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Loxjie D40 Review (DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 4 1.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 39 17.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 174 78.7%

  • Total voters
    221

jasonhanjk

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Mar 24, 2019
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Headphone amp is as good as Apple dongle for 32 ohm HP music listening. Too much gain pushes the noise higher is the issue.
 

Nelska

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My take on the review, I would think the headphone amplifier performance is more important than the DAC performance, so the stellar DAC performance for me is overshadowed by the poorer 50mv headphone amplifier performance, I don't think it's worth it for that reason as a best solution. Generally ok to good product though, just not totally balanced in performance between DAC & headphone amplifier whilst being quite a chunk of cash. I voted this "Fine".
I totally agree with you, even though Amir's listening test seems reassuring. I will wait for further feedback before making a decision. But this combo is still very attractive in this price range for its features and connections....
 

Sonil Mone

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If the dac portion is better or the same as other dacs with the same or higher price, why a not so great headamp makes it a worse value? Since most of the competitve dacs have no headamp at all.
I only wonder why there are no inside pics of this dac? Maybe not so nice components as the others?
 

Robbo99999

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If the dac portion is better or the same as other dacs with the same or higher price, why a not so great headamp makes it a worse value? Since most of the competitve dacs have no headamp at all.
I only wonder why there are no inside pics of this dac? Maybe not so nice components as the others?
I think the Topping EX5 has a better headphone amp, it is at 50mv anyway, 90dB vs the 80dB of the Loxjie D40, and the EX5 is $349 vs $430, although it's not a balanced DAC, but the SINAD of the DAC is 118dB vs 121dB of the Loxjie D40, so effectively the DACS are the same performance really on a practical level:
index.php


So the Loxjie D40 is let down by it's headphone amp to some degree, but people can make their choices.
 

Sonil Mone

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I think the Topping EX5 has a better headphone amp, it is at 50mv anyway, 90dB vs the 80dB of the Loxjie D40, and the EX5 is $349 vs $430, although it's not a balanced DAC, but the SINAD of the DAC is 118dB vs 121dB of the Loxjie D40, so effectively the DACS are the same performance really on a practical level:
index.php


So the Loxjie D40 is let down by it's headphone amp to some degree, but people can make their choices.
If the EX5 is better than the Loxije D40, than it should be better than Topping D90se, Gustard X18 etc that have no headphone amp at all.

But really what makes this special is the looks, there is more than 100$ difference in looks between these 2 dacs..

index.php


index.php


PS. I noticed that in audio when smth looks good it also sounds better.:)
Universe is mental
 

pseudoid

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But really what makes this special is the looks, there is more than 100$ difference in looks between these 2 dacs..
PS. I noticed that in audio when smth looks good it also sounds better.:)
Universe is mental
Then, this should be one of the best sounds I've ever had/heard... afterall, "looks is in the eye ear of the beholder!"
1645475817000.png

It sounds even more-better, when the lights are turned way down and the volume is turned way up!
 

Snoopy

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If the EX5 is better than the Loxije D40, than it should be better than Topping D90se, Gustard X18 etc that have no headphone amp at all.

But really what makes this special is the looks, there is more than 100$ difference in looks between these 2 dacs..

index.php


index.php


PS. I noticed that in audio when smth looks good it also sounds better.:)
Universe is mental
I would pay the $100 for the better looks.
 

Lupin

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Feb 11, 2021
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Great performance.
But the design.. ouch, hard pass for me. I know it's more important how it performs/sound but I would like something I can look at without cringing too :)
 

nyxnyxnyx

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I'm curious, if I remember correctly your target for 300 ohm load should be at least 100mw or higher, but this one doesn't pump out that much.
On that frontier, isn't the amplifier section a bit underwhelmed in comparison with the standard you have for the recommendation?
Otherwise, thanks for the review sir Amir!
 

Robbo99999

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If the EX5 is better than the Loxije D40, than it should be better than Topping D90se, Gustard X18 etc that have no headphone amp at all.

But really what makes this special is the looks, there is more than 100$ difference in looks between these 2 dacs..

index.php


index.php


PS. I noticed that in audio when smth looks good it also sounds better.:)
Universe is mental
I think I prefer the looks of the Topping to be honest! That doesn't really figure into any of my choices of my audio equipment though.
 

Xyrium

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Shame about the hump, I can't believe everyone hasn't nailed that down yet. Regardless, top notch stuff. Man this category is really heating up right now.
 

Lupin

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Shame about the hump, I can't believe everyone hasn't nailed that down yet. Regardless, top notch stuff. Man this category is really heating up right now.
Partly.
I think that it is also ESS's responsibility to help manufacturers and document how to combat this issue. It is in their intrest that the chips perform as well as can be.
 
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The hump is caused by a feature in ess chips, its able to be switched on and off. Manufacturers must feel the hump is pretty benign compared to the alternative, the question is whether it's audible or not. I personally have used a number of ess based dacs and couldn't tell them apart sound quality wise with or without it showing in measurements, sorry for going off topic but i feel beyond the graphs it's a nonissue.
 

