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iBasso DX50 DAP

  1. rolli1949
    Great Value,software up-date
    Written by rolli1949
    Published Feb 22, 2016
    Pros - Sturdy ,easy to operate ,accept 128GB micro cards, Battery life is good
    Cons - screen could be a bit larger and a manual would be helpful upload of 128GB card is slow
    I use the DX 50 since march 2014 and was priced 220US .I agree that the first software were a bit messy but as  time went by  the software has gotten better and now even can accept DSD files !
    Sound at least for me does not makes you tired to listen to .For me the player has a balanced sound without over emphasis the bass ,middle or the high sounds .Ok the music source and HP plays a role as well .I listen mostly to red book files and high resolution files and use VISO / NAD HP which in my opinion fits well with the Player .Sometimes I hook it up directly with my audio system and it sound pretty good to me .However if I use the Audioengine D2 wireless 24 bit DAC in connection with ROON music software (in my opinion the best music software on the market)he sound opens up to a wide sound stage ,more details and better instrument separation. Anyway the player was designed to be used as a portable player and for that the unit is very good value and YES there a better players on the market but you have to pay 3 to 4 times more ! For sure you don't hear 3 to 4 time better or more sound .If you have the money to burn go for the expensive players but if you look for a decent player which is not far behind I do recommend the DX 50 I-Basso if it still available ? Its a bargain for sure .
  2. AudioGG
    The ever changing sound DAP
    Written by AudioGG
    Published Nov 22, 2014
    Pros - Great DAP dark sounding, Great sound separation, good soundstage, lots of firmware updates
    Cons - amp section is a bit weak, size as I now have the X1
    Had this little player for sometime now recently purchased the X1 and comparing them both im still sold on the DX50 although I still like my X1 but I still find the sound seperation on the DX50 much more appealing still using FW 1.3.3 SU which I much enjoy the signature. Still there are a few issue I had with the player itself like the HO became loose and I started losing sound on one side of my phones I had no issue with warranty as Ibasso have great service. Amp section could be a little more better but can be fixed using a portable amp, great DAP still my preferred daily at this point til I can get my hands on a X5 or DX90.
  3. MIAltoguy
    Awesome unit
    Written by MIAltoguy
    Published Nov 6, 2014
    Pros - Nice and sturdy, great audio, easy to get started
    Cons - UI may need some improvement
    I like the fact that the unit feels sturdy and solid. It is not bulky, but you know you are holding on to a solid piece of equipment.
    It looks perfect and is easy to get started and upload music to it, no problems at all.
    The UI takes a bit of time to get used to, however the screen is nice, reactive and precise so no issues there. It just takes a bit to get used to the way files are sorted and presented, but nothing serious.
    I certainly would recommend this player.
  4. mark2410
    iBasso DX50 Quick Review
    Written by mark2410
    Published May 25, 2014
    Pros - Beautifully exquisite sounding, great UI, power, 2TB SD card capability.
    Cons - Very warm and flavoured sound
    iBasso DX50 Quick Review
    Full review at http://www.head-fi.org/t/720374/ibasso-dx50-review
    Thanks to Advanced MP3 Player's (AMP3) for the loan.
    Brief:  Darkly sumptuousness in DAP form.
    Price:  £199
    Specifications:  Line out: Frequency Response: 20Hz~20KHz +/-0.2dB, S/N: -109dB +/-3dB, THD+N: 0.003%, Output Level: 1.5V rms (1kHz 0dB), Headphone out: Frequency Response: 20Hz~20KHz +/-1dB, THD+N: 0.004% (32ohm load), Output Level: 1.2V(Low gain), 1.7V(Mid gain), 3.1V(High Gain), S/N: -103dB +/-3dB(Low gain), -106dB +/-3dB(Mid gain), -108dB +/-3dB(High Gain) (32ohm Load), Output Impedance: <0.5ohm, Battery Life: 14hours, Battery Charge Time: 3hours with AC adapter, 5.5hours with PC USB port, Case dimension: 2.52W x 3.98L x 0.67H (inch), 64W x 100L x 17H (mm), Weight: 146g or 5.15oz
    Accessories:  A micro USB charger/ data cable.  A 3.5mm to coaxial out adapter. 2 screen protectors and lastly, a silicon case to keep it safe.
    Aesthetics:  To my eyes its look is strangely monolithic and I rather liked it, I’ve been told the metal back can be scratched easily if that sort of thing bothers you.  You do get the case but with the case in I thought it looked ugly.
    Build:  Felt good and solid.  A touch light but it’s snugly put together.  So much so it was a real effort to get to back off to expose the battery.
    Power:  It has oodles of power available.  It comes with low, med and high gain options and it happily drove the big HD600 beasts and the notoriously power hungry RE-0’s.  In volume too it could go to louder than I would ever care to subject my ears to.  Lots and lots of power here.
