DITA FIDELITY REVIEW :
- Extremely revealing and accurate
- Gigantic airy soundstage
- Transparent yet detailed timbre
- Near neutral vivid musicality
- Sturdy construction
- Cable with changeable plugs
- Mid bass lack definition and punch in attack
- Cable swapping can be problematic
- Expensive for poor audiophile like me
NO BS (IN YOUR DREAM) RECOMMENDED!!
DITA Audio is a well established earphones (and cables) audio company from Singapore-the asian state of numerous hardcore audiophile. As they say themself, they struggle for THEIR own audio perfection (or dream), wich is a very demanding one.
”Being dissatisfied with what was commercially available, Dita was born to fulfill a dream to produce earphones of unrivaled quality and beauty.
Our philosophy at Dita is simple, we will continually strive for perfection, we will not follow market trends nor use any component or technologies that will compromise the musical truth.
Using decades of experience from being in the Audio and Engineering industry, we used the time and tested methodology of using the very best components in the shortest, simplest signal path possible. After years of exploring and researching with different materials and components, we now believe that we have found the answer. ”
DITA create the TWINS earphones to explore duality between human and relationship as well as between music and listener.
Musicality versus Accuracy, Emotionality versus Rationality, Passion versus Love, Body versus Anatomy.
Fealty is about a musical romance while Fidelity is about perfectionism of lifelike realism.
Still, they certainly aren’t called TWINS just for their difference, but for there similarities they share too, wich explain why the soundsignature is similar and have nuanced tuning difference that will not jump at you as if one model was super warm and bassy and the other one bright and analytical. This is more refined than that and can be explain by the use of very same diaphragm form but with different amount of material used for its complex molding that include PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) and PEN (Polyethylene Naphthalate). Both of the TWINS share same Tuning target but with differet tonalities.
You can see here from the CRINNACLE frequencies response graphic that the tuning share more similarities than drastic variances.
As seen in the graph, the FIDELITY tuning is like a magnifying FEALTY with more vivid mid range and less warm bassy sound even if lower end look to extend further (we cannot trust graph for lower bass response).
Having both TWINS earphones, I choose to begin by reviewing the FIDELITY model.
Priced at 1300$, but quite often in sale too, the DITA FIDELITY aren’t for budget minded audiophile, its really for those that are whealty enough to afford any audio luxuries they want. Still, we can find more expensive earphones today that offer less overall value, but personally i consider earphones selling above 1K as irrational buy for audiophile that are Obsess about price value. So, for this review I will not talk about value, it just cannot apply to this IEM price range.
Now, let’s see in this review if the FIDELITY offer a higher end sonority that can inject new life and refinement to your music.
DISCLAIMER : I wanna thanks Kenneth from DITA Audio for sending me both TWINS as reviews sample. These loaned units were sent months ago, and I take my time to listen to them carefully. I wanna thanks DITA for giving me full freedom of toughs. As always, this is my sincere subjective impressions.
SPECS &INFO :
Single Dynamic Driver
Drive Unit Complement
New design Dual Material Composite driver with:
Full gold-plated chassis
18Hz – 25KHz
95dB +/- 1dB @ 1KHz
Max. Input Power
Connection (Plug end)
Patented and proprietary Awesome Plug with 3.5mm TRS and 2.5mm TRRS supplied.
Optional: 4.4mm, 5-pole
Internally wired with Van Den Hul 3T hybrid cable
Soldered with Van Den Hul Silver solder
Connection (Earphone end)
2-pin with “slot-lock”
2 -pin female pins with internal spring lock
Gold plated contacts
DITA Fat Cable 2 with TPE insulating jacket
6061 T6 aerospace grade aluminium
CNC’d from billet
Simultaneously aged and hard anodized
Chemical etched Stainless Steel 304 damping plate
Integrated Chin Stop
Fealty: Iridium Silver
Fidelity: Barium Grey
CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN :
CONSTRUCTION is sober, simple, yet elegant and sturdy. The housing is bigger than expected and I was worry about fit issue, but they are mean to be wear over ear and the rather long angled nozzle fit perfectly my ears with minimal pressure due to light alloy metal housing. I have a particular crush for dark gray brushed alloy look of the Fidelity, but i’m a little afraid that they can be prompt to scratching, wich explain why I will listen and use them 2 weeks more before publishing full review.
