iBasso DX240


500+ Head-Fier
Great Warm Sound - Awful Case
Pros: Great, warm sound with AMP 8
Light weight
Good screen
Usable buttons
Balanced output
Swappable amps
Cons: Terrible software
Terrible stock case
Not as good as the M6U
DX240 Screen.jpg

Original Logo Small.png


Up for review today is the iBasso DX240 DAP (https://amzn.to/3ymWk21) with the AMP 8 installed (https://amzn.to/3Yv8ErF.) I picked this one in trade, so I have no impressions on the stock amp – and the AMP8 is widely considered the best amp available with this. The DX240 comes with the Qualcomm 660, which is a bit behind the more modern 665 you’ll see on newer players and it also comes with the older Android 9 + the proprietary Mango OS. Supposedly, you can switch between the two. It also has 4GB of RAM with 64GB of onboard storage. The DX240 comes with the ES9038PRO “Flagship DAC,” which is only kind of a flagship depending on who you ask, it seems pretty capable to me. It also has swappable AMP Cards obviously, with a 5” screen, MQA 16x, 5G Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1, an SD card slot with up to 2 TB, Quick Charge, PCM 32 Bit/768kHz native DSD512, and freaking Coaxial Outputs for some reason! That’s a lot of goodness packed into one, though the most modern DAPs have upgrades across the board with Qualcomm 665 chips and android 12 , etc. now. Swappable amps is still something of a unique capability, and the one that makes this great – on with the review!

DX240 Knob.jpg

Build Quality / Design / Specs (18/20):
The DAP itself is of really good quality with a nice aluminum build quality and weight. The knob on it is nice a notchy when spinning with a good click when you press it. The only downside there is that it protrudes and that makes it easy to accidentally hit when you’re putting it in your pocket. There are no indicator lights or anything else on the player. The stock amp has 2.5mm/4.4mm balanced and a 3.5mm unbalanced output while the amp 8 has just the 4.4mm and 3.5mm. The back just appears to be plastic, so that's disappointing when the M6U comes with an all-aluminum shell for the same price. The benefit here is light weight though, which is good for a portable DAP.

DX240 Back.jpg

The DX240 also bypasses SRC system wide, which allows you to skip the android sample rates and get much better sound. The 4400mAh battery allows for 11 hours of playback, likely on the unbalanced load, so slightly behind the Shanling M6 Ultra (M6U.) It weights 205g, which is crazy light. The balanced port put outputs at 878mW@32ohms while the unbalanced puts out 281mW@32ohms. That’s pretty great and can drive a lot of full-size headphones like the LCD-X on my desk. AMP 8 puts out even more power - 2000mA! I really have nothing to complain about here, the specs are really good.

DX240 Package.jpg

Accessories (15/20):

Let’s start off with the good. The DX240 comes with a multitude of cables, charging cables, connection cables, etc. They’re good quality and better than most DAPs comes with. Major win. And, it even comes with a case! Too bad that case is absolute crap. I don’t say that lightly, it’s one of those terrible clear TPU cases that you can get of Amazon for your phone for $4 (https://amzn.to/3T0aHD0 for example, though this looks nicer than the one that comes with it.) It picks up finger prints like it’s going out of style, it doesn’t hold its shape, and it feels SUPER cheap (see photos.) It makes the nice DX240 feel like a cheap POS. I honestly prefer Shanling not including a case and making you buy the $40 case over this case. Seriously, I’d rather pay $40 extra than touch the stock DX240 case – it’s not something that should come with a $100 DAP, not even a $400 one. Just…don’t include one, this is beneath you iBasso.

DX240 Case.jpg

Software / Setup / Ease of Use (3/20):

Gross. Compared to the M6U’s stock Android, with the Google Play Store, the APK back loader on the DX240 is terrible. And maybe it’s possible to somehow link your streaming service through the stock player, but I couldn’t figure it out. If you’re using this with your own files, cool, it should be fine, but downloading Tidal was a PITA. I had to update it like 4 times, it kept saying I had trash on my system, and the APK back loader had Ads! ADs on a product you just spend almost $1k on! Nothing screams Made in China like freeware.

DX240 MicroSD.jpg

Overall, the Shanling is a much better experience. So is the SP3000 (no ads.) Once you get everything set up, it works fine, and will MQA just fine as well, but man, that was a frustrating 30 minutes to an hour. The built-in player works well, without any real issues, and Tidal works like Tidal once you get it installed. It’s one of the worst setup experiences I’ve ever encountered though, and I hope the new ones fix that issue.

DX240 Bottom.jpg

Performance / Sound (18/20):

The sound of the iBasso with AMP 8 is warm, bassy, and inviting. That said, it is definitely more bloated than the M6U. There’s less resolution and more unwanted reverberation from the bass. There are some serious perks to this type of presentation. You don’t get the sharpness that the SP3000 can present sometimes. And there’s nothing painful about the music coming out of the DX240. Now, I haven’t listened to the stock amp, but everything I’ve read implies that the AMP 8 is an overall improvement over the more detailed, and less warm sound that AMP 1 provides. I really like the laid-back performance of the DX240 with AMP 8. It doesn’t seem to lose much detail and there is no real lessening of the mids or highs either. I actually preferred the sound of this with the Multiverse Mentor over the SP3000 on some songs. That’s saying a lot for a 3x price difference. It does have a tad bit of muddiness in the bass though that could use some tightening up, and that’s about it.

DX240 Top.jpg

Comparisons / Price (15/20):

The fact that I think this competes with the $3,600 SP3000 means that it earns good comparison and price scores. The only downside is that the M6U can do the same thing without an extra $200+ amp that’s sold separately. Also, the M6U doesn’t have that bass bloat that the DX240 with AMP 8 has. The M6U and SP3000 also feel more premium and the stock DX240 case would make it lose points if I hadn’t already taken points off for it previously (that case SUCKS, but at least it came with one.) I also hugely prefer the M6U’s interface, though the SP3000’s is almost as annoying as the DX240s. At least the SP3000 doesn’t have ads on its APK downloaded – so tacky. So overall, I put the DX240 just slightly behind the M6U across the board.


The DX240 is a really good-sounding DAP that just so happens to need to a $200+ amp to sound its best. The M6U is better sounding, but not as warm, with MUCH better build quality. I’d still take it over the 3x more expensive SP3000, but that’s just my preference. Some people love the SP3000, and some people like the DX240 more than the M6U. Go with what you like. If you want a warmer, semi-decently priced DAP with Android, it’s hard to be mad at the DX240 – just get a new case.

Wolfhawk’s Rating: 69/100
Ouch :dt880smile:

Shanling struck gold with M6U. I didn't realise how great the M6U is until both it and my G5 were out of battery at the same time, and I had to switch back to a bluetooth dongle. Somehow that dongle manages to suck the life out of both Andromeda and EA Gaea.
Yeah, the M6U hits way above its weight, and is only let down by a lack of accessories and an included case really. The DX240 sounds awesome and it's light, but I can't stand the software, or the included case.
@Wolfhawk46 - I have a leather case from iBasso for DX240 and its really god. Nice looking and good quality + no problem with using buttons or volume knob. It's not cheap but worth to buy. Anyway good review, I agree that software is terrible and dunno why iBasso don't even try to repair it.


Headphoneus Supremus
A review of the iBasso DX240 (and AMP 8 Mk II)
Pros: Modular AMP system
Sound quality
Technical performance
Fairly neutral
Cons: No 4.4mm socket on stock AMP unit
Good day to you, my fellow audio addicts :)

Layman1 being a conscientious kind of chap, I hesitate to further feed your collective habit, but this new product is surely too good not to share, right? :)

China’s iBasso have by now thoroughly established themselves as a well-known and respected manufacturer of DAP’s (not to mention IEMs, cables etc. Which I just mentioned)

Today, I shall be reviewing their latest model; the DX240, along with their newly-offered AMP8 Mk II.
The details of the DX240 can be found on iBasso’s website here:

A great deal more information, Q&A, reviews and impressions may all be found on the product thread here on Head-Fi:


The RRP at time of writing was approximately $949 (price may vary from one dealer or region to another). When I checked on the website today, it is available only in black (which is the colour I chose anyway), but I have seen dark blue and dark green versions too, so best to check with your local dealer if not ordering online.
My sincere thanks to Paul and the team at iBasso, for providing me with a review unit in exchange for an honest review.

Well, all necessary preliminaries and polite introductions having been taken care of, why don’t we see what the DX240 actually looks like? Of course, those familiar with my style of writing (and who, to my astonishment, still continue to read my ramblings) will know that this most straightforward of tasks may be accomplished by proceeding forthwith to the upcoming section, that, with commendable abstemiousness in these straightened times, is simply titled ‘Photos’ :)


Unboxing, packaging and accessories:

I feel the packaging and accessories are classily designed and a credit for a product at this price point.
Again iBasso have slightly changed the design of the box with the DX240, losing the clamshell opening featured with the DX300, for a more conventional one that separates smoothly into two halves, with a stylish angular cut into the sides of the box.
There’s a nice and array of accessories, including a burn-in cable, premium-looking charging cable and an adaptor which will serve you well if you wish to use the DX240 as part of an audio chain perhaps involving an external amp.

The DX300 comes with a TPU case, which fits well and doesn’t impede usability.

Ergonomics & UI:

I tend, especially with DAP reviews to leave aside the lengthy tracts talking about the hardware and software specifications in all their excruciating minutiae. I’m working on the principle that basically, anyone who is interested in the fine details of such things will have doubtless have already followed the product thread or discussions here on Head-Fi already and found out whether or not the product meets their hopes and expectations. And of course, the link I posted to the product page on iBasso’s website will contain extensive information on such things too.
I’ve found that with DAP’s, many people seem to make up their mind regarding their initial interest to a large extent based on the price, product specifications, design and perhaps its position within the manufacturer’s existing line-up, only later delving into impressions and reviews concerning the fine details of the sound and performance. So, I will be choosing to focus mostly on the latter here.

They say to write about what you know, and since Layman1 is an unrepentant Luddite, I shall avoid provoking mirth or derision by talking ignorantly about streaming, wireless and installation of apps and so forth.
I put music on a micro-SD card and install it. I plug in some wired IEMs, thank you very much, and I go straight to Mango mode and press play, assuming I have not forgotten to first power on the DAP in the process :D

So, I am happy to report that I find the DX240 to be extremely fast in use. I personally find scrolling a great deal smoother and more intuitive than I did on the DX300, although I should add in fairness that I think I only updated the firmware on that device once; I refer you again to my previous statement about being an unrepentant Luddite :)
Switching between sub menus, scrolling through playlists, displaying of album art, everything is smooth and effortless.
Also, I much prefer the size of the DX240, not to mention its weight (which I just mentioned). It’s vastly more portable and ergonomic to use, and – for my tastes at least – a more aesthetically pleasing design. I also love the matte black finish of this DAP. The way that colour is offset by the stylish gold volume wheel and sockets… I literally had to stop myself from drooling all over it when I opened the box (fear not, I’m seeking help for this issue) :)
The screen too is a delight; bright, vivid and for my preferences, a pretty ideal size.

If all of this has piqued your interest, read on to find out the DX240 sounds; in the section of the review name – appropriately enough – “The Sound”

The Sound:

To test this DAP, I listened predominantly with the Unique Melody MEST, as I’d say it’s probably the best IEM I have in terms of combing technical performance and low-end depth and impact.
Added to that, of the IEMs I have with similar sound qualities, I’d say it’s the one with whose signature I am most familiar, hence it’s an ideal choice for critical listening with a new DAP.

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.

I’ve been doing most of my listening recently using my two Sony DAPs (WM1Z and modded ZX300).
The main reason is because these DAPs (using modded FW) have an AI-based remastering/upscaling function, which upscale mp3 and 16-bit FLAC files to sound like hi-res (24-bit) FLAC files. Whilst almost all of my music is in FLAC, and probably at least a third of that is in hi-res FLAC, I do have certain songs that I regularly listen to which I have only been able to find in mp3 form (Chinese pop songs mainly), and some of them are even low quality mp3 (128kbps or so).
Listening with the Sony AI function makes a noticeable difference (and even improves all my 16-bit FLAC files), and hence is why I tend to listen mainly to those DAPs.
With this in mind, read on for how the DX240 sounds!

Sound signature:

I mention all this about the Sony DAPs because listening again to an iBasso DAP has a lovely warm ‘coming home’ type of feeling. There’s just a classic kind of ‘house sound’ that iBasso have perfected over their many DAPs; each one with its own tweaks and variations on that sound, but still with the family DNA showing through.

So after listening to a lot of different music from various genres, and with a few different IEMs, the key traits that are coming through here would be a quite neutral and balanced sound, with very good technical performance. This combination does not, however, result in an analytical or clinical sound signature. As usual, iBasso have perfected the art of allowing a degree of musicality to come through, achieved to my ears with an extended and solid sub-bass, with a very slight lift in the mid-bass and a tinge of warmth in the lower mids. All this is very subtly done though, hence why you will commonly hear talk of the neutrality and balanced nature of the DAP. It has a spacious soundstage, well-executed separation and imaging and excels in detail retrieval, but pairs this with an energetic and dynamic sound, further increasing engagement with the music.

I found the DX240 able to drive all of my main IEMs, with minimal to zero hiss (CA Solaris 2020 and Dorado 2020 owners, take note!). I’d also not that I didn’t find a single IEM pairing that I had any negative impressions about. The DX240’s sound signature lends itself well to pairing with pretty much anything you could throw at it due to its comparatively transparent nature, whilst giving a little boost in the sub-bass with that little bit of ‘enjoyment factor’ sprinkled over the top for good measure.

AMP 1 Mk III (stock) vs AMP 8 Mk II:

I have added this in, as I also got the AMP 8 Mk II and thought it would be a comparison people would be interested in!

Well, I’ve already described the sound of the stock AMP 1 Mk III, so how does the AMP 8 Mk II compare?

Well, the difference is not huge; they both share elements of that same audio DNA to which I alluded previously. However, I hear the AMP 8 Mk II as taking that ‘tinge of musicality’ a step further; more mid-bass and a bit more impact and rumble overall, plus that warmth extends into the mids, again increasing the warmth slightly over that of the stock AMP unit, and making it slightly darker-toned in comparison to the stock AMP unit. Aside from this, most other factors seem fairly equal to me, particularly in terms of technical performance.
Overall, whilst I don’t feel there’s a huge difference, I do feel there is a difference and since it relates mainly to tonality, I’d suggest that the stock AMP might pair better with warmer IEMs, whereas the AMP 8 Mk II would possibly be a better match for comparatively more neutral IEMs.

