Spectacular unboxing and build quality, Gorgeous mellow yet defined tuning, Engaging with zero fatigue, Beautifully balanced midrange voicing, Excellent modular cable system, Comfortable design
Imaging lags behind competitors, Laid-back tuning won’t suit all
If you’re looking for a velvety sound that balances powerful bass with excellent midrange definition and timbre, the Perpetua is without equal.
DITA Audio is a Singaporean audio company who’ve been around for many years now but have more recently distilled their production processes to specialise in IEMs and Cables. The single-DD platform is one that has been neglected for a long time, especially within the high-end space that has embraced more elaborate hybrid combinations. DITA focus instead on streamlining their designs for maximum focus, achieving renown for their TOTL, in-house developed 10mm dynamic driver-based IEMs. The Perpetua represents their latest and greatest in-ear monitor to date in addition to a celebration of 10 years of DITA. It incorporates the company’s wealth of technologies on a new 12mm driver platform, implements a new chassis and the 2nd generation of their Awesome Plug cable system. The Perpetua is an intriguing monitor that really makes a statement for the company, setting itself apart inside and out.
The Perpetua is available for $4499 SGD. You can read all about it and treat yourself to a unit on Project Perfection.
I would like to thank Asher from Project Perfection very much for reaching out to organise a review of the Perpetua. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. The Perpetua was provided on a loan basis.
- Driver: 12mm Dynamic Driver PPT-D TEONEX-derived Polyethylene Naphthalate
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Impedance: 20 Ohms
- Sensitivity: 108 dB
Behind the Design –
One of the most appealing aspects of DITA’s designs is their metal housings and this also plays a large role in the sound quality you can attain from a dynamic driver earphone. DITA argues that a metal chassis is denser and more rigid, reducing resonances with the driver. In addition, the chassis offers maximum dynamics and a tuned acoustic chamber achieved with milling via multi-axis CNC machines from a single block of metal. The center of gravity has also been placed as close to the ear as possible which achieves a more stable fit and seal. The Perpetua implements the same principles with its revised silhouette.
DITA’s Awesome Plug modular cable system was one of the first on the market and is considered one of the best, having time to mature in its 2nd generation. This has been paired with the company’s Coil/Over cable that uses varying levels of signal and return conductors for optimal shielding. In addition to boasting a robust modular plug design, the cable implements high-purity PCOCC copper conductors with a unique signal path. Of course, a circuit can only be as good as its weakest link, so the company is using wiring from Kondo Audionote Japan inside the IEM itself. This is silver wire aged and annealed at a specific temperature for immense purity. Altogether, the Perpetua offers quality, long-lasting conductors throughout the entire signal path.
New Generation Dynamic Driver
DITA is renowned for their dynamic drivers of which their IEMs make exclusive use of. However, the Perpetua is the first built atop a new, larger 12mm platform. This is a PPT-D driver that boasts an ultra-rigid design in addition to being ultra-lightweight. Anyone that knows dynamic drivers, knows this is ideal for their mechanics, leading to a much faster, more responsive but also lower-distortion driver. Furthermore, the company has designed a titanium acoustic chamber of a specific size and shape for the driver. Accordingly, the driver works hand-in-hand with the chassis design to provide a quick impulse response for a precise, detailed sound.
One of the quintessential aspects of high-end audio designs is undoubtedly the unboxing experience as it sets the buyer’s expectations for what is to come. The Perpetua exemplifies this with its lavish packaging that evokes intrigue and prestige in equal measure. A satisfying pull tab allows the cardboard cover to make way for a folding hard box inside, held in place by elastic. Opening up the box reveals a wealth of high-quality accessories. This includes a leather carrying case with a matching leather carrying tag protected within tissue paper in addition to a more protective aluminium case.
