Dunu Falcon-C


Dunu Falcon-C - Dynamic Flagship IEM






Once again, a new Dunu in-ear set, and this time not in the hybrid drivers’ setup fashion. Instead, this new Falcon-C model is the current dynamic flagship and features a full range single driver of Carbon Nano-tubes diaphragm, which is a completely new take for the Dunu Topsound company. It doesn’t stop just there in a new driver, but with a brand new shell material and design, and unlike the last hybrids models it sits on a more attractive price bracket. So, how this new flagship performs…

Falcon-C page 1, page 2




Specifications 
  • Driver: 9mm Single Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) dynamic
  • Shell material: Liquid Metal
  • Frequency: 10 Hz ~ 40 kHz
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Sensitivity: 108±3dB
  • Cable: Silver-plated copper wire (6N OCC), 3.5mm gold-plated
  • Weight: 28g



Price (MSRP): U$D 219.






Similarly to the previous Dunu products, the Falcon-C arrives in a hassle free package that consists of an outer paper cover with a flashy metal color theme and the black thicker inner box. While it may not look as classy as the DN-2002 and DN-3001 packages, it is as good as with the older DN-1000 and DN-2000 presentation. As usual, the Dunu accessory pack is very complete as it arrives with a large selection of eartips, case and adapters. There are no Comply Foam tips this time, but 3 packs of different eartips including the standard Spinfit CP-100 options.





Design


The design and build quality level have always been one of the strongest characteristics of the Dunu earphones, and the Falcon-C is no exception and also presents a whole new design. While the hybrid IEM models have all used stainless steel for their shells, the Falcon-C is made entirely of “liquid metal” alloy which boosts some nice improvements above other metal options. It’s a good sign to see a company implementing new high quality materials for their now lower priced models instead of reserving that just for the top models. Better or not, the “liquid metal” has its own merits. For instance, the surface is more resistant to scratches and also doesn't show the ‘cold’ metal feel to the skin, it’s also smoother and a lighter in weight.



The included cable is of good quality, too, and has a more custom cable look on it with the four tightly twisted strands. It results more comfortable than the DK-3001 stock cables as it doesn’t carry the long memory wire on it and the fixed earguides (made of simple heatshrink tubes) are soft enough. The only downside is the more springy behavior and the strong memory effect it shows even after some days of use, and maybe also the rubbery surface on the outer coating. Apart from that, it is a good cable on its own, low in microphonics and easy to handle. The Falcon-C cable is also of standard MMCX, but the plugs have a very strong connection to the earpieces, similar to the DK-3001 cables but with a different ‘lock’ feature. If anything, the usual attached cable wrap is now missing.

Yet, the most positive part on the Falcon-C lies on the whole new shell form factor. Finally, we can see a well thought design that has a nice ergonomic shape and makes it the most comfortable earphone within the whole Dunu’s line, and also among many universal IEMs. The previous Titan 1 model was also quite comfortable despite the large dynamic driver inside and still I found the current Falcon dynamic flagship to be even more comfortable. The nozzle has certain angle towards the earcanal, and while the shell design doesn’t allow a too deep fit, the level of isolation is really good.




Sound

Main sources: xDuoo X10, Aune M1s, Lotoo PAW Pico, Hidizs AP200; Headamp Pico Slim.

It’s been a while since Dunu released a single dynamic driver earphone. Though the very first models were a mix of single dynamic and single BA, the real deal began with the Titan line, starting from the Titan 1 with its open design and nicely tuned Titanium coated driver, full of details and very airy that gain a very high feedback. However, the main downside was the lack of isolation due the half-ear shell.
While the Falcon-C consists of a smaller 9mm diameter it is also the first company model that introduces the Carbon Nano-Tube (CNT) type of driver. It is certainly not something new, as we’ve already found those drivers within the large brand such as JVC and Audio-Technica with the FXD and CKN70 models. However, those were using a smaller micro-driver unit inside ~6mm, and while did show some strengths of the CNT type, they also had some limitations due the more compact driver. Right from the start, I’d say the Falcon-C has some similarities to those previous models but more in the Dunu fashion found on the Titan series.

