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Following you can find all the reviews of Ibasso DX220, including the FAQ, article review and video review, you may find your answer right here.
Since the DX220 is more of an evolution than a completely new DAP there are definite enhancements but also some legacy features that have remained from the original DX200.
Slicker Form Factor
A bigger 5″ IPS 1080p screen and a shorter more refined body. The DX220 makes both the DX150 and DX200 look almost antiquated with their smaller screens and angular or blockier form factors. The almost borderless approach worked a charm with the HiBy R6 Pro and iBasso seem to agree also.
In the hand, it is a stunning looking upgrade, made all the more attractive with the introduction of Corning Gorilla (2.5D) glass which delivers a lot more “pop” to the display.
(Image Credit: Headfonics)
Mango Gen 2
Whilst out of the box Android Oreo for the DX220 is nothing new, (Both DX150 and Dx200 have it now), the introduction of a vastly overhauled Mango dual-boot OS and app is a first. This is nothing like the older clunky player, looking far more refined and user-friendly.
It also has a few ace cards up its sleeve in its new settings menu that will provide a lot more user engagement. That includes a debut for iBasso’s first ever Parametric EQ system as well as an in-depth user configuration on how to navigate Mango as an app and what options are available.
iBasso DX220 – The design
Unmistakably, the iBasso DX220 shares a lot of traits with the DX200. It’s a thick metallic box, with glass panels front and behind, giving it a retro-futuristic vibe. When smartphone makers try to make them thinner and thinner, the DX220 seems like a gigantic middle finger pointing at them.
The design could either draw you in, or block you out. If you like big, sturdy players with aluminium accents and wide touch screen, you will love the DX220. On the other hand, if what you search is sleek design in a compact solution, you may need to check for something else. Like the Plenue D2.
The main differences between the DX200 and DX220, aesthetically speaking, are :
– the new scroll-wheel
– the glass back-panel
– narrower bezels and a bigger screen
– no more metallic extension from the power button to the play/next/previous
(Image Credit: Headfonia)
iBasso DX220 – A quick view
The DX200 already was very well equipped, so there is not much to change.
The DX220 is still driven by two ESS Sabre chips, 2x ES9028 Pro to be precise, each of those DACs offering the same performance as 4x ES9028Q2M, on paper. So no need to tell you I’m more than eager to try it (ok I just did tell you) and see how it translates in real world performances.
Another upgrade ? There are now five oscillators, so three more than before, all announced to bear the femtoseconds precision clock. So, in case jitter is still a thing for some of you, the DX220 should obliterate any of your doubts.
The UI is also faster than ever, all thanks to Android 8.0 and a new octa-core CPU. The ram has been raised to 4Gb too, so you can install any streaming app you ever need, or want. Good news since the DX220 enjoys a whole news IPS screen too, with wider gamut, improved resolution and bigger screen size overall.
Software and control
Android 8.0 Oreo is responsible for the internal content of the player. Navigation is performed using the touch screen: swipe right, swipe left, curtain on top and touch – in a word, everything is simple and familiar, like on smartphones. If you wish, you can start and switch tracks with side buttons.
With such a filling, the Google Play Market service would be desirable, but its absence is not such a big problem. Almost any application can be installed using programs with apk-files – this is not a tricky business, it will take a few minutes.
In case you need,
- .img firmware for use with the Android Tool for DX220. ( Click to get it)
- Android Tool ( Click to get it)
AMP9 OUTPUT IMPEDANCE 0.3 OHMS.
For AMP9 you must update to at least to the latest firmware of June 16, 2019.
In the DX220, like the DX200, there is a dual boot, which takes the gadget to the menu of an independent virtual Mango player, which has acquired a new elegant interface and more convenient control.
In general, the choice is yours. In addition to music, you want access to the Internet and all kinds of programs – go to Android. Would you like a clean audio player – choose Mango OS.
Like its predecessors, the DX220 has seven digital filters and a parametric equalizer (PMEQ), which allows you to fine-tune the sound to your taste.
It is worth mentioning that the DX220 is already “out of the box” well optimized, and the manufacturer promises to regularly engage in improving its software. Why, the player just came out, and I already had an update on it!
