Most scholars agree that Walt Whitman wasn’t referring to the XA-10 when he penned the line “I am large, I contain multitudes.” Historical inaccuracies aside, the line pretty well sums up xDuoo’s latest feature-rich offering. With top-of-the-line decoding, tons of inputs and outputs, and massive output power, the XA-10 contains all the prerequisites of a truly audiophiliac machine.
Full MQA decoding
Did you know that MP3 files deliver just 10% of original studio recordings? That’s one-tenth of the nuance, depth, and richness that the artist intended for you to hear. MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) files, on the other hand, deliver the full, uncompressed sound of the original master recordings in all their richness. The XA-10 features full MQA-decoding, delivering the best possible version of your music.
Thanks to double AKM AK4493EQ DAC chips, the XA-10 can decode the highest sample rates outside of MQA. The 32-bit, 2-channel chips are capable of decoding up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM and 22.4mHz DSD512. A newly developed capacitor filter allows the chips to achieve all this while using far less power consumption than previous generations.
The XA-10 was designed with purists in mind. Its fully balanced architecture, which features double DACs, amplifier circuits, and balanced outputs, goes above and beyond to eliminate interference and crosstalk.
4,000mW output power
The XA-10 boasts 4,000mW of output power, allowing you to drive popular high-impedance headphones like the Sennheiser HD 660 S, the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, and the Audeze LCD-4. Anything with an impedance less than 601Ω is fair game. 4,000mW of power isn’t quite enough to drive passive speakers, but you could use the XA-10 as a preamp for a pair of powered speakers.
THD+N of 0.0008%
The XA-10 has a Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise rating of 0.0008%. Great, you may be thinking, but, uh, what does that mean? It can be difficult to wrap your head around the concept of a “pure” signal, so let’s speak in terms of liquid. Imagine that the XA-10 outputs drinking water instead of sound. If you were to pour a soda can’s worth of water from it, only 0.2 milliliters of it would be “impure”. That’s about the size of a grain of sand. The other 99.9992% of it is pure and potable. Unless you’re a machine, you’re just not going to notice such minor impurities.
If you’ve ever cranked an old stereo system without any music playing, you probably noticed a hissing noise. That’s the noise we’re talking about in SNR, or Signal-to-Noise Ratio. The higher the number is, the better. An SNR of 120dB means that you’d have to crank the XA-10 louder than an ambulance siren before hearing hiss. For the love of your hearing, please don’t do that.
Eight ins and outs
With eight ins and outs, the XA-10 is an exceedingly capacious hub for most audio systems. On the back panel, you can connect a turntable via RCA, a laptop or desktop via USB, a phone via Bluetooth, and a gaming console via coaxial or optical. On the front panel, three outputs allow you to run single-ended headphones or balanced headphones with a 4.4 TRRS or 4-pin XLR.
Never hear that “pop!” noise again
A special relay in the XA-10 prevents that awful “pop!” noise that occurs when turning on some amps. Not only is this sound annoying and painful, but it can damage your headphones and eardrums. Do yourself a favor and never hear it again.
This Class A amplifier with Dual AKM AK4493 DAC Chip is unquestionably worth the money and performs best when combined with Planar headphones. Thank you to Audio Store for the quick distribution, although Bluedart delayed the delivery by one day. This DAC/AMP has an appealing look, and the red colored knob elevates it to another level. So far, it has worked well with Hifiman Sundara and Moondrop Aria. I've ordered a balanced cable for my Sundara and am looking forward to testing it as well. I'm not sure how much of a difference utilizing the 4-pin XLR connector will make, but I'll give it a shot in the near future. I'd want to test this unit more and will update/edit my review in the following days.
Thanks for the review.
Except for its tendency of generating heat over its body, the overall performance is exceptionally good.
The sound is smooth and soft in various headphones (Senheiser hd 598SE, Bayer 250 ohms, Audio technica msr7, hifiman deva wired).
It's been 15 days of use.
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A good connector for 2.5mm to 4.4 mm jack . I prefered it due to expensive cable I have purchased for 2.5 mm connection which is useless in 4.4 output now I can use it once again.
The Krila is an excellent IEM. The sound has a mild v-shaped tuning which renders a solid punch to the bass and sparkle to the highs. The bass is tight and goes very deep but is not overwhelming. I find it to have a slight mid bass bleed but not to the extent of drowning the mids. Vocals sound quite lively but is slightly recessed owing to its v-shaped tuning. To my ears, the treble is sparkly with lovely instrument separation. It also gives a good sense of air and space. The soundstage may not be as wide or deep as other more expensive iems but is very much acceptable and even better than some others at this price point. The lower treble has a slight peak which may sound a bit piercing at high volumes, but is otherwise very detailed. The result is a fairly balanced signature with a slight emphasis at the frequency extremes and sounds very lively and enjoyable. Add to this the stellar build quality with beautifully crafted metal shells and I feel we really have a winner here for less than 2k. I am now tempted to collect almost all the other KZs :) The memory foam ear tips included in the package are excellent too. A better quality cable with chin clip and a carrying pouch would have been great.
