PROS: Neutral-natural tonality, very wide and deep stage, excellent layering, clear yet smooth, great build quality, Awesome cable.
CONS: Might require some time to adjust to the sound, proprietary 2-pin cable connector.
Our Contributor Erik, Head-fi’s Wyville, is back with another detailed review of one of the Dita’s twins – Fealty IEM.
The Fealty have been on loan from my friend Nic, better known as The Headphone List reviewer Flinkenick. There was no intention to review these, I just felt inspired by their sound.
Dita Audio Fealty:
- Driver: Single dynamic driver – Ref-Fe
- Frequency response: 18Hz-25kHz
- Sensitivity: 95dB +/- 1 dB@1kHz
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- Cable: DITA Fat Cable 2 with TPE Insulating Jacket
- Connector: Awesome 2.5mm TRRS & 3.5mm TRS
- Price: US$ 1,299.00
As mentioned in the disclaimer, I had no intention of reviewing the Fealty. They just happened to come my way from a friend in order for me to try out. They were not even considered my cup of tea. I usually gravitate towards warmer IEMs like my Empire Ears Phantom, and the Fealty offer a very different proposition. Why then the review? Because the Fealty surprised me and the Fealty inspired me. I can’t find a better reason for writing a review. Not to mention that Dita Audio is one of those fascinatingly eccentric companies that always attract my attention. I love eccentric!
Dita Audio state on their website that their philosophy is all about striving for perfection and that they aim to produce earphones of unrivalled quality and beauty. A tall order, but I have to hand it to them… they do seem to be able to attract my attention. Every IEM I have seen them release so far, I have been tempted by on sheer looks alone. I just love Dita’s beautiful designs. From the Truth to the Dream to this Fealty (and its twin Fidelity) and the coming Project 71, all beauties! Sound was a bit harder to pin down. I of course read several reviews, but as the Fealty have proven, there is nothing like being able to hear for yourself and it took a while before I got my hands on a set of Dita IEMs. Thanks Nic! Now let’s dig in and see what made the Fealty so irresistible to review.
Build quality and fit.
Dita have ambitious claims for what they are trying to achieve with their IEMs, so how did they do? Pretty darn good I would say! The Fealty are gorgeous looking and very solidly built. If these were not on loan from a friend, I would have no reservation about using them with little regard for the Fealty’s health and safety, as I am sure they can stand up to even my level of abuse. Just how I like it! And on top of that these are actually really comfortable. They look like they might be a little heavy, but the housing is surprisingly light and the shape is excellent. They don’t have a very deep insertion and don’t need it either for a secure and comfortable fit. I have enjoyed wearing them for long listening sessions without any discomfort. The cable connectors are angled in a way that the cables easily fall over the ears and the cable itself is a very nice quality.
Because I received these on loan from a friend, I do not have the original packaging, but included were both the 3.5mm SE and 2.5mm balanced plugs for the Awesome plug, which I think is… well, awesome. It is a great idea considering the ever-growing number of different plugs. It is an elegant solution that hardly adds any bulk to the plug and greatly increases the versatility of the cable. My only concern was the use of aftermarket cables, which as a self-professed ‘cablephile’ I do enjoy. Although the sockets are the typical 0.78mm and therefor all standard 2-pin cables should fit, the proprietary housing makes this less than ideal. I tried it to see how it looked with my recently reviewed Eros II 8-wire, which I thought could pair very well with the Fealty, but the connection felt quite vulnerable to me. I did not dare risk it out of fear of bending the pins on my cable, or worse, ruining the sockets on my friend’s Fealty. That said, happily (very happily!) I can say that the stock cable included is wonderful to use. Very supple, very ergonomic and there is no need to switch it unless you happen to be a borderline cableholic with an obsessive compulsive need to tinker with your gear… *bows head in shame*
Overall the Fealty is a Dream (pardon the pun) to use and should last a good number of years even with intensive use. In that way I think Dita are living up to their ambitions. So what about sound?
All listening was done with my AK70 from the balanced out.
If there is one word of caution I would give anyone interested in the Fealty, it would be: Give yourself the time to get to know them. When I first heard them I was not all that impressed, but the more I listened, the more things started to come together in a beautiful way. Listening to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker really drove home that point for me. It was just so stunningly beautiful in its own characterful way.
The Fealty are close to neutral IEMs but done in a musical way. These are not sterile reference type IEMs, rather they are clear, airy and characterful. They present a very wide stage that does not have much height by comparison but does have a surprising amount of depth. A letterbox type of stage with some of the very best layering I have heard to date. The Fealty offer a lot of detail and excellent separation, but key to the layering is the reduced warmth of the bass. With classical music I found that the bass section sits very far back compared to what I am used to, yet the dynamic driver has more than enough authority to ensure nothing is lost in the image. This creates an outstanding sense of depth with layer after layer flowing from the back to the front, each easily discernable. It is a gloriously beautiful presentation that works exceptionally well for classical music.