iBasso IT00 Review
A little gem
Pros: – Effortless and natural sound
– Bass extension
– Detachable cable
– Full accessory pack
Cons: – Cable could be much better
– Bass could be a little more refined
iBasso IT00 – A little gem
The IT00 sample was kindly provided by iBasso and does not need to be returned.
This is my honest and subjective evaluation of it.
You can get from here
iBasso needs no introduction as it is now a well establish brand from China , very popular among Headfier’s especially for it’s excellent and much acclaimed digital audio players like the DX120 or the DX160.
Lately they have ventured into the iem and headphones territory with products like the SR1 , the AM05 or their latest entry level iem the IT00 which is being reviewed here.
IT00 is a single dynamic driver iem with a diaphragm made of graphene.
Graphene is a form of carbon which has a breaking strength 100 times greater than steel and when used as an earphone diaphragm it is naturally damped by the force of the air.
Graphene’s ultra thinness , extreme speed and low distortion of sound waves makes for a material which is extremely suitable to work for audio.
Other than the graphene , iBasso has added a high flux customized magnet to drive the 5μm diaphragm and dual Helmhotz resonators that prohibits standing waves and ensures a full natural sound.
All the above are housed inside a white colored shell made of a special plastic with enhanced acoustical absorption.
It is molded into an anatomical shape with a low weight of 8gr for both the ear pieces.
The IT00 feature a woven detachable cable with MMCX connectors made of high purity OFC cooper and an over the ear wearing style.
The cord length is 1.2m and it is terminated with a 3.5mm plug.
The IT00 is very easy to drive due to its low 16Ω impedance and high sensitivity of 106dB but this characteristics make it susceptible to amp internal noise.
The IT00 comes with a beautifully rounded , semi hard portable case of faux leather and inside we find three different types of ear tips with three sizes for each one.
Of special note is that the IT00 is featuring a screw on filter in it’s nozzle and we are provided with an extra spare pair in case we need a replacement.
Comfort and build quality
IT00 is very much to out liking with it’s white glossy appearance and the shell is very well made with a good finish and female MMCX connectors that they are sturdy fitted.
The cable itself is of a rather average quality seeming that it will not be able to withstand the test of time as it is thin and very prone to tangling.
The cable insertion inside the plugs is a bit loose and fragile as for the ear hook reinforcements they are made poorly with some kind of a plastic heat shrink.
Now we understand that this is an entry level iem but we are a little bit spoiled as other brands offer a tad better cables at the same price point.
Regarding the fit of IT00 we think that it is just great , at least for our ears , with excellent comfort , good insertion and secure positioning making it for very adequate passive noise attenuation.
We were able to use it for hours without a hint of discomfort or sweating.
We have tested the IT00 with our phone and various entry level to mid priced devices like the FiiO BTR3K , the EarMen Sparrow , the Cyrus soundkey and others.
Our tests dictated that although it is good out of the box running from a phone , it benefits greatly and really shines from a dedicated sound source as it is scales very well.
From the first listening tests it became apparent that we were dealing with a very naturally tuned iem focused on musical pleasure rather a sterile technical approach or a fancy self imposing display.
Overall tonality is natural and not neutral without any annoying peaks or deeps and excellent extension to both ends.
Bass reaches very low down to the first octave with just a bit of emphasis more than being neutral but very tastefully done without bleeding at all into the mid bass.
This is an impactful and dynamic presentation with good overall scale and technicality.
The IT00 can portray with success multi layered low register instruments without loosing it’s pace but sometimes we felt that we would like some extra layering , definition and speed.
Care should be taken with ear tip selection because the narrow bore tips can make the bass sound hollow and boomy.
After testing all the supplied tips we ended up using the white ones.
Mid range is for a treat with a nice overall balance , just a hint of needed warmth and crystal clear clarity.
Voice and mid register instruments are presentd very persuasivelly with a lifelike feeling and great proportions to the rest of the mix without being too upfront.
Up higher the performance is exemplary with one of the best tuned treble we have ever heard.
It is the perfect balance between being smooth and detailed , lively without being bright , fast without being offensive.
iBasso have managed to tune the IT00 for long listening sessions even for treble sensitive people without loosing much in technical performance.
Overall decay is just perfect especially at high pitched percussion instruments and as for the headstage it is quite wide , with enough air to breath and good instrument placement.
Don’t expect though holographic sound , 3d layering or ultimate detail retrieval and space allocation but then this shouldn’t be expected at this price point and the IT00 already manages to reach a lot higher than it’s entry level status.
All in all an excellent performing iem with a natural sound , correct and lifelike timbre suitable for long listening sessions and all kinds of music that it is very easy to fall in love with it.
Compared to FiiO FD1 and FH1s
FD1 and FH1s are FiiO’s entry level offerings at almost the same asking price.
Build quality and comfort are on the same ballpark with FiiO using a semi transparent celluloid shell which is a little more bulky than the iBasso.
For our ear shape and personal tastes the IT00 is a little more comfortable and better looking with it’s compact body but your mileage may vary.
The FiiO’s cable is of much better quality regarding the overall construction and the material used but it is the 2 pin plugs rather than the MMCX ones.
Accessories are great for both companies and should be congratulated for their generosity at this price point.
As it is to be expected the three iems have a slight different sound signature and personal tastes will determine the final choice.
All three are naturally tuned without exaggerating their frequency response and with great overall performance reaching higher above their price tag.
Differences are small with the IT00 offering better bass extension and more natural and easy going overall tonality with the better behaved treble of the three.
FD1’s bass is more neutrally tuned and it is of better clarity and definition with more in depth layering but whith a little upfront mids and brighter treble.
The FH1s lags behind in the bass department and it is more strident up higher but it posseses better overall clarity and detail retrieval with more airy and accurate headstage.
All three are great but at the end we thought of the IT00 tuned more like good speakers in a room and that kind of signature is more to our personal preference.
You can’t go wrong with anyone of them and it is a great achievement for the budget oriented buyer that there are three great iems of different flavor to choose from.
At the end
The iBasso IT00 is an excellent entry level iem naturally tuned with an easy going timbre without lacking much in technical performance.
It reaches well above it’s price tag with a great price to sound performance ratio and it is offered in a fully featured package.
We had a great time with it and we must admit that it is our mostly preferred tuning of the entry level category.
An excellent choice very highly recommend with a 5/5 price to performance rating.
The test playlist – http://open.qobuz.com/playlist/5669033
Copyright – Laskis Petros – 2020.