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Xnyocn X1 Headphone Amp Review

Xnyocn X1 Headphone Amp Review

Author:Andy.EF

DAC Chip: Texas Instrument PCM5100 (Single)

PCM 24bit - 192khz, SNR: -115dB, Power: Unspecified, USB Micro Female, 3.5mm SE (Microphone: No), 12mm, 9g, Aluminum Chassis

 

Strengths:

  • Faithfully neutral and natural smooth timbre, uncolored tonality
  • Realistic sparkly dynamics with well controlled vibrancy
  • Reference grade coherence with pristine clarity all over, very transparent
  • Intimate Mids with rich textures and definition, vivid Male/Female vocals
  • Silky smooth Treble with matured finesse, depth, extension, and textures
  • Richly textured Mid-Bass with commanding vibe and smooth decay
  • Deep, richly textured Sub-Bass with great decay
  • Excellent details retrieval, Macro and Micro. Well nuanced
  • Realistic guitar, piano, cello, and bass guitar tones, vivid yet smooth
  • Realistic sounding percussions (chimes, bells) and drums and taps
  • Massive soundstage with great depth and spacing.
  • Reference grade imaging, razor sharp precision with spacious spatial staging
  • Reference grade speed and transients handling, no chance for congestion
  • Completely black background, zero floor noises
  • Zero signs of coarseness or grainy edges, at any frequency
  • Great sibilance resistance even on shouty songs
  • Powerful SE output with commanding drive (Volume at 80/100 driving 250Ω)
  • Stellar synergy paired with DT990 250 Ohm, Etymotic ER4SR and Shure KSE1500 (as a lineout)

 

Weaknesses:

  • Sub-Bass seismic impact not as strong as the top 3
  • On some sparkly IEMs/Headphones, can be a bit sharp sounding in Mid-Treble.
  • Volume adjustment gap on PC and Android a bit larger than the other dongles
  • The dynamics could be regarded as a bit laid-back, not outright aggressive.
  • No hardware volume adjuster
  • Available only in 3.5mm Single Ended Audio Out

 

VERDICT:

Xnyocn X1. How this unit went almost unnoticed to the portable Audio Enthusiasts radar baffles me a lot. After extensive A/B with my personal favourite dongle, the Ovidius B1 – I am staggered by how similar the two of them performed! It is no secret Ovidius B1 is my firm personal No.1 among over 20 dongles that I have tested. So, the manner for me to describe the pros and cons of this X1 are similar in many ways.

So how do they actually compare? For starter I would say slightly meatier dynamics on Ovidius B1 otherwise similar timbre and tonality. Very slightly richer bass Bass/Mids/Treble decay textures on Ovidius B1 while X1 exhibited a leaner version – however with equal length and cut-off. X1 also seems to be very slightly less airy compared to Ovidius B1. On the perspective of transparency and resolution, Ovidius B1 remained superior among all of the dongles I tested – and this X1 just a step behind it. Which also mean X1 is not as punishing in revealing the artifacts of bad recordings or sources. But still best not to use Ovidius B1 and X1 on lossy MP3, you will hear all sort of imperfections. Lastly, X1 is just a tiny bit drier sounding compared to Ovidius B1.

It is mind boggling how a seemingly nondescript item can exhibit such finesse. This X1, Stellar!

 

OVERALL RATING: 96/100

Recommended Pairing: Stellar with almost anything that complement great resolution and transparency.

 

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