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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Xduoo X3 and HIFIman waterline RE400 Express Review: The high definition combo

Xduoo X3 HiFi music player and HIFIman waterline RE400 earphone make a good HD music combo.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi | Published: December 2, 2015 9:25:59 pm
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Most of us now listen to our music on the smartphone or a wireless device powered by the phone. The average audio quality these days is far superior than what we were ever exposed to but there are those who strive for more and it for these people that HiFi music players and headphones still exist. Here is a combo that works for audiophiles.

Xduoo X3

Price: Rs 9999

The Xduoo X3 is a HiFi music player from China that won’t cost you a bomb but is built to last. It has full metal body, which though not very contemporary, that is functional. The navigation takes some getting used to and could have been much more intuitive. There is a old world LED display that helps you skip through folders, songs and playlists.

The player has useful features that increase gain and tweak DAC settings. But what separates this from regular players is that it has two SD card slots which means you can have access to all your music here if you want.

What matters the most with a HiFi player is the audio quality and the X3 does a good job on that front. I tried the player with a HiFiman Waterline RE400 and the experience was really superior. It plays all formats from FLAAC to MP3, the latter if you are willing to make compromises.

However, despite the audio quality there are some shortcomings in this model. For instance there is no equaliser and no audiophile will take that lying down, they need the ability fine tune their music just the way they want it. Also, the navigation is a bit too confusion and you need to update song list every time you add new ones to the storage.

Should you buy?

This is one of the options available for HIFI music lovers, but I doubt this is the best. The Fiio seems a better bet to me at the moment. Still worth a try if you are not that choosy.

HIFIman waterline RE400

A HIFI player is only good as the headphone you listen the music on. I strongly recommend circumaural open ended headphones for the best experience, but there are times when you can’t take these giants along. This is where a compact earphone like the RE400 comes into the picture.

The RE400 is like a regular earphone. In fact, is is a tad smaller than most. But let looks not deceive you. It has 8.5mm titanium drivers that can drive you to audio bliss.

The RE400 has amazingly true sound with is rich but not overpowering. Listening to a lossless version of Bryan Adam’s Have you ever loved a woman I could hear every guitar strum, every pause and breath. The earphones have the perfect bass for someone like me who doesn’t always like a lot of boom in my music. I particularly loved the vocal quality on this one.

No real negatives for the HIFIman Waterline RE400 except for the fact that it might prove a bit hard to find for a lot of people. But at Rs 5,660 it is a good investment for those who like their music.

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