Review : iBasso DX220 – TOTL Recall

Noise and hiss

Hallelujah, the iBasso DX220 is perfectly clean in this regard. Be it single-ended or balanced, the player never gave me that annoying buzz I could hear on all the previous models… As usual, the line-out it saint-clean, so if you want to connect it to an amplifier, feel free to do so.

Modules comparison

If you want it or not, amp swapping is becoming a real trend. So, I tried the few I’ve been given to check if the struggle is real or not. You can check the iBasso DX150 review for a more comprehensive comparison.

AMP9

Warning : the battery life really takes a toll once the module is plugged in. Once you know that, everything works as intended.

As I said previously, the iBasso AMP9 is the first vacuum tube module from the brand. The sound is more relaxed, more… tube-like. Mids don’t change much, but the highs feel tamed and the bass more open. It’s a very strange sensation and I’d not recommend this module with every headphone.

For example, it doesn’t fit the Sennheiser HD800S at all. On the contrary, paired with the Fearless S8F, it gave me a surprisingly good combo. Would I get the module ? Not sure, as I’d stick with the AMP6. But that’s my personal taste.

Conclusion

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.

It’s still a tad thick (18mm) but apart from that, it truly feels like a premium device, in and out. The dual Sabre ES9028 Pro chips, a 1080p 5.0” screen, and a true streaming experience, all of this really make for the big case.

Sound-wise, it’s flat and neutral, with exceptional dynamics and meticulously placed details and layering. Almost as if a sound engineer designed a chipset, and then asked a designer to create a player. Like a Lotoo Paw, but with Android.

Do I recommend it? Very much. If your budget allows it, get a DX220. If not, look for a FiiO M11. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

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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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