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iBasso DX120 pure DAP player. Balanced, single ended, line out and 2 micro SD slots. FW 2.9.21 now out!

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by Paul - iBasso, Aug 31, 2018.
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  1. earfonia
    Thanks! Unfortunately I have returned the DX120 to Zeppelin, so I don't have it with me now. For the demo unit that I reviewed, it seems there wasn't any plastic protector over the back side, but I will double check when I go to Zeppelin. Maybe it was early batch unit for demo? I'm not so sure about that.

    I measured the frequency response and digital filters in both firmware version V2.1.20 (22 September 2018) and V2.2.42 (28 October 2018), and all same result. Yea I'm curious what Paul will comment about the digital filters in USB DAC mode. In DAP mode they are working fine.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
    vas-tomsk likes this.
  2. Paul - iBasso
    The back surface is glass and comes with a screen saver covering it. That is what scratched. No DX120 were made with a plastic back.

    The filters for the chip are set by the manufacturer.
    iBasso Stay updated on iBasso at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
  3. earfonia
    Noted with thanks Paul! I have amended my review and removed the comment about the easily scratched back surface.

    As for the filters, why all of them work fine in DAP mode, but in USB DAC mode only 2 filters work?
    In USB DAC mode only Slow filter and Super Slow filters work, but filter 1, 3, and 4 all behaves like filter no 2 which is the Slow filter.
    If the filters are set by the manufacturer, then they should work in similar fashion in both DAP and USB DAC mode right?

    One more thing, how about the aggressive treble cut? Is it also dictated by the chip or is there any tuning that iBasso can do for the treble cut off frequency?
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
  4. earfonia
    I don't see any differences on both frequency domain (audio analyzer) and time domain (square wave playback on oscilloscope) measurement. All sound mode look the same. I also couldn't hear any difference testing all the sound modes. I'm just guessing it is probably clocking algorithm, if there is any, inside the chip.
    davidmolliere likes this.
  5. mbwilson111
    I hope nothing gets changed. Everything I have used with it sounds great just as it is.

    @davidmolliere your avatar terrifies me... lol.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
    davidmolliere likes this.
  6. marcusd
  7. XBTed
    I just read over the 63 page AK4495 datasheet. Interesting stuff, if you're into that kind of thing. Anyhoo, they give a pretty good technical description of the different filter modes. As far as sound modes go- well after looking at the data sheet and the various marketing material, its obvious that they are just colloquial terms for the filters, especially after Paul has said that all the sound stuff is on the chip. So, I'm sticking with my original thought that the sound mode buttons are vestigial and aren't implemented. I guess iBasso went the route of assuming that people using their devices wouldn't be scared off by filter terminology! Good for them! I think 'short delay slow roll off' is more meaningful than 'natural', or whatever term was used in the marketing.
    davidmolliere likes this.
  8. davidmolliere
    Great review :)

    You managed to spot differences in sound modes, kudos! I'll try traditional and see if I can spot differences...
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
    marcusd likes this.
  9. marcusd
    That was the longest part of the listening session. Used an Andromeda and the Phantom but I think the Andromeda a little easier to pick up on. I had hesitated on whether to ignore them alongside digital filters as I am not a huge believer in these compared to DSP and EQ but I gave it a shot anyhow.
    davidmolliere and mbwilson111 like this.
  10. XBTed
    I've read your nice review, and liked some of the others you've written. After reading it, I can't help but think that perhaps something isn't quite working right with my player. I get no change at all with the sound modes.
  11. marcusd
    yeah, it super subtle and I need to emphasize that big time. I sort of gave up on digital filters but some swear by them. These changes are nano-sized as mentioned to David, spent ages listening to them to see what difference I could make out. If you are spending ages then my own logic says stick to EQ lol.
    davidmolliere likes this.
  12. XBTed
    I can hear a bit of difference between the sounds of the filter modes, but I wouldn't be able to tell which is which if someone were to blindfold me and randomly cycle through them.
    marcusd likes this.
  13. maira
    Great, thanks!

    Are you able to compare SQ to Shanling M5s?
  14. mbwilson111
    Excellent review. I was confused about one thing. You said something about OTC being a no-go. It works perfectly for me but I don't actually need to use it right now as I still have room on my cards. I was using this tiny little USB
    C flash drive OTG with my Hidisz AP200 beause it only has one card slot. Here it is on the DX120.


    Also there needs to be documentation for the Lock Screen. I really like to lock the buttons and then turn off the screen when listening to an album.

    Sorry about the terrible photo. I have not worked out how to photograph display screens very well.

    vas-tomsk and davidmolliere like this.
  15. marcusd
    Sorry I cant as Mike is doing the M5s review not me.
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