Dita Dream

Rating:
4.2/5,
  1. SilverEars
    The Dream bass
    Written by SilverEars
    Published Apr 25, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Quality bass, full articulate sounds, ergonomics
    Cons - Elevated lower treble, cable, price
    This review is based on a review tour unit provided by Dita.


    This tour unit provided by Dita was a great opportunity for us(especially somebody like me that has not heard any of their iems) to try out their newest offering, Dream.


    Due to a theft that occurred during the tour, the kit that I’ve received was pretty bare with a few set of tips. Fortunately, the tips that was included in the kit fit me quite well, and turned out to be the perfect tips to bring out the character of the iem. This particular tip was the white colored, narrow bore(as pictured below). I’ve compared with the Symbio Mandarin W tips(that I use frequently), which has a wider bore diameter, and the white tips provided in the kit provided the better bass response compared to the Symbio. The bore sizing doesn’t seem to matter much with it’s sound.

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    I had no trouble with the fit. The nozzle is long enough to good insertion and seal(particularly with the above mentioned tips). A good fit due to not being so bulky and with good ergonomics due to the rounded shape that seats well on the Antitragus of the ear. Certain iems can be too bulky that movements can cause shifting the iem in the ear, unseating from a good fit. Due to the ergonomics and the size, there was no issue with iem shifting, messing with the fit.

    One thing that can be improved would be the cable. The cable is a bit on the bulky side due to the added insulation over the main core of the cable. This insulation causes stiffness to the cable, retaining memory of the bends, which I didn’t particularly like. In addition, the iem felt a bit weighed down by this cable.

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    Now, on to the sound. Upon initial listen, I was a bit taken by it’s sound. It was due to having a sound that was different than what I’ve been hearing. I’ve not been so fond of single dynamic drivers that I’ve been hearing in the past that I paid more attention to BA based iems. Dream sounded different than other dynamic driver iems I’ve heard before, particularly the bass. The bass on this iem has to be the most articulate bass I’ve ever heard of an iem. It’s capable of outputting different type of bass sounds that typical iem doesn't present. Perhaps the bass is more transparent to the music type if it’s able to express different types of bass sounds. The bass hits hard in the mid-bass region and you have that sub region woofer like effect on certain tracks. That is not something I hear much of with BA driver bass, particularly the subs.

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    After spending a bit more time with it, I became more familiar with the signature. The signature seemed a bit on the V-shaped side with the lower treble peak being a bit noticeable. Luckily, I didn’t find this signature to sound be recessed in the mids or bass to overwhelm the mids to lose clarity in general. There’s a bit of treble forwardness and thus a great articulation results from the raised lower treble which can overshadow the mids. This lower treble was a bit greater in level than I prefer personally, which is a bit more than what I consider on the smooth side. The treble doesn’t seem to be as smooth of a transition from upper-mids to the lower treble. Somewhere in the area of 7-8k, there seems to be a bit of a emphasis to cause a particular boldness in the treble articulation that makes you really notice it. If this can be alleviated, I believe the treble can sound a bit more smoother. Also, this raised treble boldness cause a type of sparkle/grain type articulation gets a bit on the textury side. I wouldn’t call this a strong treble peak, but it’s noticeable. Other than that, bass is one of the best I’ve heard, and it’s the biggest strength. It an iem that really impresses me with it’s bass capability. Sound stage is large, and the sub bass really supports the spacialness of it’s large sound.


    What I found impressive was the speed of the iem. I thought the response was very quick in par with BA iems that I find pretty quick in response.


    All in all, a high performing dynamic driver iem that sets itself apart from many out there, and after demo'ing the Dream, I'm looking forward to what else is on the horizon from Dita.
  2. San Man
    The Dream, for some.
    Written by San Man
    Published Apr 24, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Bass, fit/finish, "Awesome" cable
    Cons - Emotionless midrange, "Un-Awesome" CABLE
    Dita Dream review
    **Disclaimer: I was fortunate enough to be included in the Dita Dream tour, with the stipulation that I complete a review by the time the tour was completed. There was no influence conveyed by anyone, including Dita, to give a positive or negative review.**


    Dream Specs:
    Dita’s website lists the following as the Dream’s specs:
    • Driver 1 Newly-Developed Ultra-wide Bandwidth 10mm Transducer
    • FR 10-25000 Hz
    • Impedance 16 ohms
    • Sensitivity 102 db
    • Colour Titanium Black
    • Cable The Truth Custom Made By VDH 1.2M
    • Solder VDH Lead-Free Silver Solder
    • Connector Awesome 2.5mm TRRS / 3.5mm TRS

    What’s in the box?:
    Dita’s website lists the following as the included accessories:
    • 3 Pairs Small Bore Tips S/M/L (sweeter highs)
    • 3 Pairs Medium Bore Tips S/M/L (reference tuning)
    • 3 Pairs Large Bore Tips S/M/L (airier highs)
    • 1 Custom Flight Adapter
    • 1 Premium Leather Pouch

    Build and Fit:
    The first thing you notice when you remove the Dream from the box is how light the unit is. The housings, made from titanium, weigh next to nothing. When compared to Rhapsodio’s Galaxy V2 brass housing, the Dream feels like a toy. However, the finish on the housings is exquisitely done, and the craftsmanship is nothing short of perfection. The dark gunmetal color screams sophistication and professionalism, and the physical size lends to a comfortable fit for almost any ear.

    If I’m allowed one opportunity to throw stones at the Dream, it would be at the housings and the coating Dita employs. It loves to reveal fingerprints and oil, and that otherwise ruins something you can consider a work of art.


