Dunu Zen Pro iem Review - fuck me these are good

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

  1. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I find that IEMs and HPs take on the timbre of their housing material. Thus while I hear the spike on the 3DT, I don't hear it as metallic sounding. It has a softer "woodier" timbre, consistent with the relative hardness of its stabilized wood + resin shell. Similarly with JVC woody IEMs, which have some upper mids or treble peaks, but I would still describe their timbre as more "woody" than metallic. I also heard the ZMF Auteur as "woody". All of them work very well for wooden instruments, to my ears, and not as well for metallic instruments like brass and cymbals.

    On the other hand, I heard the JVC FD01 as metallic, and also hear the Kato as metallic. Both are well tuned, so its not annoying, it's just the timbre is harder than a softer shell IEM and works better for metallic instruments than wood ones.

    What I think can be annoying about the Dunu Pro if not finessed is the combination of metallic timbre + that 8k peak.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 4
    • List
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2021
  2. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    5,324
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Vancouver BC
    I haven't heard the others, but I'm with you on the JVCs that it's a timbral rather than a tonal thing. Not sure about the effect of shell composition, but I've found it to be very source-dependent - sources on the harsher side exaggerate it, while smoother, more euphonic sources reduce or eliminate it. Others' comments above make me think the Zen Pros might be responding the same way. Which of the two do you find the more metallic from the same source?

    I wouldn't read too much into the measured 8k peaks, there's a coupler resonance there and different amplitudes of that peak for different phones might reflect different compositions and geometries at the tip & nozzle. Unless you really know you're hearing that frequency, of course.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  3. limesoft

    limesoft Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    270
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    that’s exactly my concern - double whammy of uneven treble and metallic timbre. I’m just about able to handle the fdx1 with its metallic timbre but smooth downward sloping treble.

    I found those measurements to be fairly representative on what to expect - most iems I’ve purchased with similar dips and peaks in treble have proven to be etched or just a bit wrong sounding
     
  4. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2019
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, British Columbia
    I have a pair of those in reverse (MMCX -> 2 Pin) and find them ok for brief demos with IEMs that have the wrong kind of connector on them for the cable you have...but for extended listening sessions I found that the extension makes the cable stick out awkwardly at the connection point-- it's especially noticeable on cables with earhooks. I personally wouldn't recommend them as a long term solution.

    In other news I hooked up my Zen Pro to a PW Audio #5 and Cayin N3pro and the result is very nice-- though it took away a bit of the energy and bite which I've come to love about the sound. And also, as @Stuff Jones said a bit of the resolution is gone. I'll be leaving the #5 cable on I think but I prefer the sound out of the M8 on the whole.

    Regarding that 8K peak-- I don't hear anything peaky at all. There is certainly a lot of energy up top but it's balanced by an adequate amount of body in the mid-bass/lower mids. I don't ever hear anything painfully sharp, pointed or piercing out of the Zen Pro. I also don't personally think the metallic timbre is that bad-- in fact I'm inclined to say it's part of the charm and appeal of Zen Pro's sound-- it's never grating or tingy or anything. Electric guitars sound absolutely incredible. Mind you this is through the M8 which is a warm leaning but highly resolving source. YMMV and all that.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 6
    • List
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2021
  5. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

    Friend Staff Member Gearmaster
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Likes Received:
    6,734
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Bay Area
    What I think @Stuff Jones is describing as "metallic timbre" is what I hear as very fast transients. I don't hear any timbre issues, but on further listening with tracks I know very well, with some amps the Zen Pro has overly sharp/fast transients and the leading edges of notes can sound sharp. I suspect the impulse decay has a lot of overshoot with the Zen Pro and then settles very quicckly and this is what you are hearing, not the enclosure or any peaks.