    Sound:  Dark, warm, sumptuous Wolfsonness.  One of its big selling points is its Wolfson heart and rightly so, their chips are very widely loved in audioland.  In my experience they have a warm and smooth flavour and here it’s the most marked display of that I’ve dealt with.  It’s really quite flavoured for a DAP and it’s a gorgeous sound.  Music flows and oozes and my word it’s beautiful to behold.  Here comes the but you knew was coming, but its so very warm if you pair it with warm IEM’s it’s all too soft and smooth.  I want a little more drama and excitability in my DAP’s.  Now I’ll grant you when you hook it up to lighter and brighter IEM’s then they can complement each other very nicely.  Indeed with the highly resolving HD600 the pairing was quite excellent but most things left me wanting.  I wanted more passion and excitability and the DX50 just isn’t that.  It’s a bar of 50% coco chocolate with salted toffee.  Dark yet creamy and sweet then with that hint of salt cutting through in the top end.  It’s so inviting and indulgent but sometimes you just want a grapefruit, something light and crisp and the DX50 just is not that.  Lovely but with a distinct flavour so long as you love that flavour it’s an exquisite DAP.
    Value:  Its beautiful sounding, it’s got a really excellent UI, removable battery, it can use exFAT so it’ll do up to 2TB SD cards, all pretty unique attributes for a DAP.  If you care about audio and like a warm sound this is leaps and bounds better than the Ipod you’d get for the same money.
    Pro’s:  Beautifully exquisite sounding, great UI, power, 2TB SD card capability.
    Con’s:  Very warm and flavoured sound
    1. AManAnd88Keys
      The dx50 warm and flavoured? People really have different ears.... What is an iPod to you then, chili con carne?
      AManAnd88Keys, May 26, 2014
  5. JoeDoe
    Perfect First Audiophile DAP
    Written by JoeDoe
    Published Nov 23, 2013
    Pros - SQ, Form Factor, Battery Life, USB OTG, Adjustable Gain
    Cons - Minimal EQ Change, UI, Accessories
    iBasso has set the standard for balance between price and performance with the DX50. This DAP is like a stockier, more sturdy version of an iPod.
    With better SQ.
    And USB OTG.
    And Line-Out.
    With regards to appearance it's a nice piece of hardware. The brushed metal case looks great and is rather scratch-resistant in my experience. I was wary of the three button layout AND touchscreen, but after getting used to it, I think its a great design. I can use the touch screen to navigate, adjust EQ, and create/manage playlists. Then after I put the 50 back into my pocket the three buttons make it very easy to play/pause and skip/restart already playing tracks. The other buttons are also easy to use without having to lay eyes on the player. These include volume, gain, power, and hold buttons.
    With regards to the sound quality, it's just great. The sound has changed slightly and improved over time thanks to the steady firmware updates provided by iBasso, however, in general a rather neutral and sometimes bright presentation has remained. The soundstage is very good and I've yet to hear a better detail retrieval from a DAP. Something to note: the slightly north of neutral presentation makes an excellent pairing with slightly warm headphones. Dsnuts put it best when he said that the DX50 - a slightly bright DAP - pairs well with warmish headphones/IEMs while the Fiio X3 - a warm DAP - pairs best with slightly bright headphones/IEMs. It also bears mentioning that the 50 has  three adjustable gain settings. The most sensitive IEMs will hiss on the LO setting (have you found a standalone DAP that doesn't!?), but overall the gains provide excellent power. I used the HI gain setting to power my HD600s and never once thought that the device couldn't handle it.
    That being said, an amp does ENHANCE the already great SQ. I pair mine with the neutral Arrow 4G which lowers the noise floor for my IEMs and opens the soundstage width and depth. Also, the EQ tailoring options on the 4G sound better to me than the native EQ adjustments on the DX50.
    The battery life on LO gain is around 14-16 hours and obvisouly, will change depending on audio file quality and gain setting. 
    One of my favorite things about this DAP is its USB OTG feature. I'll gladly take this capability over USB DAC function (which I'm told won't be available for the DX50). It gives me the option to hook up any portable USB storage device and let the DX50 browse/play audio files. So. When I go on road trips, I bring my 128gb jump drive and that's all the music I could ever need! No more carrying around multiple MicroSD cards!
    The qualms I have with the DX50 are few. 1. The native EQ settings don't do much. There are preset settings and the individual frequency bands can be adjusted. However, when I adjust them, I barely hear a difference. New FW has fixed this. 2. The included accessories could be better. I'm sure that the minimal packaging/accessories keeps the price down on this device, but a decent silicone case or cover would be great, along with some sort of user manual. It also bears mentioning that the UI which some people find quirky to say the least, it just fine. It has steadily improved over the course of this DAPs life and continues to get better. It's a UI based in Android and is very intuitive and easy to use. Much better than the X3's design. 
    Overall this DAP from iBasso is highly recommended. It is around the same price as a 160GB IPC, however, it offers better SQ, virtually limitless storage space thanks to USB OTG, and a better DAC/Amp implementation. 
    1. MrLazyAnt
      iBasso told me USB DAC option would be made possible in around 2 months
      MrLazyAnt, Feb 16, 2014
  6. 24Bit
    Great value despite a slow, drunken start
    Written by 24Bit
    Published Oct 4, 2013
    Pros - Great sound quality, slick UI, good build quality, OTG input
    Cons - Buggy Operating System

