iBasso IT01 Review IEM The Sparkling Star

IT01 Review. This is an Entry level IEM (In-Ear Monitoring) from iBasso with a single dynamic driver. iBasso IT01 is priced at $99. The dynamic driver is in-house developed which has three unique feature:

1 Tesla magnetic flux will improve the resolution, dynamic, and speed.
The dual Helmholtz resonators provide deep and powerful bass.
5um Multilayered graphene diagram will benefit IT01 with a low distortion resolution. read more on their website.

Read on to know more about IT01 review, the sparkling star.

Specification
Driver:10.0mm Dynamic driver
Multi-layered graphene.
Frequency response:   10Hz-42kHz
Sensitivity:  108+/-2dB
Impedance:  16 Ohm
Noise Attenuation: -26dB
Rated power:  10mW
T.H.D.:  <1% (at 1kHz/1mW)
Plug size: 3.5 TRS gold plated
Cable length:  1.2m
Connection:  MMCX
Weight: 8.0g without cable

IT01 Unboxing.

The unboxing experience felt great. The white cover on the packaging with the dark blue box looks premium including the material selection. Bear with me, IT01 review is after this section. At this moment, enjoy the IT01 pictures.

When you open it up,  you’ll notice the warranty card and quick start guide on the upper lid of the box.  Quick start guide is full of great information especially if you are new to IEM: how to use the foam tip, how to insert the IEM, removal of cable.

The two drivers is in a foam together with the case. When you open the case you’ll find the cooper braids cable. It’s a good looking cable especially at this price, maybe you’ll notice that the cable is a little bit lose. According to iBasso, it was made that way because they tested quite a number of variation and this is the best setting.

iBasso IT01 uses 99.99% multicore star-shape four braids of high-purity copper wire, standard detachable MMCX interface. It can produce condensed and mellow low-frequency and structured high frequency, form a deep sense of space.

I’m suprised that iBasso provided 4 different type of tips: 1 foam tips (S/M) and 3 different type of silicon tips (each with S/M/L). I believe that iBasso understands the importance of a good seal.

The case is spacious, made of metal and there an extra rubber at the side. It’s easy to open and close and I’ve confidence every time I toss the case in my bag that it will protect my IT01. ITo1 review continue.

IT01 Review: Build.

The housing made from plastic in a triangle shape, although lack of the premium feel and a little bit big for a single drive, the housing is a little bit big for a single drive, sticking out from the ear a little bit but I still consider it comfortable but for those who like to sleep with their earphone, I think it will be uncomfortable using the IT01.  I appreciate the lightness, it’s well made with no sharp corner or roughness.

The nozzles are metal, there’s a wax filter at the nozzle. Two small vents near the nozzles for a pressure relief when you insert it into your ear to avoid the driver flex (driver flex is when you put on your earphones in your ear and the air pressure pushes against the driver’s diaphragm causing it to flex and make a crinkling noise) during my daily use I can hear the crinkling noise if I put a little bit too fast, you need to be gentle and slow when inserting it and make sure that you don’t cover the vent. It’s a debatable topic whether a drive flex can damage the earphone but so far I don’t have any issue with the unit and if you are gentle you wouldn’t hear it.

Tips

With a wide range of selection of tips, I’m sure that you’ll find one that can suit your ear. Tested all of them and personally the most comfortable for me is the wide bore tips (is short and with wider hole) and the foam tips (I was hoping that it comes with a bigger size and it will be perfect for me). Both tips give more sparkle to the highs. The Silicon tips are a little bit thinner compared to other brands.  the quality control needs a little bit of improvement, nothing spectacular about the tips.

Cable

The loose copper wire with MMCX connector is one of the best quality cables I’ve seen for IEM under $100. it’s both pleasant to the eye and ear.

The cable left and right identified very clear with the letter R and L and with color coding, right is red and left is blue. there’s a transparent plastic cover from the connector will help to create a shape on the ear, blend very well and it’s almost invisible. One thing that perhaps could be improved is that the connector is very tight and I’ve difficulty every time I want to unplug it. on the other hand, it’s secured.

The cable microphonic is barely heard when you are walking and rubbing against your clothes, I believe the lightness and lose cable are the contributing factor.

