Dunu Falcon Pro Review
INTRODUCTION AND DISCLAIMER:
The Dunu Falcon Pro is an in-ear monitor (IEM) using a single dynamic driver. The driver uses Dunu’s proprietary ECLIPSƎ technology, first seen on the Dunu Luna, which I reviewed here. The Falcon Pro retails for $219. I received the Falcon Pro directly from Dunu in exchange for my impressions.
I have used the Dunu Falcon Pro with the following sources:
- Qudelix 5K
- Hidizs S9
- Hidizs S3 Pro
I have tested these headphones with local FLAC and Spotify Premium. Visit my last.fm page to get an idea of what I listen to:
PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES:
The Dunu Falcon Pro comes in a rectangular black cardboard box with a yellow cardstock slipcover. The slipcover is illustrated with a repeating field of grey Dunu logos in varying sizes. Technical specifications for the Falcon Pro are provided on the rear of the box in English and Chinese.
The package includes a wide array of accessories, including four different types of silicone eartips. These include three pairs of Sony Hybrid-style eartips (S, M, L), three pairs of short KZ Whirlwind-style eartips (S, M, L), three pairs of flexible Spinfit-style eartips (S, M, L), and three pairs of generic eartips (S, M, L). I would have preferred one of these tip sets have been a foam set instead of silicone.
The Dunu Falcon Pro comes with a green semi-rigid zippered carry case. The carry case is marked with the Dunu logo in silver and has a mesh carry pocket. The workmanship of the case is very good overall but the clear plastic retaining sheet over the Dunu logo is visible under bright lighting conditions. The Falcon Pro also comes with a Dunu-branded microfiber cleaning cloth.
The Falcon Pro has a detachable cable with MMCX connectors. The included detachable cable uses Dunu’s new Q-Lock LITE (QLITE) modular cable termination system. Three terminations are included with the Falcon Pro: 2.5mm balanced, 3.5mm single-ended, and 4.4mm balanced. The package includes two separate foldout diagrams explaining, but both of these diagrams are in Chinese. This may not be representative of the final international package. A Dunu-branded dual-pocket mesh drawstring bag for the unused terminations and a Dunu-branded velcro zip tie are also included.
The Falcon Pro comes with three different tuning filters. The Transparency filter is the longest and the Atmospheric Immersion filter is the shortest, with the Reference filter sitting in the middle. The nozzle filters are also differentiated by a thin colored O-ring above the thread. The package includes a cleaning brush and two extra pairs of colored O-rings for each nozzle filter.
BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN:
The Dunu Falcon Pro has moderately sized stainless steel housing with a water droplet-shaped cross-section. The faceplate has a flat upper face surrounded by a thin downward-sloped rim. The polished face is marked with the Dunu logo, and the rim is frosted with the same repeating logo pattern seen on the Falcon Pro’s packaging. There is a visible seam between the faceplate and the housing body.
There are five mesh-covered large circular vents on the interior face of the Falcon Pro: two larger vents on the housing base and three slightly smaller vents on the nozzle base. There is a mesh filter covering the base of the nozzle cavity where the tuning filter screws in.
The cable is very attractive, as one would expect from a Dunu product. The hardware feels durable and appears well-machined. The cable has a clear rubber chin-adjustment slider. There are pre-formed plastic earguides without memory wire. There is strain relief above the 3.5mm jack, but none at the Y-split. The cable is mildly microphonic.
COMFORT, FIT, AND ISOLATION:
The Dunu Falcon Pro is intended to be worn cable-up. The earpieces have a shallow insertion depth. Secureness of fit is below average, at least with third-party foam eartips. I frequently had to push the earpieces back into my ear canals. Isolation is a bit below average. There is mild driver flex with some silicone eartips.
My measurements of the Dunu Falcon Pro can be found on my expanding squig.link database:
My measurements are conducted with a Dayton iMM-6 microphone using a vinyl tubing coupler and a calibrated USB sound interface. The measurements use a compensation file derived from relating my raw measurements to published measurements from Crinacle and Antdroid. These measurements should not be directly compared to IEC-compliant measurements.
The Dunu Falcon Pro has a broadly elevated but mid-bass focused bass tuning, which I cannot help but feel lags behind its prospective competitors with more targeted sub-bass shelves. There is a fair amount of mid-bass bleed which muddies the lower midrange and reduces the overall midrange clarity. This can be mitigated with mild equalization, but the necessity of having to do so is a mark against the Falcon Pro.
The Falcon Pro does convey a subwoofer-like sense of physicality to its bass presentation that is out of proportion to the relatively moderate level of bass elevation. On bassy tracks, one feels as though the Falcon Pro is moving air. The bass is highly textured and notes have substantial weight.
The Falcon Pro’s three tuning filters mostly affect the presentation of the midrange, with a lesser effect on the degree of treble emphasis. I spent the majority of my time with the Falcon Pro using the Transparency filter, followed by the Atmospheric Immersion filter.
In my opinion, the boosted upper midrange the Transparency filter provides is necessary to balance out the Falcon Pro’s elevated bass region in the absence of equalization. However, there is occasional sibilant harshness with the Transparency filter primarily due to its increased presence region emphasis. Electric guitars take on a buzzsaw-like character with this filter, and vocal intelligibility is less than I would like at this price point. Female vocals are somewhat recessed into the instrumentation, and male vocals are even more muffled.
The Atmospheric Immersion filter does a better job of separating vocals from the underlying instrumentation and does not cross the line into sibilance. However, without equalization, the overall tonal balance can collapse under the weight of the mid-bass during bass-heavy or busy passages. I would likely prefer the Atmospheric Immersion filter’s vocal-focused midrange presentation to the other filters if not for the level of bass in the base tuning. With the option of equalization to make some kind of mid-bass cut, the Atmospheric Immersion filter is my favorite of the three.
I liked the Reference filter the least. Its presentation is neither vocal-focused nor energetic enough to stand out against the Falcon Pro’s broad mid-bass elevation.
With the Transparency filter, the midrange does have a slightly dry timbre, though this seems to be an artifact of the frequency response, specifically the more intense presence region with this filter. The other filters sound progressively more natural, with the Atmospheric Immersion filter having the most realistic timbre.
The treble region is surprisingly understated. The presentation here is very smooth without any harsh or artificial peaks. Many listeners will appreciate the deft restraint shown here. There is some air but not much sparkle. Detail retrieval is underwhelming for this price point with all three filters. Treble transient delivery is somewhat blunted and indistinct.
Imaging is excellent. Layering is also very good, a characteristic which becomes more evident with bass equalization. The soundstage is expansive for a single dynamic driver design, with a surprising amount of height and a width that extends beyond the head at the far edges.
AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS AND SOURCE PAIRING:
The Dunu Falcon Pro is very easy to drive. I did not notice hiss with either of my sources.
The Dunu Falcon Pro is a good IEM held back from greatness by its stock bass tuning. The ECLIPSƎ driver offers some unique capabilities at this price point, but the overall tonal balance is flawed in some way in each of the Falcon Pro’s configurations. Mild equalization, as provided in the image below, makes this IEM an easier sell:
The Dunu Falcon Pro can be purchased at the link below: