iBasso DC03 Pro


100+ Head-Fier
iBasso DC03 PRO + CB18: Sophisticated professional
Pros: Sound, convenience, design, size, price.
Cons: No (not at this price)
Hi friends!

It seems to me that miniaturized DAC/headphone amplifiers are the fastest growing industry in portable audio. We will listen and appreciate another confirmation of this today, especially since the beloved brand from the Celestial Empire, iBasso Audio, is back in action.

We have to admit that audio dongles have become so popular for a number of good reasons: extremely compact size and weight allows you to take such a device anywhere and anytime, easy connection to any mobile gadget and PC, lack of its own battery (so there is no battery wear and no need to constantly monitor for the level of its charge), often a nice design, and most importantly - a very high-quality sound.
In my opinion, there are plenty of arguments for such a device to be, if not the main one, then at least the second one - an audio companion that steadfastly goes with you through life.

At one time, we reviewed one of the most popular DAC / AMP from iBasso - DC03, built on the CS43131 chip. And now the company has pleased its fans with the release of an updated version of DC03 with the prefix "PRO", improved from all sides. But let's analyze all the details in detail in our review.
Simultaneously, iBasso released a cute and clever digital OTG connection cable. It has USB type-C / USB type-C connectors and received the index CB18. We will also mention it below.

If you missed it, then just in case I will inform you that we have already told you about the first-born of the audio dongle line: DC01, DC02, DC03, as well as DC05 and "Batman" DC06. But here we have a new hero, a refined and refined professional, in an updated design, with a neutral, pure, like a mountain stream, genuine sound.


Text: Alexey Kashirskey (aka Hans Barbarossa)

DAC: CS43131*2 Dual DACs.
THD+N: -111dB(32Ω load), -114dB(300Ω load).
Output Level: 2Vrms(300Ω), 1.77Vrms(32Ω).
Frequency response: 20Hz-40kHz.
Noise floor: <0.9u.
Output impedance: <0.12Ω.
Output Power: 98mW@32Ω.
Supported Decoding: 32-Bit/384kHz PCM and Native DSD256.
Weight: 10.5g.
Dimensions: 49.4x21x8mm.

Appearance and kit

Our PRO-DAC/AMP is carefully packaged in a small transparent box. He looks at us affably through the plastic, and his resume is placed on a cardboard insert around him: model name, “profession” - 3.5 mm single-ended USB DAC & AMP, brand logo and golden squares indicating Hi-Res support, PCM 32/384, DSD 256x. MQA decoding, as I understand it, the device does not support. Detailed specifications are listed on the back.
Inside, in addition to the gadget, we find a USB type-C / USB type-C connecting cable, an adapter from type-C to type-A and instructions, which in combination is a warranty card.



From another similar box, we immediately remove the audiophile USB type-C / USB type-C OTG cable - iBasso CB18. This handsome man is not included in the DC03 PRO package and must be purchased separately.
The iBasso CB18 is specifically designed to interface with the DC03 PRO USB DAC/Amplifier. The high purity core material provides high quality digital signal transmission with low internal resistance. Eight-strand insulated conductors, woven from 6N silver-plated monocrystalline copper, in an elastic braid. The cable is made by hand.

Connector contacts with 24-carat 5 µm gold plating. Connector housings are made of stainless steel. OTG configuration on both sides. The cable is not used to charge devices. The price for the CB18 is $39.



Back to DC03 PRO. Its oblong body (49.4x21x8 mm, weight 10.5 grams) is made of aluminum alloy, and the back and front sides are covered with glossy black glass. Personally, the design of our today's guest reminds me of a beautiful keychain flashlight from some Swiss manufacturer, which is usually hung on a key ring. This cute DAC/Amplifier will easily fit in that little jeans pocket called the "watch pocket".

Above, on a black glass surface, the model of the device is displayed in silver and its outstanding abilities are indicated: iBasso DC03 PRO 32/384kHz, DSD 256x. Not without the mandatory status of the golden sticker "Hi-Res Audio". Slightly to the right is a strip of LED, which tells us that the device is working properly, and also signals the frequency of the audio files being played: red - playback is stopped, blue - DSD, green - PCM. On the opposite side are quality certificates and information about the manufacturer and the country of origin.



As far as I know, the newcomer comes in silver, black and blue. We have, as you can see, the last option.

On one of the ends there are two round volume buttons (+/-) with a pleasant click and smooth pressing. The top edge has taken over the connector for connecting a 3.5 mm TRS connector, the bottom one has a USB type-C digital input. The DC03 PRO has a detachable cable.




