iBasso DX160 (Animagus’ Take)

PROS: Very good sound quality, highly attractive 1080p 445ppi screen, light weight, easy to use, nice packaging, highly customizable android platform. One of the best value for money DAPs in the segment.

CONS: Nitpicking – Slight WiFi interference when close to router which is very low and doesn’t bother me to be honest, not the fastest DAP, volume wheel could’ve been of better quality though works flawlessly.

Disclaimer.

I would like to thank iBasso for sending me DX160 to test and review. I am not affiliated with the company or any of its sellers and write this review with an unbiased opinion regardless of how the review turns out.

Link – Manufacturer website: iBasso

Genre preferences.

I majorly listen to rock, acoustic, pop, metal, and sometimes popular EDM songs doing the rounds on the charts.

1 Cover Photo


Technical Specifications.

  • Screen – 5-inch 1080p Sharp LCD
  • Operating System – Android 8.1
  • CPU – Rockchip Octa Core | RAM – 2GB | ROM – 32GB
  • DAC – Dual CS43198
  • Output Ports – 4.4 mm BAL & 3.5mm (PO/LO/SPDIF)
  • Battery – 3200mAh
  • Charging – QC3.0, PD2.0
  • Wi-Fi – 80 2.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4Ghz/5Ghz)
  • Bluetooth – Bluetooth 5.0
  • Weight – 178g

4.4mm Balanced Out

  • Output Level – 6.4Vrms
  • Output Impedance – 0.4 Ω
  • Frequency Response – 10Hz-40kHz +/-0.15dB
  • S/N – 130dB
  • THD+N – 0.00022% (32Ω, 3Vrms)

3.5mm Headphone Out

  • Output Level – 3.2Vrms
  • Output Impedance – 0.3 Ω
  • Frequency Response – 10Hz-40kHz +/-0.15dB
  • S/N – 125dB
  • THD+N – 0.0007% (32Ω, 2Vrms)

Line Out

  • Output Level – 3.2Vrms
  • Frequency Response – 10Hz-40kHz +/-0.15dB
  • S/N – 125dB
  • THD+N – 0.00035% (no Load)

11 DX160+Box 2

Included in the box.

  • iBasso DX160
  • USB Type-C cable
  • Silicone cover
  • Screen guards
  • Manual, warranty card and MQA card

Design and Build Quality.

DX160 has a very nice form factor and easily fits in my palm. It has a very nice, highly attractive 1080p sharp 5-inch LCD ‘almost’ bezel less screen (slight bezel at the bottom). It has an aluminum chassis casing which measures 7×12.5×1.4 cm and feels very solid and well built.

It has a Balanced 4.4mm and a multi-purpose 3.5mm socket (PO/LO/SPDIF) at the bottom and USB type-c charging port and power button on the top. On the left, it has a spring-loaded microSD card slot which supports up to 2TB memory cards. On the right, it has a golden volume wheel and hardware playback buttons (Previous, Play/Pause and Next). All feel nice and very intuitive to use.

User Experience.

DX160 comes stock with Android Oreo 8.1. iBasso has APKPure and CoolAPK installed as stock for you to install all the apps you need as DX160 doesn’t come with Google Playstore. I’ve been using APKPure for a while and find it absolutely easy to install all the apps I need.

DX160’s 445 ppi 1080p high definition display is the best display I have come across in a mid-fi DAP, period! It just makes everything look extra good! The touchscreen is very vibrant and responsive. The OS overall is very simple, elegant and easy to use. iBasso preferred using the good old Rockchip with 2GB of RAM instead of the faster and newer Snapdragon/Samsung processors, yet the DX160 isn’t slow or laggy by any means. It might not be as slick as your TOTL smartphones or even the fast Fiio M11 but DX160 is still decently quick and responsive to all inputs, sufficing most of the times for all your DAP needs.

iBasso’s Mango Music Player (V2.2.7) – Mango is iBasso’s stock music player and I actually quite dig it for its simplicity. When you open it for the first time, the play screen comes up. You then need to access the settings using the GEAR icon on the right top of the screen. There you have the following options,

  • Gapless – On/Off
  • Gain – Low/High
  • Play Mode – Order/Loop/Shuffle/Repeat
  • Equalizer – Graphic/Parametric
  • L/R Balance
  • Digital Filter – Fast Roll-Off/Short Delay Short Roll-Off/ Short Delay Fast Roll-Off/ Slow Roll-Off
  • Advanced – USB DAC Mode | Sleep Timer | Scanning | System Info

In order to scan the songs, you need to click the Settings (GEAR icon) -> Advanced -> Scanning, and then choose where your songs are located (internal/SD card) and scan the library. Scanning time is on the average side and not the fastest. It depends on the size of your library. It took around 1-2 minutes to scan my 60Gb library. Sometimes it gets stuck visually when in reality it is scanning in the background. Check back after a few minutes and Mango would’ve scanned your whole library at once.

Mango player is very intuitive to use. You can edit music sorting display in the Navigation Bar Management and select between multiple sorting options like Album, Artist, Genre, etc. You can also select Album and Artist View settings. Artist List view looks great with a nice and easy to read font, font size and artist photos. Album view and album art look great on DX160’s attractive hi-res 1080p screen. Below are some pictures for reference.

There are both Parametric and Graphic equalizers available for you to use when you want to fine tune your sound. Though when you enable the EQ, Mango player turns down the volume by a couple of dBs to compensate for all the EQ boosting you’d be doing. As a result, ABing the sound with and without EQ becomes a bit difficult because of the volume difference.

File Formats (MQA Enabled!)

DX160 supports a wide variety of audio formats including APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, OGG, MP3, DFF, DSF, DXD, CUE, ISO, M3U, M3U8.

DX160 is MQA enabled with full hardware decoding (bit perfect) and plays Tidal Masters without a problem. It was a joy to listen to my favourite albums in Tidal Masters (MQA). Plus 5 points to Hufflepuff, ahem, DX160 for that. Haha. 😉

Page 2 – Sound analysis, Pair-ups, Comparisons, and Conclusion.

3 thoughts on “iBasso DX160 (Animagus’ Take)

    1. Animagus reviewed the original 2019 version, I (twister6) got 2020 version. I don’t know if this is related to particular Bluetooth headsets, but I haven’t experienced any dropouts, only a shorter wireless coverage range (i think ibasso confirmed on head-fi they are using a less powerful BT transmitter). Also, don’t know if you are using TWS earphones, cause quite a few people been telling me about true wireless and DAP (other brands as well) pair up issues.

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