iBasso provided the SR1 free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.
News of the iBasso’s foray into the realm of full-size headphones got me excited. I’m a fan of their products. I’ve yet to try one I wasn’t duly impressed by. Each item I’ve reviewed stands more or less as a paragon of what can be accomplished within its price-range. I could not wait to get my hands on the SR1, and Paul was happy to oblige.
The SR1 is a marvelous thing. It does not look like anybody’s first attempt. It is refined, expertly functional, with ease and comfort that can only be achieved through maturity of experience. All the materials which touch your head are profoundly soft, leather-like things. I’m not certain how much is genuine leather, but it smells correct, and feels very good. The frame is sturdy metal and screws. The cups are hard plastic, with what I believe is a metal grill to protect the driver. It is solidly built, and unlikely to break without savage abuse. The SR1 is a headphone you can wear forever without discomfort.
The old-school dynamic drivers in this semi-open headphone are… well… anything but old-school. iBasso created the “first ever silicone suspension drivers”, which helps with dynamics and speed. They utilize “Tesla magnetic flux technology” and “bio-cellulose dome diaphragms.” In other words, fancy goddamn shit! You get a frequency range of 3hz to 40Khz, a sensitivity of 108dB @ 1Khz, and only 22Ω impedance. So it’s a strong performer and easy to drive.
My one and only complaint with the design is that the cable (using f**ked up MMCX connectors) attaches to the cups in a way that allows for more microphonics than most other headphones. Vibrations travel freely up the cord, without any damping, and makes every movement of the head audible when the music isn’t loud. It’s not unbearable, and I may have overstated the issue some, but it’s nonetheless annoying.
As the SR1 is a limited run production, I expect further refinement as the design evolves.