    Cable:
    Dita’s website lists the Truth replacement cable specs as follows:
    • Van Den Hul patented 3T technology carbon based cable technology (Also available in copper/Cu)
    • Available in MMCX and 2 pin configuration
    • The Truth cable with its recognizable cable viewer which highlights the intricate twist and braid used.
    • The Awesome plug allows for a multitude of configurations on the plug end for use on various types of players.
    • Available in 3.5 mm TRS and 2.5 mm TRRS (4.4mm TRRS should be available now)
    Right off the bat, I’ll say this: The ergonomics of this cable are HORRIBLE. Simply horrible. It coils. It’s springy. It tangles. It retains memory, meaning it likes to coil back up on itself. It really, really hates being straight. It’s really such as shame, because had it not been for the poor ergo I’d have purchased one already. I really did love how it sounded.
    While it can be seen as the “Cable from hell,” it does do a lot of things right. One design feature I really, really liked was the 45* angled connector at the 2 pin side of the cable. For the Dream, and for IEMs with a certain type of design, it allowed the Dream to fit into my ear more comfortably than a regular straight 2 pin connector would allow. I wish other cable manufacturers would adopt this as an option, but one can only wish. The swappable jack size were designed to allow the owner the ability to go from 4.4mm balanced, to 2.5mm balanced, to 3.5mm single ended without ever having to buy another cable again. Fine for the “average” consumer, but not the last cable if you fall into the “fanatic” category.
    Ergonomics aside, the Awesome cable’s strength was its sound. The Dream gives the buyer the option of the Van Den Hul Truth copper or Truth silver plated copper upon purchase. In comparing the two while doing my critical listening, the Truth copper won my affection. There was something really special about that Van Den Hul cable; perhaps it’s their “3T” technology or their method of braiding their cable. Whatever it is, that copper cable produced a sound I can only describe as spacious, holographic, detailed, and with a slight hint of warmth. I have yet to hear another pure copper cable come close to the Awesome copper cable.


    Tips:
    The included tips are of good quality, but I immediately installed a set of my trusty Spiral Dots and didn’t look back. I did try some Complys, but overall I preferred the SD tips.


    My Setup:
    My humble test rig consisted of the following: Lotoo Paw Gold-->Dita Truth Cu cable --> Dream

    I only reviewed the Dream with the Paw Gold. No phone, no ipods, nothing else. You could conceivably listen to the Dream off a phone or lowered powered source, but in my experience, a DD driver loves power. In my opinion, any TOTL IEM should be used only with a quality, high powered source.


    Test Music:
    I used a variety of music spanning many different genres, including:
    • Arne Domnerus Group : Jazz At The Pawnshop
    • Bob Marley: Is this Love
    • Daft Punk: R.A.M. - Fragments
    • Eric Clapton: Change the World, Layla (Unplugged)
    • Nora Jones: Come away with me
    • Led Zeppelin IV: Stairway to Heaven
    • Lorde: Royals
    • Nirvana, Unplugged: All Apologies
    • Pink Floyd, DSOTM : Time, Money
    • Sade: Best of
    • Steely Dan: Aja
    • Sting: Thousand Years, Brand New Day
    • Ultrasone: Test CD (It's quite superb)


    Burn In:
    This is quite the polarizing subject, but I admit I’m a believer in burn in, especially when it comes to a dynamic driver. Owners of the Vega all experienced a “drop off” or lowering of the sub bass over time, and I can say the same happened with my Galaxy V2. The Dream should be no different, but I did not do any burn in as it was a test unit and I only had 7 days to conduct my critical listening. I do not know the exact amount of pre-burn in hours this tour unit had, if any, but I do recall that Barra said it was burned in by Dita prior to being shipped out for the reviews. However, as it was a tour unit, I’m sure this Dream sample had a good number of hours under its belt by the time I received it.

    For more insight into the matter, please read of one Alex’s (Twister6) reviews and his thoughts on burn in.


    Sound Impressions:

    Bass:
    The Dream, like its distant cousin the Galaxy V2, has sublime sub-bass notes. The DD equipped Dream is able to hit those low sub notes that you not only hear, but you also feel. I’m talking those “in your gut” type feelings. The bass is powerful, deep, engaging, and lays the foundation for the other notes of the musical spectrum that follow. The decay, of course, is slower than that of a BA driver unit, but the overall quality and quantity of this DD bass IEM is hard to beat. Both the quality and quantity of the sub bass and bass are outstanding, I wouldn’t change anything here.
    However, with the good, sometimes comes the bad. In the Dream’s case, the sub-bass outweighs the upper mid-bass, and that lends in the Dream to portraying itself with a slightly dark presentation.

    Midrange:
    Vocals on the Dream are the shortfall for me. They’re slightly laid back, which is fine to some extent. Some prefer laid back vocals, some prefer neutral vocals, and some prefer forward vocals. However, as I said above, the weight and density of the sub-bass and bass with the corresponding lack of upper mid-bass produce a midrange that, to me, is on the thin side of the coin. When I say thin, I mean that the midrange is lacking warmth, size, density and thickness. Although the midrange comes across as thin, it is that inherent thinness that adds to the Dream’s presentation of the midrange. The lack of the warmth results in midrange notes that will come across as clean and articulate with a good deal of clarity, but at the expense of being what one would call “dry.” I could even go as far as stretching the definition to call the Dream “sterile.” Although it portrays the vocal notes with clarity and resolution, some male and female vocal notes will come across as emotionless and non-engaging due to the lack of warmth.
    Now, don’t get me wrong. When I criticize the vocals, I mean that ideally, we would like a good balance between those components of the midrange, but individual tastes may vary. While you may may prefer a dry midrange note, at times, and depending on the singer, recordings and resulting mastery, I personally like to have body to them. I like to “feel,” through the singers voice, what he or she is trying to portray through the music. Again, it’s a purely a personal preference. Quality and quantity could use improvement in order to present a more realistic, emotional, life-like vocal note.

