Dunu Vulkan Review

The Vulkan is the latest IEM from Dunu, who have continued to make good IEMs one model after another. The new Vulkan houses four balanced armature and two dynamic drivers within its metal casing and is priced at $379. The Vulkan sits right in the middle of Dunu's lineup of IEMs in terms of pricing.

I'd like to thank Tom and Sebastian from Dunu for keeping me in the loop of the Vulkan development and sending this review unit to me. I've held on for it for a bit of time now, while taking a small hiatus from reviewing to take care of other things in my busy life, but I'm glad to be back at this and review this interesting new IEM, along with a slate of other new gear.

As with most of the Dunu sets, the Vulkan comes with a blue version of Dunu's leather carrying case that can fit the IEM, cable, and some small accessories, like the included modular male connectors that allow the user to change between 3.5mm, 2.5mm and 4.4mm connections for different amplifiers. The cable included is the Dunu DUW-02S, which is a lightweight, braided cable that is quite nice to use, and I've enjoyed using this model for a while now as it came with other IEMs in the past. It is also now available to buy as a standalone accessory!

The Vulkan comes in a metal housing with a black oil/ streak appearance on each shell. It is a subtle look in dark lighting, but stands out with light reflecting on it and gives it a little bit of character in an otherwise standard look. The Vulkan has some similarities in shape and material to their EST-112 set that was released last year, however I feel this Vulkan fits better for my ears. 

Sound Impressions

The Vulkan is tuned quite neutral in my opinion, with a slightly elevated sub-bass, even mid-range and upper treble, with a slightly accentuated treble and a little subdued upper treble. When I first popped on the Vulkan, the first thing that struck out to me was that it was tuned pretty well. I wasn't super surprised to be fair, since I had seen pre-release graphs and impressions during the development stage of this IEM until its release, and had some high hopes for it.

It hasn't totally disappointed either. While I don't think its the best thing out there, it is decently priced at $379, however it does have tough competition in that realm as well. The Moondrop Blessing 2 and Dusk come to mind immediately, with similar tonal balance and emphasis in the subbass and treble, but both of those have better treble extension giving more crisp sparkle and less dulled-out drums and strings. But they also are much larger IEMs and do not fit my ears very well. So there's that.

The Vulkan has two weaknesses that I'll just get out of the way. First, like already mentioned above, is that it doesn't have the greatest treble extension. It's just a tad muted, but in general listening, I don't mind missing the extra snappiness that a little more elevation could bring. The Vulkan does have a little bit of treble spice though, and while it doesn't annoy me in the majority of the music I listen to, I can see it making some pop songs a little sibilant or zingy. For some music, this can be fatiguing. For example, I'm listening to Sarah McLachlan right now with these in my ears, and while she already has a vocal range that can extend very high and perhaps can be fatiguing on its own, it does seem a hair higher than I hear on other IEMs I own, though it's still not raised nearly as much as many chi-fi offerings.

The mid-range on the Vulkan is perhaps a little too forward as well, with a very clear and intimate front image of vocals. There isn't a great deal of depth in music passages, but I still find instrument separation and location to be very good for this price, despite imaging only being average at best. 

The Vulkan has a really nice amount of bass that presents itself rather neutral, but with a gentle sub-bass emphasis that digs deep and can give a nice amount of rumble for not being raised. Scott Muvahill's Begin Againers, a stand-up bass focused track, has a nice amount of quality deep bass in it, but not overly slammy that it disturbs his vocals. Texture quality of this track is average, and is probably fine for its price range, but pales in comparison to how this track sounds on the $3400 Empire Ears Odin, another multi-driver IEM featuring 2 bass dynamic drivers. The Vulkan, in comparison, sounds a tad blobby, and pushes the initial string pluck a bit too forward and it makes it lack a tad of detailed texture. 


Dunu's Vulkan is a nicely tuned set that I think will work well with many genres. It does not actually excel in any one category, but isn't bad in anything either. I'm not sure how to really rate this one, as it's good, and I like it, but I also don't find this one pushing the boundaries of the price point. It just sits there, and is competitive, but doesn't have a stand out quality, outside of being a typical Dunu product that is well-made, comes with a ton of useful accessories, and is tuned good enough.