Review : iBasso DX220 – TOTL Recall

UI & Usage

Android

As the DX200, the iBasso DX220 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. So yeah, no Google Play Store, 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, as for any modern smartphone.

The FiiO M11 also comes with Android and APK Pure as native, so the DX220 doesn’t feel as avant-garde as the DX150 when it came out. But, let’s be fair, this is still a very pleasant experience. The newer CPU and bigger ram 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.

Mango Player

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. The main difference between the DX220 and the previous players is the fact that you cannot boot on Mango OS only now.

 

 

It’s still the main app for music playback, but if you want to completely turn off the Android experience, you won’t be able to. And if this is not an issue for me, some might complain even if iBasso assured that every Android audio tweak has been canceled for absolute sound.

The app is fast, well designed and all the annoying things we could spot on the previous iterations have been fixed. No more counter-intuitive slide or strange graphics, everything is neatly polished so you can access the track you need in no-time.

The sorting options are numerous and it’s a real pleasure to search your albums on the iBasso DX220. Truly, I never expected to say that one day, as I still recall the horror that was the DX80. I hope the DX120 will get the same UI soon, this shall carry the DAP to higher grounds.

The music scan is fast and even a full 200Gb card could be handled with no issue.

Local storage and SD Card

Embedded, you’ll find 64GB (57GB usable) and a micro slot for more store expansion. The USB-C connector gave me fast transfer, in total opposition to the DX150 which was damn slow.

Be it the internal storage or micro-SD card, I could copy files from my computer in no time. It’s just a shame to get only one slot, but as time goes by, we are getting less and less multi-slot DAPs.

Streaming and DNLA

Streaming worked as intended with the iBasso DX220 : perfectly.

Just connect the player to your wifi hotspot, launch APK Pure, choose the app you want, download it and you’re good to go. Sure, you still have to subscribe to your favorite provider, but who doesn’t have a streaming subscription in 2020?

 

Mango Player doesn’t support DNLA, so you’ll have to get the right application to stream from your own server. Most people will yell “ROOOON”, and they must be right. Even though, I chose Plex as this software also manage my movie collection.

The safe play? Like on your computer: VLC.

Battery Life

I mostly stuck to the AMP1 MKII with the iBasso DX220 and ended up with good numbers.
Nothing amazing of course, but 10 hours is more than manageable, even with streaming on. More with wifi/Bluetooth turned off, but this is only half of the pleasure.

On the other hand, the AMP9 clearly drains out the DX220. I never managed to reach more than 8h once the module was plugged in. Sure, the Quickcharge supports USB PD so you can charge the player at very high speed, but you still have to carry an additional battery if you choose an amp such as the AMP9.

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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.

    6 Comments

    • Reply August 22, 2019

      fire2368

      How would this compare to the SP1000?

    • Reply August 23, 2019

      John

      Comparing to the M11, which a nice player, isn’t in the same range of a player. The DX220 is a TOTL player and with the AMP8 or AMP9 bests my Sony WM1Z.

    • Reply August 25, 2019

      Shane

      Any issues with the Rockchip Soc that people keep moaning about on other forums (shocking, disgraceful for a totl player, etc, etc)

    • Reply August 27, 2019

      Gary Griffiths

      I like the players sound but the battery life is pretty poor. Lovely screen though

    • Reply December 27, 2019

      Dug Scott

      Great sounding player, drives all my headphones and IEMs without any problem. Biggest issue with this player is battery life, I’m struggling to get more than 5 hours playback from a full charge, listening to Tidal offline with wired IEMs, I should be getting 2-3 hours more from a full charge. Seems a common complaint

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