A fairly new and unknown brand named Loxjie recently offered this affordable DAC/headphone amp combo with very attractive pricing. It’s officially listed for $129 but you can often find it 10-15 bucks cheaper. Inside there is a well-known sabre ES9038Q2M. That is a very often used chip I heard and liked in Topping NX4, Khadas Tone Board and so on. But today we’re interested in this particular model.
BUILD AND FEATURES
Loxjie D10 is shaped like a triangle. If you like expensive chocolate, it will immediately remind you of a swiss one named Toblerone. Looks aside, it feels solid and nicely finished once you get it out of the box. You may notice that color scheme, red and blue, is the same one we saw on some SMSL products. I must tell you that the box is also very similar to the SMSL’s products too so we might have a sub-brand here.
On the back, there’s a usual trio of inputs: coaxial, optical and USB. The second micro-USB port is for external power supply. You may use it but you don’t need it as D10 can be powered through a signal cable. Both ways sound just fine to my ears.
Controls are very simple with a power button that doubles as input selector too, volume buttons and headphones button. The weird part is an LED indicator on the front. LED lights red if the unit is on standby. It lights blue when you turn it on, but it completely turns off if you’re listening to standard definition music. It turns blue again if you listen to Hi-res music. It’s moving around when you change inputs and blinking if you change volume… There is no indication of the exact amount of volume at any moment. This could certainly be improved.
SOUND (DAC LINE-OUT)
To cut it short it sounds splendidly. I hooked it as a pure DAC first, to my amp and speakers. D10 offered a very balanced and natural sound. Bass notes are heavy but precise and filled with texture. Vocals are also full and present. You can clearly hear things like the singer breathing in front of the microphone. There’s plenty of details to be heard everywhere. Leading edges are crisp and tone texture is rich across the frequency spectrum.
I was really impressed by what I hear. So naturally, I compared it to one of my favorites – Schiit Modi 3. That led to a very close fight. Both of these DACs offer open, airy, fast, precise sound with full and natural midrange. But I must say that Loxjie D10 is winning by a small margin. It isn’t a huge difference at all. If you’re a proud Modi 3 owner already, there’s not much to get excited about. For those of you who are still in the market for a new DAC, this is a worthy alternative. Bass notes on D10 are more clearly defined, there’s a bit more texture in the whole spectrum and the soundstage is a bit bigger.
The same story continues if I try it out with headphones. I must disclose that I didn’t have any demanding headphones on hand during this review. That said, with all cans I do have, like AKG K92, Takstar Pro 82, etc. it sounds great. Loxjie D10 is a clear step up from DragonFly Black for example. It offers tighter bass control as well as slightly wider and more fluid sound overall. You can, for example, get similar qualities from DAC-X7 I reviewed recently. That one is also very smooth and natural, but Loxjie here offers the same while managing to dig even more details.
Design is a very subjective topic but I’m not particularly fond of this one. Oddly enough, after a few weeks of using it and admiring its other qualities, it has a way of growing on you. The sound quality on both fronts (line out and headphone out) is really great for the price. If you find yourself on a market for a reasonably priced DAC/amp combo, you should keep a close eye on this one.
|LOXJIE D10 – CHARACTERISTICS|
|DAC chip: Sabre ESS 9038Q2M
Supported formats: PCM up to 32bit/768kHz, DSD up to DSD512
Inputs: USB, coaxial and optical
USB receiver: The second-generation XMOS solution for USB
Headphone out: 6.25 mm
Headphone amp power: 100 mW @ 32 Ohm
Size: 200 x 89 x 60 mm (WxHxD)
Weight: 450 g