    Treble:
    Treble on the Dream does err on the brighter side of the spectrum, but I did not notice it to be overly harsh or have any hint of sibilance. Listeners with a sensitivity to elevated treble may experience fatigue, but luckily I don’t fall into that category. A slight boost in the upper midrange and lower treble of the Dream results in a higher level of detail retrieval, which I believe was a goal of designers of the Dream. That boost further results in a higher level of clarity, resolution, and articulation of the notes in this area of the spectrum. The Dream has a good level of extension for a DD driver, but it will not come close to the current offerings from the likes of 64 Audio or Empire Ears. Although the quality of treble in the Dream is good, I personally would have preferred a bit more quantity of treble in order to have more excitement in the presentation and replication of the upper notes.


    Soundstage and Imaging:
    Overall, the soundstage of the Dream was very good. The Dream deals a good deal of separation, air and spaciousness to the soundstage, lending the listener to easily place singers or instruments on said stage. The stage presents itself with good width and depth, and the clarity and resolution of the treble lead to a holographic effect on certain recordings (“Could this be love”).


    Final Thoughts:
    With the Dream, the listener is presented with an IEM that fits good, it looks good, and is capable of being worn for hours without discomfort or fatigue. It screams maturity, no doubt due to the choices made by Dita during its creation via their design cues and color choices.
    Sonically, it’s very capable, detailed and resolute. For me, it excelled in its reproduction of classical, stringed, and jazz recordings, and it will reward the listener with an aptly large, spacious, and airy soundstage.
    While very good, its shortcoming showed as the Dream faced difficulty portraying emotion in its vocals. When I listen to music, especially vocal tracks, I want the hair to stand up on my arm when I hear the warmth and heart in the singer’s voice. I want that quality in the vocal reproduction of my IEMs, and that’s something that the Dream simply did not do. While more than capable, it was sterile and emotionless.
    And that cable. That otherwise great sounding cable. Let’s hope the Awesome cable version 2 (or whatever they name it) sounds as good or better, without those demon-child qualities. From what I’ve read on the Dita thread, the new version 2 cable addresses the numerous complaints regarding the ergonomics of the old cable.
    Overall, the Dream with appeal to many, but will remain with a select few who desire this type of tuning. Sadly, for me, this Dream is not the dream I dream of.
  3. ngoshawk
    The IEM of choice for Robert Johnson
    Written by ngoshawk
    Published Apr 23, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - That bass...
    Fit-n-finish of a tank
    Sound of which is quite pleasing when taken alone
    Titanium shell
    That cable!
    Cons - That cable!
    Not much else when taken alone.
    A bit thin of sound overall.
    The IEM of choice for Robert Johnson

    DITA The Dream w/ Truth cable by Van Den Hul. $1800.

    Dita website: http://www.ditaaudio.com/index.php/products/dream.html/


    Initiale:


    When one signs up for TOTL tours, there is a definite anticipation. There is also trepidation…What if I cannot describe the sound fully? What if I am disappointed by the sound? What if I like the sound TOO much? What if my bank account cannot take it anymore? What if?...what if?...what if?...Thos thoughts did rummage through my old cranial matter whilst waiting for the Dream. But, the trepidation came from the knowing I would have the 64Audio products in house soon after. But for two glorious days I had the Dream to itself (ignoring my UM Maestro V2’s by choice). And oh my, it was a worthy sound of a TOTL from such a respected company. Following the Custom Arts and Lime Ears, I began to fully understand why there was such a fuss from the TOTL Shootout. I was myself “moving up the food chain” so to speak, and all had been simply put fabulous representations of their respective company wares. I was warned to get my listening in early, and I was not disappointed. This was furthered some months later, in a conversation with @Pinkypowers but that will have to wait…To say that the Dream is good, would be an insult and of which, thankfully I have better words…and more of them.


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    To say these things are built like a tank begins to understand from which the Dream comes. From the shrink-lined cable to the interchangeable jack to the IEM itself. Just beast. An easy fit of ear, the Dream belies the monster feel and “guardianship” of the Van Den Hul cable (which retails for $499, itself). An expensive cable, to go along with the TOTL from DITA. Understandable that one would want an outstanding cable to go along with their top of the line, but this may be overkill (it isn’t, the sound is superb through The Truth cable). A cornucopia of emotions flow through not only the IEM, but also me, as I’m flooded with questions, sounds and studiousness. I can understand too, why the Dream is sold out (*I checked a couple of days ago, written months ago, but still true…), especially on the heels of @Flickenick’s review. It took me all of one listen on my Shanling M5 with which to understand.



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    A rumble so vivid, that I took the IEM off thinking it was either thunder, or another B2 Bomber taking off from the nearby base. We can tell immediately where (OK, approximately) where the B2’s are headed on their bombing runs, by which direction they head out. Kind of reassuring and disconcerting all in the same emotion. Not lost on me either, was that same dichotomy when listening. Not bad mind you, but of good solid foundation-good. Reassuring because these were an outstanding inclusion into the TOTL shootout. Very worthy indeed. But also disconcerting, because none of the others I had heard (including my newly acquired UM Maestro V2’s) from the various tours had that low down grumble of bass. That low down sound, which puts one into the roots of the Mississippi Delta blues level. This is the IEM Robert Johnson would have traded his soul for at the Crossroads. This is an intoxicating bass. One that walks right by an amp with a bass boost switch, brushing aside said “bass boosts” without breaking stride. For a TOTL, this is badass bass. A rumble so deep (but oh my God, so controlled) that one is left digging into the roots of your music. Such an intoxicating start, and that was only on my first day. Oh, and it was the Dream, which I heard rumbling….of course it was…



