In this review we’re taking a look at a brand new product from a brand new company. The Dope Audio Dope Pure planar magnetic IEMs. It retails for 679€/749$ and comes with very unique features.
Disclaimer: Dope Audio provided the Dope Pure at no cost, I only had to pay to import them. Dope Audio is not a site advertiser or affiliated with Headfonia. Many thanks for the generosity and opportunity!
About Dope Audio:
I don’t blame you if you never heard of Dope Audio, because prior to them reaching out I haven’t either.
Dope Audio is a very young Russian company that makes just one product for now. The Dope Pure. The people behind this product have a very long history of making planar-magnetic headphones.
After spending years and years in the RnD field, Maxim has chosen to create his own planarmagnetic In Ear Monitor. But he chose to make them in a different way. Let’s learn a bit about it.
About Dope Pure:
The Dope Pure is a fully closed, 3D printed, 9mm planar-magnetic monitor that features a rear chamber design, similar to loudspeakers. In addition to the rear chamber the Dope Pure also features a twisted horn sound-guide to bring the music to your ears. So in short, Maxim and his team made use of room acoustics to shape the sound of the Pure to their goal.
Just like most planar headphones and IEMs, the Dope Pure is quite tricky to drive. It features an impedance of 21 Ohms and a sensitivity of just 96 decibels. So make sure you have adequate equipment to use the Pure with.
Each Dope Pure has a 3D printed and hand lacquered shell. There are different color versions out there in the wild, but all of them come with a white shell and face plate. They only differ in the print of the Dope logo. Mine has a simple black font, but I’ve seen pictures of others with a red or blue background.
The Dope Pure can be bought with either 2-pin or MMCX sockets. Personally, I’d take 2-pin over MMCX any day of the week. And that’s what I did. The Pure has a rated THD of .1% at 100dB and a frequency response of 8 to 50kHz.
There isn’t any price-info on Dope’s website for the Pure, but I’ve been told that it retails for 679€, which translates to 749$ US at the current exchange rate. This is for the 2-pin version though. If you want MMCX you will have to dig 50€ deeper into your pockets. The reason for it is that apparently it’s more complex to fit the cylindrical shaped socket into the shell.
Dope Audio recommends a burn-in time for the Dope Pure of minimum 200 hours, but according to Maxim it settles in even better after an additional 100 on top. So 300 hours until it has reached its best sound.
My sample only came in a small metal box, covered in bubble-wrap together with a bag of whirlwind eartips. Paying customers of course will get something more fancy than that. The Pure arrived with an SPC cable in a 3.5mm unbalanced termination.
Build Quality and Ergonomics:
Since the Dope Pure is 3D printed, it features a certain DIY look. Which on one hand is fine, but in all honesty, doesn’t give it the most premium look. I understand, that the chambers and sound-guide wouldn’t be possible otherwise, but visually it isn’t very appealing.
On top of the plastic looks, the Dope Pure also misses a crucial part for me. Namely some sort of protective mesh at the nozzle. The Pure has a wide open nozzle, where the driver is only protected by some foam on the inside. When I asked Dope about this, they told me that a few different filters and meshes have been tried, but they all affected the sound quality. Since they were not happy with the results, they decided to leave it out altogether.
It’s not all negative though. The finish of the Pure is done very well. There’s no spilled lacquer or hard edges anywhere. The 2-pin sockets are flushed and look well implemented.
I never had issues with the fit or comfort of the Dope Pure. It sits comfortably in my canals and I could probably wear it for hours without any ear-fatigue building up.
The review continues on page two!