iBasso DX220 MAX


Headphoneus Supremus
Power and Poise: a review of the DX220MAX
Pros: build, innovative internal architecture, technical performance, sound signature, note weight
Cons: unusual size and weight, dual chargers may be required.

Greetings from the lockdown! :)

I think iBasso have by now thoroughly established themselves as a well-known and respected manufacturer of DAP’s (and other products too numerous to mention!).
With this in mind, it does seem somewhat redundant to provide an introduction to the company, given both the previous point I made and the fact that the DAP under discussion today is essentially their co-flagship.

As such, is likely to be under investigation by knowledgeable audiophiles who are already well-educated on what the market has to offer.
Suffice to say, iBasso are a Chinese audiophile gear producing company of some prestige, having been one of the first trailblazing DAP makers in the market, and they continue to up their game year on year.

Today, I’ll be reviewing a rather unique offering from them, the DX220MAX.
This was something of a concept product, designed to push the boundaries and see what they were able to engineer, without having to think too much about mass market concerns.

This is a ‘transportable’ DAP, small and light enough (I use the term relatively!) to be taken around in a bag (or capacious pocket, such as might be sported by fans of ‘cargo pants’ or circa 1990’s MC Hammer pants), but large enough to pack in a pretty staggering array of electronic architecture that is more normally within the purvue of products in the desktop DAC/Amp arena.

The details of this DAP can be found on the product thread here on Head-Fi:


The RRP at time of writing was $1’888 (8 being considered an auspicious number in Chinese culture). Only a limited number of these have been made, but like most top DAPs, there will doubtless be ones popping up now and again in the classified ‘for sale’ section here on Head-Fi :)

My sincere thanks to Paul and the team at iBasso, for providing me with a review unit to keep in exchange for an honest review.

You may understandably be wondering at this point what on earth a ‘transportable co-flagship DAP’ looks like.
Like a circa-1980’s ‘Pino’ Palladino, fret no more; all is about to be revealed in the forthcoming section which I have abstemiously titled ‘Photos’ :)


Unboxing, packaging and accessories:

The packaging and accessories are nicely done, very much at the standard that I’ve become accustomed to with iBasso. No complaints at all.
There’s a nice and delightfully comprehensive array of accessories, from a burn-in cable to various adaptors which will serve you well if you wish to use the DX220MAX as part of an audio chain perhaps involving an external amp or PC or similar.

Ergonomics and Tech:

As mentioned previously, this a clearly marketed as a transportable DAP, and it is only fair that it be judged in that context when talking about portability and use cases etc.

The good news is, it’s weighty, but not prohibitively so; with a sturdy pair of trousers or a coat pocket, you could indeed walk around with the DX220MAX, certainly around the house and even outside if one so wished.
In the case of using it outside the home though, I’d be more likely to carry it in a bag and either have my IEM cable extending out from that, or just leave it sitting there until I reach somewhere I can sit down and put it on a tabletop or similar.

It has a nice feeling gold volume wheel and the appearance overall is slick and with a weighty sense of presence and prestige.

To quote resident hardware wizard Whitigir from the Head-Fi thread, “The Max is 2 dedicated systems in one: A DAC with its own power supply and batteries + A discrete amplifier with its own power supply and batteries”.
I believe a key result of all this is a reduction in background noise, not to mention a fairly hefty power output.

One thing to note is the lack of any physical buttons except for the power button.
In practice, I found this didn’t make much difference, as generally it’s not the kind of player you’d be carrying around in a pocket much. I use it when sitting at a desk or when sitting/lying in bed, where it’s easy to navigate when needed.

Navigation was rapid and pretty easy; I found no real issues to report.

The screen is particularly fine, and I felt it had noticeably better contrast and detail than the DX300, which has an excellent screen itself.

Charging is a slightly more troublesome affair with the discrete batteries, requiring both a DC line-in as well as a USB-C charger.

Look on the DX220MAX thread on Head-Fi, where some people have posted links to chargers which are capable of charging both ports simultaneously.

Frankly, there’s been so much written about the DX220MAX on that thread that most of the things I could say here are fairly redundant. Any questions you might have or technical issues are already explained there many times over, with more detail than I could go into without making this review unfeasibly long!

And so, let us move on to the section you’ve doubtless been waiting for!

That’s right, the break for advertisements!

Just kidding :)

It’s time to talk about how the DX220MAX actually sounds.

To test this DAP, I listened predominantly with the Unique Melody MEST, as it’s the best IEM I have in terms of clarity, micro-detail retrieval and sub-bass depth and impact (barring my Nemesis, but that’s just too sonically coloured for this job!).
Added to that, of the IEMs I have with similar sound qualities, I’d say it’s the one whose signature I am most familiar with, hence it’s an ideal choice for critical listening with a new DAP.

I also listened with the IT07, CA Solaris 2020, the EE Phantom and the EE Odin.
None of them had any issues with synergy.

Test tracks were picked from a varied group of genres, and were predominantly lossless FLAC or WAV files, with many of those in 24 bit hi-res format.
With all this in mind, you may now swagger or sashay (the choice is yours!) onwards, into the section of this review that is imaginatively titled ‘The Sound’.

The Sound:

I’d describe the DX220MAX as follows:


The End.

What, you want more? Sigh.. people these days.. so demanding.. grumble, moan etc.

Ok, it’s really fantastic.


Ok, FINE..

If the DX300 took iBasso DAPs into a new musical direction, then the DX220MAX is the epitome of the ‘old skool’ (I’m down with the kids, don’t you know).

It’s iBasso’s ‘relatively neutral-reference but with a tinge of musicality’ house signature, done to perfection and then injected with a dose of steroids :D

According to what I hear personally, that really is about the best way I can describe it. It is relatively neutral-reference, in that it’s not excessively sonically coloured in any area, and in that it is supremely resolving and detailed.
So much so I could weep for joy (and I nearly did on several occasions!).

All this performance is set against a black background and couched within a soundstage that is beautifully wide, with height and depth to match.
The imaging is superb. The layering is superb. Handling of transients?
You guessed it; superb :D

There’s a gorgeous solidity and weight to every note throughout the sound signature.
That part impressed me especially. It’s just captivating how much power and presence the DX220MAX is able to bring, and the control and poise with which it can do so is equally astonishing.

I particularly like how it handles the low end; for me, it walks a line very well between allowing some rumble and a slight amount of warmth, without adding excess colouration to the sound signature. And the sub-bass can extend down deep when called for, for those who care about such things. E.g. Layman1 :D

The sound one hears out of any DAP is always going be strongly influenced by the IEMs or headphones one uses.
I found the DX220MAX to be a great all-rounder in this regard.

I felt the DX300 had a great sound overall but being significantly more warm and coloured than the DX220MAX, it could be a less-than-ideal fit for very warm IEMs.

No such issues with the DX220MAX; it excelled with everything I threw at it, from the very warm and rich Stealth Sonics U4 and EE Phantom, to the relatively much leaner UM MEST and IT07. The levels of detail and resolution with the EE Odin were jaw-dropping at times, a result of both the DAP’s and the IEM’s performance.

I only found that combo slightly sharp or fatiguing on a couple of tracks (out of a great many), and the main offender – Hong Kong opera singer Alison Lau’s rendition of ‘Lascia la spina’ is one that triggers that sensitivity for me on a pretty much everything except for the smoothest of IEMs.

On an especially bright IEM, then perhaps there might not be such a great synergy though, and if that’s what you primarily listen to, then I might point you more in the direction of the DX300 if you are not a treble-head.


Overall and in conclusion, I have nothing really negative to say about the DX220MAX. It’s got terrific note weight, muscle and presence, great technical performance, a killer bass that’s as controlled as it is awesome, and it plays superbly with a wide variety of IEMs. It’s musical, but as detailed and resolving as a microscope.

It feels to me like a Rolls-Royce of a DAP, both in build and sound quality.
It’s a unique statement piece from iBasso, and the perfect way to draw the curtains on the older iBasso line-up as the DX300 moves them into a new era.

There may be a new king, but the DX220MAX remains very much the power behind the throne :)

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
Peak of Ambition – iBasso DX220 MAX Music Player
Pros: + Pure bliss sonically
+ Soft treble that is never fatiguing
+ Clarity, detail resolution are insane
+ Good Battery Life
+ Good Android Support, works with google play
+ Quick and snappy OS
+ Good Wifi
Cons: - Quite heavy in person
- Needs to charge two batteries, using two chargers
- You should invest in 4.4mm cables if you want the best it can do
Peak of Ambition – iBasso DX220 MAX Music Player

DX220 MAX is not your average DAP, this is the 700 grams of Music at your fingertips. We’re talking about the most ambitious DAP ever created by the best DAP company out there, so we’ll make it rough and compare it to desktop units, pair it with the most picky of headphones / IEMs, and make this the most ambitious review too. The main comparisons will be with iBassod DX229, FiiO M11 PRO (and M11), Hiby R6, Opus #2, and with QLS QA361. The main pairings will be with Meze RAI Penta, Dunu DK-3001 PRO, Rosson RAD-0, iBasso SR-2, and Lime Ears Model X.


iBasso is known to usually be one step ahead of FiiO, but the two are still the most recommended and loved producers of DAPs and Audio stuff from China. iBasso usually refines their software & hardware a bit more, and provides a slightly longer and better warranty, but with the release of FiiO M15, iBasso had to step up, and this led to DX220 MAX, which is far more ambitiously engineered than M15.

If you need to order stuff from iBasso, you can use their own shop, order from Authorised Amazon shops, or purchase from Authorised dealers, all of those sources will have good warranty, and if you ever have an issue with any of their products, iBasso’s PR, Paul, will be more than happy to help. They are simply put, the best when it comes to warranty and support, and they kept growing ever since I first had a contact with them, more than four years ago.

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with iBasso. I’d like to thank iBasso for providing the sample for this review. This review reflects my personal experience with iBasso DX220 MAX. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in iBasso DX220 MAX find their next music companion.


First things first, let’s get the packaging out of the way:

The package of DX220 MAX is as large and cool as the DAP itself, and this time around, it really comes with a lot of extras. I know we sometimes like minimalism, but when going for such a pricy DAP, we want it all. We want the best, most complete package we can get, and happily iBasso delivered neatly.

The package includes a leather case, a charger (I will explain in the build part of this review, but we need to charge it for the Analogue Part), an adapter from 4.4mm to 2.5mm, a USB Type-C cable (Yay!) and a coaxial cable, as DX220 MAX also has Digital Out abilities.

DX220 MAX also comes with screen protectors applied from the factory, both on the front and at the back, so even if you will start noticing minor scratches after using it for a while, don’t worry, it is just the protector, and not the glass at the front or at the back.

I personally have never seen a more complete package before, and DX220 MAX is the best package of a DAP in 2021.

Technical Specifications

Operating System – Android 8.1
CPU – 8 Core
ROM – 128 GB (118 GB free space / approx 10GB are reserved for the OS)
Screen – 5.0” 1920*1020 (1080P) IPS Screen
DAC – Dual ES9028Pro DAC Chip
Analog Outputs – 4.4mm Line Out, 3.5mm Phone Out, 4.4mm Balanced Out (TRRRS)
Digital Out – SPDIF/Coaxial, Mini Optical Out, USB Type-C
XMOS Receiver – XMOS USB Receiver for Native DSD Support (up to 512x)
Battery Digital Part – 1 x 4400mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer
Battery Analog Part – 4 x 900mAh (3600mAh) 8.4V Li-Polymer
Battery Life – up to 14 hours DAP section / up to 11 – 11.5 hours AMP section
Size – L145MM x W86MM x H27MM
Weight – approx 700 grams (1.55 pounds)

3.5mm Single Ended Output (TRS)

Output Level (No Load) – 4.40VRMS (-105.5dB, 0.00053%)
Output Level (@300ohm) – 4.35VRMS (-104dB, 0.00063%)
Frequency Response – 10HZ-40KHZ+/-0.2dB
SNR – 122dB
Dynamic Range – -122dB
THD+N (no load) – -114dB (0.0002%) (2.5VRMS)
THD+N (@300ohm) – -112dB (0.00025%) (2.5VRMS)
THD+N (@32ohm) – -97dB (0.0014%) (2.5VRMS)
Crosstalk – -118dB

4.4 mm Balanced Output (TRRRS)
Output Level (No Load) – 8.8VRMS (-108dB, 0.0004%)
Output Level (@300ohm) – 8.7VRMS (-107dB, 0.00045%)
Frequency Response – 10HZ-40KHZ (-0.2dB)
S/N Ratio – 125dB
Dynamic Range – -122dB
THD+N (no load) – -114dB (0.0002%) (3VRMS)
THD+N (@300ohm) – -113.5dB (0.00021%) (3VRMS)
THD+N (@32ohm) – -101.5dB (0.00084%) (3VRMS)
Crosstalk – -119dB

4.4mm Line Output
Output Level (no load) – 4.4VRMS (-112dB, 0.00025%)
Frequency response – 10HZ-40KHZ (-0.2dB)
SNR – 125dB
Dynamic Range – -125.8dB
THD+N (DAC141) – -115.4dB (0.00017%) (2.6VRMS)
Crosstalk – -115dB

Video Review

iBasso DX220 MAX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JStQpL83jaM

Build Quality/Aesthetics/Functionality

There are so many features and highlights that it is complicated to know where to start when talking about the DX220 MAX. The first, and most obvious thing, is the size and weight. It is a huge DAP, with almost a kilo in weight. This is thanks to its build, which is metal + glass, but also thanks to its advanced circuits, and huge batteries. Batteries, because there are more than one battery inside.

