iBasso DX260 Review



iBasso DX260 Review



The iBasso DX260 is a portable powerhouse built for audiophiles, featuring an octa-core Qualcomm 660 SoC for smooth performance and a unique removable back cover for a easy battery replacemnt. Its audiophile-grade components include an FPGA-Master 2.0 audio system controller and an 8x CS43198 Octa DAC chip matrix for exceptional sound quality, supporting high-resolution formats up to 32bit/768kHz PCM and DSD256. The 5.0-inch Sharp IPS display offers a crisp view, while 4G RAM and 64GB of storage expandable up to 2TB via microSD provide ample space for your music library. With Quick Charge 3.0 and PD3.0 for fast charging, Wi-Fi connectivity, and dual Android 11 and Mango OS options, the DX260 is a versatile choice for serious listeners.



I would like to thank iBasso for providing me the DX260 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 actual price of the iBasso DX260 is $949.00 USD. For more information, please visit the link below;


Package & Accessories:

The iBasso DX260 arrives in a stylish box. The box is wrapped in a cardboard sleeve with an attractive iridescent finish. The sleeve features the iBasso branding and some product informations.

The iBasso DX260 comes with the following items/accessories:

  • 1 x iBasso DX260 Digital Audio Player
  • 1 x Silicone Case
  • 1 x USB Type-C Charging/Data Cable
  • 1 x Coaxial (SPDIF) Cable
  • 1 x Burn-In Cable
  • 1 x User Manual
  • 1 x Warranty Card



Design, Buttons and Build Quality:

The iBasso DX260 is a high-end portable Digital Audio Player (DAP) that features a distinct departure from the company’s previous design language. Unlike the DX240, DX170, and DX300 which have a more curved design, the DX260 features a straight, angular chassis. This gives the DX260 a more modern and industrial look. The chassis is made from CNC-machined aluminum alloy, which is available in two colors: black and silver. The device is relatively small, measuring 123mm x 74.5mm x 17.5mm, and is pretty lightweight as well at approximately 229g.

The Ibasso DX260 boasts a stunning display on its front. This large 5-inch in-cell capacitive touch panel features a sharp 1080 x 1920 resolution. The vibrant colors and clarity make navigating your music library or enjoying album artwork a pleasurable experience.

For seamless control over your music, the right side of the DX260 features a convenient control cluster. A multifunctional volume and power control wheel takes center stage, offering both functionality and a sleek design.

The iBasso DX260 features three dedicated physical buttons for playback control, conveniently placed next to the volume wheel. These buttons allow for easy navigation of your music library with play/pause, rewind/previous, and fast forward/next functions. The device also boasts Hi-Res Audio certification, signifying its ability to play high-fidelity audio files.

The iBasso DX260’s rear surface stands out as a design highlight with iBasso’s new “ID design” featuring a stylish combination of elements. A sleek look is achieved with a matte glass panel, while the volume wheel boasts a metallic silver gear design for an industrial touch. The design is completed by a polished metal plate reminiscent of a high-end home audio amplifier frame.

However, the main highlight is the removable back cover design, which allows for easy battery replacement. You just need to remove the two screws near the volume knob.

On the top of the device is the MicroSD card slot, the multifunctional USB Type-C (Data/USB DAC/Charging) and the SPDFI digital output interface.

The bottom of the DX260 is equipped with a 3.5mm Single Ended and 4.4mm Balanced headphone analog output port.

The only thing missing compared to the previous DX2XX models is the ability to swap the amplifier section with AMP modules. Otherwise, I really like the new robust industrial look and the removable back cover design, which is a great addition.


Some Technical Specifications:

  • Model: DX260
  • Operating System: Android 11 + Mango OS Dual System
  • CPU    : Snapdragon 660 SoC
  • Color: Black/Silver
  • Screen: Sharp 5.0inch, 1080*1920 P, with on-cell capacitive touch panel
  • Audio Formats: Flac, WAV, WMA, ACC, ALAC, AIFF, MP3, DSF, DXD, DST
  • USB C: USB 3.1
  • Output Port: 4.4mm Balanced / 3.5mm Single Endedt/ 4.4mm line out / 3.5mm line out / 3.5mm coaxial output/ USB OTG output
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g/n/ac (2.4Ghz/5Ghz)
  • Bluetooth: V5.0
  • Battery: 4400mAh 3.8V li-polymer battery
  • Charging Time: 2.5 hours
  • Average Play Time: approx. 14 hours
  • Size: 123mm74.5mm17.5mm
  • Weight: 229g
  • Contents: DX260 Player / USB-C cable / coaxial cable/ TPU case / screen protector / warranty card / quick start guide


