IT04 with DX200/amp 8: Super wider, full bodied lushness, bass, mids, highs and vocals are united in a pleasurable balance. One could wonder whether the IT04 was tuned especially for Amp 8 (or even amp 7 I presume). Even the Pixies `Brick is red` sounds good. Lana Del Rey `Brooklyn Baby` really shows off what this triple strike combo can achieve. Just pure unadulterated blissful sonics, excellent synergy between the different gears resulting in a truly joyful listening experience.
Joy Division `Passover` has those drums, vocals and bass guitar really testing what the IT04 can do. Not the best recorded quality but comes across as clear and realistic.
Neil Young `Down by the river` is just a nice, well balanced and true musical treat.
In summary the IT04 can reach its peak of sound stage, imaging and performance with the DX200.
Moving on to the iBasso DX150 with amp 7
Where is my mind?` by the Pixies comes across as natural, pleasing and realistic.
I do not know If it is the DX150 or amp 7 but I find something here hits the sweet spot for me whilst using the IT04. I can dribble on about lows/mids/highs but it just is accurate as to how this song should sound. Not a hair out of place.
Sometimes the highs can be a bit too bright such as with the Cardigans `Junk of the hearts`, on Lana Del Rey `Lolita` it got a bit busy, dialing back and down low to Belly `Low red moon` once again the IT04 shines. Soaring, gliding treble, nice wading in the shallows barefoot with luscious bass that is smooth, deep and forceful. Richard Ashcroft `Everybody` is a coherent match with this particular set up, nice separation and layering.
In summary the IT04 is a good complement for the more smoother DX150.
Moving down but not out! IT04 with the DX120. Slow roll off filter, Reference setting. Low gain.
The DX120 while a beautiful looking dap and a generous performance to match of course lacks the overall resolution of the DX200.
I tried a few different settings on the Dx120 to try to find the most complementary mix between the digital filters and Sound modes but there being so many configurations I had to in the end just pick two and get on with it. But rest assured between the two modes one can have a decent amount of control over the signature of the earphones albeit in a subtle way.
The DX120 is perhaps the frill free younger sibling of the DX150.
Throwing muses `Downtown` was natural and realistic, PJ Harvey `50ft Queenie` needed a bit more air in it.
Switch to high gain.
The IT04 sucks up the extra power and seems to enjoy it, more solid edges to the music, clarity and brings up the over all performance that an increase in volume on low gain could not achieve.
In summary the IT04 with the DX120 the satisfaction seems to differ from track to track, I think the iBasso IT04 needs a dap to match its price point or above.
Back to the DX200 to complete the circle and the IT04 certainly shines with detail and extension, though I do enjoy the smooth pairing of the DX150.
IT04 with DX200/amp 8 and CB13 cable and CA02 4.4mm adapter.
Ooh now this is lush, Neil Young. The CB13 brings up the mids a bit, to create an enjoyable rich sound without over doing it. I use the CB13 often with the Campfire Audio Jupiter to also bring up the mids and turn it into a mini Andromeda.
Next up Slayer `Altar of sacrifice`, curious how this plays with the stock cable. CB13 seemed too revealing, changing back to CB12 a much better match, bass comes up and treble is controlled. Slayer is better without extra mids ;)
PJ Harvey `Happy and bleeding`
Sonic Youth `Mary Christ`
The Chemical Brothers `Radiate`
The Verve `This Time`
Massive Attack `Lately`
The Pixies`Down to the well`
David Bowie `Quicksand`
The Pixies `Dead`
Lana Del Rey `Cruel world`
Dire Straits `The Walk of life`
In short the IT04 stock cable CB12 seems a decent match for the earphone.
In summary overall the iBasso IT04 is a well balanced earphone with an ever so slight v shape, It prefers a source that is mid fi or higher, Bass comes across as full and is fast and tight, mids are smooth and natural, treble has a clarity and reach and is also where a lot of detailed is played out, sound stage is large but not massive, the sound not centered within my skull but on the outer skull or just beyond. The IT04 has a nice transparency to it, quite coherent and good separation.
The iBasso IT04 is $US499 and comes in Silver or Blue (Blue/Black)