XDUOO X20 Review Serenity

Before starting the Xduoo X20 Review, just a quick background on the company. the XDUOO is a company that develops and design a high-end audio product especially in amplifier, DAC, and DAP.

The XDUOO is also well known for their X3 budget friendly DAP (Digital Audio Player). The XDUOO X20 is currently their flagship music player. You can visit their website over here for more information.

The XDUOO X20 packed with ESS9018K2M (DAC chip) with support for native DSD256 and up to PCM 384 kHz / 32 bit. The amplifier OPA1612 maximizes the output and dynamic range with an ultralow distortion. The inbuilt battery (2400mAH) can last for 7-8 hours.

The device itself is beautiful, holding it make you at peace like in a serenity place.

XDUOO X20 UNBOXING

XDUOO X20 comes with a smooth surface white box, the packaging is quite slim. The packaging also has good information (at the back of the packaging) about the specification and parameters.

When you open the black box. you’ll see a solid black box and nicely display X20 sitting on the middle.

I like the how XDUOO maximized the space in the packaging, it surprised me when I opened up the inner divider and found out that a leather case is included in such a small box.

What’s inside the box?

  • X20 High-Performance Portable Digital Audio
  • Leather case
  • 2 Screen Protectors (actually is three if you counted the one that already installed on the screen)
  • USB Type C Cable
  • 3.5mm Audio Recording Line
  • User Manual
  • Warranty card

The leather case is a nice little surprise, it’s a brown color with a smooth surface. It’s light and doesn’t add any significant thickness.

Even though it’s a synthetic leather but the quality and cutting are great and at the same time offers a good protection for the player.

What’s inside the player?

  • ESS9018K2M DAC chip
  • OPA1612 operational amplifier chip
  • Fully balanced circuit design
  • Dual oscillator
  • Battery: Built-in 2400mAh rechargeable lithium polymer
  • Headphone Output (3.5 mm)
  • Balanced Headphone Output (2.5 mm)
  • Line Output

ESS9018K2M DAC chip and OPA1612 op-amp chip make for accurate, distortion-free sound, with support for native DSD256 and up to PCM 384 kHz / 32 bit. Along with the standard 3.5-millimeter and line out/coax connections, the player has a balanced 2.5-millimeter jack for pairing with balanced IEMs

X20 Build

XDUOO X20 Casing

XDUOO X20 has dimension of 4.3 x 2.2 x 0.7 in (110 x 56 x 16.6 mm), the weigh is 4.9 oz (138 g).

The body is made from metal, to be exact X20 made from Aluminum treated with CNC. CNC is a process used in the manufacturing sector that involves the use of computers to control machine tool. You can expect that the X20 has a precise design and forming the whole casing in one piece.

XDUOO is using a sandblasting technology for the surface. The result is that the surface has smooth finishing and matte in color.

The buttons are solid, made from metal as well. I prefer the metal button compared to plastic because it’I like the red color button (power button) it’s nicely blended with the black color and very easy to spot if you want to turn the player on / off.

There’s an identifier on each of the button, giving a clear info on what each button does. Without looking it’s also easy to feel and navigate the control, there’s a dot for + volume and play/pause button.

I realized that the forward and backward buttons are identified wrongly. looking at the play/pause button with a triangle facing to the right, the next button should be forward but in this case, it’s backward instead and the most left (or bottom) button supposed to be a backward button but in this case, it’s a forward. Not a big deal anyway, I get used to it immediately.

XDUOO X20 Screen

It’s not a touchscreen, it’s HD 2.4 inch IPS screen with 7H hardness glass and anti-scratch but you don’t have to worry about the screen because XDUOO has applied a screen protector by default plus if that breaks you still have two screen protector as a spare.

The screen is pretty good and sharp even though there’s light leakage at the bottom of the screen (I can see three light shining over there) it’s pretty visible when you are in the playlist because the wording is glowing white.

XDUOO X20 User Interface

Once you turn on the X20, you’ll see the main menu with 6 selections: Music Browser, My Music, Music Setting, System Setting and Bluetooth Setting and Playing interface.

Music browser is basically your file explorer, you will see our SD card, OTG and update music library over here. The OTG option allows you to connect with UDISK (hard drive in a USB form) through a Type-C OTG USB cable (not included).

My Music is the place to access the Album, Artist, Genre, My Favorites list.

In Music Setting, you can find all the good stuff such as gain setting, digital filter, 10 level custom equalizer, gapless play, power saving and many more.

System setting controls the device settings such as brightness, sleep time, language, car mode, etc. There’s no need introduction for the Bluetooth setting. the playing interface will show you what’s currently playing, selecting this will bring you to the playback interface displaying the full CD cover picture, song information and etc.

The user interface is easy to navigate, it’s simple with useful shortcuts. example: pressing back key will return to.

XDUOO X20 Features.

  • Supports native DSD256, PCM 384 kHz / 32 bit
  • Supports APE, AIFF, MP3, FLAC, ALAC, OGG, WAV, AAC, and WMA
  • 10 sections of custom EQ adjustment
  • Supports 256GB Micro SD Card
  • Bidirectional Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX AAC and SBC support
  • Hiby Link function
  • Car Play mode
  • Bluetooth / USB DAC

XDUOO X20 packed with features such as two way Bluetooth, able to use Hiby link. You can control the device remotely on your smartphone via HiByMusic App, such as play/pause music, add a song to “My favorites” and create/edit playlist. very useful feature as you are holding your phone more than your player normally.

