Elysian Acoustic Labs Diva

atechreviews

100+ Head-Fier
Elysian Acoustic Labs DIVA 2023 Review
Pros: Exceptional and life like Mid-Range Performance
Reproduces one of the best vocals I've heard in an IEM
Three-way adjustable bass tuning switch
Smooth and extended treble that is detailed without being harsh or sibilant
Spacious Soundstage with precise imaging
High-Quality Build with a new stainless steel nozzle and upgraded internal wiring
Premium Cable for high-quality signal transmission
Pentaconn ear connectors
Comfortable ergonomic design with beautiful face plates
Easy to drive with a wide range of sources
Suitable for a variety of music genres
Cons: Frequency response limited to 18kHz, which might not appeal to those seeking extended treble
Low impedance might be sensitive to output impedance of some sources
I prefer slightly more mid-bass

Introduction​

Elysian Acoustic Labs has a reputation for crafting high-performance in-ear monitors (IEMs) that cater to audiophiles seeking exceptional sound quality. The DIVA 2023 is no exception, representing a significant upgrade over its predecessors with enhanced features and refined tuning. With a six-balanced armature (BA) driver configuration, a new stainless steel nozzle, and a 4-way frequency crossover, the DIVA 2023 aims to deliver an exquisite listening experience.

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Specs​

  • Stainless Steel Nozzle
  • Six Balanced Armature Driver Configuration
  • Four-Way Frequency Crossover
  • Three-Way Bass Rotating Tuning Switch
  • Premium Liquid Links 7N OCC Copper Cable
  • Internal Wiring Upgrade
  • Impedance: 4Ω@1kHz.
  • Sensitivity: 100dB/mW.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-18kHz.
  • Custom Pentaconn Connectors
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Bass​

The Elysian Acoustic Labs DIVA 2023 is equipped with a unique three-way rotating bass tuning switch, providing users with the flexibility to adjust the bass response according to their preferences. This feature is particularly beneficial for audiophiles who listen to a variety of music genres, as it allows for a tailored listening experience.
In the lowest bass setting, the DIVA 2023 delivers a controlled and tight bass response. The sub-bass extends deeply without overwhelming the mid-bass, maintaining a clear and focused low-end. This setting is ideal for genres that require precise bass articulation, such as classical and jazz, where the integrity of the lower frequencies is crucial.

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Switching to the medium bass setting adds a bit more warmth and punch to the bass response. The sub-bass gains a little more presence, providing a satisfying rumble that complements electronic and pop music well. The mid-bass remains clean and avoids bleeding into the mid-range, ensuring that vocals and instruments retain their clarity.

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In the highest bass setting, the DIVA 2023 truly shines for bass enthusiasts. The added boost in the sub-bass and mid-bass regions provides a powerful and impactful low-end that is perfect for hip-hop, EDM, and other bass-heavy genres. Despite the increased emphasis, the bass remains well-controlled and does not muddy the overall sound signature.

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Compared to the DUNU Glacier, which follows the Harman 2019 V2 target curve with a slight bass boost, the DIVA 2023 offers more versatility with its adjustable bass settings. The Glacier’s bass is characterized by its precision and depth, but it lacks the customizable aspect that the DIVA 2023 provides. On the other hand, the Unique Melody MEST MK III CF, with its holographic soundstage and a slightly recessed mid-range, offers a different bass experience. The MEST MK III CF’s bass is less impactful than the DIVA 2023 in its highest bass setting, making the DIVA 2023 a better choice for those who crave a more robust low-end.

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Mid-Range​

The mid-range of the Elysian Acoustic Labs DIVA 2023 is where it truly excels, delivering a detailed and engaging sound that captures the essence of vocals and instruments with remarkable clarity. The six balanced armature drivers work in harmony, providing a coherent and natural mid-range that brings out the nuances in the music.

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The DIVA 2023’s mid-range is particularly impressive in its ability to render vocals. Both male and female vocals are presented with a lifelike quality, making it feel as though the artist is performing right in front of you. The clarity and separation of the mid-range frequencies ensure that each vocal layer is distinct, enhancing the overall listening experience. Instruments such as guitars, pianos, and strings also benefit from this clarity, with each note being delivered with precision and warmth.
The Generation 2 crossover PCB circuit plays a significant role in the DIVA 2023’s mid-range performance. This advanced crossover design ensures that the transition between the low, mid, and high frequencies is smooth and seamless, reducing any potential distortion and providing a cleaner sound. This results in a mid-range that is both rich and well-balanced, without any unwanted peaks or dips.
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When compared to the DUNU Glacier, the DIVA 2023’s mid-range stands out for its vocal forwardness and emotional engagement. The Glacier, while highly detailed, has a more neutral mid-range that may not be as emotionally impactful as the DIVA 2023. The Glacier’s tuning is designed to be highly accurate and revealing, but it may come across as slightly analytical in comparison to the warmer and more musical presentation of the DIVA 2023.
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The Unique Melody MEST MK III CF, with its unique driver configuration, offers a mid-range that is smooth and detailed but slightly recessed. The MEST MK III CF’s mid-range is more laid-back, which can result in vocals and instruments sounding a bit distant. In contrast, the DIVA 2023’s mid-range is more intimate and engaging, providing a more direct connection to the music.

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Treble​

The treble performance of the Elysian Acoustic Labs DIVA 2023 is both refined and extended, offering a clear and airy presentation that enhances the overall sound signature. The six balanced armature drivers are carefully tuned to deliver a treble response that is both detailed and smooth, avoiding any harshness or sibilance.
In the upper treble region, the DIVA 2023 excels in providing a sense of air and openness. Cymbals, high-hats, and other high-frequency instruments are rendered with a natural sparkle that adds to the overall realism of the music. The extension of the treble ensures that these elements are not cut off abruptly, allowing for a more immersive and lifelike listening experience.

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The lower treble region is equally impressive, providing the necessary presence to ensure that vocals and instruments are clear and well-articulated. This balance between the upper and lower treble regions results in a treble response that is both detailed and non-fatiguing, making the DIVA 2023 suitable for long listening sessions.
When compared to the DUNU Glacier, the DIVA 2023’s treble is slightly more relaxed. The Glacier’s treble is highly detailed and precise, with a focus on revealing the smallest nuances in the music. This can sometimes come across as slightly analytical, whereas the DIVA 2023’s treble is tuned to be more musical and enjoyable. This difference in tuning makes the DIVA 2023 a better choice for those who prefer a more natural and relaxed treble response.

