iBasso DX80 . . impressions and reviews. . and discussion NEW FW: 1.6.0 ** link . . 1st page . . .
Jan 8, 2016 at 1:52 PM Post #1,831 of 6,795

sledgeharvy

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Is it just me, but I feel like this is one of those "Best Value Daps".. Especially once they work out all the kinks.. Mine should be waiting for me when I get home today from work!! Is there anything else in the pipeline that is less than $400, touchscreen, Dual SD card, Dual Dac chips? My opinion, I just don't see another product that has what this has to offer.. Fiio X5ii is fantastic, I just think it's the product to go to if Touchscreens aren't your thing. If it has the same audio potential as it, I'm going to be one happy camper.. As I know iBasso is working diligently to work out the issues it has right now.. So I'm excited to get home!! lol!!
 
Jan 8, 2016 at 2:43 PM Post #1,832 of 6,795

walkman666

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Is it just me, but I feel like this is one of those "Best Value Daps".. Especially once they work out all the kinks.. Mine should be waiting for me when I get home today from work!! Is there anything else in the pipeline that is less than $400, touchscreen, Dual SD card, Dual Dac chips? My opinion, I just don't see another product that has what this has to offer.. Fiio X5ii is fantastic, I just think it's the product to go to if Touchscreens aren't your thing. If it has the same audio potential as it, I'm going to be one happy camper.. As I know iBasso is working diligently to work out the issues it has right now.. So I'm excited to get home!! lol!!

 
I would not be concerned, however, it is all about your use and expectations.  My intent when getting the iBasso DX90 was to have a player that could play my high resolution files.  I did not need or want the best player, but needed something that had greater functional capabilities beyond an iPod.  This product served that purpose for me.  The FIIO line may very well do the same, but I chose iBasso because of Paul's constant presence and some threads listing our criteria that gave the DX90 a preference to me over the FIIO comparables.  I then went for the DX80 because I needed more memory slots and a better GUI.  I am quite satisfied.  Further, I am still satisfied by Paul's constant presence, configuration of software based on expressed needs of head-fi members, and constant enhancements.  These may not be your needs or wants, so YMMV.
 
Jan 8, 2016 at 2:50 PM Post #1,833 of 6,795

kryten123

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I think what Gerryhatrick means, is if you own a quality product like the DX80, why would you want to use a Mojo? If you're going to just use the Mojo, buy something fairly cheap and small like the Fiio X1, or Sansa Clip, and enjoy.. I don't think it was a question, I think it was just "Food for thought" or perhaps, just speaking logically to save someone some money.. If I wanted to spend $1k on a Mojo, I'm hooking it up to a smartphone of my choice and calling it a day.. UI and sound.. But.. That's not what I'm doing.. I'm waiting on the the iBasso DX80 to come in, so I can enjoy it for what it's worth! In my opinion, I am buying a Dap so I don't have to carry a stacked unit anymore.. Like my HTC One X+ and Fiio E12A combo, or iPhone 6 E12A.. Each one was fine by itself.. Adding a headphone amp, just gave it the power it needed to not be anemic.. I'm guessing that's all that is meant..

 
I was just thinking the same thing today. Why buy a good DAP like the DX80 and then stick a Mojo with it? As you say, you might as well just buy a cheap DAp\smartphone to plug into the Mojo.
 
Jan 8, 2016 at 3:43 PM Post #1,834 of 6,795

jamato8

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I was just thinking the same thing today. Why buy a good DAP like the DX80 and then stick a Mojo with it? As you say, you might as well just buy a cheap DAp\smartphone to plug into the Mojo.


It is fun for a change in sound but frankly with access to some great dacs, I don't get the itch to add a dac, which is unusual for me. I know when I start fidgeting and looking around that something isn't right with the music, even if I don't hear it right off but that doesn't happen much with the DX80. It doesn't really happen with the Mojo or Hugo but that also, for me, bodes well for the DX80. I have made up some nice custom coax cables now so I can have a very neat and tidy stack but most of the time, why? :^) 
 
Jan 8, 2016 at 3:55 PM Post #1,835 of 6,795

Gerryhatrick

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It is fun for a change in sound but frankly with access to some great dacs, I don't get the itch to add a dac, which is unusual for me. I know when I start fidgeting and looking around that something isn't right with the music, even if I don't hear it right off but that doesn't happen much with the DX80. It doesn't really happen with the Mojo or Hugo but that also, for me, bodes well for the DX80. I have made up some nice custom coax cables now so I can have a very neat and tidy stack but most of the time, why? :^) 

Many thanks for a great response to my original comments. I really had in mind mere poor mortals like myself who would have to think hard about adding a £400 DAC to a £300 player which already has a great DAC.

I do confess to using a £100 E12 amp with my DX80 and I can't put my finger on why but the sound seems more open and less stressed. I know it I isn't necessary but there you go!
 
