| Hybrid Tube Amp | Dual 12AU7 Tubes | 2000mW |
🎧 We are reviewing the xDuoo TA-20, an hybrid tube headphone amplifier from xDuoo.
The xDuoo TA-20 is the brand’s flagship desktop headphone amp featuring dual 12AU7 tubes and a solid-state + tube design.
On xDuoo’s catalog, the TA-20 sits right above the xDuoo TA-10 but does not offer DAC capabilities as the “smaller” sibling.
Some of the technical specifications of the xDuoo TA-20 include a frequency response ranging from 10Hz to 100,000Hz, +18dB of gain, 115dB SNR and 2000mW of max output power.
Inside the unit, the amp is equipped with a ELNA SILMIC (II) Japanese capacitor, Panasonic CE main filter capacitors, several protections such as output relay protection, current protection circuitry and over-voltage protection.
The tube amp series of xDuoo include also the:
FIND ALL: Headphones Scores Compared
SEE ALSO: DAP/DAC Reviews
xDuoo TA-20 Review
Tests & Scores
The xDuoo TA-20 features include advanced options such as:
- Full balanced I/O connections
- Tube + Solid State hybrid design
- Dual 12AU7 tubes: Among the most popular tube models
- Tube swapping
SEE ALSO: Earphones Size Comparison
Accessories & Packaging
The xDuoo TA-20 unboxing results in 2x metal cages (to protect the tubes), a 1/4″ to 3.5mm adapter and the power cable.
The amp comes inside a brown cardboard box, that is usually used as the shipping box.
Inside, the unit is safely placed with soft and cushiony protections all-around the body and the tubes.
The housing of the amp has very clean looks with an unibody styled design and seamless borders. The front panel also holds a 2-digit volume screen with blue-colored lights.
The form factor of the main housing has the classic brick-alike shape with protruding tubes and a squared-block sitting on the back of the unit.
The xDuoo TA-20 has the exact same footprint and aesthetics of the xDuoo TA-10. In fact, both models belong to the same series of amplifiers (TA) being the xDuoo TA-10 the more affordable option of the two while the xDuoo TA-20 stands as the flagship exclusively amp model.
Differently than on the xDuoo TA-10, the xDuoo TA-20 is equipped with dual tubes, which you can easily see at plain sight.
The all-black metal build with a pearled finish and small white fonts merge flawlessly with the 2-digit front screen (blue color light), resulting in a gorgeously clean and classy looking amp.
Moreover, the dual tube design with the protective cages add up to the premium feel of the device.
The xDuoo TA-20 might not be the smallest amp on the market but is still smaller than most power tube amps on the market – the dimensions of the xDuoo TA-20 are: 23 cm x 12 cm x 10.5 cm and it’s weight is roughly 1.55 kilograms.
The top of the device also has the slots for the protective cages that comes bundled with the unit – the cages has the exact same magnetic design as on the TA-10.
xDuoo TA-20 light indicators:
On the bottom edge, the xDuoo TA-20 has 4 small lights indicators:
Operation & Control
The xDuoo TA-20 operation is as easy as it gets; plug it in, connect the amp to a source, turn it on and set your volume. Users will get the amp running in matter of seconds.
The whole control of the unit is centered on an extremely easy to operate single volume wheel that also works as the input switcher button by pressing it – a subtle and smooth click sound will confirm the mode switching.
The volume knob rotates clockwise and counterclockwise to increment or decrease the volume setting in precise step increments of 1 level at every “clicky” feedback – the front screen shows the volume level with a range going from 00 to 95.
This knob has no min nor max end like classic volume wheels, instead it can rotate infinitely on either direction.
The button will allow to switch from AUX1 to AUX2 or BALANCE while a small light will turn on and indicate which input mode is being set and in use.
All the aforementioned lights are placed on the bottom-left edge of the front panel, with a dedicated light for each mode and highlighted above with white writings (AUX1, AUX2, BALANCE)
Exactly as on the TA-10, the TA-20 design is thought and manufactured to allow easy tube swapping by simply popping them out and replacing them with any specific tube of the user’s preference.
How to power the xDuoo TA-20:
The power supply of the xDuoo TA-20 is incorporated in the unit itself, by doing this there is no external power brick. Turning on the unit is a matter of plugging the power cable to the back of the amp and directly to the power outlet – a power switch is placed on the rear panel of the device.
MORE: Best Basshead Earphones
SEE ALSO: Best Fun Sounding Earphones Chart
Construction & Build
The xDuoo TA-20 is remarkably capable regarding build and feel due to the unit’s full build made of aluminum alloy with, even, the volume knob and protective cages inheriting equal build with the same rugged metal feel and finish.
In addition to this, every connection on the front and rear panel plug firmly and securely without wobbling.
The volume knob rotates fluidly but not loose and every click feedback is always spot-on without skipping nor jumping steps.
The xDuoo TA-20 can be used with or without the metal cages, as their only function is to protect the tubes from getting damaged – unless you have a very specific reason to not place the cages, it will be highly recommended to leave them always in place.
