Please note that for any pairing, the IEM has more impact on the final result than the DAP, the best DAP being one that is as transparent as possible – DX200 being quite good at this.
iBasso DX200 + Dunu DK-3001 – Quite the excellent pairing, DK-3001 being a very natural sounding IEM, with a relaxed, clear and natural sound. The bass goes deep, but is fairly quick, the midrange is exactly where it should be to sound natural, and the top end is smooth and detailed. The instrument separation is excellent, and soundstage size is very good.
iBasso DX200 + FiiO F9 – Although it doesn’t have a very high price tag, F9 sounds extremely good and is quite comfortable. The bottom end is very strong with excellent presence and impact, the midrange is slightly pushed back, while the top end has a lot of sparkle and a good presence. F9 has a very good detail for its price range, and does present music with excellent detail and layering, DX200 being a very good source to drive it.
iBasso DX200 + Unique Melody Martian – With their very precise and clear character, UM Martian’s original signature is enhanced by DX200, as it helps them gain another edge in clarity, detail, and instrument separation. As DX200 has a quick transient response, UM Martian becomes even more precise, but it should be noted that DX200 also gives them an ever so slightly bit of smoothness and enhances their musical side.
iBasso DX200 + Sennheiser ie800 – Quite the interesting pairing, DX200 is able to make ie800’s bass slightly quicker, giving them an edge in speed and resolution. The midrange of ie800 sounds as it usually sounds, slightly recessed, but with excellent detail and musicality, while the top end stays bright, energetic and airy, DX200 being quite transparent and precise when paired with ie800. The soundstage of ie800 is natural in size, while their instrument separation is quite excellent, being one of the best there is when paired with DX200.
iBasso DX200 + HIFIMAN RE2000 – RE2000 is driven to their full potential by DX200, as it provides them with a deep, full and organic sound, a visceral bass, a clear, organic and musical midrange, and an energetic and airy treble. The instrument separation and soundstage are both in excellent condition, and the resolving abilities of RE2000 are used to their full potential.
iBasso DX200 + HIFIMAN RE800 – HIFIMAN RE800 is like a genius IEM that does one thing amazingly well, and stays focused on doing everything else with amazing ability, but stays the best at something – which is true and honest acoustic reproduction in this case. DX200 is an amazing driving source for RE800 as it tones down their peak a bit, but keeps their quick and impactful bass, their clear and well-layered mid range, and their energetic, airy and sparkly treble.
iBasso DX200 + Beyerdynamic Xelento – Xelento is quite the Romantic IEM, with a very smooth top end a very peaceful and relaxing presentation, yet with extreme bass impact, and a thick and fulfilling general sound. DX200 is great at giving Xelento a few more analytical properties and enhancing their revealing abilities and detail retrieval. DX200 tends to keep their soundstage at very good levels, while enhancing their instrument separation.
iBasso DX200 + Ultrasone Signature Studio – DX200 is an excellent source for Signature Studio as it gives them a deep yet very well controlled and tight bass, a very wide and open sound, with good instrument separation, and an energetic and well-extended, yet smooth treble. The technical abilities of Signature Studio are enhanced by DX200, as it helps them with their revealing and resolving abilities.
iBasso DX200 + Meze 99 Classics – DX200 is quite good at driving Meze 99 Classics, giving them a full, deep and impactful bass, with a natural decay, a full, organic, rich and very satisfying midrange with excellent revealing abilities, a natural timbre, and a smooth and open sounding treble.
iBasso DX200 + iBasso IT01 – Rocking a setup made of only iBasso products surely feels mesmerizing, as IT01 is a very fun-sounding IEM, with a strong bottom end, an enhanced mid-bass, an organic and full-sounding midrange, with excellent detail, and a smoother, yet present enough top end. The instrument separation and especially the soundstage are quite impressive for a IEM, regardless of its price. DX200 is very good at enhancing IT01’s revealing abilities, their soundstage, and ad making them even more musical, all while keeping a fairly good technical side to their sound.
Most comparisons have been taken with RE2000, Signature Studio, RE800, ie800, and DK-3001. Hiss is usually very hard to notice and I tend to not notice it at all, but I tried my best to compare how DAPs perform relative to each other in this aspect, as well as other aspects that might come off as relevant.