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    This set is destined for down home blues and rock-n-roll. The Dream simply sings when driven with either genre. I cannot understand how something from the top can make one harken for your old rock collections…Details not heard other than with my Maestro’s drives the DITA. An incredible detail with such proportions, that what is sibilant on Lyle Lovett’s Bears, goes just to the edge of sibilance, and then scoffs at it…kicking that sibilance over the edge of the cliff. Turning as the sound fades, then crashes onto the rocks below, the Dream puffs on the cigar, which was lit after throwing sibilance off, walks back to its ’57 Chevy convertible, and throws in more Robert Johnson. This is still mind-altering on the second day. I’m also beginning to further understand why this was only rated 9th out of 15. The standards driven by the ones above must be truly magical to place this down low. I do love my Maestro, but this Dream is damn close, and ticks all of my boxes: excellent bass (oooohh…with that rumble…), outstanding cable (except for the damn fit!!), excellent in-ear fit, non-sibilant treble (with to me a bit of sparkle and excellent clarity), and decent enough midrange to help tie it all together.

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    Specs:

    • Driver 1 Newly-Developed Ultra-wide Bandwidth 10mm Transducer
    • FR 10-25000 Hz
    • Impedance 16 ohms
    • Sensitivity 102 db
    • Colour Titanium Black
    • Cable The Truth Custom Made By VDH 1.2M
    • Solder VDH Lead-Free Silver Solder
    • Connector Awesome 2.5mm TRRS / 3.5mm TRS
    Accessories

    • 3 Pairs Small Bore Tips S/M/L (sweeter highs)
    • 3 Pairs Medium Bore Tips S/M/L (reference tuning)
    • 3 Pairs Large Bore Tips S/M/L (airier highs)
    • 1 Custom Flight Adapter
    • 1 Premium Leather Pouch




    From the 64Audio review:

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    THE Day:



    Fast forward to the day. I was only able to listen briefly to assure the tour peeps, that all was well and good, and copacetic in 64-land. It was. My first full day is actually today. And I am not disappointed. Driven through my M5, this is Zenith material. I cannot stress this enough. This is not hype. This is Lamborghini Veneno territory of IEM’s. At this point in time, there are only 1-2 competitors with which to compete. Maybe a better comparison of the top three would be the first episode of The Grand Tour, where Clarkson, Hammond & May finally do get the McLaren P1, Ferrari LaFerrari and Porsche 918 Spyder together in that epic Hypercar shootout. Throw in the Lamborghini and you have that foursome and you could easily label the four I have as those above. My goodness we could. If one is at a loss, check my 64Audio review, and envision the Dream as the McLaren P1. Enough said.



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    A positive from the mini-meet had with Pinky, was a search in earnest by me for a wonderful Opus#2. Hearing that wonderful device made me a believer and gave me the push to dive in and find my own...it is in route as I scribble. The pair will be back together very soon.


    *I did listen to the #2 albeit briefly with the Dream, but my goodness, it was a pair…see below*

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    Ever since my feeble mind deciphered that I would in fact have an overlap with the 64Audio pair & the DITA Dream, I was hamster-wheel-like ciphering that I could include my Maestro V2 and do a four-way shootout. Well, not really, but more a dedicated listen for an extended period of time, as I was off on Holiday for the day. Halfway through, and I have drawn some stark (to me, but no one else on the planet most likely…) conclusions. So here it goes…



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    Added after the 64Audio pair came…

    Not much had been said regarding the Dream in that 4-way so far (during this listening session), except for what I wrote above. All focus had been upon the 64 pair thus far, but I will add that the Dream with the Truth cable is well worthy of inclusion into this quartet. A wonderfully Germanic-type build is the stellar star platform on which a very, very good IEM is built. Bass of rumbling quality, and surprising to be honest, the DITA would be that McLaren P1 crashing the above party. Somewhat raw to drive (ask Hammond…), but worth its entry in gold. With a bass note driving very good resolution, separation and imaging, I do liken the Dream to that Panzer tank. Built to withstand the enemy’s ultimate charge, it can be defeated. You simply need find it’s weak point. Not easy to drive, and a bit thin of sound compared to the other three, it is good in its own right. Mid range detail is superb to me, tying together with the exuberant sub bass the Dream can be that expensive pair you throw into the gym bag without worry. It is built that well. And while I appreciate the addition of a $499 cable, designed by Van Den Hul, it is a PITA to coil and keep straight. Unforgiving and constantly coiling that is enough for me to dump it in favor of other special cables.

    Held of its own, and after adjusting away from the 64 products, the Dream comes into its own. That polite slightly thinner sound can draw you in because of the details presented. With excellent to me treble sound, hearing that guitar pluck of David Gilmour makes the Dream sing. Faltering a bit on the piano staccato, it is still all well and mostly good. This is the morning coffee pair, as you look over Lake Superior on a summer’s day before the wind has picked up. Enjoying that solitude is most definitely not to be missed.

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    That said, I cannot get the cables to stay over-ear…a huge annoyance. And the cable tangles, keeping it’s coiled shape way too much. It is a fantastic cable, though, but as I and others have mentioned, the transgressions against the cable are enough to warrant not only window-shopping for another cable, but a purchase with expedited delivery.

    When compared to the Maestro V2 and 64Audio Fourte/Tzar the Dream does fall behind. But held on it’s own, and in it’s own regard, it is quite good. Car Radio out of the Opus#2 is full, detailed, vibrant, and exciting. As one would hope it to be. There is a lack of micro-details compared to the others, but that is masked somewhat by the excellent mids and treble, which is full-er but not hot. With the right amount of attack, the sound comes out well-rounded, but not analytical. There is a hint of over-emphasis on cymbal action and drums. I do not mind, though for it really isn’t intrusive, and would aide one looking for an excellent metal-genre IEM. Here the “thinness” actually benefits so one can hear the mids and trebles just sing.



