Best DAC with headphone amp under US$250?

Fell a bit out of love with my xDuoo XD05 Basic lately, so i sold it.
I’m looking for a better replacement, preferably around the US$200 mark, but i can go up to US$250 if necessary.
I’m looking for a stationary model this time, i don’t need portability, seeing as i never moved the XD05 out of my table.

Must have:

  • Line output (RCA or 3.5mm)
  • USB and Toslink (or Coax) inputs
  • Red or black casing
  • Available on Aliexpress (i have a US$100 credit to spend there)

Would be nice to have:

  • 2 or more line outputs
  • Coax input
  • Balanced headphone output
  • Same or more power than the XD05 Basic (500mW @32Ω)

I was taking a look at the Yulong Canary II, since it has most of the features i’m looking for, but i have no idea if its a good buy, thanks in advance for the help!

Other than not needing the portability, what about the XD05 basic did you “fall out of love” with?

It may sound futile, but mainly it was the volume potentiometer.
From the start it had a “scratchy” noise when changing the volume (around half a turn of the knob), at first it was only noticeable when using more sensitive headphones, but with time i could hear it in all of them.
Other than that it also has a slight channel imbalance which drives me mad, i went to the doctor to check my ears and they were alright, the XD05 was to blame.
A friend of mine says he can fix all that for himself and paid me handsomely for it.

I hear ya. I have an XD05 plus. At low volume the imbalance is really bad, but does correct itself by 11o’clock. Luckily no scratchiness though.
Curious if it was a sound signature issue.
I really like the stuff from Schiit, but don’t think that’s available on Ali.
Probably your best bet would be a stack from Topping.

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