DX220 A new view to your music. * Latest Firmware: 1.15.233 Local * Link for User Guide 1st Page. AMP9 Now available! And DC01.
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Whitigir

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Yeah he told me that one, was just checking if he was using something else :D Guess I'll have to buy this one.
The best of them all is HQPlayer Pro, but that is very very expensive =/
 
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NZtechfreak

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I had the pleasure of listening to some lovely headphones today on the DX220 with AMP8, AMP1Mk2 and AMP9.

I was looking for something a step up from the Sony MDR-1A and equivalent of the Andromeda but in a closed back.
This is what I found, and it was very interesting.

What I thought would be the natural progression from Sony MDR-1A (MDR-1ADAC to be precise but they are the same construction and driver as 1A) ... to Z7m2 and Z1R but they were both a real let down... how can Sony can screw up the sound signature while costing twice as much and more than 8x more as the 1A is a real head scratcher.

The 7Zm2 no matter which AMP i used just sound hollow and way too laid back in midrange, Z1R was fuller and warmer but just too bloated in midbass.
Top end was good with both and maybe slightly more refined than the 1A but not worth the extra when you factor in what they did with the rest of the tonal balance that just isnt satisfying at all in any way. MDR-1A 1 point - Sony high end 0.

Then I tried Focal Elegia - wow how bright do you like your mix.. they have a clearly elevated top end that doesnt bite as such and it's a bit tamer on AMP9 but with AMP1m2 and AMP8 they'd become fatiguing pretty quickly. MDR-1 1 point - Focal Elegia 0

I had the Focal Stellia's there staring at me in their beauty - they look much better in person than the photo's can do justice. but I resisted listening to them until the end.... stay tuned....

So I spoke to the guys at Addicted to Audio about my experience so far, and so they pulled out the LCD 2 Closed for a listen. With AMP8 there was enough power to drive them nicely, and they do actually sound quite good, but they are very bulky, heavy and ultimately the top end wasnt as smooth as I was expecting with a sibilant S on male and female vocals.
In that regard LCD2 closed were definitely better in the low end than the MDR-1A and smoother midrange, but MDR-1A had no sibilance, but 1A were a bit sharper sounding in the 7-10k range which is more tolerable than piercing sibilance of the LCD2 closed in the vocal range. So overall the soundstage was better through the Planar LCD2's and if I had to choose something as an upgrade from what I've heard so far, it would be the LCD2 closed, even though they are hard to drive. (not so for AMP8 though)

Ok so we then changed brands over to Fostex and I tried the 900mk2, wow that's a lot of bottom end and I was surprised how sibilant they were too. Overall they are tonally quite fun no matter what AMP I used but the bass was overwhelming and they also had a sibilant sound signature to me. Sound stage was good, midrange was well presented but the top-end again just wasnt right.. Again a win to the MDR-1A for overall tonal balance. Wow this is really surprising me at this stage... So what can I spend my money on to improve on the MDR-1A with DX220????????

I then tried the Fostex TH610's - wow these are a really well balanced sound signature - They dont have the midrange clarity and vocal presence of the others, but they are well balanced tonally and comfortable. They dont boom in the bottom end, if anything they are a bit light on, which was a surprise after listening to the 900s. The top-end was present with out being sibilant. I'd call them laid back easy listening, well balanced. But they still weren't quite upto the standard of the Andromeda's, but they were certainly better than the MDR-1A. With AMP9 they were just short of sublime! So finally something that's tempted me to upgrade my overears from the MDR-1A.... but I still had a couple more sets to go...

I quickly tried the Senn HD820's and yes they have that Sennheiser sound, wide wide imaging, luscious midrange, nicely present and airy treble, present low-end, nothing competes with the combined imaging and midrange and bottom end balance.
They are clearly a very big step up from the MDR-1A and even my HD600's but they arent fun enough. They are easily worth their price of $2400 too when compared to the outrageously priced Focal Stellia's..... but more on that in a minute.....

The Focal Stellia - OMFG!!!! How many unicorns, dolphins and dragons did they slay to create the ingredients for these?? Again I say OMFG!!! These are the real deal, end-game closed backs for sure, no doubt about it... and their price surely shows it, @ $4500 AU that's even a bit rich for me. While I can afford it, I just can't justify it - @ $3500 sure I'd snap them up in a heart beat, so I think Ill just have to wait and be patient until prices start to drop.

Everything was perfect with the Focal Stellia, sub-bass slam, bass, mid bass, upper bass, midrange upper midrange, lowe high end and high end, Imaging was great, depth great. (not upto HD820 level imaging but overall they sounded right)

Tonally the Stellia's are in perfect harmony across the full spectrum and with any AMP I used they still sounded fabulous, displaying the different tonal differences of the AMP sections.
AMP8 was my favourite combo with these though, even compared to the Sony ZH1ES headphone Amp. AMP9 just didnt have the attack that AMP8 can deliver that makes Stellia and AMP8 my next headphone upgrade.

So while I wait for the price to come down at least a little on the Stellia, I picked up the Fostex TH610 which look and feel gorgeous and are a definite step up from the MDR-1A.

In having done all these listening tests back to back across so many different headphones, (including going back to my Andromeda's for a reference check) I was pleasantly surprised by how well the DX220 and the various AMPs handled each of the headphones. If I had to pick 1 add-on AMP to the included AMP1m2 it would be the AMP8.......... AMP9 is really really good, but just cant compete with AMP8 on attack and overall punch and clarity. I think for Jazz and Vocals, Classical and any acoustic music AMP9 probably has the edge, but if you want an all rounder, the AMP1m2 is hard to beat with it's 3.5SE, 2.5Bal and lineout. Only when you want the extra slam would I recommend the AMP8, and if you dont need the power, go for the AMP9.. that's my learnings from today.... Thanks iBasso for giving such amazing quality and choices and remarkable value for money. Im waiting eagerly for the Stellia's to drop in price, and I'm now going off to listen to my new TH610 and burn them in.. :)
I live in New Zealand, but have visited Addicted to Audio a couple of times whilst in Melbourne. Fair to say I'm mildly green with envy, we just don't have anything approaching them for headphone audio here in NZ.

