iBasso IT01 earphone review - expatinjapan

iBasso IT01 review

I would have liked to have spent more time tip rolling and even cable swapping but the end of year is upon us!

Available from the iBasso website and also Penon Audio

(From the Penon Audio website)

`iBasso IT01 delivers precise and sweet sound in a compact form factor.

Its internal 5um graphene diaphragm, close to 1 Tesla magnet, dual cavity and other acoustic cutting-edge technology enable it to provide high-quality sound performance on the device.

Approaching 1 tesla

Special small high-energy magnets, near 1 Tesla's magnetic flux to 5um ultra-thin diaphragm has a greater driving energy and rebound characteristics, bringing more detail and dynamic performance than the normal dynamic driver.

Dual cavity 

Unique Helmholtz resonators, dual cavity bring deeper low frequency dive and flexibility, absorb high frequency standing wave, and make the sound more rounded, rich and plump in the low-frequency.

5um multilayer graphene diaphragm

Graphene is composed of carbon atoms, its hardness is 100 times that of steel, ordinary diaphragm needs multiple attenuation of the signal to ensure that the diaphragm itself is not broken, and graphene can better restore the current signal, the distortion is smaller . It is thin and sound conduction speed is very good.

4N high-purity oxygen-free copper, four shares hand-woven

iBasso IT01 uses 99.99% multicore star-shape four braids of high-purity copper wire, standard detachable MMCX interface .It can produce condensed and mellow low-frequency and structured high frequency, form a deep sense of space.`

Build and design

*Also available in black.

iBasso DX200 with Amp 1 and iBasso IT01.


Driver:10.0mm Dynamic driver
Multi layered graphene, which is Ultra-light and stiff. 
Frequency response:   10Hz-42kHz
Sensitivity:  108+/-2dB
Impedance:  16 Ohm 
Noise Attenuation: -26dB
Rated power:  10mW
T.H.D.:  <1% (at 1kHz/1mW)
Plug size: 3.5 TRS gold plated
Cable length:  1.2m   
Connection:  MMCX 
Weight: 8.0g without cable

iBasso DX200

Sound impressions

Out of the box impressions, and at 25 and 50 hours marks.

Using standard FLAC 16/44.

A variety of Daps was used for listening.

iBasso IT01 being tested with a headphone switcher box, ALO Audio connector cables, iBasso DX200, FiiO X7ii and Exchobox Explorer X1.

Initial and brief impressions:

Straight out of the box. take it with a grain of salt.

This is with dx200 and amp 5 which is a sweet sounding amp.

More treble a bit.
Forward vocals, medium bass, with a small to mid v shape.
Fairly good separation with JVC Spiral Tips.

Large bore tips (thin skin).
Stock tips have a better seal, for a more full sounding experience.
Less tinny, more coherent. The JVC were a bit core loose.

Small bore /thinner skin tips.
Nice and airy. 
Less v shaped.

Thick skinned small bore now.
More rounded, bass and treble more well matched, mids coming up,
Vocals are still forward, but so is some music.

The tips they come in the box with are these. So I guess they are recommended.

*I preferred the large bore tips overall and continued to use them.


Same with Opus#2 A bit more of mids warm action though.

Thin skinned L bore tips.

Larger sound stage. A bit more low rumble.

At the 25 hours mark

FiiO X7ii, iBasso DX200 and Opus#2.

The iBasso IT01 is a clear and even, linear earphone.
It has good to great separation between the instruments.

The IT01 is pleasant, smooth and natural to my ears.
I prefer it on medium to 70% volume, as that is where their sweet spot of control lies.
Overall they have a fast response and are coherent.

The sub bass lingers nicely at times - such as when listening to Kruder and Dorfmeister.
The bass power can be surprising, as when transitioning from Norah Jones to the Smashing Pumpkins `Rocket`.
The vocals are presented well and have clarity and consistency. Forward at times.

There is a slight sibilance on the usual tracks such as anything by Coldplay...so..fergetaboutit.

The IT01 can lose a bit of overall control when the music gets too busy, although when playing Dire Straits `Sultans of swing` the IT01 is effortless, accurate and reproduces the track beautifully.

Listening to the Foo Fighters `Something from nothing` I detect that the sub bass and bass are fairly responsive and quick.

I would like to have a bit more body at times, but that could be tweaked with a bit of tip rolling.