To start working DC03 PRO with your Android gadget, you just need to connect it using the supplied wire or CB18 cable - everything happens in Plug & Play mode. Now we connect the headphones, adjust the volume for comfortable listening and - voila - we are already enjoying our favorite music. Well, owners of Apple devices will have to buy a USB-C / Lightning cord. To connect the device to a PC or laptop, the kit includes a USB type-C / type-A adapter.

To correctly adjust the volume, change the digital filter, control the channel balance, gain (Gain) and output power, you should download the proprietary updated iBasso UAC application either from the Google Play Market / App Store (I believe that the program has been added to the "apple" store), or apk -file from the manufacturer's website (for Android devices). Also on the iBasso website, you can take a special USB driver "DC-series" for ASIO output on Windows devices and activate it in the settings of the foobar2000 program.


The device is powered by a smartphone / tablet battery, but it does not suffer from “gluttony”, so you should not worry about increased battery discharge on your phone. Well, in the case of a PC and a laptop, there is nothing to worry about at all.

Of the distinguishing features of the DC03 PRO from its predecessors, I would like to note that during operation it practically does not heat up. In my use case, it was a little warm, about the temperature of my palm, or a little more.


Well, the design, the exceptional build quality and the technical potential of the device hint to us that the next part of the review will be even more interesting, so we immediately move on to the sound impressions.

Sound Impressions

iBasso DC03 PRO is built on two CS43131 DAC chips from Cirrus Logic using a miniature NDK femtosecond oscillator.

This description looked extremely promising, so for listening I prepared an extremely serious selection from my collection of IEM/Headphones: 64 AUDIO A12t, Vision Ears VE8, VE7, InEar PP8, FIR Audio M5 and XE6, Softears RSV, Phonon 4400 & Beyerdynamic dt 250 (250 ohm ).
Digital signal sources: Huawei P20 Pro smartphone (+UAPP), xDuoo X10t II portable digital transport and Dell XPS 15 laptop.


With all IEM & Headphones, the device played perfectly, no genre deviations were noticed.
Background noise and distortion, even when using the DC03 PRO with low-resistance, high-sensitivity in-channel IEM/CIEM, is not a given. Absolute silence, black background and smooth sound reproduction.

Let me emphasize right away that I evaluated the sound of the iBasso DC03 PRO taking into account its size and price. Of course, such a device cannot compete with high-end HiFi players and DACs, but it can easily compete with entry-level and mid-level audio devices.


DC03 PRO has a delicate, slightly warm, well-balanced, comfortable sound, with a well-defined tonal balance, no noise and no distortion.
I would describe the sound of the device as well balanced, smooth, with accurate, collected low-frequency processing, neutral and very melodic mids, as well as an accurate, clean and slightly shy high-frequency range. Because of these masterfully placed accents, the sound is not perceived as boring, despite its craving for "monitor sound". On the contrary, there is an extremely natural display of the emotional part.

This device delivers the material in a solid, melodic and balanced manner, masterfully, with a slight hint of warmth, good detail and high-quality low-frequency processing.
The DC03 PRO simply bribed me with its smooth and unobtrusive manner without any distortions in one or another frequency response area. How easy, clean, precise and melodic at the same time!

The virtual sound stage is quite spacious, it harmoniously and proportionately builds both in width and in depth. Sound sources are accurately placed in space.
The device is remarkably good at conveying the sensual component of the composition, beautifully, with a share of academicism, conveying vocals, piano and string instruments.


Bass parts are played quite dynamically, with decent pressure and good control. They are practiced cleanly and tactfully, collected and quickly, without interrupting the rest of the frequency range. The mid-bass area is presented correctly, in a neutral-warm form, which allows us to talk about a comfortable, plastic and very musical manner. There is an accurate clear blow, and a relief, and decent speed characteristics, and a good texture transfer, taking into account the class of the device. For such sizes of dac/amp - this is more than a good result.

The midrange is delivered cleanly, distinctly and smoothly, with good detail and decent resolution. Sincerity and naturalness are at the forefront here, and this gives an impressive result in the form of incredible melody. How natural stringed instruments sound, where each pluck and touch of the string is clearly defined. And the vocal parts sound lively, smooth and expressive.
Mids achieves the balance I value so much between refined emotionality and neutral manner. Any musical genre will sound as comfortable, detailed, natural and very melodic as possible.

