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XDuoo XD-05 DAC/Amp
XDuoo XD-05 DAC/Amp
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Anyone know how does this compare to the Schiit Fulla 2 and the E17K?
The Schiit Fulla 2 has no internal battery, and is more ungainly even though it's still small. You won't be rubberbanding the Fulla 2 and a powered USB hub/battery to a cell phone. For desktop uses, the Fulla has its advantages. You connect it to a Windows PC and it just works. The Xduoo requires a separate driver that cannot be cleanly installed on Windows 10, requires disabling driver signing, and it doesn't look like Xduoo is in any hurry to change that. The E17K can be used with and without drivers, it looks like. The drivers and third party Jriver Media software, along with native DSF files are required for the E17K to playback DSD files.
The Fulla 2 does not support DSD input -- however native DSD files are very rare, and the Xduoo only supports native DSD on Windows PCs. You won't be getting the DSD on through your Android or Mac. Most music isn't mastered in DSD, and outside of very high end environments where loss between the source and the DAC is a concern, it's kind of a gimmick. But if you have a DSF library, just know the Fulla 2 will demand you convert to PCM first.
The Fulla 2 bitdepth and sampling rate ends at 24/96 khz, the Fiio goes to 32/96, and the Xduoo extends to 32 bit/384 khz. Which is absurd, honestly. You risk ultrasonic artifacts running 99% of music over 32/384. Those artifacts may have zero effect on the music as you hear it, but then you weren't hearing all that extra frequency anyway. :) 24 bits puts the noise floor so low that you won't get anywhere close to it at any healthy listening volume.
That said, you CAN and should run the Xduoo in a less silly 24/44-96 if you do get one. There is no demonstrable benefit to going higher and any audiophile who says otherwise may as well be pimping silver core HDMI cables. It's amazing how many bells and whistles get taped on these days. >_>
The amps in the E17K will drive headphones up to 150 ohm, and the Schiit and Xduoo will drive out to 300. The Xduoo may have slightly more power to spare at 300.
The E17K has beautiful on-board bass and treble control, 1db increments to +-10. You can control the mids by shaping the bass and treble around them. The Schiit has no on board bass or treble EQ, it must be done in software, but this is less of a problem because it's anchored to your computer, anyway. The Xduoo has a 6db bass boost off/on toggle.
If you need to drive 150 ohm or lower headphones, and want portability and refined bass and treble control, get the Fiio. If you want to drive 300 ohm cans from your Windows 10 PC, get the Schiit. If you want to drive 300 ohm cans in the wild, or absolutely need DSD and absurd sampling get the Xduoo for 70 bucks more.
While you obviously can't hear those frequencies, there is evidence that the human ear can detect differences in waveform rise times and these are detected as "crispness"/speed/delecacy of the audio track being listened to. Electrostatic headphones, with diaphrams the thickness of air atoms can be heard to have this quality. due to the very low mass and therefore inertia of their diaphrams. On the electrical side, the rise-times of waveforms is directly influenced by the top frequency that can be reproduced - a truly squarewave would require an infinite bandwidth. This is why being able to produce these top end frequencies is important
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