With classic vanilla test track favorites Adele, Norah Jones, Sting, Dire Straits etc the presentation is accurate and clear, the imaging and timbre are great, the sound stage is medium to sub large, it veers from an even linear to a small v shape sound signature at times. Overall the control is very good.

Then veer to badly recorded busy tracks such as Discharge `A Hell on earth`. The IT01 handles it nicely, it of course doesnt improve on the original recording, but it certainly keeps it listenable.

Hole `Doll parts` is a nice medium as the track goes from soft and silky to guitar screeching, and the IT01 handles it well.

PJ Harvey `The Whores hustle and hustlers whore` goes from a sweet level of clarity and detail, with smooth vocals to a bit congested and lose some consistency when all the drums and guitars get going.

Gnarls Barkley `St.Elsewhere` has a nice bass thump, resounding brass and tinkling cymbals.

Mountains `Messages to bears` sounds simply divine, well balanced, smooth, rich and warm.

An interlude...

I did some listening with an ipod touch 6G and found that the weak amplifier didn`t really satisfy me with the IT01. The IT01 certainly enjoys a bit of extra power.
The bass was a bit weak, and the treble was emphasized too much.
It certainly has improved response, imaging and timbre when paired with a dedicated dap.

At the 50 hours mark.

FiiO X7ii, iBasso DX200, Opus#2 and Echobox Explorer X1.

Incredibly smooth sound scape.
Luscious and rich mids at times.
Sweet lingering sub bass, and a tighter thudding bass.
Coldplay seems devoid of any pesky sibilance.
As it often the case a few more hours tightens up the low end to appear faster and concise and the rough peaky edges treble edges get shaved off a bit.
Separation is still near top notch. great detailing, although don't expect a technical earphone.
Vocals are realistic and clear. One of the outstanding features and pleasure points of this earphone.
The over all control at various volumes has improved also, at the 50 hour mark, I still recommended to listen at not ear splitting levels.

I finish this section listening to Nirvana - Unplugged in New York. 'The man who sold the world'
Smooth, supple, and sweet.


US$99 from the iBasso website and US$109 from Penon Audio.


The IT01 is a pleasing earphone to listen to in the US$100 range.

It is mainly even and linear earphone with a hint of a v and/or L shape at times. Its not an earphone that has too much body to it. Just enough to please.

Most everyone loves a Dynamic Driver earphone as they play nicely with most daps.

Sound stage is medium+ and is pleasing, vocals are slightly forward and well controlled and smooth.
Clarity, detail and separation isn't of course as excellent as some of the TOTL earphones in the higher price brackets (as to be expected, but the IT01 is being reviewed according to its place in the market) but is more than satisfying to the ear.

Control can vary here and there, or perhaps my listening volume is too loud at times. I found overall coherency and control to be improved after 50 hours.

The iBasso IT01 favors a dedicated dap or a phone with a decent amount of amplifying and driving power. They certainly benefit with a great source.
Weaker powered sources will bring out the treble and can cause it to be thin.

The sound signature can be fiddled with quite easily by a simple act of tip rolling. Luckily the IT01 comes with a decent selection of decent tips to use. Play around until you get a good match with your dap and ears.

The listening fatigue is low and I could easily listen for a lengthy time.
The shells are quite small so a comfortable, fit is easy and they don`t require too deep an insertion.

The cable is very, very soft, supple and ergonomic.
The MMCX connectors are a bit tight. They revolve easy, but for removal I had to tug a bit.
Some might purchase the earphone for the cable alone I expect, iBasso certainly make great cables.

The iBasso IT01 is well priced entry level earphone that will please many with its smooth signature that although fairly linear overall with a good dap, it can have a slight bass emphasis which yields a small v shape or L shape to it.

like it. I think it is wonderful for $100. At the risk of rolling out the old review cliche of ‘great performance for the price’ - it will surely leave many purchasers of the IT01 quite satisfied.

The iBasso IT01 might be an all rounder that can please many a listener. When its good its very good.

Thank you to iBasso for sending Head pie the iBasso IT01 for review


  1. hi friend ,how would u compare en700pro with ibasso it01? thank you

  2. I have reviewed both. So the best bet might be to read both reviews and compare within your head. besides that i think the IT01 is great all rounder and excellent. The EN700 Pro is also a great contender with more of a linear bent to it. Anyway have a read of both reviews and get back to me ;)

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