Jan 8, 2016 at 4:42 PM Post #1,836 of 6,795

kosky

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Hello can i ask if anyone can tell me if the dx80 sounds better than the Fiio x5 2gen because i am trying to get one of these two but i am really confused. I have searched almost anywhere but not finding what I was searching and maybe you got more experience than I have. I am really sorry if this is not the right place where i am supposed to ask.
 
Jan 8, 2016 at 5:16 PM Post #1,837 of 6,795

sledgeharvy

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Hello can i ask if anyone can tell me if the dx80 sounds better than the Fiio x5 2gen because i am trying to get one of these two but i am really confused. I have searched almost anywhere but not finding what I was searching and maybe you got more experience than I have. I am really sorry if this is not the right place where i am supposed to ask.


Well, I literally just got home, so I just opened up my iBasso DX80 and loaded some music onto it. In comparison to the iPhone 6 and Fiio X3ii it's definitely better, and it hasn't been burned in yet.. So far, no sign of distortion.. And I personally don't hear any hiss.. However.. None of my IEMs are less than 12 ohms.. So in other words, I have no "Overly Sensitive" IEMs.. The easiest way to describe the sound so far, is effortless.. Or "ease" it has no problem playing or rendering the music.
Granted I've only had it for about 30 minutes.. But so far everything I've played on it is noticeably clearer. I can't wait for this to get some time under its belt..
So far, I haven't experienced any lag.. In addition, I have to state, I am only using 1 SD card, and only have about 30 gigs on it.. It is a Sandisk Extreme Plus 64gb U-3, so that could be another reason for the low hiss, and lack of lag issues.
The screen is amazing!! Very clear!! Album art is stunning as it is on my iPhone 6.. I'm listening to music as I'm typing away! Smile from ear to ear!!
I figured it was going to be good, but this is astonishing!! Wow, I can't imagine what a $3,500 Astell & Kern AK380 would sound like! Probably pure auditory bliss!! Lol..
 
Jan 8, 2016 at 5:26 PM Post #1,838 of 6,795

jamato8

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Well, I literally just got home, so I just opened up my iBasso DX80 and loaded some music onto it. In comparison to the iPhone 6 and Fiio X3ii it's definitely better, and it hasn't been burned in yet.. So far, no sign of distortion.. And I personally don't hear any hiss.. However.. None of my IEMs are less than 12 ohms.. So in other words, I have no "Overly Sensitive" IEMs.. The easiest way to describe the sound so far, is effortless.. Or "ease" it has no problem playing or rendering the music.
Granted I've only had it for about 30 minutes.. But so far everything I've played on it is noticeably clearer. I can't wait for this to get some time under its belt..
So far, I haven't experienced any lag.. In addition, I have to state, I am only using 1 SD card, and only have about 30 gigs on it.. It is a Sandisk Extreme Plus 64gb U-3, so that could be another reason for the low hiss, and lack of lag issues.
The screen is amazing!! Very clear!! Album art is stunning as it is on my iPhone 6.. I'm listening to music as I'm typing away! Smile from ear to ear!!
I figured it was going to be good, but this is astonishing!! Wow, I can't imagine what a $3,500 Astell & Kern AK380 would sound like! Probably pure auditory bliss!! Lol..


Wait until you get some more time on it is right. And I have heard some of the very best and this is right up there for a fraction of the price. I use 2 200gb cards and get no lag. It seems the CPU they use is very fast. 
 
Jan 8, 2016 at 5:37 PM Post #1,839 of 6,795

kryten123

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 Wow, I can't imagine what a $3,500 Astell & Kern AK380 would sound like! Probably pure auditory bliss!! Lol..

 
I doubt the differences actually warrant a $3K mark up
 
Jan 8, 2016 at 5:59 PM Post #1,840 of 6,795

sledgeharvy

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Yeah, as I'm listening to it, everything is so expansive.. The EQ is WAY more adjustable on it than the Fiio X3ii is.. So I'm able to bring out certain frequencies I prefer in my music more with less adjustment.. For the short time I had with the Fiio X5ii, I remember it being a very good capable player.. And had always heard that the X3ii was just a small distance away in terms of overall sound, and at first I was in agreement.. But as I listen to this and the X3ii, it's not there. The X5ii and DX80 are on that next level plateau. Not saying that the X3ii is bad! It's very good, and definitely a Budget DAP champion. These two devices just give you that True step up from a smart phone to the "Audiophiliac" essence of what a Hi-Res Player is SUPPOSED to be.

 
Jan 8, 2016 at 7:51 PM Post #1,844 of 6,795

sledgeharvy

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Okay so initial impressions Fiio X3ii vs iBasso DX80

First things first..
I bought these two players with my own money. I have no affiliation with either company. I am simply someone who is wanting to upgrade from my iPhone 6. Now.. I know what you all are going to say.. The iBasso DX80 is $360 the Fiio X3ii is only $180, so half the price. How dare you try and compare the two. All I can say is bare with me.. My reasoning, both have the Cirrus Logic CS4398 as their DAC chips. The thing I wanted to compare was how did the implementation of 2 Cirrus Logic CS4398s (1 for each channel) improve the sound from the Single chip execution, or is it all marketing and there was no discernible difference to be noted? In addition, was either of the above a valid step up to the essence of what a Hi-Res Player SHOULD sound like.

