XDUOO NANO D3 REVIEW:
SOUND VALUE: 8.5/10
UI & DESIGN: 6.5/10
So after listening to more than 100H of music with Xduoo D3, I can confirm i’m still very entertain by its musical presentation impressively layered, little mid bass bump, vast sound stage and quite good deep too. Its hard to beleive this little beast can push that much power and drive without struggling the Takstar PRO82 headphones (32ohm with 96db sp) wich even X3 struggle a little (I use external amp with X3 but not D3). I waited for second firmware to come out to write this review because first one was having issues and now that must of them are all gone I feel more confident to give credit about sound value that do not receive punishment because of UI bugs that can’t be fixed by consumer.
I see the D3 as the successor of Xduoo X2. Take the X2, put a screen on it, make it able to read high quality Flac as well as DSD and all type of High resolution files, try to make his sound and amping section even more capable, as well as its battery life, and your not far from having a D3 in hand. As an addict to different soundsignature that audio source can give ,I’m quite a DAP collector, and my epicurism is Sound always Sound, quality, quantity, beauty, musicality, and how it will pair with my iem, earbuds and ”portable” Headphones. Praticality is another important aspect, but here I talk more about compact design and sturdiness of the DAP as well as battery life (and durability), not the ”fancy sexy look” or supreme all-in-one ”workstation” about superficial aspect of his appearance cause to be honnest, the less I have to take out a DAP from my pocket and the better it is (it mean I listen to music non-stop and can change track blindly). D3 is ultra compact, ultra sturdy, have a very long battery life and we can press buttons trough our pockets quite easily to change tracks or play with volume etc. But, more importantly it sound very good for his price range, giving lot of dynamic, soundstage and details for such a tiny player, his soundsignature is very addictive and a good all-arounder with a above average soundstage, good layering, fast dynamic punchy sound, warm mids and overall very entertaining and musical presentation that never bore and isn’t trying to sound too neutral, analytical or neutral. Here Xduoo touch a sweet musical spot that I find adddictive with all sort of music, from the begining I did not need adjustement from my ears and it did not sonically disapointed me like it can happen with too bright or dark or cold sounding DAP, I wasn’t supremely ”wowed” neither, but yes, impressed by how my music sound naturally good with this DAP, its lush, musical and engaging.
INFO & SPECIFICATIONS:
DSD 256 Native replay Direct decoding
- Support DSD256 lossless format music playback, the signal directly through the master control, skip the Dop, significantly reduce the sound quality loss, to achieve the real soundtrack playback
Master tape level sound quality, 4K HDR vivid music experience
- Professional audio chip only for the music signal height reduction.
- As the 4K HD picture compare with 720p picture, 4K is just more clear and complete.
- Enjoy the extraordinary experience that the crystal music brings you. Feel the true sound of master tape music.
Dynamic, lyrical, intense ,There are always a variety of sound effects for you
- Heavy bass, Metal, Pop, Jazz and Unique five kinds of common sound effects for your choice, 5 sections of custom EQ adjustment, allowing you to fine-tune the various bands to balance headphones frequency response, Makes the music more balanced, the background music no longer covers the singer’s voice.
Support a variety of mainstream music formats, create a hundred dollars level HIFI player
- The player supports the common DFF, DSF, WAV, FLAC, APE, MP3 and other audio formats, Maximum support PCM 24Bit/193K, DSD256 HD Lossless music.
Can storage massive lossless resources, Start a happy journey in 6400 songs
- Built-in 8GB storage capacity
- In addition, you can also expand the storage space through the TF memory card, maximum support 256GB TF/ Micro SD card
- Can store about 6400 lossless songs, and you can enjoy 1600 minutes of music without repeating any.
- Enjoy the wonderful FEELINGs of music.
- Support capacity up to 256GB
CUE track format playback
- Support CUE file, show the whole album file songs one by one and select to play
Song & Shocking Power
- Back-end amplifier circuit from the Tl’s rail-to-rail current-mode op amps chip, strong power, can easily drive all kinds of HiFi headphones.
