Once I buy a new IEM, it remains as my daily drivers for around 3 to 4 months and then I move to a new one usually. The one IEM that I used more than a year was iBasso IT01. It was one of my favorites, sadly the unit was lost. I have also tried iBasso’s other IT series of IEMs and they were very good. IT01 was an entry-level IEM so I thought iBasso would not ever release other more affordable IEM in the IT series, but they did. So as soon as the new iBasso IT00 arrived at my country’s retailer, I just bought one. And after using it for almost one month, it turned out to be a fantastic purchase for me. Let’s explain why.
Please note that the unit has been purchased by me and haven’t received any discount from the seller or any compensation from the brand in exchange for this review. So let’s start.
- Type – In-Ear,
- Color – White,
- Driver – One 10mm Graphene Dynamic Driver,
- Sensitivity – 106+ / -2db,
- Frequency Response – 20-20kHz,
- Impedance – 16Ω,
- Noise Attenuation – -26dB,
- Rated Power – 10mW,
- THD – <1% (at 1kHz/1mW),
- Material – Plastic,
- Cable Type – MMCX,
- Cable Length – 120cm,
- Mic – No,
- Plug – 3.5mm Gold plated L Shaped,
- Weight – 8g (Without Cable).
Product Link – Here
What’s inside the Box?
- iBasso IT00 IEM,
- White wide bore silicone ear tips 3 pairs (S/M/L),
- 3 pairs of black wide bore silicone ear tips (S/M/L),
- 3 pairs of black medium bore silicone ear tips (S/M/L),
- 1 pair of screw-type nozzle filter,
- Carry Case,
- User Guide & warranty card.
To showcase the presentation of the iBasso IT00, I have made an unboxing video which you can see below. Overall the presentation is neat and clean. The presentation is almost the same as iBasso’s IT01.
The shells of iBasso IT00 and IT01 are identical. The only difference is the color. Though people don’t like the white color on their devices as it gets stained easily, the white color on IT00 looking nice. iBasso forwarded the same design of IT01 in IT00 and I have no problem with it, as the design of their IT series of IEM is very ergonomic. IT00’s faceplate area is almost like a triangle. Smooth rounding edges and high polish on the shell making it very comfortable for ear and the IEM fits like a custom made IEM.
There are two air vents present on the IEM and left/right IEMs marked properly too. The steel nozzle is also present in IT00 like IT01. With black branding on the shells and a black cable, iBasoo tried to achieve a black and white color scheme which is I think worked nicely on IT00.
The price of the iBasso IT00 is much cheaper than their previous entry-level IT01. Before buying, my main concern was what are the compromises have made by iBasso to cut the price further down? As soon as I opened the box, I have noticed the compromises. First of all the carry case is now a hard fabric zipper instead of a metal one. Secondly, iBasso has replaced the nice shiny copper cable with a black stock cable. But the good thing is the quality of the carry case and the cable, is respectively better than other similarly priced IEM.
The cable is nicely twisted and has an ‘L’ shaped 3.5 mm plug. iBasso also has included a cable tie and chin slider to manage the cable easily. The MMCX plug ends are very tight to insert and remove. If you are a person who doesn’t care about changing the cable frequently then this should not be an issue for you. My final MMCX assist helped me a lot this time.
Now though there are some compromises, still the build quality of the IEM is very good. The IEM is made out of plastic but doesn’t feel cheap or fragile. The IEMs are very lightweight and feels almost like a feather In hand. No sign of imperfection at all on the IEM. The best thing is the presence of high-quality MMCX plug and stainless steel nozzle. The tip of the nozzle is also removable and iBasso has also provided a pair of extra nozzle screw filters. This type of removable nozzle filter is useful to clean the IEM from time to time.
iBasso also supplied a handful of tips and the quality of ear tips is very nice. The white soft wide bore tips are really good.
iBasso IT00 comes with a single 10mm Graphene Dynamic Driver in each IEM. Now I am not discussing the materials used to make the drivers here because different brands claim that they use carbon fiber coated / diamond coated/ Graphene-coated/ beryllium coated driver etc in their IEM but I have plenty of doubt on it. Although from a buyer’s perspective, this information doesn’t matter much. The main concern should be, the sound. As IT00 using Graphene dynamic driver and a good amount of driver flex are present in both the IEMs, I can assume that driver flex could be a downside of Graphene dynamic drivers. Please note that the effect of driver flex can only be heard when pushing the IEM in the ear, after that while playing music it doesn’t affect the listening experience at all.
iBasso IT00 is very easy to drive IEM, as its Impedance is only 16Ω. It can be driven to its full potential from any source available like Smartphones, affordable music players, etc. In this review, I have used my phone, Ifi Hip DAC, and Lotoo Paw S1 to drive IT00.
Comfort, Noise Isolation & Tip Selection
In terms of comfort, IT00’s lightweight shell is nice and very comfortable to wear. You can wear them for hours without any pain or discomfort and noise isolation is also very good. The bore size of the tips changes the sound a lot, which I have discussed the sound part.