I'm enjoying my Utopia, and feel fairly set on the Stellia later, even though I may well not have a chance to audition them before hand. Keep an eye out for sales down the line for sure, I purchased my Utopia new from A2A for ~$2000USD equivalent not very long ago and I would imagine the Stellia will see some steep discounts for brief sales periods at some point. Even if I've not heard them before that I will probably pull the trigger if they go up for sale at that level of discount.
 
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arijitroy2

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The best of them all is HQPlayer Pro, but that is very very expensive =/
Saw the price, got a heart attack!

Testing the XiSRC now on test version, DSD512 is expensive on the storage!! 29 songs took over 9GB!

If its worth it, i'll have to identify which albums are worth this space! The last album i really loved was Nordic Folk Delights! Any recommendations from your side?
 
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Hiltonk

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Listening further to TH610 w/ AMP9 and its definitely a sweet sound. The slight hint of sibilance that was present with the AMP1mk2 and less so with AMP8 is smoothed over even a little more with AMP9 making them sound really well rounded. AMP9 needs high gain and volume 150 for a decently loud session with these. Be interesting how well these cans will burn in after a few days.
 
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Paulo Abreu

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Listening further to TH610 w/ AMP9 and its definitely a sweet sound. The slight hint of sibilance that was present with the AMP1mk2 and less so with AMP8 is smoothed over even a little more with AMP9 making them sound really well rounded. AMP9 needs high gain and volume 150 for a decently loud session with these. Be interesting how well these cans will burn in after a few days.
Did you try on Mango OS?
 
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Paulo Abreu

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Not yet - I like the versatility of android mode.
Ok, I understand. I fully agree with your observations on AMP9 above. I can say the same with my IEM's they gained a new life with DX229, no more harshness and a very balanced sound all across the range, although warmer than Clear for sure
 
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arijitroy2

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ok so after converting few songs to DSD512 using XiSRC, what can i say, speechless in all possible way! I thought i heard the best with the DAP + AMP8EX using the MQA unfolds, but nope!

Listening to these songs in DSD512 is just something else! Truly Amazed! Just purchased the license to the software and now converting a bunch of nice albums to DSD! This really is something, made my gf listen to few songs, she just sat there and smiled!

One thing i noticed was using UAPP and Mango Player in Android was quite different. The audio quality from the Mango player was truly higher, strange since I am using bit perfect in UAPP and the Native DSD settings using Lurker's recommendation.

Time to invest in some more storage space!!
 
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ok so after converting few songs to DSD512 using XiSRC, what can i say, speechless in all possible way! I thought i heard the best with the DAP + AMP8EX using the MQA unfolds, but nope!

Listening to these songs in DSD512 is just something else! Truly Amazed! Just purchased the license to the software and now converting a bunch of nice albums to DSD! This really is something, made my gf listen to few songs, she just sat there and smiled!

One thing i noticed was using UAPP and Mango Player in Android was quite different. The audio quality from the Mango player was truly higher, strange since I am using bit perfect in UAPP and the Native DSD settings using Lurker's recommendation.

Time to invest in some more storage space!!
I am a supporter of Neutron music player, but after a back to back between Neutron and Mango OS, I have to admit that the Mango OS is totally awesome in terms of sound quality.
I hope iBasso will update the playlist managing and then I can "die" happy :jecklinsmile:
Never heard such a high audio quality in my experience.
 
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arijitroy2

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I am a supporter of Neutron music player, but after a back to back between Neutron and Mango OS, I have to admit that the Mango OS is totally awesome in terms of sound quality.
I hope iBasso will update the playlist managing and then I can "die" happy :jecklinsmile:
Never heard such a high audio quality in my experience.
I am a user of Nuetron player since couple of years, but i kinda hate the UI to be honest!! I did try that too on this, and sounded great but not as good as the Mango player! Although I am using Fidelizer Advanced ROM also.
 
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I am a user of Nuetron player since couple of years, but i kinda hate the UI to be honest!! I did try that too on this, and sounded great but not as good as the Mango player! Although I am using Fidelizer Advanced ROM also.
Did you find a big gap between standard rom and this one? Im thinking seriously go for the biggest one but im not sure if its worth it or just a placebo
 
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Hiltonk

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12” 80’s Love - Simple Minds - Someone Somewhere in Summer AMP9 high gain at full volume 150 in Neutron w/ TH610..... just WOW WOW WOW.. Im listening to that over and over along with Tears for Fears Head Over Heals. AMP9 has plenty of Volume with these cans.
 
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arijitroy2

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Did you find a big gap between standard rom and this one? Im thinking seriously go for the biggest one but im not sure if its worth it or just a placebo
It did help with the sound to be honest, not by a huge margin though. The background got a bit more darker for me and the soundstage was a bit wider. Why don't you try the Pursit ROM that is free and see if it helps you.
 
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iMongui

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It did help with the sound to be honest, not by a huge margin though. The background got a bit more darker for me and the soundstage was a bit wider. Why don't you try the Pursit ROM that is free and see if it helps you.
I tried but I didn’t notice big differences, now I’m with Lurker’s mod and I’m happy, I’m not sure which is better, Fidelizer’s rom or Lurker’s mod. Any thoughts?
 
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