In its straightforwardness, the company xDuoo sometimes resembles a terminator from the first part of the famous film series. Should Sarah Connor be eliminated? Great, take the phone directory and start killing them all on the list. So does xDuoo – need to create a player? We take the processor, see what kind of DAC is now popular, we pack together. Approximately, and appeared X10.
xDuoo's approach is interesting because they spend minimal effort on something that does not concern the "core" – the stuffing of the player. The design is done on a residual principle, the firmware is also subject to the criteria of sound minimalism. However, there is still progress in advance, X10, for example, turned out to be very convenient. If you look at the other side, saving on the "husks" leads to the fact that the company's products are usually cheaper than the competitors, the same xDuoo X10 can be bought for only 9,000 rubles (at least at the time of publication), which makes it One of the cheapest players with such a filling. But let's understand what this gives in practice.
Using the principle of sufficient minimalism, in xDuoo did not bother with packaging, the player is sold in a conventional two-layer box. The top layer is made of thick paper with polygraphy and model description, the inner layer is made of thick cardboard protecting the filling from damage.
In addition to the player itself, the package includes: microUSB-wire, a pair of spare protective films on the screen (one already pasted from the factory), an optical output adapter and a short interconnect wire with 3.5 mm plugs. Of course, I would like to still get at once a cover, at least silicone, but without it the delivery set is good enough.
Let xDuoo X10 not be destined to win prestigious design awards, but for the company it is a big step forward. The interface and usability finally ceased to resemble the chaotic point on the wall after the chocolate hit the fan. The body of the hero of our review is made of aluminum, and in xDuoo even provided for chamfers, giving the front panel a little gloss. Also in the company remained true to themselves, trying to make as many hardware buttons and twists as possible, all the edges of the player are used for their placement except the back panel ("Well, I did not shmogla I did not shmogla.")
On the left there is a lock switch, which will be appreciated by the owners of especially tight pants. On the right side are two memory card slots, two volume control buttons and a tiny reset hole. XDuoo claims that memory cards are supported up to 128 GB, but I think that a larger volume should also be perceived by the player. Although I personally did not check it.
The top side has the power button, it also turns on / off the screen and the MicroUSB connector, which is mainly used for charging, since the USB DAC function, unfortunately, "was not delivered".
On the lower edge, there is an output to the headphones, a linear output, traditionally dividing the socket with an optical and two-position gain switch. At the same time, the output to the headphones was for some reason made with a metal ring, and the linear one was made of ordinary plastic. Probably, a metal 3.5 mm jack allowing to make an optical output was simply not found.
Everything is almost traditional on the front panel. In the upper part of the screen, it lacks stars from the sky, but it copes well with its tasks and even retains some readability in the sun, however, the viewing angles and the depth of color give out its budget. Under the screen there are already 4 buttons. The side buttons serve for navigation and rewinding tracks, one button is used to go back, and one more is needed purely for calling the context menu on the playback screen. Under the buttons is the wheel for navigation with the confirmation button inscribed in it, it also serves for playback / pause. The wheel is quite good, with comfortable projections and pronounced clicks when rotating. I do not know how it will behave, say, in a year, but immediately out of the box it is convenient to control the player: the menu is scrolled without unnecessary operations and any other failures. On the playback screen, rotating the wheel traditionally lists all the tracks in the current playback session. I do not know who invented this replicated function in many players, but I hope that it hiccups once for everyone who read this review.
The firmware of the player is made on the basis of Linux OS with MPlayer as the "heart of everything". The developers took into account the X3 experience and very much improved the firmware in general and the interface in particular. The main menu consists of 6 items, some of which are duplicated.
My Music . Traditional media library – viewing music by albums, artists and styles, file browser, return to the playback screen and a separate menu item with CUE-lists. It scans the player's files moderately fast, but still lags behind the record-holders.
Playing . Returning to the playback screen is similar to the submenu item My Music .
Folder . Viewing music in folders is similar to the submenu item My Music .
Favorite . Favorites, for the most favorite tracks of the band Cock and Ball Torture.
