A while ago, I got the chance to check out the DUNU DK-4001, and waxed a little misty-eyed about the included copper cable. Now, thanks to the Gods of Audio and those good folks over at DUNU, I’m taking a look at the Hulk cable. A thicker, beefier version of the DK-4001 cable, the Hulk uses the same interchangeable connector plugs. From 3.5 mm to 2.5 mm to 4.4 mm, this MMCX cable promises connectivity with any balanced output. But for a price of $299, is the Hulk worth the cash?
DUNU Hulk Cable Review
The DUNU Hulk comes in a snazzy cardboard box with the cable and four different plugs, including:
- 2.5 mm balanced
- 3.5 mm balanced
- 3.5 mm single-ended
- 4.4 mm balanced
Thicker than the cable sold with the DUNU DK-4001, the Hulk lives up to its name. At first it almost seems too cumbersome. But after wearing it for a few listening sessions, I am impressed by the sense of durability it imparts. I feel like this cable will never back, as it’s so robust and solid.
Using an MMCX connection type, the DUNU Hulk can easily connect to earphones from DUNU, Shure, Campfire, Beyerdynamic, Final Audio, MEE Audio, Mackie, and Sony. But it’s the interchangeable balanced plugs that really sell the DUNU Hulk’s design. Of course, this technology, as ingenious as it is, still hinges on the cabling itself.
And DUNU hasn’t slouched here either, using a braided OCC cable that measures as impressively as it sounds. With 4 hand-braided cores, each measuring 22 AWG with 168 pieces of copper wiring, the Hulk utilizes 678 copper wires as part of the DUNU T2 Litz design.
While I personally don’t like the right-angled design of the adapters, it is something I can live with, especially given all the things this cable does right.
The Hulk feels thick and robust. If it were a good deal longer, I would feel confident in using it to skip rope. It feels like a beast. The sheathing definitely gives it an extra air of quality, but DUNU went a little bit further and added some extra rubber to the base of the cable where it connects to the adapters. This reduces wear when you bend and twist the cable with everyday use, and leaves me with a wealth of confidence that I could use and misuse this cable to no end with no undue effect.
A huge upgrade in sound quality over most stock cables, the Hulk provides a sensible upgrade for most folks. The ability to rapidly adjust the cable to any output is a nice touch, but it’s really the sound quality that propels the DUNU Hulk beyond the ordinary.
Music does sound a bit more intimate, but remains spacious. The low end, while less accentuated than with most silver cables, shows just what a good copper cable can do. There’s a distinct tightness in the low end, with percussive elements sounding just a tad bit sharper and punchier.
Mids remain full and robust, but there’s more detail at play here, too, than other cables I have experimented with at the same price.
Highs are fairly tempered, sparkling with detail but never grating or harsh. All of this results in a very musical and fun listening experience, but one that never strays too far away from an accurate sound.
It may not make a bad earphone sound good, but the Hulk will tighten up any decent earphone you pair with it, making it sound a little bit better. In the past, having owned the Reference 8 from ALO, I would easily make the switch to the DUNU Hulk.
If you want a thicker low end and a similar snappy listening experience, I might recommend the ALO SXC8. While a little more expensive at $349, the SXC8 imparts more warmth, leading to a less clinical (but more accessible) sound.
What about Effect Audio, though? This company has some mighty impressive cabling out there. And while I would hesitate to recommend any of their cables at the $299 asking price for the DUNU Hulk, there’s still a reason to consider Effect Audio. If price is no concern, skip this cable and get the Effect Audio Horus or Leonidas II (or something equally pricey) from those sonic wizards. You will not be disappointed.
At $299, the DUNU Hulk offers a solid upgrade for most users. For folks who want a cable that will work with any player, DAC, etc, this cable constitutes a revolutionary solution. That being said, even if you don’t need the ability to swap plugs now, investing in the DUNU Hulk means upgrading to a different player or DAC down the line won’t be a hassle. The bottom line? This fantastic piece of kit belongs in every audiophiles arsenal.
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