Introduction

Xduoo is a Chinese company that specializes in digital analogue converters (DACs), digital audio players (DAPs) and amplifiers. They have a lineup that consists of the X2, X3, X10 and X10T. Recently, they have released the Nano D3 and X20. The X20 is currently the flagship DAP from Xduoo. I would like to thank Xduoo and Penon for the review unit of X20. At the moment, you can purchase the X20 from https://penonaudio.com/xduoo-x20 .

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Specifications

Headphone output: 3.5mm

  • Output power: 210mW (32Ω/THD +N<0.0015%)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz~20kHz (±0.15dB)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): ≥114dB
  • Resolution: >75dB
  • Distortion + noise: 0.0015%@1kHz (32Ω@1kHz)

Balanced headphone output: 2.5mm

  • Line output: 300mW (32Ω/THD +N<0.0015%)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz~20kHz (±0.15dB)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): ≥116dB
  • Resolution: >112dB
  • Distortion + noise: 0.0015%@1kHz (32Ω@1kHz)

Line out

  • Line output level: 1.7Vrms (10KΩ@1kHz)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz~20kHz(±0.15dB)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): ≥114dB
  • Resolution: >108dB (10KΩ@1kHz)
  • Distortion + noise: 0.0012@1kHz (10KΩ)

Others

  • Built-in 2400mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery
  • Battery life: 8 hours (3.5mm headphone output)
  • About 7 hours (balanced headphone output)
  • Charging time: < 3 hours (DC5V 2A)
  • < 6 hours (DC5V 500MA)
  • Size: 110*56*16.6mm
  • Weight: 138g

Unboxing & Accessories

The X20 comes in a black package inside a white protective box that sports the model name, image of the X20, brand name and some specifications. At the back of the box, there are product introduction, specifications and the package contents. The black package has the brand name printed on the front. After opening the package, there are the X20, screen protectors, user manual, USB Type C cable, warranty card and 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable.

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DAP Build & Design

The X20 has a rectangular design and it is black in color. On the front, there are no buttons and the brand name is printed at the bottom right. At the top of the X20, there is the USB Type C charging port. At the left side, there are the switch on/off button in red color, volume up/down buttons (there is a dot on the volume up button), reset button and micro sd slot. At the right side, there are previous, play/pause, next buttons (there is a dot on the play/pause button), back and options buttons. At the bottom of the X20, there are line out / coaxial, 3.5mm standard headphone output jack and 2.5mm TRRS balanced headphone output jack. The back of the X20 shows the model name.

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Functionalities

The Xduoo X20 has 10 sections of EQ and 18 kinds of sound effect and can be used as a standalone digital analogue converter (DAC). It supports line out and coaxial outputs. In addition, it utilizes bluetooth 4.1 bi-directional transmission that supports the latest Apt-X bluetooth protocol. With the HiBy link, the X20 can be controlled through the mobile phone and there is convenience of wireless.

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Sound Analysis

Lows

The X20 has a moderate amount of sub-bass quantity with excellent extension. The sub-bass reproduction has a strong tightness and demonstrates an authority in its control. The bass decay is quick with agility shown. The speed improves the overall bass impact. In addition, the bass texture is expressed smoothly. Each bass note is articulated with a good combination of speed and precision. The punch elevates the engagement level of the sound. The mid-bass has a moderate amount of body and it is able to deliver its slam in an agile manner. The bass definition is clear and refined.

Mids

The midrange on the X20 has excellent details retrieval and it commands a high standard of transparency. The body does not have the quantity for a thick and lush midrange. Instead, it is presented in a clean manner. The lower mids has a moderate amount of quantity which can tackle male vocals well and the presentation is good without sounding dry or hollow. The upper mids on the X20 has nice forwardness that helps to enhance the female vocals performance with a higher level of intimacy and they do not come across as shouty. The liveliness creates an energetic listen with a crystal-clear expression.

Highs

The treble has fantastic extension without sibilance and harshness. The approach the treble operates on is slightly brighter. It presents itself in a lively manner while being competent at exhibiting its flair for details. The amount of air rendered is great and there is sparkle present to inject excitement into the overall sound. The definition on the treble is presented clearly and it has a moderate amount of body. There is good clarity shown and the crisp gives a nice bite.