The metal case has excellent tolerances and its two pieces glide with satisfying smoothness. Both cases boast velvet carpeting that makes them non-scratch and luxurious to handle. Dita also provides their Coil/Over cable alongside 3 plug options, 3.5mm, 2.5mm and 4.4mm in accordance with their Awesome cable system. 5 pairs of Final Audio’s E-tips in white/transparent are included, a high-quality silicone tip that is amongst my favourites. Finally, the earphone comes with a wealth of stickers to flaunt your brand fanaticism.
With a new driver, comes a completely new shell design and it’s a stunner as you’d expect from the company. The Perpetua actually isn’t hugely artistic in its approach appearing to hold ergonomics in higher priority. It offers clean teardrop styling with rounded glass faceplates that find beauty in simplicity; its svelte styling and smooth textures capturing ambient light in fascinating ways. It must be noted that we are now operating in a price tier where earphones are expected to make a statement, in turn, perfect tolerances and finish are the status quo. This is the case here, and DITA go one step further by adding a few complications such as dual chrome rings running the perimeter and faceplate. At the same time, integrated metal nozzles mean this isn’t just a great looking earphone but a tough one too. To extend this thought, scratches are one of the biggest issues with polished metal shells but the finish here reminds me of ceramic Sennheiser used on the ie800. Similar to my experiences owning that earphone, I haven’t experienced any blemishes or scratches accumulating during my testing period, contrasting to similar earphones like the Final A8000. All of this bodes very well for long-term ownership.
You can also easily enjoy aftermarket cables on the Perpetua due to its adoption of 0.78mm 2-pin connectors. Do take note, however, that they are recessed meaning only the stock cable fits absolutely perfectly. That said, essentially every aftermarket cable I’ve reviewed lately has had protruding connectors that fit into that inlet for the stock cable meaning options aren’t too limited by this design. In addition, users shouldn’t feel much incentive to swap the stock cable which impresses from both feature and build quality standpoints. It has an internal braid and a gorgeous bronze on black colour scheme. While it is thick and on the heavier side, it didn’t upset the fit for me. The cable isn’t super supple simply due to its thickness but it has minimal memory and isn’t springy, coiling easily for storage. The connectors feel robust and well-relieved, and the pre-moulded earguides provide a stable and comfortable fit.
Of course, I can’t overlook the Awesome Plug system that has become a fan favourite part of DITA’s earphones. The first generation system was one of the first on the market and the 2nd gen connector implements a similar theory in a more refined and visually coherent package. In fact, this system is so clean that one would mistake it for a regular cable. The plugs connect via a keyed 4-pin connector and a metal collar elegantly covers the entire assembly to provide a smooth, finished look. Both threaded surfaces boast a metal construction which should offer good cross-threading resistance for long-term reliability. I’ve experienced no connectivity issues with this system and it is easily among the most refined on the market making for an overall experience that is versatile, opulent and robust.
Fit & Isolation –
While the shells are far from compact and have a good amount of heft to them, they do achieve admirable wearing comfort, even over long listening sessions. This is in stark contrast to many competitors that sacrifice ergonomics in favour of sound quality – the Perpetua feels like a well-balanced overall package by comparison. Do note that while this rang true for my average-sized ears, those with smaller ears may struggle simply due to the dimensions. The Perpetua achieves its comfortable fit with a rounded, teardrop design that doesn’t contact much if any of the outer ear. Their shaping reminds me of the Phonak perfect-fit earphones of old and the pre-OH Oriveti hybrids.
I personally love the combination of small XY dimension and over-ear fit as it gives me a stable fit similar to pod-style earphones but with less hotspot formation at the back of my ears. The Perpetua, though larger than the aforementioned earphones, still provided the same experience and this is aided by their round resign that is completely free of hard angles or edges. Isolation is just above average for a vented dynamic driver design which is sufficient for daily use. While they don’t block nearly as much noise as a fully-sealed yet alone custom IEM, the Perpetua is a great choice for regular daily use. I would, however, consider a different option for frequent travel as, even with foam or custom silicone tips, they don’t quite block enough noise for especially noisy environments.