Overview HiFi player iBasso DX90 – some errors




Another “audiophile” player from another fairly well-known Chinese manufacturer. iBasso began to storm the market with portable HiFi top model DX100, continued budget DX50, and then, finally, presented an interim solution in the face of the long-awaited DX90. That’s about it and will be discussed in this review.

Externally DX90 nearly the same as the younger model DX50 , although stuffing used is completely different. Player uses a separate channels. To decode the chip uses two ESS Sabre 9018K2M, one for each channel. This chip is a simplified version of one of the best modern delta-sigma DAC Sabre 9018 (I have overlooked Yulong DA8 , done on this chip). Junior model has only two channels, in contrast to 8 channels of an older version, so it could do a “full” 9018, theoretically get even better results. It does so in the first model iBasso DX100, now removed from production. But marketing is obviously dictates the rules and the principle of “two chips are better than one” actively exploited by Chinese developers (in HiFiMan 901 generally uses two “full” 9018). Amplification paths in the player, of course, also two, one for each channel. They are based on chips and OPA1611 BUF634 and provide a decent output power. Judging from the measurements, it gives fruit: separation channels leading player in its niche. Complementing all of this dual-core processor designed to provide decoding of any format.


The closest competitor to DX90 level playing Fiio X5 , appeared on the market a little earlier, although the start of sales in Russia and Ukraine is several hours late, and both player appeared almost simultaneously. X5 is built on the DAC and other costs 80 dollars cheaper (seen prices in the U.S.), whether DX90 this overpayment?
Technical characteristics

Line Out

Frequency range: 17 Hz – 20 kHz ± 0.1 dB
Signal / noise ratio: -119 dB ± 1 dB
THD + N: 0.0015%
Channel separation: 115 dB @ 1 kHz
Output level: 1.7 Vrms @ 1 kHz, 0 dB

Headphone output

Frequency range: 17 Hz – 20 kHz ± 0.1 dB
Signal / noise ratio: 0.0015% (at a load of 32Ω)
Output level: 1.3 Vrms (Low gain), 2.0 Vrms (Mid gain), 2.8 Vrms (High Gain)
Signal / noise ratio: -118 dB ± 1 dB (Low gain), -116 dB ± 1 dB (Mid gain), -115 dB ± 1 dB (High Gain), (under a load of 32Ω)
Channel separation: 75 dB @ 1 kHz (at a load of 32Ω)
Output impedance: <0.1Ω


Opening hours on a single charge: 8.5 hours
Battery charging time: up to 3 hours of battery charger, 5.5 hours from USB-port
Built-in Memory: 8GB
Memory Card Support: MicroSD, up to 2TB
Supported formats: APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, OGG, MP3
Dimensions: 64 mm x 100 mm x 17 mm
Weight: 140 gr

Packaging and delivery

Packaging remains the same as in the previous version: a small box with a brown cloth cover. Incidentally, iBasso first who thought of releasing a new player in the old design, I think, in the future, many will follow suit. On the box wearing a paper ring with the text of the model and manufacturer.

В коробке

Inside, traditional: the top is the player under it – a box with accessories. The package put: a pair of protective films for coaxial output cable, USB-cable, black silicone case (much better than cloth in DX50) and cable for heating. Manufacturers recommend warm player with this cable is not less than 400 hours, but, in my opinion, it looks clearly excessive measure.

Комплект поставки

In general, a good package, it has everything you need to make full use player, though still would not prevent complete adapter for USB-OTG.
Design and Management

Appearance of the player also has not undergone any changes. The only visual difference from DX50 – thicker metal casing connectors. Housing remains the same: plastic base, metal front panel and the battery cover. Replacement battery – the idea that all producers should borrow popular players do not work as long as I’d like, so long journeys charged spare battery will not lose the opportunity to listen to music. Particularly well, using a standard battery of Samsung Galaxy S3, so that alternatives (including high capacity) – a lot.

Общий вид

The case is very small and light enough, it is amazing how fit inside so powerful stuffing.

