iBasso CF01 and IT00

Sound Analysis.

I analyzed CF01 sound with various IEMs while playing a variety of 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”, Alan Walker “Darkside”, Galantis “Hunter”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Dua Lipa “Love again”, Counting Crows “Big yellow taxi”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”.

I decided to approach Sound Analysis of CF01 in a little different way.  Since this is an adapter, I can test it with different IEMs.  And for each IEM, I wanted to compare CF01 (aptX) pair up to a wired sound directly from iBasso DX160, wireless sound connected to Shanling UP4 (LDAC), and wireless sound connected to Westone BT2 cable (aptX).

ibasso_cf01-x23

iBasso IT04

  • DX160 – no hissing, wide soundstage expansion, neutral transparent detailed tonality with a balanced signature, slightly above neutral articulate bass, natural detailed mids/vocals, sparkly airy brighter treble.
  • CF01 – no hissing, even wider soundstage expansion, neutral transparent detailed tonality with a balanced signature, slightly above neutral articulate bass, natural detailed mids/vocals, sparkly airy treble.
  • UP4 – no hissing, wide soundstage expansion, neutral transparent brighter tonality with a balanced signature, slightly above neutral articulate punchy bass, brighter and a little more forward mids, sparkly crisp treble.
  • BT2 – no hissing but a little bit of EMI interference, wide soundstage expansion, neutral transparent tonality with a balanced sound sig, more low end impact, natural mids with a little brighter tonality, crisp airy treble.

IT04 paired up quite well in wired and wireless connections above. There wasn’t a Wow factor like I had with IT00, but it was still a good pair up with CF01 which turned IT04 into true wireless IEMs.

ibasso_cf01-x14

64 Audio U12t (w/2pin adapter)

  • DX160 – no hissing, wide soundstage, fuller body natural tonality, deep punchy bass, fuller warmer mids, sparkly treble.
  • CF01 – no hissing, wider more 3D soundstage, more revealing natural sound, improvement in dynamics, improved layering, more articulate punchy bass, more transparent mids, more sparkle and air in treble.
  • UP4 – no hissing, wider more 3D soundstage, more revealing natural sound, better dynamics, improved layering, more articulate punchy bass, more transparent mids, more sparkle and air in treble.
  • BT2 – no hissing, wide soundstage, smooth natural warmer sound, deep bass.

Both CF01 and UP4 had a great pair up, and UP4 even offers some marginal improvement in dynamics and a little more punch in mid-bass, but in comparison to CF01, UP4 is not a true wireless solution.

ibasso_cf01-x21

Westone W60 2nd gen

  • DX160 – no hissing, wide soundstage, smooth laidback fuller body tonality, balanced signature, deep sub-bass rumble, above neutral bass impact, smooth fuller body mids, nice controlled treble sparkle.
  • CF01 – no hissing, wide soundstage, more transparent natural tonality, balanced signature, good bass extension, more revealing detailed mids, airy well controlled treble sparkle.
  • UP4 – no hissing, wide soundstage, more transparent natural tonality but still a little warmer in comparison to CF01, balanced signature, good bass extension, a little more punch in mid-bass, revealing detailed mids, well controlled airy treble.
  • BT2 – no hissing, wide soundstage, smooth laidback fuller body tonality, balanced signature, deep sub-bass rumble with above neutral bass impact, smoother fuller body a touch brighter mids, nice controlled treble.

Again, CF01 and UP4 pair up was similar, but with CF01 the mids were a little more revealing, more transparent.  It will all depend on your sound preference.

ibasso_cf01-x13

Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020

  • DX160 – no hissing, wide soundstage expansion, balanced signature with a more revealing natural tonality, good impact and extension of the bass, natural detailed slightly more laidback mids, sparkly airy well controlled treble.
  • CF01 – hissing when idling or at low volume level, the sound is very bright, brittle, bass is attenuated, mids are crystal clear, almost on analytical level, treble is bright and sparkly.
  • UP4 – no hissing, wide soundstage expansion, balanced signature with a natural tonality, good impact and extension of the bass, natural detailed mids, sparkly airy and a touch peaky treble.
  • BT2 – very strong EMI interference, wide soundstage, balanced signature with a natural tonality, good impact and extension of the bass, natural detailed mids, sparkly airy treble.

