DITA Perpetua Review – Timeless

Sound –

Testing Methodology: Measured using Arta via IEC 711 coupler to Startech external sound card. 7-9KHz peaks may be artefacts/emphasised due to my measurement setup which I found to be the case here. Measurements besides channel balance are volume matched at 1KHz. Fit depth normalised to my best abilities to reduce coupler resonance. Still, due to these factors, my measurements may not accurately reflect the earphone or measurements taken by others. I gave the Perpetua 100hrs burn-in to ensure maximum performance prior to subjective breakdown.

Tonality –

The Perpetua has a very intriguing tuning that, in the modern day, represents a refreshing departure from the norm. It’s a warm, relaxed and very even-handed sound with a bold, well-bodied bass, slightly laid-back upper-midrange and an even treble besides a notable 7kHz peak (8kHz measured due to fit depth on coupler). This gives it a gentle U-shaped character reminiscent of the nostalgic high-end dynamic driver earphones from years past. At the same time, its relaxed nature means it doesn’t wow on first listen like similarly priced TOTL IEMs. It’s only after some time that I’ve come to appreciate that this is likely the best easy-listening IEM I’ve yet heard. It pumps out a sumptuous yet meticulously restrained bass line. The presence region also receives a bump right between the lower and middle treble thereby avoiding both over-sharpening and stridence. It does imbue a rather esoteric airiness to the treble and a bit more upper-harmonic bias with a thin albeit sparkly note presentation. These features enable the Perpetua to deliver a sound that is simultaneously nuanced and hi-fi yet also never once forward or in your face giving it extraordinary long-term listenability.

Bass –

Dynamic drivers are perhaps best known for their bass performance and the Perpetua exemplifies this. Notably, it does so without having excessive bass emphasis. In character, the Perpetua actually has a slightly laid-back sub-bass in favour of a mild deep-bass bump. Lows then progressively decline into a medium-recessed lower midrange. This gives the low-end a clean tonality whilst maintaining a bold, full-bodied character. Bloom and bloat are non-issues due to the cleaner mid and upper-bass tuning, however, notes remain thickened and rich with a satisfying weight and grandness due to the deep-bass emphasis. At the same time, bass isn’t especially forward, achieving good balance and separation. Whilst extension is excellent with a palpable pressure and slam, sub bass sits a touch behind so as not to fatigue. Accordingly, the Perpetua provides a good amount of wallop and power without the skull-pounding effect of a more sub-bass-boosted sound.

Of course, if that’s what you desire, then you may be disappointed by the Perpetua. This is hardly the most vibrant or dynamic monitor out there especially compared to direct competitors. I would instead posit it is a texture and detail maestro – the driver quality on display is sensational. If you enjoy a super high-quality bass with superbly textured, fleshed-out notes, this is one of the best options I’ve heard. You do have far more aggressive implementations, think Empire Ear’s Weapon drivers that will provide such a bombastic and high-energy sub-bass. The Perpetua instead is a sonorous performer that decays very swiftly enabling a note presentation exacting control and tightness. Separation remains excellent as a result yet, given the thicker nature of the tuning, never sounds thin or truncated. This is a lush, smooth bass performance rife with fine detail that upholds its composure even on the most complex passages.

Mids –

Glancing the frequency response alone doesn’t tell the full story as the Perpetua does have a fairly non-traditional tuning in general. Here, it upholds its smooth, fleshed-out character. However, what is key is the earphone’s surprisingly excellent vocal definition and general resolving power. Another key characteristic here is contrast, both between the frequency ranges and also each layer in the presentation. This has been achieved through the unique combination of an enhanced bass/midrange separation resulting in a slightly thinner albeit mostly tonally transparent vocal combined with a denser upper-midrange and smooth lower treble. The 7k boost lifts articulation without over-sharpening S’s and treble instrumentation as a slightly lower or higher peak would. It’s an inspiring and thought-out tuning that is highly enjoyable from a timbral perspective whilst minimising fatiguing properties. While it is undoubtedly coloured, the net result is very well compensated to provide an authentic listening experience.

It all comes together into a delightful and, most importantly, highly consistent package. In this sense, something that’s really grown on me over the last few years is an earlier pinna gain hump, something the Perpetua enjoys with its 1.5-2kHz bump. This gives it a more even-handed character between male and female vocals. Furthermore, the utter lack of large peaks or troughs here provides an especially consistent character between tracks that even Harman-target in-ears lack. Male vocals, in particular, I’ve found to be diminished by these higher-frequency biased tunings. The Perpetua delivers some of the most masterfully crafted male vocals I’ve heard, and they sit in perfect balance with both female vocals and midrange instruments. Resolution operates at a very high level too, layers are clearly resolved and delineated, and fine details come through impressively clearly if not in quite as forward a manner as more revealing competitors. It again should be noted that this sound is smooth but never congested nor veiled as the low-end is actually quite tonally transparent and well-defined. I applaud DITA on constructing a midrange that has such excellent intelligibility with zero forwardness or fatigue.

