amazon iBasso AMP9 reviews
Over the past few years, the market for sound or smaller mobile audio seems to have become saturated as dozens of new names have appeared, but not many have left a significant mark. iBasso has been a prominent name for a long time and never showed signs of disappear. Do not worry, I will not use this article to tell or flatter this brand, the learning about iBasso you do by yourself will be more interesting. Today, we will focus on the latest iBasso product, clearly demonstrating the brand’s determination when compared to other brands on the market.
As many people know, iBasso is very famous for a series of music players that replace the audio module, typically DX150, DX200 and DX220. Until recently, a total of 9 modules were released (AMP1, AMP2, AMP3, AMP4, AMP5, AMP6, AMP7, AMP8, AM1 MK2). And recently, iBasso has launched the 10th version in this family, the most different and breakthrough, the AMP9. A special feature of iBasso AMP9 module is that it uses vacuum bulb. Have you ever dreamed of a spacious, sentimental sound of a light bulb on a compact portable music player. Now that wild dream has suddenly come true.
Compatible devices: iBasso DX220 / DX200 / DX150
Lamp: KORG Nutube 6P1 (6th generation vacuum lamp manufactured by KORG, Japan)
Output: 3.5mm Single-End
Internal resistance: 0.3 Ohm
BOXED AND DESIGNED
iBasso AMP9 is packaged in a black paper box, surrounded by a white paper belt with the brand and AMP9 printed on it. Also no more information on the box anymore.
Inside the box, we will get a free screwdriver provided next to the iBasso AMP9 and a few sheets of instruction manuals.
The procedure to replace the module on the player is extremely simple and fast.
The first thing you need to do is turn off the device then slowly turn the two screws on the sides of the AMP module on your iBasso DX220 (DX150 and DX200 are the same). Turn the screw until the screw is more than halfway out, gently slide the module down and lift it out. The installation of AMP9 is exactly the same as above in reverse order.
The back of the iBasso AMP9 has been polished to perfect synchronization when fitted to the latest DX220. However, if you install AMP9 into DX150 or DX200, it will look a bit off. But do not worry because most of us wear leather case when using the device, seeing the back of the device is very rare.
One more note for DX150 and DX200 users. You may have trouble installing the iBasso AMP9, resulting in unstable or even inactive sound. All above problems will be solved when you update the latest firmware for your player. Please go to the homepage of iBasso support and follow the update instructions. For DX220 users, everything becomes a lot simpler, plug and play.
When you turn on the device, you will see a pair of blue eyes slowly light up on the back of the AMP9 module. This is the indicator of the operating status of the light bulb inside. It kind of reminds me of the traditional burn-out lamp type of a traditional amplifier.
The 3.5mm jack is completely deviated to one side. Many people wonder why a great module like AMP9 doesn’t have a Balanced port. Simply because the physical volume of the Module only allows iBasso to optimize the Single-End standard only.
As I mentioned above, the iBasso AMP9 is superior to the previous 9 versions due to the use of the new Nutube 6P1 vacuum bulb. This light bulb was designed by KORG Audio in conjunction with another Japanese company called Noritake Itron. This type of light bulb has been used in Ultra-hi-end audio equipment, typically the Cayin N8 priced at over $ 3,000. However, with AMP9, access to Nutube has become much easier and more feasible.
where can you get a iBasso AMP9 online
iBasso AMP9 Nutube Vacuum Tube Amplifier Module for DX220, DX200, DX150: Buy it now
I will mount the iBasso AMP9 on the latest iBasso tablet player, the iBasso DX220. Along with that is my collection of headphones including: 64 AUDIO A18, 64 AUDIO A12t, Vision Ears VE8, Vision Ears VE4.2, Custom ART FIBAE4, BGVP DMS, InEar SD-2 and InEar PP8.
I will also use 3 more modules including AMP1, AMP7, AMP1 MK2 to compare with this “light” amplifier module.
Sooner or later you will realize that this iBasso AMP9 module needs enough time before it can shine. The feeling when listening to iBasso AMP9 right after beating the box was very colorful. Yet after “running boot” for about 50-100 hours, AMP9 has completely changed. Sound is handled in a very natural and rustic way. The music has been multiplied and the bass has become tidier and firmer.
Compared to other modules, in my opinion, AMP9 will win first place. If iBasso DX220 paired with AMP1 MK2, the sound goes in a neutral, accurate and detailed manner, with AMP7, it will go in the direction of muscle, abundant energy and when plugged in AMP9, iBasso DX220 will bring smooth sound quality And warm. The sound becomes extremely rich in music, dark background and an enchanting charm that is hard to describe in words.
Sometimes we need to be clear about the replacement of the amplifier, which does not mean that it will change the whole sound of the player. It only steers sound quality in its own direction. And of course, the final listening experience of the entire audio picture will vary by your headset.
And now, we will go into each sound strip to see more clearly the difference created by iBasso AMP9.
With AMP9, the bass strip is reproduced smoothly, thickly, very naturally with bouncing and firmness in each bass beat. The bass will not be as good and accurate as in the case of the AMP1 MK2 or AMP7 but it has a more authentic and emotional tone. It is great to fill gaps in space, allowing for a deeper and darker soundstage. Excellent dynamic quality, excellent in texture transmission and maturity make bass strip attractive and very interesting.
In the mid range, the sound is also smooth and especially focused on the “analog” element. The sound is full and has a very good body, the sound of the instruments and singers is clearly presented. The whole sound felt like it was present in front of them and they had different weight and sizes. The sound quality of the light amplifier has promoted its strength when it shows a lot of details on a large scale as well as small details. It makes the sound more beautiful and more emotional than all previous semiconductor amps. The guitar is taut, crunchy and colorful. The singer’s voice completely eliminates the harsh sounds, leaving only the natural, rustic and soulful.
High tonal range, clear. The sound goes in a gentle and elegant way, rather than an energetic type. The sparkling jingles of semiconductor amps are replaced by comfort, clarity, elegance, beauty and extremely rich music.
Before I conclude, there are a few things I want to talk about about pairing AMP9 with headphones. This module does not give you muscular strength to be able to pull high-impedance full-size ears. It will only fit headphones with moderate impedance, high sensitivity, typically IEMs for example.
For headphones that are highly sensitive when plugged into iBasso AMP9, you will surely hear soft background noises when stopping music or switching tracks. This phenomenon appears when the device is turned on and will gradually subside when the body has become warmer. This is because the bulb takes time to heat up its electrode.
If you are a person who likes the emotional sound, smooth, rich in music and very soulful of the electronic vacuum bulbs, then surely there is no reasonable and compact option like AMP9.
Another important thing, although AMP9 has a basic difference compared to other iBasso amps, does not mean that it is perfect. The lack of Balanced outputs, the precision of the instruments will be lost and you have to consider that. Ultimately the decision is still in your hands. If you ask me that buying AMP9 with iBasso DX220 is a wise decision yes, my answer is definitely YES, they are great and suitable for my taste.
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