    My experience with the iBasso DX50 has been one hell of a wild ride. Many bumps in the road, trials and tribulations along the way but somehow, as if by the grace of the Audiophile Gods themselves the DX50 has finally evolved into something functional. By no means did it start out that way, but I don’t want to bore you with the details right in the beginning of this review. I will start off with the conclusion first, you can read the details afterwards.  That is just how I roll.  #likeaboss

    The After
    I am astounded by the overall clarity and dynamics the DX50 is capable of.   It sounds pretty much the same as the Astell & Kern AK100 to me, which itself sells for a blistering $700.  The $239 iBasso DX50 is the best overall value portable media device I have ever touched or have been made aware of.  Nothing even comes close to this type of a value...that is if you ignore the fact that it is also the buggiest and most glitchy portable music player ever.  In the Hi-Fi Dap world, this is a serious statement.  Most, if not all of the most expensive and popular "Audiophile" music players have one trait in common: an impaired User Interface.  Despite the near infinite failure of the DX50's Buggy Interface, the sonic experience itself has been nothing short of sublime.   Drunkenly stumbling into the portable music player world, it somehow managed to pull out a win.  Despite having the most needlessly rushed and imperfect launch of a portable music device that I have ever witnessed, the player sounds like a true heavy hitter. 

    Bugs and Glitches 


    Many people have experienced a vast array of problems, bugs and glitches along the way. Thankfully, I am not one of them and have only experienced a few minor bugs myself. I guess I was one of the lucky ones. Cyrus at iBasso and I seem to get along really nicely and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with the company. Due in part to making an impression upon them, I was able to snatch a DX50 early on before Batch 1 was made available to the public. I received mine just after Batch 1 was released for order and have experienced the player from the stock v1.0 firmware, all the way up to the current third firmware release titled v1.2. The Stock v1.0 firmware in Batch 1 was so buggy that I refused to use it after the first day, instead waiting for the next firmware update about a week later. Load times were excessive, constant freezing and a host of other issues that made the DX50 almost totally unusable.

    Many people experienced excessive system crashes, freezes, connectivity issues and volume related problems. I personally experienced severe connectivity issues up until the latest v1.2 firmware release, forced to factory reset the player each and every time I wanted to add music to the internal drive or update the firmware. Once the DX50 was removed from my computer, it would not re-recognize again until the Factory Reset was performed. Daunting, to say the least. I’ve experienced only one serious system crash that forced me to pull the user replaceable battery out of the back side of the unit. Beyond that, I’ve experienced only a handful of random freezes that only lasted a few seconds to a few minutes.

    I am extremely giddy over the idea that iBasso seems to care about these problems and is addressing them piece by piece with these firmware updates, but 3 firmware updates in less than a month should be a warning sign to the company that they did something wrong, rushed it and got too excited. Some companies tend to get overexcited at the idea of a multi-hundred page thread on the internet about their product even before it is ever heard by human ears. Take your time with it, make it right, do it right and put your finalized product out with a functional firmware and UI. Unfortunately, iBasso did not follow this formula and instead opted to push their product out before any trials were completed. Thankfully, the very first firmware update fixed a ton of issues and made the player usable, but still very unstable. 2 updates later, it still has some issues that need to be worked out but are only minor gripes to my ears. The Playlist function needs to be fixed immediately.

