Dunu Vulkan's Review
Dunu is no stranger in the audiophile community, especially when it comes to their mid-fi or even high end product offering. I was very lucky to be able to review the budget offering from Dunu which is the Titan S and I am in love with it, it is still my daily driver until today. Today I have with me the Vulkan which is a 2 DD 4 BA config IEM. The driver config is certainly unique even the faceplate itself is exquisite.
As with most Dunu products, they do pay attention to the packaging a lot and I have a very good unboxing experience from it. The box consists of Vulkan itself, three types of eartips, two types which are stored in the ear tip case. The cable that came with Vulkan is very soft yet feels durable. You are able to purchase it separately if you wish to. It is a 4 Core, High-Purity, Silver-Plated OCC Copper Type 1 Litz (DUW-02S) with a quick switch modular plug system. The plug switching mechanism seems very durable and it is very easy to switch them out. I alternate between 3.5 and 4.4
The shell is by no means small, so those with small ears might want to take note of this.
The shell is made out of aluminium and it features a very beautiful and exquisite faceplate that’s inspired by Mokume Gane (mixed-metal laminate with distinctive layered patterns). The iem itself is very solid to hold, in terms of fitting and comfort, you need to spend some time to find the right tip for your ears in order for it to seal properly. I settled with the grey colored one.
Macbook Air M2 Apple Music/Tidal -> Vulkan (Straight out from MBA’s 3.5mm jack)
Macbook Air M2 Apple Music/Tidal -> Dunu DTC 500 -> Vulkan (4.4)
Macbook Air M2 Apple Music/Tidal -> iFi iDSD Nano Black Label 5.3 Firmware (Without GTO and PCM Filter set at Listening) -> Vulkan (3.5)
Tempotec V6 -> Vulkan (4.4)
To my ears, the Dunu Vulkan sounds neutral with a slight boost on the sub bass. The timbre sounds natural to my ears and I did not hear any BA timbre from them. Good note weight overall. They are not a detail monster, but they are quite unforgiving when it comes to bad recordings. My listening impression is based on stock cable and stock grey colored L sized eartip
Sub bass extension is good although it doesn’t really rumble hard, but it made its presence when it is called for, i certainly wouldn’t call this a basshead iem, but it provides just enough impact for it to be musical in my opinion
Bass texture is good but not excellent, Mid bass is just enough, although i crave for a little more for that extra oomph, but it is good enough with good body and warmth to overall presentation
Bass is quite fast and it has no problem keeping up in tracks like Slipknot’s People = Shit, decent speed. Doesn’t sound bloated at all.
The mids of Vulkan has very good warmth to it, quite lush sounding, the tuning kinda bring the vocal forward and separately them very well from the instruments, vocal focused to my ears
Vocal positioning is not too in your face nor recessed sounding, sounds just right to my ears
Male vocal does lack a little texture in my opinion, but other than that, it sounds quite good, when listening to songs of male with low baritone voice, it is slightly lacking in terms of the texture, doesn’t sound as full as it should sound, lacking a little warmth i’d say (Zhao Peng’s The Moon Represents my Heart)
Female vocals on the other hand are excellent, very sweet sounding and good texture, listening to Billie Eilish’s TV with the volume cranked up on the iDSD Nano BL, literally gave me goosebumps, for those who are sensitive to the upper mids, this might pose as a con rather than enjoyment because it might be a little un-bearable to them, however, this can be remedied by tip rolling it to Final Type E’s eartip to slightly tame the upper mids if you are sensitive, as for me, i am good with the stock setup
While vocal being the prominent one in the mids, the mid range instruments are not lacking as well, it is well separated and they don’t overpower each other
Treble is smooth and non fatiguing at all, not sibilant at all
Treble extension is quite good but not excellent
Detail retrieval is good but can be better in my opinion, while the detail retrieval is good, the smooth treble response might be perceived as lacking detail but it is actually not
The soundstage on Vulkan is amazing, it is wide and tall, it is very evident in Toto’s Africa’s Live
Imaging is good whereas instruments separation is excellent, it stays well layered even in busy track like People = Shit
While the Vulkan is easy to drive, it can sound reasonably loud even out from Apple Dongle
Its true potential is unlocked when it is being fed with better source and also power, i do notice with more power, the bass is a little bit more controlled and the soundstage just opens up a little bit more
Tempotec’s V6 DAP is sufficient to drive them properly to my ears, on balanced connection 4.4
Not to mention, Vulkan also have very good synergy with Dunu’s DTC500 Dongle
Comparison (Rose Technics QT9 MK2S)
Well, i honestly don’t think this is a fair comparison in terms of pricing and config, but this is the closest to what i have in terms of config and pricing (1 DD with 4BA)
In terms of tonality, both are quite different, QT9 is more on the neutral and slight bright whereas Vulkan is going for the slightly warmer/colored tonality
In terms of timbre, i personally preferred Vulkan’s rendition of timbre instead of QT9, QT9’s timbre sounds a little cool to my ears, just a little, while Vulkan’s has got a bit warmth and good body to it
In terms of detail retrieval, QT9 is better at it as it is more revealing compared to Vulkan, at the same time, it is also a little unforgiving when it comes to poorly recorded track whereas Vulkan is kinda “smoother” to listen to, i would put it as QT9 is less musical and slightly analytical whereas Vulkan is colored and musical
Well, in my opinion, Vulkan’s aim is not to be the most detailed set nor it claimed to be one, rather it exists to bring something unique to the table, a harman tuning with a sub bass boost and big soundstage.While it may not please the purist or detail head, rather it is aimed at someone who is looking for musicality in their music rather than to hear every nuances of detail and ended up feeling fatigue from it.
I am more than happy to recommend this set to anyone who is in the lookout for an IEM that’s musical, but, if you are looking to analyse every nuance nor if you are expecting it to be very revealing, you might wanna stay away from this set. This is not a con in my opinion but rather a different target group.
*This unit is sent to me from Dunu for MY’s tour in exchange for this review. I received no compensation nor am I in any way influenced to produce this review, all thoughts are of my own.
Dunu Vulkan’s Official Store Purchase Link - Non affiliated