Hooga

100+ Head-Fier
Lovable Incoherence
Pros: Spectacular tonic-muscular, detailed, engaging, clear presentation.
Beautiful, powerful, dry bass. I
Very pleasing unique musicality in spite of a modest timbre mismatch.
Very good technicalities
Cons: SpSomewhat too slim mids and vocals.
Imperfect horizontal timbre coherence between DD and BAs.
I’ve been loaned a privately owned iBasso IT07 sample and here’s my experience with that, reported following my usual review format.

IT07 is iBasso’s flagship featuring 1 DD + 6 BA, costs a pretty penny – $899,00 – and was released some 3 years after IT04 (1 DD+3 BA), which I also will publish a review for in the next days.

I did not get the entire package so I couldn’t properly assess some secondary elements like the black and gold nozzles or the stock tips, but I reckon what I got is more than enough to form a solidly educated opinion on what we are talking about. Here we go.


Test setup

Sources: Apogee Groove + Burson FUN + IEMatch / Apogee Groove + iBasso T3 / Sony NW-A55 mrWalkman – Sedna Earfit Light Short tips – Stock High Purity Silver Litz cable – lossless 16-24/44.1-192 FLAC tracks.

Signature analysis

Tonality
Adopting silver nozzles IT07 has a frantastic dry-natural timbre, with some thin treble nuances on top depending on accessory (cable, tips) selection. The presentation is a W, with a note body that I’d call “muscularly tonic” both on bass and trebles, while mids and vocals stay by a whiff on the “slim” side. The DD presiding to the bass section is masterfully tuned for speed and punchiness, however the Knowles BAs quite often overpace it, resulting in some degree of timbre incoherence. Dismissing critical listening and just following the music flow, however, the comprehensive result is nothing short of gorgeous, especially when highly rhytmical genres eg funky, jazzrock, fusion are involved.

Sub-Bass Elevated in quantity yet very dry, rumble is present at all times when percussions are involved and it reaches deeeeep down.

Mid Bass Mid-bass is strong, fast, intense such as to fill the place, yet perfectly “dry”, missing any form of haloing let alone bloat or veiling power. As mentioned above the bass driver comes accross “not perfectly homogeneized” with the 6 BAs taking care of the rest of the spectrum in terms of note body, yet I would say manly due to the dryness of the bass tuning such “mismatch” is far from being fastidious like it happens in so many other cases, it rather comes accross as an acoustic band featuring an uncommon instrument mix, which may make you raise an eyebrow at first glance, but catches your appreciation right after the second tune, and you never want the show to end.

Mids IT07 mids sound quite natural but not 100% organic. They are greatly articulated, nuanced and all, but they do lack that last 5% of “fat” to let my brain “recognise” guitars, or vocals, as “the real thing”. In short, they are a whiff too slim, although I would not call them “lean”.

Male Vocals Males are well presented, never covered by the bass, never congested, articulated and nuanced. Just a bit too dry to sound fully real.

Female Vocals Similarly to males, female voices too are restituted with great technicality with just a veil of artificial varnish on top, due to the lack of some “skin grease” so to call it, some butter is missing. IT07 are many great things, just not the best vocal driver you can buy.

Highs Trebles are very vivid, sparkly, clear and detailed. Presence is airy, and although brilliance is definitely tamed, IT07 at all times offers the impression of delivering fully extended trebles. Depending on accessories selection you may make them a bit hotter, or a tad more “combed”. After quite a long selection I “think” I prefer a more energetic variation like the one offered by widebore silicon tips, yielding in a perfect balance between subtlety and not body up there – for my taste of course.


Technicalities

Soundstage
IT07 have a very wide stage, with good height and depth.

Imaging Imaging is spectacular thanks to the general presentation clarity and the bass being so sharp while at the same time not even remotely shy

Details The level of detail is very significant, both in the bass and (even more) on the high mids and trebles, without scanting into the fatiguing extra-thin excess.

Instrument separation Separation and layering are very well executed, possibly not the absolute best I ever heard in this price range but – at the very least – in line with the expectation I would have from a product of this class

Driveability IT07 are not a boulder to move in terms of amping “power”, but that’s not the correct point to make here. Their capacity to draw on space, and resolve details and layers strongly calls for the adoption of a “non-basic” DAC + AMP at the very minimum.


Physicals

Build
Housings are bulky. Lightweight enough, they are shaped in a CIEM-like style similarly to IT04.

Fit After the usual long rotation session I identified two tip alternatives offering different fits and quite different presentation results: 1) Foams, and a quite deep insertion to get slightly softer edges on the bass, and some of the extra-thin treble details combed down, and 2) Sedna Earfit Light Short, leading to a “hotter” delivery accross the board: bass is razor sharp, mids are brought a 10% forward, and trebles are left unbridled but somehow still kept substantially inoffensive.

Comfort As mentioned above IT07 housings are CIEM-like shaped but nozzles are quite long and this does not help them stay perfectly firm into my outer ear. Too bad. Foam tips do help a bit on this too. Short-stemmed silicons are, alternatively, key.

Isolation Housing shapes, their long nozzles and the adoption of foams make passive isolation at least decent.

Cable IT07 come with iBasso’s High Purity Silver Litz cable, offering splendid construction quality, dual connectivity (2.5mm native + 3.5mm daisy chain adapter), and crystalline sound, pairing with IT07’s BA drivers to deliver that extra tad of brilliance and subtle detail retrieval. Reeeeally good. Of course a more laid back alternative may be wanted in some cases, or by some in all cases – it’s all a matter of preferences as always. To get there I tried to pair a CEMA EA RX (6N OCC + SPOCC) as an “intermediate” choice, and guess what… a final C112 (a.k.a. E4000 stock cable) being one the absolute best OFC cables I ever tested. IT07 resolving power makes justing of the subtle, but absolutely hearable differences amongst the 3 cables resulting in 3 different variations, all 3 so good that’s really difficult to pick one as absolute best.


Specifications (declared)
Housing
Resin housings with an internal four-way frequency division using iBasso’s own patented acoustic tube structure to ensure best sound quality experience free from any kind of multi-driver distortion or frequency overlapping issues. Supplied with 3 interchangeable nozzle filters: Silver for neutral rendering, Black for mid + bass accent, Gold for treble accent.
Driver(s) 1 high magnetic flux Tesla moving coil DD + 6 Knowles BA (2 x 30017 2 x 31785 2 x 30989)
Connector MMCX
Cable High purity silver Litz cable, with 2.5mm termination and 3.5mm adapter
Sensitivity 108 dB
Impedance 16 Ω
Frequency Range 5 – 40000 Hz
Package and accessories N/A (assessed a privately owned unit)
MSRP at this post time $899,00


Some quick comparisons worth mentioning

iBasso IT04
($499,00)
The key here is not being mislead by model naming: IT07 are not the direct upgrade to IT04, their intendend tuning and presentation being different. IT07 is indeed “technically superior” to IT04 on a few aspects, vis-a-vis an 80% higher price of course, but the tonal profiles are very obviously not the same and make up for two very different musical outputs.

