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DUNU TITAN 1 Earphones – Expert Review and Video

"DUNU TITAN 1 – Expert Review - The DUNU TITAN 1 earphone is a lightweight and stylish medium priced IEM with some innovative design features"

DUNU TITAN 1 Review

The DUNU Titan 1 is also featured in our Best in-ear headphones to buy in 2015 - Expert Reviews 

DUNU TITAN 1 - Hifiheadphones.co.uk

Introduction

The DUNU TITAN 1 earphone is a lightweight and stylish medium priced IEM with some innovative design features. The DUNU brand appeared about three years ago with a small range of IEMs that instantly impressed. Cleverly built housings and a compelling grip on balanced yet engaging sound instantly caught our attention. DUNU have actually been building earphones and acoustic equipment for other brands since 1994, which goes a long way to explaining this Chinese manufacturers depth of knowledge and design skill. TITAN 1 are a great example of this new brands dedication to moving earphone design forward. Containing a 13mm Titanium coated driver with an angled nozzle surrounded by innovatively placed venting - which may well be the first design of its kind. We’re expecting to see similar designs in the future, as we’ll confirm later on in this review the results for an earphone at this price are sonically spectacular.

Build quality

From the moment you touch the metal driver housing it becomes apparent that the TITAN 1 has been engineered incredibly well. In terms of a sturdy build metal is a no brainer but if implemented badly an earphone can either be far too heavy - leading to fit problems - or if too thin, actually less durable than plastic. DUNU have this balance just right. The shiny and beautifully finished conical earpieces are ringed by metallic red and blue markers for left and right. With high quality 2 ply silicone tips on the nozzle side and well though out strain relief on the other, it’s very hard to pick any fault with practicality or looks here. The top portion of the cable has a soft rubberised coating which is not particularly microphonic when moving around. The Y splitter is attractive and practical with more metal and a wonderfully clever toggle (should you wish to wear them cable up) that caps the splitter like a bottle top when out of use. The remainder of the cable has a very tight nylon weave cover leading to a small and handy cable tidy and eventually a metal capped gold plated right angle jack unit. The strain relief here and at the Y slitter looks and feels sturdy without becoming obstructive.

Fit and Isolation

Fit, as always, is very much down to the users ears. Having said that, the conical housings and angled nozzle sat inside the ear snugly, feeling comfortable and anchored whilst protruding very little. I would not be surprised if this were the case for the vast majority of users. The angled nozzle prevents you from rotating the housings in the ear but the lengthy strain relief means the cable is happy curving round over the top of the ear or dangling down. Unfortunately the clever venting (we will get round to talking about how impressive that is later) does mean there is a little more leakage of sound, in and out, than traditionally expected. We found the supplied silicone ear tips provide an excellent seal and are comfortable too.

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Sound

The TITAN 1 has a balanced type EQ which doesn’t purposely favour top or bottom end. There is a sense of the typical gentle smile curve with lightly recessed mids, a bit of bass punch and thump and some lovely air and silver to the top end.

Lows

Despite giving the feel that they can reach really low this isn’t overplayed, bass roll off is really well managed. Bass is deep but textured and subtle, there really isn’t much flab to speak of. Free of mud and cardboard tones as they transition to the lower mids, it’s all clean and well defined at the bottom. It’s a good balance which compliments contemporary music whilst gently stroking acoustic instruments and older dynamic recordings.

Mids

The mids are simply superb. Vocals and instruments in this region feel realistic and natural, there’s warmth but it’s handled with care. The outcome is a really pleasant and engaging vibe that defines the characteristics of this quick and nimble earphone.

Highs

There is plenty of energy in the highs but it rolls off comfortably, you couldn’t really describe the TITAN 1 as bright but that Titanium driver is performing a bit of magic here. There’s good air and space and just enough metallic brightness to deliver a fresh realistic feel with a bit more fine detail than you would normally expect from a dynamic driver.

Soundstage, Imaging and Separation

Soundstage is surprisingly wide and a bit further back than most in ears. This gives a bit of an upside down U shape to the image adding a taller broader scale than expected.

Sound Conclusions

The TITAN 1 have weight and authority but also enough bright power to sound refreshing and airy. Imaging better than more expensive earphones, they could still have a darker background and better detail retrieval but the combination of the Titanium driver and the completely individual venting system seems to be performing a minor sonic miracle. This venting is the subject of much discussion online, some believe the sound escaping here is vibrating the surface of the outer ear mirroring the way the ear receives normal room sound. The superb EQ and natural yet fun presentation prevents you from noticing the finer shortcomings. Sound-wise they conjure an exciting, easy going and vibrant presentation which is hard to criticise.

Accessories and Packaging

Packaged in a sturdy and attractive box, DUNU include some interesting information about themselves and their manufacturing ideas. Accessories are generous with three pairs of narrow bored silicone ear tips with red cores and three pairs of wide bored tips with blue cores and three pairs of what look like Sony hybrid tip clones. There’s also a 3.5mm to 6.3mm jack adaptor, a useful shirt clip and a smart hard case to keep it all in.

Dunu Titan 1

Conclusion

The TITAN 1 are shockingly good for their price. They’re a superb example of how far medium priced headphones can be pushed by an innovative manufacturer with big ideas. Although they don’t scale the heady heights of today’s crop of high end IEMs, they more than hold their own in the under £100 category. With their good looks, a beautifully implemented Titanium driver and totally individual take on venting, the TITAN 1 finds a natural, exciting and fluid sound which may make them the very best buy for anyone shopping at this price point.

The DUNU Titan 1 is also featured in our Best in-ear headphones to buy in 2015 - Expert Reviews 

Best in-ear headphones to buy in 2015 - Expert Reviews - See more at: http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/reviews/best-in-ear-headphones-2015-review-2015/#sthash.SkMK3Ygf.dpuf

Price: £89.99

About Shaun Gostelow

Shaun is co-founder of hifiheadphones.co.uk and spends most of his time dealing with the business side of running the store, but still loves listening to music with headphones just the same as ever.
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