This sweeping generalisation of course assumes that you are looking for a certain kind of match up; however the flip side of this is that you could make a dark, warm, rich and bassy set of IEMs (e.g. CA Solaris 2020, EE Phantom) even more dark, warm, rich and bassy by pairing them with the AMP 8 Mk II, and similarly for more neutrally-tuned IEMs with the AMP 1 Mk III :)


So, whilst this is not a new flagship (and indeed occupies a somewhat unusual position in the ever-expanding iBasso line up), it is in my opinion nevertheless an outstanding new product. It offers excellent sound quality and technical performance, allied to a snappy and smooth UI, all in an eminently portable package.

It’s gorgeous to look at, feels solid and well-built and with the modular AMP system, will continue to offer options to experiment with different sound signatures long after this review is gathering dust in the Head-Fi archives.

And as usual with iBasso, all of this has been achieved at a price point that is highly competitive with other similar offerings in the marketplace.

It’s been a pleasure to listen to and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it :)
I actually prefer the technicalities of the stock amp over tat of amp8mk2 but the I can completely understand other preferring the weight and fullness of amp8.
Hi, it's a tough one to call! I feel there might be a slight edge in technical performance with the stock amp; however, I suspect this is more to do with the fact that a comparatively more neutral and transparent sound signature simply makes technical performance stand out more and easier to spot than a slightly more coloured and warm one? They're both good though, and as you say, it's all about people's own preferences in the end. For myself, I'm glad I have both :D


Headphoneus Supremus
iBasso DX240
Pros: Amazing sound, great build, very portable, lots of flexibility with additional amp modules.
Cons: No factory installed screen protector.
Into and disclaimer

First of all, I’ve owned numerous iBasso products including the DX80, DX200, DX220, DX150 and DX220 Max. They have all been great for various reasons. I’m a big fan of the brand in general because I think they cater to the modding community much more so than other brands. One of the clearest examples of this that I can think of is the Fan Edition amp module that came out for the DX2XX line. I’m hoping to see that happen more.

Speaking of limited editions modules; I was lucky enough to get the AMP3MOD module in exchange for a review. Thanks to iBasso and Paul for this opportunity. The module was provided to me free of charge and at no time did iBasso influence my thoughts. They are my own.


Gear Used
iBasso DX240
Fiio M17
Fiio M15
Shanling M8
Empire Ears Valkryie
Dan Clark Audio Aeon Noire


The packaging is typical for iBasso. It is simple yet elegant. There is a holographic sleeve over a green box. Looks great. Upon opening the box, the DX240 is nicely displayed on top with the accessories under the DX240. I actually like when manufacturers don’t go crazy on packaging because the reality is that you open it and then throw it in a closet. You’re either paying for the packaging or sacrificing elsewhere. No complaints about the iBasso packaging. Looks and feels nice but you don’t feel like your hard-earned money is going to something that really isn’t going to get used after the initial unboxing.



The build on the DX240 strikes that balance between quality feel and weight. The ports are all solid with little play. The volume wheels moves freely with subtle feedback when you raise and lower the volume. The curvature on the back of the player gives it a great feel in the hand. The play/pause, previous track and next track buttons are a bit raised and easy to find with a quality click. I also noticed that the paint on the AMP8 Mk2 perfectly matches the player. It seems nitpicky but it would annoy someone if there is a difference.

The DX240 is so easy to use with one hand. I can use my thumb to unlock the screen, change the volume and skip tracks with little effort. It really makes this an easy player to live with day to day.

The screen is sharp and takes up most of the device. The colors look great and as a result, album art really pops.



The player comes with a clear plastic case that I actually really like. It provides a lot of protection for most of the player and the buttons are really easy to blindly navigate. It also comes with a 2.5 burn-in cable, extra screen protectors, USB-C cable as well as a COAX cable.

I purchased the DX240 from Moon Audio and also received a leather case and additional amp module covers so that you can use some of the older amp modules for the older style iBasso body. The leather case has a nice feel to it and does not interfere with any buttons or knobs. It does cover up the SD card slot but it comes off so easily that I feel it’s actually better to keep junk from getting in there.

One small gripe I have is that there is no factory installed screen protector. After two tries I was able to get it on there with only two small imperfections and reasonably straight. Not a big deal but worth mentioning.



There isn’t really much to say here besides it just works… Well! Zero lag. My SD card with 270gb and 6600 tracks scanned very quickly. The Mango player (iBasso stock music app) is super smooth and one of the cleanest looking out there. Software updates are super simple. The latest update included the 80% charging cap which I really appreciate. I encountered zero bugs or issues in the month that I have had this player.

Mango mode works great. It’s super snappy and reacts instantly to inputs. I did feel like I needed to turn up the volume about 6-8 clicks higher in Mango mode to achieve the same volume. I originally thought I went from high gain in Android mode to low gain in Mango but it was also in high gain. Not a big deal. Even using the Dan Clark Audio Noire I still had headroom. Sound wise, I didn’t notice a difference.

Overall signature

I find the sound to be detailed but never sterile or boring. The tonality changes for sure with different amp modules but overall the DX240 to me portrays the music like it should be without adding coloration either way. I wont make a treble, mids and bass comparison here. I will save that for the amp module comparison due to the fact that there are some noticeable changes that change the sound a bit.

Amp Modules

As far as I know, iBasso pioneered this concept and it’s no surprise it’s well executed on the new line of iBasso products. For them to make this drastic a change to the body of the DX2XX line and be able to retain the functionality of older amp modules is really impressive. I distinctly remember seeing the early photos of the DX240 and thinking that all the old modules would be obsolete. I was happy to read a bit later that all the modules (minus the AMP9 due to fit issues) would work with a simple faceplate change.

I purchased the AMP8 Mk2 with my DX240. The impressions that I had ready up until the point of purchase made me feel it was worth the extra funds. I’ll do into it a bit later but I agree that if you can afford it pick up the AMP8 Mk2 as well when you get your DX240. The difference is noticeable.

AMP Module Comparison

The stock AMP1 Mk3 amp module is a bit dryer and more detailed versus the AMP8 mk2. Sound stage width is about the same to my ears but the AMP8 Mk2 has a bit more depths and a little more energy in the low end. The overall tonality difference is that the AMP8 is a bit cleaner and the AMP8 is a bit more musical. There isn’t a night and day difference. I know the AMP8 has more power but in day to day use even with full sized cans I didn’t notice a big difference. I think it might come down to preference. The AMP8 sounded better with the more neutral EL8 to my ears but with my Valkyrie the AMP1mk2 sounded better. Again, the difference is not night and day. The AMP3MOD slots somewhere in-between the two.



DX240 AMP1 Mk3 Versus M15

The M15 is a bit smoother. The DX240’s bass comes in with a little less quantity but reaches deeper. The sound stage on the DX240 is a bit deeper giving the music a more immersive feel. The DX240 has a faster sound.

DX240 AMP1 Mk3 versus M8

The M8 has a smoother presentation with a bit more mid bass. The treble is less sharp on the M8 but not lacking in my optioning. The M8 reminds me of the DX240 with the AMP8 mk2 module.

DX240 AMP1 Mk3 vs M17

Slightly more low end on the M17 especially mid bass. The stage on the M17 is notably deeper, wider and taller. The sound is more around you versus in front when compared to the DX240.

DX240 AMP8 Mk2 versus M15

Very similar sound but the iBasso is smoother and more musical versus the Fiio as well as having a deeper soundstage.

DX240 AMP8 Mk2 vs M8

Very hard to tell part. The DX240 has a slightly deeper stage but that’s about it.

DX240 AMP8 Mk2 versus M17

Also hard to tell apart. The M17 take the sound stage up another step in all directions but they are VERY close.



I have tried more DAPs than I can count. The DX240 is, in my opinion, overall the best dap that I have ever used when you factor in usability, portability, price, UI/OS and the fact that you can use multiple amp modules. I highly recommend this DAP.
Great review and comparisons.


Headphoneus Supremus
Just Right
Pros: + Competitive with anything depending on preference and associations.
+ Great ergonomics
+ Cost effective
+ Voicing/upgrade options
+ Great sounding native player
+ Modern andriod speeds
+ Lovely screen
+ Driveability
Cons: - Bottom Jacks but minor since controls are on the side. Still pockets great and easy to use upside down.
- No 4.4mm output in stock form though 2.5mm balanced works fine.
- No DLNA streaming in the native player app but Play Store apps like free Hiby player fill in
nicely. Kind of the point of getting an Android player.
I guess I'll start the review in the order of the above but let me preface with my overall opinion as it relates to my personal needs.

For me, it's a near perfect player as it arrives with it's stock amp. I'd prefer a 4.4mm simply due to it likely being more robust but the 2.5mm works great for IEMs which is how I use a portable. That said and while the 2.5mm jack drove every full size phone I threw at it perfectly, iBasso also offers higher current amp options with 4.4 jacks which makes this performance available to all, even those with more severe loads.

The sound is detailed, neutral and open/spacious without becoming analytical. Tangible location of voices and instruments in the sound field with great ambiance retrieval that's both connected and yet differentiated from it's source. Just wonderfully balanced and informative. Focused with spatial clues appropriate to the recording with what I consider correct width and depth. I'm a big fan of PRAT ( Rythen, Pace and Timing) and this player has it in spades without the lack of finesse other devices might sacrifice for it. It also doesn't sound 'enhanced' as some better players might. It's true to the source. Bass is solid, with proper weight yet tuneful. Insightful with a high goose bump factor when the material serves up something worthy.

I'm a big fan of the stock amp. With the uncompressed files I tend to use, most HiDef though standard def is pictured. it's wonderfully informative and open. With more difficult to drive full size phones, I may have felt the desire for the added current of the meatier sounding Amp 8 mk2 which has been very well received but for my IEMs and the full size phones I tried, I'm very happy with it as it came. With AMP1 MK3 (stock) the player is neutral and delineated but without the negatives sometimes associated with those terms. It has a nice weight to the music with excellent tangibility. Stock amp has driven and sounded great with the full size phones I've tried with it. Focals, Quad planar and Grados but unfortunately I didn't try amp8 on those (where it should be at it's best) to compare.

Before this player, I had a Hiby R6 2020 and I liked the way it performed overall. I feel the DX240 has a more solid tangible type of sound without sacrificing anything to achieve it but the R6 was also nicely detailed. I hated that the R6 had a difficult to use V control on top and Earphone connections on the bottom since I only use these on the go. You could either choose access to the V control and stress the cable connection or protect the connectors and bury the v control at the bottom.

While the DX240 has it's connectors on the bottom, having the Volume wheel and play buttons on the side give full access to controls with the cable facing up. It is and feels lighter in use plus is shorter in height than the R6. It's a bit fatter but the curved back actually makes it fit better/more securely in your hand than if it weren't and has been unnoticeable in my pocket. Really good ergonomics in actual use. Side Micro socket has easy access with the included clear case and accommodates any size available card and reportedly beyond. My 1tb card works great.

It's Android based and fast, has Google Play Store access and other programs can directly access the player without Android sound limitations. Qobuz plays in HiDef with the native App as do other players. My preferred player is the native iBasso within android with the antennas turned off. I thought I preferred the stand alone (without android running) iBasso OS when I 1st got it but after being told to listen again after fully run in, I find I prefer the it in standard Android form. Ambiance takes a more natural and connected quality without any loss of fine detail.

As is becoming more common, the dig circuit has post filter options. I initially preferred Filter #5 and it's remained a constant regardless of app/source for me. I have Hiby player installed for local DLNA file streaming which works and sounds great but for local files, iBasso player is still the way to go. They all work fast and seamlessly. Screen is also a joy. I'm not screen fussy for players but the color and res of this one simply adds to the premium feel. I don't use EQ or other enhancements so won't comment on those. I am also not fussy about 'features' or quirks in apps so same there. It needs to play a tune with the message intact and I'm good. In this case very good.

I've owned LOTOO, AK, Questyle, Hiby and have both the top Questyle home DAC and a Naim Atom HE so am accustomed to decent sources. Much more expense in home stereo kit. I'd say I can't tell you how happy I am with the DX240 for it's purposes but I think I just did.
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I auditioned it at length and was about to pull the trigger until I learnt that the lineout is variable, I mainly want to use it direct into an headphone amp for HD800S, otherwise the sound quality of the DX240 is as good as any if not better in this price range.
If you turn it all the way up, the control is effectively bypassed and the line gain is normal, suitable for amping.
I have been using a budget dap and dac-amps and looking for a dap to replace this. This seems like a good option. Excellent review.


1000+ Head-Fier
iBasso's Goldilocks DAP - Why I Sold My DX300 And Bought A DX240 With Zero Regrets
Pros: + Flagship sound
+ Compact form factor
+ Great speed & screen
+ Swappable amp modules
+ Under USD $1K
Cons: - Under USD $1K


Please allow me to begin this review with a short introduction of my own audio background, both for the purpose of giving you some insight into the perspective these comments originate from and the shameless stroking of my own ego.

I was once like you, a young audiophile in search of a dream...

Does that sound a little too self-righteous & sentimental? Not to mention diabolically false since past-tense implies the dream was achieved or abandoned, when those dear to the hobby understand our hearts forever yearn for an ever-receding finish line.

Nonetheless it's true. I gave up the journey for audio perfection years ago, why go on chasing the impossible when upon hearing the Sennheiser HE-1 I commented on the narrowness of the soundstage - so really what hope is there?

Since the late 90s more money than I care to admit has been blown on this hobby, and over the past decade that cash has been directed exclusively towards portable audio gear & earphones. Perhaps because I work from home & live next door to a kindergarten, just a theory.

So what sort of stuff am I into? Musically, just about anything. I grew up on 80s rock & pop and adore movie soundtracks, but lately spend most of my time digesting electronica, and my album collection is approaching 2,000 despite extensive pruning. Sonically I'm a detail freak. Resolution is my God, though I've a confessed fetish for sub bass & cavernous soundstages. IEMs give me what I yearn for most - utter banishment of the need to hunt for detail.

I've owned a number of DAPs over the years, beginning with the WM1A, AK380, SP1000M, DX300, and now own the SR25 & DX240 under review. I've also previously demoed the WM1Z & SP1000. As for IEMs I own the Andromeda 2020s & Tanchjim Oxygens, and previously owned the Dunu Lunas, Dita Dreams & EE ESRs.

Can We Start The Review Already?​

Sure, let's talk about the DX240. Many of these details you'll know already but they'll help get you in the mood for the rest of the review.

It's a Android-based DAP made by iBasso that retails for around USD $900, features a 5" screen, 11 hours of battery life, clocks in at a middling 205g, contains a flagship-grade ES9038 DAC, 64GB of onboard storage, dual-band wifi, and swappable amplifier modules like the DX220 before it.

