iBasso is a Chinese brand that is known for their digital audio players (DAPs). I would like to thank iBasso for providing the iBasso CB13 cable as a review unit. You can purchase the CB13 cable from their official website, http://ibasso.com/cp_xq_dy.php?id=5310#page5 or Penon Audio, https://penonaudio.com/ibasso-cb12cb13.html .
Unboxing & Specifications
The cable comes in a golden package with the cable description at the front and specifications at the back.
- Wire: 5N mono crystal silver wire and 6N mono crystal copper wire
- Wire Insulation: Proprietary high quality dielectric
- Plug: 2.5mm gold plated balanced TRRS
- Length: 120 cm +/- 5cm
Cable Build & Design
The MMCX connectors on the cable have a translucent housing. There is a R marking on the right MMCX connector to indicate it is right. On the left MMCX connector, there are 3 dots to indicate it is left. There is no memory wire section. The chin slider is translucent. Moving down to the y-splitter, it has a metal housing surrounded by a translucent rubber material and there is strain relief. Lastly, the jack is 2.5mm gold plated right angled with a metal housing that sports the brand name. It is also surrounded by a translucent rubber material. The cable has a 8 core braided design and it is supple.
Sound Analysis (Compared to Stock Cable)
The sub-bass has more quantity and it sounds fuller. The extension is similar. Rumble has a more weighted feel to it and this results in a more punchy presentation. Mid-bass keeps its quantity and the slam is tighter with a higher level of control. The impact is reduced slightly. Bass texture is smoother and each bass note presents itself with more finesse. The bass decay is slightly slower. There is a seamless transition from the lows to the mids.
The midrange has more body and it has extra lushness. The lower mids has more quantity and male vocals benefit from it. It is not overly thick and takes on a more neutral approach. The upper mids has more crisp with better control. This prevents the overall presentation from being shouty. There is a nice organic feel to it. Vocals are expressed more emotionally.
The treble extension is very similar and it has slightly more body. The presentation is smoother with finesse. It is soothing to listen to. The amount of air increases and sparkle is retained. There is no sibilance and harshness. The treble articulation is maintained. The air prevents the sound from being too dense.
Both the width and depth increases. The expansion is more natural. Positioning of instruments and vocals is more accurate. There is very open feel with an effective amount of space rendered.
The iBasso CB13 is a great hybrid cable with more impactful bass presentation, organic midrange and airier treble. This cable pairs well with brighter sounding iems as it improves the control. The stage width and depth gives a more open feel. In addition, the cable is very flexible for a 8 core braided design and in terms of visual appeal, it is beautiful.