4.4mm Balanced Phone Port:

  • Maximum Output Level: 6Vrms
  • Output Power: 1015mW + 1015mW @32ohm, THD<0.5%
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz~75kHz-1dB
  • S/N: 133dB
  • Dynamic Range: 133dB
  • THD+N: -121dB (A-wt, 600ohm load) -114dB (A-wt, 32ohm load)
  • Crosstalk: 145dB
  • Noise Floor: <930nV (Low-Gain)


3.5mm Single Ended Phone Out

  • Maximum Output Level: 3Vrms
  • Output Power: 280mW + 280mW@32ohm, 586mW + 586mW@16ohm, THD<0.1%
  • Frequency Response: 10Hz~75kHz-1dB
  • S/N: 128dB
  • Dynamic Range: 128dB
  • THD+N: -115dB(A-wt, 600ohm load) -110dB (A-wt, 32ohm load)
  • Crosstalk: 118dB
  • Noise Floor:: <850nV (Low-Gain)



Hardware & Software Features:

The iBasso DX260 is a digital audio player (DAP) equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC (System on a Chip), 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, and an impressive 8x CS43198 digital-to-analog converter (DAC) arrangement. The FPGA Master 2.0 audio system controller precisely manages the DAC for high-fidelity audio processing.

The Cirrus Logic 8x CS43198 DAC chip supports decoding of high-resolution audio files, including 32-bit/768kHz PCM and native DSD256 formats. It boasts a low total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) of -123dB and a high dynamic range (DNR) of 134dB which is quite impressive.

FPGA-MASTER 2.0’s new algorithm unlocks the full potential of 8x CS43198 Digital-to-Analog Converters by enabling features like synchronous parallel output mode that minimizes distortion between DACs and FIR 2x/4x modes that achieve picosecond-level control for independent DAC data stream adjustment. By combining 4 DACs in “delay parallel” processing, a hardware analog FIR filter is formed to reduce distortion and significantly improve sound quality.

This DAP features both 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone outputs for balanced or single-ended connections. It also includes a coaxial output for additional connection options.

The DX260 boasts a powerful headphone amplifier module featuring both balanced and single-ended outputs. This versatile design caters to a wide range of headphones. But the true star of the show is the sheer power – the amplifier delivers a whopping 1015mW of output. This translates to the most accurate and cleanest sound iBasso has ever achieved in a portable audio player, ensuring your music comes alive with exceptional clarity and detail.

Beyond portable playback, the DX260 transforms into a dedicated USB DAC, elevating your computer audio experience. Modern connectivity options include dual-band Wi-Fi for streaming and high-resolution Bluetooth 5.0 for lossless wireless listening and Bluetooth DAC Mode.


Dual OS for Flexibility and Pure Audio:

The iBasso DX260 boasts a unique dual operating system design, which gives you the best of both worlds: flexibility and pure audiophile experience. The first option is iBasso’s own creation, Mango OS. This Linux-based system prioritizes audio playback, offering a streamlined interface optimized for music enjoyment. With Mango OS, you get a distraction-free environment to focus on the music itself.

The second option is a customized Android 11 system. This provides the openness and flexibility of Android, allowing you to download and install third-party apps like Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and many more. This lets you access your favorite streaming services and manage your music library directly on the device, which you can be directly downloaded from Google Play Store.

Both operating systems on the DX260 offer user-friendly interfaces. The Android system provides familiar features like a top navigation bar for quick access to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, along with helpful shortcuts for audio output and battery saver settings.

The home screen features a widget for the Mango Player, displaying album art, song information, and playback controls. Navigation buttons at the bottom offer easy access to back, home, and task manager functions. The settings menu is straightforward, with an audio settings section allowing you to customize gain, digital filters, volume limits, and more.

The Mango Player itself offers a visually appealing interface with convenient access to settings like gapless playback, gain, play modes, equalization, and digital filters. Whether you choose Mango OS for a pure music experience or Android for its flexibility, the iBasso DX260 provides a powerful and user-friendly platform for enjoying your music collection.

Thanks to the powerful Snapdragon 660 SoC and 4GB of RAM, the DX260 delivers smooth performance for everything from music playback to multitasking.


