A number of posters have stated that 2.1.5 L2 is the best they have heard, with a natural, layered and energetic sound.
I think I shared this already but for people who get drop outs, where the song you're listening to fades away for a second and comes back, there is a easy fix.
Luker0 already explained how having data in the right sequence will take care of this. It's the constant erasing and adding of songs to your micro-sd that is the problem, the DX90 is searching for pieces of your song fragmented and lost somewhere in the micro-SD
You need to simply copy you're entire 64gb or 128gb of music to a hard disk, format your micro-sd to exFat or Fat32, whatever you want and then reload all of your music to your micro-SD card again, and it will be in the right sequence. After this don't add or subtract any music from it unless you're prepared for drop outs again. You will get zero drop outs if you follow this instruction. At least I don't get any. Everytime I update my card now I go ahead and do this. It's a little time consuming but the fade things goes away.
Formatting your card if you are having problems with it: https://www.sdcard.org/downloads/formatter_4/
Man am I the only one having major problems getting this batch tool to load the old firmware ? I have a 64bit windows 8 laptop . I have followed the instructions that says to hold down the volume + and then plug the USB cable into the PC.
It shows a unnamed device and and no driver? When I do this after the failed attempt my player doesn't turn on? I have to remove the battery, and then put it back in and the player turns on. Am I going to have this problem when a new version of the next firmware is released or is it just trying to go back to the original firmware?
Posted by Trance:
After you connect DX90 (DX90 is turned off) to pc while holding volume up button, if your prompted to find drivers, direct it to the RockUSB folder in the rkbatchtool file, if not prompted for drivers, You need to go into Device Manager on you PC, find the icon labeled with a question mark, open it up, go to Driver tab, hit update driver, direct to the folder labeled RockUSB from the rkbatchtool file you got and press update. Then you can open the rkbatchtool app, click the bottom left button and select the second option to change language to english, input the directory for the firmware you want to load at the top, then click upgrade at the bottom to start the flash.
I wanted to downgrade the FW on my Ibasso DX90 today and spent about 3 hours trying to connect it to my Win7 laptop.
I was on the verge of giving up, realising that the batchtools V1.7 and V1.8 were not going to help me at all....
Then searched on the Rockchip Website but unfortunately no RK3026.
Googled on "Rockchip RK3026 USB driver" and found an automated tool.
If this is already commonly known information, I'm very sorry for this post but it workes like a charm
so I decided to post it anyway just in case it might be of any help to other strugglers :-)
Tool is called: RK_DriverAssitant and website is:
Btw; downgraded from 2.1.5 to 2.1.0. to 2.0.5 because of differences in sound sig. and boy, am I happy I did!
If anyone is look for a small "hard case" to protect your DX90 while in luggage/during travel...this tin works great and is a nice fit for a DX90 in its silicone case. It's strong enough to sit on without denting and has a seal to help keep out water:
The following quote helps if you want to play HDCD's
... Oh yeah I forgot to tell you guys when you rip an hdcd in dbpoweramp make sure to also add the "disable 6db boost for hdcd" along with the hdcd effect
The 6db boost ruins the rip, it can introduce clipping. Whoever added that feature to dbpoweramp must have forgot about the range extension option in the hdcd specifications (not every hdcd has range extension but if it does the +6db boost will ruin it) naturally hdcd is quieter than regular 16/44.1 but come on this is headfi and if your dap can't crank the volume than I'm sure you have an amp
My dx90 plays hdcd rips like a champ and cranks plenty of volume on a slew of headphones
For those who are having difficulty with proper scanning with their DX90, perhaps my experience will prove helpful....
I removed the micro SD card from my DX50 where it was playing flawlessly and inserted it into my DX90. (all of my music is on the sd card, none on the internal memory) The option for scanning appeared and I selected "scan". When finished, it first appeared that my music was present but after listening to the shuffle mode for awhile, it was obvious that many of the same tunes and/or artists were being repeated. I then checked in "Albums" and found only a small number of albums and artists showing. Likewise, in "All Music", there was only a small number of files showing of what I knew was actually present. Many of the albums showed "null".
I then, leaving the card in place, accomplished a "wipe and factory reset". This was done by holding both the volume up and power button together, not by selecting from the settings menu. When this procedure was completed, once again the scan option appeared and once again I selected "Scan". This scan took about 4 or 5 minutes. (my 64gb card is nearly full) Following the completion of this scan, all of my music, albums and artists appeared exactly as in my DX50. All of my albums are by folder, one album per folder. I drag and drop from my computer and do not use itunes or any sort of tagging program.
Since then, my DX90 has performed flawlessly.
3 28 2014
Having received a DX90, I will say that the separation and ultimate dynamics is some of the best I have heard. The amp section is excellent, exceptional and even with my fi.Q, which I regard as the best amp I have heard and having compared it to some very highly regarded home amps, I feel no need to use an external amp. Thee is power in reserve and even with complex music, the sound field does not collapse.
