xDuoo Poke II Portable DAC/AMP Review
xDuoo Poke II Portable DAC/Amplifier Review
xDuoo is a Chinese company located in ShenZhen, China and is specialized in production of Headphone Amplifiers, Hi-Fi DAC’s for PC, Desktop and Portable use and Portable Audio Players (DAP’s).
The xDuoo Poke II is the successor of the original Poke (aka XD10) that I have highly enjoyed when it was released 2018. The Poke II is a portable Bluetooth and USB DAC/Amplifier that is packed with lots of impressive features like a Dual DAC Chipset (2x Cirrus Logic CS43198), fully balanced current amplifier circuit with both 3.5mm SE & 4.4mm Balanced outputs, Power bank function, Wireless Bluetooth connectivity, built-in microphone, Dual USB modes and many more.
I would like to thank xDuoo for providing me the Poke II Portable DAC/Amplifier for review purposes. I am not affiliated with xDuoo beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price of the xDuoo Poke II Portable DAC/Amplifier is about $390,00 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package and Accessories:
The xDuoo Poke II came inside a rectangular box that is wrapped with a cardboard sleeve that features the Poke II (POKEMON) branding and mascot on the top.
This box is including the following items:
- 1 x xDuoo Poke II Portable DAC/Amplifier
- 1 x USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable Low Profile Cable
- 1 x USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable Long Profile Charging Cable
- 1 x Lightning to USB Type-C cable
- 1 x USB Type-C to USB A Adapter (Converter)
- 1 x xDuoo Magic Glue
- 1 x Print Material (Warranty Card & User Manual)
The xDuoo Poke II came with a wide variety of accessories that includes 2 low profile cable (Type-C to Lighting and Type-C to Type-C) a charging cable and USB Type-C to USB A Adapter.
The Poke II comes also with xDuoo’s Magic Glue, which is a stacking pad that is pretty useful to fix the device with your DAP, Tablet or Smartphone.
Design and Build Quality:
The xDuoo Poke II is a pretty unique and fancy looking Portable DAC/Amplifier with a decent built quality. It has a rectangular shape and offers a great grip with its rounded soft corners. The Poke II fits easily in to my pocket thanks to its relative small size with dimensions of about 12x6x1.5cm and is also pretty lightweight with approx. 200grams.
On the top of the device is a glass surface with rounded corners, which sports the POKE branding & mascot.
Here is also a small OLED screen that gives information’s like volume, gain mode (High & Low), connection mode (Bluetooth or USB), sampling rate, battery status and submenus such like Digital Filters, EQ, etc.
On the front of the device are the 3.5mm Single Ended & 4.4mm Balanced outputs, and three physical buttons that are dedicated for Gain, Filter and Input selection.
At the back side of the Poke II is the motto LIFE’S A STRUGGLE.
The left surface of the device features many buttons (some are multifunctional), which are the power button (play/pause) in red color, Bluetooth (answer calls) button, volume up/down (navigation) and the EQ button (access to sub menus).
This surface features also five small openings in form of a “plus”. Behind these openings is a built-in microphone that you can use when you connect the Poke II with a mobile phone, which is a pretty good addition.
On the rear surface of the xDuoo Poke II are the USB Type-C Digital Audio Input, the USB Type-C Two-Way charging port, USB version compatibility switch and some small LED status indicators and product related brandings and industrial certifications.
The overall build quality of the Poke II is very good, which doesn’t show any imperfections such like burrs or gaps.
