iBasso DX300 Review: Big, Yet Graceful
, These kinds of transportable music players like the Astell, amp, Kern, Kann Cube and the Fiio M15 might not fit In your pocket., But this class of player is really designed for use, while you are sitting down, maybe during commutes or moving between desks.. Now, along comes the Chinese company iBassos new entry in this space, the flagship iBasso DX300.. The DX300 is a follow up to the limited edition DX220 MAX and features the same dual battery design. Now we’re happy to report that iBasso has delivered a worthy contender with brilliant high power, outputs that also deliver an admirably low noise floor, along with responsive UI performance And a large high quality display. All at price, that competes well with alternatives from Astell, amp, Kern and Fiio., So lets dive into what makes the DX300 my favourite of this new breed of big DAP. Now well start with the obvious. The DX300 is a real unit with the design dominated by a narrow, bezel 6.5 LCD display that makes scrolling through your album art. A real pleasure. Performance from the Qualcomm SoC is snappy as well powering through the Android 9 system, with grace., Like other Android based music players. App support is extensive. Out of the box. You have APK app browsers, pre installed, which allows you to install a wide range of Android. Apps surprisingly, this includes the Google Play Store, app itself, which means support for Google services like Youtube.. Build quality is nice with a chunky but solid metal build and an interesting pearlescent finish to the back.
To give this slab of metal at least a little bit of flair.. Not everyone will be fans of the gold volume knob, but the volume control feels solid and the knob is real metal and not shiny plastic.. There is an included case and screen protectors and we, like the navy tone of the included case.. It is a slip case design, though, and it isnt as tight as it could be, meaning that care should be taken not to let the player slip out if held upside down.. So all in all, this is a pretty standard feature set for a midrange Android device., But you may have noticed a very non standard feature of the battery indicator. The DX300 has two batteries that charge and discharge independently. Like the DX220Max and some other DAPs like the shoebox sized Sony DMP Z1. The DX300 features multiple batteries that separate the power of the digital and analogue sections of the player, meaning that, among other things, you get cleaner audio, because noise from the CPU and other chips is more effectively isolated from the audio output.. In practice, this works great as the DX300 delivers high power, a low 0.43 ohm output, impedance and a quiet noise floor from both single ended and balanced outputs.. You can really notice this when comparing the DX300 against the Fiio M15 and Kann Alpha with a very sensitive IEM like the Campfire Audio Andromeda., The DX300 produces a rich warm sound with a cleaner, balanced output than the edgier sounding Fiio M15 and easily outclassing.
The surprisingly noisy outputs of the AK., The DX300 isnt completely silent with sensitive IEMs, and there is some noticeable fuzz, particularly on the 2.5mm balanced output.. But it IS surprisingly quiet for a player with this much power on tap and you would basically have to look at a lower power player like the Cowon Plenue R2, to get truly whistle clean performance. On the other end of the scale. The DX300 does well with full sized headphones as well delivering more than enough current for low impedance low sensitivity headphones. Like the Mr Speakers Aeon Flow, you may not even need to engage the higher gain modes to get a good listening volume, with music recorded at a lower level like classical music. It’s. Only when using high impedance headphones, where the maximum voltage output of the DX300 starts to show some weakness compared to the amp section of something like the Astell amp Kern Kann Cube. On these kinds of headphones, like the 600 ohm Beyerdynamic, T1 Mk. 2, that you may Run out of headroom when listening to quiet recordings on the single ended output. So for classical music lovers with high impedance headphones. We therefore strongly recommend using the balanced outputs of the DX300, and even then you might ride close to the top of the volume pot.. The nice thing is, though, is that, like with the DX220, the DX300 will support interchangeable, amp modules.. At the time of this video iBasso hasnt announced any amp cards, but based on past releases, we would fully expect them to release a variety of modules that will cater for users who need even more gain or lower noise, or perhaps unique modules like the tube based Amp9 that was released for iBassos older players.
. Overall, though, the stock sound of the DX300 is hard to complain about with a dynamic and punchy sound high power and clean output, combined with a modern, responsive interface and a high quality display., All at a price that undercuts the competition.. Now, as long as you can handle the size of the DX300, we think theres very little to complain about., So we encourage you to drop into the store and have a play with the DX300 yourself..