    And I think a copper cable helps with this. And synergy with amps helps with this. Out of my Liquid Gold X, there is no noise, but the attacks are way too sharp. Our of the M6 Pro AKM version, it is much smoother. Out of the ipiod touch headphone out, it's even smoother, though the bass becomes a bit loose. So finding the right amp synergy and getting a copper cable I think can at least minimize if not eliminate this. The copper cable I have linked to on Aliexpress costs $40 and sounds as good as $400 cables from None, Arctic Cables, Forza. So it's a great choice, if you can afford the Zen Pro you can afford a $40 cable. It's a little thick so weight could be an issue, but it's super flexible, more so than many skinny iem cables. More flexible than the stock cable. .

    Angled MMCX version (ask for an ear hook when you order)
    Non angled MMCX version

    I do not think there are any peaks. @limesoft you should stop staring at iem graphs. They are not trustworthy, esspecially for the treble range. How many times has @purr1n said this when he posts iem measurements? "Do not trust iem FR measurements past XKhz". (I can't remember what number exactly he often says). So sitting there fretting about peaks you see in the treble responses of an iem without hearing it is measurebating IMO. I honestly don't trust any FR range of iem measurements except those taken by @purr1n and even then I'm highly skeptical.

    I wouldn't say anything if you heard this, because I'll never argue with what anyone hears, but speculation from iem graphs is going too far IMO.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
  6. deafenears

    deafenears Rando

    Contributor
    Joined:
    May 4, 2018
    Likes Received:
    26
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Earth
    The DUNU cables lets you switch between balanced and SE. Effect Audio also offers a service to terminate existing cables to use their ConX connectors allowing switching between 2-pin and MMCX as well as a couple of others. It's a small fee (something like $90 for the service plus $50 for the ConX connectors plus shipping to Singapore).

    Back on the topic of the Zen, I believe these came from the limited edition DUNU 17th Anniversary DD IEMs. I have the 17th, but would love to hear the Zen Pro and see how they compare.
     
  7. limesoft

    limesoft Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    270
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    I am a bit of a chronic measurebator for sure.. i'm just extra cautious as I've messed up so many times before with IEMs where I looked at some measurements and thought well those treble peaks are probably not there, i'll just get this IEM anyway it'll be ok everyone says don't trust them frequency graphs (Fiio FH3 being last one) - and perhaps those exact peaks weren't there but man there was something off and etched about it... anyway I'll shut up now because i have bat ears and not everyone can hear treble etch like me.. I'll just steer clear from this one for a little while until more impression come through, and maybe more SBAF measurements so I can indulge my measurebating sessions
     
  8. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,850
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    Let me try to explain: a peak in a graph depicts an acoustic resonance, which is for real. But an acoustic resonance isn't just a property of the sound wave itself, but always the result of how the sound wave interacts with its environment.

    And that's the crux of the matter, there are many different sound environments involved: acoustic chambers within the IEM itself, nozzle, tips, the measurement coupler, our ear canals. We see a peak in a graph, but we don't know which environment caused it. Is it due to the IEM itself? Then it's likely that more people will hear it. Is it caused by certain tips? Then someone using other tips might not hear it. Or is it caused by the measurement coupler? Then someone's ear canal, which is sufficiently different from the coupler might not reproduce that resonance at all.

    Bottom line, we need to be open-minded and pragmatic about this. Uneven treble in a measurement graph is just a hint that something might sound off for some people. That's why I'd say, IF you hear a slight metallic edge and it bothers you, then you might want to try that micropore tape mod. But if you hear nothing wrong, then don't worry and just enjoy.
     
    • Epic Epic x 8
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 7
    • List
  9. limesoft

    limesoft Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    270
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    London
    When I start messing with micropore tapes I know I've already lost the game... the micropore typically affects something else alongside the peak.. soon after my depression sets in; I start thinking and experimenting with different micropore materials, insomnia triggers, tinnitus rings and I convince myself that only solution is to get a 2000 $ tube amp to fix the treble peak and improve my quality of life by 200%

    Something similar did actually happen to me with 64 Audio U12t - I didn't really solve the problem unfortunately with the treble, I felt it was always lurking in the background.. in the end i sold the U12t, went back to my girl next door (Andromeda) and kept the Woo WA8 which also proved nice companion with other headphones.

