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The DX90 by iBasso . . . Sound impressions . . . . . . . New Firmware, 2.5.1 . . . - Page 55

post #811 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudu View Post

One feature I would appreciate is the option to "Play Next" and "Add to End" which would add the track to whatever is currently playing. It's not as crucial on a small portable, but I use it a lot on iPeng and Foobar.

 



That's what I'm missing with DX50 + Rockbox.
post #812 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwhacker View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pudu View Post

One feature I would appreciate is the option to "Play Next" and "Add to End" which would add the track to whatever is currently playing. It's not as crucial on a small portable, but I use it a lot on iPeng and Foobar.

 



That's what I'm missing with DX50 + Rockbox.

You have that option with rockbox.

 

http://download.rockbox.org/daily/manual/rockbox-ipodvideo/rockbox-buildch4.html#x7-720004.4.3

post #813 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by serafko View Post

You have that option with rockbox.

 

http://download.rockbox.org/daily/manual/rockbox-ipodvideo/rockbox-buildch4.html#x7-720004.4.3

 



I think my statement could mean both ways. What I meant was I miss that function when I'm using DX90 because it works quite well and I am using it quite often on my DX50 + Rockbox.
post #814 of 3032

Wow. The censoring of posts here is actually quite ridiculous. It's like it's the former Soviet Union, or China.

post #815 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwhacker View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by serafko View Post
 

You have that option with rockbox.

 

http://download.rockbox.org/daily/manual/rockbox-ipodvideo/rockbox-buildch4.html#x7-720004.4.3

 



I think my statement could mean both ways. What I meant was I miss that function when I'm using DX90 because it works quite well and I am using it quite often on my DX50 + Rockbox.

Sorry, I didn't quite get it.

post #816 of 3032
no apologies needed smily_headphones1.gif
post #817 of 3032

I'm loving the sound I'm getting with my Earsonics S-EM6 - detail, warmth, tight punchy bass.  But the battery life is a problem - fine if you are never away from a charger for longer than 4 hours.

post #818 of 3032
how long playback you guys have with the larger 4400 amh batteries?
post #819 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by avl06 View Post

I'm loving the sound I'm getting with my Earsonics S-EM6 - detail, warmth, tight punchy bass.  But the battery life is a problem - fine if you are never away from a charger for longer than 4 hours.


 



7.5 - 8 hrs on a single charge is still decent for me. At low power I don't hear any degradation in sound with my Roxanne. But yeah a longer battery life is nice. At least the battery is easy to replace.
post #820 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by shakur1996 View Post

how long playback you guys have with the larger 4400 amh batteries?

About 12-14 hours give or take
post #821 of 3032

I posted some DAPs impression/comparison which I did in the local stores where I lived on the Calyx M thread, so I thought it would be a good to link it here too.

 

Quote:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/687944/999-calyx-m-with-dxd-dsd-64gb-sd-sd-storage/2580#post_10528030

 

So to complete my DAP comparisons with the Calyx M, I went down to one of the local store that has a demo DX90 unit available for auditioning to get a feel of how DX90 "would" compare against Calyx M.

 

 

The 1st track I loaded to test is redbook CD quality 44/16 FLAC quality music - "Unite" by Misawa Sachika, 2nd ending song from the Accel World anime (may take a while to load the buffer for streaming). It has a very good mix of modern pop song style with strong female vocal as well as a multitude of instrument sounds in the background including a lot of cymbals to test out the entire audio frequency range.

 

 

DX90 vs AK240 (on 1plus2): 

 

Obviously DX90 is not going to stand up to the AK240 toe-to-toe on SQ, so I would just give a brief comparison how DX90 fares. The soundstage is smaller than AK240, and the DX90's sound quality has a high level of digitized feel to it relative to AK240. Everything seems more closed up on the DX90 and flatter (less depth) than the AK240. This makes the vocal seem to be on the same plane/dimension as the other background instruments. Separation is there but just not that big of a 3D soundstage. The frequent cymbal sounds are also less natural and felt like it is forced out of the DX90 as compared to the AK240 which is buttery smooth/natural. On parts of the track which has more complex mix of instruments kicking in at the same time, the DX90 sounded less coherent (probably partly due to the weaker soundstage; everything sounded mashed up together and come at you all at once). I tested other high quality tracks and get the same feeling. I detected only one issue with the DX90 on one of my DXD 352.8 kHz track - Vivaldi: Recitative and Aria from Cantata RV 679, "Che giova il sospirar, povero core" Tone Wik & Barokkanerne (period instruments) from 2L. There is a very loud constant hissing background sound during playback which is not heard on my PC or on the AK240. It could be a bug. The good thing about the DX90 is that it is quite transparent and neutral and felt much more balanced to me than the SQ I heard from Calyx M. I cannot expect it to perform on par with a $2,400 AK240 at its price point but it really performs surprisingly well for a sub-$500 DAP. So just to satisfy my curiousity, I A-B the DX90 against my AK120 which I also brought along.

 

 

DX90 vs AK120 (on 1plus2): 

 

This is going to be an interesting comparison. My short conclusion is that DX90 performs near to 80-90% of AK120. IMO it is still slightly behind the AK120 in terms of sound quality, but the gap is not huge. Considering the DX90 costs less than half of the AK120, I think it is a job well-done by iBasso (they just need to fix the software bugs, improve the UI and enable USB DAC feature). On most tracks DX90 sounds just as good and enjoyable as the AK120. The AK120 sounded slightly more forward/warm than the DX90, but not substantial enough to make too big a difference in their signatures. AK120 tends to have a more smooth feel to its SQ compared to the DX90 which is a little more analytical/cold (or digital to me). For e.g. 36-42 secs into Hotel California where the cymbals clash with the electric guitar sound reverberating around behind you, the DX90 reproduction sounded less musical and smooth compared to AK120/240. Both have roughly about the same level of black background and the UI on the DX90 feels more smooth and responsive than my AK120.

