Today, we review the DUNU SA6 MK2, which is a 2nd generation 6 balanced armature driver universal in-ear monitor with dual tuning modes. It is priced at $579.99
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You can click here to learn more about the DUNU gear we have previously covered on Headfonics.
Note, that this post follows our latest scoring guidelines which you can read here.
The announcement of the SA6 MK2 was met with much excitement and for good reason. Launched at $599, the unit will be available via HiFiGO and DUNU’s main website with preorders going out on May 20th and thereafter they will be widely from May 25th onwards.
As one of the oldest IEM manufacturers in the market, DUNU has become one of the most well-known brands hailing from China. It’s important however to not confuse DUNU with what the industry and community know as “ChiFi” as what comes out of DUNU’s R&D is anything but.
We have done plenty of DUNU reviews before to testify to the above statement including the EST 112 and the excellent DK-4001 and DK-3001 PRO from a few years back.
Second only to perhaps just HIFIMAN, DUNU’s 23 years of experience has resulted in a successful slew of releases, including the original SA6 which sadly we did not do a formal review. Does the SA6 MK2 hold up to its expectations? Let’s find out.
The DUNU SA6 MK2 is a universal IEM using a total of six balanced armature drivers with 2 custom drivers for the low end, 2 modified independent Knowles mid-high drivers, and 2 modified ultra high-frequency balanced armature tweeters. The drivers are set up in a dual three-way crossover.
The build also has a switch that allows for an ‘atmospheric immersion’ mode to be turned on and off. You can check out what this mode does in more detail in our sound impressions section of this review further down.
The SA6 MK2 continues building off of the original SA6 using beautiful shells with hand-poured resin mixed with wood and gold flakes.
Unlike the original SA6 however, there is no option for random color possibilities sadly. The variants are in the amount of red resin and wood flakes you get. These shells are very pretty and well-built, continuing DUNU’s excellence in this category.
The SA6 MK2 maintains the same pseudo-custom fit and comfort that the original SA6 was known so well for. The size of the shell is the same as the Ultra but the faceplate is slightly bigger. This was done for more isolation and a better pseudo-custom fit.
To me, however, the changes are minor, and with the right tips, the SA6 MK2 is just as comfy as the OG, if not with better isolation than the original.
Comfort & Isolation
The SA6 MK2 maintains the original comfort of the OG SA6 and Ultra. I did not have any fitment issues, even with the slightly larger faceplate. There should be no concern about this when considering the purchase of the MK2.
DUNU’s tips are comprised of three different options:
- Candy Ear tips, DUNU’s in-house version of tips similar to SpinFits with less bouncy texture.
- S&S ear tips, a boxy bouncy tip with similar stickiness to Azla’s Sednas Xelastic.
- Stock silicones with a clear bore
- Two sets of stock foam tips
I found the best fitment with the S&S tips, (it’s important to note that these are best used a size down than your regular size) and Candy ear tips with standard sizing.
As a legacy from the Ultra, the SA6 MK2 also comes with the Hulk Pro Mini, a sturdily built and comfortable cable. It is made from high-purity Furukawa Single Crystal Copper that the original Hulk Pro was well known for yet in a lighter form factor.
The cable lacks noticeable microphonics and is a perfect length for portable use and doesn’t tangle easily.
The Q-Lock Plus connectors are very handy, and DUNU’s proprietary system has been proven to last. I’ve owned several other of these cables with their connectors and they are all of the utmost build quality.
The 2-pin connectors are slightly longer than some manufacturers and as a result, they create a more stable fit for IEMs with deep insertions – other cable brands should take note!
Tuning on the SA6 MK2 is overall neutral with a slight U-shape and some sub-bass boost. Smooth and articulate with the right amount of air and sparkle are some words to keep in mind while discussing the SA6 MK2’s sound.
Bass? Incredible out of the box. It is not often I hear BA drivers perform like this. They are full of texture with just enough quantity resulting in some excellent slam. The sub-bass information is more present than the mid-bass, resulting in just the right amount of rumble.
Still, lacking for you? Hit the atmospheric immersion switch on the back and experience an added 2dB on the shelf. This switch results in much more genre flexibility for the SA6 MK2 with different genres like EDM and hip-hop that will benefit from this mode being turned on.
Strength in the midrange remains the main highlight of the SA6 MK2 as it was with the original. Vocals are smooth and full of texture.
Other instruments flow through passages with ease. Despite being slightly pulled back due to the overall tuning, the midrange of the MK2 to is “just right.” and has no faults.
I should mention that if you are sensitive to high pinna gain, you should demo the SA6 MK2 before purchasing. It may be too much for those who are sensitive to that area.