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The Unique Melody MEST MK III CF, with its combination of dynamic, balanced armature, and electrostatic drivers, offers a treble response that is both extended and smooth. However, the MEST MK III CF’s treble can sometimes be overshadowed by its holographic soundstage, resulting in a less focused treble presentation. In contrast, the DIVA 2023’s treble is more focused and precise, providing a clearer and more direct treble experience.

Soundstage and Imaging​

The soundstage and imaging capabilities of the Elysian Acoustic Labs DIVA 2023 are exceptional, providing a spacious and immersive listening experience. The combination of the six balanced armature drivers and the advanced crossover design results in a soundstage that is both wide and deep, allowing for a three-dimensional presentation of the music.

The DIVA 2023’s soundstage is particularly impressive in its ability to provide a sense of space and separation. Each instrument and vocal is clearly placed within the soundstage, making it easy to pinpoint their location. This spatial accuracy enhances the overall listening experience, making it feel as though you are in the middle of a live performance.

Imaging is another area where the DIVA 2023 excels. The precise placement of instruments and vocals within the soundstage is remarkable, allowing for a detailed and realistic presentation of the music. This level of precision is particularly beneficial for complex musical arrangements, ensuring that every element is heard clearly and distinctly.

Comparisons

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DUNU Glacier

When compared to the DUNU Glacier, the DIVA 2023’s soundstage is slightly more intimate. The Glacier’s soundstage is wide and expansive, providing a sense of grandeur to the music. However, the DIVA 2023’s more intimate soundstage allows for a closer connection to the music, making it feel more personal and engaging. The DUNU Glacier is also more resolving in comparison.

Unique Melody MEST MK III CF

The Unique Melody MEST MK III CF, with its holographic soundstage, offers a different experience. The MEST MK III CF’s soundstage is incredibly wide and deep, providing a sense of immersion that is hard to match. However, this can sometimes result in a slightly diffuse presentation, where the focus on individual elements is less precise. In contrast, the DIVA 2023’s soundstage is more focused and coherent, providing a more balanced and natural listening experience.

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Elysian Pilgrim

Despite their different price points, the Elysian DIVA 2023 and Elysian Pilgrim IEMs share a similar tonality, making them both excellent choices for audiophiles seeking a balanced sound signature. However, the DIVA 2023 excels in detail retrieval, soundstage, imaging, and instrument separation, offering a more refined and immersive listening experience. The DIVA, with its six balanced armature drivers and three-way bass tuning switch, provides a versatile and engaging sound signature with a focus on detailed mids and adjustable bass.

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While the Pilgrim is more affordable, it stands out as the closest IEM under $1000 to high-end models like the DIVA, providing impressive performance and exceptional value for its price.

grumpy213

100+ Head-Fier
Armonia e Passione
Pros: Tremendous vocals
Very engaging listening experience
Excellent bass quality and quantity
Cons: Treble lacking energy
Vocals can be overbearing over time

Preamble

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Thank you to @Damz87, @EffectAudio and Elysian Acoustics for arranging the Australian tour of the Elysian Diva 2023.

In the audio hobby there is a tendency to get caught in the hype, a new release comes out, some enthusiastic impressions at a show and before you know it, it’s sold out and impossible to get your hands on it. Whilst this isn’t necessarily the case for the subject of today’s review, within my bubble of Australian tour reviewers, there was a recurring message for at least several months of “Diva 🐐”.

And whilst this praise has subsided over time, there remained a healthy level of scepticism on my end, “How good could this be?” And so, when I had heard that the Diva was going on tour, I put my hand up and now that it’s here in front of me, it was time to get to grips with what the Diva is all about.

The Factual Stuff

Unboxing the Diva from its rather large box, there is a rather well-made package consisting of two drawers and a main compartment. Within these various compartments contained:
  • the earpieces finished in black resin with a resplendent glitter covered faceplate (also comes in blue and red);
  • an Effect Audio Ares S cable with a 4.4mm termination;
  • a cleaning cloth;
  • a warranty card;
  • a screwdriver for the tuning switch; and
  • a carry case.
Side note, the packaging is infuriating to unbox owing to very tight tolerances with the included foam. Great for protection, terrible for tearing out your new toy from its confines.
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Within the Diva’s rather girthy earpieces are 6 balanced armatures and a tuneable bass switch, allowing users to select between three profiles. White being the middle of the road choice, red being the lighter bass profile and blue being the most boosted profile. The Diva also uses a Pentaconn connector as opposed to 2-pin and MMCX.

Whilst not on any copy that I could find online, the Diva appears to adapt the same “DiVe Pass” technology implemented on other Elysian IEMs in the market that seeks to eliminate reverberation, provide pressure relief and remove driver flex.

The Diva is priced at 1599 USD and is available in black (this review unit), red and blue.

The Opinion Stuff

Sound

Bass

By virtue of the tuning switch, there is a lot to speak about in the bass section of the Diva. Starting off with the middle, white setting, I chucked on “D# Fat” by Armin van Buuren, a track with a very satisfying bass drop that extends deeply and rather boomy in its production. The result was a well extended and impactful drop that was wholly satisfying whilst maintaining control and texture.

Turning it up to 11 with blue, the fast bass drums that pre-empt the aforementioned drop become far more prominent in the mix, presenting great punch in the mid-bass that was not present in the white setting and when it came to the drop, I can quote Ferris Bueller in that, “if you have the means, I highly recommend it”. This setting seems to lead to some doubt in the often quoted trope of “BA bass is not great”. That is not to say that the Diva trumps the sheer force of a 10mm dynamic driver that I had the pleasure of hearing in the FiR Audio XE6 but remained distinctly remarkable compared to my experiences with all-BA sets in the past.

Apart from this, the lift in the mid-bass with this setting imbued a sense of warmth throughout the mid at the cost of some clarity and separation between the two regions.

Moving the least bassy setting (red), the song’s bassline remained rather good, with a more distinct focus on sub-bass. It felt tighter and faster due to the reduced boost and was more reminiscent of bass I had heard on other all-BA sets. Not stellar but remained tight, detailed and still prominent in the mix.

Overall, the bass of the Diva is excellent in all-three settings and the provision of optionality for the end-user to decide without treading on the rest of the response curve is very well-executed. I am a big fan of this tuning switching on a very specific region of the IEM, the Diva maintains its character and provides you with an ability to tinker to your liking.

Mids


The mids of the Diva receive a tremendous amount of praise from me in terms of the naturalness and effortless nature of its reproduction.

