iBasso DX170 DAP Review – Midrange Excellence? –

With the demise of the iPod, virtual audio gamers (DAPs) have a brand new alternative to win over tune fans. Whilst not at all for everybody, there’s a devoted marketplace that calls for best the most productive from their listening gadgets, however in case you’re a consumer on the cheap and likewise need get entry to to primary streaming surfaces, you will have to get ready for some sticky label surprise. The iBasso DX170 goals to take on the middle-ground of the marketplace, taking at the large boys in energy output and lines whilst weighing in triple digits much less to your buying groceries cart. At $469, is the DX170 price a purchase? In finding out in our evaluation.

Thanks to (*8*)Linsoul for offering the pattern for this evaluation. 


  • Present Worth: $469 (Linsoul)(*16*)
  • Fashion: DX170 Virtual Audio Participant(*16*)
  • OS: Android 11(*16*)
  • DAC: Twin CS43131(*16*)
  • Output Ports: 3.5mm cellphone out/line out/coaxial out, 4.4mm balanced cellphone out, USB output(*16*)
  • Display: Sharp 5.0 inch, 1080*1920p, with on-cell capacitive contact panel(*16*)
  • Pattern Fee: PCM: 8kHz-384kHz (8/16/32bits)(*16*)
  • Local DSD: DSD4/128/256(*16*)
  • SoC: RK3566(*16*)
  • RAM: 2G(*16*)
  • ROM: 32G(*16*)
  • Micro SD: Helps SDHC & SDXC, as much as 2TB(*16*)
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz)(*16*)
  • Bluetooth: V5.0(*16*)
  • Fast Fee: QC3.0, PD2.0, and MTK PE Plus fast rate, strengthen 12v, 9V/1.5A fast rate and appropriate with BC1.2 USB rate(*16*)
  • USB DAC Serve as: PCM: 8kHz-384kHz (8/16/24/32bits) DoP DSD: DSD64/128(*16*)
  • Audio Codecs Supported: MQA, APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, OGG, MP3, DFF, DSF, DXD, CUE, ISO(*16*)
  • Play Time: 11 Hours (The play time varies with other resolutions and headphone/IEM rather a lot)(*16*)
  • 4.4mm Balanced Output:(*16*)
    • Output Degree: 6.4Vrms(*16*)
    • Frequency Reaction: 10Hz~40kHz+/-0.15 dB(*16*)
    • S/N: 130 dB(*16*)
    • THD+N: 0.00022% (no load), 0.00022% (32Ωload?3Vrms?(*16*)
    • Crosstalk: -125dB(*16*)
  • 3.5mm Headphone Out:(*16*)
    • Output Degree: 3.2Vrms(*16*)
    • Frequency Reaction: 10Hz~40kHz+/-0.15 dB(*16*)
    • S/N: 125dB(*16*)
    • THD+N: 0.0004% (no load), 0.0007% (32Ωload?3Vrms?(*16*)
    • Crosstalk:-115dB(*16*)
  • Line Out:(*16*)
    • Output Degree: 3.2Vrms(*16*)
    • Frequency Reaction: 10Hz~40kHz+/-0.15dB(*16*)
    • S/N: 125dB(*16*)
    • THD+N: 0.00035% (no load)(*16*)
    • Crosstalk: -113dB(*16*)
  • Dimension: 124.5mm*70mm*15mm (4.9in*2.76in*0.59in)(*16*)
  • Weight: 165g (5.82oz)(*16*)

Why Make a selection a DAP?(*11*)(*15*)

Let’s get the elephant out of the room. Right here in 2022, virtual audio gamers are a distinct segment marketplace. We realize it. You realize it. The producers realize it. On the similar time, there may be an still-respectable target audience of people that desire a devoted instrument for his or her listening wishes, cut loose their smartphone or PC. This turns into particularly transparent while you dig additional into the marketplace and in finding out that most of the absolute best headphones and IEMs best carry out their absolute best when fed extra energy than the typical dongle DAC is in a position to supply. 

In circumstances like those, many of us flip to greater, extra succesful, and dearer dongles. However those draw energy out of your cellphone and create a pigtail that dangles from your pocket all day (or dangers scratching your cellphone if now not). Others flip to desktop amps and DACs and tether themselves to their PCs. Or, you may make a selection to make use of a hybrid DAC/amp that connects over Bluetooth.

However there’s one thing particular about having a tool devoted to tune listening. That’s it’s objective. It’s constructed simply to ship the most productive listening revel in, and makes use of elements to make sure to get that higher-level sound you’re in search of. There’s no fear over your cellphone’s battery or distracting notifications. And there’s that fulfilling revel in of getting your entire tune library safely to your pocket, decided on, managed, and contoured thru a large, phone-like contact display. 


After which there’s natural capacity. DAPs ceaselessly ship extra energy than your reasonable pocketable OTG DAC. You wish to have your headphones to have a bit extra energy than what they want so they are able to perform with headroom. You wish to have that more energy, able to using your headphones to their fullest sound profile. And as a purchaser spending masses of greenbacks, you call for the liberty to plug in a big selection of headphones, now not simply extra-sensitive IEMs as a result of that’s all of the energy output you could have.