- DAC Chip : Dual CS43198
- Sampling Frequency : PCM 16/32bit 44.1kHz-384kHz // Native DSD 64 – 256
- Output Power : 340mW @ 32Ω (3.5mm SE), 700mW @ 32Ω (4.4mm Balanced)
- Frequency response : 20 Hz – 20kHz
- THD+N : 0.0015% @ 1kHz (3.5mm SE), 0.0019%@1kHz (4.4mm Balanced)
- SNR : 113dB (3.5mm SE), 119dB (4.4mm Balanced)
- Crosstalk : ≥77dB (3.5mm SE), ≥106dB (4.4mm Balanced)
- Bass Boost : ±10dB
- Treble Boost : ±10dB
- Gain : 0/6dB
- MQA rendering : 8x unfold
- Bluetooth Version : 5.0
- Bluetooth Codec’s : SBC, AAC, aptX, APTX LL, APTX HD, LDAC
- Input port : USB-C
- Output port : 3.5mm Single Ended, 4.4mm Balanced
- Battery Capacity : 4000mAh
- Earphone Impedance : 16 – 600Ω
- Dimensions : 12x6x1.5cm
- Weight : 200grams
The xDuoo Poke II is a portable USB DAC/Amplifier that utilizes some interesting hardware specs that I will now share with you bellow.
DUAL DAC (Digital to Analog Converter):
The xDuoo Poke II is equipped with a premium dual DAC chipset with two CS43198 flagship-grade DAC chips. These Cirrus Logics DACs have exceptional performance when it comes to high-resolution audio signal decoding supporting 32-Bit/384kHz PCM and native DSD 256 signals. It offers pretty low THD+N of about 0.0015% @1kHz over the 3.5mm SE, while the 4.4mm Balanced output shows 0.0019%@1kHz. The Singal to Noise Ratio (SNR) is 113dB for the 3.5mm SE, and 119dB over the 4.4mm Balanced analog output.
Amplification & Noise Floor:
The xDuoo Poke II comes with a “High Output Current Amplifier Circuit Design”, which offers a pretty clean yet powerful output with up to 340mW @ 32Ω over the 3.5mm Single Ended, and up to 700mW @ 32Ω over the 4.4mm Balanced output, which is quite impressive for such a slim and portable device. It can drive full sized Headphones like the HiFiMAN Edition XS and can handle headphones with within an impedance of 16 Ω to 600 Ω.
The Poke II shows also a pretty clean & dark background that makes compatible for sensitive IEM’s like Campfire Audio ARA.
Battery Life & Power Bank Function:
The xDuoo Poke II is equipped with a large 4000mAh Li-On battery, which offers up to 11 – 12 hours on Bluetooth mode (AAC volume %60) and up to 8 hours on USB input mode (Volume %60 Flac 24bit/48kHz).
What I really like about the Poke II is that it comes with two USB Type-C ports, one is dedicated for the Digital Input, while the second port is bi-directional, which means that you can use this port to charge the Poke II or you can use it as output that transforms it to a power bank to charge other devices.
The xDuuo Poke II is equipped with a Bluetooth chip that supports the latest Bluetooth V5.0 protocol. Poke II supports most of the advanced high-resolution wireless codec’s including LDAC, LHDC, AptX HD, AptX LL, AptX, AAC and SBC. The sound performance decent over the Bluetooth interface is surprisingly close in terms of quality.
However, the Poke II has Bluetooth stability issues! The distance for a stabile connection is about 4-5 meters, which is below average compared to other devices with BT support that I have tested before. Things get worse if you hold the device in your hands especially near the screen, where I suspect that the BT antenna seems to be located. I hope that xDuuo can solve this issue with a software update, since a really like the sound performance over the Bluetooth interface.
Other Remarkable Features:
- 8x MQA rendering support
- Built-in EQ Presets
- Power Bank Function
- Digital Volume Control
- Built-In Microphone
- Fast Charging Support
- Supports Connectivity with Multiple Devices
Equipment’s used for this review:
- DAC’s : xDuoo Poke II
- IEM’s : Moondrop Variations, Campfire Audio ARA, Astrotec AM850 MK2
- Headphones : iBasso SR2, HiFiMAN Edition XS
- Source : Samsung Galaxy Note10 Plus, ASUS TUF FX505DU
Albums & Tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sonya Yoncheva – (Giuseppe Verdi) II Trovatore, ActI (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Photek – The Hiden Camera (Spotify)
- Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Rush – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
The xDuoo Poke II offers a pretty clean, dynamic and detailed overall sound presentation, while the tonality is a tad warmer than neutral. The Poke II shows a clean background even when I have pair it with pretty sensitive IEM’s like the Campfire Audio ARA, which helps to concentrate to micro details that could otherwise fade in the background.
