Following up with the recently uploaded Falcon-C, here comes another Dunu review. This time it will be the DK-3001, audiophile’s beloved hybrid IEM of all times. DK-3001 has been staying as their flagship model for many years until recently announced DK-4001 and probably gained the most attention among their product lines. DK-3001 has a price tag of $499 which is now their second most expensive IEM.
Though before moving on to the review, let me share a quick behind story. This review was supposed to be composed a very long time ago, at least more than two years. Though my hard drive died and I’ve lost a significant amount of review pics I’ve taken, including these. My written impressions were still alive, though couldn’t re-do the photos since I no longer had the DK-3001 with me from that point. Though it recently came to my attention that the DK3001 photos were also preserved elsewhere.. so here it is! Photo styles and ratios are quite different from now, but I think it’s good enough to post (also brings me good nostalgic memories..) Enough with that, let’s now resume to the review.
DK-3001 comes in with the good old packaging style Dunu has been using. At the corner of the box, it shows that this one is also qualified for the JP High-Resolution standard. Not having one doesn’t mean it’s for no good, but at least allows us to expect some quality sound. Other than the earphone itself, the packaging includes additional 2.5mm (default being 3.5mm), 6 pairs of silicone tips, 4 pairs of Spinfits, 1 pair of foam tips, airplane adapter, 6.3mm adapter, a shirt clip, a hard case, and some paper works.
The earpieces are fully made out of stainless steel and detachable to be used with any other MMCX cables. DK-3001 is packed with three BA drivers and a large 13mm dynamic driver. It has a matte black color and looks neat yet sexy, which is now Dunu’s signature color. I remember the earlier batch of these had weak MMCX connector issues, but I’m quite sure they’ve got it fixed since their Falcon-C started to use the customized sockets.
Those two included cables each have 2.5mm and 3.5mm termination. Cable materials for both are 5N OCC Copper and they’re very smooth. They have memory earguides which is one of the most comfortable earguides I’ve experienced so far, fitting like a glove. The material feels quite similar to the ones that come with Sony IEMs. Besides that, there’s a silicon cable strap attached near to the plug which I found it very convenient for use.
Sound Impressions: Lows
DK-3001 has an energetic W-shaped sound signature. I’ve tested the DK-3001 with AET07 & Spiral Dot eartips. Ultra/sub-bass calmly spreads out deep and dark, making it feel like to be holding up the upper frequencies. The sub-bass quantity is just about the right amount, similar to those typical slightly v-shaped signatures. Strike and decay are quite fast and keeps the edges of the bass clean and vivid. DK3001 is generous when it comes to presenting the bass, though it achieves this without excessively increasing the bass amount, making it suitable for both old-school and trendy genres. Both the quantity and quality should be appreciable for most audiophiles.
Sound Impressions: Mids
Mids are pulled out forward with a bright and lively tone. I could see it from the first glance that Dunu has done a great job forming that good harmony with DD and BA drivers as DK3001 possess quite unique characteristics. It doesn’t feel like a full DD IEM nor a full BA IEM but doesn’t feel awkward at all.
Vocals are expressed in an energetic, enthusiastic way to the point where it feels like the vocals are getting blasted out after a full charge. It has a slightly cool temperature but not so far from being neutral. Upper mids are cooler with more air, leading into a refreshing sound. The sibilance is pretty nicely controlled and trimmed, so there aren’t any noticeable peaks or spikes to it. Though due to the relatively bright upper mids, it’s hard to say it’s suitable for a long listening usage. However, I should point out that the reason behind is quite different from those typical bright sounding IEM as the slight fatigue happens because of the temperature, not from the sibilance – I’d say 2~2.5 hrs would be good to go without ear fatigues.
The thickness on the mids are neutral but I found female vocals to sound more attractive due to the additional sparkles on the upper frequencies. For a short comparison with Dunu’s previous hybrid IEM DN-2002, mids on DK-3001 sound smoother, more coherent and stabilized.
Sound Impressions: Highs, etc.
DK-3001 follows that shiny, colorful that started from the mids. Treble strikes are on point right on the middle and decay very quickly, but the really good part is that this IEM still does a nice job picking up the small reverbs, despite the fast decay. Trebles have a similar cool tone temperature but slightly takes a step back from the mids, keeping the vivid existence but doesn’t get so hot. The textures are well refined without getting dry. Its deep-diving bass and vibrant, refreshing upper frequencies create quite a wide headroom, both sideways and up/down. The slight highlight on the layering keeps the sound spatial and engaging. Each frequency are naturally but distinctively organized, not only making each frequency to vividly pop out but also for vocals and instruments. Due to all these characteristics, DK-3001 matches very well on various genres including classical, but especially with stringed instruments.
Listening to these would explain all why DK-3001 has been a steady seller worldwide. It just a lovable sound that many would appreciate – wide, dense, and refreshing sound characteristics are hard to go wrong. Previously reviewed Falcon-C is great too, but DK-3001 outperforms on almost every aspect. In fact, DK-3001 doesn’t lose out much even in terms of imaging (or image specifying), which is very impressive while we’re talking about a hybrid multi-driver IEM compared to a single driver IEM. Normally single driver IEMs always outdo multi-driver IEMs with a noticeable gap, so you’ll get the idea on how well these were tuned.
So wrapping up this review, if you’re looking for a sub-flagship IEM with W-shaped rich sound signature I would definitely check these out first before hopping onto the new gears. I know DK-4001 has just been released, though now would be a good time to look back and light up the attention on these as it still performs great against equally priced new products. It’s a highly reputed IEM that’s hard to go wrong.