iBasso DC03 Moveable DAC-Amplifier Assessment: Compact, Succesful DAC

With many fashionable smartphones in the present day missing a 3.5mm headphone jack, it is changing into tough for audiophiles to make use of them as supply gadgets for lossless wired listening. Whereas many will probably be fast to recommend utilizing a devoted high-resolution audio participant or a DAC-amplifier setup utilizing a pc, these might be costly. Thankfully, budding audiophiles on a finances do have some worthwhile choices to think about, together with good moveable DAC-amplifiers such because the iBasso DC03.

Priced at Rs. 4,999, the iBasso DC03 is a compact however full-fledged DAC-amplifier, meant for use with smartphones or computer systems. You’ll be able to join 3.5mm earphones or headphones to this system, which serves as a bridge between the supply and output gadgets, similar to the marginally extra inexpensive Shanling UA1. Is the iBasso DC03 a sensible choice on your finances audiophile setup? Discover out on this assessment.

ibasso dc03 review logo iBasso

The iBasso DC03 helps as much as 32-bit / 384kHz decision and DSD256x codecs


iBasso DC03 design and specs

Just like the Shanling UA1, the iBasso DC03’s greatest asset is its measurement. The core system is only a small dongle with a cable hooked up that results in a USB Kind-C plug. Even if you happen to connect the included USB Kind-C to Kind-A adapter, the DC03 continues to be a really small system and can simply slot in your pocket alongside your smartphone. It additionally weighs simply 11g. The hooked up USB cable is obvious and braided, whereas the DAC itself is totally steel with a reflective end. The iBasso DC03 can be obtainable in black, however I fairly preferred the silver of my assessment unit.

There’s actually nothing a lot {that a} person has to do with the intention to use the iBasso DC03 – you simply plug it into an Android smartphone with a USB Kind-C port, and it is able to go (you might need to manually direct audio output to USB by way of the cellphone’s settings, although). If you wish to join the DC03 to a laptop computer or desktop laptop, there’s the aforementioned USB Kind-A adapter. I did not have to do any further setup when utilizing it with my MacBook Air or OnePlus 7T Professional McLaren Version; simply plugging it in had it working.

Whereas one facet of the iBasso DC03 has the USB Kind-C cable popping out of it, the opposite facet has a 3.5mm headphone jack. You’ll be able to thus use it as a solution to plug your personal wired headphones right into a smartphone that does not have a 3.5mm headphone jack as a substitute of utilizing a fundamental conversion dongle, or to enhance sound high quality with superior digital-to-analogue conversion than most moveable gadgets present on their very own.

Certainly, on paper, the iBasso DC03 is an excellent DAC-amplifier, with twin Cirrus Logic CS43131 digital-analogue converter chips and assist for as much as DSD256x and 32-bit / 384kHz decision audio recordsdata. The system has a rated frequency response vary of 20-40,000Hz, and attracts energy for itself and the related earphones or headphones by way of the USB connection.

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The iBasso DC03 has a USB Kind-C plug, however you should utilize the included adapter to connect with USB Kind-A gadgets too


iBasso DC03 efficiency

Though a bit dearer than the Shanling UA1 at Rs. 4,999, the iBasso DC03 is a little more succesful by way of specs. The system has twin Cirrus Logic CS43131 DAC chips, which is spectacular given its small measurement, and this ends in extra refinement and nuance within the output. After all, you will want supply system and high-quality audio, in addition to respectable earphones or headphones to finish the trail, however the iBasso DC03 is forgiving relating to the standard of the opposite elements within the chain.

I heard a noticeable enchancment intimately over the Shanling UA1, in addition to smoother, extra constant sound output throughout resolutions, file codecs, and music genres. Moreover, the iBasso DC03 is a little more versatile by way of the form of headphones and earphones it could work with. Whereas there isn’t any advisable impedance vary, it ought to be capable of simply drive most entry-level and mid-range headphones and earphones with ease.

You would possibly even be capable of get respectable outcomes out of some high-end open-back headphones, however this needs to be a restricted use case moderately than a part of an everyday setup. The scale and connectivity of the iBasso DC03 implies that it is simple to make use of with smartphones and entry-level audiophile wired earphones such because the KZ ZSN Professional X or the Moondrop Spaceship, which I used this DAC-amplifier with for a lot of my assessment.

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Though high-resolution audio brings out the most effective within the iBasso DC03, it is versatile sufficient to work properly with compressed audio as properly


Whereas the iBasso DC03 does present an honest amplification enhance, it is not fairly as pronounced as with the Shanling UA1. Nevertheless, the acquire feels gentler and extra refined, permitting for extra element with much less of the standard shrillness that tends to sneak in with an enormous amplification improve.

Listening to a high-resolution model of Life On The Nickel by Foster The Individuals, the iBasso DC03 and Moondrop Spaceship saved tempo with the fast beats of the monitor, providing a superb soundstage and fantastically detailed imaging. This stage of element was significantly noticeable within the faintest points in different tracks as properly; the refined synthesiser components in State Of The Artwork by Gotye in addition to the auto-tuned vocals had been fantastically reproduced.

With the dearer and way more succesful Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear headphones, a high-resolution model of You Rock My World by Michael Jackson sounded pushed, tight, and spacious, providing a refined stage of aggression that introduced out the most effective within the headphones. The place the iBasso DC03 outperforms competitors in its worth section is its capability to suitably drive each finances and mid-range headphones and earphones equally properly.


The iBasso DC03 comes from a well-established line of merchandise which have lengthy been thought-about the most effective compact finances DAC-amplifiers you should buy, and it lives as much as expectations. It is a succesful DAC-amplifier that punches properly above its weight, and is priced at an inexpensive Rs. 4,999 in India. When paired with good headphones or earphones, the iBasso DC03 serves as a superb bridge between supply and output gadgets, including element, in addition to refined and cautious acquire.

Whereas the Shanling UA1 is a good bit extra inexpensive than the iBasso DC03, the latter affords a bit extra by means of element and refinement, making it properly price the additional Rs. 1,000 for budding audiophiles. Mixed with good finances earphones, the iBasso DC03 affords a greater listening expertise than most wi-fi audio merchandise, with most high-resolution and compressed audio codecs.

Value: Rs. 4,999

Rankings (out of 10):

Design: 9
Efficiency: 9
Worth For Cash: 8
Total: 9


  • Small, very simple to make use of
  • USB Kind-C and Kind-A connectivity
  • 32-bit / 384kHz, DSD256x assist
  • Improves element and acquire within the sound significantly
  • Works properly with finances and mid-range headphones and earphones


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What’s up, I'm Pawan. A Blogger, trader, and a Affiliate marketer. I love to write on technology.

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