- Breakpoint memory playback, album cover display
- Recording the progress of music playback, can continue the playback the next time, can automatically display the lyrics Album cover (max 640*640)
IPS high-definition full-angle display, innovative UI design
- Using 2.0-inch IPS high-definition full-angle display, clear and delicate picture quality, enhance the visual experience. Intuitive and simple UI interface, user-friendly operation, can display the album cover and lyrics, allows you to see rich song information clearly.
Small and exquisite, can wear it while exercising
- Relaxing or travelling
- Only the size of the business card
- 70g of light weight
- So easy to carry without burden
Enjoy the music
- Aluminum alloy shell, sandblasting body surface
- Fell fine and smooth, fingerprints proof.
- Charge 3 hours for a week use
- Charge once a week, no need to worry about electricity in a long journey
- With 20 hours of continuous playing time, you can enjoy music and the good scene all along.
CNC Aluminum alloy, one molding
- Aluminum alloy die-casting in one molding, with five-axis CNC technology, anodizing process details, to ensure a delicate grip
- Battery: 900mAh 3.7V lithium polymer battery
- Display: 2.0 inch IPS HD full view, resolution 240*320
- Body material: CNC aluminum alloy one molding, sandblasting surface treatment
- Memory: Built-in 8GB storage space
- Extended memory: Support TF card (micro SD card), maximum support 256GB
- Size/Weight: 83×45×10mm / 70g
AAC /OGG/ MP3 / WMA
DSD: DSD64-DSD256 (.DSF&DFF)
- Output: 250mW (32Ω)
- Frequency: 10Hz~100KHz (±0.5d)
- Gain: +3db
- Distortion: 0.005%(1KHz)
- S/N: 107dB
- Impedance: 8Ω~150Ω
- Battery life: >20h
- Charging time: <3H (Using 5V / 1A charger)
PACKAGING & ACCESSORIES:
As seen, DAP & accessories are all hide in a beautifull black box that feel good in hands. There not alot there, just enough to be happy: 2 screen protectors, 1 usb cable for charging and the D3. A protective case would have been nice but still nothing to complaint really!
Xduoo company is always above average when it come to construction and D3 isn’t an exception here as zero plastic is used for the all metal body that feel ultra sturdy in hand as any of there product. It is a little taller and wider than the X2 (8.3×4.5 vs 7x4cm for X2), with more butons and same type of invincible metal body. All butons feel durable, it do not click like an old rusted device, X2 have 5 butons and D3 have 7, i’m not sure more butons equal better intuitive navigation but all in all, we talk about a very small DAP here wich is a must for some situation. Screen is very clear and bright and feel it will not break at first drop. Another very interesting aspect is how easy it is to open the device, 2 screw to unscrew and there you go, you can change the battery once it die of age, this aspect is a big deal for people that are looking for long term durability and not trashable DAP, I really respect that and wish more DAP go for this ‘’I don’t take you for a dumb consumer’’ ideology. So, this DAP in term of constuction is a killer that cannot be killed, and I project a very long life for it due to his muscular and wise constitution.
(it take me less than a minute to open this up and confirm the battery can be easily change. Inner construction is very well made and inspire trust.)
UI, navigation & firmware update :
I must admit i’m not very demanding about UI in general, but one thing that is very important is stability of the firmware, if it create bugs or freeze or take too much time to navigate this is where I became mad and can even impulsively throw a DAP on a wall (it happen with ONN X5 one time). The Xduoo D3 unfortunately do not have the best UI out there, not the worst neither, but even if not always working on Slow motion, its not far from it, especially when using microSD folder. Near every operation about choosing and playing music will take about 3-10 secondes of your time, once music begin and you let it go, it do not have waiting time between tracks, but if you want to go back from the Playing screen to navigate in your different files, you will have to wait 10 secondes, when you choose the files to play, wait another 5-10 secondes, this is a drawback yes, but only if your somebody that navigate alot. Anyway, I understand that this slow processing can annoy users, and even if Xduoo surprisingly already share an update for firmware that solve lot of issues, this processing problem look like to be unsolvable for now. This slow processing can be experienced in other way, like when opening sleeping screen it can stay dark and you have to open it back again, or when opening screen you see the image of albums slowly appearing, but this is little details compared to proper navigation constraint. Another slow aspect is Updating (scanning) microsd card, for that you must be patient too, especially for 64g cards. But, and this is where its even more confusing, when you read music from internal memory….no waiting time (1 seconds), All is 5 times faster this way and I wish it could be the same for external memory as well.
