iBasso IT01

Rating:
4.75/5,
Tags:
  1. Zelda
    iBasso IT01 - Great Sound & High Value
    Written by Zelda
    Published Aug 23, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound Quality
    Design & Build Quality
    Cable with strong MMCX connection
    Accessories pack
    Great Value
    Cons - Might be a bit large for smaller ears
    Review – iBasso IT01

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    Website – iBasso Audio

    Overview

    iBasso IT01 is the most budget oriented product from a well based portable audio company iBasso Audio. Featuring a single dynamic driver of 10mm diameter of a very thin graphene diaphragm that certainly delivers a powerful yet detailed sound. Priced at just $100 it packs a nice variety of accessories, excellent cable, solid materials, good ergonomics, and most importantly very good sound quality, making one of the best value in-ear options on the market.

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    IT01 info

    Specifications
    • Driver: 10mm Dynamic, multi layered graphene diaphragm
    • Frequency: 10 Hz ~ 42 kHz
    • Sensitivity: 108 ± 2 dB
    • Impedance: 16Ω
    • Noise attenuation: -26 dB
    • Rated Power: 10mW
    • THD: <1% (at 1 kHz / 1 mW)
    • Cable: 1.2m, 3.5mm gold plated plug, MMCX detachable
    • Weight: 8g (without cable)

    Price: U$100

    Available in two color themes, all black (semi-translucent) and red & blue (solid).

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    The packaging and unboxing are quite the deal with the IT01, something that should be found on more expensive options, but rarely found at this $100 range. Right from the start, the iBasso IT01 manages to surprise with a nice yet discreet box and impressive unboxing experience. The outer paperboard cover shows the usual iBasso logo while carrying the whole specifications and extra info of the IT01 model on the back side. The inner blue-gray cardboard box is thicker and presented in a convenient magnetic closure. Opening the box reveals the safely arranged earpieces inside the foam along with the round metal case and all the paperwork inside a small envelope.

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    The round metal case holds a wide array of 4 sets of ear tips sealed inside individual small bags and lastly, the MMCX detachable cable of very good quality. The ear tips sets consist all of single flange tips, being two sets of narrow bore tips that only differ in their color, gray or black, one set of wider bore tips, and two pairs of foams tips. The silicone tips are all in 3 sizes (S/M/L) while the foam are only in 2 sizes.

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    Design

    The design of the IT01 is a great mix of build quality, aesthetics and ergonomics. The shells are made entirely of a very sturdy plastic material, rather thick and feels durable. Black color theme is a bit translucent allowing to faintly see the inner 10mm single dynamic driver in the middle of the shells positioned close to the nozzle section. The nozzle is stainless steel, it has a thin lip to either hold the tips at the top of the nozzle or all way down to the bottom of the nozzle. The shape is like of triangle with rounded edges and very smooth, and while the shells consist of two parts they’re well attached and nicely finished. The inner part has a good ergonomic shape that gets thinner towards the joint with the nozzle. Lastly, there are two vents that can be easily spotted on the surface, one closer to the nozzle and the other a bit above it.

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    Despite the single dynamic driver, the IT01 is not the very small or compact earphone, but thanks to the ergonomic shape it should fit most ears. Depending on the tips used the fit can be deeper or shallower, but either case not a too flushed fit. Isolation may depend on the tips used, but in general it is about a bit above average.

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    The included cable deserves some attention too. It is not the usual ‘stock’ cable found on most IEM options with MMCX connection. The inner wire is made of 4 core copper material (OFC), and from a closer inspection it carries a good amount of copper that usually is found on ‘upgrade’ cables. The cable configuration consists of a four strands that on the lower half (from plug to split) are not twisted but very softly braided. The outer cable jacket is not too thick and gives a much softer touch and flexibility. On the upper half it is twisted, but again soft enough boosting very low cable noise and great comfort. Both the 3.5mm plug and y-split are made of light aluminum and have proper strain relieves. There also soft fixed guides towards the MMCX plugs. The current MMCX plugs have been changed from the previous batches that used the standard MMCX type, instead they take a much tighter type of plugs featuring a 4-split and extended plugs that once connected to the earpieces are very difficult to detach or even rotate. A great feature indeed, though it may limit the possibility to try different cables on the IT01, but definitely worth the extra durability.

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    Sound Quality

    Ear tips selection is very important with the IT01, like many other IEMs. Among the included tips, the best results I found were with the wider silicone tips, but also used similar tips with a wider bore to reach a similar sound presentation.

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    Overall, the IT01 offers a balanced and full sound in a wide U-shaped type of sound with a bit dark tonality; not a typical V-shaped where the midrange is left behind, but still with some extra dominance on the low frequencies with a slight extra sparkle on the treble region.

    The low end is certainly enhanced, but in a very well achieved tuning with great control. It’s not the so typical mid-bass boost that leaves the depth and sub-bass at a lower priority. The IT01 raise on the bass actually starts from the sub-bass and brings excellent balance on the whole bass region where sub, mid and also upper bass sound very even. As such, the layering and separation is nicely achieved for such a $100 priced in-ear set. Texture too, is quite natural, and the speed while not too high has good attack; the decay can be a bit slower with heavier tracks, but the IT01 is far from sounding muddy. Quantity wise, the IT01 has plenty amount of bass, and thus in occasions can sound a bit boomy towards the upper bass region. Surprisingly, the control is very good that there’s very little bleed at the lower midrange.

    Strictly speaking, the midrange is presented a little behind next to the bass and lower treble elevation. However, it is not reflected in a sharp V-shaped curve where the mids sound thin or too distant. While the bass control is quite good on the IT01, the extra force does mix with the whole midrange, mostly at the lower midrange where the instruments are fuller and also thicker. Nonetheless, male vocals sound quite clear and good in texture; they do not carry the best texture and emotion, but yes they balance very well in the whole sound presentation. The mids sound cleaner towards their upper region, not particularly forward but do sit in a proper position thanks to the lower treble little emphasis that prevents the IEM of sounding dull or off. Female voices sound detailed though if a bit kind of dry in texture. Aside from that, the resolution and imaging is nicely achieved for the IT01 price tag, with a rather natural tonality.

    The highs are well balanced, if just a bit more forward than the midrange and less emphasized than the bass, but enough to save the sound from being overly dark or bass focused. Similarly to the low end, the balance and extension are very good. There is decent attack and sparkle if needed, and enough energy on brighter tracks; still, the IT01 is not my first pick for electric guitars that need the extra bite, nor the most textured for strings or cymbals, but as an all-rounder it is easy to choose. The treble control and refinement is quite excellent and picking up some sibilance while possible is still difficult with the IT01.
    Detail is definitely a strong suit on the IT01 around the $100 range, not offered in an analytical presentation but rather flows smooth and musically. Stage is wider than average with good depth and quite good separation and air.

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    Value

    The IT01 might be the most affordable option from iBasso but it is simply the best introduction of the company to the masses. In terms of build quality, design, and accessory pack the IT01 ticks all the boxes with high ratings. Even the package is presented in an elegant way and makes it a nice gift too. The sound presentation with its bit of darkish tonality might not be the first pick for detail freaks that prefer a brighter and most detailed sound or for those seeking the sweetest midrange with forward vocals, but as easy going, fun, yet detailed all-rounder it is a great pick and one of the strongest contenders around the $100 mark.

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      CoiL, vickie2006, B9Scrambler and 3 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Zelda
      Well, so far they know how to impress.
      Zelda, Aug 27, 2018
    3. vickie2006
      I have RHA ma750 more than three years.
      Is the sound quality is better?
      Is it worth the upgrade or the sound quality is the same?
      vickie2006, Aug 27, 2018
    4. Zelda
      It may depend on how much of an upgrade you're looking for.
      May not be a major upgrade, but the IT01 is better in some aspects. Both share a lively signature, but the IT01 is less v-shaped. Midrange is more forward, especially the vocals. Speed is higher too. Smoother treble and more controlled, while the MA750 can be sharper. iBasso has more clarity and it's more effortless.
      Both have a similar mid-bass lift.
      It may depend on your source too.
      Zelda, Aug 27, 2018
  2. faceestrella
    iBasso IT01 Impressions by Face
    Written by faceestrella
    Published Mar 1, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Dynamic bass, good enough detail and extension, cable quality and versatile sound.
    Cons - Carrying case quality could be better,
    Special thanks to HeadPie for hosting my impressions on the IT01

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    *I purchased the iBasso IT01 at full price.
    Overview:
    The iBasso IT01 is iBasso’s most affordable and accessible option in their current IEM line up.
    It’s a single dynamic driver universal IEM priced at $109 from Penon Audio and the latest entrant in the ever growing ~$100 entry level IEM market.
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    Specifications:
    Taken directly from the iBasso IT01 product page on Penon Audio
    Driver:10.0mm Dynamic driver
    Multi layered graphene, which is Ultra-light and stiff.
    Frequency response: 10Hz-42kHz
    Sensitivity: 108+/-2dB
    Impedance: 16 Ohm
    Noise Attenuation: -26dB
    Rated power: 10mW
    T.H.D.: <1% (at 1kHz/1mW)
    Plug size: 3.5 TRS gold plated
    Cable length: 1.2m
    Connection: MMCX
    Weight: 8.0g without cable
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    Packaging:
    The iBasso IT01 comes in a medium sized box for an IEM, that is covered with a white carton sleeve containing the iBasso logo and IT01 text at the front with the product details in the rear.
    Removing the sleeve reveals a navy-blue box with an embossed iBasso logo and opens from the front via a magnetic clasp.
    Opening the box reveals a red lining, a paper sleeve for the manual and warranty card, and in the main compartment the IEMs sitting in foam and the metallic green case containing the included cable and 4 bags of a different variety of included ear tips including 2 sizes of foam ear tips.
    The case is made of metal with foam padding inside and though not very pocketable offers good protection for the IEM but the paint and strength of the case material is a little poor as a drop easily chipped and dented the case.
    Overall a good value package, though maybe replace one set of silicone tips with double flange tips for a more comprehensive offering and improve the quality of the case.
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    Build Quality:
    The IT01 has a plastic shell, a metal nozzle with metal mesh filters and two vents near the base of the nozzle to let the driver breathe.
    This unit is in the “Black” color though in reality it is a very opaque “smoky” shell.
    Plastic seems to be of good quality and doesn’t bend or buckle when reasonable amounts of pressure is applied.
    No unseemly gaps, MMCX connection is tight and fit and finish all look very good.
    The included cable is a 4N OFC 4 core loose braid and is of very high quality. The cable is soft and pliable and offers no micro phonics at reasonable levels of movement. It uses metal for the 3.5mm jack cover, Y-splitter, and cable cinch, the MMCX termination is plastic and the cable has a pre-molded shrink wrap tube to fit over the ear. The cable quality is not one often seen at this price point and is a plus.
    Do note that while the universal MMCX connection is secure, it may be a little too secure and the cables are somewhat difficult to remove.
    Overall the IT01 exhibits excellent build and exceptional cable quality at its price point.
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    Fit:
    The IT01 is a universal IEM of small to medium size, though maybe slightly larger compared to most single dynamic IEMs, that borrows some small traits from custom shells, such as the slight protrusion at the top of the shell to fit snugly along the ear while the main part of the body is designed to rest along the ridge on top of our earlobes.
    Overall this a safe and comfortable shape that doesn’t have many exaggerated protrusions that could lead to an uncomfortable fit.
    It is also very light, so you don’t feel weighed down when wearing them for long periods of time. They fit snugly enough that they may be used to sleep in for people with average or larger ears, those with smaller or shallow ears however may have difficulty when sleeping on their side.
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    Sound:
    The IT01 was burned in for 100 hours before listening impressions were taken.
    Sources used: LG G6, FiiO Q1 Mk II. Volume matched for all the songs and sources.
    It seems
    The overall sound signature of the IT01 seems to be mild U shape though sometimes exhibits an L shape. I didn’t notice much difference between either source, except for some mild improvements in bass and presentation through the FiiO DAC amp possibly indicating that the IT01 appreciates some extra amp power.
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    Bass:
    The IT01 has wonderful bass. It has good sub bass that pleasantly hovers and has good rumble.
    In ILYSB by Lany the bass drum kick just lingers long enough so that it doesn’t sound hollow.
    Mid bass is punchy with good texture and has quick decay.
    The bass lines in P.Y.T. by Michael Jackson are nice, tight, and well defined.
    The bass is dynamic in the sense that it can provide a large quantity when songs call for it, but it can also be show more control in less demanding songs so that the bass doesn’t end up bleeding into the mids.
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    Mids:
    The mids aren’t as brought forward as the bass or treble but only by a little.
    On Rehab by Amy Winehouse I find the bass lines and horns toe the line of being too overpowering for her voice to shine. On the other hand, Adele’s vocals in Chasing Pavements is delivered very well where the band instruments still let’s her vocals take center stage.
    Male vocals are similarly well rendered, like in All of Me by John Legend vocals were full and had no unpleasant thinness to them. Instruments don’t get lost in the mix and carry enough detail and definition to be pleasing.
    Mids are clear, detailed, and natural sounding
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    Treble:
    The IT01 has treble that isn’t peaky nor does it exhibit sibilance. It has good extension lending a sense of airiness in songs. Cymbals even on busier songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit are crisp and not harsh.
    Listening to Lindsey Stirling’s The Arena the violin and piano have a sparkle in them and they can stand along the hip hop bass line. In Jazz songs even wailing sax solos have enough restraint to keep them from being unpleasant yet not sound dulled out.
    Overall airy and sparkly and detailed without ever being shrill.
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    Presentation:
    The IT01 has decently wide soundstage. On tracks that can utilize it, like live orchestral recordings it will render space well, just a little to the left and right of the head.
    Depth is good having the space to identify that secondary instruments are a step back from the main band. Height is nothing noteworthy.
    Imaging is good, relative positioning of instruments is discernible and it did great at the virtual barbershop test.
    Separation and clarity are good, even in more complex arrangements individual instrumentation doesn’t get lost.
    Detail level and retrieval likewise is good in Hotel California the subtle hints of shakers, supplementary guitar isn’t drowned out by the main riff and bass line.

