A Worthy Flagship

iBasso IT04

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

iBasso IT04 

Competition in the premium in-ear headphone space is tough, with lots of brands and headphones to choose from. 

One sure-fire way to stand out is to offer great performance at a low price and iBasso’s newest flagship, the IT04, has exactly this philosophy in mind. The IT04 costs considerably less than rivals from the likes of Empire Ears, 64 Audio and JH Audio. 

Certainly, one can find even cheaper IEMs with quad drivers, but what makes the IT04 stand out is its delicious blend of first-rate packaging, build quality, and audio fidelity.

It comes with a solid aluminum cylindrical carrying case that seems to have been milled from a block of aluminum. It is extremely hefty, but the upside is that your headphones will be well protected. There are also a whopping fourteen pairs of ear tips of various sizes: twelve silicon and two foam. This is a nice touch as getting the right fit is imperative to getting the best sound from an IEM. I found the foam tips to work best. The IT04 also comes with a high quality detachable 8-wire silver and copper cable that is pliant, supple, and light. The cable terminates in a 2.5mm TRRS balanced connector, but iBasso also provides a 3.5mm single-ended adapter. 

The IT04 shells are large but that is often the case with multi-driver IEMs. They have a glossy finish and the face plate has a carbon fiber print with the InTune logo. I’m not a fan of the carbon fiber print but at least the shells fit comfortably in my ear. The IT04 shells connect via MMCX connectors. Inside, the IT04 employs the use of a single 10mm dynamic driver that has a graphene diaphragm and three Knowles balanced armatures for sound production. 

IEMs with multiple drivers have the tendency to sound wonky if not carefully tuned but this was certainly not the case with the IT04. 

Balanced and coherent immediately come to mind, as its bass is strong and punchy, with a fluid and full-bodied midrange, plus well-articulated and crisp highs. Could it be better? Sure. It doesn’t sound quite as detailed as the very best IEMs and I wish that its bass would go even deeper. But these are minor issues facing of what is already a great sounding and well accessorized headphone.

My Reading Room

The carrying case appears to have been hewn from a solid block of aluminum.

My Reading Room
My Reading Room

With great sound and an attractive price, the iBasso IT04 is hard to fault.