In this first look episode, we put our eyes (and ears) on the iBasso IT00, the new entry-level IEM from the brand. A universal IEM, with one sole dynamic driver, priced right under $70.
Disclaimer: iBasso kindly sent us a sample, along with the DX160 we previously reviewed. So let’s take a quick look.
This is part of our First Impression Sunday series, where we take a quick look at some products in the review cycle. You can find all previous posts Here.
Founded in Shenzhen, China, iBasso has been producing DAP, DACs, and IEMs for more than 10 years now. I recently had the chance to review the DX160, which was awarded by a top recommendation. But, the brand also has an extensive range of in-ears, like the IT04 or the IT00 we have today.
So let’s see what we have got!
iBasso IT00 – The design
O-M-G! It’s been a long time since we had an IEM with a classic shell like the iBasso IT00. No 3D-Printing, no CNC, just the good old mold-injected plastic, in a glorious, glossy, white finish.
And, to be honest, they look and feel pretty nice. Sure, the face plate doesn’t blend as smoothly as it would with ears like the DT200, but the case also feels sturdier. This is an IEM that I won’t be afraid to carry around, just tucked in my jean’s pocket.
A feeling strengthened by the aluminum nozzle, the solid MMCX socket and the overall shape. A shape that not only looks pretty good, but also fits right into my ear: like the DT200 it’s supremely comfortable for an entry-level IEM, or any IEM nowadays.
Another nice addition comes from the bundle. If not extensive – the cable, a pouch, a few tips – iBasso matched the tips and shell colors. Like Apple’s AirPods, you can get your IEM in pure, snowy, white, for those of us who may want to do that. Sadly, the cable is still provided in black, with a 3.5mm TRS plug. So no, you can’t connect them to you DC01.
iBasso IT00 – A quick view
At the heart of the IT00, you get an upgraded 10mm graphene dynamic driver.
If the iBasso IT01s was given a Diamond-Like Coated diaphragm, this new IEM isn’t so far in terms of stiffness. Graphene is a form of carbon consisting of planar sheets, with atoms arranged in a honeycomb-shaped lattice. You find it at the heart of your classic pencil, but also in many batteries, like in Tesla cars.
On paper, graphene is 100 times harder to break than steel thus, lowering the damping factor by the same amount. Also, thanks to its ultra thinness, the iBasso IT00 driver shall display a very low level of distortion, over the whole frequency chart.
Beneath the diaphragm, you’ll find a High Magnetic Flux magnet, helped by a dual Helmholtz resonator. This circular design offers deeper bass while minimizing the occurrence of standing waves to appear. iBasso promises a “full natural sound” so we’ll have to check it out.
Sensitivity is good (106dB@1kHz) and impedance is low (16dB) making it easy to drive. Distortion is rated below 1%, which is standard for an IEM in 2020. Basically, you should not have any issue to use that in-ear, either with a DAP, a DAC or a smartphone.
As usual, the MMCX port gives you a lot of possibilities, if you want to upgrade and go balanced with 4.4mm and 2.5mm as third-party options.
iBasso IT00 – First impressions
For $69 USD (your local price might vary because of taxes), the iBasso IT00 can be considered cheap, even though you can always find cheaper options like KZ. Yet, in the hand, they are definitely worth the extra cash, compared to less expensive options.
Paired with the iBasso DX160 and the EarMen Sparrow, the IEM sounded quite full, with an extensive sound stage. Compared to the IT01s I previously reviewed, the IT00 is much more adequate to my taste with a mellower signature and better vocals.
Also, noise isolation and comfort are much better than you’d expect. The shell fits well, filling the whole canal and for commuters like me, it’s pure bliss.
The full-review should be ready soon, so bear with me for now!