High frequencies do not irritate the ear with excessive harshness, they are transmitted smoothly, very accurately, cleanly and legibly, in a neutral manner. Not too many, not too few, just as many as you need. There is no roughness in them, everything is served smoothly and very comfortable.
In general, the Highs have a good resolution, they are served tactfully, adding contrast and light airiness to the overall picture. For such a capricious register, here, surprisingly, everything is very good.


It is worth highlighting another remarkable quality of iBasso DC03 PRO: it does not add anything superfluous to the sound and allows the headphones to show their voice. Only really high-quality audio sources can boast of such a skill. It should be noted the complete absence of dirt, noise and any distortion in the sound.
Another significant point worth mentioning is genre versatility. DC03 PRO effortlessly copes with all styles: classical music, various instrumental genres, new wave, synth-pop, punk, art rock, hmr - there is no allergy to any of them. A very valuable quality, especially for such a miniature device.


The DC03 PRO reminds me a bit of the sound of my favorite iFI Go Bar Gold. The difference is that the Englishman has a little more physicality in his manner of sounding, higher resolution, more high-frequency range, unstoppable power and three-dimensional visualization of sounds in space. But this is not surprising, given the size, weight and cost of the "ingot". However, DC03 PRO, when working with very sensitive IEMs, even wins in some respects. It is absolutely silent, which gives it some advantage over the "gold bar" from iFI. And in the case of the Go Bar, you have to turn to iEMatch switching, which slightly reduces the dynamic range.

Lotoo PAW S1 also produces a fairly smooth and neutral sound, but in my opinion, DC03 PRO beats it by a small margin in terms of intelligibility, better bass control, and in general, sounds more academic and correct.
Of the design advantages on the side of the PAW S1, in addition to TRS, there is a balanced TRRS output and a small monochrome (128x32) screen.

If we push the foreheads of DC06 vs DC03 PRO, then we will see two completely different concepts of sound. "Batman" (DC06) has a thicker, more massive delivery, with a slight emphasis on the edges of the frequency range, with a slight V-shaped manner. But the newcomer is neutral and delicate in his manner, he reproduces the audio material more smoothly, cleanly and accurately. Yes, DC06 sounds more grown-up, but in terms of tonal balance, for me personally, DC03 PRO is closer, which, however, is already a matter of taste. Of the design differences on the DC06 side, there is a balanced output, but at the same time, more weight and a higher price. DC03 PRO, in turn, has volume control buttons, heats up less, has a more compact body and a more affordable price tag.


Well, when compared with its progenitor DC03, the newcomer definitely wins in everything. There's more power, a cleaner, smoother and more neutral sound delivery, a detachable cable and the ability to control the volume with buttons, and at the same time, a nice price.

Yes, it is also worth remembering the updated iBasso UAC program, specially tailored for DC03 PRO, with the ability to control gain, switch digital filters and adjust channel balance.



iBasso DC03 PRO has every chance to achieve wide recognition and even more - people's love! He will not empty anyone's wallet and at the same time is ready at any moment and in any situation to give the listener beautiful music in crystal clear performance, without falsehood, with inspiration and soul.
Such a capable tiny device simply cannot but be liked. It is cute, comfortable, compact and, most importantly, for its size has a "mature", neutral, balanced and clean sound.
The DC03 PRO is sized to fit in your trouser or shirt pocket and go for a walk, as well as take it with you for a run or a trip - yes, anywhere. And the development of modern streaming services (Tidal, Spotify, Deezer, etc.) makes these audiodongles an ideal addition to a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Well, the price makes the DC03 PRO virtually invulnerable to competitors. This dongle can be purchased for only $69. I responsibly declare that it is almost impossible to find a more favorable rate for converting money into high-quality sound.

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when i connect HIBY FC4 to ipad volume of ipad is locked to max and i can only adjust the volume from HIBY FC4's onboard volume buttons.
Bad side with apple is if you have a dongle without onboard volume buttons/adjustment then how will you adjust volume? Maybe from the app(youtube, spotify.....?)
When the dongle has no buttons is not going to max. You can change colume with buttons like android. This is happening with the go link the Ka3 even with Ka5 that has buttons. But dc03 or apple is so smart they understand you can change volumes with the buttons and actually not sure if defaulting in max but simply gives bit perfect control to dc03 and you can change volume only with buttons which is the most elegant and appropriate way for me.
Did your notice any sound improvements using it with CB18 vs original usb cable? If so, wich ones?