They remain rather forward in the mix but are relatively uncoloured in their presentation. “Day 1 (Brooklyn Session)” by HONNE is a more intimate and acoustic version of the song that has very forward male vocals combined with a piano and lovely violin throughout. Whilst the male vocal is rather overbearing in its forward presentation, it remains wonderfully natural in its timbre and instrumentalization doesn’t simply fade into obscurity. The piano and the violin similarly receive a sense of naturalness in that they feel like they’re in the room with me.

“DFMU” by Ella Mai presents similar traits in a vocal forward presentation but the reproduction of female vocals feel smooth (but not overly smoothed out), analogue in nature and delicately balanced. My classic sibilance test for upper-mids/treble is “4 Walls” by f(x) with lots of sss sounds sung in a heady, breathy voice in the upper register. The result is no sense of sibilance whatsoever, and that is a very good result.

“Just the Two of Us” by Grover Washington and Bill Withers contains a lot of instruments combined with the deeper voice of Bill and its representation on the Diva is similarly excellent. The keyboard sounds wonderfully light, the male vocals have a certain weight to them and the refrains of the female back-up singers are airy and pleasant to the ear.

By the sheer volume of songs that I have listed here, I think you are getting the picture. The Diva is absolutely wonderful in the mid-range. If I were to criticise something, it would be the very forward vocals. They are the star of the show here for the very aptly named Diva and for some, I believe this presentation may become a bit overbearing at times with the intimacy of its reproduction.

Treble


Moving on to the upper regions of the Diva, we see there is a slight loss in the special sauce that was present in the bass and mids. The treble region is distinctly okay with the Diva. Percussion remains present but there is a very distinct loss in the sense of sparkle and slightly jarring nature that I like to experience with certain instruments in this region. “Reckoner” by Radiohead has some very present percussion throughout the entire song and with a more robustly tuned IEM in the treble region, you get a very sparkly and very enticing rendition of treble. To me, a great treble region in an IEM would provide an almost harrowing rendition of this song wherein the claps and percussion would flirt with causing a wince. Obviously never venturing into an actually fatiguing experience (I am no masochist) but rather just providing that sense of drama that you get with a more adeptly tuned IEM in this region. There is a synth in “You & Me (Flume Remix)” by Disclosure & Flume that is akin to sharp white noise that is quite jarring on brighter IEMs but on the Diva it remains tolerable. Whilst this may be seen as a benefit, this synth is meant to elicit some form of reaction out of me with most IEMs that I have tried and its rather underwhelming reproduction on the Diva was somewhat disappointing.

Additionally, the smoother and more rolled off treble tuning on the Diva leads to a loss in terms of “perceived resolution” in that more brighter IEMs have the illusion (in my experience) of being more “detailed” by virtue of that sharper response of certain notes.

The benefit of the Diva’s approach is that it never gets fatiguing with the treble and that it remains a fairly relaxed listen if you are particularly sensitive to harrowing violin solos and crashing cymbals.

Overall, I believe that the treble is smooth and rather relaxed in its tuning leading to a more laid-back listening experience that is less likely to cause you fatigue. However, it ultimately lacks that sense of goosebump-inducing sharpness that I quite enjoy.

Technicalities:


Staging on the Diva is a rather odd experience. I would venture to say that it does not project very wide at all when compared to the competition in the market. In terms of depth, the stage is sufficient to discern certain ‘layers’ of music coming at you. However, overall, the staging of the Diva is somewhat intimate given its rather vocal forwardness. Even when listening to bombastic orchestral pieces like “One-Winged Angel” by Nobuo Uematsu, the experience does not seek to amaze you with its broad and deep production.

Resolution and detail on the Diva is rather good but the smoother and more ‘rounded’ reproduction of music leads to a loss of ultra-sharp note rendition. Unlike the Gaea, this is not a sharp and fast reproduction of music but a more amorphous and relaxed presentation which leads to a reduced sense of resolution. That is not to say that Diva falls into the spectrum of muddy or undefined, not at all. It remains distinctly capable of resolving complicated productions with gusto but detail and resolution does not jump out at you at all. All elements of a song seem to combine into a cohesive piece rather than smearing it all together (low resolution) or drawing hard and harsh lines between certain instruments.

Overall, by virtue of its tuning, the Diva provides a different approach to technical performance. Rather than being amazed by perceived detail or an ultrawide stage, it aims to provide an easily enjoyable yet detailed reproduction of music.

Overall:


Vocal forward yet delicately balanced, the Diva is impeccably tuned in the lower and mid end of the frequency response curve. With booming bass that belies the tropes of BA-bass and an excellently executed mid-range, the Diva is only let down by a rather tame treble region. Somewhat confined in its reproduction and slightly rounded and smoothed, this is not a technician and vocals can get a bit overbearing over time but rest assured that this is a wonderful sounding IEM.

Synergy


One thought coming to my mind here namely lessons learnt after multiple DAPs, DACs and Amps plus headphones and IEMs is synergy!
Hoping for the one and only holy grail Setup is maybe just a nice wish unless buying according synergy transducers.
There's a reason why people are having multiple devices in parallel or reducing inventory and keeping only the ones with right synergy

Shanling M6 Ultra

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I would characterise the M6 Ultra (M6U) as a smooth, slightly warm source with an increased sense of presence in the mids and a strong note weight.

The M6U pulls back the vocal forward nature of the Diva leading to a slightly more deep stage. The bass performance of the Diva receives a greater spotlight from the M6U that starts to venture into more boomy territory. The strong note weight and the smoothness of the M6U combines well with the Diva to provide a very warm and enticing listening experience. Some may hear this combo to be a little overindulgent but I feel that it heightens the strength of the Diva and that is, the great vocal naturalness.

I can definitely recommend this pairing unless you are looking for a more technical and harder-edged reproduction of music on the Diva.

Mojo 2

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I would characterise the Mojo 2 as a very, very slightly warm neutral tonality with a more natural reproduction of instruments and voices with no DSP enabled.

The Mojo2 presents the Diva in a flatter manner, vocals feel more even with the rest of the stage on the Diva and does not seek to recess nor push vocals forward. Transients attack more slowly and there is a heightened sense of upper mids and treble energy. Bass quanity is not as high but the texture and detail within bass notes are tremendously done.

I state that the Mojo 2 takes a more neutral approach compared to the M6U and whilst it makes the Diva more unforgiving, it ultimately is a good pairing to draw out some more “audiophile” sound.

