Why a transport? Why look at it?
This part is copied from the original review, for those who haven’t read it yet.
Do you remember the “stacking” days when everyone was using an iPod classic in combination with a Cypherlabs DAC and ALO amp? We all loved it back then and the audio quality was extremely good. Well this X10T now takes the place of the long gong iPod Classic, and it does so with an even better output quality.
To me that early days stack is still one of the very best sounding portable setups and therefor the Xduoo X10T caught my attention. We don’t use iPods anymore but we do still have new top quality portable DAC/AMPs coming out, so why not use a transport to get the very best out of it!
Yes, I do realize that a modern DAP can put out a digital signal as well, but DAPs are not as versatile output-wise as the X10T is and they certainly don’t have the specs the X10T(ii) can show off with. For a lot of people it will indeed be easier to use a DAP but the X10T(ii) isn’t made for the normal consumer either. It’s a product made for a specific professional and audiophile public, and that does indeed make this a niche product. Very niche even.
I’m reviewing the X10T(ii) because not everyone wants an “all-in-one” unit. Some people – like me – just want the best possible sound quality, or the sound of their favourite DAC-chip or amp section, and the X10T(ii) makes that possible. When on the go, that does mean you’ll be carrying around a stack, so if that’s not for you, forget about the X10T(ii). Then again when using it as a source at home, it’s incredibly small and it still puts out an incredibly high quality signal. What’s not to like?
I have mostly used the Xduoo X10Tii again in combination with the Chord Mojo, my Violectric V850 and the Atlas desktop DAC. I regularly use the SP1000 as source for my home/desktop amplifiers because it’s so easy, but the X10Tii and V850/Atlas combo just lift up the quality compared to a DAP’s digital output signal.
Again, it’s quite annoying to use the X10Tii if you want to listen to one specific track. Almost all DAPs beat the X10Tii in usability, but if you can forget about that then the X10Tii in combination with your favourite DAC and amp, will make you smile. The X10Tii delivers an extremely clean signal to your DAC with almost no noise and that really is audible in the end. And the better your DAC, amplifier and head- or earphone you hook the X10Tii up to, the better it gets. Differently said, the better your gear, the better the X10Tii’s performance is audible. And difference there is, I in example prefer the X10Tii + Mojo combo over the Mojo only.
A lot of people, me included, constantly stream music from Tidal or Spotify and this directly from the XT10ii isn’t possible. But because of the connectivity options the X10Tii now easily can stream music. Yes it’s an extra step but you can perfectly stream using the XT10ii as DAC. It perfectly works, in example my Oneplus 6 streaming Tidal over BT to the X10Tii and finally the Mojo combo does the trick without any issues. And then there’s also HiBy link so you can connect and stream all you want.
Another possibility is to use the XT10Tii as a USB DAC with your laptop. For me personally – as I just said – the ROON -> X10Tii -> Mojo setup sounds better than the ROON -> Mojo setup. It sounds fuller, deeper and more analogue where Mojo normally is more digital and fast sounding.
Just like with the XT10T, my preference goes to the coaxial output for portable units such as the Mojo and Hugo 2. I find it to sound fuller and more organic but this could be different for you. With my full sized desktop DACs, I either used the coaxial or the AES output but most of the time the AES one as it to me soundest, cleanest, fullest and most analogue. I’ve also been using it in my speaker setup and it sounds wonderful.
The beauty of the Xduoo X10Tii is that you can use your favorite DAC and amp with it with the connection you want, and it will deliver the best possible/clean digital signal to your setup. That means you’ll get the very best out of the gear you already own, and you will be surprised to see how clean it will sound using this source instead of your regular one.
And more on sound in the last page of the article, right HERE