That's all I'll be mentioning about the technical hardware aspects of the player. Firstly because I'm incredibly lazy, and second it's the job of professional reviewers to cover the boring stuff better than I care to. Instead I'll start off by giving you my impression of everything about the device that DOESN'T concern how it sounds.

Beginning with it's appearance, the DX240 is an attractive but unspectacular object. As someone who owns the SR25 and has held the WM1Z it takes quite a bit of bling to make me drool, but iBasso's functionality-first approach is one that's hard to question.

What's particularly impressive is the screen. Bezels are tiny by DAP standards, form factor (decently wide but not overly tall) fills a satisfyingly large portion of the screen with album art -in stark contrast to the DX300- and full HD resolution is enough in a screen of this size for ample pixel density.

Ergonomically, I find the DX240 to be the most pleasant DAP I've used bar none. With as large a screen as one could want for audio purposes, light enough that it's genuinely portable, and featuring a rounded back that feels appreciably more comfortable in the hand than a flat-backed DAP. The volume wheel isn't big enough to look out of place, yet is easy to grip and turns with solid clicks, and the side buttons are distinctively easy to find inside a pocket or the dark but are stiff enough not to get clicked by accident. It's worth pointing out the main reason I sold the DX300 was its' size felt impractical in daily use, but that's definitely not the case here.

My only gripe (as an audiophile there must always be one) is the placement of the output jacks on the bottom rather than the top of the unit. A matter of personal preference to be sure, but I prefer them above so I can rest the DAP base-down on my knee or lap, allowing the IEM cable to drape behind the screen.

Oh, and I should mention the case - the DX240 comes with a TPU rather than a leather case. Some may regard such a lowbrow choice with scorn & dismay, yet I consider it a positive iBasso didn't squeeze in a low-grade leather case (which many of us would only replace with one from Dignis anyway) whilst staying at their desired pricepoint, or deciding to raise it purely to include a premium leather offering. Moreover I happen to appreciate TPU cases (is it just me?) and this one thankfully lacks the awful stickiness of bargain-basement TPU skins. In fact I'd go so far as to say it serves the purpose flawlessly, and this is coming from a self-confessed Dignis snob.


Software And All That Stuff​

Read DAP reviews around here and you'll find folks endlessly yapping on about SOC's and why they're so darn important.

I realize not everyone's in the position of owning a large music collection and many of you may be largely or even wholly reliant on streaming for your listening pleasure, but I've decided not to cover the technical aspects of the DX240's software architecture because I honestly don't care.

It's an Android player that plays music & let's you install the usual Android apps - what more do you need to know?

Sure I'll mention the DX240's 64GB of onboard storage which seems stingy in 2022 but hardly dealbreaking given the price of SD cards. It runs fast enough to perform similarly to a smartphones of a couple of years ago, with wi-fi speeds approaching that of today's phones, and as for Bluetooth I won't bother discussing that because I'm an audiophile for God's sake.

iBasso also includes their own proprietary OS called Mango which is essentially a stripped-down local file music player that supposedly delivers better sound. I'll talk about that soon because we're finally done meandering over the technical crap.

Is It A Flagship Player And Does That Matter​

I'm going to keep you on tenderhooks awhile longer while an important point is made. Two of them actually. Firstly, audio performance is a matter of perception and perception is inexorably influenced by psychology. The way you feel about something will affect how you think it sounds since all the data must be fed through an archaic piece of hardware called the human brain, famous for coloring impressions in a multitude of ways our conscious minds are only dimly aware of. Essentially this is a disclaimer that what I hear may be different from what you do, and that's without even discussing the varying geometry of our ear canals.

Secondly, again on the topic of perception - is the DX240 a "flagship" DAP, does being a flagship DAP matter, and how should a flagship DAP be defined anyway? An article could be written on this point alone but to keep things brief I find the DX240 frustratingly difficult to categorize. On the one hand it isn't iBasso's top-of-the-line player, that crown rests with the DX320 now that the DX300 MAX is no longer available. Then there's the price, considerably below that of modern flagship DAPs, with weight being a similar story. Feature-set & tech specs are in the ballpark of more expensive players, perhaps lagging slightly behind the latest top-end choices but with presumably imperceptible impact on real-world usage.

So we come back to the sound. If it quacks like a flagship, does that make it one? In this hobby that probably depends on your bias. An easy trap to fall into is equating price with performance, we've all dug ourselves out of that particular hole at some stage. What's interesting is how you choose to answer the flagship question may well affect your perception of the DX240's sound, positively or negatively. So in the interests of full disclosure I personally regard it as a mid-fi DAP that delivers flagship, or at least very close to flagship performance. DX240, the little DAP that could.

What You Really Came Here For - How Does It Sound??​

These DX240 impressions were gathered via my Andromeda 2020s using a Penon Leo Plus cable, and my Tanchjim Oxygens using a ThieAudio EST cable. Mostly with the Andromedas since they're a clear step above the Oxygens. Music was taken from a wide swathe of genres - everything from Yello to The Beatles, Ennio Morricone to Nat King Cole, all of it FLAC or DSD with plenty of hi-res. The Mango Player Android app was mostly used, along with a few hours spent in Tidal and the occasional foray into Mango OS.

Put simply this DAP is a rocker, it grooves baby. For years I've been growingly disconnected with the rock portion of my album collection, possibly due to a pervading sense rock has never felt less relevant than in today's strange new world, but to my immense surprise the DX240 has encouraged me to re-connect with all the old favourites. This goes well beyond New Gear Syndrome (the desire to test every familiar album with a newly-acquired piece of kit) and speaks to the sonic character of the DAP itself - one that serves rock music particularly well.

The DX240 is particularly strong on dynamics and fairly aggressive in tone, delivering a somewhat 'in your face' presentation. Vocals & guitars are upfront, lacking neither detail nor body. The downside is they can tilt towards shoutiness on occasion, something exacerbated by the Andromedas which have a fairly excited upper midrange. This double-edged sword means there's copious amounts of detail present throughout the DX240's frequency spectrum (concentrated in the midrange more than other frequencies) but harshness in an album's mastering is obscured less than it could be. Detail freaks like me must be careful what we wish for, and this echoes back to the time-honoured value of assembling a collection of high-quality recordings, and crucially weeding out the BADLY mastered albums.

Let's shift to the lower gears. This DAP is punchy & impactful down low, and will put a smile on your face as you groove to the beat. It has loads of PRAT (pace, rhythm and timing) a term widely used in audiophile circles one more rarely encounters on Head-Fi, perhaps due to the difficulty in quantifying such a thing. Naim & Grado are two brands famous for it, and I happen to rate it particularly highly among audio qualities. If a piece of gear makes me want to get up & dance, regardless of it's level of articulation it is to some extent doing its' job of engaging me with the music. I've also owned my fair share of cold, sterile equipment that left me feeling emotionally unengaged. The key measure I find is how easy it is to unconsciously listen to an entire album from front-to-back without the urge to switch to something else.

I've also come to feel there's a common link between deep bass, warm sound, and sonic groove. It may even be that excessive detail particularly in the upper frequencies can atrophy PRAT to some degree. Stereotypically, think of the difference between a gold-plated IEM cable that essentially smears notes so they connect together more easily, as opposed to a pure silver cable that etches each one more distinctly and in doing so prevents them blending together in toe-tapping fashion. This is particularly relevant to the DX240, which does a tremendous job of straddling the invisible line between groove and clinical detail. In fact I've been greatly impressed by just how much detail it conveys whilst maintaining great rhythm, helping explain why the DAP does so well on a diet of old skool rock - throw on some Creedence and you'll see what I mean.

So bass is particularly punchy & dynamic, the midrange is very upfront with a slight edge, how about the highs? I wouldn't say they leave much to be desired, certainly not in terms of resolution, nor do they draw undue attention to themselves. String instruments sound fantastic (evidenced by the 24/192 Conan soundtrack) and electronica is delivered with appropriately satisfying beeps & squeaks. iBasso has avoided overcooking the highs, and only very rarely do I get the impression more upper-frequency emphasis would be beneficial. Having said that I suspect some pricier DAPs out there deliver more distinctively etched highs if that's something you want prioritized.

Which brings us to technicalities, which are universally excellent and present a strong case for the DX240's consideration as a flagship-level player. Dynamics are excellent, and are clearly an area where the DX240 is separated from entry & mid-level players. Though I wouldn't say they approach the levels of spooky realism obtainable with high-end desktop gear, background blackness is excellent and the punchy nature of the low frequencies helps instruments jump out of the mix distinctively. As does the soundstage, which is larger than all my previous DAP's bar the DX300. That iBasso has achieved a large soundfield whilst maintaining an upfront central midrange image that sufficiently roots attention is something to be commended, as too often gear with large amounts of groove comes with a narrow soundstage price of entry - that's definitely not the case here. Finally, imaging is spectacularly good and this is something the Andromeda 2020's particularly enhance. Orchestral works avoid feeling congested, as the soundscape is particularly wide and appreciably deep. In short the DX240 delivers enough technical goodies to not feel out of place in high-end company.

Lastly the DX240 offers a few ways to tweak sound, the first are digital filters. At the risk of killing my audio street-cred I've strained my ears to hear a difference between these but have come up empty. The second is Mango OS, which admittedly sounds slightly different to the Android Mango player. Mango OS may be slightly more transparent & dynamic, the problem is it takes a good 20 or 30 seconds to switch between the two and sonic memory is so short an effective A/B comparison is nigh-impossible unless you happen to have two identical DAPs on hand - and even then you'd need to consider if one is more burned-in than the other. So generally I use the Android Mango player purely because scrolling on Mango OS is so stupidly fast I find the experience extremely frustrating. A shame because it may indeed sound a little better. Next, the DX240 features three gain levels. It may surprise some of you to hear I use the 878mW High Gain mode exclusively, even with the Andromeda 2020's which are one of the easiest earphones in existence to drive - the higher the gain level the more dynamics improve & the more the bottom-end is emphasized, which suits my listening preference. There's also the removable amp modules, but as I only possess the stock AMP1MK3 I've no comment to make on those yet.


Comparing The iBasso DX240 To The A&K SR25​

Admittedly this isn't the world's fairest comparison, but I've nothing else of audiophile note to compare the DX240 against right now so it'll have to do. A flimsy justification may be they're two DAPs on the smaller side of the spectrum, with 64GB of storage, and they both run on electricity. Who are we kidding here - you probably expect the DX240 to trounce its' opponent and you'd be absolutely correct.

To give the SR25 it's due, it is considerably smaller, lighter and cheaper. It's also drop-dead gorgeous looking. What I've always felt particularly holds it back sonically is how flat it can sound, there's a lack of dynamism and a certain muddiness which reveals itself when compared with the DX240. The iBasso DAP provides a much better sense of separation with a wider soundstage, a deeper bottom-end, and a greater sense of sonic refinement. I feel like the DX240 is more V-shaped than the SR25 (but you wouldn't call it V-shaped in a general sense) whereas the SR25 is more midrange-centric with Astell & Kern's signature coloration that seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it thing for many.

After saying that there isn't as big a gulf between the two as you might think. Others have said the difference between DAPs is more subtle compared with say earphones, or perhaps even cables (yes I went there), and I echo that sentiment. I can listen to the Andromeda 2020's on the SR25 and genuinely feel like I'm missing out on very little, but after switching to the DX240 every instrument & voice is that little bit more distinct, and the larger soundstage gives the performance more room to breathe. The difference between the two DAPs is immensely less than the gap between the Andromeda's and the Oxygen's though, ultimately the SR25 & DX240 sound far more alike than unlike.

The difference in usability however is stark. The SR25's tiny 3.6" screen is one of the main reasons I now own the DX240. Its' wimpy CPU and terrible wi-fi performance makes using Tidal a chore, whereas the DX240 delivers a modern smartphone-esque experience. In saying that, the SR25 does pack an awful lot of DAP into a tiny package. Unfortunately since purchasing Airpod Pros that no longer seems quite so important since whenever I want to listen portably in truly minimalist fashion I'll grab those instead, particularly in situations where the drone of public transport will drown out most of the sound quality anyway. Does this also affect how I feel about the DX240's portability over something like the DX300? To a small extent, though the DX300 always felt awkward to hold & use whereas the DX240 feels moulded to my hand - the fit is simply perfect, something which positively colors my experience everytime I use it.


Improving DX240 Performance By Adding An External Amp​

Those of us older folk may have experienced a time when we began using mobile phones and immediately felt going back to being anchored to a landline was impossible. I have a similar feeling towards portable audio compared with high-end desktop headphone gear. The joyously minimalist experience of a single pair of transducers, a solitary cable and a tiny portable source is something I have trouble giving up now, and if you're reading this review you may feel similarly. What many Head-Fiers seem to assume is that flagship DAPs will automatically extract maximum performance from their IEMs - I'm afraid to tell you that simply isn't the case.

IEMs, even those solely BA-based like my Andromeda 2020's may be easy to drive that's true. Unfortunately, you're simply kidding yourself if you think something small enough to fit in your hand can contain enough quality circuitry to drive them to their absolute limit. Let's be clear about this - I'm not suggesting a device like the DX240 isn't capable of driving the Andromeda 2020's, or any IEM's I own (yes including you Blon-BL03s) in a completely satisfying manner, enough to provide a quality listening experience for any discerning audiophile.

What I am saying is this: I don't care which DAP you own or how much you spent on it, the laws of physics dictate unless you add an external amp you're leaving IEM performance improvements on the table, or desktop as the case may be. In fact I'd be shocked if it isn't possible to boost high-end IEMs even further (possibly a LOT further) by using a high-end desktop amp. What sense it would make listening to PORTABLE earphones through an extremely heavy, extremely un-portable desktop amp is another question, which is probably why few of us do - returning to my earlier point about the joy of a truly portable setup that can be enjoyed anywhere.

However, adding something like a Cayin C9 or Woo Audio WA8 will benefit your IEM setup more than many Head-Fiers like to believe. So with that in mind naturally I've tested the DX240 with my own heavily-modified Little Bear B4-X tube amp which you can read about here.

To give you some background, I modded the B4-X in every way my limited electronics knowledge can envisage and generally used the most expensive parts available. Sonically it now resembles the stock B4-X about as much as it looks, delivering superb desktop-class performance. The midrange in particular is astonishingly transparent, far TOO transparent for poor recordings where absolutely nothing is concealed.

So how does the DX240 compare with & without the amp? The biggest difference lies in the soundstage. Listening straight out of the DX240 the soundstage is extremely impressive by DAP standards, but after hooking up the modded B4-X you realize how narrow & congested it is by comparison. Everything expands outwards with a sense of grandness I've never heard directly from any DAP, resolution improves -particularly in the highs- and refinement goes up a couple of notches. Everything feels significantly more relaxed and less edgy, yet details require even less effort to pick out. The sonic flavor changes however, with instruments having significantly less body but more air, and overall less emphasis on the lower frequencies. This lends itself to a more contemplative atmosphere, rather than one encouraging you to jump up & dance. A more cerebral experience, yet one providing even greater emotional connection to the music.