    Sorry I don't mean to side track the focus on this thread which is the Zen Pro- I will keep quiet now (second attempt!)
     
    • Epic Epic x 2
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2021
  10. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

    Staff Member Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,489
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Clear, clear water
    Dunu Zen Pro

    Vs OG Zen
    In my previous OG Zen review, I found it to have a slightly downward W shaped signature and upon hearing the old Zen again, I think that still holds true. The Zen Pro continues with same overall slightly downward sloping signature, maintaining its forward nature, but is much less W shaped. Even though Dunu has stated the tuning difference is in the lower midrange (Pro is more filled in here), the psychoacoustic effect is not only a warmer, thicker note in the Pro, but also that of smoother lower treble. The treble peak in the OG I noted around 7.5k is still there but seems more muted and certainly less edgy compared to the old Zen. While it’s a minor tuning tweak over the OG Zen, if feels like a significant gain in overall enjoyment. For me, the Zen Pro renders the OG Zen obsolete.

    The metallic tinge that some SBAF users have mentioned seems to be tied to the lower treble peak, which is much more noticeable in the OG Zen. With the Pro, it’s often only noticeable in some songs that are already a bit hot in that area, like Bowie’s Fame from his 2002 Greatest Hits. It’s definitely metallic sounding here, however it’s completely different from the 2016 remastered version on Young Americans. No metallic tinge here. In most songs, for my ears, it seems to be a non-issue. In another more recent release example, Black Label Society’s new album Doom Crew Inc, the Pro is full bodied, slightly warm and completely smooth.


    Vs Moondrop Kato
    Zen Pro’s bass is more palpable, solid and better textured. Kato bass is a little bloomier and softer, lending to a bit more overall warmth.

    Through the midrange Zen Pro is more forward, clearer and more resolving. In contrast Kato is a little warmer, less precise but a bit smoother. For instance, listening to the Stones Doom and Gloom, Mick’s voice is smooth and pleasant on Kato, whereas on Zen Pro the spitting staccato delivery is more noticeable and defined, as well as having a little bit of sibilance. There’s an extra layer of clarity on Zen Pro for better or worse. Where everything is comparatively a little smoothed over on Kato, it’s more separated and isolated in space on the Zen Pro.

    Kato and Zen Pro’s treble peaks seem similarly placed. Even so, Zen Pro’s peak is of higher amplitude and Kato seems a bit broader, as well as having a hair more lower treble presence overall. Even though Kato seems to be a hair brighter due to this, Zen Pro is just more resolving up top. For instance, in John Corabi’s acoustic version of of his Motley Crue song, Hooligan’s Holiday, the tambourine zills are pushed to the back and hard to hear on Kato, but on Zen Pro they are not only more noticeable, they are instantly recognizable for what they are and not lost in the mix like they were on Kato.

    At less than $200 Kato’s value is stupendously good. However, its technical performance may leave some resolution whores craving more. The Zen Pro may just be the scratch to that itch.


    Vs Moondrop Illumination
    Illumination is my personal dynamic driver neutral reference. This is an Etymotic ER4XR type of neutral reference. Next to Illumination, it’s easy to hear the Zen Pro’s deep and mid bass elevation compared to the more linear Illumination. It’s also easy to hear the relative lack of lower treble presence in Zen Pro, below its peak, compared to the more filled in treble of Illumination. While Illumination is brighter overall, it doesn’t have a ‘spotlight’ lower treble peak in direct comparison. While Illumination is tonally more even and accurate to my ears, the resolution of the Zen Pro cannot be denied. Where the Illumination falters is in overall resolution and the Zen Pro just consistently digs deeper across the board. While Illumination is able to keep up with Zen Pro in bass texturing, albeit at lesser amplitude, just like it’s less neutral Moondrop stable mate Kato it's a bit behind in resolution (to a lesser extent) to Zen Pro in the midrange and treble for similar reasons.


