Fidelity or Fealty, that is the question
Dita is a worldwide brand that manufacturers premium earphones. Not any earphones, but with only single dynamic drivers. Their entry model, the Answer, is probably one of the most popular IEM and their higher models, the Truth, for example, also gained a good amount of popularity. Of course, it’s important not to forget about their limited flagship model, the Dream, which gained incredible feedback and interest among audio communities. Though most of all know that the Dream was only produced in very small quantities and soon got discontinued after release.
Now Dita applied the learned lessons from the Dream and was able to apply its technology for a lower price, which is the Twins. The Twins is a reference for their two flagship IEMs; Fidelity and Fealty. They’re still flagship IEMs so the price isn’t cheap ($1,299) however it’s understandable as the Dream cost nearly $2k. Let’s now take a look on the Twins and see their sonic difference, as well as a brief comparison with the Dream.
The packaging got significantly smaller compared to their previous models. There may be some who like large fancy boxes, but I rather prefer it to be small, so not a problem for me. The presentation still feels premium and retains Dita’s original style of packaging. Other than the earphone itself, it comes with a 3.5mm jack, 2.5mm jack, aircraft adapter, 5 pairs of Final Audio E-type eartips, leather pouch, and some paperwork.
It’s a bit of a bummer that they didn’t include an additional case that’s more durable to be used on-the-go as they did with all their previous models. Besides, the Final Audio E-type eartips sonically matches nicely with the earphones, so no need to look for other eartips unless you know you need to.
The earpieces are cnc’d out of chunks of metal, giving a firm, durable feeling on the hands. Unlike their previous models, the Twins have their logos engraved on the faceplate, giving a bold, lush look. The earpieces are shaped just like the Dream, however bigger in size. Dita reinforced the cable connection by adding a locking system, as well as extruding the 2pin connectors from the earpieces. This significantly increases the durability and prevents the earpieces from falling off from the cable, in case the connectors get loose over time. The downside is that the stock cables aren’t compatible other than with the Twins. It also looks slightly odd if you pair of up with other cables, but not a big of a deal here.
The Fidelity is finished with a black-ish purple color on the surface while Fealty is done with a sleek silver finish. The earpiece size feels to be the same as the Answer or the Truth. They fit comfortably in my ears and has an adequate depth when inserted, giving good isolation as well as comfort. Most won’t have a problem fitting these into their ears unless you have real tiny ears.
The upgraded Fat Cable 2
The Twins are equipped with Dita’s Fat cable 2 which is an upgraded version from the Answer. Dita didn’t use Van Den Hul cable as they did with their truth editions and the Dream, but I guess that’s how they managed to trickle down the price as well as improving their Fat cables. Dita still added their “gimmick” sort of component at the end of the cable, which is a metal pillar with the Fidelity/Fealty engraving. It doesn’t hold any function other than for design but definitely doesn’t bother me when I stick my players into my pocket.
Dita equipped the Twins with their well known Awesome plug. It’s basically a connector system that enables the users to easily switch between various plugs like 2.5mm/3.5mm/4.4mm. (You could even get a lightning jack from aftermarkets but not authentic) The Twins come with 2.5mm and 3.5mm plugs, but it would have been even better if they included the 4.4mm plug as well. The 4.4mm plug can be purchased from Dita’s website for $59, so you’ll need to purchase it separately if you need one.
How’s the sound: Fidelity
Fidelity is all about the balance. And by saying balance, I’m not only talking about in terms of frequency response but musical balance as well. Even though Fidelity may seem to be straight out flat and analytical, it manages to keep it very analytical without sacrificing musicality. While Etymotic ER4S sounds like the frequency response is ironed out flat, Fidelity feels more like it’s gently boosted all throughout the frequency, making the sound analytical yet rich.
Bass quantity is just about the right amount with adequate thickness, being similar to most slightly v-shaped IEM. It also has a good amount of weight with prominent ultra low details, which is very impressive for an analytical sounding IEM. Of course, the bass is not the main player here, but it’s definitely not left out. Fidelity’s bass performs just as good as other frequencies. The bass should be enough for most users unless you consider yourself as a real basshead. Mids are presented slightly forward with great transparency and purity.
Dita managed to tune Fidelity to stand right on the boundary between non-fatiguing and fatiguing sound. The brightness on the mids is delicate, being shiny but not too bright. It gives me an impression Fidelity has an adequate freshness on the mids however the texture is very refined with precisely controlled sibilance, providing a comfortable environment for enjoying all the analytical details. One of the reasons why I love Dita IEMs is because of how they tune their vocals. Mids are surprisingly stable throughout the frequency, meaning that the surface on the mids stays flat without the spiky jumps, which is common for earphones as the vocal flows up the frequency. The thickness is just about neutral, showing appropriate matching with both male and female vocals. Besides, I also found the slight reverb on the vocal makes the sound more lively and full – considering it’s an analytical IEM of course.
