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DUNU is one of the older chifi companies that I know of that managed to survive all the way into the “new world”, refreshing its old “DK” series lineup and further market-shaking releases such as the first (and currently only) pure-Beryllium dome dynamic driver IEM, the Luna.
I still have fond memories of the original DUNU Trident DN-12, one of my first encounters with the chifi hype train that I was also personally a part of. Of course, nearly ten years later I’ve since learnt a lot and changed my ways, but it’s still a nice memory to go back to knowing that at some point I, too, was once a bright-eyed, enthusiastic novice seeing the good in every set of headphones I listened to rather than the pedantic, jaded veteran that I am today.
Hot on the heels of the Luna comes the Zen, a single dynamic driver IEM with a magnesium alloy diaphragm, touted to be the result of “trickle-down technology” presumably from the Luna itself. And at a price of $700 which is a whole grand under the Luna’s $1,700 price tag, certainly an IEM that’s far more accessible.
Now I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Luna; while it had great technicals and was a big step forward for IEM technology, it was severely bottlenecked by its tuning and so was rather hard to recommend in general. The Zen has the pricing to be better general recommendation for sure, but it’s also not cheap for a dynamic driver IEM.
So I guess now IEF attempts to answer the question: how good is the Zen actually?
Product page: https://www.linsoul.com/products/dunu-zen
Driver configuration: single DD
This Zen was kindly provided by Linsoul.
My unboxing posts are pretty much the only times I’ll ever talk about build quality, accessories and the like. I’m not really the person to ask about these things as I don’t really care about them that much.
- Adapters for cable
- 2.5mm balanced
- 3.5mm SE
- 4.4mm balanced
Cable: 8-wire round braid. On the stiffer side, not my favourite.
Build: metal build, pretty heavy as far as IEMs go. No complaints on this end.
Fit: heavy (as mentioned) but my ears are fine with the coin-shaped build.
- Tuning-wise, the Zen is… safe. For the most part I don’t have any complaints, though I’m not exactly wowed by it either.
- There is virtually zero air in the Zen’s presentation. Calling it “muffled” would be going too far, but the Zen is at the point where it’s absolutely lacking treble extension, so instruments like percussions just sound dead (or at the very best, muted).
- Resolution is alright, but definitely a few steps down from the Luna. Not sure if it’s $700 material here.
- Kind of a “nothing” IEM if I’m brutally honest. Not quite sure what its target audience is or what it’s supposed to specialise in.
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