- OS: Android
- DAC: Dual ES9028Pro
- Output Ports: 2.5BAL, 3.5PO, 3.5LO, SPDIF
- Screen: 5.0inch 1080P Full Screen
- CPU: Octa Core
- USB-DAC: XMOS
2.5mm Balanced Output:
- Output Voltage: 6.2Vrms
- Frequency Response: 10HZ-45KHZ+/-0.3dB
- S/N: 125dB
- THD+N: -0.00018% (no load, 3Vrms)
-0.0002% (32Ω load, 3Vrms)
- Crosstalk: -119dB
3.5mm Single Ended Output:
- Output Voltage: 3.1Vrms
- Frequency Response: 10HZ-45KHZ+/-0.3dB
- S/N: 123dB
- THD+N: -0.00031% (no load, 1.8Vrms)
-0.00035% (32Ω load, 1.8Vrms)
- Crosstalk: -117dB
- Output Voltage: 3.0Vrms
- Frequency response: 10HZ-45KHZ+/-0.3dB
- S/N: 122dB
- THD+N: -0.00035%, -107dB (no load, 1.8Vrms)
- Crosstalk: -116dB
(Image Credit: Audio123review )
Unboxing & Accessories
The DX220 comes in a maroon red package that has a silver protective cover. On the cover, there are the model name, brand name and features of the DX220. At the back of the cover, there are the specifications. After opening the package, there are the DX220, leather case, burn-in cable, coaxial cable, USB Type C cable, warranty card, quick start guide and screen protectors.
Hi, lovers of quality sound!
Today an excellent opportunity to meet at us – to us the new leader from the highly respected company iBasso on a visit glanced, DX220 DAP.
The model was only issued and right there surely occupied a pedestal, having pressed the fellow of iBasso DX200 which is released in 2017 from there.
The device is built on the same two top-end DAC chips ESS Saber 9028PRO and also has the ability to replace the amplifying modules, which currently number nine pieces: AMP1, AMP2, AMP3, AMP4, AMP5, AMP6, AMP7, AMP8 and now AM1 MK2.
If the DX200 was supplied with the AMP1, then its continuation already has on board a new module, namely the AMP1 MK2.
I think, it is worth mentioning also a complete amp of “middle brother”, DX150 – AM6 module.
And junior, DX120 about which we told you recently has no possibility of replacement of the amplifier because of his small size. However, it is already good.
But back to the big leagues. I will not keep the intrigue and immediately admit that the DX220 definitely bypasses its predecessor, but what exactly – I will describe in detail below.
Mango app vs Mango OS.
I’m sure many will be curious how does Mango app (in Android mode) compares to stripped down Mango OS. Here is a summary of some of the differences I found while testing under fw 1.09.092. There could be more, but these stood out for me.
- Mango OS start up is faster, while Mango app/Android takes a little longer (a few extra seconds).
- Mango app (in Android) navigation is faster, while Mango OS has a slight lag.
- Mango app (in Android) has EQ and PEQ, while Mango OS has only EQ.
- In Mango app you can randomly tap on timeline to advance to any part of the song, in Mango OS you have to drag the pointer to a new position like in original DX200.
- In Mango app “Now playing” directory/list is accessible when you pull down the main screen, while in Mango OS you have to tap upper left corner to get to music sorting where you view “Now playing” list.
There are also differences in sound between Mango app and Mango OS, and I will cover it in sound analysis section of the review.
(Image Credit: Twister 6)
DX220 offers a traditional Graphic EQ (EQ) where frequency bands are fixed, and you only adjust the gain with a slider.
In Mango app (Android mode) you also get Parametric EQ (PEQ) where you have a lot more control over which frequency is being adjusted, bandwidth of the frequency being adjusted, the type of the filter used to adjust the frequency, and of course the gain of the adjustment. Here are my observations while testing DX220 EQ and PEQ.
Graphic EQ (EQ)
- When enabled, drops the volume to create extra headroom for band adjustment (to avoid clipping).
- Relatively clean 10-band EQ adjustment (33, 63, 100, 330, 630, 1k, 3.3k, 6.3k, 10k, 16k frequency bands).
- Whenever you adjust a band, you can see it being shown graphically above the EQ sliders; great visual feedback.
- 5 genre specific presets are included where each one could be adjusted further and reset to its original state.
Porta.fi (Find the comparison here)
Let’s do some comparisons. I will try to concentrate mainly on sound because the difference in appearance should be obvious.
iBasso DX200 (stock variant) I have not done comparisons of those players with other amps, rather than stock, but I assume the difference should be the same, taking into account the peculiarities of the amps. The sound difference is not striking, but I cannot say it is not obvious. DX220 has less noise, is more natural and has slightly better highs. It is also less dependent on sound quality.
Astell&Kern SP1000 Of course, AK flagship is unmatched. It has even more natural presentation (not always needed), house sound in the mids, better soundstage in terms of depth – everything that justifies the additional price (not for everyone).
