The Dunu Kima have been sent to me by Dunu for me to test and to share my thoughts and opinions in this review. As always, I have no affiliation with Dunu (or any other brand) and they have not requested anything specific, but the fact that it has not cost me anything to try these IEMs is something that you should keep in mind.
The official page of the Dunu Kima can be found here: https://www.dunu-topsound.com/kima
The above is a non-affiliate link, as are all links that I publish.
The Dunu Kima is a new release from the company, using a single dynamic driver and coming in at under 100€ at the time of creating this review.
I have tried a few Dunu models, the Talos being the latest (that I reviewed recently), and I am always pleasantly impressed one way or another with their IEMs. The Kima is another set that I have enjoyed a lot during the time I have been using it and I have found myself reaching for it again and again.
I will go through my usual steps in the review (I like to stay consistent ) but I can already say that as a daily driver in the 100€ bracket, I find them to be a very good option.
Dunu always does a good job with their presentations and although I am not a fan of the anime theme on the box itself, once the box is open, this is another decent presentation from the brand.
In the top half of the box, sitting in foam cutouts, we find the IEMs. The bottom half of the box holds the transport/storage case which is the usual offering from Dunu and is nice to find that they still include this nice case with what is one of their more budget offerings.
Inside the case we have the rest of the accessories that are included, except for the cable that resides in its own box located under the IEMs. The included accessories are 18 sets of silicone tips (in three types, including the new style that we also found included with the Talos), a cleaning brush, a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter and a microfiber cloth.
As usual, I have no complaints with the contents or presentation, I feel that they include everything that is needed with a few extra goodies thrown in.
Build and aesthetics…
The IEMs use a completely metal shell, in a matte silver colour, with some simple but elegant shapes on the front plate. As far as aesthetics go, they are simple enough to not be boring. I can’t say that the IEMs are beautiful but Dunu have already set the bar pretty high for themselves with the Vulkan and Talos, however, I do not have any complaints. They don’t scream “look at me, I’m expensive” (which they aren’t anyway) but the also don’t look cheap or boring.
I find them very comfortable and the build quality seems to be good, which is also something I have come to expect from the brand. I obviously can’t say how they are going to stand up to the passing of time but I don’t think that they should have any issues.
The cable is a simple unbalanced 3.5mm version but it is of a good thickness (for my tastes) and uses metal hardware except for the 2 pin connectors which are a transparent hardened silicone (or a semi-soft plastic). No complaints with the cable and bonus points for the 2 pin connectors
All tracks mentioned are clickable links that allow you to open the reference track in the streaming service of your choice (YouTube, Tidal, Spotify, etc.)
When I went to try the Kima, I was expecting a similar sound to that of the Titan S that I reviewed (and liked) some time ago, maybe with some small tweaks. Yet, what I have found is that, while there are a few similarities, the changes are pretty obvious and I find them to be all in the right direction.
Here is the usual look at the Kima vs my personal preference target, along with the Titan S also shown for reference:
Starting off, as always, with the subbass and my usual run of “Chameleon” as a test track, here the subbass is very noticeably improved over the Titan S. There is more quantity but the quality is also very good. The rumble in the track is plenty for my tastes yet it is neither overpowering nor “loose”. Each note is clean and detailed, while at the same time the rumble is enough to appreciate what this track really offers. This is not a set that I would class as “apt” for those lovers of excessive bass, it is just well balanced and well presented.
The midbass is the same story. It is a little more present than I would usually ask for on paper, yet the detail and cleanliness of the bass makes them a very pleasurable listen. At no point did I find that they caused me fatigue over longer sessions. The bass in Sade’s “No Ordinary Love” is very clean and I find it to be at just the right balance for it to be easily appreciated without it becoming the center of attention. The same can be said for the bass of “Whole Lotta Love” which I find to be a very nice presentation, with just enough warmth added to work well with this genre of classic rock, something I find benefits quite a bit from a little extra in the midbass over my preferences.
The guitar in “Crazy” has enough warmth but without it affecting the low end negatively and becoming “boomy”. The same can be said for “Give Me One Reason” by Tracy Chapman, filling the low end but staying clean while doing so. Another very pleasurable track is “Back It Up”, which may not be the best recording but does sound very good on the Kima.
There is a slight dip in the center of the midrange but it is not enough to have a negative effect on female vocals that may have their root notes residing in this zone. Maybe Sara Bareilles in her version of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” could have a little more warmth in the voice but it is still a very pleasurable listen.
Moving towards the higher parts of the midrange, there is a climb that gives the most of the presence around 2.5kHz, with a small dip down that keeps the 5kHz in check before ramping down. This works very well and is very close to my preferred tuning in these ranges. Vocals that are harsh and overly present in this range are not tamed down any but they are not exaggerated either, making even Beth in “Don’t You Worry Child” quite listenable (although she is still a little harsh, due to the nature of her voice and the recording).
In the higher ranges, I find the extension to be good and to have a nice sensation of extension and air. It is not the most extended of treble ranges but the Kima certainly don’t suffer from extreme roll off in those upper ranges, something that many single driver options do.
The usual “Code Cool” test of sibilance returns Patricia Barber slightly tamed in this regard. If we use the -12 to +12 scale of sibilance that I mentioned in a previous review (where 0 would be with Patricia Barber just being on the verge of sibilance), then I would say that the Kima are somewhere around a -2.
Details are good also, with those smaller details located in the background of music, such as room reverbs etc., being quite noticeable. They are not so detailed that they will wow in this factor (depending on what sets you have heard previously) but they never left me with the sensation of being overly dull or blunted in this regard.
Soundstage is on the higher side of average. They are still IEMs but there is nice separation of instruments, creating a very pleasurable sense of space due to the good placement of images inside this soundstage. “All Your Love (Turned To Passion)” works well to showcase both the detail and the space that these IEMs manage to create between the instruments themselves.
While the Kima are not going to do a great job of isolating those low end rumbles of jet engines and the likes, they are quite a bit above average in the mid range, this means that in places like noisy offices, they are going to work well without the need of increasing the volume levels too much.
The Dunu Kima are another set of IEMs from the brand that I really enjoy. I have found them a joy to listen to and I really struggle to think of anything that I would recommend over these as an all rounder in the sub 100€ bracket.
Yes, there are other IEMs in this price range (or even lower) that will be better in certain aspects but, again, as an all rounder, I think that the Kima are an excellent set of IEMs that will take quite a bit of beating. If I had to think of something to compare them to, I would say that they are an improved Moondrop Aria, with the tweaks in all the right places (for me personally).
As with all of my reviews, this is also available in Spanish both on my blog (www.achoreviews.com) and on YouTube (www.youtube.com/achoreviews)
All FR measurements of IEMs can be viewed and compared on achoreviews.squig.link
All isolation measurements of IEMs can be found on achoreviews.squig.link/isolation