Today, we review the $599 USD iBasso SR3 Flagship Dynamic Open-Back Headphones.
Disclaimer: iBasso sent us the SR3 for this review. As always, I am here to share my honest experience with the product. We thank iBasso for the opportunity.
Basso is a well-known audio manufacturer, known for crafting high-quality portable audio products since its inception in 2006. Based in Shenzhen, China, iBasso has been dedicated to delivering exceptional sound experiences to audiophiles and music enthusiasts worldwide.
With a strong focus on research and development, iBasso continually pushes the boundaries of audio tech, offering a wide range of products including digital audio players, amplifiers, DACs, headphones, and IEMs. You can reach their website through this link. Unfortunately, at present, the SR3 has not been featured on iBasso’s international website.
The iBasso SR3 is the successor to the company’s full-size semi-open headphone, the SR2. Designed with the discerning audiophile in mind, the SR3 features an almost identical design and upgraded driver to deliver a superior experience across a wide range of musical genres.
The SR3 uses a Tesla magnetic dynamic driver with silicone suspension and a bio-cellulose diaphragm. Though slightly harder to drive than its predecessor due to its 150-ohm impedance, the SR3 also incorporates an open-back design. You can explore key highlights and specifications below.
- Driver: Biocellulose Dynamic Driver
- Copper-clad Aluminium Wire Voice Coil & Tesla Magnets
- Impedance: 150 Ω
- Sensitivity: 108dB SPL/1mW
- Rated Power: 50mW
- Cable Lenght: 1.6m – GP 4.4mm
- Weight: 395g
- MSRP: $599 USD
Packaging & Accessories
The SR3 arrives in a sleek yet minimalistic grey box with black lettering on the front. Upon unboxing the iBasso SR3, you’re immediately greeted by a premium presentation, which includes a smaller box containing some of the accessories, and a large, hardshell carrying case underneath it. The headphone rests securely in this black, hard-shell case, ensuring its protection during shipping.
The accessory package accompanying the SR3 is both impressive and well-considered. It includes a 1.6-meter, detachable, silver-plated single crystal copper cable with a 4.4mm balanced plug and a 4.4mm to 6.3mm BAL to SE adapter. In addition, iBasso provides two extra perforated ear pads—a thoughtful touch for us enthusiasts. One important detail here is the texture of their perforated design is actually different on the spare pads, they have wider perforations and feel somewhat different to the touch.
The package also contains a quick start booklet and the previously mentioned carrying case with a molded interior, guaranteeing a secure fit and protection for the SR3. The cable of the SR3 deserves special mention for its thick, 2-braid configuration, which not only looks but also feels high-quality—an extra we’d like to see more often in this price range. Kudos to iBasso for including a premium cable in the package.
Design, Build & Comfort
iBasso has gone the extra mile to ensure the design and build quality of the SR3 are top-notch. The headphone’s housing is made of aluminum and finished in light grey, while the grille and headband feature a sleek black finish. The headband, a fusion of metal and leather, provides excellent suspension and is remarkably lightweight. The domical metal grille adorning the ear cups lends the SR3 a sophisticated appearance.
The build quality of the SR3 is impressive, and design-wise, it closely resembles its predecessor, the SR2. The housing is durable and looks stunning, particularly when it catches ambient light. The ear pads are thick and incredibly comfortable. Despite weighing 395g, the SR3 does not feel heavy on the head, as the headband evenly distributes the weight, providing a comfortable experience.
However, one drawback of the SR3 is the headband adjustment mechanism. The thin metal headband utilizes stoppers that require tightening two screws on each side with a T5 Torx screwdriver. This adjustment process can be tedious and cumbersome.
iBasso has improved upon the SR2’s hard plastic headband stoppers by using metal ones for the SR3, but a more user-friendly and tool-free adjustment mechanism would be a welcome change.
The iBasso SR3 excels in fit and comfort, providing surprisingly good isolation for an open-back design. The headphones create a secure seal, even when wearing glasses. The SR3 can be worn for extended periods without causing discomfort as the clamping force is well-balanced, making it one of the best headphones I’ve tried in this aspect. The ear cups offer a generous amount of swivel and tilt, allowing them to conform to the contours of the one’s head.
The iBasso SR3 incorporates a range of innovative technologies and here is a recap, according to iBasso:
The SR3 features a “silicone suspension” in the edge part that mounts the diaphragm, which uses liquid silicon. This silicone suspension enables the diaphragm to vibrate more uniformly than conventional polyester materials, resulting in a wider dynamic range.
The SR3’s bio-cellulose diaphragm offers higher rigidity than synthetic fibers. The high-frequency extension and resolution are greatly improved compared to rivals.
The SR3 is equipped with a Tesla magnetic circuit that drives the diaphragm more powerfully with a strong magnetic flux and this design maximizes the diaphragm’s performance, driving it uniformly to suppress resonance and distortion, resulting in clean, noise-free sound.
With a new, high impedance design of 150Ω driver, the SR3 significantly reduces the effects of background noise from audio sources such as audio players. The incorporation of a CCAW (Copper Clad Aluminum Wire) voice coil increases the density of the internal voice coil wire and reduces the inertia of the vibration system, enhancing responsiveness to delicate and instantaneous power requirements and improving sound detail.
The review continues on the next page. Click here or use the jump below.
Page 1: iBasso, The SR3, Packaging & Accessories , Design, Build & Comfort, Technology
Page 2: Sound, Low, Mid, High, Technical Capability, Comparisons, Last Words