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IBasso DX90 vs AK120 vs AK100 vs HM901 vs Colorfly C4 - Page 2

Poll Results: DX90 vs AK120 vs AK100 vs HM901 vs Colorfly C4

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 16% of voters (42)
  • 8% of voters (22)
  • 50% of voters (128)
  • 12% of voters (32)
  • 7% of voters (20)
  • 13% of voters (33)
252 Total Votes  
post #16 of 57
Originally Posted by SilverEars View Post

But there is no degradation of performance with the remaining 2 cores - they are still of the same quality as the "smarter" version of the 9018 - if I'm reading this correctly.

post #17 of 57

I dont know the circuit topology of the DX100 even though the chip uses 8 cores.  So, I don't know.  But, the DX90 diagram shows all channels being utilized on the two chips, so I assume the DX100 uses all 8 channels?


DX100 definitely will drive phones that DX90 cannot.  It outputs more power.  That power you shouldn't have to be concerned with unless  you are using over-ears, but looks like you are using CIEMs.  You just want to be sure the DAC implementation is good quality.  

post #18 of 57

Can anyone compare the DX90 vs ak120? Pros and Cons of the two? 

post #19 of 57
I have a question for you guys, I have the option to buy a "slightly" used AK100 at the same price that I can buy a NEW DX90.
Which one should I buy? I've heard the User Interface is better in A&K but how about Sound Quality ? is the difference that big to prefer a used dap over a new one ? (AK100 looks damn sexy to me biggrin.gif)
post #20 of 57

I have no chance to own/listen to AK240, C4 and HM901, but I think AK240 should out of this league for the price-value comparison.

I've listen to AK100, AK120, owned DX100 and currently happily stay with DX90.


I personally favour (based only on SQ, no other element) 

DX100 > DX90 > AK120


Based on other element like UI/ Output provided/ Size and Weight/ Outlook

AK120 > DX90 > DX100


AMP section is not put into consideration as I cannot get a full size can to test with. I'm more like a portable user. 


DX100 is using ES9018 which is very neutral to me, they have widest soundstage, best bass punch, fastest decay, but they are more of a reference DAP IMHO. You can listen to every genre, it brings out almost all kind of headphones.


AK120 in comparison does not sounds neutral, some instrument sounds very different from DX100 and DX90, but definitely you would still enjoy it. The player easily make you feel shouty at volume above 60. Maybe it is just me.


DX90 sound more like DX100, but they are using the same line of DAC, (ES9018 vs 2 x ES9018K2M), in compare with AK120 which is using Wolfson, they sound totally different. I cannot tell DX90 have a pitch black background like DX100 and AK120, I cannot tell it doesn't have either. DX90 is more like picking up every single element in the recording, including the ambience. That's why sometimes you will listen to the air flowing in the recording studio, giving an impression of airy space.


Other element like UI/ Output provided/ Size and Weight/ Outlook

DX100 is not as portable as the other two. AK120 is the smallest, has a nicest UI, most responsive of all, lesser bug in the firmware, longer battery life, nicer look, better build quality, provide dual micro sdcard slot, plays DSD (now or future), usable USB DAC feature, easy and nice to use in conclusion.


DX90 does not lose much on this aspect, it is small, convenient to bring everywhere, able to give you a long listening hour by letting you replace the battery (Samsung S3 battery), provide 1 micro sdcard slot, not too bad on the look, not fully usable USB DAC (reply from iBasso says that 32-bit driver will be released next week), and a little more buggy UI than AK120. In conclusion more than worth for the 1/3 price tag from AK120 and 1/2 price tag from DX100.


Listening Session

Hotel California - The Eagles 24bit/192khz

DX100 - Wide soundstage as you were in their live show. Good instrument separation makes you even more a live show feeling. The guitars in the beginning sounds very dynamic, even make obvious difference on how hard they struck their guitar. When the eagles come in, focus quickly shift to the vocal. The bass doesn't sound boomy at all, fast decay make the clear clarity clearer. The backing singer were not only left behind, they made a very nice harmony chords I've never heard before. Only sometimes I would feel the dap sound too neutral that it miss out some fun it could make on dynamics and all.


