If you evaluate companies that create personal audio solutions for their development relative to their own old models, xDuoo will clearly be among the leaders. Having started with the budget models, the only justification for which was the affordable price, they have reached the release of quite competitive devices and today we will talk about the new version of their X3II player.
If, say, xDuoo X20 did not have a predecessor and that’s why it didn’t show the development of the company so much, in case of X3ii we have an “old” and “new” version of the player and space separating them. As a matter of fact, we can talk about a completely new player that has no connection with its predecessor: another DAC, another design, changed firmware, new SoC and many other changes. The main thing that has remained – friendliness to a purse of the buyer, the price of the second generation xDuoo X3ii at the moment of a writing of the review makes 8900 rubles that allows to carry it to a budgetary segment.
Somewhere in the X20 exit area there was that watershed, after which the xDuoo design became absolutely normal. Of course, these are not designer’s delights a la A&K, and not even FiiO, but at least the question “what was the temperature of the person who invented it? It is on two generations of X3 that the progress is most noticeable: the case has become a neat bar of aluminum (with a small plastic insert for Bluetooth antenna), the buttons are placed almost logically, nothing fumbles and squeaks, and I will keep silent about the screen at all, it’s as they say “the sky and the ground”.
X3II is distinguished by its compact size and weight, which allows it to be a pocket-sized device, but the body of not the thinnest aluminum gives it the strength it needs in active use.
Control elements are scattered over the player surface quite abundantly. On the left side there is a switch on button and a pair of volume control buttons, the designers even provided a projection that facilitates finding the keys to the touch. Immediately put a slot for memory cards, the X3II does not have its own flash, so I would like two slots, but in the budget segment it is too much luxury. On the bottom side there are two outputs: linear and headphone. As both are made standard 3.5 mm jacks, they are easy to confuse, fortunately, xDuoo was put in a set of plugs, which can close unused connectors, avoiding hearing injury. There’s a USB-C connector right there that gives you a variety of features: charging, USB DAC, memory card access, USB OTG and USB Audio.
By the way, about charging. In the course of the standard test, the player has worked for me for a little more than 11 hours, charging takes a little less than 3 hours, the numbers are not record-breaking, but quite normal.
Most of the front panel is occupied by the screen and control buttons. The display is not bad, it is not record-breaking in resolution and color rendering, but its use does not cause rejection. The viewing angles are normal, as well as the brightness reserve in the sun. Buttons of control of 5 pieces, they are almost logically located, except that “forward” is the left (though lower) button “back”, apparently, for Chinese designers “up/down” is more important than “left/right”, however, after a brief habit, this feature does not cause problems. The central button is responsible for playback and selection in the menu, the upper left button is used to go back, the lower left button opens to the submenu.
Traditionally, for xDuoo, there is an LED indicator next to the screen, fortunately it is not bright and does not interfere with the operation.