The xDuoo Poke II review has been written after a burn-in period of about 100 hours. My sound experiences below are based on my auditions with IEM’s like Moondrop Variations, Campfire Audio ARA, Astrotec AM850 MK2 and headphone like the iBasso SR2 and HiFiMAN Editions XS over the 3.5mm Single Ended output, which offers a pretty similar performance with the 4.4mm Balanced output..
Bass / Midrange / Treble / Soundstage & Imaging:
The xDuoo Poke II is a portable DAC/Amplifier product with a pretty clean, detailed and nicely dynamic presentation from the lows to the highs. Nothing sounds overdone and the overall sound performance fulfills my expectations from a product at this price level.
The bass of the Poke II offers a decent level of depth and body with all IEM’s and headphones I have listen to it. The subbass region shows a good sense of depth and rumble, especially when I do pair it with IEM’s like the Moondrop Variations and headphones like the iBasso SR2. Songs like Lorde’s “Royals” or Massive Attacks “Angel” are reproduced with a decent grade of control, rumble and intensity.
The midbass area of the xDuoo Poke II offers a fairly dynamic and controlled response, along with good amount of depth and tightness when called upon. The extension and speed of the midbass region is pretty good for a portable DAC/Amplifier at this price level.
The midrange is one of the areas the xDuoo Poke II truly shines, with is transparent, airy and nicely detailed overall presentation from the lower midrange up to the upper midrange register. Both female and male voices are reproduced in a pretty realistic and emotional manner, especially when I do pair it with the HiFiMAN Edition XS and Moondrop Variations. The general presentation of both male and female vocals is pretty, lively, realistic while the resolution is on an above average level.
Instrument on the other hand do sound in general pretty natural and realistic, while a slightly coloration created in the lower midrange and upper midrange/lower treble region helps to make the Poke II more musical. The resolution, extension and control of instruments from cellos to trumpets, from violins to side flutes is impressive for a product at this price range, especially when I listen to it with IEM’s like the Campfire Audio ARA or Moondrop Variations or headphones like the HiFiMAN Edition XS.
The xDuoo Poke II offers a quite decent overall treble performance from the lower treble region (presence) up to the upper treble (brilliance) register. The energy/dynamism and detail retrieval generated in this frequency spectrum will make you smile. The lower treble region sounds pretty controlled and doesn’t show any remarkable sibilance or sharpness when I do listen to strings, electro guitars or soprano voices. The sense of clarity and definition is on a moderate level
The upper treble region of the xDuoo Poke II shows a sufficient grade of airiness and sparkle. Instruments like cymbals, pianos or hi-hats do have an average level of extension, while the sense of control is decent.
The xDuoo Poke II has a suitable soundstage atmosphere for a pretty precise separation of vocals and instruments. There is a moderate quantity of air between instruments while the soundstage of the Poke II offers a pretty natural expansion with good level of depth and wideness with all IEM’s and Headphones I have tested with it.
The xDuoo Poke II is a very versatile portable “All in One” DAC/Amplifier in terms of usability and overall sound performance, which comes with a pretty looking unique design and tons of useful and attractive features that includes even a power bank function and built-in microphone. The Poke II stands out when it comes to its sound with its pretty clean, highly dynamic and detailed presentation that I highly enjoyed over the 3.5mm SE, 4.4mm Balanced and the Bluetooth output as well. My only complain comes to the Bluetooth connectivity, which is unfortunately not very stable that I hope, can be improved or even solved with a future FW update.
Pros and Cons:
- + Highly Dynamic Sound Signature
- + Decent level of Overall Clarity and Resolution
- + Pretty Clean Background (very low hissing)
- + Tons of Features (Poer Bank, Microphone, EQ, etc.)
- + Good Build Quality and Fancy Design
- + Plug and Play capability for Android and IOS devices
- – Bluetooth Connection is not very stable
- – No Protective Case Included
- – Buttons are too sensitive for the use in your pocket
Thank you for the Read!