Fiio E7, Meet Your Rival: The Ibasso D-Zero

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Headphone Pairings

With gain level set at low, I was truly floored at how well the D-Zero pairs with my JH5Pro. Both the JH5 and the D-Zero excel at reproducing a black soundstage blackground and the combination is just phenomenal. An almost 180 degrees soundstage where each instruments are very clearly distinct.

I tried the D-Zero with a few of the full size headphones like the Beyerdynamic T1, the Sennheiser HD800, and the Hifiman HE-500. While the D-Zero can drive them to good loudness levels, I don’t think the music was happening with the big full size headphones. The amplifier sound like it’s constricted and running out of breath. Definitely not recommended. With portable headphones like the Sennheiser HD25-1, the Sony MDR-7506, the Beyerdynamic DT1350, and the Superlux HD661, things are sounding very good. A lot of these portable headphones can use a little boost in soundstage width and a blacker background, and the D-Zero gives precisely that, and with a good low bass kick as well, though I am not particularly fond of the DT1350 and D-Zero combination. Upper mids seem to dominate the whole presentation, and I just can’t enjoy it. The D-Zero and HD25-1 combination was particularly noteworthy as the two just pair very well.

Aux In/Out

The D-Zero comes in with a very handy Aux In/Out feature meaning you can send line out signals into the D-Zero (hence it’ll function as a portable amp) or send line out signal out from it (hence the D-Zero is used as a pure DAC).

I was actually surprised to find how good the D-Zero sound when driven directly to the Ipod. Background is not as black as if I were using the internal D-Zero DAC, but boy that midrange body I long for is finally here. Bass remains as impactful and even fuller sounding, though losing a little articulation points. Pretty amazing indeed. I wonder if Ibasso can tune the WM8740 based DAC to sound a little fuller in the mids like what I’m hearing through my Ipod Classic’s internal DAC.

Sending the signal out from the D-Zero out to say a Fiio E11 portable amp merely changes the tonal balance while muddying the signal and adding noise into the equation. Again, I like the fuller mids from the E11, and bassheads would also appreciate the two level bass-boost on the E11, but overall you lose quite a bit of that black background and the “well-organized” sound I was talking about earlier.

End Words

I am pretty amazed at how much portable hi-fi has progressed. Likewise, the quality of entry level USB DACs. It used to be that the Audinst HUD-MX1 was THE ONE portable USB DAC I would recommend to people. And although the Audinst is still ahead in terms of overall DAC performance, the point is that you now have more choice with either the D-Zero and the E10, both offering solid performance at cheaper price points. The D-Zero even add two added points over the E10: a thinner enclosure that work better when you’re pairing it with an Ipod (using the D-Zero as an amplifier), and battery powered operation (as a portable amplifier). On the other hand the E10 would give you 24/96 USB capabilities while the D-Zero is stuck at 16/48.1. How important is a 24/96 capability for an entry level gear? Suprisingly I can clearly pick up the difference that 24/96 gives me even with relatively low mid-fi gear like the E10 and say a Sennheiser HD25-1 and so for me, being stuck in 16/48.1 is sort of a “if only it does 24/96” kind of thing. But certainly doesn’t get in the way of me recommending it, if the product is good.

If you’ve read my previous articles, you may have read before that I wasn’t too impressed at the previous USB DAC/portable amp efforts by Ibasso (i.e D3, D4, D10). I know that the D-Zero is a lower end product compared to those, but frankly as an overall product, I think the D-Zero is far more mature than the D3, D4, and D10 was. Perhaps it’s the experience Ibasso has gained over the time. I was constantly annoyed at how dry and brittle things sound on the earlier D3/D10 (the D4 was smoother and much better), but the D-Zero just gives me a one-package that combines a solid designed product and with an enjoyable sound too. Indeed the midrange is not as full as what I would’ve liked, but the black-background performance is really enjoyable on its own and that’s something that I don’t get from the Fiio E11.

One last thing before I finish the article. The D-Zero sounded congested, muddy, and unrefined fresh out of the box. I really couldn’t enjoy it when I first gotten it. But roughly 3 hours later and most of that nasty sound is gone, and by the 6 hours mark, I’m already getting all of the smooth and clean black-background sound I’m raving about in this article. And the way the D-Zero sounds now, I wouldn’t hesitate a bit to recommend it to Headfonia readers.

