June 16, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Headphones

iBasso D16 Taipan Portable Amplifier/DAC

In my exploration of portable audio equipment, iBasso They have consistently impressed me with their dedication to quality, a sentiment reinforced by my positive experiences with their previous offerings. As I prepare to evaluate the iBasso D16 Taipan, I am immediately drawn to its eye-catching branding and elegant packaging. Priced at $1,499, I'm eager to find out if this amplifier/DAC can match its impressive looks with equally notable sound performance. Let's see if it's worth the investment and if it really stands out in the world of portable audio.

What you get
iBasso D16 Taipan Portable Amplifier/DAC
charging cable
USB-C to USB-C OTG Cable
USB-C to Lightning OTG Cable
2x coaxial/OPT cables
2x pouch bags
User manual

Build
I am very impressed with the construction of the iLow D16and here are some details that really show off their engineering prowess:
FPGA-Master 2.0: The D16's main FPGA-Master 2.0 impresses with its ability to reorganize and re-encode signals, effectively reducing noise and ensuring exceptional audio quality. With global clock regeneration and precise delay control, jitter is minimized, ensuring synchronized signals for an immersive listening experience.

Discrete PWM-DAC: With 128 discrete PWM-DACs arranged in cascade, the D16 achieves unparalleled clarity and fidelity. This abundance of DACs minimizes distortion and delivers a THD+N level of less than 0.0001%, a testament to its superior audio performance.

Hardware Analog FIR Filter: By improving sound detail and density, the hardware analog FIR filter optimizes signal processing. By leveraging 128 independent PWM-DACs operating in FIR mode, distortion is minimized, ensuring faithful reproduction of every sonic nuance.

Cutting-edge components: From high-precision resistors to ultra-low phase noise oscillators, each component of the D16 is meticulously selected to maintain the highest standards of quality and performance. Featuring a professional-grade DSP chip and ultra-low noise analog power supply, the D16 delivers studio-quality sound on the go.

The iBasso D16 sets a new standard of excellence in portable audio, combining innovative design with meticulous engineering to deliver an unparalleled listening experience.



Sound impressions
During my review of iBasso D16, I had the pleasure of experiencing its sonic capabilities with a variety of audio equipment, including the Noble Audio Onyx – In-ear monitors and Final Audio D7000 headphones. To say I was satisfied would be an understatement.

The first thing that caught my attention was the incredible volume gain that the D16 provides. It's no exaggeration to say that it has serious power under the hood. When combined with the noble onyx With the IEMs, I noticed an impressive increase in bass reproduction. The D16 seemed to unlock the full potential of these IEMs, reproducing each beat with unparalleled depth and impact.

Change gear to Final Audio D7000 headphones, I was impressed by the clarity and precision of the sound. Every nuance, from the delicate highs to the rich mids, was reproduced with astonishing precision. I found myself immersed in the music, reluctant to take off the headphones even for a moment.

Throughout my testing, I explored a wide range of genres, as I often do when evaluating audio equipment. A highlight was while listening to Oliver Smith's “Be Alone.” Synth melodies danced effortlessly across the soundstage, accompanied by a bassline that was both punchy and well-defined. The vocals rose above the mix, crystal clear and full of emotion.



Specifications:
4.4mm LO:

  • Output Level: 3.3 Vrms (Low Gain DAC) 4 Vrms (High Gain DAC)
  • THD+N: -120.4 dB (0.000095%) at 1 kHz AES17-20K weight A
  • DNR: 123 dB AES17-20K weight A
  • SNR: 123 dB AES17-20K weight A
  • Crosstalk: 135dB
  • Frequency response: 15Hz-40kHz +/-1dB

3.5mm LO:

  • Output Level: 1.65 Vrms (Low Gain DAC) 2 Vrms (High Gain DAC)
  • THD+N: -118dB(0.00012%)@1KHz
  • AES17-20K Weight A
  • DNR: 120 dB AES17-20K weight A
  • SNR: 120 dB AES17-20K weight A
  • Crosstalk: 133dB
  • Frequency response: 15Hz-40kHz +/-1dB

4.4mm PO:

  • Output level: 4.2 Vrms (AMP L gain + DAC H gain)
  • 6.8 Vrms (AMP H gain + DAC H gain)
  • Output power: 1125mW+1125mW@32Q THD+N
  • AES17-20K Weight At 6000 Load
  • DNR: 123 dB AES17-20K weight A
  • SNR: 123 dB AES17-20K weight A
  • Crosstalk: 131dB
  • Frequency response: 15Hz-40kHz +/-1dB

Summary


Listening through iBasso D16 was like rediscovering my favorite songs again. His extraordinary abilities transformed my music into an immersive experience full of depth and clarity. With the D16, the bass was nothing short of incredible, making every beat feel powerful and deep, enhancing the groove in a way I hadn't experienced before. Additionally, the D16's ability to reveal intricate details with astonishing clarity was truly impressive, with every note sounding crisp and precise, allowing me to appreciate music in a whole new light. It was like listening to my favorite songs with new ears, discovering new layers of nuance and subtlety with each listen. Yes, the iBasso D16 comes at a price, but for those who value exceptional quality and performance, it is certainly worth every penny. From its powerful sound to its attention to detail in cables and cases, the D16 is a high-quality product that delivers on its promise of an unparalleled listening experience.

iBasso D16 Taipan Portable Amplifier/DAC Is available in Audio46

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