In this review we’re checking out the new Dream XLS by Dita Audio. A single dynamic driver IEM with a price of $2,299 USD. Too much for just one driver? Let’s find out.
Disclaimer: Dita Audio provided the Dream XLS on loan for this review. Headfonia is not affiliated with Dita and they are not a site advertiser. Many thanks for the opportunity and generosity. The sample will be returned after publication.
About Dita Audio
Dita Audio is a Singapore based manufacturer of In Ear Monitors and cables. They specialize in making single dynamic driver earphones and have partnered with a very reputable company from the HiFi scene for some of their previous cables. Dita Audio has been around for six years already, their former flagship – the Dream, has been available for a strictly limited run and is discontinued already. The newest additions to their lineup is the spiritual successors of the Dream.
Dita Audio’s philosophy is simple. They strive for perfection, without using any sound-compromising materials while aiming for beauty in their designs.
Just a couple of months ago we reviewed the OSLO cable for you. Now it’s time to get back with an IEM review.
About Dream XLS
The Dream XLS is a single dynamic driver monitor that comes in a titanium shell. Dita has always been after maximizing the minimalist designs. Their specialty is making great sounding and luxuriously looking dynamic driver IEMs. The Dream XLS is no exception.
The only information I could find about the Dream XLS is from their Chinese distributor ECT. It states an impedance of 23.5 Ohms and a sensitivity of 113dB. This makes the XLS a normal to drive IEM, which matches my experience with it. It does not require any particularly high-powered sources and could potentially also be used with a smartphone. The good thing is, it doesn’t pick up any hiss from noisy sources either.
From what I could gather, the Dream XLS has been in the works for over two years. Dita has done everything they could to upgrade the experience from the original Dream. The Dream XLS is only available in limited quantities, just like its predecessor. The dynamic driver of the XLS combines the Twin’s composite diaphragm with the original Dream’s design. Which should enhance the resolution, sensitivity and emotional engagement, according to Dita.
Dream XLS retails for 2,299 USD and can be acquired through Dita’s distribution network around the globe.
Build Quality and Ergonomics
The build quality of the Dream XLS is exemplary in my opinion. The body is fully made of titanium and is held in a brownish tone with golden accents. If you’ve ever seen an IEM by Dita Audio you know it for their traditional style.
On top of the earpiece you can find the 2-pin sockets, which are just slightly recessed. The right and left sides are indicated by the letters L and R on the earphones. You can also find these letters on the cable, should you ever disconnect it from the earpieces.
The cable is a special version of Dita’s OSLO cable, it also looks different than the regular OSLO. It’s held in a brown tone to match the IEMs better. The monitors fit me personally very well. They don’t produce any high discomfort for my ears, as they don’t go into the canals too deep. People who enjoy an almost CIEM like fit, won’t be too happy with the XLS. On the bottom of the XLS’s body there is a small pressure relief hole for the dynamic driver.
Isolation is good, but not the best in my opinion. Other universal IEMs isolate better than the XLS in my opinion. Overall, I find the design of the Dream XLS very nice, but it’s glossy finish leaves it open for smudges and finger prints. Which makes me want to clean it all the time.
An excellent fit and seal is crucial for the Dream XLS. If you can’t achieve one, you won’t get to know the Dream XLS’ full potential. Personally, I could get good fit and seal, but I’ve heard reports about users complaining about that. So better check that out before you decide to pull the trigger.
The unpacking experience for the Dream XLS is very special. The way it is presented and packaged is just right out luxurious. I have never seen an IEM come as meticulously presented as the Dream XLS. The theme is black and gold, all around.
When you open the cardboard box, you’ll be greeted by the IEMs and a thank you message from Dita. In the package you’ll find several individual boxes for cases (hard and soft), eartips plus Awesome plugs and a service pack.
You get a soft black leather carrying case as well as a thicker black leather case. While the leather sports a certain luxury, these aren’t the best to keep your IEMs safe during travels. Personally, I prefer crush-proof cases. That’s why I never used any of the two cases and have opted for the full-metal Zippo case that JH Audio provided with their Lola.
Connected to the Dream XLS you will find a special version of Dita’s OSLO cable. We’ve reviewed that last year. It’s a nice cable if you like smoothness and warmth. You will get an array of different silicone ear-tips from Final Audio (Type E, five sizes) and other unbranded gray silicone tips (four sizes). There are no foam tips included, should you want some. Dita also provides a cleaning cloth and spacer rings for the plugs to keep your DAPs safe from scratches.
Dita provides Awesome plugs for all common types. You get 3.5 mm stereo as well as 2.5 mm and 4.4 mm balanced. You can simply swap out the plugs by unscrewing them from the cable. I really like this system and am happy to see it spread.
The entire unboxing experience would be flawless if it weren’t for that small metal wire that holds the cable together. A nicer solution like a leather binder would definitely be very welcome here.
The review continues after the jump!