    Originally and on all pre-v1.2 firmware, the Add to a Playlist function appeared when you were navigating the All Music, Artist or Album directories. Once inside, you are forced to touch a very small album art icon next to the track name of any given song. Upon touching that area, a new menu would appear with the option to Delete the track or add it to a Playlist. If you improperly touched that tiny album art icon, it would enable the song to play in the Now Playing window from where there is no way to add that song to a Playlist. Firmware v1.2 finally brought the Playlist directory when previously where was no menu to enter to view your tracks or Playlists in the first place. Currently and thankfully we can now add tracks to the Playlist in the aforementioned navigation directories, however they are all still completely useless. Whoever coded this software, as it seems to be with every single Hi-Fi Dap on the market, tends to leave the Playlist / Favoriting function completely broken, impaired, missing or even unusable.   My advice to iBasso is to get on this quick and enable the larger Album Art inside the Currently Playing track window to open the Add to a Playlist menu. What is up with this broken Playlist function in most Audiophile music players, it is as if the very same engineer was hired by each company to code that area of the UI.

    Hey, remember a while back in this review when I said the sonic quality was stellar? The DX50′s internal Dac is the very same WM8740 24bit ( lol ) audio sampling rate chip inside the equally great iBasso D42 Mamba revision. I had no doubt early on that this new music player would sound fantastic based on that specification detail. I wasn’t alone, a 100+ page thread appeared on the popular Audiophile internet forums months before the product was even released. Simply put, the WM8740 is highly regarded in the audio community and anyone who has ever heard it was well aware of what it is capable of. On a side note, the Fiio X3 shares the same chip yet sounds noticeably inferior to my ears than the DX50. Whatever other components are inside of this DX50, they are of a very high standard and work together wonderfully.

    The stereo imaging on this little thing is fantastic and rivals the famous Hisoundaudio Studio V in many ways. While it doesn’t have the angelic stereo sound-stage depth the V is known for, it does however crush it in width and height, immersion and separation qualities. Nobody expected the DX50 to sound this open and spacious. Astell and Kern, are you paying attention?

    The Bass

    The low end quality and quantity of this product is good and more than acceptable for the price. The major downfall here is that the DX50′s customized EQ functions are basically useless and offer very little bass enhancement. You can crank that baby up to 88 miles per hour and not hear a lick of difference in the bass department over a flat neutral setting. The entire EQ area acts like a radiation zone. Nothing works right and it is a place that you don’t want to revisit after the first test or trial run. Summed up, the EQ area is almost totally non responsive. The flat neutral setting is the best. Stick with it, as the DX50 is simply not capable of pushing even nearly as much quantity on the low end as something like a Cowon J3. Don’t let this downfall bother you though, the stock bass output on the DX50 is still good, but if you are a bass head and don’t plan to run the DX50 through an amplifier, I would certainly avoid this product.

    The experience has drastically evolved after each firmware update. On the stock 1.0 platform, the DX50 sounded lean on the bass, but snappy as well. Upon the first firmware update, the bass changed texture and became more broad and solid, clearly with an additional weightiness as well. Running on the current v1.2, the bass was again changed to yet more smooth, more solid and noticeably less snappy. This is a good thing that improved on an already good thing to begin with. All the changes were positive in my opinion, yet that EQ remained useless throughout each rendition of the firmware.


    The Mids

    As a reviewer, I am positively puzzled beyond imagining as to how to review the mid range of this Dap. When the unit arrived on the stock 1.0 firmware, the mid-range was extremely forward, tall and airy. Almost muffled were my first impressions with regard to clarity. Once again, similar to the bass experience evolution, the mids also evolved into a more relaxed, clear and solid feeling experience. I personally enjoy a forward mid experience, I like my vocals up close and personal. With the latest v1.2 firmware, the mids are noticeably more pushed back and in turn the stereo image seems shorter and wider than before. I am a bit saddened by this.

