Category Archives: Audio

iFi xDSD Gryphon vs Xduoo XD-05 Bal – Battle of the Titans 🔥

Today’s review is a comparison between two giants in the respective fields. Both are headphone amp DACs. The Xduoo XD-05 Bal retails for around £355 versus the iFi xDSD Gryphon that costs £599.

I have already reviewed both of these devices separately and you can find the review links below –

iFi xDSD Gryphon review – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2021/12/03/ifi-xdsd-gryphon-review/

Xduoo XD-05 Bal review – https://gavinsgadgets.com/2022/01/19/xduoo-xd-05-bal-review-its-hot-🔥/

So for this video review, this is going to cover the key differences from a specs and features point of view, the relevance, sound quality differences and also swapping the Xduoo default op amps for some more expensive ones, the Burson V5i-D, and then re-evaluating the sound difference.

Video Review

Useful Links

iFi xDSD Gryphon on Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/iFi-xDSD-Gryphon-Ultra-resolution-High-power/dp/B09H39DBY6/

iFi Audio Website https://ifi-audio.com/products/xdsd-gryphon/

Xduoo XD-05 Bal on Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/XDUOO-Bluetooth-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B08X9JLML5/

Xduoo Website https://xduoo.net/product/xd05-bal/

Xduoo XD-05 Bal review – its hot 🔥

Welcome to my review of the Xduoo XD-05 Bal, Xduoo’s fully balanced headphone amp DAC that retails for $429.

The Key Features / Specs

– fully balanced circuit
– Sabre ES9038Q2M x 2 chips
– Adopts CPLD for data reshaping, reduces jitter
– External power or battery to act like a tabletop amp
– DSD up to DSD512
– Support PCM/DXD format
– Sampling rate up to 32bit/768kHz
– THD up to 0.0009%
– Signal to Noise up to 117db, virtually inaudible
– Coaxial, USB, AES, Optical and Bluetooth inputs
– Bluetooth SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX LL, aptX HD & LDAC
– Cirrus-Logic CSR8675 Bluetooth 5.0 chip
– Easy change OP Amps chips
– 1000mW in balanced and unbalanced at 32ohms
– 5 hours to charge
– Battery life USB 9 hours, SPDIF 15 hours, Aux in 24 hours
– Aux out level 2.0 vrms

Video Review Time Index

00:00 Intro
00:30 In the Box
06:30 Device Close up & Functions & Usability
08:35 Sound Quality & Key Features
12:09 Sound Quality using Sivga Phoenix headphones
14:02 Sound Quality using Sennheiser HD 600 headphones
15:27 Sound Quality using HiFiman Arya headphones
16:13 Op Amps and other headphones

Audio Tracks used for the Review

– Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
– Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
– Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
– Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
– Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
– Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
– CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
– Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
– K.D. Lang – Constant Craving
– Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
– Hans Zimmer – Mountains

Video Review

Conclusion

The Xduoo XD-05 Bal is an astonishing piece of kit. The included accessories are extensive, the ability to change the Op Amps is fantastic, as is the sound quality. Add to the fact it has huge amounts of power on tap. Highly recommended. 9.3/10.

Useful Links

Xduoo Website https://xduoo.net/product/xd05-bal/

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/XDUOO-Bluetooth-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B08X9JLML5/

Sivga Phoenix (Polycarbonate Film Zebrano) Headphone review

Welcome to my review of the Sivga Phoenix headphones that retail for £235.

Key Specs/Features

– Energy conversion method: Moving-coil
– Loudhailer diameter: 50mm
– Impedance: 32Ω
– Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
– Sensitivity: 103dB
– Weight: 296g

Audio Tracks used for Review

– Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
– Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
– Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
– Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
– Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
– Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
– CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
– Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
– K.D. Lang – Constant Craving
– Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
– Hans Zimmer – Mountains

Video Time Index

00:00 Intro
00:38 Specs
01:19 In the Box
02:50 Sound Quality & Comparison

Video Review

Conclusion

A beautifully finished headphone, very comfortable and with a fresh, engaging and dynamic. sound. A delight to listen to! Highly recommended 9.5/10.