New Head-Fier
iBasso DC03PRO - the impossible to achieve!
Pros: -Sound Quality
-production quality
- Treble
- Bas Quality
-detachable cable

iBasso DC03-PRO

IBasso is currently probably one of the undisputed leaders in terms of both mobile DAPs and small digital-to-analog USB converters. I have in my collection the entire DC series from DC01, through DC02, DC03, DC04, DC05 to one of the best USB C DAC/AMP which is the phenomenal DC06. Some problems with the availability of parts caused iBasso to decide on a "new deal", ending the great 03 and 04 series and replacing it with the DC05 and DC06 models. As a huge fan of the Cirrus Logic transducers, I felt a certain sadness in my heart. Fortunately, I have the pleasure again, literally. Immerse yourself in the sound of the iBasso DC03pro. Is pro just a fashionable accessory today, or has it really changed?

The DC03PRO DAC/AMP comes in the same package as the DC06, we also get a very similar cable, which in this model is detachable, which I like very much. Compared to the stock DC06 cable, it is a bit thinner and has slightly shorter connectors. The DC03PRO is made of glass surrounded by an aluminum housing. In addition, physical hardware buttons for volume control have been added. Interestingly, although the same bones were used as in the DC03 model, i.e. CS43131 in a double configuration. The amplifier section and the solid clock with FDK technology have not been forgotten. This resulted in really well-trimmed parameters and a solid output power of 98mW/32Ohm. The UAC application has also been significantly expanded. Added three gain levels, a balance control, four digital filters and two voltage modes, and a 100-step hardware volume control. The whole thing makes a really impressive impression considering the price of 69 USD, which is downright ridiculously low! In Poland, iBasso DC03Pro is priced at PLN 319, which makes it extremely competitive.

Bass: It is more accentuated, a bit like its predecessor, but the control and quality are phenomenal, it's a deep and engaging impact that, like a cat, can attack by surprise and give you goosebumps. The cardboard and complexity of the bass is as good as in my xDuoo link2 (not to be confused with link 2 Bal). I often had to look at the price list, because I couldn't believe that something at a price below 70 USD could sound like this.

Midrange: The midrange was shown in the most natural and pure way, it is incredibly saturated, engaging and direct. Strongly and accurately conveying emotions and energy. The plans are well drawn, and there is no shortage of details. The separation is good, although here the more expensive dongles win a bit, but at the same time they cost 2/3 times more. The amount of information is well above average, and the sound itself is extremely engaging and realistic and dense.

Treble: The highs were shown in a pleasant, natural and neutral way. It is a treble that is present and in no way tiresome. The amount of information in the high registers is well above average. I liked the extension in the upper midrange and the clarity and order in the presentation of high accents. Stage: This parameter was significantly above average for the SE output, the width and depth of the stage are really impressive, and everything looks like at a pleasant, intimate concert. It's really amazing how iBasso did it.

DC03PRO(69UD) VS DC06(119USD)
At the beginning, I would like to point out that the DC06 is a product of a different category, in my opinion it is better, but also more expensive. We pay extra for more power, additional balance output and native MQA decoding. However, if we have a limited budget and are looking for a slightly darker sound, the cirrus DC03PRO will be a good choice. The DC06 is brighter, more resolving and faster in transmission, while the DC03PRO is denser and a bit more balanced.
DC03PRO($69) VS DC03($59) The DC03PRO wins against its predecessor in every respect. Not only functionality, but also the sound itself. iBasso, has improved its design so much that in my opinion it is worth replacing the DC3 with the one with the addition of PRO.
DC03PRO(69USD) VS DUNU DTC-500. Oh, it's gonna be a tough fight. Dunu DTC-500 is one of the best dongles in the price range up to 100 USD. However, if you want something less bright, you don't care about balanced output and you need hardware volume buttons, you will inadvertently turn your eyes towards the iBasso DC03PRO, which is a cheaper choice for slightly less demanding ears. Both devices are great and I'm happy to use both.

iBasso DC03PRO VS Whizzer DA1 CUBE (69USD) Here, the plus for the DA1 cube whizzer, I can include native MQA decoding, although iBasso DC03PRO has a detachable cable, almost twice as much power and the ability to customize from the application level. Sonically, both are at a very good level, but I love what iBasso proposes in the DC03PRO model.

iBasso DC03PRO is literally a musical revelation. Despite the lack of balance, the quality, musicality and naturalness of the sound are at an extremely high level. The price may be wrong, this is not another cheap DAC/AMP. This is a mature and well-thought-out device that has stolen my heart and I can recommend it to anyone, regardless of the budget. Works with both phone and laptop. In addition, iBasso took care of really low electricity consumption.