IT01 Review: Sound.

For the review I’m using my iPhone X, it’s easy to drive IT01 with an impedance of 16 Ohm.

The highs are too sharp and tonality heavily leaning towards the bright, that’s my initial impression. After the recommended burning of 150 hours,  the sound did change, the highs are smoother and more refined bass is present.

Tonality is a U shaped, leaning towards elevated bass and treble. the voice sometimes feel a little bit backward.

Lows

The bass is pretty natural even though it’s slightly boosted. XX – fantasy, starting from 1:22 It has a nice thump and rumble, it has a good impact on the sub bass. Impression from Axel F – Harold, The bass is quick to play and has a good decay that doesn’t linger too long.

Some nights – Fun at 1:13, the IT01 is rendering the range and note pretty well from the mid to low bass. IT01 able to provide adequate bass whenever a song is demanding it.

Mids

Listening to Lucky – Jason Mraz and Colbie, the vocals are pretty natural and clarity but because of the clarity, the mids could sound thin and cold at times. Mids could sound a little bit backward in a song that already has recessed voice like Tightrope – Michelle Williams.

The balance in the Mids is good and doesn’t perform well when the song is busy with a lot of lows and highs. To be fair IT01 still perform well in most of the song across genres.

Highs

A detailed high and full of energy, sometimes it can sound too bright on the edge with too much sparkle. I can hear a hint of sibilance. People with sensitive ear probably will hear this more. It’s noticeable with a song that hitting high tones such us Benni.

I can hear slight distortion while listening to Never Enough – Loren Allred at 2:11 and 2:24. That’s because the IT01 is pretty accurate in translating the source quality. To drive the IT01 to its potential you need to have a good and clean source.

Synths sound is clear and crisp, it’s giving a fresh dimension to vanilla twilight – Owl City.  People that used to listen to very warm tonality may find the highs are too sharp. Give it a little bit time and perhaps you’ll like it and appreciate the crisp.  I prefers that the Highs is tone down and smoother a little bit.

Spatial

Because of the highs, it sounds airy and has a wide soundstage.  the Separation is good across a different range of music, you can hear different kind of instrument pretty clear.

The spatial movement performs poorly where the sound needs to travel from one side to the other, example like in a song vanilla twilight – owl city 0:47 synths movement from left to right is not that obvious.

IT01 Review: Conclusion.

Conclusion of IT01 review. IT01 is like a star, sparkling and full of energy.  Tonality sits between warm and bright. IT01 able to satisfy music that required power from the lows or the sparkle from the highs. It has a good impact on the lows and exciting feeling in the highs.  IT01 is a well-rounded performer indeed.

IT01 doesn’t sound intimate. It could sound recessed especially in a song that has a backward voice signature. Overall it performs well across the genres. I would like IT01 to have a smother and less aggressive highs.

I would not hesitate to recommend IT01 especially to a newcomer in the IEM world. If you are upgrading from your iPhone earpods this will be certainly a big improvement. You’ll hear a sound that you’ve never heard before. You’ll also able to experiment with different sizes of tips and material.

Is $100 justifiable price? Certainly, you get more than what you pay for. Including wide option of tips and great cable. IT01 performs well above it’s asking price.

If you like my IT01 review, please share it! I hope that the IT01 review is useful for you. If you are looking for a bright IEM with custom fit feeling you can read the Kinera H3 review

iBasso IT01 Review IEM The Sparkling Star

Product Name: iBasso IT01

Product Description: iBasso IT01 has 1 Tesla magnetic flux will improve the resolution, dynamic, and speed. The dual Helmholtz resonators provide deep and powerful bass. 5um Multilayered graphene diagram will benefit IT01 with a low distortion resolution

Price: 99

Currency: USD

Availability: InStock

[ More ]

Overall
4.1
  • ACCESSORIES
  • BUILD
  • SOUND QUALITY

Summary

I would not hesitate to recommend IT01 especially to a newcomer in the IEM world. If you are upgrading from your iPhone earpods this will be certainly a big improvement. You’ll hear a sound that you’ve never heard before. You’ll also able to experiment with different sizes of tips and material.

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