However one downside of the B4-X is it's always been a fairly noisy amp, which the mods have never truly eliminated. Not only is background blackness better direct from the DX240, but the B4-X produces a very quiet yet annoying background clicking sound which persists until the amp has warmed up for a considerable period - more than an hour, which is also how long it takes the tubes to sound their best. So I find adding the B4-X is great for extended desk-bound listening sessions but not worth plugging in if I'm listening to a handful of songs, particularly on the go. Lastly it's worth mentioning interconnect quality is important - adding the Penon Totem cable upgraded performance considerably in an immediately obvious way.

Should You Purchase The DX240?​

The DX240 isn't perfect. Nothing is. The question remains if we should consider it a flagship player or not, and you'll have to formulate your own answer to that. What I can tell you is that for its' size, weight and price the DX240 offers more sonic performance than just about any DAP on the market in 2022. It's a player that'll make you move & grove, yet still offer enough audiophile refinement to feel like you're missing nothing each recording has to offer.

I strongly endorse this player, and have been a touch surprised by how little hype it has garnered in the community thus far. My suspicion is because so much perception of quality in this hobby is tied to price and flagship status, everyone wants "the best" for psychological reasons and the perception the DX240 isn't even "the best" in iBasso's own product lineup may be holding people back.

There's no absolutely regrets here that I slimmed down from the brick that was the DX300, in fact the DX240 suits my sonic preferences even better and has helped my rediscover my rock-loving roots. Small, powerful & sonically superb, what's not to love?
Glad you liked my review Cecala! :smiley:

Funnily enough the DX320 was announced mere days after I ordered the DX240. Initially I was annoyed, but on reflection made the right choice since the DX300/320 form factor simply doesn't jive with me, and size/ergonomics I rank quite highly among DAP characteristics. Rarely does the DX240 give the impression I'm missing out on anything of major sonic importance, a touch more treble air & resolution would be nice admittedly but I've been in this game long to know there will always be a feeling of "if only..." regardless of what one owns.

The DX240 is good enough for my picky needs despite having a winning form factor, something I couldn't say about many flagships.... looking squarely at you Fiio M17.
This. The form factor vs function on this player really is a sweet spot.
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The comparison to the SR25 was really appreciated and quite valuable. The SR25 is a first buy for a lot of people due to its price point and steller reviews. However there isn't a lot of disclosure about its sonic limitations... Great to the hear dx240 has a deeper bass, wider sound stage and better dynamics. Of which I found these to be a bit lacking in the SR25.


Reviewer at hxosplus
Size Does Matter
Pros: + Excellent technicalities
+ Balanced and transparent
+ Musical and engaging
+ Open and spacious
+ Phenomenal positioning accuracy
+ Ultra dynamic
+ Very powerful
+ Really portable
+ Great battery life
+ Vibrant screen
+ Snappy performance
+ Dual OS
+ Interchangeable amplifier modules backwards compatible with DX220
+ AMP8 MK2 leads to a different sound path
Cons: - Slightly more technical than musical (with stock amp)
- Leatherette case and amp faceplates are sold as an extra
- Stock amplifier module without 4.4mm socket
- No double tap to wake the screen
- You can't use the previous amplifier modules without the new faceplates
The DX240 was kindly provided free of charge by iBasso.
This is my honest and subjective evaluation without any bias.
The selling price is €790.83 ex.TAX and you can buy it, using the following (non-affiliate) link.

About the DX240

iBasso has a long history in producing some of the best sounding DAPs coupled with a very competitive pricing.
Their flagship DX300 (now out of production) is a truly remarkable digital player with a performance that highly exceeds the asking price, making it the least expensive high-end player of the market.
The full review is available here.


Compact yet fully featured

The latest instalment from the company is the DX240, a successor to the legendary DX220 but this time in a smaller form factor similar to the DX160.
Actually the DX240 is the most compact player in existence with such high end specs.
Measuring only 126x70.5x18.7mm and weighing a mere 240g, it is 100% pocket friendly and suitable for everyday carry.
The handling experience is a pure joy, navigation can be done one handed while it perfectly fits in your palm.
This is the definition of the portable digital player per se.



The DX240 might be compact but it packs some impressive features, starting with a single piece of the ES9038PRO to handle digital conversion duties, an 8-channel DAC with HyperStream II technology, and 32-bit native decoding, configured to work in a fully balanced mode.
As with their flagship DX300, iBasso has developed an FPGA Master chip to act as the audio system controller.
It receives the data from the CPU, synchronizes and generates all audio clocks at the same time using two NDK femtosecond oscillators, then sends it to the DAC in bit - perfect mode.
The player supports up to 32bit/768kHz PCM, DSD512 and full 16x MQA decoding.
The player is equipped with an ARM Qualcomm 660 CPU processor backed with 4Gb of fast memory and 64GB ROM.
Extra storage expansion is offered through a micro SD card slot.


Wireless connectivity

The DX240 supports dual band WiFi and bidirectional Bluetooth with the high resolution codecs LDAC and aptX HD.
WiFi reception is strong and stable and so is the Bluetooth connection.

Battery duration

The player is powered by an 4400mA rechargeable battery with regulated power supplies for all critical digital and analog sections.
Charging is done quite fast (under 3 hours) since the player supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.
You have to use at least an 2A charger in order to enable fast charging while battery duration is truly excellent for such a high end player.
With moderately efficient earphones like the FiiO FD7, I was able to get about 10 to 11 hours of usage, streaming 24/96 files with the gain set at medium and the screen mostly shut off.


Swappable amp modules

iBasso keeps designing audio players with swappable amp modules, a great option that further expands the sound possibilities by allowing the user to experiment with the various amplifiers and tailor the sound to his/her liking.
The DX240 amplifier module system is not compatible with that of the DX300 but it is backwards compatible with the modules that were designed for the DX220/DX200.
If you already own such a module then the only thing you need to do is to unscrew the stock and swap them but you must use the new faceplates in order to get the right fit.

The stock module is called AMP1 MK3 and it is a brand new design based on the previous AMP1 MK2.
Notable differences include upgraded capacitors and an op-amp to buffer the output.
The voltage is rated at 6.2Vrms with a maximum output power of 878mW@32Ω/128mW@300Ω (from the balanced 2.5mm output) and 3.1Vrms/281mW@32Ω/32mW@300Ω (from the single ended 3.5mm output).
There is also a dedicated line out by the means of a 3.5mm socket.


Design and build quality

The DX240 is made from CNC aluminium with beautifully curved sides while it is covered by some kind of frozen glass that gives the player a classy and luxurious feeling.
It is available in two colors, black and green.
The 5" full HD screen has an excellent body ratio and almost all of the front panel is covered by it.
The screen colors are vibrant with excellent visibility and the touch operation is very smooth.

The layout is very simple with a minimalist design that enhances the ease of use.
At the top of the right side there is the rotary volume control that also acts as the power ON/OFF button.
Under it there are three buttons to control the playback: play/pause, next song, previous song.
The sequence of the buttons can be reversed through the menu.
At the bottom of the player lies the stock amplifier module with the three audio outputs.
On the left side there is the micro SD card slot (without a protective cover) and at the top of the player you can find the USB type C input and the 3.5mm SPDIF output socket.
A simple and highly effective design.



The DX240 comes bundled with a silicone protective case, a coaxial to 3.5mm adapter and the little cable that is used as a load during the burning process.


Some retailers were selling the first batches of the player with an extra leather case of the same color and the faceplates, as a present.
Normally you have to buy these accessories as an extra.
The real leather case is worth buying but it has the minor drawback that it doesn't have a lid to secure the player inside so it can accidentally slip outside, something that has happened a couple of times.


User experience

The DX240 is fast and responsive, not as fast as the DX300 but still very satisfying, you are not going to miss a lot especially if you don't multitask.
I don't use digital audio players for anything else than listening to music but I have done some web browsing and downloaded the firmware update files without a single issue.
There is no official play store but the player comes with APK pure pre-installed so you can download all your favorite applications.
The user can choose between three gain settings and the seven available low pass filters directly from the drop down menu without the need to dive deeper into the settings.
The DX240 can also be used as a USB DAC and as a high quality digital transport both through the USB and SPDIF outputs.

Mango OS

The DX240 runs dual operating systems, an open Android 9.0 OS that is customized for audio performance and the (in-house developed) Mango OS that shuts down all other running applications for a pure music experience.
The Mango OS is fast and responsive with a well designed UI but honestly I haven't used it a lot because it will not allow the use of streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz.


Power output

The DX240 is very powerful, not only for the size but also in a strictly objective criteria.
From the balanced output, it can run most of the headphones minus some low sensitivity models.
I have tested the player with various headphones such as the Focal Clear Mg, Sennheiser HD660S/HD650, HiFiMan Sundara/Arya and Meze Lyric with great results.
Of course I am not talking about simply getting loud but rather about the excellent driver control, the extra headroom and the very satisfying dynamic range.
On the other hand it is dead silent as not to induce hiss to sensitive in - ear earphones.
A truly remarkable performance inversely proportional to the compact size of the DX240.


Sound impressions

iBasso suggested that I should burn the DX240 for at least 150 hours, using the included cable, and thus I did before the listening sessions.
I didn't monitor the progress, just followed the rules.
In addition to the above mentioned headphones I have also used the FiiO FD7, FH9, FA7S and the Meze Rai Penta.

The DX240 general sound characteristics are that of ultimate transparency, dead flat frequency response with top notch technicalities yet not deprived of musicality and involvement.
The overall sound quality is excellent and the player is the perfect mix between two personalities, the technocrat and the artist although slightly leaning towards the former.
Bold, expanded and dynamic, it stays always faithful to the original material without imposing a personality of it's own.
It makes sure that the music is being reproduced with the utmost precision while at the same time it has a great factor of musicality and emotional involvement.
The DX240 is agile, snappy, full of energy and nerve without becoming nervous, it has excellent timing properties and inherent sense of rhythm.
Deeply detailed and resolving, it never crosses the lines to become analytical and clinical but it manages to present the finest particles that dwell into the music as an integrated part of the whole experience.


The bass is lightning fast, full sounding and extended, not so visceral but super dynamic, tight and precise with exemplary layering and excellent control.
Mid range has superb linearity with great spaciousness, a rich harmonic palette and a natural timbre that imbues the sound with lifelike characteristics.
Treble is infinitely extended, crisp, fine, sharp and luminous yet not bright and by no means harsh.
Texture is airy and natural, the DAC implementation is very good with the least possible digital imprint.
There is some loss in body weight as higher register instruments start to become a touch thinner and with lesser intensity to their lower counterparts.
The clarity of the sound is just amazing and the soundstage is extremely wide and spacious.
Instrument separation and positioning are phenomenal and while the DX240 is not the last word in holography it still is very communicative of the ambience.
Listening to Beethoven's 9th symphony is a grand scale and highly intoxicating experience.


Compared to the iBasso DX300 (AMP11 MKI)
(Sound and size only comparison)

The DX300 is obviously larger and heavier and while it can be used on the go, the DX240 is just unbeatable when it comes to portability, there is simply no comparison and it reigns supreme.
Sound-wise both players share the same linearity and dead flat frequency response.
Power-wise the DX300 is a little more powerful, you can notice the extra headroom and better control.
Then they deviate to offer the listener two different and easily distinguishable sound profiles.
Summarizing it would be like comparing a top notch R2R DAC or vinyl set-up to an equally top D/S DAC.
The main difference lies in the timbre, the DX300 is more organic, natural and analog-like sounding.
More relaxed, less nervous, not as bold, it is lush and suave while it has the listener positioned closer to the stage.
Texture is a little finer and fuller, sound has more intensity and body weight, not only to the bass but to the whole frequency range.
It might be a touch less dynamic on the lower end but it counterweights with finer textural qualities and deeper layering.
Voices and instruments sound closer to reality, the presentation is more natural and harmoniously diverse with a surplus of musicality.
The DX300 is more visceral than the leaner DX240, with deeper soundstage and better holography.
Another thing of note is that the DX300 is even more silent than the DX240 with a blacker background.
Two are the main parameters that should be considered in order to decide between the two players.
The first, and most obvious, is the size, the DX240 is the clear winner without any drawbacks regarding the sound quality.
If size is not an issue then the user should choose according to the sound presentation and headphone matching.
The youthful and agile DX240 against the maturer and sanguine DX300, different strokes for different folks.


Compared to the FiiO M11 Plus LTD
(Sound and size only comparison)

This is a tough one.
Size-wise, both are close enough for this parameter not to count as the main deciding factor between the two.
Still if you crave for the most compact and lightweight unit then the DX240 is the way to go.
The DX240 is also more powerful and better suited for larger headphones and difficult loads but then the M11 Plus LTD is slightly more silent, with a touch blacker background.
There is also the benefit of the DX240 with the interchangeable amplifier modules which offer a greater tuning potential.
Sound-wise there is a different approach but not as pronounced as with the DX300.
The DX240 is bolder, more dynamic, a little faster, more agile, tight and controlled.
It offers greater clarity with enhanced detail retrieval, a more open soundstage with better positioning accuracy.
On the other hand the M11 Plus LTD has just a little better holography, it is more relaxed, articulation is somewhat finer and texture is smoother.
The sound is lush, the presentation is a notch more visceral and the overall timbre is slightly more organic and sweet but of course still far away from the corresponding properties of the DX300.
As said in the beginning this is a tough decision and you are going to have a hard time in order to decide.
Carefully consider your needs regarding the size and then your sound preferences and headphones before you choose.
One thing is for sure, both players are excellent with a top price to performance ratio.


In the end

Now, this is pretty easy;
The DX240 is the best portable player in the market and when you read portable it means really portable and not as portable.
It might be lightweight and palm sized but it offers an unmatched sound quality, worthy of the high end status, without any noticeable compromises.
In the end size does matter after all.