    Think of it this way: before I heard the 64Audio pair, I really did enjoy the Dream, and yes, the cable, which could be used as a tow cable (which is good, but a bit overbuilt to me) providing an excellent balance to that thinner sound. But after the arrival, the Dream was the last kid picked on the playground for that killer game of kickball.



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    Fit-N-Finish:

    The in-ear fit of the Dream is well…excellent. No problems here at all. Easy ingress/egress aided by the small size of the IEM, and here that cable pays dividends, because it can be used to help with ingress/egress of the IEM. Not often have I found one could pretty much abuse a cable this way and I do believe it is meant for that. The cable is very good sounding, too. Among the best (albeit limited, but up to the Beat Audio Prima Donna 8-wire, $1200, so a good comparison) I have heard. Adding more detail than I expect the Dream would have, the DITA really isn’t that much of a detail slouch. Only when compared to something twice the price, does that come into play. Of all the tour models (yes, before the 64’s came along…) the Dream was my favorite next to my Maestro, and that still holds true. Fun, energetic and with a certain “lilt” of a sound, it does all pretty much well. Bass, which gives that rumble (an unexpected one, at that!!), mids and vocals, which are quite nice and the treble, which conveys that fun energy; the Dream is well worth a look if in the market. Harder to drive than the others, either have a powerful DAP, or a really good quality portable amp, which is what the Dream deserves.

    The fit/finish is superb, with a Titanium shell. That is enough for that. Just superb, no mistakes.


    Comparison of units used:

    Playing through the iBasso PB3/Shanling M5 combo, the Dream shone. Deficiencies mentioned above all but vanished. Adding layers of detail, the PB3 is an excellent companion for a quality system. Adding a touch of neutral, compared to the warmer sound of the M5, the balance provided was just what the Dream needed. A taming of frequencies, if you will. If that were to stay together as a trio, I would most certainly purchase a balanced cable, as not only does the Dream deserve it, the iBasso PB3 sounds markedly better in that mode, to me. I do enjoy the SE with a quality end product such as the Dream, but to do full-on justice, a balanced cable succeeds better here.

    Through the Opus#2 (which at the time was fairly new in the house to me…), I am afforded a luxurious sound, which while still short of the Maestro was a sound to behold. Not warm & syrupy, but luscious. Think Campfire Audio Cascade, but a little thinner of note, and you would get the picture. Vocals simply fill your cranial matter with a welcoming sound, without harshness or analytics. To me, this is typical Germanic style; efficient, endlessly fun and exciting in a Teutonic way. Think driving a Mercedes E-class, but not the AMG version and you again get the idea. Add in that surprising bit of rumble of which I spoke earlier, and you have a very capable sports sedan, with the right amount of luxury to boot. Even though I mentioned the Dream would be the P1 in the shootout, the E-Class Mercedes would be more apt when describing against all other comers.



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    Finale:

    So…to finish…since leaving, I haven’t given the Dream much thought. That is until a review came over the thread, revising my interest, and revisiting my thoughts. That is a shame too, for The Dream by DITA is an excellent unit. One very worthy of talk in that top circle or tier of TOTL’s. It is good. Quite good. The rumbling bass alone drew me in for the first two days. It was enthralling in sound, and as stated a bit disconcerting because I did not know if it was real, or something outside of my listen! With such an extraordinarily wide soundstage, that falsity of real vs. “real” kept me on my toes and listening, expecting that next bass thrust, or solid vocal. To keep one guessing and predicting when we listen is a good thing. We almost edge forward waiting…listening fully for that next new sound, that next rumble so that we can guess again whether what we heard is real or imaginarily fooling us back into the “real world.” I for one am thankful for that trickery, and enjoyed the challenge it presented. A worthy inclusion into that upper crust of IEM’s, indeed. In talking with @Pinkypowers recently we both spoke of the Dream and again marveled at what a wonderful little critter it is. I would be very happy with this combination and with the Dream overall. It is very, very good.

    I want to thank @Barra for the time and trouble he has put into these tours. Without his tireless work, I would not have had the pleasure of listening to the gems of which Nik wrote and graded. This was and is a pleasure I will not soon forget. I also want to thank DITA for offering their fine ware to this tour. It is telling that as of today, to purchase the Dream one need contact your “local distributor.” A telling sign that the Dream is either sold out, or on backorder. I would say that would be the highest regard one can show of a flagship such as this. I am again lucky to have heard this wonderful sound, indeed.


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      EagleWings, San Man and B9Scrambler like this.
  4. EagleWings
    Demo of Strengths - Review of the Dita Dream
    Written by EagleWings
    Published Feb 14, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Bass Extension, Bass Authority and Control, Separation, Soundstage, Imaging, Speed
    Cons - Dry Mids, Bright, Loose Cable Connector, Poor Cable Ergonomics
    ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
    I would once again like to thank @Barra for letting me take part in the Dream tour and, giving me the opportunity to try the IEM.

    INTRODUCTION:
    Dita Audio has always had a fan base for its DD bass and the importance they give to the build, aesthetics and cable. While the company did release a couple of limited edition Truth versions for a higher mark-up, the IEMs that made the primary line-up were still a mid-tier category, at least in terms of the pricing. And from what I have heard, their IEMs punch above their pricepoint and was another one of the reasons for the company's reputation.

    The Dream was a much awaited flagship from Dita. It was not just a flagship, but Dita collaborated with 2 other companies to make the IEM even special. The brand K2 Craft might not ring many bells in the Western Hemisphere. It is a company that makes custom metal faceplates for Custom IEMs. The man behind the K2 Craft is Kazuhiro Oya. I read that the titanium shell of the Dream was designed by Kazuhiro himself. The second collaboration was with Van Den Hul, a Dutch cable manufacturer to create the cable for the IEM. This is also the first time their IEM sports a removable cable.