    Now, despite all that, the overall clarity is excellent. The player remains quiet for most of my headphones and iems even on High Gain output. With High Gain active, the upper mid-range takes a nose dive in clarity and smoothness and turns into something a bit more snappy and a bit shaky. This is a common issue with High Gain modes on most amplifiers and music players that use a similar feature. Via my JH16 custom iems, the Low Gain setting is very quiet and smooth. I dare not increase the voltage output into the Medium or High Gain mode, as the DX50 on High Gain is powerful enough to drive my Audeze LCD3 and MrSpeakers Mad Dog Planar Magnetic headphones. Medium gain seems to be the most common switch I stick to, as it is almost equally quiet as the Low Gain but has the benefit of the higher output, however it is also not as shaky in the mids as High Gain seems to output with my LCD3 and Mad Dog. The switch from Low to Medium renders slightly more mid bloom in the vocals, making the artist seem a bit closer to you. Stick to Medium gain mode with a higher volume number instead of High Gain mode with a lower volume number. Seems to work out the best for overall clarity to driving power ratio.

    Jamie Foxx’s – Why off his album titled Intuition is a highly engaging vocal experience in the mid range as well as the low end. This is one of my go to albums for testing ever since it was released back in 2008. It offers a wide variety of low end bass texturing and quantities and mirrors that variety into its mid range experiences. Jamie is an excellent vocalist and I enjoy his music very much. The DX50s more forward than relaxed mid range is accentuated and reflected backward by most tracks off this album. They work very well together, as will any tracks that are not overly forward or too distant in the mid experience. Exceptional clarity for the price of $239. Beautiful, potent, buttery smooth and very satisfying.


    The Highs

    Throughout each firmware update, I’d never found the upper regions to be a nuisance. Quality seemed to gently increase after each firmware upgrade and I shrug my shoulders at the overall upper region experience. While the Highs are not particularly amazing like the Hifiman HM-901 or the AK120 ( both of which are over 5x the price of the DX50 ) they are pretty much the same as the other major players in the price tier like the Fiio X3 and the HM-602. Both of which had a brighter than normal upper range with some sparkle and bite factor. It could be deemed overly snappy and forceful at times if your source track is more sibilant than flat. I wouldn’t call the DX50 forgiving or smooth on the upper end, but I am on the fence about calling it aggressive. Despite getting stuck on that barbed wire gate, the Highs are still fairly clear despite being a bit potent.


    Final Thoughts 

    The DX50 is clearly going to be an ongoing endeavor. This product is built on an Android platform, so expect Rockboxing to come along sometime in the future. Who knows how many more firmware updates will be needed to finalize the DX50 into a complete product, free of bugs and void of all quirky glitches and stress. I never expected this player to be half as great in sonic quality as it is, yet one that gives me the option of future large media storage expansion with the OTG input option via an external hard drive. USB Thumb drives increase in size much faster than MicroSD cards, right now you can land a 128gb USB Thummy for under $100, with proper driving power via a wall outlet, any compatible external drive should be fine. For the time being, we are all stuck with 64gb MicroSD cards and the internal 6GB or so hard drive space of the DX50. Dropping an extra Thumb drive capacity into the mix is mind blowingly awesome and a very appreciated function. This will be great for those who attend meets and wish to have a large storage device and enjoy showing off their gear to others. Being stuck with a small amount of music is never a good thing.

    At the end of the day, I found the DX50 to perform remarkably well. Despite the bugs in the system, the UI is slick, beautiful and simplistic. I rather enjoy it and the thought of a potential Rockbox UI swap in the future makes me overly excited. I will be recommending the player and ignoring the current list of system glitches, they are lessening with time and improving with each firmware update. A few more is needed to make the system perfect though. With great build quality, a nice LCD screen and a simplistic, pocket friendly power house design, the DX50 scores high clarity marks across the board. It is sleek, potent, wallet friendly and one of the best looking portable players I’ve ever seen. Highest overall audio quality to price ratio in the current portable music player world, no doubt about it. 9.5/10 for sound quality to price performance on the current firmware…was still a 9/10 in the dreadful v1.0 original firmware!

