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iBasso IT01

  1. narco dacunzolo
    Written by narco dacunzolo
    Published Jan 18, 2018

    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

    bo2.JPG bo5.jpg
    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.


    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.



    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.


    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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      hieple193, hqssui and mgunin like this.
  2. twister6
    Audiophile quality on a budget!
    Written by twister6
    Published Jan 15, 2018
    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.


    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.


    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.











    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.





    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.









    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.




    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.


    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.







    The fit.


    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.




    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.



    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.




    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.
    1. Maestrophil
      How would it compare to the ER3XR from Etymotic?
      Maestrophil, Dec 6, 2018
  3. HiFiChris
    A quite fantastic yet affordable In-Ear
    Written by HiFiChris
    Published Dec 27, 2017
    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

    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.


    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?).


    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.



    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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 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.

    - - -


    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.


    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.


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


    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.


    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.


    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.


    - - -

    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
    2. Maestrophil
      How would they compare to Etymotic ER3XR?
      Maestrophil, Dec 6, 2018
    3. cheapbastard

      Hi, another great review. Any chance you might try to review KZ ZSN pro, it's a decent sounding V-shaped iem that's very cheap. While it probably won't beat the Ibasso, I would love to hear your thoughts.
      cheapbastard, Jun 2, 2019
  4. ExpatinJapan
    iBasso IT01 - A crowd pleaser
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Dec 22, 2017
    Pros - Great fit, excellent cable, solid build, great sound, tip rolling contours the sound to taste
    Cons - MMCX connectors are a bit tight
    IBasso IT01 Earphone Review
    - Expatinjapan


    iBasso IT01 review


    I would have liked to have spent more time tip rolling and even cable swapping but the end of year is upon us!


    Available from the iBasso website and also Penon Audio


    (From the Penon Audio website)
    `iBasso IT01 delivers precise and sweet sound in a compact form factor.
    Its internal 5um graphene diaphragm, close to 1 Tesla magnet, dual cavity and other acoustic cutting-edge technology enable it to provide high-quality sound performance on the device.

    Approaching 1 tesla
    Special small high-energy magnets, near 1 Tesla's magnetic flux to 5um ultra-thin diaphragm has a greater driving energy and rebound characteristics, bringing more detail and dynamic performance than the normal dynamic driver.

    Dual cavity
    Unique Helmholtz resonators, dual cavity bring deeper low frequency dive and flexibility, absorb high frequency standing wave, and make the sound more rounded, rich and plump in the low-frequency.

    5um multilayer graphene diaphragm
    Graphene is composed of carbon atoms, its hardness is 100 times that of steel, ordinary diaphragm needs multiple attenuation of the signal to ensure that the diaphragm itself is not broken, and graphene can better restore the current signal, the distortion is smaller . It is thin and sound conduction speed is very good.

    4N high-purity oxygen-free copper, four shares hand-woven
    iBasso IT01 uses 99.99% multicore star-shape four braids of high-purity copper wire, standard detachable MMCX interface .It can produce condensed and mellow low-frequency and structured high frequency, form a deep sense of space.`


    Build and design




    *Also available in black.

    iBasso DX200 with Amp 1 and iBasso IT01.

    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

    iBasso DX200

    Sound impressions

    Out of the box impressions, and at 25 and 50 hours marks.

    Using standard FLAC 16/44.

    A variety of Daps was used for listening.

    iBasso IT01 being tested with a headphone switcher box, ALO Audio connector cables, iBasso DX200, FiiO X7ii and Exchobox Explorer X1.

    Initial and brief impressions:

    Straight out of the box. take it with a grain of salt.

    This is with dx200 and amp 5 which is a sweet sounding amp.
    More treble a bit.
    Forward vocals, medium bass, with a small to mid v shape.
    Fairly good separation with JVC Spiral Tips.

    Large bore tips (thin skin).
    Stock tips have a better seal, for a more full sounding experience.
    Less tinny, more coherent. The JVC were a bit core loose.
    Small bore /thinner skin tips.
    Nice and airy.
    Less v shaped.
    Thick skinned small bore now.
    More rounded, bass and treble more well matched, mids coming up,
    Vocals are still forward, but so is some music.
    The tips they come in the box with are these. So I guess they are recommended.

    *I preferred the large bore tips overall and continued to use them.


    Same with Opus#2 A bit more of mids warm action though.
    Thin skinned L bore tips.
    Larger sound stage. A bit more low rumble.



    At the 25 hours mark

    FiiO X7ii, iBasso DX200 and Opus#2.

    The iBasso IT01 is a clear and even, linear earphone.
    It has good to great separation between the instruments.

    The IT01 is pleasant, smooth and natural to my ears.
    I prefer it on medium to 70% volume, as that is where their sweet spot of control lies.
    Overall they have a fast response and are coherent.

