iBasso DX320MAXTi Review

True Flagship Performance in a Limited Edition DAP? | iBasso DX320MAX Ti Review

iBasso’s MAX series of DAPs has always had an interesting duality to it. On the one hand, they take the build quality and design to the next level, and deliver some of their best looking and feeling products in the MAX series. But the devices aren’t just nicer, limited edition versions of the existing flagship players, they also offer a glimpse into the next generation of tech and design. With the release of DX320MAX Ti, customers get another opportunity to get their hands on one of these powerful, cutting edge players. Does DX320MAX provide another top tier experience that pushes the brand’s vision and design forward?

Build and Design

While the internal components have evolved greatly, the look of the MAX series remains largely the same. They’re big metal boxes with a vintage aesthetic and some of the best looking knobs and controls you’ll see on a DAP. The device is transportable, but not really portable. It could fit in a backpack or laptop bag, but it’s not going in your pocket. The size is to allow for a higher grade of components than you’re used to getting in a portable unit, with special care being taken in the selection and placement of each internal component of the device – rather than having a device that compromises between portability and performance. DX320MAX has shed a few grams from previous iterations making it a bit easier to handle, and perhaps more likely to fit in a sweatshirt pocket without ripping it than previous versions.

iBasso DX320MAX Ti on top of a leather case and wooden stool next to the iBasso SR3 headphone from the Bloom Audio gallery

The batteries and power management is one piece of how that extra space is spent.  DX320MAX continues using the dual-battery design with separate chargers. So you get a 12V DC power brick for the analog section, and a USB-C cable to charge the digital section. The analog section is only drained during music playback, and will drain faster depending on the volume/gain level. The digital section powers the main functions of the device and the digital half of the audio signal chain. 

To control volume, there's a 4 step gain knob and an analog 24 step attenuator for the volume. A true stepped volume attenuator on a portable device is somewhat of an odd choice, and it results in a small "blip" each time you adjust the volume, but provides a higher level of purity in the signal chain by placing the volume control fully in the analog output portion of the device.


DX320MAX Ti uses a mostly stock Android 11 OS for the main OS and also provides MangoOS as an alternative player-only environment. Just like every other iBasso DAP, you’ll have the third party APKPure app store installed by default, and I’d recommend using it to download the official Google Play Store and then deleting APKPure. Once that’s taken care of, you have a fast, snappy stock Android device and the freedom to transfer your music collection to the device via USB connection or with a microSD card (up to 2TB). You can also download your streaming app of choice, along with any other music apps or players that you need.

In terms of speed and the responsiveness of the OS and touchscreen, DX320MAX feels about the same as the original DX320 but the screen is slightly smaller, which seems like an odd choice with the larger dimensions of the device. Apps load very quickly, and even though the Snapdragon 660 isn’t quite top of the line by current smartphone standards, iBasso has done a great job of optimizing for it here. If you don’t need apps or WiFi connectivity, for even faster performance, you can use the player-only MangoOS option.


iBasso is known for accurate reference tunings that balance engagement and dynamics with transparency and resolution, and DX320MAX Ti is the best they’ve done yet. It delivers a sound that is expansive and powerful, but can also be precise and delicate. The sound signature feels highly neutral, with the Class A amplification stage providing a clean, natural delivery of the music.

The bass is deep and linear with incredible presentation of low end texture and is powerful, impactful, and dynamic. The midrange gives you a highly detailed, layered performance, and provides a natural timbre, and “just right” placement of vocals in the mix. At the top-end, DX320MAX walks the razor’s edge of a well-extended, accurate treble – never straying into an overly smooth or veiled sound, nor going too sharp or harsh.

iBasso DX320MAX Ti on top of a wooden stool next to the Focal Celestee

DX320 presents a three-dimensional stereo-image of a stage that’s high, wide, and deep in equal measures. The imaging is highly tactile, offering accurate, holographic placement of instruments and voices around the soundstage. The imaging presentation in particular has a very “desktop level” feel to it, and while DX320MAX isn’t exactly portable, it has some of the best spatial presentation I’ve heard in a device this small.