IT04 is a warm-balanced open-V, instead of a dry-neutral W. IT04 has slower, meatier and more flowery bass, vs more elevated, more extended and way faster and punchier bass on IT07. Mids on IT04 are tonally more organic then on IT07, where they are better detailed though. Most of all, IT04’s trebles are combed, relaxed, very carefully finetuned to always come accross perfectly coherent with the DD in charge of the bass part, while oppositely IT07 features livelier, sparklier, way more detailed and airier trebles, indeed presenting a timbral incoherence with their DD for the purists though.

IKKO OH10 ($199,00)
Of course the comparison is totally unfair on the technical proficiency level – and better be, considering a 4.5X price gap! – but I’m mentioning OH10 precisely due to their almost identical tuning compared to IT07.

As a matter of fact, OH10 can easily be called “less expensive IT07” by anyone looking for a powerful, engaging, and most of all unforgivingly dry, ubleeding bass, paired with very lively and well tuned highmids and trebles. Mids are dry and slim on OH10 as on IT07, but they go as far as being “lean” on OH10 in comparison. OH10 are equipped with a single not-TOTL Knowles BA so we can’t reasonably expect the same IT07 proficiency in rendering anything above 1000hz, nor on detail retrieval – it being understood however that, conversely speaking, OH10 does wonders on those registers for the exact same reason! IT07 technicalities are also obviously more refined and downright “better” than OH10, while OH10 comes out a bit better in terms of timbre coherence between their DD and their (sole) BA compared to IT07’s 1+6 scenario.

DUNU ZEN ($699,00)
IT07 extract more highmids and treble thin details; cymbals are crystally adamant when they need to be, unlike on ZEN where they are somewhat “polished”, “matte” in a sense. Midbass are equivalently articulated on either, while perceivably oomphier on IT07, which is not necessarily better depending on taste and track. On ZEN mids are obviously airier, more bodied and totally organic. Piano notes offer the impression of spreading in an infinite space on ZEN. On IT07 mids are defintely slimmer, bringing them to the edge of unrealism, and sort of confined inside a room – a big room at that, but I do perceive the space as “finite”, whereas it is almost not on ZEN. Finally, ZEN offers a totally coherent timbre accross the entire spectrum, unlike IT07 as detailed above. Such very last point is what keeps me personally from granting IT07 360° “Excellent” status, but that’s a millimetric flaw when cast against the full product panorama.


Conclusions

IT07 impressed me a lot. I guess it comes from me liking OH10 tuning so much that my ear and brain really rejoyced in hearing that presentation’s direct evolution and sustantial refinement on the IT07.

IT07 offer a literally spectacular, energetic and at the same time very refined musical experience. While one may count their slight internal timbral mismatch as a coloration, which it is, the practical result is nothing short of lovable, and I’m up to strongly recommending it as a high-end driver ideal for a wide extension of different genres.

As mentioned above the sample I auditioned was loaned to me by a private owner, who paid for it off his own pocket.

This article previously appeared also here and here.

HansBarbarossa

100+ Head-Fier
iBasso I07: Comprehensive Heaven
Pros: Sound, ergonomics, design, workmanship, kit.
Cons: No, although the price is still high.
O heaven, let me be beautiful,
To the earth that comes down from above,
And radiant and impassive,
And all-encompassing as thou art.

D. Merezhkovsky


Hi Friends!

It is so difficult for me to translate these poetic lines, we lose rhyme, but I hope that I was able to convey the meaning of the verse to you.
I do not know how the poet of the Silver Age Merezhkovsky could describe our today's guest so accurately, but the fact remains - the lines that open our review ideally characterize both the appearance and musical style of the new flagship headphones from iBasso. Perhaps the whole thing is in the noosphere - the thinking shell around the Earth, but I will not say this.

Yes, I finally got the IEM IT07 model, with which I was so looking forward to meeting! These wonderful in-ear monitors are built in a hybrid scheme and each have seven drivers on board. They also have the ability to tune the sound using acoustic filters.

It's no secret that every new iBasso development is a remarkable event for me personally, because getting to know any creation of this company is always an interesting and exciting activity. Needless to say, this time too, my expectations were fully justified? These IEMs not only allow you to deeply enjoy the music you listen to, but also bring romance and poetry to life!

And before I start writing poetry instead of writing a review, let's immediately get down to the heavenly IT07.



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Text: Alexey Kashirskey (aka Hans Barbarossa)

Specifications
Type: in-ear / hybrid
Drivers (7): 1 (10mm High Magnetic Flux Dynamic Driver) + (6 Knowles BA Drivers)
Impedance: 16Ohm.
Frequency range: 5Hz-40kHz.
Sensitivity: 108dB/mW.
THD+N:<1%.
Noise isolation: -30dB.
2.5mm-3.5mm connector included in the package.




Appearance, kit and ergonomics

The "Seven's" arrived in an elegant black leather-wrapped box with the "iBasso Audio" logo embossed on the lid, which is in a cardboard box.


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We open the lid of the magic box and extract all the contents from it: a metal case-washer with an IT07 IEM inside, a removable cable with an adapter (2.5 mm / 3.5 mm), 12 pairs (one more is already installed on the headphones) silicone tips , two pairs of foam tips, a metal plate with three pairs of acoustic filters (black, silver, gold) and mandatory warranty documents. Wow, how much is there! Without hesitation, we put five plus for the set.


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We take out IT07 ourselves and start admiring it. The azure mother-of-pearl polymer cases are handcrafted, polished to perfection and look extraordinarily beautiful. You hold in the palm of your hand these two pieces of the spring sky with floating whitish clouds and you forget where you are and why you even got these IEMs. How romantic and poetic IT07 looks!


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The iBasso slogan "InTune" shimmers on the faceplate. On the inside of the shell, there is a metal sound tube with a wind-up acoustic filter, which also protects the IEM from moisture and sulfur. Slightly below there are two compensation holes, on top - a gold-plated connector for connecting the MMCX cable.



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IT07 is quite lightweight and extremely ergonomic, you can wear them for as long as you like without discomfort. It is expected to be worn behind the ear.
Inside each IEM fit one (DD) 10mm Tesla coil driver, six (BA knowles) drivers, and a 4-way crossover.
Sound insulation is above average, and if you choose the right tips, you can stay tete-a-tete with your favorite music and not be distracted by the hustle and bustle of the outside world.


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The 4-core braided cable is made of high quality silver litz wire. It is silver-colored, braided, very elastic, with MMCX connectors, a 2.5 mm TRRS balanced jack and an adapter to 3.5 mm TRS, all in the same style.



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Well, a few words about filters:
Silver - neutral with a slight high-frequency accent
Black - emphasizes the lower and midrange
Gold - for those who like to highlight low frequencies


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And since we have already started talking about the sound features of the IT07, it's time to move on to the next section of the review.



