Friday, January 9, 2009

Portable Headphone Amplifier: iBasso T4.

I have yet to compare the iBasso T4 with the FiiO E5, the iBasso T4 is much smaller then it's predecessors in the range, roughly the size of a Zippo lighter but much thinner. Mini Audio/iBasso have not been forthcoming about detail specifications and the only specifications (limited) which they have released are found below.

I like the sleek design, ultra small and thin and it's sleek design is like a piece of jewelry. Sonically, I have not heard anything I don't like in general, I cannot however consider listening to this device without bass boost to be enjoyable, as it is rather on the thin side without the boost. I intend to listen more and compare it to the FiiO E5.

iBasso is marketed under the domestic brand name of Mini Audio in China, iBasso is the export brand name. You can see that the model I am testing is a domestic model of the T4. All functions are identical. I have placed a normal sized fountain pen next to the T4 for a size comparison.


  • 4ch Architecture Design
  • Gain and Bass Booster switches
  • ALPS Potentiometer
  • Stainless Steel Case With Chrome Color Anodized Finish
  • Rechargeable Li-Polymer Battery with integrated charging system
  • Charging is accomplished with either the USB cable or AC adapter
  • Up to 24 hours of play time
  • Measures 64.5L x 37W x 10H (mm), and weighs only 29g
Build Quality: B: It looks small, sleek and sexy but definitely looks delicate and requiring to be handled with care
Treble: B+: a little bit grainy. Top end extension does not stand out.
Mid range: B+: Respectable.
Bass: B: Without the bass boost in it is on the thin side for my tastes, after 10 hours burn in I did find the bass tightening up and being firmer.
Neutrality: B: Middle of the road, decent.
Sound staging: B-: fair sound stage with fair width.
Transparency: B+: sightly above average transparency.

Overall, for the money especially, the T4 is definitely a sleek and sexy amplifier which many will like. The overall performance is good and it sports a trendy case design. The down side, I detected a constant low level hiss with the T4, it is OK when the music is playing as it is not noticeable, but the hiss is there.

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