Fonction are somewhat basic, and similar to what we are use too with must entry level DAP, it can play song by artist or albums, you can add favorite, and for a Xduoo DAP, we now find very welcom EQ preset. About setting, Sleep timer is a nice option as well as Auto-power off. It do not have option for power out gain or DAC filter. Line out is not volume fixed so you can still use volume control with it. About butons design, i’m neither impress or disapointed, but the On/off buton is place just above the 2 volume control butons and it happen couple of time in the begining that I shut down the D3 instead of pressin up the volume, wich, yes, can be frustrating as this buton is used to refresh screen too and you only need to press it like 1 full second to close the device, its kind of too touchy I think and should be at leat 2 seconds holding to avoid unwanted action. Front panel have 4 butons, one for backward operation, the bigger in the middle is to play and pause wich can be done without opening screen just by pressing it one time, thanks for this responsive action that Xduoo X3 cannot give and was sometime a source of frustration too because you needed to press it 2 times for play or pause.
As I will talk alot about sound in comparaison and pairing, I will try to be minimalist and spot on here. It make more than 100H of listening and I still want to listen more to the D3, I think just this fact talk by himself : D3 sound very good if not, perhap, excellent. The soundsignature is ultra lively and dynamic, it have a wide immersive soundstage and a very engaging musicality, it isn’t too analytical and even less too dark, it push lot of power for its size and really want your attention so it can please you. D3 have been tested with a wide range of headphones, IEM and earbuds and rarely fail with any of them, and I can’t even say that for above 200$ DAP in term of versatility. In other words : D3 sound REALLY impress me for its price and size, even if my attempt was quite high. With this music player i’m back in the days where listening music was a easy going joy, but this joy is now more detailed, have more layer, more details and bigger soundstage. It isn’t exactly a neutral DAP, but not far from it, bass is slightly pushed but not to the point of making bassy IEM sounding boomy (wich is a big aspect as near every DAP tend to play with bass rendering even Ibasso DX90 is more bassy and lets not talk about smartphone here). Vocal are clear and fowards, not too grainy or textured, just proudly in the right front seat. Highs are there as well, but especially in a dynamic exciting way, as it never feel harsh or artificial. This soundsignature is even more extasic with bright IEM, it can literally save them from being too violent. This DAP is warm in a good mature way, without any negative aspect of it, it have enough details and detailed imaging to wow music enthusiast and audiophile, but it isn’t ultra clinical or razor clear, here, musicality is the goal and D3 is a maestro of musicality, he have dynamic, impact, soundstage, body and thickness and enough texture to make music shine in any genre and for me that listen to ultra wide range of music (classical, jazz, rock, electro, world, folk, rap, r&b, experimental, ambient) its a real joy to have this type of ultra portable tool that I know will always play music in an enjoyable way. Hey, I’m not hysterically positive here! Sound is THE first quality of this entry level player, because it do not give an entry level sound!
