iBasso DC06 PRO Review

 

iBasso DC06 PRO Review

 

Introduction:

The iBasso DC06 PRO is a recently released portable USB DAC/Amplifier dongle designed for high-resolution audio playback. Equipped with a Dual ES9219C DAC chip, it supports native playback of PCM signals up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD signals up to DSD256.

The DC06 PRO features both a 3.5mm single-ended and a 4.4mm balanced headphone output, delivering clean and powerful audio output. This is facilitated by a dedicated power supply for the amplifier section, consisting of a synchronous DC-DC converter, a low-noise charge pump chip, and an LDO. Additionally, the DC06 PRO boasts MQA rendering capability, supporting up to 16x unfold for enhanced audio quality from compatible sources.

 

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank iBasso for providing me the DC06 PRO as review sample. I am not affiliated with iBasso beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product!

 

Price & Availability: 

The iBasso DC06 PRO is available for 119.00 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;

 

Package & Accessories:

The iBasso DC06 PRO came inside a small transparent plastic box same like all past USB DAC/Amplifiers of the company. The box show some product related brandings o the top and information’s rear surface.

Inside the box are the following contents & accessories;

  • 1 x iBasso DC06 PRO USB DAC/Amplifier Dongle
  • 1 x USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable
  • 1 x USB Type C to Lightning Cable
  • 1 x USB Type-C to USB A Adaptor
  • 1 x Print Materials

 

Design & Build Quality:

The iBasso DC06 PRO is a robust device boasting a unibody design crafted from a CNC-machined all-aluminum chassis and tempered glass panels.

Measuring just 56mm x 25mm x 12mm and 20g, it’s both portable and stylish.

The device features a tempered glass top panel that subtly showcases the brand logo alongside a Hi-Res Audio sticker.

Here is also an LED indicator informing you of Standby, PCM, DSD, and MQA processing.

Dedicated hardware volume buttons are conveniently located on the right side.

The front panel houses both 3.5mm single-ended and 4.4mm balanced outputs for your earphones & headphones.

At the bottom, a single USB-C port connects to your source device.

The rear panel features additional branding and industrial certifications, completing the DC06 PRO’s premium aesthetic.

The overall build quality is excellent, matching the device’s price point.

 

Technical Specifications:

  • Model                         : DC06 PRO
  • DAC chip                    : Dual ES9219C
  • Frequency Response : 20Hz-40kHz (-0.5dB)
  • SNR                            : 120db (SE), 123dB (BAL)
  • THD+N BAL               : 0.00035% @ 600Ω load
  • THD+N SE                 : 0.00056% @ 600Ω load
  • Output Level BAL       : 3.2Vrms @ 32Ω / 4.0Vrms @ 300Ω
  • Output Level SE         : 2.0Vrms @ 32Ω
  • Output impedance      : <0.3Ω (SE), <0.5Ω BAL
  • Output Power             : 320mW @ 32Ω (4.4mm Balanced)
  • PCM                           : up to 32Bit/384kHz
  • DSD                            : Native DSD64, DSD128, DSD256
  • MQA                           : 16x
  • Dimensions                 : 56mm x 25mm x 12mm
  • Weight                        : 20g

 

Hardware & Software Features:

 

Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) & Amplification (AMP) Sections:

The iBasso DC06 PRO features a dual ES9219C 32-bit stereo DAC chipset that supports a patented 32-bit “HyperStream” architecture, which enables PCM up to 32-bit 384 kHz and native DSD256 decoding. The DC06 PRO has a SNR of about 120 dBA over the 3.5 mm SE output, while the 4.4 mm Balanced output offers values of 123 dBA. The THD-N of the device is approximately 0.00056% over the 3.5 mm SE output, while the 4.4 mm Balanced out has an even lower value of just 0.00035% at 600 Ω load.

The iBasso DC06 PRO is equipped with a powerful amplifier section that offers of up to 320mW @ 32Ω over the 4.4mm Balanced interface, which is quite impressive for such a compact device. Another highlight about the AMP section is that it utilizes its own dedicated power supply. This includes a synchronous DC-DC converter, a low noise charge pump chip, and an LDO. These implementations enable the AMP section to operate at its maximum capacity without any interference from the digital section. This enhances the dynamics, bass response, and overall transparency of the device.

Moreover, the DC06 PRO comes with an in-house developed FPGA algorithm, which is supported by a NDK Femtosecond oscillator to form a low-jitter clock. This feature helps the DC06 PRO in delivering clear and accurate high-resolution audio signal decoding performance.