Isn’t it a great time to be a headphone user these days? Thanks to Munkong Gadget for the Ibasso D-Zero loaner.

 

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Fiio E7, Meet Your Rival: The Ibasso D-Zero
4.55 (91%) 20 votes

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141 Comments

  • Reply September 29, 2011

    no one

    The E7’s FR is in fact pancake flat. Maybe the D-Zero has rolled off treble? 

    • Reply September 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      Maybe, but the D-Zero sounds flatter to my ears. 

      • Reply October 21, 2011

        Jpdoyle3

        Thanks for the great review, you’re right this is a good time to be in our hobby! Dumb newbe question… how would i connect the d-zero to an iphone if I wanted to use the DAC and amp? Is there a 30 pin apple connection to usb mini cable out there?

  • Reply September 29, 2011

    Lewis Leong

    Hey, Mike. Just checked out the D-Zero on the iBasso site and they wrote, “Even it is an entry level product, it still has the well-known Wolfson 24bit Hi-performance DAC WM8740 as the DAC chip…” 

    Does that mean it supports 24 bit tracks instead of only 16 bit as you stated in the review? 

    Thanks for the review on this awesome product. I’m super tempted to get this or the E10 but I can’t find the E10 anywhere yet.

    • Reply September 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes the WM8740 supports 24 bit but the PCM270X receiver chips don’t. Since the receiver chip is what picks up the signal from the USB connection, if it can’t do 24 bit then the data sent to the D/A chip (WM8740) also won’t be a 24-bit.

  • Reply September 30, 2011

    Chris

    “The WM8740 supports data input word lengths from 16 to 24-bits and sampling rates up to 192kHz..” One time I also tought i can pick up the difference between 16/24 and 24/96. Then i realized that my DAC is only capable of something like 18 bit. The Player resampled the data.Don’t underestimate the placebo. 
    And thanks for the rieview.

    • Reply September 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks. There is actually a valid difference between 16/48 and 24/96. I have observed it in many many different gears. 

  • Reply September 30, 2011

    Donunus

    So with the hd600, the amp section here is too weak I take it.

    • Reply September 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      It would be okay for the HD600. It’s quite punchy and has plenty of current for 300 ohm Senns. Obviously not desktop-amp level. 

  • Reply September 30, 2011

    Phil Reece

    “Isn’t it a great time to be a headphone user these days?”

    Yes it is indeed!

  • Reply September 30, 2011

    Fabio Rocco

    Hey Mike, Nice review as always!
    I bought The Sennheiser hd25 and now i need an amp, I am pretty sure to buy the pa2v2 but i am wondering about this ibasso.I will use an iphone 4 for listening music and a macbook air 2011 to compose with ableton live.Which is the best buy for me? The dac inside ibasso makes a huge difference in sound quality? there are differences using the iphone 4 and macbook air?Before this review i was pretty sure to buy first the pa2v2 but maybe i need the ibasso? I am confusing lolAnyway I emailed Gary The guy that makes the pa2v2 and He is amazing! Very nice guy that answer all the questions.Sorry if I made some mistakes writing in EnglishLove headfoniaFabio “crazywipe” from Salerno Italy

    • Reply September 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Fabio,
      If you need a DAC too then the PA2V2 is not going to give you that, so it seems the D-Zero is the more logical choice in this case.

      • Reply September 30, 2011

        Fabio Rocco

        That’s the question I dunno if i need a DAC 😀

        • Reply September 30, 2011

          Anonymous

          Lol I can’t answer that Fabio.

          • Reply October 21, 2011

            Eric_C

            If you’re composing/mixing music, I would imagine an audio interface would serve your purposes better.
            –Eric.

      • Reply September 30, 2011

        JB

        Hi, I have the PA2V2+iPhone 4+LOD+Hd25 for my portable setup. Is the iBasso DZero a major upgrade to my PA2V2? Thanks sir!

  • Reply September 30, 2011

    Obli

    Thanks for the review! Can you tell what has better amp – d-zero or fiio e10? 
    By the way, did you hear about Audiotrak maya u5? 

    • Reply September 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      I don’t know, I haven’t quite compared the amplifiers individually. I think the DAC section is the most important part here and the amplifier is just an extension of the DAC.