We’re talking about five batteries in total, with four dedicated to the analogue stage, and one dedicated to the digital and OS / Processing stage. This means that you don’t have to worry about the noise introduced by the CPU and OS motherboard.

DX220 Max features a dual ES9028PRO, one of the beefiest DACs to ever be seen in a portable. It also decodes PCM up to 32 Bit / 384 kHz, and Native DSD up to DSD512. There’s 4 GB of RAM, which is more than enough for audio applications, and also the highest in a DAP, except for one or two outliers.

iBasso went all-in with audiophile-grade capacitors, as well as a full sized analogue potentiometer. There’s no channel imbalance on the volume wheel after about 9 o’clock. If you think you need to listen quieter, you can access the digital volume control, so it can be as grainy and expanded as you need.

At about 700 grams, it is clearly the heaviest DAP I ever laid my hands upon, and also the one with the most outputs, and most dedicated tech inside. The outputs include a Balanced 4.4mm output, a 4.4mm line out, and a 3.5mm headphone output, next to the volume wheel. At the other end of the DAP, we have the power button, the DC input button, for charging the power amplifier stage, a type-c USB port, and the SPDIF output.

As far as the display goes, we have a 5.0 IPS display with a FHD resolution of 1920*1080, which is both bright enough for proper outdoors usage, but also colorful, if you like to stare at your cover art.

DX220 MAX has one microSD slot with the ability to take in cards up to 2 TB, and as it runs Android 8.1, it can run videos, games, and many other things, but the whole point of it is to play music.

Besides supporting Bluetooth, in 5.0 format, it also has 5G wifi, and can even decode MQA. Tidal is supported too, including playing from memory.

If you’re curious if it consumes a lot, I could get almost 10-11 hours of battery life from it, with the digital volume set to max, and using the potentiometer around 11 o’clock on the 4.4mm balanced port.


We have the Dual Boot system like on DX220, where you can use DX220 MAX in both pure mode, where it can only play music, for a small sonic improvement, or you can run it in full sized Android, with support for Tidal, Streaming apps, VLC, Hiby Music, and everything in between.

DX220 MAX doesn’t have Google Play support by default, but it comes with APK Pure and Cool APK, and you can install Google Play too, if downloading it from the APK Pure store. The whole point of not including it by default is that DX220 MAX is sold to the Chinese Markets too, and Google Play can’t be used in China.

There are third party software options out there too, like Lurker’s Free ROM, which brings Google Play too, along with other optimisations.

DX220 MAX also has the option of a DAC and a DAP mode, as it can work as your main USB DAC for your computer. It has no delays when used as such, and can be used for movie watching and competitive gaming. Given the choice of ESS 9028PRO, you can consider DX220MAX a worthy replacement of your current Desktop DAC, as it can replace something like the Mytek Brooklyn DAC+, and can / will totally outdo the likes of Aune S6 PRO, M2Tech Young MK III, and even can hold its ground against R2R DACs like the Ares II from Denafrips I just reviewed.

Sound Quality

DX220MAX sounds extremely natural, with a slight preference for warmth and a musical presentation. The bass is deep, kicks in nicely with a lot of impact, visceral even, while the midrange is clean, clear, and has a huge soundstage in both depth and width. The treble is sparkly, well-extended with no roll-off, and sprinkles the entire sound, leading to a 3D presentation.

I mainly used high-end IEMs for the sonic impressions, and to determine the sound of the DX220 MAX. Among those, I used the Campfire Atlas, Dita Fidelity, Dita Fealty, Sivga P2, iBasso SR2, iBasso IT04, HIFIMAN RE2000Silver, FiiO FA9, MEZE Rai Penta, HIFIMAN Deva, and even CTM Clear Tune Monitors X.

The overall bass presentation is dynamic, powerful and with a lot of authority / control. DX220MAX doesn’t add to the weight of a musical note, compared to what was in the original song, but it can totally go quick, enough for the fastest of trancecores. The tuning itself is close to reference, but the weight and depth of the bass are most impressive, when it comes to how hard can it kick, and it kicks as hard as you’d expect a device of this size and weight to, beating the likes of Sony 1Z in terms of how deep, quick, and dynamic the bass is.

The midrange of the DX220 MAX is clean, clear, but is a bit soft and has a warm tinge. This makes music sound quite euphonic, musical, and pleasing. Works well for both metal and rock, but also for Jazz, Classical and pretty much everything else. It tends to favor both male and female voices equally, with a soft emphasis on the depth of male voices, and emotion on female voices. The dynamics alone are enough to make you go “WOW” at first listen, but also to keep impressing you regardless how many times you hear it. The midrange is also in line with the bass and the treble, and there’s no dip or feeling of a distant midrange.

Given the slightly soft and slightly warm presentation, DX220MAX favors guitars and pianos, but given its extremely detailed presentation, it also favors complex orchestral arrangements. There’s a huge space between instruments, voices, and everything in general, and the imaging / positioning is probably the best I’ve heard from a portable DAP to date.

The treble is clear, clean, and sparkly, with a good amount of extension and air. Despite the neutral tuning, with not roll-off, the treble is also slightly soft, which means that there’s no trace of harshness, even on older and poorly mastered tracks, and DX220MAX presents rock and contemporary music quite vivid. Even distorted guitars from heavy metal songs have a beautiful upper midrange / lower treble presence with a good amount of color. I would actually go as far as to call DX220MAX the most refined and mature tuning so far, with the treble being the cherry at the top of a well-made audio cake.


The main comparisons will be with DX220 + AMP9, FiiO M11 PRO, Hiby R6, Opus #2 and QLS QA361. The lack of hardware playback buttons on DX220 is something to note, as most of its competitors do have hardware playback buttons, but DX220MAX can be connected with a bluetooth remote, and you could keep it in a pocket / pouch, and hold a remote to control it. Apps like Hiby Music also work for using something like Hiby Link as a remote for controlling the playback on DX220 MAX, so a Huawei P20 or Xiaomi Note 9S are also good options for controlling it.

Those are the main DAPs that can compete with DX220 MAX, although as we’ll explore, when you invest in the price of DX220 MAX, and invest in carrying the weight of it around, you are rewarded by a better overall experience in sonics, and everything, except for ergonomics.

iBasso DX220 MAX vs iBasso DX220 + AMP9 ( USD vs 900 USD) – This is the big compa, the one that everyone cares the most about, and it is where I have to admit that DX220 the original still makes an excellent option for those who want to get a high-end DAP. There’s the DX300 that iBasso released recently, and which is worthy to consider, but that’s for another review, for now DX220 has a beautiful design, with playback buttons. The largest difference between DX220 MAX and DX220 is the battery life, which has been improved greatly on the MAX version. The sound is more powerful, and softer on DX220 MAX, with more detail and clarity, but DX220 is still fairly close. The midrange especially when using AMP 9, is a bit more colorful on DX220, while the MAX has a wider soundstage, with more depth too.

iBasso DX220 MAX vs Hiby R6 ( USD vs USD) – R6 will soon be replaced by “R6 New”, and Hiby also released R8, which supposedly has better hardware, which is more similar to a smartphone, but DX220 MAX is considerably better than the original R6 when driving both headphones and IEMs. With IEMs, DX220 MAX is silent, with no background noise or hissing, but R6 has a ton of hissing with most sensitive IEMs. With headphones, DX220 MAX has much more driving power, especially on the Balanced Output. The sound of DX220 MAX is softer, a bit warmer, with more emphasis on emotion and has a wider, deeper soundstage.

iBasso DX220 MAX vs FiiO M11 PRO ( USD vs 650 USD) – M11 PRO is actually no on the same ground as DX220 MAX, and FiiO has their M15 to be the best device to compare with DX220 MAX, but M15 is not available at all in Romania, or in most of the Europe, so M11 PRO it is to compare with DX220 MAX. Compared to M11 PRO, DX220 MAX sounds much more natural, has better bass, better treble, and more clarity. Despite all of this, DX220 MAX is harder to carry around and to use, and M11 PRO has a slightly quicker OS. From early reports, M15 runs extremely hot, so on this note, DX220 MAX stays about as cool as M11 PRO, and heat never came off as an issue with it, so I wouldn’t shy away from a big DAP, even if you had a poor experience with M15 before.

iBasso DX220 MAX vs Opus #2 ( USD vs USD) – Opus #2 is quite outdated now, but it still appears on sale on Drop and other websites, so it is still a DAP people consider, especially given how much hype was around it a few years ago, and given how much I liked it back then. You’d be right to think it sounds beautiful, especially if you have IEMs, but DX220 MAX overtakes it in all aspects, including details, soundstage, dynamics and clarity. The only part where DX220 MAX is not a direct upgrade is when it comes to its ergonomics, being larger and clunky to carry around, but that’s a sacrifice you have to make if you want to hear the best the DAP world has to offer.

iBasso DX220 MAX vs QLS QA361 ( USD vs USD) – Although QA361 has a pretty soft sound itself, it is no match for how musical, detailed and wide DX220 MAX is. The driving power is also much better for DX220 MAX, and even if you beef the settings on QA361 to their maximum, DX220 MAX still sounds much more vivid, more powerful, more dynamic, and has much more driving power. Also the stage is larger, and the instrument separation better. Adding Tidal, Android, Apps support and all of the other bells and whistles that DX220 MAX, to the equation, and it is clearly the better deal of the two.


The main pairings of DX220 MAX will be with Meze RAI Penta, Dunu DK-3001 PRO, Rosson RAD-0, and Lime Ears Model X. It pairs favorably with headphones, even more than it does so with IEMs, since it has a TON of driving power on the 4.4 mm balanced headphone output, but you will need something like the Meze Balanced Cable for that, and a compatible headphone, like HIFIMAN Arya, HIFIMAN Sundara, or iBasso SR2.

DX220 MAX has much more driving power from the Balanced port than it has from the Single Ended 3.5mm port, and it is much better to use the Balanced port when you can, as it is better optimised for a good sonic experience. You should also get a little rubber protector and cover the Line Out 4.4mm port if you value your ears / headphones / IEMs, or at least pay attention when inserting something in that 4.4mm jack, to not mistake the 4.4mm line out for the headphone output.

The driving power is not such an issue for DX220 MAX when you have IEMs, but with headphones, especially with hard-to-drive ones, the 4.4mm port will feel like an entire new thing. It is most effective for the likes of Audeze LDC-2C, HIFIMAN Arya, Beyerdynamic T1, LSA HP-1, Kennerton Thror and heavyweight headphones.

iBasso DX220 MAX + Meze RAI Penta ( USD + USD) – Meze Rai Penta shows a beautiful overall pairing with DX220MAX, as it compliments their softer and musical nature, with a hard bass, but also a colorful midrange. There is no hissing, and no issue with the sound, the entire pairing sounds musical, yet extremely wide. Instrument separation is quite good, and despite the softer nature of DX220 MAX, it manages to have a good clarity and detail with the Rai Penta.

iBasso DX220 MAX + Rosson RAD-0 ( USD + USD) – RAD-0 doesn’t need any special cables to be driven from DX220 MAX, it works just right with the 3.5mm single ended cable. In fact, the pairing is incredible, with a liquid-sounding midrange, a lot of color in the sound, a smooth, yet airy treble, and a large soundstage. RAD-0 still brings a smile to my face every time I hear them, and DX220 MAX just made the whole experience so much better.

iBasso DX220 MAX + Lime Ears Model X ( USD + USD) – Model X has two modes, one which is bright and analytic, and one which has bass, and quite a beautiful, warm bass with a lot of emphasis on musicality. Regardless what is the mode you prefer to listen to, DX220 MAX will sprinkle some of its magic over it, and bring you a better overall experience, regardless whether that is by showing you a beautiful midrange and detail, or by giving you the best bass impact / depth you’ve heard in years with the Model X.

iBasso DX220 MAX + Dunu DK-3001 PRO ( USD + USD) – With DK-3001 PRO, you either love their V-Shaped sound, or you have a different IEM at the moment, because I personally can’t keep off listening to them when I want to plug in some old school rock, and well, rock on. The overall pairing is beautiful, with no hissing, no background noise, but with a lot of bass impact, treble sparkle that’s refined, and a huge soundstage. The imaging is also top notch, especially when it comes to how good the stereo separation is, making DK-3001 so much better for EDM / pop / Dubstep too.

iBasso DX220 MAX + iBasso SR2 ( USD + USD) – This is the first time I felt the need to mention that I prefer using the 4.4mm balanced output rather than using the 3.5mm Single Ended output. Especially when we mention the amount of dynamics and the natural sound that SR2 has, the overall experience is so awesome. The written review for SR2 is also coming in the next few weeks, so please keep an eye out for it, if you want one of the best Dynamic Headphones based on the Tesla Tech.

