iBasso D-Zero MK2 – Portable DAC & Headphone Amplifier – Review

Welcome to my review of the iBasso D-Zero MK2 Portable DAC and Headphone Amplifier.

  

The Key Specifications

– Power Source:Built-in 4.2V Li-polymer battery
– Frequency Response: 17Hz~20 KHz +/- 1.0dB (DAC) 17Hz~100 KHz +/- 1.0dB (AMP)
– Signal to Noise Ratio:108dB (DAC line out), 102dB (Amp)
– Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.002%@1kHz/0dB (DAC line out), 0.003%@1kHz/-10dBV (AMP)
– Output Power:Up to 120mW+120mW into 16Ω
– Output Impedance: <0.5ohm
– Gain: +3dB/ +9dB (AMP)
– Battery Life: 120 Hours (AMP) 10 hours (DAC/AMP)
– Battery Charge Time: 5 Hours
– External Power supply: 5V DC
– Recommended Headphone Impedance: 8~300Ω
– Case dimension: 2.17W x 3.98L x 0.44H (inch)
– 55W x 101L x 11H (mm)
– Weight: 95g or 3.35oz
– Certificates: FCC, CE, RoHS

  

The Hardware

The iBasso D-Zero MK2 is made from an anodised aluminium housing. The front of the device features a headphone jack, aux jack, power switch with white LED and a volume controller. On the back there’s a USB output for charging the D-Zero and for connecting it to a computer, a gain switch and a USB charge switch. There’s also two LEDs a red one to indicate charging which also blinks to let you know when to charge it and an orange one to indicate USB connection. The unit features a built in battery that provides up to 120 hours play time when working as an AMP and 10 hours when used as a DAC. The D-Zero can be used with Windows PCs MAC computers OTG audio signal from an Android 4.1 or above device and the digital signal from iPhone/iPad with camera kit. The VIA Vinyl Envy USB 2.0 audio controller takes a digital signal up to 24Bit/96kHz. The DAC chipset used in the D-Zero is a Dual setup of Wolfson WM8740 DAC Chips. The OPAMP+BUF design ensures high current output allowing you to use the D-Zero with high impedence headphones.

The build quality is not as precision made as I would have expected. If you look at the mini USB socket it doesn’t quite line up exactly with the hole cut out in the aluminium body. Also why mini USB? Surely micro USB should have been used. Next the power switch looks like a  flimsy toggle. Overall, it just feels as if the component was finished by hand. That aside I do actually like the industrial look. It’s also a great compact size with flat sides for each mounting to a phone to DAP. iBasso do supply a large range of accessories with the D-Zero MK2 as shown in the photos. 

The Audio Quality and Sound Experience

Thankfully, the iBasso D-Zero MK2 sounds rather good. The Woolfson WM8740 DAC Chips have a lovely warmth to them. The D-Zero MK2 adds more bass punch to the music, with warm mids and a clearer treble. This DAC/AMP combo is musical and provides a more dynamic feel to the music. I tried several headphones and even though iBasso say this will power 300 ohm headphones, I would stick to around a max of 150 ohms to get the most out of this little black box of tricks. My Audio Technica ATH-M50x in particular paired really well with this AMP/DAC. Listening to some classical music the iBasso scaled up as the drama escalated and thumped out some very deep bass only when it was present and very quickly. What I have also found is that the iBasso sounds better after its had a 10-15 minute warm up. As a comparison I have the Fiio Q1 as well. The iBasso sounds much better than the Q1 but then it costs nearly twice as much. 

Conclusion

Priced at just under £100, the iBasso D-Zero MK2 is a great little performer with a tendency to add some warmth and impact to the music. The extra power from the amp also helps the headphones deliver a more dynamic performance. I just wish it used a micro USB connector instead of mini USB. 

More info and deals on the iBasso D-Zero Mk2 Headphone AMP and USB DAC

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4 thoughts on “iBasso D-Zero MK2 – Portable DAC & Headphone Amplifier – Review

  1. Interesting. I was looking at the DAC along with the Q1 and Fiio E10k. I was also looking at the Schiit Modi 2, which people at Head-Fi seem keen on. Have you tried the latter?
    Dave

    Like

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