Tracks used to evaluate iBasso IT00
- The Long Run – Eagles (The Very Best Of The Eagles),
- Stormy Weather – Etta James (At Last!),
- Sweet Child – Simply Red (Blue-Eyed Soul),
- Golden Hour – Kacey Musgraves (Golden Hour),
- Shanghai Blues – Robbie Robertson (Sinematic),
- Just Strong Enough – Michael McDonald (Wide Open),
- Instant Crush – Daft Punk (Random Access Memories),
- Beat It – Michael Jackson (Thriller),
- Six Blade Knife – Dire Straits (Dire Straits),
- I Don’t Want To Know – Fleetwood Mac (Rumours),
- Chunky – Bruno Mars (24K Magic),
- You Know I’m No Good – Amy Winehouse (Back To Black),
- Set Fire To The Rain – Adele (21)
Like other good brands, iBasso IEMs have their signature tuning which you can see predominantly present in most of their IEMs. The tuning is here almost like and ‘U’ shaped and the overall sound signature of iBasso IT00 is balanced. From the above measurements, you can see some channel imbalance is present but not huge. The remarkable thing in IT00 is its total balance. Neither too warm nor too bright, IT00 tuned such a way that it fits most of the genres. Please note, before any serious listening I have let IT00 burn-in for almost 50 hours.
The size of the dynamic driver is always related to its capability of producing the lower frequency. 10mm dynamic driver can be considered a large one hence It should produce a good amount of bass. But the Graphene dynamic driver maybe doesn’t follow such rule. The amount of bass, ibasso IT00 produces is not huge but the dominance of warmth still present. The entire lower frequency part has been presented linearly.
As I have mentioned about the tonal balance earlier, the balance between sub-bass and mid-bass is also present here. The bass is punchy and has controlled such a way that with tracks like ‘Beat It’ by Michael Jackson, you can feel the rumble. The bass is also not boomy and doesn’t muffle the Mids. The speed and decay are fast and accurate. The texture is moderately good and overall a good amount of quality bass can be achieved from IT00. If you are not a fan of bass, you can use the narrow bore tips which reduce the entire lower frequency area by 3 dB.
The entire mid-range is recessed and has been presented naturally. The drop is not huge, so IT00 managed to maintain a good amount of details and clarity. A slight boost is present on the 2-3 kHz range which brings a good amount of details and timbre in the upper-mids section. The boost is not huge and female vocals don’t sound shouty at all. Male vocals sound a bit relaxed first, but after burn-in, this particular part has improved a lot. Songs like ‘Stormy Weather’ by Etta James and ‘Just Strong Enough’ by Michael McDonald sounding very natural. Being an inexpensive IEM, iBasso IT00 has managed to bring out moderately good Mids without being harsh in upper Mids.
Treble or higher frequency part is where most of the affordable IEM fails. Tuning any audio gear, by keeping the higher frequency part in a path that leads to shimmer without creating fatigue is very hard. Extension in that area in a proper way creates a rich stereo sound too. I must admire iBasso for their excellent tuning in IT00. The higher frequency part has been beautifully extended without any harsh picks. The treble part is airy and sparkling. A small peak around 5 kHz and dip around 7 kHz creating a smooth natural presence. Again some peaks in 9 kHz and 12 kHz, adding air and sparkle which is very nice in such an affordable IEM. With narrow bore tips, the treble area becomes airier but loses some control.
Soundstage & Imaging
The soundstage is wide but lacks some depth. The imaginary stage feels natural too. The soft wite wide bore tips are the ideal choice when you want the best out of iBasso IT00. Both the instrument separation and detail retrieval is good enough for a single dynamic driver IEM.
Fiio Fh1s/ Jade Audio EA3 vs iBasso IT00
Fiio’s FH1s is rebranded Jade Audio (Fiio’s sub-brand) EA3. I know it’s shocking, but the truth is truth. You can compare the frequency graphs of both of these IEM to know it. Now where EA3 is just 40$, FH1s is 20$ more expensive. The only difference is the color of the nozzle and cable. I have managed to try Fiio FH1s for few days, after borrowing it from a friend of mine and wasted my time. Fh1s is below the average IEM with boosted bass and metallic treble. Don’t know who the targeted audience of FH1s is.
In comparison with iBasso IT00, FH1s is nowhere near. If IT00 has excellent total balance, FH1s doesn’t have any balance. You may argue that FH1s has a fun sounding tuning, then my fun vanishes after hearing the 8 kHz and 10 kHz high sharp picks. FH1s sounds unnatural and don’t go well with most of the genres. In a side by side comparison, iBasso IT00 is a clear winner with a huge margin.
Shozy Form 1.1 vs iBasso IT00
Form 1.1 and IT00 priced almost similarly. Both the IEMs are well build but Form 1.1 is also suitable for smaller ears as its shell is smaller in comparison with IT00. In terms of packaging, accessories, and build quality both the IEMs justify their price. Form 1.1 also provides some double flange and foam tips too which is a bonus point.
Sound-wise they are a bit different. Sub-bass section of 1.1 is less than IT00 and Mid-bass is better than IT00. So it’s a choice of the user what kind of bass he prefers. The midrange is recessed in both the IEMs but upper Mids are emphasized in IT00, as a result, better details can be achieved in IT00. The problem occurs in the treble are where 1.1 has some unwanted peaks which spoil the listening experience. For my taste, IT00 is overall a better option between these two IEMs.
When spending 100$ on an IEM, the current market follows the hype. The more you hype your new product the more it gets attention. But hypes doesn’t last long and a new sub 100$ king appears to empty users’ pockets every month. When comes to IEM, iBasso never tried to sensationalize the market with hypes but thankfully their IEMs speak about their quality over time. All of their IT series IEMs well-tuned and nicely priced. iBasso IT00 is also not an exception here. Great tonal balance and good fit which allows IT00 to be a perfect pair of IEM for most of the genres and audiences. I am happy with my purchase and can easily recommend it to my fellow audiophiles but if you still want to rush behind the hype…. Then may God bless you.