Sound impressions

Listening (audio testing) was conducted on: MyST DAC 1866OCU V.2, iFi iDSD Diablo, Lotoo paw Gold, iBasso 220 MAX, iBasso DX300, QLS QA-361 & iFi HIP DAC.
Most of the time testing was done with silver (gray) filters.

My regular readers, probably, have already learned the next passage by heart, but in this case, it is better to no overlook it: I recommend that you take a responsible approach to the process of selecting tips, since they make a noticeable contribution to the creation of a sound picture.
With all devices, the "seven's" played excellently, their voice slightly changed depending on the sound source.


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I would describe the sound of iBasso IT07 as tending to neutral, with a good transfer of the emotional component, high resolution, a well-boosted section in the low-frequency register, smooth, detailed and extremely musical, melodious mids and slightly sparkling high-frequency range. All material is presented reliably, thoroughly and utterly melodic.


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IT07s deliver a balanced, dense and euphonious sound, with a harmonious display of micro and macro contrast.
The musical canvas is drawn widely, in detail, with good separation of instruments, a clear transfer of textures, timbres and a scrupulous display of small nuances of the composition.
It is a dynamic and proportionate manner, where the drawn audio images, exquisitely intertwining, but not interfering with each other, line up in a sophisticated soundscape. iBasso IT07 has excellent stereo panorama and good resolution, presenting compositions legibly, smoothly, broadly and musically.



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The beat is precise, deep, going to the very bottom, the bass parts are worked out richly, richly, bitingly and distinctly. The dynamic driver is well tuned and therefore capable of a lot. He easily cools our ears with crisp pops and solid, tight "pump". The bass is textured, rounded and agile, filling the middle with warmth and lively bodily substance. There is not even a hint of hum and bubbling, but there is a clear working out of the lower range, which most tactfully contributes to the overall tonality.
Accuracy and intelligibility, relief and comfort - working out the midbass takes not so much quantity as quality and reliability, demonstrating an excellent transfer of textures and energy. And if you wish, you can add or subtract Lows, for this we have acoustic filters.


The mids are smooth, detailed, comfortable and melodic. Here, no detail escapes the listener. Musical images are drawn large, convex and tangible. The middle is extremely expressive and is not spoiled by sharp annoying peaks and any distortions. IT07 gorgeously convey the emotional component of the composition. They easily captivate the listener with their melodic manner and do not let go until the very end of listening to the composition.
Vocal parts are conveyed purely and emotionally, and strings sound rich and realistic. The timbres and reverberations are very good: natural, musical, deep and bewitching. I would call this presentation of sound solid, melodic, extremely smooth and detailed at the same time.


High frequencies are reproduced clearly and harmoniously. There is a slight accent here, around 7-8 kHz, but it is presented quite correctly and does not in any way refer to annoying factors. Highs add a bit of breadth, expression and fresh air to the overall sound. They do not try to amaze the listener with refined manners and refined after-sounds, but at the same time they are conveyed quite cleanly and beautifully, intelligibly and competently, legibly, without excessive harshness and obvious simplification. This is an expanded, rather spacious and beautiful presentation.


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Well, do not forget that we can always tune the sound to our taste using acoustic filters.


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In terms of genre preferences, iBasso IT07 are not whimsical at all: they play very interestingly both classical music, instrumental, jazz, electronics, rock, and brutal genres.


Conclusion

In my opinion, the engineers of the iBasso company once again coped with their task brilliantly, making the IT07 a delight for both ears and eyes. Impressive sound, housed in an elegant body, is the key to the success that this model no doubt awaits.
These IEMs turned out to be interesting in everything: chic design, ergonomics, good kit and, most importantly, good sound with its captivating charm and graceful flavor. Such an audio signature, in my opinion, should be of interest to an extremely wide range of listeners.

IT07 is clearly the flagship model of IEM without discounts or reservations. These are the IEMs that will adorn any audiophile collection and delight even the most ambitious high-quality sound lovers.
The MSRP for the seven's from iBasso is $899. Considering all the above listed advantages of the model, I consider this cost quite acceptable and highly recommend IT07 for purchase.

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TheHelper1964
TheHelper1964
Thank you so much for this in depth review on the back of which I purchased them and I am so glad I did. Great IEM's.
V
V1nc3nt
I wonder how is it compare with dunu sa6??
samandhi
samandhi
@V1nc3nt I haven't heard the SA6, but I would say that they are at least different in the lower end (which will affect the overall sound) because it is an all BA set, where the IT-07 has a DD for the lower end.

Layman1

Headphoneus Supremus
Some things change, some things stay the same.
Pros: low end presence, timbre, musicality, lush and vivid sound, female vocals, classical strings, value
Cons: occasionally male vocals lack thickness and body
Introduction:


Hello, and welcome one and all!

Are we all sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

Once upon a time, a well-known and respected manufacturer of DAP’s suddenly announced that they would be releasing a new IEM (the excellent IT03)...

I actually considered writing the whole review in story format, but I’m in a hurry, so perhaps another time :sweat_smile:

In fact, I’m surely going to flex my creative writing muscles and do exactly that sometime soon. Now that the idea has popped into my head, I can’t forget it, and it sounds (to me at least) like a lot of fun :)

Meanwhile, back to the iBasso releasing their first IEM part!
Well, that was back in 2018, if I recall correctly.
Fast forward a couple of years, and I think it would be fair to say that iBasso have similarly established themselves as a name of note in the world of IEM manufacturers too now.

Today, I’ll be reviewing their latest offering, the IT07.
This is a new addition to their ‘In Tune’ line-up and is another hybrid IEM.

All details can be found on iBasso’s website (link below – despite the correct name, it didn’t seem to go to a particular product page, but I don’t know if that’s a temporary glitch or not), and the IEM can be purchased there and delivered to locations around the globe. It can also be purchased from various other dealers globally of course too.

http://ibasso.com/product/it07/

The IT07 features a dynamic driver, along with 6 x Knowles balanced armatures and ergonomically designed shells.
See the link above for all the details :)
The RRP at time of writing was $899, placing it – financially speaking - at what I suppose these days would be close to the upper limit of mid-fi level.

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

Well, now it’s time to indulge in some vicarious thrills and see what the IT07 actually look like!


Photos:
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The cable, plus 2.5mm to 3.5mm adaptor:
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The same cable, deconstructed!
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Unboxing, packaging and accessories:


The packaging and accessories are nicely done, and the nicest yet from iBasso with regards to their IEMs.
There’s a metal case with a soft lining, comparable to those released with TOTL products.

The cable here is a very nice pure silver Litz cable. It feels fine in daily use and I haven’t noticed any particular issues with it. It’s terminated in 2.5mm balanced.