    Current v1.2 firmware experience – 6.5/10
    Original v1.0 firmware experience – 0.5 /10

    1. View previous replies...
    2. 24Bit
      24Bit, Oct 5, 2013
    3. lacrimose
      bug.......why always see you
      lacrimose, Oct 8, 2013
    4. Deeman
      hello, after all these updates, are the software bugs still present. If they are, what are the current problems you are experiencing?
      Deeman, Jan 6, 2014
  7. thegunner100
    The affordable "Audiophile" DAP for IEMs (updated 9/24/2013)
    Written by thegunner100
    Published Sep 14, 2013
    Pros - Clean, clear, neutral sound with IEMs. Very good line-out performance. Feels absolutely solid in my hands, and not bulky or heavy at all. Price.
    Cons - UI and interface bugs. Many features need to be implemented. Hissing with sensitve iems.
    iBasso DX50 with my Ultimate Ears Reference Monitors (UERM)

    Build Quality - 5/5

    For a $260 dap, the dx50 is built very nicely. Even though it is made out of mostly plastic and a little bit of metal, it is very sturdy. It is the perfect weight and size for my hands, and is not bulky at all. Only minor gripe that I have with it that there is some slight creaking between my power button and hold switch. Others have reported that the playback buttons were off in tactility, but I have no experience that problem with my dx50.
    In case anyone was wondering, the dx50 is a perfect fit into the pelican 1010 case along with my UERMs. To get it out though, I have to wiggle the box a little to shake it out, but that is better than the dx50 being loose inside the case.
    Features - 4.5/5

    The dx50 utilizes a touchscreen interface for most of its operations. The touchscreen is responsive, though sometimes a bit too sensitive.
    On the player itself, there are 3 playback buttons at the center (previous, pause/play, and forward). On the left side of the player there is a power/screen button, and a lock switch. To the right side there are the volume up and down buttons. On top, there is a mini-coax out (for use with external dacs), a microsd card slot, and a microusb slot for charging or OTG usage with external storage. On the bottom there are the headphone-out, line-out (for external amps), and 3 gain switches. The buttons are well placed and easy to use; no problems there.
    The dx50 also has a removable battery, which many people will find useful for longer travels. The battery compartment can be accessed by just sliding the back cover off. The battery life lasts long enough for me to go a week without having to charge it. I use it ocassionally while walking to class and on the bus/train when i commute.
    UI/Bugs - 3.5/5, firmware 1.16

    The dx50's interface is generally pretty nice looking and easy, with the exception of inconsistent fonts and kerning. I would have liked to see the playback buttons removed from the playing screen. The album art is displayed very sharply, like a high res image resized to fit onto a small screen.
    Using my 64gb class 10 sandisk, 16gb filled, the scan time for the card only takes a few minutes. However, it doesn't always scan all of my folders. I would ocasionally have to manually search through the folders to add the misssing tracks to the database. Not a huge deal, but I hope this will be fixed in a future firmware
    As of firmware 1.16 the issue with the apostrophes have been fixed. There are still many bugs though. There are times where the volume would repeated increase until it locked at 255 and required a reset to fix. I have also experienced my touchscreen being disabled, which I had to do a factory reset for. Once in a while the dx50 would freeze up if i accidentally tried to do too many things at once, like changing the volume while skipping to the next track while changing the current playback time.
    I would love to have the interface go from artist -> albums -> tracks, but currently it goes from artist -> tracks. As of 1.16, the tracks are ordered by the album names and track #s, so that's a good fix for now.
    Gapless playback works, but I would have liked for it to work a little better. There are options for "close" (off), 5 sec and 10 sec for gapless playback. Both 5 and 10 work, but there seems to be no difference between the two.
    I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, but the volume of the line-out can be controller by the dx50. I would have preferred no volume control for the line-out rather than the variable, as I have to reset it if i wanted to use my IEMs.
    Sound Quality - 5/5, firmware 1.16

    The dx50's internal amp and dac makes it sound fairly neutral, with a slight treble emphasis. What you get is a spacious, clear sound that will complement many IEMs. The internal amp powers IEMs very nicely, but will not work well with high impedance headphones such as the hd600.
    UERM - The dx50 and UERMs make a great pairing for a portable setup. The treble is only a little bright imo, and is not harsh or fatiguing at all. Bass and mid response is good, with nice impact. It has much better detail, imaging, and soundstage than my sansa fuze + arrow 4g. When using line-out to my uha6s, I notice a nice improvement but nothing too significant with my UERMs. I find that the UERMs work best in mid-gain mode. There is quite a bit of hiss on low-gain and surprisingly high-gain has the least hiss out of them all but CPU noise can be heard. One thing to note is that if I have my UERMs on during powerup, there is a loud pop when the amp/volume gets turned on. iBasso should place a mute on the amp until everything is loaded up imo. 
    HD600 - The dx50 does not have enough power to drive the hd600s. As a result, the soundstage is cramped and everything sounds closed in and mushed together. But once I use the line-out to my uha6s, everything becomes clean once again and sounds pretty good. But again, this is a portable DAP that's meant for IEM usage. If you want something that can power full sized headphones, look towards the dx100.
    Vsonic Gr07 - Spacious, slightly warm sound. The treble can be a little harsh at times, but can be EQ'd. The gr07 makes for a nice budget combo with the dx50. There is no noticeable hiss with the gr07s thankfully.
    Summary/overall - 4.5/5