SEE ALSO: Best Earphones for Bed
The xDuoo TA-20 has a total of 3 output and 3 input connections; the connectors include:
- 6.35mm headphone out
- XLR balanced out
- RCA AUX out
- 2x RCA AUX in
- Left + Right XLR balanced in
The front panel’s connectors are for output (6.35mm and XLR) while the rear panel holds all the input connectors (RCA, XLR) and the RCA auxiliary out.
With a combination of standard and advanced connections, the xDuoo TA-20 opens up the possibility to expand the user’s audio system and provide a safer future-proof purchase.
RELATED TO THIS: Active Noise Cancelling Headphones Reviews
As expected from a high-class amp with quality components and top-level specs, the xDuoo TA-20 does not show any interference and nearly zero base noise.
Moreover, staying true to a hi-fi hybrid amp, the amplification provided by the xDuoo TA-20 did not show any sound quality deterioration.
Tested through all the I/O combinations possible (RCA, balanced XLR, 3.5mm), the xDuoo TA-20 always showed a delightfully clean and faithful sound.
Frequency response exhibited was flat with no noticeable increment nor decrease on any given frequency range.
In addition to this, the potentiometer does not exhibit any kind of screeching noises when dialing either up or down the volume setting and the channels will always remain perfectly balanced.
Being that the xDuoo TA-20 is exclusively an amp without a DAC, the final quality of the signal will be directly related to the initial quality of the source/DAC that is matched to the TA-20 – for example, if a noisy and low quality DAC is used, the xDuoo will amplify the poor signal.
With a max output power of 2000mW (32Ω) either through the 6.35mm or the XLR output connector and a SNR of 115dB, the xDuoo TA-20 is capable of driving nearly any popular full-sized headphone without struggling.
xDuoo informs a driving capability of 16Ω to 600Ω, which indeed during our tests showed that the amp could drive any kind of low or high impedance headphone without lowering their performance.
If you do not need the inner DAC, the xDuoo TA-20 will be the best choice over the xDuoo TA-10 as the TA-20 will enable full input and output balanced connections.
Instead, if you need the amp to be also a DAC and/or you want a coaxial output connection, you will need to get the xDuoo TA-10.
If you are unsure of which you should get or do not fully understand the difference between both models, you will be safer buying the xDuoo TA-10 instead.
RELATED: Best Earphones for Daily Commute
Being exclusively an amp without any USB connections nor inner DAC, the xDuoo TA-20 will work right out of the box without any drivers.
Get the latest reviews on your favorite social network
xDuoo TA-20 Scores
FIND ALL OUR: Earphones Reviews / In-Ear Headphones Reviews
MORE: Best Earphones Charts
Buy it from:
xDuoo TA-20 Frequency Response Curve
Headphone through direct source vs through xDuoo TA-20. Blue= through xDuoo amp; yellow= direct source
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU: Headphones Frequency Response Curves
SEE ALSO: KZ Headphones Frequency Response Curves
xDuoo TA-10 Volume Precision
The xDuoo TA-20 has the exact same volume control precision as the xDuoo TA-10, where each step corresponds to 1dB variation.
xDuoo TA-20 Technical Specifications
|Balanced I/O||Yes, full|
|USB / OTG||No / No|
YOU WILL ALSO LIKE: Amazon Coupons & Deals
MORE: Hybrid Earphones Reviews
xDuoo TA-20 Photos
Found the Information Useful?
We hope you enjoyed this article. All the earphones reviews, earbuds reviews, headsets reviews, in-ear monitors reviews (iem), in-ear headphones reviews are made as objective and thorough as possible to provide our readers a way to choose the best earphones, earbuds, iem, in-ear monitors, headsets and in-ear headphones. By providing exhaustive information we allow our readers to even fine-tune their choices to select among the best budget earphones, best earphones for sports, best basshead earphones, best fun sounding earphones, most balanced earphones, least fatiguing earphones, most comfortable earphones, best looking earphones or even for the best cheap earphones to buy. Our resources offer: In-Depth Earphones Reviews, Earphones Scores Compared, an Earphones Size Comparison Tool, a sound frequency cheat-sheet, an Earphones Amplification Comparison Table, a brief audio glossary with the most frequent audio terms and audio definitions, and our Earphones Top Charts (covering the Top 10 Basshead Earphones, Best Bang for Buck Earphones, Top Sports Earphones, Best KZ earphones, Best bang for buck KZ earphones, Best basshead KZ earphones, Best KZ earphones for bass, Best KZ earphones for gaming, Best KZ earphones for sleeping, Best KZ earphones for working out, Best KZ earphones under $20, Best KZ earphones under $50, Best smallest KZ earphones, Top Balanced Earphones, Top Fun Sound Earphones, top smooth sounding earphones), Best Xiaomi Headphones, Best Xiaomi Earphones for Bass, Best Xiaomi Headphones under $50, Best Xiaomi Headphones under $20, The Best Xiaomi Wireless Headphones, Best Bang for Buck Xiaomi Headphones, Best 11.11 Deals and Coupons – Aliexpress – Gearbest – Banggood, Black Friday Coupons and Deals, Aliexpress Anniversary Sale Coupons and Deals, Cyber Monday Coupons and Discounts, Black Friday Coupons Aliexpress, Gearbest, Banggood, Amazon Coupons Discounts Deals Promo Codes Sales, ALIEXPRESS Coupons and Promo Codes – Exclusive Discounts