At this price point I think I would have liked to have been given a choice of termination options (in which case I would have gone for 4.4mm), but I’m fairly happy to let that go, given that there’s currently a pandemic causing havoc all over the world, and also that at least a 2.5mm cable can be plugged into an adaptor to easily make it into 3.5mm or 4.4mm.
Hence they are making it available to the widest range of consumers.
There are IEMs costing 2-3 times the price that come with 2.5mm or even (shudder) 3.5mm SE, so it’s not so bad overall :)



The Fit:


The shells are smooth and very comfortable in use. Since their first IEM, the IT03, iBasso have adopted a kind of semi-custom shape to their IEMs, featuring – in one form or another – some kind of nodule which sticks out a bit from the shell.

They’ve revised the design a few times, but with the IT07, I think they’ve perfected it this time. Well, for my ears at least! Of course that’s a personal thing and others may find a better or worse fit.

But since I can only speak for myself, I’d say the fit, with New Bee foam tips, is superb for me. I compress the foam tips, then insert the IEMs one at a time, pulling on the top of my ear as I do so to open up the ear canals a bit more.

I purposefully insert the IEMs at about a negative 30 degree angle from upright, and then twist them into position. Doing so, there’s a delightfully satisfactory feeling each time, as the little nodule which sticks out from the body locks into place in some part of my ear (concha?) for which I am not sure of the name :)

It’s probably similar to the feeling a Rolls-Royce owner will get upon closing the perfectly-engineered door before heading to their private jet.
Alas, such a luxuriant feeling is deprived to Layman1, having only a couple of Lambo’s myself*, but at least I can console myself with the wondrous ergonomics of my IT07 :)

*Well, I’ve seen a couple of Lamborghini’s once. Does that count? :wink:

All in all, they are extremely comfortable, and I have been able to wear them for extended listening sessions with no discomfort or fatigue.



The Sound:

I listened using the Sony WM1Z DAP, with MrWalkman’s custom FW (DMP-WM1 Mk I), and the DX220MAX, combined with a variety of tracks in lossless or hi-res lossless format.

I used New Bee foam tips, which are my go-to tips and pretty much consistent across my reviews, although I may try other ones alongside as needed.
I’ll begin with the summary of my findings, then some comparisons, followed by a brief conclusion.

As a note before I begin, the IT07 distinguishes itself by including 3 tuning filters in the box (Black, Gold and Silver), that screw onto the ends of the nozzles.

Like many such filters, they seem to be primarily about altering the amount of bass in the sound signature.

The black filter seems to bring out the low end a bit more prominently with slightly recessed mids, whereas the gold one diminishes both mids and treble somewhat (or enhances the bass at the cost of them) for a more L-shaped signature (think EE Legend X, or iBasso’s own IT01).

Finally the silver filter is effectively our ‘neutral setting’ not in the sense that it changes the IT07 into a neutral-reference sound signature, but rather that it lets the pure original sound of the IT07 come through without any additional colouration one way or the other.

I actually like this filter the best and stuck with it.


Low end:
This is a real strength of the IT07. I hear the sub-bass to extend deep, and unlike some other older iBasso IEMs, there’s an above-neutral amount of mid-bass presence here too.
The effect is a low end that’s rich, powerful and brings the emotion into the music.

I hear it as having quite a good balance of accuracy and decay; the timbre is realistic and as an example, when I listen to things like ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ by Gladys Knight and the Pips, or Paul Young’s cover of ‘Everytime you go away’, the IT07 absolutely nails that quality of infusing head-bobbing musicality into the music via the basslines, and with the drums and percussion too in other songs. On a song like “Please don’t fall for me” by Norwegian pop singer Marit Larsen where the drums are mastered quite powerfully in the mix, the kick drum that comes in at 0m28s has a really rewardingly solid thump and impact.


Mids:
Some warmth and richness comes through from that mid-bass. I hear the mids to be perhaps slightly forward – if so, it’s more the lower mids than the upper mids – full bodied, natural and with quite big note size. There’s a lushness and a vivid quality to the sound here, with strings sounding particularly fine; on ‘Little Sister Leaving Town’ by Tanita Tikaram, there’s real timbre in the ‘bite’ of the cello bow against the strings, and a rich sweetness in the violins.

On ‘Future Days’ by Pearl Jam (a beautiful acoustic number) there’s such definition with the opening instruments, although I found the vocals to sound a little lacking in body and richness for some reason. IT07 manages to bring great clarity, something which might have been hampered by the note size and lushness on an IEM without this level of technical performance. All instruments seem to have clearly defined edges, but enough decay and richness to bring out the best in their timbre.

Having said that, despite the lushness and whatnot, I hear male vocals to be presented accurately and fairly centrally in the soundstage, but on some tracks I feel they could use just a touch more thickness and body; I don’t feel this with instruments, so perhaps it’s related to a particular frequency having been elevated or diminished in the tuning of the IT07? Having said that, listening to “One minute you’re here” by Bruce Springsteen, all that body and richness is there in his voice (also, the chime sounds that come in from 1m47s onwards are gorgeously presented!).

So it does vary from artist to artist, and even (in the case of Gregory Porter) from song to song.
Oh, and his song “Don’t be a fool” could have been made for the IT07; sheer perfection here, with every instrument infused with richness and a gorgeously smooth musicality :)

I don’t hear any such issues with female vocals – listening to some Chinese pop songs, the vocals sound fantastic – among the best presentations I’ve heard on any IEM; a real strength here - but the same goes for female vocals in pop, Motown and opera too. Even on Hong Kong opera singer Alison Lau’s rendition of Handel’s ‘Lascia la spina’, the vocals never became too piercing due to the smoothness and richness of the IT07’s tone, whereas they do on a great many IEMs for me.


Highs:
I hear the highs to be fairly extended. There’s some air infused into the sound signature, just enough to bring balance and space amidst that lushness. I wouldn’t describe them as bright or sparkly, although those qualities will vary with ear tip selection.


Technical performance:
Detail retrieval is very good; not at the superlative levels of the UM MEST or the EE Odin, but then few IEMs are! Still very good though, and fairly organically done. There’s not that sense of almost clinical dissection you can get with a super-detailed IEM; the details just naturally come across to you as an integral part of the song, rather than seeming like a spotlight just picked them out.

I hear the timbre as being natural and realistic, infused with richness and body for the most part. Layering is done pretty well, albeit without a vast amount of air-infused ‘real estate’ to really bring a great deal of space, but certainly there’s never been a feeling of congestion.



Comparisons:


IT07 vs IT04:

Regarding soundstage, it’s not an easy comparison. I’d say they’re probably pretty similar, but the sound signature of the IT04 makes the fairly holographic soundstage more immediately apparent, whereas with the IT07 it’s there too but the big notes, vivid sound and contrast fill up the space more and the size of the soundstage becomes noticeable here and there as you notice sounds occurring out at the edge of the sphere.

The low end is a real stand-out of the IT07, and one of the ways in which it differs significantly from its predecessor the IT04. I love that IEM, but the IT04 is a kind of a classic of the old iBasso house sound, with a fairly neutral-reference sound signature, with a touch of organic warmth and shimmer and a fairly neutrally tuned mid-bass, but a deep sub-bass extension that can kick in when appropriate.