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Is it worth upgrading from the dc05 to the dc03pro?
Insider K
Insider K
Hey, does your DC03Pro have slightly loose USB port connection when plugged in? When plugged in, cable have quite a bit of movement from the USB connection. Wonder if it is QC problem or it is normal for this device.
Dc03pro jest absolutnie lepszy niż dc05.

jeśli chodzi o wtyczkę, to jest całkowicie normalne, nie martw się.


Reviewer at hxosplus
Pros: + Balanced and musical tuning
+ Excellent transparency and clarity
+ Natural timbre with little digital glare
+ Very spacious and grand sized soundstage
+ Dead silent - No EMI noise
+ Powerful output for a single ended dongle
+ Low power consumption
+ Doesn't get warm
+ Hardware buttons and 100-steps precise volume adjustment
+ Detachable cable
+ Premium appearance and excellent build quality
+ Customizable through the iBasso UAC application
+ Competitively priced
Cons: - Slightly larger sized than some of the competition
- No MQA decoding (if you care)
The review sample was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don't use affiliate links.
The price of the DC03 Pro is $69 and you can buy it from here.


iBasso DC03 Pro

The iBasso DC03 Pro is the brand new and updated version of the old favorite DC03 that was discontinued because of the infamous chip shortage that affected Cirrus Logic chip production.
It was eventually replaced by the DC05 that uses an ESS DAC chip but now that production is back to normal, iBasso have reverted to Cirrus Logic chips and the DC03 has risen from the ashes to become the DC03 Pro.

The DAC chip configuration is the same with the original DC03, dual CS43131 chips are still used but this time a high-performance Japanese KDS femtosecond crystal oscillator has been added for clean and precise audio signal decoding with the lowest possible jitter and the best digital clock accuracy.
The DC03 Pro supports incoming sampling rates of up to 32-Bit/384kHz PCM and Native DSD256 while it has a 3.5mm single ended headphone jack with a maximum of 98mW@32Ω (2Vrms@300Ω, 1.77Vrms@32Ω) power output.



The DC03 Pro audio circuitry has been specifically designed for low power consumption albeit delivering a quite high output power for the size so it will not burden your connected smartphone or tablet with heavy power requirements.
The power consumption is as low as 380mW at maximum output.
Last but not least is the addition of two physical buttons for controlling the volume without the need to reach for your phone.


Design and build quality

Brand new and very different are the design and outer appearance of the DC03 Pro which furthermore features a detachable USB type-C cable.
It has a slim, rectangular body with straight cut lines instead of the curved design of its predecessor and the rest of the iBasso DC family.
The chassis is made from a solid piece of CNC machined aluminum alloy with tempered glass panels at the front and backside that add a premium and luxurious feeling.


Build quality is excellent and the DC03 Pro is available in three different finishes (blue, gray and silver).
A multicolor LED will visually indicate the working status of the DAC, red is at standby, green is PCM decoding and blue is DSD.
The DC03 Pro is compact, measuring just 49.4x21x8mm and lightweight, weighting 10.5g.
The standard version comes with a USB type-C to C cable and a USB-A adapter while lightning and upgrade cables are sold separately.


The new iBasso UAC application

The DC03 Pro supports the latest version of the iBasso UAC application which has been fully upgraded with advanced features.
It now has 5 optional digital filters (including a NOS one), three levels of gain (low, medium and high), 100-level precise volume adjustment, channel balance and a turbo mode that slightly increases the output voltage.
The UAC settings are not permanently stored in the DC03 Pro memory so you have to be always connected to the app in order to make use of them.
For iOS where the UAC is not available or if you are on Android and you don't grand permission to the UAC then the DC03 Pro defaults to high gain, turbo mode and filter 1.


Associated gear and power output

The DC03 Pro was left playing music for about 100 hours in order to settle down.
I have used various earphones like the FiiO FDX, FH15, LETSHUOER S12 PRO and full sized headphones like the Sennheiser HD660S.
The DC03 Pro provided plenty of power for all earphones while it did a pretty good job driving the HD660S with the output mode set to turbo.
Noise floor is as low as inaudible at all gain settings while the DC03 Pro is well shielded and it doesn't pick EMI noise from the host device.
The DC03 Pro doesn't get warm even when stretched to its power output limits.