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    IT01 200-hour update
    200 Hour Update: For the Burn in inclined.
    After some more burn in there were a few changes to the IT01 sound.
    The bass however remained powerful, full sub bass, and good texture on the mid bass.
    The bass did seem more controlled leading to the mids, the vocal range seemed to be more forward.
    Testing the song 'Rehab' again, the vocals don’t risk being taken over anymore.
    Either way it’s a good development overall.
    The Treble on the other hand seemed to smoothen up a touch.
    Overall the sound is still similar but the mild U, due to the little bump in vocals, was given it more linearity which personally I preferred as I’m not a fan of very recessed mids.


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    Conclusion:
    The iBasso IT01 is a real winner at its price. It has a natural tonality that is very pleasing and not tiring to listen to.
    It can handle different genres well or at the least adequately.
    The highlight of IT01 is the bass that can be powerful when it needs to be while not letting the bass dominate its sound signature nor sacrificing other aspects of its sound. That characteristic of the IT01 is what I think makes it a winner at this increasingly crowded market segment.
    It’s adept enough to cater to different tastes in music, I’ve listened to Jazz, Rock, Punk, Soul, RnB, and classical music on the IT01 and it does an admirable job in all of them.
    It doesn’t have the super extended rumbling bass or super airy and detailed highs of much more expensive or focused IEMs sure, but it’s a great everyday carry from going through the daily commute to waiting in line to relaxing at a cafe.
    If you want a good, all around IEM then the IT01 is a great addition to one’s collection at $109.
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  3. Dobrescu George
    iBasso IT01 - Love for Music
    Written by Dobrescu George
    Published Feb 19, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Clarity, Comfort, Details, Soundstage, Clarity, V-Shaped Sound, Comfort, Impact, Dynamics, Bass Speed, Bass Quantity, Easy-To-Drive, Beautiful
    Cons - No Real Cons
    iBasso IT01 - Love for Music

    iBasso IT01 is an entry-level priced IEM which comes to redefine once again what can be done for 100$, with iBasso being the creator behind this little gem. We'll study in-depth whether IT01 can stand against other well-known 100$ IEMs and even more expensive products.


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    Official Thread: [https://goo.gl/Wwi5EP]


    Amazon Shop Page: [https://goo.gl/d5rkpE]


    Penon Shop Page: [https://goo.gl/PPSZd6]


    Introduction

    iBasso should be well-known by now for having produced DX200, one of the best DAPs in the world, and for providing excellent support for their customers through the years. They have reached out and helped many people with their audio journey, and DX200 is still one of our favorite DAPs, being able to power not only IEMs, but also flagship headphones, like Audeze LCD-MX4.

    It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with iBasso, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is not sponsored nor has been paid for by iBasso or anyone else. I'd like to thank Paul from iBasso for providing the sample for the review. The sample was provided along with iBasso's request for an honest and unbiased review. This review will be as objective as it is humanly possible, and it reflects my personal experience with iBasso IT01. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in iBasso IT01 find their next music companion.



    About me

    https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.ro/p/about.html



    Packaging

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

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    IT01 comes packaged in a rather tight package, with just enough space to store it all, but enough to store one of the best gems there are.

    It is possible to see from the box that IT01 does not require quite that big amount of power, and that they'll be ready to rock your world even straight from a smartphone, being quite efficient, and having only 16 Ohm as impedance. This low impedance also makes them slightly sensitive to hiss, if you plan on pairing them with a source that has a higher output impedance.


    The box is very stylish and has a very beautiful design, with a blue color on the outside and a rosy red color on the inside. The IEMs and the carry box are seated cozily in a foam cutout, where they sleep until you open them.


    iBasso provides a lot of tips along with IT01, enough to make using IT01 fun and easy to use. I found that I like the included tips enough for me to not put on my usual Spinfit tips. The cable included is something else entirely, being one of the highest quality cables we've seen included with IEMs, regardless of their price. Especially handy as you probably won't need aftermarket cables for a good while while using IT01, and it is quite the surprise to find something like this on a 100$ IEM.


    The carry case included with IT01 is quite beautiful as well, being one of the highest quality cases we've seen included with a IEM, and being, more or less, the same carry case as the one which comes included with the 2000$ RE-2000 from HIFIMAN, which we reviewed here: [https://goo.gl/VCS12x]




    What to look in when purchasing an In-Ear Monitor

    https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.ro/p/what-to-lookl.html



    Technical Specifications


    Driver: 10.0mm Dynamic driver
    Driver material: Multi layered graphene, which is Ultra-light and stiff.
    Frequency response: 10Hz-42kHz
    Sensitivity: 108+/-2dB
    Impedance: 16 Ohm
    Noise Attenuation: -26dB
    Rated power: 10mW
    Plug size: 3.5 TRS gold plated
    Cable length: 1.2m
    Connection: MMCX
    Weight: 8.0g without cable


    Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

    Starting with the outer shell, IT01 is made out of a high quality, highly reflective plastic surface which gives them a very interesting, elegant yet slightly retro feeling. The version we have is the Blue-Red version, but we know that there is a black version out there, for those who might prefer a sleeker and more elegant design.


    In person, IT01 feels really high quality all around, and while almost all IEMs we tested to date passed our build quality tests, IT01 feels amazing due to the attention that was given to details, all little elements combining together elegantly and with a gentle curve, creating a very ergonomic IEM. The font chosen by iBasso further gives the bodies of IT01 a feeling of high-end and of quality.

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    When it comes to their connectors, we know that not all MMCX connectors are made the same, and IT01 has one of the highest quality MMCX connectors we've seen, similar to those employed on flagships, clicking right in place and staying fit without spinning freely.


    The cables are something else entirely, not only the cables of IT01 are thicker and way too high-quality for their price point, but we never seen or had a cable that looks so good with any IEM, regardless of its price, aftermarket custom cables that are the same quality as the stock cable of IT01 often costing many times the price of IT01.

    The 3.5mm plug on the cable completes an elegant and extremely high-end feeling, making the whole build quality and aesthetics of IT01 some of the best we've seen, being quite something else in the 100$ price range.

    The fit and comfort are quite good as well, as iBasso employed vents on IT01 to ease the pressure inside the IEM body, as they are a single dynamic driver IEM. There is no driver flex if you insert the IEM slowly, and with care, and attention must be taken to not cover the ventilation port, as covering it can cause driver flex and other issues. Although we know a few cases where users reported driver flex, we couldn't notice anything above the typical driver flex for a vented Dynamic Driver IEM.

    The fit is extremely comfortable, IT01 creating a bit of void while worn, this making them not only sit comfortably, but also giving them a fairly good isolation from the outside noise, which works both ways, as they are some of the IEMs that leak less sound from what we've tested. While they aren't quite at the levels of isolation UM Martian and Etymotic provides, IT01 is very much excellent for its 100$ price range.



    Sound Quality

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    As per iBasso's request, we made sure to take impressions both when IT01 was new, and after a 100 and 200 hours burn-in marks. It seems that some components of IT01 do change with burn-in, so we recommend taking at least 100 hours of burn-in before judging their sound. Burn-in should be done with music around 75% to 100% of a listener's typical listening levels, with pink noise, or with music. Burn-in will happen gradually if they are used while it is happening as well, but it will take considerably longer to notice the effects than a continuous 100 hours of burn-in.

    Source used for testing iBasso IT01 has been almost exclusively iBasso DX200, which we reviewed here: [https://goo.gl/HMct9Q], coupled along with AMP5 for DX200, which we will review in the (very) near future.

    The baseline sonic signature of IT01 is a relatively organic sound, with a magical and enhanced mid bass, with a good midrange presence, and with a nice sub-bass and treble enhancement, resulting in a V-shaped sound with a quick and very nicely articulated bass, a brighter and very revealing midrange tonality, and crispy and airy treble. The sound is very dynamic in general as well, being a truly fun experience to witness.



    Bass


    Quantity-wise, the bass is enhanced, for those who crave a rather fun presentation. The bass is quite amazing, being quick and very resolving, showing very fine textures in the sub-bass and midbass, having great impact and giving drums and bass notes an excellent body and presentation. Dubstep music has a very deep and strong presentation, while metal music has the right amount of bass for excellent impact and lively presentation. While the bass hits hard, the quantity is not overwhelming, and it doesn't color the midrange, but it will satisfy those who crave for more bass.



    Midrange

    The midrange is quite something else, being tuned slightly brighter, and very revealing. Textures in the music of Mindless Self Indulgence and Muse are resolved quite nicely, and meaty guitar solos in metal music sound emotional and vivid. Voices have a natural tonality, and bear excellent textures, while instruments like trumpets have a good amount of impact to sound realistic. All music, from electronic to Jazz is resolved nicely, IT01 being a nice all-rounder. Although the signature isn't the most organic one, the transparency of the midrange is really nice to have with metal music and complex compositions with lots of instruments.



    Treble

    The treble of IT01 is a bit enhanced, presenting music with an excellent sparkle, and with an amazingly good extension for this price range, competing even with certain flagships when it comes to the clarity, precision and low distortion of cymbal hits and cymbal trailing. The airiness is also quite nice, and the micro-textures are quite excellent, and IT01 is not harsh, and it is most certainly not sibilant, being a rather fun, uplifting, energetic and realistic listen. The enhanced treble is quite nice for balancing out the rather enhanced bass, giving it a nice V-shaped sound.



    Soundstage

    The soundstage of IT01 is quite wide, extending very well around the listener, but the depth is a bit more intimate, maybe a few rows in front of the listener. The stereo imaging is quite excellent and you can easily pinpoint every single instrument in the sonicstage, as well as enjoy stereo panning effects in music that presents it, from rock to pop.




