DUNU DN-2000J Review by mark2410
Thanks to DUNU for the sample.
First Impressions: Now I had been told id be getting a non-boxed pair, so no typical bundle for me. Tiny bit sad but you know it’s not like I’ve not seen a heap of DUNU boxes. I know what they look like and I know what a good bundle they always come with. Still nothing for taking pics of.
In the ears, slapping on a pair of Comply’s from the tip stash. Hmm gosh they have a bit of upper mid energy spike. Verging towards sibilance, very prominent and energetic, very cutting. Hmm maybe they need a little warming up. Or maybe they hate my source. I’d expected more bass too. Maybe I have a poor fitting tip / wrong size. Hmm. Well burn in with you and we shall see how and where it goes.
Source: FiiO E7/E9 combo, Hisoundaudio Studio V 3rd Anv., HiFiMAN HM-650, 1G Ipod Shuffle, Nexus 5 and Graham Slee Solo Ultra Linear.
Lows: The quality of the bass is just as you would expect form a higher end product. It’s great, clean, tight and extremely articulate. Flicking back and forth between the 2000J and the 2000 the differences in quality are slight, the 2000 takes a little bloom and growth where the J stays much cleaner, yes and it’s not like the 2000 was some flabby bass monster. The cleanliness is on paper utterly exemplary, a paragon on of a clean bass line. It isn’t particularly soulful however, it’s flawless but flaws add a little flavour to proceedings. The J I can see why it was created to project a cleaner presentation to the Japanese and I think Korean markets where that’s a slightly more desired sound. The clarity it has is without question one of the clearest out there in any IEM. Sigh, yet I find myself preferring the ordinary 2000. It’s a little softer, more rounded, it’s got a dash of flavour and is a little more entertaining in its liveliness. The J is so super neutral I cannot bash it in any way for its outright quality but it’s just not soul stirring. Come on, top tier stuff should captivate you at least a little and whirl you away into a little musical enclave, just you and the music. At least at times anyway and the J’s presentation is a touch sterile, sure it’s flawless but it’s got no spark.
Quantity wise it’s very neutral. It does decline as it descends rather gently in a highly realistic fashion. It can rise up if you demand it, but it’s a reticent and text book performance. Great if you want something that is rather analytical. It is a great examination tool.
Mids: The lower mids are good and they do much like the bass, it’s a text book, flawless performance. They however do have a little bit of flair and energy in the upper mid-range. When I had them paired with the Studio V and the Solo Ultra there was a bit of inclination toward over enthusiasm in the upper mids. There is a very direct and very forward desire in them. When you push them they want to start getting right up in your face, they want to show you how assertive they can be. Forward notes, lower treble or upper mid explosions can really take a jump at you and get more than a touch screamy in your face. I found though if you keep them paired to warmer sources this was much more restrained. Yet there is always a little hint that the upper drivers want to come barrelling out and show off, show you just how spectacularly amazing they can be if you’ll only give them the chance. They can be so exquisitely flawless if you don’t feed it overly aggressing or leapy vocals.
The clarity they is exemplary but they do have a tendency to be a more narrow, more focused vocally than their comparatively laid back siblings. These are so direct, so in your face, so articulate and clear it’s a little wearing, tiring on the ear. These I feel are aimed as a light and analytical IEM not one to melt into. That still despite their mids aren’t dominant in quantity, they are almost at the bass level but behind the upper mids / lower treble band of enthusiasm.
Highs: Extremely good quality. For a Balanced Armature they are one of the best trebles out there. The detail is great and they come very close to a truly realistic rendition of a cymbal impact and shimmer. The driver in here is working its little heart of, it’s very swift too, unusually fast and it doesn’t seem to need copious amounts of power to manage it either. Truly they offer a quite dazzling performance.
However dazzling isn’t always perfect, they are so dazzling, so sparkling that I, with my treble sensitive ears, find it too much. There is gobs of energy, clean and sparkly miniature metallic explosions with every impact. Is its detail superb, are they fantastically analytical? To both oh god yes, yes they most certainly are. It’s wondrous, an extravaganza that armatures should produce such treble and with such ease from any source……….. but my poor delicate ears. Gosh it’s just so dazzlingly spectacular. It’s like the most magnificent of fireworks shows going off in your face. It is wonderful, so incredible your eyes in awe as they dart back and forth, all over the place tying to take in every last luminescent explosion. It is thrilling, it really is but my word, it’s also tiring. Increasingly I found that the most amazingly dramatic tracks I had to dial down the volume or skip it.
