iBasso DX320 Max Review

I have had the iBasso DX320 Max for a while now and it is easily the largest digital audio player I've owned, by a long shot. It's a beast of size with beastly powers. The DAP is more or less a desktop player, more so than a portable product, however, I do carry it to and from work daily. It's just not pocketable.

I am not going to go into a lot of details on this player, as I just want to throw in my impressions of this product that I bought several months ago. 

The DX320 Max is a titanium-built shell with a 5 inch screen that resembles a bit like its predecessors: the DX220 MAX and DX300 MAX. The main difference between this one and the rest, at least visually, is the change in the volume knob to a stepped attenuated dial, and the addition of a gain knob on the front panel. The general size remains the same as the previous two releases, but the default titanium configuration does save roughly 200 grams off the weight compared to stainless steel.

The DX320 Max features the a set of 4 ROHM BD34301EKV DACs, which can be used in a pair or as a set of four in the Android audio menu. Using all the on-board DACs at once drastically reduces battery faster. 

Finally, an included brown leather case with a metal cut-out design is included, which gives this a much needed facelift from the very plain and industrial looks of the titanium body. Also included are various cables, screen protectors, and pouches.


The DX320 Max uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC and Android 11, which provides a snappy interface. While it is now a slightly outdated SoC, the product runs perfectly fine as a music playing device. I use it primarily with PowerAmp for offline playback, and Roon Arc and Roon Remote for streaming. I also have Tidal and Qobuz apps installed, however the Roon software already takes care of those streaming services with built-in APIs.

Mango OS and a Mango Android app are also included in the firmware, however, I am not a fan of the Mango interface and tend not to use it, ever.

As far as navigation goes, it's fairly basic Android. It does not come with Google Play Store, but it can be installed in the included APK Pure app. With that, I was able to find all the software I wanted quickly with my Google account.

I also use Niagara Launcher as my default home application, which is very, very quick, and works well with media players.

Hardware Quirks

Stepping away from the software, my biggest annoyance with the DX320 Max are the changes to the front panel. While the gain knob looks fantastic, it gets in the way of using the volume control knob, even with my smaller fingers, and I tend to not really need to use it very often, so it just is a nuisance more than anything.

The volume knob's new stepped pentiometer is also the most annoying volume control I've ever used, especially after using the ultra-smooth one from the previous two DX Max models. The one on the DX 320 MAX is just a frustrating and painful experience, and one that I honestly never found a problem with the DX300 Max at all. If anything, it causes more channel imbalance issues, which is what it was meant to stop. Why?

This is because if you don't get stop the dial in the exact right place, it cuts out sound from one or even both channels. It also cuts anytime you adjust the volume, at each volume step! This is utterly frustrating. All my desktop gears have stepped volume controls, and none cut music out like this, nor have issues with being "in-between" steps and cutting out one or both of my left or right channels.

You get used to this frustration and it is likely you won't need to adjust too often, but when you do, it is beyond annoying.

Other Issues

I had a faulty unit. The digital battery would lose charge even when the device was totally shut down. It was not just a trickle loss of power, but it was significant: like 10%+ over night. When I was traveling quite a bit for work over the past few months, I had stopped using the 320 Max since it was bit much to carry with me on the airplane and hotels. By the time I got home between trips, I found out the battery was totally dead. Worse yet, it wouldn't turn back on no matter how long I had it left on charging.

Eventually, I tried to detach the battery cable from the device and reattach it. This temporarily turned it back on for about 15 minutes until it fully shut down abruptly, and never turned on again.

iBasso was very quick to respond and sent me new batteries to test out. Unfortunately, this did not solve my issue, so I had to mail the whole unit back to China to get repaired. Turns out, they had to replace my main board with a new SoC (System on Chip) -- assuming it was the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset. After about 3-4 weeks from the time I sent it, I got it back repaired and working properly again.

So, I did have a few issues, and so did at least a couple others on the Head-Fi forum, but iBasso was easy to work with and was able to repair it quickly and ship it back with DHL Express.

Sound Impressions

The DX320 Max with its Ultra mode ROHM DACs are one of the smoothest and enjoyable listens I've heard for a portable device. It maintains very good detail retrieval, while giving a sweet and warm sound that is really nice and a pleasure to hear. I definitely do not find this tuning to be "neutral", and it goes more into the engaging warm and laid back sound, which pairs very well with my more neutral monitors.

I found it most enjoyable with the Subtonic Storm and Hidition Viento IEMs. I also did try it with some of my over-ear headphones, and it was able to adequately power my planar headphones, although I would not use this normally with the Hifiman Susvara. It did provide plenty of power for the Hifiman HE400SE however, as well as the Sennheiser HD600.

The DX320 Max is one of the best sounding devices I've heard. It's up there with my desktop Holo setup in terms of having a natural and engaging sound that is both resolving and layered with texture and with a slight euphonic sound. It's a weird one to fully describe the sonic experience, but it definitely does not sound like a sterile and ultra-linear device, nor does it sound like my warmer and more bass focused Fiio M15S device either.

I had the DX300 Max for a short time, and the DX320 Max is less bright, and less aggressive, and with a much more open soundstage, and this is something I quite enjoy. The soundstage isn't necessarily wide and grand, but its deep and surrounding and I never felt like I miss a beat.

When compared to other DAPs in my disposal, and other portable devices, this thing just sounds more resolving with little intricate details that I miss with the other devices. It's expensive though, and that's really hard to fully justify but those who are looking at such devices probably aren't super concerned with value either.

Final Thoughts

The DX320 Max is one of those devices that I love and hate at the same time. Hardware-wise, its well-built but has its quirks that are annoying like the volume pot, the gain switch, and I did run into hardware issues that required RMA'ing back to China. 

But the sound is splendid and spectacular and easily the best sounding DAP I've heard. It's really fantastic sounding in every way and matches my gears and ears well.