IBasso SR1 Headphone Review - branded sound in "full-size"

IBasso is known for two things. The first is a careful approach to tuning their decisions, often taking more than one year. The second is the ability to get your own brand sound anyway. Not surprisingly, their full-size headphones incorporate both features.

For starters, it's worth noting that the sound of the SR1They “brought” about a year, the developers tried many emitters before stopping on a dynamic driver designed specifically for this model with a biocellulose diffuser on a silicone suspension and with a high-power magnetic system. This was followed by a series of experiments with design and acoustic design, culminating in the release of a limited edition of 500 copies of a batch of headphones.

The price tag was also carefully considered, making it balanced-average by modern standards. At the time of writing the review, for SR1 asking a little more than $ 500.


  • Emitter: dynamic with biocell diffuser
  • Acoustic design: half open
  • Frequency range: 3 Hz - 40 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 108 dB
  • Impedance: 22Ω
  • Power Rating: 50 mW
  • General harmonic distortion: <1%
  • Cable: interchangeable, 1.8 m with MMCX connectors
  • Plug: 3.5 mm TRS
  • Weight: 420 gr. (without cable)

Package and Delivery

In terms of presentation, iBasso never appearedproblems. An outer box made of medium density cardboard pleases the buyer with a lot of technical details about the technologies used. Inside there is a large nylon zippered case that stores headphones, cable and instructions.

Designers have tried to arrange everything as carefully as possible, paying attention to even such small things as a metal plate with a serial number (you remember about limitedness).

Design and wearing comfort

In iBasso, they managed to make the model unusual andto give her "your face", I think, even from the photo you can see how they did it. Not like anything else, cups of silver metal decorated in the form of a stepped "amphitheater", under them is a black mesh, providing the model a certain openness. It is worth noting, however, that the cups are not completely acoustically transparent, the SR1 sound insulation is not bad, although they play tangibly outward, so you can’t sit in the office with nervous colleagues.

The headband is made of spring steel, it is veryeasy, proper weight distribution provides a “headband” of Tuscan leather. Special mounts allow you to move it higher / lower by adjusting the pressure of the cups. The latter also move in two axes, allowing you to find the most successful landing option.

Thanks to the soft ear cushions, the SR1 is very comfortable inwearing, ensuring a complete lack of fatigue, even for a long time listening. Contribute to this its contribution and moderate weight (420 grams), and its correct distribution.

By the way, ear cushions are easy to change, and howAn additional option iBasso offer perforated "bagels", providing a slight change in the sound. I have not tested them yet, but after testing, I will definitely share my opinion.

The cable is made replaceable, with the developersWent in an unusual way, in the role of connectors are used MMCX plugs with protrusions. You simply insert the supplied wire until it clicks and rotates the connectors, locking them in the lock. Disconnect in the reverse order. I do not know how this solution will show itself in the course of long-term operation, but so far it looks comfortable, and the ability to use the same wires of the iBasso CB series expands the field for experiments. As you already understood, in the headphones you can use any cables with standard MMCX connectors, the main thing is that the size of the connectors allows them to be grabbed and pulled out.

The bundled wire is quite simple, due tohe has a small mic effect on the cloth insulation, but with stationary use of headphones (and hardly anyone will wear the SR1 outside) it doesn’t interfere. At the same time the cable looks reliable and will surely serve the owner for a long time. The wire is made of high purity oxygen-free copper and from an acoustic point of view, it is perhaps the most suitable for this model. For lovers of balanced connection, on the website of the company is available the option of wires with Pentaconn.

In general, the headphones are assembled very soundly, made almost entirely of metal, I venture to suggest that their durability will be quite “on par”.


The following equipment was used for listening.

  • Yulong DA9 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP as a DAC and Amplifier
  • Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2016 as a source
  • Fidelia as a player
  • Lotoo Paw Gold Touch, theBit OPUS # 2, Astell & Kern A & ultima SP1000 and others as portable players
  • High-resolution recordings in Lossless-formats (Dr. Chesky The Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc and others)

Before listening, the headphones were heated for 60 hours, changes in sound were observed for about 40 hours.

