The StageDiver 5 is one of the offerings from the German brand InEar. It features 5 balanced armatures in a 3-way crossover, 2 for the lows, 1 for midrange and 2 for the treble. This version was won at CanJam London and has a unique “Union Jack” design.
In the box
- 1.4m 3.5mm cable
- Leather case
(This will differ from sold units since this was a raffle prize, normally they should also include a few sets of tips)
Build quality and accessories
Let’s start with the good, the build quality of the IEMs is excellent, the shell is smooth, very well finished and even though it’s light it still feels solid. Same carries on with the case, even though it’s on the bigger side it’s made out of premium material, is finished nicely and has plenty of space for the IEMs and accessories.
On the other hand, the cable is fairly disappointing, at this price point I’d expect something that feels better built, better looking and better sounding. Even though it’s straight, it feels cheap and carries quite a bit of microphonics, the connectors look cheap and on the source side, the 3.5mm have a weird shape connector on them which proved to be a problem for me with one of my phone cases.
Fit and comfort
Here’s where the StageDiver 5 shine, the fit for me feels almost like a custom monitor, it locks into place and not only feels comfortable but also isolates extremely well. It also carries a near negative profile, so laying down with it shouldn’t be a problem.
One thing to note is they are not small IEMs, and if your ears are smaller than mine the fit will be much worse, however, InEar does have a version of their monitor in a smaller shell which should fit people with smaller ears.
The StageDiver 5 has a very well balanced W shaped signature and leaning to the warmer side of it. Natural is quite often what comes to mind with those IEMs.
Bass is elevated but very well controlled. It extends deep for a BA, deeper than say CA Andromeda, it creates a bit more depth too, this comes at a tiny loss of precision but I think it’s negligible. On songs like “Bonefield – Window” the BA drivers still can’t keep up with what a dynamic driver can do in terms of impact but is still handled well. On “Trentemøller – Evil Dub” the texture and detail is extremely well presented and maintains a good balance of detail while still sounding natural.
On most songs the midrange doesn’t feel recessed, it’s very detailed but doesn’t force those details onto the listener. The timbre is very good across the board and songs like “Fleetwood Mac – Dreams” sound good across the board. Due to slightly recession in the upper midrange, the sound is never harsh and has a lush nature to it. Male vocals are slightly more forward than female but the latter has an amazing sense of smoothness and lushness to them.
Slightly forward but not harsh. Even though there’s an overall elevation to the treble it’s smooth and detailed, it has a sort of effortless characteristic to it. There’s no problem with sibilance. Cymbals sound fantastic and have a great sense of air to them. The sparkle is there, even though it’s not as pronounced as say CA Andromeda.
Imaging and Soundstage
Another strength of the StageDiver 5 is the stage, it has good depth and width, never feels congested and due to the effortless nature of the treble, it gives a great sense of space and separation between instruments. The images are very well placed and are easily discernible. Again, great performance here.
If you can’t tell just yet, I love those IEMs, their price tag of about €900 or $1000 is easily justified with the performance they provide alongside comfort and isolation. The only letdown is the cable, which I hope InEar will improve upon. This is one of those rare times where I can easily recommend those to anyone as long as the fit is right for you. Good job InEar.