TOPPING NX4 Review

Price: 159.99$

Where to buy: https://apos.audio/collections/headphone-amps-preamps/products/topping-nx4-dsd-dac-amp?sca_ref=18623.xANORz4mHs

Specifications: well they are so many that I suggest going visiting their website. The DAC is the Sabre ES9038Q2M, though.

Thanks to Apos Audio for providing this review sample. They are a great team with a nice customer support and an amazing warranty service (24 months). Also, they sell fantastic products and they usually guarantee the best prices available. And they ship lightning fast, believe me.

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Unboxing and first impressions

First thing: the rationality. This box is as big as it needs to be. It’s black (and you know how we love that), it’s elegant, it’s minimal. No information on the box but a Hi-Res sticker. Inside of it, there’s the main character, the NX4, as well as its accessories: a set of cables (Micro USB – Micro USB, Micro USB – USB Type C, Micro USB – USB Type A, jack to jack), two rubber bands to stack it, some pieces of Velcro and an anti-slip piece of rubber which reminds me of the XDUOO XP-2 one. To be honest, this product is somehow similar to that one, and the accessories are too. There are, as well, some papers – aka instruction manuals – even though they are not so necessary due the intuitiveness of this device.

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The device itself is handsome, with a matte black finish, a great build quality and an amazing design. It has rounded corners, solid switches and the volume knob has a good feedback (the first “click” turns on the device). The switches are two: one for the bass booster, another for the gain. There are two 3.5mm jacks on the front: the left one is for your headphones, the right one is for a line input. The back has two micro USB (one to charge and one to connect via USB). Nothing else. This device has no wireless connection (that’s the main difference compared to the XP-2), so there’s no need to have a switcher. If you connect both the USB and a line input device, this last one will have priority.

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Features

This device supports native DSD. I used Audirvana on my MacBook Pro which lets me choose the NX4 as output device (note that when you choose it on Audirvana, the system settings won’t let you use the NX4 for other applications, and vice-versa). On my Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 I used Onkyo HF Player Premium with OTG support to support DSD; even if the device itself recognize the NX4 as output device, the default music app won’t reproduce DSD and even other applications would convert it to reproduce such files. However, I’m not the most assiduous DSD user, because they are pricy files or supports (SACD) and they are very heavy on the storage side, while the sound quality is not crazily improved by the human hearing possibilities, by comparing it to the best FLACs. Also, my phone does not support micro SD expansion, so I’d rather use a DAP to have a portable device. But I have to say an important thing: the DSF file of Bohemian Rhapsody via this NX4 is the only one I have which doesn’t crack on the guitar solo, and I tried all files from all sources with all my earphones before. So, this device is actually the best DAC/Amp I have, at least for reproducing that particular track which is not gentle with gear. The NX4 works flawlessly as a desktop DAC/Amp with my Mac and has no issues at all even with my smartphone. Speaking of DAC+Amp, the device gives its best when used this way. You can also use it just as an Amp, but the output volume will be lower – the battery, on the other hand, will last longer. An amazing feature is that I can use it as a DAC even with my FiiO M7 (the XP-2 doesn’t work this way) and the combo is absolutely amazing. I was afraid it wouldn’t have worked, but it actually does and gives a great mobile experience. This portable setup is better than ever for my use, because I have my library inside the FiiO – my phone doesn’t have so many albums inside because it doesn’t have storage expansion capabilities.

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Gain

I mostly use IEMs, so most of the times I don’t need to use high gain on my sources. However, something like the Tin HiFi P1 needs a lot of juice to sound as its best and here’s the case too (I actually can go at maximum volume with those planars!). To avoid turning the volume up too much, with classic earphones, the high gain switch gives a consistent boost to the output volume. I also turned it on to use my Sennheiser Momentum On ear, even though they are pretty moderate on the driveability side; they won’t distort when you pump it a little bit more than necessary, so it’s nice to have a strong output for those.

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Bass booster

Unlikely the iFi xDSD, the NX4 really gives a boost to the bass with this mode turned on. Something like the already mentioned Tin P1, whose bass is pretty soft, will sound as their absolute maximum capabilities with both switches activated. I really like when the switches are functional and useful – yes, I’m very critic about the super overrated xDSD by iFi which has ridiculous switches for stage virtualization and bass boosting which actually almost make no difference.

