Tunai DRUM Bass Enhanced Audiophile Earphones


Product: Tunai DRUM Bass Enhanced Audiophile Earphones
Provided By: Tunai Creative
Price: Kickstarter Options Here!



I've reviewed a few Tunai products over the last couple of years and have been quite impressed with the innovation of the Firefly, the quality and convenience of the CLIP and today we are looking at their latest (upcoming) product - the DRUM. Right now, this project is on Kickstarter and the pricing options make it very attractive. Let's face it though, there is a metric tonne of earphones on the market and they all have pretty solid claims. Some are geared toward athletic use, others for comfort and others claim to be built for the audiophile. The price range is all over the map - making it great for consumers. You'll always be able to afford something to stick in your ears as they range from $2.99 to well over a $1,000 for some high-end custom-fit monitors.

The DRUM has impressive claims as they are trying to be "High-Resolution Bass Enhanced Audiophile Earphones". We'll get into what that means here in a little bit, but more important, we'll cover how they sound, feel and what you can expect from this $39.99 USD (MSRP) set of earphones. On Kickstarter they are currently available from $9.99 and up - so if you like the way this sounds, you should get after it and snag a pair. That being said, let's look at what you'll be getting with the retail package.


First Impressions:

To be fair, I'm currently looking at a prototype sample of the DRUM and don't even have a retail package. The difference between my prototype sample and the finished product is the fit and finish of the unit and how the colored portion and the main housing fit together. My sample has a bit of a burr and a tiny gap between the two pieces on the outside edge. What we are talking about here today is the audio quality primarily. Still, I thought I'd share some of the packaging and what to expect if you back the project. 

Retail Package


The package is slick and the DRUM comes in a metal box with elegant graphics and all the main features clearly shown. While my sample arrived in a little pouch, I'm told the final package will be very classy and give you a place to securely store your earphones should you ever be required to take them out of your ears.



The sample I received was "Turkish blue", and they are very comfortable in my ear-holes. They are quite large though, and if you have small ears the housing may come in contact with your ears - making them less comfortable. In my sample, and in the retail package, are several different sizes of ear-tips to help them fit everyone, but the large driver size may make them not work for some people. Everyone that has tried my set (with properly cleaned ear-tips - ewww!) has found them to work well, but I could see that the size and shape could cause a few people discomfort.

As previously mentioned, the DRUM are quite a bit larger than my Sennheiser Momentum In-Ears and marginally larger than the Optoma NuForce NE800M. The size of the housing is directly related to the rather large drivers they have crammed into the DRUM. They feature a 13mm dynamic driver that is designed to produce better bass and help set them apart in this crowded market. The fact that they claim "audiophile" quality in a $40 package has me a bit skeptical. With many bass-enhanced products, the bass overpowers the treble, but Tunai has tried to balance this with the 8um diaphragm to product crisp and clean treble. For the record, a human hair is 100um.



The "Hi-Resolution" audio is achieved with a large 13mm driver, separate voice coil and the 8um diaphragm. We'll share our thoughts here soon as to how all of this stacks up for the listening experience. While the focus is on the earphones themselves, they do present as a wired headset with a call answer/hang-up button that doubles as a play/pause button during media playback. The microphone on these is adequate as well and I had no complaints when talking on the phone using these as my headset.

On the next page, we'll cover the listening experience after two weeks of testing.


While the specifications only indicate performance, it's worth noting what Tunai claims before we see what these are really like.

  • Driver Unit: 13mm dynamic
  • Diaphragm: 8um aerospace grade PET
  • Frequency Response (Hz): 10 – 40,000Hz
  • Sensitivities (dB/mW): 105 dB/mW
  • Impedence: 35Ω (1kHz)
  • Cord material: OFC, Oxygen free copper
  • Cord Type: Y type, round cord
  • Cord length: 3.3ft / 100cm
  • Plug: Four-conductor gold-plated L-shaped stereo mini jack
  • Wearing style: Inner ear
  • Color options: Shadow Black, Sterling Silver, Shine Orange, Meadow Green and Turkish Blue 



Testing the DRUM:

The process of testing earphones is probably one of my favorite things to do as of late. I get to put in some earphones, block out the world and lose myself in music, a great audiobook or even some great movies. Any earphones can pipe sound down into your ear-canal, but there are a select number of earphones that can do it well and make listening to music a pleasure.

I’m no audiophile, but I do love good audio and have a pretty good ear for music. With that being said, I have a hard time finding objective ways to test earphones. The experience is very personal and varies greatly between people. Everyone has a different idea of what sounds “good”. Some people love the bass-heavy “Beats” experience, while others insist that only something American-made is any good. I’ve listened to a lot of different earphones and headphones in the past and I would much rather listen to accurate audio, rather than have something that has crazy bass levels or is tuned to one particular genre of music. I listen to a wide variety of music and want something “flat” that works with everything – as it should be intended.

