Review headphone iBasso SR1 — signature sound in “Panoramio”

The company iBasso known for two things. The first thorough approach to the tuning of their solutions, often in more than one year. The second skill anyway to get your own signature sound. It is not surprising that full-size headphones incorporates both features.


For starters, it is worth noting that the sound SR1 “drove” for about a year, the developers tried a lot of emitters before he settled on was developed specifically for this model dynamic driver with a diffuser made of biocellulose with silicone suspension and magnet system increased power. This was followed by a series of experiments with design and acoustics, culminating in the release limited to 500 copies party headphones.

As carefully pondered the price tag, making it a weighted-average by today’s standards. At the time of writing, SR1 asking for a little more than $ 500.

Specifications

  • Emitter: dynamic diffuser of biocellulose
  • Acoustic design: semi-open
  • Frequency range: 3 Hz – 40 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 108 dB
  • Impedance: 22Ω
  • Nominal power: 50 mW
  • Total harmonic distortion: <1%
  • Cable: removable, 1.8 m with MMCX connectors
  • Plug: 3.5 mm TRS
  • Weight: 420 gr. (without cable)

Packing and delivery

In terms of presentation, iBasso never had any problems. External box made of medium density cardboard happy buyer with a lot of technical details about the used technology. Inside is a large nylon case with zipper to store headphones, cable and manual.

Designers tried to make everything as carefully as possible, paying attention to even small things such as a metal plate with the serial number (you remember limitirovanie).

Design and comfortable wearing

In iBasso managed to make the model an unusual and give it a “face”, I think even the photo shows how they did it. Not unlike any other Cup of silver metal designed in the form of a step the amphitheatre, below them is a grid of black color, providing a model of openness. It is, however, noted that the Cup is not completely acoustically transparent, sound insulation SR1 good, although they play out significantly, so in the office with nervous colleagues, they will not sit.

Headband made of spring steel, it is very light, proper weight distribution provides a “cap” of Tuscan leather. Special mounts allow you to move it higher/lower by adjusting the pressure of the cups. The latter also move on two axes, allowing you to find the best fit.

Thanks to the soft ear cushions, SR1 is very comfortable to wear, providing total lack of fatigue even during long listening. Bring in it the contribution and moderate weight (420 grams), and its proper distribution.

By the way, the earpads snap change and option iBasso offer perforated “bagels”, providing a small change in the sound. I haven’t tested them yet, but test — be sure to share your opinion.

The cable is made replaceable, while the developers have gone the unusual way, as the connectors MMCX connectors are used with overhangs. You simply insert the supplied cord until it clicks and turn the connectors, locking them in the castle. Disconnecting is done in reverse order. I don’t know how to show himself the decision in the long run, but so far it looks convenient, and the ability to use the same wire iBasso CB series expanding field for experimentation. As you know, in the headphones, you can use any cable with standard MMCX connectors, the main thing that the size of the connectors allow them to grasp and pull.

The bundled cord is quite simple, due to the fabric insulation he has a small microphone effect but for stationary use with headphones (and hardly anyone will wear SR1 on the street) he does not interfere. The cable looks securely and certainly will last the owner a long time. Wire made from oxygen-free copper high purity and from the acoustic point of view, perhaps, is the most suitable for this model. For lovers of balanced connections on the website of the company available wire option with Pentaconn.

Overall, the headphones are very solidly made almost entirely of metal, I would venture to suggest that their durability will be quite “on the level”.

Sound

To listen following equipment was used.

  • Yulong DA9 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP in the role of DAC and amplifier
  • Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2016 as the source
  • Fidelia in the role of player
  • Lotoo Paw Gold Touch, theBit OPUS#2, Astell&Kern, A&ultima SP1000 and the role of other portable players
  • Recording high-resolution Lossless-formats (Dr. Chesky have The Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc and others)

Before listening headphones was heated for 60 hours, the change in sound was observed for approximately 40 hours.

As I wrote in the introduction, iBasso SR1 sound completely style — neutral, detailed, with a slight emphasis on the treble, iBasso are famous for that always follow their vision in sound. Overall, the SR1 can be compared on the micro-dynamics with initial isodynamic models of the same HiFiMan, but with a little better value and an easier buildup. Headphones designed for lovers of neutrality, however, as other products of the company.

The bass here is not accented, which might upset fans of feeding with pumping, they will have to look at other models. Lovers of neutrality manner SR1 will appreciate, LF there are balanced, they are fast, but have sufficient weight and depth to realistically win back all nuances of record, including the gradients and strokes. A good control, and even the deep layers of the LF, than can not boast of all models.

The middle continues the development of the General idea of the sound of the model: detailed, neutral, but without too much emphasis on micro-contrast. This, of course, imposes certain requirements on the recording quality, headphones don’t add anything “by itself”, so on the bad tracks will play appropriately. Good they will appreciate the realism, emotion and high-quality transmission of the character of instruments and vocals. Separately pleased that iBasso restrained, and did not monitor headphones brand, as well as with the DX80. The headphone has a slight accent at the junction VCC and HF, which effectively highlights the female vocals and overall detail of the filing, perhaps thanks to him, the SR1 can build an imaginary scene: for both sizes it’s bigger than average, with good separation of instruments and plans.

Treble done carefully. Despite the emphasis in the area of approximately 4 kHz, sharpness and unnatural in the flow of the RF there is, the more that district 8 kHz on the contrary, a little pressed. Thanks to that “top” sound naturally, without accent metal and synthetic coating. The resolution and the length is not prohibitive, but a good attack attenuation practiced correctly, layering is in its infancy, but for this price it’s okay. HF here perfectly cope with the role of providing wagering overtones and saturation flow “air.”

Particularly to take in comparison I don’t see the point, since I have essentially nothing that can be compared with SR1. 99 Meze Classics — quite different in sound and flow. HiFiMan Sundara — more detailed and smooth, but brighter legkovushka and require greater amplification. HE-400S from HiFiMan the same — warmer and less resolution. Other headphones with similar flow on my reviews very long time, and without direct comparison I’m not going to talk about the difference. More expensive models like the same AudioZenith PMx2v2, of course, sound better.

Compatibility

One of the main advantages of this model — it does not need a powerful source in order to fully “open up”, rather the player is of average power, the main thing that he was enough skillful to emphasize the neutrality and resolution SR1. Of course, the main candidates are the players most iBasso, but the same QLS361 or, say, FiiO X7-2 will also be great options.

Stylistically, this model is versatile, the main thing that the user was ready to unembellished flow. Sensitivity to the quality of the recording from iBasso SR1 is quite high, about 8 points out of 10 on a notional scale of “fault-finding”.

A few traditional tracks-examples

Lang Lang — Consolation No. 3 in D-Flat Major, S. 172 Well, I won’t be original. To demonstrate the potential technical and neutral headphone is lightweight and virtuoso piano thing good more, and, of course, SR1 here show themselves on top.

Coheed and Cambria — True Ugly Not everyone likes the neutrality and technicality to listen to metal, but I am one of those people who believes that progressive things should be like that. So I really like how the heroes of today’s review, extract all the nuances of this track and present them to the listener.

Kovacs — Cheap Smell I can’t resist such tracks: the unusual vocal, effective presentation, stylish blend of genres. Add to this neutral and detailed headphones (you guessed what), and receives a portion of the present audiophile pleasure.

Insights

Overall, iBasso did not change itself and once again made his “signature” sound, this time in full-size headphones. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive, but technically the model does not require huge power to drive, the SR1 will be a very good candidate for consideration.

Buy iBasso SR1

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