The front panel is a touch display and three large buttons control playback. The display quality is quite good (for the player), 2.4 “, IPS matrix with a resolution of 320 x 240. Used screen without air gap, so viewing angles are acceptable, although the brightness of the sun is still not enough. Personally, I prefer a purely mechanical control, but it is a question of habit.

Вид снизу

The left panel contains the power switch and lock slider on the right – the volume buttons. iBasso belongs in the all-time record – 255 steps with a logarithmic adjustment. At first a little embarrassed that after clicking on the power button until the screen lights up, takes 5 seconds, so it seems that the player does not want to be included, but then you get used to.

Placed on the top panel connector coaxial output, memory card slot and micro-USB. A nice addition is the player support USB OTG, in the presence of an adapter cable (wonder it did not put in the package), DX90 easily read music from flash drives.

Обратная сторона

Located on the bottom panel jack headphone output, line-out and switch the gain. I was really hoping that the new version iBasso fix deficiencies and will take up the headphone jack, but it never happened.

Обратная сторона снизу

The player interface has not changed compared to DX50, the menu is very simple, but everything you need is available. Music can be browsed by artist, genre and album, or use the navigation through folders, if you do not maintain order in the library. You can create your own playlists by grouping music. In the settings you can rotate the eight-band equalizer, change the playback mode, start playback without pauses between tracks, view information about the track. System settings allow you to select a language (Russian there, but the quality of the localization of the floor), choose the time of the screen and turn off when idle, change the brightness. The settings also have a switch that allows you to activate the mode in which the player when connected to a computer works as a DAC, but judging by the fact that my MacBook did not react to the player in this mode – it is made with the future in mind.

There are a number of software errors, the tests player once hung, the sound stuttered several times, plus there is common to all devices of the Chinese navigation problem in large files. Software defects are not so many as in the first DX50 on firmware versions, but they are still there. I think the next couple of months firmware will actively “dopilivat” and corrected.

С наушниками

Time and battery charging – close to the claimed theoretically. I have on one charge player worked 7:00 for 50 minutes.

To listen to the headphones, the following player:

Ambient Acoustics AM6 HiRez
HiFiMan Re600
VSonic Gr01
Philips Fidelio X1 and a number of other

Work should model errors DX50, of course, failed. The main problem of “fifty dollars” – shallow depth of bass – was taken into account and corrected. Sound player is very smooth, with decent detail and characteristic Sabre easy detachment. Player well suited to fans of “listening” music details and implementation details.

Под углом

Low frequencies are well controlled, have depth and detail. MF close to perfection in terms of detail and smoothness supply, but some sound composition detached, as if part of the musicians recorded separately, and sometimes it leads to strange effects in the construction stage. Treble, perhaps the best in the price range, sometimes even surprising that the device plays a price of 430 dollars, and not something twice as expensive. There touch of artificiality characteristic Sabre, but hear it is not always. Sibilance virtually impossible to achieve.

Thanks to nearly zero impedance player works great with armature, albeit with good dynamic not disappoint. Headroom is sufficient for most overhead headphones, except for the tight time-dependent models. I would advise immediately choose something with a high level of detail to emphasize the advantages of this player.

И еще раз с наушниками

Of course, we can not avoid comparisons with the closest competitor from Fiio. In general, the difference between the two models is primarily in the manner of filing. Roughly speaking, you have to choose between DX90 neutrality and energetic feed Fiio X5, the best of headphones and preferences in music. Treble better at DX90, middle I like to X5 (despite its shortcomings). Again, we can not ignore the difference in price that can be used to purchase better headphones, getting a noticeable increase in the sound resulting ligament.

Крупным планом

Player sufficiently critical to the quality of entries, so to expand its capacity, you may have to revise your library.

Very strong step iBasso, taking into account all the shortcomings of the previous model and allows us confidently oust competitors in the fight for a place under the sun. The player is very good for iron, which unveils its potential in high-quality sound, pleasing size and ergonomics. In the near future is expected to yield new models of two more experienced manufacturers of audio equipment from China: QLS 360 and player from Aune, but here iBasso just do not worry – they reserve for the future laid a good.

С Fiio X3

Traditionally, I want to thank my friends from the company Era-in-ear for what provided the opportunity to get acquainted with this player.
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Tags: Media Player , Music .


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