use the DK-2001 in a noisy commute without being distracted.
Rated at 13 ohms for impedance and 109±2 dB at 1 kHz for sensitivity, the DK-2001 can be easily driven by smartphones or tablets. I did several pairings during my review period, and I noticed that the dynamic drivers in the IEMs perform better when more power is available.
For this review, I paired the DK-2001 with the iBasso DX220 (and the Amp I MKII) which has been loaned to me from Zeppelin and Co. This powerful digital audio player (DAP) allowed me to unlock the full potential of the DK-2001.
The sound signature of the DK-2001 actually changes according to the type of ear tips used. With “balanced” ear tips, the overall sound signature is, indeed, balanced – similar emphasis across the whole frequency spectrum. When I changed the ear tips to “transparency”, the quantity in bass reduces and the sound signature is now brighter, with better resolution and details. The sound signature is at the warmer side when I install “vocal” ear tips to the DK-2001.
Moving onto the soundstage – with great performance from the 13mm dynamic driver, it has the potential to extend deeply in horizontal direction. The overall soundstage is above average quality, extending equally in both vertical and horizontal direction. This results in a round-shaped headroom.
Layering is another secret weapon of the DK-2001. In most of the pop tracks tested, I can enjoy instruments and vocals without the experience being affected by any congestion. Every note is presented accurately at their respective position.
I was amazed when I first listened to the bass of the DK-2001 – accuracy, consistency, and cleanliness all in one.
As mentioned earlier, the lows are handled by a 13mm beryllium coated dynamic driver. The produced bass is lean and precise. It has good extension in the sub-bass, creating rumbles. The depth in soundstage is contributed to mainly by this factor. It has a full body and well layered bass response. The slams are energetic but not overpowering.
The speed of the lows are also handled well – it’s well controlled in its own space and the decay speed is in the sweet balance between not being too muddy and not being too technical or dry. This high quality performance of lows is rare within the price range.
Transparent, clear, and revealing midrange attract me as a mandopop lover.
One out of the three BA drivers in the DK-2001 is responsible for the mids of the DK2001. If you read my previous reviews, such as the one for the Empire ESR, you will notice that I focus a lot on midrange because I am a mandopop and cantopop lover. A good midrange performance can deliver vocals and musical instruments well. I am glad that the DK-2001 did a good job in this region.
The mids are clear and spacious. As mentioned in the earlier section, the bass is well controlled and does not affect the mids even with its powerful punch. During the review period of around a month, I listen to Jay Chou’s tracks, album by album, without experiencing any congestion or muddiness.
Moving to female vocals, I tested extensively with A-Mei’s track. Similar to male vocals, it is presented with good resolutions and there’s no distortion in higher pitch. The decay is precise and clean.
The DK-2001 is different as compared to other IEMs under USD$300; it does not suffer from a common illness – inaccurate and distorted highs.
The DK-2001 shines and makes itself different from other competitors in highs. Powered by two Knowles tweeters, the highs of the DK-2001 is extended smoothly and energetically without being affected by distortion. The decays have been done accurately. The overall fidelity and resolution is empowered by the greatness of the highs.
Recently, I have had more exposure and experience with Chi-Fi. Most of them are giving me the same impression – the highs sparkle and are distorted. They focus too much on extending, but decaying is neglected. I am glad that DUNU did well in their new release. This further separates them from other Chi-Fi products.
The DK-2001 retails for USD$299. It can be ordered on DUNU’s official website. There are three color options – black, topaz, and turquoise. For those who need a balanced plug, you can order from DUNU’s official website, too.
The DK-2001 is a good option for audiophiles who are looking for an affordable hybrid IEM that is well-resolved and has high fidelity. With their extensive experience in IEM and cable design, the DK-2001 is a new benchmark for other manufacturers within its price range.
DUNU proves to the world again – price does not necessarily determine the performance of an IEM. You can have an affordable, yet amazing listening experience courtesy of DUNU.