IBasso T5 Impressions
"The average human is made up of around 60% water. As far as I am concerned that is a bit extravagant. If you begin to feel dehydrated during the course of this review, that's normal. I am going to hit you with some jet engines to see if I can get you down to around 20 or 30%."
I do not have enough hours of burn in on all my new gear, so make sure to Subscribe as future updates will be made.
My current setup is composed of the following:
|Livewire Dual Custom IEMs|
|Blox M2C Earbuds|
|HiFiMan HE-500 Loaner|
|Fiio E9 / T5|
|Soundstage is on par with the Cowan J3, exceptionally large and spacious sounding|
Build Quality is top notch, feels very solid, no loose buttons in audio jacks. Bass is the units weakpoint, it does not reach as deep as I would like it, it is a bit too smooth and lacks snappiness I enjoy in my music. The mids are absolutely lush and smooth, somewhere between neutral and warm, right where they should be, nice forward sounding re-creation of what the J3 offers, mids sound a bit smoother but are placed in the same location ( moderately forward ). Amazing vocal experience. Highs extend to exceptional levels and are on the bright side to my ears, they offset the smooth lows and mids just enough to call the amp engaging. They have some brightness and bite to them, definitely brighter highs than just the J3. I detect a small amount of graininess, the J3 EQ system can achieve more clear highs. Distortion is minimal and I am surprised it can achieve such high decibels without splashing and warping. Smashed my Pico Slim in this area, which distorts noticeably more at lower volume.
Overall Soundstage is just like IBasso said it would be, massive in height and width for such a small unit. Definitely better than my UHA4 and Pico Slim and is actually on par with the J3, I think its safe to say stage width and height are near identical to the already very nice J3 stage qualities. Transparency is very good, but not as good as the TTVJ Slim. Does not mesh with the HE500 at all. Then again, none of the Slim amps have meshed with the Orthos. While the TTVJ is still the most powerful of the slim amps, I can safely say the T5 is better than the Pico Slim and UHA4. Clarity is just as good if not a bit better in the mids than these other two models yet it offers more sound staging than both and is still so tiny.
Size Comparison to the Cowan J3.
Right now my Livewire customs are too new to judge definitively so I won't say anything beyond I do not hear much of a difference in high gain mode over just the J3. The change in volume and snap is noticeable on the Blox M2C, but not the Livewires. Right now there are some Pros and Cons. I'll keep this updated as time goes by.
|BTL Grounding||Seems a bit needless, rogue inductance was not much of an issue in other models.|
|8 Opamps||Less Battery Life w/ Higher Voltage Needs|
|Gain Switch||Simply not enough output power even at 500MA per Channel. IEM compatible only|
|Digital Volume Controls||Not very responsive, it takes a few clicks to hear a difference. 64 steps might be overkill if it takes 3 clicks to get an audible change sometimes|
Edited by swbf2cheater - 11/5/11 at 2:33pm