Maxing out a 9V of Class A power from the amplification stage, DX320MAX can power quite the range of headphones effectively. Favorites like the HIFIMAN Arya or even the Dan Clark Audio Expanse do very well with DX320MAX, and it also proved to be near silent with IEMs, even highly sensitive ones like the Campfire Andromeda. Of course, you’re going to need to use the gain control to adjust that – I wouldn’t recommend running high gain with 5 ohm IEMs nor would low gain be a good idea with the 300 ohm Sennheiser HD800S.

Comparison: Astell&Kern SP3000, Cayin N8ii

The $3000-$4000 price range is getting more and more crowded as DAP creators continue to develop the top end of portable audio technology. Today we have the iBasso DX320MAX Ti squaring off against Astell&Kern’s latest flagship, the SP3000, and the Cayin N8ii, another highly regarded flagship DAP. In this company, can DX320MAX secure the position suggested by its price as a true top of the line player?

In terms of the general tuning, going from player to player with a selection of reference tracks, it quickly became clear that we were dealing with three players all hitting a similar reference target with only small degrees of variation in each. Further listening demonstrated the unique strengths of each and how DX320MAX fits into the equation.

In the low-end, all three provide a high-texture, deep, linear presentation. I found that DX320MAX delivered the strongest texture (though SP3000 was close) particularly in acoustic bass instruments, while N8ii had the most punch and physicality. DX320MAX continues that trend through its rich, highly detailed mids.

The midrange was probably the spot where I would say DX320MAX was the clear best, providing the most natural timbre of the three and the vocal presentation with the greatest feeling of realism. SP3000 is a close second here with a really incredible sense of weight and the slightest hint of warmth to the timbre that can deliver really emotional performances from vocals and acoustic instruments. N8ii’s mids were accurate, but felt a little dry in solid state mode, though tube mode added some liveliness in the midrange.

The iBasso DX320MAX Ti, Cayiin N8ii, and Astell&Kern SP3000 all in a row on top of a wooden shelf with a stone backdrop

N8ii and DX320MAX have very similar character in the treble, however, N8ii was just the slightest bit more resolving, extending notes for that last, nearly imperceptible, millisecond. SP3000 has a slightly smooth character at the top that leaves it the top choice for the treble sensitive or for pairing with brighter IEMs. SP3000 doesn’t feel quite as extended as N8ii’s treble, but shares similar resolution.

The imaging on all three of these devices is absolutely incredible. If you want an immersive, holographic listening experience, you won’t be disappointed with any of them. I heard DX320MAX as consistently being just slightly wider than the rest, and it and N8ii were neck and neck in their ability to deliver on the vastness of larger scale performances. SP3000 is close behind in size, but its imaging really excels in an incredibly tactile, holographic of more intimate spaces.

With over-ear headphones, DX320MAX was the clear winner. With a range of easy to moderately hard-to-drive headphones, including the DCA Expanse, HIFIMAN Arya, and Sennheiser HD800S, DX320MAX consistently felt the most dynamic and had the most headroom. Of course, it’s also significantly larger than the other two, but that size isn’t just for show: iBasso packed great components and power into that extra space.

Soundwise, DX320MAX is definitely shoulder to shoulder with the big boys of flagship portable audio. Each of these players is highly versatile, but each also excels in different ways. While the DX320MAX has some disadvantages from an ergonomics standpoint, purely based on sound and performance it may be the best of the bunch. 

The Bottom Line

iBasso DX320MAX Ti continues iBasso’s legacy of using these limited edition players as an opportunity to deliver a top-of-the-line DAP with an extra level of power and refinement in the sound, and a level of attention to detail in the design and components that can only come in a limited run device. If you’ve heard the legends of iBasso’s powerful limited edition players and always wanted to experience one for yourself, now’s your chance.