Test playlist

Copyright - Laskis Petros 2022
Last edited:

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
iBasso DX240 - Sing Me The Sweetest Melody
Pros: + Agile Software
+ Ergonomic Shape
+ Lively, forward, dynamic sound
+ Tons of details
+ Fun to use
+ Lots of driving power
+ USB DAC Abilities
+ Tons of functions
Cons: - Battery Life can be short with some modules
- The default AMP module does not have enough volume if driving hard to drive planars, need to invest in one
iBasso DX240 - Sing Me The Sweetest Melody


We're reviewing the new iBasso DX240 today, a portable music player or Digital Audio Player (DAP), priced at 950 USD, and a iBasso is back on top, and wants to make sure that you can use the AMP modules ecosystem from their DX220, so the new one is compatible with all AMP modules released so far, from AMP 1 all the way to AMP 8, so it will be compared in depth, and throughout the entire review with the original DX220, but also to other DAPs like FiiO M11 PRO (650 USD), Lotoo PAW 6000 (1200 USD), Astell & Kern A&Futura SE180 (1500 USD), iBasso DX300 (1200), and Dethonray Prelude DTR1+ (1000 USD). Since we're talking about such a high-end DAP, we will be doing pairings with Earsonics Corsa (450 USD), HIFIMAN Arya Stealth (1600 USD), Campfire Ara (1300 USD), and Sendy Audio Peacock (1500 USD).


You know the review is going to be fun when we're reviewing an iBasso product, so let's set something straight first. iBasso is that one audio company that kept the same profile from the start of their early days, providing what I am willing to call the cleanest record when it comes to an audio company. They offer some of the longest support times for their products, they offer excellent service, and most of their products are thought to be user serviceable. I revived the old DX220 once by replacing the battery, in a process that took less than 10 minutes, so it's smooth as butter now, has no hiccups, and you can call me a happy camper. I also still have the DX200, which is still going, but that one doesn't see as much usage as the new DX220, or the DX300 which is much newer and larger. Having AMP1 MK3, DX240 is expected to sound like DX300, but be within the ecosystem of DX220, so it should have the user-accessible design of DX220, paired with the newer and faster hardware of DX300.


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 the iBasso DX240. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in iBasso DX240 find their next music companion.

Package & Unboxing

iBasso always delivered unique and exquisite unboxing experiences, the same still being true with DX240. This time around, we have quite a bit of tech involved, and I feel the need to explain what everything is.




We have the DAP, a Burn-In Cable for DX240, we have a USB Cable, and a SPDIF Coaxial Cable, and even multiple protectors for the display. So far everything's cool, but with DX240, we also get a leather case in the package, and we get multiple face plates for additional AMP modules, along with a screwdriver, multiple screws, and a silicone case.


I'm amazed by how much effort and thought they put in DX240, and how backwards compatible they made it with AMP modules that were initially made for DX220. I love the presentation, and this is exactly how high-end DAPs should be presented, so you could call me happy and satisfied.

Build Quality/Aesthetics/Functionality

If you're coming from DX220, then DX240 will feel more at home than DX300 will ever feel. I'm surprised by how much iBasso has improved the ergonomics of this unit, and I'm talking about better rounded edges, a more coherent design, and a much lighter unit. The good old DX220 feels more industrial, like a mini robot, while DX240 feels more polished and refined. You can convert all AMp modules from DX220 to DX240, so you don't have to sell everything and start over, but the conversion operation is a fun experience on its own. You just need a screw set with multi mini heads, which can be found for around 30 USD.


Thanks to the way the display on DX220 was made, it feels closer to the person holding it, while on DX240, it feels more like a smartphone. They have equal colors and brightness, sporting some of the best displays I've seen on DAPs to date, in line with other flagships, and sometimes even better, with better resolution and image quality. The device design language is more playful this time around, the buttons are round and do not sit flush with the DAP, and the volume wheel is a golden accent on a black DAP, making for a really beautiful presentation. Together with the rounded, brushed aluminum back, and with the high-end fonts used, DX240 looks really cool.


We don't have a power button anymore, and DX240 uses the volume wheel as the on/off/wake button, but it still has the SPDIF Coaxial output at the top, together with the Type-C port you use to plug it in as a USB DAC. I actually used it a lot as a USB DAC, and I also streamed Tidal, everything works flawlessly. Funny thing is, with DX240, I don't seem to need a driver and on my windows PC it works without any additional drivers installed.


I tested taking apart the DX240, and it is a really easy process, even easier and more comfortable to do than DX220. You need to remove the bottom AMP module, remove two screws that hold the back into place, and slowly slide the back down, releasing it. You need to be extremely careful, because on the back you can find the Wifi Antenna glued to the back, as well as the battery glued to the back. Before taking the back out, disconnect the wifi antenna and the battery, which have standard connectors, then the back part is free. The battery is easily replaceable, and DX240 is the most user serviceable DAP I've seen so far, easier to service directly than most competitors.


With all edges rounded, DX240 is much more natural to hold in hand, and feels smaller, despite being exactly the same size as DX220. I took some shots of the AMP1 on DX220 vs the AMP1 that DX240 comes with. I would like to say that I'm not paid enough to take those apart and take the shots, but I'm not paid at all, it is all a hobby and a thing I do for fun. (If you could donate something, it would be greatly appreciated...) Provided you have both DX220 and DX240, it is possible to fit AMP1 MK3 in DX220 and vice versa.


We have a gargantuan DAC, the ES9038 PRO flagship unit, which supports native DSD512 and 32-Bit, 756kHz decoding, along with 16x MQA decoding. iBasso now dipped their toes and have FPGA Master technology, along with a lightning fast Snapdragon 660 SoC. We also have 4GB or RAM, along with 64 GB of internal memory, or ROM, and support for one microSD card up to 2TB. DX240, just like DX220 supporters Bluetooth, including LDAC, aptX HD, aptX LL, but also USB DAC functions, a Dual Band Wifi protocol with both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz, Dual OS with both Android and Mango OS environments, and 11 hours of continuous playback. Upon testing, the battery life can get close to 7-8 hours if listening loud, with a lot of screen on time, and using the balanced output. Charging is not very fast, and it can take up to two hours and a half from an almost dead battery to charge it, with my test resulting in 158 minutes to full charge.


The display is a high-end 1080p 5" display that has been the pride of iBasso, having vivid colors and sharpness that I really love to stare at album artwork on it. Unfortunately, there is no screen protector applied from the factory, and I botched up the screen protector application. The USB Type-C port is an ultra-speed 3.1 connector, faster than my card readers for transfering music, and other files. With Dual NDK Femtosecond crystal oscillators, you can be sure that it will have up to streamer levels of quality, in a portable DAP.


I did a ton of tests on the Bluetooth and Wifi modules, everything works better than my smartphone, which is currently a gamer phone, the Black Shark 4, and I got no dropouts using it as a Bluetooth DAC, or disconnects when sending data to bluetooth headphones, or receivers like BTR5 2021. The OS is quick, quicker than the original DX220, and everything is buttery smooth. I noticed no problems during usage, but it takes a while to get used to pressing on the volume wheel, since I was used to the original DX220, which has the old-fashioned button on top design. The bottom part is removable and adaptable to all AMP modules, plus in the package I received all formats needed to use all of the available AMP modules. Even by default, you have a 3.5mm Headphone Output, a 3.5mm Line Out, and a 2.5mm Balanced Headphone Output. Sadly, all of the products I'm working on reviewing lately have a 4.4mm format, so I need to use some adapters for them.


iBasso generally followed the idea of having an experience as close as possible to vanilla android, and this has been pleasing for most music lovers. Although DX220 and DX240 don't come with Google Play installed, you can work with apk files, and run Tidal, Qobuz and all the apps you may dream of, including games. For previous iBasso DAPs, we had one of the most exciting works done by a third party, namely the Lurker Mod, a mod that included Google Play and other features for iBasso DAPs.


Having used Android smartphones for my entire life, the entire OS and interface of DX240 feels natural, I have no trouble finding anything I need, but I have to admit, I got used to Astell & Kern's interface, the one presented on their SE180, where you have a floating back button. Happily, you can install one in DX240 in a few clicks, so there are many advantages to having an open Android system. We have a better status bar now, because we can see what gain mode we're in as well as what digital filter we're using, along with the current volume, Wifi status, battery level in percentage, and the current time.


If you're like me and mostly use DAPs for listening to music rather than horse around, you'll find that the Mango App music player feels and acts familiar, with the same interface we've grown to love over the years, but with a more sleek look than on DX220. While mango mode is vastly the same, having DX220 and DX240 side by side, I wish they would update the Mango app on DX220 with this sleek aesthetic, smaller buttons, but better background to interface contrast ratio. Everything simply looks brilliant now, and it takes advantage of DX240's screen high resolution. The EQ function is mostly the same, with both DX220 and DX240 having access top both a graphic EQ as well as a complex Parametric EQ. Browsing folders feels similar, but DX240 is more modern in how the interface is projected and designed, where DX220 always feels more professional but slightly old school.


The android part of DX240 is more colorful than DX220 was, especially as it now uses Android 9 rather than the 8.1 DX220 is running. All in all, DX240 feels like a refined DAP, with proper software for the year it is released in, and it simply works. There isn't anything in particular I mind about the software, but I'm a relaxed user and mostly do simple tasks, like listening to music, streaming, and using it as a USB DAC and Bluetooth DAC. This is because I have a much faster, 144Hz refresh rate smartphone with the latest Snapdragon CPU for mails, games and any other task immaginable. In fact, if you get a DX240 for listening to music, iBasso implemented a better USB DAC function, and it now doesn't have any pop when changing songs or when changing file rates, going from Redbook to hi-res and such, and the USB DAC of DX240 has the same quality / level as Astell & Kern SE180, a considerably more expensive DAP.

Sound Quality

We have a very powerful Amplifier paired with DX240, and we can see numbers like 281 mW at 32 OHMs on Single Ended and 878 mW at 32 OHMs in balanced mode. The voltage is close to 3.1Vrms on Single Ended, and double, 6.2 over the balanced connector. We're looking at excellent numbers, with a SNR of 125dB over balanced and 123dB over single ended. The THD is -114dB on Balanced and -110 dB on Single ended. You could consider DX240 to be better than many desktop DACs, and it is at that level where you could think of it like you think of a multimedia center, especially since if you're using it as a Bluetooth receiver, it has better support and better sonics than any desktop-class DAC / Streamer has on Bluetooth to date.

In actual listening tests, DX240 is really really close to DX300, and it is extremely hard to tell them apart, if you listen to them side by side. The overall sonic is really clean, potent, but also open and colorful on DX240, and where DX300 sounds slightly fuller, DX240 sounds more open and more dynamic. Both are high-end DAPs though, so I'll try to focus on describing DX240 for now.


The overall signature of DX240 is one of the most live, most lively signatures I heard to this date. It simply can paint an accurate portrait when it comes to music and catching that live feeling to songs. There's an extreme amount of dynamics, paired with a slightly forward midrange, but a deep and quick bass, and a sparkly, airy treble. The soundstage is generally extremely wide and the stereo imaging is also perfect. Listening to live concerts is a whole new experience and you feel like you're part of the crowd, while listening to well recorded music brings you closer to being there, rather than feeling like you're behind the glass in a studio. You feel like the microphone, you don't feel like DX240 is in the way of music, but it is like an open window to that music.

The bass of DX240 is deep, quick and clean. It has slightly higher and slightly warmer than neutral bass, but it hits deep and it hits hard. Where DAPs like PAW6000 go for a more gentle presentation, DX240 wants to be all in, and regardless whether you're listening to rock, metal, punk or dubstep, the bass is always quick, deep and fun to listen to. Songs like Eminmem - We Made You have a really clean presentation to bass and impact. On songs like NEFEX - Ready To Go, the bass guitar is clean and presented close to the listener. DX240 doesn't force the bass to sound wider than it should be, rather making everything take their place in the recording as dictated by the original recording. I am surprised by how clean it can keep the bass, even at extremely loud volumes, as DX240 has zero distortion with any IEMs / Headphones I tested it with, regardless of the volume I'm listening at.

The midrange is where the magic starts to happen, as DX240 has a really magical outline to all instruments, it brings that magical sparkle and accurate tonality to the table. Somehow, voices seem to have that live presentation to them, where there's just a bit of extra presence in the upper midrange, a little bit of extra uplift in the right spot of the mids that makes music live and open. The soundstage is wide, and well rounded, the midrange is controlled and natural in tonality. DX240 is one of the most dynamic DAPs on the market at the moment, having dynamics comparable to the considerably more expensive SE180 from Astell & Kern. On songs like Dance Gavin Dance - The Jiggler, the guitars have that fuzzy texture, but they are never harsh, while everything happens in a really open and wide space. The separation between instruments is incredible, and it is really easy to hear the lead guitar separated from the rhythm, which plays everywhere in the background, as it is intended in the recording. The voice of John Mess has the raw power and aggressiveness it should have, while Tillian has that sweet and musical presentation his voice should have. DX240 is surely perfect if you need absolute accuracy in tonality. Even in the most noisy and busy parts of the song, there's an excellent distinction between guitars, effects, drums and voices, and things never come jumbled together, rather playing musically together.

The treble of DX240 continues that "live" presentation it starts with, and we have a really clean and slightly wet presentation, which is desirable as it means that DX240 never forces itself on the listener, but still has a magical amount of sparkle and detail to the sound. The treble extension of DX240 is incredibly good, and where DAPs like SE180 are smooth, and lotto paw 6000 is gentle, DX240 is live and airy, with a good sense of space. I like how each of them has a certain way of presenting music, but DX240 is clearly the most "live" of them, where DX300 seems the most "forward", and each of them follows a certain signature of its own. If you're a fan of live concerts and want to have some of that magic and energy with you, DX240 is clearly the one I would suggest, and even on songs like Eskimo Callboy - Mc Thunder, you can hear the percussion and cymbals being played with extreme energy and very little prejudice. There's that feeling of air throughout the song, and the sparkly top end of DX240 surely is satisfying here.


