iBasso DX80 . . impressions and reviews. . and discussion NEW FW: 1.6.0 ** link . . 1st page . . .
Jun 2, 2016 at 5:57 AM Post #4,636 of 6,795

pholcus1975

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There doesn't have to be a change in frequency response for there to be a change in the sound between firmware's, daps sound different to one another and they all have flat frequency response etc.


I tend to agree, but I ask from a scientific pov why do fws sound different if freq resp is the same. What ears hear is the spectrum output, right?
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 6:04 AM Post #4,637 of 6,795

HiFiChris

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  There doesn't have to be a change in frequency response for there to be a change in the sound between firmware's, [...]

 
That's why I said I measured the "frequency response, crosstalk, IMD, THD, SNR". And the graphs did not show any difference.
 
I'm quite sure that with ultra-precise measurement gear, there wouldn't be any significant changes in those bold areas either.
 
As I said, a more objective listening test would be with two or three DX80s that have different FWs but the same music files, playing at the exact same volume.
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 6:12 AM Post #4,638 of 6,795

T.R.A.N.C.E.

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^ And I still think there doesn't have to be a change in any of those areas for there to be a change in sound. There are probably many other factors that affect sound besides, such as the I2S timing to dac (or it's lock rate) and jitter level both affect the sound but not the frequency response, these things are often not altered on purpose but a byproduct of the firmware's efficiency, I definitely hear difference between firmware's personally.
.
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 6:33 AM Post #4,641 of 6,795

MortenB

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  ^ And I still think there doesn't have to be a change in any of those areas for there to be a change in sound. There are probably many other factors that affect sound besides, such as the I2S timing to dac (or it's lock rate) and jitter level both affect the sound but not the frequency response, these things are often not altered on purpose but a byproduct of the firmware's efficiency, I definitely hear difference between firmware's personally.
.

Yes, fully agree... Digital products measure very similar, but still sound different.
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 7:01 AM Post #4,642 of 6,795

MortenB

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Regarding the A/B comparisons on sound etc... Just to share, this is what works for me (and a bit of background for context).
 
 
Context
I have been into hifi for 35 years (since I was 13 years old and build my first DIY speakers).
 
I'm an electronic engineer and have worked with design and repair of analogue circuits, both transistor and tube. I no longer work in this field professionally, but I can still understand most of what goes on in a circuit, read measurements etc.
 
I have been involved in beta testing and voicing of the sound on a number of products, both DIY and commercial products
 
I'm a mucisian, so I get to hear how instruments and voices actually sound on a daily or at least weekly basis.
 
 
How I do when I compare the sound between A and B?
 
1. Training
It's my experience, that we can train outselves to listen, to remember a sound and to compare how things sound. I can't tell how this actually works in the brain, but it's my experience from listening through the years. I try to have two ''modes'' where one is just listening to the music, enjoying it and not at all listening to how it actually sound. And the other mode is focused more on how it sounds, than on the music. With time I feel one can focus on these modes and listen in these modes.
 
2. A/B comparisons
For me personally I can't compare sound in these A / B comparisons, where you listen to a short piece of a track, switch over, listen to the same again etc etc. I get confused and I can't focus. For others this works very well...
 
My process is to listen to a product (or in this case FW version) for a period of time, something like a few weeks. In this period of time I try to be in the ''music mode'' described above, so I just listen and try not to listen for the sound. By doing this over time I get kind of a ''memory'' for that sound without really trying to analyze the sound.
 
Then I switch to something else, and then I go into the more analytical mode where I really try to focus on the sound. What's my feeling/intuition on this? Better? Worse? Why? What's changed? All this within a short time frame of a few minuts. If I don't grasp it I have missed the window of oppertunity and will start the process over. In this second round I don't need a few weeks, more like a few hours of listening, getting the memory of the sound back again. And then do a new comparison.
 
3. Listen to real music 
My ''calibration'' or ''reference point'' is always how instruments and voices sound live in the real world. I know that our recordings have all been mastered and edited, but for me it's still the best reference to make the comparisons between A and B with real music as the calibration point or reference point. As mentioned I'm a mucisian so I listen a lot and without this I don't think I would be able to get a grasp on the sounds between products, FW's etc. So go and listen to some live music where you can actually hear the instruments. Not a rock concert through a PA system, but more like a small jazz club or something where you can hear the piano, hear the drums, hear the acoustic guitar etc.
 
