Music should not be a thing one can only be enjoyed at home, music must be enjoyed everywhere - at home, outdoors, or at work. Especially work!
Music brings a lot of joy, and everybody loves a happy workplace. With my new job, I no longer have a fixed office/desk. In the morning on every work day, I take all my work equipment from a central area and take it to an unoccupied desk in the “office pen", where I will work from for the the rest of the day. In the morning I’d unload my equipment, set it up, work and then pack everything up when the day finishes. Everything has to be packed up, no personal belongings can be left on the desk at the end of the work day.
This system is called hot-desking. I love the flexibility this system brings, and my employer can reduce its operating costs (Don’t have to maintain 1:1 staff/equipment ratio).
Win-Win! Except a hot desking environment is not ideal for an audiophile.
This environment is suited for a normal audio system because it’d be too time consuming to setup and dismantle every day. Headfi is the way to go. Previously I’m using a Teac UD-501 DAC. While that unit is already a compact DAC/AMP, the size is still impractical for a hot-desking environment. I need something smaller and lighter, something ideally suited for a hot desk office. Something that don’t require a audit every year. The Teac UD-501 is totally unsuitable in this environment and has to go. The fact that it’s a terrible sounding DAC really makes this a no brainer.
So off I go looking for the 501 replacement - the newcomer must satisfy the following:
- Budget of $AUD250 or lower
- DSD support
- Headphone Amp
- Stereo Input
- Digital Input
- USB input
- Works with mobiles as music source
Did not have a lot of time to do my research, so I randomly searched e-bay and basically purchased the only product that meet all the above requirements: xDuoo XD-05 DAC. All at a princely sum of AUD$212.41 (with 10% e-bay voucher applied).
So what’s in it? Let’s take a look and see what a $212 product brings.
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