DUNU DK4001 In-Ear Monitor Review
DUNU DK4001 Review
TOP SOUND & TOP QUALITY
DUNU was originally an OEM/ODM manufacturer established in 1994 and focuses on development, manufacture and marketing of professional earphone and ear bud products. DUNU’s manufacturing plant is located in Dong Guan City, Guangdong, China.
The DUNU DK-4001 that I will now review for you is the new flagship IEM of the company and features a Hybrid Driver Configuration with 4 x Knowles (High/Extreme High Frequency) BA Drivers + 1 x 13mm Dynamic Driver with Beryllium Diaphragm.
I would like to thank DUNU for providing me this sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with DUNU beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.
The actual price for the DUNU DK4001 is 899,00 USD and can be purchased from the links below;
- Purchase Link 1: https://www.dunuusa.com/dk4001
- Purchase Link 2: https://penonaudio.com/dunu-dk4001.html
Package and Accessories:
The DUNU DK4001 came in a big and eye-catching black box, which is wrapped with a cardboard that is featuring the visual of the DK4001 and some advertisements (Comply, SpinFit, HiRes, VGP 2019 award, etc.).
The main box has the DUNU logo on the top and features a nice textured surface.
This box is including the following contents/accessories;
- 1 pair x DUNU DK4001 In-Ear Monitor
- 1 pcs x Detachable Cable with MMCX Connector
- 4 pcs x DUNU Quick Switching Connectors (3.5mm TRS, 3.5mm TRRS, 2.5mm TRRS & 4.4mm TRRS)
- 1 pcs x 6.3mm Headphone Adaptor
- 1 pcs x Flight Adaptor
- 3 pairs x SpinFit Silicone Eartips (size S/M/L) with Metal Holder
- 6 pairs x Grey Silicone Eartips (size 2 x S/M/L)
- 1 pair x Comply Foam Eartips (M)
- 1 pcs x Leather Case
- 1 pcs x Cleaning Tool
The DUNU DK4001 is coming with lots of accessories which are all of high quality. The box is including Comply Foams, SpinFit Silicone Eartips which are installed to a nice metal Eartips Holder.
The box is also including four different DUNU Quick Switching Connectors for 3.5mm TRS, 3.5mm TRRS, 2.5mm TRRS & 4.4mm TRRS headphone jacks which are a very nice addition.
You can also find a cleaning tool, 6.3mm headphone adaptor and a leather case which is of very high quality.
All the contents which are included to the standard packaging of the DK4001 are of premium quality.
Design, Fit and Build Quality:
The monitor shell of the DUNU DK4001 is made of precise machined Zirconium Alloy which reduces according to DUNU the weight, while increasing the durability by being 3 times stronger than the stainless steel. This housing has also some other interesting features like wear resistance and an anti-corrosion enhancement.
The overall build quality is rock solid and should last for many years.
The monitor shell is in black and sports the DUNU branding and a metal mesh for venting purposes on the front which are both in silver color.
On the top of the monitor housing is the DUNU patented Catch-Hold MMCX Connector. This MMCX connector utilizes the hollow cylinder design to lock the earphones and effectively improve the connectivity. This should increase according to DUNU the service life of the MMCX connector.
On the back of the DK4001 monitor housing is a small vent and the slightly angled sound nozzle with a fine metal mesh on the top to prevent the insertion of dust or ear-wax.
The DUNU DK4001 is coming with a detachable cable which is made of high purity Furutech OCC/Silver mixed cable. The cable itself has a twisted design has a brown TPU insulation.
The MMCX connectors of the cable have a black plastic housing with Left & Right markings. The patented MMCX connectors utilize the hollow cylinder design to lock the earphones and effectively improve the connectivity.
According to DUNU will the configuration of high quality cable and additional OCC wrapped shielding layer deliver a cleaner and higher fidelity sound by minimizing the distortion and blocking out the electromagnetic interference.
The cable sports on both sides flexible (transparent) ear guides, which offers extra comfort for longer listening periods.
This cable of the DUNU DK4001 features also a stylish metal y-splitter in brown color with DK-4001 model branding and has also a transparent plastic chin slider.
DUNU DK4001’s cable is coming with patented quick switching connectors.
The package is including 4 connectors, which are the 3.5mm TRS, 2.5mm balanced, 4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm TRRS variant. Each of these connectors is easily changeable with this auto-lock feature. This provides a convenience switching from one device to another.
Fit and Comfort:
The DUNU DK4001 is a fairly ergonomic In-Ear Monitor with a relative small size for a 5 driver hybrid configuration. It offers a fairly comfortable fit and fatigue free wearing experience. The Isolation on the other hand is on an average level.
