REVIEW: Nintaus X10

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by zelda, Feb 21, 2017.
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  1. Zelda
    REVIEW – Nintaus X10
     
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    For full specifications check the product page: LINK
     
    Price$69, from Penonaudio
     
     
     
    Accessories:
     
    1. Earphone
    2. USB cable
    3. Silicone case
    4. Micro SD 16GB card
     
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    Build & Design:
     
    Build quality is very good on the X10. The whole outer shell is made of strong aluminum material, which is both sturdy and lightweight. The finish is quite smooth, and while not totally rounded there are no sharp ends. The connection layout is simple; at the top there're the headphone and lineout outputs, and micro-usb and micro-sd card slots at the bottom. The navigation and control buttons are all placed at the front panel.
     
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    UI, Navigation, Firmware:
     
    There's no manual included in the box, and there's no website either to check for more details on the player. Thus, it's up to the user to figure out the whole navigation and controls; nothing difficult to understand, just requires some time. The back and forward buttons can be also used as up and down for navigation in menus or volume adjusting screen, or as right and left at the main screen. 'Menu' works as 'enter/accept' and 'back' for returning to the previous menu or screen. The wheel can be used for faster scrolling through menus or volume adjusting as well.
    Using the X10 is not too complex, however it's very annoying. First of all, there're no dedicated volume controls; it's needed to use the 'volume' button to enter the volume screen and then adjust it with either the wheel or back/next. The wheel itself lacks accuracy and results pretty much useless already having the left/right control. There's no 'home' option, so navigating to the main screen is made by clicking the 'back' button as many times as needed, and then there's no direct option to return to the playing screen unless rotating to the 'Music' option at the main wheel. Also, the whole navigation through the menus is a bit slow and delayed.
    While there is a 'firmware update' option, it's looks like a joke as there is no way to install a newer version on the player.
    Looking at the screen options, it's too obvious that the X10 is just copying the current Fiio X series (1, 3ii, 5ii) design. The color theme may differ a bit, but the icons and menu order is just identical. Definitely, not a smart thing to do (even more considering Fiio's daps are not the most logical to use).
    The playing screen is colorful and shows some artwork whenever the file is supported. Image is placed at the left part while the track info at the right half.
    The X10 only has two languages, English and Russian. That's right, not even Chinese or other Asian languages.
    The power button also works as lock/unlock.
     
     
     
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    PC connection and file transferring:
     
    Connecting the X10 is pretty easy. As long as the micro SD card is installed, the computer will simply recognize it as any external storage device. Transmission speed is standard as a 2.0 usb port. Worth noting that the files and folders won't be shown in alphabetical order, rather by the date/time they were added to the card memory.
     
     
     
    Battery, Hiss:
     
    Despite not being very logical in its operation, the X10 has its own merits. The battery life is excellent. It rates around ~60hrs of playback and from the tests that's quite accurate. The DAP can be used for long hours and still show no drain in the battery display. No hiss or background noise were noticed even with most sensitive CIEMs. 
     
     
     
    Volume, Power, LineOut:
     
    Volume steps go up to 100, although there're barely noticed differences within ~5 steps. The X10 has more than enough driving power for most gears that are reasonable easy to drive. With sensitive sets like in-ear types with typical 16~32ohm impedance and 100~110db sensitivity, the player is already loud enough at just 10/100 steps and getting more than that makes it really loud (though, lower than 9 is too quiet). Things are more positive for sets with ~64ohm (like Monk+ or SoundMagic E80), as the sound is more leveled and less prone to distortion. The X10 DAP can still drive even 150ohm earbuds (VE Asura or PK1) without reaching the 30/100 steps. More demanding gears (300ohm earbuds, VE Zen and TO300 and larger cans, SM HP200 and Fidelio X1) will ask for a higher volume, and still won't get to the half 50/100 level; however, in terms of resolution the X10 won't handle those to their best, and lack in dynamics, speed and overall balance.
    The Lineout output can be set to 3 levels:
    • "volume sync.", used as an extra normal 3.5mm line with volume control - this option also allows to 2 sets to be used at the same time.
    • '0db', for fixed full volume output.
    • '-6db', with a fixed volume level as well, which starts at 6 decibels lower.
    These are good options that give more versatility when adding an extra external amplifier.
     