Value and Conclusion

At the end of Today’s Review, we should consider that the price of DX220 MAX is quite high. In fact, besides some extra fancy devices, it is one of the most expensive things I reviewed on Audiophile-Heaven, and it certainly is not as solid of a value as DX220 is in general. This being said, it is unique, it is special, it is magical. The whole sound of it, if you’re into music, makes it worth every penny paid for a DX220 MAX. Also, given the high-quality components, including the capacitors from Kemet, which are polymer tantalum, Toshin UTSJ, Panasonic, Nichicon and Amtrans PET Film ones, it will hold value in time for years, and makes a worthwhile investment, like any hifi component that holds value for at least five to ten years. The battery inside DX220 MAX is going to last a longer while than most batteries, and it has better battery life than most DAPs on the market.

In fact, it is not just the weight that’s special, but also the volume wheel, which has a 4-wiper custom potentiometer, providing a better performance than most on the market. The Femtosecond oscillators inside also provide an excellent performance for both DSD, PCM, and even MQA files, making the experience of listening music on DX220 MAX truly unique.

Not only that, but the whole sound is magical. The bass is deep, but also quick, having an ever so slightly hard character. Combined with the ever so slightly soft and warm midrange and the softer treble, the whole listening experience is mature, well defined, and versatile. Any music style will be beautiful, any rock will have juicy guitars, and any dubstep will hit you in the stomach with the bass.

Before the end of this review, I want to add DX220 MAX to Audiophile-Heaven’s Hall Of Fame for being one of the best DAPs I heard to date, with an excellent kick for detail, clarity, having a surprisingly good battery life, good OS performance, and everything the ultimate DAP should have.

At the end of today’s review, if you’re looking for the ultimate DAP, the mountain peak in audio, you’re surely going to be interested in DX220 MAX. Even more, if you’re looking to see what the best of the DAPs sounds like, you’ll be surprised by how much it can surpass desktop devices that are close in price, even some of the best taking a second place to DX220 MAX. Of course, you have to be ready to make a little sacrifice in ergonomic and get a pouch for this one, as it ain’t as pocketable as DX220 the original, but at the end of the day, if you want the best DAP, you totally have to check out DX220 MAX from iBasso, the most interesting transportable DAP I reviewed to date.

Full Playlist used for this review

While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

Youtube Playlist

Tidal Playlist


I hope my review is helpful to you!

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изvery strange. Where am I the qls 361 soft? what firmware was it on?


twister6 Reviews
Headphoneus Supremus
The Mighty MAX!
Pros: independent battery and charging system for analog and digital sections, desktop quality performance with high voltage output, solid build, large 5” display, 4GB RAM/128GB Storage, Parametric EQ with Mango v2 app, BT 5.0, fast charging, leather case.
Cons: higher price than original DX220, no hardware playback control buttons, 2 separate chargers.

The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion. The review was originally posted on my review site, and now I would like to share it with my readers on Head-fi.

Manufacturer website: iBasso.


iBasso releases are always consistent but sometimes not as predictable. Three years ago, when DX200 was introduced, its new modular design was a step forward relative to their previous DAPs. Last year, DX220 release was focused more on sound refinement rather than drastic design changes. Fast forward to this year, and we have DX220 MAX. The first time I heard about this DX220 model with MAX suffix, a flashback of limited edition DX200 Ti crossed my mind since I thought iBasso was not due for a new flagship yet. But I was in for a BIG surprise, no pun intended.

Is this a limited edition? No, but it is a limited run of only 999 units. Is there an overlap with original DX220? Maybe some, considering the same CPU/GPU, DAC, and display. And that is where similarities end and you start to wonder why they didn’t just name it DX MAX? iBasso always puts sound performance ahead of other features. And they did take it to the MAX with an all new advanced design based on DX220 platform without a modular part. As a matter of fact, the changes were so drastic that “DX220” reference might even confuse some people.

So, let’s take a closer look at this new premium flagship DAP from iBasso, and find out what MAX brings to the DX-series family table! Keep in mind, it is a long read, but as usual, I partitioned everything into multiple sections to make navigation easier in case if you want to “fast forward”.


Unboxing and Accessories.

Bigger DAP needs a bigger packaging, and indeed, MAX arrived in a bigger all black carboard box with another giftbox inside of it, stamped with iBasso logo on top. Under the cover with a foam to protect the screen, MAX was sitting securely in a foam cutout of the top tray with a velour lining.


With that top tray out of the way, you will find a number of very useful accessories organized inside of velour drawstring bags. There was a short coax cable for digital SPDIF output, 2.5mm balanced burn-in cable along with iBasso own CA02 2.5mm to 4.4mm balanced adapter, 4.4mm balanced to 3.5mm SE one-way short LO cable, AC adapter (18V), quality usb-c cable, extra screen protectors, warranty card, and a quick start guide.


iBasso recommends at least 200hrs of burn in time, and using a burn-in load cable is a lot more convenient and quieter since you don’t need to use the actual headphones. Due to 4.4mm balanced Line Out only, the included custom cable “converts” LO from BAL to SE by using GND pin and only L+/R+ side of the connector pins. The 4.4mm side of the cable even has a directional arrow to make sure you plug it in the right away.

A custom leather case was included as well. A decent quality leather case to enhance the grip of MAX, with a fully open top where the DAP slides in, a slot on the side for micro SD card, and an open bottom to provide the access to all the available ports.



Starting with exterior dimensions, DX220 MAX has been supersized to 145mm x 83mm x 26mm with a weight of about 700g, the reason why iBasso now calls MAX transportable instead of portable. But why increase in size considering it is no longer even a modular design? I will go into more details in the next “under the hood” section of the review, but you have to keep in mind extra room required for 5 battery cells (for separate analog and digital circuits), all dedicated ports, big/tall audio-grade capacitors, custom volume pot, stainless-steel heat-dissipation chassis, and a big 5” 1080p display with 1080x1920 resolution.

The right side of the DAP features no controls, while the left side only has a spring-loaded micro SD card slot. While sides are bland and the top/bottom are covered in glass, the visual eye-candy of the MAX design comes through when you examine the front and the back of the chassis. With every individual port having a golden surrounding faceplate, the contrast with stainless-steel chassis makes it look premium. On the front, left to right, you have 4.4mm dedicate Line Out, 4.4mm balanced headphone output, 3.5mm single ended headphone output, and a large golden knob of a custom 4-wiper potentiometer to adjust the headphone output volume.

On the back, you have DC-in for 18V wall charger to juice up analog section batteries. Then, you have a power button with a typical short click screen on/off and long press power on/off functionality. Next to it is USB-C port for charging digital section battery and other digital in/out functionality, and btw, this port also had a cutout with a gold faceplate. And last, but not least, 3.5mm digital SPDIF output which doubles as optical out. For me personally, considering I have been using MAX as my desktop DAP, the location of ports is perfect with power supply cables on the back, and headphone ports and volume control on the front.


I’m sure many will notice something is missing in the design, a traditional hardware transport buttons for play/pause/skip. I honestly don’t know why the decision was made not to include those buttons. Maybe because this is transportable rather than portable device? I don’t want to speculate about the reason, but I do miss this functionality, though you can use many Android media control Bluetooth remotes as a workaround.

Under the hood.

As part of its “DX220” name, MAX still uses a dual SABRE ES9028Pro DAC, the same 8-core CPU and GPU, and 4GB LPDDR3 RAM with a benchmark performance (according to AnTuTu test) being close to the original modular DX220. As already mentioned, you will also find 5” IPS touch screen, Bluetooth 5.0, 5G Wifi, XMOS USB receiver with Thesycon usb audio drivers, and support of QC3.0, PD2.0, & MTK PE Plus quick charge for digital section. The internal storage now is 128GB, and you can expand it with high capacity micro SD card. You still have a support for bit-for-bit playback up to 32bit/384kHz, and native DSD up to 512x, as well as all popular audio formats: APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, OGG, MP3, DFF, DSF and DXD. MQA decoding is supported as well, and so does M3U playlists.


The big change here is in power management where MAX digital and analog sections are partitioned, completely isolated, and powered separately to make sure the noise doesn’t couple from one side to the other. They literally use a separate 4400mAh 3.8V LiPo battery for a digital section of the MAX, and separate 4pcs 900mAh +/-8.4V LiPo battery for analog section of the DAP. That is a reason why you have 2 separate chargers, standard usb-c charger for digital 3.8V battery, and 18V wall charger for analog 8.4V battery. This way you don’t need to use voltage boosters or converters, further isolating digital and analog circuits inside the MAX.

This is especially important for analog Amplifier section of the design, powered by +/- 8.4V battery without loosing efficiency or introducing distortion due to voltage boosters, keeping the power pure. The amplifier section itself is based on AMP8 module with its optimized class A discrete circuit architecture. The headphone output from the amp is very powerful, single ended 3.5mm @4.4Vrms (measured 4.35Vrms with 300ohm load) and balanced 4.4mm @8.8Vrms (measured 8.7Vrms with 300ohm load). With the balanced output alone, this translates into roughly 2.4W of output into 32ohm load and 258mW into 300ohm load. With such high desktop level output power, it comes in handy for MAX to have 3 gain settings. And in addition to independent volume pot controlling analog amp output, you can also use digital volume control to adjust DAC output level like in a pre-amp.

I’m sure many will be curious about battery life considering advanced power architecture and high output power. I ran the battery test on MAX with DAC volume at 135 and Analog volume pot at around 9 o'clock (normal listening), using average impedance and sensitivity IEMs connected to 4.4mm balanced out, med gain, filter 1 setting, BT/WiFi off, screen mostly off, only the occasional glimpse to check the battery status while playing a mix of mp3/flac files in a loop. Under these conditions MAX lasted about 11hrs 45min with digital battery down to 0 and analog battery remaining around 20%. Switching to higher gain, playing higher resolution files, streaming and having BT/WiFi on, and using demanding headphones will add more variables to drain batteries faster.



DX220 MAX is similar to DX200/220 with a dual boot design where you have access to either full Android OS with its Mango audio app or stripped-down Mango OS with a main interface being that audio app. Each one has its own advantages depending on user requirements. With access to full Android you have support of wifi and Bluetooth, can load other apps, stream audio, etc, though you have to be aware that stock DX220 doesn't have Google Play. Instead, it comes pre-loaded with APKPure and CoolApk apps where you can search and download most of the apps to install on your DAP. And, with MAX running 8.1.0 now you can download and install Google Play straight from APKPure without any issues. Plus, you can always download and install Lurker's free ROM which usually brings Google Play and other optimizations, along with a few other goodies, to iBasso Android DAPs.

Since GUI section of the review is identical to DX220, please refer to a detailed description of it in my original DX220 review on Head-fi.

Sound Analysis.

I analyzed MAX sound with Odin and U18t IEMs while playing a variety of my favorite test tracks, such as Agnes Obel “The curse”, Sandro Cavazza “So much better” (Avicii remix), C-Bool “Never go away”, Ed Sheeran “Shape of you”, Alan Walker “Darkside”, Galantis “Hunter”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Dua Lipa “Love again”, Counting Crows “Big yellow taxi”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”. As recommended by manufacturer, I let MAX burn in for 200hrs using the provided balanced burn-in cable.

I prefer to describe the DAP sound based on the comparison to other DAPs and pair ups with different IEMs/headphones since the DAP by itself doesn’t have a “sound”. What we hear is how it sounds through IEMs/headphones connected to it or the difference from other sources using the same pair of IEMs/headphones for monitoring the sound. As a result, this section of the review usually summarizes what I find in the follow up Comparison and Pair-up sections.

