iBasso DX160 Review

ibasso DX160 headfonia

Specifications

 

 

For the nit-pickers and nerdy ones here, I’m giving the specs and technical sheets. For all the others, you can just go to the next page to see how the DAP performs.

Cirrus Logic DAC

The iBasso DX160 uses two Cirrus Logic CS43198QFN DAC, a chip found in Astell&Kern’ SR15 and SR25. We previously tried two players, embedding the new MasterHifi DAC from Cirrus Logic: the Cowon’s Plenue D2 and R2, both equipped with a dual CS43131 chipset.

If not as popular as Sabre ESS or AKM AK series, the new MasterHifi chips offer a solid alternative to the two makers. 130dBA dynamic range, THD+N rating of -115dB and inter-channel isolation of >110 dB.

The DAC supports ultra-high-resolution files, up to 32bit-384kHz in PCM, and with the new “Advanced 32-bit oversampled multi-bit modulator with mismatch shaping technology”, the iBasso DX160 should be able, at least, the same level of definition found in the DX150.

The output voltage is rated at 6.4Vrms with a THD+N as low as 0.00022%, so very close to the limit of the chip (around -113dB). That said, we’ll have to test it in real-life condition, to see where the DX160 ends up.

Everyday carry

On a day-to-day basis, the iBasso DX160 is very pleasant to use, but a bit too big sometimes. It’s a bit thick and if it’s not as long as my iPhone, the thickness can be an issue when you’ll put it in your pocket. Apart from that, there is no real drawback.

Like every new player, the iBasso DX160 gets the MQA certification. This codec, provided by Meridian, is widely used on Tidal and should offer you high-resolution files, with smaller files. To ensure smooth playback, the player was gifted a new Rockchip 8-core CPU and 2Gb of ram.

ibasso dx160 review

If 2Gb is 1Gb less than what we had on the DX150, in the long run, I didn’t run across any issues. Sure, it’s not a Galaxy S20, but it’s no slouch either and I could confidently use Spotify, with no hassle, even if it could become a bit laggy once you load too much window in Chrome. Stay on Mango and the player will always remain fast and snappy.

The iBasso DX160 weighs 166g for 113mm x 69mm x 15mm and the case adds up roughly 1cm overall. Again, I really prefer silicon sleeves like the one provided, as I get a better grip.

Full specs

  • Type: Digital Audio Player
  • OS: Android 8.1
  • CPU: Rockchip 8-core
  • RAM: 2Gb
  • ROM: 32Gb
  • DAC: 2x CS43198
  • Sample rate: PCM : 8Hz – 394kHz (8/16/24/32bits) native – DSD64/128/256
  • System clock: Full synchronization technology with TXCO PPL
  • Outputs: 3.5mm headphone out/line-out/spif-out  / 4.4mm balanced headphone output
  • Input: USB Type-C

ibasso dx160 review

  • Screen: 5.0″ 1080×1920 IPS Screen from Sharp
  • Micro SD: SDHC / SDXC (single slot)
  • USB DAC: yes
  • WiFi: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz support
  • DNLA + APK support
  • Bluetooth support: SBC, aptX, LDAC, AAC

 

  • Duplex Bluetooth: player can emit and receive music
  • Battery: 3.8V 3200mAh Li-Polymer
  • Quick Charge: yes (QC 3.0 / PD2.0 / MTK)
  • Battery life: 12h in single-ended, 10h in balanced
  • Charging time: around 1h30
  • Size: 113mm x 69mm x 15mm
  • Weight : 166g (175g with the silicone case)

 

4.4mm Headphone out

  • Output power: 6.4Vrms@32ohm
  • SNR: 130 dB
  • Channel separation : 110dB
  • Output impedance: 2 ohms
  • THD+N: 0.00022%
  • THD+N: -113dB

 

The review continues on Page five, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.

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A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

    5 Comments

    • Reply July 28, 2020

      seanwee

      Any detailed comparison with the Shanling M6?

    • Reply August 1, 2020

      Nupy

      How does it compare to Lotoo PAW s1 (not same category I know)

    • Reply August 5, 2020

      Andrea

      Possibly the worst review I read on headfonia. Only page 5 is worth reading and qualifies for a review but misses comparisons. Headfonics did a much better job in reviewing this unit, sorry guys.
      Also no mention of the world-known wireless problems plaguing this device and seemingly never addressed. It would have been good to know if you also experienced them.In this area Headfonics did no better, in fairness.

    • Reply August 15, 2020

      ostalon

      In dx160 usb c is not working as a source when paired with a DAC like topping Dx7s . Please reply.

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