iBasso IT04

In-Tune with your life!

PROS: new hybrid 3BA+1DD design, high resolution, transparent balanced sound, premium balanced cable with adapter, custom-like universal fit.

CONS: premium case would be nice, mmcx connector is tight.

The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.

Manufacturer website: iBasso. Available for sale on Amazon.


Intro.

I’m still getting used to saying, here is a new IEM flagship from iBasso, a company well known for their DAPs. But at the same time, iBasso is probably one of the few companies who managed to expand their original products portfolio and still able to keep a focus and to maintain a very good price/performance ratio with all their releases. The latest DX150 DAP is one of the examples of how much they carried over from DX200 flagship at a fraction of a price. While, IT04 is their new flagship IEM where they did step up in price and performance, relative to IT03, but in my opinion kept it reasonable.

There is no coincidence why I mentioned IT03 because I have a feeling IT04 will attract a lot of current IT01 and IT03 users, and others of course, who are ready to upgrade to their next flagship without breaking the bank. Don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it felt like IT04 started with IT03, upgraded it with an additional Knowles BA driver (total of 3xBAs) and 10mm graphene dynamic driver (found in IT01), added a premium cable with an adapter (CB12s, sold separately for $110), and finetuned the sound to a more mature balanced signature (in comparison to a more fun tuned IT03).

Here is what I found after spending the last few weeks of testing iBasso IT04 hybrid IEM.

Unboxing and Accessories.

Just like with any other iBasso product, regardless of the price, packaging is premium, and you will find on the cover a reference to “InTune” which is also featured on IT04 faceplate. There could be a lot of interpretations of its meaning, and I will share my thoughts in the Conclusion of the review.

Surprisingly, you won’t find a leather case with IT04, but the included all metal aluminum puck storage container has a soft velour insert setting to showcase these IEMs like a jewelry on the display. It makes for a great presentation, but I’m sure many will remove it to place IT04 inside with a cable attached, and probably will switch to their favorite pocket friendly slim case when on the go.

Furthermore, inside of accessories box you will find a cable and an adapter, and a ton of included eartips. I’m not exaggerating, there were 6 sets of eartips, 5 sets of silicone eartips (S/M/L pairs each), and a set of M/L foam eartips. Finding the right eartip for universal fit iems is important to control the seal and the isolation. The included eartips vary in the springiness of the cap, depth of the cap, diameter of the cap, and length of the stem. Surprisingly, while I’m usually not a big fan of foam eartips, I liked the included ones the most since they were very comfortable and didn’t degrade the sound.

Included stock cable is their premium CB12s cable which is a hybrid 8-conductor design with SPC (silver plated copper) and Copper wires. The wires are very supple, nice flexible lightweight design that will not weigh down the cable. The plug is 2.5mm TRRS terminated and features the same aluminum housing design matching the y-splitter, chin slider, and mmcx connectors. In addition, they include 2.5mm balanced to 3.5mm single ended pigtail adapter.

Pigtail adapters give you a flexibility of extending the cable instead of extending the plug (like with a short adapter). Also, for the best performance, it’s always important to have matching cable wires in the pigtail adapter, exactly what you find here. And for your AMP4, AMP4s, and upcoming AMP8 needs with 4.4mm balanced connection, you can use iBasso CA02 adapter to go from 2.5mm to 4.4mm balanced, though I wish they would design a pigtail version of it as well.

Another positive thing about the cable – NO MEMORY wire and no pre-shaped flexible earhook tube either. Wire is very flexible, has a soft non-microphonic shielding, stays put behind your ears, and can be secured further by adjusting the chin slider to bring left/right sides closer together. The standard mmcx connection with the shell is tight and very secure, doesn’t spin freely, but keep in mind that cable will not be easy to disconnect, especially since the aluminum housing of 2pin connector is a bit slippery.

Page 2 – Sound Analysis and Design.

Page 3 – Comparison, Pair up, Conclusion.

11 thoughts on “iBasso IT04

  1. I really appreciate including Samsung S9 phone. I have the S9 plus. This review makes me wanna pull the trigger with IT04 even though it is out of my budget. Hopefully it is worth it. Pls include the Samsung phone during your pair up review.

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  2. Did you ever try Etymotic earphones? I wonder how IT04 compares to ER4…
    I’m looking for a very very transparent, micro detailed, neutral sound. Since you have so much experience what earphones would you recommend with these characteristics while keeping the price < 1000$?
    Thank you.

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    1. Sorry, never tried Etys, too deep insertion to get a proper seal, otherwise sound is not right. My ears can’t handle it lol! They suppose to be accurate, micro detailed, but people are saying more on a brighter side. Could be close to it04, I guess.

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  3. What kind of music? I am interested in these or the Andromedas (I think!)

    I listen to a lot of classical – mostly baroque and neo, Delta blues, synthwave, and heavy/prog Metal (Iron Maiden and Ghost are my most played bands).
    I don’t mind some emphasized bass – just not a fan of boomy bass, esp on those occasions I spin up some hip-hop.

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    1. either one will work, but IT04 will be more neutral, while Andro will have extra slam in the bass and sparkle up top. I know that for Metal music, some prefer more guitar crunch, so Andro treble might be able to give you more of that.

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  4. Great Review as always, Twister. I’m seriously considering this IEM. ATM most of the time using the W50+Bax G2, if I ever get “tired” of low end oomph, i’d briefly use the the Intime Sora (K10 tonality w/ a small stage & scaled down everything). My music is really varied & wide, i.e. Ambient, Chill, Indie, Brit rock, prog., Miles & Nina. What would i be expecting? My DAP is an AK, too. Good old 240. Thank you for your reply…

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    1. Definitely, if you want to take a break from the bass, this is the way to go. It will sound a lot more neutral in comparison to W50, but you will be amazed at all the details that going to pop out. Should be a good pair up with balanced out of ak240. It04 is tuned so well, you can “chill” listening for hours 😉

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