    Portable Usage

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    When it comes to its portability, IT01 is portable in every way a IEM can be, being lightweight, having an excellent fit, even while walking and running, offering enough isolation from the outside noise, and being rather easy to drive, with its 16 OHM impedance and its 108dB of sensitivity working right even straight out of a typical smartphone. Adding a professional Digital Audio Player (DAP), like iBasso DX200 improves the experience and gives IT01 improved detailing, better soundstaging and finer clarity / details.


    The fit of IT01 is quite good for long time wearing, making it a very nice portable option, and the comfort is good enough for them to be taken on a trip (as we did when we went wandering through the lonely streets of Bucharest to explore the less known parts of this beautiful city).



    Comparisons

    iBasso IT01 vs FiiO F9Pro - F9Pro is is the latest flagship from FiiO, and although it is around 70$ more expensive than IT01, they make a nice comparison, as F9Pro is one of the better IEMs we heard to date. Starting with the construction quality, IT01 has a shallower fit, and both F9Pro and IT01 have an excellent fit, even for long-term usage. The cables are better on IT01, while F9Pro uses a supler cable. The connector quality is a bit better on IT01, but F9Pro isn't far behind either. The sonics are great on both, IT01 being slightly more V-shaped with a more recessed midrange, and with a stronger bass, larger bass amounts, quicker bass, more impact at the bass level, and with less treble quantity, while F9Pro has a more forward midrange. F9Pro also has a little peak around the 7 kHz area, which isn't present on IT01, making F9Pro sound a bit more revealing, but also a bit peakier and a bit hot in that area, especially for those sensitive to treble.

    iBasso IT01 vs MOOH BE00BT - BE00BT is a full sized BT Headphone that is priced at a similar price point as IT01. While BE00BT is a full-blown over-the-ears headphone with bluetooth, and even with APT-X, IT01 is a single Dynamic Driver IEM, with excellent fit and one of the best cables there are. Starting with the comfort, IT01 tends to be more comfortable, since BE00BT can touch my ears while worn, but there is a good amount of comfort with both. The cable quality is not comparable, IT01 having a much better cable. The sound is quite dynamic on both, but it is bassy and slower on BE00BT, with a smoother presentation and less focus on details, while it is more revealing on IT01, with a more detailed presentation and better instrument separation.

    iBasso IT01 vs Astrotec AM850 - This is a harder comparison to make, as AM850 is quite the amazing IEM as well, the biggest difference being the tuning of IT01 and AM850, as IT01 is more V-shaped, with a stronger Sub-bass, stronger bass, less forward midrange, less bright upper midrange, and more treble extension, while AM850 has a more forward midrange, and a brighter general presentation. Despite its general brighter sound, it'd be hard to say that AM850 is more revealing, but instead both IT01 and AM850 are quite revealing. The cable quality is superior on IT01, and AM850 doesn't come with detachable cables, but AM850 has a smaller IEM body, and it might come off as more comfortable for those with smaller ear canals. AM850 also has a full metal body for its IEMs, while IT01 is made out of high-quality plastic.

    iBasso IT01 vs Kinera H3 - iBasso IT01 is considerably more balanced than Kinera H3, IT01 being a V-shaped IEM with a good balance of the overall signature, while H3 has considerably less midrange than they have bass and treble, Kinera H3 having a considerably stronger treble, to the point where it is sibilant to some listeners. The comfort is better on IT01 than it is on H3, as H3 exhibited quite a bit of driver flex during our tests, but both are very revealing IEMs with a good amount of details in their sound.

    iBasso IT01 vs Simgot EN700Bass - EN700Bass presents music similar amounts of bass, but less relative speed and less detail, and with less dynamics and impact. IT01 has a quicker, and more agile bass which is also presented with a more enhanced impact. The midrange is clearer, more detailed, more revealing and slightly brighter on IT01, while it seems less detailed on EN700BASS. The treble is considerably airier on IT01, with better crispiness and better extension. EN700BASS feels smoother and leaner, as EN700BASS has a laid back presentation in comparison. The comfort is better on IT01 as E700bass is larger in size, but both should be fairly comfortable.



    Recommended Pairings

    iBasso IT01 + HIFIMAN MEGAMINI - HIFIMAN MEGAMINI is a great budget-oriented source to drive IT01, giving it a nice soundstage and detail, along with great dynamics, but the pairing also gives IT01 a bit of hiss, in the end Megamini losing a bit there.

    iBasso IT01 + Shanling M2s - Shanling M2s is a very healthy-priced DAP from Shanling, with a lot of bells and whistles. The pairing has nice dynamics and a leaner sound, making IT01 a bit more musical and relaxed than other pairing. I couldn't notice any hissing with this pairing.

    iBasso IT01 + Opus #1s - #1s is quite the amazing DAP when it comes to driving hard-to-drive headphones, being able to give life even to amazing flagship-level headphones like Beyerdynamic Amiron and Audeze LCD-MX4. When it comes to this pairing, it is quite interesting, as #1s has quite the amazing dynamics with IT01, sounding very dynamic, and having a wide soundstage.

    iBasso IT01 + iBasso DX200 - iBasso DX200 has an amazing power and precision in driving IT01, with an enthusiastic soundstage, an excellent instrument separation, and an amazing general clarity and musical note definition. I can't say I notice any kind of hiss with this pairing, and the general feeling is that of vividness and of clarity with this pairing.



    Value and Conclusion

    iBasso impressed us before, when they created their DX200, an amazing DAP with a lot of power and with excellent features, but we didn't expect iBasso to impress us as much so soon again. It seems that when it comes to being impressive, iBasso does an amazing job, as they did it again, with their IT01, which is a very fair priced IEM, at just 100$, or we could even say that it is unfairly priced, as its cable alone could be worth more than its 100$ price tag, considering the cost of a high-quality aftermarket cable.

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    iBasso made sure to learn from other IEMs, so they included an amazing carrying case as well, the same case as the one used with HIFIMAN RE2000, which is a true flagship. The amazement doesn't stop there, as the build quality of IT01 is much more impressive than most 100$ IEMs are in general, with a clear and high-quality overall feeling, the smooth and finely worked IEM shells having a beauty of their own. If one doesn't like the Blue and Red version of IT01, there is always the fully black version, which looks very sleek and elegant.

    The sound is amazing with IT01, being worthy of a little flagship, IT01 being not only one of the most impressive 100$ IEMs, but being also a little gem in this world, a IEM that is really really well-priced and which hits way above its pricing, and being a IEM that has been loved and cherished by many of our friends, from way before we managed to finish posting this very review.

    We can only say that we wholeheartedly recommend IT01 as one of the best 100$ IEMs there are, and with proper burn-in, those little gems are sure to satisfy most people out there, and they will always be in our hearts as an amazing product from iBasso, being the second product from them that really impressed us.



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  4. PinkyPowers
    The Delight of Ambition
    Written by PinkyPowers
    Published Feb 12, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Serious sound. Excellent fit. Solid build. Awesome cable.
    Cons - ...what cons?
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    ~::I originally published this on THL. Now I wish to share it with my Head-Fi fellows.::~

    :: Disclaimer ::

    iBasso provided the IT01 free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.

    The IT01 sells for $99 MSRP
    www.iBasso.com
    IT01 on Amazon

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    I contacted iBasso because I had seen a photo of an early build for their IT04 in-ear monitor. Wood. Lots of wood. You know how Pinky likes that. So I thought I should strike up a dialog as soon as possible.

    But of course, that release was still a ways off. Paul Hu of iBasso suggested I try their new entry-level IEM, the IT01, and maybe the DX200, if I was into reviewing DAPs. hoho! Boy am I!

    In a snap of the finger, this lot arrived on my doorstep.

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    iBasso put in some serious effort in creating something no sane person would call “Just a Dynamic Driver.” 1 Tesla magnetic flux magnet. Dual Helmholtz Resonator driver. Multi-layered 5µm Graphene Diaphragm… I don’t know what it all means, but goddamn, it sure sounds exciting. And not to give anything away, but I believe some of the hype. This thing does not perform like you’d expect.

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    The IT01 is kind of large for a single-driver product, but it fits my ears very well. They go in comfortable, and remain that way for long sessions. They come with a few different tips, but I tend to neglect stock provisions and just throw on my standards, the JVC Spiral Dots. They worked a treat here, as always.

    What really sits you back in your chair is the cable. If they sold this cable as a $100 upgrade, I’d call that more than fair. It’s excellent! But they don’t. This is all stock, included in the whole package for $99. It is one of the most supple, ergonomically compliant wires I’ve ever owned. I’m not a huge fan of MMCX connectors, but this one is quite nice, and with zero noticeable microphonics, I can’t find anything to complain about. I heartily approve of this whole thing.

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    I rate the iBasso IT01 at neutral-warm, with strong leanings towards clarity and resolution. After a full-week of burn-in, these monitors deliver a controlled, yet highly musical performance. They are energetic, yet know how to rein it in and gently romance you. There is a richness of tone and well-layered depth. Couple that to a highly revealing profile, and you have a special kind of creature that sort of does it all.

    Treble is accentuated, but not spiky or harsh. It walks an interesting line between warm and bright. It feels dead center, like it could tip either way with just a nudge. Refinement is not the highest I’ve ever heard, though it is better than almost anything in the mid-range, let alone budget-tier, which is where the IT01 sits. The highs are a touch splashy, yet well within acceptable margins. Extension is remarkable, giving you all those upper-register notes, for an airy, spacious environment. Listening to classical violins is really very pleasant.

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    They’ve been called V-Shaped, or U-Shaped. I don’t hear it quite like that. Maybe a gentle U. The vocals certainly aren’t forward, and probably do stand a step back on the stage. However, the artist is portrayed with good size and can be heard loud and clear. Details, texture, and articulation come through in a big way. Note weight is well balanced, so neither thick nor thin. There is a smooth, natural quality to voices which belies the amount of detail present. The IT01 is not artificially aggressive, but rather bold and powerful.

    Bass may sound overwhelming out of the box. I didn’t listen to it long enough to say for sure. But after burn-in, I can say it’s very well balanced with the rest of the signature. Rarely do I hear it standing out as the main focus. Nonetheless, it can do just that when the song calls for it. BLACK SABBATH by Black Sabbath shows you the monster lives. The IT01 packs one mean punch. The lows are textured and quick, large-sounding, and capable of such delicious rumble.

    Soundstage is quite large in width and height, and better than average depth, giving you a thoroughly out-of-head experience. This is bolstered by the IT01’s talent to separate the elements in a clean, vivid fashion. Imaging seems more or less flawless, marking every sound with adequate precision. Then great resolution completes the presentation, resulting in one of the mightiest performers I’ve come across under $400.

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    I have much fondness for the Oriveti Basic, another $99 single DD IEM. It has a very warm, easy sound. Yet compared to the IT01, Basic sounds like $99. By that I mean Basic has nowhere near the same level of clarity or separation. Details come off blurry and resolution is downgraded by many units of measurement. It honestly doesn’t seem fair to put Basic against IT01, but it’s the only other $99 IEM I own. In regards to tuning, Basic is much warmer, with lots of mid-bass that bleeds into the vocals. The treble is less extended, less airy, and in the background of the mix. Mids are smooth, big, and warm. Yes, it’s a fun IEM, but it doesn’t perform anywhere near the same level.

    So let’s jump to $300, with the FLC8S (Review HERE). This race is significantly closer. Using the filters Red, Black, and Gunmetal, the tuning is not far off, though FLC is a little warmer, with more mid-bass to thicken the mids. As a result, FLC8S presents a slightly fuller, warmer sound. Clarity and transparency goes to IT01, with FLC not far behind. iBasso also takes it in detail retrieval, resolution, and separation. FLC’s treble, on the other hand, is a bit more refined. IT01 turns the tables again with bass, delivering better texture, speed, and resolution. Vocals are great on both, though IT01 renders bigger and more vivid. Finally, soundstage: IT01 creates a gander venue, no question.

