Here at MajorHifi, we like to believe that there is an audience for just about any headphone. I’ll admit that some headphones we’ve come across have been complete duds, and even fewer that were close to perfect. But today I’ve found one that belongs to the latter category. The Dunu DN-2002 is an amazing little earphone – perfect for a wide array of listening tastes, compatible with almost any device, and carrying a fairly meaty price of $339.
Dunu DN-2002 Review
The DN-2002 comes packaged with Comply foam eartips, SpinFit eartips (for added bass and treble, and regular silicon tips. There are also attachments to help stabilize them once they’re in your ears – including removable clips and plastic tubes that fit over the headphone cable. To top it all off, these earphones also come with a cable clip, 1/4” stereo adapter plug, and near-indestructible carrying case.
Construction on the earphones themselves is decent. The cable is light but sturdy, without a remote, and relying on an MMCX connection for the earpieces. These earpiece, while a bit bulky, still remain comfortable – once positioned correctly in the ear, I quickly forget they were in there entirely.
The DN-2002 may owe more than a little of it’s performance to the presence of 4 drivers – two of a balanced armature design, and two dynamic drivers.
Frequency Range: 10-40,000 Hz
Impedance: 10 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 106 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): NA
From the specs, we can see that the DN-2002 offers a wide frequency range and low nominal impedance. One of the first things I noticed about this headphone in casual listening, the impedance is optimal for portable players and smartphones. This, coupled with the decent SPL of 106 decibels, means that volume will never be a problem. For my own listening sessions, I had to dial back the volume on my FiiO from the usual 60% to a mere 40%. Suffice to say, this is very low and highly efficient anywhere that battery life is a concern. Finally, while Dunu fails to offer a rating on the distortion, I’d guess that it is very low – somewhere around <0.2%, or even less.
In the low end, the 2002 sports great detail, coupled with good control. The resultant sound is clean, but only sweetened by the bass. With a natural “oomph” to it, the bass never seems overpowered or boomy, but well-controlled at all times.
I can sum up this midrange in one word: wow. With no noticeable compression or distortion, vocals and instrumentation remain equally pristine.
Bright, with strong and vibrant detail, the high end of the DN-2002 pays plenty attention to the finer details. Capturing the highest high notes is stunning fidelity, it’s well-suited for sparkling strings or smooth vocals.
I was a bit surprised at the sense of soundstage on these earphones. Ample depth and ample placement result in a highly realistic sound. Despite the lingering feeling that the music must be in my head, somehow, it’s still quite easy to forget. The longer I listen, the less these feel like in-ears and the more they sound like open-backed headphones.
The low impedance is excellent for smartphones. While most earphones in this category are usually hampered by a high impedance of at least 16 or maybe 25 ohms, the Dunu 2002 is more efficient than that. It may just well be the earphone to use with a smartphone – if you can afford the price.
The natural dynamic sound works well with just about any genre of music – classical, jazz, rock, pop. I’m at a loss as to a genre that isn’t perfect for these ‘phones.
I find myself comparing this earphone to the mighty Shure SE846. At almost three times the cost of the DN-2002, the Shure might be a mite more relaxed throughout the frequency range – but both models offer perhaps the most exacting amount of detail you can get for their respective prices. Just as the Shure SE846 has come to dominate high-end earbuds, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this Dunu clobber everything in the $300-$400 price range.
What can I possibly recommend in contrast to this awesome earphone? For those who can’t afford the $339 DN-2002, there are certainly some examples that come to mind – the Audio Technica IM02 or the E50 come to mind – but may not offer much in the way of savings, being priced at $299 and $199, respectively.
For those who seek more bass than that offered by the 2002, expect to see less control, too – leading, I’m sure, to a sloppier low end. The ATH-CKS1100iS is one such model. It’ll run you $199, and while it’s fine for the price point, it still won’t give you anywhere near as much detail.
Those who can afford to spend more on their earphones would also do well to consider the Shure SE846 as mentioned above, or even the Westone W60. While the Shure is somewhat more relaxed, the Westone is more dynamic with a sound profile more analogous to that of the DN-2002. Both the Shure SE846 and Westone W60 retail for a hefty $999, so these Dunus may be easier on your wallet.
An impressive earphone that performs well with any listening taste, the Dunu DN-2002 pulverizes its competition. With its excellent build quality and low impedance, it’s also ideally suited for use with a smartphone. So, for high-res listening on the go, this is THE earphone to buy.