    Overall, there are many things that need to be worked out through future firmware releases. As it currently stands, the dx50 is fairly functional for everyday use. I like to just keep it on "All Music" with random order because there is no true playlist support yet, and it is annoying to navigate through the artists and albums. If you're looking for a neutral DAP to use with IEMs, then the dx50 is great contender at its price point; but do wait for more mature firmware.
    Thanks for reading, and I hope to update this review once more firmware versions are out. Any questions, post in the comments below or PM me.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. thegunner100
      Review updated.
      thegunner100, Sep 24, 2013
    3. bcarr112281
      You write that write that the DX50 can't drive full-size headphones. What about those with seemingly moderate requirements, such as my Shure SRH840? (I do plan to buy higher-end headphones eventually.) I have limited dexterity and coordination, so IEMs aren't a practical option for me, and I don't want a dedicated headphone amp.
      bcarr112281, Oct 10, 2013
    4. thegunner100
      I have the srh940 on loan and it sounds fine straight out of the dx50. No external amp "required".
      thegunner100, Oct 11, 2013
  8. rarrior
    Great entry level DAP
    Written by rarrior
    Published May 19, 2015
    Pros - Storage, sound quality, build quality, ports
    Cons - Can get bulky with an amp attached to it
    I was contemplating buying this or the Fiio X3. I didn't like the size of the X3 or the button layout and the other reviews on the DX50 were just too good for me not to pick it.
    I bought mine used from a member on here, he included a 32gb microSD card with his music collection on it (thanks trojan2900). Right away I fired it up, picked a random song, and started listening and couldn't have enjoyed it more. The sound quality was amazing, a very warm, soothing sound, good through the highs and the lows, even through the cheap earbuds I was listening through.
    With the built-in amp there isn't exactly a need for a separate amp, but depending on your headphones you can definitely benefit from one.
    The user-interface is a little bare, Rockbox can help here but it is a little tricky getting everything figured out and working properly.
    Overall a great DAP for anyone looking to get into the hi-fi world or as a dedicated, everyday player.
    Edit: After owning the DX50 for a few months now, I love it. It is everything I wanted in a DAP. The more I use it the more I realize the stock Mango software is actually better in some ways than Rockbox. I just couldn't find a theme I liked from Rockbox that fit well with the DX50. Also, being able to create a playlist is something I never figured out how to manage with Rockbox (if it's even possible) and enjoy having that function with Mango.
    Up until now, I always thought the DX50 sounded best with the gain switch on "medium", I switched it to "high" a few weeks ago and I haven't switched it back. I've really only been listening through my M6 Pro's but they sound so much better. I'm waiting on the OPPO PM-3 loaner set to come my way so I can decide between those, Hifiman HE-400, or AKG K545.
    In just the past couple of days, I have used the DX50 with the Aune X1S review program and I must say that DAC is great. Clarity, refinement, and overall better sound signature are just some of the ways I can describe what the X1S does. I wish I could keep it but if I ever need a desktop amp, I am definitely leaning towards the X1S.
      Ensign likes this.
    1. Ensign
      Hi there! Have you auditioned the X3 or any other portable DAP for that matter? How would they compare to your DX50? Thanks in advance :)
      Ensign, Mar 26, 2016
  9. DigitalFreak
    DX50 Is A Terrible Player
    Written by DigitalFreak
    Published Nov 17, 2013
    Pros - decent sound but nowhere near as good as the hype leads you to believe
    Cons - USB connection problems, SDCard scan problems, player freezes, tag problems, file sorting problems, sluggish UI problems, touch screen to sensitive
      paulus germanus likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. WeirdG
      Just an FYI... this review was written before the v1.2.8 (Jan 26, 2014) firmware was released, which fixed several bugs and improved the sound quality.  iBasso is currently on firmware v1.5.0 (June 24, 2014).  There are also several custom firmware versions available which can greatly enhance the sound quality.  For under $300 new or around $200 used, it's a great beginner level option for people looking to move away from iPods.
      WeirdG, Jul 10, 2014
    3. Marcosinus
      None of the cons are still valid with the last firmware. And with Rockbox or Sound Unlock FW, ths player is just perfect.
      Marcosinus, Aug 31, 2014
    4. Andymaxwell