DAC, X20 is a DAC as well! both Bluetooth DAC / USB DAC. For Bluetooth DAC you can stream your Tidal, Spotify from your phone to X20 and listen to the music from X20.

The USB DAC, allows you to connect X20 to your computer to act as a DAC, it supports DSD256, PCM 192Khz/24Bit. Take a note, you need to install the driver on your PC to be able to use this feature.

X20 can be used as an audio source of your car amplifier, X20 will start/off and play along with the car when the vehicles stopped the power (DC 5V). The best thing, with auto on and off and Hiby Link you can actually play and manage your music from your phone.

XDUOO X20 SOUND QUALITY

Bass

XDuoo X20 adding depth instead of power in the Bass region. the Bass is clean and doesn’t sound muddy at all. Orinoco Flow – Enya 1:50 the low bass is smooth, I would like to have a little bit punch and thump in this region.

listening to Act Like You Know – Fat Larry’s Band the bass has a fast decay, the upper bass has a nice punch and feels natural. I feel that Xduoo X20 aims to give quality instead of quantity.

If you have an IEM or headphone that’s too warm, this certainly will help in the bass region. while the opposite is true if you’ve very brighter IEM or earphone this could make the bass sound thinner.

Overall, I like what I heard, if you think that the bass needs more power you can always bump it a little bit in the EQ but as I’m reviewing the unit and not trying to find a perfect sound I leave the EQ for now.

Mid

listening to Lucky, both Jason and Colbie has a natural voice and a little bit forward presentation. Time – Pink reveals a transparent mids with a good detail retrieval.

I consider X20 as neutral sounding DAP with a little bit hint towards a bright. it gives an airy and open feeling. the vocal is not that dense with a good natural sounding both male and female voice.

the upper midrange has a good clarity and blends pretty well with the treble. I don’t have the feeling that the mid is recessed. what X20 offers in the mids is the liveliness on whatever music that you hear. I really enjoy listening to Chevrolet by Derek Trucks through X20.

Treble

As I mentioned before the that the tuning is a little bit bright, which is good for the treble. it gives clarity and the spark in a nice way. I don’t have any problem listening with X20 for hours, I don’t feel fatigue.

Listening to Black Origami – Jlin, It has energy and clarity without any sibilance. but this is surprising, an earphone that has a sibilance using another music player, become relaxed using X20 and the sibilance is reduced.

Spatial

Above average extension in the soundstage especially in the height. While this really depends on the earphone that you are using but either way it will improve the soundstage for sure.

A good example is playing Axel F, the moving clicking sound on right and left side reveal a good placement and separation. there’s a good progression from one side to the other.

 

Xduoo X20 Review Summary

I think the Xduoo X20 is an attractive Digital Audio Player priced at USD245. The strong features that give the value include the output selection, bi-directional Bluetooth, Hiby Link and DAC for Bluetooth and USB.

The best part about  the bluetooth, it supports AAC, APTX and SBC. AAC (Advanced audio coding) is really crucial for Apple users as this is the lossy Bluetooth protocol that Apple used.

It has excellent built and beautiful (I really like the red power button). It comes with 2 extra screen protectors (well I know it’s doesn’t cost that much but the thought behind it for their customer is priceless) and almost forget to mention about the included casing as well. I don’t know why but everytime I see the device, I feel calm. X20 gives a serenity feeling to me.

A little bit drawback, it doesn’t have touchscreen capability which doesn’t bother me, it even makes the X20 feels like classical somehow. The battery is not interchangeable. lack of an option on the OS such as changing a theme and customization to arrange the main menu as an example.

The sound is pleasing, it offers clarity without the sibilance. the bass could be improved with a more fuller bass. It will make your music lively.

For more information you can visit their webpage, oh and they do have a hidden manual for the x20, click here.  Currently selling at USD 245 at Amazon.

The XDUOO X20 has been upgraded to the latest firmware (v1.2) prior this review
Earphone used for this review: iBasso IT01, Westone W40, Brainwavz B400.
Songs: FLAC, WAV, Spotify.

XDUOO X20 Rating

Product Name: XDUOO X20

Product Description: X20 holds its ground to the warm and rigorous tuning style of Xduoo. Using the flagship ESS9018Q2M, with ultra-low distortion, ultra-low noise OPA1612 AMP chip, makes the sound stage broad and the details show.

Price: 250

Currency: USD

Availability: InStock

Overall
8.3/10
8.3/10
  • ACCESSORIES - 9/10
    9/10
  • FEATURES - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • BUILD & QUALITY - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • BASS - 7.9/10
    7.9/10
  • MIDRANGE - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • TREBLE - 8/10
    8/10
  • SOUNDSTAGE & SEPARATION - 8/10
    8/10

Summary

I think the Xduoo X20 is an attractive Digital Audio Player priced at USD245. The strong features that give the value include the output selection, bi-directional Bluetooth, Hiby Link and DAC for Bluetooth and USB.

It has excellent built and beautiful (I really like the red power button). It comes with 2 extra screen protectors (well I know it’s doesn’t cost that much but the thought behind it for their customer is priceless) and almost forget to mention about the included casing as well. I don’t know why but everytime I see the device, I feel calm. X20 gives a serenity feeling to me

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