Xuanzu u2017 Review: High-Value Mini Amp
Xuanzu is another brand we’ve not yet heard of; their brand name turns up no real info in Google. But really I’m not sure how much more info I really need: the u2017 speaks for company’s values better than a bland web-page ever could. But what is the u2017? Well, it's a very, very small pre-amp that doubles for a headphone amp.
About My Preferences: Heads up, I’m a person! As such, these words are my opinion, and they are tinged by my personal preferences. While I try to mitigate this as much as possible during my review process, I’d be lying if I said my biases are completely erased. So for you, my readers, keep this in mind:
My ideal sound signature would be an extended sub-bass with a leveled, but textured, mid-bass.
I have a mild treble sensitivity.
Output power :> = 1100mW (@32ohm)
Input and output: 3.5mm
Headphone impedance: 18–600ohm
Input voltage: AC: 100–240V 50 / 60HZ
Frequency response: 20–30KHZ
SNR:> = 110db
Output voltage: DC: 6V / 2000MA
Size：56mm x 51mm x 65mm
The u2017 performed admirably for such a tiny little device. It worked well to supply my AD230B with enough juice to compensate for my rather anemic motherboard audio output, and did so while adding a slight warmth to my output that was quite pleasing to the ear.
For direct amping of my headphones, it worked quite well too. A clean output with a transparent soundstage and a very subtle warmth helped even out my more clinical and treble-heavy cans while leaving my warmer ones alone.
There was no audible hiss, at least to my ears and through my headphones. The Thinksound On1 and On2 were both dead silent, despite their sensitivity, as was my Meze 99 Classics and Neo. More sensitive IEMs will pick up some hiss though, which I don’t really attribute to being a fault of the u2017.
Build Construction Quality
The u2017 is a really solidly built machine. The tube sticking out the top is securely affixed to the body and has a stylish, yet structurally integral, frame around it. The entire body is made of an anodized metal that feels very firm in the hand and has no flex.
The knob on the top is super finely machined and has no visible flaws. It contrasts very well with the dark body and shines in the light.
The u2017 does get warm though, so you’d best keep it away from other heat sources while using it. Even while pushing it very hard I had no overheating issues though, so that’s just a general precaution.
The u2017 is powered by a simple wall adapter which doesn’t appear to be particularly sketchy, so don’t worry, it won’t explode.
The u2017 is a very good pre-amp that doubles pretty well for a headphone amp. While it has enough output power to drive medium-impedance cans and can definitely help you drive low-sensitivity IEMs quite well. Its high-quality aluminum body combined with the above factors makes it quite the compelling offer for only $60. So if you’re in the market for a high-value preamp or headphone amp, take a look at the u2017!