As most IEMs the Falcon-C is somewhat dependent on the eartips used. While the SpinFit provided the easier fit and seal, I found the sound to be more likeable with the narrow tips, and much better with the more open grey tips. However, the nozzle didn’t hold very well the grey tips, so I opted for similar eartips with an open bore for the more impressive sonic results. The good thing of the Falcon-C is that the nozzle is of more standard width and has the lip at the top, making tip-rolling much easier.
A certain period of burn-in seems to play well for the CNT drivers, and so it is with the Dunu Falcon. The differences are not really major, but it takes some time to reach the best balance from lows to highs. Overall, the first thing to notice on the Falcon-C is the great balance and correct weight from lower bass notes to the upper treble. It shows the certain Dunu sound with some warmth on it, though in the lean and cooler tonality when compared to their hybrids models.

Right from the start, the bass strikes with great quality. It has very good depth and high speed and great control for busier tracks yet punchy all the way up to the mid-bass. Quantity-wise it is above of being neutral, but far from overwhelming, presenting wide lively presentation with the right amount for most genres that still prevents the Falcon from sounding particularly thin as the Titan 1 was. The DN-2000 is probably the strongest in mid-bass strength, and even the quad hybrid DN-2002 sounds even fuller and thicker trough the lows next to the Falcon-C.

The whole midrange is mostly neutral, both in position next to the lows and highs as it cannot be considered recessed nor too forward, and also in tonality as it doesn’t carry too much warmth but fails to be cold or thin. Not only it remains very clean from any mid-bass obstruction, but also has a very strong sense of transparency. The instruments balance and coherence is excellent, though will sound leaner next to the warm and thicker sounding DN-2000, but the Falcon-C wins in separation and speed. For vocals, lower ones (male) sound less pronounced and thinner in texture against to the upper and female vocals, though there is some extra energy and lack of sweetness toward the female voices.
In occasions the Falcon-C can emphasize some sibilance, though it is not as sharp as the previous Titan 1 and DN-1000, or more v-shaped sounding sets like the RHA MA750 or Echobox X1. Personally, I found the three Dunu IEMs, Falcon-C, DN-2000 and DN-2002 similarly matched for voices and overall midrange, each of them with their strengths and weaknesses, staying behind the pricier DK-3001 upper model.

As for the treble, here’s where the CNT driver material is easily noticed. The highs are definitely towards the brighter tone, from the lower treble up to the upper extension, which is very effortless and well extended in a natural texture. The Falcon-C is a quite revealing earphone and not too forgiving. The treble needs some break-in time to settle down, though it still remains above neutral in terms of quantities and can be energetic with more aggressive tracks. The micro-detail, is excellent and more than the ~$200 tag would suggest. The presentation is very airy and open with a wide stage effect and good imaging. The DK-3001 still surpasses in this regard but for a fraction of the current flagship price, the Falcon-C undoubtedly stands out on its own as the Dunu dynamic flagship.



Value

Priced just a bit above the $200 range, the new Dunu Falcon-C definitely deserves the ‘flagship’ tag from a well regarded company and makes an excellent contender among the so many new IEMs around. Like any Dunu release, the Falcon-C also has the upper hand in terms of build quality and now a brand new so comfortable design. More importantly, the sound quality is really good, well balanced and full in detail. It’s nice to see that Dunu don’t just keep the best material or design for just the upper models but can make a product that stands out on its own even among every previous earphone of the company. Again, well done Dunu!


4 comments:

  1. Nice review! ¿How compared with oriveti New Primacy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      New Primacy has better midrange, more forward and sweeter. Bass is similar in balance of the Falcon-C, but the Falcon is faster and deeper in sub-bass. Treble is much smoother on the Primacy, more forgiving. Falcon is colder in overall tonality while the Primacy is warmer and richer on the whole.

      Delete
  2. In terms of separation and resolution in the midrange, who is better technically?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Resolution is similar on both, but the Falcon has some more air so a bit better separation.
      Will still suggest the Primacy for midrange. However they can a bit picky with the source for best performance.

      Delete