DURABILITY look like to be important for DITA, because the mmcx connector are very well built with 2pin gold plated connection hole, as well, the male mmcx fit tighly and securly with rubber that protect mmxc connection. The cable have an industrial feel to it, its very thick and have a special feature that I ever seen with any other cable and find extremely practical : interchangeable plug system. Yes, you can now have a 2in1 cable that can be use as 3.5mm unbalanced or 2.5mm balanced by changing the screwable plug.
DESIGN is strictly thinked for over ear wearing, and as the housing is relatively big as well as the mmcx connector, it can create long term discomfort depending of your type of ears. Strangely, this only occur with my left ears after hours of non stop use and i think it’s more due to the cable than the iem itself. I think that if you encounter discomfort after long use, the solution would be to use another smoother more flexible cable without a big rubber 2pin connector.
CABLE design, as said its super thick and sturdy and will most likely have long lifespan, but its not a very flexible cable, wich make it perhaps not the best choice for over ear design. As well, due to proprietary 2pin fitlock system of DITA TWINS cable connecting, using other 2pin cable will not permit perfect tigh fit, as the 2pin cannot be push fully in female connector that have blocking system. Cable lenght is quite long as well, wich again it’s a plus or not depending of your type of use. As said, it’s an excellent high end cable, and changeable plug is Genius idea! I just wish i can try more easily different cable type to change flavor of sound time to time.
DRIVEABILITY do benifit enough amping, a good powerfull DAP or any portable, deskop amp will do, but very low output audio source will must likely affect soundstage and overall dynamic in a negative way. The FIDELITY have low sensitivity of 95db, wich is a little similar to Final Audio E5000 in its amping need. I know its well amped when the soundstage is wide and immersive and timbre is fully blossom.
ISOLATION is quite excellent and offer high passive isolation, wich block noise to high DB level, for example if i knock hard on my table i do not hear nothing other than my music a middle volume. For sound leakage, due to side venting hole, it will tend to leaks more sound than iem with front vent or no vent at all.
GEAR USED : IBASSO DX90 (reference DAP), Xduoo X20 (balanced output), Radsone ES100 (balanced output), Xduoo XD-05+ (with Burson V5i Opamp), Xduoo TA-10 (Ibasso D2+ BOA (high gain)
OVERALL SUBJECTIVE SOUND APPRECIATION is a refined and serene one, that do not wow me with a spectacular coloured sound but with irreprochable technicalities that show themself in a grand soundstage. This is very positive to me, because I will never get tired of the high fidelity sound of FIDELITY. It’s near perfectly neutral with natural transparent timbre, good attack from low to highs and a very revealing elevated mid range that have great level of accuracy in its imaging. All this sound effortless yet very lifelike, this time its not easy to pinpoint the FIDELITY as warm or bright, its more nuanced than that, sure the term transparence is very adequate, but timbre isn’t thin and have complex tonality with an organic transient response. This luxurious earphones do not choose to be unbalanced with overemphased bass and deliver a rather balanced reponse with energize mid range, extension of sub bass is impressively deep without doing lot of rumble, kick is punchy without moving lot of air, mid range embrace whole spectrum with incredible accuracy that is very appealing. Yes, these earphones are very nuanced in there mix of tone, timbre, attack and decay, all is preciously polished so no harsh artificial peaks ruin the musicality.
SOUNDSTAGE is among the more spacious I hear to date, its tall, wide and deep, with an out of your head oval shape as if you have 2 towers speakers at each side of you with 2 other speakers a little further in the midle. Its not hall like, because instruments do not sound too distant, more like the type of concert room Glenn Gould like to play in, wich is bigger than a small studio, but smaller than a church or arena.
IMAGING again is something very special, especially for a single dynamic driver, now we are into somekind of magic. It got both transparent layering, wich is shown with bass being clear but in the back of the wide mid range with great instrument placement. To me there 3 type of imaging : horizontal separation, vertical separation (layering) and holographic separation (a mix of the 2). The FIDELITY have all 3, wich make the sound dense and immersive with a very realist level of accuracy.
CLARITY is a sumptuous mix of transparency and crispness. Definition is hyper realist so you can hear every details of instruments without feeling its a mix of unbalanced layers of sound. Even if resolution is high, its not too bright or pushed fowards, never feeling forced or artificial in rendering.
TIMBRE find the sweet spot between thickness and texture, delivering appealing fullness that never sound too opaque. Its polished brightness with breathy transparency.