  • Reply October 1, 2011

    Gurusv

    hi Mike, like u asked i am posting my question here. I am looking for a portable amp/dac to replace my e7. my budget is around 150pounds. I have the d2000’s which i use with my laptop and my phonak pfe’s 122 with black filters used with my ipod touch 4th through a lod.  I listen to trance.

    How do the e10 and d-zero compare against the e11? Was considering the d-zero but you said it dint go well with the dt1350’s which i plan on getting later on. How does the e10 pair with the dt1350’s?  Would you have any other recomendations for my needs?
    Regards!

    P.S great review

  • Reply October 3, 2011

    Chevon James

    jesus christ ! everytime i come to this site your raving about another product lol. you told me to get the e7, e11, schiit asgard, and now im thinkin about this. geez ! -___-. i need something in the 100 dollar range, for rock music. please !!!!! help lol

    • Reply October 3, 2011

      Guest

      wait till you hear him rave about the HM-101. he’s stoked about it I heard 🙂

    • Reply October 3, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yo James I know you didn’t say it intentionally but I’d rather you not swear by the name of Jesus Christ. 🙂 

      $100 for Rock, I think the D-Zero is perfect. Just add the HD25-1 and you’re set!

      • Reply October 4, 2011

        Chevon James

        i apologize and thank you for your input.

        • Reply October 4, 2011

          Anonymous

          You’re welcome, James.

      • Reply January 11, 2012

        Scottie

        Yeah I’m enjoying my HD-25 with D-Zero combo (being fed by an iPod Touch and either Fiio’s L9 or iBasso’s LOD) for mostly rock, some metal, some hip-hop, rap, pop.  They really do sound good together!  As Mike has mentioned, it’s not a particularly warm amp and that’s the only thing I would like maybe is a bit more midrange warmth.  And maybe a switchable bass boost for the odd track here and there.

        • Reply January 11, 2012

          Mike

          Scottie,
          The C421 would give you everything that you ask for. More mids, bass boost, and the amp section is actually better than the D-Zero’s.

  • Reply October 3, 2011

    Mistertaz

    Hi! Just wondering…

    Wouldn’t it make *much* more sense to get a Fiio E10 AND a Fiio E6 for roughly the same money? Then you’d have a better portable DAC/amp for the computer that could run higher res files AND an even smaller and similar quality amp for a DAP…

    • Reply October 3, 2011

      Anonymous

      Good point.

      I don’t know but perhaps some people would prefer to have a one-box that does both functions.

      • Reply October 3, 2011

        Mistertaz

        And www.***nation.com does free shipping too… I know which option I’ll probably be going for! 🙂

        • Reply October 3, 2011

          Anonymous

          You know I don’t mind people typing the full URL 😉

      • Reply October 3, 2011

        Mistertaz

        I’m also eagerly waiting for an HM101 review… People seem to say it adds a nice touch of warmth, and it’s dirt cheap! An HM101 and an E6 would be the real “starving student” combination… No need to live on instant noodles! ;P

        • Reply October 3, 2011

          Anonymous

          The HM-101 is another very good entry level USB DAC, though based on a much lesser chip.
          Superb sound staging that’s better than the D-Zero and the E10. Very analog sounding, though noise and grain levels are higher than the D-Zero and E10. Another mid-centric sound like the HM-602/601. A little loose on bass but it’s a $39 product.
          I’m loving the HM-101 with bright and resolving headphones like the HD25-1 and the Beyerdynamic T1. With the HD800 it’s smooth but lacks a little sparkle.

      • Reply October 13, 2011

        Cce

        Hi mike,
        Is E6 amp comparable to d-zero’s built-in amp?both of them looked ridiculouly slim and portable though… 

        • Reply October 13, 2011

          Anonymous

          Comparable though different tonality.

  • Reply October 3, 2011

    JB

    Hi, I have the PA2V2+iPhone 4+LOD+Hd25 for my portable setup. Is the iBasso DZero a major upgrade to my PA2V2? Thanks sir!

    • Reply October 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      In terms of DAC resolution yes it would. Amp wise, I think the PA2V2 is special in its own terms, though the Ibasso D-Zero is also a pretty good amp.

