Ikko Audio has introduced a first HiFi USB hub for use with devices equipped a USB Type-C connector. The developers emphasized that their new product received a custom-developed HiFi DAC (SNC 8600) and headphone amplifier. Headphones are connected via 3.5mm and 4.4mm jacks. In addition, users will find an HDMI connector that supports image transmission in 4K resolution at 60Hz and SD/TF card interface. The USB 3.2 port transmits a signal at a speed of 10Gbps.
Ikko Audio ITX01 supports fast charging technology and has a power of 100W PD. In total, the device has 10 interfaces, which are a nice addition to the first audiophile USB hub. ITX01 will be useful primarily for laptop owners and smartphone user, it will allow you not to occupy separate ports and at the same time provide really high-quality sound. How well this all works, we will find out in our review.
- Connectivity and Features
Latest version of super fast USB 3.2 port
4K 60Hz HDMI
100W PD Charging
MicroSD/SD Card Slots and USB Type-C port
Dual Headphone Output Ports
The device comes in a small cardboard box with a retractable design. In addition to the ITX01 USB hub, the kit also includes a storage bag made of pleasant to the touch material, a nice addition, that’s all you get. However, for this device, we did not expect more.
What’s In The Box?
- Storage Bag
- Warranty Card
The Ikko Audio ITX01 has a aluminum body with a slightly beveled design.
The USB Type-C cable also edged with aluminum, built into the end part and cannot be removed.
The Ikko Audio logo is engraved on top, in the corner there is a small marking “ITX01 Docking Station”. Hi-Res sticker from the other end.
ITX01 is quite light (about 96g), the metal is pleasant to the touch, everything is well assembled, no backlash or burrs. The build quality is excellent.
Ikko Audio ITX01 has 10 interfaces in total and allows you to use it with TV, PC, mobile phone, any stereo devices or headphones with 3.5 or 4.4mm jack, and various memory cards. Let’s take a closer look at each of the ports.
One of the main features of Ikko Audio ITX01 is the presence of three USB 3.2 ports (Gen 2×2, aka Superspeed++) at once, each with super-fast USB3.2 transmission support. This is the latest versions of the USB port at the moment and allows you to transfer files at an incredible speed. The USB 3.2 version has two channels of 10 Gb/s in each direction and a total speed of 20 Gb/s. The USB 3.2 standard is also backward compatible with USB 3.1, 3.0 and below version and supported by USB-C connection. We tested each of the Ikko Audio ITX01 USB 3.2 ports by transferring quite heavy 4k files through them, while the device showed the highest possible speed, the file transfer was stable without failures and speed reduction.
Another interesting feature of the IKKO ITX01 is the HDMI port, which supports continuous 4K 60Hz video output. The port allows you to duplicate the screen of your smartphone on a monitor, projector or any TV. Just connect it with a regular 4K HDMI cable and enjoy. With 4K Ultra-HD monitors, this results in a particularly high-quality picture. During our testing, there were no problems either, the device was recognized immediately and worked consistently well.
For laptops that support USB Type-C charging, the Ikko Audio ITX01 provides 100W ultra-fast PD charging. The developers claim that the device has a new Core chip, which prevents it from overheating even under heavy load. It should be noted that 100W PD chargers are quite expensive today, high-quality models can cost up to half the price of Ikko Audio ITX01 (while the price of ITX01 on the official website is $89.10, which is a great price for such functionality).
IIkko Audio ITX01 has two card slots – MicroSD and SD, and one standard USB Type-C port. Both SD slots work simultaneously. Everything is standard here, the speed is high and stable. We did not have any problems or errors when transferring large files through each of these ports.
And finally the most interesting thing for us – two headphone outputs, one single-ended 3.5mm and another balanced 4.4mm, everything is as it should be for an audiophile device with Hi-Res Audio Certification, which in this price segment to $100 not common even today.
Among the features of the Ikko Audio ITX01, it has a power-on indicator light and a small LED display/touch button on the edge that is responsible for switching three different sound modes – music, games and movies. To switch, press and hold the button. How exactly this modes affect the sound will be found out further.
It is also worth noting that you will not be able to connect Ikko Audio ITX01 to any iPhone through a USB Type C to Lightning adapter, the device is simply not detected. We hope this will be fixed in the next reincarnation of ITX01.
Ikko Audio ITX01 definitely sounds much brighter and more detailed than most even top-end smartphones today. It also has a wider stage and volume than many portable smartphone DACs. The device doesn’t have the highest output power of 64 mW, but using the balanced 4.4 mm output, you can get enough gain for most full-size headphones. We tested the Ikko Audio ITX01 with the recently released Ikko Audio OPAL OH2 earphones, which the standard 3.5 output was quite enough, while the bunch sounded great for this price range.
As for the built-in sound modes, they do have a very obvious difference when you switch between them. The most balanced, detailed and wide is the Hi-Fi mode. It is most suitable for music and has a fairly flat frequency response, good detail and brightness in both low and high ranges.
Movie mode noticeably boosts bass and slightly squeezes the mids and highs, which gives you a better experience when watching fast movie scenes and makes for a more immersive viewing experience overall. However, this does not give the same clarity and detail in the upper range as the first mode.
Finally, Game Mode is the exact opposite of Cinema Mode, significantly reducing low frequencies and adding highs and mids, making the overall sound picture more brighter. In games, this will help better positioning in space and will not overload the overall sound picture.
Ikko Audio ITX01 is able to work with any device including macbooks, chromebooks, windows computers, portable game consoles and everything else where there is a USB Type C interface. You can also connect a mouse/keyboard, a memory card, at the same time display a picture from your smartphone on any 4k monitor or projector and listen to audio in high quality.
ITX01 is a really interesting solution for those who want to improve the sound quality anywhere without taking up extra ports. Right now on the manufacturer’s website the device costs only $89, note that many portable smartphone DACs can reach this price without providing the same functionality as the Ikko Audio ITX01. An excellent device for those who appreciate sound quality, functionality and mobility.
- DAC: SNC 8600
- Interface: TypeC to PC ;100W PD TypeC Input1; DATA TypeC1； USB3.2 3 ； 1 HDMI 4K 60Hz Output; SD ports1，TF ports1
- Audio Port: 3.5mm Audio Output & 4.4mm Audio Output;
- SNR: 100dB
- THD: 0.01%
- Maximum Output: 64mW
- Decoding Ability: PCM 192Khz
- Compatibility : Android，IOS，Mac OS，Win10, PS5，Switch