As of late, I’ve been reviewing a lot of high-end earphones, so I’m more than pleased to be taking a look at the inexpensive Dunu Titan 1 ES. With a price of just $56, this consumer-minded earphone looks rather promising. But how does it sound?
Dunu Titan 1 ES Review
The Titan 1 ES comes with six pairs of eartips, a carrying case, and two rigid plastic clips that fit over the top of your ears to help stabilize the headphone cable.
Employing an angled design, the earpieces fit inside my ear perfectly. For those who aren’t so lucky, though, the Titan 1 ES can loop over the top of the ear – providing a more secure fit while also minimizing cable vibration.
A robust 4 ft (1.2 m) audio cable compliments the comfortable earphones. Ending in a right-angle plug, this cable appears to be fairly durable, despite being quite thin.
Frequency Range: 20-20,000 Hz
Impedance: 16 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 102 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): NA
The Dunu Titan 1 ES rocks a fairly standard frequency range of 20-20,000 Hz. The low impedance of just 16 ohms pairs well with most devices, especially smartphones and portable players. Sound Pressure Level is decent, and volume should not prove a problem. While not supplied by the manufacturer, I’d suggest a Total Harmonic Distortion of <0.5%.
Home to some noticeable detail and a good amount of bass, the low end on the Titan 1 ES doesn’t sound as bad as I thought it would. While the bass packs a punch, it’s nowhere near overpowered – or sloppy. Thanks to a decent sense of control, bleed is kept in check and the sound remains relatively clear.
Most inexpensive earphones suffer from some compression or distortion in the mids, and the Titan 1 ES is no exception. While this part of the frequency range manages to steer clear of any noticeable distortion, there’s a discernible amount of compression in the upper mids. While not too aggravating to casual listeners, hardcore audio junkies will easily pick up on this lack of fidelity.
Bright, but not irredeemably so, the high end shows off a good amount of detail while struggling to deliver more. Missing some high highs, the sound can border on tinny at times, leading to the impression that this part of the frequency range has been spread too thin. While the bright character jives with that powerful low end, the resultant sound still falls short of a comprehensive listening experience.
The amount of depth in this earphone took me by surprise. However, placement is still lacking, and the resulting soundstage is almost non-existent. While that depth does add to the overall listening experience, the confused sense of placement won’t be winning over any classical fans. Suffice to say, if you crave soundstage, these aren’t the headphones you’re looking for.
I’m really enjoying the low end on the Titan 1 ES. While at first I found it lacking in detail, the overall relaxed sound is growing on me. Sure, there isn’t a TON of detail, but that’s only natural for an earphone at this price. Really though, the Titan 1 ES sports the kind of bass I love – natural, if subdued…powerful when it should be, but not constantly throbbing in my ears and rattling my molars.
Well, is there anything this cheap that comes close to sounding like this? Not really. For those seeking more bass, the slightly more expensive Audio Technica ATH-LS40 comes to mind. Retailing at $79, the LS40 forgoes the smooth highs while offering loads of bass.
Now, if you’d prefer the opposite – more emphasis on the high end, and less emphasis on the low end – I might recommend the Grado iGe. A generally balanced-sounding earphone, the iGe costs $99 – almost twice as much as the Titan 1 ES. But for a earphone concentrating on mids and highs, it’s pretty much the cheapest option (that still supplies a quality sound).
For those seeking a well-rounded earphone, though, without too much bass and a passable high end, the Dunu Titan 1 ES deserves consideration.
Good lows and a subdued bass provide the Dunu Titan 1 ES with a noticeable forte. Though slightly lacking in the mids and highs, the overall character of this earphone is one of balance. While not truly geared for critical listening, this consumer earphone still offers a breath of fresh air to casual listeners who prefer less style and more substance.