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Sound and comparisons

Among the XP-2, the NX4 and the xDSD, the TOPPING contender is my favorite. While XDUOO (100$) and iFi (450€) provide wireless capabilities, TOPPING focuses on maximizing the wired performances on their NX4, a product that shines in every aspect. Its design, its easiness of use, its honest use of input ports are features that put it over the other two: no useless LEDs, no stupid colors which cannot be seen by colorblind people like me. The NX4 is a machine that’s suitable for everyone who needs a DAC/Amp which is perfect both for desktop and mobile use. While the Bluetooth function could have been a plus, I believe that’s a choice they’ve made to keep the final price lower – that’s also why they put micro USB ports instead of USB type C ones.

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As I’ve already said, I’ve been really surprised to find out this device is the only one which can reproduce “Bohemian Rhapsody” without distortion on the guitar solo. Ergo, this device can handle the most difficult tasks better than my Focusrite 2i2, my XDUOO XP-2, the FiiO M7 and the iFi xDSD (yes, this one too), as well as my phone and other occasional devices I’ve tried. It may be also due the DSD file, which for the first time I’ve understood the sense of. It is actually better than a classic FLAC24 and obviously better than MP3 and MQA too. But if you have a good master (and previous steps), I still believe it’s not necessary to have a super heavy DSD (DXD, DSF, ecc..) file.

Let’s rank the three devices I’ve mentioned earlier. The XP-2 is a great analytical device, with a flat signature and a nice attention to details. I prefer it over the xDSD because the iteration by iFi tends to heavily color the sound, giving a good listening experience (and a very powerful output) but nothing I would call reference. The TOPPING NX4 is something I would put in the middle. It is less colored than the xDSD, but its bass booster can give more character to the low end without sacrificing a flat nature. There’s a great detail on the NX4, and it sounds more lively than the XP-2, which is also less powerful. Generally, I find the TOPPING product capable of pushing on the extreme frequencies more than the XP-2, without any doubt or distortion. It’s true that the price is higher and this would be to expect, but well… It works as predicted. Sound-wise it is my favorite device of its kind (I’m obviously comparing all of them to the lowest common denominator, so as wired DAC/Amps).

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Actually, my NX4 is stacked with my FiiO M7 and this match is so wonderful that I don’t feel the need of upgrading my mobile setup. But I believe the output wouldn’t be enough powerful for some kind of headphones, since it sometimes struggles even with the in-ear planars by Tin Audio (if you just use the NX4 as an Amp). 

The battery life is great, I can use it via USB for more than 6 hours, while the Amp mode can grant me so much time that I’ve lost count. I mostly use it as DAC too, though.

Conclusion

I’m enthusiastic about the NX4. This is the first product by TOPPING that I try and I honestly understand why it is so appreciated as a brand. Not only a great build quality and design, but also a versatile product for both portable and desktop use and compatible with FiiO products (not granted as XDUOO does not support them). I love this device and it actually is one of my favorite pieces of gear. For the price, the audio quality is outstanding, the accessories cover every device you may need (for iDevices I think it’s necessary a camera adapter by Apple) and if you buy it from Apos Audio, you’ll have an amazing customer service as well as a second year of warranty. Oh, and if you don’t like it – I strongly doubt – you have one entire month to return it. Absolutely recommended.

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Pros

  • Accessories

  • Design and build quality

  • Sound quality

  • Compatibility

  • Battery life

  • Price

 

Cons

  • Output power could be not enough for headphones and planar IEMs

 

iFi xDSD Review

Price: 399€

Where to buy: https://amzn.to/2AKYdYg

Specifications (from https://ifi-audio.com/products/xdsd/):

  • USB Input: up to PCM768kHz & DSD512 (24.6/22.6MHz)

  • SPDIF Coaxial and Optical Input: up to 192kHz/24Bit

  • Dynamic Range: > 113dB (A)

  • Volume Control: -101dB…0dB in 1dB steps

  • Output power:

> 2.82V/500 mW @ 16 Ohm
> 3.7V/270mW @ 50 Ohm
> 3.8V/48 mW @ 300 Ohm
> 3.8V/24 mW @ 600 Ohm

  • Line out Level: > 2.1V @ 0dBFS (& 0dB Volume)

  • THD &N (1V/16R): < 0.005%

  • Output Impedance: < 1 Ohm

  • Battery: 3.8V/2200mAh

  • Dimensions: 95 (l) x67 (w) x19 (h) mm

  • Weight: 127g (0.28 Ibs)

Thanks to iFi Audio for providing to us this loan unit to test.

