Pro Audio Times would like to thank Dunu for providing us with these IEMs.
Priced at $469, the Dunu DK-3001 Pro in-ear monitor features a stainless steel shell, 1 beryllium diaphragm dynamic driver and 4 Knowles balanced armatures. The cable is single crystal copper and uses Dunu’s patented quick-switch modular plug system.
The Studio SA6 sells for $550, has a hand-poured UV Acrylic resin shell and a solid wood faceplate. There are 6 Knowles and Sonion balanced armature drivers. A tuning switch allows for “Atmospheric Immersion” mode–a low-shelf boost. The cable is 8 core, high-purity Furukawa OCC silver-plated.
Both earphones come with a large variety of ear tips and leather cases.
These two Dunu models differ in shell design but are similarly lightweight and ergonomic. The DK-3001 Pro fits unobtrusively in the ear and provides decent isolation. The SA6 is among the more comfortable IEMs we’ve tested, with an inviting seal and better rejection of outside noise than the DK-3001 Pro.
In line with its “studio” nomenclature, the SA6 exhibits a precise and sophisticated delivery, while the DK-3001 Pro loosens the tie with a bit more exuberance, but still organic and intact.
The low-end performance of the SA6 is not the densest or the most analytical, but it’s seamlessly integrated with the tuning at large. With the “Atmospheric Immersion” switch engaged, bass is tastefully amped up without overstepping itself.
The DK-3001 Pro low-frequency dynamic driver produces a more distinct, snappy bass, with a satisfying amount of weight and oomph and good articulation of pitch. Energy sustains itself all the way into the upper boundaries of the bass. Certain material might come off as a little boxy, but for the most part, it’s a flattering attribute.
Comparatively, some listeners might like the less cluttered lower mids of the SA6 and others might prefer the subtle triode warmth of the DK-3001 Pro.
Mids on the SA6 are one of its strong suits; resolved, soft and resplendent. Vocals and guitars sound clear and harmonically complex. Technically, it unravels dense instrumentation without sloppiness.
DK-3001 Pro midrange is more stout in nature, revealing the chestiness of vocals. Upper mids are not as vivid as on the SA6, so guitars, pianos, strings, and brass are more nested into the rest of the soundscape.
SA6 has a smooth and inviting treble. There’s a dip around 6K, so it does not impart any sibilance or metallic sheen. The DK-3001 Pro high frequencies are not as delicately distilled as the SA6 but it’s a complete and satisfying treble with an attractive silvery quality.
Both models have decent front-to-back soundstage. The DK-3001 Pro has a wider stereo spread than the SA6.
Having been out for 3 years, the DK-3001 Pro is still just as relevant today as when it was first released. The SA6 similarly establishes itself as a benchmark within its price range. Neither IEM suffers from errant frequency issues or other anomalies. They are distinctly different from each other and yet both are markedly high fidelity, in that they reproduce the full experience of a recording without getting in the way of it.
You cannot go wrong with either of these wonderful earphones.