Today, we take a look at the xDuoo TA-20. A headphone amplifier that looks like the TA-10, but with double the tube, Xtenik kindly sent us for the purpose of our incoming review. You can check their website here.
This article is part of our Picture Sunday series, where we take a quick look at some products in the review cycle. You can find all previous Picture Sunday posts here.
xDuoo is one of those quirky brands which gives us… quirky products. If the TA-10 I previously reviewed was fairly normal, Lieven also reviewed some geeky stuff such as the X10T and X10TII. That said, this neat Digital Audio Transport was praised for its performance, proving the xDuoo was right in the making.
So, let’s dig in and go for our usual quick look at the new TA-20.
xDuoo TA-20 – The design
Like the TA-10, the xDuoo TA-20 is deceptive, in a good way. From the picture alone, it might look like one of those cheap amplifiers you come across on AliExpress or eBay. But, once you get it out the box, all your misconceptions disappear, as the brand has done a brilliant job designing the amp.
The case is made of one solid piece of aluminum. Brushed, anodized aluminum, with a matte black finish that gives the premium touch. There is no silver version sadly, if so I’d have surely chosen that one, even if the black one is still superb. In my opinion.
The twin set of tubes – 12AU7 – cannot be missed. They glow discreetly in the dark, and shine in the light, all thanks to their metal upper caps. xDuoo kept the same safeguard, made of small aluminum arches, attached with magnets to the case. This should protect the tubes, or so I hope.
Behind the tubes, you have this big black box, hiding the capacitors and radiators. Even if the amp looks a bit bulky from afar, its footprint is no more than an A5 sheet of paper. So it can fit on every desk.
xDuoo TA-20 – A quick view
The front panel is exactly the same as the TA-10 :
- 1x XLR 4-Pins output, to connect a balanced headphone
- 1x Jack 6.35 MM output to connect an unbalanced headphone
- 1x multi-function scroll-wheel you can either turn, or click (to change the source)
You also get one tiny, dual digit screen which displays the volume at any given moment. A good addition.
At the back of the TA-20, you get all the inputs and outputs. Surprise, surprise, where the TA-10 gave you a USB input, here you only get RCA and XLR inputs. The TA-20 doesn’t carry a DAC !
Inputs wise, you have :
- 4x RCA inputs (Aux 1 – Aux 2)
- 2x XLR inputs ( for balanced DAC)
- 2x RCA outputs (aux out)
So you can use the xDuoo TA-20 as a pass-through amplifier, in as “you need to connect another desktop amp behind it”. Again, this is not a pre-out, but a line-out.
On paper, the TA-20 is supposed to deliver up to 2000mW @ 32ohms, in both balanced and unbalanced headphone output, and cover headphones ranging from 8-600 Ohms.
How it sounds? We’ll see that… soon!