Lotoo Paw Gold Touch Almost everything that is written about Ultima, can be said here, except for AK house sound and additional emotions in the upper mids. The remark about the price stays the same.
Cayin N8 Everything becomes simpler here. Cayin engineers have their own vision when it comes to sound, so they made N8 full of emotions and fun. It is very different from DX220 that tries to keep neutrality.
Astell&Kern SE100 I will be short here. DX220 does everything Futura can do, but iBasso is better. It provides us with more natural neutrality variant and more functions with better screen.
Questyle QP2r I’ve had this player long ago, so will try to compare remembering its sound, and it might be a little bit wrong. DX200 hasn’t left a chance for QP1r, playing in the same manner, but better. DX220 does the same to QP2r, and here we can even use some math. QP2r is everything QP1r is plus some additional weight and emotions. The same for the difference between DX200 and DX220.
Astell&Kern SR15 Of course, DX220 has more details, has better technical abilities and better controls the whole frequency range, especially on its borders. But Norma is loved not for this, but for AK house sound, dimensions, convenient controls and stylish design.
FiiO X7-2 It’s obvious FiiO has to upgrade their flagship and we will highly likely see it before the end of the year. X7-2 is good for its price but is somewhat lacking in comparison to iBasso DX220 in terms of natural sound and controls.
QLS 361 I think of 361 as the main competitor for DX220 when it comes to sound. Of course they have a huge gap in terms of functions. The difference in sound is obvious too, but it can be seen as different approach. QLS is even more neutral and less colored, while DX220 offers more weight on vocals and instruments.
theBit OPUS#2 Upon the whole, this player resembles 220, but is going further in accents to imitate the analogue sound – more solid mids, more accentuated lows and more energy in highs. Here we should also consider the difference in power.
theBit OPUS#3 This player has made it to this comparison mainly due to its price, because its darker sound has nothing to do with neutral DX220.
At the 2019 Axpona Audio Show in Chicago iBasso debuted their new High-Resolution Reference Digital Audio Player, the DX220.
- Key features of this DAP are:
- Dual Sabre ES9028 DAC chips
- 4GB RAM
- A 5.0” 1080P Full Touch Screen
- Femtosecond Oscillators
- Android OS
- Octa-Core CPU
- Exchangeable AMP Modules
- Playback of up to DSD512
Measuring 4 7/8” x 2 5/8” x 7/8” the iBasso DX220 is comfortable to hold and well balanced in the hand. It comes equipped with the new revised AMP1 MkII which has a Line Out (output voltage 3vms), 3.5mm Single Ended Out (output voltage 3.1vms), and a 2.5” Balanced Out (output voltage 6.2vms) with a frequency response of 10Hz-45Hz making it ideal for sensitive IEM’s as well as full-size headphones. The amplifier modules are swappable and the DX220 is fully compatible with all iBasso AMP Modules that have been previously released and also offers Bluetooth 5.0.
(Image Credit: headphone.guru)
One of the great things about this DAP is that it supports playback of DSD512 files. This is no small feat and it does so flawlessly, granted, these DSD512 files can run 20GB each but believe me, it’s worth it. The unit comes with 64GB internal memory, a single microSD slot capable of reading up to 2TB, and has 4GB of RAM.
The iBasso DX220 is secured within premium packaging and comes with a USB Type C Charging Cable, an OTG Coax Cable, a premium Burn-In Cable, and Warranty Card. As with all of the iBasso lineup, the box is nicely designed with an attractive box, ample foam, and the charging cable, burn in cable, warranty card and six screen protectors are beneath the unit.
The chassis is made of milled aluminum with gray/black highlights and the screen is updated over their previous flagship, the DX200, with Corning Gorilla Glass. The build quality is exemplary and the fit between seams is spot on. Sleek lines, a beveled screen, and semi-recessed volume knob make it comfortable to hold and easy to use. It comes with a premium leather case in mustard yellow, which, to me, is the only drawback here. Perhaps a black, brown, or red leather case would be more appealing to the eye.
The iBasso DX220 is well engineered Digital Audio Player (DAP) with some nice hardware specs to achieve a Reference type High Quality Sound.
A) DAC (Digital to Analog Converter):
The iBasso DX220 utilizes a Dual Sabre ES9028pro DAC Chip (Digital to Analog Converter) which has 8 DACs per side. Each ES9028pro uses the 8 DACs in parallel for each channel. This design optimizes the THD+N, Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), Dynamic Range and Crosstalk performance of the DX220.
The result is a THD+N of 0.00018%/-114dB, SNR of 125dB and a Crosstalk of -119dB.