Music Settings . Various playback settings: play order, memorize volume, DSD gain compensation, select digital filters and enable the transition to the next folder during playback. As you can see, the excesses of the equalizer type and playback without pauses are absent here (although especially hardy fans can still twist the frequencies, though for this it will be necessary to tinker). Also I do not know why 5 of the 4490 built-in filters left only 2, but on the other hand it's better than nothing.
Setting . The system settings of the player also do not surprise with the variety: the choice of language (great and mighty available), manual and automatic updating of the media library, brightness control, shutdown timers, backlighting, formatting of memory cards and system update.
Despite some austerity, the X10 firmware works quite stably, there are no special problems with the player (apart from the typical bites of xDuoo players for the first second or two at the beginning of the track). X10 well digests various formats, mostly friends with diacritics, so that the principle of "better less – yes better" is in force here.
As you can see, the player is not happy with the surplus settings. Fortunately for those who like to destroy the sound, there was a craftsman (on the forum player.ru known as the xVortex), who managed to force the built-in MPlayer to read the options from the file. And since MPlayer is a typical program for Linux, its settings have a wagon and a small cart, including an equalizer, but not limited to it. In general, lovers do with the device something like this is devoted to this link.
Despite some asceticism, it is worth acknowledging that the player is working steadily, and thanks to its simplicity, even your grandmother can shake off youth for the favorite songs of Bulbul-oglu. Or Cola Beldy, as she likes.
The following headphones were used to listen to the device: iBasso IT03, Meze 99 Classics, Audio Zenith PMx2, Noble Kaiser Encore, Campfire Audio Andromeda, 64 Audio U12, HUM Pristine, etc.
I do not know, accidentally or specially, but the players of the player made him a sufficiently colored pitch with a slight emphasis on midbass and smoothed high frequencies. However, I can not call the player dark, it's rather "not bright."
LF – medium in speed, they can not be called perfectly worked, but they also successfully avoid blurring. Because of the accent in the middle bass region, the deeper layers of LF are sometimes poorly read, and it seems that they are few, but when midbass does not pull the blanket upon itself, the "sub-component" is fully present. The bass is quite percussive, but it still does not have the bangs. The study of textures is also average.
The midrange range is perhaps the strongest side of this player – a clear, clean, very musical pitch with a light touch of emotion – this is exactly what you want to hear in an inexpensive player first and foremost, and xDuoo cope with the task. It is this supply of midrange and saves the player from rolling into the darkness, seemingly inevitable with an emphasis on midbass and retracted HF. The level of detail is good, although not prohibitive, which is generally not bad, because an inexpensive player is most often taken for not the most audiophile records, sometimes lame in quality. The imaginary scene is average in depth and less than average in width, because of this there is a slight effect of elongation and crowding of instruments, but in this price category it is not worth expecting the best.
But the upper frequency range, on the contrary, is the most controversial moment in the sound of the player. Of course, I did not expect perfect attacking (and even more so – attenuation) in the device of the initial segment, but then the developers also "smoothed" the upper frequency range so that from it occasionally there remain only memories. Of course, if you have a drummer on your track struggling to hit the plates – you'll clearly hear it, but if the percussionist gently touches some hanging glands with the chopsticks – the maximum that the listener gets is a rustling signifying such moments. Also, such tricks with HF have a negative impact on the high female vocals (however, who will listen to the X10 opera?) And sometimes the overall aggressiveness of the filing. On the other hand, HF does not cut pampered hearing (with very few exceptions, which require a particularly painstaking selection of headphones and a track). Therefore, people critical to this part of the range will be satisfied, and it's all right to please everyone at once, but, as the developers of A & K and Lotoo say, it's very, very expensive.
Comparisons, according to the tradition of the last time, will include mostly comparable players, to compare X10 with everything I see does not make sense.
xDuoo X3 . Strangely enough, sometimes you can even prefer the younger model of the older one. Yes, the middle of the X10 is much better, the bass, despite the accent – too, but even rustic and rude HF are sometimes better than the version from the "older brother."
iHiFi 800 . I do not know whether it's worth writing about the obvious, but 800 has less bass, it's more biting, although less bodily, the midrange player from iHiFi serves dry and monitor, and the HF has more, and they are served better.
iHiFi 990 . But this fellow is similar to xDuoo on the pitch, the same emphasis is "down" and "fittings" on the upper frequencies. There is some difference in the supply of MF, in xDuoo they are more emotional, and iHiFi takes the best detail, but then the choice will be more flavorful. And, of course, the price will play an important role here.