    Final Take
    Dunu continues to make strides in the right direction, and edges closer to it’s flagship Luna’s technical performance in a more affordable package with a more natural sounding overall tonality. The Zen Pro is easily recommended and of course will be going on my list.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 16
    • Epic Epic x 6
    • List
  11. YMO

    YMO Chewbacca's hairy brother

    Friend
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2018
    Likes Received:
    7,763
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    DUVALLL-904
    Read this post about my review of the regular Zen, since it mostly covers the Zen Pro.

    Setups:

    Mac mini via Roon or BubbleUPnP > PI2AES [Coax Output] > Schiit Modi MB > Schiit IEMagni

    Google Pixel 6 > Shanling UP4 Bluetooth/Amp

    Impressions:

    I am not going to make a really long post here, since the thread that I linked above mostly explains the Zen Pro on stuff like design/etc. I only used the stock Dunu and the stock tips that came with the Zen Pro.

    To get to the point, these are good, really good for the middle of the road type of person. These are a nice improvement over the regular Zen, since IMO the Zen sucks on louder volumes. The upfront nature of the Zen is still on the Zen Pros, but I don't feel like I want take a hammer and smash the Zen this time around. I felt that there's nice quality of life improvements with the tuning adjustments, including making them more accessible to the non-J/K/Vocal Fetish/Weeb Music crowd.

    If you want heavy sub bass, Zen Pros aren't for you. They do have a sub bass roll off but I find them to be acceptable for electronic music. For most other tracks the bass is more than sufficient and it does hold enough body and weight to get the job done without being overblown. As previously stated, the Zen Pros have an upfront midrange which depending on your taste you will like or don't like. I'm personally in the 50/50 camp on since some tracks I love the upfront nature of the Zen Pros, but on other heavy vocal tracks it was a little bit much. I can bet money that most people will overlook this part and appreciate how non-BS the Zen Pro does on the Midrange without being dumb and provides higher than Elex performance but less than Clear performance on an IEM. Speaking of Focals, I did get minor metallic treble on some brighter recordings. Can be an issue for some, either match the Zen Pros with warmer setups or play not bright-recording tracks. Other than that, the treble continues its downward path the higher it gets.

    Zen Pros slices and dices, and for the MSRP I think they are really worth it for a higher end DD IEM that doesn't suck. However, I'm not really in love with them. I stated earlier that on some tracks the upfront nature of the Zen Pros is great, on other tracks it isn't ideal. After a while the upfront nature of the Zen Pros were getting on my nerves to the point I brought out the JVC HA-FWX1 (the woodies JVCs being sold by Drop) and I say much better over the Zen Pros. I guess as of late I prefer warmer/darker/few rows back sounding IEMs (which the HA-FWX1 is a warm non-fucked up tuning by Drop). But also I currently have five IEMs in my collection that handles different needs. I can see the Zen Pros being great for someone who just want to have one major IEM in their collection for portable use and prefer the good all-rounder than a specialist approach (or you just want to have one IEM and that's it). Also, these don't have any of the BA sound weaknesses since these are DD IEMs. Speaking of DD IEMs, I bet you my left nut that these will preform well on tube amp setups (someone put them with a DNA Starlett with a good DAC, I know the Zen Pros can scale).

    Thanks for reading my impressions when I'm not 100% due to the booster shot I gotten yesterday.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 14
    • List
  12. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,385
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Meow Parlour
    I have a few quick comments about the zen pro.

    First, these are very nice sounding iems that I think deserve to be recommended, with caveats (of course).

    As always, I drive my iems with an apex glacier amp, medium loud.

    The bass is present and extends well, but just short of the energy and presence needed for use outside or on a train. The same iem an introvert listens to in a quiet room with no light on isn't going to be reviewed as well if it's used on commute with background noise. Same with loud and quiet listeners (equal loudness contours ahoy).
    In addition to quiet listening I listened to them on a 4 hour trainride home for the holiday and then again on the way back, so I can say these could use just a little more bass. If you listen solely in libraries, then they are fine.

