An overview of the available hi-fi player, iBasso DX50

Few people want to carry two gadgets if the functionality of one of them is duplicated in the other. This is the main problem of the audio players of today: modern smartphones for the most part have decent musical ability. However, there are two classes of portable music players that continue successful fight for a place under the sun. This small and lightweight device sporting (Jogging mainly), as well as stuffed with serious circuitry friends pickiest audiophiles. The last mostly – patrimony kitaiskih manufacturers, rare for a portable device, capable of delivering Hi-Fi sound, made famous producers, prohibitively expensive. Heck, even Chinese sources carried in the pocket of the sound quality are very expensive, by the standards of the average user. But one day (that “once” was recently) appeared FiiO X3, the brainchild of a company specializing in DACS and audio amplifiers for wearable gadgets. This worthy player first demonstrated the Hi-Fi sound in the price range up to $ 300. However, the FiiO X3 was struck by a wave of criticism from hardcore audiophiles. On the other hand FiiO X3 instilled in many students a love of truly high-quality sound. After it activated other Chinese manufacturers players and amplifiers. I saw the light “budget” players iBasso DX50 and iHIFI 760. The first of these circuit design is very similar to the FiiO X3. However, they are not twins.

The editors thank the online store Era in Ear for providing for the review of the player

Few people want to carry two gadgets if the functionality of one of them is duplicated in the other. This is the main problem of the audio players of today: modern smartphones for the most part have decent musical ability. However, there are two classes of portable music players that continue successful fight for a place under the sun. This small and lightweight device sporting (Jogging mainly), as well as stuffed with serious circuitry friends pickiest audiophiles.

The last mostly – patrimony kitaiskih manufacturers, rare for a portable device, capable of delivering Hi-Fi sound, made famous producers, prohibitively expensive. Heck, even Chinese sources carried in the pocket of the sound quality are very expensive, by the standards of the average user. But one day (that “once” was recently) appeared FiiO X3, the brainchild of a company specializing in DACS and audio amplifiers for wearable gadgets. This worthy player first demonstrated the Hi-Fi sound in the price range up to $ 300. However, the FiiO X3 was struck by a wave of criticism from hardcore audiophiles. On the other hand FiiO X3 instilled in many students a love of truly high-quality sound. After it activated other Chinese manufacturers players and amplifiers. I saw the light “budget” players iBasso DX50 and iHIFI 760. The first of these circuit design is very similar to the FiiO X3. However, they are not twins.
Specifications iBasso DX50

iBasso DX50

Amplifier
Yes, built in

DAC
24-bit Wolfson WM8740

Display
IPS, multi-touch, 320×240 pixels, 2.4 inches

Drive
8 GB

Recording format
mp3

Battery
2100 mAh

Interface and outputs
USB 2.0 (microUSB), 3.5 mm headphone, 3.5 mm line-out, 3.5-mm coaxial S/PDIF (adapter included)

Memory card support
there is, microSD

Size and weight
64x100x17 mm, 145 grams

Recommended impedance headphones
16 – 300 Ω

Headphone output

Output level: 1.2 V (Low gain), 1.7 V (Mid gain), 3.1 In (High Gain);
Output impedance: < 0.5 Ω
Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
The ratio signal/noise: -103 dB ± 3 dB (Low gain), -106 dB ±3dB (Mid gain), -108 dB ±3dB (High Gain) (load 32 Ω)

Line out

Channel separation: > 90 dB @ 10 KΩ @ 1 kHz
Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Output level: 1.5 Vrms
The ratio signal/noise: > 109 dB+ – 3dB

Playback FiiO X3

Formats
APE, FLAC, WAV, WMA, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, OGG, MP3

Additionally
Support Gapless playback, lyrics, ID3 tag, CUE, album art

Box

Brown box no issues contained in her cargo. But this is easy to arrange under the gift just bandaging a festive ribbon. Inside player, velvety somewhat harsh carrying pouch, MicroUSB cable, and coaxial cable (RCA – моноTRS). And yet — the protective film on the screen.
Design and management

A new generation of Hi-Fi players have deviated from the originally brutal appearance: DX50 does not look shapeless metal tool random killings, as some of his ancestors.

It is quite a civilian, not a giant Assembly of brushed metal with a vertical texture weight of 140 grams.