This little DAP is truly a music player in the highest regard. The new jacks are the best I have used, exceptional grip and perfect for mobile use. The screen is very responsive and scanning of a full 64gb card is relatively fast, a few minutes for the card. You can use the DX90 as a dac via the USB and with the OTG I am able to use a 128gb in the Micro slot and that or whatever I choose, giving me 256gb of music and on and on. What a joy this player is!
Review 4 5 2014
It should be easy to review the DX90. The best evaluation I could do would be to suggest that you listen to one. That isn't what a review is about though. And there are times when people aren't interested in purchasing something, they would like to know something about the item, for interest sake.
For me, what makes reviewing the DX90 more difficult, besides restraints on my time, is that it does so many things differently. To my ear it doesn't fit a mold, nor is it a progression of a line or a step up or down from some other DAP. I find I need to explain new terms, or to define terms in a new way that to me, is how different the DX90 is. I hear music not as something canned and electronically presented but I hear music for the sake of music. Minor occurrences, the sound, in a recording, are presented as important to the role of what I hear as the main figure, or theme. As a story has an antagonist normally the counter to the protagonist with both built on so you can understand in more depth their characters and you have the foils, who are figures that provide the fill with much less is known about them and less is built on them but they add body to the story.
So it goes so much of the time with music I have heard. The main singer comes through, the instrument and you have all the supporting singers and instruments, sometimes taking their turns but you have the main drive, the nature of what the story is about. To have a story with all characters built, would be a joy but often too time consuming and sometimes unnecessary, unless it is a very simple outlay. The DX90 is able to pull from the recording, when well done, all the characters and lays them out to be heard in a dynamic space and time that creates and auditory image that belies the recording. It does not lay bare the music with intolerance, that drives a wedge between you and the music but brings the music to a closer and more emotionally satisfying place.
I often listen to Neil Young's live recordings that I have heard so many times before. With the DX90 I am not separated, I am there, and it is mentally tangible. Recently I have started listening to Greg Brown on his solo recordings. Brown's voice, which is so individual, drives the words sings. His guitar carries the line and you can feel the connection. On these recordings you can sense the space dynamic drive of individual sounds as they emanate from the space they occupy.
I have been using the Fostex TH900 and the Hifiman 560 quite a bit in conjunction with the DX90. I also use the ESW10 JPN. The Fostex and ESW 10 are rewired with Whiplash's new gold plated silver that I find that this gets the most out of the phones and gives me the reference I am after. The Hifiman 560 is used with either the stock cable or the copper cable that comes with the HE-6. These are the main phones I have used to this point.
I have tried several amps, my favorite the fi.Q with the DX90 but I don't find it necessary, even with the HE-560. The amp section of the DX90 is a marvel. I couldn't ask anything more out of a portable amp. By using separate amps, I was able to get a handle on what the dac section and amp section are doing and what each is doing is superb. This is a case where both compliment each other. All my listening impression that I present here are done with the DX90 in total, nothing added, nothing taken away.
I write here that the dynamics of the DX90 are the best I have heard from a DAP because they are personalized to the music, the performance and not generic. There is no compression of the sound, no bleeding of frequencies, no enhancement. The bass articulates, fluctuates to the recording. The mid frequencies give justice to the human voice or anything else that falls with their realm. Highs, to my ear are extended and without edge, glare or unnaturalness. In fact the entire sound is natural. With the S/N ratio of 119 and a crosstalk of 115 comes advantages. The DX90 has a silent acoustical background that builds the music, the placement, if it is close or far off sound is replicated and offstage sounds are realistic.
Take from my review what you can, what you will. For me the DX90 takes the recording you hand it and gives you back music and that is an experience I can live with every day.
I will add more to this as time passes.
On turn on and turn off, there is a slightly audible click. This is the relay inside of the DX90 and normal.
Posted by Thomas Holman: Reply from iBasso
The DX90 supports and detects the following filetypes for Album Artwork or Cover Artwork Pics:
.bmp ( Bitmap ), lossless Quality Windows/Mac
.png ( Portable Network Graphic ), lossless Quality
.jpg ( Joint Photographic Experts Group ), lossy Quality
.bmp or .png Format is preferred by iBasso because of the lossless picture Quality.
.png has a little smaller filesize as .bmp due to the color palette optimization.
The Native resolution / size for this Artwork Media is : 107 x 107 pixels. ( someone said at the
DX50 Thread is 109x109, but for DX90 it is 107x107.)
But any size should function, because the DX90 processes it to 107 x 107 pix, but the native resolution
results in faster scanning and library building time and less processor/battery use.
The Album Artwork has to be saved in the Compilation Folders/Subfolders for each Compilation,
the DX90 uses this Media File for all Songs in that folder.
The Naming of the Artwork File doesn't matter ( some players out there require a cover.jpg, but not
the DX90 ).
I asked iBasso for this Information, because i don't play tagged music files like mp3 or flac which
could have the album art included at the tag level. For me only .wav files ordered at a folder per cd
plus the native Resolution Artwork.
I hope someone could use this Info.
Edited by jamato8 - 3/14/15 at 8:50pm