    One must go all the way up to the DUNU DK-3001 ($469, Review HERE) before a proper victory can be had over iBasso. Here I am met with a profound sense of depth, allowing for holographic immersion, which you simply don’t get with the IT01. The bass is also on a whole other level, not only in quantity, but timbre and scope. You really feel the size of that 13mm driver. However, iBasso gives more texture and detail. DUNU lays out the frequency spread with awesome silkiness, from the lowest of lows, all the way to the furthest reaches of treble. In comparison, the IT01 sounds grainy. The DK3001 carries thicker notes and more body. The vocals are front and center, not back on the stage at all. DUNU’s soundstage is also a bit bigger, on all axes.

    Since the IT01 walks the line between warm and bright so well, they are not tricky to pair. Practically any source will sound good. If you want a little extra bass, or more treble, the device you choose can swing the scales. They are highly efficient and require very little power to drive. Like I said, you really can’t go wrong. Still, here are a few pairings you may find interesting:

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    The Shanling M3s ($279, Review HERE) is a fantastic budget DAP for the IT01. Smooth, clean, and revealing as ****. With a hint of warmth and plenty of treble, you get quite a lot of musicality without leaving neutrality. Soundstage is above average, and there’s great separation. It allows the IT01 to show off its qualities without aiming for the stars… and emptying your wallet in the process.

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    theBit’s newest release, the Opus#1S ($399) is a warmer, fuller device. It adds a more natural, relaxed quality to the IT01. The treble is less splashy, the grain less noticeable. Soundstage is bigger and depth increases. There’s a degree of refinement and maturity to this setup that is seriously impressive. Normally I’d consider a budget earphone not worth the effort of such a fine source, but the IT01 responds with vigor to the added richness.

    My reference player is the Opus#2 ($1,299, Review HERE), and the DAP I use for my audio break-down and comparisons. It has the weight and naturalness of the #1S, but also manages the clarity and transparency of the M3s. That’s what Top of the Line gets you, I guess; the best of both worlds. It doesn’t stop there, either. #2 also delivers a significant upgrade in depth and separation, with a grander soundstage, and all around greater realism. The fact IT01 can illustrate these changes with such articulation may be the single most impressive feat I’ve seen it perform yet. They scale like a mother******!

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    Before I move on, I’d like to mention the Cayin N5ii and iBasso DX200 are also highly recommended for these. You can’t go wrong with either one, but in this case, the price difference does yield greater quality. Set your budget, and buy the best you can afford. You won’t regret it.

    Sweet Jesus! We’ve come to the end. Are you still hazy on my stance? Do you really need me to say it? Fine, I will. I love these things. Are you happy? The iBasso IT01 should not sound this good. Or if it should, it shouldn’t be this inexpensive. Or if it should, everyone else ought to readjust their prices. I won’t say it’s a game-changer, because the only game Pinky cares about is the game of love. That’s a different article entirely. Still, something’s changed, and iBasso did it. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

    -~::Pinky_Powers::~-

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  5. narco dacunzolo
    GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY PRODUCT
    Written by narco dacunzolo
    Published Jan 18, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - GREAT DYNAMIC AND TRANSIENT RESPONSE
    CRISPY AND DETAILED HIGHS
    QUALITY BASS RESPONSE
    SOUNDSTAGE
    QUALITY CABLE
    Cons - MIDS A BIT BEHIND
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    Today i am going to review a really surprising product both for its audiophile sound both for its budget low price: iBasso IT01. iBasso company is quite famous in the audiophile world for the quality of their DAPs and I was just curious how much was the quality of their new released iem. IT01 model shows a In-house developed dynamic driver combining three types of technology: 1 Tesla magnetic flux, Dual Helmotz resonators and a multi layered graphene diaphragm. The result of this synergy gives you an incredible sound with low distortion and great dynamic sound.

    Hope you will understand my review, since I usually write for my Italian public, but when I find the audio product that really impresses me, I am more than happy to share my opinions worldwide. Hope you will enjoy my review.

    IT01 unit was sent me as a sample unit, I am not affiliated with the company and all observations and opinions will be only my own. Would like to thanks again iBasso team for sending me this unit giving me the opportunity to test this budget audiophile product.

    If you want to check my full review in Italian language this is the link: https://wordpress.com/post/simplyaudiophile.wordpress.com/1165



    LINK OFFICIAL SHOP: http://ibasso.com/cp_xq_dy.php?id=6025#page2

    LINK FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/iBassoAudio/?ref=br_rs

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    PACKAGING: packaging really surprised me, considering their budget price, it is quite rich and premium feeling. In the blue box you will find the iem, a warranty card and a manual with a frequency response measurement graph, different size eartips in silicone and foam (surely you will find the right artips perfect for your ear-canal). I really appreciate this choice of providing a various eartips size, cause for in ear models they are very important, indeed only if you can find the perfect seal you will enjoy your audio product at the best.In the box you will find a nice protective tin and a premium cable too. Yes, iBasso for only 100 USD provided a detachable MMCX iem with a premium cable; the cable is not only nice looking, but provides a high quality sound. As described in their official page the cable is a 4-wire braided OFC cable one. It is light and barely noticed when draped over the ear. This contributes to long term listening comfort with no fatigue or irritation. Microphonics have been reduced to a point where there is almost no noticeable sound as the cable rubs on clothes with head movement.

    The construction seems very solid: the shell is made up of acrylic and it’s lightweight and comfortable: I didn’t have any problems in my long audio session. . I have to admit that ITO1 model, as you can see in the images I attached to this review, is a really nice looking and particular IEM.

    Speaking of isolation, it is very good in this department and if you can find the right eartips you will enjoy your playlist without any annoying external noise.

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    SOUND: sound quality really impressed me: I tried a lot of premium iem on 1000USD price range and never imagined that only 100USD product could sound so good.


    Really appreciate the philosophy of this company: providing excellent audio quality at the right price.

    Overall ITO1 is a great sounding IEM: with its V-shaped signature you will enjoy a fun sound, but on audiophile level. Its sound signature is on the clean side, with mids just a bit recessed and a great dynamic and transient response.

    All my sound consideration has been made after 100 hours of burn in as suggested from the iBasso company, with different DAPs such as fiio x3, x5, iFi Nano Idsd black label and my iphone 6 too.

    I found a perfect synergy with silicon eartips ones cause they give a detailed sound with excellent bass response.

    Overall this IEM offers a clean sound with a very quality bass rich of depth and one of the fastest I have ever heard. Bass is strong but never overwhelming and respectful of the track.

    Mids are just a bit laid back and in certain tracks I noticed the need of a more vocal presence for example in Lana Del Rey “Get Free” you can’t hear all the sensuality of this singer. With male vocals I found a lack of body in certain tracks, but with female voices this IEM can bring a very detailed and natural sound.

    I could say that mids aren’t “in focus” , simply are in the middle and around are played all the other instruments that are the focus of the IT01 sound reproduction.

    Highs are very clean and crispy (highs are the star of the show for this iem) . They are very controlled and refined with a lot of sparkles, you will get an extended treble response but without harshness and sibilance issues, indeed, i could be able to listen to this IEM and never find any listening fatigue.

    Dynamic is excellent . Thanks to the one Tesla magnetic flux, Dual Helmotz resonators and a multi layered graphene diaphragm you will enjoy a great transient response without any distorsions. This is incredible considering their budget price range.

    Soundstage is very good, it extends particularly in width, I think it’s due to the two small bores in the shell.

    You will find a nice holographic sense of space.

    With its low impedance is quite easy to drive, you can drive easily with your Smartphone, but obviously with a good DAP you get an overall better sound, with better dynamic and a stronger bass response and in particular, a more controlled and refined sound quality.

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    COMPARISON:

    IT01 VS WHIZZER A15 PRO: this is a fair comparison since they are in the same price range. IT01 has more v shaped sound signature, so it is in the more fun side reproduction, on the other side A15 PRO shows a more controlled sound, has a more detailed and natural mids reproduction. IT01 has a faster and stronger bass response, a cleaner and more detailed highs with more spackles.

    Cable in the ITO1 is nicer and a better build construction.

    Soundstage is more or less equal: all of them shows a quite “out of the head” sound, maybe IT01 has just a bit wider soundstage.

    They are low impedance iems, but A15 needs more power to sound best.


    IT01 VS SHOZY HIBIKI: IT01 has a better transient response and dynamic and has a cleaner sound.

    On the other hand HIBIKI has a more controlled and warmish sound.

    HIBIKI needs a lot of amping, on the other hand IT01 is quite easy to drive.


    IT01 VS PERIODIC AUDIO Mg: right now these are my beast in-ears on the 100 USD price range.

    Mg has a more controlled and audiophile sound, has a good bass response and refined highs with more detailed mids reproduction, on the other hand IT01, since has a v-shaped sound signature, has just a bit recessed mids and a stronger and faster bass response, mids are not so detailed as in Mg, but has overall more sparckling and a wider soundstage.

    If you need a more fun and engaging audiophile sound signature, with a lots of details IT01 will be a perfect choice for you, if you are looking for a more controlled and audiophile sound signature PERIODIC AUDIO Mg will be the right choice for you.

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    FINAL WORDS: Overall IT01 is one of the best sounding iems in its price range. You will get a nice and well built iem, with a premium detachable MMCX cable and overall a v-shaped and fun sound signature with a first-class dynamic and transient response.

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      hqssui and mgunin like this.
  6. twister6
    Audiophile quality on a budget!
    Written by twister6
    Published Jan 15, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - low price, high quality sound, premium removable cable, comfortable fit, nice accessories.
    Cons - mmcx cable hard to disconnect.


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

    Manufacturer website: iBasso. Available from iBasso and Penon Audio.


    Intro.

    I’m sure many are familiar with a phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover. In audiophile world, the same is true for: don’t judge a product by its price. In today’s competitive market, some companies raise the price to be taken seriously. Fortunately, iBasso is not one of them, and instead they do the opposite. For example, in their latest IT01 single Dynamic Driver IEM release, besides pricing it around $100, they also included a premium removable pure copper cable and a nice alloy case.

    After having the opportunity to review their different products in the last few years, I probably shouldn’t be too surprised because iBasso always practice what they preach with every release, delivering quality products at a reasonable price. I said the same about their DX200 DAP, CB12 cable, IT03 IEMs, and even CA01 and CA02 adapters. Now, let’s find out if the same holds true with IT01 IEMs, and if these sound as good as they look.

    Unboxing.

    Budget or no budget, IT01 arrived in a premium packaging with a plain cover artwork that clearly spells out “Audiophile In-Ear Monitors”. The back of the sleeve has a detailed spec in 8 different languages, and adds highlights of the design describing the technology, cable, and the fit.

    With an outer sleeve off, you will find a premium quality box with a magnetic flip cover, and all the goodies wedged securely inside of a foam cutout. Doesn’t look like they cut any corners in packaging, and it was still a satisfying unboxing experience.

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    Accessories.

    Included with IT01, you will find 3 sets of S/M/L silicone eartips. While I usually tip roll to find the best fit and isolation, digging into my stash of dozens of eartips, with both IT01 and IT03, I went for the largest included stock pair as my best choice. The caps of these eartips, between the sets, do vary in springiness, allowing you to find the perfect one suited for the best seal and isolation, and the most secure fit. In addition, iBasso also included 2 pairs of foam eartips (S/M size), which I found to be more comfortable than Comply.

    Also, included was a metal alloy round puck case. While this case is not as comfortable to carry in a pocket when compared to other small zippered cases, it’s very secure and can withstand some serious abuse. Plus, this round case is roomy enough to fit IT01 with its premium cable. My only advice, when you open it up – do it over some surface because thing can go flying everywhere once you pull the top off.

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    Cable.

    It’s very rare to see a premium detachable cable included with a “budget” IEM release. And when I say premium, I’m not talking about the looks, referring to so many budget cables on eBay or aliexpress which have a shiny look and junk low quality wires behind it. Here we are talking about a handmade 4-conductor loosely braided 4N-purity oxygen-free lightweight copper cable.