Supported Sampling Rate:

The iBasso DC06 PRO support sampling rates from 16, 24, 32Bit, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8, 384kHz up to Native DSD 256x.

Moreover, the DC06 PRO offers MQA Audio rendering capabilities up to 16X unfold. MQA – short for “Master Quality Authenticated” is a new way to experience high-resolution audio.

 

Connectivity:

The iBasso DC06 PRO uses a USB-C connector and utilizes the standard UAC2.0 USB receiver. It is compatible with most Android Smartphone’s & Tablet, and can also be connected to a MAC and Windows PC’s via the supplied USB Type-C to USB-A converter in order to use it as a USB Soundcard.

Moreover, the DC06 PRO supports Apple iOS devices such like iPhone’s and iPad’s, which you can connect to your source with a USB-Type-C to Lightning cable that is old separately.

The iBasso DC06 PRO uses a standard UAC 2.0 sound card chipset for plug-and-play on Mac and Win10 computers. For WinXP, Win7, and Win8 systems please download the driver from the link below;

 

Updated iBasso UAC Application:

iBasso has fully upgraded its UAC APP in order to work with the DC06 PRO. The UAC APP now supports a 100 Steps of Hardware Volume Control, 2 Options of Digital Filter, a 20 Step L/R Balance adjustment and a Power Saver mode thank can be turned On or OFF.

 

Equipments used for this review:

  • DAC’s             : iBasso DC06 PRO, Hidizs XO
  • USB Source   : Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Asus TUF FX505DU
  • IEM’s              : iBasso IT07, iBasso AM05, Westone Audio MACH80, CFA Supermoon
  • Headphones  : iBasso SR02, HiFiMAN Edition XS


 

Albums & Tracks used for this review:

  • Norah Jones – Come Away With Me (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Adele – My Little Love (Deezer HiFi)
  • Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • George Michael – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Radiohead – Live in Berlin “Album” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Radiohead – Pyramid Song (Deezer HiFi)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – Nobody Weird Like Me (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Bear McCreary’s – Valkyries (Deezer HiFi)
  • Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Daft Punk – Doin’ it Right (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
  • Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Gogo Penguin – Murmuration (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
  • Max Richter – On the Nature of Daylight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 5 (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Clair de Lune – Claude Debussy (Spotify)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Bear McCreary – The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power OST (Spotify)
  • Miles Davis – So What (Deezer HiFi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Metallica – Dyers Eve (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Tom Sawyer (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
  • Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)

 

 

The Sound:

The iBasso DC06 PRO is a portable DAC/Amplifier dongle that delivers a refined and balanced sound across the frequency spectrum. It has a tight and authoritative bass, a clear and detailed midrange, and a smooth and airy treble. It also offers a wide and precise soundstage, creating a natural and immersive listening experience.

This review was been written after a burn-in period of about 60 hours. I have paired the iBasso DC06 PRO with sources like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Asus TUF FX505DU. My sound impressions below are mainly based on my experiences with the iBasso IT07, iBasso AM05, Campfire Audio Supermoon and Westone Audio MACH80 IEM’s and the iBasso SR2, HiFiMAN Edition XS Headphones.

Bass:

The iBasso DC06 PRO’s bass exhibits commendable control and refinement. Sub-bass frequencies rumble with authority, adding weight and gravitas to Daft Punk’s “Doin’ it Right” and Bear McCreary’s “Valkyries” without bleeding into the lower midrange when paired with IEM’s like the iBasso IT07 and Campfire Audio Supermoon. The attack and decay of bass notes are precise, such like in songs like Lorde’s “Royals” or Bear McCreary “Valkyries”. Nuances in bass lines, like the walking bass in Gogo Penguin’s “Raven,” are rendered with admirable clarity.

The DC06 PRO avoids overemphasizing bass, favoring a neutral balance that complements the overall sound signature. It is delivering impactful bass kicks with IEM’s and Headphones I have listen when the music demands, as evidenced by Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” Mid-bass frequencies are natural and well-articulated, providing a solid foundation for instruments like acoustic guitars, cellos and with a wide range of percussions.

Midrange:

The iBasso DC06 PRO shines with its decent performance while handling vocals. Norah Jones’s voice in “Come Away With Me” floats effortlessly, brimming with detail and emotion with the IT007 and HiFiMAN Edition XS. Adele’s powerful voice in “My Little Love” retains its rawness and character without becoming harsh or fatiguing. Male vocals are equally well-represented, with Sting’s rich baritone in “Englishman in New York” and Eric Clapton’s smooth delivery in “Wonderful Tonight” coming through vividly.