COMPARAISON WITH XDUOO X1:
Must admit i’m quite a Xduoo fan if not a plain groupie by having all there DAP in my possession, this story begin with the X2 that I find utterly impressive at the time where FLAC player was rare to find, and still now find super good sounding, after I buy the X1 just for fun on ebay at a bargain price and was even more impress to hear a very musical device with lot of amping as well as a gain buton (wich was quite revolutionary for the year of making) and even if its a 8G internal memory DAP without screen I find myself using it extremely often with my earbuds and headphones, still can compete with 100$ DAP in term of sound after more than 5 year on the market, and saying that this DAP is underated is an understatement. Now, compared to D3 we have very different soundsignature, and thanks Xduoo for giving new sound experience with every DAP-I love this, so, let’s say D3 is the warmer one, but without any background hiss, wich, in term of sound is the only drawback of X1, but a very small one as the hissing is very subtle and can only be heard with Gain at high volume. X1 have a wider soundstage and more air between instruments, as well a a harsher and brighter sound signature that is very punchy and engaging. D3 have more bass that go lower too, sound is more muscular and notes have more thickness compared to the sharpest ones of X1, so again, genre of music will inflict on final enjoying, but still, I find the D3 more accomplished in term of tonality, as the X1 can feel a little think compared to it, even if with complex instrumental pieces it will give a better resolution. Both have great amping force for such a small size, but X1 being a little bigger its perhaps less impressive, anyway, strangely D3 do not have gain mode wich would have been nice, really. Battery life toughs, is way longer with D3, about the double of X1 with his 15H of autonomy. And let’s not talk about all other features that X1 do not have, it will put him to shame, and it do not deserved this, X1 is perhaps anachronical now, but still sound excellent okay! Who I prefer? As i’m all about sound and none sound bad, I can’t say really, for punchy music like rock, some jazz and some classical, its X1 perhaps, for more modern music like electronic, Indie, Rap, pop, krautrock and R&B and digital beat based music, its D3 -no doubt.
COMPARAISON WITH XDUOO X3:
Compared to Xduoo X3, the D3 have a wider soundstage and more air between instruments, but it have a little less details and even if overall warmer in soundsignature cause of a bigger amount of bass, high can be more hissy or splashy, but just rarely, like with cymbalss splash, not with vocal at all. SO more highs sparkle too perhaps and bigger dynamic impact. X3 is overall more bright and ‘’dryish’’ but in a good way, as it give incredible imaging and very clear and tigh sound presentation, wich D3 is more loose about, yes, sound of D3 move more air but not always at his benifit, it depend complexity of music, for example X3 will render different bass line playing togheter in a more separate and textured way, while the D3 will play it muscular to a point it will be harder discerning them in a ‘’HD’’ way like the X3. With X3 using Line Out can solve the sound pressure ‘’problem’’ and give more air and omph to soundsignature while the D3 will still sound the same or even became too warmer sounding with external amp. Using a more bassy earphone like the superb sounding Zhiyin Z5000, D3 became ultra bassy and ultra wide sounding (Z5000 have wide soundstage) but clearly feel less tigh and detailed than the X3 wich complement Z5000 exquisitely, sub will not kill you like with D3 but high can became a little harsh listening to very agressive electronic like Jlin (Guantanamo track), still, it give to kicks and sub very good texture and body and mid frequencies seem more fowards as well, making more fast and exciting the listening. Now if I compare both with Folk signer, vocal are a little more foward with X3 as well as detailed, with warm IEM its a big win for X3, but with more harsh or neutral sounding one like PMV A01MK2, less so, it can stole some musicality that wide laidback sound of D3 give, cause it do not feel that it lack details with the D3, you need to compare it with more fowards audio source to feel this and as D3 is a little dark and have more air, X3 with this folk track have better details and guitar sound well too, as well as drum texture, but the vocal became hissy and lack musical smoothness, while with D3 its appart from instrumental and float beautifull on it, even if instrumental isnt as detailed it is nicer to listen a signer this way. So, here we have a hard conclusion, because some will prefer D3 and other X3, if you have bright IEM go for D3, if they are warm go for X3, no compromise possible here and this is why I can’t have just one DAP (or just one pair of IEM).
With Takstar PRO82:
The PRO82 are easy to drive headphone with a neutral, detailed and fast sound and somewhat low soundstage with still good imaging. This Headphone even if easy to drive will benifit of some amping to get better dynamic, bass impact and soundstage. Taking in account the little size of D3 it is quite surprising that the Takstar do so well with such audio dwarf, but strangely this is a very nice pairing that do not lack dynamic as with other DAP including X3. The PRO82 sound very lively with D3 and feel less agressive sounding even if attack is still very rapid and bass still punchy, while bass can be more immense with other DAP like Ibasso DX90, it do not sound grainy like it can be with more analytical audio source and keep a high lever of details that make listening very exciting. Vocal feel less hollow than with other DAP and it give a welcome hint of warmness that never feel bloat or lacking air about imaging. Its still a very clear listen and even if layering isnt chirurgical or particularly sparkly, it have a nice musicality that became addictive. All in all, a very convaincing pairing that will impress by the high value it give in term of sound.