  • Reply October 4, 2011

    Roland Leth

    Hi Mike, nice writeup(we talked abit in the Q&A section about the HD598 vs HD600). After reading this review, guess I won’t be canceling the E10 order after all. You seemed much more impressed about the E10 than you did about the D-Zero, so guess I’ll stay with the Fiio. I won’t be using it as a portal amp anyway, so I need almost 0 portability.
    Now I just hope it will be enough for the HD600’s if I’ll stick with those, heh 🙂
    Best regards.

    • Reply October 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Okay Roland. 🙂

  • Reply October 4, 2011

    Andy

    hey^^
    thanks for your amazing reviews! I was wondering personally which one of the d-zero and the e10 you prefer? I would be using an ED 8 and just want better sound than my computers quality.

    Thanks

    • Reply October 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Well.. I sort of like them both for different music, but for the ED8 I think the D-Zero would pair better.

  • Reply October 4, 2011

    Jimmy

    Hey Mike, right now I’m using  an ipod nano 3rd gen(soon to be replaced by a rockboxed ipod) > e11> HD25-1 II, and I’m wondering as a portable amp for electronica, dubstep, etc would the D-zero be better than the e11 I have now? Also, for my laptop I’m wondering if the E10 or if the D-Zero would be a better DAC/amp.

    • Reply October 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      The bass section on the D-Zero is tighter and has a better low bass than the E11. Other than that, the E11 excels in other areas as in having a fuller mids. For electronica and dubstep I would opt for the D-Zero though.

  • Reply October 4, 2011

    Azrizainurin

    Coming from this last write up, Comparing the D-zero, cmoyBB and Fiio E10, which one would still come out on top? 

    just wondering //still looking for a sweet portable

    • Reply October 4, 2011

      Anonymous

      Briefly:
      D-Zero: best low bass of the three. Clean sound, not so much midrange body. CmoyBB: smoothest sounding, most spacious soundtage, best midrange quality. Pretty weak on bass except if you turn on the bass boost. Fiio E10: Good mid and bass, not as clean as the CmoyBB.

      • Reply October 4, 2011

        Azrizainurin

        exactly what i needed to know. thanks a lot buddy!

        • Reply October 5, 2011

          Anonymous

          You’re welcome!

  • Reply October 9, 2011

    Guest

    Hi mike does the d-zero tend to tame sibilance of srh840? and how does it compare to musiland 02?

    • Reply October 10, 2011

      Anonymous

      No it won’t. The issue with sibilance on the SRH-840 is that it’s a monitoring headphone and all monitoring headphones SHOULD reveal sibilance if there is any in the recording. Otherwise it won’t make a good monitoring headphone.

  • Reply October 11, 2011

    Rx

    Between fiio E10 and D-Zero, which one do your recommend for use with HD 202? I think HD 202 is a fun portable headphone, will any of these portable DAC benefit any improvement to this “fun factor” or will I just wasting money?

    Thank you.

  • Reply October 12, 2011

    Guest

    mike..which one is more colourless, e10 or this???

  • Reply October 12, 2011

    Guest

    mike..which one is more colourless, e10 or this???

    • Reply October 12, 2011

      Anonymous

      This one is.

    • Reply October 12, 2011

      Anonymous

      This one is.

  • Reply October 13, 2011

    DodgersKings323

    Dangit! I’m getting HD-25 but i didn’t hear about this combo until after i bought my CMoy.

  • Reply October 13, 2011

    Guest

    are you receiving the new D7 from ibasso ? Fiio did great marketing by sending the E10 to a reviewer before hand and with great reviews you can generate alot of pre -orders before the product comes out. I hope ibasso does the same thing 🙂

    We are going to release the D7 “Sidewinder” after about two weeks.

    The following are the main features.

    1, True 24Bit/192K USB-DAC, supports bit for bit decoding. (in other words, it isnt upsampling)

    2, Asynchronous USB transfer

    3, Up to 24Bit/192K coaxial output

    4, RCA output and Line out.

    5, Built-in headphone amplfiier that run off of USB power.

    6, Measures 93*60*22mm.

    I hope you would be able to review this mike 🙂

    • Reply October 13, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks. I haven’t had any talk with Ibasso about doing a review on the D7.

  • Reply October 20, 2011

    DodgersKings323

    Hey guys, what do you think would be a good AMP-DAC combo under $400 if i were to eventually buy a Beyer DT880?

