Writer : Mikku
Inear StageDiver 4
Price : 679 (€)
2-way-system (4 drivers)
Transmission range approx. 20 Hz–19000 Hz
Output sound pressure 120 dB
Impedance 22 ohms
Cable length 140 cm / (4’7.5″)
I Love reviewing audio gears somehow… I just love it, but before you read my review I suggest you to take my review with a grain of salt since most likely I won’t use any freq graph and reviewing cans based on my ears only.
I bought this SD4 secondhand with an excellent condition, just lacking some accessories like the box, and some spare filter (I guess?). I still get the original pelican case and the original 4 size tips though. Actually I prefer this kind of packaging more than a grandiose one like some of iems that I’ve seen or owned, a supremely durable pelican case with cleaning tool and some eartips is just what I need for a perfect packaging.
This is what Inears stagediver are famous for, it’s unprecedented ergonomics!! (at least for my ears lol), when it comes to fitting actually Phonak could come really close with it’s perfect fit series, but it has a different sensation from what inear offers, while phonak is lightweight and feather-like in your ears but it still has downside, not all of its series has detachable cable, only 232 and it’s using a proprietary pin, also the cables could feels a little bit stiff sometimes, in the other hand inear fits like a glove in your ear I think this is what it feels like to use a ciem (haha I don’t have a ciem yet) and it has detachable cable using a normal 2 pin type, and the stock cable is twisted and feels so durable. So yes in terms of universal iem I believe that inear is still the best when it comes to ergonomics.
Now, the sound, the overall sound of SD4 is natural, smooth, and musical. Starting from its bass you’ll realize that it’s definitely a non-neutral bass, quite big (not a basshead level though), punchy, and deep, what I love from the bass is the texture, it’s smooth and very well defined, try a Japanese song AZU – For You, wow! Lovely! Hits the sweet spot, not many cans could reproduce such a high quality smooth-textured bass, but in the same time, it might not suitable for rock music because of its smooth texture.
Go on to the mid, I know this review will be quite different from what others say about SD4, I’ve read some review said that the mid of SD4 is quite neutral, but what I found here is quite different, since my benchmark for neutrality is er4pt, I could swear that SD 4’s mid has a warm tilt to it. Like its bass, it has also a smooth-textured mid that makes a lovely experience when you hear a vocal song, eemmm try an example Diana Krall – Frim fram sauce, now change to Ed Sheeran – Shape of You. Even though the genres are different but the vocal stays, it’s not forward, never too prominent, but very clear and well presented without any sibilance or any annoying peaks, I could feel that somehow it’s kinda laidback.
Go on with treble…. Nothing wrong here… I mean.. in a good way.. never gets too blunt nor too piercing, just there…. I couldn’t really describe this. But I could say this is an example of how treble done right, the timbre is also spot on and could extend really well up there.
If you’re a detail lover, I’m not sure that you’ll find what you want here, SD4 is detailed without a doubt, but it doesn’t brag about it, but instead just sound musical and flowing until you notice that you could find some micro details that you don’t usually hear.
Soundstage is vast and has a quite grand 3D aspect (wide with height, front,and back dimension) but sadly quite lacking in depth.
If you love imaging for instruments, this could be an interesting choice for you, it could portrays every instruments in a great pinpoint imaging.
Vs Shure 846 : 846 has somehow darker yet more impactful and energetic sound, livelier vocals and more punchy deep bass, but lacks the soundstage and imaging also the sweet and smooth vocal that SD4 has. I think they’re in the same class, so it’s a matter of preference.
Vs Dita The Answer : Dita is definitely more energic with more punchy dynamic sub bass and more sparkling treble, but at the same time it’s definitely more harsh with some really bad peaks and not as refined as SD4. SD4 is more lush and laidback but surprisingly more detailed and has better texture from up to bottom.
Vs Fitear Parterre : Parterre has punchier and much bigger midbass, wider soundstage, darker treble (but sometimes better timbre[dunno how… fitear’s magic I think lol]), SD 4 has better extension both upper or lower register, narrower soundstage but more 3d imaging. I love em both so it was a hard choice for me to choose one of them to buy.. but in the end SD4 suits my music better, while parterre is better in classical music.
VS SD2 : SD4 is actually like SD2 but add extension from upper to lower register and pull the vocal backward a bit and add some upper mid sweetness on it, also add better soundstage and imaging, voila!! there you go
Vs SD3 : SD3 is darker and much boomier, SD4 is definitely brighter but smoother, with tighter yet deeper bass
In The End SD4 is without a doubt a high end product with a soothing smooth musical sound, but still detailed and very capable in terms of soundstage and imaging. One of its major selling points is the unprecedented ergonomics for universal iem.
Build : 9/10
Fit : 9.5/10
Isolation : 9/10
Bass : 9/10
Mid : 8/10
Treble : 9/10
Detail : 8/10
Soundstage : 8/10
Imaging : 9/10
Layering : 9/10
Value : 9/10