L&P W4

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I would characterise the W4 as a neutral tonality with an emphasis on technical performance with a harder edged and more sparse reproduction of instruments and vocals.

The W4 opens up the rather intimate Diva creating a more diffuse stage. Female vocals remain forward in the mix but instruments seem to placed wider in the mix. There is a lift in the upper mids when compared to the M6U and the Mojo2 and this leads it to be slightly sibilant with certain sss sounds. More bitey and more aggressive in this region, the W4 creates a strong edge to the music that heightens drama.

Overall, the W4 leans a little to the thin and dry side for me with the Diva as it counteracts some of the key strengths of the IEM. There is a degree of customisability with the DSP functionality of the W4 and you can tweak the sound within the pre-set confines of L&P.

Cable MADNESS


The Diva comes with an Ares S 4W. I was also lucky enough to have it at the same time as the Gaea’s Australian tour which had the Ares S 8W, Cadmus 8W and Code 23, the Fusion 1 Tour and @GiullianSN 's personal Cleo Octa.

Ares S (Stock)


The Diva’s female vocal forwardness and intimate staging are the most present elements of this combination which sets a great baseline. Bass impact is good and there is very little in the way of sibilance and harshness with the stock copper cable.

Ares S 8W


Moving onto even more strands of copper, the Diva’s vocals seem to come slightly more forward into the stage and mid-bass appears to be heightened. This creates greater warmth and the stage seems to extend wider than with the 4W version of the same cable. Overall, these changes are fairly minute but little nuances that worked quite well with the Diva but over the long run I could feel that this combination would get tiring due to the overbearing nature of the vocals.

Cadmus S 8W:


The Cadmus seemed to inject greater air and depth into the Diva, recessing the female vocals from the stock Ares and the 8W Ares. There is a perceived increase in the stage depth and greater separation between instruments and sections of the frequency response. This seemingly heightens the imaging and detail of the Diva whilst pulling back the warmth.

This pairing would work well for those looking for a more critical reproduction of the Diva and I can definitely see how this would combine for someone’s ideal combo.

Code 23:


This ergonomic nightmare is being judged on purely sound and to this effect the Code23 does a rather good job. Staging is widened and made deeper with improved separation and imaging from the aforementioned cables. There is a slight slowing of decay creating a wonderful sense of space and naturalness. Female vocals are made more analogue and euphonic in their reproduction but bass is slightly thinned.

Overall, there is a strong sense of heightened technical capabilities with the Code 23 and like the Cadmus, would be a good choice for those looking for a more neutral and perhaps natural reproduction of the Diva.

Fusion 1:


Tremendously wide and deep in staging, certain instrumentalization such as the pluck of guitar strings become visceral to the ear. There is an increased sense of layering and separation with the Fusion 1 and this is further heightened by greater left-to-right imaging. Unlike the Code23, there is still a sense of warmth and strong bass performance but there is a slightly brighter tilt to the Fusion 1 which when combined with the Diva seemingly improves its treble response. Overall, a tremendous all-rounder with a great bonus given to the technical capabilities of the Diva.

Cleo Octa:


Vocals, like the Ares S 8W, are front and centre with the Cleo but unlike the Ares, the Cleo balances it well with the rest of the freqeuency response. It still projects wide and deep and bass notes are perhaps the best balance of quantity and quality from all the cables in this round-up. There is a slight sense of sibilance creeping in with the Octa with the upper mids seemingly getting a boost. Otherwise, the technical chops of the Cleo are great but perhaps not as good as the Fusion 1. Overall, the Octa presents a unique combination and its pairing with the Diva would be an excellent choice.

Comparisons


Vs Gaea


The little brother in the Elysian lineup, the Gaea has received fairly good reviews, and one that was not so bad from myself. Within that review, I noted that the Gaea is dry, thin and slightly tilted to elevate treble. However, it does this in a manner that I feel is fairly balanced and still enjoyable to listen to. The Diva however, jumps to the other end of the spectrum with a more warmed and natural tilt to its presentation. These two IEMs are basically chalk and cheese as far as I am concerned and will appeal to very different audiences. A commonality is their elevation of upper mids leading to a very addictive female vocal reproduction but the Gaea does it with speed and hard edged precision whereas the Diva feels more effortlessly reproduced.

By virtue of their tunings, the Gaea highlights detail and clearly defines the edges of notes whereas the Diva presents music in more harmonic blobs of sound. Bass quantity and physicality goes to the Diva whereas speed and texture goes to the Gaea. Full bodied and strong note weight goes to the Diva whereas dry and technical reproduction goes to the Gaea. Smooth and easy going treble goes to the Diva whereas the Gaea gets sparkly and at times, splashy treble.

I personally enjoy the Diva more but for those looking for a highly technical sounding IEM should look to the Gaea.

Vs MEST MK2

The MK2 is my personal daily driver and represents a different approach to music reproduction compared to the Diva. With a highly diffuse staging, the MK2 spaces out and imparts a tremendous “layered” quality to music when compared to the Diva. Bass quantity on the Diva seems to win out but the quality of the bass on the MK2 feels more textured and speedy. The mid-range, specifically the upper mids on the Diva seem to be more visceral and emotionally engaging if a little overbearing over time. The Diva is far more vocal forward and feels more confined compared to the MK2. The treble response on the MK2 feels ever so slightly more sparkly and enjoyable to my ears. The technical capabilities on the MK2 come out to play with more busily produced tracks in that it resolves them with gusto, clearly setting out instruments and vocals in a very coherent and layered manner compared to the Diva’s single-celled organism of sound.

Overall, I would daily drive the MK2 but the Diva’s intoxicating reproduction of vocals and sheer quantity of bass would be an excellent part of ones collection. This is a pick-em at this point.

Value & Quality of Life


The Diva is priced at 1599 USD and as such commands a substantial sum of money for a lot of people. At this price there is a whole wealth of kilobucks to skip over for the Diva and as such it has a need to be an absolutely excellent IEM. In this regard, I have to say I believe that the Diva is a wonderful IEM. Whilst limited in its treble reproduction and sheer technical capabilities, it remains a smooth, wonderfully natural sounding IEM. As long as you don’t think you’re getting world beating treble, I feel that for the price, you will not be disappointed.

The resin shells of the Diva are lightweight and fairly well sculpted, they sat in my ear canal very easily but the nozzle and filter may pose some issues for those with smaller ear holes.

Speaking of the resin shells, it would be remiss of me not to mention their absolutely wonderful aesthetic. Whilst not for all people in the world given that they are quite garish, they definitely are something to behold when they catch the light.