The midrange isn’t solely the domain of vocals. Instruments are presented with impressive accuracy and separation, allowing for easy identification of individual timbres and textures. In
In Gogo Penguin’s “Murmuration,” intricate melodic lines emerge from the interplay of piano, drum, and cymbal notes. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 similarly presents the distinct separation of violins and brass instruments within the orchestral texture. This characteristic highlights the iBasso DC06 PRO’s ability to render complex arrangements with clarity and precision, a key aspect of its sonic character.

 

Treble:

The iBasso DC06 PRO’s treble range shows a good balance between brightness and control. It exhibits an extended and airy character, adding sparkle and detail to instruments like woodwinds and percussion across the IEMs and headphones tested. However, this extension avoids harshness or sibilance, even in energetic tracks like Metallica’s “Sad but True” and Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets.” While paired with the iBasso IT07 or SR05, the treble remains smooth, while the AM05 might exhibit a slight hint of sibilance and sharpness in certain tracks.

Overall, the smooth rendering preserves the natural character of instruments while maintaining detail. Furthermore, the DC06 PRO’s treble contributes to a spacious and airy soundscape. Delicate high-frequency chimes and ethereal textures unfold seamlessly, enhancing the sense of immersion.

 

Soundstage & Imaging:

The DC06 PRO delivers a surprisingly expansive soundstage for a portable device. Instruments are positioned with pinpoint accuracy within the sonic space, creating a natural sense of directionality. Bear McCreary’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power OST” album benefits from this precision, with each instrument occupying its own distinct space, contributing to the live atmosphere. This is evident in orchestral recordings where layers of instruments are presented with clear separation and positioning, building a pretty natural orchestral space.

 

Comparison:

iBasso DC06 PRO versus Hidzs XO:

In a head-to-head comparison, the iBasso DC06 PRO and Hidizs XO both offer high-resolution audio decoding and commendable performance, their approach to sound reproduction reveals nuanced differences.

The iBasso DC06 PRO prioritizes precision and control. Its bass delivery is linear and clean, meticulously revealing the intricacies of low-end frequencies without muddying the soundscape. In contrast, the Hidizs XO leans towards a slightly warmer signature, emphasizing the low-end presence. While enjoyable, it may slightly obscure the definition of bass notes compared to the DC06 PRO.

The iBasso DC06 PRO shines in its transparency. Vocals emerge with captivating clarity, each inflection faithfully brought to the forefront. This transparent presentation allows the music’s soul to resonate without undue harshness or thinness. While the Hidizs XO boasts a tad warmer and emotive midrange, it can lose some resolution in complex passages, leaving the listener wanting for that extra layer of detail that the DC06 PRO delivers.

The iBasso DC06 PRO shows a decent balance between brilliance and authority in its treble response. It gracefully extends high frequencies, offering a pretty airy and open soundscape. The Hidizs XO maintains a controlled treble, but it sounds a bit digital and dry in direct comparison to the DC06 PRO.

Both devices offer a decent sense of soundstage width, depth and height. However, the iBasso DC06 PRO distinguishes itself again with a more precise and well-defined sense of depth. While the Hidizs XO can feel slightly congested at times, its soundstage remains adequate for most listening scenarios.

 

Conclusion:

The iBasso DC06 PRO emerges as a compelling choice for audiophiles seeking a portable high-fidelity listening experience. Its refined and balanced sound signature, encompassing tight bass, clear midrange, and airy treble, delivers a natural and immersive sonic landscape. Coupled with its impressive technical specifications, including dual ES9219C DAC chips, dual headphone outputs, MQA rendering, and dedicated power supply, the DC06 PRO punches above its weight in the ultra-portable DAC/Amp market. Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or a discerning listener seeking a significant upgrade around the 100 – 150 USD price range, the iBasso DC06 PRO is a worthy contender, offering exceptional sound quality, versatility, and convenience in a compact and robust package.

 

Pros & Cons:

  • + Refined and Balanced Sound Signature
  • + Overall Clarity and Resolution
  • + Ultra Clean Background
  • + Look and Fell (Design & Build Quality)
  • + Dedicated APP for Fine Tuning (iBasso UAC APP)
  • + MQA Rendering
  • – No iBasso UAC APP for iOS users
  • – No protective case included to the package

 

Thank you for the Read!

 

 

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3 Responses

  1. ser24 says:

    hi
    thanks for detailed review . can you make little compare with e1da9038d vs dc06 pro?

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