    As for the mids, men's voices sound right to me, lead instruments are well detailed, not too warm. The treble is a little extra present and forward for me. It's not a balanced sound and there is a bright edge to the lower trebl...what's that? Oh, you've all been talking about that? Right. Well, it fell short of painfully sharp at the volume I listen, but over longer listening sessions with some music mastered a little on the bright side it can be just a bit tiring.

    Generally, the longer the listening session, the more a darker tonality is preferable as bright earphones sound superior for a minute, but can be fatiguing over hours. That's why good stage monitors from Sensaphonics or Future Sonics sound the way they do--a 3 hour concert has to be survivable for the artist's hearing.

    Anyway, these are technically very capable DD iems, a bit behind the best detail retrieving dynamic driver iems, the ie900.
    Even with their bright and forward lower treble, the zen pro will likely still be appealing to DD iem fans. I wouldn't choose them for commuters or people who listen out of doors. Honestly, I haven't had a good opinion of DUNU as a maker of mediocre, indifferently made iems, but these are a big step in the right direction. They put in the effort to make a real flagship iem and they deserve some recognition for that.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 13
    • List
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
  13. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Likes Received:
    6,017
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    NOVA
    Home Page:
    Initial thought after comparing Zen Pro w/OG Solaris* out of Shanling M6 Pro 21: I'm glad I bought Solaris used for roughly the same price as the Zen Pro new.

    Zen Pro's slightly peaky treble doesn't jive with me. It sounds slightly metallic. Bass is okay (actually, pretty good), but Solaris has better lower frequency extension. Mids are about the same, but Solaris has better detail and nuance in the mids. Sorry folks, I'm not terribly impressed with the Zen Pro with this combo. Engagement factor/coherence is probably about 85% of OG Solaris. Zen Pro just isn't as convincing by more than a little bit. I'll play around more tomorrow with different amps/chains. I tried taming them with the recommended copper cable (and some other thiccboi copper cables I have) and shit still just sounded ringy/overhung in the treble. Anyhow, my apologies if my impressions don't help elucidate, but the Zen Pros end up being slightly fatiguing for me.

    * I have no idea which version of OG my Solari actually are, only that they're non-SE. I know folks have measured like 15 different versions; I don't know which one of those I actually own.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 6
    • List
  14. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

    Staff Member Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,489
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Clear, clear water
    @yotacowboy the real taming of that treble for you, short of EQ, will be deeper fit. Maybe try smaller tips to help facilitate deeper fit. Deeper fit will push your natural resonance peak a bit higher in frequency and lower the amplitude. Sometimes it’s enough to make something fantastic, sometimes it’s not.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
  15. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

    Friend Staff Member Gearmaster
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2020
    Likes Received:
    6,734
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Funny, I hear a pretty big peak in the OG Solaris treble but not in the Zen Pro
     
  16. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2019
    Likes Received:
    411
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, British Columbia
    I've never heard any peaks but the lower treble/upper mids can definitely border on strident at times...but for me it's been source sensitive. The Zen Pro seems a bit more energetic up top with my Shanling M8 but With the Astell Kern SR25ii or Cayin RU6 DAC I don't have any issues. YMMV there. It's been about two years since I've heard an OG Solaris so I won't comment there.
     
  17. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Likes Received:
    6,017
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    NOVA
    Home Page:
    Thanks for the advice. I used the Zen Pro inserted until the housing was flush against my concha, so I can't reasonably get much deeper insertion. But I'll try stepping down one size with the tips. Right now I get good seal with the Azla's in size L, but going to ML might not seal as well. Also going to try the stock tips.