Otherwise, the included cable is a EA Ares with their wonderful ConX and TermX combination, allowing you to repurpose the cable for use with a range of sources and with other IEMs with ease. This is a great bonus in the package given that so many stock cables immediately find themselves in the drawer to be replaced with something aftermarket.

Included within the package is a set of SpinFit eartips which are not hugely different from the market but are a safe choice and a welcome inclusion in my books. The carry case is the world’s most okayest carry case in that it is hard, which will protect the Diva, and it closes, which will hide the Diva. The flap connecting the two pieces of the case is loose and ineffectual leading to some fiddling.

Overall, I would not feel buyers remorse in any regard if I had purchased the Diva.

Conclusion

The Diva’s wonderful euphonic quality reproduces music with an effortless naturalness that is highly addicting. With an element of control over bass, a vocal forward presentation and technical abilities that are good for the price range (albeit not as obviously presented) the Diva is an excellent sounding IEM with tremendous tuning. The shortfalls of the Diva are a rather limited treble region that lacks the sparkle and drama that I crave from my IEMs and a slightly overbearing vocal presentation that may become somewhat fatiguing over time. But the Diva manages the rest of the frequency response curve so well that I am willing to forgive these shortfalls and enjoy the Diva’s addicting quality.

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o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
Ey, good review, grumpy pepe :dt880smile:

Did the soundstage gets better with crossfeed on the mojo2?
grumpy213
grumpy213
@o0genesis0o thank you sensei in-ear gems.

It did but those vocals are so forward it pretty much always feels slightly confined 😂

Neweymatt

Headphoneus Supremus
A Lovely Diva
Pros: Bright sparkly IEM shells
Deep sub-bass extension really satisfies
Top notch female vocals
Highly engaging listen that grabs your attention
Choose-your-own-tuning with the switches
Cons: Treble rolls off a little
Large shells & nozzle may not be comfortable for smaller ears
Included carry case is not worthy of the entire package
I've recently had the privilege to spend a couple of weeks getting to know the Elysian Diva 2023 as it makes its way along the Australian Tour. Many thanks to @JordonEA for the tour kit, and as ever to @Damz87 for organising these fantastic tours!

If I rewind a year or so, any inkling I had of Elysian Acoustic Labs was that it was small niche company in Southeast Asia somewhere that I understood to be making great gear, but with such limited distribution they just were not on my radar at all. When the Gaea collaboration with Effect Audio was announced, I thought maybe I’d get to hear that one, and it was good to get a chance to hear it on a tour earlier this year. But I was genuinely excited when @Damz87 announced a tour of Diva would go ahead, and I'd finally get a chance to hear this elusive sound.

What's in the box:
Diva arrives in a rather large cube-shaped box, with the IEM and all accessories stored in a cabinet-like set of drawers very reminiscent of the Sony IER-Z1R presentation. This gives Diva quite a premium feel from the get-go, making you feel like you've got something special in front of you.
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You get the IEMs themselves, Effect Audio Ares S cable, a set of SpinFit tips, cleaning tool, cloth, carry case, and mini screwdriver to adjust Diva's tuning switches. Everything is very nice... except that carry case. It feels cheap, the lid doesn't stay closed properly, and it's too small to comfortably house the IEMs when connected to the stock Ares S cable. I feel it's a bit of a missed opportunity considering Elysian's partnership with Effect Audio who excel with these kinds of accessories. This is about the only real negative thing I'll have to say here, and it's a shame because everything else about Diva is excellent.
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The IEM shells are a little on the large side, with rather wide bore nozzles, so they may not be comfortable for smaller ears. The design of these IEMs is fantastic, the way the colourful glitter pattern on the shells catches natural light is quite striking and really adds to the luxe factor of these IEMs.
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Sound Impressions:
The basshead in me went straight to the tuning switches on Diva to ensure they were set to "blue", thereby to ensure I was getting the best experience of Diva's sub-bass extension. A quick listen of Alison Goldfrapp's "NeverStop" confirmed that all of my listening with Diva should be like this. Personally, I reckon Elysian could leave the tuning like this and do away with the switches entirely, I wouldn’t miss them at all.

Diva has a classic U-shaped sound signature, with deep extended bass, somewhat lean midbass and lower midrange, with a strong upswing through the upper midrange. The only real criticism I have of the tuning is that the treble rolls off a bit in the higher frequencies. But overall this is a tuning that I think will please the majority of listeners most of the time. That lean mid bass and lower midrange gives you a very clear and clean presentation that could never be considered in any way “thick” or “muddy”. My personal preference is for a little more warmth in this region, but I got along just fine with Diva regardless.


A few tracks I listened to...
With a name like "Diva", I had a certain expectation of how well this IEM would render vocals, and I have to say I was not disappointed. While I don't much listen to any "divas" in the sense of a Mariah, a Celine, or a Whitney, here are 3 tracks from my 3 of my all-time favourite vocalists. The depth of emotion Diva extracts from each is quite stunning.

Cocteau Twins "Carolyn's Fingers"
Despite this recording showing it's age a little bit, I can't help but get goosebumps hearing this with Diva. Robin Guthrie's guitar work shimmers left-to-right beautifully, Elizabeth Fraser's angelic multi-tracked vocals can be heard with outstanding clarity popping out from all points across the stage, it's just wonderful.


Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Maps"
Once again, Diva gets everything right here from the ringing guitar intro, the powerful rumble of the drums and most importantly Karen O's tender vocals. Diva is the kind of IEM I just want to keep listening to “one more track” after hearing this.


Angel Olsen "Right Now"
I was fortunate to hear this performed live earlier this year, and I have to say Diva does an excellent job of recreating that experience. Instrument placement is once again outstanding from left to right across the stage, with Angel's amazing vocals prominently in the middle. Close my eyes and I'm right back there in the second row.



A few comparisons:

Vs. Campfire Andromeda 2020
So many similarities, and yet enough differences at the same time. Diva set to the middle "white" tuning switch is remarkably similar in the sub-bass to Andro2020, at least when the latter is used with a suitably low output impedance source like the Schiit Jotunheim2 or HiBy RS6. Of course, Diva has the advantage of that tuning switch to give it a leg-up over the Andro. However, the Andro does have a much more elevated mid-bass that gives it significantly more warmth than Diva. Further up the FR, you get an even more forward upper midrange with Diva, whereas the Andro plays it a little safer. There's not a lot in it technically between these two. Both have a nice wide stage at the expense of a bit of depth, with the Diva being a bit taller perhaps, at least with the blue switch. Instrument placement on both of these is great, and detail retrieval is also very similar. Both offer a highly engaging listen and which is "better" will come down to your preference of sub-bass vs mid-bass.