With all my experience in IEMs, I can’t think of an IEM that has treble performance like this in terms of its price range. It is airy and sparkly with enough top end while not remaining one bit spicy or crunchy. It is quite smooth, but not the smoothest available at this price range.
Staging & Dynamics
A small soundstage and the SA6 MK2 do not go hand in hand. The soundstage of the MK2 for the price is incredible. It is holographic, out of your head, and nicely positioned evenly with front/back/left/right dynamics all equally excellent.
Details are more micro-focused than macro-focused and imaging is above average for the price range.
The SA6 MK2 is right along the line of being flexible with many portable sources while not hissing like crazy because of extremely low sensitivity like some competing IEMs. It is quite source-dependent though and source rolling is important to get the balance just right.
Qudelix 5k – The 5K sound is ideal if you are looking for a more neutral portable source. Its power and dynamics are excellent for the price. With the added benefit of its PEQ, anything about the SA6 MK2’s tuning you want to slightly adjust the earphone more to your personal preference (not that it’s needed for most)!
iFi Audio GO blu – Choose the GO blu if you are looking for a warm source. With the added benefit of xBass for our resident bassheads who are not easily pleased, the SA6 MK2 and the GO blu will solve that for you.
The Symphonium Meteor will be the SA6 MK’2s most direct competitor– both being excellently tuned balanced armature driver IEMs at the same price point, and both offering excellent bang for your buck.
The key differences are in bass and treble with the SA6 MK2 offering more quantity and texture as well as more sparkle and forwardness compared to the Meteor.
The Meteor presents a more neutral look into the sound, with a more in-your-head soundstage. It also skirts out the MK2 in terms of imaging and detail, but the SA6 MK2 beats it in bass texture, treble presentation, and vocal presence.
FatFreq Maestro Mini
Are you a basshead? The Fatfreq Maestro Mini will be for you while maintaining a good frequency range. Do you want more of a well-rounded presentation focusing on the mids? The SA6 MK2 will be for you.
The Maestro Mini has the benefit of a dynamic driver, resulting in better bass quantity and texture. Vocals are more present in the SA6 MK2 than in the Mini. The Mini’s treble is more relaxed overall as well, whereas the SA6 MK2 takes its sparkle unapologetically more front and center.
Are you looking for a more of a ‘kickback and relax’ sound signature? Then the EJo7m is more suitable. The SA6 MK2 is more vibrant, full of life and texture.
The EJo7m is warmer while the SA6 MK2 is closer to a neutral-to-warm sound signature. Treble is another key difference here. The SA6 MK2 is sparkly while the EJo7m is more blunted and rolled off.
Bass and treble energy lead the presentation of the SA6 MK2, while vocal thickness and warmth are more present in the EJo7m.
The DUNU SA6 MK2 combines the best aspects of the OG SA6 and SA6 Ultra into the MK2. Truly a return of the king, it exemplifies DUNU’s ability to achieve once again a ‘lightning in the bottle’ type product.
Rarely do we get an IEM that is so hard to nitpick – from spot-on tuning, and excellent choice in custom drivers, to a solid accessories package, the SA6 MK2 is deserving of a blind buy.
I have not heard something in this price range that maintains the slam, detail, airiness, and sparkle of the MK2. It makes me ever so excited to hear what they have coming out later with the SA16, SA10, the Zen Pro/Luna successor, and anything else you may have up your sleeve.
DUNU SA6 MK2 Technical Specifications
- NET WEIGHT: 12 g
- FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 5 Hz – 40 kHz
- IMPEDANCE: 24 h at 1 kHz
- SENSITIVITY: 114 ‡ 1 dB at 1 kHz
- TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION: < 0.5% at 1 kHz
- BALANCED ARMATURE DRIVER CONFIGURATION:
- BASS (2): Sonion AcuPass Vented Dual Woofer
- MIDRANGE (2): Knowles Custom Midrange Driver (×2)
- TREBLE (2): Knowles Custom Dual Tweeter
- TUNING MODES:
- ⁃ Default Signature (Switch Position I’)
- ⁃ Atmospheric Immersion (Switch Position ‘ON°)
- HOUSING MATERIAL:
- SHELL: German Nice-Fit Hand-Poured UV Acrylic Resin
- FACEPLATE: High-Grade Stabilized Wood
- CABL: HULK PRO MINI
- CABLE LENGTH: 1.2 ‡ 0.1 m
- CABLE CONNECTOR: 2-Pin (0.78 mm)
- PLUG CONNECTOR:
- Patented Q-Lock Plus Modular Plug System
- INCLUDED PLUG TERMINATION(S):
- 4 mm TRRRS Balanced, 3.5 mm TRS Single-Ended