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Dita Audio Project M – Return to form

Disclaimer: I formally thank Project Perfection/ Dita Audio for generously providing me with Project M in exchange for an honest review.


  • The entire package is designed and curated for designers by designers. Every conscious decision reflects their ‘industrial’ design philosophy and aesthetic for Project M.
  • The abundance of high-quality components and accessories rivals $1000 counterparts in the market at a fraction of the retail cost.
  • An outlier tuning that subverts nascent ‘harman’ trends, with Dita’s house ‘treble’ shimmer and sparkle, and planar-like-bass slam; an excellent rendition of a modest U-shaped sound signature – a lively and exciting presentation.
  • Outstanding bass-texturing and resolution, amplifying layering and separation amongst baritone instruments.
  • Neutral PRAT displaying exhibiting planar-fast transients.


  • Mid-range scoop leaves a ‘gulf’ in natural timbre, which can exacerbate the artificiality of its U-shaped signature.
  • Upper-midrange pizzazz while exciting, has the unwelcomed issue of mild sibilance and coarseness amongst poorly mastered recordings.
  • Average soundstage width.


In the 21 years of my young adult life in Singapore, Dita Audio epitomises (and still represents) the finest the garden city has to offer in the porta-audio marketplace: industrious trailblazers in an infant sector that was still finding its global footing. The mercurial but innovative minds of the Dita team have laid the path forward, sowing the seeds for hyperlocal startups to flourish (Symphonium audio etc.).

Established in 1971 as ‘Packagers Pte Ltd’, Dita Audio harnesses its 30 years of decade-spanning experience in precision manufacturing and metalwork, over-engineering full-metal-jacketed IEMs that sound good to the ears as much as they look to the eyes.

Akin to a master watchmaker, Dita Audio’s penchant for aesthetic perfection is on full display in its employment of artisanal finishing techniques (look at the mirror polishing on the Dream XLS’s faceplates). Objet d’art in sight and sound, all situated in a package consciously curated to leave an indelible impression.

The ‘Answer’ was Dita Audio’s initial foray into the flagship IEM market, bearing the hallmarks of Dita Audio’s intrinsic DNA: elegant simplicity. A Puritan’s approach to design, all of Dita Audio’s preceding IEMs (the Answer, the Dream, the Dream XLS, the Twins and the Perpetua etc.) contain a lone dynamic driver—minimalism but refined. Think Dieter Rams.

However, every subsequent release occupies a sub-$1000 pricepoint, their latest Perpetua boasting a price tag four times higher. To the majority of audio enthusiasts, this is cost-prohibitive, especially in a cost-of-living crisis spanning the entire globe. Not everyone has access to that level of disposable income.

The answer to that question (please mind the unintended pun) is Project M earphones, priced at 399 USD. Lowering the barrier to entry allows audiophiles to have a taste of Dita Audio’s house sound. But therein lies another unanticipated change: an additional balanced armature. Consider this an evolution of a theme.

Today, we examine if Project M can live up to the lofty standards set by its preceding releases. The Dita Project M can purchased directly on the Dita Audio website for 325 USD.


Project M is a marked departure from the status quo. A Dita Audio first, Project M opts for a high-quality, slow-poured transparent resin shell in a mainstream form, revealing the inner workings of the drivers shrouded within it.

In my enlightening conversations with Ash from Dita Audio in Singapore, Project M condenses the technical performance of the ‘Dream’, iterated in their newest PM1+ dynamic driver module that encapsulates the following performance principles: clarity, speed and slam.

Credit: Dita Audio

The intelligent inclusion of an additional Knowles balanced armature augments Project M’s sound-staging prowess. Both drivers are carefully placed in an optimised stainless-steel chamber, the classic Dita logo laser-etched into their faceplates. A custom-moulded transfer tube serves as a funnel for both drivers, terminating with an aluminium nozzle.

Credit: Dita Audio

Like its predecessors (save for the Answer), the Project M comes with a cable (we’ll discuss more about its metal composition later) with their latest APV2 connectors – a reimagining of their patented ‘Awesome Plug’. Audiophiles can swap between a balanced 4.4mm and an unbalanced 3.5mm connector. When both ends are correctly aligned with a notch on the termination side, a treaded cap ensures your connector of choice is securely fastened for day-to-day use.

It is a simple but intuitive system that has proven effective for five years. This design has been endlessly imitated by brands that I shall not name. Then again, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.


Project M is packaged in a felt-covered box with a cardboard sleeve, all printed in jet-black with silver contrast typography. Interestingly, the M’s frequency response (FR) curve is directly printed onto the box’s exterior sleeve, alongside specifications in a bit-crushed typeface; nifty design choices expressing the M’s hyper-industrial design language.

Inside the box, you’ll find four simple inclusions, but it is pertinent that I go through each accessory carefully.

Firstly, the carry case was exclusively customised by Tanos, a German B2B company specialising in designing and producing linkable boxes for storage purposes. Machined from ABS plastic in the form of a miniature toolbox, the ‘Systainer’ carry case in question has a rubber inlay that protects its internal contents. Stylistically, it is beyond cool. Practically, it is overengineered for purpose.

Secondly, the silicon ear-tips provided are supplied by Final Audio in the “E” variant. Not to be outdone by its competitors, the tips are luminescent in darker environments, like glowsticks in your ear.

Thirdly, the cable (titled MOCCA) is fabricated by Cardas Audio USA, with 16 strands of conductors on each channel, jacketed with a malleable, grey PVC outer layer. Made-in-the-USA components are always welcomed for their stringent quality controls.

Sans the IEMs, Project M’s package bears a unified design language. The superlatives best describing the package are utilitarian and industrial. Every element is thoughtfully conceived to play a concise purpose. Despite the lower price point, there are no discernable lapses in quality. Dita’s team deserves laudation for sparing no effort to deliver a value-centric package.

Design, Comfort and Durability

The Project M’s slow-pour resin shells are fully-transparent: distortion-free, seam-free and blemish-free. The M’s mainstream form factor lacks the hardwearing durability of Dita’s traditional CNC’ed metal shells. Still, the M’s ergonomic silhouette and extended nozzles boast a deeper and tauter fit for a more satisfactory seal.

Aesthetically, the stainless-steel chamber surrounding the 9.8mm PM1 driver has a faceplate that reflects a tremendous amount of light, resulting in a kaleidoscopic array of colours – a bedazzling effect birthing new patterns depending on how light strikes it.

The M has recessed 2-pin (QDC-style) sockets. The upside to this configuration is the raised walls shrouding and protecting the connectors themselves. The downside is how elongated the connectors appear when paired with a standard 2-pin cable, adding the risk of prolonged strain and wear on the ear side of the cable.

There’s also a pinhole-sized vent feeding from the stainless steel chamber out of the shell, which does little to compromise the ability of the M to seal extraneous ambient noise. There isn’t a detectable difference in louder surroundings such as the public commute.

Overall, the M doesn’t stray too far off the beaten path as far as plastic IEMs go. However, the M is miles ahead of most sub-$500 IEMs. Dita has a penchant for designing distinct products challenging the ubiquity of the marketplace – a nascent trend prolonged by an intense race to the bottom. The M is the ground shake-up needed to inject much-needed soul into a flatlining market obsessed with more uncontroversial choices.

Onto the next page for details on sound…



Picture of Kevin Goh

Kevin Goh

Raised in Southeast Asia’s largest portable-audio market, Kevin’s interest in high-end audio has grown alongside it as the industry flourishes. His pursuit of “perfect sound” began in the heydays of Jaben in Singapore at the age of just 10 years old. Kevin believes that we live in a golden age of readily accessible, quality audio.


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