In spite of the brighter nature of the DX200, after burn-in, I found most everything I owned paired up beautifully. The brighter and the warmer gear, it all sounded so splendid. Of course, I’m not terribly sensitive to treble, as it turns out. If you are, be on the safe side and match a warmer monitor with this player.
I hate to be that guy, but you haven’t heard tia Fourté ($3,599, Review HERE) until you’ve heard it on the DX200 w/ AMP4. Likewise, you haven’t heard the DX200 until you install AMP4 and spend some time listening to Fourté. Nothing quite opens up these pieces like pairing them together. It’s an experience unlike any other. Nothing sounds like this. The transparency, soundstage, depth and dimensionality… it’s unbelievable. Hearing this system is what finally convinced me, beyond all doubt, the DX200 outperforms the Opus#2. It took me a while to admit that, I was ridding the fence for a couple weeks, but this setup pushed me over the edge.
For those in search of the perfect mix of deep, chocolaty warmth, and outstanding resolution and staging, the AudioQuest NightOwl ($699, Review HERE) combines with the DX200 to deliver just that. Significant, black depths. Richness and scope. Goddamn what a special sound they make. It might not be for everyone, but for those who lust for true warmth sometimes, yet never want to lose clarity and resolution, I can think of nothing quite like this pairing.
iBasso’s own IT01 ($99, Review HERE) may seem like a bottleneck for a music player of this caliber. Yet I find it a marvel of resolution and clarity. It scales nicely to take advantage of summit-fi sources. You get a rich, detailed, expansive sound, making you question the impulse to indulge in more costly gear. For those on a budget, this is the king of price-to-performance ratio.
Another killer bang-for-your-buck is the Meze 99 Classics ($309, Review HERE). These cans may possess my ultimate favorite signature. With deep, warm lows, crystalline mids, and clean, sparkly highs, Meze is at its absolute best with a DAP like the DX200. You are treated to unbridled musicality, presented in a clean, oh so revealing execution. To my ears, it does everything just right, and the result can move me to tears.
DITA the Dream ($1,800, Review HERE) moved me in much the same fashion. Its synergy with DX200 AMP4 left an impression on me I doubt will ever entirely vanish. To put it simply, I loved this setup.
No question about it, the Noble Audio Kaiser Encore ($1,850, Review HERE) is on the brighter side, with its enhanced treble tuning. With DX200, you could be forgiven for calling it “too bright”. For me, however, they play together awfully well. Much like tia Fourté, Encore celebrates all iBasso’s strengths, creating one of the most insane systems I’ve heard for high-resolution audio. This is not warm or smooth or laidback. It’s detail-first, aggressive, and transparent, but not without a good measure of musical fluidity.
I remember, as I looked for an upgrade to my AK120II, I dismissed the DX200 rather swiftly. It was too new and unproven, and the threads were full of mixed impressions. So I went with the Opus#2. Make no mistake, that is a serious DAP and has served me well this past year. The DX200, it seems, has come a long way in that time. With the AMP4 Module in particular, I’ve found my new reference. I won’t say it’s an outright upgrade to the Opus#2, as the tuning is different enough to make that a matter of preference, but it sure as shit delivers the goods. Of those qualities I prize most, the DX200-AMP4 outshines all.