Dunu Zen Pro iem Review - fuck me these are good

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by rhythmdevils, Nov 23, 2021.

  1. limesoft

    limesoft Almost "Made"

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    I agree somewhat, that's why I try to find a few multiple measurements, and contrast those with iem measurements I already have (from same source set ofcourse). I can see the Zen Pro is relatively tamed in the upper ranges (in good way), but those dips and peaks I mentioned I've seen in couple of different source measurements - I guess overall they're following a somewhat gentle downwards trajectory, so they might not rear their heads too often depending on the track... a frequency sweep up there might show some wobble, where an acoustic jazz track might not.

    The Sony IERM7 i have is generally touted as warm iem and I agree for the most part, but it has bit of dip and peak around 12khz and that breaks the coherence of an otherwise nice and controlled frequency response, and makes some tracks for me unlistenable - especially on EDM tracks that have fair energy up there. (unless using a super organic with delicate treble source)

    I guess I will stay put for some time and try and see some more measurements (I trust SBAF most about these things, also impressions).. IEM treble control is a major pain point for me. If I get even an inkling of a treble etch or wobble I can't unhear it
     
  2. Claud

    Claud Living the ORFAS dream

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    To clear up a point of conjecture, Right out of the box and out of my breakin rig, the Pro sounded OK, but not the equal of my fully broken in non pro. It was not as dynamic sounding and a touch shrill. This morning it seems to sound as good as my non-pro. I have not tip rolled the Pro yet and that may be the problem.
     
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  3. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    OK so these are pretty darn good. Like finally at long last us DD lovers have something well tuned and technically proficient in DD form good. I'll start with some negatives to get them out of the way.
    • There's a bit of a metallic/hard edged timbre, and combined with some extra energy in the lower treble, they can sound a bit aggressive with some sources and recordings. This latter issue is exacerbated by bad seal with sub-optimal tips. See below.
    • The sub-bass is a little rolled off.
    • They are very tip sensitive, with a long stem that tips actually slide way down on leading to shallow fit, bad seal and all the accompanying sound issues. I ended up settling on the Spinfit CP145.
    • Isolation is just average. Not as bad as the Isabellae, but not as good as say the UM 3DT.
    Outside of those issues, the Zen Pro are outstanding. They have a well balanced tuning with very good (for DD) treble extension. Overall I'd characterize them as just slightly warm neutral. Mids are pretty even - both male and female voices sound natural, with male voices having body and female voices never grating. Cellos have body and texture, violins have bite. Electric guitar timbre is exceptional. Resolution is as good as I've heard on DD, without relying on painfully boosted upper mids. Micro dynamics are great. Upright bass, bowed instruments -- all sound as textured and realistic as I've heard on IEMs. Treble like I said is very good for a DD. Cymbals sound real with more impact than a BA and little grain. Soundstage is good, not freaky big like the Solaris but good for an IEM.

    I also just got the Cayin RU6, a 250 dollar R2R dongle. It pairs very well with the Zen Pro. The R2R naturalness and lack of DS hard leading edges tames the Zen Pros metallic timbre and makes them more natural and less aggressive sounding. I lose a little detail compared to my AKM4497 based source, but the tradeoff is well worth it. Since I don't listen to a ton of sub-bass heavy music, the RU6 has solved my main complaint about the Zen Pro. I expect the pairing to by my go to for a long time.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 10, 2021
  4. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Thanks for the review. Do you compare this 'metallic' sound to the Focal's, and if so is it more or less than the Clear's?
     
  5. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    To echo crenca, are we talking Utopia Be-related mosquito tizz/ overexposure of the treble with the Zen Pro? Or like poorly damped aluminum tweeter peakiness? If its the Be driver syndrome, for whatever reason I'm super sensitive to that, so these are likely a no-go for me.
     
  6. Friday

    Friday Friend

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    I'm inclined to attribute the treble peaks to the stock SPC cable. Tried it with both the stock cable and a 6-year-old PW audio No. 5 which is a pure copper cable. Stock cable has a bit of exaggerated hardness/ringing in sibilants and initial cymbal hits, but these largely go away with the No. 5. With the latter there is still sibilance when present in the recordings, it just doesn't rip your ears off. My guess is that a decent (non-expensive) copper cable should take care of most treble issues.
     
