Astell&Kern XB10 Extreme Bluetooth Adapter

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by gr8soundz, Sep 6, 2016.
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  1. westermac
    I've been using mine in my car with a Pixel 2 XL for about a month and have been very happy with the sound quality on aptX-HD; it sounds as good as the CD player to me. My only minor quibble is that it doesn't auto power on with USB power since it wasn't specifically designed for car use, but the excellent audio is worth having to toggle it on and off.
    Baroninkjet likes this.
  2. tryzub
    What's the use case for this device in a car?
  3. Audiowood
    For IEM usage in a car double up as wireless earpiece since it can receive calls. You can talk wireless like a wireless Ibud.
  4. Audiowood
    SQ wise, its an OK device. I added an amp to power up my IEM. Make a lot of diff. Using Pico Slim. But round shape not good for attaching amps.
  5. Baroninkjet
    What I plan to do with it is to use it for BT music in car, while using car BT (which sounds awful) for typical phone calls. Android allows you to do separate BT channels at same time for calls/music.
  6. tryzub
    So source is car out to XB10 plugged into your headphones for music? How will you be able to hear the ambient noise around you?
  7. Baroninkjet
    1. Phone broadcasts aptX HD bluetooth
    2. A&K receives it, does its thing, and then sends it to aux input of car stereo.
  8. tryzub
    Ah, sending it through the aux cable makes sense. I haven't had a car with that in years. I just pair my phone to the BT in the car stereo. I suppose it's more applicable to aftermarket head units or older cars.

    Seems like Audiowood is using IEM's in the car though.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
  9. Baroninkjet
    The head unit that came in my car is actually ok, but bluetooth audio is not. And its hard to make car phone controls work right after replacing the unit. So had to find another solution, with phone which has no headphone jack.
  10. Audiowood
    No problem with ambient sound as IEM for calls only on 1 side of ear
    and Music runs through speaker.
  11. rade363
    I got quite disappointed with Creative Sound Blaster E3 to be honest... I needed a mobile Bluetooth DAC that would work with my Westone W30 and iPhone 7 and the hiss is just awful. I did not pay enough attention to this issue when browsed the reviews and even when compared XB10 against the E3 face-to-face. Moreover, it produces some noise at very high frequencies, that can be solved somehow by plugging into the second 3.5mm output any 3.5mm jack (even not attached anywhere one). But still the sound quality is simply unpleasant to me, I prefer the built-in 3.5mm jack of my old iPhone 5 compared to the E3. Also, the battery on my iPhone 7 dies much much faster with the E3 connected over Bluetooth.
    Anyway, I got the E3 for a very decent price with a discount, so I may keep it as an external USB DAC (until I get a better one) / PC soundcard / Bluetooth receiver, use it as a mic or with my old AKG K171 Studio, where the hiss is unnoticeable.

    So I steel need a portable DAC for my W30, so again I am considering the XB10 as the best solution. I've also checked out the new FiiO BTR1, but according to the reviews, there is noticeable hiss when used with low-impedance sensitive IEMs as well
    Is there any noticeable hiss when AK XB10 is used with sensitive IEMs (~30 Ohm in my case)?
  12. k4syx
    Black, silent background with IE800 and Momentum M2 in-ears.

    I'm sorry but there is no common ground to compare E3 and XB10 when using quality headphones. XB10 wins in all aspects hands down. I owned E3 (notice past tense). The only device that was close to XB10 in terms of sq was Audio Technica's neat little gizmo. But still, "was" is the important word here.
    rade363 likes this.
  13. mellda
    What streaming device do you use? Or what codec? The aptX HD? Is there any difference when it comes to aptX? I mean the E3 and XB10.
  14. k4syx
    Apt-x with S8+, LG G3, and some W10 PCs.
    Source: flacs streamed by neutron or foobar (depending on the device).
  15. mellda
    So there is big SQ diffference between E3 and XB10 using apt-x. Do you know anything about FiiO BTR1? It has apt-X as well. I listen music only from spotify. Not sure if there is big difference as well. I have Shure 1540 headphones.
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