I am not a Headfi person, and do not listen critically with my Windows computer. The headphones I use is just a compact Sennheiser Momentum. There is also a lot of activity and background noise happening. All this means critical listening impossible. But if I still find Teac UD-501 lacking in this environment, how would the XD-05 fare?
In general - much better than I expected. While the imaging from a Teac UD-501 sounds congested, the XD-05’s presentation is a lot more open. I can listen to the “space” within the recordings, and there is a lot more depth now.
For the audiophiles, the bass balance is good, the mid-range is neutral and not overly emphasised, the top end is not distracting and the balance overall is OK. There is no mistake you’re listening to digital music, but that’s to be expected for a product at the $200 price point. This XD-05 kills the Teac UD-501, which is around 4 times more expensive.
I usually charge the DAC overnight so not really sure how long it’d take to charge up the unit. Fully charged the DAC can last the entire work day of 9 hours. A word of caution though - do not run out the battery. When the battery isi depleted the DAC will be in a constant on/off cycle, and it’d send a POP to your headphones. This is a bug and could possibly be fixed in the firmware - but this unit cannot be upgraded. So develop a habit to always shut down the DAC when you are not using it. This is not a device that you want to leave powered on, unattended with your headphones plugged in.
Because I’m not listening to this unit critically, there’s not going to be any sample music examples for points of reference. This is more a subjective assessment, listening to music in a pretty noisy open space environment (server equipment fan blazing, people video conferencing or on phones, keyboards clicking, etc) can do that to you.
Timbre is a bit off. I cannot tell why or what is causing this. At least it’s not particularly terrible, or is it horribly bad. So I guess it ranks somewhere in the middle of the pack.
You can still identify the type of instruments that’s playing, but it’s not easy to discern the subtle differences when multiple instruments of the same type are playing.
So far don’t find myself lost in the music. There are no hair raising moments for me, and no music I have listened to so far made me stop work to listen.
Horses for courses, but I doubt I will ever be remotely engaged even if the environmental conditions are better.
|Separation of sounds in a live recording is pretty decent. Not as good as a full speaker setup, but if you are familiar at how it sounds in a speaker system, the same music playing off the headphones is just a bit lacking. Having said that, there are some music that seems to be mixed for the headfi setup, and with these music the presentation is pretty good.
Middle of the pack again here. The female voices are rendered ok, the higher pitched voices don’t irritate me as much as the Teac. Having said that, I find it did not resolve the more intricate textures of what make voices great/distinctive (e.g. Ella Fitzgerald).
It just cannot bring out that missing x-factor when it comes to x-factor voices. Then again, not a lot of DACs do. So I’m not really complaining.
|Like the female voices. It’s doing things OK, but lacks that depth that will blow you away.
Again not bad, but not exceptional. The decays/harmonics don’t sound particularly natural. But it’s not really a deal breaker here.
Playing around with the filters do change this to an extent so it’d take me more time to experiment.
Nothing really comes up to mind. There are details I can hear in the recordings. But those details are the ones I l already knew. So far did not hear anything new that blew me away yet.
|Overall Audio Grade
The audio quality is not subjected to the DAC itself, other variables like the software player, the DAC driver, the plugins, and the computer itself can influence sonic quality.
Some of the negatives could be due to the DAC itself, and it could be due to something else. Only time will tell. All up this is still a decent DAC for the price point and can beat other "branded” gear that’s 4-5 times more expensive than this.
This is not just the grade of the xDuoo itself. It’s more a overall grade of my work computer, foobar2000, the headphones, the DAC and most importantly myself.
Comment from: airil Visitor
hey, u still have this thing?
i think what happen is that the opamp chip needs change. Consider LME49720 if u dont fancy to do any soldering, or just buy the Burson V5i if u have budget, easier.
I crossed this text when i roll the opamp, and i think my opa1612 is bad, and got this text.
Comment from: Member
Yeah still have it. Using it mainly for work. Am considering a Burson V5i, will eventually buy one (waiting for a sitewide e-bay discount to pull the trigger).
Comment from: Member
BTW, the drivers from the CD no longer works on recent versions of Windows 10. Please go here (https://www.xduoo.net/forums/topic/xduoo-xd-05-plus-driver-4-6-7/) for instructions on how to install the new driver.
*NOTE* : This is xDuoo xd-05 POKE. (Not plus). So when upgrading the firmware, make sure you choose the right bin file.