    The termination is a standard single ended gold plated 3.5mm connector with a strain relief and a nice aluminum housing with iBasso Audio printed label. The braid is loose, making the cable more flexible. Y-splitter has a matching aluminum design, and so does a chin slider. Above y-splitter, cable is twisted, and closer to mmcx connectors you have a pre-shaped transparent flexible tubing piece forming an earhook for a secure over-the-ear fit which is a proper way of wearing IT01. Also, I found the cable has no microphonics.

    MMCX connector is universal and housed inside of a translucent housing mold with a red/blue dot indicating Right/Left sides. The mating of the cable to the shell is very secure and snappy, but unfortunately pulling them apart is rather difficult. Not sure if it becomes looser after more disconnects, but ironically, I was fine with it since I found no need to cable roll. Just make sure if you do choose to disconnect the cable, always grip it by the connector housing and never pull on the cable.

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    Aftermarket cables.

    I did mention above that I found no need to cable roll, but just in case if anybody is curious, I tried it with a few other cables.

    Stock CU vs CB13 - very similar tonality of the sound. One of the differences I hear is in soundstage depth where CB13 makes sound more holographic, pushing it further out. Also, with the bass, CB13 pair-up lowers the quantity of sub-bass and mid-bass, making it closer to the low end of IT03. It refines the sound without affecting its tonality. For sure, if you find low end impact of IT01 to be a little too much for your taste, CB13 can fix that.

    Stock CU vs ALO SPC - very similar soundstage expansion, maybe with ALO giving just a touch more depth. Bass extension and impact are very similar as well, and so does the treble - being spot on. But I hear mids being a little more forward with ALO cable.

    I don't have too many mmcx cables (a lot more 2pin cables), and in general, considering the price of IT01, it probably makes no sense to upgrade it with fancy cables costing 4x-5x times the price of IEM itself. I always encourage to cable roll with your existing cables, but in my opinion here iBasso carefully selected their own premium pure copper cable, used for finetuning of the IT01 sound. So, no need to go crazy with upgrades.

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    Design.

    While being familiar with IT03 hybrid design (DD + 2BAs), some might assume that IT01 single DD design was a result of removing two BA drivers. Turns out, it was a brand-new design with an all new 5um ultra-thin multi-layered graphene diaphragm driver. These particular ultra-light and relatively stiff drivers are known for their fast speed and low distortion, to the point where it doesn't even need any additional damped material, just a very strong magnet, picked by iBasso here with a magnetic flux density of nearly 1 tesla.

    ibasso_it01-36.jpg

    In addition, iBasso's compact shell design has a dual cavity helmholtz resonators, responsible for its powerful bass. Closer examination of the shell also reveals two pinhole vents, on inner side of the shell and closer to the nozzle. While the shells are made from what appears to be acrylic material, the nozzle is all metal with a lip at the tip (to keep eartips from sliding) and a fine mesh covering the opening (to keep the wax away).

    The design is available in red/blue - color coded for right and left sides, or in all black - a more classic look with a tinted black finish that has very little transparency. As I mentioned already, IT01 features mmcx connectors with a very tight and secure cable fit. The black shells I received have iBasso Audio IT01 printed on the faceplate, though the print is grayish and hard to see on the black background, creating a more stealth look.

    The shells itself are more universal and compact in comparison to IT03 which I consider to be custom-universal due to their unique shape. In comparison, IT01 is smaller, lighter, and with a more ergonomic universal design to fit any ear.

    ibasso_it01-23.jpg

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    ibasso_it01-28.jpg

    The fit.

    ibasso_it01-37.jpg

    Sound analysis.

    As suggested by manufacturer, I started to analyze IT01 sound after 100+ hours of the initial burn in. I found these IEMs to have V-shaped sound signature with a fast, articulate bass, brighter revealing tonality and crisp airy treble. It has an excellent retrieval of details and a good level of transparency. While the tonality is not exactly smooth organic, it's not too harsh or artificial either.

    Soundstage is very wide, extending far left and right, while the depth is not bad but more on an intimate level, maybe a few rows in front of you. With such width, you can expect a good imaging with an excellent placement of instruments and vocals, where every sound is easy to pin point.

    The sound is dynamic with a good level of separation and transparency though it could have been a little better if mids were more forward.

    Bass really stands out in this tuning with a deep lifted sub-bass rumble and a fast well controlled articulate mid-bass punch. Bass hits hard, but quantity is not too overwhelming. If you prefer more neutral bass, these might not be for you. The speed of the bass is surprisingly fast for a single DD.

    Lower mids are neutral, maybe even a little south of neutral, not as much body, and upper mids are very detailed, transparent, bright, though also a little colder and thinner, and pulled a little back. Despite v-shaped tuning, upper mids still have a rather good definition, just less organic tonality.

    Treble is crisp and sparkly, with a nice extension and plenty of airiness. It's not harsh or splashy, and no signs of sibilance, and it does have plenty of energy to compliment the bass at the opposite end of the spectrum.

    ibasso_it01-21.jpg

    ibasso_it01-22.jpg

    Comparison.

    Without a doubt, many will be interested how IT01 compares to its bigger brother, IT03.

    IT01 vs IT03 - starting with a soundstage, they have nearly similar width, maybe with 01 being a touch wider, and 03 having more out of your head depth while 01 is closer to a stage with more intimacy. The upper hand in bass belongs to 01 with more sub-bass rumble and stronger mid-bass impact, and, while 03 bass is north of neutral, 01 still dominates without overpowering the sound. With mids, the table is turned around where I hear 01 being more recessed and with more neutral lower mids and a little pushed back upper mids, while 03 has more body in lower mids and more organic upper mids in comparison to thinner upper mids of 01. With treble, it changes again, now 01 resumes the dominating position with more sparkle and crunch, leading to a perception of more airiness, while 03 has a great definition and extension, but smoother in comparison to 01.

    Here how it stacks up against other IEMs.

    IT01 vs Simgot EN700Pro - 01 has a wider soundstage while EN has a little more depth, extending a little further out. With a more balanced signature, EN has a tastefully elevated level of sub-bass rumble and mid-bass impact, while 01 goes deeper and hits harder when it comes to the bass. With mids, EN pulls more forward with more body in lower mids while 01 is more neutral, and more forward upper mids while 01 pulled a little more back. While being more recessed in comparison, 01 mids are more revealing with better retrieval of details, and EN mids are smoother and more organic. With treble, 01 has more sparkle and crunch while EN is smoother in comparison. Both have a well-defined treble, but that extra sparkle in 01 gives it a perception of more airiness. But the main difference here is 01 being more v-shaped tuned, while EN is more balanced.

    IT01 vs HiFiMan RE600 - 01 soundstage is wider by a noticeable margin here, while RE has only slight advantage in soundstage depth, though closer to 01. Also, RE bass is a lot more neutral in comparison, with sub-bass being the most noticeable difference where 01 goes deeper with higher quantity. Both have a fast, mid-bass punch, but 01 hits harder. Both have neutral lower mids, perhaps with 01 being a little more south of neutral when compared to RE. Upper mids are more forward, smoother, more natural in RE while 01 is pulled a little back, thinner, and brighter in comparison. Both have a well-defined crunchy treble, but 01 still has more sparkle.

    IT01 vs Oriveti Basic - 01 soundstage is wider, while they both have a similar depth, with Basic being just slightly further out. With bass, finally 01 has a match where Basic goes as deep and hits as hard, but the difference is that 01 bass is tighter, faster, and more articulate, while Basic is slower and more relaxed in comparison. Basic also has more body in lower mids, while 01 is more neutral, and Basic's upper mids are more forward, warmer, and smoother in comparison to more recessed, thinner, brighter, and more revealing 01 upper mids. When it comes to treble, Basic has as much crunch but nowhere near the same level of sparkle as 01 which sounds brighter and airy in comparison to Basic.

    IT01 vs ATH-CKR10 - 01 soundstage is wider, while CKR has a noticeably more depth with a sound being more out of your head. While CKR has a nice sub-bass rumble and north of neutral mid-bass punch, it does not go as deep or has as much mid-bass impact as 01. Both have a similar neutral lower mids, while upper mids is where I hear the most difference. Besides CKR upper mids being more forward, they are brighter and less natural in tonality versus 01 being slightly pulled back with an equally brighter yet more natural, smoother tonality. Treble is nearly identical between these two.

    IT01 vs IT03.
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    ibasso_it01-31.jpg

    Pair up.

    Based on the spec with 16-ohm impedance and 108 dB sensitivity, IT01 should be easy to drive from any source. Thus, I wasn’t expecting any surprises.

    Cowon Plenue 2 - very wide expanded soundstage. V-shaped sound signature with a slightly elevated deep sub-bass rumble and a fast, articulate strong mid-bass punch. Neutral lower mids, slightly pushed back brighter revealing upper mids, and crisp sparkly treble. Black background.

    Lotoo LPG - very wide soundstage with a little more depth. The sound has a little deeper v-shaped signature due to a stronger mid-bass impact, with the same deep sub-bass rumble, and a little more energy with more sparkle in treble. Upper mids are very resolving with excellent retrieval of details, and at the same time a little thinner and brighter. Very faint background hissing.

    Sony WM1Z - very wide holographic soundstage with a little more depth. The sound is still v-shaped but has a little smoother tonality now. Bass still hits hard with a deep rumble and fast mid-bass, lower mids have a touch more body, upper mids are a little smoother and more organic, while treble has a lot more energy with more crunch and better definition, but it's not harsh or splashy. I can hear treble being wider in its presentation. Black background.

    iBasso DX200 w/amp4 - very wide holographic soundstage with a little more depth. The sound keeps it's v-shaped sound sig, with tonality being a little more revealing. Bass is fast and very articulate, sub-bass rumble is nicely textured, mid-bass hits hard and fast. Lower mids are a bit south of neutral, upper mids are revealing, transparent, highly resolving. Treble is crisp, airy, well defined. Black background.

    Galaxy Note 4 - soundstage is still wide, but not to the same extent as with DAPs above. Bass hits hard with the same level of sub-bass rumble and mid-bass punch, but it's a bit slower and not as tight. Mids are pushed slightly more back, still being bright and revealing, while treble is crisp and well defined.

    ibasso_it01-34.jpg

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    Conclusion.

    When I received IT01 and started my testing, I was curious to find out if iBasso cut any corners to bring down the price of IT01, but I couldn’t find anything to nitpick about. We are talking about premium quality packaging, premium removable cable and other accessories, unique graphene driver with a fun v-shaped tuning, and a compact durable shell with a metal nozzle. All this for about $100 makes it quite an impressive value.

    At the end of the day, it all comes down to a personal sound preference. If you prefer a neutral signature with a more balanced sound and tamed down bass impact, these are not for you. The same, if you are looking for a more soulful mid-forward performance with a focus on vocals, these are not it. IT01 delivers a fun v-shaped signature with a clear detailed sound, a wide soundstage expansion, a punchy bass, and a crisp treble for modern audiophiles on the go. And, IT01 won’t break your wallet and doesn’t require a pair up with high-end sources to make it sound great. Perhaps, IT01 won’t replace its older brother IT03, but it surely compliments it nicely! The next stop, IT04!
      bahamot, snellemin, scotvl and 2 others like this.
  7. HiFiChris
    A quite fantastic yet affordable In-Ear
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Dec 27, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - •excellent value (sounds and performs like more expensive in-ears)
    •good ergonomics and fit
    •good build quality & removable cable (MMCX)
    •midrange timbre
    •high resolution
    •very good and clean note and instrument separation
    •excellent bass quality: very tight, fast and highly controlled
    •very premium appearing included cable
    Cons - •midrange resolution lacks slightly behind lows and highs
    •cable braiding could be tighter (but it's intentional, as iBasso say)
    •middle highs could be a tad more realistically tuned
    •carrying case isn't as nice as the rest
    Preamble:

    Originally posted in English on my English and German audio review website, the "Kopfhörer-Lounge", here comes my review of iBasso Audio's quite fantastic single dynamic driver in-ear called IT01, that won a golden Lounge Award in the category of dynamic driver in-ears this year, 2017.


