iBasso IT07 Hybrid IEM Review
iBasso IT07 IEM Review
iBasso is a well known Chinese company that is specialized in Portable Audio products such like Digital Audio Players (DAP), Portable Amplifiers, In-Ear Monitors and DAC/AMP dongles.
The IT07 is the latest flagship In-Ear Monitor of the company that features a Hybrid Driver Configuration that adopts 6x Knowles Balanced Armature Drivers + 1x 10mm diameter High Magnetic Flux Dynamic Driver with a patented four way Acoustic Root tube structure. It comes with a High Purity Silver Litz Cable with MMCX connectors.
I would like to thank iBasso for providing me the iBasso IT07 IEM sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with iBasso beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price for the iBasso IT07 is about 899.99 USD. More information’s are available under the link below:
- iBasso IT07: http://ibasso.com/product/it07/
Package and Accessories:
The iBasso IT07 came in a nice looking jewelry box like rectangular box with hinges that sport the iBasso branding on the top.
This box was wrapped with a black card box sleeve that has also the iBasso brand logo on the top.
This box includes the following contents;
- 1 x pair of IT07 In-Ear Monitor
- 1 x detachable cable with MMCX connector with 2.5mm balanced headphone jack
- 1 x 2.5mm balanced to 3.5mm unbalanced adaptor
- 12 x pairs of silicone ear tips (1 pair came preinstalled)
- 2 x pairs of foam ear tips
- 3 x pairs of Sound Filters (Black, Gold & Silver)
- 1 x Metal carry case
- 1 x Warranty Card & Quick Start Guide
Design, Build Quality and Fit:
The iBasso IT07 is a stunning looking In-Ear Monitor with a pretty compact and ergonomic shape, which is made of resin material in a beautiful Blue color pattern. Each IT07 monitor is hand made and carefully polished which is the reason smooth surface.
The faceplate features the InTune logo in silver color that we have seen before on the faceplate of the IT04.
The rear surface has a curved shape that fits very comfortable to my average sized ear concha.
The monitors do have slightly angled sound nozzles that are made of metal material. On the top of each sound nozzle are interchangeable / removable sound tuning filters that are available in black, silver and gold colors.
Each filter has two main functions; the first function is to fine-tune the sound signature of the IT07, while the second function is to avoid the insertion of small particles like dust or earwax.
The IT07 features two small openings; one is located close to the sound nozzle while the second one is near the inner surface of the monitor shell.
On the top of the monitors are the MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) female connectors that do offer a save and tight fit. The overall build quality of the IT07 monitor shell is top notch!
The IT07 came with a 4 Core High Purity Silver Litz Cable that features 54 stands per core which makes 216 wire strands in total. The cable has a braided design and a transparent plastic outer isolation with very low amount of microphonic effect.
The detachable cable of then comes with MMCX male connectors which are protected with a metal housing has L (Left) and R (Right) markings and Blue (Left) & Red (Right) color indicators.
Near the connectors are heat shrink ear guides that do provide an extra over the ear comfort experience.
The cable sports also, a metal Y splitter with iBasso branding and a chin slider made of the same metal material.
The cable has a straight profiled headphone jack housing with a 2.5mm TRRS (balanced) jack.
The package is also including a 2.5mm TRRS to 3.5mm TRS adaptor, which allows you to convert the single ended connector to a regular 3.5mm TRS (unbalanced) headphone jack.
Comfort & Isolation:
The iBasso IT07 is a very ergonomic designed In-Ear Monitor with a Semi-Custom like shape that fits very comfortable to my medium sized ears without to hurt my ear concha even after longer listening periods. The isolation of the iBasso AM07 is above average and good enough to use it in fairly noisy environments like bus, metro or train.