BASS is on the flatter side, with excellent extension and control. The texture is well detailed, avoiding dryness and thiness even if sub bass is on the light side. Mid bass is were the body expend, having good energic punch and tigh weighty attack to compensate lack of slam and rumbleof sub bass. Its not the fastest bass response, but neither a slow sloppy one. Everthing is clean and natural. Acoustic bass sound wonderfully accurate with long extension and appealing transparent texture. As well, you will hear the sub bass line perfectly, tough it will not stand appart from rest of audio spectrum like more bassy earphones can do to the cost of affecting natural balance. Even if I find more exciting listening to jazz, classical or rock with the Fidelity, it can deal with electronic and rap without sounding dull or too anemic in bass region.
MID RANGE is where most miracle happen with the Fidelity, and we can say its a near mid centric iem even if there no treble drop. Whole mid range is extremely well articulate, with fast attack and high level of clarity. No harshness or sibilance to be found even if the presentation is vivid and slightly bright. For once piano sound as well define as violin, not fighting between eachother to get more attention. Vocal keep their place in the center without covering other instrument, enlightning the resolution of imaging and accuracy. We arent in super thick lushness, wich will affect transparency of layering, instead we have multiple fowarded sounds presence that keep all their cleaness into a balanced harmonious musical hierarchy. This type of sound is more expected from a great multi-BA’S high end earphone than a single dynamic, still, DITA achieve to deliver the talented technicalities of multi-BA as well as timbre fullness and bass extension only dynamic drivers can offer.
TREBLE is crisp and airy, and most of its energy come from mid and high treble and roll off in top octave. Highs stay on par with mid range and do not feel overly pushed fowards, making percussions and high pitch instrument sound natural yet very clear and textured. FIDELITY highs sound very controled, without artificial resonance, harshness or splashiness even if timbre have more brightness than brilliance. Plucked instrument like acoustic guitar or harp sound fabulous with the FIDELITY, its snappy and sparkly, with natural decay, making it extremely realist. The highs have lot of space to expend their presence and the delivering is smooth. Very refined, never feeling too pushed foward or artificial sharp. Attack is extremely controled as well.
SUB BASS: 8/10
MID BASS: 8/10
MID RANGE: 9/10
RANDOM TEST TRACKS :
Solo piano in begining is very accurate as we can discern both hands playing different their melody lines, attack is fast and tigh, timbre is slightly thin wich permit to keep good separation until drum come in the middle, furiously hitting snare and percussion wich do not bloat piano line from left and right even if overall presentation tend to veil the bass line that struggle to be hearable in the back. The presentation is extremely lively, sharp, little bright and shouty by moment until chaos stop and piano became more upfront. Kick lack a little weight and is less hearable than snare or hit hat, wich are very crisp in attack, against, bass line struggle to be heard but this jam is so damn furious I think not dynamic driver would ever be able to render whople range ultra clear and accurate while keeping attack weight in whole spectrum.
AGNES OBEL ‘’ISLAND OF DOOM’’ (from her NEW Album!!)
At very first second of this tracks we are impress by detailed transparent layers of sound, to the point we are suprise once the voice appear because of how near to you and widly present it sound. Agnes voice is nuanced, full sounding and again greatly transparent with natural hint of breathyness. Unlike other iem that tend to make her voice too thick, the FIDELITY offer a refined presentation that permit high level of resolution and accurracy, so you hear perfectly piano line and other voices layers playing togheter. The whole song experience is full of grandeur, due to immense soundstage that make vocal presence extremely envelloping and highlight emotional impact, and that without shadowing instrument placement wich expend spacial deepnest impressions.
How could compare an high end single dynamic against the flagship triple drivers Penta?
Well, let’s begin by saying it wasn’t that easy to compare both due to different amping need, Fidelity being seriously harder to drive and Penta being sensible to over power that can affect sound balance, it wasnt an easy task.
Now, when it come to construction, both are fabulously crafter, but the Rai Penta win in term of comfort and fit, because the DITA is less ergonomic in shape and its earhook cable is thicker and can go off the ears.
SOUNDSTAGE is slightly larger with the DITA, while the PENTA win in deepnest, but still have an overall more intimate presentation and this deepnest clarity can be affected by bass veil.
IMAGING tend to be more accurate and sharper with the DITA, especially inmids and highs, tough the lower bass is more easy to discern with PENTA.
BASS is more U shape and emphased with the PENTA, its thicker, warmer, weightier and more muscular than the flatter, slightly dry lower end of DITA wich have more energy in mid bass making kick drum less thick but more realist and textured.