    HARDWARE, FIT, COMFORT & CABLE:
    Dream sports an uninspiring matte black finish, that actually looks sophisticated when brand new in box. But the moment you lay your hands/fingers on it, it loses its appeal as the shell is a finger print magnet. The oils from your fingers smudge the beauty. The finish is good but nowhere close to Noble Katana, which still holds the title for best shell finish when it comes to hi-fi IEMs in my books. The size of the shell itself is small and doesn't protrude when worn. Although the shell is small in size, the angle of the nozzle might not offer the best fit for some ears.

    While the shell of the IEM didn't impress me much, I was never at a point where I felt like complaining. But once you get to the cable section, starts all the frustration. First, the cable connector on the IEM is loose that the cable kept sliding off. I heard that they fixed this issue to an extent in the more recent batches. My second complaint is with the ergonomics of the cable. It is very springy and not easy to handle and store. It also tangles with the IEM, but it wasn't too bad. But the good thing is, it is not microphonic.

    SOUND:
    The general impression I had on the Dita IEMs was, they had phenomenal bass due to the DD and a sparkly and bright treble to increase its detail retrieval. In essence a slight U shaped signature. And the Dream follows along the same path. But I wouldn't call the Dream as a U shaped IEM as it would throw a wrong idea. But its mid-range is definitely does not sit on the same row as the bass and the treble (upper-mids and lower treble) as they are more prominent in the presentation.

    When Nic published his Dream review as part of the shoot out and saw him comparing Dream's bass to Rhapsodio Galaxy's bass, I messaged him immediately. Because, Galaxy's bass is one of the best bass I have heard in an IEM, due to its sub-bass extension and excellent balance between technicality and authority. He said, Dream is the only DD IEM in the shootout, whose bass came close to Galaxy's bass. And since then, I wanted to try the Dream, if not for anything else, just for the bass. And sure enough, Dream's bass impressed me from day one.

    In terms of quantity, it is a bit north of neutral from the overall tuning giving a solid foundation to the rest of the spectrum. It is able to reach far down in the sub-bass hence the dynamics is excellent. But it is a bass oriented towards sub than the mid-bass, and so, there is a slight darkness that looms in the bass. As a result, this is not a bass that yields a helping hand to the mid-range with warmth and body. Regardless, the bass has very good technicalities with good speed and definition.

    The mid-range of the Dream falls on the dry side of things and is also slightly bright due to the brighter upper-mids. There is decent density, but due to the lack of warmth and body, the mid-range lacks naturalness and emotion. It is a mid-range that is geared towards articulation and clarity. So there is plenty of details and resolution in the mid-range. So you could expect female vocals to sound melodious and the strings to carry the crunch. But for the same reason, it might sound sharp.

    The entire treble is not bright, but the brightness does exist due to the elevated upper-mids and lower-treble. This makes the IEM not so forgiving of poorly recorded material. The treble is nicely detailed and has sufficient air and sparkle. But, Dream is not an IEM that comes to mind when I think of airy and sparkly treble that works for excitement. The treble extension is very good and contributes to resolution, separation and imaging.

    Dream paints a very clean picture of music. As the instrument sizes are not too big, the separation is also nice and does not tend to congestion in most cases. With a spacious stage that has good dimensions on all 3 axes, it can create a holographic feel, especially if the music content have it in them (for example; binalural recordings). The imaging is very fixed and satisfying, except every now and then I desired a slightly larger instrument images to ease the perception and focus.


    SENSITIVITY, POWER REQUIREMENTS & SOURCE PAIRINGS:

    The IEM is not too difficult to drive so it should go to loud volumes even on your smartphone. And I got no hiss out of my LPG. What I keep hearing about certain DD IEMs is that they would lack dynamics and body and would sound bright if not driven by a powerful source. I found that to be true with the Rhapsodio Galaxy. With the Dream though, I didn't have the time to test this. But given that my source was LPG, I was not limited in terms of power. But generally, a powerful source is advised. Also from what I have heard, Sony WM1Z via 4.4 Balanced seems to be a common favorite pairing for the Dream. Or any other powerful source that has a warm/smooth toe should be a good pairing with the Dream.

    RECOMMENDATIONS:

    Dream is not an IEM if you are after a mid-centric signature or something that specializes in vocals. While it does have good vocal articulation, it does not have the weight and authority in the vocals that render a natural sense. Given its unique signature, it is not an IEM that I would recommend based on music genre. But if I were to nit-pick, it works well for classical and orchestra based music. So, what it basically comes down to is, an individual's preference for this kind of signature. I know some head-fiers who enjoy their Dream for all kinds of genre. On the other hand, if this signature is not your cup of tea, there is no point in trying to make it work for any specific genre. It is that black and white. You either like it for what it is, or simply don't. There's no grey area here.

    COMPARISONS:
    Dream vs U18:

    Dream is a single DD IEM, where as, the U18 is an 18 x BA IEM. Both fall on either end of the spectrum when it comes to Driver Configuration. While their sound presentation might not fall on opposite ends, they do carry very different presentations.

    Both construct very large stages that are holographic, with a neutral positioning of instruments in the stage (neither forward nor laidback) with the Dream may be sightly behind that of U18's positioning. While the overall stage sizes are large, U18's stage appears larger due to the phenomenal width and the airiness, thanks to its airy treble. The Dream however, constructs a more 3 dimensional stage with better depth than the U18. Despite having better depth than the U18, the layering capabilities of the Dream is only on par with the U18. Both have dark backgrounds and belong to the top tier, when it comes to imaging and instrument separation.