As these are designed for use on the go, I did the bulk of my testing during a commute, but got some time to spend with these plugged into my laptop for listening to Netflix and even managed to play a clan game-night with these. They sounded great on any device I plugged them in to, but they sounded really, really good on my Galaxy S8. I even plugged these into a Roku 3.

The sound coming out of these is clean, clear and wonderfully full. While the current feel of them is a bit lacking due to the prototype nature of this sample, the sound coming from them makes you forget that as you lose yourself to the music. While they sound good plugged into pretty much anything, the S8 and my ASUS Xonar sound chip on my laptop make them sound the best as they can drive them properly. 

In terms of music specifics, I listened to a lot of different music genres as I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to music. I listened to some great 90’s alternative, a bit of modern pop, some classic hair-bands, classics from the 70’s and some new music by Manafest, Thousand Foot Krutch and more. Some of this music has been purchased as loss-less FLAC files. 

One for All


I've listened to a bunch of music and this is how it all breaks down in my opinion.

  • Guns and Roses - Welcome to Jungle = 85% (Bass is a bit mushy, high-end was sharp and mid-range is average. Not their best showing).
  • Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy = 95% (Solid bass track, balances into the tweeters are is clear and pretty crisp - not sharp).
  • Enya - Caribbean Blue = 85% (Well balanced. Surrounded with layers of sound. Clear, clean but not sharp. Almost a little mushy overall, but very listenable.)
  • Beastie Boys - Brass Monkey = 95% (Excellent bass. Treble is a little sharp, but that is the nature of the song. Still a bit sharper than some other earbuds. Overall, just what these earbuds are made for. No distortion).
  • All Along the Watchtower - The Jimi Hendrix Experience = 90% (Excellent channel separation as the song showcases the mixing technique. Clean, no distortion, overall a pleasant experience. Not overwhelming though as the sound of the bass guitar was overshadowed by the treble and vocal tracks).
  • Axel F - Harold Faltermeyer (Beverly Hills Cop Theme) = 100% (Perfect bass mix, treble, mid-range and details of clicking, effects and synthesizer are all perfectly balanced).
  • The Who - Baba O'Riley = 80% (Complex song that isn't quite captured fully with these earbuds. The fast piano melodies aren't as distinct as they could be as the treble misses the mark and it runs together).
  • Chainsmokers (Remix) Tove Lo - Stay High = 100% (Techno remix sounds excellent. Bass is thundering, mid-range is balanced and treble is pleasant and clean without sounding sharp).
  • Adele - Hello = 100% (Full sound. The piano track feels like you're in the same room. Vocal track is stellar. Perfect reproduction).
  • Ed Sheran - Shape of You = 90% (Excellent channel separation. Super clear, but a little sharp instrument track. Excellent vocals. Great bass).
  • Leo Moracchioli - Hello = 100% (Better version of the song and equally fantastic bass, treble and vocals. Perhaps my favorite cover or version of this song ever - and the DRUM perfects it).


Final Thoughts:

Audio is such a subjective thing, but I'm super happy with these earphones. If they were packaged with the name Beyerdynamic, Shure or Sennheiser, you'd be happy spending $100+ on these and marvel that they could put this kind of sound in such and "affordable" package. When you consider that Tunai makes these for a mere $40 regular price, they are a steal of a deal. There are a few other things to consider that further enhance the value and make the usability that much better as well. The cable is great - close to perfect in fact. It has a rubber sheath that isn't too sticky and helps keep them from getting tangled. The Optoma NuForce NE800M claimed to have a tangle-free cord, but that rubber was tacky enough that the cord was always in a knot in my pocket and required patience to untangle and use. Not so with the DRUM. The cable length, position of the microphone/control and the way it is easy to store, quickly untangle (if required) and use is fantastic. They are designed to be used with a mobile device directly - or with the CLIP, and they nailed it.

At the end of the day, this $40 pair of earphones is a great value. The sound quality and clarity is fantastic and the finished product should address the minor burr and gap issues on this prototype pair. Even if they don't get that figured out, it's still worth the price of admission based on the sound quality. Bass is booming without being overpowering. 

While they claim a frequency response of 10-40,000Hz, with the focus on bass, we tested them down to 5Hz. We worked our way down from 100Hz and at 25Hz the quality and volume was still very impressive. At 20Hz, things dropped off considerably in terms of volume and at 15Hz and lower, the quality, volume and usability was gone. Still, at a test 25Hz, the quality, volume and performance is incredible - all from a $40 pair of earphones. Tunai has done a great job with the driver and diaphragm pairing and, in my opinion, have a real winner on their hands.

If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please feel free to post in the forum right here. If you want to snag a pair (and you won't regret it), back it on Kickstarter here.