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Unboxing and first impressions

iFi is a brand who knows how to present a product. We have in test the xDSD as well as the SPDIF iPurifier: they both have a white box with a render of the product on the front and sides, while on the back there are all the useful information about the product itself and its technical specifications. The xDSD won the EISA award for being the best product of 2018/2019 and they proudly attached a sticker on the front of the box to let you know that, next to the Hi-Res one to attest this certification by the Japan Audio Society (aka Sony, in less words) and another one to inform about the Direct Stream Digital support up to “512” (that means the sample rate is 512 times the one of a Compact Disc – not a SACD, which is in fact the DSD physical support). Other useful or less useful information on the stickers: the MQA support, a new lossy format with the same audio characteristics of a FLAC lossless format, but without the same weight; the Bluetooth functionality; a 3D virtualizer as well as a bass booster. The box reports all the inputs you can use the xDSD with: Bluetooth (wireless, obviously), USB (wired) and S/PDIF (wired: optical or coaxial). Some info about MQA: it’s actually supported by TIDAL in Master quality, which is the source I’ve used to test the xDSD with this format, by a MacBook Pro and a Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 (which however I’m not sure if can natively support it or there are some kind of conversions in the process). MQA exist even in physical support via CD. It works by “unfolding” the file, once, twice or three times to unveil the details MP3 cannot provide; the more the hardware is capable of decoding, the more the unfold process is revealing. This is actually a nice explanation of how it works, which however may not interest the average user; what’s important is that the quality is even superior to the one of a CD (can I hear it? No), but the storage is less affected than a lossless file. Speaking of lossless files, this device can read PCM up to 192 kHz (highest Hi-Res available) – here you understand why MQA in theory could be even better: it provides up to 384 kHz –, DXD (same sample rate as MQA) and DXD2x (double the previous rate), as well as DSD like I’ve previously mentioned. Natively. So, it does not convert to PCM like other devices which namely support DSD but only after conversion.

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The xDSD comes with some accessories: a blue cable (USB type A male to type A female), some papers (some really poor and counterintuitive instructions, a help to set up MQA, a help to connect iOs or Android devices to that strange USB type A male port on the back of the device). There’s also a paper which informs about the pre-installed firmware, which is optimized for MQA – so it downscales the maximum DSD supported to 256. This same paper actually says that PCM could reach up to 768 kHz with the firmware non-optimized for MQA, and half the rate with the other: this actually confuses me, because it must be a mistake on the box, which reports “192 kHz” at max. A useful adapter is included, which converts the USB A male to a USB B female, much more common and convenient (most of the audio interfaces use this standard). There are some Velcro straps to stack the xDSD with other devices.

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The chrome finish of this portable DAC/Amp leave me bittersweet: it’s a so-called fingerprint magnet and I really don’t appreciate this choice. However, when well kept, this feels like a premium device. The shape is particular but gives character to the device and it helps when you need to handle it. Where they located the BT antenna there’s a matte black plastic section, on the back, which also houses the S/PDIF port, the USB A male for the USB connection, the toggle for the filter (a switch from “measure” to “listen”) and the USB type C for charge. There’s no sense at all in the choice of mounting a USB C just for charging. The XDUOO XD-05 Plus is a similar device and it has another type C for the data: clever update from the XD-05 base model, which is similar to the previous version of the xDSD, without the type C port. I don’t own that model by XDUOO, however there’s another choice I’d rather there than here: the display. I have a color disease, so it’s impossible for me understanding, by looking at the big front LED, how many dB are provided. In fact, the analogic volume knob of the xDSD houses a big LED with the iFi logo embedded, which changes not only due to the volume, but also due to the mode you are using (wired/wireless). There are other smaller colored LEDs, which are useful for understanding the sample rate in use as well as the chosen input (same thing as before: for me and other 12% of the male people, colors are not useful at all); other two leds are helpful to activate the 3D virtualizer, the bass booster or both together. These last LEDs are white, at least.

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Sound and comparisons

There’s one device I can compare the xDSD with: the XDUOO XP-2, which costs ¼ of its price. I’ll soon have the TOPPING NX4 and I’ll update this review by adding that comparison, too.

