xDuoo X20 – Review

xDuoo X20


xDuoo X20

| DAP | ESS9018 K2M DAC | OPA1612 | USB DAC | Bluetooth | DSD256 | 300mW |



🎧 We are reviewing the xDuoo X20, a DAP/DAC with advanced specs but affordable price.

The xDuoo X20 is the flagship DAC/DAP from the brand sitting right above the xDuoo X3II.

The xDuoo X20 features a ESS9018 K2M DAC, Bluetooth, a OPA1612 amplifier and native DSD256 support.

xDuoo is brand that gained worldwide reputation for their budget-priced music players and amps that offered premium specs, some of the most famous products from the brand include the:

You can buy the xDuoo X20 in black.

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xDuoo X20 Review

Tests & Scores


AF

Advanced Features

The xDuoo X20 features include advanced options such as:

  • USB DAC: USB DAC with support for PCM 32bit/384kHz and DSD256 decoding – can be connected as an external USB DAC on Windows and Mac computers.
  • Triple output connection: 3.5mm headphone jack, 2.5mm balanced output, line out/COAX
  • OTG
  • Bi-directional Bluetooth 4.0
  • Lossless Bluetooth codecs: LDAC, aptX, 24-bit aptx HD, SBC, HWA
  • Micro SD card reader: up to 256GB cards
  • Native DSD support: hardware decoding of DSD256
  • Car play Mode
  • HiByLink
  • Dual oscillator
  • Firmware upgrades

W

Weight

xDuoo X20 weight in Ounces and xDuoo X20 weight in grams.

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A

Accessories & Packaging

The xDuoo X20 unboxing results in a leather-like cover, an USB Type-C cable, a 3.5mm male to 3.5mm male high grade cable, 2x reset pins, 3x screen protectors, 5x rubberized feet pads.

The DAP/DAC comes inside a black hard box that holds the unit in between cushiony cutouts – the outter packaging is a white one with a clean design.

gramophone-25660 5/5


D

Design

The xDuoo X20 looks are inline with most “full-sized” DAP/DACs. Their dimensions of 110mm×56mm×16.6mm makes it much shorter than nowadays smartphones – yet expect a substantially thicker footprint.

The front of the xDuoo X20 is very clean looking with no buttons nor messy writings, all the buttons and connectors are placed on the edges of the device for a better looking DAP and improved functionality.

gramophone-256604.5/5

xDuoo X20
xDuoo X20

OC

Operation & Control

The xDuoo X20 has 8 physical buttons, which makes it a music player with a lot of handy buttons.

The right edge holds 5 buttons: option, back, next track, play/pause, previous track.

The left edge has 3 buttons (power, vol+, vol-), the reset button and a micro SD card slot.

The top edge has the USB Type-C connector and the bottom edge the audio connectors (line out, 3.5mm, balanced 2.5)

By separating the volume buttons from the music operation ones, xDuoo has well-thought their functionality avoiding confusion while using it in your pocket or without looking at it.

Each button has a nice clicky feedback that confirms that the button has been pressed.

gramophone-256604.5/5

xDuoo X20 left buttons
xDuoo X20 left buttons
xDuoo X20 right buttons
xDuoo X20 right buttons

B

Battery Life

The xDuoo X20 holds a 2400mAh lithium polymer battery, which the brand assured to provide 8 hours of battery life while used in 3.5mm mode or 7 hours in balanced 2.5mm – the battery life of the xDuoo X20 is inline with most “full-sized” powerful DAP/DACs.

The battery level of the xDuoo X20 is informed on the top right edge of the screen with a smartphone-styled battery icon and percentage.

How to charge the xDuoo X20:

The xDuoo X20 is charged through the USB Type-C connector on the top edge of the unit (a charging cable is included) – the charging time is less than 3 hours with a charger that outputs 5V 2A or less than 6 hours if the charger provides 5V 500mA.

gramophone-256603/5

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xDuoo X20 USB Type-C
xDuoo X20 USB Type-C

CB

Construction & Build

The xDuoo X20 is fully built in metal (aeronautical aluminum) with a textured finish due to a sand blasting applied on the surface – this lowers the slippery chances.

The music player has a nice feel to it that inspires trust regarding it’s durability.

gramophone-256605/5

xDuoo X20
xDuoo X20

S

Screen

The xDuoo X20 screen has a diameter of 2.5 inches but the brand does not inform the resolution of it nor the technology of the screen.

From our tests, the screen performance is nearer to a full-view one than to a limited visibility one, showing low color distortion and negativization.

The screen brightness intensity can be manually set from level 1 to level 6. Moreover, the screen auto-off time can be set from 10s, 30s, 1m, 5m, 10m or always on.

