The first edition vanilla SA6 in 2020, the second limited edition SA6 Ultra in late 2022, and the last edition the MK2 in 2023. Today we are going to look at the 3rd edition of DUNU’s favorite SA6 Studio line.
DUNU has equipped the all-new Studio SA6 MK2 with six high-performance balanced armature drivers from SONION and Knowles. The MK2 adopts dual SONION woofers, dual midrange drivers from Knowles, and dual treble drivers from Knowles. The IEM is adjusted in a three-way frequency crossover for clear frequency division and response. Like the previous versions.
Based on the user feedback on the OG Studio SA6 and Limited Edition SA6 Ultra, the sound tuning of the SA6 MK2 has been revamped to match the requirements of users worldwide. It now has improved three-frequency response promising deeper lower-end impact, cleaner midrange accuracy, and airier, wider treble extensions. The pair will definitely match the different genres and provide a blissful listening experience.
DUNU Studio SA6 MK2 has got stunning new looks. The shells look utterly beautiful as they are handcrafted with beautiful wooden face covers with a hint of red color to enhance the looks with a contrasting tone. The shells have an optimized shape for an ergonomic and comfortable wearing experience.
Just like the SA6 Ultra, the new SA6 MK2 is bundled with DUNU’s latest Hulk Pro Mini IEM cable as stock. Designed on the same architecture as the OG Hulk Pro, the Hulk Pro Mini has a lighter design with superb sound characteristics. It adopts DUNU’s patented Q-Lock swappable termination plug system with 3.5mm and 4.4mm plugs included in the package.
In order to complement different genres of music well, DUNU has adjusted the tuning of the latest SA6 MK2 with a neutral tuning that has a slightly boosted lower-end response.
Apart from the high-purity Hulk Pro Mini Stock cable, the DUNU SA6 MK2 includes a bunch of ear tips including XL size S&S ear tips from DUNU, a designer solid carry case with DUNU Logo on the top. DUNU SA6 MK2 comes as a complete package to get you going straight out of the box.
The first thing that struck me upon first listen (switch off) is the overall balance, transparency, and clarity of the SA6 MK2, it is faithful to the recording but not unforgiving either. The imaging is pinpoint and precise with a very open and realistic stage. The SA6 MK2 is a fast IEM with snappy note attack and realistic decay across the range and remains smooth in its delivery. Turn the switch ON and you get both a lift in bass and lower mids.
The bass is snappy and fast, detailed and agile with superb control and surprisingly good sub-bass extension. The mids are very accurate with a very nice bite and slightly forward vocal presentation. The treble strikes a superb balance with good lower treble energy smoothly delivered and a well-extended and refined upper treble. The resolution is quite impressive also.
I tested The DUNU SA6 MK2 with the switch OFF. The On position is for those who always want more bass on any IEM, I’m not one of them. Honestly, I would have preferred to lower the bass with the switch on the levels of the SA6 Ultra.
The source I used was SMSL’s new AK4499EX-powered DO300EX DAC/AMP. And let me tell you the SA6 MK2 needs a good source to shine.
The SA6 MK2 features a very accurate and controlled bass presentation the choice of a vented dual woofer BA certainly fits the bill here. You might lose a bit of punch over sealed BA but you gain in control and extremely low distortion even on the most bass-heavy tracks. The MK2 has an agile, clean bass response. The quantity is well-adjusted.
Switch off, the bass is quite balanced favoring neither sub-bass, which has good extension and very good rumble for a balanced armature nor mid-bass which sounded spot on in quantity with very good detail and texture.
Last but not least the SA6 MK2 bass is a fast bass and can keep up with the fastest tracks but it’s not a dry and quick bass either with a quick attack but a bit longer decay it has somewhat of an organic touch.
The SA6 MK2 mids are in line with the overall signature which is an organic blend of reference. It’s very balanced with no particular emphasis in the range, except maybe for slight vocal emphasis.
The mids are articulate and transparent, similar to the rest of the spectrum. Both the male and female vocals have an adequate body. The midrange is not thin, or particularly thick. The tonal balance is excellent, it is natural and it does not feel saturated. This type of tuning results in a very precise and accurate midrange that doesn’t feel dry at all. The whole signature never feels digital and manages to stay organic throughout the frequency spectrum.
The lower mids are not prominent but they aren’t dipped either and I find that there is a spot on body and weight, it’s not a lean lower mids that can make some IEMs clearer but also thinner. I like notes to have a realistic weight and the SA6 MK2 certainly does not disappoint there and has a touch of organic to its reference tuning that is very pleasing to my ear.
The upper mids show the same restraint, with just the right amount of bite, and don’t seem to be affected by the “atmospheric” switch. I like my upper mids to be safe from any harshness but at the same time, I like them to have a bit of bite especially so that there is a good presence to acoustic guitars, sizzle to hi-hats, snare drums crispness, and buzz to the electric guitars among other. The SA6 MK2 certainly has it and at the same time remains safe from any harshness, this is harder to do than it seems.
Let me start by saying that the high frequencies feel articulate, refined, and detailed. The resolution is impressive here also and the extension is spatial but manages to stay controlled within the dedicated range. The timbre feels accurate and clean with ample air.
The SA6 MK2 treble is going to be a very coherent story with its bass and mids: it has a superb balance between good lower treble energy and upper treble presence. Just like its mids, the SA6 MK2 treble is exciting and engaging but smooth at all times a rare and very enjoyable combination.
The upper treble on the SA6 MK2 is very refined with excellent extension and it’s also very natural sounding with no overly done emphasis. The SA6 MK2 has therefore good air and the resolution is quite impressive at this price point.
The excellent tonal balance results in a very coherent presentation and this is one of the best specialties of the MK2. All the frequency bands work harmoniously in sync and this contributes to the layering and imaging properties of the MK2.
The soundstage is wide and deep with plenty of air between the instruments. Their positioning is clear and distinctive. It is quite easy to focus and track individual instruments on the stage. The layering is just as impressive. The attack and decay are snappy and sharp with really low resonance. The MK2 is an excellent all-rounder due to its dynamic and articulate presentation. It performs well with many genres as long as you pair it with an equally capable source.
It may take some good power from a mid-higher-end DAP for the MK2 to perform the best and sound refined. Smaller outputs sound flatter.
DUNU SA6 MK2 has great tonal balance, dynamics, detail, and clarity. Accurate in tone, and sounds organic and inviting. If you’re looking for a superbly built IEM with a reference baseline, for accuracy and musicality, the MK2 packs impressive resolution and remarkable tonal accuracy across the range.