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Xduoo Link2 Bal: the most powerful USB dongle DAC-AMP on the market?

Madlop26

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May 2, 2021
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This little toy was just released last month, and I pulled the trigger, $149, it claims to have an output power of [email protected] from its 4.4mm balanced output.
My main reason to get it:
It has a a 4.4 mm output which is uncommon in small dongles, and many on my headphones are 4.4 mm, but also it has a iPhone connector which works without the need of the usual Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, so for iPhone users potential safe of $30 dollars
This little thing drives all my headphones above comfortable listening volume, but when listening to my Dan Clark Aeon RT, I decided to go to top volume, was very very loud but then suddenly it shut down, probably safety mode or iPhone could not give all the power needed?, anyway, i did not try again, i don't want to break the thing
I wonder if any of you guys got it and what is your opinion.
 

d2k5000

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Looks interesting. I have been looking a portable dac/amp solution for harder to drive full sized headphones. I would certainly be interested in seeing it measured.
 

d2k5000

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Just looked up the review for the xDuoo XA-10 amp, and it certainly performed much worse than the specs sheet would have suggested. I can only hope that the Link2 Bal would fair better.
 

LakeOfThaWyld

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Dec 8, 2021
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This little toy was just released last month, and I pulled the trigger, $149, it claims to have an output power of [email protected] from its 4.4mm balanced output.
My main reason to get it:
It has a a 4.4 mm output which is uncommon in small dongles, and many on my headphones are 4.4 mm, but also it has a iPhone connector which works without the need of the usual Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, so for iPhone users potential safe of $30 dollars
This little thing drives all my headphones above comfortable listening volume, but when listening to my Dan Clark Aeon RT, I decided to go to top volume, was very very loud but then suddenly it shut down, probably safety mode or iPhone could not give all the power needed?, anyway, i did not try again, i don't want to break the thing
I wonder if any of you guys got it and what is your opinion.
I suspect your probably right about power overload, iPhones have limited power draw. L7 Labs already measured the Link2 Bal, seems to be a bit of a mixed bag. Great DR, but has a couple other issues. The W2 131 uses the same chip, but measures much better (especially at higher volumes). I’m not spending $300 on a dongle. I’m considering the Link2 Bal though, I tend to like the xduoo house sound even if there’s some distortion.

A battery powered DAC/amp is a bit more cumbersome, but it side steps the iOS power issues.

The #donglemadness guy just put the Link2 Bal in his current top 5 for what it’s worth.
 
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Madlop26

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I suspect your probably right about power overload, iPhones have limited power draw. L7 Labs already measured the Link2 Bal, seems to be a bit of a mixed bag. Great DR, but has a couple other issues. The W2 131 uses the same chip, but measures much better (especially at higher volumes). I’m not spending $300 on a dongle. I’m considering the Link2 Bal though, I tend to like the xduoo house sound even if there’s some distortion.

A battery powered DAC/amp is a bit more cumbersome, but it side steps the iOS power issues.

The #donglemadness guy just put the Link2 Bal in his current top 5 for what it’s worth.
Thanks for the links! very informative. The W2 131 looks cool, you avoid the multitone bug, additional SPDIF output, little screen, some filters and EQs; but double the cost......decisions..decisions...
 

tifune

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E1DA 9038S has about the same output and better distortion at a much lower price
 
OP
M

Madlop26

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E1DA 9038S has about the same output and better distortion at a much lower price
These are the manufacture claimed specifications:

E1DA 9038S
180 mW @32 Ω

Xduoo Link2 Bal
[email protected]Ω

yeah, they are not true

Amir got only 155 mW @ 33 and 20 mW @ 300 on the E1DA 9038S
I found head-fi measured the Xduoo Link2 Bal at [email protected], which was disappointing but still better than the E1DA 9038S
also showed 130mW @100 , I could not find measurement at 300
I also have the Hidizs S9, Amir got 110 @ 33 and 52 @ 300, so kind of better for high impedance headphones if you compare with the E1DA 9038S
 

staticV3

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E1DA 9038S
180 mW @32 Ω
You're quoting the 9038D there, not the S.
9038S official specs are:
>[email protected]@[email protected]=1%
>[email protected]@[email protected]=1%

My own 9038S G1 does [email protected]Ω@1% THD+N rising to [email protected]Ω@1% THD+N
Screenshot_20220223-135805_Sheets.jpgScreenshot_20220223-140203_Sheets.jpgE1DA_9038S_G1_Output_Voltage_vs_THDN_vs_Load-1 (1).png
 
OP
M

Madlop26

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You're quoting the 9038D there, not the S.
9038S official specs are:
>[email protected]@[email protected]=1%
>[email protected]@[email protected]=1%

My own 9038S G1 does [email protected]Ω@1% THD+N rising to [email protected]Ω@1% THD+N
View attachment 190027View attachment 190028View attachment 190029
my bad, I did not realize there were newer models, certainly the measurements are quite impressive. It seems at 100
ohm the Link2 catch up in power, anyway it seems the 9038D new Gens are best option for power dongles. My hidizz going for retirement , thanks!
 
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