The DUNU DN-900 is a well built, hybrid in-ear headphone. The bass is punchy without overcrowding, with spacious mids and smooth highs – these earphones perfectly combine power and detail.
- Frequency response can be fine tuned
- Generous range of extras/accessories
- Very clear bass and mid-range
- High-frequency roll-off (if you like a brighter sound)
- Case oversized for everyday use
- Tuning rings easily lost if not careful
- Cable can get tangled
As with all segments of the headphone market, the £100 – £200 bracket is hotly contested with innovation pushing sales as well as gimmicks. The hybrid drivers within the DUNU DN-900 are becoming commonplace among IEMs, but the tuning rings which are supplied with the DN-900 are not so commonly found. Given that we all have our pet sound signatures and preferred frequency responses, have DUNU released a self-adjustable gem?
Perhaps most unusual about the DN-900 is the inclusion of the tuning rings; it’s always nice to have a bit of tweakability and it’s fun to experiment. However, be sure that you are changing the eartips and rings while sat at a table, or similar. The rings can jump off the nozzles and roll out of your life for ever if you aren’t careful. It would have been better to have a more ‘trouser clip’ style ring which stays on the nozzle.
Naturally enough, once out of the packaging, the first thing I noticed was the professional quality Pelican-style case. It’s a lovely item if bright yellow is your thing but it won’t fit in a pocket, nor is having your IEMs packed away in a bag or case the most practical place to have them. I would be utilising another case or pouch from somewhere else, while this case might lie unused in a drawer.
The sound seems very mid-centric at first, with strong yet well shaped bass response. The most noticeable thing is the higher-frequency roll-off but this takes only a minute to get used to. I tried the rings in turn..
Silver gives a good bass grunt with midrange clear and even, and the higher frequencies rolled off. Blue appears bassier in the mid-bass area with a more pronouced and open midrange, while red is bassier again with some more low-bass creeping in and mellower mids. High frequencies are not affected by any of the rings but the blue’s effect on the midrange sits next to the highs better for me.
After trying the DN-900 with the Astell&Kern K120, I was very happy with the sound. Driving bass underpinned some very fluid and involving mids, with higher frequencies just managing to show their faces enough to keep the party atmosphere going.
The following impressions were gained using the blue rings and the AK120:
Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes (Blank and Jones reconstruction)
The bass has good texture and impact going into the sub-bass slightly, mid range works well with male vocals and backing. Soundstage is good and wide with a great sense of space. Imaging is also good. The rolled-off highs did not give any problems.
Dub Syndicate – Mafia
Bass is very full and impactful with good slam. It is quite boomy on this track but dub calls for it! Midrange is still clear and separate – the piano parts are very distinct. Highs lend a touch to harmonics but otherwise linger in the background. Soundstage is as wide as the music requires, delay is headshaking.
The DUNU DN-900 is perfect for the tracks that were tried with them. They will satisfy any basshead but will not add bass which is not there and cloud things – midrange is spacious and lively. Again, the higher frequencies may be a problem for fans of this part of the frequency spectrum; but if like some you’re a little sensitive to it, the DN-900 should fit like a glove.
Score – 9/10