The iBasso Dongle DAC Thread – DC03 Pro | DC04 Pro | DC06 Pro | DC Elite | ...
Nov 28, 2023 at 3:15 PM Post #94 of 1,141
No iOS app in 2023?) Ibasso is just loosing a huge market piece.
Device really looks very interesting.
Just to be fair to iBasso, not one Chi-Fi brand has a reliably functioning app for iOS/iPadOS devices (that I’m aware of).
 
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Nov 28, 2023 at 3:40 PM Post #95 of 1,141
Just to be fair to iBasso, not one Chi-Fi brand has a reliably functioning app for iOS/iPadOS devices (that I’m aware of).
I do not use any ios device, Qudelix is not chinese, but AFAIK they have an app.
 
Nov 29, 2023 at 12:57 PM Post #97 of 1,141
I got it today, and I'll give my impression. First I want to give some context about myself and this purchase. I classify myself as someone who enjoys music rather than an audiophile. I don't have much experience with the best gear and I don't go out there to get the latest and greatest every month.
The best portable dac/amp I've heard was the original Chord Mojo years back when it it was released. The sound had realism, authority and detail, and it was very smooth and never sharp. Loved the sound but hated everything else about it. The battery became worse over the months and the outdated micro usb input was loose and had cutting issues.

Since then I've decided to never get a battery powered dac again to ensure that that I can still use it 5 years later. Heck, I've used my headphone for 6 years without feeling the need to upgrade (Audioquest Nighthawk), so I want my sources to stand the test of time too. Battery powered sources are a big no-no. So my next options were dongles or simply using my phone. The next years, I used an LG phone with 3.5mm output, then it became an ROG phone with 3.5mm. They all had the ESS Sabre chips, and sounded good. Though never sounded close to the level of the Mojo. The notes lacked authority and realism in comparison. I decided to get a Questyle m15 last year which to me sounded slightly better then my phones jack. It had more speed and clarity, but the soundstage width was very limited. Based on memory, the realism of the notes were not at the level of the Mojo. It made me think small dongles could simply not compete with big, battery powered sources.

Still, this year I decided to try again and had the choice between the Cayin RU7 and this IBasso DC Elite. Both have unique technology, and I know I prefer a smooth and analog sound, which should lead me to the Cayin. Nonetheless, I settled for the Ibasso as it felt more exciting to dive into the unknown and I liked its look more lol.
So this DC Elite... It sounds very 'hi-fi' rather than 'analog'. Notes have a level of authority and realism I remember from my Mojo, but the treble attack is very crisp and sharp compared to the smoothness of the Mojo. It really pushes details in your face in a way that I'm honestly not the biggest fan of, but I know some people would love. Sibilant songs will sound sibilant. The m15 sounds smooth in comparison to this. While this type of treble is not exactly what I look for, I still can't help but be impressed with this thing as it sounds a clear step above the m15 in my opinion. Bigger soundstage, tighter sound, more clarity, much more detail on my Nighthawks. Although the Nighthawks are an easy to drive headphone, they still scale a decent amount and the benefits I hear could simply be from the stronger amp itself rather than the dac. For example, I tested the Penon PAC earbuds that I got for free with my Serial, and the DC Elite brought it to life with more bass and much more dynamics compared to the m15. The difference was so stark, I have to attribute it to the amp. The m15 can go extremely loud due to its special current mode amplification, but I don't think it has that much driving power. The PAC earbuds sounded flat and anemic with them. I've steered away from investing in earbuds for this reason as most of the good ones are very hard to drive. But with this ibasso, I might finally try some out as I feel it has much more driving power than the m15.

So overall first impresions:
A great dongle with a 'hi-fi' sound rather 'analog'. Very clean sounding with plenty of driving power. It has good note weight and authority, and throws lots of details in your face with a crisp and revealing treble. It makes some of my bad recording sound a bit less enjoyable, but it can make good recordings sound even better. I honestly prefer a smoothened, more forgiving treble, but this thing sounds so good for a dongle, I'm okay with it. In my opinion, it's better than the Questyle m15 in many aspects. It has a bigger soundstage, and the details it pushes forward makes the questyle sound smooth in comparison. Can't compare it to the Mojo as the battery died out a while back, but I'm satisfied with this purchase.