DX90 - In compare, DX90 sound quite different from DX100 despite of it using two mobile version of ES9018, each for left and right. The soundstage is not to say less, but it make you feel that you're in a different environment. Let say a smaller room. Instrument separation is still good, for the good source I can increase the volume over 200 - 220, it doesnt sound shouty at all but instead you're standing nearer to the singer in the live, but doing so might hurt our ear canal. 


AK120 - It sounds most different from DX100 or DX90. The bass and guitar in the beginning of the track sounds as they are using another instrument. Different texture, different dynamic. The bass is a little bit stronger, and stays longer, but guitar decay as fast as the other two dap. Soundstage is near to DX90, and it picking up the ambience quite good. The joy of the audience, the clapping, the shout is so fun as you're together with them. The only drawback is I do not favour how they sound. lol


In conclusion -

If you need a best price-value portable dap to bring around, travel around, you should go to DX90. If you're picky about the sound quality and how the instrument should sound, go for DX100. If you want a fun dap and have extra budget you can go for AK120.

post #21 of 57

why no zx1?

post #22 of 57
Among DX90, C4, AK120, & HM 901which one sounds the most natural, transparent, clean?

Which one has the closer sound signature to little brother Colorfly C3?
post #23 of 57

A bit early to start this poll when it did. All these products have had multiple FW updates except the DX90 until now. Slow roll and snappier response may have modified numerous comments in this thread. DX90 is now a better device than it was 2 weeks ago.

post #24 of 57
Originally Posted by robin1990 View Post

Hi, thank you for the detailed analysis.  Can you order them in terms of details, clarity, and realism?  I'm interested in micro details in the textures.  I love variations in the textures which shows off how detailed it can get.


I'm also considering DX100, is there something unbearable about it?  Wondering what you have to put up with a good sounding player.  Can it function as desktop DAC?


Thank you.

Edited by SilverEars - 5/31/14 at 4:45am
post #25 of 57

from the list Ive only demo'd the AK120, AK100 and I own a C4 (modded). And from the SQ alone, I vote the C4. The older AK players dont even come close. Maybe the AK240? but I havent demo'd that yet..


post #26 of 57

I received my DX90 just over a week ago was very disappointed with my first hearing. I also own an HM901 and expected to be blown away by the dual dac's ?

But it was nothing special. I have started the burn in process in the hope that the sound stage will improve but for the moment now I am considering selling 

it on ebay. I will see how it sounds after 100 hours burn-in.

post #27 of 57

So much employed online ghostwriters for DX90?

post #28 of 57
Originally Posted by lidifei520 View Post

So much employed online ghostwriters for DX90?


I can't emphasise enough how much we don't allow that here, and how brutally we enforce our rules against it. :smile:

post #29 of 57
Wich one has The most stable firmwares? I heard there were many problems with ibasso dx90, wich made me lean towards ak100, but they have an issue with los impedance headphones (really high output impedance)
post #30 of 57
The DX90 with lurker's international 2.1 FW is very solid imo, certainly better than the other FW of DX50 and DX90 that I've used before.

Anyway, just to chime in with my opinion:

SQ of all the DAPs I've owned/ heard extensively before:

HDP-R10/DX100 > AK120 = DX90 > X5 > AK100 >= X3 >= DX50 >= X1

UI in general:
AK100 = X1 >= AK120 (slightly down because of the relative lagginess over the AK100) = DX90 >= X3 > X5 = HDP-R10/DX100 > DX50

(I'm not sure why but I had a torrid time with the DX50 touchscreen, which is why it's rock bottom, but the DX90 is perfectly fine)
Edited by gyx11 - 10/17/14 at 12:00am
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