  • Reply October 24, 2011

    Fabio Rocks

    Hi Mike, When i connect the D0 with a lod cable to the Iphone 4 Do I bypass the Iphone internal DAC?  Thanks

    • Reply October 24, 2011

      Anonymous

      Nope. You will bypass the D-zero’s internal DAC.

  • Reply October 25, 2011

    Applevalleyjoe

    What’s its op amp set-up? Are they interchangeable?

    • Reply October 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      I don’t think the opamps are interchangeable, and it uses an AD8656 opamp for the amp section.

  • Reply October 26, 2011

    naruse

    hey mike , can i use D zero dac section for mya ipod nano ?how? thnx 

    • Reply October 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      No unfortunately you can’t. 

      Next time please take the time to read some of the other comments. Fabio just asked the same question two lines down. 

      • Reply October 26, 2011

        naruse

        sorry, i have read that too and i thought its different in iphone… my bad….

  • Reply October 30, 2011

    Dirako

    I wish you’d add a bottomline on the competitors and the ones you compared them too.

    FiiO E10 vs D-Zero.

    If you could have one, and only one, which would it be?

    • Reply January 10, 2012

      Anonymous

      mike can’t do this – has to play both sides so both brands win 🙂

      • Reply January 10, 2012

        Mike

        Well personally I like the E10 a lot more than the D-Zero, but that shouldn’t be taken into the buying decision factor since people listen to different music and have different taste. It’s like saying I like Burger King, really.

        • Reply January 11, 2012

          Anonymous

          Thanks mike! your opinion as an expert, however subjective, has heavy weight since most of your readers are budding audiophiles. 🙂 

  • Reply October 31, 2011

    Morio

    I wonder if this amp/dac can power the orthodynamic Yamaha HP-1 + Beyerdynamic Dt77o pro 250 ohm , smoothly

    I ,generally, listen to Sarah Mclaclan  and this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfNyivZN0I0

  • Reply October 31, 2011

    Michael

    Could you track down that loaner and sell it to me? I have been refunded my previous D-Zero purchase, and I’d like to get my hands on one that works as you’ve claimed.

    I sent an inquiry, the response I got was “It is in perfect working condition”.
    my inquiry here http://i.imgur.com/oGrd8.png

    I used the Sleek Audio SA6 for listening which has a sensitivity of 112dB while your JH5Pro has 119dB and lower impedance.

    • Reply October 31, 2011

      Anonymous

      Sorry Michael but I can’t do that.

      Is this a big issue with the D-Zero? I mean is a lot of people having the same problem?

      • Reply November 1, 2011

        Michael

        Another reviewer had mentioned I was the second person to bring up interference, I’m not sure who the first guy was or if our problems were related but my problem centered around the USB port. Silent when it was being feed in battery mode as an amp but when it was hooked up to a USB wallwart that whine came back.

        Thank you for your reply.

        • Reply November 1, 2011

          Anonymous

          Awww.. that is indeed an issue. I don’t know what to say though, my D-Zero doesn’t have that problem so it seems that they are having problems only with certain batches.
          And I can definitely say that I definitely love this Ibasso more than the previous models. Even the higher up PB, D, or P-series.

  • Reply November 8, 2011

    Jianwen_gundamseed

    Hi Mike, I’m looking to get an amp for my UM3X. Hoping to have a bit more bass impact and to improve the treble and mids. Which amp would you recommend? The D-Zero or the E11? 

  • Reply November 8, 2011

    Jianwen_gundamseed

    Hi Mike, I’m looking to get an amp for my UM3X. Hoping to have a bit more bass impact and to improve the treble and mids. Which amp would you recommend? The D-Zero or the E11? 

    • Reply January 9, 2012

      Chiang Yi Herng

      hi mike! i’ve also got a um3x… would wonder how this compares to the T3D!

      • Reply January 9, 2012

        Mike

        Chiang Yi, 
        I think the D-Zero is significantly better than the T3D. 

    • Reply January 9, 2012

      Mike

      Somehow your question missed my attention. 

      Try the AMB Mini3. It should improve the treble, mids, and bass impact. 

      The D-Zero will help with treble and bass impact. 
      The E11 more with mid and bass body.