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Nov 29, 2023 at 1:35 PM Post #98 of 1,141
I got it today, and I'll give my impression. First I want to give some context about myself and this purchase. I classify myself as someone who enjoys music rather than an audiophile. I don't have much experience with the best gear and I don't go out there to get the latest and greatest every month.
The best portable dac/amp I've heard was the original Chord Mojo years back when it it was released. The sound had realism, authority and detail, and it was very smooth and never sharp. Loved the sound but hated everything else about it. The battery became worse over the months and the outdated micro usb input was loose and had cutting issues.
This reminds me of my E1DA 9038D6K which is the brightest dongle of my collection. It would be interesting for a comparison to the Elite. Have you got a E1DA?
 
Nov 29, 2023 at 2:08 PM Post #99 of 1,141
This reminds me of my E1DA 9038D6K which is the brightest dongle of my collection. It would be interesting for a comparison to the Elite. Have you got a E1DA?
I don't have one, but I had a JDS labs O2 desktop amp a few years back that made the treble sound sharp of everything I plugged into it. That sharpness to the treble is similar to this iBasso, but this iBasso still has a fuller more pleasant sound despite the sharper treble. Considering the fact that both JDS labs and E1da go for a full measurement based reference tuning, I think the E1da and iBasso treble could have similar characteristics.
 
Nov 30, 2023 at 4:01 AM Post #100 of 1,141
i had high hopes for the elite and found out today now that it is finally really available at Hifi-Passion but it has just too low ouput for my needs and its size. looking around i noticed another device i hadnt heard of yet, the D16 Taipan R2R Dac. As i was about to buy the Cayin Ru7 instead of the Elite i got interested in that one now and wonder if anyone already knows what the power output will be SE and BAL. Is this information out already?
 
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Nov 30, 2023 at 6:43 AM Post #101 of 1,141
I had a chance to audition the DC Elite today, and to compare it with my RU6 and DC04PRO.

I didn't really spend enough time analysing the sound, but I can summarise the impression of the DC Elite - very dynamic and punchy, with a lot of resolution, energetic and crisp but unfatiguing treble, spacious with depth and a lot of detail.

It makes the RU6 sound veiled and soft in attack, although RU6 is no slouch. I still love the RU6 cos of it's unique character and sound profile. But the DC Elite is playing on another level.

With the DC04PRO, you can tell a kind of iBasso house sound going on, where the dynamism is reminiscent, but the DC Elite betters every front, width and depth of staging, resolution and detail, as well as slightly heavier note weight across the spectrum.

Best dongle I've heard, if price is no object. Personally I don't think the improvements warrant the price differences, but then again we know in this hobby it's law of diminishing marginal returns... YMMV
 
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Nov 30, 2023 at 9:14 PM Post #102 of 1,141
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Here is just an initial impression of DC-Elite:

Pro:
Sound - good dynamic and soundstage / image, slightly on the edgy side of things. Really feels like ToTL performance

Con:
Weight - titanium housing still feels way too heavy for an USB dongle
Sharp corner - good thing there is a leather case included as there are too many sharp corners on the housing.
Volume Knob - overly strong resistance to turn, gap between steps can come out as sound only on one channel or silence on both, the two pieces of protective metal guide only serve to hinder the turning of volume knob. All and all a PITA to use and over-designed/under-performed.
 
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Dec 1, 2023 at 12:53 AM Post #103 of 1,141
Curious how this compared to FiiO Q15. I was about to get my hands on Q15, but then I saw the DC-Elite. I know they aren't technically compete in the same category lol but I just want something kinda portable that can bring to work.
 
Dec 1, 2023 at 2:39 PM Post #105 of 1,141
The DC-Elite looks to be something interesting.
Here is a great review of it.

https://mobileaudiophile.com/dacs/dongle/ibasso-dc-elite-review-magic-box/

The pros and cons based on MBA review by Mahir.

Pros:

•Increase in bass, clarity, and mids
•Sound feels closer due to increased power
•Energetic and technical
•Slight warming of sound due to analog structure
•The volume knob normally found at desktop equipment
•Allowing filter settings and more to be enhanced via an android app

Cons:

•Potential contact issues when turning the knob
•High power consumption
•Limited visibility and effect of extra features
•Size and Weight
•The iBasso UAC application is non-responsive at V30
•Lightning end of the appropriate cable gets hot
 

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