MID RANGE is warmer with the PENTA, its a little thicker and more opaque too, it will have more presence when there no sub bass bleed occuring but the brighter timbre of DITA tend to offer higher clarity, tough male vocal will sound thinner and female vocal can rarely create slight sibilance, attack for violin is faster too.
TREBLE is more extended, sharper and more sparkly with the DITA, percussions are more foward and clearer, but this can affect overall balance and make the DITA sound a little more clinical than more mellow and natural treble response of PENTA.
All in all, PENTA is more bassy, warmer and lusher while the FIDELITY is more neutral, brighter and accurate.
Yeah, I have a big crush about housing design and construction of the magnificent B1, as well, they are more comfortable and even block more noise than the FIDELITY. The mmcx cable is more flexible and I can use any other cable of my collection without limitation with the B1. But, in term of sound it’s another story and this is where price difference is more evident.
SOUNDSTAGE is notably wider, taller and more out of your head with the DITA, delivery a sens of airy holographic instrument placement B1 crualy lack.
IMAGING too is more accurate and sharp, while B1 feel intimate and even congested when bass occur. DITA offer more realist and extended spaciality, instrument have more air between them and level of clarity is higher.
BASS is thicker, weightier but smoother too with the B1, it lack control, texture and transparence of DITA but will sure satisfy more the basshead because of its warmer, bassier (and boomier) presence.
MID RANGE is warmer, thicker and softer in attack than more vivid, energic and detailed one of DITA. Level of accuracy is more refined with DITA, as well as the revealing articulation of imaging. With the B1, vocal are more intimate, opaque and juicy, wich tend to shadow instrumentation more than better balanced DITA. Definition of instrument is as well better with DITA.
TREBLE is more balanced, richer and snappier with DITA, wich deliver highs with tigh crispness compared to more shouty highs of B1 that can make cymbals splashy. About the balance, it that B1 have mid highs push that tend to push agressively some highs in a rather artificial way due to overall smooth response curve of all rest of spectrum.
All in all, the B1 is warmer, bassier and thicker sounding, but to the cost of having more opaque, intimate sound than more refined, articulate, neutral and detailed DITA FIDELITY that are from another league both in price and sound.
As said, these are similar, but far from the point of loosing their own specific singularities. FEALTY is a more ‘’romanticaly’’ tuned FIDELITY, with extra soul, and well, extra bass too!
SOUNDSTAGE is near the same, both have enormous out of your head spaciality, but perhaps the FIDELITY have a hint more deepnest too it.
IMAGING is slightly sharper with FIDELITY, offering higher level of instrument separation clarity.
BASS is more lively, weighty and punchy with the FEALTY, even if its not basshead earphones, it give a more dynamic lowend with better rounded midbass punch.
MID RANGE is slightly warmer, thicker and lusher with FEALTY, giving to vocal extra body but less transparence than more analyticalmid range of FIDELITY. Here the cello and piano will sound more natural and fuller with FEALTY while it will be violin and guitar for the FIDELITY.
TREBLE is smoother with the FEALTY, giving a more laidback sound without sounding anemic in highs region, here the FIDELITY is more agressive and snappy.
All in all, the FEALTY is the poet while the FIDELITY is the scientist, both with same family soul.
DITA audio have their own vision about perfect sound tuning, and to my ears its a very refined and higly resolved one that offer high versatility even if bass isn’t (over) emphased. While some will miss fun factor of bass slam and weight, other like me will enjoy high level of accuracy that never sound clinical or forced but instead realisticaly musical.
I need to repeat that bass extension is exceptional, as well as separation and control, to achieve that type of sound balanced that offer high clarity in both timbre and tonality of all frequencies range is artfull meticulous tuning job that deserve high level of respect (and high price too?).
DITA FIDELITY is the type of high end earphones that will please as much mature critical listener than audiophile searching for a grand immersive and revealing musicality.
Unlike luxurious audio ‘’caprice’’ that will sound entertaining and spectacular at first but will fastly show it’s limit in term of overall balance, clarity and dynamic; the FIDELITY will age wisely with your music, and could became the very only one Reference IEM you need.
If your pocket are deep enough and you search for a maturely tuned earphones that offer gigantic soundstage, high level of precision in imaging, high clarity from low to highs and addictive transparent timbre, the DITA FIDELITY is there for you and will never betray your precious music with its pristine accuracy.