The IT07 has much more ‘contrast’ than the IT04 for me; it’s more vivid, saturated and rich; not to excess, but it can’t help standing out in this regard next to the more classical sound stylings of the IT04. I think the IT04 does delicacy and shimmer with more finesse, but the IT07 is certainly capable of a lighter touch when the track demands.


IT07, CA Solaris and UM MEST (original):

Finally, rather than a set of direct A/B comparisons here, I’m going to talk about two IEMs from my collection that I found the IT07 to share certain qualities with, as in some ways I feel this would actually be more helpful.

Of all the IEMs I own or have heard, the IT07 most reminds me of a kind of hybrid between the original Unique Melody MEST and the CA Solaris 2020; it has a fairly deeply extended sub-bass which reminds me of the MEST, along with a rather W-shaped signature, but also – at certain times – something of the more intimate, slightly dark and mid-bass rich sound of the Solaris 2020.

It doesn’t quite have the huge, open, airy holographic feel of the MEST – although I’d say it gets about 70% of the way there. That’s not in any way a criticism of the IT07 though; it’s simply a somewhat different sound signature, the same thing I’d say about the Solaris 2020.
What it does share too with the MEST is a very vivid feel to the presentation, with a lot of energy, but not in a fatiguing or sharp way.

I think the Solaris 2020 is an excellent IEM and the IT07 also takes some qualities from that IEM that I really appreciate; it’s capable of a more intimate sound, despite a fairly expansive soundstage, and comes across as a bit darker to me than the MEST, more like the Solaris in this regard. However, I do hear a bit more separation and soundstage size with the IT07 than the Solaris and a more immediately noticeable presentation of detail.

I think Solaris 2020 has the edge in timbre, though it’s a close thing and both IEMs have a fairly rich tone, with IT07 more rich and vivid, vs Solaris 2020 being more rich and dark.



Summary:

With their recent DX300 DAP release and the IT07 IEM here, I feel iBasso made a small, but noticeable shift away from their classic ‘house sound’.

There’s more organic warmth and musicality on offer with both. I’ve already reviewed the DX300 previously, so I’ll naturally keep my comments here focused on the IT07.

I hear it as approximating a W-shaped presentation, with a meaty and powerful low end, lush and rich mids and a treble lifted and extended just enough to balance out the lows and mids with a touch of air and shimmer.

Technical performance is excellent, although less clinically analytical and more musically organic.

I found male vocals on the whole to be good, but on occasional songs, felt there could have been a bit more thickness and body to them. However, this didn’t happen consistently, so it’s probably a case of listening for yourself with your favourite male vocalists and seeing if it matches what you like.

Conversely, female vocals were – for me – outstandingly well-presented across the board.
From opera to Motown, Chinese pop to Bollywood, the female vocals were infused with a rich tone and body, and never became too shrill, even on tracks that usually trigger me with most IEMs.

There’s a lush and vivid quality to the sound signature that’s high in musicality, and the timbre is natural, rich and accurate.

This is an IEM that will have you tapping your toes/bobbing your head/playing air guitar or whatever form of physical expression you employ when enjoying your music :)

It stands up well against IEMs in the TOTL category, and all at a price of $899.
Once again, I feel iBasso have produced a contender for ‘value product of the year’.

The sound signature might be moving in some new directions, but their commitment to value and quality remain wonderfully consistent.

It’s been a pleasure for me to review this IEM, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it :)
Layman1
Layman1
@samandhi Many thanks! Really appreciate you taking the time to write that and I'm glad you love the IT07 as much as I do :D
TheHelper1964
TheHelper1964
Again another great review, thank you. I am so glad to have found this site, my wallet isn't lol. Added these to the slowly expanding collection.
Layman1
Layman1
@TheHelper1964 Many thanks! I reviewed the UM MEST and MEST Mk II as well, but you probably don't want to read those, for the sake of your wallet and all :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
iBasso IT07 In-Ear Monitors - Diamond In The Rough
Pros: + Build Quality
+ Comfort
+ Detailed Sound
+ Warm yet very clean
+ Punchy sound
Cons: - It is a flagship also priced as a flagship
Please read the full review on my website : https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/2021/03/ibasso-it07-in-ear-monitors-diamond-in-the-rough.html

This is the conclusion of my full in-depth written review:


Value and Conclusion

iBasso IT07
has an unusually good value for a high-end IEM, and it never felt overpriced or like paying for a premium. From top to bottom, from the package to the sound, it feels like it is actually well balanced in terms of the price performance ratio.

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The package is rich, includes a nice default cable with an adapter, and they come with many tips. I personally didn't like the pairing with foam tips, but even those are included, for those who find better comfort with them.

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The build quality is excellent, and you can feel that a lot of work went into the production and design of. Multi-venting, high-quality MMCX connectors, removable threaded filters, high-quality workmanship everywhere, it just feels like IT07 is made to impress.

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The sound is also really natural, smooth in the mids, with an impactful bass, and a sparkly, yet smoothly textured treble. Funny how they managed to pull such a complicated signature, something that sounds so good, yet is so effortless.

Before the end of today's review, we're going to add IT07 to Audiophile-Heaven's Hall Of Fame for being one of the best IEMs I've seen in 2021, providing excellent build, package and sound.

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At the end of today's review, if you're looking for a high-end IEM with a natural sound, multi filters, nice deep bass, and a smooth yet detailed treble, iBasso IT07 is an excellent choice and one of the best IEMs ever made.
Last edited:
samandhi
TheHelper1964
TheHelper1964
Great review thank you.
Dobrescu George
Dobrescu George

twister6

twister6 Reviews
Headphoneus Supremus
InTune with the Next Gen!
Pros: hybrid design with a natural clear tonality, W-shaped sound signature with a powerful bass impact, compact and comfortable shell design, interchangeable filters, quality pure silver balanced cable, lots of included eartips.
Cons: universal only, reasonably priced but still a step up from the previous IT04 flagship.


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 site, and now I would like to share it with my readers on Head-fi.

Manufacturer website: iBasso. Available for sale directly or other retailers like Audio46.


Intro.

Back in pre-pandemic days when we had CanJams and other audio shows, new releases were spaced out to make sure every product gets plenty of attention. Today, I have no idea how manufacturers are managing this, definitely not an easy task. And as a result, some new releases end up flying under the radar, like what I think has happened with iBasso flagship 7-driver hybrid IT07 IEMs. They enjoyed some spotlight right after the initial announcement, but then everyone’s attention shifted to the upcoming DX300 flagship DAP. And now with DX300 already in hands of consumers, everybody is focused on the next new iBasso release.

Actually, I’m still getting used to saying “iBasso IEMs” since I associate this manufacturer with DAPs. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that they already released a number of popular and affordable IEMs. Then, IT04 flagship from a few years ago surprised everyone with a more mature audiophile tuning. The new IT07 takes it to yet another level. When I received IT07 last month and started listening to them, I was already thinking ahead about the review and had a few other IEMs in mind for comparison, though all in a higher price bracket. Now, the review is done and I’m ready to share with you about iBasso IT07 latest flagship hybrid IEM.