Useful Links

HiFiMan Arya (Stealth Magnets) review

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan Arya with Stealth Magnets. The HiFiMan Arya retails for around £1,350.

Key Specs and Features

  • Planar Magnetic
  • 91db
  • 41 ohms
  • 8Hz to 65kHz
  • 400g
  • Stealth Magnets

Audio Tracks used for Review

– Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
– Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
– Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
– Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
– Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
– Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
– CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
– Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
– K.D. Lang – Constant Craving
– Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
– Hans Zimmer – Mountains

Video Time Index

00:00 Intro
00:13 Specs
00:39 In the Box
02:00 Sound Quality and Comparisons

Video Review

Conclusion

A top class planar magnetic headphone from HiFiMan. The addition of the stealth magnets improves the winning formula. 9.2/10. Highly Recommended.

Useful Links

https://hifiman.com

Sivga SV021 Closed Back Headphone review

Welcome to my review of the Sivga SV021 Robin Closed Back Headphone which retails for £149.

Key Features/Specs

– 50mm Dynamic Driver
– Frequency Response 20Hz to 20kHz
– Sensitivity 105 db
– Resistance 32 ohms
– Weight 275g

Audio Tracks used for Review

– Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
– Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
– Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
– Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
– Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
– Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
– CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
– Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
– K.D. Lang – Constant Craving
– Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
– Hans Zimmer – Mountains

Video Time Index

00:00 Intro
00:29 Specs
01:04 In the Box
02:31 Comfort
02:52 Sound Quality & Comparisons

Video Review

Conclusion

A really well constructed headphone, punchy dynamic fun sound and easy to drive. Highly recommended 9.1/10.

Useful Links

HiFiMan Deva Pro review

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan Deva Pro that retail for £329.

Key Specs

– Frequency Response 20kz to 20kHz
– Sensitivity 93.5 db
– Resistance 18 ohms
– Weight 360g
– In the box – HiFiMan R2R Bluetooth USB DAC, USB cable, headphone cable, Deva Pro, Owners Guide

Time Index for Video Review

00:00 Intro 
00:51 Specs
01:54 In the Box / Fit
03:23 Stealth Magnets
05:11 Sound Quality – Bluetooth / R2R DAC Guide & Demo
10:10 vs Sony WH-1000XM4
10:43 Sound Quality – USB
11:49 Sound Quality – Wired
13:10 vs HiFiMan Sundara & Summary

Tracks used for Review

– Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
– Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
– Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
– Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
– Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
– Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
– CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
– Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
– K.D. Lang – Constant Craving
– Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
– Hans Zimmer – Mountains

Video Review

Conclusion

An excellent planar magnetic headphone from HiFiMan featuring stealth magnets for an improved sound quality. Add to the fact you can connect via Hi-Res Bluetooth, USB or wired and you have a highly recommended headphone. 9.5/10

Useful Links

HiFiMan website – https://hifiman.com/#3

HiFiMan HE-R9 review – Epic sound via Bluetooth, USB or Wired

Welcome to my review of the HiFiMan HE-R9 dynamic driver headphone from HiFiMan, which currently are on sale in China for RMB 4,000.

The Key Specs / Features

  • Frequency Response 15kz to 35kHz
  • Sensitivity 100db
  • Resistance 32 ohms
  • Weight 328g
  • Balanced / Unbalanced
  • In the box – HiFiMan R2R Bluetooth USB DAC, USB cable, headphone cable, HE-R9, Owners Guide

Audio tracks used for the review.

  • Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
  • Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
  • Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
  • Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
  • Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
  • Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
  • CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
  • K.D. Lang – Constant Craving
  • Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
  • Hans Zimmer – Mountains

Video Review

Video review index –

00:00 Intro 
01:05 Specs
01:52 In the Box / How to pair the R2R DAC
03:40 Owners Guide and detailed info on the headphones
04:47 R2R DAC How To & Info
06:18 Close up of HE-R9
06:53 Sound Quality Bluetooth, USB and Analogue and versus Sony WH-1000XM4
11:00 Summary & Comparisons

Conclusion

An exceptional headphone from HiFiMan. Flexible input options either using bluetooth, USB or wired. Highly Recommended 9.5/10.

