InEar StageDiver 5 In-Ear Monitor Earphones review


VS Shozy Pola39:- ($950)

 The biggest thing is presentation here, when you buy a Pola39 it feels like a premium earphone with wooden case and premium cable. It has better set of accessories. The SD5 is more ergonomic and feels more secure inside the ear though.

 Thanks to the dynamic driver the Pola39 delivers bigger bass body. Sub-bass is not as big as the SD5, sub-bass extension is lacking in comparison. Surprisingly both the earphones have similar slam and SD5 move more air. Mid bass has fuller notes, upper bass is slightly more active. Mid range is fairly similar to the SD5 but instead of having fuller and smoother notes Pola39 has thinner notes without having taller and uncomfortable notes. Treble is similar to the mid range, thinner notes give better sense of air but does take a bit of the fullness away.

 Stage size of both the earphone is similar, SD5 has better depth, Pola39 has better width.

 Even when Pola39 has thinner notes better air, the SD5 has more evenness to the notes presentation and exhibits better details too.

VS Fibae 4:- ($810)

 Fibae 4 has 4 BA drivers and has exact sound signature as the SD5.

 Both the earphones have similar accessories pack, Needless to say the SD5 is more ergonomic.

 Sub-bass of the Fibae 4 is very similar to the SD5 but the SD5 has bigger rumble. Mid bass is smaller too, it doesn’t feel as full as the SD5. Mid range has similar notes presentation with slightly sharper finishing to them. Vocals do sound sharper but lacks the emotion of the SD5. Treble is good but SD5 sounds more detailed with better attributes in every department.

 Stage size is smaller. SD5 is bigger in every direction.

 Fibae 4 barely gives any competition. Except the bass region, it just doesn’t have enough to compete with the SD5.

VS UM Mirage:- ($1099)

 With only 3BA drivers the Mirage delivers a lot thanks to its custom Open BA driver.

 The bass is slightly bigger with volume, has a bigger slam, the decay speed is similar, mid bass is slightly bigger too. The mid range is slight more sharper than the SD5, both a similar amount of details but thanks to sharper notes the Mirage feels more detailed. The Mirage has better air between instruments, layering and separation is slightly better here. The treble region of the Mirage has better spark and is more energetic. Stage size is bigger in every direction, thanks to the Open BA driver.

 It comes with better set of accessories and cable.

Vs NCM Bella V1:- ($1099)

  Bella V1 has 8 BA drivers with a dynamic driver for bass. There are a few similarities with the tuning of both the earphones. Both try to be smoother with good focus on bass. Bella has slightly sharper notes.

 Both the earphones have similar accessories pack. Ergonomics of the universal Bella cannot be compared to the SD5.

 The Bella has bigger sub-bass rumble but doesn’t have the extension. Mid bass is slightly more prominent. Mid range sharper but it doesn’t feel more detailed compared to the SD5. Vocals are good but SD5 delivers better texture and sounds more emotional. Instruments have similar clarity. Treble region has similar extension and details with slightly more spark to it.

 Stage size of the Bella V1 is considerably smaller in every direction.

 Even when the Bella has slightly sharper notes it doesn’t feel as detailed as the SD5.

VS Hoerluchs HL 4410:- (940 Euros)

The HL 4410 Has a very unique design to it. The 2pin socket is extruding out of the shell giving it a unique look.

It lacks one driver compared to the SD5 and has a more balanced and sharper note delivery with accuracy in its mind. It sounds more analytical and doesn’t have the slight shakiness with the upper mid range.

The HL4410 lacks a big dose of bass body even when advertised as a bassy earphone. The sub-bass reach is slightly less. Mid bass has slightly bigger body. Mid range is sharper with fantastic amount of transparency. It sounds more detailed thanks to its deeper notes reach. Vocals sound slightly less textured and more agile than the SD5. Treble has the same story, sharper, similar extension with more spark to it. Sonically SD5 is slightly better. Both have similar amount of details, HL4410 pretends to have better details with its sharper notes.

HL4410 is basically more agile more analytical and balanced version of the SD5. What one misses out on is the fun part, HL4410 basically cuts out a big load of bass, lending it just above being flat.


 There are earphones which sound tonally correct like the Shozy Pola39, earphones who have barely any flaws in them like Nocturnal Eden, and then earphones like SD5 which are entertaining without losing any of those things. Yes, the SD5 is not the most accurate or detailed earphone in this price range but it is very cohesive and loveable.

 Let it be imaging, presentation or micro details, the SD5 delivers without any problem. There is nothing unpleasant about it. It sounds calm, involving, and smooth still exciting. Doesn’t matter if you are a critical listener or an casual audiophile, the SD5 will please both effortlessly.

 There are barely any flaws with the SD5, if you are not critical about that slight out of character spark at around upper mid range, the SD5 is a perfectly lush and musical sounding earphone. You just sit back and enjoy.

 Not many earphones maintain even notes thickness across the spectrum, but SD5 does it with its slightly lusher and meatier notes without giving up any details. SD5 is an earphone that holds its ground against any other in this price bracket.



Suman Sourav Meher

Suman Sourav Meher

My humble audiophile journey started in 2010, when I was in college, where I fell in love with the elements, nuances, and variations of this mesmerizing world. The ability of tiny earphones to recreate amazing sounds made my bad days tolerable and good days better! Now I am a full-time audiophile with a preference for musical tracks, especially vocals and engaging ones. I must admit I am addicted, but not to drugs or alcohol, but to earphones. Come join me as I share my experiences, bad or good, and let’s have some fun!


One Response

  1. Suman, I’ve had the SD5 since August and your review accurately articulates the attributes of the IEM as my ears hear them. While realizing everyone has different anatomy and sonic aesthetic preferences, the SD5 is emotive, enjoyable and technically impressive with all genres of music. Nice to see them getting some love! Excellent review.

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