Review : xDuoo XD-05 – Right on


Inside the box

The xDuoo XD-05 bundle is better than usual. Not the best, but better.
Inside the box you have :

  • 1x USB-A to USB-A female port, so you can connect the DAC to your computer
  • 1x micro-USB to USB cable, for charging
  • 1x 6,35mm to 3.5mm jack adapter
  • A set of silicon bands + rubber feets
  • A few papers for the warranty and manual

As you see, USB connection requires you to use the specific cable provided by xDuoo, when you’ll connect the XD-05 to your computer, so keep that in mind before tossing out the box.

Apart from that, it’s a big improvement in my opinion, and I hope to see the same kind of packaging over time.

UI & Usage

USB connection

Like the iFi Micro Black Label, the xDuoo XD-05 displays a full-sized USB port.

This makes connection easier, as you’ll just have to connect your USB OTG cable without any additional cable. For the iPhone, you need an USB camera connection kit, whereas you can buy a very basic USB OTG adapter (micro-USB or Type-C) for every other device.

I tried to connect an iPhone, iPad, the FiiO M11 and the Shanling M2X, all of them were instantly recognized as a source by the XD-05. Once connected, the link LED turns on as visual feedback, simple yet efficient.

The fact that you have a separate USB Port for charging and connecting make the XD-05 pretty versatile, I never encountered the famous “This device needs too much power” at any time. But, you’ll have to carry two cables every time you’re out, so I hope to see some USB-C port next time.

Coaxial/Optical connection

The xDuoo XD-05 allows you to connect a digital source through its combo port.

The mini-Jack port supports both Optical and Coaxial connectors, as long as you get a mini-Toslink adapter or a Jack-Cinch / Jack-Jack linked to your source. I tried the Coaxial coming from the FiiO M11 and the optical from the iBasso DX220, both were recognized immediately.

A good option for those who don’t have an USB output, or just want to connect a DAC to their old, yet faithful, CD player.

Honestly, I stick with the USB port, but having the choice is still great.

Everyday use

On a daily run, the xDuoo XD-05 is barely portable, unless you have very big pockets or a dedicated space in your backpack.

Being 13,9cm long, 7,5cm large and 2,3cm thick, once you pair it with your smartphone, it becomes a little behemoth. Sure, if you’re used to the Chord Hugo, it’s not that intrusive, but if you’re more used to the Chord Mojo, the difference will be… sensible.

That said, there is still a lot to love. The solid full-sized USB port makes connection simple and forward, same for the Optical/Coaxial port which doesn’t feel loose either. So yeah, it’s sturdy from A to Z.

The volume knob is a big hit, in my opinion. It may be small, but the grip is tight, the course is smooth and I found the right volume every time I used it. Combined with the L/M/H gain switch, it gives a lot of room in terms of volume range, kudos!

The screen, if not mandatory, gives a clear view of the playback information. It doesn’t show the volume information, but PCM/DSD and the applied filter are displayed (PCM1/PCM2/etc…) It’s sharp and the definition is surprisingly crisp, way more than what you’d expect from DAC at this price.

It’ a lot like the FiiO E07/E17 back in the time, but bigger and with more switches all around. Get bigger trousers, or just get a bag, but apart from that, it’s pretty cool.

The article continues on Page four, after the click here.


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.


  • Reply April 11, 2020

    Rachid ZIANE

    Merci pour ce test très complet et précis.

    J’utilise le Xduoo XD-05 depuis juin 2016 avec un Beyerdynamic DT1350 et depuis octobre récemment avec un DT1990Pro, c’est exactement ce que vous décrivez. Il est clair sur tous les registres et descend très bas dans les graves à condition que l casque en soit capable. Inutile d’activer le bass boost.

    Je l’ai optimisé en mai 2019 en remplaçant l’OpAmp par un Burson V5i, gagnant ainsi en clarté.

    Je recommande sans réserve cet ampli/DAC Xduoo XD-05.

    Mon système : Qobuz Studio => USB player Pro + Morphit => Motorola RazR HD => Xduoo XD-05 boosted by Burson V5i => Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro

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