You might have seen the term “Chi-Fi” lately. It’s a mashup of "Chinese" and "high-fidelity,” and I suggest that the term can refer to bargain-priced, often tube-based electronics from China that often sound very good, as well as established brands like HIFIMAN, FiiO, Cayin and others.
From the technology hub of Shenzhen, China, here is xDuoo’s TA-30 headphone amplifier/DAC ($709). It sports a host of features, including an ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chipset, a beefy 3,000 mW headphone amplifier, Bluetooth functionality, the ability to process up to DSD512, and a host of digital filters for those who like to adjust their DAC’s output. Bonus points to those who can see my image three times in the photos.
The xDuoo TA-30 is a hybrid tube/solid-state headphone amp and DAC with flexible listening options.
The rear panel offers connections to accommodate a variety of digital sources.
The elegant design highlights the presence of the 523P rectifier and ECC82 signal tubes.
The TA-30 also offers Bluetooth connectivity.
Howard Kneller’s audiophile adventures are documented on his YouTube channel (The Listening Chair with Howard Kneller) and on Instagram (@howardkneller). His art and photography can also be found on Instagram (@howardkneller.photog). Finally, he posts a bit of everything on Facebook (@howardkneller).