This upcoming weekend is Can Jam NYC! And among the headphone, IEM, DAP, DAC, and amp samples will be the newest from Dunu, the Dunu DK-4001. If you’re one of the lucky ones that gets to attend Can Jam, then I highly recommend check it out. But, if you’re not able to go, then have no fear! I got a chance to listen to the DK-4001 this week in an attempt to share their sound with you. So what are these earphones like? Let’s get into it with this Dunu DK-4001 Review.
Delicious Detail – Dunu DK-4001 Review
In the Box – Dunu DK-4001 Review
-various connector adapters (3.5 mm single-ended, 3.5 mm balanced, 2.2 mm balanced, and 4.4 mm balanced)
-various eartips including Spinfit silicone tips, Dunu silicone tips, and Comply foam tips
-cool looking leather carrying case
-3.5 mm to 6.35 mm adapter
Design – Dunu DK-4001 Review
Look and Feel
The Dunu DK-4001 has sleek, medium sized driver housings. They maintain a typical IEM design with a hook-behind-the-ear design to its cable and housing shape. The housings are made of zirconium liquid alloy metal. This metal is three times stronger than stainless steel, but is also super light. As a result, the earphones are both durable, comfortable to wear, and rigid so as to avoid the buildup of acoustic resonances. Additionally, this metal’s matte black finish looks attractive and clean. The cable of the DK-4001 is good looking too, sporting a dark color copper to its braided conductors. The cable and connectors feel hearty in the hands and have a real sense of strength.
The fit of the Dunu DK-4001 seems to be geared more towards folks with medium to large ears because of the included eartips. For some reason, the small tips seem more like mediums to me. However, I had luck finding an eartip that worked for me, the best luck coming from the silicone Dunu tips as opposed to the larger Spinfit tips. The earphones stayed in place based largely on the fit of the eartip in the ear canal, although it slightly rested on the inside of my earlobe. As a result, these earphones won’t be great for those with particularly small ears, but fit securely for others. I was able to find a good seal and the earphones stayed fixed in my ears.
The cable of the Dunu DK-4001 is one of the most interesting and innovative parts of the IEM. The cable consists of a braided Furutech OCC and silver mixed cable with four conductors. Additionally these conductors are wrapped in a layer of OCC shielding in order to further prevent electromagnetic interference. The most noteworthy innovation of this cable is its detachable connector. This makes the cable able have a balanced or unbalanced connection. One simply switches the connector piece as opposed to the entire cable. As a result, these IEMs have the ability to grow with its owner through different DAP, DAC and amp types. The cable has the following connector type options; unbalanced 3.5 mm, balanced 3.5 mm, balanced 2.2 mm, and balanced 4.4 mm.
The Dunu DK-4001 has a hybrid driver design. It has five drivers in total: four balanced armature drivers and one 13 mm dynamic driver. The dynamic driver is dedicated to low frequencies and middle frequencies. By contrast, two of the balanced armatures are dedicated to the high frequencies and the other two are dedicated to the ultra high frequencies. Additionally, the driver housing hosts Dunu’s patented A.C.I.S system. This system consists of a spiral pathway that Dunu says aids with bass extension.
Sound – Dunu DK-4001 Review
The low frequencies of the Dunu DK-4001 have a great sense of sub energy and extension. Additionally, there is a bit of a boost right around the fundamental of many kick drums. As a result, kick drums sometimes come forward in the mix level-wise. However, this level boost along with the quickness and sense of spaciousness around the lows gives the low frequencies a great sense of emotional impact, especially for mixes that use low end as a tool for impact (like hip-hop, pop, and EDM).
For example, when I was listening with the 4001 to the song Prince Johnny by St. Vincent, the kick had a greater sense of depth than usual. Additionally, the dynamic differences between its hits felt more dramatic and precise than normal. Despite the bigger feeling of the kick, the lows still had a lot of spaciousness around it. As a result, it had great separation from the bass and big, low synths.
The middle frequencies of the Dunu DK-4001 have nuance in their dynamic activity. The low-mids have a good sense of fullness which provides energy to bass guitars, the bottom end of electric guitars, strings and pianos. The middle part of midrange feels even. As a result, harmonically rich midrange instruments come through with a sense of realism to their bodies. However, the high-mids introduce a sense of character to the IEMs’ sound signature. A cut in the lower part of the high-mids contrasts slightly with a boost in the high part of the high-mids. As a result, vocals come through with a greater sense of emphasis on the throat and face as opposed to the chest. However, this high-mid boost also brings a sense of presence to attacks of midrange-rich instruments while maintaining its harmonic complexity below it.
For example, when I was listening to the song Thanks for Nothing by Middle Brother, the bass guitar felt full with a little emphasis in the mix. However, it did so without stepping on the toes of other instruments. Additionally, the rhythmic acoustic guitar had a sense of quickness in its attack. This energy was both aesthetically pleasing and helped to separate it from melodic, more midrange focused guitar. The melodic guitar had good sustain, indicating the DK-4001’s ability to reproduce complex harmonics. This area of the midrange contrasted with the brushes on the snare drum. They had a sense of nuance dynamically and harmonically that makes it feel realistic, and the presence of it stepped forward in space. Likewise, the vocal sat forward in then mix and focused more on Taylor Goldsmith’s throat and face rather than his chest
The high frequencies of the Dunu DK-4001 lean toward both the lower treble and the upper octave, noting a cut in the upper treble. As a result, vocals have a great sense of articulation although suffer the occasional sibilance (depending on the vocal). Additionally, the sense of upper octave air isn’t as audible as it is feel-able.
For example, when I was listening to the song Cleva by Erykah Badu, her voice sounded super pretty and clear with articulation on her consonants. However, there was a little less attention on the rasp of her voice than other earphones. Additionally, the high hat felt a little less chunky than usual, but still felt harmonically complex, and sits with a sense of easiness and lightness to it. It was actually one of the first times I didn’t find that high-hat somewhat annoying! It’s shape felt more natural and better balanced with the rimshots than normal.
The soundstage of the Dunu DK-4001 benefits from the IEMs’ sense of quickness and separation. This separation translates to a sense of spaciousness that is immediately noticeable in the width. The difference between the wide-panned instruments and the centered instruments is great, and the spaces in between have a sense of nuance. This spaciousness leaves a lot of room for the depth to have nuance too. It has wonderful nuance that is also interesting because the high mid boost brings instruments in that area closer in space to the listener. That said the even, full midrange lets room mics and reverbs through easily and even seems to emphasize them somehow, sitting things further back in space. Additionally, the low end extension in the subs and the high end extension in the highs gives contrast and precision to the sense of height.
For example, when I was listening to the song Miles Runs the Voodoo Down by Miles Davis, the wide-panned guitars and keys and even drums contrasted well with each other and with the middle-panned trumpet. The reverb and room mics of the drums pushed the drums backward away from the intimate horn but their attack remained a little closer and more detailed. Additionally, the electric guitars had a similar quality. Their bodies sat back in space a bit but their attacks came forward toward the listener. Lastly, the trumpet and cymbals had great contrast from the midrangy keys and guitars, and the thick lowness of the bass.
Overview – Dunu DK-4001 Review
Overall, the Dunu DK-4001 has an innovative design that will be great for audiophiles who like to switch up their listening devices and styles. They have a nice big bass but maintain quick and beautiful detail. They sound the best with hip-hop, pop, and EDM, but also sound lovely with folk and rock.
The Dunu DK-4001 is available for the best price here: