xDuoo XD-05 Plus Review

xduoo xd-05 Plus

Design & Build Quality

 

 

Casing

Head to head, the xDuoo XD-05 Plus looks a lot like its predecessor

The case is made of thick, anodized aluminum, with a long main body and two plates tightly screwed fronts and backs. Where most modern devices try their best to hide those screws, be as thin as possible, the XD-05 plus take a completely different direction.

As usual, the matte finish looks and feels astounding. It’s very different from Chord or iFi sleek design, the xDuoo XD-05 Plus feels much more brutal and grainy, but in a good way. It’s the kind of amplifier you’ll happily dump inside your bag, with no care whatsoever, and find it untouched after a long day of work.

The footprint is bigger than its direct competitors, and xDuoo didn’t try to minimize, nor alleviate, its DAC/AMP. Measuring 139,5mm long, 75mm wide and 23mm thick, it shares the exact same dimensions as before, just heavier.

Not by much – only 10g – but that little difference is there, and can be felt once you have both devices in hand. That said, it still feels like a battery tank, more than an amplifier. But, thanks to that, xDuoo integrated a very comprehensive array of inputs/outputs, as we’ll see now.

Layout

Same Oled screen, same ALPS potentiometer, same three switches up front, as always with xDuoo, XD-05 Plus is very comprehensive.

Clearly tailored to support a large range of portable sources, the DAC offers a lot of digital and analog inputs.

xduoo xd-05 Plus

The back panel comes with :

  • 2x USB-C port, allowing you to connect an iOS/Android/Windows/OSX device with a pass-through connection, whilst charging through the other
  • 1x optical/coaxial jack port, to plug your sources that do not support USB. A CD Player for example, or an old DAP for example. Remember this is a mini-Toslink connector, so you may need an adapter.
  • 1x aux in/out, a classic now, giving you the opportunity to use the XD-05 either as a pure DAC, or a pure headphone amp, your call
  • 2x indication led, for link and charge

As usual, if USB OTG has become the norm to connect your smartphone to an external DAC, you better have to double-check the compatibility if you own an Android device. Apple users won’t have to bother, just get a USB-C to Lightning cable or use a USB-C to USB-C cable on your iPad.

xduoo xd-05 Plus

That said, let’s take a look at the front panel. We have :

  • 1x Oled screen, which displays stream information in real-time (source, sampling rates, the mode in use). The screen is surprisingly good and all the information looks crisp and sharp.
  • 3x toggle, one for boost (On or Off), one for the bass-boost and one for gain settings (0dB/+6dB/+15dB)
  • 1x volume wheel, finely detailed with smooth rotation 
  • 1x 6.35mm output jack, unbalanced

Last but not least, the xDuoo XD-05 Plus also shows buttons on the side. Compared to the prior version, the design of the buttons slightly changed. The brand replaced the “display” function for “input”, previously found upfront.

  • 1x filter, giving you 4 distinct PCM filters (sharp/slow/short delay + short/short delay + slow) and 3 DSD filters ( reserved/50k cut off / 150k cut off)
  • 1x src, an interesting option as you’ll be able to choose between pass-through or over-sampled flux (only available in coax/opt)
  • 1x input, to choose which output you use

xduoo xd-05 Plus

Now that xDuoo finally embraced the USB-C trend, the only drawback remains the lack of a balanced output like a 2.5mm or 4.4mm. But, as always, we’d prefer a good unbalanced port, rather than a shady balanced one. 

So let’s move on and check the bundle.

The review continues on Page Three, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.

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A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

    2 Comments

    • Reply June 30, 2020

      Scott Wells

      Great review NanoTechnos!

      I am also very pleased with my XDuoo XD-05 Plus Black Edition + 05BL Pro Bluetooth Module. Bluetooth functionality has worked flawlessly with both my PC and smartphone; range is well over 10 meters. Both the XD-05 Plus and 05BL Pro were recognized immediately by WIN10 with no drivers required. With this additional module one has nearly all unbalanced inputs/outputs imaginable.

      As mentioned, there is indeed very minor channel imbalance (favoring the right channel) from 9 o’clock to 9:30 on the pot… however, that is well below any listening level at any gain setting with any of my earbuds and typical to some level with most analog volume pots. There is absolutely no background noise to be heard at the low and medium gain settings… though on high gain I can hear a faint hiss beginning @ 2 o’clock. This lil’ amp is surprisingly powerful… listening volume is between 11 and 1 o’clock at low gain with any of my earbuds/headphones ranging from 32 to 300 ohms.

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