Listening impressions

Following the steps of the DC03, the Pro version features the same musical, balanced and natural sound signature while it significantly raises the bar when it comes to technicalities.
The sound is now cleaner, more transparent and open with better layering and definition throughout the whole frequency range.
The bass is neutrally tuned, deeply extended, tight, controlled, fast and pacey with a surprisingly full bodied, almost visceral, texture.
It can sound very contrasted and dynamic when the music calls for it with a satisfying level of impact for a USB DAC dongle.

The mid-range is transparent and open sounding with excellent definition, clear articulation, fine resolution and a full bodied texture.
There is plenty of harmonic variety and realism in the timbre, instruments and voices sound convincing and lifelike with the correct tonality, maybe a bit upfront in their projection.

The treble is lively and sparkling, transients are fast and detail retrieval is above average, the low noise floor helps a lot and allows the listener to concentrate and hear deep inside in the recording.
The sound is luminous and very clear but the masterful tuning will not allow for any brightens, harshness or other nasty stuff that could lead into listening fatigue.
Digital glare is under control, especially with the NOS filter, and while the DC03 Pro is not that analogue or organic sounding as the Cayin RU-6 or the iFi Go bar, it is still very musical and engaging.

One major upgrade over the DC03 is the openness of the soundstage which is now more extended in the horizontal axis with added layers of depth and a more holographic relief.
The imaging is sharp and precise while there is plenty of ambience information that comes through the recording, something well valued when listening to music productions recorded in cathedrals or large halls.


Aiming high

This might sound a little heretic but comparing the DC03 Pro to the iBasso DX170 you can't fail to notice the sound signature similarities between the two, actually the DC03 Pro is a little more neutrally tuned and linear sounding.
Of course the DX170 is undeniably superior in every other single aspect but the comparison is done to further emphasize how really good sounding the DC03 Pro is at a fraction of the price.


Compared to the iBasso DC05 ($69)

The DC05 was the DC03 replacement back at the time when only ESS chips were available.
With dual ES9219C DAC chips it is as powerful as the DC03 Pro with 93mW/32Ω while it supports MQA decoding and it is more compact and lightweight but it has a fixed cable, it doesn't have hardware buttons and is only compatible with the older version of the UAC application that doesn't include the extra features.

When it comes to sound performance the DC03 Pro is the more transparent and clear sounding with better layering and definition.
The soundstage is considerably wider, spacious and deeper with better imaging.
The bass on the DC03 Pro is more tight and controlled, fuller and more impactful but the mids are presented with a touch of an upfront projection.
The DC05 is not as refined, it is smoother sounding and more linear on the mid-range but is lacking in overall energy, it is a tad slower and more dull while the texture has less of a weight.


Compared to the FiiO KA1 ($49.99)

The KA1 is the entry level DAC dongle from FiiO which is equipped with a single ESS ES9281AC PRO DAC chip that can do 45mW/32Ω so it is less powerful than the DC03 Pro but it supports MQA decoding and is $20 cheaper.
It is the most compact and lightweight of the three but it comes with a fixed cable, no hardware buttons and without a supporting application.

Sound-wise it is not as punchy and dynamic as the DC03 Pro, it is less clear and not that transparent but still neutrally tuned, balanced and quite musical sounding.
The KA1 has a quite weighty texture, good layering and precise definition but the DC03 Pro has the lead by adding a little more of everything.
The soundstage of the KA1 is surprisingly open and spacious but it can't compete with the size and holography of the DC03 Pro which offers a more out-of-the head listening experience.
Additionally the DC03 Pro is by far the more effective in driving difficult loads and full sized headphones.


In the end

The DC03 Pro is not just the DC03 in another disguise, it might have the same DAC chip configuration but it is better sounding by a fair margin and not only when compared to its predecessor.
Actually it is one of the best sounding and most powerful single ended DAC dongles that also features a compact and lightweight chassis, premium design, detachable cable, hardware buttons and an accompanying application, all that at a very reasonable price.
A clear winner and this reviewer's new reference at this price point, the iBasso DC03 Pro is honestly one of the best options in the market right now.

Test playlist

Copyright - Petros Laskis 2023.
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Insider K
Insider K
That is very interesting, my brand new device have quite a bit of movement/play. Cable it self connects securely, but whole USB port have a little bit movement inside.
I guess that this shouldn't be happening.
No inner movement in mine.
Insider K
Insider K
Yeah, I had same impression that it is not normal, seem like QC problem. Thank you for the answer.
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