When the DUNU Luna first arrived in our office, I had a lot of questions:
“This box is huge! Are these IEMs or full size headphones?”
“How much stuff could they possibly include with these?”
“These look nice but how do they sound?”
“Am I the only one who thinks DUNU Luna sounds funny when you say a bunch of times?”
In my quest to find the answer to these questions, I put together this review.
The Build and Design
When you pick up the DUNU Luna, you’ll be struck by a simple design with a touch of mid-20th century sci-fi. Closer inspection reveals that the concave faceplate casts the shadow of the different phases on the moon depending on how the light hits it. Of course, before you can hold it in your hand, you need to take it out of the box – and what a box it is.
The packaging and its contents are absolutely next level. Before I could listen to Luna, I had to take a bit of time to carefully peruse the contents of the box. The box is a simple black cube, and when you open it up it’s just your IEMs against a black background. Underneath them are three layers of accessories. The accessories include the MMCX cable, a selection of 14 eartips, balanced (4.5mm and 2.5mm) and unbalanced (3.5mm) adapters for the cable, a DTC-100 USB DAC/Amp, two different sized cases, and a handful of adapters for things ranging from 3.5mm to 6.35mm unbalanced and USB-C to USB-A. DUNU opted to not include a kitchen sink for concern over the shipping weight.
The Luna’s sound is vibrant and lifelike. With a small elevation high-mid to treble range followed by a steep roll-off at the very top, the Luna’s tuning is clear and neutral. It has a very fast response, and is bassier than the frequency response chart might let on, which helps with the feeling of tight “thumps” in the bass, and clean roll-offs on the cymbals. While the soundstage doesn’t feel huge, it has a lot of depth.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find an ounce of muddiness or congestion in the Luna. Whether it was listening to heavy metal, progressive rock, or industrial music, it handled everything from dense layers of electronic samples to complex guitar/keyboard counterpoint with clear separation and clarity.
The Luna has excellent detail. It catches every nuance of Neil Peart’s deft cymbal-work on Rush’s “Spirit of Radio” while maintaining the clarity and coherence of the band as a whole through complicated sections and shifts in tonality. The initial shifting soundscapes of Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love” are delivered with clarity and clean separation, and when the bass drops on the chorus it drops with power and physicality. On jazz tracks ranging from Coltrane to Medeski, Martin, and Wood, the Luna does an excellent job of highlighting soloists while maintaining the thickness of the grooves on the low end.
Across multiple genres, whatever I could throw at it, the Luna delivered the music with depth, clarity, and energy. Clarity and detail do sometimes come with a price. I did notice that hard stabs in the mid-range – be it a trumpet or synth lead – could present with a touch of harshness, and while the bass response is admirable, it’s clearly not tuned to satisfy bass enthusiasts.
For testing, I used the Astell&Kern SR25, iBasso DX220, and DragonFly Cobalt. I also checked out the DTC-100, which was packaged with the Luna. While we’re not going to do a full write-up on it, the DTC-100 performed quite well, and while I wouldn’t use it in place of any of the other devices I used for testing, but it’s nice to have around as a convenient connection for many modern smartphones, or as a “better than the headphone jack” option for laptops.
Comparison: Campfire Audio Solaris, Final A8000
As comparison points, I tested the DUNU Luna alongside the Campfire Solaris and the Final A8000. The Solaris is a popular IEM and a good reference point for many listeners, and the A8000 is one of the few other beryllium driver IEMs currently on the market.
The Solaris and the Luna are surprisingly close neighbors in terms of sound signature. The Solaris is a bit more sensitive. It has a little more sub-bass presence along with a warmer quality throughout the bass. The Luna is more neutral and also provides more detail and fullness in the high-mid range that’s particularly notable in the vocals. Both have a nice sense of physicality in the bass, but while the Luna has a solid punch and the Solaris has more rumble and bass presence throughout. I was honestly expecting the Solaris to completely blow the Luna away in the bass, but while the Solaris would be the better choice for most bass lovers, the Luna holds its own quite well.
The Final A8000 presents with a little bit more of a classic “fun,” v-shape tuning. They’re clearly more bass dominant and lack the Luna’s detailed mids, but they have a nice airiness in the highs. I was always impressed by the A8000’s transparency, and it reflects well on the Luna that it has a similar sense of transparency. There’s also certain resolution to the response of the beryllium drivers in the Luna and A8000 that feels faster than the Solaris. On the flipside while the Luna has a solid feeling of depth and three dimensionality to its soundstage, both the A8000 and Solaris feel wider and overall bigger with a better sense of imaging.
In terms of fit, the A8000 has always been a little bulky, but now that Campfire Audio reduced the size and weight of the Solaris with the 2020 edition, the A8000 really stands out as being large and heavy – especially next to the featherweight Luna. If you struggle with the size of IEMs and don’t want to go the custom route, the Luna has a clear edge over most of the IEMs I’ve tested in its class in terms of its size and weight.
The Bottom Line
The DUNU Luna is a small work of modern art, and it comes packaged with a bevy of useful accessories put together in a luxurious and eye-catching fashion. Of course, the Luna is more than a pair of pretty earphones with some cool swag. It has a vibrancy and energy that comes from detailed mids and highs, and a natural lifelike tuning. With its clear, revealing sound, and three dimensional soundstage, the Luna can fly me to the moon any day of the week.
As part of every review I listen to hours of music with the device I’m reviewing. You can check out some representative selections from my review listening in the Qobuz playlist I created for the DUNU Luna.