Dawnwood GT-36

REVIEW: Dawnwood GT-36 - Powerful Bass!

 







Specifications:

Driver: dynamic 13.6mm
Rated Power: 100mW
Impedance: 18Ω
Sensitivity: 102dB/mw
Frequency Range: 20Hz-40KHz
Cable Length: 1.2m

The GT-36 is available in both regular and mic. version. There're 3 color themes: Gold for Standard Edition and two MARVEL Editions, Blue - Captain America and Red - Iron Man. And I think there was also a Pink for Hello Kitty Edition.

PriceRetail price is like U$D 70; best price is $50 from Penonaudio.com.



Accessories:

3 pairs of eartips
Carrying pouch

Worth noting is that the eartips are much longer than standard single flanges with a more conical shape, but the size is smaller, as only the L size fit well instead of the usual M size.
The soft carrying pouch is a bit small as well, but of quite good material.



Design & Build Quality:

The GT-36 adopts an open half-in-ear design. It's actually like a regular earbud with a short nozzle to mount the eartip which is the only part that goes into the ear canal. As the whole earpiece is covered by a rubbery material, it's hard to tell whether the inner material is plastic or metal, but feels very solid. The cable from the earpieces doesn't have a strain relief; instead it is covered by the large plastic tube body. As for the cable it not as favorable; it is also rubberized but kind of plasticky, holds a strong memory effect, a bit springy and average in microphonics. Both y-split and plug are small and not very well covered and a slider is missing as well.



Fit, Comfort & Isolation:

With its half in-ear design, the GT-36 fit is very shallow. Unlike other IEMs with similar form factor, the GT-36 is more difficult/tricky to fit and achieve a proper seal. The nozzle is really very short and it's not easy to mount the eartips. The 13mm driver inside also makes the earphone quite large and not really suitable for smaller ears. Fit is also very tight and might cause some discomfort at times.
Isolation is expectedly very low, just a bit better than a traditional earbud but not suited for noisy places. Just for reference is similar to the ATH-CKS/CKM or Dunu Titan 1.

 

Sound:

The Dawnwood GT-36 is one of those earphones that should be included in a short list of most heavy-bass sets. The low-end isn't just strong and dominant, but one of the most extreme bass I've listened in the last few years. With its half-ear open design, the GT-36 manages to move a lot of air and in a very aggressive way, pushing the mid-bass frequencies as its top priority with a less pronounced sub-bass. The large 13mm dynamic driver offers a full bodied and well textured bass with impact that is way more than enough and can surely be overwhelming with any genre; even with bass light tracks, the GT-36 won't miss a chance to bring forth any little trace of bass found on a song. It can be well compared to Brainwavz S1, Ficher Audio Eterna and Audiofly AF56 in sheer bass power, and the amount it's much higher than the Meelec M6, Moe SS01 sets which have a more v-shaped signature or the smooth Sony MH1. The side effects are as expected; certain bloat and bleed over the midrange frequencies, and loss of accuracy and control next to more balanced sets. Nevertheless, bassheads should feel at home with the GT-36's sound presentation.

As expected, the midrange is very warm from the so strong mid-bass emphasis and sounds a bit veiled and more recessed next to the powerful low end part. It is also very smooth and thick in the notes presentation and not as distant sounding when compared to v-shaped in-ear sets. Despite the certain lack of refinement due the extra bass, clarity and detail levels are quite competent. While on the whole the midrange is a bit dry, vocals are surprising very good with a sweet and rich texture. Still a bit veiled but very enjoyable, nonetheless.

Treble on the GT-36 follows a similar fashion as the mids, very smooth and more laid-back. The amount is not too lacking considering the bassy signature and not very rolled-off either. As for quality it is nothing outstanding, but still avoids any hint of grain, harshness or sibilance. There's enough sparkle if the tracks really asks for it, but overall there is not too much energy.
Micro detail is overshadowed by the low-end as well, and the presentation can sound congested with busier and more complex tracks due the lack of air. For soundstage, I was expecting a larger field for an open in-ear design, and while the GT-36 offers a good depth, width is not very different from more conventional shaped or more closed IEMs.




Conclusion & Value:

To summarize, what the Dawnwood GT-36 offers is a very powerful and thunderous sound with a bass leading tuning that'd match the needs of any basshead. The vocals are quite nice and more enjoyable than expected. There're plenty of better options for a real balanced sound, more standard fit, higher isolation and even more solid build quality. With its low isolation and shallow fit, it's an earphone I'd mainly use in more quiet places and also want a very fun sound. And if that's what you're looking for then the GT-36 is good match at its $50 best price.

Rating: 7/10


Pros: Great for pure bassheads on low-budget; Very fun with sweet vocals despite the strong low-end

Cons: Extremely bassy; tricky fit and potential comfort issues; low isolation; average build quality