- Driver Type : 1 x 10MM Dynamic Driver + 6 x Balanced Armature Drivers
- Freq. Res. : 10Hz-40 kHz
- Sensitivity : 108dB/1mW @1kHz
- Impedance : 16 ohm
- THD : <1% @ 1kHz/1mW
- Noise Attenuation : -30dB
- Plug Size : 2.5mm gold-plated
- Core length : 1.2m
- Weight : 13gram without cable (6.5g for each Monitor)
The iBasso IT07 is an easy to drive IEM tanks to its pretty low impedance of 16 ohms and a sensitivity of 108dB @ 1 kHz, which makes it to an ideal IEM for the use with relative weak sources like Smartphone’s, Tablets or smaller sized Digital Audio Players.
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Sonya Yoncheva – (Giuseppe Verdi) II Trovatore, ActI (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Deezer HiFi)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Deezer HiFi)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Deezer HiFi)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Twerl – Lishu (Deezer HiFi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Deezer HiFi)
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Deezer HiFi)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Deezer HiFi)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Deezer HiFi)
Sources used for this review:
- IEM : iBasso IT07, Dunu DK-4001, Meze Rai Penta
- DAP/DAC : iBasso DX220 MAX, iBasso DX160, iBasso DC03
The iBasso IT07 made me immediately smile with its impressively well-tuned W shaped sound signature that offers a very intimate and pleasant to listen to sound experience. The bass is very controlled, fast and full bodied with focus to the subbass region. The midrange is intimate, detailed and shows an impressive sense of transparency, while the treble region is nicely pronounced, and has a high level of clarity and sparkle. The soundstage on the other hand is quite holographic thanks to its nice sense of wideness and depth.
Please note that my sound impressions below are mainly based on my experiences with the black filter that shows a more balanced sound signature compared to the gold and silver filters. I have paired the IT07 mainly with the iBasso DX220 MAX and the DX160 that do show both a good synergy.
The iBasso IT07 is an In-Ear Monitor that offers a solid bass performance with a great sense of depth, body and impact that is produced with the 10mm diameter high magnetic flux driver.
The subbass region is the focal point of the lower frequency area, which is able to show a great level of depth and rumble. This area adds the overall presentation of the IT07 nice sense of power. One of the most notable features of the subbass character is the well-adjusted amount of rumble and that doesn’t sounds overwhelming. The subbass quantity and intensity will satisfy most listeners with a wide variety of music genres.
The IT07 shows an impressive performance while listen to songs like Massive Attack’s “Angel” and Lorde’s “Royals”, and is able to overcome even songs with more complex passages like Gogo Penguin’s “Raven”.
The midbass region of the iBasso IT07 is less highlighted compared to the subbass area. The emphasis has been slightly decreased to increase the overall control, speed and detail in this area, which makes the tuning suitable and successful with almost any sort of music genre. The midbass sounds in general pretty tight, impactful and shows an moderate level of attack and decay.
Instruments like electro guitars are nicely bright, while bass guitars do have a good level of depth and speed. Other iinstruments such like the drums and percussion instruments so sound quite musical.
The midrange of the iBasso IT07 shows a mildly warm tonality, while the level of clarity and airiness is above average. The midrange resolution is on an impressive level, especially while listen to vocals, thanks to the forward midrange tuning. The level of transparency and airiness is on a pretty good level and doesn’t shows any remarkable negative conditions such as sibilance or harshness.
Vocals & Instruments:
Both male and female vocals do sound highly emotional and intimate due to the W shaped sound signature.
The iBasso IT07 offers a pretty detailed and clean male vocal presentation, without to show negative situations like muddiness or mixings. The lower midrange has an efficient level of depth and intensity, while listen to male vocals like Barry White or Isaac Hayes.
Female vocals on the other hand do sound quite detailed, musical and intimate. Vocals like Aretha Franklin and Edith Piaf , Diana Krall do truly shine thanks to the good sense of extension and detail retrieval thanks to the well pronounced and extending midrange and upper midrange tuning of the IT07.
