iBasso is a Chinese brand that is known for their digital audio players (DAPS). They create their first iem in the IT03, a triple hybrid with a popular configuration of 2 Balanced Armature and 1 Dynamic. Recently, they release the IT01 that is a single dynamic driver iem. I would like to thank iBasso for providing the IT01 as a review unit. At the moment, you can purchase the IT01 from the official website, http://www.ibasso.com/cp_xq_dy.php?id=6025 and Penon Audio, https://penonaudio.com/iBasso-IT01 .
- Driver: 10.0mm Dynamic driver
- Frequency response: 10Hz-42kHz
- Sensitivity: 108+/-2dB
- Impedance: 16 Ohm
- Noise Attenuation: -26dB
- Rated power: 10mW
- T.H.D.: <1% (at 1kHz/1mW)
- Weight: 8.0g without cable
Unboxing & Accessories
The IT01 comes in a blue package that has the iBasso logo printed at the front. It has a protective cover that sports the iBasso logo, the words – “IT01 Audiophile In-Ear Monitors” and the brand name. Inside the blue package, you can see the IT01 sitting nicely in the soft foam. Below the iem, there is the hard carrying case that has the words – “iBasso Audio” printed on it. Inside the case, there are the cable and 4 packs of tips. Below the package cover, there is a black paper compartment. It contains the instruction manual and warranty card.
IEM Build & Design
The IT01 has a smooth surface to it. The left side is blue in colour while the right side is red in colour. On the inside of each iem, there are 2 vents and on the top side of each iem, there are L & R markings to differentiate between left and right. The IT01 has a nice shape to it and I am able to fit them in my ears comfortably. The nozzle is slightly angled and has a silver exterior surface. There is metal mesh for earwax prevention. It utilizes mmcx sockets. Overall, the IT01 is constructed nicely.
Cable Build & Design
The cable provided is made of high purity copper wire. It is braided and has a 4 core design. The build quality on the cable is good. Cable has a smooth texture to it. The mmcx connectors have a transparent housing. On the left mmcx connector, there is a blue dot with a clear ‘L’ marking to indicate that it is the left side. Likewise, for the right mmcx connector, there is a red dot with a clear ‘R’ to indicate that it is the right side. There is a memory cable section that is enclosed in a transparent rubber tubing. It is quite flexible. Moving on to the chin slider, it is silver in colour and circular in shape while the y splitter is a longer version of the chin slider. Lastly, the jack is 3.5mm gold plated and has a silver housing with the words “iBasso Audio” printed on it. There is strain relief to it.
The IT01 has a good sub-bass extension that packs a quick rumble and the decay is quick. The sub-bass quantity is moderate and it is expressed with a slight weight. Most importantly, there is a clean presentation. The mid-bass has a nice slam that does not come across as authoritative. There is a moderate punch and although it is not the most impactful I have heard, there is still control in it. The bass note is being expressed with a smooth hit. Each hit gives a nice tinge of warmth. The soothing nature of the bass is relaxing and it complements well with the decay. The bass articulation is accurate. The transition to the lower mids is good due to the quantity.
With a slightly v-shaped sound, the midrange on the IT01 does not have the thick and lush kind of body. Instead, it operates in a warm and clean approach. The lower mids on the IT01 is boosted by the lows and contributes to the portrayal of male vocals. There is moderate body to the male vocals. The upper mids on the IT01 is rather forward but the magnitude of the forwardness is still not very extreme. There is a good control in the upper mids and female vocals are expressed in the most delicate manner. The definition of the midrange is clear and there is musicality. I feel details ooze out from the midrange easily. The midrange is not shouty at all and it is presented with finesse.
The treble is extended moderately and there is no graininess in it. There is no sibilance and harshness. It is presented in a smooth manner but there is still a good stretch. The crisp is decent and there is no sparkle. The amount of air is quite moderate. At the top end, the treble expression is smooth and not bright at all. There is a good level of details retrieval. There is no congestion in the overall sound. The clarity is clear. Overall, with such a smooth treble and slight crisp, it is enjoyable and non-fatiguing.
The IT01 has a natural expansion in its stage width and the depth is not close. This gives a surround feel at all aspects. There is space and the soundstage is quite immersive. Vocals and instruments positioning is accurate.
iBasso IT01 vs iBasso IT03
The IT03 has less sub-bass quantity and more extension than the IT01. IT03 presents its sub-bass with authority. There is a greater impact and the reproduction is better with more definition. The mid-bass on the IT03 has more slam with extra dynamics. IT01 is slightly laid-back here. The IT03 has slightly better decay and this gives the IT03 an extra edge. The bass texture is smoother on the IT01. Bass note on the IT03 is presented with more bite. Bass on the IT01 is warm and smooth yet retains a good dynamic impact while on the IT03, it hits with authority and confidence based on a clinical style. The lower mids on the IT01 sounds more full and with more body, male vocals sound less hollow. The upper mids on the IT03 is more forward with more crisp and definition. Female vocals have more impact on the IT03. On the other hand, IT01 tackles female vocals in a different approach. Female vocals are presented in a smooth and laid-back manner in comparison. There is still forwardness but not as much as the IT03. I find the IT01 to have the better control here. Next, in the treble section, the IT01 operates in a smooth approach while the IT03 operates in a clinical approach. The air produced from the IT03 has more amount. In terms of soundstage, the IT03 has slightly more width while the IT01 has a more natural expansion. The depth on the IT03 is better with more space. Vocals and instruments positioning on the both are rather precise. Resolution on the IT03 is better.
iBasso IT01 vs TFZ Exclusive King
The IT01 has slightly more extension than the King but less sub-bass quantity. I feel the depth allows the IT01 to have more impact. The quantity of the King slightly compromises on its agility. The mid-bass on the King has more slam and the dynamics is greater. Each slam is being produced in an authoritative manner. Bass decay is slightly quicker on the IT01. Bass texture is much smoother on the IT01. Each bass note is articulated with more definition. The lower mids on both is very similar and both does male vocals justice. The upper mids on the King is slightly more forward. The extra forwardness creates more intimacy for female vocals. The vocals performance has more organic feel to it. Next, in the treble section, the King has more extension while IT01 has a warm and smooth style. The air rendered on both is very similar. I find the articulation is rather precise. King has slightly more sparkle. In terms of soundstage, the width and depth is pretty similar. The IT01 has more maturity in its overall presentation.
IBasso IT01 vs Advanced M4
The sub-bass quantity on the IT01 has more quantity and similar extension. Both presents it rather cleanly but the M4 has a slight edge with definition. The bass decay on both is quick. Bass texture on the IT01 is rendered more smoothly. The mid-bass on the IT01 has more weight and each bass note is presented with warmth. There is slightly more agility in the M4. The IT01 bass is more musical. The dynamics on both iems is very similar. Next, for the lower mids, IT01 has slightly more body than the M4. Male vocals are better presented. In terms of upper mids, M4 is slightly more forward but the IT01 has the edge in the mastery. Female vocals are being expressed emotionally. Moving on to the treble section, the air produced by both is similar but M4 has the edge in its clinical approach. There is no sibilance and harshness on both. There is no sparkle on both. Lastly, for the soundstage, the width is very similar but IT01 has the edge in the expansion being more natural. Vocals and instruments positioning on both is quite accurate.
The iBasso IT01 is a single dynamic driver iem which is released recently. It provides a slight v-shaped sound that has more emphasis in the lows. The warm and smooth sound is alluring to listen to. The accessories that come with it are sufficient and the case to store the IT01 is constructed very well. At its price point, the IT01 presents tremendous value for its entire package.