64GB + 64GB µSDXC* 24Bit/192kHz Android DAP *64GB µSDXC supported only if formatted to FAT32 ES...

iBasso DX100 Reference DAP

Average User Rating:
4.55556/5,
  • 64GB + 64GB µSDXC* 24Bit/192kHz Android DAP
    *64GB µSDXC supported only if formatted to FAT32

    ES Sabre ES9018 DAC
    Powerful +/-8.5V headphone amp
    Headphone outputs: 6.3mm & 3.5mm
    Digital outputs: 3.5mm optical & 3.5mm coaxial
    Analogue output: 3.5mm
    256-step digital volume control
    Gain: 3-position switch
    Output power: 2x 125mW 2V (32Ω) with no gain (Lo), 2x 245mW 2.8V (32Ω) for +3dB gain (Mid), 2x 83mW 5V (300Ω) for +8.5dB (Hi)
    Sampling rate converter
    Audio codec support: FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, AAC, WMA, APE & MP3
    Data transmission: µ-USB

Recent User Reviews

  1. Poetic
    5.0/5,
    "Excellent Sound Quality, Fimware 1.2.7"
    Pros - Superior Sound Quality, Simple UI, Excellent Design, Very Powerful Internal Amp, Great Value, and did i mention the Sound Quality ???
    Cons - Battery life could be lengthened a bit more, issues with songs randomly skipping,
    Owned a variety of DAC's DAP/sources, Cowon J3, Hisound Studio 3rd Anniversary, Dacport LX, HRT Music Streamer II+, Sony Walkman Z. The DX100 completely blows them all away with it's reference quality sound, and it's ability to drive Power Hungry Headphones.
  2. lin0003
    4.5/5,
    "Great Player (HDP-R10)"
    Pros - SQ, Battery is better than DX100, ES9018 DAC Chip
    Cons - UI, Price, Size
    I got these a month ago and it still amazes me. First of all, I have to say that burn in is very important, with the HDP-R10 at least. At the start, the sound is a bit muddy and it has a bit of hiss, but that is completely eliminated after about 300 hours. It is said to be superior to the DX100 which is why I purchased it instead of the DX100. The specs show that it is recommended for any headphone from 8-600 OHMs which is basically everything. Below is my full review.
    *Disclaimer* I am in no way affiliated with iBasso nor Hibino Intersound. I bought these myself. Here are the specs from Hibino Intersound

     
     
    HDP-R10

    Built-in memory 64GB
    Use OS Android ™ 2.3.1
    Display 3.75 type touch panel
    Audio format (* 1) FLAC, DSD, ALAC, AIFF, WAV, WMA, AAC, OGG, APE, MP3
    Frequency characteristic 5Hz ~ 45kHz ± 3dB (theoretical value)
    S / N ratio 108dB
    Gain switching Lo, Mid, Hi
    Maximum output Lo: 140mW +140 mW (16ohm) 
    Hi: 300mW +300 mW (16ohm)
    THD Less than 0.002%
    Power Built-in lithium polymer battery
    Battery duration (* 2)
    (theoretical value)
    FLAC, WAV (24Bit/192k Hz): about 8.5 hours 
    FLAC, WAV (24Bit/96kH z): about 9 hours 
    FLAC, WAV (16bit/44.1 about 10 hours: kHz) 
    (128kbps) MP3: about 10 hours 
    Standby: about up to 100 hours
    Charging time About 8 hours
    Headphone impedance 8 ~ 600Ω recommended
    Connector External memory slot Micro SD (micro SDHC support, up to 32GB)
    Headphone output Standard phone jack × 1,3.5 mm stereo mini jack × 1
    Digital output 3.5mm mini-jack (optical × 1, coaxial × 1)
    Line output 3.5mm stereo mini jack × 1
    USB input USB Micro-B socket × 1
    Wireless LAN Wi-Fi
    Bluetooth ® (※ 3) Version: Bluetooth ® 2.1 + EDR 
    profiles: AVRCP, PAN
    The main software HD Music player (IBa sso Audio), browser (Google), Japanese input software simeji (Bai du)
    Color Massive Black
    Accessories Charging AC adapter, USB cable
    Dimensions and Weight W72 × H28 × D118mm, 260g


     
    UI
    The UI is alright but is lags quite a bit. You can create multiple playlists which is really convenient for me. Swiping is a bit weird because it takes long to respond and scrolling is weird. Then once again, I'm used to the very responsive Samsung Galaxy S3 screen so I'm sure it's not actually so bad. When you select a song, it also takes 5 seconds to play it and that really does get on my nerves at times. The track forward and back also have a similar problem but it is not as bad. The whole player is rather unresponsive and I have tried to contact Hibino Intersound with no success. However, this is an audiophile music player after all and it was built for the main purpose of playing music. It is a lot easier to use than say a Sansa Clip+ rockboxed. Overall, not too bad but it could be further improved.