Vs. 64 Audio U6t
I think this is a pretty interesting comparison between 2 IEMs that both implement 6 balanced armature drivers, and provide tuning options either with the Diva's switches, or the U6t's APEX modules. Sub-bass of these similar, with Diva set to the blue switch and U6t using the M15 module. The U6t has more presence and warmth in lower mids, and Diva is more forward in upper mids. U6t’s treble extends more naturally, whereas Diva rolls off a little. U6t has a stronger centre image, and its stage is just a bit deeper, vs Diva feeling a bit wider. Diva does show how well it performs with female vocals, for example Feist's vocals on "Forever Before" pop forward more than with the U6t. Both of these are fantastic all-BA IEMs, and it's really whether you want the smoother warmth of the U6t vs the vibrant glow around vocals of the Diva.

Vs. Elysian Annihilator 2023
At the start of this year, I didn't imagine I could ever be making this comparison, but by good fortune I was able to obtain my own Annihilator 2023 just a few days before the Diva tour kit arrived. Someone said to me that it must be difficult to spend any time at all with Diva with such a wonderful new shiny like Anni around, but I didn't find that the case really. Despite sharing quite a lot of the same DNA, Diva and Annihilator are actually quite different, and give you a very different listen. First of all is the driver configuration, Diva uses 6 BAs vs Annihilator's DD bass, BA mids and ESTAT treble. You immediately notice this in Anni's thumpier, more tactile sub-bass at the low end, and exquisite treble that extends upward seemingly forever. Anni also has significantly more weight in the mid-bass and lower midrange that gives it a lush warm sound that I really just can't get enough of. Detail retrieval, stage size, dynamics are all in favour of the Annihilator.

But….despite all of the clear advantages Annihilator has, Diva is still a fantastic listen in it's own right, and I was pretty well captivated by it for most of the time I listened to it. Sure, if I have the 2 side by side to choose from I'd probably pick Annihilator just about every time, but that doesn’t take anything away from Diva.


Conclusion
It’s probably obvious by now that I had a great time with Diva, and despite it’s tuning not being 100% in line with my first preferences, it gets full marks for giving me a highly engaging listen. I don’t really have room for Diva in my collection at the moment, but if I was building it out in a different way, it would be near the top of my list.
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D
David Haworth
This set sounds great Matt. Switches... set them and forget them! :)

o0genesis0o

Headphoneus Supremus
Elysian Acoustic Diva - Quintessential good IEM
Pros: + Very well tuned
+ Great bass
+ Great detail retrieval
Cons: - Favour coherency over separation
- Staging could be better
Few IEMs have been hyped up in my small audio circle than Elysian Acoustic Labs Diva. A friend predicted that I will fall head over heels for this IEM. Others firmly believed that this would “kill” my U12T. A fellow reviewer jumped through all sorts of hoops to get himself a CIEM of the Diva.

Finally, the stars align (by @Damz87) and I have my hands on a sample of Diva 2023 revision. Does it live up to the immense expectation?

It’s complicated.

Forewords​


  • What I look for in an IEM is immersion. I want to feel the orchestra around me, track individual instruments, and hear all of their textures and details. I’m not picky about tonality, as long as it does not get in the way of immersion.
  • I rate IEMs within with a consistent scale from 1 (poor) to 3 (good) to 5 (outstanding). Ratings are assigned by A/B tests against benchmark IEMs, regardless of the retail price.
  • Ranking list and measurement database are on my IEM review blog.
  • Terms used in my reviews are consistent with the glossary by Headphonesty
  • This impression is possible thanks to Australian Head-fi Tour. Special thank you to @Damz87 for arranging the tour.
  • The units would be sent to the next reviewer after this impression.
  • Elysian Diva 2023 retails at $1599 at the time I write this impression.
Sources for listening tests:

  • iBasso DX300 (for all A/B tests)
  • FiiO K7
  • Hidizs XO
Local FLAC files ripped from CDs or bought from Qobuz were used for most casual listening and A/B tests. My playlist for A/B tests can be found on Apple Music here.

All of my listening was done with Spinfit CP145 ear tips. I listen at a medium volume. I usually turn up the volume until the midrange is fully audible and detailed, unless a treble peak or overwhelming bass prevents me from doing so.

Specs​

  • Driver: 6 BA drivers, 4-way crossover
  • Connector Type: Pentaconn (NOT MMCX)
  • Impedance: 4ohm@1kHz
  • Sensitivity: 100dB@100mV@1kHz

Build and Comfort​

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For some unknown reason, I have always had the impression that Elysian IEMs do not have any packaging. That couldn’t be further from the truth as Diva 2023 has the most elaborated and luxurious unboxing experience I have ever seen in real life for an IEM product. Good job, Elysian! USD $1600 is extremely expensive for a pair of IEM. This level of consideration is a must.

Inside the box, you find

  • Small carrying case with felt fabric cover (a dust magnet)
  • Effect audio Ares 4W cable
  • A set of Spinfit W1
  • An IEM cleaning tool
  • A tiny screw driver to change the bass level
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The earpieces of Diva 2023 are much, much larger than what I expected looking at photos on the Internet. The nozzles of Diva 2023 are also thick. Narrower eartips like Final Audio Type E are unusable. Spinfit W1 are quite stretched, though usable. Only wider tips like CP145 and CP155 can fit the nozzle comfortably. The size of the nozzle makes it harder to fit Diva properly (deep enough for the earpieces to rest against the concha). You might need to experiment with different tips to find a good one.

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Despite having vent on the shells, Diva 2023 feel like a fully sealed BA IEM. I experienced pressure build up after half an hour or so. This problem, together with the size of the earpieces, creates a relatively stuffy and uncomfortable experience for me. I much prefer the smaller size and better ventilation of the sister unit of Diva, the Effect Audio Gaea.

Noise isolation is strong with Diva 2023. However, because the earpieces are large and stick out quite a bit from the ears, I have a lot of wind noise when taking a walk.

Tonality​

Frequency response of Diva 2023 across all bass boost settings. Measurements were done with an IEC-711-compliant coupler and might only be compared with other measurements from this same coupler. Visit my graph database for more comparisons.

diva_measurement_1.png


The tuning of Diva 2023 is the quintessential “well-tuned” signature. It is easy to love, or at least hard to hate.

