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.
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.