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.
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.