     
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    Sonic impressions

    The overall sound signature of the X10 is slightly warm with very good balance. From lows to highs the sound is full, detailed and well controlled.
    Bass is very solid in body and texture with good dynamics and layering. Tonality is north of neutral and may add some extra mid-bass emphasis with bass dominant ear sets, however the control and balance between low to upper bass is good giving enough room for a fairly clean yet powerful, less obtrusive, bass response.
     
    The midrange is a bit towards the warm side, well leveled and presents a fuller and smooth sound but not overly forward. The extra clarity and accuracy are well noticed, though it comes with some more emphasis at the upper mids. Note thickness is impressive as well and so are the instruments weight and vocals texture.
    The top end feels more extended and more prominent. The X10 works well limiting some harshness and sibilance, however, it can get overly energetic or too splashy with brighter sets. In fact, the DAP doesn't show a good synergy with sensitive sets (i.e. IEMs) as the treble can lose in control and accuracy, that along with the bass result in a v-shaped sound.
     
    Soundstage, while not too impressive in width or height dimensions it is presented with better and more immersive depth. The sense of space and separation is very good. The X10 shows more air and better positioning and the presentation is well-rounded, with better layering and more dynamics for something priced below the $100 tag.
     
     
    EQ:
     
    Nothing worth mentioning just the typical presets found in cheaper players. It lacks the user Custom EQ option, which is a bit disappointing, seeing all the freq. bands that could have been used.
     
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    Summary
     
    Pros:
    Powerful and very good SQ for the price; Strong build quality; lightweight; Line Out output; endless battery! (well, almost)
              
    Cons:
    UI; Navigation; no manual; no firmware update; not suited for sensitive gear; EQ is a joke and there's no Custom EQ option; a bit slow system response; no gapless playback?; copying other companies' design is not smart 
     
  2. Pradeep A
    Thanks.Great review .How is the quality of the bundled earphone ? I mean both build and sound quality.
     
  3. Zelda
    haven;t used the earphone much. but seems quite solid for just a bundled iem. comfortable, and decent in isolation.
    SQ, well it's pretty bass heavy
     
  4. Pradeep A
    Thanks mate..
     
  5. Pradeep A
    Just got mine ..Should say that I am pleasantly surprised...

    Also , they have implemented a few changes I guess ..Don't know if it is on a hardware level..But the earphones are different and it has a High Res sticker at the bottom..[​IMG][/IMG][/IMG][/IMG]
     
  6. Pradeep A
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  7. Zelda
    Glad you like it.
    Where you got it from? 
    no micro sd slot?
     
  8. Pradeep A
    Got it from Ali express..The SD card slot is under the Hi Res sticker ..
     
  9. jpgreenwood
    I've just received mine and I can say its a bit problematic. Functions are a bit slow and delayed. The click wheel is a bit rough on the finger tips, and trying to get back to the play screen so you can pause the track takes an age of waiting. In fact, the screen times out before it returns top the play screen, which is frustrating. Maybe theres a quicker way? Did someone mention scrolling and selecting the music symbol?
    I transferred a shed load of music onto a 32GB card, some album folders, some single tracks.
    I have noticed that the albums are all over the place. As an example, one album of 14 songs has decided to spilt itself into 2 folders. One containing one song, and the other 13 songs. Some albums only show 2 songs and not the full listing. When I view the card on the laptop, all the tracks are visible, but they are not available on the Nintaus.
    I'm not sure if its faulty or if I'm doing something wrong. I uploaded the songs straight onto the card on my laptop then put the card into the player. Maybe I should format the card and use the Nintaus as the storage device and upload the files straight onto it?
     
  10. Zelda
    quite a mess, indeed. does it happen with other micro sd?
     
  11. jpgreenwood
    Not sure. I've also noticed that I have a few albums of "greatest hits" and the Nintaus has put them all in  same folder and mixed up the tracks. I'm very  impressed with the sound but the file system is useless.
    Its supposed to take up to 128gb card so if 32gb is confusing the sh** out of it, then I hold no hope for anything larger.
    Does anyone else have these problems?
     