 
This is my process, and what works for me. Just to share experiences. I'm not in any way saying that this is the correct and only way.
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 8:43 AM Post #4,643 of 6,795

snafu1

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  Yes, fully agree... Digital products measure very similar, but still sound different.

Personally I can't hear any differences between the firmware versions. Don't forget the post 4 weeks ago from Paul @iBasso stating that they don't intentionally make any changes to the sound signature.
"Originally Posted by Paul - iBasso 
 
We have worked extensively on the sound issue with changing FWs. We have also conferred with other experts. There has been no definitive answer. We do not modify the sound or try to change it. We use very high quality parts and want the part choices and implementation of the collective parts to bring about the best sound possible. We continue to look into why software can impact the sound."
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 9:02 AM Post #4,645 of 6,795

T.R.A.N.C.E.

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Blows my mind that some people can't hear the difference. Makes me feel lucky. Paul clearly says there is an issue of software affecting sound even though they do not intentionally try to change the sound, which goes back to what I said before, that even though the sound is not altered on purpose it is still changed as a byproduct of the firmware's efficiency, as the firmware's efficiency can affect lets say jitter, timing, etc. It's nuts, I consider it one of the biggest limitations of digital audio, the interfacing of hardware through software is probably the hardest part of the dap to get right in a dap, you could have killer hardware and circuit design, but an inefficient firmware will ruin the transparency of all that good hardware.
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 10:07 AM Post #4,646 of 6,795

audio123

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  @T.R.A.N.C.E. Is Cayin N6 much better than the DX80 regarding sound quality?
 
Guys, I'm planning getting the ALO RX for IEM to stack with the DX80 at home. What do you think? Is the RX a better amp or I won't notice much of a difference?


n6 is better than dx80 in sq but i prefer dx80 sound
tried rx with dx80 b4. noticeable difference but does not warrant the price
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 11:30 AM Post #4,647 of 6,795

mdiogofs

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n6 is better than dx80 in sq but i prefer dx80 sound
tried rx with dx80 b4. noticeable difference but does not warrant the price

Yeah...That's why I'm afraid. I paid around 360 euro for DX80 and would pay 300 euro for RX. So...I guess I will save that mony for the DX200 or other DAP.
 
But do you think adding the RX to DX80 is somewhere near N6 level?
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 3:33 PM Post #4,648 of 6,795

sludgeogre

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  yes but my dx80 can last me less than 12 hours of listening while cowon pd can last me at least 3 days 
blink.gif
 
although i love the dx80, i am charging the dx80 like a phone on a daily basis which I dont mind but compared to my other daps, I mind 
frown.gif

This is fair, but I'm using Oppo PM-3 headphones that like a lot of power, and the DX80 has a whole lot of power, which is the main reason why I bought it. With great power, comes great responsibility, but also lower battery life and I'm happy with the tradeoff. For people that use IEM's that are highly sensitive and don't require much power, then yes it makes sense to use a lower power consuming device. I also don't mind charging mine often.
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 3:44 PM Post #4,649 of 6,795

jamato8

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I just plug the DX80 in when I am done using it or when at a desk, it is plugged in anyway and always ready to go. I plug my phone in all the time and even a couple of daps I have that can go days, I prefer to keep topped of and not guessing so it all goes smoothly for me. 
 
Jun 2, 2016 at 8:39 PM Post #4,650 of 6,795

sledgeharvy

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Best part about the DX80, is the battery percentage indicator. (Well, in reference to the whole battery life topic we are talking about.) It's fantastic at a lot of other things too.. But we're talking about the battery and I felt like adding my 2 cents about it. When players don't have the Battery percentage text, it gives me battery anxiety! The battery symbol is just not good enough... That's why I love the Shanling players as well.. Which I just ordered the M5 for my birthday, so I'm super stoked!! But for me, if the player can last from the time that I leave the house in the morning till the time I get home at night, it is good enough..
 

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