Aune X8 DAC Quick Review :- Powerful and Clean Desktop DAC!!
Aune is a China-based audio equipment manufacturer, they have proficiency in manufacturing audio products like desktop DAC/AMP and many more. They are widely known for their portable headphone amplifier like the Aune B1s. They released a new DAC for desktop setups in the last year, the Aune X8.
And we at Hifigo have brought you a unit, and we are going to unbox the unit for you all and share our initial impressions over the sound quality output of the same.
Before we continue, you can buy a unit of Aune X8 here.
Unlike other DAC's in the market using AKM DAC's, for X8 Aune uses their self developed FPGA on the ES9038Q2M DAC, FPGA is Field-Programmable Gate Array where Aune has created the DAC chip from the beginning using there own tuning style, giving it immense decoding power and making it differ from the traditional market sound signature of AKM DAC's. The DAC is able to decode PCM up to 32-bit/768kHz, or DSD up to DSD512 natively. The Implementation from the trained staff gives an accurate and precise sound reproduction in its pure recorded form.
The Aune X8 comes in a simple cardboard box, it is black in color, has just Aune branding on the top. The box looks simple and elegant there is not much on the box other than the logo only, opening this box we get a glimpse at our beautiful DAC, the Aune X8 magic. The DAC itself is covered in a simple plastic sheet alongside it is a simple black colored cardboard box which has other accessories like the USB cable, power adapter, different user manuals, a plastic box container containing different OPAmps included in the package, an Allen wrench, and an OP-Amp extractor. The unboxing impression for this beautiful DAC feels quite premium and rich, the presentation is neat and clean in a simple manner.
The included accessories in the package are as follows:-
- One unit of Aune X8 magic desktop DAC
- One USB cable
- One power adapter
- Four OPAmps, Two MUSE01's, One OPA2604, and One NJM5532(Optional Purchase)
- One Allen Wrench
- One OPAmp extractor
- User Manuals
Design and Build Quality:-
The design of Aune X8 is very simple yet elegant, the front has a single input button to switch between the different input modes, like USB, Optical, Coaxial, RCA, active mode is indicated by a small led light corresponding to the mode name. Along with them is a volume rotator wheel. The sides have a simple bump design on both sides, providing a simple look. The backside has different signal input/output ports, like the RCA, Coaxial, and USB. It also has a power input port at the backside, and an on/off switch right above it.
Overall the design of the device is very simple yet powerful, the build quality is very good. The entire DAC is made up of heavy metal in either black or silver color depending on the color you purchased. The build quality of accessories included in the package is also good, the power adapter also looks pretty solid.
The Aune X8 magic is a very clean DAC, it provides a completely noise-free and jitter-free signal conversion for heavy files in a smooth manner. It can easily decode PCM up to 32-Bit/768kHz, or DSD up to DSD512 natively. The sound feels reproduced in its natural recorded state, showing the flaws in recording precisely and neatly. We have paired the DAC with Aune B1S portable headphone amplifier and the sound output is so clean that we were left awestruck with the clarity, each and every detail was reproduced so well, the bass portion thumps felt so real and full of depths, the mids and vocals were so mesmerizing, so smooth, so rich with details, we could literally feel the heaviness in voice of John Mayer in his album the Heartbreak Warfare, and the treble section got so many extensions, so smooth. There is no harshness or peakiness in any kind of music, the overall sound output felt really soothing and relaxing to our ears.
The sound output is purely balanced and natural, the sound is reproduced very naturally, the vocals were neither thin nor thick, there was no coloration by the DAC in any of the frequency range.
From what the small time we got with the Aune X8, we really like it a lot, the sound output is very clean and detailed, the DAC itself carries a simple and elegant design with strong and tough build quality. The option to change the OPAmps is a plus point to its users, as they can easily choose different amps depending on their taste.
If you really like our impression and would like to buy a unit for yourself, you can order one right here.