News - Vento Conductor T-500 Pro

Review - iBasso IT00

English | Español
Also available on YouTube in Spanish: Acho Reviews YouTube 



The iBasso IT00 has been sent to me for this review by Headphoniaks, a Spanish web store specialized in headphones and portable sound. In exchange for this, the only requests have been that I mention their store in my YouTube review and that I include a link to the product in both the YouTube and Blog review. 

The link to the item on sale at Headphoniaks.com is here: https://headphoniaks.com/tienda/ibasso-it00/

I have not received any other requests and, as always, I will be honest about sharing my own opinions, however, it has not cost me anything to test these IEMs.




Presentation…

This is the first set of iBasso IEMs that I have tried and as they are a loaner item, the packaging was already open. However, the packaging did contain all the extras included when purchased new. 

The IEMs come in a blue box, with a lid that flaps open, that is finished with a pattern that I believe is to resemble leather (only to the eye, not to the touch). This box is placed inside a white cardboard sleeve that shows an image of the IEMs on the front, along with the make and model, and specifications in various languages on the back.

Opening the blue box, there are two cut outs at the top for the IEMs and a large circular cutout where a large black carrying case is located, branded with “iBasso Audio” on the front. As I said, these are a loaner unit, so in my case, all of the contents came inside the carrying case, which goes to show that it is large enough to store the IEMs, cable and selection of tips that are included.

As far as the tips included, there are three bags, each containing different silicone tips, along with the two tips already installed on the IEMs. Due to the fact that I already own many many sets of tips, along with the fact that this is a unit on loan during these current pandemic times, I did not open the sets of tips included as I did not feel it was necessary. I did, however, check online as to what kinds of tips are included and made sure I tried the IEMs with tips of the same style from my collection, along with others.

Build and aesthetics…

The IT00 IEMs are all white and made of plastic, meaning they are very lightweight. However, they have managed to make them look elegant and also do not feel cheap to the touch. These are obviously not expensive IEMs but they certainly don’t look and feel tacky. I can say that I like the look of them, which is obviously a personal thing.

The included cable is not going to win any awards for being the best but is also not terrible. It works and is far better than cables included with many other IEMs at similar prices.

Comfort is again a personal thing but I find the IT00 comfortable and have no issues with its shape. They do stick out from the ears slightly, which will not make them a great option for laying on your side, but the extreme lightness makes wearing them for hours not an issue.



Sound…

As I mentioned previously, I have tried all kinds of tips with the IT00, coming to the conclusion that wider bore tips work better than thinner bores. However, my preferred foam tips work really well with them and are what I have opted to use in the end. One thing I didn’t mention in the build part is that the end of the nozzles have filters that screw on/off and a set of extra filters are included in the packaging. The reason I mention this now is that the ring around the nozzle is not smooth, it has a textured finish to it to allow grip when unscrewing, this same finish means that the foam tips I use grip on that area and allow you to choose how far onto the nozzle you want to seat the tips. This allows you to play with the length of the tube inside the tips, which at the same time has an effect on bass response. It is not a huge difference but is enough to be noticeable. I found that I preferred to not push the tips all the way to the end, leaving a small length of open space between the end of the tip and the location of the nozzle, basically keeping the driver slightly further away from the ear drum.

Moving through the sound frequency groups in my usual way, I have been pleasantly surprised by this budget offering from iBasso. It does follow the usual V shape found in many earphones in it’s category, although it does so without being overly done, maintaining a sound throughout that I would probably describe as smooth and refined.

There is a very good extension into the sub-bass category, with a rise that seems to be constant the lower it goes. I am not sure at what frequency the response actually drops off but it is below my hearing level. This smooth but constant rise compensates for the natural drop off of human hearing the lower we go, making the whole of the lower end seem well balanced. There is plenty in the sub bass to make you appreciate the rumble of the lowest notes in songs that stretch down that far.

The remaining bass frequencies are really well balanced between themselves, following that smooth descending line, avoiding the impression of any specific bass frequency being boosted. They also keep the bass frequencies well separated and defined, presenting a bass range that is present but without giving you the feeling of it being overdone at any time.

Moving into the mid range, the frequencies continue that smooth fall all the way up to around 1kHz. There is no sense of bass bleed, nor is there any feeling of missing warmth. Acoustic instruments, such as guitars and basses, have the warmth and body needed but again avoid the sensation of it being artificial. 