This was suggested to me for my preference, i was very sceptical to see how it would actually be, the moment i put it on it was very special and a bliss, extremely comfortable, extremely non fatiguing, you can wear it for 8-10 hours straight and forget you are wearing it,
also has bass for bassy songs, clear mids and vocals, amazing treble, i dont think there can be a better IEM as this has no downsides!
Strangely, it works for music play but does not work for call audio. Not satisfied with the product.
7HZ 71 Portable USB DAC is good one for music lovers. With a good pair of iems you can feel the difference.
Sound is good delivery is good earphone new condition thanks audio store
For the cost the cable looks good quality.... had problems with the one who came with the dac. Extremely easily and without a hint of fractures rotting in any direction. The connectors sit tightly.
It came quite fast.
For context, I own the Fiio FH3, Truthear Zero, Simgot EW200 and now this. All the above had slightly offensive upper mids. While I actually like that to an extent, it sometimes got too much that I had to reduce the volume whenever I listened at high volumes. The EM6L while warm at lower volumes, it starts getting brighter at higher volumes, but mind you it's just the right amount of it imo. And it's less offensive than the rest.
While the Fiio FH3 has a much better build and a better punch to it, the EM6L has better technicalities. The Soundstage between the two are similar when connected with a 4.4mm output, the EM6L has better layering and depth perception that it helps if you are gaming.
I primarily game, and am a casual music listener, and in that aspect, I'd rate these above all the other IEMs I mentioned. But the Fiio FH3s come close, and may not be a bad option with its better build and punch. If you're into Hip Hop, the FH3s would be better, but the EM6L is a better all rounder.
Construction is solid, Connectivity is easy, easy to operate, there is no audio delay, it gives output to all the ports so if you have two set of speakers you can run them parallely. The only con of this device is it decodes only upto PCM 16Bit/48kHz over USB.
The DAP I use for my evening walk has a bright signature, meaning the highs and mids are bright. The impedance adapter, though each adapter behaves differently, lowers this and gives a pleasant hearing experience. This also increases the input to the earphones and so makes it less sensitive. The build quality is very good and prompt delivery by theaudiostore.
First of all many thanks to Pritam for recommending these to me. I actually gave him a lot of option to choose from like the Aful performer 5 and 8, Blessing 3, Kiwi Orchestra Lite and the Timeless. He asked a lot of questions about my preference and the gear I use before settling on these.
You can read his review on the Quintet as its on point.
Now we audiophiles come in all shapes and sizes, we have the bassheads, trebleheads, vocal enthusiasts, details and resolution freak and some like to have a very big soundstage. And then there's me who would like to have a bit of everything and that has been difficult till now as we would always have to sacrifice one thing or the other even in IEMS surpassing the 1 lakh price, well not anymore.
Let me describe the sound to you, well atleast I will try
Bass- The bass is detailed and plentiful and digs very very deep, like I am able to hear frequencies that were unknown till now. though its nowhere basshead levels of bass but I was never left wanting more. The bass is very punchy and slams decently hard, theres a good physicality to the bass though it decays a bit slower than a pure planar set like the S12 pro which in my books makes it a bit more natural sounding.
Vocals/mids - Both male and female vocals sounds excellent and correct. It doesn't force the vocals to be upfront in the music rather it depicts where they are supposed to be. In some tracks the vocalist will be upfront in your face and in some they will be a bit far away and in some tracks you would be able to visualize them moving closer and far away with the music. The vocals doesn't sound lean or thin or emotionless as some have reported though I guess its obviously not upfront like some vocal forward IEMs could be. Again I was not left wanting more.
Treble- The treble response is very very smooth, it rarely gets sibilant and only on poorly mastered tracks or something that has sibilance baked into it, otherwise I found it pretty forgiving. It is very airy and that lends to a very big soundstage.
Resolution and Details- The resolution and details that is offered here can only be rivaled by the TOTLs, I am not saying its better than something like the Elysian Annhilator or the ThieAudio Monarch Mark 2 or 3 or maybe it is, but I think that this is at the level of B3 or the Variations atleast. Its transparent and throws so much details at your face that I often feel overwhelmed on complex tracks.
Soundstage, Imaging and Instrument Separation- The soundstage is huge, its very wide and the sound is presented in such a way that you will feel like you are on the stage with the musicians, which is unique to say the least. Instruments are well separated and you can pinpoint where each instrument is. It feels like each instrument/notes are presented in their own bubble and they are all interacting with each other to produce music. I find the experience divine.
Tonality/Timbre - Its natural and correct, thats all I can say, I didn't find it metallic and neither artificial, its like the truthear hexa with a bit more energy which makes it more engaging and fun to listen to it.
Since this is a mishmash four different drivers and the more controversial PZT driver many are worried if the IEM is coherent or not and let me tell you that you won't be able to detect the individual drivers.... like at all.