Trebles take a small step back from the mids and show a very natural tone. Trebles feel smooth, crisp, and it easily handles the swift snares with great texture details as well. It doesn’t results in any spikes on the highs, but it knows how to blatantly reveal the textures and details on the treble – I’d say that it’s mildly unforgiving to poor sources compared to Fealty. Staging is formed in a round shape, being wide both horizontally and vertically. I personally believe this is the right way to present an IEM that’s truly analytical. Transparent and pure.
How’s the sound: Fealty
There are two parties when it comes to calling what kind of sound as a true “reference sound”. Manufacturers like Etymotic consider flat as a reference while other manufacturers Campfire Audio considers a lively, realistic sound like a true reference sound by implementing how actually music sounds. I can see that Dita tried to minimize this gap as much as possible while respecting both parties, resulting in Fidelity and Fealty.
Fealty takes a more musical approach to the sound, however same deal as Fidelity – it still keeps that balance. While Fealty is stated as a musical sounding IEM, it still achieves the exact detail just as Fidelity does. Fealty has more bass quantity than Fidelity, about 40% more. The Fealty has a clearer thud on the lows with bigger headroom. It also does a better job handling the bass texture and ultra-low frequencies, definitely making it more preferable to bass lovers. Though the bass doesn’t feel loosened or boomy but stays tightly controlled. There are an additional reverb and amount on the lows, making the bass more elastic and chewy. I was concerned with Fealty’s bass response not being fast enough, but nevermind. It bounces back fast with accuracy.
The brightness is slightly lower than Fidelity, sitting just around being neutral. It also feels warmer but sounds crispy just as Fidelity does. Mids naturally flow from the bass and has a smoother transition. Vocals do step out a bit forward, but not as much as Fidelity does. Mids on Fealty sounds more lively, manly, and full. There’s more thickness added to the vocals, showing a better match for energetic genres of music. Vocals also sound more emotional and relaxed, being more non-fatiguing than Fidelity. Sibilance doesn’t exist, of course. It’s interesting to see Fealty expressing reverbs without making the sound get loosened or muddy, but makes artists’ voice more realistic.
Fealty achieves the same treble details, though it takes a calmer approach than Fidelity. The edges are more round shaped and smoothed out. It still manages to correctly separate and analyze even when it’s flooded with treble instruments, but it doesn’t step out or take a big role as Fidelity does. The hits on the highs are a bit decreased from Fidelity however it has more body on its thickness. Staging is vivid and wide, providing an extended headroom over Fidelity.
Compared to the Dream
Let’s first talk about the sound signature. Fidelity takes a closer approach to the Dream in sound characteristics while Fealty follows the sound signature significantly upgraded from the Answer. Dream is the most analytical among three, however it still follows Dita’s philosophy on tuning the “analytical sound” by possessing good musicality as I mentioned while talking about Fidelity. Overall, Dream does a better job at expressing transparency, texture, speed, and separation. It may seem pretty obvious for Dream to outdo the Twins, though note that Twins come extremely close to Dream’s performance.
Here now comes the big question: what should I pick between Fealty or Fealty? I can’t really say either one is better than the other, however most users will be able to easily figure out which one will fit for you. If you prefer an airy, mildly flat sound signature, go for Fidelity. If you’re more into liveliness and bass, go for Fealty. In case for those who own the Dream and considering about getting either one, I recommend Fealty – since the Dream takes a similar sound signature as the Fidelity. Fealty will be a good choice for those who are looking for a musical version of the Dream.
As I said in the beginning, it’s impossible to fully satisfy both parties and is an irony that all companies struggle to find a solution. Twins surely respect both the analytical and the musical approach – putting slight more weight on the analytical component for Fidelity and a bit more musical approach for Fealty. It is clear that Dita stepped their game up once again by releasing the Twins, considering that they were created solely by Dita for a reduced cost while the Dream incorporated Van Den Hul and K2 Craft. The Twins shows one of the best performance among all flagship IEMs and satisfied me even though I own the Dream already. If you’re looking for an IEM with top-notch coherency and performance, it wouldn’t make sense not to consider about the Twins.
Thanks to DITA Audio for providing the Twins in exchange for an honest impression/feedback.
The Dream was previously purchased by myself.
I am not affiliated with DITA Audio and none of my words were modded or asked to be changed.