    Introduction:

    The market of in-ears priced around $100, even though it is probably not as hot as the $50 range, is quite a battlefield, as this is more or less the price range most some casual audio consumers who aren’t as crazy as us headphone lovers likely possibly still feel comfortable to invest money into.

    Despite nowadays’ existence of several good-sounding single-BA and hybrid in-ears in this price range, good old single dynamic driver in-ears still exist, and classic models such as the Shure SE215 that recently got a new colour with the m+SPE version, or newcomers such as the ORIVETI BASIC exist for a reason. Why did I mention both in-ears? Because they are sonically as well as technically convincing (although definitely not perfect), and because I personally also really really really really really really like both (and I want them, now in my ears, do they want it too?).

    [​IMG]

    Errr, yeah… Boom. That was a transition. A transition to a new single dynamic driver in-ear contender in the $100 range – the iBasso IT01. It features a 5 nanometre thin, 10 mm graphene diaphragm that is driven by a strong magnet. And it features a Helmholtz-resonator chamber design to achieve the tuning it has, by killing some resonance peaks. Definitely some attributes that sound good in theory but don’t really say anything about how the IT01 sounds and how it performs.

    So how does the iBasso Audio’s latest single-driver in-ear sound? And how does it perform? Let’s find it out (before I go fully bonkers with an introduction that is even weirder than this one)!


    Full disclosure: The iBasso IT01 in-ear was sent to me free of charge for this review. As always, my words are nonetheless true, unbiased honest and written without any guidelines or requirements for the review, no matter how it would turn out.


    Technical Specifications:

    Price: $99
    Drivers per Side: 1
    Type of Driver: Dynamic, Graphene Diaphragm, 10 mm
    Frequency Response: 10 Hz – 42000 Hz
    Sensitivity: 108 dB (+/- 2 dB)
    Impedance 16 Ohms
    Rated Power Input: 10 mW
    THD: <1% (@ 1 kHz, 1 mW)
    Noise Isolation: 26 dB
    Detachable Cable (MMCX)


    Delivery Content:

    The overall package and wrapper represents the typical “new” iBasso appearance, with a nice presentation inside the blue box with magnetically closed lid, where we find red paper lining, and a manual with a frequency response measurement graph as well warranty card inside a black paper pocket in the lid.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then, one will also find the ear pieces, a very wide selection of different, very nice and soft silicone tips, some foam tips, a protective storage/carrying tin, and last but not least a premium cable.

    [​IMG]


    Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

    First, let’s talk about the metal tin: personally, I don’t really like it – I’m honestly not a fan of its gunmetal-green-ish colour, really think that the inscription whose font I don’t really like should have been replaced with the new iBasso logo, and don’t like that the lid closes a bit loose-ish on the one I received. It is protective though, and softly cushioned with fabric and rubber on the inside.

    [​IMG]

    Then, let’s talk about the cable. It is pure pornography (it’s probably better not to get too close to a children’s playground while flaunting that cable) and would probably cost more than the in-ear itself if it was offered by some “audiophile” “upgrade” cable companies.

    It’s made of four very soft, super flexible copper conductors that are braided below the y-splitter (I wouldn’t mind a slightly firmer braid personally, but that’s just preference) and twisted above it, and is just great. Probably the best stock cable I have ever seen included with a sub-$100 in-ear so far, and it has got nice metal elements and doesn’t lack a chin-slider either.

    [​IMG]

    The in-ear’s earpieces themselves are made of smoky, semi-translucent black plastic (a red & blue version is also available), have got nice “iBasso Audio IT01” inscriptions in grey colour on the faceplates and also don’t lack side indicators that also consist of grey letters.

    The nozzle is made of metal and has got a protective metal mesh.

    Overall, the in-ears appear well-built, sturdy and durable.


    Comfort, Isolation:

    The shells are ergonomically shaped and should provide a very good fit as long as your ears aren’t too small. I certainly don’t have any fit or seal issues in my large ears in any way, but that’s usually the case.

    The cable is worn around the ears, which is the standard for most professional and higher-priced in-ears.
    Microphonics are close to being inexistent thanks to the soft, flexible cable and integrated chin-slider.

    Noise isolation is around average for in-ears that are vented.


    Sound:

    My main sources for listening were my iBasso DX90, the Cowon Plenue J, Plenue 2 and iBasso DX200 (AMP1 module).

    I only used the largest black silicone tips that came included.

    Frequency response measurements can be found here: http://frequency-response.blogspot.com
    (Sub-) Bass quantity might increase a bit depending on your ear anatomy and based on how free/covered the front vent is.

    Tonality:

    Tonality is not all that unlike the IT03, but with a less lifted, less bright/thin upper midrange and a somewhat brighter middle and super treble, along with a somewhat fuller and a bit more present bass in comparison – they’re still somewhat differently tuned in-ears after all, but they have some similarities and similar tendencies.

    The bass starts climbing around 600 Hz, followed by some midbass slam and fullness further down, while avoiding too much thickness in the lower midrange, and reaches its climax in the sub-bass wherefore it has got more of an evenly integrated, “pushing” presentation. To my ears, it is around 11 dB north of neutral (diffuse-field flat bass à la Etymotic ER-4S/SR) in quantity – authoritative and impactful, but not in the sense of overshadowing the presentation.

    The IT01’s upper midrange is really just very mildly lifted unlike the IT03’s that’s more airy and brighter, but therefore as a result thinner when it comes to midrange timbre. Objectively regarded, voices sound more linear and realistic with the IT01 as a very obvious result.
    Yep, midrange balance is done really well.

    Vocals are generally a bit further in the back in the mix and not intimate or “in your face” due to the rather v-shaped frequency response nature the IT01 has.

    There is a hump both at 5 and 9 kHz, giving the IT01 an overall somewhat bright middle and upper treble reproduction with good air.

    The 5 kHz lift could have been just a little lesser in order to lose the very slightly metallic flavour it brings, but the highs don’t appear harsh or overdone, which is really good. And while they are just slightly on the metallic side due to the 5 kHz lift, they aren’t too unnatural and don’t appear unpleasant. Sure, they are not smooth or linear. But they’re a good bit more even and realistic than on other in-ears such as the TFZ Series 2, Shozy x AAW Hibiki or RHA T20, and therefore only make the treble reproduction seem somewhat coloured, however without some sharpness/harshness or too many and/or too narrow peaks, and without emphasised sibilance. Overall, I would characterise the treble as having a moderate clarity lift, done tastefully.

    Extension past 10 kHz in the super treble is really good, with some elevations around 12 and 14 kHz in my ears. Subtle sparkle and air are therefore also present.

    - - -

    [​IMG]

    Good job, iBasso. The IT01 is an in-ear with a more fun, v-shaped tuning, but not to the extent of overshadowing anything, and has got a quite realistic midrange timbre that takes a step back in the mix, coupled with a deep extending bass (I would say that it is deeper than the “Fritzl-Keller”, but it was filled with concrete in 2013) and a bright but definitely not sharp or too unrealistic treble.

    Resolution:

    Detail retrieval is surprisingly good – the IT01 is definitively a capable in-ear.

    It features a tight, fast and precise presentation with good, precise note separation. Yep, it’s really good for a dynamic driver in-ear. Based on the pure technical presentation, I would rather place it in the $200+ range than what it actually retails for.

    On the technical level, the IT01 is an in-ear that surpasses (rightfully) popular and good models such as the Shure SE215, ORIVETI BASIC or MEE audio Pinnacle P2.

    The bass is really fast, tight and controlled for a dynamic driver in-ear. Definition is still good down in the sub-bass and bass details are certainly there and well-resolved.
    Muddiness? Softness? Slowness? Boominess as a result of lacking control? Certainly not here.

    The highs are separated nicely precisely, with single notes not sounding mushy even with fast, complex and crowded tracks. Thanks to the high level of treble details, the IT01 is also able to easily pull off an elevation in this area without being off, as it might appear with lacking precision and separation.

    In fact, the really good note separation was one of the first things that I noticed with the IT01. A really good in-ear for the price that is technically more capable that one would expect, and definitely deserves some applause.

    Midrange details are there as well and speech intelligibility is good, too, but generally the midrange seems to slightly take a step back compared to the lows and highs when it comes to resolution, which is mainly due to the v-shaped tuning that pushes voices a bit more into the background in the mix.

    Soundstage:

    In terms of soundstage, the IT01 is neither the weakest nor the strongest in-ear when it comes to pure size.

    [​IMG]

    Lateral expansion is good and the iBasso has got a somewhat wider than average imaginary soundstage.

    There is also a bit of depth and layering, but it isn’t as pronounced as the width and appears more like an effect of the tuning than actual z-axis depth, which is also represented by my impression of more of a front-back loudness difference projection instead of “true” front projection.

    Separation, placement and layering are precise and sharp.

    ---------

    In Comparison with other single Dynamic Driver In-Ears:

    Shure SE215m+SPE:

    The Shure is the warmer, thicker and darker sounding in-ear.
    The SE215 sounds a bit thicker and fuller in the midbass and root. Sub-bass quantity is comparable.
    The Shure has got the warmer, darker midrange that is closer, more intimate in the mix.
    In the highs, the SE215 is the noticeably darker and more relaxed sounding in-ear. Generally, both have got a rather different treble approach – the Shure is smooth, dark and laid-back in the highs, whereas the IT01 is on the bright and forward side here.

    When it comes to resolution, the iBasso is ahead. Not only in the mids despite being less intimate here, but also in the highs and lows.
    Even though the Shure has got a nicely tight, fast and punchy bass for a dynamic driver in-ear, the IT01 manages to be even a bit tighter and faster in the lows. But it definitely doesn’t stop here, since its definition and details are also on a higher level in the lows.
    Precision and separation are generally sharper and more precise on the iBasso.

    The Shure’s stage is slightly wider while depth is comparable (it might appear to be a bit more present on the iBasso, but the actual difference is negligible). Instrument separation and precision are where the IT01 somewhat wins though.

    ORIVETI BASIC:

    I fully admit to preferring the ORIVETI’s carrying pouch.

    The BASIC is a little more forward in the sub-bass while the iBasso is a bit more impactful in the midbass and lower root. Since the ORIVETI has got the softer and looser bass in comparison, both are subjectively rather close with the BASIC showing more decay while the IT01 has actually got the slightly “fuller” midbass and low fundamental range.
    The ORIVETI sounds warmer and darker in the mids, and has got the darker, but also smoother treble. So while the iBasso has got highs that are on the forward, revealing, bright side, the BASIC’s are tuned for smoothness and a laid-back, dark-ish nature.

    In the bass, the ORIVETI sounds audibly looser, softer and slower comparison compared to the IT01.
    Resolution in the mids and highs is where the iBasso has got a mild to moderate advantage, and it also features the somewhat cleaner and more precise separation.

    The imaginary soundstage the ORIVETI reproduces is wider and more open than the iBasso’s, wherefore it creates a more spherical, larger and more holographic sensation. Instrument separation is slightly more precise on the iBasso’s side.


    Conclusion:

    The price-to-performance ratio is very strong with the iBasso IT01 – you get an amazing copper cable along with technically really capable single dynamic driver in-ears that feature a tonal tuning that makes sense while being more on the fun side, with (really) good note separation, speed, tightness and precise instrument separation.

    [​IMG]

    - - -

    It’s a good in-ear. A really good one, and modestly priced in relation to the technical performance it delivers. Additionally, it features a tuning that heads into the fun, more consumer-oriented direction, but isn’t overdone or overshadowing. Oh, and the included cable is by the way superb when it comes to aesthetics, flexibility and softness.

    Does this sound like something you might like? If so, then the IT01 might be a great choice for you.

    Subjective tonal preferences aside, objectively regarded, iBasso has definitely got a winner with the IT01.
    1. leobigfield
      Nice Review! But can't access the frequency graph in your blog.
      leobigfield, Feb 1, 2018
  8. mrazik
    Love on first sight
    Written by mrazik
    Published Dec 16, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Fit, clear sound, comfort, price/peformance ratio
    Cons - Did not found any worth to mention
    iBasso is one of the most known players on portable HiFi markets. Their DAPs DX100, DX50, DX90 become nearly legendary. And they are still keeping straight direction on the journey to high quality portable audio equipment for reasonable price.

