Review – Dita Audio Twins – Fealty & Fidelity
Website – Dita Audio
Website – Dita Audio
- Driver: Single dynamic driver: Ref-Fe / Ref-Fi
- Frequency Response: 18Hz-25kHz
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- Sensitivity: 95dB +/- 1 dB@1kHz
- Color: Fealty: Iridium Silver / Fidelity: Barium Grey
- Cable: DITA Fat Cable 2 with TPE Insulating Jacket
- Connector: Awesome 2.5mm TRRS & 3.5mm TRS; Optional: 4.4mm, 5-pole
Both Twins units were kindly arranged by Dita Audio company together with MusicTeck, so credits to both for providing them for the full review.
Official Dita Twins pages: Fealty & Fidelity
MusicTeck store and their Amazon store.
The package on the Twins earphones is kept simple, practical, compact yet elegantly presented. Fealty arrive in a white colored cardboard box while all black for the Fidelity. Not sure if it was made on purpose, but their colors match the earphones shells colors, bright for the shiny silver metal Fealty and dark for the very dark gray Fidelity. Fancy and shiny packages with ‘epic’ unboxing experience might look great but then mean nothing to the real final product they present inside.
The upper layer holds the earphones themselves tight and securely arranged within a thick foam material. Underneath are all the included accessories, which consist of five pairs of silicone ear tips from final Type E tips, the extra 2.5mm balanced ‘Awesome’ plug and airplane adapter, a soft leather pouch and extra nozzle mesh filters. The accessories’ array is indeed limited for the price, with no hard case or extra tips included, especially when compared to the previous models from Dita Audio. Still, the quality is right there.
The materials applied on the Twins earphones are all of high quality and durability. There are no cheap plastic parts that could be spotted from the external design. Top notch build quality from the shells to the own Dita Audio awesome plug hardly gets any better even at higher prices.
The earpieces are made of CNC machined and anodized aluminum, thick and looks extremely solid. They consist of two parts very tightly attached. The external side has the ‘D’ printed on it over a shiny semi mirror like background. The inner part is a bit thicker and has an angled nozzle for a more natural fit. They have a rather compact size as they merely need to hold a single 10mm driver, in a completely round shape with an extended upper part for the cable sockets. At the top of the nozzle there is a mesh filter attached to it and extra filters can be found inside the box.
While the aluminum used on the Twins is very tough, it is also relatively light over different metal materials used on other IEMs as stainless steel or titanium. With the short nozzle the fit is very shallow, with the round earpieces sitting on the outer part of the ear and only the ear tips reaching the ear canal. That is not to say these are uncomfortable; on the contrary, they have a very unobtrusive fit and are very comfortable to wear. If anything, the upper section of the shells, where the plugs are placed, might be a bit rough if contact the outer ear, though it may vary for different people. Even the isolation is surprisingly good, at least above average, considering the shallow fit and the very small vent placed on the frontal side of the shells. Actually, I was expecting a much lower noise isolation, but they result very comfortable at moderate volume levels, even on crowded noisy areas. They are not going to compete with fully sealed in-ear monitors with a more custom like shape, but still very good with just the final E tips included. And speaking of tips, even after some tip-rolling, the included ones provided the better seal and fit.
For the cable, the Twins introduce the new Dita “Fat Cable”. Indeed, it is a very thick cable, probably the thickest included with an in-ear monitor before going to extra aftermarket options with multiple braided wires. No details about the wires implemented on the Fat Cable, though. Similar to the Dream model, the Twins have their own 2-pin detachable plugs. The plugs are very proprietary to the own Twins models and most probably they will not fit other earphones. On the other side, the 2-pin sizes is of the standard 0.78mm, so using other cables on the Twins should be possible. Even so, the cables are very tightly attached to the earpieces, much more than any other 2-pin cables I’ve seen on different higher models. Despite the thickness of the cable, it is very soft and pliable, and also carries low noise when moving around; not the most quiet one, but still comfortable. It doesn’t feel too heavy either and helps to keep the earphones in place. The outer cable jacket is TPE with soft and smooth rubber touch on it. The round y-split is all metal too with the ‘DITA’ writing on it and the cable slider runs smoothly up to the base of the plugs.
Shanling M5s, HiBy R6 Pro, iBasso DX220 (Amp1 Mk2).
xDuoo XD-10 (Poke), Aune X1s Pro
The Fealty and Fidelity are not named as “Twins” for just marketing purpose. Both terms may have a deeper meaning for Dita Audio company, rather than a description of their each sound presentation. While they are identical in design and build quality and just differ in color theme applied, when it gets to sound performance each model aims to a different goal in its final tuning. Yes, they might share a same single dynamic driver so it is expected they offer very similar pure acoustics technical abilities like resolution, soundstage, imaging, extension and dynamics. However, these are definitely not ‘identical twins’ for what sound matters. Differences are not day and night when changing from one set to the other, but even so, a phrase like “two sides of the same coin” might apply here. Overall tonality varies, being the Fealty richer, a tad warmer, and more musical, while the Fidelity more neutral, linear, with its more reference type of signature. There is very little coloration on the Twins and both will be showing a well balanced response.
Technical specifications are identical on both Twins. While the rated impedance of 16ohm is a standard level for an IEM, the sensitivity is a bit on the lower side with a 95dB rate. As such, they are not being the most efficient earphones from any portable source, but still will sound very well with some extra volume without showing lack of control or distortion on the sound. Even so, they definitely improve with a more dedicated audio source or some extra portable amplification, reaching a wider stage, best dynamics and extension. The Shanling M5s with the balanced 2.5mm is powerful enough to drive the Twins to a proper level, and anything above it should be more than enough, like the HiBy R6 Pro and iBasso DX220. The Twins showed no hiss whatsoever, and no background noise either.
