Disclaimer: The iBasso IT01 was sent me as a loaner from a fellow audiophile friend. iBasso is not connected with Headfonia or this review.
I don’t feel the need to introduce the iBasso brand again. If you haven’t heard about them, you can check their website here. It was a mysterious kind of brand in the past, but they’re more direct and more exposed to the market nowadays. The Turkish distributor of iBasso is a friend of mine, and I can tell you that many audiophiles buy iBasso products here. They became more and more popular with new fresh products, and the iBasso IT01 is one of them.
Recently, it is one of those brands that have been on the move. Their decision of entering the full size headphone (SR1) territory surprised me the most. The new IT04 IEM is receiving positive comments already, and it will be in the market very soon. Before the iBasso IT01 and IT04, the IT03 was the big shot and I myself can confirm it indeed is a fabulous IEM with great performance. I really liked the IT03 in my limited listening session with it, and I’m sure the new IT04 will sound great as well.
A sidenote: We had some news from Paul (iBasso) lately, and looks like we’re going to receive the new IT04 Universal IEM and the DX150 audio player for review. We’ll share the news once we have them!
iBasso proved themselves as a great manufacturer in terms of DAPs a long time ago, and the IT03 model was an almost perfect entrance to the in ear market. Today, the little brother, the IT01 is under our microscope and as I’ve remarked in its Picture Sunday post, it’s one hell of a monitor at this price. Let’s not spoil the fun though, and continue with our look at the unit.
This is a 100$ in ear with a single dynamic driver, which iBasso developed themselves in-house. iBasso claims that this driver thanks to their efforts is fast, efficient and that the resolution is on a high level . The driver uses a graphene diaphragm, and because it’s so thin, it brings a great level of speed, precision and low distortion altogether, also claimed by iBasso.
The IT01 is the most affordable IEM from iBasso so far, and at this price range the competition is tight. FiiO already proved that a brand with a very little history with IEMs can put out great products for the price nowadays, so let’s see how this one performs.
DESIGN & BUILD & FIT
The IT01 has a simplistic and ergonomic design, which looks very nice and complete with the smokey black shells. The impression is sleek and nothing too fancy or eyeful. Yet, iBasso always has professional looking products and the IT01 continues to carry the legacy. There are also silver and blue/red color options, but to me black is always beautiful.
The shells are plastic but they appear to be of high quality, and I haven’t detected any cheap looking points. The earpieces are sturdy and seamlessly integrated. The nozzles are metal with filters on top and you should be careful about keeping them clean. The nozzles don’t look worrisome to me in any way. Overall, the build quality of the iBasso IT01 is very good top to bottom.
Fit-wise iBasso produced this IEM to fit very good to an average ear. Especially the concha area was kept in mind in the design process. Hence, this ergonomic pattern adapts to the ear nicely, and provides a good and secure fit. Just like the IT03, the fit is very nice, particularly with the right tips. As always, I should remark that fit is a different experience for every individual, but it was almost perfect in my case. Isolation is also good enough for a universal model.
iBasso provides a copper based cable with the earphones, and it’s a stock one for the IT01, not optional. I must say this is a wonderful inclusion for this price. The cable definitely improves the overall performance, making the earphones sound very dynamic with good body. For instance, I tried a standard FiiO mmcx cable , and the overall sound took a few steps backwards, especially for dynamics, transparency and overall body. Therefore, one should only praise iBasso for this quality cable they supply.