Dunu Titan 1es In Ear Headphone Review
We were all very happy to receive the Titan 1 a few months back; the earphone with the wide sound is a real treat to hear, but with a limit to the isolation which it offers. Step forward, the Dunu Titan 1es. We’ve no idea what the ‘es’ stands for. Extra special? Even sexier? Excellent sounding? Much as it’s fun to fill in the blanks, we’ll see what ideas spring forth as we take a closer look and listen.
- Can be worn with cable down, or over ears
- Good strong 90 degree jack
- Great sound
- Plenty of tips/accessories included
- Good balance between isolation and soundstage
- Slight lack of finesse with higher frequencies
Design and Appearance
The shape of the capsules on the Titan 1es is reminiscent of the little capsule which were propelled into space by huge Saturn rockets during the USA’s moon trips of the 60s and 70s. Given that Titan is a moon of the planet Saturn, this seems more than a coincidence, but it’s probably just our imagination.
es = Entering space?
The cable has a decent strain relief at the jack end and leading into the yoke or y-split; at the earphone end the cable can be tucked into a narrow groove which gives a little protection from snags.
There is one hole in the capsule as opposed to the 11 holes in the previous Titan model; it’s strength was also it’s weakness as although it gave a considerable soundstage, isolation was compromised and it had limited appeal for portable use. The Titan1 es still appears to be very good in the soundstage department although this re-entry has been balanced with the need for more isolation than the previous Titan model.
Durability and Build quality
Things appear to be very solid with the Titan 1es; the capsules are plastic with metallic paint, but the overall feel is one of sturdiness. The paint may wear and eventually show its age, but this is only an aesthetic concern. The cable is of good quality if only a tiny bit grabby with its rubbery coating, and the right-angled jack is very sturdy indeed.
es = extra strong?
The capsules are well rounded but there’s still a bit of an edge when the sensitive nature of the skin of the ears is taken into account. It doesn’t seem to be a problem though. The supplied eartips (6 pairs in total) are the usual rubber/silicone type and should suit most people. There is also a pair of earhooks to further enhance comfort and fit.
es = ensconced securely?
Suitability for intended application/Sound isolation
As mentioned above, the Titan 1es is better suited to portable/outdoor pursuits, and to test this fully a motorbike trip was taken; as it was taken with the original Titan. The presentation was previously drowned out by road and engine noise, making it a matter of following high hats and a rather nasal vocal only. Not great. However, the Titan1 es excelled in this challenge; Iron Maiden was very well rendered as I dropped off my daughter to the slaughter and I found that the Titan1 es was a real trooper.
es = essential seclusion?
Using the standard Chord Hugo DAC/amp and Fiio X3 transport as a sound source, the Titan 1es surpasses its price point in terms of delivered sound quality. It is relatively neutral sounding but lends a good bit of excitement to proceedings as well; perhaps a nice midrange clarity plays a part in this.
The low end is not overly present or enhanced, but gives a good thud with good control. It goes to a low frequency too, and works with the midrange to give a clear impression of power and space without dominating the presentation.
As mentioned above, midrange is crystal clear and clutter-free making for a nice feeling of being within the music. Harmonics are similarly well rendered and crisp, giving a solid and palpable impression.
High frequencies can feel a bit grainy or rough at times, but this is frankly par for the course with earphones at this pricepoint. It’s just a bit more ‘rock and roll’ than a more expensive earphone and not necessarily a bad thing in itself, certainly when paired with a bass and midrange as good as this.
es = even sonorousness?
Soundstage and Separation
This is one of the best bits of the Titan1es. The midrange clarity gives a lovely feel of imaging, separation and sense of space. Soundstage is good too and although limited when compared to the original Titan1, is still excellent for an in-ear model. The added isolation more than makes up for it in any event.
Music genres good for and why
As mentioned above, the Titan 1es is good with hard rock but will also suit genres such as dance, hip hop and pop. The clear midrange and sense of space will lend a certain something to classical music and jazz will sound very good too.
es = eclectic support?
The Dunu Titan 1es is further proof of Dunu’s talent for providing great sound beyond its product’s prices. Soundstage is not as great as the previous model (Titan 1) but the added isolation makes for a perfect balance between soundstage and practicality in all environments.