Review: Dunu DN-2002 – topper sound

Disclaimer: Dunu supplied the DN-2002 for the purposes of this review. I paid nothing for it. Many thanks, Dunu. The DN-2002 is a four-driver hybrid earphone, two of which are dynamic, two of which are balanced armature. The DN-2002 goes for around 350$ USD. You can find out more about it here: Dunu DN-2002.

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Mr. T loaned me the DN-2000j with the proviso that should I not return it by September (of 2015) something would transpire that no fool would pity. In the intervening months, my wife bore a beautiful girl. I went to Canada. I bought and sold a Fujifilm GX680 III and picked up a Linhof M679cs in its stead. Who needs pity? I just need more space for storage.

But without having reviewed it, Mr. T’s DN-2000j is in my earphone drawer. And today is all about its successor, the DN-2002.

Not sound

What I love about the DN-2000j I love about Dunu’s latest, but with a different slant. Contrast, speed, power, and a goodly mix of finesse: Dunu’s current flagship has each, and in spades.

What the former flagship lacked, and what Dunu lack in general, is branding. I still dunu about car-sounding monikers like DN-2002. I dunu about cheap boxes, and so-so finish. I do know about brand names. And I dunu like the sound of Dunu.

The DN-2002 arrived with many small blemishes: body scoring, notches, fading typography. It’s a 350$ earphone. I expected better. The DN-2000j holds up better under scrutiny. That said, the DN-2002 is sturdier. It is a garage-finished tank of an earphone.

Its sized-to-match Pelican case is a plus. As are its high-street ear tip selection: four pair of Spin-Fits and one pair of Complys accompany three pair of Dunu-branded ear pieces. There’s a decently built 3,5mm to 6,3mm step-up adapter, a pair of ear guides, and shirt clip equal to the worst you’d find in airline handouts.

Dunu DN-2002-3

I get why Dunu added a rotation lock to their MMCX mount. But it makes it very difficult to pair the DN-2002 with third-party cables.

At the earphone side, the cable is buttressed by tough stress reliefs. The jack is a sturdy, slim-fitting L-shaped thing with a beautiful, if anachronistic, meshed rubber sheath. Its y-split is similarly outfitted. And then there is the bit between it and the earphone. It’s one of those loosey-goosey extreme diet post-hoc cables. Are there bones in there, grandma? you might ask as you pinch its sleeves. There are, but only barely. As a result, the sleeves sustain a lot of abuse when bent around the stress reliefs. I can’t say how this cable will stand up to constant abuse, but it doesn’t give the best impression. Sleeve material, however is nice. It is supple, mostly silent, and decently resistant to corrosion. The lower half of the DN-2002’s cable should survive your workout.

Despite the bevy of blemishes I listed above, the body is rock solid. Worn with the cable over the ear, it sits pretty solid, and should stay in place during a workout. Worn down, it won’t. Post y-split, its old-woman wire sheaths are noisy. Wear it with the cable over the ear. Each earphone has two ports, neither of which pick up that much wind noise. I’ve since stopped bicycling with earphones in, but I assume that you could road cycle without too much wind interference.

Sound and more after the jump:

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

8 Comments

  • Reply August 18, 2016

    Barun C

    Nice article Nathan. The overall design and connector is reminiscent of the Sony Ex-1000, Ex-800 ST & 600 series. The concluding statement is a big one, so I had a couple of questions.

    1. How is the isolation of these, will you recommend them for outside listening?
    2. How competitive are the DN 2002, when going head to head with another hybrid, Lear BD
    4.2?
    3. In terms of value, would you say that DN 2002 edges the Andromeda as well, considering
    Andromeda is now being hailed as a benchmark for UIEMs, which can go toe to toe with
    any TOTL CIEM?

  • Reply August 18, 2016

    ohm image

    Hello Barun,

    Indeed, the design evokes earphones we’ve seen in the past. With the exception of timing steps in fast, modern trance and heavy metal, this earphone really hits above its weight.

    1. Isolation is good, but will depend a lot on your ears and the tips. It’s not as good as a CK10 or ER4.

    2. The BD4,2 is more laid back, and has smoother transitions, but only just so.

    3. Andromeda is the most non-BA sounding BA earphone I’ve used, and plays very well against Noble’s K10. While the DN-2002 and Andromeda aren’t sound-compatible, I’d give personal edge to Andromeda because it suffers no timing shifts.For me, the DN-2002 is more comfy.

    The DN-2002 is extremely good.

    • Reply August 18, 2016

      Barun C

      Those are words of extreme praise. This is very interesting, wish I had both the Andromeda and Dunu DN 2002 to audition and find out how they stack against my recent venture into CIEM, the Custom Art Harmony 8.2.

  • Reply August 29, 2016

    Aras

    Nathan, is this a fine upgrade from Velvets in warm mode? I’m looking for something slightly softer highs than Velvets but with bass just as strong. Any recommendations?

    • Reply August 29, 2016

      ohm image

      The DN2002 is more detailed than the Velvet in any mode and its bass is generally neutral.

  • Reply September 1, 2016

    Mr. Carvalho

    Nice review.
    How does it compares to DN-2000?

    • Reply September 2, 2016

      ohm image

      It is less harsh in the top end, better fitting, with a calmer, more neutral bass to mids transition. Better in every way- at least as I define better.

  • Reply October 23, 2018

    Tim

    “It is less harsh in the top end, better fitting, with a calmer, more neutral bass to mids transition. Better in every way- at least as I define better”

    What you are describing is the sound profile of DN-2000J. But the commentator spoke of the 2000 without “J”. And the classic DN-2000 IS FOR SURE NOT HARSH AT ALL. And it is for shure more impressive and better sounding than the 2002.

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