The lowest part of the mid range (as far as dB) seems to be around 1kHz, the point at which it starts to climb again as it heads towards the higher mids and treble areas. There is a decent amount of presence in voices but the peak around 3kHz is again not over exaggerated, meaning that voices are present but there is not a feeling of a recess in the lower parts of voices. This is something that I mentioned previously with other IEMs (the BL05s as a recent example), where voices are present but feel like they are missing something in their lower root notes, especially noticeable on female vocals. That is not the case with the IT00, songs like “Way Down Deep” by Jennifer Warnes, “Little Sadie” by Crooked Still or “Down To The River To Pray” by Alison Krauss, all sound lifelike and are presented in a nice way with a richness to their full range. Even voices that can sometimes be overly present and nasal, such as Don’t You Worry Child” by Beth, are nicely tamed.

I believe that part of this response is achieved by not having a dip directly after the 3kHz mark. In fact, as we move into the higher frequencies, there is another small rise reaching from there up to around 5kHz. This extra rise does present a little more sibilance than on other IEMs that do not have this extra boost. However, the sibilance is not to the point of being irritating. I found tracks like “Code Cool” and “Hope Is A Dangerous Thing” to both be quite listenable, although you can notice just that little hint of sibilance.

If I have any kind of complaint about the frequency response of the IT00 it would have to be in the highest frequencies, something that I find regularly with single dynamic driver IEMs. Once past the 10kHz mark, there is a roll off in treble that I would prefer to be a little more present. This doesn’t make the IT00 seem dull in the top end but it is something that I would prefer to be a little less rolled off, offering a little more shine and air up there. Again, this is something I find with the majority of single DD IEMs so I can’t really pick this as a fault with the IT00, more of the nature of this kind of earphone.

Before moving on to other things such as detail and speed etc. I want to point out that the IT00 responds very well to EQ, and some slight adjustments could make this go from very good to almost perfect for some people. However, note that I said “slight”, being heavy handed on the EQ with these IEMs will quickly turn into a negative experience.

As far as speed, definition and detail, these IEMs do well in all three categories. I wouldn’t say that they are the best in any of the three but are certainly very capable. Even when listeninig to complex and busy tracks, they maintain composure and present a nice separation of all the instruments, allowing you to focus on any of the instruments or passages.

In the soundstage and image placement category, I actually find these to be decent and have a good width to them. Inside that width, they also do a very good job of placing images and making the most of the whole area. They do a very impressive job of “Bubbles” by Yosi Horikawa.



Comparisons…

Usually I don’t do a comparisons section as I test all of the IEMs in the same way, so it is pretty easy to go to any of my other reviews and compare my comments. However, as I have been so impressed by these IEMs, I feel that I should leave some direct comparisons to a few other IEMs that I would place these in competition with. 

The first is with the Tin T2 Plus, a set of IEMs that is cheaper than the IT00 and is very impressive in my opinion, especially in its price range. I feel that the IT00 is a more polite version of the T2 Plus, still being able to present the qualities that the T2 Plus does, but in a more refined and laid back fashion. The T2+ can become a beast of an IEM, depending what tips and music you choose and I have never had that sensation with the IT00 and feel that it is smoother in its presentation.

Another comparison is with my favourite IEM under 100€, the Moondrop Starfield. I think that the IT00 could actually be classed as a mid way point between the brute that the T2 Plus can be and the refinement of the Starfield. I do still prefer the Starfield but I think that the IT00 has much more in common with the overall sound and performance than I expected, at a price that is quite a bit more economical.

One last comparison I would make would be with the KZ ZAX. The main reason for this particular comparison is both the price point (very similar) along with the width and imaging of both these IEMs. I found the KZ to be the best IEM that I have tried from them to this date, with one of its strong points being that it is one of the widest sound stages I have heard so far, with great placement of images. I feel that the iBasso IT00 is very close to the ZAX in this regard but is again, as with the T2 Plus, a little more refined and polite in the way it does things. In the highest of frequencies, the ZAX does offer a better sensation of air and openness, but it uses 8 drivers to do so.



Conclusion…

I have been very impressed with my first iBasso IEM experience. For an IEM that only just falls outside the ultra-budget 50€ category, the performance of this IEM is very pleasing.

I would say that the iBasso is not really the best in anything specific in comparison to other options, but as a whole package is not something to be ignored. If I had to briefly describe the IT00, I would say that it is a polite and smooth IEM which covers all of the bases with a sound that is both pleasing and well balanced.

Yes, I do have the typical comment regarding the highest frequencies, but again, this is a single dynamic driver so it does have its limitations. I really can’t complain about what it does with this driver at the price point it sits. One of my most important requests from IEMs is timbre, and the IT00 also does this very well, sounding very natural to my ears, at least with the majority of music I listen to.

In general, I have no complaints. I am happy to sit and listen to music through the IT00 and enjoy almost everything I press play on.

SenyorC