Since some of you guys were curious for me to do it, I tried taking some photos of DAPs, many of them at once. As you can imagine, it is rather risky going out in Romania with multiple products costing above 1000 USD, for taking photos, and it is not practical to take those shots often, but I hope this one review helps show that I do take side to side comparisons. In fact, I have this stack above the Cyrus One Cast you can see in many of my videos, and I try to quickly swap between DAPs to do some serious testing. All tests have been done using volume matching. DX240 is generally quite loud and potent, even from the single ended connector that's a mere 281mW at 32 OHMs. The main comparisons chosen for today's review are FiiO M11 PRO (650 USD), Lotoo PAW 6000 (1200 USD), Astell & Kern A&Futura SE180 (1500 USD), iBasso DX300 (1200), and Dethonray Prelude DTR1+ (1000 USD).


iBasso DX240 vs Lotoo Paw 6000 (950 USD vs 1200 USD) - The overall DAP is slightly smaller for PAw6K, but it also has more battery life than DX240. PAW6K is shorter, about the same thickness and abou the same width as DX240. In general, DX240 has better support for apps and streaming, where Paw6K is more of a dedicated DAP made for music. The sound of Paw6000 is better suited for those looking for a really gentle and refined presentation, with a ton of detail, Paw6000 has more overall softness and a wet character, where DX240 sounds more live, punchy and more vivid. The two have comparable amount of detail and resolution, but the way things are presented, PAW6000 is going to always sound softer, less forward, with more depth, while DX240 sounds wider, but also more forward, more direct and more aggressive.

iBasso DX240 vs iBasso DX300 (950 USD vs 1200 USD) - We had a chance to see how iBasso can improve when it comes to their DAPs, but what about their own DAPs? The overall device is much larger, with a quicker OS for DX300, which seems to be smoother in operation, and with better app support. By comparison, DX240 seems smaller, more ergonomic, and much closer to the design / idea behind DX220. The general sound is more forward, and slightly more warm on DX300, but it is fairly close, with DX240 having pretty much the same overall detail, resolution and dynamics. Both are great for a live concert, and both are great at driving IEMs, but DX300 seems to be better at driving hard to drive headphones, having a 4.4mm balanced headphone output, and having more overall control over harder to drive headphones. With easier to drive headphones and IEMs, DX240 seems to have a more fun and more vivid signature, whereas DX300 seems to be warmer, more forward.


iBasso DX240 vs FiiO M11 PRO (950 USD vs 650 USD) - although on paper both DAPs are made to be very similar, they are quite different, and DX240 is smoother in operation, the software feels better designed, with better support from both iBasso and third parties, like Lurker. The overall DAP is more ergonomic for DX240, and the sound is also better, although following a pretty similar signature and tuning to M11 PRO. Where M11 PRO is a bit brighter and more edgy, also a bit more harsh, DX240 sounds more vivid, more punchy, more dynamic, more detailed, more resolute and better refined. The bass is also better nuanced, with more body and more presence on DX240.

iBasso DX240 vs Astell & Kern A&Futura SE180 (950 USD vs 1500 USD) - There are big differences here between those two DAPs, starting with the main philosophy about how they work, DX240 being more of an Android DAP, while Astell & Kern is made to work within the AK ecosystem, although both can do streaming, Tidal, MQA, and DSD support. The battery life is slightly longer on SE180, living with one to two more hours than on DX240 in practical tests. Although they both come with good support from the factory, and both have balanced, SE180 has both 2.5mm and 4.4mm for the balanced outputs. The overall sonic driving ability is higher on SE180, and it reaches louder volumes, with more control on hard to drive headphones, but they are similar for IEMs, and both have a really black background. The tonality is smoother, more full, warmer and more mature on SE180, with DX240 being more lively, more live, more punchy and more forward. Similar to DX300, DX240 is made to sound as if you were actually attending a live concert and being right there in the crowd. I like both of them, but DX240 is more punchy for metal, live music, and dubstep / electronic, whereas SE180 is more suited for Jazz, Classical, Pop, Rock, and acoustic music. DX240 is more vivid for symphonies too. The detail is better on SE180, as it can resolve slightly more pure detail, but the smoother, more balanced, and thicker signature also gives more body to music, which may be one of the reasons some details are easier to hear. DX240 is more peppy and snappy, more agile in sound.


iBasso DX240 vs Dethonray DTR1+ Prelude (950 USD vs 1000 USD) - The last comparison is the hardest to make because DTR1+ has a very basic construction and design, it is a DAP that can only DAP, with no super powers, no support for streaming, no USB DAC functions, just playing music from a microSD card. If you need streaming, bluetooth DAC, USB DAC, EQ and any other advanced function, then DX240 should be the obvious choice here. DTR1+ Prelude reminds me a lot of the QLS QA361 I reviewed in the past, and it follows a totally different signature, yet somehow reminiscent of the QLS QA361. The overall sound of DTR1+ Prelude is far more sweet and gentle than expected, but it can deliver a huge amount of dynamics and a punchy bass. It is somehow the most analogue sounding of all the DAPs I heard, but at the same time it is fairly colorful. DX240 sounds more energetic, more raw, and more forward. There's a certain sense of space that DX240 manages to capture in a live mode, as sitting in a concert hall, where DTR1+ Prelude rounds the scene more, makes it as if the space is more defined, but smaller. Both DAPs have similar levels of detail, resolution and clarity, although I suggest watching out for my review on DTR1+ Prelude if you're interested in a minimalistic DAP, because it is a fairly recent one for me.



iBasso DX240 + Campfire Audio Ara (950 USD + 1300 USD) - Ara is a great IEM to pair with anything, being so detailed, yet so punchy, so revealing yet so musical, it is inane. It is practically a perfect IEM, and with great sonic performance comes great ergonomics and a great cable, but I wanted to test whether I can hear any hissing. DX240 has a slightly higher output impedance than most high-end competitors, but happily I could notice no hissing or background noise, and while AMP1MK3 doesn't really surprise me with the black background, it does surprise me with the forward, punchy and colorful presentation, detailed and clean sound, and with the extreme amount of dynamics it is able to present through Ara, reminding me how much I love the sound of Campfire Audio when they're driven well.

iBasso DX240 + HIFIMAN Arya Stealth (950 USD + 1600 USD) - Arya Stealth was a model I was concerned about, as it likes to suck some power, but DX240 is totally able to drive them, and what a drive it is. DX240 creates a really wide and deep soundstage with Arya Stealth, with tons of detail and a beautiful voicing, plus the pairing has one of the best micro detail presentations I heard lately. You just need to keep in mind that I've been using an aftermarket cable (Meze 2.5mm Balanced) that ended in a 2.5mm connector as the default cable of Arya Stealth ended in a 6.3mm connector, and the one I presented in my video review of the Stealth has a 4.4mm connector only.

iBasso DX240 + Earsonics Corsa (950 USD + 450 USD) - You know we can only test for one thing with Corsa, and that thing is naturalness, here DX240 proving to have not only a very low noise floor (as the BA drivers in Corsa are sensitive to it), but also a spot-on tonality, without unwanted colorations or any sign of struggle. Corsa is really good at revealing whether the source can drive them well, not here it is not about loudness, but about clarity and tonality, you will hear incredibly accurate tonality and overall voicing with DX240, as it has what I would be willing to call the closest to live tonality and overall presentation I heard to so far in a DAP, and a very similar presentation to DX300 which also has this really live sound.

iBasso DX240 + Sendy Audio Peacock (950 USD + 1500 USD) - It is quite ironic, but this one pairing actually failed to reach my ears as much as I would have wanted, because I always had to grab an adapter to use it. Eventually, I ended up connecting the Peacock over Single Ended, and I was really pleased with the experience, as DX240 with its AMP3 is fully able to drive the Peacock over Single Ended, louder than I typically listen, and with an excellent sense of dynamics, a forward vocal presentation, tons of detail, and a joyful, colorful, uplifting sound. The best part about this pairing is the overall punchiness that DX240 has, and where I always said that the original DX220 was reference sounding with the default AMP module, I feel like DX240 is really pleasing and enjoyable without any additional modules.

Value and Conclusion

At the end of the day, DX240 is indeed a really good successor for the DX220 everyone loved, and if you found that DX300 is too much of a jump, and too different of a DAP to upgrade to, then DX240 is the right thing for you. The price is not very high, and is in line with other iBasso offerings, comparing it to DX300 and DX220, plus the price of DX240 makes it very competitive in today's market, where iBasso is slowly becoming the company with the best price / performance ratio you can go for, especially after FiiO's spectaculous increase in price for their latest products.


We have the full set, MQA support, Bluetooth DAC support, USB DAC support, microSD slot support, Tidal, Qobuz, Apps, Balanced Output, even support for the entire range of AMP modules developed by iBasso. We're basically talking about an upgrade for those who had DX220, and who want to get the absolute best they can now, and to get it as an experience they're used to. I know how stressful changing applications can be, as switching between blogger and Wordpress back when I upgraded Audiophile-Heaven a year ago meant learning new ways to post, new ways to design articles, and new stuff that I never had to deal with before. iBasso wanted to make sure that for those of you who found peace in their DX220, you can upgrade to a new and improved DAP without having to get used to a whole new system.


I will be adding DX240 to Audiophile-Heaven's Hall Of Fame, as a replacement for the original DX220, and it can sit next to DX300, as different offerings from the same company, each made for a certain customer and made to please a certain someone out there, someone looking to enjoy some high quality music and some easy time.


At the end of the day, if you're looking for one of the best sounding DAPs on the market now, but if you fancy a smaller form factor, if you like having modular AMPs, and iBasso's stellar support, if you love having a full package and support for any usage scenario you can imagine, including EQ, and a purist OS mode, then iBasso DX240 should be perfect for you, and at 950 USD, it is a fully recommended DAP.


100+ Head-Fier
iBasso DX240: Prince Charm and his impeccable manners
Pros: Sound, kit, design, functionality
Cons: No
Hi friends!

A festive mood is in the air, and not only the rapidly approaching New Year is to blame for this. After long adventures, our editorial office finally received a special gift that we have been waiting for!

Today we will get acquainted with a wonderful new product from everyone's beloved iBasso Audio. This year, to celebrate its 15th anniversary, the company released without exaggeration the iconic DAP DX240, which, in fact, became a logical continuation of the popular DX220 model. This compact device has managed to incorporate all the advanced developments from the flagship DX220 MAX, DX300 and DX300 MAX! The novelty is also notable for the fact that it is compatible with replaceable amplifier modules of its predecessor.

The DX240 turned out to be more than a worthy successor of its noble family. But before proceeding directly to acquaintance with him, I would like to conduct a small excursion into the history of the brand.

IBasso Audio started out with the production of portable amplifiers and DACs. In 2012, she introduced the DAP DX100, which has won the hearts of audiophiles and music lovers around the world. Later, the younger models saw the light: DX50, DX90, DX80. And then the flagship DX200 appeared, which, among other things, was notable for the possibility of replacing the amplifier modules. This hereditary trait was passed on to such models as DX150, DX220, DX300 and the hero of our today's review - DX240. It is also worth remembering the hits in the entry and middle segment - the iBasso DX120, DX160 and of course the unsurpassed DX220 MAX. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the new limited edition DX300 MAX, but I am sure that this is one of the pinnacles of modern sound engineering.

Well, in today's concert, a new talent from iBasso, talented and sophisticated, Prince of Charm - DX240 will be the soloist!

DSCF7484 2.jpg

Text: Alexey Kashirskey (aka Hans Barbarossa)


OS: Android 9.0
CPU: Qualcomm 660
RAM: 4Gb
Storage: 64Gb + micro-SD
DAC: 1x ES9038PRO
Sample rate: PCM: 8Hz – 768kHz (8/16/24/32bits) native – DSD64/128/256/512
System clock: Full synchronization technology with TXCO PPL + FPGA Master
Outputs: 3.5mm headphone out/line-out / 2.5mm TRRS balanced headphone output
Input: USB Type-C
Screen: 5.0″ 1920×1080 IPS Screen
Micro SD: SDHC / SDXC (single slot)
USB DAC: yes
WiFi: 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz support
DNLA + APK support
Bluetooth support: SBC, aptX, LDAC, AAC – BT5.0
Duplex Bluetooth: the player can emit and receive music
Battery: 4400mAh Li-Polymer
Quick Charge: yes (QC 3.0 / PD2.0 / MTK)
Battery life: 13h in single-ended, 12h in balanced
Charging time: around 1h30
Size: 126mm x 70.5mm x 18.7mm
Weight: 240g (270g with the silicone case)

2.5mm Headphone out
Output level: 6.2Vrms (max)
Output Power: 878mW@32ohms, 128mW@300ohm
SNR/Dynamic Range: 125 dB / 125dB
Crosstalk: – 119dB
Output impedance: 0.57 ohms
THD+N: -119dB
Frequency Response: 10Hz – 40kHz

3.5mm Headphone out
Output level: 3.1Vrms (max)
Output Power: 281mW@32ohms, 32mW@300ohm
SNR/Dynamic Range: 123 dB / 122dB
Crosstalk: – 117dB
Output impedance: 0.38 ohms
THD+N: -110dB
Frequency Response: 10Hz – 40kHz

Appearance and kit

The DX240 is packed in a nice compound box. The first is a hard, glossy cover, which, like a chameleon, shimmers with a pearlescent silver color. It shows the model of the device and its profession - Reference DAP, below is the brand logo.


Next is the green box, in which, in addition to the DX240, there was a whole scattering of accessories: screen protectors, a coaxial cable, a USB type-C / type-A cable for connecting to a power adapter and synchronizing with a PC, a burn-in cable , transparent silicone bumper cover and mandatory warranty instructions.
As always, iBasso has the most complete package.


Separately, you can purchase a chic branded leather case and a set of external panels for docking the DX240 with previously released amplifier modules.
Re-profiling an amplifier module is not difficult: you need to select the required external panel in accordance with the outputs of your amplifier, unscrew the amplifier board from the old case and screw it to the new panel.




But back to our acquaintance with the DAP itself. Its frame is made of aluminum alloy, and externally it is similar to its counterparts DX220 and DX160, however, a number of key points have been improved here.
To begin with, the DX240 has become more compact than its predecessor (126 mm x 70.5 mm x 18.7 mm) and is practically close in size to the DX160. And its weight is 240 grams. Beautiful touch-screen from Sharp with a 5.0 ″ IPS matrix covers the entire front panel. The display boasts Full HD resolution, rich color reproduction and good sensor response.

The back surface of the apparatus is of a rounded arcuate shape. It is made of matte, tactilely pleasant plastic and shimmers with a gray-black gradient, and the model index "DX240" flaunts in the center. This design solution looks just amazing.



The DX240 is available in both green and black. We have, as you probably already understood, the second color option.
On the right, at the end, there is a wheel recessed into the body for adjusting the volume with a smooth ride. It is also, in combination, is the on / off button of the device. Next to him are three control keys lined up: forward, start / pause, back. There was also a place for the golden “Hi-Res Audio” sticker.
On the left side there is a microSD slot. The volume of the device's own memory is 64 GB.



The top edge got type-C connectors (for charging and synchronizing with a PC) and S / PDIF (for digital signal output). At the bottom there are AMP1 MK3 amplifier connectors: 3.5 mm linear, 3.5 mm TRS and 2.5 mm TRRS for balanced headphone connection.



For communication with the outside world by air, the player is equipped with wireless modules: dual-band WiFi (4 GHz / 5 GHz) and Bluetooth 5.0 with support for SBC, aptX, LDAC, AAC codecs.
When connected via USB Type-C to a desktop or laptop, the DX240 can also act as an external DAC / sound card.

The device is built on the Saber 9028PRO DAC chip from ESS Technology. For the analog part, as I mentioned earlier, the new amplifier module AMP1 MK3 is responsible.
For processing the digital part and suppressing jitter, the FPGA-Master matrix of its own design iBasso is responsible.
Responsible for the computing part is Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (SD660) paired with 4 GB of LPDDR4X RAM.
One charge cycle of the 4400 mAh battery will last about 11-12 hours of operation. But here everything will depend on the headphones connected, the files being listened to and the volume level. The battery also has a fast charge function: (QC 3.0 / PD2.0 / MTK).