  • Reply November 9, 2011

    H-Man

    Hello Mike. Thanks for another great portable amp review. I notice that you mentioned that the D-Zero are not too great with a DT1350. I was hoping to get some advice on an amp for the DT1350. I’m somewhat stuck in the middle between the Cmoy and the Audinst Amp-Hp. I want the bass response of the Audinist Amp-HP but at the same time the soundstage of the CMoy. Is there no amp which gives me the two and works great with the DT1350? Any help would be greatly appreciated. kindest regards. H-Man

    • Reply November 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yea, it would be difficult to get the Cmoy soundstage and Audinst AMP-HP bass in one package.
      The D-Zero actually has good soundstage and good bass.. I just couldn’t get through the midrange part of that combination. What do you think? If that doesn’t seem like an issue to you then the D-Zero is actually a very good amp.

  • Reply November 12, 2011

    Joshua James

    If only the E10 had this form factor… The E10 is kinda chunky and putting me off a little, but i like bass heavy music like house and dance music… which would you recommend over the other, the E10 or the D-Zero?

    • Reply November 14, 2011

      Anonymous

      For house and dance, go with the D-Zero. I think the bass is punchier and works better for those music, though the E10 would be pretty good for them too.

  • Reply November 18, 2011

    C-LOS

    Hey mike so the D- zero pairs great with the HD25-1 ,compared to the JDSLABS comoy  which one do u think is better for Rock/hipHop/Modern classical/ambient.
    Appreciate your honest opinion

  • Reply January 4, 2012

    TrH

    Hey mike – with the recent reviews of the d-zero, audinst, e-10, etc, what would you recommend for a pair of grado 325s in the sub-$200 range?
    Btw – would you consider doing a multi-unit comparison in the future? Thanks for all your work

    • Reply January 4, 2012

      Mike

      You’re welcome.

      The new Fiio E17 should be good for your Grado. The bass is very punchy, and it should go very well with the Grado’s character. You can also look into the new JDSLabs C421 amp. The character should be good for your Grado (ask for OPA2227), but it doesn’t have a DAC so you need to add a separate DAC.

  • Reply January 11, 2012

    Scottie

    I have a different question regarding the D-Zero.  Does anyone know of a way to charge it using a USB wall wart of some kind?  I tried both an apple iPod wall wart and a BlackBerry 9900 wall wart and neither will get the charging LED to light up. Most of the time charging via a computer is fine, but if I’m on a short vacation and don’t want to pack my laptop, I’d like to be able to throw a wall wart and USB cable in my bag.  Does anyone know of a wall wart that works on the D-Zero?

    • Reply January 11, 2012

      Mike

      I charge the D-Zero from the computer’s USB all the time, I think it works fine.

      • Reply January 11, 2012

        Scottie

        Oh yeah no I get that, it charges great from a computer’s USB.  But there are times when I won’t have my laptop handy and would like to be able to charge it from a little wall wart and usb cable.  Does anyone know of a wall wart that works to charge the D-Zero?

        • Reply January 11, 2012

          Mike

          Scottie,
          I think most USB chargers should work. They all have the same 5V output voltage.

  • Reply January 30, 2012

    Baud

    Hello Mike,
    I would like to buy an AKG K271 MKII.
    Is it a good amp (iBasso D-Zero) for this can and to have more bass ?
    I have an ipod classic 4th.
    Thanks a lot.
    Best Regards.

    • Reply January 31, 2012

      Mike

      Baud, 
      I haven’t tried the K271 Mk2 with the D-Zero. Have you listened to the K271 yet? If you want more bass perhaps try the Fiio E11 as it comes with a bass boost. 

      http://www.headfonia.com/fiio-e11-portable-amplifier/

      • Reply January 31, 2012

        Hyper Mus1c

        Thanks a lot for your reply.

        • Reply February 2, 2012

          Mike

          Sorry couldn’t give much help there. 

  • Reply February 28, 2012

    ZIJIE POH

    Hi Mike, I read this review and bought a D-Zero. I really like it.

    I am planning to get another one. So, could you compare a little on D-Zero, cMoy, and E17?

    My gear is JH5 with iPod Classic. I frequently listen to Classical, Vocal, C-pop, and K-pop.

    Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.

  • Reply April 23, 2012

    David Naranjo

    Hi MIke,

    Thanks for sharing a great and informative review! Do you know if there’s an affordable DAC that will bypass the DAC on the iPhone? I’ve only heard of the expensive ones like Fostex and Cyber Labs.