Coming to some of the nit picks and tips that I have.
1) Burn in is a thing on this IEM. I personally don't believe in burn in but it did sound better after 12 hours that I left it playing random music.
2) Tip rolling is required. This IEM is very ear tip sensitive. The eartip that worked out for me were the KZ star tip. My review is based on those only. Without proper ear tip and a proper seal the bass will feel hollow and insufficient and yes you will feel the infamous piezo zing in all its glory.
3) Deep insertion is a must. The nozzle on this IEM is long that means you have to insert them deep not deep like the etymotics but still a bit deep for the optimal sonic performance.
4) The packaging is a bit too spartan for the 20K that I spent. Anyways won't complain too much I guess.
5) Get a decent DAC to power them, I would suggest something that will also give you the option for a balanced terminal like the Moondrop Dawn Pro or the FiiO KA1
In the end remember that the audiophile hobby is a very subjective one and what I may love you may not. For me this is truly an endgame IEM, but for you it maybe not but all I can say is that this an exceptionally affordable quad-brid and if you own TOTLs you can also consider adding this to your arsenal. If you are someone new in this hobby and you like a balanced tuning and haven't spent too much money in anything else I will suggest saving up and getting these.
Thanks to the audio store team and Pritam for bringing such exceptional IEMs in our life.
The Tiandirenhe 4.4mm terminated balanced cable + FiiO KA3 from Headphone Zone has levelled up the experience of my HD560S. Super happy with this product and combination.
Similar to the salnotes, although with a different sound signature these iems are very good for music as well as gaming purposes.
For two years, Thieaudio's Monarch Mk2 reigned as my favorite IEM. Despite owning pricier options, I always returned to the Mk2 due to its balanced tuning. So, when the Mk3 was released, I eagerly grabbed it. After three weeks and 50 hours of listening, I'm ready to share my thoughts, primarily comparing it to the Mk2.
My setup includes a MacBook connected via USB to an RME ADI DAC or ifi Zen Dac V2. I source music from Apple Music and local FLAC files, spanning English pop, rock, Bollywood, Coke Studio, and early 2000s Hindi albums.
The Mk3 unboxing mirrors Thieaudio's standard. The package includes three sets of silicone and foam ear tips, a cleaning cloth, and a cable tie. I prefer my AZLA SednaEarfit Light ear tips for comfort. The carrying case matches the Mk2's design and size, accommodating the IEMs, my USB DAC, and interconnect cable.
The included silver-plated copper cable is soft, supple, and high-quality. While not braided like the Mk2, it feels lighter and better. The modular termination allows easy switching between 3.5mm and 4.4/2.5mm plugs, improving on the Mk2's tight and slippery cable termination.
Build Quality/Wearing Comfort:
The Mk3's classy, seamless resin body lacks sharp edges. Though slightly larger, it fits better in the ear than the Mk2, with a snug fit and minimal bulge. It's comfortable for 60-70 minutes, thanks to "MS" size AZLA SednaEarfit Light ear tips.
The Mk3 presents a new sound style rather than evolving from the Mk2.
Mk3 excels in bass, balancing sub-bass and mid-bass for richness and rumble without overpowering lower mids. It's excellent for pop, Punjabi, Bollywood, and EDM. Bass texture surpasses the Mk2 without smothering the mids.
The Mk3's mid-range is slightly recessed compared to the Mk2 but maintains critical details. This enhances soundstage depth, especially for male vocals, which are fuller. Female vocals gain clarity, though on high-energy tracks, the Mk3 approaches fatigue for some.
Treble is a toss-up between Mk2 and Mk3. Mk3 extends treble impressively but adds energy, especially in the lower treble, which can be fatiguing on less-mastered tracks. Mk2's tuning maintains better balance but offers less air and detail.
Another interesting note, on my Mk2 I tried to simulate the FR of Mk3 by compensating a few db here and there on the parametric EQ of my Roon DSP but I failed to get a Mk3-like result. The bass region of Mk3 is very difficult to simulate on Mk2 by equalization.
Mk3 edges ahead technically, with better resolution, layering, and holographic soundstage. Note attack and decay are more precise, lending a dynamic edge. Mk3's timbre feels more accurate.
The Mk2 remains incredibly close to my preferred tuning, making it challenging to declare a clear winner between the Mk2 and Mk3. The Mk3, as a standalone IEM, shines brilliantly. Considering the price point at which the Mk2 is offered, it faces minimal competition, primarily from its own sibling, the Mk3.
Contrary to common expectations that a newer version of a product should surpass its predecessor, the Mk3 follows a different path. If the Mk2 aligns with your preferred sound signature and has served you well for three years, it remains an exceptional choice. However, for those with the means and a desire to explore a spicier and more vibrant sound signature, the Mk3 beckons. It possesses a distinctive character, style, and boldness that may resonate with discerning audiophiles.
Using it from many years... good service