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  7. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    I’m still confused about the tip situation.
    The Final E and Spiral Dot++ are so tight on the stem that I doubt the intent is to push them all the way?
    Also, I personally get a better fit when they’ve only fitted up to the ring on the stem (what you would call “deep fit”?).
    Edit: they’re annoying to store away in that configuration, coz they’re rather long (longer than CA Ara).
     
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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
  8. Friday

    Friday Friend

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    Up to you I guess, as long as the tips don't fall off. In their earlier models, Dunu provided tuning rings to allow users to adjust the tip position, so the stem ring here might serve the same purpose
     
  9. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I haven’t tried the stock cable but I don’t hear any of this and I’m using OCC copper. I imagine I would hear it the cable were not part of the reason for it I’m very sensitive to this sort of thing.

    I guess I have to try the stock cable and report back.
     
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  10. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    @crenca and @yotacowboy - To be honest, I've never heard Focals, outside a Focal Pro way back when. But when hearing that hard metallic timbre, I actually thought this must be what people are talking about with the Focals, FWIW. But my experience with R2R, and @rhythmdevils and @Friday's experience with copper suggest that the problem is not immutable.
     
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  11. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    I have a PW #5 MMCX cable I'll try on Zen Pro to see if I notice any difference.
     
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  12. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

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    A little off topic, but are there any decent copper cables that you can switch between 2 pin and MMCX, as well as between balanced and SE? It would be nice to be able to just buy one nice cable and not have to worry about compatibility...
     
  13. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    I'm sorry, this isn't a direct answer but I've seen these adapters before (on Drop) and wondered if they're any good:

    [​IMG]

    I'd be concerned about them being fragile, though: https://www.oeaudio.net/adapter
     
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  14. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Your favorite 2.5mm cable and:

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002197795819.html

    https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000240601042.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.37414c4dIixq5E

    Haven't tried the ddHiFi things myself - I'm using the adapters from the MEE cable, which is no longer available at Drop and is $100(!) from MEE - but I have pairs of the Ali 2-pin to MMCX and MMCX to 2-pin converters, and they seem sturdy enough.
     
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  15. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

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    I'm going to wait on the loaner to see if "metallic/hard edged timbre" scares me off
     
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  16. limesoft

    limesoft Almost "Made"

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    Is it metallic leaning like the JVC FDX1?
     
  17. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Friend

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    Its like the metallic sound of a focal headphone, but much less so. Its only slightly present in the upper mids. So you will hear some annoyance with adele's siblances in her new album 30. Tips make a huge difference. I use small penon tips instead of the usual medium, but don't necessary go for a seal as i'm inserting the earphone. This allows for deep insertion that lets the iem body to actually fit snuggly and complete the seal. I don't find any subbass roll off, or any leanness. I think when I put on azla sednafits, def didnt' have enough bass, and had a flat sound with the loss of resolution and soundstaging as well. I think this makes the tonal balance richer and tubelike. I didn't try any of the stock eartips. And no you don't need an r2r dongle dac, or a fancy copper cable to change the sound. Iphone dongle with stock cable already sounds amazing. Even if it doesn't have the tightness, clarity and slam of the desktop setup, its still the preferred setup.
     

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    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
  18. Ksaurav402

    Ksaurav402 Friend

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    I have Dunu Hulk copper cable that comes with SE and balanced(2.5,4.4) connectors that are fairly easy to exchange. I got it on sale in Canjam. Very nice cable and pairs well with JVC FDX01. Although we may have to buy separate adapter from MMCX to 2 pin conversion
     
  19. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Just my 2c, based on Crin's measurements against the FDX1 with medium filters. (I actually haven't heard the Zen Pro)

    [​IMG]

    The slight metallic edge that some are hearing is likely related to uneven treble > 7kHz. This can usually be mitigated with a strip of micropore tape across the nozzle. So, if anyone's willing to try that simple mod, I'd recommend starting with about 30% nozzle coverage and increasing strip width until that metallic tinge is gone.

    Here's an example of what this does on the UM 3DT and I reckon it should work similarly on the Zen Pro:
    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/uni...-3dt-announcement-thread.949402/post-16283718
     
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  20. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Friend

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    Make sure to open your carrying case, There are more tips in there along with other goodies
     

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