Battery Life:

The iBasso DX260 is equipped with a 4400mAh battery and the company claims it offers up to 14 hours of playback time on a full charge that is pretty accurate. However, it’s important to note that battery life can vary depending on usage factors such as screen brightness, volume level, and selected audio format. The DX260 supports the Quick Charge 3.0 thechnology, while the charging process of the battery takes about 2.5hours.


Key Specifications: 

  • DAC: 8x CS43198 Flagship DAC Arrangement
  • Audio Decoding: Up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM, Native DSD256
  • THD+N: -123dB
  • DNR: 134dB
  • Headphone Outputs: 3.5mm, 4.4mm
  • Other Outputs: Coaxial
  • Connectivity: Dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Operating System: Android 11 + Mango OS
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Additional Features: USB DAC functionality


Equipment’s used for this review:

  • DAP’s             : iBasso DX260, Astell&Kern SR35
  • Erphones       : iBasso IT07, iBasso 3T-154, Campfire Audio Bonneville
  • Headphones  : iBasso SR2, Hifiman Arya Organic



Albums & tracks used for this review:

  • Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
  • Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
  • Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • 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)
  • Sonya Yoncheva – (Giuseppe Verdi) II Trovatore, ActI (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • 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)
  • B.B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
  • Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
  • Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
  • Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (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 – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
  • Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)



The Sound:

iBasso DX260 delivers a well-balanced and detailed sonic presentation that excels across the entire frequency spectrum. This translates to a listening experience that is both natural and engaging. You’ll be immediately impressed by the excellent sense of clarity and overall resolution. The soundstage is another strong point, offering a surprisingly wide and deep presentation that creates a truly immersive atmosphere, perfect for appreciating the intricacies of classical music or the layered production of modern electronic tracks. Let’s delve deeper into these sonic characteristics to understand what makes the DX260 to such a compelling choice for audiophiles.

This review has been written after a burn-in period of approximately 100 hours. The sound impressions below are mainly based on my experiences with In-Ear Monitors such as the iBasso IT07, iBasso 3T-154, and Campfire Audio Supermoon and Headphone like the iBasso SR2 and HiFiMAN Arya Organic.



The iBasso DX260 prioritizes a transparent and balanced presentation in the bass department. It renders bass notes with fullness and depth, effortlessly reaching low frequencies without bleeding into the midrange. This translates to excellent control over dynamic shifts, ensuring drums and percussion instruments sound impactful, lifelike, and free of distortion. Whether you’re immersed in rock music with pounding kick drums or intricate bass lines in jazz, the DX260 consistently delivers clean and controlled low-end performance. This emphasis on sonic accuracy makes the DX260 a perfect choice for audiophiles who value a natural, uncolored bass experience.

When partnered with energetic In-Ear Monitors like the Campfire Audio Bonneville or dynamic headphones like the iBasso SR2, the bass response takes on a satisfying fullness that complements the sound signature without overshadowing the mids. However, for audiophiles who crave a particularly warm low-end, the DX260 might lean slightly more towards a neutral sound profile compared to some Digital Audio Players (DAPs) that boast a more bass-heavy signature. By prioritizing transparency and control, the DX260 empowers listeners to appreciate the full spectrum of the music, from the subtle nuances to the powerful low frequencies.



The iBasso DX260 shows a midrange clarity that shines through, meticulously presenting vocals and instruments with remarkable precision and separation. Vocals take center stage, remaining clear and unmuddied, while individual instruments retain their distinct character. The DX260’s general midrange presentation leans towards a neutral and natural character, avoiding artificial coloring or emphasis of specific frequencies. This results in a balanced and realistic atmosphere that faithfully represents the music as intended by the artist. This neutrality makes the DX260 a versatile performer, well-suited to a wide range of musical genres.

The iBasso DX260 creates a midrange that sounds clear and distinct. This capability was particularly evident during testing with various IEMs such as the iBasso IT07 and Campfire Audio Supermoon, as well as headphones like the HiFiMAN Arya Organic. The DX260’s ability to accurately reproduce the spatial positioning and sonic characteristics of each instrument within the mix is truly impressive, allowing listeners to discern even the most subtle details and intricacies of the music.



The iBasso DX260 treble range shows a commendable balance between detail retrieval and listener comfort. It boasts a well-extended top end, capable of delivering ample air and a touch of sparkle in the higher registers. This translates into a spacious and open soundscape, faithfully reproducing the delicate nuances and intricacies of treble instruments like cymbals, flutes, and high-pitched vocals.

