If you were to ask me, DITA the Dream deserves the best source you can possibly throw at it. For starters, it requires a butt-load of power, and genuinely opens up when given proper headroom.
Based on what I have on-hand to test, my number one recommendation is the iBasso DX200 with AMP4 module ($1099). My reference player for the review. I only needed Low Gain to reach DITA’s full potential. Of course, you will need a balanced cable, but it’s worth the investment. The pairing with DITA is a profound, naked truth that leaves me breathless. Transparency is out of this world. The 3-dimentional, holographic portrayal of the music is among the best I’ve heard on any setup. Details, articulation, separation, soundstage… it’s all so exquisite I could happily call this end-game.
The Opus#2 ($1,299, Review HERE) is not a terrible choice for The Dream. But it does lack the power to fill her out to ultimate satisfaction. You need High Gain to reach proper volume. Even then, I notice The Dream sounds thinner, and colder. Which is not at all how I characterize Opus#2 on any ordinary IEM. In fact, its tuning is a bit warmer than the DX200. But DITA needs the driving OOMPH to sound correct. And you don’t get that here. Again, it’s in no way bad, but I hear the difference and long for more.
Now, if you’re on a bit of a budget, but still want tremendous driving power, and a full, warm, and robust sound, I suggest you look into the newest creature from theBit, the Opus#1S ($399). Don’t get me wrong, on grounds of traditional sound quality, #2 is still the superior device. No question. But the 1S has significantly more amperage, and The Dream responds beautifully to it. Furthermore, the warm tuning adds musicality, escorting The Dream away from its drier, reference sound. Together, this setup creates a smooth, relaxing melody I am awfully fond of.
Cayin’s N5ii ($369, Review HERE) outputs balanced with 250mW @ 32Ω. Even on Low Gain, that’s more than enough for The Dream. Bass has all the weight and authority you could hope for. Unlike the 1S, however, which goes for warmth and musicality, the N5ii aims for clarity and transparency. It’s the cleaner, more revealing signature, and pairs splendidly with DITA’s inherent qualities. Soundstage and dimensionality are quite good for the price, though of course trail behind that of the DX200. Still, if you’re short on funds, rest easy knowing Cayin brings you within spitting distance of the best gear money can buy.
How to wrap this up? Hmm… how about some truth? There were times, as I listened to The Dream over the last 10 days, when sentiments came to my lips, such as, “Wow… this is end-game quality.” As a reviewer, and even as an audiophile, I know there is no end to this game. Yet The Dream can sway you, in those moments when your constitution slips. Indeed, this would not be a bad place to enjoy the remainder of one’s days. The Dream would make that end a sweet, sweet victory.