Rank #9: Dita Audio Dream

5

Bass
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.

Midrange
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.

Treble
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.

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About Author

Nic is currently in pursuit of a PhD degree in social neuropsychology, while trying not to get too distracted by this hobby. In pursuit of theoretical knowledge by day, and audiophile excellence at night. Luckily for him, both activities are not mutually exclusive which helps to lighten the workload. Always on the go, Nic's enthusiasm for hi-fi is focused on all chains of the portable system: iems, cables and daps.

5 Comments

  1. Great review nick. Can you tell your opinion about the comparison between campfire audio vega and inear prophile 8? What will you choose if the dream and prophile 8 in msrp price and vega in $1030?

    • Thanks buddy appreciate that. But unfortunately I’ve yet to hear the PP8. But from what I head, it’s a completely different direction than Vega and Dream. Vega is the powerhouse in terms of bass, with a resultingly thick sound. The Dream has a relatively neutral but articulated sound, accompanied by fantastic dynamic bass that isn’t too overpowering. The PP8 is a more neutral, reference iem that intends to present the sound with minimal coloration. Of course it won’t have the qualities of dyanamic bass, but it might offer a more coherent and neutral sound by comparison so it really comes down to taste.

  2. Hi!

    I currently own The answer “Truth Edition”, and would like to ask to how it compares with the dream?

    I’m fairly interested in direct comparison, as I would describe the truth as fairly similar to your description of the dream, natural sound, with good bass extension and great soundstage.

    How big of an upgrade is the dream coming from the truth? And if you coukd roughly score the truth using the above criteria, at around what place would it be? Thanks a lot!

    Regards,

  3. great in-depth review nick, i am curious as to how much of the dream’s thin(ish) midrange could be mitigated by syngergistic pairing of source(s) and cables?

    Also, what are your thoughts on the Dream’s timbre? i have read that it is one of its weakpoints.

    thanks in advance

    • Thanks buddy. Yes the Dream is quite source dependent, for both power and tone. The answer is pretty easy here, the best source to drive it is the WM1Z. The WM1Z has a warm, natural sound, resulting from signficantly attenuating the whole treble region. So it makes vocals and instruments bigger, while having the specialty of making brighter iems like the Dream and A18 sound relatively accurate in tone.

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