However, the DX260 avoids the pitfall of excessive brightness or sharpness that can lead to listener fatigue during extended listening sessions. This is achieved through a smooth and refined treble presentation. Instruments retain their natural timbre and character, while maintaining a level of detail that allows for a truly immersive listening experience.

It’s worth noting that the specific way the DX260 renders treble will vary depending on the partnering headphones. The impressions outlined here were garnered through pairings with the iBasso IT07, iBasso 3T-154, and HiFiMAN Arya Organic headphones. Headphone selection plays a significant role in shaping the overall sonic signature, so some experimentation might be necessary to achieve the desired tonal balance.


Soundstage & Imaging:

The iBasso DX260’s soundstage is one of its most impressive features. It’s wide and spacious, offering excellent instrument separation and imaging. This creates a holographic soundscape that immerses you right in the middle of the music. The very clean and dark background is commendable, which means minimal noise or interference on top of the music itself. This allows the intricate details of each instrument and sound to shine through.



iBasso DX260 versus Astell&Kern SR35:

Both the Astell&Kern SR35 and iBasso DX260 offer strong bass performance, but cater to different preferences. The SR35 delivers a warm and impactful low end with good depth. In contrast, the DX260 prioritizes a cleaner, more detailed, and controlled bass response that extends deep without interfering with the mids. This results in a more natural and uncolored sound, which some might find less warm for those seeking a bassier experience.

The Midrange of the Astell&Kern SR35 takes center stage with a warmer presentation, offering fairly clear vocals, while it lacks some richness and resolution that the iBasso DX260 has. The iBasso DX260 on the other hand truly shines with a clearer and more distinct midrange presentation, excelling in both clarity and resolution while listening to both vocals and instruments. It leans towards a more neutral and natural presentation, making it versatile for various music genres.

The Astell&Kern SR35 prioritizes a relatively smooth, non-fatiguing treble character, ideal for extended listening sessions, while it is missing some important elements that the iBasso DX260 has in terms of naturalness and definition. The iBasso DX260 emphasizes a well-extended treble with rich detail retrieval. While offering a spacious and open soundscape, it avoids excessive brightness or listener fatigue, aiming to preserve the natural timbre and character of instruments.

Both the Astell&Kern SR35 and iBasso DX260 offer impressive soundstage experiences, but with distinct strengths. The SR35 delivers a well-rounded sound with good width and depth, creating a cohesive listening experience. However, it doesn’t have the “out-of-head” effect that the iBasso DX260 offers. The DX260 truly shines in this area. It boasts a wider and more spacious soundstage with exceptional instrument separation and imaging, resulting in a holographic and immersive soundscape. Additionally, the DX260’s clean background allows even the most intricate sonic details to come through clearly.

In conclusion, both the Astell&Kern SR35 and the iBasso DX260 are top-notch digital audio players (DAPs). However, the iBasso DX260 stands out with its emphasis on clarity, natural sound reproduction, and a wider, more immersive soundstage. In contrast, the SR35 delivers a warm and inviting sound signature.



The DX260 is iBasso’s latest high-end portable Digital Audio Player designed for audiophiles seeking exceptional sound quality and a versatile feature set. It boasts a powerful Snapdragon processor for smooth performance, a unique dual OS design with a streamlined Mango OS for distraction-free listening, and a premium build with a user-replaceable battery. But the most important part is that the DX260 delivers a clean and balanced sound signature with a focus on transparency and detail retrieval across the bass, mids, and treble ranges. Its spacious soundstage and excellent imaging create a truly immersive listening experience, making it a compelling choice for serious music lovers.



Pros & Cons:

  • + Impressive Overall Sound Performance
  • + Detailed and Balance across all frequencies (Bass, Mids, Treble)
  • + Wide and spacious soundstage with excellent level of imaging
  • + Dual OS for Flexibility (Android 11 & Mango OS)
  • + Fluid UI with Snapdragon 660 SoC and 4GB RAM
  • + Ample storage (64GB) expandable via microSD card (up to 2TB)
  • + User-replaceable Battery with good duration (up to 14hours)
  • + Excellent Build Quality 
  • – No AMP module swapping, unlike previous DX models
  • – The case included is nice, but something more premium would be welcome


Thank you for the Read!

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