iBasso IT04

Introduction

iBasso is a Chinese brand that is known for their digital audio players (DAPS). They create their first iem in the IT03 which is followed by the IT01. Their latest iem release is the IT04. I would like to thank iBasso for providing the IT04 as a review unit. At the moment, you can purchase the IT04 from iBasso and Penon .

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Specifications

  • Driver Configuration: 3 Balanced Armature + 1 Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 5Hz-40kHz
  • Sensitivity: 110+/-2dB
  • Impedance: 16Ω
  • Noise Attenuation: -30dB
  • Rated Power: 10mW
  • Distortion: <1%THD(@1kHz/1mW)

Unboxing & Accessories

The IT04 comes in a black package that has the brand name printed at the front. It has a protective cover that sports the brand name, an image of the iem and the words – “IT04 Four Driver Hybrid In-Ear Monitor”. There are specifications shown at the back of the protective cover. After opening the black package, there are the IT04, circular metal case, packs of tips, detachable MMCX cable, 2.5mm balanced to 3.5mm single ended cable adapter, warranty card and quick start guide.

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IEM Build & Design

The IT04 is made up of acrylic and it has a smooth surface. The faceplates have silver carbon fibre design with the words – “InTune”. The shells are black in colour. At the top of the IT04 near the nozzle, there are the brand and model names. In addition, there are L & R marking on the left and right side respectively. There are 2 vents on the inside. The nozzle is slightly angled with metal mesh. The IT04 has a comfortable fit.

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Cable Design & Build

The cable has a hybrid 8 core braided design. The MMCX connectors on the cable have a silver housing. There is indication of left and right through the L & R marking on the surface of the housing respectively. There is strain relief. There is no memory wire section. Moving down to the chin slider, it is silver and circular in shape. The y-splitter has a silver housing and it sports the brand name. Lastly, the jack is 2.5mm balanced and it has a silver housing. The brand name is printed on the housing. There is strain relief.

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Sound Analysis

Lows

The IT04 has moderate sub-bass quantity and the extension is good. The rumble is expressed in a natural manner. There is great control to prevent it from sounding too aggressive. Each bass note is articulated with a smooth hit. The bass decay has moderate pace. Bass texture is rendered smoothly. There is tinge of warmth to contribute to the musicality. The mid-bass has fair quantity and the slam is delivered in an agile manner whilst still providing punch.

Mids

The midrange has a high level of engagement and it is able to showcase good transparency. There is a moderate amount of body. The leaner approach creates aids in the overall pace. It does not take on a thick or lush manner. The lower mids has good quantity without any signs of hollow feeling. Male vocals are expressed fairly. The upper mids has great forwardness and it helps to accentuate female vocals presentation. There is a strong intimate performance with a teasing bite.

Highs

The treble is extended well. There is no sibilance and harshness. It is presented in a controlled manner with nice crisp and there is slight sparkle to inject excitement to the overall sound. It boasts a high level of details retrieval. There is a great amount of air rendered to create an airy feeling at the top end. The treble expression has a good balance of body and sparkle.

Soundstage

The IT04 has a natural expansion in its stage. The width magnitude is great and provides a spacious feeling. The depth is not very closed in, Positioning of vocals and instruments is accurate. Layering and separation is at a high standard.

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Comparisons

iBasso IT04 vs iBasso IT03

The IT03 has more sub-bass quantity than the IT04. The IT04 is slightly more extended. The sub-bass reproduction on the IT04 has additional liveliness. The mid-bass on the IT03 has extra body and the slam is delivered with a weighted feeling. Bass decay on the IT04 is faster with a quicker rumble presentation. Bass texture on both is rendered with similar smoothness. Each bass note on the IT04 is articulated with more agility. The midrange on the IT04 boasts better transparency and there is more energy. The lower mids on the IT03 has more quantity and it is able to tackle male vocals effectively. The upper mids on the IT04 has extra forwardness and female vocals are expressed with intimacy. For the treble section, the IT04 has more extension than the IT03. The presentation on the IT04 is more controlled. The crisp on the IT04 is emphasized better. The amount of air rendered on the IT04 is greater and gives an airier feeling. Details retrieval on the IT04 has a higher level. Lastly, for the soundstage, the expansion on both is quite natural. The width on the IT04 is larger. The depth is greater on the IT04.

iBasso IT04 vs Dunu DK-3001

The DK-3001 has more sub-bass quantity and the extension on the IT04 is greater. The sub-bass reproduction on the IT04 demonstrates agility which contributes to a higher engagement level. Bass decay on the IT04 is significantly quicker. The bass texture on the DK-3001 is rendered with more smoothness. The mid-bass on the DK-3001 has extra quantity and the slam is expressed with fullness. The IT04 showcases additional speed. Each bass note on the IT04 is articulated in a more clinical approach. The midrange on the IT04 has better details retrieval and the transparency level is higher. The DK-3001 has more body and it is presented with extra warmth. The lower mids on the DK-3001 has greater quantity which benefits the reproduction of male vocals. The upper mids on the IT04 has extra forwardness with additional crisp. Female vocals are expressed with intimacy. Moving on to the treble section, the IT04 has better extension than the DK-3001 and there is additional crisp. The sparkle on the IT04 is emphasized better. The amount of air rendered on the IT04 which contributes to an airier feeling. Lastly, there is a natural soundstage expansion for both. Both the width and depth on the IT04 have greater magnitude. It is able to provide a spacious feeling,

Conclusion

The IT04 is an engaging iem that demonstrates great finesse. It is able to provide a detailed sound with smooth bass reproduction, forward midrange and well extended treble. In addition, it comes with a hybrid balanced cable and adapter. There is strong visual appeal with the carbon fibre design. The iBasso IT04 is a brilliant addition to the lineup.

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2 thoughts on “iBasso IT04

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    1. The IT04 has better bass definition. The midrange of the IT04 is more forward than the Andromeda while the Andromeda is fuller in the lower mids region. The treble of IT04 is smoother and it is less bright. The soundstage width of the IT04 is greater. Depth on the Andromeda is slightly more closed in.

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