It is slightly thicker and slightly wider than its main opponent the FiiO X3. The latter, however, is much narrower so they are easier to manage with one hand. Although it is a moot point, as the management of players is very different. In DX50 manufacturer applied touch screen with IPS panel. Responds to touch it is fine, but any smartphone user can easily understand the menus and settings. Moreover, the menu is Russified (though not always the best way). Fortunately, iBasso has equipped its brainchild and physical buttons.

The main issued under the screen (play/pause and rewind). Small power button and a toggle lock located on the left side and volume control on the right side.

I was running blind the player when he was in my pocket. Unlike the FiiO X3, mysterious and diagonal arrangement of buttons which had a long time to get used to. However, usually the player will be in the pocket upside down as the headphone Jack and line out located on the bottom edge. This is perhaps the most serious ergonomic flaw of the player.

Next to the live audio switch to amp. The top face includes RCA output, USB and a slot for memory cards microSD.


Interface and settings

The interface is minimalistic. It allows you to sort songs by artists, albums, and genres. To play the recording from the internal memory (8 gigabytes), external cards and devices connected via USB-OTG (hard disk drive with reduced power consumption or stick). Unexpectedly, I also appreciated the touch: to change the settings, look for the albums, and especially to adjust the sound osmidrosis equalizer is really convenient. Cyrillic tags and titles are displayed correctly, although there are problems with the CUE: there are problems with encodings and choose from a list. I really hope in the next firmware this mistake corrected. But gapless playback works perfectly. Importantly, do not forget to include it in the menu. The player supports the energy saver settings. Here you can change the time automatically turn off the backlight, and select display brightness. I was amazed that the sound can be adjusted from 1 to 255. I think the first time I see such a detailed gradation! The player with the latest installed firmware did not freeze, there were only occasional braking that transitions to the next track.
Sound

The sound on the player is very good, for a novice music lover’s all we need: flat frequency response, a wide stage, impressive detail. In the monitor headphones sound neutral in color, although you hear a certain lack on the top edge of the bass, causing the upper frequencies stand out a bit more than I would like and in some cases can beat the ears. I think that the more others will be satisfied by those who prefer the dynamic sound reinforcement. And with armature headphones such as the Sony XBA-3, iBasso DX50 sounds really good (and much better than the FiiO X3). I liked the combination of the player with vysokoemkie nauchnyie Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO LTD (250 Ohms): every instrument of the Symphony orchestra in a good recording one can feel like sitting on the second or third row of the orchestra. Backstage and details thanks to a decent integrated amplifier. However, the lack of upper bass can slightly be felt in the dynamic music, and neutrality is not all to their liking. For example, I prefer a more musical and warm sound, and in this sense closer to me FiiO X3 paired with nebulosity headphones which reduce the effect of the diffuse bass of this player. Have a FiiO X3 less detail, already the scene energetic and booming bass, while the iBasso DX50 “flatter”, with more detail and wider scene, but with a slight lack of dynamics. By the way, if you like to listen to music with the player at the same time with someone, you should know that DX50 transmits sound to both the line output (without gain, though), and a headphone output.
The battery life

When playing recordings FLAC at maximum volume and maximum gain of the player battery (2100 mAh) is discharged in a little over 14 hours. Charging it from the USB port of the laptop suddenly quickly: in just a couple of hours. It is very good, especially considering the fact that the charger is not included.
The bottom line

I think the budding audiophile, this player will be fully satisfied. It is not too large and heavy, affordable (for Hi-Fi) for the price, has a fairly user-friendly controls and intuitive-intelligible interface. The player supports external memory card and USB OTG. The sound after every good, but not Hi-Fi player that just seems magical, the player can be used with low-resistance and vysokoemkie headphones. If you compare with the closest competitor FiiO X3 and the difference in sound from them is not so great as it might seem from the corresponding paragraph. Definitely one or the other I wouldn’t need to listen to them carefully, and with different headphones and decide which one you prefer. Firmware from iBasso DX50 is constantly updated, and with them corrected some of the flaws not only in the interface (such as support for CUE), but sometimes in the sound. Is iBasso nowaday 2500 hryvnia.

3 reasons to buy iBasso DX50

Great sound (unless you have Hi-Fi audio player with the higher class);
good quality materials;
convenient operation.

3 reasons not to buy iBasso DX50

You are audiophile;
You are an experienced audiophile and you already have player Hi-Fi;
Did you prefer the sound of the FiiO X3.