    U18's bass might possibly be one of the best BA bass as it combines authority and speed. But what it lacks is Dream's natural decay and effortless sub-bass extension. U18 has slightly more bass quantity and better mid-bass warmth resulting in a warmer and fuller bass that continues in the mid-range. While bass as such is better on the Dream, U18's bass works more coherently with the rest of the spectrum.

    U18's mid-range may not be classified as completely natural, but when compared to Dream's mid-range, it has slightly more warmth and body, resulting in a more palpable and enjoyable mid-range. Dream's mid-range is oriented towards upepr mid-range and so prioritizes articulation and clarity. U18 maintains equal articulation and clarity, but it balances it well with some warmth and so it does not err towards dryness. The density is also on the similar level, so the vocals carry good weight.

    In the treble, U18 is brighter throughout the treble band and extends further in terms of high treble extension. But its a controlled form of brightness that doesn't easily lead to sibilance or sharpness. Dream on the other hand is bright due to a pronounced upper-mids and lower-treble. Since this stands above the rest of the neighboring frequency, it tends to sibilance and sharpness more frequently than the U18, despite the U18 being overall brighter in the treble. U18 also possesses a more sparkly and airy treble that adds excitement and the dream lacks this. In terms of resolution and detail retrieval, Dream may be a touch behind the U18.


    CONCLUSION:

    Dream has its strengths and those strengths are easily the selling point of the IEM. But the drawback of the IEM is those strengths stand alone to shine in their own respects, rather than working together with the signature to be a rather versatile monitor. But I do know people who appreciate this kind of tuning. So if you are looking for a single DD based IEM with amazing bass, excellent detail retrieval, good staging and imaging, and prefer your mid-range to be articulated but dry in nature, Dream is an IEM you need to consider.
      ngoshawk, San Man, Adventure and 7 others like this.
  5. subguy812
    Dreams Do Come True
    Written by subguy812
    Published Jul 20, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Titanium, Clarity and Details
    Cons - Price, Cable ergonomics
    Dita Audio Dream

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    http://www.ditaaudio.com/index.php/

    http://www.ditaaudio.com/index.php/products/dream.html

    A Little Technical Stuff:

    · DRIVERS: 1 Newly-Developed Ultra-wide Bandwidth 10mm Transducer
    · SENSITIVITY: 102dB
    · IMPEDANCE: 16 Ohm
    · FIT: Universal

    Dita Audio Dream
    -MRSP: Universal fit $1800

    I want to thank Desmond for all of his patience in answering all of my questions. My experience with Dita Audio has been exceptional. They are proud of their product, rightfully so, and quickly respond to your needs. I also want to thank Desmond for allowing me to hear the Truth Copper cable as well. The guy even responded to me when he was on vacation…unnecessary but first class all of the way!

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    I try to open with a brief opening statement about my experience and this review is no different. The Dream is only available in universal which works great for me, I am not the CIEM guy yet. The shells are small, titanium and black. I love the look of the Dream and I love the sound, these are truly TOTL.

    Whether you believe that burn-in has any effect on sound is up to you to decide. I will say that Dita recommends at least 200 hours of burn-in and I know each time I finished listening to them I left them running with pink noise. All told I have between 400-450 hours burn-in presently.

    The price of admission for the Dream is high but let’s get into this thing and take a look at what you receive. Not an unboxing, this segment is more designed to discuss the one major addition to the Dream package and that is the stock SPC cable that you receive. To my knowledge, this is one of the more premium stock cables included with an IEM package. The cable is manufactured by Van den Hul a Dutch company established in 1980. You can learn more about the company below. Also, the second link is about the Dita cable. It is a premium cable that retails for 499.00, great job Dita for providing such an awesome stock cable. The cable is well built and sturdy. The sound it delivers when used with the Dream is airy, detailed, precise and creates an incredible separation and gives you the aura of a 3-D stage. Sounds are precise and almost surgical in delivery. The tones are not sharp but very clear and the SPC cable helps to create the overall signature. Very clean indeed!

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    The Truth Copper seems to smooth things out ever so slightly while still maintaining the positive attributes of the Dream’s signature such as clarity, stage and separation. I really enjoy the Truth Copper cable, especially when paired with the Dream. I have tried it with other TOTL IEM’s and my overall impression is positive. The only negative with the Truth SPC and Truth Copper are the ergonomics. They are stiff and uncooperative at times. Well built, very sturdy, but very stiff.

    http://www.vandenhul.com/

    http://www.ditaaudio.com/index.php/technology/cables.html


    The Dream includes:

    · 3 Pairs Small Bore Tips S/M/L (sweeter highs)

    · 3 Pairs Medium Bore Tips S/M/L (reference tuning)

    · 3 Pairs Large Bore Tips S/M/L (airier highs)

    · 1 Custom Flight Adapter

    · 1 Premium Leather Pouch


    Also included is a card with a serial number and the additional connectors for the cable (2.5mm and 3.5mm). When using the cable, you have the ability to switch connectors from 2.5mm to 3.5mm and 4.4mm (available). It is a cool design allowing you to switch sources without disconnecting the cable from the IEM shell. Only unscrew, snap on the connector you wish to use, and screw it tight again. They coin this design the Awesome Plug. I felt the entire retail package I received was appropriate for the price and first rate.

    http://www.ditaaudio.com/index.php/products/truth-replacement-cable.html

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    A little of the marketing hype from the Dita Audio website:


    “The latest and flagship model, Dream. A new custom dynamic driver powers the Dream with a smoother mid-band and bass that reaches even lower with greater control. Dream is also equipped with the Awesome Plug for a multitude of new features.”

    “Dream, the latest and flagship model of Dita's 3-model lineup.