JeyElDee

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Mar 15, 2021
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Right after I read the test results, I ordered one on Amazon.de. It arrived yesterday and I immediatly connected it.
I don't intend to use it as headphone amp often but more as DAC or Preamp.
First impressions are fine. As neutral and open as one can expect considering the exceptionnal test results. In any way better than the recent reviewed SMSL M500 mk2 that was not my cup of tea because something must have been wrong with my sample (sent it back).
The Loxjie D40 will come into my top 5 Dac's, together with the Topping D70s, McIntosh DA1 module and RME AIE-2 Pro fsr. They all sound more or less the same, let's say, just perfect.

Now there are a few things that I would want to share.

1. The metal case is ok but rather light weight. I don't mind it being slightly more flimsy than the TOPPING units but still, it is lighter and has a slightly cheaper feel to it. I like the layout though.
2. The volume/selection knob is ... a toy. It works but has a very light plasticky feeling to it, being a bit loose it feels not really ... erm ... great.
3. I did not find a way to put this thing in pure DAC mode. Only preamp. To use it as a DAC, volume must be set at 100. Perhaps there is a way to do it but did not find it. Biggest issue is : see 6.
4. SC - sound colour. WTF ? As I read above, I defenately need to look into it. Though I heard no differences using it.
5. Filter 2 seemed to give more bass. Did not expect that, will be subjective because of roll-off. Will be using Filter1.
6. The display is rather small and does not display te volume (only brief after changing volume and goes back to samplerate). When using it as a DAC, you don't know if it still is at 100% unless you occasionally push the 'level up' button on te remote, just to check...
7. I don't understand the reason of the led's below the display, especially the output led sometimes going on when chosing SE output ... or not.
8. Some features are not explained in the tiny manual.
9. Why the buttons labelled "level" on the remote are used to change the volume in stead of the buttons "volume" goes beyond my understanding of Chinese logic.
10. When connected with USB to the computer, the unit is seen by the OS even when it is on another input or when the unit is completely off. This means the soudcard does not disappear when swithing inputs or turning it off. That is a relief.

But the sound is satisfying so it will remain mine :cool:
 

pseudoid

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JeyElDee

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What do you drive with the XLR outs?
For my first test I only used RCA to a Rotel RB 1572 class D amp and a pair of old Infinity Reference 61i speakers as this is what I had ready available for a first listen. So XLR will be to Neuman KH 310 and Boxem 4215 amp and I don't know what speakers yet ...
 

NoSnakeOil2

Member
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May 15, 2020
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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Loxjie D40 stereo DAC with Bluetooth and headphone amplifier. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $430.
View attachment 187624

I like the design -- it reminds me of some European brands. Bright white LED display is highly responsive as is the rotary controller. I expect and am happy to see built-in power supply in this price class:

View attachment 187625

Loxjie D40 DAC Measurements
Let's start with our usual dashboard using USB input and XLR connection:

View attachment 187626

This is stellar performance with distortion at -140 dB and noise floor that is almost falling off the bottom of the chart! No wonder then that the D40 ranks as the forth best DAC I have ever measured:

View attachment 187627

View attachment 187628

RCA output performance is nearly as good:
View attachment 187629

Dynamic range as we could predict is excellent:

View attachment 187630

IMD performance is excellent other than a small indication of "ESS DAC IMD Hump:"

View attachment 187631

Linearity is textbook perfect:

View attachment 187632

Multitone results is superb:
View attachment 187635
Jitter performance over USB is excellent as well:

View attachment 187633

Toslink and Coax add some low frequency benign jitter:
View attachment 187634

Three filters are provided:
View attachment 187636

Attenuation is quite high which helps when we perform wideband THD+N measurements:

View attachment 187637

Loxjie D40 Headphone Measurements
Let's start with 50 mv and full output SNR:

View attachment 187638

The former is slightly below average:

View attachment 187639

Fortunately there is good amount of power with very low noise and distortion in general:
View attachment 187640
View attachment 187641

Notice lack of clipping. This means any distortion you hear is in the headphone or the content!

Loxjie D40 Listening Tests
I performed my testing with my Sennheiser HD650 and Drop Ether CX which are at different ends of the impedance spectrum. There was plenty of volume driving both with superbly clean sound. Driving my everyday Dan Clark Stealth headphone was also satisfying but due to its lower sensitivity, the D40 could not drive it to its maximum volume.

Conclusions
Playing at this level of performance is not easy: tons of attention needs to be paid to circuit design and layout to stomp any and all sources of noise and distortion. Other than leaving some ESS IMD distortion on the table, the D40 performs superbly in DAC department. The headphone output while not at the same level, still provides excellent performance and volume level.
Ami
I like the physical design which sets itself apart from the competition while being very performant to user input.

It is my pleasure to recommend the Loxjie D40 DAC and Headphone Amplifier.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Amir, thank you for the great review. Were you surprised the Loxjie D40 drove your Ethers so well? Isn't a 79 milliwatt max pretty low? I'm just trying to learn how much power is really needed to drive higher ohm headphones. thanks!
 

dynamisoz

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Feb 23, 2022
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Hi all..
Does anyone know if you can run XLR and RCA at the same time on the Loxjie d40
 
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