  • Proper ear gain boost: there is enough emphasis in the upper midrange, done in the (relatively) right way, to ensure that vocals and midrange instruments are clear and present without becoming shouty or harsh at any point.
  • Treble gradually rolls off after the ear gain: subdue harshness and sibilance, and mitigate any sort of timbral problem due to improper balance between treble and midrange (e.g., too much 8kHz over 4kHz)
  • Bass is emphasised but not overwhelming: many “well-tuned” IEMs ignore the bass to pursue a “reference” tonality, without taking into consideration that IEM’s bass must be boosted to compensate for the loss of physical sensation when listening to loudspeakers. That’s not the case with Diva 2023.
  • Lower midrange is not thin (but not muffled and muddy): another pitfall of many “well-tuned” IEMs is that they make the contrast between lower and upper midrange too strong, making the overall tonality razor thin. Again, that’s not the case with Diva 2023. In fact, I would say the midrange of Diva 2023 is tastefully thick. Perhaps a touch more than I usually like.
It should be noted that Diva 2023 has 3 bass options. You use the included screwdriver to rotate a switch on the back of the earpieces. All of my impressions above are based on the middle (default) option. I find the less-bass option too bland and the more-bass option is too muffled. Still, it’s good that you have options.

One note about the measurement: I finished all of my subjective impressions before measuring. I was quite surprised by how the Diva measures. Looking at the ruler-flat midrange and the deeply tucked bass shelf, you wouldn’t expect Diva 2023 to have such natural-sounding bass and the proper note weight. In fact, if one only look at the graph, one would predict that Diva is the thin and lifeless IEM rather than the Monarch II and Gaea, the ones that usually receive that criticism.

diva_measurement_2.png


I suspect the way Elysian tunes the ear-gain boost contributes to this impression. The ear-gain tuning of Diva does exhibits the early boost starting from around 600Hz and it has more energy around 1.5kHz, similarly to the so-called QDC-tuning that is used by quite a few IEMs this year, such as the AFUL Performer8 and Dunu SA6II. This tuning styles tends to push the midrange forward and gives it more weight, without boosting lower midrange .

diva_measurement_3.png


Bass and Dynamic​

A good pair of IEMs/earbuds/headphones should be able to convey, even emphasise, the sense of rhythm and the ebbs and flows of music. In general, this energy requires IEMs to be able to convey rapid volume swings on the downbeat of an orchestra or the leading edge of bass note. It also requires tactile physical sensation of the bass, and the sense of rumble and texture accompanying the bass drops. An IEM can have loud bass, but still fail to convey energy should it lack other features above.
The bass of Diva 2023 is quite interesting.

Think of it this way. Diva 2023 (BA bass) sounds more like dynamic driver whilst the Gaea (dynamic driver bass) sounds more like BA. Both are great in their own way. The Gaea concentrates most of the energy of a transient to the leading edge, creating a snappy transient response that feels like whip cracks. The Diva has rounder and less defined leading edge, but with a strong physical sensation of the bass slam right after the leading edge. The decay of bass notes is also more highlighted and slightly more detailed (though if I am very nitpicky, I would say the Gaea has more texture in the bass decay).

In other words, the BA bass of Diva has very similar presentation to the BA bass in 64 Audio IEMs. Rounder attacks, more physical slam.

Soundstage Imaging​

Soundstage imaging is where I have the most problem with Diva.

Let’s talk about the good part first. Diva has no problem presenting the background element of the recordings, such as the reverberation in classical recording or the cheers of audience in live recording. It also does a decent job at separating the foreground from the background to convey a sense of layering and distance.

The problem with Diva, at least for me, is that it is tuned for a cohesive presentation rather than separation. That means there is less empty space between instruments and the boundary between them are less clear. The emphasis on midrange also pushes the foreground instruments forward and generally keeps them inside the head. Even with the most spacious live recordings, Diva does not sound large.

Resolution​

As I alluded to earlier, Diva does not have the sense of tack sharp separation. Note attacks are somewhat rounded, and instruments do not have razor sharp boundaries. With that being said, Diva does not sound dull, muffled, or muddy. It simply does not have the crystalline clarity like IEMs tuned specifically for that purpose, such as the Gaea.

On the other hand, detail retrieval of Diva is great. Whenever I pay attention, I can appreciate an extra level of nuances and textures across the frequency, from midrange instruments and vocals to cymbals and hats to bass guitars.

Comparisons​

Effect Audio X Elysian Acoustic Labs Gaea (4BA + 1 DD):

  • Gaea has explosive, whip cracking presentation that can be divisive. Diva is milder and easier to listen.
  • Gaea earpieces are smaller and better vented.
  • Gaea has an edge in clarify and separation. Diva is slightly better at revealing detail. The true resolution of both is roughly at the same level.
  • The soundstage of Gaea feels larger in all dimensions and more open.
AFUL P8 (7BA + 1DD):

  • Diva is significantly more difficult to drive.
  • Alternative take on the “well-tuned.” Diva is tastefully adjusted from Harman/Diffused Field. P8 is inspired by the QDC house sound. Simply put, Diva feels more “V-shape” whilst P8 has thicker and more forward midrange (500-1000Hz).
  • Diva has more generous bass than P8. Another interesting case where Diva BA bass feels more DD and P8 DD bass feels more BA (emphasising the leading edge).
  • Diva is half step ahead of P8 in overall resolution.
  • The real reason P8 is in this comparison is because its soundstage invokes the same “we were on the verge of greatness, we were this close” feeling.
64 Audio U12T with MX module:

  • U12T has a significant edge in terms of comfort.
  • The physical sensation of physical slam after the more rounded leading edge of transient is similar between Diva and U12T, even with MX module.
  • U12T emphasises the leading edge of cymbals and hats much more than Diva. This can be good or bad depending on your taste.
  • U12T is half step ahead of Diva in overall resolution. However, the gap is small between these top performers, so I don’t think resolution would be a deciding factor in choosing either.
  • This is how you do an outstanding soundstage on IEM.

My Take​

Should you add a Diva 2023 to your collection? To answer this question, you need to ask yourself what you think when you hear the term “soundstage.” If you are in the camp “IEM’s soundstage is a meme” or “who care! IEM never sounds like speakers anyway”, then go ahead. To me, Diva 2023 is the quintessential “great IEM” with natural and versatile tonality, great bass response, and great detail retrieval without any harshness of shrill. If you don’t mind the large shells and the potential pressure build up of a sealed IEM design, Diva 2023 might be the one for you.