I made some chains for trying the xDSD (using a lot of IEMs, like the UfoEar Ufo-112, the BGVP DM6, the AudioSense T800, the Sennheiser Momentum On Ear, the 1MORE MK801…):

  • FiiO M7 via USB;

  • FiiO M7 via Bluetooth;

  • FiiO M7 via line-out;

  • Dodocool DA106 via line-out;

  • MacBook Pro 2012 via USB;

  • MacBook Pro 2012 via Bluetooth;

  • Mac Pro 2008 > Fireface 800 > SPDIF > 75 Ohm RCA cable > iPurifier > optical out > xDSD > AudioSense T800

  • CD coax (JVC XL-Z331) > iPurifier > xDSD

I used the xDSD just for listening, so the toggle never went to “measure”.

A bad thing about the xDSD is that it’s not intuitive, so switching between modes is not easy. And the only way to do it is by following the – poor – instruction manual. Anyway, something I couldn’t try was the balanced output via 3.5mm jack, because I only use and own unbalanced gear. The xDSD has properly worked most of the times, but with the last chains I had to restart it more than once. I believe these are issues which can be solved by updating the firmware.

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I would describe the sound of the xDSD as smooth. I don’t find it ultra-revealing, the details are there but I don’t have the impression of something analytical. I find it, instead, pretty fun to listen to, with a bodied mid-bass – which can be boosted by pressing the dedicated button – and an average soundstage. Even with the surround virtualizer, the holographic sense of space feels artificial and doesn’t help improving the perceived stage. Here I think it’s a problem of imaging: there isn’t a clever distribution of the instruments among the physical spectrum, but they are all placed… somewhere. I’d rather the behavior of the XP-2: it doesn’t provide a giant soundstage, but there’s a clear separation of the space between the various instruments. Also, even though I sincerely believe the xDSD could reach more extreme frequencies up and down, I’d take the XP-2 for the sub-bass – both for its juice and for its clarity. It’s a general fact: the XP-2 feels punchier and flatter, while the xDSD feels warm and a bit “loose”. That said, I find it coloring, but just on the mid-bass range, while it is pretty respectful on the mids and treble area. In fact, by trying the M7 both standalone and with it, I didn’t catch many differences, except the bass bump and much more output power – which I don’t really need as a (mainly) IEM reviewer. The XP-2 here cannot rival: its output power is much lower.

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I truly believe the xDSD has to be used wirelessly. Via Bluetooth it’s a really nice machine, with a good battery – not great, though: it does 5/6 hours with my use – and a clean sound with a really dark background. But if you go wired, it’s another story. It catches all the static electricity of your setup – trivially, when my Mac is connected to its power brick, the background noise feels unacceptable through the xDSD. My Scarlett 2i2 doesn’t suffer so bad from this same problem, but it’s there, too. The XP-2 doesn’t suffer at all. Knowing that iFi sells signal purifiers, I don’t want to think they are going to economize on the isolation of their hardware to induce you buying their trinkets. Speaking of them, the iPurifier – little spoiler – is a good device for music listening, but not for music production: it literally cuts off the upper treble to mitigate the sibilance. So, if you are very sensitive, it could be useful, and it matches nicely with the xDSD, but if you need to hear all the details you have to avoid it.

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As always, I’ve used my offline files – from DSDs to FLACs to ALACs to MP3s to M4As – but this time I’ve also tried TIDAL Master to try this new famous MQA format. Well, it doesn’t make any differences to your ears, just on paper. TIDAL sounds great and it surely is a step above Spotify in terms of cleanliness, body and detail. I’d say it’s on par with my offline files, which is, well, the most important thing, in my opinion. And I’ve tried a CD (“Human Nature” by Michael Jackson, in “single” versione and in “album” version, both amazing Japanese editions) which – maybe thanks to the hardware of the source (JVC XL-Z331) – was the most detailed and better sounding version of all. The xDSD handled every one of them with ease. So, I have to give it credit for its remarkable versatility.

Let’s say something more about switching modes. To switch, you have to turn off the device, then turn it on again but without releasing the button, until the color changes. This is not intuitive, but at least it’s understandable. I link here the user manual, so you can judge by yourself. Good engineering, bad design. https://ifi-audio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/xDSD_Manual.pdf

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Conclusions

The xDSD is an interesting piece of hardware. I’m conscious I couldn’t take advantage of all its potential – mainly because I don’t own any balanced adapter or gear – but I find the price of it to be way higher than what it offers. If you need a tool which can be used for everything, though, it could be a choice: it works as a Bluetooth receiver, as a DAC/Amp or just as an amp, with all kinds of connections and formats and all OSs, natively. With a cleverer use of the ports (type C also for USB connection) and something more intuitive than colored LEDs (a display CASIO-style, maybe), this could be a more recommendable product for me. The audio quality is great, don’t get me wrong, but for the price I would expect something more.