    Design
    The design is not the best that I have seen. The volume rocker is usually on the left side on most devices and it is on the right with the HDP-R10. There is a 1/4 (gold plated?) jack and a 3.5mm jack which makes things a lot more convenient. It also has a line out and 3 gain switches as well as optical and coaxial outputs which I do not use but the more functions the better right?[​IMG] The inbuilt memory is 64GB and it accepts 32GB Micro SD cards but you can use a 64GB one formatted to FAT32. The battery is stated to last 10 hours but I often get around 12 hours playing 16 bit music. I find that it is perfectly sufficient but it may be a bit too little for long plane flights. I'm not sure why iBasso decided to make this an Android device and I believe that most people will not use most Android functions such as apps. Overall, the design is pretty good except for its huge size.
    Here are some pictures:

    5761.jpg iBasso-R10_02-594x505.jpg
     
    Packaging & Accessories
    It came with a pretty looking white box which which is sealed with a piece of tape. Upon opening it, you are greeted with the HDP-R10 surrounded by soft foam covered with a soft, silk like purple cloth. It is an expensive player and the packaging certainly reflects that. Below, a compartment slides out and there is a nice USB to Micro USB cable and a charging cable that was with the Japan socket. I had to get an adapter thing to use it in Australia. There is a user manual in Japanese which I cannot read and that is about it. Nice and simple. iBasso included all the necessary features on the actual player and didn't waste their time on unnecessary accessories that nobody was going to use. You can buy a case, stand and screen protectors separately.
    HDP-R10-1.jpg     a0121671_2223872.jpg                                                                                           
     
    Soundstage
    The soundstage is absolutely amazing on these. the stage width is around 5 times as wide as my Samsung Galaxy S3 with Poweramp and everything is placed very well. This is perhaps the biggest soundstage in a DAP.

    Internal DAC
    This uses the ES9018 DAC that is popular in many expensive home set ups. It is, one of the most expensive if not the most expensive DAC chip on the market. In a word, it is wonderful. I don't mean that it is just better than say a DAC on your phone or your cheaper DAP. I mean that playing music on my phone sounds grainy in comparison. The background is completely black and I can hear minute details that I just can't on cheaper DAPs. The most noticeable difference is the bass and how it seems to be faster than on other more economical DAC chips. For those who don't believe that DACs make a difference, try this. I've seen some people stack an external DAC on and I've never really gotten the point of it. I think that the internal DAC is better than all portable DACs including the Algorythm Solo -DB with an iPod Classic. This is the chip that it uses:
    tumblr_m5dpwbetk51qk65n6o1_1280.jpg
     
    Internal AMP
    This DAP has a great amp and uses the 627 op amp and it is said to be able to power 600 OHM phones well. Many people said that they drove the HD600 and HD650 with ease and they are both 300 OHMs. I can push some of my headphones to sound like speakers. I have no doubts at all about the driving power of this. The internal amp does reduce hiss by a lot and there is none detectable at normal listening levels. It also refines everything and I feel like this really add a bit of detail.

    Sound

    Bass
    The bass is very neutral and it reproduces deep bass extremely well.The detail in the lower region is really incredible. With lesser players, drum hits were just a sound, but now, they are textured and you can actually hear them vibrating after every hit. Bass guitars are so realistic and you can actually hear every individual string plucked and the air around them when they vibrate. The bass trumpets are hyper detailed and you can hear the person taking a breath easily. Woodwind instruments are also reproduced very realistically and the bass detail is simply the best that I've heard, surpassing the DX100, AK100 and many other ToTL DAPs. 
     
    Midrange
    These are a tad bit mid heavy and in a good way. It is great for vocals, but it won't hide any flaws and it utterly revealing. If sibilance is present on the track, the HDP-R10 won't help reduce it. FLAC tracks by Susan Boyle are hauntingly good and with the right headphone or IEM, it really does sound that she's right in front of you. Now that we've established that vocals are absolutely awesome, let's move on to midrange instruments such as pianos, violins, guitar and the like. I have never really been truly impressed by the way that a portable player presents piano, but Hibino has done it. Pianos, violins and other instruments sound so real that if you are listening to classical music, you really do feel like you are in a concert hall listening to a live performance. 
     
