Pioneer's First Portable Amp XPA-700

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by edric li, Dec 15, 2014.
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  1. rhull1973
    Surprised there isn't more buzz about this amp. Great sounding and a ton of features. Very reasonable cost also. Granted only available in Japan, but easy to find online.
  2. talan7

    Its all in Japanese or chinese. What do I do to get it on the xpa700?
  3. rhull1973

    Click on the Windows or Mac installer. It will download. Launch it. Hit the button on the right to start. At the end there is a window that requires a button click.
  4. talan7

    I did that. How do I get the firmware on the amp? Can I connect the amp to my Mac?
  5. rhull1973
    Yes connect it to your Mac and select usb as the input on the amp. You can check the current firmware version in system profiler on your Mac.
  6. faisal2003456
    Does the balanced mode have more power? Or does it only ground each signal independently.
  7. talan7

    I don't think it has more power. It seems just as loud as before, just better.
  8. faisal2003456
    So my XPA-700 just arrived today. I'm still burning it in, but here are some notes:
    • Build quality and feel are great.
    • The volume knob does scratch a bit at 7 oclock, 3 oclock, and  5 oclock.
    • No noticable channel imbalance.
    • Extremely low noise. I'm talking a pitch black background
    • Can drive the HD600 to decent levels, however the battery will drain faster than it can charge out of a usb port. I've been burning it in and it has been going for 4.5 hours out of a laptop USB.
    • Absolutely NOT Android compatible. When I plug it into my S6 all the lights are lit and it cannot play back any sound. Updated the frimware and still no Android support.
    • Up sampling makes no audible difference, however Lock Range and D. Filter both make noticeable differences (impressions to come later).
    • The lack of auto detection of sources is somewhat inconvenient.
    • I took the bumpers off as they make the SE headphone out (HP #2) hard to access.
    • Mids may be recessed. Need to burn in more and compare with lower impedance headphones and other sources.
    • Playing with charge on or off did not affect noise/sound quality.
    • iOS playback is flawless, haven't tried DoP.
    • Windows use requires a driver that doesn't self install. Get it off the website.

    I'm waiting on my balanced cable to compare the SE and Balanced outs. I will not post audio impressions until I have the cables, as I suspect the SE out was not given as much attention to as the balanced out (given that the balanced out is labled HP 1).

    Update: Android playback works through mini-usb on the rear of the device. Just make sure to set charge to off to conserve battery. You can use a usb-otg cable to achieve this. Furthermore you can use a y-cable to attach a powerbank.

    This unlocks the full version of the Onkyo HF players where DsD over PCM (DOP) shows the correct 2.6/5.2 sample rate.
    s4tch likes this.
  9. rhull1973
    Looking forward to your impressions!
  10. hychima0101
    Hi Faisal

    Welcome to the club. Are you able to post a picture of the Y cable for our reference? I'm thinking of getting one for my XPA-700. For your info, it sounds beautiful in balanced. Thanks
  11. rhull1973
    Balanced mode is great. I ordered 2 custom cables from impact audio cables. Great quality and very fair prices. Can make balanced cables with the proper rsa connector for the Xpa-700.
  12. faisal2003456
  13. faisal2003456
      USB2HAUBYX.main.jpg xpa-700_sony1.jpg
    Something like this. Try searching for a "micro usb power hard drive cable" or "micro usb y cable."
    The balanced mode does sound superior; even with limited a/b testing. The XLR cable I got for the HD600 was pretty ugly, so thanks for the recommendation.
    Does anyone else think the mids sound a little recessed/soft on the unit?
  14. hychima0101
    Thanks much for the picture. I used multiple IEMs and Headphones in balanced mode with the XPA-700. All sound more airy and more 3D, in balanced mode versus single-ended. As for the mids, never found it to be recessed. In fact, my personal thoughts are that the sound signature is tilted towards warmish, and it's surprising because it's using a fairly analytical DAC, not known for being warm. Probably Pioneer did something to the amp stage. Anyway, enjoy your XPA-700:hugging::hugging::hugging:
  15. ilcg1

    Why would you need xpa700 for se846? Does it really sound better vs Pioneer dap alone on a single ended output? Also, how does it sound if you connect xpa700 directly to the phone on balanced vs pioneer dap and xpa700 on balanced? Thanks.

    Pioneer on itself has a pretty good amp and dac that should be more that enough to to run BA IEM with low impendance. For the balanced you could've gotten Onkyo DP-x1 (pioneer's older brother).

    I also have IEM and think to go balanced, however don't want to carry couple of devices. For me it's either iPhone + balanced amp or DAP with balanced output like Onkyo.
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