In this review, I take a look at the xDuoo XD-10 Poke USB DAC/AMP. The XD-10 can be used to turn your existing devices such as phones, tablets and computers into high-fidelity audio players. It can also be used with your existing DAPs for headphones and earphones that need some extra driving power to sound their best. What’s more, it can be used either as a powered desktop unit or a portable device, thanks to its built-in battery.
This sample was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.Thanks to Xtenik for the sample.
Handy OLED display
Solid build quality
Fantastic accessories included
Versatile and portable
Bass boost, gain modes
Package and Accessories
The first thing you’ll notice about the XD-10 Poke is its colourful, playful packaging. In the pragmatic world of personal audio, it’s refreshing to see packaging that’s less serious and more lighthearted in character.
On the outer box is some cool and colourful artwork with “Poke” written in a graffiti-style typeface. Opening up the front cover reveals the user manual and instructions in the form of a little book. Beneath the book is the XD-10 poke and accessories.
One thing I’ve learned about xDuoo products is that they come with a generous amount of useful accessories and the Poke is no different. Let’s take a look at what you get in the box:
xDuoo XD-10 Poke DAC/AMP
Micro USB to USB OTG cable
USB Type-C to USB OTG cable
Sony USB Audio to USB OTG cable
3.5mm to 3.5mm AUX cable
Micro USB to USB charging cable
USB to USB extension cable
X-SK1 Magic Sticker
User manual/warranty card
That is one heck of a bundle and includes everything you need to get connected right out of the box. I was especially pleased to see the WM-Port cable which meant I could connect the Poke to my Sony NW-ZX300.
Build Quality and Design
The XD-10 has a CNC crafted anodized aluminium chassis. It’s available in 2 colours, turquoise and black. Its dimensions are similar to those of a medium-sized DAP. To put that in context, the XD-10 is slightly larger than my FiiO M6 and a little smaller than my Sony NW-ZX300 and iBasso DX120. It’s pretty light, weighing in at 130g.
On the front edge is the headphone out and a little OLED screen. The screen displays information such as battery level, filter setting, sample rate, source type, gain setting and volume level. At the opposite end of the device is the Aux In/Out, USB input port and Micro USB charging port.
The left side has a button to switch between the 4 different digital filters as well as the volume up and down buttons. The right side of the unit has 4 switches: Power On/Off, Input selection, Bass boost and gain switch. Overall, the build quality feels good. The buttons have a tactile click and the switches click firmly into position.
The XD-10 Poke is built around an AKM AK4490 DAC that supports sample rates up to 32bit 384kHz and native DSD 256, DXD 32BIT / 352.8KHZ. It has an 8-core XS1-U8A-64 processor for asynchronous data transfer and support for WASAPI, ASIO and KS kernel stream mode.
The amp section contains a high-quality OPA1662 low-pass filter with an LDO linear regulator to minimize distortion and noise floor for a blacker background. Suggested headphone pairings are 8Ω-300Ω. The output power is a respectable 250mW + 250mW @ 32ohm which should be enough to drive any earphone and all but the most demanding full-sized headphones.
Powering the XD-20 when mobile is a 2200mAh battery. The claimed battery life is 8 hours and during my testing, I was consistently getting between 7-8 hours of normal use.
Digital sources used for testing include the Sony NW-ZX300, my Android smartphone and my Windows PC playing FLAC and DSD files with Foobar2000. With all of the sources I tested, I just plugged in the XD-10 and it was ready to go. No fiddling about or configuration is necessary, just plug and play. Brilliant!
The four digital filters all sound very alike and it is difficult to discern any real difference between them. However, it’s definitely worth checking them out and is as simple as pressing a single button. During my testing, I used filter #3 as it sounded the most resolving to my ears.
After hooking up my source, I settled in with some of Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine” in DSD format and was immediately swept up in the dystopian atmosphere. Detail is excellent and the XD-10 effortlessly dishes out a dynamic and transparent reproduction. Compared to the FiiO K3, the XD-10’s vocals sound a touch more forward and its improved dynamic range adds more contrast to the song.
An exceptionally dark background gives the XD-10 excellent resolution and clarity, plus it has underlying energy and sense of rhythm that makes it stand out from some other portable DAP/AMP solutions I’ve tried in the past.
Listening to Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No.21“, the XD-10 conveys well both the powerful and subtle sections with equal confidence and refinement. With some good headphones plugged in the soundstage is really impressive.
The XD-10 shows good end to end extension and provides a transparent full-bodied sound. The bass boost works well, although I kept it off for most of my listening, as I prefer to hear the natural tonality of my transducers.
It reproduces Gazpacho’s “Upside Down“, in an excellent fashion, highlighting the songs rhythm and momentum with fervour. The XD-10 also performs well under duress, insuring that the stage stays organized even during demanding sections.
Pairing and Matchability
The XD-10 Poke worked well with everything I hooked up to it. I tested it with several IEMs and headphones. IEMs included the Fearless S6RUI, FiiO FH7 and Tin Hifi P1. I couldn’t detect any hiss with sensitive IEMs and there was no channel imbalance even at ultra-low volume. Even the notoriously demanding Tin Hifi P1 planar magnetic IEM easily succumbed to the XD-10’s power and sounded incredible even on low gain.
For full-sized headphones, I tested the Hifiman Sundara and Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro. The XD-10 has more than enough power to drive each headphone. The Sundara sounded great even on low gain and there was still plenty of headroom left in terms of loudness.
With the DT990 the XD-10 was able to provide plenty of volume in low gain but the bass wasn’t performing at its best. Switching to high gain solved this problem easily and I ended up listening to music for an hour or so instead of finishing the work I had intended to get done.
The xDuoo XD-10 Poke turned out to be way more useful and versatile than I had expected. This would be the perfect solution for someone wanting a desktop and portable DAC/AMP in a single device. It would also suit anyone looking to use their phone as a source with the benefits of an audiophile-grade DAC plus a powerful and clean amp section.
Considering the many configurations in which the XD-10 can be used, the extremely comprehensive accessory bundle and great audio quality this is actually really good value.