So as you can see, the iBasso is definitely a taller unit, just the same basic thickness.
From there.. Where to start?

Build quality:
X3ii is very well built, as the DX80 is as well. Both are primarily Aluminum bodies. Therefore also very light and sturdy. Where the X3ii felt small, the DX80 seemed to fit my hand just right for that secure grip you get with the X3ii's bigger brother X5ii.

Screen Quality:
The X3ii definitely is nowhere near as nice of a screen. From Pixel density to viewing angles. However, at half the price, sure, it's definitely acceptable. I have no real issue viewing it in the daylight as I'm at work on a work site or driving around.
The DX80 is definitely of Cellphone quality, therefore, you get all the benefits of the cellphone experience. So those looking to upgrade their player don't have to feel like they are degrading in screen to get better audio quality. One thing so far, hopefully will be improved with firmware updates, is the sensitivity and accuracy of the touchscreen. Perhaps an option to calibrate it by taping on a couple of edges. Either way, it's pretty good right now.

Okay.. So sound.. Once again.. This is still just an initial impressions, as I just got the DX80 this afternoon..

So jumping from an iPhone 6 to the X3ii was quite a pleasant jump. Nothing major, but definitely a noticeable difference. Easiest way to explain the jump is adding a quality amplifier like the Fiio E12A, Oppo HA-2, or the Cayin C5 to one of your favorite Smartphones. Definitely certain passages are clearer and cleaner (less distortion and congestion) on the X3ii than your current smartphones, especially my iPhone 6. That could be due to the larger soundstage to put everything.. But either way, it can be attributed to the abundance of power and Audio chip.

Now onto how it compares to the DX80.. Granted, it's only been a few hours of usage with the DX80, and it still has to be "burned in" more.. But so far..
There is already a noticeable jump in sound quality from the X3ii. With each adjustment of the EQ there is an increase or decrease in that frequency. Which overall means I have to adjust the sound less drastically to get the desired sound I prefer from a specific song. I love my Sub-Bass- (30hz) and a very mid-centric sound.. Therefore my overall EQ looks like an upside down U or really a lowercase n.
I can now understand why iBasso decided to use 2 CS4398s for the sound processing.. Each channel reproduces the sound effortlessly with ease. Details are easily discernible. Listening to The Beatles is mind altering.. Lol.. Never realized they had so many random noises and conversations going on in the background of the music.. Especially tracks from their Yellow Submarine era.. The Tesseract Polaris album was already amazing on the iPhone 6.. But now you get the instrument separation that one expects from a Hi-Res player.
One more thing I have to say about the DX80, usually with this much clarity, I usually suffer from "Ear fatigue" within a few minutes of listening, because usually I have to raise the mids up on most players, so with the fact that I don't have to do that on the DX80 and still get the same Clarity I want, I can listen to this at a comfortable volume and still get all the bass, mids, and highs I could ask for. Further more, since I don't have to raise it up as much background noise floor is also dead quiet. So it's definitely blacker of a background than the iPhone 6, and on par if not lower than the X3ii.

This DX80 is the jump I was looking for from a smartphone to a standalone Hi-Res DAP. I can't recommend this product enough! It's truly astonishing what iBasso has created with the DX80, as I believe this will be where they are planing on taking us with the DX200. Only it will be on that next plateau. Meant to compete with the top tier DAPs. I understand why they are discontinuing their DX50 & DX90 line up.. The DX80 as their entry level, and DX200 and their Top tier DAP.. And to be honest, the sound is good enough to compete with DAPs of up to about $600 anything more than that, and you start entering the next level of products like the Astell & Kerns, Luxury & Precision L5 Pro, or the Onkyo DP-X1, Sony NE-ZX2, or even the Fiio X7..
In any case.. Anyone looking for a TRUE step up from a smartphone and future-proof your mobile setup for at least a couple of years, and looking to spend less than $500.. Give this a shot.. You won't regret it. More to come after this breaks in more.. But as you can tell.. It's already made a fantastic impression on me. Well worth every penny of the $365 I paid for it with shipping.

As for IEMs, I have tried the Sony XBA-A2, Sony XBA-1, Sony XB110, Sony EX50, Etymotic HF-5, RHA MA-600, RHA MA-750, and lastly the RHA T10.. I have no Full six
Zoe cans, and each if the aforementioned IEMs are not hard to drive or overly sensitive.. So another reason, I had no issues with powering any of them.. That being said, I was still able to notice a clear improvement in sound from the X3ii to the DX80.. And it technically still needs time to "Burn In" so it'll just further separate itself from the X3ii with that logic. But we'll see..
 

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