Soundstage

The soundstage expands in a natural manner and it has a good width magnitude that is able to give an open feeling. The spaciousness helps to tackle busier tracks without any congestion happening. The depth offers an effective amount of space but still maintains intimacy. Positioning of vocals and instruments is precise and there is good separation. The soundstage presents itself in an immense manner.

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Comparisons

Xduoo X20 vs Cowon Plenue D

The X20 has more sub-bass quantity than the Plenue D and the sub-bass reproduction takes on a fuller approach. The extension on the X20 has a greater magnitude. The X20 is able to create an impactful presentation which delivers a great punch. Each bass note on the X20 is articulated with extra precision and definition. The bass texture on both is rendered smoothly while the bass decay is slightly quicker on the X20 and improves the overall pace and engagement level. The mid-bass on both has similar body but the slam of the X20 is expressed with a cleaner hit. The Plenue D has additional warmth which aids in the musicality. The midrange of the X20 is slightly more transparent than the Plenue D and the details retrieval is quite similar. The lower mids on both has similar body and presentation of male vocals is nice without sounding dry. The upper mids on both has good forwardness but Plenue D has the edge in the control to portray a smooth female vocals presentation. The X20 presents vocals with extra clarity. The treble on the X20 is extended slightly better and it is competent at details retrieval. The amount of air rendered on both is similar but there is more crisp and sparkle with the X20. The Plenue D takes on a smoother approach. Lastly, in terms of soundstage, the Plenue D expands more naturally while X20 has a slight edge for the width magnitude. The depth of the Plenue D is more closed in.

Xduoo X20 vs Shanling M2S

The M2S has more sub-bass quantity than the X20 but the X20 excels in its extension with a deeper stretch. The sub-bass reproduction on the X20 has a strong tightness and the control helps to showcase its authority. The M2S carries additional warmth. The mid-bass of the M2S has slightly more quantity than the X20 which helps to give a weighted feeling. The bass texture on the M2S is smoother while the bass decay of the X20 is quicker and presentation takes on an agile nature. Each bass note on the X20 is articulated with a stronger and cleaner hit. There is nice musicality offered from the M2S Precision for both is rather similar. The lower mids on the M2S has slightly more body and male vocals benefit from it with a fuller presentation. The upper mids on the M2S has greater forwardness which helps to boost female vocals and giving it a clear defined expression. The midrange on the X20 commands a higher level of transparency and clarity while the M2S operates on a warm and full approach. The X20 is slightly brighter with better definition. The treble on the X20 is more extended with a greater amount of air rendered. There is an airier presentation on the X20. In terms of soundstage, the M2S expands in a more natural manner and has a closed in depth. The X20 excels with a greater width magnitude.

Xduoo X20 vs Xduoo X10

The X10 has slightly more sub-bass quantity than the X20 and the X20 extends better. The bass texture on the X10 is rendered more smoothly than then X20 while the X20 excels in its bass decay with agility. There is more punch from the X20 which provides a stronger impact. The mid-bass on the X10 has extra body and the delivery of the slam is not as tight as the X20. Each bass note on the X20 is articulated with accuracy. Bass performance on the X20 has a higher engagement level. The midrange of the X20 commands better details retrieval and it is more transparent. On the other hand, X10 has more body. The lower mids of the X10 has more quantity than the X20 and it accentuates the thickness. The upper mids on the X20 has a bit extra forwardness which helps to liven up female vocals. The treble on the X20 is extended better than the X10 with crisp and sparkle present. The amount of air rendered on the X20 is slightly more while X10 has additional body. X20 is able to express it in a cleaner manner. In terms of soundstage, the X10 expands in a natural manner. The X20 has an advantage for both the width and depth.

Conclusion

The X20 has a detailed yet clean sound which is able to deliver punchy bass, transparent midrange and extended treble. There is nice crisp and sparkle to inject excitement into the sound. Moreover, with bluetooth 4.1 bi-directional transmission and the HiBy link, there is an added convenience. There is a solid construction of its housing. The X20 is Xduoo’s latest flagship player and it excels in a spectacular manner.

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