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Unboxing and Accessories.

I do appreciate how iBasso pays close attention to packaging, making higher end models stand out from their other mid-fi and entry level products. Here, while the outer packaging is just a plain all black cardboard box with iBasso Audio glossy print, inside you are treated to a more luxurious jewelry like box with a vinyl exterior and suede inner lining. From the moment you lift the cover up, you know right away this is a flagship level product. It has a nice presentation that sets a premium tone from the get-go. In general, these fancy boxes are not as practical since people keep IEMs in a small carry case, but nevertheless, it is a premium unboxing experience and that is what matters.

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Similar to IT04, inside you will find all metal aluminum puck storage container with laser etched iBasso Audio on the cover and a soft velour insert under the cover to showcase these IEMs without a cable like a jewelry on the display. Again, another example of a premium presentation, but I'm sure many will remove the insert to place IT07 inside with a cable attached, and probably will switch to their favorite pocket friendly slim case when on the go.

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Furthermore, inside of accessories box you will find a cable and the adapter, and a ton of included eartips. Everything from M/L pairs of foam tips, to 4 sets (S/M/L each) of silicone eartips varying in shape, material type, cap springiness, and bore opening. I will go over the difference in Eartips Rolling section of my review after sound analysis. You also get a warranty card, a quick start booklet with lots of useful info, and a set of interchangeable screen filters.

A pair of silver ones already come by default with IT07, and in addition to that you get a stainless-steel plate with 3 sets (silver, black, gold) sets of screen filters which you unscrew from the plate. I will go over these in more details later as well, but that stainless-steel plate with filters setting is like a cherry on top of the unboxing experience.

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Cable.

Besides IEMs and DAPs, iBasso product line also has cables and adapters which they include with their IEMs or sell as separate accessories. In the past they only featured pure copper, silver plated copper, or combined hybrids, all with mmcx connectors as standard in iBasso IEMs. And with every new cable the quality of wires and the cable hardware went up, along with a default 2.5mm balanced termination and matching cable pigtail single ended 3.5mm adapter.

IT07 is no exception. Here, iBasso included their own custom premium cable, but this one features a brand-new high purity silver litz wires. The wires are thin, lightweight, flexible, and a little springy when wrapped. You will find 4 loosely braided conductors which get twisted above the split and feature pre-shaped heat-shrink earhook toward the connector. The 2.5mm gold plated plug is inside of a slim metal housing with a stainless-steel type of finish and a short strain relief, and a matching finish y-split, chin slider, and mmcx connectors with L/R marking and Blue/Red color coding. Pigtail has 2.5mm female plug and 3.5mm made plug, all with matching finish housing and the same 4 braided wires.

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The mmcx connectors are standard universal and make a tight and secure connection with shell connectors. When attached, they don’t turn around easily, almost making it feel like a 2pin connection, and I don’t see any gap at the joint. Also, despite a metal connector housing which is usually slippery, here I was able to get a good grip and was able to disconnect the cable without a problem. I didn’t sense any major microphonic effect, maybe just a little bit, and in general the cable was very comfortable to wear.

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If would have been nice to include 4.4mm adapter as well, but if you don’t have one already, something like iBasso CA04 pigtail adapter (high purity mono crystal copper with silver plated shield) with right angle 4.4mm plug should work great. One other optional accessory really caught my attention, their new CB16 cable with high purity silver copper alloy wires.

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This optional CB16 cable is already terminated with the right-angle low profile 4.4mm plug, has a very soft 4 wires in a cool purple jacket, uses a matching finish y-split, retractable chin slider, and matching connector housing with Red/Blue color coding, and no memory wire or pre-shaped earhook so you can also wear it wire down with other supporting IEMs. And to my big surprise it comes in a nice wooden box. For those who are interested, here is a more detailed comparison of stock silver and optional CB16 spc cables.

IT07 stock silver vs CB16 spc cable.

Based on what I'm hearing, stock silver cable has a little wider and airier soundstage expansion in comparison to CB16 spc cable. I hear the sound with CB16 being a little smoother and slightly more relaxed, while with stock silver cable the sound is tighter, faster, and more revealing, especially more micro-detailed in mids. Not a huge difference, but I can hear it and was able to pick one cable vs the other in a blind test. Regarding aesthetics, I do like CB16 cable better because of its unique purple color, softer wires (vs stock cable being a little stiffer and springy in comparison), and low-profile L-shape 4.4mm plug. But the stock pure silver cable gives IT07 higher resolution and crisper details, especially when it comes to mids and vocals. One cable is not better than the other, but rather a matter of personal pair up preference.

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Design.

Being quite familiar with 4 driver hybrid design of IT04, I was expecting 7-driver hybrid version of IT07 to be bigger, but instead it turned out to be just a little taller and more compact. IT07 uses 7 drivers partitioned into 4 groups according to crossover split with 10mm high magnetic flux dynamic driver for bass and 6 Knowles BA drivers covering mids (Knowles 30989), upper mids and highs (Knowles 31785) and ultra-highs (Knowles 30017).

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iBasso also paid close attention to IT07 4-way crossover design, using audio-grade high tolerance thin film capacitors and metal film resistors instead of ceramic capacitors. Inside, drivers are arranged based on iBasso patented acoustic structure, referred to as “root tube structure”, including a nozzle that uses coaxial structure to optimize the dynamic driver performance.

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Also, while iBasso continues with their custom universal shell design, in every new release they apply more tweaks to improve the ergonomics for a better concha fit. I never had issues with any of their previous acrylic shells, but IT07 feels even smoother with a new polished glossy swirling-blue finish. And again, though IT07 is a universal IEM, it looks and feels like a Custom IEM, very comfortable to wear, though they do stick out a bit from my ears. Both shells still feature the InTune logo, a name behind ITxy letters.

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On the inner side of the shell pointing down you will find a pinhole vent and also another pinhole vent toward the nozzle, assuming both are for DD. The actual nozzle is all metal and features interchangeable threaded mesh guard screen similar to IT01s and AM05. This screen also designed to be a filter that changes the sound characteristics. iBasso provides 3 pairs of these screens: Silver, Black and Gold. If you look under the light, the mesh has a different opening density which is easy to see and which affect the sound, covered in the next section.

The fit.

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Sound Analysis.

I analyzed IT07 paired up with MAX and LPGT while playing a variety of test tracks, such as Agnes Obel “The curse”, Sandro Cavazza “So much better” (Avicii remix), C-Bool “Never go away”, Ed Sheeran “Shape of you”, Alan Walker “Darkside”, Galantis “Hunter”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Dua Lipa “Love again”, Counting Crows “Big yellow taxi”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”. Due to a hybrid design, a more critical sound analysis started after about 100 hours of standalone continuous playback, and I used stock silver cable and stock whirlwind eartips along with silver filter.