The iBasso IT07 has a slightly warmer than neutral instrument tonality and are shown with a quite lively, musical and smooth character. Instruments like pianos are nicely bright and accented, while acoustic guitars do have a great sense of body and warmth. Other instruments such like violins and flutes are reproduced in a pretty detailed and lively manner, without to shows in most situation remarkable negative situations like sibilance or over sharpness.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
What I really like about the iBasso IT07 are the transitions, which are pretty controlled and smooth from the upper midrange towards the upper treble region. For example, the transitions of instruments like cymbals and drums or the vocals do sound very smooth and well controlled.
The upper midrange is one of its highlights and fits the expectations in terms of transparency, detail retrieval and extension of a product at this level. For example, ffemale vocals and instruments such like clarinets, bassoons or pianos are nicely pronounced and do show a good level of extension.
The treble range of the iBasso IT07 shows a slightly bright, close to natural tonality and has in general a pretty smooth and airy character that helps for a fatigue free listening experience. The lower treble region shows a slightly but audible roll-off and is less pronounced compared to the upper treble region. What I can say is that the sense of clarity and definition in this area is on an average level.
The upper treble region sounds more highlighted compared to the lower treble register and shows a quite audible peak around the 8 kHz region that adds the overall presentation a good sense of airiness and sparkle while listen to instruments like snare drums or to soprano vocals. Other instruments like crash cymbals are reproduced with good amount of intensity and sharpness, while the hits are in general pretty controlled.
Soundstage & Imaging:
The iBasso IT07 has a holographic soundstage presentation that shows also a good sense of separation between the right and the left channels that makes it to an IEM with a solid performance in terms of imaging. The soundstage shows an above average performance in terms of wideness and airiness, while it shows a natural sense of depth.
Sound Tuning Filters:
The Black filter has a more balanced tuning with a smoother and natural tonality compared to the warmer Gold and more neutral/bright Silver Filter. The Black filter can be described as the reference filter IT07. The bass is slightly less highlighted compared to the Gold one, but has more intensity and depth compared to the Silver Filter. The treble range is controlled and fatigue free and shows a better sense of airiness compared to the Gold filter.
The Silver filters has the most open sound and bright tonality compared to the Black and Gold filters that do have a slightly warmer (Black) and warmer (Gold) tonality. The treble range shows a better sense of intensity, clarity and extension, especially compared to the Gold one. The midrange shows slightly more transparency and airiness, especially compared with the Gold one. The lower frequency region has less intensity, depth and impact.
The Gold filter shows a slightly warmer tonality compared to the Silver and Black filters and offers has more bass intensity and depth. The midrange is smoother and warmer in tonality compared to the other two filters. The upper midrange and treble area is less highlighted and detailed compared to the Black, especially Silver filter.
iBasso CB16 4.4mm Balanced Cable:
I would like to thank iBasso for sending me the CB16 4.4mm TRRRS Balanced upgrade cable that pairs very well with the IT07.
The CB16 is a 4-Core High Purity Silver Copper alloy cable that features MMCX connectors.
The cable has a nice braided tangle free construction and has a pretty soft plastic insulation in pink color that looks very stylish.
The metal housing of each MMCX connector do have a grey finish. The left MMCX connector has a Blue and the right connector has a Red color indicator.
The cable features a Y splitter and chin slider made of the same metal material in grey color.
The 4.4mm TRRRS Pentaconn audio jack has a headphone housing with an L angled profile that sports the iBasso branding. The headphone jack has a solid look and feel.
When it comes to the sound character, I can say that the most noticeable difference is the slightly warmer tonality and the additional body/fullness compared to the stock High Purity Silver Litz cable.
The bass shows slightly more intensity; while the subbass region has a bit more depth and rumble. The midbass region has a bit more impact and sense of authority.
The midrange shows a slightly higher lower midrange intensity, which is great for male vocals. The midrange tonality is a bit warmer and sweet in its tonality.
The upper midrange and treble region sounds smother compared to the stock cable, which offers a better sense of airiness and sparkle.