    It's definitely (too much) bite in the 6-7kHz range that's the issue for me. Playing with eq through Roon, the Zen Pro is about 2dB too hot right in that range. But that's just me and my preference. Honestly, I was hoping these were better than Solaris, given some of the feedback in this thread/loaner tour. So far I'm just not able to square with that proposition. Listening to the Zen Pro straight out of 14" MBPro right now, and it's a touch more tamed than Shanling M6 Pro 21, but not as obvious as eq-ing. Will spend more time today futzing with black boxes containing electronics...
     
  18. Stuff Jones

    Stuff Jones Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,562
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Just to echo Rockwell and SS, the Zen Pro are the most tip sensitive and source sensitive IEMs I've heard. When I first got them, my impressions were similar to yours. It was only after tip rolling through about a half dozen different kinds and getting the Cayin RU6 that my impressions turned wholly positive. Now I don't hear the initial brightness/metallic timbre issues and as I wrote elsewhere, the pairing is my favorite portable setup I've heard to date.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 3
    • List
  19. jaker782

    jaker782 Almost "Made"

    Contributor
    Joined:
    May 6, 2019
    Likes Received:
    269
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Maryland
    While my impressions don't really deviate much from the consensus, I'll do my best to provide some useful thoughts and at the very least, another datapoint to consider.

    So, let's start with comfort. I absolutely love the ergonomics of these and due to the small size and nozzle length/orientation, I am able to get a pretty good seal with the shells flush against my ears with the provided Sedna tips. Long term comfort is excellent, and I never had an issue with seal breakage or having to readjust them at all over time. These are a win for me in the comfort category for sure!

    Sound-wise, the tonal balance on the Zen Pro is terrific with nice imaging, excellent dynamics, and good overall resolution. The bass response is very good, with nice energy, punch and slam. However, I do detect some sub-bass roll-off with these. They are not bass cannons by any means, but the quality overall is well above average.

    Lower mids are slightly forward in the mix, with a nice, weighty male vocal that works great for rock music. The transition from the mid-bass into the low mids is seamless with no noticeable bass bleed that can lead to congestion in the mids. Middle frequencies are well separated, clear, and extremely natural sounding.

    Upper mids/lower treble are a bit too forward for my preferences. While the pinna gain is toned down a bit from the OG Zen, there is still some shout here, which does lead to noticeable fatigue, especially with female vocals. For me, the upper mids definitely walk the line of being a bit too energetic and peaky at times, albeit not as pronounced as the OG Zen, which was over the top for me. Perhaps the slight fatigue is from the metallic tinge I can hear in the treble. Overall, the upper frequencies are detailed and well extended, just not as natural and smooth as I would prefer.

    Comparison with 7HZ Timeless:

    Timeless is also a well balanced iem with an extremely agreeable, natural tonality that I think surpasses the Zen Pro. The most obvious difference between these two for me is dynamics. Zen Pro is far more energetic and attention grabbing with much greater dynamics while the Timeless is much more laid back with softer transients and flatter dynamics. I guess this is the difference between a well-implemented single dynamic driver and a planar, at least in my experience. In fact, I'd say from memory Timeless reminds me of the DCA Aeon or Hifiman Edition X V2. Both are outstanding planar headphones with a nice balanced tonality, but on the sleepy side with less than stellar dynamics. Between Timeless and Zen Pro, Timeless is actually the iem I'd probably reach for more often due to its more laid back, easy listening, smoother presentation that doesn't ever seem to cross the threshold into fatigue territory. Despite the comparatively softer, less dynamic presentation, I still find Timeless to be a wildly engaging iem and a no-brainer for the price.

    While the Zen Pro does a lot right, the nit picks I have with the intermittent shoutiness and metallic tinge in the upper mids/lower treble that can lead to a bit of fatigue for my ears keeps it from being a top recommendation in my book, especially at the $900 MSRP. I think it is still an okay value for a very good single DD implementation, but just doesn't scream "steal" at this price.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 7
    • List
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
  20. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,533
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Maybe try putting the tips only up to the ring on the nozzle, instead of all the way? You'd be able to insert them deeper before the shell hits your concha (or the cable/connector pulls away, hitting the helix).
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List

Share This Page