The top left angle above the screen has a LED light that informs the status of the device and can be easily seen to know that the unit is turned on.

gramophone-256604/5


M

Menu

If you are an owner of any modern xDuoo music player you will feel familiar with the menu of the xDuoo X20 but different to other models of the brand, the user interface has sharper fonts and a very fluid operation that did never lag during our tests.

The main screen has a grid design including 6 main categories: Music Browser, My Music, Music Settings, System Settings, Bluetooth Settings, Music Playing.

  • Music Browser: navigation of the contents of the micro SD card or OTG – by folder.
  • My Music: navigation of the audio tracks by: Open All, Album, Artist, Genre, My Favorites, Playlist, recent play
  • Music Settings: access to 17 settings related to music playing, like: Gain, Balance, Gapless, DSD Gain, Digital Filter, EQ, Play Mode, etc.
  • System Settings: device related settings like: Language, USVB mode, brightness, Car Mode, Sleep, Firmware upgrade, etc.
  • Bluetooth Settings: menu to pair with Bluetooth device and to set the HiBy Link and quality.
  • Music Playing: quick access to the current playing track

The top-left edge of the screen informs the volume from 0 up to 100, the Bluetooth connection with an icon, Gain mode selected (G=H for High Gain or G=L for Low Gain), the right edge reads the battery charge left.


FC

Formats Compatibility

The xDuoo X20 is capable of decoding and reproducing the following file formats:

  • DSD: DSD256(ISO, DFF, DSF)
  • APE
  • FLAC
  • WAV
  • Aiff
  • ALAC
  • WMA
  • MP3
  • OGG
  • AAC
  • ISO
  • DFF
  • DSF

gramophone-256605/5

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C

Connectivity

The xDuoo X20 has a micro SD card slot on the left edge, 3 audio connectors on the bottom and a charging port on the top.

The audio ports offer a triple connection availability: a 3.5mm output, line out/COAX, 2.5mm balanced output.

Despite the affordable price, the xDuoo X20 offers a balanced output, the tech specs of the 3.5mm, 2.5mm balanced and line out ports are:

Headphone output: 3.5mm
  • Output power: 210mW (32Ω/THD +N<0.0015%)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz~20kHz (±0.15dB)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): ≥114dB
  • Resolution: >75dB
  • Distortion + noise: 0.0015%@1kHz (32Ω@1kHz)

Balanced headphone output: 2.5mm

  • Line output: 300mW (32Ω/THD +N<0.0015%)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz~20kHz (±0.15dB)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): ≥116dB
  • Resolution: >112dB
  • Distortion + noise: 0.0015%@1kHz (32Ω@1kHz)
Line out
  • Line output level: 1.7Vrms (10KΩ@1kHz)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz~20kHz(±0.15dB)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): ≥114dB
  • Resolution: >108dB (10KΩ@1kHz)
  • Distortion + noise: [email protected] (10KΩ)

gramophone-256604.75/5

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xDuoo X20 audio connectors
xDuoo X20 audio connectors
xDuoo X20 buttons and SD slot
xDuoo X20 buttons and SD slot

S

Sound

Our xDuoo X20 tests revealed a flat frequency response with no coloration.

This neutral sounding tuning from the xDuoo X20 grants a true-to-life sound that does not warms up nor colds down the personality of any headphone/earphone.

The xDuoo X20 showed the same neutral response either in normal/wired mode, USB DAC mode and Bluetooth mode.

The xDuoo X20 is a music player that will fulfill demanding listeners needing/wanting a flat response from their source allowing to reproduce the sound of their headphones as they were tuned by the manufacturer.

The EQ presets measurements of the xDuoo X20 compared to the EQ representation on the device match perfectly, which confirms the precision of the equalizer inside the device.

The xDuoo X20 technical specifications list a frequency response of 20Hz-20,000Hz, SNR of 114dB in 3.5mm (116dB in 2.5mm and 114dB in line out) and output power of 210mW in 3.5mm (32ohm) and 300mW in balanced 2.5mm (32ohm)

Reaching up to 300mW of output power surpasses even the powerful FiiO M9 and xDuoo NANO D3, which makes the xDuoo X20 a music player capable of driving nearly every popular full-sized headphone.

Additional Audio Options/Settings

  • DSD Output Mode: DoP (DSD over PCM), D2P (DSD to PCM)
  • Gain: low, high
  • Digital Filter: Sharp decay, Slow decay
  • DSD Gain:  from 0dB up to 6dB
  • Lowpass filter mode (5 options available)
  • Equalizer
  • Play Mode
  • Output Selection: SP, Lineout
  • Line out Volume
  • Breakpoint Play: Track, Location, off
  • Gapless
  • Max Volume limiter
  • Fixed Volume: Fixed, Memory
  • Default Volume
  • Channel Balance: Left and right from 0 to 10 levels
  • USB DAC

gramophone-256605/5

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EQ

EQ

The xDuoo X20 has a 10-band equalizer, including the following frequencies: 31Hz, 63Hz, 125Hz, 250Hz, 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz, 4kHz, 8kHz and 16kHz.