- Model : DK4001
- Driver : 4 x Balanced Armature Drivers & 1 x Beryllium Diaphragm Dynamic Driver 13mm)
- Impedance : 32Ω
- Freq. range : 15 Hz – 40 kHz
- Sensitivity : 112dB/mW
- Weight : 13g
- Cable length : 1.2m
The DUNU DK4001 is an In-Ear Monitor with an impedance of 32ohm and sensitivity of 112dB. It can be driven with relative weak sources like Smartphone’s, Tablets and smaller sized DAP’s, but shows its true potential if you pair it with more powerful sources like a Portable Amplifiers or powerful Players like the QA361 or DX220.
Equipment’s used for this review:
- IEM’s : DUNU DK4001, HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver, Campfire Audio Atlas
- DAP&DAC’s : iBasso DX220, QLS QA361, Cayin N5II, xDuoo XD10 Poke
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Wav 24bit/88kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Opeth – Damnation (Wav 16bit/44kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Elton John – Your Song (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- David Bowie – Black Star (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Unplugged Album (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- London Grammar – Interlude (Live) (Flac 24bit/88kHz)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Wav 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Wav 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Photek – Hidden Camera (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory (16bit/44.1kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kHz)
The DUNU DK4001 has a close to neutral, slightly warmish and colored tonality. The overall presentation is fairly balanced and musical. The bass of the DK4001 has good depth and speed, while the midrange is warmish in tonality and the upper midrange & treble is region is soft and smooth in its character.
PS: I have written this review after a burn-in period of 320 Hours and have used the Spin-Fit silicone ear tips which are included to the package.
The lows are one of the highlights of the DUNU DK4001. The subbass depth, extension and rumble are very impressive, which makes it very suitable to listen with genres like Rap, Hip-hop, Pop, EDM and trance music.
It is noteworthy that the subbass can reach up to the lowest register without to sound overwhelming and to affect the overall clarity of the sound. The tonality of this region can be described as colored, soft and slightly dark.
For example, the DK4001 was able to underneath some complex bass passage like Lorde’s “Royals”, Gogo Penguin’s “Raven” and Photek’s “The Hidden Camera”.
The bass of the DUNU DK4001 doesn’t showing any negative situations like a roll-off or muddiness. The midbass of the DK4001 are controlled, slightly warm and pretty fast in its presentation.
The beats of the drums do not diminish in their speed and the dynamics and intensity is at a very successful level.
I have also tested some instruments like the contrabass, drums, def and/or bongo individually and together and couldn’t find any negative situation in mid bass region.
The midbass region of the DUNU DK4001 is full bodied pronounced and is showing good separation.The midbass didn’t lead to negative situations like compressing the stage or shadowing the instruments. The midbass of the DK4001 have a sufficient level in quantity and it is neither too low nor too much.
The bass of the DK4001 has in generally a good intensity, speed and emphasis. Even in the fastest tracks, the bass is able to catch up with music and the performance is quite successful with almost every type or genre.
DUNU DK-4001 has a lightly colored, close to neutral, musical and smooth midrange presentation. The midrange is a bit upfront, which could make the DK4001 to an ideal choice for mid lovers.
The DUNU DK4001 has a good lower midrange depth and body. This region has an average thickness and sounds pretty smooth, which is an advantage for the male vocal presentation. The resolution and detail level of male vocals is quite good, without to show negative situations like muddiness or mixings.
Female vocals on the other hand have a lightly warmish and musical tonality due to the slightly pronounced and soft upper midrange character. Female vocals, especially soprano vocals are showing a slightly lack of extension and emphasis due to the soft and moderate pronounced upper midrange tuning. The level of clarity and airiness on the other hand is on a quite good.
The DUNU DK4001 has in general a fairly warm and full bodied instrument tonality, which is not too analytical or dry in its timbre.
The neutral air among the instruments makes the instrument presentation of the DK4001 quite airy and clear. The fact that the instruments do not play too close or to distant to each other, makes the DK4001 to a very balanced and musical IEM in terms of instrument presentation.
I found DUNU DK4001 quite successful in terms of instrument/vocal clarity, detail and separation.
Instruments like guitars have a slightly warm, bassy and a bit bright character towards the top. Other instruments like pianos have a soft and slightly bright tonality. I didn’t found any harshness and over-sparkling while listening to the pianos in Chopin’s Nocturnal up to Fazıl Say’s Oratorio who where very soft, pleasant and caressing in its presentation.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
The DUNU DK4001 has in general a close to neutral, slightly emphasized, soft, and not so prominent upper mid characteristic, while the transitions are fairy soft and controlled, without to show any remarkable harshness and sibilance. Some instruments like violins or side flutes have a shorter extension and emphasis due to this soft character. But on those tuning makes otherwise the DK4001 to a pretty musical sounding In-Ear Monitor.