Useful Links

HiFiMan website – https://hifiman.com

iFi xDSD Gryphon review

Welcome to my review of the iFi xDSD Gryphon which retails for £599.

The Key Features

  • Full MQA decoding – Native DSD (up to DSD512) and full MQA decoding up to 384kHZ on a powerful 16 – core XMOS processor
  • Hi-Res Audio – PCM up to 32- bit / 768kHz via USB or 192kHz via optical or coaxial and Advanced 96kHz Bluetooth 5.1 + module with QCC5100 chipset supports various HD formats including aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, LDAC and HWA / LHDC.
  • Balanced (4.4mm Pentaconn) and S – Balanced (3.5mm) analogue inputs and outputs. Built – in iEmatch and auto – gain technology automatically adjusts output to suit headphones / IEM sensitivity.
  • Extras including XBass and xSpace settings, balanced circuit design with OptimaLoop multi – path feedback and an ultra-low noise, 1000mW high power amplifier
  • Military Grade Aluminum with an OLED display finishes

Audio Tracks used for Testing

-Roxy Music – True to Life (Remastered)
-Leonard Cohen – In My Secret Life
-Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy (2012 Mix Master)
-Eric Clapton – Layla (Acoustic Live at MTV Unplugged)
-Axel F – From Beverly Hills Cop
-Natalie Merchant – Ophelia
-CeeLo Green – Bright Lights Bigger City
-Stevie Ray Vaughan – Tin Pan Alley
-K.D. Lang – Constant Craving
-Nigel Kennedy – The New Four Seasons
-Hans Zimmer – Mountains

Video Review

Conclusion

The iFi xDSD Gryphon is by far my favourite amp/DAC with every option I would have ever asked for. Plus it sounds incredible. Gold star award. 9.9/10.

Useful Links

Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/xDSD-Gryphon-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B09H39DBY6

iFi Audio website – https://ifi-audio.com/products/xdsd-gryphon/

iFi hip-dac2 review

Welcome to my review of the ifi hip-dac2 which retails for £189.

Key Features / Specs

  • 6-8 hrs of battery life
  • Hi-Res Certified – From Spotify to Tidal MQA to MP3 and more,
  • Powerful Amplifier – 400 mW max power output from the on-board amplifier
  • Connectivity – Connects directly to your smartphone with the USB Input, and works with balanced 4.4mm or S-Balanced 3.5mm headphone plugs
  • Upgraded – The hip-dac2 has been upgraded to give you an even more pleasurable portable audio experience, it now is a full MQA decoder and has an upgraded GMT Clock.

Video Review

My review below includes a full comparison of the hip-dac vs hip-dac2, comparisons with other DACs including the ifi go blu and ZEN DAC v2, sound quality with a variety of headphones and much more.

Conclusion

The new ifi hip-dac2 is a dynamite piece of kit. Highly recommended 9.1/10.

Useful Links

More info on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/iFi-hip-dac2-Headphone-Amplifier-Unbalanced/dp/B09H39FCTH

More info on ifi Audio https://ifi-audio.com/products/hip-dac2/

Sabaj A10h Headphone Amp review

Welcome to my review of the Sabaj A10h headphone amp which retails for £129.

Key Features / Specs

  • Input: RCA
  • Outputs: RCA, 6.35mm
  • Output Power: 2W(16Ω), 1W(32Ω), 500mW(300Ω), 250mW(600Ω)
  • SNR: 130dB
  • Output Noise: 2.1uV
  • THD+N: -121dB, 0.00005%(1kHz, 32Ω)
  • THD+N: -117dB, 0.0001%(20Hz-20kHz, 32Ω, -1dB)
  • THD: <-125dB, 0.00006%
  • Input Impendance: 47kΩ
  • Output Impendance: Near 0Ω
  • Pre out Impendance: 47Ω
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-500kHz(-3dB)
  • Gain: Low(-6dB), Middle(0dB), High(+9dB)
  • Power supply voltage: DC 15V
  • Power consumption: <18W. Standby power: <0.1W

Video Review

Conclusion

The Sabaj A10h is a fantastic headphone amp that works well with IEMs and demanding over the ear headphones. Highly Recommended 8.9/10.

Useful Links