Digital Audio Phablet!
PROS: dual independent analog and digital batteries, modular amp design, high quality audio performance and high voltage output, hi-res 6.5” display, Snapdragon 660 and optimized Android 9.0, 6GB RAM/128GB Storage, 2.5mm/4.4mm/3.5mm phone out and line out (w/default AMP11), dual Android & Mango (Unix) OS, fast charging.
CONS: large size, new amps are not compatible with older modules.
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 directly or other retailers like Bloom Audio.
As I mentioned in my previous iBasso DAP reviews, since the release of DX200 their new audio players have been very consistent and focused more on sound refinement rather than drastic design changes, especially when it comes to CPU, GPU, DAC, and even display. MAX was an exception where to maximize the performance and to introduce a dual battery, they had to compromise modular design and transport controls. I still consider it to be as one of the top sounding DAPs, but MAX always felt like a special edition release, rather than the next gen flagship to replace DX220. Plus, I’m sure iBasso grew tired of hearing the same complaint about when they are going to introduce new CPU/GPU. In non-Android DAPs this is not an issue, but with Android ones, sooner or later you will have to upgrade. And they did, in a BIG way!
We are talking about the all-new design, incorporating the best elements of their previous releases and adding new design elements to make it stand out moving forward. You are still going to find dual-boot operating system with Android and Mango OS, modular design with removable amp card, their own updated Mango app (in Android), and even dual analog and digital batteries like in MAX. But the new deign is bigger and bolder, literally, and built on a new optimized Android 9.0 with a fast Snapdragon 660 SoC, utilizes quad CS43198 DACs, introduces FPGA-Master to offload SoC processing, implements a single charger for its dual batteries, and introduces a new AMP11 module with a high-power output and all popular SE and BAL connections.
There is a lot to cover about this DAP, so it will be a long review/guide. But as usual, everything is partitioned and indexed so you can jump to different sections. I have featured DX300 in a number of my reviews already, and now it is time to take a closer and more focused look at this latest iBasso DX300 flagship.
Unboxing and Accessories.
DX300 arrived in a packaging box with a similar design as their DX220 DAP, featuring a silver open outer sleeve that slides in from the side and a fancy blue carboard giftbox with iBasso logo and name. The top cover of the box, with a foam lining underneath, swings up to reveal a tray with a soft velour-like foam lining, securely holding the star of the show.
With a top tray out of the way, you will find a number of included accessories, such as a short coax cable for digital SPDIF output, 2.5mm balanced burn-in cable, quality braided sleeve usb-c cable, screen protectors (film and tempered glass), warranty card, and a quick start guide. iBasso recommends at least 200hrs of burn in time and using their burn-in cable, which has a load built-in, is a lot more convenient and quieter since you don’t need to use the actual headphones.
A custom blue leather case was included as well. It’s a decent quality leather case to enhance the grip of DX300, with a fully open top where the DAP slides in, covered transport buttons on the right side and covered microSD card on the left side, and opening at the bottom to provide the access to 4.4mm, 2.5mm, and 3.5mm ports.
Page 2 – Design and Under the hood.
Page 3 – GUI, Mango app vs Mango OS, Graphic and Parametric EQs.
Page 4 – Sound Analysis and Pair up.
Page 5 – Comparison, Wired/wireless connection, and Conclusion.
12 thoughts on “iBasso DX300”
I’ve had three DX200’s and one DX160. Two of the DX200’s went faulty with different faults and the DX160 lasted five days before on about 20% of occasions it wouldn’t allow you to swipe the screen out of lock boot up.
Great review as usual.
DX300 seems really big and compared to a SR25 should seems like a giant and a dwarf 🙂.
My question it’s not about the DX300 but about usb C dacs. How do you find the reliability at the connection of the USB interface?
I have both DC01 and DC4 which I really find exceptionaly good in terms of sound when connected to my S10+. But, and that’s why I bought a dedicated DAP, the connection at the usb C port it’s not reliable anymore (wear…?). Unless both the smartphone and the usb dac are still, a simple movement can disrupt the connection which it’s very annoying since the solution it’s to remove the usb jack from the phone and connect it again!
Congratulations on another excellent analysis, which made me decide hehehe
Any review about oBravo IEMs?
Do you mean new oBravo IEMs? I have reviewed quite a few in the past, from Cupid to RA C Cu 😉 For now, my work/family and review schedule has been a bit too much, still need to get through everything I have been sent for review in the last 2-3 months. Curious about their new RA C Cu 21 model, might look at it in the near future.
Hello. Should i expect some hissing from the dx300 3.5mm with the andromeda? I am searching for an android dap with nice compatibility with the andromeda that dont have distracting hiss.
I had so many discussions about topic of ‘hissing” lately. Half of the people with the same setup swear they don’t hear anything. And when I say “hissing” it is not something that will be in your face. It will depend on what music you are listening to, at what volume level, what iems, and of course your hearing level. Campfire Audio iems have various levels of hissing depending on the source, but I don’t recall them being dead quiet with any unless you use iematch. I assume you have Andro now. What source are you using now? Do you hear any hissing? If you don’t, you will not hear any with dx300 either. Otherwise, you will hear it at the same level. And with higher output power (going from SE to BAL) and higher gain it will amplify.
Hi thanks for the reply sorry it is a repetitive topic. im currently using the andro with the cayin n3 pro single ended. In both tube/SS the hiss is apparent and distracting during single instrument/less busy passage of songs. I listen at about vol 10 on low gain when without IEMatch. I do use the iematch now but find the dongle very inconvenient and would like to drop it with future dap upgrades hopefully.
No worries, it is a legitimate question. Dx300 hissing will be less, but still there. Unfortunately, it is a problem with Campfire iems. But people still love their sound.
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What a review. Perfect in all ways. I wish youtubers was like this
Great unit, but my only issue with it is there is no global EQ on the android side, simply put you cannot EQ streaming services like Tidal or Spotify in its current state. It’s a bit frustrating to think that would be a limitation, but I’m told by iBasso support that a parametric EQ, or at least the ability to use a PEQ third party app for global EQ in android may come in a later update. As of Aug 8th 2021 this is still a limitation.
That is actually a great news. With an exception of Hiby who has been writing their own software for many years and have global MSEB effects (not eq, but sound shaping effects), I’m not aware of any full open Android dap with a global EQ/PEQ. Ibasso PEQ is very powerful, accurate, and flexible. If they can make it system wide global, that would be awesome. Personally, I don’t use EQ, but I know others like their bass boost 😉