But if you, like me, pay a lot of attention to how the sonic picture of your music is presented within that limited head stage of the IEM form factor, if you want your instruments to have laser focus and razor-sharp boundary, if you want the stage to feel expansive when listening to spacious recording, then Diva 2023 might not cut it, despite all the great qualities.

Absolute Sonic Quality Rating: 4/5 (Tonality: 4, Resolution: 4, Bass: 4, Stage: 3) - Great

Bias Score: 3/5 - I’m lukewarm about this IEM

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Updated: September 22, 2023
Smirk 24
Smirk 24
Great write-up!

As a former Diva owner, I had similar feelings about the more intimate soundstage and lack of instrument separation.

I tried to address the latter by changing cables to the 8W variant of the Ares S stock cable which was successful to a degree. The Ares S 8W added resolution to the leading edges of cymbals and hats, but also introduced some sibilance.

My main issue with the Diva though, and the reason why I can’t recommend it, is because of build quality/quality control issues.

Lee outsourced Diva production (he still hand crafts the Annihilator) and some of the earlier Diva 23 units had the wrong glue adhering the nozzle caps to the nozzles, causing them to fall off easily when tip-rolling. This happened to my unit. I heard that this was addressed later on however.
o0genesis0o
o0genesis0o
My sample makes worrying creaking noise at the nozzle when I try to remove tighter ear tips as well. I heard that it was already re-glued before sending to me.
Smirk 24
Smirk 24
Yeah, it doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Hopefully it’s a non-issue in future Diva iterations.

lycos

100+ Head-Fier
Elysian Diva 2023
Warning: this post contains discussion of snake-oils (cables) which may upset few people. If you disagree, please just skip.

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----
Around 2 months ago, I tried @Damz87 Diva 21 and was very impressed by it. I love its huge bass, fun tuning and great technicality. So, I was excited when Damien informed that its successor, Diva 23 is available for tour.

So, what’s the difference? Internally, the crossover circuit and internal wiring have been updated. Externally, the nozzle is now stainless steal instead of acrylic. Stock cable has changed. Diva 23 comes with Effect Audio (EA) Ares 2 and Diva 21 has Liquid Links (LL) Conti.

Minor thing but worth mentioning - Diva bass tuning switch colour label has changed. So, Diva offers capability to tune bass quantity by turning the switch on the iem. It has 3 levels and I always go with maximum bass because imo, it fully utilises Diva quality bass drivers. There’s slight diff in the colour label: with Diva 21, Red has the Max bass, while in Diva 23, it’s Blue.

——
Initial Impression

I was confused when I listened to Diva 23. It’s different than what I remembered about Diva 21. The timbre sounds unnatural, bass is lack of weight, and the technicality was just so-so. I talked to Damien about it and being a legend as he is, he loaned me his Diva 21 once again.

Listening to Diva 21 once again, yes, it is as good as I remembered it. Moving to Diva 23, I noticed there is decrease in performance. Diva 23 dynamics is more compressed, less spacious, bass isn’t as rich or as full, and detail retrieval is not on par. It confirms my initial impression.

So far, my impression before was based on Diva 23 + EA Ares S and Diva 21 + LL Conti. I decided to test if the sound change due to difference in internal component or the cable.

The first step is to test how each cable sounds on both Diva 21 and Diva 23.


---

Snake Oil Comparison: LL Conti vs EA Ares S

Conti is noticeably more transparent. Texture presented is more vivid. It also sounds more spacious than Ares 2. Conti dynamics is also outstanding – meanwhile, Ares 2 dynamics feels compressed/ constrained.

Tuning wise, Ares 2 has more focus on subbass. Conti has same depth of subbass but bolder which gives impression of bigger bass. Moreover, Conti has more warmth in low-mid range.

In my opinion, Conti offers a better synergy for both Divas.
---

Diva 21 vs Diva 23



Next, by using same cable (LL Conti), I A/B-ed Diva 21 and Diva 23.
Overall, Diva 23 has darker sound signature than Diva 21. Meanwhile, Diva 21 sounds more energetic.

Diva 21 bass has weightier slam than Diva 23. However, Diva 23 has deeper subbass. Diva 21 bass has a nice natural decay while Diva 23 has faster bass transient. Diva 21 vocal is more forward and sounds fuller. Meanwhile, Diva 23 sounds thinner with slight hint of being honky. Diva 21 treble is also more forward - although its far from being bright. Both iems have smooth treble - I never found it to be offensive.

Soundstage wise, Diva 23 is more intimate, meanwhile, Diva 21 sounds more spacious and grandeur. Diva 21 also sounds slightly more transparent.

For my taste, I prefer Diva 21, although Diva 23 isn’t as far behind as I thought from my initial impression. Unfortunately , Ares 2 does disservice to Diva 23 and makes it sounds worse. So, I would strongly recommend getting an upgraded cable. Note, you will need cable with Pentaconn iem connector which may not as readily available as 2pin.
——

Diva 23 vs UM Mest Mk 2


How does Diva 23 perform compared against its competitor? To answer this, I used UM Mest Mk2 as the benchmark. UM Mest mk2 is the older Mest model (Mest mk3 has just been recently released) and priced similar to Diva. It’s still one of my most fav mid-tier iems.

Diva 23 has more forward bass with huge bass slam. Texture wise, Mest mk2 benefits from having good dd bass - it carries weightier and more solid bass punch. Meanwhile, Diva 23 bass is more hollow or cushion-y. Diva 23 bass is still outstanding though and may best most iems with dd bass in the market.

Mest mk2 has more forward vocal with neutral presentation. Diva 23 as comparison is more recessed but warmer.

In term of treble, Mest mk2 is infamous for being bright and shouty. With certain tracks, it would be too fatiguing. Diva 23 treble on the other hand, is more recessed and smoother/organic.

Mest mk2 in general has sharper transient while Diva 23 is smoother. This may contribute to better clarity with Mest mk2. On the other hand, Diva 23 sounds more natural and less fatiguing.
—-
Conclusion
In conclusion, Diva 23 is a very good iem with pleasant tuning and excellent bass. It sits comfortably among the best midtier iems under $2k. To reach its potential though, you would need to find a better synergy cable to match Diva 23 performance. If you already own Diva 21, imo, it's not worth getting 23.

Credit:
Big thanks to @Damz87 and @JordonEA for organising this tour!

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