As it was already mentioned, IT07 comes with 3 sets of replaceable mesh guard screens like in other iBasso IEMs. From a default Silver (the most open mesh) to Black (medium opening) the change is more subtle where I hear a bit narrower soundstage with a deeper sub-bass and vocals being a bit denser and slightly pushed back. Going to Gold (least open mesh) from Silver was more noticeable with sub-bass going up and getting thicker and mids/vocals going down and being less focused. Basically, going from Silver to Gold the signature changed from more W-shaped to more L-shaped. For my sound analysis, and personal preference, I was using Silver filter.

Upon closer listening, I hear a very wide soundstage with a natural depth/height. Not exactly holographic, but naturally expanded with a decent imaging and separation of sounds in space. Tonality is rather natural, yet still quite detailed with a relatively accurate timbre of instruments and vocals. The signature is balanced and distinctly W-shaped due to a good extension and impact of low end, detailed natural tonality of mids, and clear, natural, extended treble with just enough crunch to give the sound a good definition. The retrieval of details is pretty good, not exactly on analytical level, but I hear a very good level of clarity.

Regarding the coherency of this hybrid 7 driver IEM, I was going back and forth with my assessment. The W-shaped sound sig of IT07 has a distinct focus on lows, mids, and treble, especially lows/bass. They all work together very nicely, but they don't necessary blend in together in a unison of a single driver like you would hear it in IT04. I think this is due to the bass standing out on its own in IT07 tuning. Often in hybrids you have a cut in lower mids for a better separation between DD lows and BA mids, but not in IT07. Here, the bass impact is elevated but without overpowering the mix. And the same with treble, it blends in naturally, yet you can still shift your focus to its organic sparkle which stands out on its own. Thus, while I'm not saying IT07 has a coherent unison tuning that blends all drivers together in one, I would rather call it a W-shaped tuning that creates a coherent balance between lows, mids, and highs.

Looking further into sound details, low end really stands out in this tuning. This is not a basshead IEM and the bass is not overwhelming or overpowering, but it is one of the first things I noticed, especially after listening to IT04 prior to switching to IT07. Bass extends and goes down pretty low, down to sub-bass rumble that tickles your ears. And it is not just the extension but also the lift in sub-bass, not overwhelming but something you can clearly hear and feel. For a dynamic driver, the punch of mid-bass is articulate and slightly rounded with an average attack and decay that gives it a better control. You can clearly hear the authority and the speed of DD driver, and will not mistake it for BA.

Mids are natural, detailed, and with plenty of clarity. Lower mids are not too thick or too thin, definitely have a fuller body but it is average thickness, just enough to give the sound its organic tonality. Upper mids are natural and detailed with a focus around 2kHz and 4kHz peaks that give the sound its clarity and definition. All the sounds are well separated and layered, and as expected for this type of natural tuning there is not too much air between the layers. Treble is well extended, non-harsh at all. There is a moderate amount of crunch but it is well controlled and quite natural.

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Eartips selection.

The selection of eartips is crucial with any universal in-ear monitor and will affect the sound, especially the bass impact depending on the seal and the soundstage depending on insertion depth. Due to a large opening of my earcanals, I usually go for the largest size eartips to get a better seal. Please, keep in mind, these impressions are subjective and relative to my ear anatomy which affects how I hear the sound.

Stock foam tips – even though I was use large size pair of these eartips, I think the seal wasn't as tight, thus bass was less elevated and mids were more forward, including a little more air in treble. It actually works out as a good alternative to those who prefer less bass.

Stock narrow bore silicone tips - these give IT07 a perfect W-shaped sig with emphasis on deeper lows, a little more forward natural details mids, and airy, crunchy, extended yet still natural treble.

Stock wide bore silicone tips - these eartips bring out more bass and make mids/vocals and treble sound smoother.

Stock turbo whirlwind wide bore silicone tips - similar to wide bore stock silicone tips, but with more details in mids/vocals and treble.

Type-E eartips – these change the tuning to a more extreme V-shaped, especially with more piercing treble. Didn't like this pair up at all.

Symbio F eartips - excellent balanced W-shaped sound sig where in addition to deep and powerful bass impact and clear and detailed mids, treble also has a little more sparkle and air without being harsh. As a result of treble improvement, the sound has a little more resolution and even better layering.

AZLA Xelastec eartips - these eartips help with additional sub-bass rumble, going even deeper than any other eartips. Sound sig is still W-shaped and balanced, with a powerful bass impact, natural mids/vocals, and well controlled natural detailed treble.

I liked stock Whirlwinds, Symbio F, and Xelastec tips in pair up with IT07.

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Comparison.

The comparison was done using IT07 with a stock cable, MAX and LPGT sources, CA04 balanced adapter, and also volume matched in every comparison.

IT07 vs IT04 - quite a noticeable step up going from 04 to 07. Starting with soundstage, the depth and height are similar, but width spreads a little more to the L/R in 07. The presentation of the sound is more laidback, neutral, natural in 04, and more forward, W-shaped, and more energetic in 07. The improvement in bass performance is probably the first thing you will notice. 04 bass is more neutral, more relaxed, not as tight or articulate, while 07 scales up in both quantity and quality. From a deeper and more elevated sub-bass rumble to a tighter, punchier, and faster mid-bass the overall bass performance is a lot more articulate, better layered, and with more control. The tonality of mids and treble are not too far off, but 04 mids/vocals are pushed slightly back while 07 is more forward, and 07 treble also has a little more sparkle and air. Technical performance is what sets mids more apart in these two, 07 mids have better resolution, layering, and improved separation of sounds. Treble in 07 has a little more sparkle which improves the resolution and the layering. Overall, 04 sounds more laidback, mellow, slower, and more coherent, while 07 is faster, tighter, and more fun, especially thanks to its enhanced bass performance.

iBasso did a big step up going from IT04 to IT07, doubling the amount of genuine Knowles drivers (those are not cheap), implementing new bass driver, adding pure silver cable, introducing optional screen filters, having a serious improvement in bass performance, and while mids/treble are not too off, their technical performance (resolution, retrieval of details, etc.) scaled up as well.

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IT07 vs Campfire Audio Solaris '20 - maybe not exactly an upgrade, but definitely a very interesting side-grade based on this comparison. Both have a very similar soundstage expansion. The sound sig of these hybrids is also quite similar, being W-shaped, though Solaris is a little more balanced. While they have similar sub-bass rumble, the mid-bass impact is lower in Solaris and a little more elevated in 07, giving its bass a faster punch. Mids/vocals between these two IEMs have a very similar tonality and presentation, maybe with Solaris being just slightly more forward. The biggest difference here is in treble where 07 is more natural and with a better control while Solaris upper mids/lower treble are brighter and splashier in a relative comparison. I already mentioned that going between these two is more like a side-grade that will depend on a personal sound preference. If you want more punch in your mid-bass and more natural and still well-defined treble, IT07 will be the one for the job. But if you want more relaxed bass and more treble energy and air, Solaris '20 will fit the bill.

