iBasso IT01s

Design.

The shape of IT01s shell is very similar to the original IT01, small, compact, ergonomic. It has two vents, closer to the nozzle and next to the dynamic driver. I hear absolutely no driver flex with IT01s in comparison to an occasional one with IT01 (even with the same eartips). The difference here is probably due to a new nozzle design with a removable screen (threaded) and o-ring for a better seal when you tighten the screen at the tip of the nozzle. It’s a clever idea to be able to clean and replace the nozzle screen, but also makes you wish for one of those sound filters. Maybe iBasso can consider that in the future.

The shell itself is made from an electroplated lightweight material and comes in two flavors – blue mist and smoke grey. The smoke grey version I received has a mirror reflection finish, making it more interesting as you look from different angles. Each shell has L/R marking. The nozzle is made from 304 austenitic stainless steel which has a non-magnetic property, probably a good idea since IT01s uses a very strong (high Tesla magnetic flux) driver magnet. The shell is very light, with each piece being about 8g.

While IT01 used 5um multi-layered graphene (carbon) diaphragm, IT01s steps up with a new 10mm Carbon Nanotube Dome diaphragm which is even thinner at only 3.8um. Plus, the driver uses Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating on the actual dome. For sure, these are all big words and at the end of the day I just care about the sound performance while treating any IEM like a black box. But it’s hard to ignore the fact of how much R&D work iBasso put into development of these new drivers, even giving them a specific name: DiNaTT Dynamic Driver – Diamond-like coating (DLC) on a domed Nanotube driver, with Tesla Magnetic Flux Technology.

The fit.

ibasso_it01s-20

Sound Analysis.

I analyzed IT01s sound performance using DX200Ti w/amp8 and LGPT sources while playing a variety of my favorite test tracks, such as Agnes Obel “The curse”, Sandro Cavazza “So much better” (Avicii remix), C-Bool “Never go away”, Ed Sheeran “Shape of you”, Galantis “Hunter”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Robin Schultz “Oh child”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”.

IT01s has a nicely balanced signature with a neutral natural tonality with a decent retrieval of details. Depending on pair up, in a few cases a noticed the presentation of mids being pushed slightly forward, giving vocals a little better definition or slightly back, giving the sound a mild v-shaped signature with a little more impact in low end. But overall the sound sig is relatively balanced with all frequencies being equally represented.

The soundstage is wide, with a nice depth, pushing it closer to holographic expansion depending on source pair up, suggesting that it has potentials and will scale up depending on a quality of the source. The same with layering and separation of the sounds where it can scale up/down with a source, meaning it’s never a limiting factor and will exhibit an excellent layering and separation of instruments and vocals, as well as great imaging to pin-point accurate sound position.

Bass has a nice low-end extension with a deep textured sub-bass rumble and a fast mid-bass punch, linearly tuned, not too elevated, but certainly above neutral level. Its quantity also scales up depending on the source pair up (covered in Pair Up section of the review), demonstrating how low and deep it can get when pushed harder. Also, the effect of bass quantity variation was noticeable between SPC, pure copper, and hybrid SPC/copper iBasso cable pair-ups.

Mids are neutral, with lower mids having a decent body, while upper mids being natural, detailed, not exactly micro detailed, but with plenty of clarity and resolution. In some pair ups it could get a little brighter where mids presentation was a little more forward, but it stays closer to its natural detailed tonality.

Treble has a nice controlled sparkle, never gets too bright or splashy, and don’t expect the treble extension to be too airy. Treble is well defined, but also more natural in tonality and presentation.

ibasso_it01s-14

Page 3 – Comparison, Pair up, and Conclusion.

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6 thoughts on “iBasso IT01s

  1. Brilliant!
    Thanks for that review – It must be the best review I have ever read of a Hifi item. The detail and the comprehensive comparisons are extremely useful to develop an imaginary image of the acoustic properties of this IEM. Any chance you can do the same for the Moondrop Kanas Pro? That is maybe the most direct competitor to the IT01s. That would be awesome!

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  2. Hi Twister,

    Need your help in choosing my next iem. I’m currently using the audio technica IM02 with my cayin n3. The sound is very neutral and accurate but it’s a bit “unexciting”.

    I’ve used a pair of VSonic vsd3s in the past, my first pair of proper iems; really enjoyed the sound signature and the energy and the speed.

    I’m looking for something similar with a bit of an upgrade with respect to the build quality.

    Thanks in advance.

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    1. when it comes to budget iems, there are HUNDREDS of them now. I can’t keep up with everything, and in the last few years have been reviewing mostly flagship iems and daps. Plus, it has been years since I listen to IM02/IM03 and VSD3s. But I can reassure you IT01s is at the top of its game. But you have to keep in mind, there are so many other great budget IEMs people are talking about, just that I have no experience with it. Sorry.

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  3. Hi Twister, Thank you for the review

    please help me out here.
    i have listned to it01 for about two months and returned it since i did not like its reccessed and distant vocals,
    btw my source is ibasso dx120 and i am a big fan of vocals and “looking for a more soulful mid-forward performance with a focus on vocals” just the way you mentioned it in your it01 review page
    i am considering

    final audio e4000
    ibasso it01s
    periodic audio BE (restock v1 version)

    my budget is around $200.
    so, which would you suggest an overall balanced and natural tone with slight vocal full bodied, forward and thick presentation.

    Thanks again

    varun

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