Quantity wise it’s a little out ahead of the other two but not by mush most of the time. At points the treble does get a little excited and it begins to take a preeminent role in things. It’s so beyond capable that it’s not a problem, at first but it’s soooooo capable, soooooo articulate and sooooo exacting. Gosh it’s incredible for sure but it utterly exhausting on my ear. Wow it really is incredible but I can’t handle it for long.
Soundstage: Distance overall from the 2000J these are much more enclosed. Certainly the vocal presentation here is much more focused. Bass it’s a little more nebulously off in the back and diffuse. The treble its right there flanking the vocals and it is exploding all over the place. There is an overall very focused up front and in front, square and centre position. Depths is a little more variable but for the most part more enclosed. Beside it the 2000 sounded much more diffuse and less steely defined a space.
Fit: Good. These are apparently a little smaller than the 2000 to better accommodate smaller Japanese ears. However if you hadn’t told me that they aren’t so different I’d have noticed myself. Though that odd little sticky out bit that the 2000 had, these still have. I wish to god they would lose that thing as it from time to time stuck my ear. For the most part it was easy to stick them in, with a pair of Comply’s and that was largely it.
Comfort: For the most part good. There was the little sticky out bit again and it was an irritation. If I seated them not quite so in my ears then it would stick my ear a bit. A minor thing for sure bit I just don’t get why there are still there period.
Microphonics: None. I can’t say I noticed any apart from when I went out of my way to hit the cable. It does increase if you wear down but there is a chin slider to to help so I’d realistically expect no one to have any real issues with microphonics.
Cable: It’s great. It’s the same cable DUNU have been using for a while now and I don’t recall ever seeing any threads about them dying. It’s nicely flexible and its got that signature DUNU rubberised cable tie thingy.
Accessories: Well I got a non retail sample but normally DUNU one of the very best accessory bundles around.
Build Quality: Great. DUNU have again had a long standing rep as having nicely put together products, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any of their IEM’s dying prematurely.
Aesthetics: They look alright. While I like the silver colour rather more than the weird gold ish sort of colour the 2000’s were. These therefore I ought to especially like right? Well sure they are nice but that little sticky out bit that can be ear stabby just looks silly. I mean they look fine and everything but I’m not drooling over them.
Isolation: They isolate okay. Nothing especially good or bad for a dynamic. You know they would be fine for out and about or on a bus commute but that’s about it. Tube commutes or long flights I probably wouldn’t really want these, in a pinch sure they would be better than nothing. Naturally they would be more than enough to get yourself run over if you aren’t looking where you’re going near traffic.
Value: Great to good. Compared with most very high end IEM’s DUNU are excellent value, they always have been. At £225 they are easily as capable as anything you’ll find for the price and for some well in excess of that price. However their siblings, the plain 2000 are fractionally cheaper and I’d wager for many would be the one with the preferable sound signature.
Conclusion: These have been out a while so I’ve had the luxury of being able to read sever other review of the 2000J. There is an overall theme that these are the lighter, brighter and more analytic of the brothers. My ears bang on agree with that assessment of the 2000J’s. On paper they are grandly impressive little beasts but with my rather treble sensitive ears, oh my gosh they are draining. Marvellously spectacular of course but wow, just so much, all that clarity, that brilliance……… my ears just can’t do it for long. It’s a fabulous detail cannon though, bugger me, if you want all of the details these will hurl them at you.
These are wow. Just wow, like diamonds with a spot light being shone on them. They are just such amazing little things, the treble on them in particular is just so crisply detailed. Its raw technical abilities and skill are just utterly impeccable. You really cannot fault them you really can’t. These are with the demise of the RE-272 and CK-10 probably the best analytical treble you can find right now in an IEM.
So should you/ would I buy one? For me, nope. These are analytical detail cannons and they have such an extravagance of treble that my treble sensitive ears are worn out. If you’re like me, then I’d give these a skip in favour of the ordinary 2000. However, if you are someone that heard the DBA-02 and fell in love with it then these blow them clear out of the water. They are better at everything, clearly better, no little itty bitty smidge here or there. These drop kick the DBA-02’s. Sure they cost a bit more but hey diminishing returns and all that, but anyone who loves an enthusiastically bright presentation will likely be jaw droppingly in awe of these things.