I think even in Vietnam, DUNU is still one of the common name to be referred among the IEM enthusiasts. This seems to be reasonable due to their history of 20 years in the audio industry, which gave them a lot of respects. For some reason though, some of the works of DUNU are quite challenging to find: while recent IEMs like the DK-3001 Pro are available in most audio storefront that I usually visit, I had to put more effort if I want to listen to some of their older stuff.
That being said, the DUNU DM-480 is one of DUNU's latest entry to the budget zone, let's see how it performs.
Before going into the post, if you are new, please read this before having any comments regarding my writing or point of view.
- Drivers: 2DD
- Price: 70$
This DUNU-480 was a loan unit from a member in the Vietnamese Audio community. Another sample is shown in the measurement was from Xuan Vu Audio, my subjective impression will mainly based on the loan unit
Build and Accessories:
- 3 pairs of black silicon ear tips (S/M/L)
- 3 pairs of white silicon ear tips (S/M/L)
- Unbalanced 3.5mm 2-pin cable
- Semi-hard storage case
- Product certificate and Company information card
- The IEM itself
Despite packaged in a fairly big box, the DM-480 packaging is quite simple. DUNU provides 2 types of tips for this IEM in different colors: White and Black. Both of these tips have similar nozzle (if you exclude the color, of course) with the only noticeable difference in the flange where the black ones is softer than their white counterpart.
The DM-480 also comes with a nice looking semi-hard case with fake cloth surface (I am not sure if I am calling this right) and the letter DUNU printed on top. The DM-480's cable has a straight jack on one end and strain relief on the other end. The Y-splitter is made from metal with the company name printed on. I quite dig the cable design honestly, in addition to a decent chin slider, the cable is also smooth while free from tangling.
Build wise, the DM-480 has a black 3D-printed shell with a pseudo-custom fit. The backplate has a somewhat "stoned" design with the company's name "Dunu" printed on it. The IEM is light, seals well in my small ear and provides a comfortable fit. Although, I have to mention that I do get some "suction" when wearing the DM-480 since it does not have any vent from what I see - Consider that as an important factor if your ears are sensitive to pressure.
Measurements are done on a calibrated IEC-711 clone. Expect a resonance peak at 8kHz.
My measurements are also raw and uncompensated, hence flat in graph is not flat in real life.
The DUNU DM-480 have a V-shaped signature due to the bass and upper-mid boost
It looks like bass is one of the main focus of this IEM so I think I will address this first. Comparing to similar priced IEM, I think the DM-480's bass lean more into the good part of the spectrum. Sub-bass extension is quite nice, the DUNU DM-480 was able to dig deep into the lower region, providing decent rumble for some of my bassy track. Not to mention, it is also well defined so this is definitely a plus in my book. Overall, DUNU seems to pour most of their soul into the bass region and I think they have achieved this goal to some extent.
What do you mean "to some extent"?
Well, if you account for my personal taste, then the DM-480 have too much bass to the point vocals sound recessed in some songs but comparing its performance to other IEMs I have ever heard, I don't think this is a big drawback at all.
The mid for most of the part is quite alright. The lower-mid seems to be boosted which gives male vocals and instruments in this region more body and prevents the DM-480 from being thin. That being said, when vocals aren't recessed in some songs, they will sound a bit dry. This dryness is also further enhanced by the DM-480's treble response, which makes cymbals and hi-hat lack airs and sparkles while still sound crispy - probably due to the emphasized 5.3kHz peak at the lower-treble before rolling off.
Soundstage/Imaging of the IEM is average for me. The DM-480 can sound messy in busy tracks but figuring out positional cues doesn't seem to stay far off from a lot of IEMs out there. Detail retrievals also meet the same fate, it's fine for the price so there isn't much I can talk about.
While I got some respect for the bass performance of the DM-480, sadly, due to how other region performs, I don't really feel confident to recommend this IEM with all my heart. Maybe it will be on my mind sometimes for people who wants to find a bass-centric IEM, but other than that, I feel like a lot of other IEMs around the price can be as good despite having slightly worse bass response.
Recommendation rating: Niches/Not recommended