(Image Credit: Moonstar review )
iBASSO DX220 Review: Sound quality
The large volume control at right has high resolution. To its left sit track skip and pause/play buttons.
or alternatively a Settings menu could be coaxed out with a sideways swipe. Trying to select the three swipe downs was always difficult I found. Even difficult-to-impossible was return from Play mode to initial track listing, since the small icon for this at top right of the screen was unresponsive.
Start up time was a reasonable 27 seconds. There’s a claimed 8 hours playing time from the 4400mAh internal battery re-chargeable battery (not removable) but I got around 6 hours with constant play but screen off.
It can be run from an external ‘phone charger (not supplied) with a USB lead (supplied) and as is common the lead can also be used to load music files to 64GB of internal memory. However, USB defaults to charge mode and must be manually set for file transfer.
Also, once loaded the files don’t appear immediately, and must be manually scanned via a Scanner submenu in Advanced music play settings – awkward. Most players nowadays do all this automatically.
There’s an SD card slot that can address cards up to 2TB – vast capacity. However, DSD files are huge, often 100s of MB, and the DX220 can play up to DSD5I2 (quad DSD), so DSD lovers may have need – but I have yet to see music above DSDI28. I had no trouble getting DSD onto the player from both a Mac and a PC, although the high date rate of the USB C terminated cable forced connection direct to my Mac, to avoid a USB 2.0 hub. Android interfaces with Windows 10 better,
How would you say this player compares to A&K SP1000M?
SP1000M is more natural due to it’s signature mids coloration
Amp 1 mk2 vs Amp 8 on DX220?
I didn’t do many tests, but in brief impression, AMP8 is a bit more “analogue” sounding, with a bit more body and a bit less resolution on treble. but it’s just initial impressions
Clearly for the better dac chip, hiby R6 or dx 220?
There is no “better” or “worse” DAC chips, as DAC plays only one role in the sound, while amp, clock, digital source, PSU and many other components are vitally important. E.g. best DAC I’ve heard, Linn Klimax, was built on “old” WM8741. so I think that device should be evaluated “in the whole”
So, the dac chip is not the first thing we’re looking on a DAP or an amp/dac, to understand a bit how It’ll sound?
Yep. I’ve heard devices built with the same DAC chip, but totally different sound
I have A&K SP1000. Would you recommend me to sell it, buy this one and save some money?
No, if sound quality is important for you, stay with SP1000 🙂
DX220 is really great DAP, and difference with TOTL is really small, but it’s still present
Would this player benefit from an external amp?
It depends on your headphones. in general, it won’t benefit much from amp, as iBasso’s amps are really decent. I’d said that it’s more logical to get a spare module like AMP8 (or upcoming AMP9)
of course, if you’re using some power-hungry headphones powerful external amp can improve things
What is the best sound quality ibasso Dx220 VS AK SE100 ?
Actually, I mentioned SE100 in comparisons, but in short, DX220 is better.
Oh, well… first of all, because DX220 puts a proper amount of weight into sound, and thus sounds more natural and realistic. I don’t know why, but SE100 is focused on micro-detalisation (not typical for A&K) and sometimes this representation sound more compelling, but, in many cases, it gives a less natural sound. so, DX220 is a winner for me, especially considering price/quality ratio
In A&K lineup I recommend Norma, because it’s small and stylish or Ultimas, because they are the best 🙂
Does it support tidal offline?
Sure, it uses regular Tidal app, so it supports everything that Tidal app can do.
Youtube Video Review
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_SCwsHQZOhE ( User interface/1st impressions by Bad Guy Good Audio Reviews)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f82p_QJRxI ( Porta.Fi is active in replying the comments, so if you have any questions, you can leave a comment there.)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv_JSE-Usn0 ( Playing around with the iBasso DX220 ui late at night, if you want to know how its performance at night, just check it)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GM8Kw8ey1M ( iBasso DX220 + AMP7 DAP – Unboxing – Review， By Audiophile Heaven）
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M324iLMslnU ( iBasso DX220 VS HiBy R6 Pro )
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2Qc8DhL-Y4 ( Unboxing of my recently purchased iBasso DX220. With the Amp 8)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19JQgD9FGkE&t=60s ( Fiio M11 VS Ibasso DX220)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7kikWW-TdY ( Russian )
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsyjVj33tTw ( Russian)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcIK9ye2Qnk&t=10s ( Russian)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_lQSqGVqmA ( Russian, Ibasso DX220 VS Fiio M11 VS Hiby R6 Pro)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcIK9ye2Qnk ( Russian 1.4K followers)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEdzNK7mvDg ( Russian, 17K followers)