Tunings of many flagship DAPs is usually focused on neutral less colored tonality, with MAX being no exception, but in many pair ups and comparisons this DAP stood out as being more natural and detailed without coloring the sound with additional warmth. Perhaps due to my preference of using BAL output with its higher voltage, I found bass response in many pair ups to be stronger, more articulate, and with better control. Mids/vocals always sounded natural and micro-detailed at the same time, of course, depending on technical performance and limitations of IEMs/headphones under test. But the mids always sounded layered and very dynamic. Treble was extended, detailed, and natural in majority of pair ups.

Overall sound is very layered and dynamic, the background is black, with details popping out from the darkness creating a fast transient response of note on/off. With some very sensitive IEMs you can hear a faint background waterfall hissing, though lowering DAC volume and changing the gain helped to lower this effect. But the star of the sound performance here was the soundstage expansion – being nearly 3D holographic. That was the first thing I noticed in every listening session of MAX, with the sound surrounding you in 3D space, putting right in the middle of it. And again, if your pair of IEMs has a narrow soundstage turning to begin with, don’t expect miracles, but otherwise, MAX pushes the soundstage width, depth, and height to the limit.

4.4mm vs 3.5mm

In the comparison of Balanced vs Single Ended headphone outputs, volume matched and using the same pair of IEMs/headphones and playing the same track, I hear a noticeable difference of soundstage being wider/more holographic from 4.4mm and background being blacker with an even faster transient response of notes on/off. Of course, there will be a difference in output power, but for the sake of this testing I volume matched the output to compare the sound performance.

Sound difference Mango app vs Mango OS

I went many times back and forth between Mango app under Android OS vs Mango OS, playing the same track at the same volume level and the same digital filter setting. And I hear a consistent difference where in Android OS playing Mango app the sound has a more holographic soundstage expansion and more transparent layered mids. In Mango OS under the same conditions, soundstage has a more intimate feeling, still wide but not on the same holographic level, and mids/vocals having more body and being smoother in tonality.


Pair up.

The sound of a DAP is based on pair up synergy with different headphones. Afterall, you are hearing the sound of headphones connected to the Source. In this section of my review I will go over how various earphones and headphones pair up with DX220 MAX with DAC digital volume set at 150. Seems like DAC digital volume is very helpful with sensitive IEMs to adjust "pre-amp" volume to give wider dynamic range of volume adjustment, but with many demanding headphones the quality of sound was scaled down when DAC volume was below 135, so I preferred to keep it at 150. Also, I noted below if I was testing 4.4mm (BAL) or 3.5mm (SE) ports.

iBasso SR2 (SE) - This pair up works great in either high gain or med gain, the sound is very balanced, natural, detailed. Soundstage is wide, but I hear more depth/height than width and it could be partially due to me using SE instead of BAL outputs since SR2, unfortunately, only comes with SE cable. The bass is very textured, smooth, mids are natural, detailed, with a little bit of warmth, treble is crisp and natural.

Beyerdynamic T5p 2nd (BAL) - With these Beyer headphones pair up could be hit or miss when it comes to bass texture and retrieval of details. The overall sound is very balanced, also natural and detailed, but the bass is what shines here, going deeper with more textured rumble and having more control and articulation. Mids have a natural retrieval of details, not smooth or warm, also being layered, nicely separated, and focused. Treble is another indication of T5p2 being driven to its full potential since it doesn't sound too bright or harsh, instead, having a natural non-fatigue sparkle. Soundstage is very wide and expanded, but the depth/height of the soundstage has more intimacy, bringing you closer to the stage.

Audio-Technica ATH-R70x (SE) - These demanding 470 ohm open back headphones are usually hard to "satisfy" since they are very source picky. You have to push them hard, while here I didn't even have to turn analog volume dial more than half way. The sound is very open and spacious, natural, detailed, but with a noticeable improvement in bass response, going deeper, punching faster, being more articulate. Mids/vocals are natural and very detailed, again, being nicely layered with an excellent separation of instruments which I don't get in many pair ups with these cans. Treble is crisp, but in a natural way, not splashy or dull.

Meze Audio Empyrean (BAL) - With Empyrean the best pair up synergy is when MAX is in high gain and digital volume is at 150. There is plenty of power to drive these planar magnetic cans, and either way the sound is balanced and very detailed, you get a textured analog bass, natural detailed mids, and natural sparkly treble. But at higher gain with max DAC/digital volume the mids open up more, becoming less colored, even more detailed, being driven to their full potential.


Campfire Audio Solaris 2020 (BAL) - First of all, the hissing is down to a minimum. Yes, there is some background waterfall level of noise when idling or at a very low volume, but nothing is audible when playing at a regular listening level. The soundstage is wide/deep, a very spacious sound. The signature is W-shaped, with a balanced emphasis on lows, mids, and treble, maybe with just a little more emphasis on mids, bringing them forward with extra focus. Bass is deep with a strong punch, mids are natural, detailed, revealing, treble has a little extra sparkle, especially lower treble which is a little brighter, but I didn't find it splashy or harsh. Due to high sensitivity of these IEMs, I had to lower DAC volume to 135 so I have a wider range of volume tuning.

Vision Ears Elysium (BAL) - To start off, this pair up has very wide soundstage expansion, plenty of depth/height as well, but more width. The tonality is natural, revealing with a deeper sub-bass rumble and faster mid-bass, natural organic layered mids with a more textured analog tonality, and crisp natural treble. Different pair ups can push Ely's treble to be a little harsher, but here it was very natural and still crisp and detailed. Great pair up. No hissing.

DUNU Luna (BAL) - This was a surprise because MAX really made Luna shine in this pair up. As expected, the soundstage is wide/deep on a holographic 3D level here. But the usual smoother warmer tonality in this pair up took a different turn, being more revealing, more micro-detailed, and overall sound being faster and more layered. Bass is fast and articulate, I do hear sub-bass rumble but it is a bit distant, instead mid-bass is the low-end star here. Mids are more revealing, layered, and micro-detailed, and treble is crisp and extended, but not harsh.

Empire Ears Odin (BAL) - The soundstage here is holographic, literally 3D. The sound is very spacious, transparent, balanced signature with a more reference brighter tonality. Very powerful deep bass impact with a textured rumble, mids are more revealing, layered, super micro-detailed, treble is crisp and natural, definitely no harsh peaks. Also, no hissing.


iBasso IT04 (BAL) - I was actually surprised how holographic IT04 soundstage sounds in this pair up, it is usually wide, but here is was more 3D holographic. The signature is still quite balanced, but the tonality went from the usual neutral to more energetic with deeper sub-bass rumble, more forward detailed mids/vocals, and crisp airy and still non-harsh treble. No hissing at all.

Empire Ears Legend X (BAL) - Another example of holographic soundstage expansion, nearly on 3D level. The signature in this pair up is L-shaped with a very deep and textured elevated sub-bass and fast lifted mid-bass punch. The bass is still well controlled, but its quantity does push mids/vocals into the background. Those are still clear and detailed, and treble is crisp and airy. But the analog bass slam of LX DD cannons is clearly a spotlight here due to their overwhelming quantity.

64 Audio U18t (BAL) - A holographic 3D soundstage is the first thing you notice in this pair up, expanding wide and deep without sounding artificial. The sound signature here is more balanced since the bass quantity comes up, with a deeper sub-bass textured rumble and punchy fast mid-bass. Mids are forward, layered, very detailed, not analytical, but approaching micro-detailed level. Treble is crisp and airy, maybe even a bit too crisp, non-fatigue but a little brighter than usual. No hissing.

Venture Electronics Sun DICE (BAL) - These 180ohm earbuds are always a good indicator if I'm dealing with a powerful enough source to drive them to their full potential. VE Sun in this pair up sounds very natural and open, with a wide soundstage, though I find more depth/height than width in this pair up. Bass has a soft analog texture, more laidback and less aggressive, but still with a noticeable presence. Mids/vocals are natural, detailed, very organic and with plenty of clarity. Treble also has plenty of clarity and still very natural.



In this test, I was using Meze Audio Empyrean, EE Odin, and Campfire Solaris ’20. Each of these DAPs, besides a difference in tonality and pair up synergy, has their own Pros/Cons when it comes to features, all of which should be taken into consideration depending on your priorities if you need streaming or not, which balanced termination you prefer, how much output power do you need, your battery requirements, etc.

MAX vs Hiby R8 - In order to match the performance for comparison, I switched R8 to turbo mode boosting its amplifier voltage. In this comparison the first thing that stands out is how holographic MAX soundstage is. R8 has a wide/deep soundstage as well, but MAX is still the widest. Bass response is very similar, again, once the turbo mode of R8 is enabled. Mids tonality is very similar as well, though MAX has just a touch fuller body while R8 is a little more transparent and slightly more revealing. Treble is similar. Another difference here, besides soundstage, is in vertical sound dynamics where MAX is a little more expanded in comparison to R8. Also, with sensitive IEMs, like Solaris, R8 has a higher level of hissing, while MAX is quieter, though switching to lower gain improves it. Another thing, R8 has a dedicated playback control buttons, faster processor, and overall faster OS. So, while these two are very close in sound tonality, MAX has advantage in technical sound performance, while R8 has the advantage in OS performance.


MAX vs A&K SP2000 SS - Soundstage is always the first thing I take a notice of, and here SP2k comes closer in width, but MAX is still a touch wider and has more out of your head expansion, creating a more 3D holographic space. Tonality is close as well, though I still hear it a bit smoother MAX mids in comparison to a little brighter SP2k mids/vocals. Treble response similar as well. And, they both have very good vertical sound dynamics. Even the level of background hissing is down to minimum with sensitive IEMs. But the difference shows up when you start comparing these using more demanding headphones. For example, with Empyrean MAX had an advantage of a better pair up with better sound control and more natural tonality. Overall, both have a similar interface speed, though you have to keep in mind that MAX is open Android while SP2k will require sideloading of apps.

MAX vs Lotoo PAW Gold Touch LPGT - Again, soundstage of MAX is more holographic and it is more noticeable in this comparison, though I have no complaints about LPGT soundstage, MAX pushes it a little wider and deeper. Tonality is not too far off either, though in some pair ups MAX mids/vocals were a little bit smoother in comparison to more reference quality LPGT mids. Both handle IEMs in a very similar way, but with more demanding headphones MAX sound was a little more open and expanded in comparison to LPGT. It will vary from pair up to pair up, but I think Class A higher voltage output of MAX has a little better synergy with harder to drive headphones. In general, LPGT is not android, thus don't expect running streaming apps like in MAX, but that also makes LPGT a faster and more responsive DAP. Both have a relatively quiet background with minimum hissing with sensitive IEMs.

MAX vs Sony WM1Z - This comparison will have more differences. Starting with a soundstage, MAX is more holographic due to a wider L/R spread. Both have a similar depth/height, but MAX spreads a little wider. Tonality of WM1Z is warmer, smoother in a relative comparison to a more revealing and transparent MAX. But that is just a relative comparison. Also, WM1Z bass is more elevated, and slams harder. Treble sounded the same to my ears, maybe with WM1Z having a bit more sparkle. Also, have to keep in mind WM1Z is audio playback only device, no support of apps or streaming.

MAX vs iBasso DX220 w/amp8 - As expected, MAX holographic soundstage expands wider/deeper/taller in comparison to DX220. The tonality of DX220 w/amp8 and MAX has a lot of similarities, though I would say that MAX treble response is a little bit smoother and more natural in comparison to DX220, especially with more demanding headphones and IEMs w/EST drivers. Also, I hear MAX to have a better layering and separation and a more dynamic sound in comparison to DX220 with stock amp8. You can also hear a blacker and quieter background in MAX when compared to DX220 w/amp8. Other than that, these have nearly identical interface, though DX220 has hw buttons to control playback and modular design to interchange amp modules.


Other Wired/Wireless connections.

In this section of the review I will go over various wired and wireless connections I tested and verified with DX220 MAX.

Optical out
  • By default, it’s turned off, thus needs to be enabled in MAX.
  • In my testing I had optical out going to Micro iDSD BL, volume on DX220 MAX seems to be fixed.
  • The sound is very clean and transparent, though the soundstage from Micro iDSD is not as wide as from MAX directly, plus the sound loses some of its analog texture.
Coax out
  • By default, it gets activated automatically.
  • Also used it connected to micro iDSD BL and found volume to be fixed on DX220.
  • The sound is a little smoother, less resolving in comparison to Optical output, still not as wide as being directly from MAX. In this pair up, the sound gains more of its analog texture, but loses resolution and some of the detail retrieval.
Digital usb-c out
  • By default, it works automatically.
  • Need to use OTG USB-C adapter.
  • In comparison to SPDIF (both optical and coax), in this pair up using MAX as a transport to drive Micro iDSD the sound was more revealing, more layered, more detailed, and even wider in soundstage. I still prefer the output directly from MAX, but this demonstrates versatility of MAX as a transport, and I personally preferred Digital out connection.