    The sub bass lingers nicely at times - such as when listening to Kruder and Dorfmeister.
    The bass power can be surprising, as when transitioning from Norah Jones to the Smashing Pumpkins `Rocket`.
    The vocals are presented well and have clarity and consistency. Forward at times.

    The is a slight sibilance on the usual tracks such as anything by Coldplay...so..fergetaboutit.

    The IT01 can lose a bit of overall control when the music gets too busy, although when playing Dire Straits `Sultans of swing` the IT01 is effortless, accurate and reproduces the track beautifully.

    Listening to the Foo Fighters `Something from nothing` I detect that the sub bass and bass are fairly responsive and quick.

    I would like to have a bit more body at times, but that could be tweaked with a bit of tip rolling.

    With classic vanilla test track favorites Adele, Norah Jones, Sting, Dire Straits etc the presentation is accurate and clear, the imaging and timbre are great, the sound stage is medium to sub large, it veers from an even linear to a small v shape sound signature at times. Overall the control is very good.

    Then veer to badly recorded busy tracks such as Discharge `A Hell on earth`. The IT01 handles it nicely, it of course doesnt improve on the original recording, but it certainly keeps it listenable.

    Hole `Doll parts` is a nice medium as the track goes from soft and silky to guitar screeching, and the IT01 handles it well.

    PJ Harvey `The Whores hustle and hustlers whore` goes from a sweet level of clarity and detail, with smooth vocals to a bit congested and lose some consistency when all the drums and guitars get going.

    Gnarls Barkley `St.Elsewhere` has a nice bass thump, resounding brass and tinkling cymbals.

    Mountains `Messages to bears` sounds simply divine, well balanced, smooth, rich and warm.


    An interlude...
    I did some listening with an ipod touch 6G and found that the weak amplifier didn`t really satisfy me with the IT01. The IT01 certainly enjoys a bit of extra power.
    The bass was a bit weak, and the treble was emphasized too much.
    It certainly has improved response, imaging and timbre when paired with a dedicated dap.


    At the 50 hours mark.

    FiiO X7ii, iBasso DX200, Opus#2 and Echobox Explorer X1.

    Incredibly smooth sound scape.
    Luscious and rich mids at times.
    Sweet lingering sub bass, and a tighter thudding bass.
    Coldplay seems devoid of any pesky sibilance.
    As it often the case a few more hours tightens up the low end to appear faster and concise and the rough peaky edges treble edges get shaved off a bit.
    Separation is still near top notch. great detailing, although don't expect a technical earphone.
    Vocals are realistic and clear. One of the outstanding features and pleasure points of this earphone.
    The over all control at various volumes has improved also, at the 50 hour mark, I still recommended to listen at not ear splitting levels.

    I finish this section listening to Nirvana - Unplugged in New York. 'The man who sold the world'
    Smooth, supple, and sweet.



    US$99 from the iBasso website and US$109 from Penon Audio.



    The IT01 is a pleasing earphone to listen to in the US$100 range.

    It is mainly even and linear earphone with a hint of a v and/or L shape at times. Its not an earphone that has too much body to it. Just enough to please.

    Most everyone loves a Dynamic Driver earphone as they play nicely with most daps.

    Sound stage is medium+ and is pleasing, vocals are slightly forward and well controlled and smooth.
    Clarity, detail and separation isn't of course as excellent as some of the TOTL earphones in the higher price brackets (as to be expected, but the IT01 is being reviewed according to its place in the market) but is more than satisfying to the ear.

    Control can vary here and there, or perhaps my listening volume is too loud at times. I found overall coherency and control to be improved after 50 hours.

    The iBasso IT01 favors a dedicated dap or a phone with a decent amount of amplifying and driving power. They certainly benefit with a great source.
    Weaker powered sources will bring out the treble and can cause it to be thin.

    The sound signature can be fiddled with quite easily by a simple act of tip rolling. Luckily the IT01 comes with a decent selection of decent tips to use. Play around until you get a good match with your dap and ears.

    The listening fatigue is low and I could easily listen for a lengthy time.
    The shells are quite small so a comfortable, fit is easy and they don`t require too deep an insertion.

    The cable is very, very soft, supple and ergonomic.
    The MMCX connectors are a bit tight. They revolve easy, but for removal I had to tug a bit.
    Some might purchase the earphone for the cable alone I expect, iBasso certainly make great cables.

    The iBasso IT01 is well priced entry level earphone that will please many with its smooth signature that although fairly linear overall with a good dap, it can have a slight bass emphasis which yields a small v shape or L shape to it.

    I like it. I think it is wonderful for $100. At the risk of rolling out the old review cliche of ‘great performance for the price’ - it will surely leave many purchasers of the IT01 quite satisfied.

    The iBasso IT01 might be an all rounder that can please many a listener. When its good its very good.


    Thank you to iBasso for sending Head pie the iBasso IT01 for review
      B9Scrambler and nunovpc like this.
  5. mrazik
    Love on first sight
    Written by mrazik
    Published Dec 16, 2017
    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.


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