iBasso DX200 – AMP1, AMP3, AMP4 Shootout

earphonia.com iBasso Amps

INTRODUCTION

As our readers may know the iBasso Dx200 is one of our favourites TOL Daps, and probably the best DAP in terms of quality/Price ratio.

One of the advantages of the DX200 is the possibility to swap Amp sections providing you the chance to adapt the DX200 to your preference in sound signature, power needed and connection.

Up until now, they have released 4 modules:

  • AMP2 (single ended);
  • AMP3 (2,5 mm balanced connection and Line Out)
  • AMP4 (4.4 mm balanced out)
  • AMP5 (High Voltage 3,5 out and Line Out)

In the next few lines, here at earphonia.com we will make a comparison between AMP1 Balanced (stock one), AMP3 and AMP4 to see what are the differences in tonality between them.

All the comparisons were made with Empire Ear Zeus XR, as I find it the most revealing of my IEMS.

earphonia.com iBasso Amps

SPECIFICATIONS

AMP3 – 2.5mm TRRS, 6.0Vrms, 124dB SNR, play time 7.5hrs, BAL HO + BAL LO

  • high voltage swing (+/-8V)
  • balanced architecture
  • design topology utilizing voltage and current feedback
  • optimized for both high voltage and high current demanding monitors

AMP4 – 4.4mm TRRRS, 6.2Vrms, 124dB SNR, play time 7.5hrs, BAL HO, No LO.

  • high voltage swing (+/-8V)
  • balanced architecture
  • design topology utilizing voltage and current feedback
  • optimized for both high voltage and high current demanding monitors
  • design is based on AMP3, but with an optimized layout, including shorter traces
  • 4mm connector with larger contact points/lower contact resistance

AMP1 vs AMP3

As you may know if you have read our DX200 review, AMP1 though its balanced output has a natural neutral sound signature with a very wide soundstage, but lacks a little bit of weight in the Low end, compared with some other TOL Daps as Sony WM1Z, this results in the sound become very airy and neutral but a little lean in terms on Bass and Low mid range character.

Well, with AMP3 we are please to announce this changes for the better in our experience.

Bass becomes more weighty, increasing the sub and mid bass regions, this helps to fill the low mids. As a consequence of this mids rise more forward, more detailed and articulate and with nicer organic tone qualities. As a result of better impact and more forward sound,  transient responses are much better on the AMP3  than on AMP1. On the other hand, given the lift on the lows and mids, airiness and  soundstage is a little bit better on AMP1.

earphonia.com iBasso Amps

AMP3 vs AMP4

As iBasso has stated these 2 share a very similar architecture and components but after extensive listening I found they didn’t sound exactly the same as some people may think.

earphonia.com iBasso Amps

I found out the AMP4 is sort of an AMP3 vs AMP1 mixture, giving you a more laid back presentation than the AMP3 but a more weighty and natural one than the AMP1 provides.

Starting with the Bass I found it definitely improved vs AMP1 but it has definitely less impact and weight than the AMP3, it is a more mid bass oriented bass, as a result of this mids takes more space on the mix and soundstage expansion is the best of the 3 Amps, giving you a very Holographic and 3d soundstage.

earphonia.com iBasso Amps

We hope our impressions help those of you out there in making a decision as to which will best suit your tastes. Thanks again to iBasso for adding more options to the already very versatile DX200 Digital Audio Player.

Official Detailed Information

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