Line Out
  • I was using Romi Audio BX2 portable amplifier in this testing.
  • BX2 is a very linear transparent amplifier and while having headphones connected directly to MAX vs through LO + BX2, I hear that MAX internal amplifier adds a little bit of warmth to the mids, giving them a little more analog texture versus the direct DAC output from LO.

  • Need to have iBasso USB DAC drivers installed.
  • Turn the USB DAC on from Mango App (Settings->Advanced->USB DAC).
  • Recognized by my Win10 laptop without a problem.
  • Playing the same file from my laptop to MAX as DAC vs directly from MAX sounded nearly identical.
Bluetooth Wireless
  • To test Bluetooth, I paired DX220 MAX with iBasso CF01 TWS wireless adapter. The sound was on the same level as connected wireless to DX160, working within 25ft from the DAP. With my Galaxy S9 phone I can go for 45ft, but the sound quality was similar.
  • Bluetooth mode supports both Tx and Rx, so you can use MAX just like DX160/220 as wireless DAC/amp paired up with your smartphone.


With this latest DAP release, iBasso continues to demonstrate that sound performance is still their #1 priority. And while some could argue it is a gamble to have yet another flagship with the same DAC/CPU/GPU as previous models, we continue to see a steady sound performance improvement from DX200 to 220 and now MAX. Here, iBasso took their design to the next level, even removing modular amp feature to accommodate new power architecture with a more advanced partitioning of analog and digital sections of the circuit, separate batteries with independent charging, and pure high voltage output to scale up audio performance to a desktop level.

Despite a common model reference name, DX220 and DX220 MAX are quite different and will appeal to different groups of audiophiles, depending on how they are planning to use this DAP and what they are willing to compromise. If you want to go portable and modular, you can get the original DX220 and its collection of AMP modules. But if you don’t mind transportable form factor to step up in audio performance, especially with more demanding headphones, MAX is one serious consideration on the level of other popular flagship DAPs that cost a lot more. And as usual, my imagination already running wild, thinking about what DX3xy could bring to the table.
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Member of the Trade: Portable Modder
Dx220Max! The possibly best of Dx220 portable player
Pros: Price to performances excellent, Build quality, 5 batteries, discrete amplification with hand matched transistors super class A, dual desktop ES9028Pro
Cons: Chunky, heavy, 2 chargers

With the name, we can all easily figured out by now that the player is based upon Dx220 platform and Maxed out in design. Giving it time for burning in about 200 hours or so together with the experiences in Dx220, and modifying the player itself, I could almost tell exactly how the player behaves and what great the community that support it can be. Please bare with me on my journey and impressions along the way

Sound impression: the Max coming out of the box is oozing out oceans of details, extensions, Fidelity, separations, soundstage like nothing else out of the box when new. This moment, it makes me realize that the player is worth more than the asking price, since it sounds much better than both of the most expensive players I have recently purchased and gone by, the Sony WM1Z and A&K SP2000 Black Onyx.


Analyzing: to further understand the player without tempering with it, I quickly compared it to my very well used DX220EX (it is modified with EX applications) and Amp8EX (the well known official limited module). I found that the separations, imagines, articulations of bass, details and extensions of highs are all there but better presenting. Most specially is mainly the soundstage and imagines. This is surprising! Since the EX applications on the main 220 player already brought in so much soundstage , details and layering. Then the Amp8EX helps bringing out the timbres balances that is so good out of the Dx220 player. The only thing that may be slightly behind is the timbres balances on the MAX. At this point, I realized so much that the MAX was tuned to have the Ibasso house sound. The typical references, neutral and aimed toward stereos imagines, sound-stages with the sound signature that is almost A&K style but with a touch more timbres density. It quickly reminded me the Dx220 and it very own stock Amp1 MKII, but with improvements!!! These improvements are the dynamic, the slams, the density and power delivery from the Amp8 stocks !! But with better bass coherence and balanced similar to Amp1 MKII!! Analyzing no further, I am pretty sure that whoever has been in loved with the Dx220 and Amp8EX or Amp8, they would be over the moon excited when listening to MAX.


Next up was some quick comparison to WM1Z, and the verdict was that the wm1Z has a more organic ambient as it may be a little warmer and with denser tonal body, but it is lacking behind in almost everything else, including soundstage width/depth/vertical. The imagines and separations are all much better presenting on the MAX. Then a comparison on the notes and memories, the SP2K has possibly similar or close soundstage presentations to the Max, but the timbres balances and it density is more into being thinner and more hollow than Max with the focused upon the textures fidelity instead of inner fidelity. Then when talking about texture fidelity, the MAX is about as good as the SP2K if not smoother and more vivid.


Practicality and functionality: It sound performances is great and right out of the box it already prove to be Twice of it asking price when quickly compared to the WM1Z and AK SP2000 Black Onyx, and both of these players are from the very revered companies on the portable and headphones audiophile list. Then, how about the functionality ? Just like the 220, Max comes with dual Operating systems, and that has Ibasso Dedicated OS, the MangoOS, with the main OS being the open AndroidOS 8.1.0. The AndroidOS is completely open and come with APKPure, File Managements, the 2 main apps that would be enough for anyone to browse around local files and have an APK store to shop for free apps. Most noticeable is the legit google-playstore that can be found and installed from this APK Pure. Just like any other players, if you have the experiences using Ibasso, then it should be very similar, or else, you may need sometimes to adjust.

So, how about the functionality ? Max comes with only 1 button, the power button, and no other buttons. This is to turn it on, wake the screen up, and or putting the screen to sleep. All other buttons have to be touch screen controlled. It also comes with a golden volume knob, and this is because the MAX have the ability to control the output volumes with 2 accessible ways, the Knob, and or the OS volume that is called “DAC Volume”

It also comes with 2 batteries bars......right! It is jaw dropping, and so at this moment, I recommend you to download this User Manual from Ibasso and read it through a little bit. But long story short, that is because Max is like a 2 units in 1 chassis and 1 Operation Systems. Now, we are back to the volume! Then that means the Volume knob is simply analog Amplifier volume, and the DAC volume is the Digital attenuations of the converter chips, the desktop class ES9028Pro dual. It also comes with 2 means to charge the player, the DAC section and the Amp section. You have to charge both of it, because if the DAC batteries runs out, the player shutdown, and if amp batteries runs out, the player will play no music.


You may then ask, if so what is the best volume to be used with the MAX from the DAC side ? Well, luckily for us, Ibasso is just as enthusiastic as we are, and clearly stated in the manual that they recommend 130-150 setting. I found that the performances of this one is also firmware related. So, it is best to stick with what sounded the best to your ears

The next question that may pop up is the gain feature, what is the best gain functionality ? Well, it is there so that we can pair and match up with the gears we want, and so it should be unique users related scenarios. I would advise anyone to ask up in the forum if they have doubt about their gears and the gain performances as someone else may have a better hint sign for similar combination, or you can put it simpler, if you do not hear the differences, then it wouldn’t matter ! Anyways, for my own usage and HD800S, I found that Max is best performing with Low gain. The differences is observable enough to tell right away that soundstage in all axis and tonal balances are better with low gain, where the mid and high gain respectively narrowing the soundstage in all axis together with vocal stepping more forward. I may as well say it out loud for what it is “your preferences matters”. So, then again, please go with what you love the most

The final question would be how good is the Max for daily usages and carrying around ? Well, the answer is a little of a mix bag with the favor toward the pocket carrying. How ? That is because Max can easily be slipped into your pockets, but it would appear very chunky and funny. It would also weight the weight of a brick of around 700Gr, so it may swing into your sensitive places if you attempt to run or jogging with it in the pocket. But it has no problem staying inside a jean pocket and casually waking around the blocks. The only bad thing is that you will have to pull it out to control the FF, RW, Play/Pause as it is screen operation only. The ideal way is to have it hang around your shoulder with a shoulder strap and a good looking case ? The next solution also requires pulling it out to navigate, and that is to put it inside a sling bag or backpack. Anyhow, it is very possible to be your daily portable player that can be with you wherever you go with whatever you do.


Last and not least, has the Max battery been improved given it chunky build and more batteries inside VS Dx220 ? Definitely! It can now go upto 8-10 hours continuously depends on the track quality, and if you run out of juices, both units can be quick charged and Fast charged....etc....whatever quick charge adapter you have right there would be able to juice it up very quickly.


Modder point of view: From my own experiences of tuning and playing with dx220. It is fair to say that I am pretty familiar with the way the platform behave. The Max impressed me so much that I quickly concluded that it is easily the best player right out of the box when compared to other players at Twice the pricing. But this wasn’t enough, because Max has 5 batteries and 2 different volumes, and so that call for a battle VS my DMP-Z1. Now, don’t laugh yet, and or don’t drop your jaws yet!! The DMP-Z1 is Of course 4.5X the price of MAX. Or you can buy Max for yourself, your siblings and possibly friends instead of DMP-Z1. But how does it measure up ?

Well, to keep a long story short again, the DMP-Z1 is superior in many departments, but is it so much as day and night apart that you would toss Max to the trash bin and happily grab the DMP and call it a day if you have both units at your expenses ? The answer is “not exactly!” The Max is more of a pocketable and portable unit, in comparison to a desktop and backpack domain unit DMP-Z1. Together with the performances that easily Rival the other high end players, it is fool proof that Max is the player that can easily satisfy your desire to bring performances/quality music that is not so far behind the DMP-Z1 to drive your headphones (in my case, the 800s) and be enjoying music with it. A compliment ? For sure.

So, what exactly is a little behind the DMP Z1 ? The repeatedly soundstage, separations, layering, imagines....what else ? Well....it is sad to break it out to the light , but in my opinions and experiences, pitch accuracy and timbres balances/accuracy are the aspects that summit ends and top of the whatever mountains or expenses should be able to squeeze out. It should no longer be contained in 3 spectrums of low, mid, high or detail retrieval or just the repeatable mentioned above. So, after carefully analyzing the 2 units, it is safe to say that Max is a little boring as the timbres appears to be more hollow than DMP Z1, and that tips the scales of realism in pitch accuracy and timbre balances from it own performances. But could it be improved ? From my own experiences through all of the amp modules, the dx200/200Ti/220, the answer is yes! But what exactly going on inside to decide which is the best way to go ?


Hardware analyzing: well, the Max isn’t an easy to deal with design, and so to open it up is pretty tough job. But it couldn’t stop anyone who is curious enough and believe that they can further upgrade the unit. After all, if it isn’t possible, then slab it back and leave it as is :wink:.

The overall build: Max is exactly as the name implied, Dx220 main unit, and Maxed out at the Amplification design, power distributions and power management with maxed out features. That is why it come with true line out balanced or single ended both from 4.4mm line out socket, the balanced phone out 4.4mm and the single ended out 3.5mm.

The closer look to Main board Dx220. This is the stock unit of the main board that can be found in your Dx220 without any upgrades or modifications (this opens up the window to apply EX modification packages toward it). Is it safe to say that your Dx220 is still pretty safe and sound in the threat of Max ? For sure !! So what exactly is the improvements that quickly show case itself to be outperforming the current top of the line players out of the boxes ? The Amp unit and the power distributions

The AmpMax: The amp unit is based on the discrete Amp8 super class A with many upgrades, the Panasonic HD, Nichicon Fine Gold, and Toshin Kogyo electrolytic capacitors that can be found in Amp8, the AVX tantalum capacitors are now upgraded around the analog signal paths, and the capacitors around the buffers for the main phones out are also upgraded into PML film capacitors with Nichicon fine gold. This AmpMax also come with additional circuitry to accommodate the line out as well. Attached to it is the daughter boards that charges and distributes power toward itself from the 4 dedicated batteries packs that takes care of positive rail and negative rail dedicatedly and separately

That explained all the improved performances from the max as a device.

So, is it possible to bring Max toward and gravitate it toward a better performances that could easily be sitting on the top of the hill ? To bring the realism, the excitement and musicality out of it ? The Short answer is definitely! Just so long as you love tinkering around, and a DIY enthusiast. You can also check out my DIY article and figure out what you would love to have done to your MAX and cater it toward your own experiences and preferences. I call this modification as an MaxEX, and with this modification, the MAXEX can now truly be a perfect compliment toward the DMP-Z1 in both the practicality and sound performances (mind you, the gap is still there, but only a little narrower between them both. However, the max can now be said to be sitting on one of those top of the hill where pitch accuracy and timbres balances are more realistic and vivid). In the end, with MaxEX, I was able to improve the timbre balances, and giving it a little more musicality (tube like timbres).

