iBasso IT05

Turn up the dial… of the cable plug!

PROS: slick metal shell design, interchangeable nozzle filters, clear detailed tuning with a deep sub-bass, 2 premium cables with a custom SS hardware, premium packaging, budget price.

CONS: driver flex, sound is sensitive to eartips selection.

The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.

Manufacturer website:  iBasso.


It has been a few years since iBasso’s last IEM release.  Obviously, we are talking about a company that is well known for their DAPs.  And as a result, their IEMs often fly under the radar and don’t get as much attention as they deserve.  This latest IT05 release even flew under my radar until I finally had a chance to spend some time with it.  I didn’t even know its price, and based on IT05 unboxing experience, build quality, included accessories, and the tuning, I assumed that relative to their IT07 flagship it will be priced between $600-$700.  But as I started testing and googled this new model, I had to ping Paul and ask him if their IEM is already on sale because I see it going for around $300.  As it turned out, that was the actual price of IT05.

I usually don’t start my reviews with a discussion about the price unless I must address mega kilobuck elephant in the room.  Here, it is the opposite because when it comes to iBasso products, either DAPs or IEMs, you can’t deny the value of their impressive price/performance ratio.  I spent the last few weeks listening to IT05 while also being fascinated with both included cables and their stainless-steel plugs.  Now, let’s see what I found while testing this latest iBasso release.


Unboxing and Accessories.

I do appreciate how iBasso made its flagship IT07 packaging stand out from their other mid-fi and entry level IEM models.  That is why I was surprised that IT05, which cost less than a half of IT07, arrived in nearly the same packaging with even finer accessories (cables).  The outer “layer” is just a plain all black cardboard box with iBasso Audio glossy print.  Then, you are treated to a more luxurious jewelry like box with a vinyl exterior and suede inner lining.  In general, these fancy boxes are not as practical since people keep IEMs in a small carry case, but it is still a premium unboxing experience and that is what matters.

Inside you will find a metal aluminum puck storage container with laser etched iBasso Audio across the top and a soft velour lined foam insert under the cover, showcasing IEMs like a jewelry on the display.  Again, another example of a premium presentation, but I’m sure many will remove the insert to place IT05 inside with a cable attached.  Then, you will find 2 premium cables (more about it later), and a ton of stock eartips.  One of the sets had 2 pairs of foam (M/L) eartips, and the other 4 sets (S/M/L each) of black and grey silicone eartips were varying in shape, material type, cap springiness, and narrow/wide bore opening.  You also get a warranty card, a quick start booklet with lots of useful info, and a set of interchangeable nozzle filters.

One pair of extra silver filters already comes by default with IT05, and you also get a stainless-steel plate with 3 sets (silver, black, gold) of additional filters.  Their flagship IT07 included a similar plate with 3 sets of interchangeable nozzle filters as well.


Included with IT05 were two cables, each one with a different wire material and a cool original hardware design.  The first one has 4 high purity OFC conductors and 3.5mm single-ended termination.  This cable was dressed in a black nylon tightly braided jacked, very similar to PWA cables.  The second cable has a hybrid design with a total of 8 conductors, 4 with high purity (6N, 99.9999%) OCC copper in black insulation and other 4 with high purity silver-plated OCC (6N) copper in transparent insulation.  This hybrid cable has 4.4mm balanced termination.


What makes these cables unique is their distinct custom stainless-steel hardware.  The headphone plug has a chunky design with a wide diameter housing (15mm for 4.4mm plug, 13mm for 3.5mm plug) that looks and feels like a small dial knob from a desktop audio equipment.  Then, each cable has a matching SS y-split barrel and retractable chin-slider.  And its transparent heatshrink pre-shaped earhook goes into a plastic angled IEM connector mold that extends into SS barrel at the tip with an etched L/R marking and a tight fitting mmcx connector.  I absolutely love the look of these cables.


IT05 shells are made of lightweight metal material, each one weighting about 8g.  It features ergonomically shaped design that fits comfortably in the concha area of my ears.  The faceplate has a wavy metal design with a blue satin finish.  The nozzle is nicely extended and has removable and replaceable mesh filter, 3 sets with a different color and slightly different sound characteristics are included.  As already mentioned, mmcx connector was used, the same as on all iBasso iems.  The connecter fit is very tight, doesn’t spin around as easily.  The shell has 2 small vents, but there is still a driver flex, and it is quite noticeable when you insert these IEMs into your ear.

Inside IT05 you will find a proprietary 11mm dynamic driver with diaphragm made of nanomaterial covered in a super thin chrome coating, only 0.007mm.  The driver is placed inside of a special acoustic structure known as double Helmholtz resonator to enhance the sound characteristics, using both brass and stainless-steel material since each has their own acoustic properties.  And to top it off, this 11mm transducer is driven by a magnet with a strong 1.6T magnetic field for a more precise control of the diaphragm.

According to the spec, IT05 has an average 16ohm impedance and an average sensitivity of 119dB, making it very easy to drive from any source.

The fit.


Page 2 – Sound analysis, Comparison, and Conclusion.


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