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Pros

  • Build quality

  • Output power

  • Versatility

  • Supported standards

  • Good battery

  • It matches pretty good with all IEMs

  • Bluetooth range

 

Cons

  • Not intuitive at all

  • Totally incorrect input equipment (USB C just for charging, USB A male for data?!)

  • 3D and bass boost toggle are a gimmick

  • Low value for money

  • Not colorblind-friendly

  • It gets dirty too easily

XDUOO XP-2 Review

Price: 110$

Where to buy: https://www.xtenik.com/product/xduoo-xp-2/

Specifications (from Xtenik):

  • DAC: AKM AK4452

  • Bluetooth version: Bluetooth 5.0, support AAC, SBC, aptX

  • Output power: 245mW @ 32 Ohm

  • Recommended output impedance: 16 - 300 Ohm

  • Supported sampling rate: 24bit 192kHz

  • THD+N: 0.008% @ 1kHz

  • Adjustable gain: +3dB / +9dB

  • Frequency response: 10Hz - 100kHz (+/-0.5dB)

  • Battery capacity: 3.7V 1800mAh

  • Battery life: AUX IN: ≥15H Bluetooth input: ≥12H USB IN: ≥8H

  • USB receiver: Support Android mobile phone with OTG function and 192kHz/24bit lossless transmission at most, computer USB input, support with XP, Win7, Win8, Win10 (it is necessary to install driver), MAC system.

  • Weight: 115g

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Thanks to Xtenik (official XDUOO distributor) for providing this review sample.

 

Unboxing

A white box contains a cardboard black one, with all the stuff inside:

  • charging/data cable (USB type A to micro-USB);

  • micro-USB to micro-USB cable;

  • micro-USB to USB type C cable;

  • jack to jack (both 3.5mm) cable;

  • instruction manual;

  • warranty card;

  • soft separator (to make stacks).

 

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There’s not an included cable to connect in a wired way the XP-2 to an iDevice. You have to buy the official camera adapter from Apple. I don’t own any Apple mobile devices, so my impressions will concern Android and Mac OS. With Windows, you’d need some drivers.

 

I just have a loan xDSD to compare as a similar product, so I’ll put them side-to-side various times.

 

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Hardware and first impressions

The XP-2 is a budget friendly (100$) DAC/Amp with Bluetooth capabilities. It just has a single-ended 3.5mm phone output and a 3.5mm line out. The volume knob also works as power on/off and it has a fantastic tactile feedback. On the left side, there are Bluetooth link button (pretty useless because the device automatically searches for wireless devices when turned on), a gain switch (+2dB I believe) and a SELECT button to switch modes (BT, line out, USB). There are three LEDs (one on the front, two on the side), but I’m colorblind so I’ll copy some functions of them from the manual or another review because I don’t really mind colors, the device perfectly works even if you don’t know anything about the LEDs.

  • Green: Bluetooth;

  • Red: USB;

  • Both: Aux.

The back of the device is the only plastic-made because it covers the BT antenna. The right side is void.

 

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Wireless mode

Actually, I found it to be better than the xDSD while speaking about wireless signal; it may be due the updated BT version (5.0). It’s not perfect, sometimes even without any disturbs, the signal has some strange cracks. But this is rare and I didn’t have any problems of connectivity, my Mi MIX 2 and my FiiO M7 perfectly matched and worked with this device (both with Qualcomm AptX codec). This is also thanks to the intuitiveness of the XP-2 (the xDSD is not comparable, because it’s a pain to understand how to properly use it). I think the wireless mode is the best of this device. Even though it perfectly works via line out and via USB, the battery is so long-lasting and the quality is so high that even I (Bluetooth hater) did enjoy it via Bluetooth: it actually lasts 10 hours (I’ve just used low gain). An impressive result: it actually didn’t die more than two times for the exhaust battery.

 

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Wired mode

USB: I’ve used my MacBook Pro and my Mi MIX 2 via USB with the XP-2. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible (yet?) with the FiiO M7, so the only way to use them together is via line out. The USB mode is stable, noiseless, and you can really use the XP-2 to improve your phone’s or PC’s poor DAC. The Amp section is great too, because it provides a lot of power. I’m an IEM user mainly, I just have some On Ears which are pretty easy to drive, so I don’t really need that much power. You won’t have any problems even with hard-to-drive headphones (remember we’re talking about a budget product). I think that wired it works much better than the xDSD by iFi, which has very bad background noises with devices with grounding.