Shanling M1 . A more neutral and "even" sound, without any obvious distortions. Of course, there are no spectacular MFs, and the emphasis on LF is also not done, and in general the pitch is "simpler," but for a lesser taste in the M1 serve, you can forgive a lot. And you can not forgive, it's already at your discretion.
Cayin N3 . Perhaps I'll leave the intrigue before reviewing this baby. Although in fact, I just did not have time to compare them.
Hidizs AP100 . Only some 900 rubles are separated from xDuoo from their main enemy. Despite many years without updates, AP100 is still able to please connoisseurs of darkened sound. Hidizs have better things with HF, but the XD in xDuoo are slightly more effective in terms of emotionality (but the difference is not great).
Fiio X3-2 . If xDuoo is a child prodigy who loves exact sciences and receives triples in humanitarian disciplines, then Fiio is a "solid good", clearly working for his quartet. I think this will be enough to understand the essence of the differences between these players.
The player is powerful enough to open most of the headphones (naturally, from the ones used in the portable), but it's useless to use it with models that are more expensive than the average level, as the potential of the headphones will remain undisclosed. Also, especially for my taste, it is necessary to avoid models of headphones with excessively clamped, or, conversely, underlined high frequencies. Most popular models of the IEM price segment "up to $ 100" just fit for this player: VSonic, Ostry, and then on the "standard list."
Adjusted for flavor, the player is more or less versatile in style, but for complex music like orchestral classics I would not recommend it. Also for my taste, he lacks attacks on HF for normal mapping of percussion-rich directions from metal to progressive rock of the 70's. To the quality of recording the player is quite tolerant, on a 10-point scale, I would rate it somewhere around 6.
Traditional sample tracks
Mr. Bungle – Quote Unquote . If it seems to you that the most impossible task is to bite your own elbow, then you are deeply mistaken. The most unrealistic task in the foreseeable universe is to classify the music of this collective. This brain rape famously interferes in one track everything from metal reefs to light salsa rhythms. For almost 7 minutes of the track, the music changes style, speed and melody of 20 times, while remaining interesting. Unfortunately, the quality of the recording is far from the audiophile level, but the character of the X10 feed slightly leveles the flaws, allowing you to completely immerse yourself in this abyss of insanity.
Perturbator – Weapons for Children . "The sky above the port was the color of the TV screen, tuned to an empty channel." Those who learned the quote, I think it's easy to understand what kind of music James Kent plays, many are familiar on the soundtrack "Hotline Miami". A minute of funny facts: James began his career as the second guitarist in several black metal bands. And, despite the total change of style, in his disturbing and frightening electronic music, a slight shade of the blinding misanthropy is still heard. The older model xDuoo is quite suitable for this music due to accented low frequencies, adding weight to this track. "The Night City is not the place to go back, artist," he said, wiping the rack in front of Case with a dirty rag; The pink manipulator Ratsa squeaked sorrowfully "
Westwind – Warsaw Child . For 20 minutes I went through the media library in search of another track, able to complement the form in the previous two. Thinking a bit, I decided to choose a composition that suits the spirit, and not in fact. The first track of our mini-collection is chaos, the second is destruction, and this one is a calm contemplation of the ruins. By kind martial-tradition, Westwind are recorded quite dirty, maintaining a common lo-fi-style. And then again the help comes the character of filing X-10, which brings to the forefront exactly what contributes to immersion in this composition.
No matter how it was dreamed of this, a miracle did not happen, to shut up for the belt of all and at once – did not work out. But we have another good player playing exactly at the level of their fellow men at a price. Interesting supply, two memory slots, simple and convenient control – all this speaks for xDuoo X10, because the player finds its connoisseurs. However, competitors do not slumber, and rivals X10 sypyatsya both from the cornucopia.