With ZS5 V1:
D3 pair well with ZS5, wich isn’t always the case, has it can sound to harsh and peaky with too highly resolving or brigh source like with the Ibasso DX90. Here, with D3, ZS5 feel all in all well rounded, with less harsh treble and well extended soundstage, treble is smoother but keep good details and excellent imaging, bass is not bloated and feel very authoritative and textured, layering isn’t the must airy or cleaner but have a dynamic feel to it. Background hiss are keep to their minimal but not complete black, wich ZS5 never give anyway IMO ZS5 still isn’t ultra smooth or organic and keep a little grainy touch to it, that give more textured and definition to whole sound. This pairing is detailed, fowards, exciting, with excellent imaging and soundstage and among my favorite with the D3.
With Koss Porta pro:
Oh, the Porta love the D3 too! Airy at its paroxysm, soundstage float around you in a gentle non agressive way, vocal are ultra enveloping and naturally fowards, sound is now warmer than with Ibasso DX90 or Xduoo X3 amped, but vocal are strangely more engaging. Instrument separation is smoothly made and precise, all about this pairing exceed my expectation as this headphones are 64ohm and D3 do not struggle to amp them well, bass go deep and have a little extra thickness and impact to it wich make the Koss really enjoyable evne for electro! Well, even if not ultra detailed, this pairing is a keeper.
With Macaw GT600S:
These IEM have a particular soundsignature leaning towards neutral-dry with impressive but smooth details rendering, with the D3 another time the average soundstage of GT600S became a little bigger, imaging is darkish but very spot on and we find lot of easy going details layered in background without problem. Thanks to excellent D3 dynamic and impact, Macaw have more personality and authority in bass region and can show different bass line playing togheter greatly. Vocal are still a little recessed between highs and bass, as its presentation is clean, but perhaps too much textured with bright audio source, with the D3 it became more musical and I enjoy this alot. GT600S show that D3 have plenty of detailds to share and will not sound artificial or thin at all, as this IEM is quite severe sounding and benifit from a very musical DAP.
With Tinaudio T2:
Extra large and airy soundstage, bass impact became better with the D3 than with more neutral audio source and imagin is extremely well rendered, thanks to this T2 highlight. T2 feel a little darker but not to the cost of loosing too much details. Dynamic and impact are okay, not particularly impressive. For T2 I prefer a DAP with more clarity than D3.
With Tennmak Pro:
These pair particularly well with the Xduoo B3 because the Pro can be a little brigthish with too neutral or agressive DAP. With the D3 soundstage is ultra wide with excellent imagin, dynamic is fast and punchy and bass impact is more weighty than with all my other DAP. Sound is enough detailed without being overly analytical and musicality is especially well rendered, perhaps I would have like a little more texture in mid frequencies because the Pro lack in this region. As the sound is a little warm, it stole some air between instrument but give more an easy going listening, without feeling it lack highs at all. Layering in another hand is extremely well made as well as deepness. Another winner pairing here.
Xduoo D3 is a winner in all aspect but UI due to a rather slow CPU that do not make navigation very intuitively, it sound similar than the X2 but with an upgrade in all frequencies range, we find more details, bass go deeper, soundstage is clearer and wider. In term of sound value for the price, it’s really an excellent competitor with an agile dynamic and fun soundsignature, taking the aspect it give lot of amping for it’s size I think at 80$ it’s a good value but it would have been nice to have Bluetooth and a faster firmware if possible. Anyway, as i’m not very demanding about anything but stability of firmware and quality of sound, I think this music player with its long battery life and excellent sound should be on the list of music enthusiast that need a tiny DAP that can deliver Big sound and play any music format without strugling. Even if its not my favorite DAP from Xduoo, it sure is a keeper that I will use daily and keep it secret, but I personally find the sound more engaging than the big boy Xduoo X10, but it’s a secret, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.