What good is hardware modifications without firmware modifications too ? You can also find that Lurker firmware are an easy, and free modified solution for it as well, and if you want to pay in for another firmware modification, you can always check out Fidelizer

My conclusion on the MAX ? It is a fool proof for anyone who love full-size headphones. Given the MSRP, it can be 2X the values and some more. Then further more, it has the possibilities with modified firmware and hardware to further enhance your own journey along the way. Max is a good buy and good investment. Then back to my own question, would I toss Max aside and keep only DMP Z1 ? Nope, with all of this, I would kindly want to have both, please!

Disclaimer: My own experiences, and preferences are different than your. Please take my impressions as a fun and entertaining point of view that may be helpful to you at some points. The best way to judge a device is by listening to it yourself. Whatever you decide, please remember to enjoy your music. Also, the Max is 999 units limited worldwide.

PS: Max also have an improved and upgraded WiFi antennas, and it locations as well. The receptions are improved over the regular Dx220
Last edited:
Great review! Thanks


Headphoneus Supremus
Maxxive Attack
Pros: Beautifully tuned sound, solid And gorgeous build,
Cons: No physical buttons
IBasso DX220 Max Unveiling & Impressions

iBasso DX220 Max - excellent with headphones or IEMs.

iBasso DX220 Max:
Some pretty photos to kick things off.
I have gone old school approach on this ‘review’ by doing an on going stream of consciousness piece as time went by.

Impressions by Head-fier modder extraordinaire Whitigir added /6/14

Wifi tests added:

So far so brilliant. I had a wonderful listening experience earlier on and can’t wait to a/b it with the DX220 to make sure my ears were not tricking me.

I will spare you the audio word salad...for now. (Added).


Earlier news and information here:

iBasso DX220 Max manual:
- it is very detailed and comprehensive.

‘ The DX220 Max is a transportable solution to your audio needs. It offers extremely high performance to enhance what you enjoy so much, music! It is powerful, very transparent and engineered to work with most any listening device.

A great partner with the DX220 .

1. The frame is stainless.
2. Dual ES9028pro chips are used with extremely high quality components surrounding them.
3. A battery for the DAC and CPU, the rest (4pcs) of the batteries form a high voltage battery pack for analog stage.
4. Analog volume control.


Three little baggies. What secrets do they hold?



A beautiful case


A bevy of cables for - USB-C to USB-A cable for charging/data transfer/Max as external storage/connect to an OTG storage device/USB dac with a computer, line out, burn in cable, 2.5mm to 4.4mm adapter and a coaxial cable (the same port can be used with a mini optical cable).


The USB C is for the digital section and the other 4 batteries are for the amplifier. They both have to be charged. They are totally different sections, isolated for improved sound. Paul - iBasso’

Analog section charger.


Plugs are region based - so do buy from
an official distributor to be sure and also for after sales service.


<<<plus are region based. (Terrible semi photo shop job) :)

More detailed photos of the Charger near the end of the article >>>. Scroll down.





DX220Max. 144 x 84 x 27 mm
or 5.7 x 3.3 x 1 inch.

Weight 700g or 1.5 pounds.

(Basically two diet coke cans in weight).







Size comparison with the DX220 vs DX220 Max






User interface

A familiar user interface to those who have an iBasso dap. But still interesting to note the similarities and also to show for those new to iBasso daps.









Scanning is speedy.






Gorgeous screen


APKPure and CoolApk for downloading all your application needs.


UI video

Settings etc


DAC volume slider. Thats something new.
Recommend setting is between 132-150 for best results.








Wifi is set to off below.
With my experience of the Max (and other iBasso daps) it is better to use 5GHz wifi rather than 2.5GHz - it is faster on this system.


Wifi 5GHz

Wifi 2Ghz


Drop down menu




Additional insertion
Bluetooth Codec settings under Developer mode:


APKPure and CoolApk for all your application downloading needs.



Gorgeous screen of sweet delights.





The DX220 Max does not come with front screen protector installed.
Be careful as there is one already applied on the back.
There are two supplied though - as below.


Some dap boudoir shots






This will be updated - so please scroll down for more recent impressions.

Initial impressions - Thursday June 4th.

Very early, so please wait for more in depth analysis after more listening sessions.

Quick (early) sound impressions.

iBasso DX220 Max

(no a/b comparison to DX220 yet).

DX220 Max low gain/ brick wall filter. Android side.
Campfire Audio Anrdromeda (V3- 2019).
Stock cable, final audio tips. 3.5mm Single ended.

Beck - ‘Sea Changes’
Nice tonality. Excellent imaging. Spacious sound stage (ie it does not choke the Andromeda potential and allows for it).
Medium gain adds a little more something something into the mids.
I am not a ‘hiss meister’ but so far so good - Perhaps a tad on the Andros.

Playing from a Micro SD Card, now thinking i should have loaded up to the internal memory - just to be safe...

Billie Eilish - ‘Dont smile at me ep’.
Campfire Audio Ara.

It is quite a reference player. Not dry as DX200 with amp1, nor as full bodied edging on dark at times as Amp 8, maybe, perhaps a mix of Amp1mk2 and Amp8ex.

Hiss seems to dissipate after a few songs. Maybe the amp set needs a warm up. Certainly i have not ‘broken in’ the dap within only 24 hours. The DX220 Max has less than 5 hours on it. For some reason i neglected to leave it playing over night.
I found the DX220 to benefit from getting a good number of hours on it.

Back to the CA Ara. Quite a good match for this dap. A reference earphone, with a wide soundstage, lots of air and separation,exquisite details.

Swapping cables from
3.5mm to 4.4mm balanced stock cable.

Noticeably louder (of course). A bit more smooth and coherent. Vocals more sweeter and treble more extended.

Playing with the DAC volume. I will have to check the manual.

It seems to more IEM friendly with the DAC volume turned down. But i can not say for sure at this point.

CA Solaris 2020
Not such a sensitive set of IEMs. Dap is quieter.

shuffle time:

OK. focussing back on the dap as i have a nice reference point with the IEMs.

The music - does it sound as it should? Yes, to my ears.

Looking for any shortcomings sound wise.
- I can note a few points in bass control, treble reach and coherency that will smooth out after 24-50 hours. Probably the DX220Max would require 100 hours to reach a marked satisfying delivery and 200-250 to reach peak performance.

Don’t get me wrong is it very good out of the box. And i am being hyper analytical here. But within time it will be great and then excellent. The same journey as the DX220.

But putting time frames aside. Out of the box it is pretty damn good.
Smooth but not dull, detailed yet not dry, Sabre without the glare (which most developers cleared up two - three years back anyway), warm but not muddy, air without losing body, treble extended without sibilance...and so on...

A quick DX220 Max versus a well used DX200 with stock amp1mk2.
(Amp 8 and amp8ex to follow in due course).

Very similar beasts in tonality and resolution.
I can detect a bit more control on the DX220 Max.

ok i am going to get some more hours on this and get back to you all over t he weekend with something more solid- once i clock up more hours.

*please excuse my messy first impressions response.

I will leave you with an earlier quote:

“Paul from iBasso on Head-fi forums:

“I want to clear up any misconceptions. The DX220 Max is not a replacement for the DX220. The DX220 is a transportable DAC/AMP with a very fine screen. It is larger and heavier than the DX220 so serves a different purpose but like all our products it is being produced to enhance your enjoyment of music.”


Saturday June 6th. (Morning)

Around 50 hours (early days).

I noticed that treble had started opening opening up more.

In consequence the lows seemed a bit diminished in comparison. No warmth, linear to high focussed.

I did recall that the iBasso DX220 needed a decent amount of hours on it.


The DX220 Max seems to have settled in a bit more after a good days burn in.

Sunday June 7th. (Morning).

Approximately 70-75 hours or so.

The treble has either settled, or more likely that the treble now has more control, the mids have matured a bit more as well as some of the low end.

A similar sound to out of the box but with better tonality and body (getting there).
Extremely resolving and excellent imaging.

Still a little ways to go to optimum performance. I will listen some more over a morning coffee then back to burn in with the supplied cable.

Looking forward to the 100 - 150 hours mark.

More impressions to come!

Tuesday (Morning) June 9th, 2020.

Well color me surprised (well not really based on my past experience of other iBasso daps).

Out of the box, sufficient and impressive - but i knew more was to come, later opened up a wee bit, then the treble, then evened out a bit more...

Now at 100 - 120 hours roughly of listening and using the supplied burn in cable via the 4.4mm port it has reached a more mature and refined stage. Enough to huck it into a shoulder bag and commute to work.

The slight floor noise at the beginning with highly sensitive IEMs has lessened to next to nothing

There is more an encompassing sound, the IEMs i am demoing with today Campfire Audio Ara, Solaris 2020, Andromeda V3 (2019) and Andromeda MW10 are performing well with no apparent restrictions which might happen with a lesser dap due to power, low quality inner electronics or lack of coherent delivery.

By the way with the Ara and the MW10 i am using the balanced port 4.4mm which might be a bit powerful for many IEMs but yesterday i commuted with the DX220/Amp8EX...so..(too lazy to change the cables)...but its a good hiss check.

Listening to Becks ‘Sea Change’ album which is well recorded and has a pleasant tonality and enough variation.

The single ended port itself is quite magnificent which is the case for a few totl daps. But this is not an either or as in some daps. Both the single ended and 4.4mm are excellent.

The 4.4mm has an output of 8.8VRMS which is pretty hefty for IEMs, especially sensitive ones.
The single ended port at 4.4VRMS Might be a better choice for some easier to drive multi BA earphones - but one will no doubt experiment to find the right match and synergy.

Why no headphones tested today? I have tried it a good 50 hours back with the Campfire Audio Cascade, iBasso SR1, ATH-ESW11 (yep still got them) and ATH-A900 but today the temperature is reaching 30 and summer has not even hit properly yet - and i am trying to build up some heat endurance...so no air conditioning.

Plus i wanted to get more hours on the DX220 Max before hand. Maybe one evening this week when its cool will be headphone redux v2.

With IEMs the volume pot/wheel on low gain (dac volume at 141) goes up more than enough to wreck your ears - plenty of room to move. I have it at 11:00 on low gain with the Solaris 2020.

Clear, precise, a beautiful low end has come into play, the mids are maturing, treble seems to have found it place in the scheme of things and settled down.

Sound stage is largely up to the IEMs - but i sense no diminishing of their utmost ability.

Imaging is precise, tonality will mature with a few more hours, nearly there.

More to come soon...!

Wednesday June 10th, 2020.

I took the DX220 Max on a tour of Tokyo. I took the Andromeda MW10 and also Campfire Audio Ara with me.

This was less and exercise in sound changes but more as a Transportable versus portable experiment.
I mainly carrier it in my front jeans pocket, heavier of course than the DX220, but manageable. Although a shoulder bag, or backpack would be more fitting. Nevertheless i managed without much discomfort to negotiate my way across Tokyo and back home again.

I suspect the coming Japan summer will render such daring experiments void and the preferable place at that stage would be within a bag. The DX220 Max is about two diet coke cans in weight.

Sound - dunno.


Friday June 18th, 2020. mid afternoon.

From Tuesday to now the hours have increased from 100 - 120 to around 165- -185 hours of listening and burn in.

I am quite curious to get started and see where we are at.

Here we go...

Circling back around to the initial test set up

DX220 Max low gain/ brick wall filter. Android side.
Campfire Audio Andromeda (V3- 2019).
Stock cable, final audio tips ( i prefer Spiral dot ++ for my wider CA nozzle but i am using the Final Audio tips so others can replicate my findings, or not...), 3.5mm Single ended.

Beck - ‘Sea Changes’.

The DX220
max seems to have settled down nicely.
It seems like from memory (i am trying to avoid my notes) that the DX220 Max started off quite nicely and competently... but just was not ‘there’ yet.

From a reasonably enjoyable flat with resolving nature at the start, to an increase in the treble, which was slightly alarming at first to the mids coming into play and finally the bass coming more fully into play - i think the bass will open up even more.

Its is a reference player in the meaning that it plays back your files as one expects the music to sound, there is a whisper of added dynamics- but nothing too colored as such.

Vocals are centered within the skull and expand out slightly.
Tonality is excellent - earphone dependent. Better the earphone l, better the recording, better the result with the DX220 Max - not so forgiving with bad gear.
Sound stage is once again the area of the earphones - but the DX220 Max allows them to perform at their maximum ability, couple that with high performing imaging and it is an aural delight for the ears.

It certainly is an incredible sounding machine.

