With many repeated formulas in the world of audio, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish and even get excited about certain similar sounding listening gear. Thus, when DUNU unveil a new and unprecedented concept from out of the blue, it undoubtedly offers a breath of fresh air to the industry with the already tried and tested concepts employed by numerous companies worldwide. The Alpha 1, the “World’s First Hybrid Earbud” of its kind sets the example in innovation by sporting both a balanced armature and 16mm dynamic driver design in an earbud body.
You would think that this alone would be enough in the name of innovation but DUNU have further raised the stakes through opting for bi-directional sound holes instead of conventional single induction tubing. The significance of this implementation allows for greater musicality of sound by layering the sounds created from the separate drivers. Once again, DUNU succeed in standing by its “Unique” motto and deliver a product destined for success in the market of earphones. Priced at £119, the Alpha 1 is relatively affordable for a hybrid of its nature and falls within a similar ballpark as the DUNU DN-1000 before it.
What you get: the box
The DUNU Alpha 1 hybrid earbuds come in DUNU’s signature packaging; a black box that implements a magnetic latch with information relating to the various tips that insert into the outer housings and instruction on the methods of wear.
What you get: the accessories
DUNU supplies a smooth round carrying bag for convenient storage, a 3.5mm to 6.5mmm adapter and 4 special designed ear tips for a secure fit. DUNU claims that the various tips somewhat alter the sonic signature of the Alpha 1 with the fin tips offering a Bass/liquid sound, the thick tips offering a balanced/musical sound, the thin tips an airy/resolution sound and the foam tips a full/balanced sound.
As with all DUNU products, the build quality is outstanding. The DUNU Alpha 1 lies nicely in this trend, rocking a stainless steel body and durable looking plastic grille interface. The design certainly looks very futuristic and the cabling itself feels great to the touch with strong connections to the Y-split as well as the body of the housing.
Now, in terms of the fit, I did initially struggle to insert the earbud with fin tips into the outer portion of the ear. It takes quite a bit of adjusting but once the earbuds set then it is plain sailing from thereon in. One caveat, however, is that due to the size of the fin tips, those with smaller ears might find greater levels of discomfort during long listening sessions as opposed to those with medium or larger sized ears. The reason being that the upper part of the fin tips do have a tendency to dig into conchae of the ears. Having said this, the scenario above can easily be avoided by opting for the other sets of tips which for me provided a more comfortable listening experience.
Page2: Sound Impressions