iBasso DX100 Android audio player announced

ibassodx100 iBasso DX100 Android audio player announced

There have been more than a handful of so-called “high end” audio players released by Chinese manufacturers, and they all have a few things in common: horrible user interface and usability, pathetic internal storage size, no support for audio features like gapless playback, Replaygain, playlists, and so on. Not to mention, the claim that those devices sound any “better” than the next quality brand player has yet to be proven.

Leaving the subjective sound quality debate out of the picture, iBasso, well known manufacturer of portable headphone amps, seems to show other “audiophile” brands how it could be done better when it comes to designing a portable player. While still sporting an immense brick form factor like its Hifiman, Colorfly, and HiSound peers, iBasso realized that user interfaces cobbled together by some hacker kids in their spare time are worthless – so they did the smart thing and put Android on their DX100. This should hopefully enable the usage of Rockbox, Poweramp, Player Pro, or other quality software for audio playback. It is not known at the moment if the DX100 will sport Wi-Fi or other connectivity.

Internal storage apparently goes up to a whopping 64GB, and a MicroSD slot is available as well. Here’s where the question about the price of the DX100 should come up. Good question, I know as much as you do – just that it probably will be a bit more than what a Sansa Clip goes for.

As for the “audiophile” features of the DX100, I let iBasso’s announcement speak for itself:

The DX100 is our reference Digital Audio Player (DAP). It can play most of the 24Bit/192kHz Lossless music. The whole design is based on the ES9018, which ESS claim as “The World’s Best DAC Chip”. We are finalizing the DX100 now. We can release it within 20~45 days.
The following are some main features. We will release more information later this month.
• Support up to 24/192 Decoding
• ES9018 DAC Chip
• Built-in +/-8.5V Headphone AMP
• Up to 24/192 Optical/Coaxial Output
• Line Out Function
• 256-Steps Digital Volume Control
• 64G Onboard Flash
• Support up to 32G External MicroSD
• 3-Setting Gain Switch
• SRC Function
• Slow Roll-off/ Sharp Roll-off Digital Filter

On a side note: this quite overkill-ish 8-channel ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC of course isn’t intended for portable use, but for stationary devices. Let’s hope the battery life of the DX100 is measured in hours, not minutes.

[iBasso.com via Head-Fi | Erji]



ma_t14 on January 3, 2012 7:54 PM

Looks good on paper! This definitely deserves some attention!

Marvin the Martian on January 3, 2012 8:07 PM

Well, it’s got to be better than the Hifiman, right?

tds101 on January 3, 2012 8:45 PM

I’m gonna get this when it hits, unlike those crap hifiman & s:flo2 players I think THIS will actually be good.

Marvin the Martian on January 3, 2012 9:48 PM

Looks like it has the equivalent of the T5 as its internal headphone amp…but how much will it cost?

tds101 on January 4, 2012 1:42 AM

I bet it’ll cost an arm and a leg,…at least. I do hope it’s not a bank-breaker though, or I’ll have to pass.

lagoo56 on January 4, 2012 12:32 PM

OMG its a brick with a touchscreen and its actually NOT made by Archos lol

Julius on January 4, 2012 12:55 PM

BUT where are the meassurements?
IBasso NEVAH has meassurements of their gear, -why is this?

-COMPLETE meassurements, see NwAVguy’s meassurements of his O2 amp for refference.
They can have ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC and all on their DAP but if the implementation is crappy…

Controllerboy on January 4, 2012 4:25 PM

Damn, I was about to buy a cowon J3…Here are the doubts again :P Anyone have the slightest idea what price range this one might be for? How much more would it cost?

Martin Sägmüller on January 4, 2012 4:58 PM

My guess would be somewhere between $500 and $1000. But don’t take my word for it.

tds101 on January 4, 2012 11:48 PM

I really hope that pricing is wrong, but I fear your 99% correct,…bummer!!!

MegalosKardia on January 5, 2012 1:26 AM

Oh Man i hope u guys are wrong with the estimate pricing. Im almost sure im getting a cowon x7 or a crappy archos 70b 250gb i would even consider a playbook 64gb with the 299 fire sale but im unsure.

h1a8 on January 6, 2012 7:19 AM

Well if the battery life is decent, price isn’t too high, and it can drive phones on the level of a fiio e11 or better then we might have a winner.

manulm on January 10, 2012 10:02 AM

as they said, “just another brick in the wall” ?
with the DAC consuming already a few tenth of mA, adding the headset amp and digital processing (audio decode), and you quickly get a 50-100mA audio playback.

This will require a big battery to deliver 20-30 hours of playback ….

tds101 on January 11, 2012 1:18 AM

I’ll get this before I get that stupid-azz Sony Z-BS!!!

Update the stupid editor’s choice column, ABI on January 11, 2012 10:41 PM

Two things are for certain: This will probably be the best-sounding music player ever produced and it will cost as much as a car.

Slaylem on January 14, 2012 2:54 PM

I have a D2+ Boa and the innards rattle around inside. If the build quality of this product is anything like the Boa, I may not be interested. I’m really hoping an american company can offer something similar to this DX100. Dealing with a chinese company can be difficult if there’s a problem with the product.

tds101 on January 19, 2012 7:13 PM


krabapple on January 26, 2012 10:02 PM

8-channel DAC with no HDMI output? If true that’s just audiophool dumb.

Martin Sägmüller on January 29, 2012 3:37 PM

I guess they only run the DAC in 2-channel mode, but yeah…

vittau on March 18, 2012 3:45 AM

Does anyone seriously need anything better than the Clip+/Zip for portable use?

soundlarkee on February 18, 2013 1:50 AM

Who has determined that 64 gb constitutes “whopping”?!?

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