Next up with be some a/b-ing against DX220/amp 8 and amp ex and then revisiting it again at around 250 hours which i suspect will be the sweet spot - and everything past that will be a bonus for the ears.


Saturday morning, June 13th.

Jamato08 on Head-fi wrote:
“More time on the Max. Well over 200 hours. Yesterday, I didn't care for it a lot. Dry sounding and a little grainy on the upper mids, just not liquid, smooth or fluid. Of course still burning in. Today, so much different. Violin is back to sounding wonderful, openness and musical expression is all there and dynamics to startle. The noise floor is so low as what noise I do hear is in the recording and not from the Max. One thing that continues is the extreme unbridled openness of the sound, just a joy.

The Max really does take some time to settle in. Got to just keep letting it run or listen and know it will take some time but it is really worth it and power all IEMs and headphones from one device, is also very enjoyable. I am also surprised by the battery life. And on we go. . .”

i read this and was... um... yeah..

.. it was the word ‘liquid’. Trigggggerrredd!!! :)

...then I listened this morning with an extra 13 hours or so - and yep. You are right on the money (As usual).

I had a listen last night - the Max was getting there at 165-195 hours or so roughly - but wasn’t enough at that point to put a flag in ground and say ‘aim here!’. Some things did not sound right, rough around the edges.

This morning after another 13 hours of burn in - it is sounding nearly there at around 200 hours - the word ‘liquid’ or liquidity sums it up well - as Jamato08 stated.

I suspect 200 hours is a mile stone and 250 will about reasonably finish it off.

But the DX220 Max will probably keep improving.

Max definitely has more ‘liquidity’ today compared to even last night.
I was enjoying it - but it was not ‘there‘.

It didnt have that premium sound feel.

This morning i think it has reached a point where the sound is just going to keep improving as a coherent whole, whereas up to now the changes and improvements have been here and there. It seems to be stitching itself together like Dr.Manhattan in the Watchmen comics.

Without getting into any more specifics except to again repeat/paraphrase Jamato08 ‘From dry to liquidity’ Is certainly true and a pleasure.

I feel as though i am moving past the point of listening for burn in changes to listening tot he music.

Its certainly a dreamy device, i have rotated the four earphones i was using last night Campfire Audio Solaris 2020, Andromeda 2020, Ara and Andromeda MW10.
My experience from then to now is quite the chasm of difference of experience.

Aim for 200 hours using the burn cable...at the very least!


Its not amp 8 for sure at 200 hours
Its not amp1mrkii either
A kind of a mix of them as i thought at the start
Approaching amp8ex perhaps?

But only an a/b with DX220 plus amps and Max will reveal that.

Maybe tonight or tomorrow i will try all three amps versus the DX220 Max as i feel it has enough hours on it.

Now i am just trying to understand and find the words to articulate the present sound.

More to come!


Sunday morning June 14th, 2020.

Using the same four Campfire Audio IEMs to have a bit of continuity.

Ara - reference/studio, articulate.
MW10 - linear/flat with dynamism.
Andromeda 2020. Slight w, warm.
Veering more towards to linear than past v shaped OG. andros.
Solaris 2020 - holographic, bass - hybrid, coherent.

At around 220 hours at a rough guess
there have been a few micro improvements. At this point overall the dap has settled down rather well and i am not expecting any major changes at this point - but i could be wrong.

Fluidity and liquidity have improved since yesterday a bit more.
It could do with more ‘timbres density’ as Head fier Whitigir basically stated.

Upping the volume does not give an illusion of greater density as with cheaper daps (Usually more of a mush, than a dense clarity). Just a louder version of what is delivered at low volume. Its consistent.

The sound is a nice mix of Amp1mk2 and amp7/8 with some tweaks - but it is still revealing itself. I am just documenting the journey and hope to write a summary eventually when all is settled down.

Low gain at present gives a spaciousness and wide sound stage with sweet air and treble approaching reference with a hint of color.

Mid gain is only a slight rise in volume (High is a bigger jump) and the mids come up more to the vocals giving an illusion of more density.

Using Campfire Audio Cascade with SXC-8 conclusions were largely the same as with the IEMs (4.4mm and 3.5mm - with adapter - ports).

Sunday afternoon

Swapping over to Final Audio A8000 for something different. Now it seems to be a bit more settled.
Also playing around with different tracks and various artists.

A bit more lower end coming up, a bit of density and coherent complexity?

I hope so.

(i switched back to the familiar Andro 2020 at this point to check it was not the A8000 fooling me).

I do believe the mids are coming into play.

I may have jumped the gun on nearing the burn in and maturation process...

More to come !

Wednesday evening June 17th.

About 300 hours now on the iBasso DX220 Max.
I seem to have to jumped past the 250
time mark due to work etc.

Just listening to music now. It seems to have settled in.
A nice mix of Amp1mk2/ Amp 8 and Amp8EX with a bit of tuning.

It really is a premium player.

It has wifi and Bluetooth but i would think the best uses would be to use the onboard memory or a micro sd card and listen to it wired through headphones or earphones.
Or use its dac via line out to a home system.

There will be probably still be incremental improvements and nuances noticed over time.
But at this stage i am just listening to the sweet music that is coming from this device.

Its appears complete now. But i am not adverse to any new sonic surprises. But for now it sounds like a well tuned coherent whole.

It is well balanced between reference and dynamic. It sets itself at a nice balance between the various tuning extremes and somehow manages to unite the opposites seamlessly.

The soundstage of earphones is super wide with the right earphones, the vocals extra centered and then expanding out also - quite a feat. Treble is candy sweet and extends to aural infinity - but ever so smooth with it to.
Tonality is pure bliss.
Imaging is clear and precise. Timbre a late comer to the game is exquisite.
The bass is full and oh so satisfying.
The separation is emphasized due the large soundstage possible and is akin to being in a large hall.
Male and female vocals are equally served well - pure beauty manifested.

It really is a divine experience.

Overly waxing lyrical here - but as one who grew up on music magazines and newspapers with band interviews and gig reviews, struggled with cassettes and lovingly wiped each vinyl lp before playing and crafted mix tapes off the radio - i do review the gear bu the music listening experience is always fore front in my mind.

The moment when the gear is so good that one stops listening to the gear - and just disappears falling into the music.

That is the moment, when the gear is no longer there as such, it being purely a vehicle for the enjoyment of the music.

When the music only remains one knows the gear is near perfection.

That is the DX220 Max.

More to come?...?...

Thursday 18th evening

Back on the sober mind trail after last night allowing myself to gush and enjoy with superlatives etc.

And why not. Even an enthusiast pseudo reviewer needs to step in rather than step back now and again.

Today i took it on a train commute with the Dita Dream XLS, Final Audio A8000 in the morning and Campfire Audio Solaris 2020 in the afternoon.

Still very enjoyable. I carried it in my front jeans pocket. Slightly warm, nothing major - playing FLAC files from a micro SD Card.

The isolation of the earphones was fairly good. I have lots of tips to choose from for a good fit.
Nevertheless the vibration etc of a train intervenes somewhat and some of the timbre detail was lost, and subtle nuances of songs.

Listening now later in the evening (at home) i am back to where i was last night - but with a more quieter mouse like writing style.

Everything is still wonderful.

The Max shines of course in a quiet setting where all its technical ability can proceed unimpeded by surrounding noise that may seep into the listeners ear canals no matter how well they fit their earphones.

I am finding pleasure in these before sleep listening sessions of late.


And i think i have reached the end of the impressions....

Next: DX220 Amp1mk2, amp8 and Amp8EX comparisons....

Sunday June 20th, morning...

I feel like i am chasing jamato08
on head-fi who got his unit earlier...

Is that density i am hearing?

(Nearing 400 hours).

Chasing the aural rainbow continues...?...



The Return of the Zing
July 4th, Saturday morning coffee...

I have purposely left the iBasso DX220 Max alone for a good few days and have been listening to other devices, for fun and future reviews - to get a bit of distance and return with fresh ears.

Sitting here on my couch whilst my family is asleep, a great coffee and rain falling outside i rediscovering more clearly what the Max is after a period of not being bathed in a daily diet of it.

A very pure sound, exquisite tuning, extremely coherent and hard to find fault with the sound itself. It approaches a reference sound but without the accompanying dryness which can be a natural addition to that sort of tuning.
It has enough subtle body to please, controlled and revealing, detailed and yet smooth.

It is not going to magically make badly mastered or recorded tracks sound better, but will reveal their shortcomings. Great recordings will shine and bring enjoyment.

Some physical buttons for skipping songs etc would be nice. But i guess its not that kind of dap. Twister6 worked out a few work arounds using a bluetooth remote - i would like to be able to do it via my cellphone.

I am also finding my listening levels are lower with the DX220 Max (using a spl meter).

its a quiet rainy morning at home and the surrounding everyday noise is about the same as my listening level atm.

i will do a comparison with DX220 also and see if there is any difference.

Its another plus of decent earphones and daps, the listening levels go down in volume compared to finding satisfaction with entry level gear.

which is an often overlooked important benefit.

With the Max the listener is left with the music, and the quality is dependent on the recording and the earphones being used.
The Max has its competitors (and siblings) out there and comparisons will surface in time - although on a few forums owners of other totl daps have written favorably (i would like to read more).

In short: the enjoyment continues unabated.

The iBasso DX220 Max continues to impress.
This continued write up being testament to my positive experience.



I connected the Max to my home system via the 4.4mm line out with great success.

My home system has a AKM dac and is velvety and forgiving.

The Max produced a more reference, clean and high end sound. The line out option allowing me to use the Max’s dac.

I listened happily for a few hours until the lids tv time forced me to turn off music for a while...

On headphones and IEM useage:

Well i suppose the question of IEMs is a legimate question for many people.

how is the Max with IEMs?
It is a larger device - is it designed/meant for Head phones only?

The Max main board is built around or near identical to DX220 as @Whitigir (Head-fier) has found by opening it (the Max)...and then also modding it.
- The amp part is based largely on Amp 8 architecture - with different tuning.

Amp 8 - probably the most recommended stock amp module (DX200/220) has 4.4mm at 6.2Vrms Output voltage.

*Amps 1,2,5,7 have around 3.0-3.5Vrms

Amps 3,4,8 have 6.0 - 6.2Vrms

The Max has:
SE 4.4Vrms
4.4mm HP out 8.8Vrms

So SE headphone out on the Max is even less powerful.(than amp modules 3,4,8).

And the SE is very capable.

myself - i have have largely been using IEMs around the same price range Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020, Solaris OG/2020, Ara, Gold...
- others such as Dita Dream XLS, CA MW10 and Final Audio A8000 which are closer or the same $ as the Max.
(SE and Balanced).
- plus a few low to mid range for general testing purposes.

Headphones mainly CA Cascade and iBasso SR1 (4.4mm) and also SE, SE mainly ATH-ESW11 and ATH-A900.

The Max is very capable and plays well with IEMs of a similar level. Both in 4.4mm or 3.5mm. I think the 3.5mm sounds great myself and one does not need to default to 4.4mm.

Three gain settings, DAC volume being able to be changed and also the analog volume wheel make this dap very versatile.



Head-fier and DIY modder extraordinaire Whitigir (of iBasso Amp8EX fame) gave me a summary of his current impressions and opinions of the iBasso DX220 Max.

Sunday June 14th.



Thank you Whitigir for your contribution and thoughts. - Head pie

Paul of iBasso wrote on Head fi:
“ I want to clear up any confusion on the screen. When it is off, there is no current flowing and it is totally off, not just pixels. We also did measurements with it on or off and there is no change. Also please note from the measurements, how low the noise floor of the DX220Max is.

Please, Enjoy the music and stay safe out there.”



This is the way the case goes,
But you could also flip it so as to lock in the micro sd card. I guess.




Inner pamphlet details.





Not a nice pretty photo. But practical. Shows the two charges in tandem charging up the end game beast.

USB-C charge light/icon is on the right, like the DX220

Analog section charge icon is on the left. Take care.


More detailed photos of the charger:




Reviewer Audio123 plug>>>


Screen size DX220 and DX220 Max




CPU comparisons - forgive me if i am
wrong. Noob desu. Using CPU info app.




Yes and no. The DX220 Max is a transportable dap. More a carry in a bag with you dap.
However for the sake of science and the wondering few i did take it out for a commute to and from work without hassle in a front jeans pocket.
The DX220 is more portable and lighter of course.



Remote control


I recommend this remote for fast forward etc via bluetooth at home or on the go


Other have had success with the Hibyplayer app.
I did over my home wifi but not over BT - although i have been told it works.


iBasso DX220Max manual


I recommend purchasing from official recognized authorized dealers. A list is available on the iBasso website. http://www.ibasso.com/

Thank you to iBasso for sending Head pie the iBasso DX220 Max for review
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Great review! Great DAP, Thanks! :v:


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Sound, set, design, functionality
Cons: price
iBasso DX220 MAX: Mad Max plays without compromise

Hi friends!

