The Dream’s bass can be considered roughly neutral, bordering on north of neutral – especially the quantity of its sub-bass. But dynamic bass isn’t quite the same as BA-driven bass, even when served in similar quantity. The Dream’s bass reaches very low, providing more of a bodily impact you can really feel rather than just hear, even when it isn’t prominent in the foreground. In addition, there’s an excellent balance between the sub- and mid-bass. When power is required it sounds compact but punchy, rather than bloated. It’s the nice kind of impact you like to see. And although the tone of the bass has a darker touch, it’s timbre is fairly accurate. It’s definition is around average.
As usually is custom for dynamic drivers, this bass isn’t the quickest. The moment you speed up the music, the mid-bass can start to lag behind the general pace. But even then, the control of the bass is quite good. Which is crucial, as it only moderately warms the stage; more specifically, the warmth is confined to the central area within the stage. As many instruments are positioned towards the extremities of the stage, the separation remains rather good, effectively making the most of its grand dimensions. But a lingering decay also has its advantage; with contemporary moderately-paced music, the lengthier timing adds a sense of naturalness to the decay of drums. Taken together, the Dream’s bass impresses with its low-end extension and the body of its sub-bass. It might not be the quickest, it is one of the most engaging.
The Dream’s bass is somewhat of a dissonant for a truly reference tuning; power over speed, yet in the most positive of ways. It’s due to its midrange where it earns its label. The Dream’s midrange isn’t bright, although it isn’t inherently warm either; it’s a clean, uncolored way of projecting its notes. In doing so, it takes a reference approach, favoring a technical sound over a warmer or thicker note production. It’s a tuning that reveals its nature by a characteristic 5 KHz peak; an important tool for a reference-oriented signature, and this won’t be the last time we come across it. Emphasizing the 5-6 KHz range results in a cleaner sound, by stripping midrange notes from their warmth, and placing emphasis on the attack of a note – effectively creating a more resolving sound. In addition, by boosting this frequency rather than the higher treble regions, the presentation is able to maintain a relatively neutral tone.
The Dream’s midrange is fairly neutral in terms of size and forwardness, although it is somewhat source dependent in this regard. Generally speaking, the sound is neither overly full, nor lean; instruments have a nice amount of body. In general, the midrange is relatively smooth, although there can be traces of edginess in the upper midrange based on the source, or the quality of the recording. As a result of this upper mid emphasis, instruments sound clear and well-defined, with a slightly brighter than neutral timbre. It’s a tuning that works especially well for string instruments, even though their tone wouldn’t qualify as completely accurate. Or admittedly what I’d use it for in this case, electronic music.
The vocal presentation is somewhat laidback. Due to the depth of the stage, this results in an almost exactly central position within the three-dimensional image, which effectively benefits its separation. As with the rest of the midrange, the 5 KHz peak plays a determining role in qualifying the vocal presentation. While the midrange is fairly linear up to that point, enhancing this region results in a laidback lower midrange. As a result, it’s a vocal presentation that focuses on pronunciation rather than depth; vocals sound clear, but there isn’t a great deal of body behind them, that throaty feel that provides the vocal power. They’re detailed, but their tone could be a bit warmer. Overall, it’s a vocal presentation that fits within the tuning by sounding clear, and contributing to the structuring of the stage and its separation.
As with the midrange, the Dream’s treble is a bit source dependent for its timbre and smoothness. In general it’s a bit brighter in tone, although it hovers around neutral in overall quantity. Due the linearity of the treble, the treble notes have a nice amount of thickness. Accordingly, it’s a treble that doesn’t shy away, and in doing so contributes to the overall high level of detail. However, as the treble itself isn’t enhanced, there isn’t an overabundance of light on the stage. It’s a tuning that provides clarity without brightness, while providing a modest touch of sparkle.
Its speed is roughly average; it isn’t the quickest, while it also doesn’t slow the pace. Similarly, its top-end extension puts it around the middle of the class: not bad, not the best. In general, I find it an enjoyable treble presentation, although it could be a bit warmer in tone to sound natural. And while I personally wouldn’t describe it as harsh, I could imagine it being fatiguing for sensitive listeners, or when listening to treble-heavy music. Nevertheless, it’s a treble that perfectly matches the midrange, and the presentation as a whole: clearly articulated, and highly detailed.