Design & Build Quality
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.
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.
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.
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
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.