In terms of pair up with other devices, Andro worked quite well, but not with CF01.  This pair up was just not happening, and the same with Solaris 2020 where the bass was attenuated down and the hissing was noticeable at low volume or when idling.  It wasn’t as bad at normal listening volume, but seems like a common hissing problem with Campfire audio IEMs was noticeable more in CF01 pair up.

ibasso_cf01-x15

Page 3 – IT00, Pair up with CF01, and Conclusion.

13 thoughts on “iBasso CF01 and IT00

  1. Thank you for the informative review. I own the IT104, which I like very much. For convenience, I find that I am listening mostly to my iPhone with Qobuz or Amazon. Since BT devices are mostly about convenience, can you help me with a question that I never really understood. Given that the CF01 has a built in amp, shouldn’t I expect to get essentially the same sound quality from my iPhone using the CF01 compared to my Hiby R5? ( I don’t understand how a BT device in the chain is amp dependent. )

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    1. Yes, when it comes to Bluetooth, it will be the same. It’s a digital signal you encode on your phone or dap and then receive and decode on headset. So, you are not using dac and amplifier in your source. So, the difference will come down to which codec you are using. Your iPhone doesn’t support aptx which is higher quality, lower compression while R5 will support it. So, on theory R5 pair up might sound better.

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      1. Hi, thanks for the review. Not sure if you have (otherwise I suppose you would have probably compare them) but kindly compare this iBasso combo to something like Sony WF-1000M3 and Samsung Galaxy Bud (original or plus)?
        Thanks.

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      2. sorry, don’t have either one. TWS is a new “territory” for me 🙂 I agreed to review CF01 because it gives me a chance to convert my audiophile iems to TWS, instead of using wireless dongles and connecting cables.

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  2. Thanks for the review.
    Can you comment on the lack of app or update features?
    Also, I read from some Asian friends that the output impedance is very high (~40). I’m not sure if that’s correct. Can you confirm this?

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    1. I’m not aware of any app. With output impedance, don’t think it is that high but it could be on a little higher side (maybe 5-10ohm?) because Andro bass got attenuated which happens with higher output sources.

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  3. Does this have multipoint audio? i.e. Can you connect to your computer and phone at the same time so that you are streaming from your computer and then a phone call comes it stops the streaming music and allows you to answer the call.

    If it does multipoint how many devices can be connected?

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    1. i tried connecting two devices, but it doesn’t work, so I assume multipoint connection is not supported. The spec doesn’t say anything about it, and this is really designed for audiophiles so don’t think multipoint was the priority.

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  4. I just bought the CF01 and paired to my ibasso T04s. Just want to add to your review that I have used several of the around $200 high end Bluetooth IEMs. I was really impressed by how much better—way way better, the pairing with the CF01 sounded. Of course, when you add to the price of the CF01 with an excellent IEM, it’s several times more expensive than the stand alone BT IEMs. But..way better sound. I have no affiliation, etc. Just a customer.

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  5. I have an embarrassing amount of bluetooth headphones and rate the CF01/IT00 combo as outstanding. I’m currently using my CF01’s with my DD/BA Magiosi’s with really good effect. Superb sound quality with excellent comfort. Not as good as cancelling out noise as my Sony WF1000XM3’s or as portable as the excellent Lypertek Tevi’s but outstanding nontheless.

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  6. Thank you for the concise review. I was wondering if you had the opportunity to try the Shure TWS adapter with the Solaris 2020. The ability to take calls and have ambiance mode sounds interesting.

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    1. Sorry, haven’t tried that one yet. I thought someone mentioned it hisses a lot, but I would prefer to draw my own conclusion when I get a chance to hear it. But in general, Campfire audio Andro/Solaris hiss with many sources.

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