I could find any audible changes in terms of soundstage width and depth with exception of a tad more airiness that was present while listen to the stock Sliver Litz cable.
Comparisons with other IEM’s:
iBasso IT07 versus Meze Rai Penta:
Both the Meze Audio Rai Penta and the iBasso IT07 do offer a hybrid driver configuration and do have an eye-catching design.
When it comes to the sound performance, I can say that the iBasso IT07 has the upper hand in terms of subbass depth and intensity, while the Meze Rai Penta shows slightly more midbass quantity and impact. The IT07 has the slightly edge when it comes to the bass speed and decay.
The midrange of the Meze Rai Penta sounds a bit recessed compared to the iBasso IT07 due to it’s mildly V shaped sound signature and has also a warmer tonality. The midrange of the iBasso IT07 offers a better sense of airiness, transparency and detail retrieval. The lower midrange of the Rai Penta shows slightly more body and depth, which gives it the edge for male vocals, while the more highlighted upper midrange tuning makes the IT07 more successful with female vocals.
Both IEM’s are successful in terms of treble detail and extension. The lower treble region of the Meze Rai Penta shows some extra intensity, while the upper treble area of the iBasso IT07 sounds more highlighted, especially around the 8 kHz region. The iBasso IT07 has the edge in terms of airiness, sparkle and speed, while both are successful when it comes to the overall control in this area.
Both In-Ear Monitors do offer a top of the line performance in terms of soundstage and imaging. The iBasso IT07 is superior in terms of soundstage wideness, while the Meze Rai Penta shows a slightly better sense of depth.
iBasso IT07 versus Dunu DK-4001:
The Dunu DK-4001 is also a Hybrid Driver IEM like the iBasso IT07, but has a 4BA +1DD configuration versus the 6BA + 1DD inside the IT07.
Both the subbass and the midbass region of the iBasso IT07 sounds more highlighted compared to the Dunu DK-4001 while the difference in the subbass region is slightly higher. The IT07 has the upper hand in terms of subbass depth, intensity and extension, while both are successful in terms of control and clarity. The midbass of the IT07 has more intesity and sounds slightly more impactful, while both IEM’s are petty on par when it comes to the speed and control and detail retrieval in this area.
The midrange of the Dunu DK-4001 is slightly more recessed compared to those of the iBasso IT07 that offers a more intimate/upfront midrange character with better sense of transparency and airiness.
Both male and female vocals do sound livelier and intimate with the iBasso IT07, the Dunu DK-4001 is otherwise quite successful with male vocals while female voices do sound a bit veiled and somewhat recessed in direct comparison with the IT07.
The treble range of the iBasso IT07 sounds more highlighted especially when it comes to the upper treble area and it offers also a better sense of airiness, clarity and sparkle.
When it comes to the soundstage performance, I can say that the iBasso IT07 has the slightly edge in terms of both soundstage depth and wideness.
The iBasso IT07 is an outstanding looking In-Ear Monitor, with a comfortable fit that comes with a premium High Purity Silver Litz detachable cable that make me immediately smile with its impressive sound performance. The well-adjusted W-shaped sound signature with its solid bass response, musical and lively midrange character and detailed jet fatigue free treble tuning will satisfy many audiophile, while the sound tuning filters are some nice additions for those, who want extra flexibility.
Pros & Cons:
- + Mature W-Shaped Sound Signature
- + Overall Treble Performance (Extension, Intensity, Detail, etc.)
- + Intimate, Detailed & Lively Midrange Presentation
- + Overall Bass Response (Subbass Depth-Rumble, Midbass Impact-Control)
- + Esthetics, Built Quality, Comfort
- + High Quality Silver Litz Cable & Rich Accessory Package (adaptor, ear tips, metal case)
- – A Flagship IEM has its price
- – Gold Filter is a bit bass-heavy for my taste (not a real con)
Thank you for the Read!