So, before us is a perfectly assembled device: no laxity, everything is clear, monolithic and tactilely pleasant. Its design and ergonomics are beyond praise, and the materials from which it is made further emphasize its originality. Therefore, it is a pleasure to use the device.


Android 9.0 and its own Mango OS are responsible for the "intellectual" abilities of the device.
Installation of apps here can be done using APKPure, so that any program for Android can be found and downloaded by yourself in a matter of minutes.
The DX240, like its cousins DX220 and DX300, has a dual boot, which allows you to choose between the Android OS and an independent virtual Mango player that has a stylish interface and easy control.
If you want, in addition to listening to music, Internet access, all kinds of programs and streaming services - Android. If you want a clean audio player, choose Mango OS.


Updating the software occurs both online (the DX240 finds and installs it by itself when connected to Wi-Fi), and through the manufacturer's website, from where you can download the firmware to a memory card and install it on the device from there. This is familiar to us from 220 / MAX / 300.
With navigation, everything is simple and familiar, like with smartphones on Android: swipe across the screen, pull the curtains, poke your finger at what you are looking for. Well, if you wish, you can start and switch tracks using the side buttons.
It is worth mentioning that the DX240 is already well optimized out of the box, and the manufacturer promises to regularly improve its software. By the way, the player has recently been released, the update is already out!

Like its predecessors, the DX240 has seven digital filters and a parametric equalizer (PMEQ), which allows you to fine-tune the sound to your taste.

Well, we have figured out the external and internal contents of the device, let's finally talk about the main advantage of the newcomer - about the sound!


We used: 64 AUDIO A12t, FIR Audio M5, Vision Ears VE8, Vision Ears VE7, InEar PP8, iBasso IT07, Beyerdynamic DT250 / 250 ohm and Phonon 4400.

Before analyzing the sound, the player burned-in for about 100 hours, which, in my opinion, had a very beneficial effect on the final formation of its "voice".
I note right away that the device coped well with both low-impedance sensitive IEM/CIEM and high-impedance full-size models Headphones - noise and distortion were not noticed anywhere.



DX240 sounds balanced, energetic, with drive and amazing melody. He so competently and scrupulously places accents at the edges of the frequency range that the overall sound becomes more contrasting and lively, saturated with notes of positive, and the audio images are filled with volume. This is the case when a pedantic approach gives simply amazing results. The manner of sound production is comfortable and rhythmic, smooth and voluminous, and most importantly - very exciting and "thoroughbred".

The hallmark of the DX240's audio signature is its amazing dynamics. There is a crisp clap, a tight hit with a clearly distinguishable impact force, and a rounded, agile bass with a charming rhythmic pattern.

The device, despite the rather dense manner of sound presentation, builds a stereo panorama very accurately and in a contrasting manner, very accurately indicating the localization of sound sources in space, placing greater emphasis on macrodynamics, but at the same time not forgetting to sensitively indicate all the small nuances of the composition.



At the same time, the sound is not at all a monitor sound, it has an excellent transfer of the emotional part, with its own "pattern" and character. It focuses mostly on the midrange, with light, warmth, emphasis in the midbass area and smooth, neat and graceful high-frequency emphasis delivered in a comfortable manner. In such a blissful and enchanting atmosphere, you want to dive without looking back and enjoy your favorite music for hours, not thinking about the time.

The virtual soundstage is medium in size, it harmoniously and proportionally builds up, both in depth, height, and width, strikingly conveying the volume of an imaginary space.

Frequency amplitude

The bass is tight, rounded, punchy, energetic and well controlled. There is a tight, accurate shot, terrain, and good speed. He clearly sets the rhythm with his energetic manner, filling the middle with a dense velvety substance. The subbass area is served smoothly, complementing the low-frequency register with depth, and the midbass, in turn, is neatly forced, detailed, rhythmic and unusually dynamic.
The lows and low mids in the DX240 are adorable! The lows perfectly work out their own, darkening the general background and beautifully fill the middle with an organic warm substance, giving it velvety, physicality and naturalness.

Mids are smooth, natural, rich in timbre and texture, and therefore every musical instrument and image is endowed with a bodily basis. It is an extremely naturalistic, convex and pliable manner, with striking contrast and wide dynamic range. Vocal parts and strings - everything sounds cheerful, rich, lively and naturalistic. Mids are sweet, comfortable and silky. Here extraordinary melody enters into a perfect symbiosis with exciting dynamics.

High frequencies are reproduced cleanly, clearly and harmoniously. They are moderately energetic, laconic and charming. This is a precise and comfortable manner with a light, unobtrusive "spark" that slightly tints the overall sound, followed by an early decay. Yes, there are no baroque, refined after-sounds inherent in the old brothers, but at the same time, the DX240 transmits this register quite clearly and accurately, without excessive aggression and artifacts.


In fact, the sound of the DX240 does not want to be divided into separate frequency ranges at all, so it is presented as a whole, euphonious and noble, as a single harmonious audio array.

The DX240 does a great job with a variety of music genres: classical, instrumental, jazz, electronic, rock and all sorts of brutal genres. Everything plays out engaging and extremely interesting.

DX240 vs DX220 MAX
In character, sound style and family ties, so to speak, the DX240 gravitates more towards the manners of the DX220 Max than to the DX220 and DX300. From the common features of these two models, one can note the amazing dynamics, speed, density, precision of impact and extraordinary melody. Although, of course, this is a rather conditional comparison, and the sound of these devices is clearly different. In general, in all honesty, I confess that the DX220 Max is my favorite in the DAP world.

Max, in addition to a larger imaginary space, better conveys micro-contrast, and as a true gourmet knows how to "savor" small details. The DX240 does this very nicely too, but nevertheless delivers the audio material more convexly, musically, with an emphasis on macro dynamics.
Well, and, perhaps, the main difference is playing out high frequencies. The DX220 Max handles this challenging range in a more refined, drawn-out, analytical manner. While the beginner passes the high-frequency register more concisely, accurately, with a slight simplification in the form of a distinct "spark" and an earlier falloff. There are no refined manners, layering and extended after-sounds, but there is a clear and precise working out of the treble, served in a comfortable form.

But seriously, it would be strange to expect a great similarity of devices with such a difference in size and price. The DX220 Max is hardly portable at all. It is large, weighty, and sounds to match its size - as seriously as possible. DX240 is just a crumb against its background, but at the same time it also has an amazing "voice"!
I also note that individual preferences in sound and headphones connected to these devices also play a significant role.


DX240 vs DX300
Let me remind you that the DX300 has a very deep, hypnotic, multi-layered, "bohemian" style, with a wide and unusually deep virtual soundstage.
The three hundredth sounds more measured. The lower register is shifted towards the subbass, while the DX240 works out the midbass area better.

DX240 in this comparison is more lively, driving, rhythmic, fast and dynamic. In addition, in my opinion, it is more versatile in terms of style preferences in music. Yes, the newcomer's soundstage is not as “all-encompassing” as that of the older brothers, but he perfectly conveys volume, harmoniously building an imaginary space in width, depth and height, albeit a little more compact.
From the DX300, our today's hero received an extraordinary musicality that literally envelops the listener, impeccably polished smoothness and bohemian manners. The best inheritance from the previous generation is hard to come up with.

DSCF7733 2.jpg


When we talk about iBasso products, it is almost impossible to keep the intrigue. Any development of the company is something special, and this case is no exception.
DX240 is a stylish, modern, convenient in all respects device with an outstanding implementation of the technical part, functional hardware and a gorgeous screen. The versatility and unusually interesting harmonious sound of this multimedia DAP will be highly appreciated by both novice music lovers and the most demanding audiophiles.
Bravo, iBasso, bravissimo!

It remains only to name one important number. The player's suggested retail price at the time of writing was $ 949. I believe that every dollar of this amount iBasso DX240 works out completely!
Last edited:
Hi, thanks for the review. I am currently listening to an iPhone > Lotoo PAWS2 > Oriolus BA300S > Plunge Audio Universal planar (outstanding, not yet quite officially released IEM).

Do you think the DX240 - either alone or with the Orolius Tube amp - would be a big improvement, or a lateral move?


Thanks. I don't have a setup like yours to make a comparison. Here only listening and comparative analysis can answer your question. Also, individual preferences, I think, is a matter of taste.
can you tell us which amp the dx300 is on?


Headphoneus Supremus
iBasso DX240 - a mini me DX300
Pros: ESS super dac, snapdragon 660 SoC, own FPGA chip, size and weight, ui speed, great wifi, Android 9, ten hours+ battery life, DX220 amps 1-8 compatible
Cons: Silicone stock case, no anime girl on box, not amp9 compatible

ibasso DX240 review - expatinjapan​


The iBasso DX240 - spiritual successor to the DX200 & DX220 in a small footprint, fast n speedy ui and delicious sweet defined sound.


Following closely in the speedy heels of the DX300 and DX300MAX with their improved OS, wifi and underlying structure.

A smaller footprint size wise, fast ui/os like the DX300 and an average battery life of around ten hours (micro sd card).

Its a brave new dap world. Eat your soma.

More information here:
Manual (thx Yannis)

Price is roughly around US$900-$950
See the iBasso website for a list of authorized dealers.

Releasing soon.


iBasso sent two boxes. One with the stock DX240 and silicone case.

The smaller black box had a leather case and three amp cases for setting of the amps from DX200/220.


On with the show with the usual visual splendor for the visual orientated ones

Full set of pics here:

DX240 unboxing





I put on a screen protector - but its not one of my strengths to put one on lol.
I tried…



For wifi 5G is generally recommended


Usual two apps for downloading other apps and the google store etc



From bright to dimmer to try keep a nice background whilst the screen is on. To no avail. Oh well i can’t be bothered waiting for morning light… i like natural light photography


The usual cables for charging, connecting to a home system etc and the burn in cable


A bevy of thick and thin screen covers


A starter guide and warranty


And here we go


A silicone type case is included



Some menu stuff for the curious




Size comparisons between DX200, DX220 and DX240




DX240 and DX160



DX240, DX160 and DX300


DX220, DX240, DX300




DX240, DX300 & DX300MAX

The new generation gangs all here



Scanning…so close…


Android side and also pure Mango player only side

A wee pop when turning on the device or going to mango. So watch your ears


Filter D4 slow roll off (minimum) is what the dap came set at. Sometimes i take this as a recommended hint.




Usual filters. NoNOS filter

Handheld shaky ui, speed etc video


‘Sound, price, impressions?’

I only just unboxed it :) rest assured that will come at a later date when i have something realistic and confirmed over time.

Until then, stay safe everyone <3


More specs and stuff here:


Bonus box of mystery pick and mix

Lets jump to the smaller box which i actually took photos of last.
This contained another (leather?) case and also module cases that can fit amps 1-8 from DX200/DX220.

I dunno if this is an actual party pack retail or whether the case and modules will be sold separately at this point. I do believe the module cases will be sold separately anyway though.
I thought this is a point many would be curious and want to know more about first of all.

*This would be a separate purchase i believe (case and module covers).
*Twister6 said the covers would be selling for $20 each.













If the amp does not fit, you must quit!


Above DX240 amp module and DX300 amp module


Above DX240 amp module and DX220 amp module


Above - amp9 does not fit by itself. Nor do the screws match to any of the DX240 amp module cases. Just as iBasso stated. But i had to try anyway :)



Specifications and stuff


Battery life

I performed several battery tests by playing various music and a mix of resolutions on shuffle from a Micro SD card

Averaging out at around 10 hours.





Transition and guesswork


I found this post i made. Some guesswork about the future listening tests.
After i add this to the review i am going to check and see how close or far off i was.


iBasso DX240 in the light of day. With IT07/CB16 cable & DDhifi 4.4mm to 2.5mm bal DJ44B adapter.

Why the adapter? I am used to the IT07 and did not want too much variance from the cable i am used to. Just sitting at home anyway so no stress on the port.

Amp1mark1 verus mark2 versus mark3.

Audio memory being faulty i would hesitantly say/guess (without undue burn in):
DX200 - Reference/dry
DX220 - neutral/slightly colored & a touch dynamic
DX240 - reference/neutral/detailed/‘fresh & lively’/definition

Not sure how it stacks against DX300 amps 11mk1/11mk2/amp12 - its probably a more recent reference mark for the development of amps using the popular amp8 as a base.

Amp swapping is going to take some time and not a thing i am going to tackle too much initially. I am going to get to know the base stock amp1markiii first.

I do wish i still had the amp8EX now. Ugh. It would be a good baseline to compare to.
I did think the DX300 came quite close but lacking a certain naturalness(?) which was more the excellent iBasso implementation of the ess versus the usual cirrus sound signature style.
So tentatively i would expect the amp1markiii to have again built on what was best out of the preceding amps.

Listening on shuffle and music such as Die Antwoord and Lana Del Rey are excellent.

Music such as rock Led Zeppelin, Hole, Sting etc still needs the amp to settle in more.

It was great out of the box. But on shuffle i can see the usual pre burn quirks that are similar to most (high end and some mid &low) daps and earphones - bass needs to tighten up a bit and bloom (open like a flower) and the treble needs a little taming. Generally satisfying so far. With the right music. i can imagine the future results with rock etc once it gets a good number of hours.

On wid teh show

DX240 stock vs DX220 stock vs DX200 stock

CA Andromeda 2019, low gain, brickwall filter


Adele. One of my test tracks along with other generic songs and a few favorites. My dap has a few specific test tracks and tracks for comparing gear at shows - the usual.

Adele ‘Hello’
DX200 - reference, neutral. Flattest of the three.
DX220 - reference, with body. Even. More mids?
DX240 - reference with body. More treble

Beck ‘already dead’
DX200 - less full sound than DX220
DX220 - excellent. Bit more simple than DX240.
DX240 - Full, resolving.

Beck ‘lost cause’

I can start to hear it get more resolving and controlled as i go up the dap chain.

Billie Eilish ‘bad girl’
More dynamic, depth, bigger soundstage with the andros
DX220 with stock amp feels more closed in than DX240 with stock amp. The music just seems more alive and complete.
DX220 is no slouch either. But theres a few years of development between them.

Timbre, tonality and separation is nicely done and very natural.

Moved onto other tracks for extra confirmation.


DX220 with amp8 takes it up a few notches.
Some naughty hot swapping between stock and 8 and i am reminded how amp8 became a favorite with more body and then amp8ex took the best of both worlds.
Mmm, DX220 still holding its own.


