Review: Dunu DN-2000j (Clear, Transparent and Technically Brilliant Hybrid IEM's)

Firstly I would like to thank Dunu for sending me this sample to review. I try and write honest reviews, these received over 50hrs of burn-in before writing this review.
As you may know the DN-2000j is the Japanese tuned version of the DN-2000j, it has a titanium coated driver and slightly smaller housing, along with an upgraded cable and a few other small differences that make these more comfortable and also the sound is quite different.

Gear Used:
Dell XPS15 > Oppo HA-2 > Dunu DN-2000j (comply tips)
iPod Classic 7G > Dunu DN-2000j (comply tips)
Lotoo Paw 5000 > Dunu DN-2000j (comply tips)


Tech Specs:
Type: In-Ear Monitor (IEM)
Driver: Dynamic (10mm)*1, Dual Balanced Armature (triple-driver)
SPL: 102+/-2dB
Impedance: 8Ω
Hi-Res Frequency Response: 4Hz-40KHz
Noise Attenuation: 26dB
Plug: 3.5mm Gold-Plated
Cable: 1.2m
Weight: 22g
Warranty: 1-year Manufacturer;


Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality:
The packaging is your typical Dunu affair, a very premium feel box with a picture of the IEM's on the front, specifications on the side and detailed information on the back, along with a list of accessories. A magnetic flap opens to reveal extra info on the DN-2000j and also a window showing off the IEM's. Another magnetic flap opens to reveal the IEM's neatly in a foam in tray, along with the extra tips next to them and the carry case below. The overall packaging is very luxurious, and everything is neatly placed and protected.

Accessories are plenty as is to be expected, you get S, M and L in 3 different single flange silicone tips, M Comply tips (T-500, Tx-500 and Ts-500). Cable clip, ear hooks, rubber protection rings, airplane adapter, bass rings, tip spacers, a 3.5 to 6.3mm adapter and a metal carry case. Overall everything and more you could possibly need is included with these IEM's, it really puts some brands to shame.


Build quality is something Dunu have become well know for, and these do not let them down, apart from not having a detachable cable (new models with detachable cable coming soon) they are fantastic, with a 4-core OFC cable which can be reterminated to become balanced, great jack plug, y-split and strain relief all round. The housing is metal and feels sturdy, I have no complaints about the build quality, and can see them lasting a long time with some care.

Comfort, Isolation, Cable Noise and Driver Flex:
I find the comfort to be good, the housing is small enough to get fairly deep insertion, and they can easily be worn with the cable straight down or over the ear. Straight down is more comfortable due to the metal part of the housing where you attach the ear guides sticking out a little.
I didn’t find myself using the fins to aid with comfort and wearing them straight down was comfortable enough on its own for my tastes.


Isolation is better than most vented IEM’s, but still just comes shy of fully sealed IEM’s, it is still perfectly acceptable for everyday use and commuting, even airplane use once in a while would be fine with these, again tips can change this, and I always find Comply tips to be very comfortable and to offer excellent isolation, better than Silicone tips.

Cable noise is not a big issue, and using the chin slider helps lower this. I do not find these to be problematic.

Driver is also not an issue, unless you use the bass rings, they cover the driver vent and thus introduces slight driver flex, this will not damage the driver however.


Tuning Options:
Well the DN-1000 and DN-2000 both came with spacers to change the insertion depth; these also come with them, along with bass tuning rings.

To be honest I did not really use the tip spacers, as I think the change is very subtle and not that audible in day to day scenarios. Tips rolling does make more of a difference, and I found that using the TS-500 complys gave these a little added body, and found silicone tips to be a little brighter on the whole. I am guessing it’s a mix of the foam tip and the added wax guard helps filter the high frequencies and thus the perceived added body.

Bass tuning rings add a little extra sub-bass but introduced driver flex, so I did not end up using them.


Sound:
As stated above, after some fiddling I decided upon using the Comply TS-500 tips as they suited me best in terms of sound and comfort.

Lows:
The lows have fantastic depth and extension reaching right down to the sub-bass regions but without ever sounding bloated. They have speed and clarity; they have articulation unlike anything I have heard. Kick drums don’t sound hollow, they are well separated and you never lose track of the bass line. They do not have huge quantity of lows, but they do have accuracy and quality.
Using the bass boost on the HA-2 proved good for on the go listening, but proved a little too much for just casual listening at home, it is mainly a sub-bass boost which I think these don’t need much of when you are in a quiet environment.
They work well with all genres, as they have good body for slower music, yet have the speed and excellent recovery for faster music.

Mids:
The mids can come across a little dry sometimes, but on the whole they are very transparent and detailed. You can easily hear subtle details in recordings, but they don’t come across as too clinical overall.
The mids don’t suffer from bleed from the lows, the cross over frequencies are very well done as it all sounds very cohesive but at the same time, brilliantly separated with plenty of air. There is a hint of sibilance up top, but with the comply tips I don’t think it is problematic, only to treble sensitive ears. Both male and female vocals fair equally well, I cannot fault the tone either, with Comply tips they sound great, with Silicone tips they sometimes sound a little thin.

Highs:
The highs have excellent presence and sparkle, some people may find them a little bright but to be honest I find they fit in perfectly with the rest of the sound, never sounding exaggerated or over the top.
Details are easily heard and they are revealing of bad sources, they fair much better with well recorded and FLAC files. The highs bring out a lot of detail and low bitrate files don’t sound half as good as FLAC files. The extension is brilliant and I never find myself wanting more from the highs, they are well defined without being shrill or splashy.

Soundstage is good, it is not the largest but there is plenty of air between instruments, because of this the instrument separation is superb.


Conclusion:
Coming from my day to day custom monitors, I found these to sound quite thin and bright, but after brain burn-in, and constant listening I found myself adjusting to the sound and finding it very well balanced, cohesive and detailed. Going back to my CIEM’s I found them to sound dark and slightly veiled.
The detail and the overall balance of these is fantastic for the price, the accuracy and transparency is usually only found in much more expensive models.
Some may find them a tad bright, but brain burn-in, and Comply tips will help and I find myself missing the detail these have on offer when using other IEM’s (maybe time to get custom tips for these).
The build quality is great, and I look forward to hearing Dunu’s new models.

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