In this review we take a close look at the iBasso DX160, selling for $399 USD.
Disclaimer : The iBasso DX160 was sent to us free of charge by the brand in exchange for an honest opinion. As usual, if you want to get one, reach out to your local retailer.
Founded in Shenzhen, China, more than ten years ago, iBasso has been producing DAP, DACs and IEMs for audiophiles. If the brand became really famous with its first set of players – the DX50 and DX90 – they’ve also given us great products recently.
If the DX220 stole the spot, with TOTL sound performances for a (relatively) low price, they’ve also released great IEMs like the iBasso IT04, and an excellent set of usb-key-sized DAC with the DC01 and DC02.
And so, today, we are reviewing the DX160, which replaces the DX150 as their mid-range modern DAP. A very competitive spot, but let’s see what iBasso has to offer, shall we?
The iBasso DAP Series
As usual, we’ll begin with a quick presentation of iBasso DAP catalog.
The iBasso DX120 is a traditional DAP, equipped with a single AKM AK4495 chip. It’s a sort of revamped DX80, but more powerful, snappier, and much better-sounding. It carries two micro-SD slots (yeah), Mango OS and thanks to “Fulls Synchronization Technology” gives you bit-perfect rendering, whatever the file or source.
I reviewed almost two years ago now, and here is an excerpt of the full review:
“If you own an iBasso DX80, do yourself a favor and listen the new DX120. It’s simply better in any possible way: better screen with updated OS, a great balanced output capable of driving big cans and “cerise-sur-le-gateau” a nice/neat blue/brown aluminum case. Soundwise, it has all the iBasso pros – excellent dynamic, precise sound, balanced output – and cons – noisy output, not so sexy OS – so there is no real surprise”
The iBasso DX150 was, in my opinion, the best bang-for-a-buck player in the brand’s catalog. It carried a dual AKM AK4490EQ chipset, hooked on a fully-balanced amp section, and the same TXCO+PLL “Full Synchronization Technology”. Even cooler, the player kept the same swapping amp system found with the DX200 and DX220, allowing you to maximize the DAP performances.
I also reviewed that player and here is a quote of the full review:
“Without regard to the price, the DX150 is a sure choice, an alternative to the excellent Cayin N5ii for those who prefer stock android experience and a comprehensive range of amplifiers. If you take the price in count, it’s a superb DAP which goes directly in our buyer’s guide. If you own a DX90, you can finally switch to a new iBasso DAP, it’s just that good.”
The iBasso DX220 replaced the DX200, the previous “top of the game” of the brand. Dual Sabre ES9028Pro DAC, bigger 5.0” screen with 1080p Resolution, Android 8.1 with Google Play Store support and, obviously, high-end performances. If a bit bulky, it remains one of the best options for those who want TOTL pêrformances, but don’t want to pay TOTL price.
Again, here is a quick recap of what I said in the full review:
“The iBasso DX220 is a good evolution of the DX200. If not revolutionary, it polishes what was once a rough but great player, into a true TOTL model. It looks good, sounds amazing, and can be fitted with all the amp modules you’ll ever need to power all your headphones.”
The iBasso DX160 is the brand latest player. It’s intending to replace the DX150, which was already a great player, and is supposed to take the brand to new heights. Dual Cirrus-Logic CS43198 DAC, new design to compete against FiiO and Shanling and the same 5.0” screen + Android 8.1 Combo.
So now, let’s get into the review.
The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.