    Some time ago iBasso open new chapter and introduce on the market IEM signed as IT03. 3-way hybrid designed earphones with one dynamic driver and two ballanced armatures and these gained shortly after introduction high attention between audio community and start collect positive rating from many respected reviewers. This year just before Xmas iBasso offered new model IT01 and after experiences with previous model, got IT01 even higher level of attention and expectation. Are these fulfilled? According to me absolutely yes.

    IT01 are only one 10mm dynamic driver earphones, but there are few tricks. Biggest one is, that driver is iBasso in-house developed and is combining 3 technologies ( quotation from iBasso site ):

    Approaching 1 tesla – with customized magnet, approaching 1 Tesla magnetic flux, that efficiently drives 5um diaphragm, there is an improvement in resolution, bass, dynamics and speed

    Dual Helmholtz resonators – a dual Helmholtz resonator driver provides deep and powerful bass, that prohibits standing waves and ensures full natural sound

    5um Multi layered graphene diaphragm – graphene is form of carbon consisting of planar sheets with the atoms arranged in a honey-comb shaped lattice. Graphene has a breaking strength 100 times greater than steel. And as an earphone diaphragm, instead of being artificially damped as other material diaphragm are, the graphene diaphragm can be damped by air itself. Of the many benefits from graphene´s ultra thinness, extreme speed and low distortion of sound waves works extremely well for audio


    Top of that iBasso packed together with IT01 4-wire high quality braided OFC cable. Cable itself looks great, only hand braiding is not looking same great. Specially part between Y-split and 3,5mm jack looks somehow ”quickly made“. On other hand this cable is very comfortable. Is nicely flexible and there is no any memory wire in ear-hooks, which is great, because I hate memory wires. In the package you can find also few bags with different ear tips and solid case to protect your IT01. According to me is this case much better solution, than “wallet“, which was packed with IT03.

    Ergonomics of shells are superb. At least for my ears is much better, than IT03. After some testing I took Comply tips and comfort is superb. I can hardly feel earphones in my ears and can wear them for long sessions without any marks of pain or discomfort. Shells are made in two color variations. Black and Red/Blue. I chose black. It look elegant and well made. I did not found any flaws in workmanship. Shells are plastic, nozzle is made from metal and it have right length for proper seal. Shells have two vent holes on inner side. On face plate are mentioned mark and model.

    iBasso recommend burn-in time around 120 hours. I´m now about 100 hours and I do not hear any further sound changes. In fact I do like IT01 straight out of the box. My current main earphones are CA Andromeda, so I can compare those two directly face to face, which may look as the unfair comparison, but it is not in deed.

    IT01 has same openness and wide space feeling as Andros. Of course Andros are a bit better in these aspects, but this different is not mirror of huge price gap between these two. It seem that IT01 with more playing time lost bass a bit, but I would rather say, that they are more aligned. Sound is not strictly neutral, but non of bands is dominating the others. Nothing is really missing and even, when I mention decrease of bass during burn-in time, is not missing at all. Bass is deep enough, articulated and is well balanced with midds and trebles. Trebles are worth to mention separately. Their presentation gives IT01 high level of transparency with no any signs of sibilants or sharpness. Midds sound natural and vocals are very smooth. General tonality is slightly warmer and is very close to Andros sound. It has same level of fun and musicality, only with a bit less resolutions. Andromeda have deeper and well controlled bass, than IT01, but honestly these difference are only minor. As I wrote above, in blind test will be hard to find price tag justification. I do not mean this wrong against Andros. I love them and I consider them as best earphones I ever had. I only try to express my pure enthusiasm for latest iBasso attempt IT01.

    images

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    4. IMG_6698.JPG
  9. Kervsky
    A Party in Your Ear
    Written by Kervsky
    Published May 7, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Good price, great fit and construction, amazing stock cable, great and versatile sound, responsive bass, good highs, cable rolling responsive and a good range of accessories.
    Cons - The manual is inadequate, since they did include information on tip selection; pages used for several graphs could have been used to educate the owner, of how the tips that was included could improve/shape the sound.
    [​IMG]

    Introduction: The iBasso IT01 doesn't need much of an introduction considering it's been out around November 2017 and has since created quite a flow of interest (and likely mass purchasing) that we didn't get it locally till around February. For transparency, this iBasso IT01 was personally bought from a local seller for my review. And though a few months have passed by since it came into the scene I'd like to add my two cents into the pool of IT01 reviews.

    Specs: The iBasso site has the full description but the TLDR highlights are a near 1 Tesla magnet, dual cavity Helmholtz resonators, 5um multilayer Graphene diaphram and a hand woven 4N high purity OFC cable. (also, see above)

    [​IMG]

    Unboxing: The IT01 came in a nice vacuum sealed box which was more compact than some of the other IEM boxes I've had before. The front box sleeve has the iBasso logo as well as the model and a few other words.

    [​IMG]

    The back sleeve has a TON of information in various languages, basically the specs and the technologies used in the IEM.

    [​IMG]

    Inside the sleeve is hard magnetically latched box where an envelope hangs with documentations inside. In the box itself is foam padding protecting the IT01 and a padded aluminum carrying case, which holds the cable and extra tips.

    [​IMG]

    The box contents, as you can see above, contain the warranty card and manual (came in the envelope), the beautiful copper cable is inside the case and that the IT01 comes with a tip attached (which I'll be using most times for the review) but in addition, the package has 2 sizes of foam tips and an amazing 9 pairs of silicone tips (with the basic S/M/L samples) of varying bore sizes and tube thickness!

    [​IMG]

    Cable: Much was said about how the cables were worth the price of entry for this IEM, and I would agree on that, just look at that beauty! Quality materials, workmanship and design went into this simple yet beautiful cable specimen of iBasso. A transparent gold plated MMCX connector, branded aluminum jacket and gold plated 3.5mm jack, an aluminum splitter tube and an aluminum adjuster round it up. The cable itself is soft and loosely braided and feels light so it doesn't tug on your ears when worn and isn't easy to tangle.

    [​IMG]

    Build and Fit: The IEM itself has a nice metal nozzle for that extra sturdiness and grip when replacing tips, it's covered by a fine mesh for the fine music it'll sing into your ear. The front shell has iBasso Audio IT01 as the only marking on it.

    [​IMG]

    The shell of the IT01 is quite comfortable to wear for long hours with the universal fit design, the nozzle length is just right for my ear with the stock tips providing good isolation while the MMCX connectors are gold plated and look good and sturdy.

    [​IMG]

    Sound Stuff:
    The first time I tried the IT01 with the stock cable and default attached tips, it was a very obvious V shape where the Bass felt large and strong, the mids were (obviously) slightly recessed and the highs neutrally placed but has a moderately good reach. After over 250 hours of use, there are changes that make the IT01 a really good and fun IEM for the price.

    Lows: The bass has refined after prolonged use, providing a cleaner bass sound (from ootb) with average to good bass separation. Sub-bass has remained deep with impressive extension accompanied by good round bass punches. The IT01 has good rumble and bass quantity with relatively good decay speeds (faster than out of the box though). Bass control on the lower ends are a bit loose compared to the more controlled mid bass. overall, the bass is responsive and dynamic enough to sound good and give energy when needed.

    Mids: The mids on the IT01 is slightly recessed but is not very noticeable even if it takes a slight back seat to the other frequencies. Instruments and vocals are clear and presents good detail with some natural texture and definition. Female and male vocals sound have about the same level of warmth and intimacy though male vocals seem to benefit more from it's tuning.

    [​IMG]

    Highs: Sound unboosted yet have good reach lending a smooth sound progression from the mids and sharp highs that are neither harsh or sibilant. There is some detail and sparkle though briliance is lessened by a noticable dip at 10kHz where cymbal crashes are lowered (weaker sounding) and controlled with a gentle sound curve and decay that provides for a natural sound reproduction.

    Soundstage: The IT01 has a relatively wide soundstage with a bit of air to help the overall feeling of width and depth. Imaging is accurate and sounds naturally placed while detail presentation is pretty decent.

    [​IMG]

    Cable Rolling: Being the greedy consumer that I am, I want it all! Neutral to forward placed mids and shiny highs with good thumpy bass to cap it off. Knowing how my Effect Audio Thor II affects an IEM, I tried it on the IT01 and boy was I happy! The IT01 responds with cable changes, Bass decay speed sped up, mid clarity increased as well as placing the vocals on a more neutral position and raising the treble extension. Now I know the Thor II is a poor example of what to use to improve on the IT01 as it's way more expensive than the IEM itself, but it is very likely (based on the advantages gained on an SPC Litz) that using a decently good SPC cable will provide for sonic improvements that help better the mids and highs on the IT01.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusions: I was impressed the first time I tried the IT01 and that hasn't really changed, this is one really good IEM for the price I paid for and that includes the whole package of a great cable and a lot of useful accessories. It has great responsive bass and impact thanks to those Helmholtz resonators, good sounding, warmth laden mids and pretty good highs with good enough extension for some air and sparkle. Soundstage is wide enough, with accurate imaging and as a whole, its a musical IEM that makes listening to different genres fun and engaging without tiring your ears off with a comfortable fit and sound that will pull you back for more.

    Pros: Good price, great fit and construction, amazing stock cable, great and versatile sound, responsive bass, good highs, cable rolling responsive and a good range of accessories.

    Cons: The manual is inadequate, since they did include information on tip selection; pages used for several graphs could have been used to educate the owner, of how the tips that was included could improve/shape the sound.

    Nitpicks: The cable is so beautiful, it's a pity it only came in 3.5mm, maybe reducing the other accessories and/or increasing the price a bit more could have yielded a 2.5mm stock connection and a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter.

    Sound testing was done using a Sony WM1a (Primarily), a Hiby R6 (for comparison) and a phone (for checking driveability) volume matched to 90.X db of safe hearing and calibrated using a 1kh tone on a dedicated DB Meter, all sources patched through a switcher.

    Test tracks used:
    A Different Way - Lauv
    A Foggy Day - Van Morrison
    A Question of Lust - Depeche Mode (Live 1988)
    Alive - Pearl Jam
    Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
    Cheap Thrills - Sia
    Come Away With Me - Norah Jones
    Come Round Soon - Sara Bareilles
    Country Road - James Taylor
    Deeply Disturbed - Infected Mushroom
    Discover Tokyo - Shuta Hasunuma
    Do what you have to do - Sarah McLachlan
    Dream a Little Dream of Me - Ella Fitzgerald
    Get Lucky - Daft Punk
    Hail to the King - Avenged Sevenfold
    Ignorance - Paramore
    Is This Love - Bob Marley
    It's a Long Way To the Top - AC/DC
    Lithium - Nirvana
    Marian Hill - Breathe Into Me
    My Curse - Killswitch Engage
    One Day - Matishyahu
    Photograph - Ed Sheeran
    Pull Me Under - Dream Factory
    Send My Love - Adele
    September - Earth Wind and Fire
    So Far Away - Martin Garrix
    Staying Alive - Bee Gees
    Sugar - Maroon 5
    Sunday Morning - No Doubt
    The Day The World Went Away - Nine Inch Nails
    Way Down Deep - Jennifer Warnes
  10. Moonstar
    The iBasso IT01; Good Sound - Small Price
    Written by Moonstar
    Published Apr 10, 2018
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Great Clarity and Tonality,
    Good Comfort,
    Build quality,
    Cable
    Cons - Nothing really noteworthy for this price
    The iBasso IT01; Good Sound - Small Price


    Introduction:

    Many of us are familiar with iBasso products, especially with there portable audio players like the DX100, DX50, DX90, DX200 etc. and In-Ear monitor like the IT03. After the success of the IT03, iBasso released a new In-Ear Monitor called IT01 with an in-house designed dynamic driver that is combining three different technologies that I will explain later.


