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iBasso D2: Boa Review (56K i shall slay thee!)

post #1 of 115
Thread Starter 
first off i will say that ive never owned (i have used) a portable amp/dac so this will be more of a "quality, etc etc" type of review rather than a comparison to other competing products type of review.

with that, here we go:

the box came well packaged, though it didnt look like much, there was foam around it inside a plastic UPS express "bag" type thing... the inside was padded, the boa was even held in place by a custom "molded" (it was the foam you can pull little square pieces out to fit whatever your holding) foam.

box:


"custom" foam:


first thing i noticed, oddly, was how soft and nice the leather (real leather :O) pouch was. i noticed this because i also ordered the better interconnect (flat silver wire) which came with its own (smaller) pouch also, so it was on top of the package when i opened the box.

the boa felt much lighter than i though it would be, it felt almost like when you get used to using say a PDA then you take out the big battery and it feels super light, thats how it felt right off the bat.
i switched the dials/switched and all of them felt very well built, flicking from high to low gain or charge off or on with a distinctive "click".


the front looks quite "retro" with the exposed metal rings around the in/output plugs. the laser engraving is top notch, and looks killer.

front:



back:



Engraving (top pretty much):


the back is less interesting than the front, the usb, led's, etc are all lined up properly, and the entire package ooozes quality. its no ferrari, not flashy. its more of a BMW - very well built, great value, solid machine, and just feels "right".

included accessories:
USB cable (5 ft):


the cable works great for what its meant to be - used for the DAC, but when i tried to use the cable to say, import the pictures i took of it - it did NOT work. the usb cable doesnt work as a normal cable (?!) but works fine with the boa.
luckily i have lots of these types of USB cables

cheap mini-mini cable:


and the silver pailiccs cable w/little leather bag (noticably clearer sound), very happy i decided to get this along with the boa:


the pailiccs cable is flat, therefore works GREAT for the amp being right next to the player (zune in my case) because its flexible without causing any damage to the cable. it feels sturdy and well made, just like the boa.
it cost approx $25

a generic USB wall charger:



sound:

USB DAC:

the only pair of headphones ive used the boa with are my dt-770 pro-80's so far, so bare this in mind. my impressions unamped (straight from laptop) are that the beyers are very boomy, decently clear highs, and a rather muddy mid range.
when using the boa, the bass looses none of its impact, but also tightens up - it feels more real, the upper low end is given a little more impact. the highs arent really changed, they're a tad less harsh - less fatiguing at high volumes (not for long periods of time mind you!)

so the bass gets a tad tighter, more realistic while keeping its punch/boom when listening to bass heavy music, but heres the best part:

it may just be because the beyers are finally getting the power they deserve, but the mid end sounds much clearer, theres a lot better detail in these, and i can see why people really love these headphones for bass heavy music. most noticeable: vocals sound much more detailed and "live".

i think overall it just knocked the beyers up a notch in every category. these are amazing bass headphones now. ^_^

steel drums sound FANTASTIC on these. they dont have a tinny sound, they're given the punch that they have in person, without being distorted at all. (it may just be my headphones but ive never been able to find something that plays reggae well, steel drums sound like someone is hitting a muffler (muffled pun intended). they sound fantastic now. i found myself listening to all my reggae again for the first time in months.


overall, for <$200 shipped, this thing is a GREAT DEAL, i am very happy with my purchase.

you can tell that iBasso has put time into making this amp as good as it can be at this price point, its very well made, designed, and aside from a few minor complains (i'd prefer user replaceable battery, its too beautiful i dont want to get my finger prints all over it)

i give it a 9/10 (for price range), though i dont have much to compare it to.



notes:
i've yet to need to charge, i only have 10 hours on it so far, so nothing on that yet really, its rated at approx 30 hours on a full charge.
the gain switch doesnt show too much of a difference, though it is noticable.

when shutting off there is a distinct "click fwoosh fwoosh" and a "pop" when turning it on, but absolutely no noise when gain is full (no music on) and volume is set at max. NICE


size comparison to zune:




update:

i just took the foam out of the white box and found a warranty card wedged in the side, i think this is a cool idea, its like a credit card - says ibasso on it, order #, item name, and date, much better than having to register online or something (which many ppl dont do) for the warranty to be valid.

the card ooo sparkly:



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post #2 of 115
Great images and thoughts. Please add further impressions as the amp progresses.
post #3 of 115
Nice review, very helpfull. Thanks.
post #4 of 115
report back when your amp is fully burned in
post #5 of 115
Thread Starter 
how many hours does the boa usually take to burn in?
post #6 of 115
Nice pictures Great review I missed the UPS delivery today Hopefully I'll get my Boa tomorrow
post #7 of 115
I hear amps can take a few hundred hours to completely burn in not 100% sure though
post #8 of 115
looks so greeny wonder how the silver one looks like
post #9 of 115
Nice Review. We can never have enough of them.

My D2 Viper too 300 hours to fully burn in and I hope it just gets better for you as it does so.
post #10 of 115
hey, thanks for the review! i've been looking for something like this. I own a pair of dt770/80s and have been considering getting this amp.
post #11 of 115
nice review, I think this is going to be my next purchase
post #12 of 115
So does that mean head-fi is actually in agreement that this IS the best amp at $200???

WOW. Addict, skylab and jamato - WE NEED COMPARISONS NOW to the $500 amps!!! lol

how is this amp for soundstage guys?? From the review it sounds good for vocals and classical music.
post #13 of 115
Thread Starter 
i should make a comment on the coloring, the anodizing is very dark when not in direct sunlight (or camera flash!) to the point where it looks almost black, but with hints of green on the angles (corners, etc) when in direct sunlight it has a dark "forest" green type of color, but is so shiny it doesnt matter. it just looks really nice in person, hard to describe it.

the "front" and "engraving" pictures show this aspect the best, the greenness moves around depending on the angle you look at it. also - the back and front panel have a "brushed" finish to them, not so much shiny and doesnt pick up finger prints as much (nor does it change as much in varying light)

i think unless you hate green, go with it! its unique, everything these days is silver or black or something.
post #14 of 115
Great review, Nihility!

That's actually a pretty nice leather bag that the Boa came with. It's one beef I have with RSA products, they only come with a velveteen bag that quickly becomes worn down, due to the sharper edges of their amps (I'm considering making a leather drawstring bag for my Predator).
post #15 of 115
Thread Starter 
ya its really soft too - i have a wallet made of lambskin that ive been using for two years that doesnt feel as broken in or soft as this bag :P
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