Since the IT01 walks the line between warm and bright so well, they are not tricky to pair. Practically any source will sound good. If you want a little extra bass, or more treble, the device you choose can swing the scales. They are highly efficient and require very little power to drive. Like I said, you really can’t go wrong. Still, here are a few pairings you may find interesting:
The Shanling M3s ($279, Review HERE) is a fantastic budget DAP for the IT01. Smooth, clean, and revealing as f**k. With a hint of warmth and plenty of treble, you get quite a lot of musicality without leaving neutrality. Soundstage is above average, and there’s great separation. It allows the IT01 to show off its qualities without aiming for the stars… and emptying your wallet in the process.
theBit’s newest release, the Opus#1S ($399) is a warmer, fuller device. It adds a more natural, relaxed quality to the IT01. The treble is less splashy, the grain less noticeable. Soundstage is bigger and depth increases. There’s a degree of refinement and maturity to this setup that is seriously impressive. Normally I’d consider a budget earphone not worth the effort of such a fine source, but the IT01 responds with vigor to the added richness.
My reference player is the Opus#2 ($1,299, Review HERE), and the DAP I use for my audio break-down and comparisons. It has the weight and naturalness of the #1S, but also manages the clarity and transparency of the M3s. That’s what Top of the Line gets you, I guess; the best of both worlds. It doesn’t stop there, either. #2 also delivers a significant upgrade in depth and separation, with a grander soundstage, and all around greater realism. The fact IT01 can illustrate these changes with such articulation may be the single most impressive feat I’ve seen it perform yet. They scale like a motherf**ker!
Before I move on, I’d like to mention the Cayin N5ii and iBasso DX200 are also highly recommended for these. You can’t go wrong with either one, but in this case, the price difference does yield greater quality. Set your budget, and buy the best you can afford. You won’t regret it.
Sweet Jesus! We’ve come to the end. Are you still hazy on my stance? Do you really need me to say it? Fine, I will. I love these things. Are you happy? The iBasso IT01 should not sound this good. Or if it should, it shouldn’t be this inexpensive. Or if it should, everyone else ought to readjust their prices. I won’t say it’s a game-changer, because the only game Pinky cares about is the game of love. That’s a different article entirely. Still, something’s changed, and iBasso did it. I can’t wait to see what they do next.