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    Disclaimer:

    I would like to thank iBasso for providing me the iBasso IT01 as free review sample. I am not affiliated with iBasso beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.


    Price & Warranty:

    The MSRP price for the iBasso IT01 is 99.99 USD.


    Package and Accessories:

    The iBasso IT01 comes in a small box that is wrapped with a glossy white card box sleeve. The box itself is in blue and has a nice surface texture that gives you a good first impression.

    This box includes the following contents;

    • 1 x pair of IT01 IEM
    • 10 x pairs of silicone ear tips
    • 2 x pairs of foam ear tips
    • 1 x MMCX cable
    • 1 x metal carry case

    20180327_134540.jpg

    There are 3 types of silicone ear tips. One is in black that is the softest with medium sized hole and the two other set are in transparent gray color, which one of them has a medium and the other big holes. There are also 2 pairs of olive foams that are very comfy and in my opinion a nice addition.

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    There is also a metal IEM carry case that has an iBasso Audio printed on the top cover. This case is looks and feels solid in your hand and is big enough to put in all accessories and the IEM itself.

    CYMERA_20180402_150659.jpg

    Cable:

    The iBasso IT01 has a 4 wire hand braided OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) detachable cable that has MMCX (Micro-miniature coaxial) connectors for the right and left monitor.

    20180327_135731.jpg

    It has a straight profile 3.5mm SE (Single Ended) headphone jack that is made of metal.

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    The cable is lightweight and has a very soft and transparent TPU coating that is not prone to microphonics. The Y splitter and chin slider are also made of a silver colored metal material that has a nice appearance.

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    Design, Build Quality and Fit:

    The Ibasso IT01 has a simple and very ergonomic design language. It is available in two different color combinations; red & blue and in black. The housing is made of plastic and feels lightweight on your ears.

    20180327_135819.jpg

    The build quality of this monitor is top notch. The nozzles on the monitor are made of metal and there are no imperfections. The MMCX connectors are not loose and look like they can last for years. There are also L (left) and R (right) markings near the nozzle and if you buy the red & blue version the color also serves as right and left indicator. There are also two visible bass vents at the inner side of the monitor housing.

    CYMERA_20180327_150022.jpg

    The IT01 has a very comfortable fit and it was possible to wear it for hours without to hurt my ears. The isolation of the iBasso IT01 is above average and good enough to isolate you in noisy environments like bus or trains.



    Specifications:

    • Driver : 10.0mm Dynamic driver
    • Frequency response : 10Hz-42kHz
    • Sensitivity : 108+/-2dB
    • Impedance : 16 Ohm
    • Noise Attenuation : -26dB
    • Rated power : 10mW
    • THD : <1% (at 1kHz/1mW)
    • Plug size : 3.5 TRS gold plated
    • Cable length : 1.2m
    • Connection : MMCX
    • Weight : 8.0g without cable


    About the 10mm Dynamic Driver:

    The iBasso IT01 has a unique dynamic driver that combine’s three different technologies.

    The first of them is the 5µm multilayer graphene diaphragm that is an ultra thin diaphragm material, which has 100 time’s higher breaking strength then steel. This material is able to reach high speeds with low distortion. I know that this is not the first driver that is using this material, but the combination with other components makes it unique. The custom made Tesla magnetic flux is able to drive this graphene diaphragm with higher efficient than regular magnets. The result is an improvement in resolution, bass and dynamics. The dual Helmholtz resonators on the other hand are providing a strong and deep bass response.

    Albums & Tracks used for this review:

    • Future Heroes – Another World (Tidal Hi-fi)
    • Lorde – Team (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
    • Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
    • Michael Jackson - Billie Jean (DSF)
    • Bryan Adams – MTV Unplugged Performance (Spotify)
    • Saskia Bruin – The Look of Love (DSF)
    • Diana Krall - So Wonderful (DSF)
    • Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Apple Music)
    • Melody Gardot – Who Will Comfort Me (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
    • LP (Laura Pergolizzi) – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Mile Davis – Kind of Blue Album (Tidal Hi-fi)
    • George Michael – Older Album (Apple Music)
    • Dire Straits – Money For Nothing (DSF)
    • Emmanuel Pahud (Claude Debussy) – Syrinx (Apple Music)
    • Otto Liebert & Luna Negra – Up Close “Album” (DSF) – Binaural Recording
    • Alboran Trio – Autumn Mist (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • GoGo Penguin – Fanfares (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
    • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)


    Sources used for this review:

    • IEM : iBasso IT01, Fiio F9 Pro, TFZ TEQUILA1, Dunu Falcon-C
    • DAP/DAC : Cayin N5II, Chord Mojo, Hifiman HM603s, Audirect Whistle, Nexum Aqua+

    20180327_134434.jpg

    The Sound:

    Please Note: This review is written after a bun-in process of 100 hours. I have used the stock soft (black) silicone ear tips during this review that are included to the package.

    a. Tonality and Presentation:

    The iBasso IT01 sounds clear, crisp and powerful. It is an IEM with a warmer than neutral tonality that has a V shaped sound signature. It has great dynamics and good resolution, especially for this price range.

    b. Frequencies:

    The iBasso IT01 has some nice bass response. The sub-bass between 20 – 50 Hz are well presented and providing a nice sense of power, which is quite noticeable and exiting in “Future Heroes” epic song “Another World”. Also Instruments like bass guitars are sounding pretty natural and realistic.

    The bass of the IT01 sound pretty fast and controlled, which gives the overall sound presentation nice dynamics. It has nice texture and good resolution which is quite impressive for a single dynamic driver In Ear Monitor for 100 USD. The bass of the IT01 is also punchy and has a good amount of rumble, without to sound too boomy and causing to muddiness.

    As mentioned before; the iBasso IT01 has a V shaped sound signature where the midrange sounds more laid back compared to the rest of the frequencies. But this doesn’t mean that it has a too recessed midrange; instruments still sounding clean and detailed in its presentation with good texture and definition.

    I am enjoying both male and female vocals, but male vocals are sounding a bit more intimate to me. Male voices like George Michael and Bryan Adams have sounded a bit more emotional to my ears and I really enjoyed the MTV Unplugged performance of Bryan Adams.

    The upper midrange is bright and transparent and has good detail retrieval. Instruments and vocals sounding very vivid and the overall control of the upper register are pretty good for this price level.

    The treble range of the iBasso IT01 sounds airy and crisp with nice amount of sparkle. It doesn’t sound too bright or harsh and the overall control is in a good level. There is a good transition between upper midrange and treble with good separation of instruments.

    Female voices like Laura Pergolizzi have nice brilliance on the top end and complex passages with high density of instruments, like cymbals in Megadeth – Sweating Bullets sounding pretty nice and controlled at this price level.

    c. Soundstage and Imaging:

    The iBasso IT01 sounds airy and has a relative wide soundstage. It has not the deepest soundstage presentation but does its job for the asked price. The imaging and placement of instrument & vocals is quite natural and realistic in its presentation.

    Comparison:

    Vs. Fiio F9 Pro:

    Both Fiio F9 Pro and iBasso IT01 sounding punchy and dynamic in the bass department. The iBasso IT01 is a bit faster and has the better bass extension. The bass texture on both devices is good but the IT01 has slightly more bass body. Both IEM’s sharing nearly the same level of bass resolution and there is no clear winner.

    The Fiio F9 Pro has the warmer sound and is even more V shaped than IT01, which results to a more distant midrange presentation. This midrange characteristic gives F9 Pro an airier presentation, while the IT01 sounds more intimate. The iBasso IT01 sounds more transparent in the midrange department.

    The vocal presentation of the IT01 tastes better with male vocals, while the Fiio F9 Pro sounded good with female vocals. The upper midrange of the IT01 has more forwardness and sounds overall cleaner and crisp.

    Both have a well defined treble range with nice a nice sparkle, while the IT01 has additional control and brilliance on the top. The Fiio F9 Pro has some good treble quality for the price and there is a nice level of micro detail with pretty good texture. The iBasso IT01 on the other hand has some good detail retrieval that is on par with the F9 Pro. The main difference is the presentation that sounds more organic with the IT01 that makes the overall sound more natural.

    The IT01 has the wider soundstage, while the Fiio F9 Pro has more depth in presentation. The overall imaging of instruments and vocals sounds better with the IT01.


    CYMERA_20180405_142329.jpg


    Vs. TFZ TEQUILA1:

    The TFZ Tequila1 has nearly the same V shaped sound tuning like the iBasso IT01. The bass on both has a nice presence with good impact. But the IT01 has more sub-bass quantity, while the Teqila1 has more mid-bass impact. Both IEM’s have a well controlled low end, with nearly the same extension, which is slightly better on the IT01.

    The midrange on both IEM’s sounds very similar with its crispy and vivid presentation. The detail level is on par, but the IT01 has slightly higher definition. The vocal presentation of the TFZ Tequila1 is a bit more forward especially with female vocals, while the IT01 sound a bit more natural. The midrange detail level of the IT01 is very good for the price, but the TFZ Tequila1 has slightly more micro detail.

    Instruments like pianos or guitars, etc. are sounding a bit more natural with the Tequila1, while the IT01 has the upper with its upper midrange control. The TFZ Tequila1 is brighter at the upper midrange register, where the iBasso IT01 sounds softer and more engaging.

    The treble range of the TFZ Tequila1 is a touch more present, which results to a slightly brighter presentation. Both IEM’s are nicely textured at the top end, with a good level of detail and clarity. The iBasso IT01 has slightly better control with instruments like piano, violin and cymbals. The iBasso IT01 sounds a bit softer at the upper treble range where the TFZ Tequila1 is a bit more aggressive, which is most noticeable in genres like Metal and Rock music.

    The iBasso IT01 has a wider soundstage, while the depth of both IEM’s is nearly the same or identical. The imaging of instruments and vocals is slightly better with the IT01.


    CYMERA_20180405_142535.jpg


    Vs. Dunu Falcon-C:

    The Dunu Flacon-C is also an IEM with a V shaped sound signature, but has a different sound characteristic in the bass and midrange department than iBasso IT01.

    The bass of the Falcon-C is more midbass focused and the quantity is very fit depending. With a deeper insertion and the right ear tips it can archive some nice rumble that is again, not in the same level/amount of the IT01. The bass extension and speed is good but is missing some organic texture, which is iBasso IT01 able to produce.

    The midrange of the Dunu Falcon-C is not as thick or full sounding like the iBasso IT01 or TFZ Tequila1. The IT01 sounds warmer and more intimate compared to the very airy but recessed midrange presentation of the Falcon-C.

    The Dunu Falcon-C has some nice clarity and transparency which can compete of those of the IT01. The overall resolution and definition of the Flacon-C is in the same level with the IT01 but is missing some micro detail due the distance of instruments. The upper midrange of Falcon-C is well presented but sounds a bit too over boasted in some situation where the iBasso IT01 sounds more controlled. The Falcon-C has a nice transparent female vocal presentation with nice some good clarity, but sounds a bit too thin with male vocals, where the IT01 performs more organic and emotional with its fuller vocal presentation.

    The treble range of the Falcon-C sounds bright, clear and has some nice brilliance. There is great amount of detail, but sounds a bit harsh in some bad recorded tracks and treble sensitive genres like Metal Music, where the IT01 excels better with its softer and more controlled presentation.

    The iBasso IT01 has also a more natural treble presentation then Falcon-C that sounds a bit more digital.

    Conclusion:

    What iBasso packed in to the IT01 for this price is really fantastic! The It01 has some great sound abilities like good dynamics and a really nice level of resolution. The transparency and clarity of this IEM makes is to a no brainer in this price range Ah, and do not forget to mention that there is also this beautifully built cable, which is also a big plus for the IT01.

    Summary (plus and minus):

    + Great Clarity and Tonality
    + Good Comfort
    + Build quality
    + Cable


    - Nothing really noteworthy for this price


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    This review was originally posted on "Moonstar Reviews" :
    https://moonstarreviews.net