The DK4001 has a tuning that makes the overall presentation more airy and detailed by shifting the emphasis to the lower and middle treble after relative soft sounding upper midrange region.
The lower treble region is slightly bright and extends pretty well, which is giving the DK4001 additional energy and dynamism in this region. The emphasis of the lower treble is greater than the upper treble while the emphasis from the lower treble to the upper treble decreases in a controlled manner.
The Hi-hats in metal music for example are coming slightly from the background, while the hits/kicks are quite pronounced and slightly bolder in tonality. Here are also no negative situations like a too short or too long extension.
The DK4001 shows the crash cymbals with a highly controlled extension, while it lacks a bit of extension with some instruments like the crash cymbal. All in all, the general treble quantity and intensity will satisfy most users. I really liked the balance of the DK4001’s treble range.
The DUNU DK4001 has a suitable soundstage for a precise placement of instruments and vocals. The soundstage is pretty airy and spacious and the depth shows a parallel performance to the quite expansive wideness. The DK4001 is able to archive a black background and good separation by arranging the instruments in a vertically way side by side.
Some Short Comparisons:
DUNU DK4001 versus Campfire Audio Atlas:
The Campfire Audio Atlas is an In-Ear Monitor with a wide angle V shaped sound signature with boost in the bass and treble & upper treble area. The boost in the lower frequency area gives the Atlas a slightly warmer than neutral tonality that is adding the overall presentation a nice fullness.
The Campfire Audio Atlas has a warmer and thicker tonality than those of the DK4001. The subbass of the Atlas shows more depth, quantity and extension than DK4001 which shows also good depth but with less intensity.
The midbass of both In-Ear Monitors are strong while the impact of the Atlas is greater. The general midbass quantity and intensity of the Atlas is higher, while the DK4001 is superior in terms of speed and control.
The midrange of the DUNU DK4001 is more forward oriented compared to those of the Campfire Audio Atlas, while both IEM’s are offering a warmish and musical presentation. The lower midrange of the DK4001 is more pronounced compared to Atlas IEM and shows more detail while listening to male vocals. The upper midrange on the other hand is more pronounced with the Campfire Audio Atlas which makes it successful with female vocals.
The instrument tonality of both IEM’s is fairly natural and musical, while the DUNU DK4001 is superior in terms of detail retrieval. The midrange spectrum of the DK4001 is also notably greater.
The upper midrange of the DK4001 is softer and more forgiving compared to the Atlas IEM, while the Atlas is slightly more detailed in this area. The treble range of both In-Ear Monitors in not very upfront and is sharing a slightly bright and soft tonality. The lower treble range (presence) shows a pretty similar emphasis.
Both the DUNU DK4001 and the CA Atlas have a suitable soundstage for a quite precise placement of instruments and vocals. The soundstage of the DK4001 shows more width and air, while the CA Atlas has slightly more depth.
DUNU DK4001 versus HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver:
The Hifiman RE2000 Silver is an In-Ear Monitor with a slightly V shaped sound signature, which shows a musical, transparent and somewhat warm midrange, fast and fairly deep bass response, soft tuned upper midrange and a treble that is energetic and with nice sparkle.
Both In-Ear Monitors have a good subbass performance, while the DUNU DK4001 shows more depth and quantity and better extension. The DUNU DK4001 has also more midbass intensity and quantity compared to the HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver which has a more linear type of midbass character.
The midrange of the DUNU DK4001 has a more up front presentation compared to those of the HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver, while both IEM’s sharing a smooth and musical midrange character.
The DUNU DK4001 is more superior in terms of the male vocal performance due to the better lower midrange tuning, while the HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver is slightly more successful with female vocals due to the additional upper midrange emphasis.
The upper midrange of both In-Ear Monitors has a slight emphasis, while the treble shows a moderate emphasis. The emphasis is mainly focused to the lower treble area and shows a short extension.
Both In-Ear Monitors have a wide soundstage structure which is suitable for a precise instrument placement. The soundstage of the HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver is slightly wider, while the DUNU DK4001 shows better depth than RE2000 Silver.
My impressions about the DUNU DK4001 are very positive. It shows a great bass performance offers a musical and detailed midrange presentation and has a treble range that is smooth and controlled. In addition, it comes in a premium looking box that is full of high quality accessories. Everything looks first class, while the build quality of the monitors and of the stock cable with the patented quick switching connectors is absolutely solid! All in all, the DUNU DK4001 is one of my favorite in-ear monitors in this price category.
Pros & Cons:
- + Great Bass Performance
- + Smooth, Musical Midrange and Treble Presentation
- + Wide Soundstage
- + Premium Build Quality and Packaging
- + Lots of useful accessories
- + Very good stock cable with patented quick switching connectors
- – Slightly lack of upper midrange emphasis
- – Treble extension is a bit short for genres like metal music