      Well, if it helps to balance out the criticisms of your review...I too have USB connection problems. Am sending back to China to see if they can sort it out.
      Andymaxwell, Oct 2, 2014
  10. subseasniper
    A Slamdunk
    Written by subseasniper
    Published Nov 7, 2013
    Pros - Price, build quality, DAC, connections, storage options, the sound, oh the sound!
    Cons - UI, that's it
    Alright, here goes. I have been on a slow, meandering journey through hi-fi that has seen me slowly start to climb that ladder that costs you your wallet.
    Up to now I've been used a Sandisk Clip Zip (Rockboxed) and an ipod classic (rockboxed) running through a LOD cable into a Fiio E7. I was very satisfied with the sound from both of these units, running both with FLAC's ripped from CD's.
    Cue the neverending need to upgrade and a strong desire to dip my toes into the world of hi-res audio. I quickly homed in on the Fiio X3 and the iBasso DX50. Subscribing to both unit's threads on head-fi allowed me to get a fix on the quirks and qualities of both units.
    I took a punt on a seventh batch DX50 having been won over the by the looks and some user's claiming superior sound quality over the Fiio X3.
    I will be honest, I was a little anxious as there have been a lot of forum members complaining about units crashing, dodgy firmware and other nightmare stories.
    So, the unit arrives and I eagerly unwrap it. Initial thoughts, the box is nothing special, I really could care less, it will be in the attic never to be seen again.
    The packaged extras are okay, a velvety pouch that is a bit blah, a screen protector, USB cable/charger and a nice mini-jack to co-ax cable.
    So, the unit itself is a thing of beauty indeed, a sleek burnished black which looks very stealth and understated. The shape is roughly the same as mobile phone, albeit with slightly more angular edges. Really nice build here, no play or issues with it at all.
    The touch screen is clear, responsive (maybe a little too sensitive) and the operating menus are clearly laid out and easy to navigate (handy, as there isn't a manual!).
    I bunged in a micro SD card full of FLAC files and fired this baby up, sound's were courtesy of my KEF M500's.
    I had some hi-res files but thought it only fair to listen to the same FLACs I used on my previous players to see if there was a detectable difference.
    In short, the difference is night and day.
    I found that the soundstage was waaaay more expansive with the DX50, really nice separation. What further blew my little mind was I could actually feel the height of the instruments, something I had previously dismissed as mere wishful thinking but no, it is definitely there. Linkin Park blasting away and the drum rolls seem to have height to them, weird but there.
    Listening to the War of the Worlds is pretty much a reference for me as I grew up with this album, Richard Burtons opening speech now has little sharp intakes of breath at the end of each line, never heard that before.
    I will be blunt here, I have had no issues with the UI, I am running firmware 1.2.2 and the sound is mesmerising, very clear, excellent detail retrieval but with enough PRAT to make the experience emotionally involving, not clinical at all.
    I expected some buggy little unit that would misbehave but this has not been the case. Maybe I got lucky, I don't know.
    Anyway, to break it down here is my impressions on individual sounds
    BASS -
    A deep, slamming and impactful bass that never grows muddy or poorly defined. The bass is also very well controlled with no bleed into the mids. The KEF's are a neutral phone which I think suits the DX50 really well, I own a pair of Sennheiser Momentums that sound a little congested compared to the KEF's. The bass is of such clarity that you can feel the pounding throughout your head and, with the KEF's anyway, it almost has that impact you get from speakers, forceful and bright.
    MIDS -
    Utterly lush, musically engaging, emotional, stirring. Crystal clear and so revealing of detail that the layers of sound on a busy track almost become overwhelming. Quite simply stunning
    HIGHS -
    Well rendered with a nice brightness that never strays into sibilance or becomes fatiguing. Excellent
    Very open with excellent separation, the aforementioned height is also there, I just love the stage here. I am hearing separation in track which was never revealed to me with previous players. What more can you ask for?
    At this price, simply stunning. You can pick up an ipod for about the same and this thing launches it out of the water. The options with the co-ax cable and line out are not be underestimated, I use this player through the aux-in on my Marantz stereo and it sounds lovely, the line out is really clean and pure.
    I won't say the forums have been overstating the UI quirkiness, if your player is screwy then so be it, but mine works fine and I am really, really pleased with it.
      atoniolin likes this.