    I should be receiving my D-Zero tonight; I’ll be using my iPhone 4S>D-Zero>B&W P5s.

    Thanks,
    David

    • Reply April 23, 2012

      Mike

      Unfortunately no, David. Only the Fostex and Cypher Labs for now.

      • Reply April 23, 2012

        L.

        Too bad, maybe we can convince JDSLabs to make one 😉

        • Reply April 23, 2012

          Mike

          I still want him to build a tube amp first. Good idea, no? 😉

          • Reply April 23, 2012

            L.

             Improved Crack? 😉

            • Reply April 23, 2012

              Mike

              More like the Cmoy-equivalent of a tube amp: the SSMH (Starving Student Millet Hybrid)
              I think it would be awesome if they can make finished build versions.

          • Reply April 24, 2012

            Mutnat

             My vote is with the JDSLabs iPod DAC, please! A D421 in C421 housing to complement the awesome amp.  Now *that* would rule!!!

      • Reply April 24, 2012

        David Naranjo

        Would using an iPod 5G (Wolfson WM8758) sound any better with the iBasso Audio D-Zero and a decent pair of cans? I was considering the VentureCraft Go-Dap, although I have not found a decent review yet.

        • Reply April 24, 2012

          Mike

          Well yes the DZero would improve the amplifier section.

          • Reply April 25, 2012

            David Naranjo

            I just received the D-Zero and my first impressions are good! Is there a long burn-in period for D-Zero?

            • Reply April 25, 2012

              Mike

              I would do 12 hours max.

  • Reply May 5, 2012

    David Naranjo

    Has anyone tried the D-Zero with an HRT iStreamer or Cypherlabs Solo?

    • Reply May 5, 2012

      Mutnat

      Since the amp section of the D-Zero isnt great, it seems a waste to use it as an amp only, bypassing the built-in DAC to uuse a solo or iStreamer. If you want to use a dedicated DAC like those, then buy a nicer dedicated amp to go with it. Maybe something like a C421?

      • Reply May 5, 2012

        David Naranjo

        I know that it’s an entry level DAC/Amp; however, what don’t you like about it?

        Any thoughts Mike?

        • Reply May 7, 2012

          Mike

          Basically not using the Ibasso D’zero’s DAC, I think you’ll be better off with the C421.

          • Reply May 7, 2012

            David Naranjo

            For a mobile setup, iPod > CLAS > C421 a better setup rather than using the D-Zero? I figured most people would use ALO or Ray Samuels…

            • Reply May 8, 2012

              Mike

              Yes the C421 would be better than the D-Zero.

              The ALO and the RSA amps are good, just more expensive.

      • Reply May 7, 2012

        Mike

        Yes that’s a suggestion I agree with.

        • Reply May 7, 2012

          Mutnat

          It’s not that the D-Zero is a ‘bad’ amp.  Attached via an LOD, it does a reasonable job as a headphone amp for an iDevice.  However, if you are spending $580 on an external DAC (the CLAS), you are not doing it justice by amping it with theD-Zero. IMHO.  Likewise, if you were using some very basic headphones like the Apple earbuds or some $20 cans.  Remember that the system will only sound as good as the weakest component. 

          • Reply May 7, 2012

            David Naranjo

            Kool, thanks for your input!

        • Reply May 7, 2012

          Mutnat

          Forgot to mention… yes most people use an Rx mkII, a Continental, or a Ray Samuels as you said.  Any of those would bevery good with the CLAS.  At a cheaper price point, the National or C421 would work reasonably well, better than a D0, E17, etc.

          • Reply May 8, 2012

            Mike

            Again, totally agree with Mutnat.

        • Reply May 7, 2012

          David Naranjo

          Ok, thanks Mike!

    • Reply May 7, 2012

      Mike

      Like Ipod > CLAS > D-Zero you mean?

  • Reply May 26, 2012

    Rey

    Hi Mike, i’m using iPod 5th gen and IEM Sunrise SW Xcape V.1 right now. Already sold my Martini+ and in the need of portable amp for vocals-oriented music, classic, jazz, blues and some hard-rocks. Will this D-Zero satisfy my needs?

  • Reply July 2, 2012

    Azizul Rosli

    hi mike, i have a crossroads hr1 amp, do this ibasso do justice to it? its a laid back amp or how? anyways is the dac part worth even its entry lvl?