    The Titanium Black Dream is made in Japan and is equipped with cables sourced from the venerable Dutch cable company, Van Den Hul. A new custom dynamic driver powers the Dream with a smoother mid-band and bass that reaches even lower with greater control. Dream is also equipped with the Awesome Plug for a multitude of new features.”

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    The build quality of the Dream is great. They feel durable as well they should as they are a cast Titanium, unique to say the least. They are lightweight and feel as they will be durable over the long haul which would characterize the properties of Titanium. The overall comfort allows the listener to have long listening sessions without pain or annoyance. The nozzles are angled and a little short which can make for a shallow insertion. The nozzles are notched so the tips stay on the nozzle and not in your ear when you remove them. Due to the shallow insertion, you may want to use one size larger on the tips. I used my favorite JVC Spiral Dot tips and my new favorite narrow bore Final Audio ear tips. It is tossup which I use more, I enjoy the sound of the Dream with both.

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    Let us review the sound, shall we?

    For the review, I paired the Dream with the A&K Kann, Opus #2 and the LG G6(American). The Dream really enjoy some power or they can sound a bit thin and anemic, therefore the Kann would be my DAP of choice for the Dream. I used the stock SPC cable as well as briefly testing the Truth Copper cable.

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    I already highlighted a little of what you could expect from the sound above but let just a take a little deeper dive and discuss the joy my ears have had over the past few weeks of listening. Reference tilted IEM’s without being analytical and stale. I am not sure what that classification conjures up in your mind but the Dream has energy and allows the listener to hear many of the nuances in your music. Classical and Jazz lovers will appreciate this. It is important to remember that these are Dynamic Drivers and have some of the finest bass available. The reason I mention that now is with all of this talk of airy, clear and detailed you may have the impressions these are a bright IEM, they are not bright but clear in delivery. It is important to remember the DD bass really fills in the body. I would characterize the stage as very broad and very deep. As mentioned earlier, it is a 3D holographic stage. The various instruments come at you from the fringes of the soundstage. Notes sound separated by air and instrument placement is very obvious. Overall the stage and separation are excellent, a notch above.

    Bass

    The Dream’s bass is not bloomy or obtrusive it is only a bit right of neutral with ample sub bass. You can feel the low rumble of the bass. It never takes center stage but the bass knows it’s place in the spectrum. The sub rumbles and the mid bass is punchy and has an excellent overall tone providing an excellent bass synergy. To my ears it is the finest bass I have heard. It may not stack up to the speed of say BA bass but it doesn’t detract from the overall experience in the least. As mentioned it is never bloomy and never bleeds into the other ranges. It actually fills in the gaps in the other ranges with the addition of controlled body. Controlled, rich and punchy and deep. Awesome bass!

    The bass likes a little power so a bright, underpowered source might not be the best choice for these. Kann does a wonderful job with driving these through its powerful balanced output. The Opus #2 delivers an exceptional sound experience from the quality perspective and it is a sublime pairing. However, I think the Kann drives them with the authority needed. Lg G6 was okay but it required max volume and they sounded a little thin. For comparison, the Dream certainly doesn’t have the quantity of bass as say a 64 Audio U12 but it has a better quality of bass.

    Mids

    The midrange of the Dream is delivered to you with a high level of detail and clarity. The overall impression of the midrange is revealing and clear. The midrange does not have warmth or any darkness in its tone, it relies on the ample bass quality for that. Again, I feel I am being redundant but the sound is very clean without being bright. The notes are separated by air and there is a certain quality of attack in the midrange. At times, I find the midrange a little forward, not in a negative way but in a way that might be what you might hear from a home stereo system with the speakers facing you. You may actually think the upper mids might touch their toe over the line toward edginess, or harshness but it never happens. This is why these are great for stringed instruments, Classical and Jazz. Reference sound offering nice detail. In keeping with the trend, vocals tend to be clear and forward. Crisp female vocals and smooth male vocals.

    Treble

    The treble description is probably the most difficult to articulate with words for me. The treble is certainly in the mix and is to be saluted for the large part it plays in the detail and clarity. The treble notes aren’t sharp, harsh or sibilant. The treble tones follow suit in the clarity game of the midrange. There is some treble twinkle but it isn’t overly bright, again I would avoid an overly bright source. I think the treble blends in nicely with the rest of the spectrum. There is a fair amount of extension in the treble but the fact that it meshes so nicely with the midrange rounds out this wonderful package.

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    In Closing

    The sexy design, excellent Titanium shell, incredible stock cable and overall fantastic sound. There really aren’t many negatives that pop out at me. I would say the price could cause pause to some and the ergonomics of the cable could be better. It is not the most expensive IEM I own but for a single driver, in this age of more is better, it is expensive. To Classical and Jazz listeners it could be end game which could factor into your decision to purchase. I actually enjoyed these with EDM also, that genre made good use of the DD bass. I think the overall tone of this review, my apologies for the redundancy, is the clarity. These are a fantastic reference IEM with a detailed presentation. The soundstage needs to be heard to be appreciated, it is incredible. The air cradling the notes and width of the stage to go along with the holographic qualities make for a WOW listening experience that appears to mature with burn-in, in my opinion. Achieving a good seal is critical and a using a neutral or mildly warm source would be the best pairing.

    I have posted some of my correspondence from Desmond of Dita:

    "The Dream casing is made from 100% cast Titanium, after that is is machined down and finally finished by hand. It’s a crazy time consuming process that makes it impossible to mass produce, therefore we will only do a very small run of it. Actually we are almost sold out already, we are now just fulfilling back orders to distributors. Hopefully those lucky few that have them will see an appreciation in prices in the future."

    Next sit back, take in the experience and don’t forget to occasionally pinch yourself as this all may be a Dream. With Dita Dream your dream can become a reality.

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    images

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      Adventure, ranfan, spw1880 and 5 others like this.