Tipsy, the Chinese IEM company with the rather amusing name, is back just a few months after releasing their Dunmer IEM’s with a Pro version. The Tipsy Dunmer Pro is the young companies’ new flagship, and after spending the past couple of weeks with them, I have been mightily impressed. Chi-Fi has long since stepped away from being the cheap alternative to western brands, in many ways, they are now the leaders in what you can expect to get for your hard money with established brands now struggling to justify their bloated price tags. The Dunmer Pro is a refined and excellently executed set of earphones, and it should be an excellent option for those looking for an earphone around the XXXX price point. Now let’s get into the review.
Packaging and accessories
The Packaging for the Dunmer Pro is very nice, and it has a premium feel. On the outside is a sleeve with the companies “Feeling a bit Tipsy” tagline on it and the mention that these IEM’s are handmade. Round the back, you get a spec sheet (the important ones being 16 ohms impedance and 2xBA and 1 Dynamic driver) and a frequency response chart that looks very impressive at first glance.
Inside is a black presentation box with really tasteful branding on both the inside and outside of the lid. When you open them up, the earphones are beautifully presented in the protective foam, and you get the first glace of that beautiful mother of pearl faceplate design. I should also mention that there are six different color options for the faceplate and packaging (the set in our pictures is the blue model)
Underneath the earphones, as is typical, you find the accessories. In this case, there aren’t many extras. This is definitely an area that Tipsy should look to improve on in the future. Included in the box are three silicone eartips (S,M,L) and one set of Comply foam style tips. You also get a cleaning cloth, which seems a pointless inclusion and a small pouch case. The case is fine for somewhere to store the Dunmer Pro when not in use, but a hard case would provide better protection while adding very little to the final cost of the package.
Build Quality and Design
Top marks go to the Tipsy Dunmer Pro for both the design and build quality. These feel like an incredibly well-made product. As such, there is very little to complain about in this section.
The housing is a small acrylic form with a beautiful mother of pearl/pearlescent faceplate that discreetly has the Tipsy logo inlayed. Its exceptionally well finished with smooth edges, no visible seams, and zero flex in the chassis. Resins and acrylics will never be as durable as a metal body, but these do feel more than up to the task of withstanding day to day life.
The nozzles have inbuilt metal guards that are eerily similar to that of current KZ models, which perhaps means they are coming from the same factory. It helps to prevent the ingress of dirt and dust to the drivers and is far preferred to the older paper style filters.
The only let down for me is the use of 2 pin connectors as opposed to MMCX. I prefer MMCX due to having a few pins bend on me, but the Dunmer Pro has recessed sockets, which helps prevent fluid damage and is a step above the flush or raised ports found on most other Chifi IEM’s using two pins.
The cable is a beauty. Usually, I am not a fan of a cord cable due to the presence of microphonics, but by combining a loose braid, premium materials, and ear guides, there is no transfer of noise from the cable to the earphones.
It looks and feels premium with some beautiful chromed hardware in the way of the 3.5mm jack, splitter, slider, and connectors. It behaves well and is resistant to tangle and has just the right amount of strain relief at critical areas.
Comfort and Isolation
Isolation is good on these earphones. The included tips were surprisingly excellent, and I found it easy to get a good fit with them. The earphones sit at just a medium when talking about the depth of insertion, but the wide-body helps to block out a lot of external noise, so I would be more than happy to recommend these earphones to people using them in noisy environments.
Comfort is also excellent with the smooth ergo housing quickly slipping into a pair of medium (or larger) sized ears. Users with small ears will find better options on the market, however, as the wide stance of the body could cause potential fit issues.
The sound quality is very good, indeed. It has a very natural and smooth sound to it with useful extension in the top end and moderates extension in the low end. It’s very smooth and clear, producing above-average detail and soundstage for an in-ear hybrid monitor.
Highs - The highs are very good, with a crisp, clear definition throughout the treble range. I found them to be exceptionally good with jazz recordings and treble rich EDM where the highs peak before the bass drop comes in. It’s detailed, but it’s not hot or splashy sounding, and it is also completely devoid of the metallic tinge that some earphones in this price range display.
Midrange - The mids are smooth, clear, and balanced. They don’t have too much in the way of additional warmth, which I had for some reason, expected when coming into this review. They are far more natural sounding and devoid of coloration.
This makes them perform equally well with male and female vocals as well as mid biased stringed instruments like acoustic guitars and the piano. There is just enough weight in there to carry the mood properly in acoustic music, but the speed and microdetail delivered by the BA units. It’s not on a par with the resolution and transparency of the Tin P1 or Shuoer tape, but it’s good for a 2 BA and DD hybrid.
The low end is handled by the 9mm graphene dynamic driver, and this gives a beautiful punchy low end that is free from over distortion and has no bleed into the lower midrange. It’s not a basshead earphone but is capable of delivering a good punch when called upon. I was impressed by the speed, and it only really lacks a little bit more texture as a time with hefty music is can decay a little fast. Overall it has a good low end, and it is far preferred to a BA only setup due to its added punch.
Soundstage and imaging are both pretty average here. It’s easy enough to place instruments clearly, and a decent amount of separation exists. It’s a little bit deeper than it is wider, but as with most in-ear monitors, it struggles to give you that out of the head experience that we are all craving.
On the whole, I think the sound is very good. Far better than the more Expensive Rai Solo, I just tested from Meze Audio, but it fails to keep up sonically with the brilliant P1 and Tape earphones that were recently released.
It seems Tipsy, while putting out a competent earphone in the original Dunmer is looking to step up their game. The Dunmer Pro feels like a very premium step up with their beautiful resin housing and more refined sound. The cable is exceptionally nice, and despite a few small gripes, I think they are a great set of headphones that I would happily recommend. The only issue here is the Shuoer tape is significantly cheaper and better sounding (although there is no doubting the Dunmers superior ergonomics. In the end, another Chinese IEM that seriously shows up western brands for their weak price to performance ratios. Recommended.
The Tipsy Dunmer Pro is soon to be released at Linsoul and you can sign up for more information at their Tipsy Dunmer Pro order page.