Beautiful and Balanced - DITA Project M Review

Beautiful and Balanced - DITA Project M Review

In any hobby, navigating prices and seeking out the best value purchase can be incredibly challenging. Oftentimes, this can make a flagship, Top of the Line product enticing with the expectation of getting the "end-all be-all" product, or more commonly known as achieving “endgame.” But what’s the price of entry for such a product? That often depends on the buyer, with some willing to shell out major cash to reach the top, and others being satisfied by a lower, more mid tier purchase. For the latter, DITA Project M presents a compelling case to be their apex IEM at $325 for its balanced sound signature and captivating aesthetics.

Build and Design

Project M lures you in immediately with the box alone. It's well branded and pleasing to the eye with a minimal look that's both sharp and smart. Inside the box, you’re greeted with paperwork that details a little bit more about Project M, DITA’s other offerings, and the ability for the paperwork to unfold into almost a poster-like design. It's a fun idea, and gives an extra element of intention inside the total package. The travel case included is a Systainer3 from a company called TANOS in Germany and it continues the rather simple and somewhat industrial aesthetic that DITA has accomplished. There's included eartips of course as well that rounds out a rather well pieced together package presented from DITA.

DITA Audio Project M with included accessories over Project M poster with wooden backdrop

As for the IEMs themselves, Project M’s shell is resin based with a transparent finish, allowing you to see inside the shell that houses both a balanced armature and dynamic driver. Project M is amongst the most attractive IEMs I’ve seen within the $300 price range, and perhaps even gives off an appearance that would make an unknowing observer assume it's more than its listed cost. The included cable adds to the overall cohesiveness of the entire look that Project M displays, and it's a modular cable, allowing for both 3.5mm and 4.4mm connection. Big props to DITA for the inclusion of that as it makes source swapping much easier, and eliminates a potential need to upgrade to a 4.4mm cable. While the cable is mostly great, the rather thin nature makes it a bit more subject to cable memory, meaning some tangling may occur after a few wraps. Overall, Project M’s package, build, and pure visual look is both functional and pleasing.

DITA Audio Project M cable with earphones to the side


Project M walks a fine line between technically resolving and tonally pleasing, making for a thoughtful but engaging listen that boasts incredible note weight and a very rich and full sound signature.

Project M is by no means a bass head IEM, and for those looking for this IEM to be that, it simply is not. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a bad or bland low end, rather a very weighty and more sub bass focused low end that doesn’t ever get out of line or encroach any other bodies of music. You’re not going to get mid bass that has vicious slam or hit, rather a more tightly focused impact characteristic to it, and a sub bass that has a slight rumble to it. Project M’s bass response simply helps aid in the breakup of what's mostly a more technically gifted set that still looks to have fun at the appropriate times. Most listeners won’t be blown away by the quantity of low end, but rather stay for the pure quality that is Project M’s bass response.

DITA Audio Project M over included packaging with plant in background

Project M has such a sweet and charming midrange that's prominent and polished. In the lower mids, pianos are characterized with incredible tone weight that really enthralled me when listening to more piano centric tracks. It illustrates the idea of how lightly or hard pressed a certain key was in the track very well, and Samuel Kees’ “Arbor” captures this feeling intently, with each note capturing a different sense of presence and feel. But where the midrange most notably shines is in the upper midrange with vocals, demonstrating a rare ability in IEMs with placing vocals more forward in the mix and not having them shouty and or shrill. This brings a track such as “Gila Monster” by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard to a whole new level of apocalyptic terror when vocals are as well captured and centralized as they are with Project M, allowing for deeper immersion within the music when you get a very vivid and emotional engagement with the vocalist.

The treble all but finishes off the stellar main course that Project M presents, invoking brilliance and resolution to appease the treble heads, but remaining controlled enough to bring a highly resolving top end response to those who may not be keen on sharp treble in general. Sam Gellaitry’s “Assumptions” properly assesses the full spectrum of what Project M’s treble response can capture so well, demonstrating its ability to showcase a treble-intense song such as that in a digestible way. In the event that Project M ever becomes too much, I would often end up listening to this IEM on my trusty xDuoo TA-66 tube amp for pure enjoyment and found that to dampen the top end just a touch, giving Project M a slightly warmer and smoother sonic profile.

And to stay on theme, Project M’s staging and imaging is the dessert that you hoped to save room for. Project M indeed has a modest sized stage with solid to good spacing in between instruments, with some vertical imaging as well that demonstrates flashes of Perpetua - DITA’s flagship IEM offering - and that IEMs technical ability. DITA seems to have a firm grasp on how to capture technicalities within an IEM, and Project M is a great example of that, and only adds to the lengthy list of all that Project M does so well.

DITA Audio Project M on xDuoo TA-66 amplifier


Moondrop Blessing 3 comes in as what I deem a great competitor to DITA Project M, being both similarly priced and boasting a similar driver configuration as well. Albeit, Moondrop does up the ante slightly with 2 dynamic drivers and 4 balanced armatures as opposed to Project M's single driver arrangement for each.

Build and packaging of both Blessing 3 and Project M rival each other quite closely. Each comes with a unique traveling case that clearly demonstrates care and intention for the product they’re included with. Both cables are quite good, though DITA gets the edge for the modular cable design, where Blessing 3 is just terminated in 3.5mm. Project M also looks and feels more premium in contrast to Blessing 3, but both sport similar concepts with Blessing 3 being semi-transparent in its shell as well. However, Project M’s looks are incredibly hard to beat, and capture a cleaner and more eye-catching aesthetic that I personally find striking.

DITA Audio Project M and Moondrop Blessing 3 with associated accessories and packaging over wood backdrop

As for sound, these two IEMs look to deliver a similar idea - a balanced and resolving sound that's incredibly versatile across multiple genres, and they both do it incredibly well. To say one or the other has a clear upperhand in terms of sound profile presentation would not be doing your due diligence in appreciating what both these IEMs are able to capture in their sonic performance. In the low end, I would say Blessing 3 gets more quantitative bass thanks to the extra dynamic driver. The crisp, fast attack in the bass is mostly addictive, and has slightly more to offer in terms of how much it gives in the bass. In the midrange and general timbre, Project M has slightly more note weight and a better sense of richness that makes instruments really shine and have excellent body to them. And for the treble, Project M gets my recommendation wholeheartedly. And while I don’t want to discredit Blessing 3’s treble presentation, I want to properly emphasize just how resolving and detailed Project M’s treble is. At $325, it's quite remarkable how precise and articulated Project M’s top-end frequencies are, and it has the upperhand in what's been the only clear advantage one has had over the other. The sound stage and imaging can be seen as a toss up as well, with Blessing 3’s being slightly wider, but Project M’s being slightly more articulated and natural.

In summary, both of these IEMs are value champs through and through. It’s simply awesome being able to compare IEMs in the $300 price range and see just how impressive they are for the price. And while everyone's preferences will have them pick and choose, to know that you can have either of these options at a mostly affordable price is assuring. For the more bass focused individual, Blessing 3 would most likely get my recommendation here, although I would opt to recommend the Project M for listeners who would just like something a bit more resolving and detailed across the board.

Moondrop Blessing 3 and DITA Audio Project M over vinyl record

Final Thoughts

The presented idea of this review was daring - is Project M truly an end all be all for a majority of listeners? For those looking for the best in audio and have no problem spending the necessary money to do so, then of course, Project M will not be their choice. But, for those who know where they would like to reside within the hobby and are looking for a highly versatile and well balanced listen without climbing the mountain to achieve Summit-Fi, Project M could be your final word.

DITA Audio Project M over Project M poster