Review: Dunu Titan 3 & 5 – Top Sound

Disclaimer: Dunu supplied the earphones in this review, free of charge. You can find out more about them here: Dunu Topsound. They go for anywhere from 135$ t0 180$ USD, depending on your location.

I dunu about you, but the brand name, Dunu, makes me nervous. Dunu why, dunu if it’s a common problem. But my reaction to it that kept me from perusing local listening tours. Last July, Mr. T came over from Taiwan bearing a loaner DN-2000J. “You can keep it till September,” he said in a gentle, but sharp turn-your-head-and-cough alto. “No problem,” I said, sweating, not because I knew I’d break my promise, but because that day was body temperature outside.

I broke my promise. Mr. T, pity this fool, I beg you.

If this is to be my last day on earth, let me cue you in to a late personal revelation. Dunu make great earphones. Coincidentally, Mr. T finds a large degree of commonality between the DN-200J and the AKG K3003. This entire market is incestuous.

Speaking of, today let’s talk about the twins: Titan 3 and Titan 5.

Dunu 3 and 5 (11 of 76)

Build and stuff

In almost all aspects, the two are identical. Sleek and tough, both house 13mm titanium drivers within stainless steel bodies, and terminated by removable MMCX jacks. They are tethered to weighty and supple cables that end in solid, high-rising L plugs. The body shape you’ve seen before – from the Toyota of earphones, Audio Technica.

Half of the ear tips look just like Sony’s ‘hybrids’ and the other half like basically any non-Sony colour-rimmed ear tip out there. The plastic carrying case, decent to operate and lined with soft-touch for protection, comes with a non-slip foot, and believe it or not, a scratch-warding seal.

I get the impression that Dunu are proud of their creations.

Dunu 3 and 5 (69 of 76)

And they should be. Both models are pretty well made. Machine quality is just south of Dita Audio: small blemishes mar turned metal parts; and body marques are etched with soft, uncertainly pressed edges. Small undulations and uneven polish mar the surface, but only just. Most of that mar is found around the sound tube, which is markedly rougher than the rest of the body. Finally, the seam where the two sound tube moulds join, is clearly visible.

I dunu, it’s not a big deal. Even in Japan both earphones go for quite a bit less than 200$; perfection isn’t expected. The problem is that I touched the Echobox X1 first, and I won’t forget its tidy, precise machining anytime soon.

Then there’s this point: the Titan 3 Dunu shipped me has a missing red-rimmed flange. Titan’s boxes are really generic, and the logo? It’s Back to the Future meets failed 1980’s sci-fi D&D campaign. There’s nothing Delicate or Unique about Titan’s steel body, titanium diaphragms, or utmost silly marketing.

But, when I get these things in my ears, most of the above criticisms fall away. Gosh, they sound good. Real good.

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Dunu 3 and 5 (12 of 76)

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Review: Dunu Titan 3 & 5 – Top Sound
4 (80%) 26 vote[s]

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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 January 19, 2016

    Headfonia_L.

    You suggested and I listened. The reviews will now have the pictures “inline” in stead of in a Gallery at the end of the review. I hope you like it! (It’s a lot more work!! 😀 )

    • Reply January 19, 2016

      ohm image

      Yes it is and thank you.

    • Reply January 19, 2016

      Danny F

      Inline pics definitely makes for a more pleasurable experience. Thank you

    • Reply January 20, 2016

      Brooko

      Yes, yes, yes – I approve 🙂

  • Reply June 30, 2016

    chay flores

    Practical writing – Speaking of which , if your business is interested a a form , my husband filled out and esigned a fillable form here https://goo.gl/xGNnAj.

  • Reply July 18, 2016

    Edward Lau

    how would you compare the titan 3’s to the mee pinnacle p1’s?

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