Eldar Ryazanov gone. And the bath with friends on December 31st stayed with us forever. I think that the company iBasso has also joined the tradition that is loved by the people: this is the first time it
makes the audience happy with the audio novelty just in time for the New Year, when again on all channels are shown “The Irony of Fate…” This time, friends can listen to the latest iBasso audio player after the bath
. As we remember, the iBasso audio evolved like a “reverse movie”: first came the flagship DX100, adored by music lovers all over the world to this day. The weatherproof was a budget model
. And in exactly one more year audiophiles heard the voice of another novelty
. Looking at this “numerology” it is not difficult to guess about the quality of sound and prices in the noble family. More digital – better sound. But the price is also brighter. However, this year’s hero went his own way!
And so, today let’s feel and listen to the iBasso audio player
Thank you XChesser Audio for the sample for listening
iBasso DX80 audio player
Support for memory cards 2 microSD slots
Screen 3.2″ IPS 800×480, capacitive touch
Outputs Headphone, line, coaxial, optical
Amp power 260 mW @ 32 Ohm
Support for DSD64/128, APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC, ALAC, OGG, MP3
DAC 2 × Cirrus Logic CS4398
Battery 3600 mAh
Case Material Metal
Dimensions 120×63×17 mm
Look and set
The player comes in a black cardboard box, but looks more like a velvet box from a jewelry store. On the outside of the box is a black paper band with embossing. Inside, as a rule, you can find the player itself, instruction papers in Chinese and English, two protective film on the screen, silicone bumper-case, cable microUSB USB to connect to the power adapter and sync with PC, cable for digital output coaxial , and a magic cable to warm up the unit. Not auto, but you also need to warm up, and not only in frost!
The device itself is made of light metal under the “mask” you can not tell at once , I think, of aluminum, dressed in black. The player sits very nicely in the hand. For those who are used to pulling a smart phone out of their wide trousers, it will be very understandable. For me, for example, the DX80 immediately became like family. Yes, the size seems to be not small, but the player is not tall and light and immediately sticks to the palm. And such buttons here, as on the grandma-phone..
Speaking of buttons. The buttons are the same as on iBasso DX50 and iBasso DX90. Buttons are strictly three: “back”, “forward” and “start pause. Everything unambiguously, logically, reliably. It’s impossible to get enough of it. Big buttons with a soft and pleasant touch. The finger is always within one button, all navigation is under the screen and duplicated on the touch screen. Assembly of the device is solid, all clear, symmetrical, without backlashes, creaks and soulful staples – there is nothing to complain about.
There is a touch screen and control keys on the front panel. On the top end: a 3.5mm jack for digital output – optical/coaxial S/PDIF , a slot for two microSD cards, and a microUSB connector for connecting to a power adapter and syncing to a PC. On the left end there is an on/off button. On the right – the buttons that control the volume. There are two 3.5 mm jacks on the lower end, for headphones and a line jack.
Unlike previous models, the battery is fixed. I think the manufacturer did it deliberately, so that the device with a “thin waist” would not gain too much weight. The design is also pleasing. On the right side: the buttons that control volume and the volume control knobs, with the rustling velvet charm.
The interface is brilliantly simple. As in previous models, everything is clear and natural. And this unit can be used as a USB DAC sound card.
For listening we used the following headphones: Etymotic ER-4S, Westone UM3X, Phonak Audeo pfe 112 with gray filters , Beyerdynamic dt 1350, Audio-Technica ATH-SX1a, Beyerdynamic dt 250/250. The device played properly with all headphones. We did not notice any genre preferences in the device. The device has no problem to play any genre.
The sound of the iBasso DX80 can be described as neutral. The softness and smoothness of the musical material closely overlapping with the emotionality, analyticism and musicality. How paradoxical it may seem, but it’s true. Today, to keep my favorite Etymotic er-4s ears from “microphoning” under my hat, I took Phonak Audeo pfe-112 with gray filters on the road.
It’s hard to convey the pleasure I got listening to Madness “Mad not mad”. It was like my life was frozen in the morning darkness and went in a different scenario. Where does the feeling of a bright future come from?? Like in my childhood – “All is quiet in Baghdad”: no war, no sanctions..
If from the point of view of tactile sensations listening to your recent player – Shanling M2 – reminded me of a “gray velvet cloth”, now you can’t do without a spacious blanket: musical image of DX80 is made in pastel colors and on the general beige background there are gray-blue strokes. It’s as if you’re wrapped up in a cloud, and you’re sitting and listening with your feet dangling… What a bastard! Anyway, let’s go back..
The sound is smooth, smooth. There is no, not excessive obtrusiveness, not and aloofness. At the same time the device expresses emotions very well. You can listen to it for hours, and it’s very hard to tear yourself away from this case. You get the feeling that the longer you listen, the more you’re drawn to it. Some kind of “dope” device..
The power of iBasso DX80 is not too much, but it is enough for the majority of headphones. For example, Etymotic er-4s 100 Ohm , DX80 rocks on about 3/5 high gain. In general, the device perfectly “synergizes” with the majority of in-channel and over-the-ear headphones. It doesn’t have enough “guts” for big steaks, but there are amplifiers and fixed appliances for this purpose. So, “the new iBasso – be happy, Vasya!”. Like this.
The tweeters are clear, detailed, without unnecessary aggression. They get a little more aggressive on the bright tracks, but that’s where the brightness is in the recording itself. And without too much fanaticism, in fact. With sibilants the same story. Where they are, I mean mastering, that’s where you’ll hear them. In the rest everything is clear, without “whistling and hissing consonants”…
The midrange, though calm, perfectly conveys emotions. Very good positioning of the instruments in space. The presentation of the music is unobtrusive, unhurried, but it is quite informative. Very pleased with the detail. In general, coolness and warmth somehow manages to coexist in the DX80 delivery. And it’s a very nice moment, actually.
The bass is a little soft and a little washed out, but everything is there, and where it’s needed they are quite noisy and massive. Where it needs to hit, they’ll hit just right. But quantitatively, some might not get enough of them.
My first impressions I had more complaints to them. But now I understand that all the picks are very tentative: yes, it could have been a little clearer here, and a little more focused there. But when you listen to music in general, all complaints disappear in a moment. And those complaints that arose at first are not complaints at all, but rather the exhaust of a put out mood. But it’s good to look for a fly in the ointment where there is no fly in the ointment! There will be more honey..
In general, a very smooth and comfortable sound, class!
In my opinion, iBasso DX80 is a success. It stands apart from the rest of the lineup. On the one hand, judging by the figures it should be something between DX50 and DX90, on the other hand it doesn’t look like its close relatives and has its own unique sound. To be honest, I liked it more than its predecessors, though, of course, it’s all a matter of taste and individual preferences. At the time of writing this review the price of the DX80 in America was 27 000 roubles. Impressive? For a portable audio device of this level is rather surprising – definitely not more?
Sound, design, user-friendly controls, playback time, using the player as a sound card when connected to a PC and as a transport for the output of digital signal from the coaxial optical, support for two memory cards, price.
For some, the price.