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iBasso D16 Taipan Portable Amp/DAC

In my exploration of portable audio equipment, iBasso has consistently impressed me with their dedication to quality, a sentiment reinforced by my positive experiences with their previous offerings. As I prepare to assess the iBasso D16 Taipan, I’m immediately struck by its attention-grabbing branding and elegant packaging. Priced at $1499, I’m eager to discover if this amp/DAC can match its impressive appearance with equally remarkable sound performance. Let’s check if it’s worth the investment and if it truly stands out in the world of portable audio.

What you get
iBasso D16 Taipan Portable Amp/DAC
Charging cable
USB-C to USB-C OTG Cable
USB-C to Lightning OTG Cable
2x coax/OPT cables
2x pouch bags
User Manual

Build
I am extremely impressed with the build of the iBasso D16, and here are some details that truly showcase its engineering prowess:
FPGA-Master 2.0: The D16’s core FPGA-Master 2.0 impresses with its ability to reorganize and recode signals, effectively reducing noise and ensuring exceptional audio quality. With global clock regeneration and precise delay control, jitter is minimized, guaranteeing synchronized signals for an immersive listening experience.

Discrete PWM-DAC: Featuring a remarkable 128 discrete PWM-DACs arranged in cascades, the D16 achieves unparalleled clarity and fidelity. This abundance of DACs minimizes distortion, delivering a THD+N level of less than 0.0001%—a testament to its superior audio performance.

Hardware Analog FIR Filter: Enhancing sound detail and density, the hardware analog FIR filter optimizes signal processing. By leveraging 128 independent PWM-DACs operating in FIR mode, distortion is minimized, ensuring faithful reproduction of every sonic nuance.

Cutting-Edge Components: From high-precision resistors to ultra-low phase noise oscillators, each component in the D16 is meticulously selected to uphold the highest standards of quality and performance. With a professional-grade DSP chip and an ultra-low noise analog power supply, the D16 delivers studio-quality sound on the go.

The iBasso D16 sets a new standard for portable audio excellence, combining groundbreaking design with meticulous engineering to deliver an unparalleled listening experience.



Sound Impressions
During my review of the iBasso D16, I had the pleasure of experiencing its sonic capabilities with a variety of audio equipment, including the Noble Audio Onyx – In Ear Monitors and Final Audio D7000 headphones. To say I was satisfied would be an understatement.

The first thing that struck me was the incredible volume gain provided by the D16. It’s no exaggeration to say that it’s got some serious power under the hood. When paired with the Noble Onyx IEMs, I noticed an impressive boost in bass reproduction. The D16 seemed to unlock the full potential of these IEMs, rendering every beat with unparalleled depth and impact.

Switching gears to the Final Audio D7000 headphones, I was blown away by the clarity and precision of the sound. Every nuance, from the delicate highs to the rich mids, was reproduced with stunning accuracy. I found myself immersed in the music, reluctant to remove the headphones even for a moment.

Throughout my testing, I explored a diverse range of genres, as I typically do when evaluating audio equipment. One standout moment was while listening to Oliver Smith’s “Be Alone.” The synth melodies danced effortlessly across the soundstage, accompanied by a bassline that was both punchy and well-defined. The vocals soared above the mix, crystal clear and full of emotion.



Specifications:
4.4mm LO:

  • Output Level: 3.3Vrms (DAC Low Gain) 4Vrms (DAC High Gain)
  • THD+N: -120.4dB(0.000095%)@1kHz AES17-20K A-wt
  • DNR: 123dB AES17-20K A-wt
  • SNR: 123dB AES17-20K A-wt
  • Crosstalk: 135dB
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz-40kHz +/-1dB

3.5mm LO:

  • Output Level: 1.65Vrms (DAC Low Gain) 2Vrms (DAC High Gain)
  • THD+N: -118dB(0.00012%)@1KHz
  • AES17-20K A-wt
  • DNR: 120dB AES17-20K A-wt
  • SNR: 120dB AES17-20K A-wt
  • Crosstalk: 133dB
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz-40kHz +/-1dB

4.4mm PO:

  • Output Level: 4.2Vrms (AMP L Gain + DAC H gain)
  • 6.8Vrms (AMP H Gain + DAC H gain)
  • Output Power: 1125mW+1125mW@32Q THD+N<0.5% THD+N: -117dB(0.00014%)@1KHz
  • AES17-20K A-wt 6000 Load
  • DNR: 123dB AES17-20K A-wt
  • SNR: 123dB AES17-20K A-wt
  • Crosstalk: 131dB
  • Frequency Response: 15Hz-40kHz +/-1dB

Summary


Listening through the iBasso D16 was like rediscovering my favorite songs all over again. Its remarkable capabilities transformed my music into an immersive experience filled with depth and clarity. With the D16, the bass was nothing short of incredible, making every beat feel powerful and deep, enhancing the rhythm in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Moreover, the D16’s ability to reveal intricate details with stunning clarity was truly impressive, with every note sounding crisp and precise, allowing me to appreciate the music in a whole new light. It was like hearing my favorite songs with fresh ears, uncovering new layers of nuance and subtlety with each listen. Yes, the iBasso D16 comes with a price tag, but for those who value exceptional quality and performance, it’s undoubtedly worth every penny. From its powerful sound to its attention to detail in cables and cases, the D16 is a high-quality product that delivers on its promise of an unparalleled listening experience.

iBasso D16 Taipan Portable Amp/DAC is available at Audio46

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