xDuoo TA-03S DAC/headamp Review

March 16, 2020 § Leave a comment


“As a pure DAC, it is resolving enough without having excessive flavour. Upon switching its analogue output to my Lovely Cube Premium class A solid-state headphone amp, it’s immediately apparent how average the DAC section on this unit is. The TA-03S resolves macro details well but micro details such as the scratch from calloused fingers rubbing against guitar string gets lost in translation and blends into the background. To that I say, who cares? You’re listening to music, not trying to count the number of people clapping in the front seat at the end of Track 3 of Adele’s Live at the Royal Albert Hall album.

As a pure headphone amp, the TA-03S does so many things right. I would even go as far as to say the performance is bottlenecked by the mediocre DAC stage. Mids are smooth and intimate with no hint of sibilance or graininess. Through the Gen 1 Chord Hugo, switching from my solid state amp to this unit expanded the soundstage abruptly.”

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