As I wrote in the introduction, iBasso SR1 soundscompletely in the style of the company - neutral, detailed, with a slight emphasis on the HF, iBasso are famous for always following their vision in sound. In general, the SR1 can be compared in microdynamics with the initial isodynamic models of the same HiFiMan, but with a slightly better weight and simpler buildup. Headphones are designed for connoisseurs of neutrality, however, like the rest of the company's products.

The bass here is not accented, which may upsetlovers of filing pumped, they will have to look at other models. Connoisseurs will appreciate the neutrality of the SR1 style, the bass is balanced here, they are fast, but at the same time they have enough weight and depth to realistically play all the nuances of the recording, including peals and hits. There is also a good control, and even deep layers of the LF, than not all models can boast.

The middle continues to develop a common sound idea.Models: detailed, neutral, but without too much emphasis on microcontrast. This, of course, imposes certain requirements on the quality of the recording, the headphones do not add anything from themselves, so they will play on bad tracks accordingly. On good, they will delight with realism, emotions and high-quality transfer of the character of the instruments and vocals. Separately pleased that iBasso restrained themselves, and did not make the headphones completely monitor as it was, for example, with the DX80. The headphones have a slight emphasis at the junction of the high frequency and the high frequency, which effectively emphasizes the female vocals and the overall detail of the presentation, perhaps thanks to him SR1 manages to build an imaginary scene well: in both sizes it is more than average, with a good separation of instruments and plans.

Upper frequencies are made carefully. Despite the emphasis in the region of about 4 kHz, sharpness and unnaturalness in the submission of high frequency is not here, especially since the 8 kHz region, on the contrary, is slightly pressed. Thanks to this “top” they sound naturally, without a metallic accent and synthetic plaque. The resolution and length are not exorbitant, but good, attacks with fading are worked out correctly, layering is in its infancy, but for this price category this is normal. HF here perfectly cope with their role, providing wagering of overtones and saturation of the supply of "air".

Especially immersed in the comparison, I do not see the pointsince I essentially have nothing to compare with SR1. Meze 99 Classics - very different in sound and pitch. HiFiMan Sundara - more detailed and even, but at the same time brighter, more lightweight and require more gain. HE-400S from the same HiFiMan - warmer and less resolution. Other headphones that were similar in pitch were on my reviews for a long time and without direct comparison I wouldn’t tell you about the difference. More expensive models like the same AudioZenith PMx2v2, naturally, sound better.


One of the main advantages of this model is that it does notwe need a powerful source in order to fully “open up”, a medium power player is enough, the main thing is that it is technical enough to emphasize the neutrality and resolution of the SR1. Of course, the main candidates are the players of iBasso itself, but the same QLS361 or, say, FiiO X7-2 will also be excellent options.

Stylistically, this model is completelyit is universal, the main thing is that the user is ready for unadorned delivery. The sensitivity to recording quality of the iBasso SR1 is quite high, about 8 points out of 10 on the conventional “picky” scale.

Some traditional example tracks

Lang Lang - Consolation No. 3 in D-Flat Major, S. 172 Well, yes, I will not be original. To demonstrate the potential of technical and neutral headphones, a light and virtuosic piano piece fits perfectly, and, of course, the SR1 itself shows its height.

Coheed and Cambria - True Ugly Not everyone loves neutrality and technicality forlistening to metal, but I am one of those people who believe that progressive things should be listened to that way. Therefore, I really like how the heroes of this review extract all the nuances of this track and present them to the listener.

Kovacs - Cheap Smell I can not resist such tracks: unusual vocals, spectacular presentation, stylish mix of genres. We add to this neutral and detailed headphones (you guessed what), and get a portion of this audiophile pleasure.


In general, iBasso did not change themselves and againThey made their own “corporate” sound, this time in full-size headphones. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive but technically advanced model that does not require huge capacity to build, the SR1 will be a very good candidate for consideration.

Buy iBasso SR1

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