đź”· iBasso DX160

This is the official thread for the iBasso DX160

This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • 4.4BAL, 3.5PO, 3.5LO, SPDIF, USB, BT
  • 2xCS43198
  • Android 8.0

:red_circle: Hifiguides Amazon Link

[Reviews]

Z Reviews…

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One thing for sure, the measurements of this DAP is outstanding.

https://hifigo.com/blogs/news/ibasso-dx160-player-testing-report-beat-even-himself

Even M15 can’t reach DX160.

M15 THD: 0.0004%
DX160 THD: 0.0002%

So… double the performance?
I know measurement isn’t the only thing that matters, but considering the price difference of these two, iBasso did a great job here.

If you’re looking for measurements, DX160 is your only choice.

Also, the noise floor is almost as good as Benchmark HPA4.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-benchmark-hpa4-headphone-amp-pre.8141/

SNR:

HPA4: 133db
DX160: 130db

50mw SNR:

HPA4: 88db
DX160: 86db

People have said theycouldn’t hear any noise with Andromeda, which verify the measurements.

Waiting for Z video review

Well, I’m not supposed to share the video, but if you go to his patreon page, you can watch it even if you’re not a patron.

iBasso DX160 (Z Reviews) M11pro Killer?

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Too bad that it has a digital volume control. It has enough bit depth and all but that’s still worse than analog.

You’re going to lose SNR by lowering the bits, anyway. They could add an analog volume control IC and it would be perfect.

It’s still hiss-free but why did they decide to use digital volume when it’s worse in general as far as I know.

I search a lot for the cons of analog volume control and didn’t find anything.

Well, it’s dependant on pot quality (if you use a volume pot), which can affect channel balance at low volume (important to be good for iems), you can have scratchiness or noise if the pot isn’t clean, and having a poor quality pot in line can degrade the signal, but all of these downsides can be overcome in one way or another. Also in a dap, smaller pots have a larger chance of breaking or having issues if the player gets handled poorly, also they take up more space in the device. Ideally in a device like this I would like to see digitally controlled analog volume but it would probably add cost (if the fact that it’s using digital volume is true)

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The usual issue assuming they aren’t just noisy is channel imbalance.
A volume pot is actually either 2 or in some cases 4 variable resistors attached back to back to a single main shaft. Variable resistor have none linearity’s, and at lower volumes those can translate to fairly obvious volume imbalances between the channels.
If the manufacturer pays for a decent Pot these issues are usually moot, but for small pots in particular there aren’t a lot of high quality options.
You’ll see the use of DACT (or similar switched attenuators) and even Relay based volume controls on very high end gear because it removes any issues the Pot can introduce.

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I contacted Paul from iBasso at head-fi.org about analog volume control for the headphone out and line-out.

He replied, “It is all digital but starts high enough that the bits are not compromised.”

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