xDuoo XP-2 featured

xDuoo XP-2 Bluetooth & USB DAC/Amp Review

Tested at $110
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Our Score

Today we are reviewing the xDuoo XP-2 Bluetooth amplifier. This device can connect to your smartphone or DAP using Bluetooth or OTG and can also be used as an external USB DAC for your computer, laptop or tablet. If you need more output power for your portable audio rig and want something with multiple input methods then this might be just what you’re looking for.

The XP-2 is available from the official Xtenik website. When shopping with Xtenic all online orders include free international shipping.

Pros
  • Great build quality
  • Excellent included accessories
  • Good battery life
  • Clean and natural sound
  • Output power
Cons
  • No USB Type-C
  • No LDAC or aptX-HD codecs
  • No balanced output
  • Source select button easy to press accidentally
Specifications
DACAKM AK4452
Bluetooth versionBluetooth 5.0, support AAC, SBC, aptX
Output power245mW @ 32 Ohm
Recommended output impedance16 – 300 Ohm
Supported sampling rate24bit 192kHz
THD+N0.008% @ 1kHz
Adjustable gain+3dB / +9dB
Frequency response10Hz – 100kHz (+/-0.5dB)
Battery capacity3.7V 1800mAh
Battery lifeAUX IN: ≥15H Bluetooth input: ≥12H USB IN: ≥8H

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.

Package and Accessories

The XP-2 comes in a relatively small box. On the outside is a white cardboard sleeve with a clear image of the device on the front. On the back is a list of features and specifications. Beneath the sleeve is a low-key black box with the xDuoo logo on the top.

When you open the box you’re presented with the XP-2 which is seated in a foam inlay. Underneath you’ll find all the included accessories which we’ll list below.

  • xDuoo XP-2
  • Straight 3.5mm to 3.5mm auxiliary cable
  • Angled 3.5mm to 3.5mm auxiliary cable
  • Micro-USB to Micro-USB OTG cable
  • Micro-USB to USB Type-C OTG cable
  • USB charging cable
  • 1 Sticky stacking pad
  • User manual & warranty card

It’s really refreshing to see such a well-rounded bundle that includes all the connectivity options you might need. Right out of the box you get all the cables and interconnects necessary to hook up a smartphone, DAP, computer or even external speakers.

Build Quality and Design

The XP-2’s aluminium CNC chassis feels very robust without being heavy (it weighs just 115g). Dimensions are 10.4cm x 5.5cm x 1.5 cm which is just slightly bigger than the FiiO M6 DAP.

On the front panel are the 3.5mm headphone out, 3.5mm aux in/out and volume pot/on/off switch. The volume knob is a lightweight aluminium with knurling and has a small amount of resistance. It has an enclosure on each side making accidental movement less likely while the device is on your pocket but I would have liked to see a little more resistance on the pot.

On the rear panel there are 2 Micro-USB ports. The first is for charging only and is accompanied by a very small LED which lights up in red to indicate the unit is charging. The second USB port is for data transfer and also has a small LED next to it to indicate when the device is connected to a source via OTG.

The right side of the unit contains the rest of the controls including (from left to right): Bluetooth pairing LED indicator, Bluetooth link button, hi/low gain switch, the source type select button and source selector LED indicator.

Functionality

Internally the XP-2 features an AKM AK4452 DAC. It can support up to 24bit 192kHz and has an output power of 245mW @ 32 Ohm. There are 3 input modes which include Bluetooth, USB and aux line in.

The line in jack also works as the aux out, allowing you to send audio to external speakers. The line out is fixed-level and the headphone out is variable-level. The recommended output impedance is 16 – 300 Ohm and while I don’t have any headphones that are particularly hard to drive, the XP-2 had more than enough power for everything I tested it with but I will go more into pairings later.

In USB DAC mode the XP-2 worked perfectly with everything I tested, including my Android smartphone, the FiiO M6 and iBasso DX120 DAPs plus both my Windows PC and Linux laptop. One thing worth noting is that when connected to the computer as a USB DAC there are no audio lag or sync issues when watching video as you get with some devices (such as the Earstudio ES100 and FiiO BTR3).

Bluetooth and Battery Life

With its Bluetooth 5.0 I found the XP-2 easy to pair with everything I tried. Signal strength was also good as was the connection range of 10-plus meters without any interruptions or stuttering. Unfortunately, the XP-2 does not support aptX-HD or LDAC but instead offers AAC, SBC and aptX.

Using aptX with my phone and the FiiO M6 the music still sounded great but if you’re looking specifically for a Bluetooth receiver you might want to go with something that supports more Hi-Res codecs.

The XP-2 has a 1800mAh battery which can power the device for more than 8 hours in USB mode, 12 hours using Bluetooth and up to 15 hours using the Aux input. Considering the size and output power of the XP-2, I think that’s pretty solid.

Sound

This is where the XP-2 really shines. It has a resolving, full-bodied sound quality with a touch of warmth and a smooth top end. Purists might not appreciate what the XP-2 does but I personally really enjoy this type of sound. It’s what I would call musical in tonality, which basically means what I just said above; the sound is warm and rich yet still detailed and resolving i.e. the best of both worlds.

It sounds earthy and natural, even when streaming Bluetooth. Of course, the sound depends a lot on the headphones you match with but the XP-2 definitely has its own underlying character to add as well. This is the perfect amp to pair with drier or brighter headphones, although having said that I like its inherent signature with just about anything.

XP-2 with FiiO M6 and IT01s

Pairings

Acoustic Research AR-H1 Planar Headphone (review here)

Using low gain the XP-2 has more than enough power to drive the AR-H1, although on quiet recording it might be necessary to switch to high gain. The bass response is full and satisfying and retains the excellent texture of the AR-H1. Soundstage and imaging are also really good with the XP-2. Treble is crisp, airy and even.

Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro

This is still my hardest to drive headphone but even so it’s really not very demanding when it comes to power. The XP-2 can push this headphone well past my comfortable listening level on low gain while maintaining all of its resolution, bass impact and dynamic range. Soundstage is large and the imaging is superb with really good positional cues.

KZ ZS7

This IEM is easy to drive and doesn’t require additional amplification but nevertheless, it’s a really good match for the xDuoo. The XP-2 takes some of the edge off the ZS7’s upper midrange/lower treble which can be a bit glaring at higher volume. Bass is punchy but tight and the soundstage is fairly expansive.

M-Fidelity SA-50 (review here)

This CIEM thrives on a clean, powerful source so I thought it would be a good test for the XP-2. The xDuoo unit came through with flying colours. Once again using low gain the device has far more output power than I need for this pairing.

It’s almost hard to believe the SA-50 bass is not being driven by a dynamic driver with this configuration. It punches so hard the impact is physical and super impressive for a multi-BA unit. The soundstage is fairly intimate but is super stable with great imaging.

XP-2 with Android phone via OTG

Conclusion

The xDuoo XP-2 is a powerful and versatile portable Bluetooth and USB DAC/amp. The Bluetooth functionality is useful but its real strengths are its wired connectivity, clean output power and battery life.

My only real issue was the source select button which is far too easy to press accidentally even in general handling let alone when it’s in your pocket. Apart from that this is a very useful device to have around and will likely be my new daily driver for my laptop audio at the office. If you need something powerful and portable this could be just what the doctor ordered.

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