iBasso SR1 review - expatinjapan

iBasso SR1 review
 - expatinjapan

This review is a bit late due to as already mentioned an extremely busy end of 2018 and beginning of 2019. I am finally catching up. This has probably been the largest weight around my neck being that it arrived late 2018 to Head pie HQ. Usually i like to finish the year with a clean review slate. 
Family and other commitments prevented that late last year. This being the final hold out.

I did hope to complete this earlier, especially before the Japan summer heat kicked in. I have been listening to them on and off and have enough written and mental notes to complete it.

The SR1 is iBassos first foray into full sized headphones, mainly known for their earlier amps and more recently their excellent daps and a line up of in ear earphones. The iBasso SR1 headphone was a limited edition of 500 units. So i suppose most of fans already picked up theirs within the first month or two marking this review as pretty much redundant to the true believers. but for those of you still on the fence or looking for a new headphone to add to your collection read on.

iBasso DX220, amp 9 and iBasso SR1 headphones with iBasso PT1 pads


No need for endless paragraphs of descriptions for the photos below. I trust your eyes.

Specifications and features

Balanced cable

The pairing with Amp 8 on either DX200 or DX220 is great.


The iBasso of course comes with their own stock pads.
There is an option to purchase another version, the  PT1 perforated pads.

Stock pads: Fairly even and balanced, slight warmth, smooth with good body. Nice treble extension.

PT1 perforated pads: More airy and open, moves closer towards a neutral sound with a bit of high end sparkle added.

At US$25 I think its worth buying the perforated pads either to just have the option of a different tuning (like tip rolling) or at the very least another back up pair of pads.

Pads available at:

Size comparison

Size comparison with the ever popular familiar and popular Meze 99 Classics headphones


The iBasso SR1 is iBassos first foray into full sized headphones and like many of their other products of late have scored a home run with their first effort.

The iBasso SR1 is a limited edition run of 500, and i expect to see more headphones from iBasso in the future.

The iBasso SR1 is everything one would expect in an open (semi-open?) headphone, large soundstage, excellent separation, layering and tonality.

There is a difference in whether one uses the stock pads or the PT1 pads, the former having a bit more bass and a merger between v and L shaped intimate signature, whereas the PT1 pads are a bit more open, more treble and closer to a neutral sound. Neither skimp on the mids.

The iBasso SR1 does require a bit of power to get the most out of them, so one would need a recent dap with plenty of juice under the hood or a home system. A weak sauce source will only diminish and limit the potential of these headphones. It would still be acceptable  though as they are not super hard to drive, but the results can so much more with a decent source.

I enjoyed the iBasso SR1 with Amp 8 and Amp 9 the best. Settling on Amp 9 with DX220 as a final favorite (for now).





The iBasso SR1 is a comfortable open headphone, one which i expect for most listeners would be more for home use than out and about partly due to its aesthetic design and semi-open sound leaking cups.
*Many people preferring closed cups whilst commuting so as not gather the wrath of their fellow commuters.

The detectable cables are a plus, being MMCX i have found that I can change them out to normal MMCX cables, the iBasso SR1 cables have that nifty locking feature which prevents strain on the connectors.

The changeable and swappable pads are great in that one can tailor the sound more to ones preferred signature. 
The stock pads are more like a closed headphone sound, whilst to my ears the PT1 perforated pads move them towards and open backed sound.

The iBasso SR1 is everything one would expect in an open (semi-open?) headphone, large soundstage, excellent separation, layering and tonality.

Thank you to iBasso for sending Head pie the iBasso SR1 for review


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