DX200 vs FiiO X5-3 – X5-3 is a nice Android DAP that really impressed me back when I first heard it, and it still is a very able DAP when it comes to its firmware and abilities. Although priced at a considerably lower price point than DX200, X5-3 still makes an interesting comparison. When it comes to driving sensitive IEMs, X5-3 is slightly more prone to hiss. Both DX200 and X5-3 have a similar soundstage expansion, although DX200 presents music with a bit more air, while X5-3 tends to sound wider in the mids. X5-3 tends to sound smoother, warmer, more organic, with a stronger mid-bass presence, while DX200 is a bit brighter, more revealing, more resolving, and it also presents music with better layering and instrument separation.
DX200 vs iFi Micro iDSD BL – Two quite different devices, DX200 being a standalone DAP, while iDSD is an high-end portable DAC/AMP. In sound, both present music with excellent soundstage expansion. iDSD BL tends to have a bit more sparkle in the upper registers, and it tends to have a tad more warmth and to be a bit more organic, while DX200 is a touch smoother in comparison. In terms of detail retrieval, resolution, transparency, and sound layering they are fairly similar, DX200 providing excellent abilities, even when compared to a titan like iDSD BL. There is a difference in battery life, and actual driving abilities, as iDSD BL can drive headphones that are more power-hungry, up to the mighty HD800S, while DX200 tends to work excellently with anything up to HD600.
DX200 vs Opus#2 – Opus #2 is the Top Of The Line DAP from Opus, while DX200 is the Top Of The Line DAP from iBasso. They have similar abilities, but rely on slightly different firmware and hardware. Opus #2 is an all-in-one solution, while DX200 has interchangeable AMP cards. When it comes to their sound, the soundstage is similar in width and depth. The sound signature is fairly similar as well, with Opus#2 being a bit smoother, musical, and a touch less transparent while DX200 holds an edge in transparency. DX200 also tends to have a slightly better separation in sound due to its more analytical general presentation.
DX200 vs X7 w/AM03A – The Flagship devices from FiiO and iBasso! Starting with their abilities, DX200 and X7mkii are fairly similar, both having interchangeable AMP modules, and other abilities, like Android firmware or Digital Output. When it comes to their sound, the overall tonality is fairly similar, both being neutral and transparent, with enough warmth and body, and a natural timbre. With DX200 + AMP1, X7mkii + AM03A tends to have just a tiny bit more air and sparkle, with a bit more sub-bass rumble, but adding another AMP module on DX200 does change this a bit, DX200 becoming the DAP with a tad more bass rumble and air in the treble.
Value and Conclusion
iBasso presents DX200 at a fair price for a High-End Flagship DAP, about 1000$. At this price, it has few direct competitors, and it is able to tackle devices that are far more expensive than it. DX200 comes in one of the most high-end looking packages, and it comes with a lot of extras, like its cables, it’s genuine leather case, and its excellent warranty. iBasso has been standing behind their DAPs, providing both firmware updates, repairs and technical support, leading to a range of DAPs that fully justify their price. The sound of DX200 has enough resolving abilities, transparency and detail for this price range, and even higher. While expensive, no part of DX200 feels overpriced, the device itself feeling rather well-priced and the premium paid being actually present in the end product. The inner components of DX200 are all ultra-high quality, and it is built to last a long while, iBasso having made no compromise in its building quality.
With an excellent firmware, precise and transparent sound, excellent support, and excellent build quality, DX200 is a DAP which excels at being an high-end DAP, being an excellent companion for music lovers. Featuring support for a microSD card, interchangeable AMP cards for tweaking the sound, and being possible to use it in a wide array of scenarios, from DAP to Transport, DX200 is a device you should check out, if you’re looking at purchasing one of the best Top Of The Line devices for your music enjoyment.
DX200 is able to provide service to all music lovers, in every way one can dream of, it has a high-end Desktop-Grade DAC inside, it has one of the most solid firmwares on the market, and you can always explore other AMP modules to suit the music better to your tastes, all for a fair price. DX200 is a truly solid device, and it will be the favorite music source for many music lovers from now on, being one of the best there are.
I hope my review is helpful to you!
Stay safe and remember to always have fun while listening to music!
Link to the review on Head-Fi: https://www.head-fi.org/showcase/ibasso-audio-dx200-reference-dap.22169/reviews#review-19558
Link to the official Thread on Head-Fi: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/dx200-affordable-high-end-audio-dual-es9028pro-dacs-amp1-amp2-amp3-amp4-and-amp5-fw-2-7-188.791531/
Link to the official product page: http://ibasso.com/cp_xq_dy.php?id=4898
Link to the writer’s head-fi page: https://head-fi.org/members/dobrescu-george.170938/
Audiophile Heaven: https://audiophile-heaven.blogspot.com/
Audiophile Heaven on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudiophileHeaven/