PerformanceEar buds are for those looking for a set of transportable headphones that are easy to use on the go. They are less bulky than on-ear (supra aural) headphones and can in some incarnations provide very good sound quality. In-ears have of course conquered quite a bit of the ear-bud market, but there are still some things that make ear buds interesting. They, for one, do not block out all noise and are easy to remove and insert, which can be somewhat tricky with some in-ears. Also, they are usually more durable, which makes them a better in-the-pocket partner for your smart phone than most in-ears with, for example, small and delicate sound tubes.
Dragon 2Dragon 2 is Sunrise's top model. These ear buds are very special. First of all, they have power requirements similar to that of the Yuin OK1/PK1s. I took the Dragon out for a serious listening session after a 100 hour burn-in period. The new Dragons are definitely not bass heavy, but that has always been a pitfall of pretty much any ear bud. The Dragon 2s are, like its elder brother, extraordinarily detailed in the midrange and treble region. That coupled with its good soundstage presentation makes them very interesting to listen to. The bass has been improved over the older Charm ear buds, but they are still ill-suited to very bass-intensive music. They suit vocal-oriented and acoustic music; they are fabulous here. The linearity from the midrange and up is definitely class-leading, and they have a really open sound when paired with the right amplifier. You will need some kind of external amplification to get them to sound their best since they are quite hard to drive, but it is definitely worth the effort. This does mean that they are harder to use well in a portable setup, since you will need a portable amplifier to get them to sound their best. They have a very fast presentation and capture distortion and over-drive guitar sound just perfectly, with the right amount of intensity and crispness.
The soundstage representation of these ear buds deserves some credit because it is better than anything else that can be had for around $100, at least based on what we have tested; even the Sennheiser PX-200 IIs and KRK-6400s get a run for their money which is just mindboggling considering the very small form factor of the Sunrise Dragon 2s.