One could almost call the new iBasso DX160 Version 2020 the little brother of the iBasso DX220 Reference Digital Audio Player, so the description of the now in an improved form available portable Hi-res audio player.
The company iBasso Audio has been a specialist in the field of personal audio devices since 2006, offering headphones, portable hi-res players and accessories. The product range of the Chinese company includes, for example, the iBasso DX160 High Performance Digital Audio Player, which is now available in an improved version, which is simply called iBasso DX160 Version 2020.
The sales department of iBasso Audio, the German company NT Global Distribution GmbH, even speaks of the new iBasso DX160 Version 2020 as a kind of little brother of the iBasso DX220 Reference Digital Audio Player, which, how could it be otherwise, represents the current flagship of iBasso Audio. This is justified by a series of quite relevant detail improvements, which distinguish the new iBasso DX160 Version 2020 and which should make it a solution with high performance at a particularly attractive price.
The basis for this is, of course, a modern hardware platform, which is based on an ARM Cortex Octacore processor with 64 Bit processing and 2 GByte RAM. This means that the same powerful processor works here as in its big brother.
Signal processing relies on Cirrus Logic CS43198 DAC, two of them in Dual DAC mode. This means that data can be processed natively in Linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 384 kHz, but also DSD with up to DSD256. Even content encoded in MQA can be processed by the iBasso DX160 Version 2020. If required, the user can intervene in the signal processing and select the filters of the DAC.
This is of particular interest if, for example, the online streaming provider TIDAL is used, which provides the corresponding content. This app can be installed as well as other apps from streaming providers, as the iBasso DX160 Version 2020 relies on Google Android 8.1 as operating system and its functionality is fully available to the user. Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz, whatever you want to install, you can.
The iBasso DX160 Version 2020 can also be used to access your own content, not only that stored in the 32 GByte internal memory or on a microSD card (up to 2 TByte capacity is supported) in the player itself, but also directly to that stored on a central network storage solution, a so-called NAS.
In order to communicate with the outside world, the iBasso DX160 Version 2020 is of course equipped with WiFi. The WiFi module installed here complies with IEEE 802.11ac.
Bluetooth is of course available for the integration of wireless headphones, whereby the developers of the new iBasso DX160 Version 2020 rely on Bluetooth 5.0 and therefore support aptX, aptX HD and even LDAC in addition to SBC and AAC. This means that signal transmission is not only limited to lossy transmission or “CD quality”, but also supports hi-res audio and thus the best quality Bluetooth can offer.
If you want to establish a direct connection to a PC or Mac via cable, the new iBasso DX160 Version 2020 can do this via a USB-C interface. This means that the iBasso DX160 Version 2020 functions either as a removable storage medium for transferring data, or as an external portable DAC.
New is that the iBasso DX160 Version 2020 now has a 5 inch Full HD IPS display, which functions as a central interface for convenient operation. With a resolution of 1,080 x .1920 pixels, cover artwork is displayed perfectly, especially as the display is supposed to cover 95 percent of the sRGB color space. A more energy-saving 720p mode can also be activated if desired, which is probably sufficient for navigating through your own media library. In addition, a number of buttons and a rotary encoder on the side are also available to allow simple operations such as playback control and volume control to be carried out immediately.
By the way, with the new iBasso DX160 Version 2020, headphones can of course be connected primarily unbalanced to a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack socket according to the CTIA standard. However, a balanced option is also available in the form of a 4.4 mm jack socket. By the way, the aforementioned 3.5 mm jack connector can also be used as a line out, not only analog but also as a coaxial S/PDIF interface.
In the version now available, the iBasso DX160 Version 2020 is supposed to provide a higher output power than before, in this respect the data sheet shows 3.2 Vrms for the 3.5 mm jack and 6.4 Vrms for the 4.4 mm jack. It should therefore be possible to use any headphones with the new iBasso DX160 Version 2020, even models that are a bit more “difficult” to control.
The new iBasso DX160 Version 2020 has a solid aluminium housing, which is CNC-milled from the solid. The compact portable audio player weighs only 178 g.
According to the manufacturer, the integrated 3,200 mAh lithium-polymer battery is supposed to deliver a playing time of up to 13 hours, whereby this is of course primarily dependent on the data format used, the volume and last but not least on the headphones used.
The new one comes with a USB cable, a transparent silicone cover and a display protection foil. The new iBasso DX160 Version 2020 is available in black, blue, red and silver. The iBasso DX160 Version 2020 should be available in specialist shops these days. The recommended retail price is € 399,-.
Getting to the point
The distributor of iBasso Audio, the German company NT Global Distribution GmbH, even speaks of the new iBasso DX160 Version 2020 as a kind of little brother of the iBasso DX220 Reference Digital Audio Player, which, how could it be otherwise, represents the current flagship of iBasso Audio. This is justified by a series of quite relevant detail improvements, which distinguish the new iBasso DX160 Version 2020 and which should make it a solution with high performance at a particularly attractive price.