    Treble
    The treble, like all the other frequencies are stunning. Cymbals are rendered superbly and the decay is just right. There is just enough sparkle to make it neither dull nor sibilant. Woodwind instruments are extremely realistic and detailed and with good headphones, you can actually hear the spit from the performer's mouth on well recorded tracks. If you have actually heard a trumpet in real life, you will be amazed how well the HDP-R10 can reproduce it. Compare the HDP-R10 to lesser players, an you will think that other players sound thin and plain bad in comparison. Even when I compare this to the DX100, this wins by a bit and you can tell how it is mire detailed and overall just more realistic.
     
    Comparisons 
    Coming soon
     
    Conclusion
    I know that I used the words realistic and others many times, but that's really how you can describe it. It is just so realistic, like there are people performing in front of you. There are hardly any faults for sound quality and you'd really have to be nit picking to find a real fault in sound as it just sounds so great. However, not everything is good about this player. The major downside for me is size. I'd happily pay twice as much for this if this was half as thick, had 15 hours of battery life, can be charged via USB and was just about bug free. I do feel like with every purchase of the HDP-R10 and DX100, iBasso/Hibino Intersound should at least include a nice case and a screen protector. About the pop and 5 second delay problem, Hibino Intersound said that they will probably release a firmware update in the near future that will fix these issues. So is this an end game DAP? For me, yes, until something that meets all my requirements above comes out. I was looking at the HM-901, but I decided that no touchscreen and the wheel thing would be too hard to navigate, so I'm sticking with my HDP-R10. 
  3. Mimouille
    4.5/5,
    "Another dimension of sound"
    Pros - Huge, rich, detailed sound, great build quality, all-in-one, android UI, very powerful
    Cons - Requires to clean up you library, a bit large, fairly poor battery time, still some bugs to be fixed, no USB charge
    When I first received my iBasso DX100, I think I lost a week or so really getting everything to work perfectly, even though I had solid advice from other headfiers (see the FAQ on the player), and even if I went straight to 1.2.7 firmware.
     
    The main things that will take time is that you need to clean all your tags (I thought they were clean, but apparently not DX100 clean). Then you have to understand the small issues (for instance, when you turn it on after transferring a lot of music, you have to leave it alone for a long time, even if it seems to be doing nothing, or it will freeze - for the longest time I thought something was wrong. Apparently they will fix this in the next firmware).
     
    Once you overcame this initial phase...well this is another realm of sound. I can only compare it too my previous players (ipod + ibasso T3D, Cowon X7, Cowon Z2), but the gap is just huge. For instance, if the sound is 4/10 for an ipod and 6/10 for a Cowon, it's gonna be 10/10 for a DX100. You really have to listen to it to understand the difference. With good IEMs (top tier universal or customs), the feeling of space and instrument separation is just huge. You hear every single detail in your music, which may be anoying with low quality music. And when I say low quality, I don't only mean losless vs. mp3. Some CD quality tracks may be poorly mastered and have a lot of noise. The DX100 will let you hear everything, for better or worse...
     
    I don't want to get into the whole technical analysis of the sound, because I am not qualified too, but just to give you an idea of the quality: there is a track on fiona Apple's latest album called "Werewolf". The song starts with doors opening and closing, with the sound coming from the back. I was listening to it alone in my bed and really stood up and looked around terrified, convinced that someone had entered the room.
     
    In my opinion there are two main issues with the player: the first one the battery does not last very long, and for reasons unknown to me the battery life seems a bit unpredictable depending on what is running in the background (I don't want to risk rooting the player to remove all unnecessary apps). The second one is that the player is not all that portable. It is not only the size, but sometimes, if you really move it around too much, the music might skip. So in my opinion, this is not the player to run or exercise.
     
    The last problem crazy audiophiles may encounter is that they will not know what to buy after that ! It seems like the best all-in-one portable solution out there, and you will even hard pressed to find an amp to make it even better ( according to all the reviews out there, only the best portable amps make it marginally better, but I have not tried it.). So your purchasing mania might be frustrated :)
     
    All in all, I just love this player. I have been listening to twice as much music since I have it, and this will only get worse (better) once I get my Miracle. If you are looking for amazing sound and can overcome a few niggles, this player is for you.
    AmberOzL, AJ-Boffin and landroni like this.

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