Although DITA’s XLS is well balanced and will sound superb on virtually any source, it is neutral enough to assimilate the voice of the hardware you connect her to. So if you use an amp with a thin or bright profile, The Dream will take on those characteristics to some extent. Understanding your own sonic preference is key to achieving the optimal pairing for you, personally. For me, I wanted the most bass and warmth possible, while still operating at the highest level of quality. That seemed to bring DITA right into my wheelhouse.
To that end, the Cayin N6ii with E01 module ($1,319, Review HERE). This thing will give you that warm, analogue musicality, on a budget. It does so deftly and with such acumen you may question the urge to spend more, particularly if you invested in a set of monitors of DITA’s virtue. When things already sound this good, why upgrade?
For a cheaper alternative, but one still very much in the same spirit as the N6ii, I recommend the Shanling M5s ($300, Review HERE). This thing will give you that warm, analogue musicality, on a budget. It does so deftly and with such acumen you may question the urge to spend more, particularly if you invested in a set of monitors of DITA’s virtue. When things already sound this good, why upgrade?
If warmth is not the color you seek, and your pursuit is ever for clearer and more detailed rendering, the iBasso DX160 ($399) is hard to beat. At this price range, it’s flat out impossible. iBasso gives you that sharp, resolving sound, yet does so without slipping into cold or sterile territory. There’s enough body to the notes that DITA never feels too thin or anemic, and everything comes through with power. Yes, this may not be my favorite pairing, but when I’m listing to it, the raw excellence on display is breathtaking. If this is your type of profile, you’ll love it.
So let’s conclude this bitch!
DITA Audio took a world class, truly awesome IEM and made it better. The original Dream had few faults to start with. The XLS, perhaps, has none. While I’m still not the biggest fan of the ergonomics of this form factor, DITA handles it so well I can’t honestly call it a fault. The Dream XLS is one of the most natural, realistic monitors I’ve ever heard. It’s the type of gear that doesn’t sound like equipment, but life.