    • Reply July 3, 2012

      Mike

      Crossroads HR1 Amp? Sorry I don’t understand the question. You have a crossroads HR1 amp and you want to plug this ibasso to it?

      • Reply July 3, 2012

        Azizul Rosli

        oh my bad i mean i have the crossroads hr1 earbuds, which is 150ohm, and will it do justice to it by using it with this ibasso, any one more question is this , just the dac part of it will or could be beneficial to my soon travagans 3″ speakers, or should i opt for the audnist mx amp which u had reviewed for my hr1 earbuds along with my speakers(use only dac)

        • Reply July 3, 2012

          Mike

          Okay one by one.

          For the HR1, I would get something like the Cmoy or the C421.

          The DAC, currently the cheapest DAC in my recommendations list is the HRT MS2.

          http://www.headfonia.com/source-recommendations/

          • Reply July 3, 2012

            Azizul Rosli

            oic, if i were to buy or use the audinist mx1 , will it be able to power up the speakers as well? or just have to use d dac part, and a seperate maybe t-amp,.

            • Reply July 4, 2012

              Mike

              Azizul,
              You have to buy a separate amp for your speakers.

  • Reply July 6, 2012

    Jim Moret

    Mike
    Thanks so much for your review.
    Could I use the D-zero with an iPad 3 + CCK to enable me to use Aiaiai tma-1 headphones and employ the DAC on the iBasso? Would this set up give me an improved sound over the ipad 3 alone with headphones?
    Thanks for your time
    Jim

    • Reply July 6, 2012

      David Naranjo

      I know you are waiting for a response from Mike, although I had the same question months ago; Mike and iBasso Audio answered it for me.

      Unfortunately, you cannot bypass the DAC on the new iPad with the iBasso Audio D-Zero. Only the expensive Amp/DAC or DACs can do that. The D-Zero’s DAC is only utilized, via USB, on a computer.

      I hope this helps!

      • Reply July 9, 2012

        Mike

        Thanks for answering for me, DAvid.

  • […] to upgrade again. Asking price: SGD 140. Reviews: [Review] iBasso D-Zero, with FiiO E7 Comparison Fiio E7, Meet Your Rival: The Ibasso D-Zero | Headfonia 2) CKM500is. Condition 9/10 (Perfect condition, not 10/10 only because it is used). Comes with all […]

  • Reply January 8, 2013

    Nirmaljit Akham

    hello mike ,
    first off all thank you for giving the exact info i was looking for

    if i use D-zero with an android tablet with usb port activating the DAC part and then use the amp, is that possible?
    if yes will it best portable amp for the price range?
    going to use it with ath m35 & ath t500.listening to vocals mostly

    • Reply January 8, 2013

      David N.

      I know you are waiting for a response from Mike, although I had the same question months ago; Mike and iBasso Audio answered it for me. Unfortunately, you cannot bypass the DAC on an Android tablet with the iBasso Audio D-Zero. Only the expensive Amp/DAC or DACs can do that. The D-Zero’s DAC is only utilized, via USB, on a computer. I hope this helps!

    • Reply January 8, 2013

      Mike

      Sorry I haven’t tried that function with the dzero. I can’t tell you if it would work.

  • Reply July 4, 2013

    Synyster Jasnizam Paget

    Is this headphones good for my shure srh940?

    • Reply July 4, 2013

      Mike

      DACs you mean? Yes.

      • Reply July 4, 2013

        Synyster Jasnizam Paget

        sorry typo huhu..ok i need to make a decision between e07k or ibasso d-zero..btw what dac those two using anyway?

  • Reply September 24, 2013

    L.

    I just got my hands on this and I have to agree with Mike on the sound part. I love using it with my custom in Ears from Cosmic Ears (BA4)

  • Reply October 17, 2014

    riodgarp

    sorry if its sounds silly, but I wanna search for a dap that will suitable to be paired with d-zero. ( bright or neutral sq maybe? ) among some dap that already tested on this site . . . and how long is approximately to charge d-zero ?

  • […] Mint iBasso D-Zero portable DAC+amp cheap! Information: Ibasso D-Zero Review 10/10 cosmetic condition, very well taken care of. Working condition is perfect too. Comes with […]

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