The EQ can be set from +6dB to -6dB in very precise steps of 0.2dB.

The EQ has 10 different presets: Off, Pop, Rock, Dance, Sentimental, Metal, Vocal, Classical, Jazz and a custom EQ that can be manually set.

gramophone-256604.75/5

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xDuoo X20
xDuoo X20

FW

Firmware

The firmware of the xDuoo X20 can be upgraded through it’s micro SD card.

Firmwares can be found at: http://www.xduoo.com/xduoo/En/DownList.Asp?SortID=1


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Scores Scores

xDuoo X20 Scores

Summary

Pros

    • ✅ Rugged construction (aluminum)

✅ Powerful output up to 300mW (32ohm)

✅ Triple audio connection: 3.5mm, 2.5mm balanced output, Lineout/COAX

✅ USB DAC

✅ Precise 10-band EQ control with 0.2dB steps

✅ Bi-directional Bluetooth transmission

✅ Bluetooth DAC

✅ OTG

✅ Native DSD256

✅ Sharp and colorful screen

✅ Precise EQ presets

✅ 100 volume steps

✅ 8 physical buttons

✅ Light indicator

✅ Responsive UI

✅ Expandable storage

✅ Most lossless file formats compatibility

✅ Car Play mode

✅ Hiby Link

✅ Firmware updates

✅ Leather-like cover included among many other accessories

Cons

❌ Standard design (yet clean, stylish and functional)

❌ No internal memory

Conclusion

    • The xDuoo X20 is an excellent music player with an endless list of advanced specs and features that, combined with it’s neutral sound and efficient/precise EQ, will be able to make happy even the most demanding music lovers and audiophiles – and do not forget the 300mW of output power and friendly price.

 

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Buy it from:

Exclusive xDuoo X20 Coupon for ThePhonograph readers

xDuoo X20 16% OFF with our exclusive Coupon

ONLY WITH COUPON

xDuoo X20 16% OFF with our exclusive Coupon

ONLY WITH COUPON
SEE ALSO: Coupons – Discounts – Deals – Promo Codes – Sales Deals

Frequency Response (raw)

xDuoo X20 Frequency Response Curve

xDuoo X20 frequency response curve with Sony MDR-EX650
xDuoo X20 frequency response curve with Sony MDR-EX650

xDuoo X20 Frequency Response Curve – EQ Presets

xDuoo X20 frequency response curve - All EQ Presets vs EQ off - with Sony MDR-EX650
xDuoo X20 frequency response curve – All EQ Presets vs EQ off – with Sony MDR-EX650

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Specifications

xDuoo X20 Technical Specifications

Type DAP/USB DAC/Bluetooth Amp
Screen size 2.5 inches
Music Player/DAC/DAP Yes
DSD Yes, native 256
Max Card Size 256GB
Battery 8 hours
USB DAC Yes
Formats ISO, DSF, DFF, DTS, APE, FLAC, ALAC, WMA, AAC, OGG, MP3, WAV, AIFF, AIF
Car Mode Yes
Plug Stereo mini plug, 2.5mm balanced, line out
Weight Approx. 138g
Bluetooth Yes, v4.0

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xDuoo X20 Full technical specifications

reported by xDuoo

Headphone output: 3.5mm
Output power: 210mW (32Ω/THD +N<0.0015%)
Frequency response: 20Hz~20kHz (±0.15dB)
Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): ≥114dB
Resolution: >75dB
Distortion + noise: 0.0015%@1kHz (32Ω@1kHz)
Balanced headphone output: 2.5mm
Line output: 300mW (32Ω/THD +N<0.0015%)
Frequency response: 20Hz~20kHz (±0.15dB)
Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): ≥116dB
Resolution: >112dB
Distortion + noise: 0.0015%@1kHz (32Ω@1kHz)
Line out
Line output level: 1.7Vrms (10KΩ@1kHz)
Frequency response: 20Hz~20kHz(±0.15dB)
Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR): ≥114dB
Resolution: >108dB (10KΩ@1kHz)
Distortion + noise: [email protected] (10KΩ)
Other parameters
Support 256GB TF card
Built-in 2400mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery
Battery life: 8 hours (3.5mm headphone output)
About 7 hours (balanced headphone output)
Charging time: < 3 hours (DC5V 2A)
< 6 hours (DC5V 500MA)
Size: 110 x 56 x 16.6mm
Weight: 138g


Photos

xDuoo X20 Photos

DISCLAIMER
We highly discourage anyone from trying to apply our testings to your own earphones, the risk of damaging or permanently breaking your iems is absolutely probable to happen. With our standardized equalization and amplification tests we push the limits of the earphones to the extreme. If anyway you decide to do so, we cannot be held responsible of the damage done to your equipment. Do it at your own risk.

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