So, those gadgets have their position, nevertheless it’s rooted in a yearning. DAPs are the area of people that need devoted audio {hardware}, above and past the dongle. If you’ll move with out a display, there are heaps of choices in the market that may sound simply as just right. But if you need the overall bundle, like an iPod on steroids, DAPs just like the iBasso DX170 are the place you flip.

iBasso DX170 – Specifications and Construct High quality(*11*)(*15*)

The iBasso DX170 is extra than simply an ordinary DAP, which performs native audio information. It comes pre-equipped with Android 11 and has get entry to to your whole favourite streaming apps. Because it’s working Android, it finally ends up feeling like a small smartphone, so is straightforward to make use of and navigate in case you’re already the use of a droid. It additionally manner you could have get entry to to the Play Retailer, so that you’ll have get entry to to streaming apps and just about another Android app.

With that mentioned, this isn’t a tool you’ll need to sport on when you’re listening. It options 2GB of reminiscence and a mid-range 4-core SoC. Efficiency is snappy sufficient for streaming apps and light-weight internet surfing, however extra in depth duties will motive the gadget to get laggy. This additionally happens in case you attempt to run too many apps without delay, so I’d have preferred to have noticed 4GB as a substitute of a measly 2GB, nevertheless it does its activity for tune, which is what it’s there for. 


The audio elements are truly what issues right here, and iBasso has executed a super activity of turning in there. It makes use of a couple of Cirrus-Common sense CS43131 DAC chips which ship remarkable sound replica as much as 32-bits/384kHz, with a wonderfully low noise flooring and vanishingly low ranges of distortion. The DX170 additionally strengthen the entire primary information sorts: MQA, APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, OGG, MP3, DFF, DSF, DXD, CUE, ISO. Suffice it to mention, in case you’re questioning if the DX170 can play it, the solution is more than likely sure. 

The DAP could also be somewhat tough for its measurement. It options of balanced (4.4mm pentaconn) and single-ended (3.5mm) outputs. The one-ended output is in a position to put out as much as 3.2 VRMS of energy. The balanced connector doubles that to 6.4 VRMS. That’s sufficient to power maximum headphones you’re more likely to come across these days and blows any IEM I do know of out of the water.


The construct high quality could also be lovely just right! It includes a complete aluminum chassis, which is just right for sturdiness and warmth dissipation (it will probably get just a little heat in use). There are observe controls (play/pause, subsequent, again) at the proper, in addition to a steel quantity wheel. At the left is a microSD slot to enlarge the garage from its integrated 32GB as much as 2TB. 

Then there’s the display. It’s large, quite vibrant, and responsive. It’s now not as visually spectacular as a smartphone with its 5-inch IPS display, nevertheless it’s large enough for use simply and reliably, and it a pleasant interface to make use of when swiping thru tracks on Spotify.

iBasso DX170 – Efficiency and Listening Impressions(*11*)(*15*)

Relating to sound high quality, the DX170 is a winner. It provides a impartial tuning and doesn’t overly colour your tune: precisely what you need from a DAP you’ll be swapping headphones with. 

The answer and element are superb. The low noise flooring signifies that you’ll listen even very faint main points that will differently get misplaced. There gave the impression to be just a little extra readability within the mids too, with notes having a slightly extra of an edge, and superb articulation. 


The ability output at the DX170 is very good. I used to be ready to power the whole lot from my Moondrop KATO earphones to over-ear HIFIMAN Version XS planar magnetics and not using a downside. You’ll need to use the balanced reference to challenging over-ears, however 3.5mm is lots for any IEMs I examined with.

Efficiency on streaming apps is first rate. Navigating tracks and playlists is okay, however I’d be mendacity if I mentioned it didn’t really feel a bit gradual in comparison to my Galaxy S22 Extremely. Surprising, I do know, the $469 DAP isn’t as rapid as a flagship smartphone. However that issues, as a result of while you’re swapping between gadgets, and two gadgets with identical working gadget interfaces, the ones tiny bits of lag stand out.


It’s now not game-breaking, and DAP fanatics had been fast to take me back to the fact that it’s what I will have to be expecting at this worth. Perhaps so, and because it’s nonetheless completely nice for curating, controlling, and taking note of tune, it’s now not a significant downside. It’s, alternatively, one thing any newcomer to DAPs will have to know. The smartphone usual isn’t the mid-range DAP usual.

The DX170 additionally exhibited an bizarre conduct with its quantity wheel. Relatively than scroll up or down exactly, iBasso has baked in some bizarre acceleration. When the display is locked, briefly turning the wheel reasons the amount to first transfer slowly after which ramp up briefly. Greater than as soon as, I overshot the extent I used to be in search of. Quantity acceleration is a peculiar characteristic to bake into a tool like this, and I will be able to best hope it’s a trojan horse.


Ultimate Ideas(*11*)(*15*)

So the DX170 has it the place it counts. It sounds just right, has heaps of energy, and is general lovely responsive. In comparison to different DAPs at this worth, it’s a forged purchase. There are some quirks that hang it again, alternatively. Quantity ramping. Minor lag while you’re working too many apps or load one thing that’s too challenging. The incorporated case additionally makes it exhausting to really feel any motion from the buttons, so I discovered myself mashing them. Those quirks upload up and hang the DX170 again in ease of use.

Total, in case you’re available in the market, the facility, portability, and sound high quality will most likely win that day. It competes neatly there. When you’re a newcomer, alternatively, modify your expectancies accordingly.

The product described on this article was once equipped via the producer for analysis functions.

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