IT07 vs Meze Audio RAI Penta - another interesting hybrid comparison. Here, the first thing that stood out to my ears was how much wider 07 soundstage sounds in comparison to average width Penta; it becomes quite apparent when you go back'n'forth between these two IEMs. Bass of Penta is closer to 07, sub-bass rumble extension is as deep but mid-bass punch of Penta is slight less in quantity and not as tight or articulate like a faster punch of 07 mid-bass. 07 mids/vocals are more forward, more revealing and have better layering, while Penta's mids are more distant, being out of your head, and a little smoother in comparison. Treble has a similar tonality and quality, but for some reason I felt it was a little distant just like Penta's vocals. Overall, RAI Penta has a different presentation of the sound, being more distant, more out of your head, and with a little narrower soundstage, while 07 brings the sound closer and more forward, expands soundstage and improves the imaging.

IT07 vs 64 Audio Trio - this was another comparison which I found to be interesting. Soundstage expansion between these two was quite similar. Now, starting with bass, finally we have a matching quantity and quality, though to my ears 07 mids-bass is a little tighter and faster. Presentation of mids is a little different, with 07 bringing it more forward, giving the sound W-shaped sound sig while being pushed a little back in Trio which gives its sound a more V-shaped sig. I also noticed 07 lower mids having more body which gave vocals a little fuller tonality while Trio vocals are a little thinner. Treble is where I hear the biggest difference since Trio is brighter, crisper, and even a bit splashier in comparison to a more natural and smoother 07 treble. Both of these IEMs do sound like hybrids, these are not super coherent IEMs where all the drivers blend in. But their signature will differ and those who find Trio treble energy to be a bit overwhelming for their taste will appreciate a more natural yet still detailed treble of 07.

IT07 vs 64 Audio Nio (w/N0 module) - didn't expect these two being not too far off. Soundstage expansion here is very close, I would be splitting hair looking for a difference in width, depth, and height. Of course, if you are using other apex/atom modules you can get bass more elevated, but with N0 which is my preferred module here it’s very close in sub-bass rumble quality and quantity and also matching mid-bass quantity, maybe with IT07 having just a touch faster punch. I hear a bigger difference in mids/vocals where 07 is more revealing and layered while Nio has fuller body and smoother tonality. The same with treble, IT07 having just a little more sparkle in comparison to a smoother Nio treble. Fuller body mids vs more revealing brighter mids is the biggest difference here, while everything else is pretty close when comparing IT07 to Nio w/N0.

Pair up.

In each of these pair ups I was using IT07 w/stock cable and whirlwind eartips. With impedance of 16ohms and sensitivity of 108dB, IT07 is very easy to drive. Also, haven’t noticed any hissing. Another thing I would like to mention, my pair up analysis doesn’t go into a deep sound analysis, that’s what sound analysis and comparison sections are for. Here, I take quick notes for you to see if any of the sources affect the overall sound signature and what changes you can expect due to source variation in power, output impedance, or selection of DAC.

LPGT - wide soundstage, natural detailed tonality, W-shaped signature, deep bass impact, natural vocals tonality, clear detailed non-harsh treble. This is usually my baseline sound analysis.

DX220 MAX - very similar sound to LPGT, but with a little stronger mid-bass impact and more air and crunch in treble. Also, relative to LPGT, I hear a blacker background with MAX.

DX160 - very wide and even more holographic soundstage, but the sound presentation is a little different, with the overall sound being more revealing, a little brighter, faster, and mids/vocals being more forward which takes away a little bit from bass impact and also gives treble more crunch.

DX300 - here the sound is somewhere in between DX160 and MAX. Soundstage is still very wide. Overall sound sig is W-shaped, balanced, with bass impact being similar to MAX and LPGT, but mids being a little more revealing, closer to DX160, and treble having more crunch and air which is more typical of DX160 pair up.

Hiby R8 - wide soundstage, natural detailed tonality, W-shaped sig, deep bass impact, maybe even a little more sub-bass rumble, natural vocals tonality with more organic texture, and a little more crunch in treble. This is a smoother pair up example.

FiiO M11 Pro - wide soundstage, natural detailed tonality, W-shaped sig, deep bass impact, detailed mids with natural vocals tonality, clear detailed non-harsh treble.

Shanling M6 - very wide soundstage, natural detailed smoother tonality, W-shaped sig, slightly elevated bass with more sub-bass and mid-bass impact, natural organic mids, and clear detailed non-harsh treble.

A&K SR25 - wide soundstage expansion, natural detailed tonality, W-shaped sig leaning a little more toward V-shaped since mids are slightly pulled back. Bass is deep and punchy, mids are natural, smooth, detailed, treble is clear detailed non-harsh.

Cayin N3 Pro tube output - wide soundstage expansion, natural detailed smoother tonality, W-shaped signature, deep bass impact, natural organic mids and vocals, and clear detailed treble with a little more airiness.

Samsung Galaxy S9 - to my pleasant surprise this was a good pair up, wide soundstage, natural detailed fuller body tonality, still W-shaped signature, deep punchy bass, fuller body natural mids and vocals, and clear detailed non-harsh treble. Overall sound was a little more laidback and a touch less resolving, but still very enjoyable.

DC03 + Galaxy S9 – in this pair up with a volume limiting UAC app (from iBasso), the sound quality scales up to DX160 level with a more articulate faster bass, more revealing detailed mids and vocals, and crisp and airy treble. It was nearly on the same level as listening to DX160, a big step up in tonality, soundstage, and technical performance when compared to being connected directly to my phone.

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Conclusion.

iBasso is not the first DAP manufacturer who added IEMs to their product portfolio. But based on what I have heard in the last 4 years from their debut IT03 and follow up releases, iBasso did come a long way. IT03 and IT01x were focused on a more “fun” tuning, IT04 pushed it toward a balanced audiophile tuning, AM05 took a side step to appeal to audiophiles with more focus on vocals. IT07 demonstrated a very mature W-shaped balanced audiophile tuning that can compete head-to-head with other more expensive IEMs from manufacturers who only focus on designing earphones and headphones.

Personally, I find it impressive for a company who is well known for their audio players to pay as much attention to IEMs design and tuning as they do to their flagship DAPs. I did enjoy IT07 natural and rich tonality with a good retrieval of details and a spacious wide soundstage sound. The balanced W-shaped tuning of these IEMs does stand out with a powerful, deep, yet well controlled bass impact complemented by a detailed natural tonality of mids and a clear natural sparkle of treble. Especially for those who felt IT04 were lacking in bass, they will really enjoy IT07 tuning.
1clearhead
1clearhead
How much better can a review get?...Nice!!!

PS. Beautiful photos!
Cheers!:beerchug:
samandhi
samandhi
This is a fantastic review! I love that you are very thorough and detailed about every subject you write about. If you add in all the research that you had to do on some statistics (which I can say is very accurate), you have one full and cohesive (and enjoyable) read. As always your reviews are spot-on. Great job!
TheHelper1964
TheHelper1964
Thank you for a great review and pictures. Made me pull the trigger and get a pair, so glad I did as they are fantastic.
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