iBasso DX160 review - expatinjapan

iBasso DX160 and Campfire Audio Atlas

IBasso DX160 Review


Details and description

Editor note: whoops i think i forgot to push publish on this one a while back. A quick read shows my opinions have not changed in the mean time. 
From the end of 2019 when this was ready to go the 2020 version has been released with a slightly less screen resolution but improved internals (you can upgrade your original DX160 for a small fee if you send it into iBasso -  but reports seem to indicate it isnt badly needed, but if you have an itch to scratch...).

Enter into what has been termed the `new normal` under the cloud of Covid-19 which since then so much has happened and impacted the world all over.

Stay safe my friends!

Time slip for the intro....

The iBasso DX160 is a dap that enters into a 2019 knock out contest of the mid fi daps. We have the iBasso DX160, FiiO M11/M11 Pro, Hiby R5 and Shanling M6. There is a lot of speculation of which is the best. Either by specifications or by ear, or both.
Which ever flavor you enjoy there is bound to be something for everyone. Most probably likely candidates for getting them all might be Twister6, Headfonics and Headfonia at a quick guess. I am looking forward to the shootout comparisons.

A quick look:

For me the DX160 probably is above the DX150, and in between DX200 and DX220. 

I quite love this device and how it feels in the palm of my hand. Easily portable by pocket or bag. 

Great sound that does not choke my higher end IEMs and lets them achieve a sound stage that reaches in all directions quite easily, properly layered, excellent timbre and with a rich sense of body.

On high gain with Andromeda i did not encounter the dreaded hiss monster.

on with the usual smexy pics show!


iBasso DX160 UI Video

iBasso DX160 and DX220


The iBasso DX160 is a very competent player.

It was a bit of a surprise to be honest. Not that i expected anything less from iBasso - but in reviewing the DX120 and in comparisons with stock amps there seemed a fairly clear path uphill - as is generally the case with most companies output. You get what you pay for basically, exceptions to this rule might be a dap that is well developed but absent of many bells and whistles such as BT and wifi etc.

The DX160 as stated in the earlier preamble slots in nicely between the DX150 and DX200...DX220 (amp module swapping dependent.

In the months since its release it has often been noted in recommendations on forums and Facebook comments for mid sized daps, and rightfully so.

For most seeking a mid fi dap with a deep and detailed sound that will wow the DX160 is a great choice.

Some users have noted wifi issues with their devices, whether this is due to the unit, their countries delivery or their home router i do not know and would not like to speculate.
I myself did a few experiments which i found mostly inconclusive.
Most recommend using a 5G wifi network with iBasso products.

Usually i play from a Micro SD card  with wired earphones/IEMs so perhaps look to other reviews for a more in depth analysis of wifi/bt and streaming.

What can be said as a straight player is that it produces a beautiful sound that does not disappoint.

With a gorgeous build and screen it is a delight to hold,

A fairly natural neutral sound with a lil bit of low end and mids (depending on the filter selected) - but this is slight at best and veers more towards the reference sound, but ever so slightly to just give it that sense of body and fullness, rather than a thinness.
Imaging is excellent and i enjoy the tonality of it.
Its a very clean dap with minimal noise. 4.4mm having the blacker ground and giving a larger soundstage to the earphones.
It has a vibrant and dynamism to it - even evoking the dreaded reviewer comment of `musical`.

(I don`t think i need to hammer this out more than needed. i`ts a dap, it sounds great`).

As a mid fi dap recommendation its a no brainer, i say `yes`. Though if its wifi and streaming that is your thing the DX160 might not meet your expectations in some cases/situations. But as a pure player it is destined to be one of the remembered classics for sure.


The iBasso DX160 - For the Music!

MSRP 399 USD.   Price will vary in areas due to import fees and transportation costs. 

4.4mm Balanced Output
Output Voltage: 6.4Vrms   
FR:10Hz~40kHz +/-0.15dB     
S/N: 130dB    
THD+N: 0.00022% (no Load, 3Vrms),0.00022% (32Ω Load, 3Vrms) 
Crosstalk: -125dB
3.5mm Single Ended Phone Out:
Output Voltage: 3.2Vrms  
FR:10Hz~40kHz +/-0.15dB      S/N: 125dB    
THD+N: 0.0004% (no Load, 2Vrms),0.0007% (32Ω Load, 2Vrms)  
Crosstalk: -115dB
Line Out:
Output Voltage: 3.2Vrms     
FR: 10Hz~40kHz +/- 0.15dB   S/N: 125dB   
THD+N: 0.00035% (no Load, 2Vrms)   
Crosstalk: -113dB
Playtime: 13 hours



iBasso DX160 and Shozy Pola 39

iBasso DX160 Battery Life Test

iBasso DX160. 2:45pm - 11:45pm. 

FLAC. Screen off, wifi off. 

Using SE with Shozy POLA 39. (4% battery life still remaining).

9 hours.

iBasso DX160 and Campfire Audio Andromeda

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. – Leonardo da Vinci

Thank you to iBasso for sending Head pie the iBasso DX160 for review


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