 

 

 

DX90 vs Calyx M (on 1plus2) "Extrapolated": 

 

Since both demo units are from different local stores, I have to audition them separately against my AK DAPs and extrapolate to make a comparison. So take my feedback here lightly, but one thing I am very certain about the Calyx M is that its sound signature is much thicker than the DX90, AK120 and AK240. I do not get the same shock feeling when transiting from AK120/240 to DX90 as when transiting from AK120/240 to Calyx M. My conclusion here is that Calyx M sounds quite different from DX90 in terms of signature, but both are equally good on clarity using AK120 as a midway benchmark. DX90 is definitely more of a forward/closer soundstage and flatter/more neutral frequency response across the entire spectrum. Calyx M is more of a heavy bottom and unevenly aggressive frequency response. Soundstage for both is similar. Another side note which I forgot to mention previously is that both seem to cut off the front 1-2 sec of the first audio track I tried to play. Subsequent tracks did not have this issue. Seems like X5 also has a similar problem. No idea what is up with all these cut offs.

 

 

So here is my take on the Calyx M thus far. I will try to go back to listen to the Calyx M for a 2nd round to re-confirm what I have heard.


Edited by Bluebear - 5/8/14 at 3:44am
post #822 of 3032

I don't want anything warmer than the DX90/AK120. Kinda removes the Calyx form consideration. In fact, if a later dx90 FW was a little snappier, I wouldn't complain.

post #823 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebear View Post

This is going to be an interesting comparison. My short conclusion is that DX90 performs near to 80-90% of AK120. IMO it is still slightly behind the AK120 in terms of sound quality, but the gap is not huge. Considering the DX90 costs less than half of the AK120, I think it is a job well-done by iBasso (they just need to fix the software bugs, improve the UI and enable USB DAC feature). On most tracks DX90 sounds just as good and enjoyable as the AK120. The AK120 sounded slightly more forward/warm than the DX90, but not substantial enough to make too big a difference in their signatures. AK120 tends to have a more smooth feel to its SQ compared to the DX90 which is a little more analytical/cold (or digital to me). For e.g. 36-42 secs into Hotel California where the cymbals clash with the electric guitar sound reverberating around behind you, the DX90 reproduction sounded less musical and smooth compared to AK120/240. Both have roughly about the same level of black background and the UI on the DX90 feels more smooth and responsive than my AK120.

This is exactly opposite with mine. AK120 failed as a DAP because they should be flat and neutral. I dont want to listen to how the DAP sound like. But rather, I want to hear the music as it should sound. Otherwise, you will hove a crazy number of combination of DAPs, amps, and headphones. If I want it warm I use a warn phone. If I feel like listening to analytical I pull out my analytical phone.

Point is I only need 1 DAP and/or amp then multiple phones for different taste.

Another issue I had with AK120 is the bass never sounded right for my JH16. A DX50+amp was better. The price also feels like rubbing salt on an open wound.
post #824 of 3032

Well at least AK corrected their impedance problems with the $2500 AK240... But then even a Clip+ doesn't have those problems, so it's not that much of an achievement. 

post #825 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by headwhacker View Post

This is exactly opposite with mine. AK120 failed as a DAP because they should be flat and neutral. I dont want to listen to how the DAP sound like. But rather, I want to hear the music as it should sound. Otherwise, you will hove a crazy number of combination of DAPs, amps, and headphones. If I want it warm I use a warn phone. If I feel like listening to analytical I pull out my analytical phone.

Point is I only need 1 DAP and/or amp then multiple phones for different taste.

Another issue I had with AK120 is the bass never sounded right for my JH16. A DX50+amp was better. The price also feels like rubbing salt on an open wound.

I wouldn't say a DAP is a failure because it does not offer a flat/neutral signature to pair well with multiple cans/IEMs. That would come off as saying DAPs like FiiO X3/X5/HM901 with balanced card etc. fail because they are all slightly warm like the AK120. Not to mention Calyx M is the least neutral I have heard which would make it epic fail according to how you define a good DAP. It depends more of the individual's usage patterns. For e.g. there are many like me who only listen primarily to only 1-2 preferred TOTL IEMs and rarely bring along multiple headphones to switch around while changing music tracks. Finding the best pairing DAP for that one favourite IEM is more important than a completely neutral DAP to play around with multiple headphones. As long as the right DAP can pair with the right IEM, it can still sound more awesome than a neutral DAP. Otherwise if our goal is just to listen to how the music sound, everyone will be only using neutral DAP+neutral amp+neutral IEM. Bringing a stack of DAP + amp may also not be ideal for some who wants to travel light.

Again your statement that the bass of AK120 never sounds right with your JH16 is just reinforcing my point that completely neutral DAP is not the only solution. If you are not using JH16 which is bass heavy but a more neutral IEM, you will probably think AK120 is fine. I also like my AK240 over my AK120. Yes, AK240 is much more neutral than the AK120 but that is not the reason why I like it more. It is because it's SQ is much better. Similarly, even though AK100 MKII is more neutral than AK120, I find it slightly more grainy.

Another reason I can guess is probably the difference in individual's music genre collection. I also tend to prefer bass quality from dynamic drivers which IMO is more smooth, richer and natural than the bass produced by BAs. I find most BA bass tend to be more digital and dry no matter how many low end drivers are tuned to reproduce it.
Edited by Bluebear - 5/8/14 at 5:32am
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