Today we have a significant event in the editorial office - despite the numerous obstacles that have arisen in the world due to covid's hysteria, we still got a new device from iBasso!

Over the past year, the main DAP from this respected iBasso brand has been the DX220, which we talked about in detail last spring. But time does not stand still, and the company took the next step to the heights of perfect sound, releasing its next flagship - DX220 MAX.

I won’t let the fog in and I’ll say right away that this device fully justifies the received prefix in the name - MAX. It is truly an uncompromising leader in every way. DAP has grown in size and acquired an even more stylish design. However, its main advantage is that it is equipped with two power supply units, consisting of five batteries: the first feeds the CPU and DAC, and the remaining 4 sections provide energy to the amplifier part, working in class “A”. And I must say right away that such a well-thought-out engineering approach gives an excellent result, because an accurate circuit design and proper nutrition are the key to excellent sound.

MAX, like its predecessor, is built on two top-end ESS Saber 9028PRO DAC chips, but unlike the DX200 and DX220 it does not have the ability to modularly replace the amplifier part. But it doesn’t need it, in this instance it's “all-inclusive” to the maximum.

Well, let's already challenge Max to the arena of our Mad (from the love of the perfect sound)!

Text: Alexey Kashirskey (aka Hans Barbarossa)


DAC chip: Dual ES9028PRO
Body Material: Stainless Steel
OS: Android 8.1 & Mango OS
Output Ports: 4.4mm Line Out, 4.4mm Balanced, 3.5mm Phone, 3.5mm S/PDIF
Screen: IPS 5.0 inch 1080P Sharp full screen with On Cell capacitive touch panel
Corning glass on the tront screen and rear panel
Bit for Bit playback with support up to 32bit/384kHz
Support of Native DSD up to 512x
Support of QC3.0, PD2.0, & MTK PE Plus quick charge for digital section
XMOS USB receiver with Thesycon USB audio driver, making this an easy to use USB DAC
A Total of 5pcs of Femtosecond league oscillators, with 2 of them being Accusilicon ultra low phase noise Femtosecond oscillators
8-core CPU
Mini optical output and mini coaxial output
128G internal memory
5G WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0
Support SDXC and SDHC Micro SD cards
Three settings of gain control
Audio Formats Supported: MQA, APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, OGG, MP3, DFF, DSF and DXD
Support for M3U playlists
4400mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer battery for the digital section, and 4pcs 900mAh Li-polymer battery form the +/-8.4V battery pack for the analog section


Appearance and kit

The DX220 MAX comes in an exquisite gray box with a black triangle-iBasso logo in the middle. Inside, in addition to MAX DAP, there is a gentlemanly set of audiophiles: protective films on the screen and on the rear panel of the device, a coaxial cable, a nice USB type-C cable, a power adapter for charging the amplifier part with the included plug (in this case, under the "euro" outlet) , cable for burn-in apparatus, adapter 4.4 mm Pentacon / 2.5 mm (balance), a short cable for connecting to a linear output (4.4 mm / 3.5 mm), a stylish leather case in light brown and Mandatory warranty documents.




Yes, you will rarely find such a plentiful package bundle, and in it all accessories are absolutely necessary: indeed, absolutely everything here can come in handy sooner or later. Such a sincere concern shown by the manufacturer, of course, captivates.

However, we won’t be able to devote any time to looking at all these numerous adapters and cables, since all our attention will inevitably immediately turn to the DX220 MAX. It looks just amazing! This is a large, polished like sea pebbles, and unusually beautiful machine.




MAX is in many respects similar in appearance to its brothers, but at the same time it has a number of key distinctive features. Case material is made of stainless steel. The volume control, which received a smoother ride, migrated from the side to the front of the panel, closer to the connectors. Next to them, he looks like a mighty knight in sparkling gold armor. And now is the time to talk about the truly chivalrous dimensions of the DAP itself - 145 mm x 86 mm x 27 mm with a weight of 700 grams. When you hold this audio machine, you involuntarily understand that it is power!






On the front panel, in addition to the volume control, there are analog outputs: linear 4.4 mm, balanced (Pentacon) 4.4 mm and the usual 3.5 mm headphone jack.

There are no control buttons, so now the device is controlled exclusively through the touch screen. However, at the back end we still find the only physical POWER button. There are also: an input for connecting a power adapter (analog part of “DC-in”), a button on / off / screen activation, USB type-C (for charging the digital part of the device and synchronization with a PC) and a digital output of 3.5 mm S / PDIF (combined optics / coaxial).

On the left side is a microSD slot, the internal memory of the device is 128 GB!

The chic screen already familiar to us from the DX220, Sharp with a diagonal of 5 inches, like the back panel, is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass.

To communicate with the outside world, the player has a number of wireless modules: Wi-Fi 2.4 - 5G and Bluetooth 5.0

When connected via USB type-C to a desktop PC or laptop, the device can act as an external DAC / sound card.




Built MAX on two DAC chips ESS Saber 9028PRO. Audio transmission is based on the principle of bit perfect and supports PCM sampling up to 32 bit / 384 kHz and DSD256.
The amplifier part of the player is implemented on a discrete circuit based on AMP8 and works in class “A”.

As I already mentioned, as many as 5 lithium-polymer batteries are installed in the player: one (4400 mAh, 3.8 V) feeds the digital part of the device, the rest (900 mAh, 8.4 V, charge with a separate power supply) - analog. The discharge is not synchronous, the indication of each section is displayed at the top of the display.

The analog part of the device is charged via the “DC-in” connector, and the digital part via USB type-C (supplied cable + network adapter from any smartphone).

One "joint" charge cycle is enough for about 10-14 hours of operation, which is quite decent for an apparatus of this level, and even with an amplifier operating in class "A". Well, and as always, the type of plug-in headphones, the format of the listening files and the volume level will have a noticeable effect on the player’s “vitality”.




Summing up the line for this part of the review, we can safely say that the iBasso DX220 MAX is made for centuries: it is a monolithic design, where there is no slackness in any element, everything is clear and reliable. Well, using this DAP is a pleasure. It is tactilely pleasant, and you are charged with optimism and calmness from its attractive impressiveness.

Software and control

For the internal contents of the device are responsible for Android 8.1 and its own Mango OS.

For installing third-party applications, the already installed APKPure is responsible, so that any Android program can be found and downloaded independently in a matter of minutes.

The DX220 MAX, like the DX220, has dual boot (dual boot), which allows you to convert the gadget into an independent virtual Mango-player format, which has acquired a stylish interface and convenient controls.


In general, the choice is yours. In addition to music, you want access to the Internet and all kinds of programs - Android. If you want a clean audio player - choose Mango OS.

The device software is updated both online (MAX finds and updates software when connected to a Wi-Fi network), and by downloading proprietary software from the manufacturer’s website and installing from a memory card. We know this from the DX220.

All navigation, as you already know, is performed using the touch screen: “swipe”, “curtain” and “touch” - in a word, everything is simple and familiar, like on smartphones.


So, we figured out the external and internal contents of the player, let's finally talk about its most intimate essence - the sound!


Listening (audio testing) was conducted on: 64 AUDIO A18, 64 AUDIO A12t, Vision Ears VE8, Custom ART FIBAE4, InEar PP8, InEar PMX, Beyerdynamic DT250/250, Phonon 4400 & Phonon SMB-02.

The DX220 MAX did a great job with both low-impedance sensitive IEM/CIEM and high-impedance full-size headphone models. No noise and distortion was noticed, and the volume control on High gain did not even twist out by half.


As for the connection MAX with my planar HifiMan HE-4 / HE-6, the following should be noted: the sound itself was at a height, but the volume control had to be twisted to the maximum value. Personally, such a volume turned out to be quite enough for me, but I suspect that someone of this volume level will not be enough. But for the pair of Fostex T50RP MK3 - DX220 MAX I have no comments at all.

However, if we recall that not all stationary home systems are capable of shaking the above-mentioned planar headphone models, then this test was successfully passed by the device as well.

We discussed all the technical features of sound production, now we will talk only about the beautiful sound, no longer distracted by important, but a little distracting clarifications.



From the very first minutes of listening, MAX is fascinating with its power, dynamics, excellent tonal balance and amazing musicality. This is a large, massive layer of sound in which a neutral, well-balanced manner and sophisticated melody harmoniously coexist, embodied in a lively and organic form.

Here, common features are guessed with the brothers in the face of the DX200 / 220 paired with AMP7 / AMP8, but in the case of the DX220 MAX everything is much more serious. Everything here sounds much more mature, virtual images are displayed much larger, the volume is larger, and the space is wider and much deeper. This is a timbre-rich, solid musical canvas, on which all the smallest details of the composition are relief and very accurately displayed. The striking harmony of micro- and macrodynamics, where the displayed musical images are clothed in flesh and filled with living, bodily substance.

The device produces a rather spreading stereo panorama, harmoniously and proportionately building a virtual space both in width and in depth. The overall musical canvas emerges quite integrally, in contrast, with accurate and natural transmission of sound tones.



Low frequencies strike the ears with a hard, powerful and crushing blow. The bass is fast, embossed, thick and well-assembled, supports the atmosphere with its energetic manner, clearly maintains the rhythm and fills the middle with dense velvety substance. The drum section fires aimed shots on both sides of the listener, and the bass, cellos and double bass parts are transmitted deeply, vibrantly and dynamically. The strength of each individual blow is clearly distinguishable, this creates an additional illusion of the volume of internal space.

In this register there is not even a hint of buzz and muttering, but there is a harmony of quantity and quality combined with excellent balance. Everything is served powerfully and with due pressure!



The mids is smooth, natural, timbrally rich and textured. Here, every musical instrument and image is endowed with a bodily basis. This is an extremely naturalistic and plastic manner, with amazing contrast and a wide dynamic range, where every sound, instrument and every note played is in its place in space. Extremely lively and naturalistic, the emotional component of the composition is transmitted.

Gracefully, smoothly and expressively sound stringed instruments, winds and pianos. Vocal parts are transmitted unusually deep, noble and harmonious. Male and female voices are displayed in relief, tight and naturalistic.

There is nothing to complain about, everything is impeccable, as, however, in the case of lower case.


The high-frequency register is accurate, clear and clean. He doesn’t try to confuse the listener by straining him with an abundance of “air”, and does not bother him with excessive ringing, here you will not even hear a hint of dirt or distortion, at MAX everything is honest and deed - correct, accurate, clean and high-quality working out this range.

The device transfers the treble extremely intelligently and finely: elegant, large and multifaceted, smooth and informative with good articulation, filed in an elegant and comfortable form, completes the overall private harmony.

There were no weaknesses in terms of genre preferences in the DX220 MAX either. Everything is tough for him: classical music, instrumental, jazz, electronics, rock and all kinds of more brutal genres of direction.

In fact, I must admit that the sound of the DX220 MAX does not want to be divided into separate frequency ranges, as it is delivered whole, harmonious, noble, with a single audio array. In this amazing sound, I want to dissolve and swim along with my favorite music into the distance to the divine harmonies and sonorous heights of enchanting harmonies!



DX220 MAX is without exaggeration a chic device! Everything is fine in it: from design, implementation of the technical part, to the main thing - SOUND.

This device is completely finished in every sense (premium packaging, great kit, chic design, cool screen and user-friendly software), harmonious and balanced in everything, which can be considered as a statement by Urbi et orbi (city and the world) from iBasso.

Without a doubt, MAX will become one of the most revered and beloved audio players among true connoisseurs of sound.

In general, in my opinion, as a portable solution, the DX220 is a more convenient option. Take your favorite removable amplifier module that fits your headphones, pop your player into your pocket and go for a walk. But if you need sound without compromise, then MAX in this case is an ultimate device. In terms of sound, the iBasso DX220 MAX is able to compete not only with the best portable and desktop devices, but also with a serious stationary home audio system.

It remains only to inform about the price of this pleasure. The DX220 MAX will be available for $ 1,888. Yes, the price is not small, but the upscale sound in the original design is worth so much.

In general, if you have the opportunity to fork out for a chic sound, then without any hesitation I recommend the iBasso DX220 MAX for purchase.


All the Best, my friends!
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Excellent review but what about the loss of using different modular amplifiers? Why was this eliminated? Is the software still as buggy as the DX220??
Thank you so much. For MAX, you do not need to replace the amplifier modules, here everything is maximum. I have no software bugs
S Crowther
S Crowther
Can it run as a roon core?