Highs –

This trend continues through the top-end, once again contributing towards a very consistent overall package. The benefit to this comes in the form of coherence, as though the sound showcases good tri-frequency separation, the consistent voicing means the presentation also remains organised and well-orientated. The actual voicing of the treble is intriguing too. As aforementioned, the general character through the upper midrange and lower treble is smooth and linear. This lends instruments quite a smooth leading edge, a quality that is further enhanced by the manner in which dynamic drivers deliver treble as opposed to balanced armatures, for instance. Following is a sizeable 7kHz peak that, to my ears, wasn’t nearly as jarring as on my measurements but remained apparent. This means you get a simultaneously smooth yet high-clarity treble that errs on the thinner side but still upholds a good amount of texture and decay. If you’re looking for an aggressive, bitey lower-treble then, like the bass, this is where the Perpetua makes some concessions. Certainly, the driver is responsive and delivers a concise note presentation, but percussion is generally a little more damped on this IEM.

In addition, the foreground can sound slightly sparse, lacking the detail density of more lower-treble forward IEMs. Above, emphasis picks up to deliver enhanced shimmer, air and sparkle. Combined with excellent top-end extension, this lends the earphone a generally more esoteric and wispy presentation over a focused and bitey one. I adore these qualities as they give that classic hi-fi, micro-detailed sound without overly colouring the instrument presentation in the foreground or upsetting instrument positioning and incurring forwardness. In the context of the Perpetua’s sound tuning, it makes a lot of sense, avoiding any form of sharpness in the 6 and 8 kHz ranges. The background isn’t the darkest but it is clean and well-composed with great detail retrieval. Background details are abundant and notes are presented very cleanly if not with the crispiest attack. The differentiator here lies in both resolving power and listenability performing in the highest echelons of single-dynamic driver design.

Soundstage –

We are now competing in a price range with some truly exceptional outliers in terms of soundstage, leagues the Perpetua doesn’t quite glimpse. That said, this is a very structured in-ear that will never leave you wanting in this regard. Where it mostly falls behind is raw space and its style of imaging. The Perpetua is undoubtedly spacious for an in-ear but lacks the same out-of-head expansion as some competitors. That said, I do find it well-proportioned between width and depth. Imaging is a strong performer, not quite energetic enough to achieve holography, but highly organised. Layering strikes as a strong point with a hyper-delineated foreground and background, both presented with excellent definition. The Perpetua also delineates well between many individual layers. However, in terms of positioning, it doesn’t sound as distinctly three-dimensional as many competitors that offer sharper distance portrayal. Separation is a surprising performer. While it isn’t outstanding, it performs at a high level as the sound avoids excessive warmth and body. The midrange and treble especially have a palpable ether surrounding notes that is quite intoxicating and further aids fine detail retrieval.

Driveability –

The Perpetua has a modest 20 Ohm impedance and a higher 108 dB sensitivity making it an efficient in-ear. In addition, its single-driver configuration takes a lot of headache out of pairings making this a very forgiving earphone to drive.

Output Impedance Sensitivity

As expected from a single dynamic driver design, the impedance curve is effectively flat meaning it will provide a consistent sound from a variety of sources. This is, of course, given that the source itself provides a linear output.

Driving Power

The Perpetua isn’t especially difficult to drive from a pure tonality and efficiency point of view, but I have found it to scale very well with good amplification. Comparing my desktop amp (THX789) with the Shanling M2X DAP revealed a noticeable difference. The DAP was softer with a less defined leading edge and impact. Sub-bass took a step back with the desktop amp sounding deeper and more powerful. The midrange also sounded larger on the desktop amp and highs were more defined. While the Perpetua still sounds fine from a portable source, a more powerful dedicated source is your best bet.

Suggested Pair Ups

The Perpetua is unfazed by output impedance and is driven to high volumes even from portable sources. It scales well with amplification but doesn’t require huge driving power to be enjoyable. I feel the tuning on the Perpetua is quite safe and, therefore, source matching will be more driven by personal preference. For my ears, that was a more neutral source such as the Hidizs S9 and Topping/THX AMPs that brought out the best of the Perpetua’s midrange. I felt that though the bass isn’t especially mid-bass biased, warmer sources did cause a bit more bloom in this regard.

Next Page: Comparisons & Verdict



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Ryan Soo

Avid writer, passionate photographer and sleep-deprived medical student, Ryan has an ongoing desire to bring quality products to the regular reader.


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