Ok. Ok. I am a bad guy.
Hot swapped amp8 between DX220 and DX240. Definitely more space, control, less dark on the DX240, It just seems like i am hearing more of the music on the DX240.
More dynamic?

I wish i had the amp8EX to compare with amp8. I am audio memory guessing here that perhaps DX220/amp8EX could be similar to DX240/amp8. But audio memory is a faulty thing so dont @ me.



Is DX240 an upgrade over DX220 ? Sound wise? I would say yes. At this level often it is incremental. But if you are an enthusiast who wants to get the most out of your gear and have decent IEMs etc - then it would be worth it i think.

DX220 is a bit more closed in, DX240 is more open, more resolving and dynamic. Both are excellent. With DX240 i was hearing more of the music and it was a nice coherent whole.

Delicate springs to mind when thinking of the DX240, fine tuned. While the DX220 just gets on and does the job and does it well. DX240 is more refined.

DX240 still has that powerful feel like the DX220 but has a certain finesse, delicacy and refinement about it.

1:30am. Time for sleep i think zzzz

Next onto DX240 versus DX300….


Annnnd morning. Wrecked!

Head-fier:This means that there is no need to rush to change the DX220 to 240?

Well there never is really. Maybe. No. Yes. Possibly. Probably…

DX220 was a bigger jump (past the DX200).

DX240 is ahead of the DX220 certainly (but not as big a jump as DX200 to DX220).
The contrary phrase that came to mind when i finally woke up this morning was ‘its more dense with more space’. Word salad.

It gives me a memory of the amp1mk2 + amp8 = amp8EX. Which was space, dynamics and detail paired with power, body and depth.

I can hear a difference in performance for sure.

For some it might be a side grade, others an upgrade.

Certainly if you are running DX220 mid fi earphones and just using internal files or a micro sd card you might consider upgrading your earphones first.

iBasso always goes forward with each new release so its not a surprise. It would be strange to have lower performance/ sound quality ( speedier os, ui, internals etc besides).
Two and a half years is quite a jump in dap world.

I am quite curious now as to DX240 amp1mkiii/amp8 versus DX300 (Amp11mark1/Amp11mark2/Amp11mark2).


Meme intermission









Dammit. My writing wasnt saved. Ok here we go again.

I was going to have a relaxing late evening listening to the iBasso DX240 in its pretty case and then spied the DX300 sitting there…and my curiosity got the better of me.

DX240 with amp8 versus DX300 with Amp11mark2.


Using Andromeda 2019(v3) for continuity from last night. Low gain. Fast roll of filter. Many of the same tracks as yesterday.

I may lose something in my recalling as the info i was typing whilst listening got wiped…damn.


I think Amp11mark1 and Amp11mk2 specs are the same. Close enough. Still pissed my original notes got wiped…


Ok what can i recall my aged and faulty brain.

DX240/amp8 and DX300/Amp11mark2 are quite close.

No doubt due to the closeness of release dates and sharing much of the recent os, ui and underlying architecture.

The amp11mark2 is a developed amp8. So a similar baseline. Siblings in a way.

Different dacs of course. ESS versus Cirrus.

Now a summary of deleted notes (i hope i get it right).

I was struck at the similarity of the two. They are very close in sound and performance.

DX240 might have a little more control and naturalness to split hairs. DX300 Amp11mk2 seemed to have a bit more low end at times but a volume up on the DX240 closed the gap.

Needed to volume match check a few times as i switched through albums.

Gonna do a quick re-listen of a few tracks to confirm what i imagine i heard and wrote about before the great reset.

DX240 seems to have more control and naturalness to its presentation.

DX220/amp1mk2 + amp8 = amp8EX. Amp8EX was a great combination of the best of both. The dynamic, even and detailed high end of amp1mk2 plus the depth, body and power of the amp8.

The refined DX240 with amp8 hearkens back towards that sound - from faulty audio memory. I can make an educated guess now after comparing DX240 to DX300 which earlier compared to DX220/amp8EX in the DX300 review.

DX220 with amp8EX was a dream machine for people like me who play off of internal memory or micro sd cards.
The os and wifi of DX220/220 were a bit slow for some streamers in various parts of the world. DX300 cleared up all those issues. Cant fix peoples routers or their countries internet speeds though. Nor control outside apps…

But unfortunately the battery life was not ideal on DX200/220 compared to the new kids on the block. I could get to work and home fairly fine (i think). But the DX300 with its super long battery life, blazing ui and double dac and amp batteries made me pick it up more often.

So enter the DX240. A more pocketable DX300 in a way. A DX300 mini me?


DX240. Dense with space? Centered, middle and outer. Well layered. Nice natural timbre.

DX300. Detailed with space? Centered and outer. Good imaging. Simple imaging.

I am splitting hairs here. They have more in common that not. But that what you read these for. That slight detail or differences.

DX300 Amp11mark2 can go from seemingly having more low end or or less, more high end or less. DX240 seems more constant.

With the DX240 there seems to be more of the music to listen to.

But yeah. Super close. Remember i am doing super analytical listening here. Plus i got my ears tested and cleaned three days ago. Top marks for my hearing.

I was not going to bother with Amp11mark1 as i think the amp11mark2 improved on it. But lets take a look later. And then amp12 later on.


Now i think i may have to do amp1mkiii versus Amp11mark1 and amp11mark2 just for a bottom up stock comparison.

Then continue with amp8 versus amp11mark1 and amp12.

Then just stretch it against iBasso DX300MAX for fun. Mebbe, mebbe not.

But with DX240 amp8 versus DX300 amp11mark2 we kinda know where we are…


When they want to know ‘is it teh bestest eva’ but you just know if you ‘say yes,…or no’ they’re still gonna say ‘wut about compared ta xxx?’ So you gotta anticipate, preempt and predict. Good things take time. Even word salad reviews. iBasso DX240

DX300 review here:

Also DX200/150/220/120/220Max/300Max…


DX240 amp1mkiii versus DX300 amp11mark1

Very close.
DX240/amp1mkiii : A little more upper low end?
More dynamic?more micro defined.
DX300/Amp11mark1 : A little more top end?
Dunno- cancel those impressions above.
- Minuscule differences really overall. Pretty much too close to call.
Same same, but different. Dead heat!

Ok Neeeexxtttt!!!

DX240/amp1mkiii: a little more even

DX300/Amp11mark2: seems to have a little more low end. More dynamic. Nice sense of space. Good body.

Gonna stop there: always liked amp11mark2 - and its the winner here.

Ok onto the finale

Ok, steady, make sure i do not plug it into the line out, again…

Pretty close again ala Amp11mark1.



Ah. Pretty damn close. Again.

Ok: ariana grande finale

DX240/amp8: bit more body.

DX300/amp12: bit more clearer.

Lets try
dx240/filter 2 slow roll off
Dx300 nos filter
- thats closer.

Love that NOS filter. Did want to try to match the filters. But that NOS filter is certainly a nice feature.

Hmm at this point its a bit of a mini me to the DX300. Which is kinda expected. I did the ess dac might give it some unicorn rainbow sprinkles. But pretty damn close.

Maybe go read the DX300 review now for Dr.Evil

I do think the ess gives it a slight more refined sound and naturalness. But it is incremental and awfully close. Which once again isn’t surprising as they share so much under the bonnet.

I do think amp 8 is a good investment and goes above the stock amp1mkiii.

Amp1mkiii = amp11mark1
Amp1mkiii <amp11mark2
Amp1mkiii = amp12
Amp8/amp12 - close in quality, close in sound with a swap of filters.

So kind of a dead heat. Everyone wins.

As kind of predicted: if you want a multimedia device DX300 is your thing. Bigger movie/gaming screen.
If you want something a bit smaller and lighter then DX240 is your thing on the go.

Both share the same under lying key bits and pieces.

Now we just have to wait for future amps to be released to mess everything up, lol.

I could go further and try DX300 amp1mk1, amp1mk2, verus amp2, amp3, amp4, amp4s, amp5, amp7 in the DX240 and see which brings out the best of the dap. Maybe another time.

Now its about time to sign off.

I will leave the dap to get a few more hours on it and see what happens with another 50 hours on burn in.


On power DX240 & DX300

DX240 output power

2.5mm balanced
Maximum output level: 6.2Vrms.
3.5mm single ended
Maximum output level: 3.1Vrms.



Amp11mark2 (1?)
4.4mm/2.5mm 7.1Vrms
3.5mm 3.5Vrms

4.4mm 8.3Vrms

*Of course this can change with different amp modules



Down the rabbit hole bonus.
Lots of talk on the DX300MAX about micro sd cards. I used to be a doubter (and serial mocker) until i tried a sandisk extreme pro (instead of the usual sandisk ultra) and enjoyed the extra thickness it bought.
It was not such a good match with the DX300Max and i sought a bit more transparency. so i went for it and join the other lemmings for the MICRON card.

It seems to have worked its magic with DX240 and amp8, gave a bit more air and space to it. Groovy.


If you want to try… MTSD256AKC7MS-1WT
Micron Technology Memory Card.
Get 256gb up at least for the better cards. (Non CS version, not CS version). There is two types so be careful. I got mine from the Mouser international store. Might have to buy another now…annnd just did to out back in the Max.

Ah scanned a half hour ago. This is what it needed. A slight veil is lifted. DX240+amp8+micron card. Bliss.

Now just need some fairy unicorn rainbow magic audio stickers to complete the quadfecture!


Annnnd its morning, again. Good morning dear readers. Still with me on this meandering journey towards dap and self discovery?
Stay close, don’t wander off the path…


DX240 stole the amp8 from the DX220 and so i put the neglected amp9 in the DX220 then thought. Lets do another head to head!

It could be my half coffee status but sound wise they are quite similar. Not exactly same same. But pretty darn close. This is nice.

DX240/amp9/ slow roll off/gain 1/MICRON micro sd card
DX220/ amp9/slow roll off/gain1?2?/special extra amp9 internal dx220 setting low/ sandisk ultra micro sd card.



Where does this leave us?

In summary a dap ideal should be close to reference and leave the earphones/headphones to do the work.
Whats the point of spending $1000 on earphones if the dap is going to skewer the sound signature either by coloration or too high a output impedance (for iems).

Its a tightrope walk better being reference and too dry. iBasso manages this by having a fairly reference tuning which can be colored by the different amp modules. But they do not stray too far away.

This is a good thing.

I carry usually around three iems with me where i head out. And i like a different sound in the morning and evening. With a random one in the middle for if my mood changes. If dap has too bright or dark a signature or something else it renders the intended tuning useless.
One can always ‘gasp’ use eq. But whats the point. Do a diligent search and trial. Find the signature you like and go to town on it. Find a dap company that has a similar outlook on performance and off you go.

That there is consistency within the iBasso productions is a good thing. Within that there is improvement over time also of their products in os, ui, internals and tuning etc whether it be daps or earphones.

Onwards and upwards.

The DX300 certainly has a few more bells and whistles when compared to the DX240 (and a lot in common).

Lets pause and take a look at a selection of specs


ESS 9038pro dac
Own FPGA chip
USB 3.1
Bluetooth 5.1
Wifi 2.5GHz/5GHz
Snapdragon 660 SoC
Android 9.0 and Mango OS
Battery 4400mAh
Up to 11 hours playtime
Swappable amp modules


Cirrus quad CS43198 dac
Own FPGA chip
USB 3.1
Bluetooth 5.0
Wifi 2.5GHz/5GHz
Snapdragon 660 SoC
Android 9.0 and Mango OS
Battery 4000mAh (amp), 2000mAh (digital).
Swappable amp modules.
Up to 13 or 15…hours playtime.larger screen.


Theres not a lot of space o difference in there really.
The DX240 can come across as more reference/neutral and the DX300 perhaps a tad more warm, but still has that ibasso tilt towards reference/(warm)/…But this can also depend on what amp module one chooses…to a degree as well as which earphones one chooses/uses.

The comparisons are done. Perhaps if i had swapped out to Final Audio A8000 or some headphones it may have yielded different results, but i wanted a continuity and probably the results would have been fairly similar i expect. I guess. anyways…There are only so many hours in a day between family, work, rest and other activities.

So with the DX240and DX30 being close in sound signature with a few stray differences, once again i guess it comes down to size for many. Also with probably new amp modules to come, who knows whats in store.
Light, little and portable, or larger and semi portable.
For music lovers, or for music lovers and movie/tv lovers.

Certainly they are both totl, the DX300 does have more Max architecture inside so theres that.

Certainly they are both above DX200/DX150/DX160.
DX220 with amp9 (and amp8EX??? Dunno) comes in close but has weak wifi and a slower ui.

DX240 and DX300 os, ui speed and wifi is great.

So in the end dear reader as you can see it is merely a sliver of choices, but one that may tilt the feather either way for you.

Another way to look at it is DX300Max for home sitting down listening, DX300 as a home multi media device and DX240 for the easy carry around (although i have been known to even take the Max on commutes). Its not a strict saying. All can be used for the above purposes - but it gives another angle.

I found the Android side Mango (with amp8) to be a bit more forgiving than the pure Mango player (accessible by a long push on the power button), pure Mango i found to have more synergy with Amp1mkiii.
Amp1mkiii- i prefer pure mango player
Amp8 - i prefer Android Mango player.
…so far anyways…

All in all i am happy with the device and see no reason to ramble on. There has been enough information presented for you to make up your own mind on this.
Some of it seems contrary but thats the nature of the many comparisons beast.

I will get some more hours on the Amp1mkiii and compare again to amp8 i think for my own personal benefit. And so it goes…

Waiting for Godot and the next amp module for DX240!

Stay safe and happy dap hunting.



If still in doubt as to what to choose…iBasso DX240, DX300 or another dap.
Check out our Buyer guide:


“Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you've got an audience.” - Diogenes.


Thank you again to iBasso for sending the DX240 to Head pie for review.
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That was an epic review. I wish I had kept my AMP8EX as well. Didn't realise iBasso were keeping the amp architecture going...never mind. When are they going to make a desktop DAC/Amp?
"When they want to know ‘is it teh bestest eva’ but you just know if you ‘say yes,…or no’ they’re still gonna say ‘wut about compared ta xxx?' ".
Lines like this are one of many reasons why I love your reviews. Keep up the awesomeness :D
Hi. I am roadtesting a DX240 and in all bar one respect it is fantastic. the one aspect? Bluetooth connection is not functioning properly/safely. when I connect to ay bluetooth device (sony Soundbar, Bowers and Wilkins headphones and Sony in ear phones, the connection defaults to deafening volume (whatever the volume setting on the DX240) annd requires me touch the volume dial after about 5 seconds at which point, even a small tweak of the volume dial returns the volume to the normal level. Can anyone explain what might be happening? is it a flawed unit? is it s firmware issue? any help gratefull received.