Sound is more natural on the Fealty with a full, well weighted and rich tonality. It clearly takes the advantage of full-range dynamic drivers with excellent dynamics and texture. The bass is nothing overly enhanced but clearly shows enough power with excellent control and precision. It is tight yet has a very solid impact with its most natural attack and well-paced decay. It goes slightly warm, north of neutral for sure in terms of quantity, though always keeps a good balance with the high quality that could be expected for a high-end dynamic driver. The sub-bass shows nice and very effortless extension to lowest notes with no sign of any early roll-off; something usually found on balanced armatures units, and one of the reasons they need to used multiple drivers to match the dynamic rivals. There is no extra lift on the mid-bass range that may break the overall balance and the good control and layering allows clear separation between lower instruments.
The midrange is where the Fealty starts to shine, and also the main area where it differs from the Fidelity. The mids stand out with very natural timbre, slightly warm and thick. It has a more enveloping presentation, not too forward but certainly rich and well rounded. It goes smooth yet energetic. There is no bass impact on the lower mids, just a nice touch of warmth that contributes to the fuller tone and weight for both vocals and instruments. Upper midrange follows the same balance, with a sweet texture that suits nicely to female vocal oriented genres. It does trade the last bit of air for a more emotive and musical presentation that is very easy to like. The Fealty is also more forgiving and relaxed than what the Fidelity will be, though remains resolving and detailed.
The differences continue towards the treble area. They both have bright tilt, but the focus is set on different frequency. The Fealty fullness on treble starts from the upper-mids and remains on the whole lower treble, and then goes smoother towards the high-treble end. It does not sound rolled-off nor it lacks in extension, but subjectively is smoother and not edgy. It can be perceived as more ‘hot treble’ with its energetic and crisp attack, though well controlled and very little prone to show signs of sibilance. Suits better to guitars and other string based instruments with less sharp crash on cymbals; electric guitars are amazing here, full of bite and crunch on them.
The Fidelity focus is more towards precision, detail and air. It is a more neutral and linear response, that while leaner, still aims for balance in a more reference kind of tuning. The Fidelity also show the capabilities of dynamic drivers, having excellent coherence and right timbre.
The bass is very neutral in quantity, at best can be heard as very slightly above of neutral. It is cleaner, less emphasized, with less mass and impact, traded for a bit more pure quality. Effortless and very tight giving the impression of higher speed and accuracy; same attack as the Fealty, though not in decay and then it presents less depth and softer rumble. The lower instruments are less weighty but better separated.
As mentioned above, the differences in the low-end are less sharp than how they are on the rest of the frequencies. Yet, if using some bass gain it will be shown firstly on the Fealty thanks to the relativity warmer, richer tonality, whereas the Fidelity will remain more reserved.
The midrange keeps the very neutral presentation, being leaner with a cooler tonality. In exchange, the midrange shows practically zero coloration with high articulation and sounds very liquid. Linearity is kept from lower to upper mids as the gain is more specifically around the main treble area. The Fidelity is less matched for vocal oriented genres as they will sound thinner, less bodied next to the full, richer Fealty. On the other hand, the instruments separation is greater with a sharper differentiation. There is more precision, space and sense of air in comparison, and definitely a strong suit on the Fidelity side among universal IEMs.
Treble on the Fidelity should classify as ‘bright’. While the lows and mids are very even, there is more elevation on the highs. It is not a too bright in-ear monitor, but yes above of neutral. Unlike the Fealty where the lower treble is more highlighted, the Fidelity gain is more present on the upper treble. It is sharp and a bit edgy with lot of sparkle and energy. Treble extension appears to be greater here, nicely done as single dynamic unit. Control is high as well, and should be expected at this price range. The detail is more forward and overall the resolution is higher with more air and clearer separation.
Both Twins models do stand out in their presentation. A single dynamic driver of just 10mm might be considered not enough when other manufacturers implement larger units even for their hybrid models, but there is really nothing that the Dita Audio options are missing. In fact, the presentation is impressive, with a rather wide stage, good depth and excellent coherence and precise imaging. The sound is spacious and airy, with a resolution that matches well their $1000+ price category. In a close comparison, there is more depth on the Fealty giving a more dynamic and 3D effect with a little touch of more intimate midrange, while the resolution is a tad higher on the Fidelity showing the last bit of detail and cleaner timbre and more openness to the overall presentation.
All in all, the Dita Audio Twins stand out for their impeccable build quality, surprisingly good comfortable fit, and of course, their own Dita Awesome exchangeable plugs with the new thickest Fat Cable. In sound quality, both Dita Twins have a ‘unique’ tuning on them. These are a clear example than there is no need to mix multiple drivers types or have the last tech included in order to sound good. A single dynamic driver that competes very well with the current competition at these prices. Whether it is a ‘fun’ sounding profile on the Fealty offer, it will be a matter of taste – if seeking for sheer voluminous mid and upper bass body, then maybe not, but it is certainly a very engaging and especially musical presentation. It is not that kind of lively v-shaped type of signature, but easily a very enjoyable option that could be consider as all-rounder pick with a non-compromising yet detailed and resolving sound quality. On the other hand, the Fidelity sound is tuned for more critical listening, aiming to higher retrieval of micro detail, being more linear with a the neutral to bright signature.