Line out: I’ve used the FiiO M7 and the Dodocool DA106. Actually, the XP-2 it’s a great stack-buddy for your DAP. And the switch between modes is easy and convenient.

 

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Sound

The sound signature of this device, if it’s in any way possible to judge it, is pretty reference-like. The xDSD is a lot warmer and, in my opinion, it colors the sound even too much. The XP-2 is brighter and flatter. So, I appreciate the neutrality. Something less exciting is the stage, because it doesn’t give to your IEMs any help to improve its width or its depth; the xDSD has a space virtualizer. That being said, I don’t mind any fake surround effect, so I appreciate the XP-2 in its honesty.

Some earphones/headphones I’ve paired it to: AudioSense T800, BGVP DM6, UfoEar112, FiiO FA1, PaiAudio DR2, Tri I4, KZ ZS7, 1MORE Piston, NiceHCK EP10, 1MORE MK801, Sennheiser Momentum On Ear 1st gen.

I didn’t find any bad synergy with this device. I have a Zorloo ZuperDAC-S which is terrible with some IEMs like the AudioSense T800. This one, instead, is really clean and solid in every situation. This is one of my favourite devices of all times, honestly. It doesn’t really affect the sound signature of your source, but it amps really well and the DAC is capable, quick and linear. And it doesn’t lack body at all. I’m conscious that some IEMs I have give their best when they get a bit of color; with the XP-2 I’d rather pair some earphones which don’t need this kind of treatment. So, I’d choose the Ufo112 as my favorite match, with an incredible airiness and a fantastic reproduction of every frequency. Other earphones which works well with it are the warmer ones: KZ ZS7, CCA C10, BGVP DM6. Every match has its pros; it’s honestly difficult to find some cons here, due the great engineering behind this device. I love how the sound is always very clean and doesn’t produce any background noises.

 

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Comparisons

Zorloo ZuperDAC-S: a device which can be compared just on a wired side. The Zorloo has digital volume controls, while the XDUOO has an analog knob. Both have Micro USB to charge and connect them to some sources, both have a single-ended 3.5mm output. I actually find the ZuperDAC-S to have some problems with sound (like I’ve previously mentioned, the AudioSense T800 have some flaws, I don’t know why – maybe some phase issues) and build quality (the USB port is not centered), as well as some accessories which randomly stop working. Considering its price – just 20$ less than the XDUOO – and how many features they lack rather than the XP-2, it’s difficult for me to recommend it; but I have to admit the dimensions are really different, and if you need something small, you can get the Zorloo – but my suggestion is another one, in that case: get the Audirect Beam.

iFi xDSD: I can’t deny this is a great sounding device. But it adds some color. It’s a warm device, with improvements for bass and surround effects. It’s very easy for me to say: if the XP-2 is worth 100$ (and it is), the xDSD is absolutely not worth 300. The XP-2 is much more intuitive, its features are exactly the same – except from SPDIF presence – and for an IEM user it has far more power than necessary (we’ll see with the Tin HiFi P1). If you need more power and you like your life to be difficult, the xDSD could be good for you. Oh, I forgot to mention the absurd background noise of the xDSD when connected to a PC, which I absolutely didn’t get with the XP-2. Be wise.

FiiO M7: strange enough? Nope. The M7 can be used as a Bluetooth receiver (up to LDAC) and as a portable DAC. As a BT receiver, it has some flaws – LDAC works just sometimes, SBC is better, AptX works pretty well. On a wired side, they are comparable when it comes to user experience, but the volume control of the XP-2 is much superior and the sound quality and the amp side are better too. If you just need a single 360° device, you can get the FiiO DAP – maybe a wiser choice is the M6, nowadays – while if you need a more specific device which works better on those sides, go for the XP-2: it’s a worthy machine.

 

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Conclusions

I recommend this device. Really easy. This is one of the better products I’ve ever tried. It’s totally worth its price, its performances are great, the battery is long-lasting, the materials are good and the build quality is high. To me, it can compete with higher-priced devices. This is actually my top recommendation for a versatile product which works as a DAC, as an amp or as a Bluetooth receiver.

 

Pros

  • Build quality and materials

  • Noiseless

  • Great battery life

  • Stable wireless signal

  • Fantastic volume knob

  • Intuitive

  • Good amping section

  • Linear frequency reproduction

 

Cons

  • USB type C would have been more future-proofing