iBasso DC03 Pro Review

iBasso has upgraded its classic DC03 USB DAC-AMP with the all-new DC03 Pro model. With premium CS43131 DAC chips from Cirrus Logics, the DC03 Pro brings flagship-level performance. It is designed with a high-performance KDS femtosecond crystal oscillator for clean and precise audio signal decoding.

iBasso DC03 Pro promises ultimate high-resolution audio performance with its flagship dual DAC arrangement. iBasso has used dual CS43131 DAC chips that enable the DC03 Pro to achieve class-leading performance with ultra-low distortion and high SNR ratings. CS43131 is a premium 32-Bit DAC supporting true 32-Bit high-res signal decoding.

iBasso DC03 Pro features Japanese KDS femtosecond crystal oscillator. KDS is one of the top three Crystal Oscillator manufacturing brands in the world. With its help, DC03 Pro greatly reduces phase jitter and improves digital clock accuracy.

With a premium Dual DAC chipset and Japanese Femtosecond crystal oscillators, the DC03 Pro delivers quality performance with ultra-low harmonic distortion and a clean noise-free background. The device achieves an ultra-low noise floor of <0.9u. Paired with low output impedance, you get a great companion for sensitive IEMs.

DC03 Pro supports the latest version of the UAC application which has been fully upgraded with advanced features. It has 5 optional digital filters, three levels of gain modes, and 100-level volume adjustment (using hardware keys).

DC03 Pro has been designed with premium audio circuitry that has been tuned for low power consumption but delivers high output power. It doesn’t burden your connected smartphone or tablet with heavy power requirements and at the same time provides close to 100mW of clean power through its 3.5mm headphone output port.

The DC03 Pro has an exquisite finish. The outer chassis is made using a high-precision CNC machined process with aluminum alloy material. It has tempered glass panels at the front and backside.

Features

  • Flagship-grade Dual DAC Arrangement.
  • Dual CS43131 DAC chips.
  • KDS Femtosecond Crystal Oscillator.
  • Ultra-Clean performance with low Distortion and output impedance.
  • Powerful output.
  • Single-Ended 3.5mm headphone output.
  • Ultra-low noise floor.
  • Physical volume keys.
  • Supports iBasso application.
  • CNC Machined aluminum alloy body.
  • Rich in-hand feel with Double-sided tempered glass panels.

Technical Specs

  • DAC: CS43131*2 Dual DACs.
  • THD+N: -111dB(32Ω load), -114dB(300Ω load).
  • Output Level: 2Vrms(300Ω), 1.77Vrms(32Ω).
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-40kHz.
  • Noise floor: <0.9u.
  • SNR:127dB.
  • Output impedance: <0.12Ω.
  • Output Power: 98mW@32Ω.
  • Supported Decoding: 32-Bit/384kHz PCM and Native DSD256.
  • Weight: 10.5g.
  • Dimensions: 49.4x21x8mm.

Price: $54.99

I would like to thank iBasso Audio for providing me with the review sample of the DC03 Pro USB DAC-AMP.

Sound 

Let me start this paragraph by saying that DC03 Pro is a very competitive product. The portable USB-DAC market is very saturated right now and new products are coming out every day. As the number of products increases, it becomes more difficult to distinguish good products from mediocre ones. Fortunately, the product we are listening to today is very good and it manages to make you notice it from the very first track.

The DC03 Pro is a transparent, clean, and resolving DAC. It does a great job of conveying the sound signatures of the in-ear monitors or headphones you pair it with and does not saturate or color them. Which is exactly what you should expect from a good-quality DAC-AMP. It offers a neutral signature.

Lows

The bass region is fast, agile, and has a good texture. The quantity of the sub-bass is sufficient, but I can say that I expected a little bit better in terms of impact. Bass feels agile and recovers fast, which contributes to the sense of speed, hence, enhancing the technical capability of the DC03 Pro. The control is very good here also, so there is no section overlap of any kind and the transition between bass and mids feels smooth. 

Mids

The midrange is perhaps my favorite out of the three major regions. The low mids have a good body, are adequate, does not feel too thick or too thin. The DC03 Pro is quite balanced in this regard. The timbre feels accurate, the presentation feels neutral and transparent. It does not feel like it’s throwing details in your way, more like it presents them and you are welcome to pick them out. What I mean here is that the presentation does not feel forced or artificial, it is rather detailed, articulate, and transparent in a natural way. The vocals are brilliant with great resolution. The transition between subregions is seamless, the mids feel coherent and they do a great job of carrying the emotion hidden in the tracks. The upper mids have impressive energy and extension and follow the steps of the impressive treble. 

CB18 upgrade cable, made of stainless steel shell material, has 5 μ Gold plated USB-C socket. The wire material is 6N single crystal copper silver plated, 8 strands.

Highs

The top-end spectrum is quite nice. The DC03 Pro has great treble energy. It is not particularly aggressive or bright, iBasso did a good job of fine-tuning the treble. The quantity feels accurate and the quality is definitely impressive. The definition and extension are great also, highs have good attack/decay and feel dynamic. Lots of space, good air, and spacious positioning on the stage. As I said before, DC03 Pro reflects quite accurately. Overall, the treble is impressive and iBasso did a great job with it.

Sum-Up

The iBasso DC03 Pro is a very good product and I’m sure it will be appreciated by many audiophiles with its sound quality, high-level hardware volume control, APP support, low power consumption, and small size. For the price and specs, the DC03 Pro is almost irresistible. This was going to be my headline but I decided to say it here. DCo3 Pro – The USB DAC to get!

 

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