- Extremely fun bass oriented sound signature
- Impacting sub bass
- Treble and mids are surprisingly prominent
- Despite the bass boost the DN-16 still manage to
have a fairly balanced sound signature
- Build is amazing on these IEM
- Loads of accessories
- Mids are occasionally shadowed and veiled by
- Speed of treble seems to be a struggle and tends
to grain up
The target audience of the Dunu DN-16 “Hephaes” is the mainstream consumer base or more specifically, those who prefer the Beats sound signature. They sound best when used with bass reliant genres. The first thing I noticed about the DN-16’s was the amazing looks and the surprising weight of the IEM. Upon putting them on, the first thing I noticed was the overwhelming bass presence utilizing a patented Power Bass System.
The build of the DN-16 is definitely among the best I have seen in the $100 range. The first thing I noticed about the DN-16 is the distinct weight they had. According to Dunu the housing is made out of titanium, which give the DN-16 a real solid build and quality feel. Of course, the aesthetics are a nice touch as well.
Dunu has always been amazing accessory wise and the DN-16 does not disappoint coming with an array of accessories I only find in the $200+ range. (add list of accessories)
Bass is the name of the game with the DN-16. Upon plugging them in they take any trace of sub-bass in the track and expresses it as a prominent THUMP. On first impressions I would have said the DN-16’s sound signature was fairly similar to the Beats sound signature seeing how they both emphasize bass and tend to color the mids, but now I think they’re completely different in the sense that the DN-16 focus on sub-bass rather then bass quantity? Though the effect on the midrange and treble is rather apparent.
Treble is definitely the weakest link in the DN-16’s sound and is best used with genres that don’t place too much emphasis on treble. I found the treble lacking the smooth fluent sound of other headphones near its price range and generally sound sandy or grainy with most of the tracks I used them with. The response speed of the DN-16’s treble tends to struggle with fast tracks and meld into a mass of harsh rasps.
Immediately after plugging in the DN-16’s I noticed a distinct veil where the mids were distorted because of the emphasis applied to the bass. After at least 50 hours of use, the DN-16 was really hit or miss when it came to the midrange. With half of the tracks I used with the DN-16, I found that they had clear, but coloured, mids that are backed by the pounding bass of the IEM. With other tracks, the mids and vocals were in a constant power struggle with the bass for forward presentation. This made the midrange and bass appear to originate from the same source and plain and made the sound feel flat and rather stuffed up. Overall the mids are fairly well presented and, more often then not, provide a fairly pleasant experience to the listener but when used with the wrong tracks, everything becomes a jumbled mess.
Bass was the name of the game for the DN-16 and it would be an understatement if I said the basshead side of me was amused. If bass quantity were the most important aspect in an IEM, the DN-16 would beat the competition with ease., I think the only way you can get better bass quantity is by attaching a subwoofer to your head. I found the DN-16 really excelled with most mainstream genres that really depend on bass such as trance, hip hop or pop but tends to struggle with acoustic bass because the bass decay tends to distort the reproduction of a bass guitar.
Soundstage and Overall Presentation
The soundstage of the DN-16 was rather typical when compared to other IEM’s in its price range but I found the frequency response would continuously disrupt the presentation of the DN-16. Continuing on the issue that I touched upon on the midrange section, I found the occasional power struggle between the bass to give the IEM a really flat sound.
The Dunu DN-16 “Hepheas” was a really fun experience and it was a rather nice retreat from the usual audiophile signature that I’m used to reviewing. The DN-16 were designed for use with mainstream genres and its tuning reflects that. The DN-16 tend to target mainstream consumers rather then the critical listeners who care about neutrality therefore I don’t find it in the same league as other neutral IEM such as the Hifiman RE-0 or the Shure SE 215, as they target different audiences. When compared with similar IEM such as the Beats Tour, the DN-16 becomes a real competitor.