iBasso DX300 Quad-DAC Audio Player Unboxing & Initial Review
Today Digital Audio Players are widely used as a portable medium for hi-res audio. Earlier back in the day, it was limited to MP3 players, Apple iPods but over the past few years, many HiFi audio brands have jumped into the DAP game with their class leading products. I personally prefer using DAPs for my day-to-day music usage instead of my smartphone with an additional dongle for hi-res decoding. Today I am bringing you an insight on iBasso’s latest flagship music player, the DX300. I have been eyeing this wonderful device ever since its announcement, just got it a few days back. So before wasting any more time, let’s begin.
iBasso DX300 the Quad-DAC Flagship:-
DX300 is the latest installment in the DX series of HiFi digital audio players by iBasso, a well-reputed HiFi audio equipment manufacturing brand. There are multiple famous products in this DX series by iBass such as DX160, DX200, DX220, and more. The latest here the DX300 houses multiple wonderful features under its beautiful build such as powerful quad DAC config, replaceable amp modules, super-fast Snapdragon CPU, Full HD display, and much more. DX300 leads the digital audio player lineup of iBasso with a price tag of 1199.99$, but is it really worth it? Does the player actually performs with its advanced features?? We will be finding these out shortly. If you would like to have a deep insight into the features of DX300 you can check out more on our store page here.
Packaging & Accessories:-
DX300 comes in a Grey Blue packaging traditional for the DX series lineup by iBasso, but the package here is kind of bigger than other products in the lineup. It has a grey outer sleeve with DX300 and iBasso branding printed upfront. The inner blue box slides out of the outer sleeve. This blue box has a lid open design giving a direct glimpse at the DX300 as we pull the lid up. Below is a black box that has all the accessories included with the player such as a charging USB cable, burn-in cable, coaxial cable, a pair of screen protectors, and some user guides. I also got a Blue leather case separately for the DX300. The presentation, the design of the package has a premium feel to it and it actually feels amazing to unbox this wonderful device. Check out my unboxing video on HiFiGo youtube channel below.
>DX300 Hi-res Audio player(With AMP11 MK2 module).
>USB Type-C charging cable.
>2.5mm Balanced burn-in cable.
>Pair of screen protectors.
>Co-axial connector cable.
Please note the leather carry case in the image is available separately and not included in the package.
Design & Build:-
One thing I am always a fan of iBasso’s products is its brilliant build quality. Starting from their dongle DAC’s to their IEMs everything looks spectacular. Same goes here for the DX300. It is their flagship device, it indeed looks fantastic. It actually looks like today’s smartphone with a 6.15” Full HD display with very thin bezels. The device has a slim and sleek finish with an overall lightweight. It can be carried easily in the pocket without any trouble.
On the right side, we have a golden volume wheel that catches the eye instantly due to its lustrous finish. This volume wheel also acts as a power on/off and screen lock button. There are three media control keys just below this volume wheel. The left side just houses the Micro SD card slot. At the top, we have a USB Type-C Charging port with a coaxial output port. The amp module is located at the bottom of the device, it can be replaced with screws. Do note that DX300 is not compatible with previous amp modules and iBasso will be releasing new ones based on its slim architecture.
DX300 comes stock with an AMP11 Mk2 module that has 3.5mm SE, 2.5mm Bal, and 4.4mm Bal output ports which obviously are located at the bottom of the DX300 on the AMP module. The DX300 offers a fantastic build. It looks sweet and gorgeous with a premium build quality and large touch screen display to operate easily.
Display, User Interface, & OS:-
DX300 here houses a large 6.15” display that offers crisp image quality with a Full HD resolution. It is powered by an advanced Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 CPU with 12 gigs of ram and supports dual boot mode between Android 9.0 and iBasso’s self-designed Mango music OS. The player offers snappy and smooth performance in both modes. With Android it supports all applications, I personally tested UAPP, Power Amp, and Tidal streaming. The user interface is lightning fast and shows no lag. It is super smooth even when navigating through a huge music library of over 6,000 FLAC files loaded on the MicroSD card.
But do note that Playstore is not available initially on the DX300. You can download it easily through the APKPure application(it is pre-loaded on the device).
Similar to the DX220 Max, the DX300 also features dual batteries one for digital circuitry and another for analog. But unlike DX220 Max’s dual charging option, both the batteries in DX300 are charged through the single USB Type-C port. It lasts for about 14-15 hours on a single charge with WiFi on. That is pretty solid battery life here considering its advanced configuration and humongous output power.
Driving Power & Connectivity:-
The stock AMP11 MK2 module is really powerful. I paired three different IEMs, DUNU EST112, BGVP NS9, and TRI Starlight, and also iBasso SR2 Headphones with the DX300. All three of these IEMs have low power requirements, I never had to go above 30-35/100 volume level on medium gain. For iBasso SR2 I had to go at like 60/100 volume on high-gain mode. Though I must say the way it drives the SR2 is simply amazing, great dynamics, good extensions, just amazing. DX300 on itself is quite powerful, it can easily power most IEMs in the market without any trouble even with headphones it performs quite well. The DX300 also supports high-resolution Bluetooth functionality. I paired the DX300 with Sony WH-1000XM3 noise cancellation and the output was pretty solid and enjoyable.
Initial Sound Impressions:-
DX300 features an amazing quad DAC setup housing four CS43198 flagship-grade DAC chips from Cirrus Logics. Along with the latest AMP11 MK2 amp module, it delivers a natural, reference-grade sound quality output with great extensions at both ends. It provides clean power to the connected headphones providing a clean and noise-free output even with sensitive IEMs such as EST112(Impedance of just 10 ohms). Obviously, the output will depend on the tuning of connected IEMs but I mostly found the pairs to have a natural tonality with well-detailed and refined sound technicalities such as layering, imaging, and stage presentation.
With ample clean power to bring the best out of connected IEMs, headphones, DX300 presents the users with tight, powerful bass response, well-textured, detailed vocals and mid-frequency response, treble with smooth, transparent response, and a natural tonality and timbre for the vocals and instruments. DX300 doesn’t add any color to the output in fact it presents a natural and lively sound response that makes it suitable to pair with different earphones and headphones in the market.
I never like listening to iBasso SR2 with portable sources such as M11 Pro or HiBy R5 Saber but here with the DX300 the case is different. It brings the best out of my semi-open-back headphones with its powerful output and exceptional sound quality. I paired the SR2 here with a balanced 4.4mm connector cable.
A Few More Words:-
In my opinion, the powerful quad-doc does its magic here for the DX300. It presents the users with unmatched sound quality performance with no noticeable background hiss or noise even with sensitive IEMs. Coming stock with AMP11 MK2 module the DX300 supports all different portable terminations such as 4.4mm, 3.5mm, and 2.5mm supporting most of our IEMs and cable combinations straight out of the box. Plus the snappy UI thanks to the Snapdragon 660, 12 Gigs of ram makes it one of the snappiest Android DAPs in the market today. DX300 has now replaced my FiiO M11 Pro for my day-to-day usage with its exceptional performance. If you are looking for a one-point portable solution for your HiFi IEMs, the DX300 can be your best bet with its latest features and outstanding sound output. You can check out more details on our product page here.