UI & Usage
By a small margin, the iBasso DX160 offers a similar experience to the DX150.
As the DX150, the iBasso DX160 is provided with stock Android OS, version 8.1 (Mango).
This makes a big difference in terms of UI and usage, even more with APK Pure installed as standard. Still, no Google Play Store out of the box, but since APK Pure gives you the same options (and more…) that’s no big deal. In a few seconds, you’ll have all your usual apps up and running, like most modern smartphones.
Now, the FiiO M11 and Shanling M6 also come with Android and APK Pure as native, but they were granted with Google Play store certification too. But, let’s be fair, this is still a very pleasant experience. The new CPU and various software improvement make the player snappy and you’ll never feel restricted by the OS, which is a good thing.
I tried all the streaming apps I use on my iPhone, and everything went well. Overall, it’s a pleasant experience, the CPU/RAM chosen by iBasso giving you the seamless experience you deserve. Yet, if you’re a purist, you can switch to Mango Player, the iBasso player, and OS.
Now available in version 2.1.2, Mango player is both a third-party app and a separate OS made by iBasso.
Once the player is turned on, you really can’t miss the app, safely docked in the lower half of the screen. A black icon, displaying the brand logo, the mighty white triangle. It’s still the main app for music playback, but if you want to completely turn off the Android experience, this isn’t an option anymore.
The app is fast, well-designed, and if not as complete as FiiO Music, it’s much easier to use than before. The sorting options are numerous, the equalizer settings are awesome and it almost never crashed, making the DX160 a real pleasure to use.
Last but not least, there is still one little issue with Mango player: the translation. It’s 99% perfect, but if you get inside ‘system information”, you’ll read “Mango Palyer”. Honestly, this made me laugh a full-minute, must be the gold-font.
Audio Setting menu
- Gapless: off/on
- Gain: low/high
- Playback mode: normal/repeat/shuffle/repeat one
- Equalizer: graphic equalizer / parametric equalizer
- Balance : Left -10-0 / Right -10-0 // if you have an auditive deficiency, this might help
- Boot Volume: if you want your player to boot up at a specific volume level
- Filters roll-off: fast / short delay slow / short delay fast / slow
USB-C and SD Card
All iBasso players use the future-proof USB-C connector and the iBasso DX160 makes no exception. The transfer rate is great and the DAP supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, Power Delivery 2.0 and MTK PE Plus Quick charge/
The DX160, offers 32Gb of internal memory and relies on micro-SD cards for any additional storage. Every type and size are supported, from SDHC to SDXC up to 2TB, even if they are not available yet.
Again, the USB-C port supports two-way transfers and so, the Shanling M6 Pro can be used as a DAC on a computer, or a source once paired with a DAC.
Airplay / DNLA / WIFI
Good news, iBasso DX160 supports all major streaming providers!
You can download your favorites app through APK Pure, or the Google Play Store (if you install it afterward), and every app worked well. The only app you won’t be able to use, remains Apple Music, requiring and official Google Play Store certification.
Mango player doesn’t support DNLA, but if you install a third-party app, it works perfectly. AirPlay isn’t supported but if you’re chinese fluent, the player is provided with Viper Hifi, as a standalone app.
Battery Life and Charging
The iBasso DX160 battery is rated at 3200mAh, so 800mAh less than the DX150/DX220.
Continuous playback can reach up to 12h in single-ended mode and 10h in balanced mode. During my test, I managed to attain those numbers. As I paired IEMs to the DX160, I mostly used the low-gain mode.
Charging is fast, but you still have to wait an hour and a half to get 80% of juice. Charging through a classic USB port can be painfully long, but on modern Thunderbolt port, it works the same as a PD charger.
Compatible with apt-X, AAC/SBC, and LDAC, the iBasso DX160 now supports Bluetooth 5.0. Also, if LDAC, AAC, and SBC get bidirectional support, apt-X (HD) can only send music to a headphone/speaker, no reception. If your source supports LDAC, no worries, if not you’ll be stuck in AAC or SBC.
Apart from that, it works perfectly well and it’s a great option if your smartphone doesn’t have a headphone output anymore. Compared to DNLA, you get controls directly on the player but lose album covers, your call.
Time for specs !
The review continues on Page four, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.