xDuoo XP 2Bal Review

xDuoo XP 2Bal review featured

In this review, I’m looking at the xDuoo XP-2Bal portable DAC and headphone amplifier. The XP 2Bal features an ES9018K2M DAC chip Bluetooth 5.0 and powerful balanced output. The price is $169.

Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Shenzhen Audio for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are based on my experience with the product.

xDuoo XP 2Bal Review
Verdict
The xDuoo XP 2Bal is a significant step up in style and power from the original XP 2.
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Pros
Output power
Muscular, detailed sound
Sleek, premium chassis
Dual gain modes
Cons
Shared playback buttons
Glass panels are fingerprint magnets
4
Our Score

xDuoo XP 2Bal

What's in the box
What’s in the Box
  • XP 2Bal
  • USB-C to USB-C interconnect
  • USB-C to USB-A cable
  • User manual/warranty card
XP 2Bal design

Design

Looking at my old XP2, I am impressed by how xDuoo has refined its design over the years. The newer xDuoo XP 2Bal, in comparison, boasts a sleek and modern look. Its aluminium alloy chassis is adorned with 2.5D tempered glass on the front and back, giving it an elegant and sophisticated appearance. One striking feature is the vivid red volume knob, which is not only aesthetically pleasing but also features knurling for enhanced grip.

Adjacent to the volume knob, you’ll find a multi-colour LED that illuminates in various colours, indicating the playback format and displaying the charging and Bluetooth pairing status. Moreover, this area is home to the 4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm single-ended headphone outputs.

At the opposite end of the device, two USB-C ports are present—one for charging and another for data transfer. On the left side, a Bluetooth pairing button serves a dual purpose as both a play/pause control and a convenient means to initiate the pairing process. Alongside it, the battery indicator button provides a quick way to check the remaining battery life. Additionally, a low/high gain switch allows users to adjust the amplification level according to their preferences. Lastly, an input select button facilitates seamless switching between Bluetooth and USB input modes.

While the device exudes a premium and solid feel when held, it is worth noting that the glass panels tend to attract a lot of fingerprints.

Battery Life & Power Output

The built-in battery delivers >8 hours using USB input, >22 hours with AUX input and >15 hours with Bluetooth input. A full charge takes less than 3 hours.

In regards to power levels, the XP 2Bal delivers up to 180mW @32Ω from the single-ended output and 320mW @32Ω from the balanced output. That’s enough to drive any IEM and all but the most demanding headphones.

xDuoo XP 2Bal back panel

Sound

I tested the XP 2Bal with a bunch of IEMs including the KZ PR2, Xenns Mangird Tea 2 and Spiral Ear SE6 Edge. For the headphones, the usual suspects were on the testing bench, including the Sennheiser HD650, Hifiman Sundara and Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro.

The xDuoo XP 2Bal’s sound can be described as muscular, punchy and clear. This is an upfront and honest device that’s uninhibited when tasked with playing Thenighttimeproject’s “Rotting Eden” at excessive volume levels. It’s powerful but stays clean as it delivers the track with fierce intensity.

I’m especially captivated by the way this device pumps out punchy but controlled bass. The XP 2Bal is also proficient in excavating extensive information and presenting it in a coherent and harmonious manner. It has impressive power on tap without compromising subtlety; This device can drive with vigour while maintaining the delicate nuances and details of slower, softer passages.

To be sure, XP 2Bal isn’t as forthright as the XD05 Bal but it’s bolder than the little Link2 Bal. Like most xDuoo devices, it sounds surefooted and confident. Dynamic transitions flow seamlessly, evoking a delightful sense of spatial depth in the presentation. It’s not fussy about pairings either, and it will let the character of your headphones or IEMs come through with transparency and without colouration.

xDuoo XP 2Bal portable Bluetooth DAC/headphone amp

Verdict

In conclusion, the xDuoo XP 2Bal impresses with its refined design and sleek appearance. When it comes to sound, the XP 2Bal delivers a muscular, punchy, and clear performance. It excels in producing controlled bass and revealing intricate details with impressive power while maintaining subtlety.

Overall, the xDuoo XP 2Bal is a compelling choice for audio enthusiasts seeking a stylish design, powerful sound performance, and transparent audio reproduction. With its outstanding performance and affordable price point, XP 2Bal offers good value for the money.

Specifications

BATTERY:3.7V/2200mAH
COMPUTER USB INPUT: Win 7-11, Mac OSX, I0S, Android system
OUTPUT POWER:
unbalanced=180mW @32Ω
balanced=320mW @32Ω
FREQUENCY RESPONSE:
USB/Bluetooth   20Hz~20kHz
amplifier   10Hz~100kHz
USB SAMPLING RATE:
PCM   16-32bit/44.1-384kHz
DSD   DOP/NATIVE, DSD64-256
DXD   24-32 bit/352.8-384kHz
BLUETOOTH:16-32bit/44.1-96kHz
BLUETOOTH FORMAT:SBC、AAC、aptX、aptXLL、aptX HD、LDAC
S/N:unbalanced=110dB  balanced=112dB
GAIN:+3/9dB
CROSSTALK:unbalanced=75dB  balanced=92dB
CHARGING TIME about 3 hours
THD+N:unbalanced=0.002%@1kHz   balanced=0.001%@1kHz
SIZE:10.5*.55*1.5cm
WEIGHT:0.15kg

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TheAK-Kid
TheAK-Kid
6 months ago

Considering this for my DT 770..
The balanced output is awesome.

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