  12. dewdude
    Hi,

    I don't want to kick up an old thread...but I also don't want to run the risk of angering people by posting a new thread for a subject that's already been covered. My apologizes since it seem I could anger someone either way.

    I bought one of these a couple days ago after realizing my poor aging iPod was going to need more repair than I wanted to fuss with; plus I got distracted by the DSD support. I'm one of those guys who kind of jumped in to SACD...thought it died...then got back in to DSD after buying my SMSL DAC (and a PS3). I mostly have a question concerning DSD playback. Most of the stuff I've read has been poorly translated English...so I'm not sure exactly what they're talking about. I believe I read something where this thing supports SACD ISO for DSD playback; that or I just got real confused when they were talking about "new method, no DOP" and all that. I believe it was on the auction site while I was trying to gather what other models were out there. But I do have a couple questions about the DSD support if anyone else actually uses it.

    Does it support SACD ISO, or will I need to extract everything to DSF/DFF?

    If it supports ISO, does it also support DST compression? I know someone is going "DST is a 5.1 only thing"...yadda yadda...no, it's not. I have several albums that due to the length use DST on both the 2.0 and 5.1 tracks.

    If there's no ISO support...does it happen to support DST through DFF files?

    I'd like to get a head start on getting my DSD collection ready before this thing arrives; hence why I'm asking these questions. DST support would be a plus since I could cram more DSD on the unit; though please don't ask me how I'm going to accomplish that...or authoring new images (if it supports them). I will simply say I have ways of accomplishing what I need...it just takes a LOT of time...hence why I'm trying to get a jump.

    Thanks in Advance,
    -Jay
     
  13. dewdude
    Doesn't support ISO. Disappointing since all my DSD is in SACD ISO format and I now have to extract them. Not a major hassle....but still extra work.

    Doesn't support DST. Disappointing because instead of 500MB an album I get to use 2GB.

    Won't recognize .CUE files despite the fact the description says it does. Stupid because the description mentions it; but it ignores any CUE file I put on there.

    EDIT: I was informed the CUE files needed to be embedded in the files; which means the only hope for gapless DSD is using wavpak....if the player supports DSD encoded WV. I'm kind of doubting it does.

    Additional Edit: I have attempted every combination of cue-wav/flac/mp3/ape...embedded, image with seperate CUE and embedded....I cannot get this thing to recognize a CUE sheet at all. The 176.4khz sample file included on the card was merely upsampled from mp3. This thing is going back in the box and out the door. I have never seen such an mis-represented product that doesn't live up to it's functions. In the only way I can make it work; it is entirely unacceptable for my purposes.

    I'm pretty disappointed. I didn't expect much for $70; but I didn't expect it to be a total let down. I probably won't be keeping it. It won't work for why I bought it.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  14. Zelda
    where you bought it from?
     
  15. dewdude
    PenonAudio's eBay store.

    We exchanged several messages where they gave me the incorrect information about CUE needing to be in "fuselage memory not SD card". Then they said it "needs to combine CUE and playback file."

    I tried embedding a CUE sheet in a FLAC...no luck. I tried simply appending a CUE file in front of the audio data. No dice. I deleted the file parameter thinking maybe it was getting confused. It threw up "unsupported format". It tells me it at least is paying attention to the file parameter...but it doesn't acutally work like a CUE should. They asked for pictures screenshots of what the player is doing..sent them several of the player and several of my files in a HEX editor showing CUE file is merged.

    They either shipped it with faulty firmware...or there is some method of combining CUE files I'm not aware of. Firmware date is March of this year.

    I'm giving them a chance to tell me what I'm doing wrong....but I think even if I do discover what backwards method they want....I'll be SOL for DSD playback. It probably doesn't support WavePak DSD and neither DFF or DSF files support internal CUE.

    Since I bought it for listening to DSD...thats kind of a deal breaker. The fact it won't do DST is annoying. The fact it won't support ISO and I have to convert everything (plus it sounds like I have to CUE *everything*) is a major step backwards from my againg iPod in functionality.
     
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