New Loxjie or SMSL or Hifiman.. or old Burson?

I need to rely on the community’s knowledge and guidance for my next purchase, as I really have little knowledge when it comes to audio equipment.

I have been enjoying almost daily the Hifiman EDXS since their release in China, ultimately pairing them with the Burson Audio Conductor 3 Performance, after trying them with Topping L50 & D10B, and Fiio K7.
The Topping was harsh and fatiguing in the highs - probably nothing unsolvable by EQing - but also had some quality issues and I didn’t feel confident in keep using it.
The Fiio somehow just didn’t impress me, while the Burson felt overall just right.

That being said, in the long run there were few things that displeased me about the Burson. In order of importance:

  • the audio knob is incomprehensible, the difference from 00 to 01 is immense and I need to lower the volume on my computer when in need to listen to lower volumes (the Topping L50 knob was the best, for my taste)
  • with IEMs, the noise is audible (it was not so with Topping and Fiio)
  • it has bluetooth, but no LDAC support. ATM, I only have Apple devices around, so that is not an issue, but I would have preferred to have it, just in case.

Willing to try something else, I sold the Burson. Initially I got a killer deal on it, so actually I made a couple of hundreds on the transaction.

I am looking for a new dac and amp and my needs are quite simple:

  • I want it to drive well my EDXS
  • it should drive cleanly IEMs
  • bluetooth with LDAC is appreciated

no need in particular for driving speakers and as for the input I just use one USB connection from my computer. I mostly listen to flac files I own and I rarely use streaming (I know what I like and I like keep listening to it…). BTW, I mostly listen to classical music and movie scores, mostly instrumental only.

I have my eyes on the Loxjie D40 Pro, or the SMSL DO400 (which is almost the same unit). Being them both quite new, there is still very little information online about them.
Alternatively, I was intrigued by going to a completely different route and try the Xduoo TA-22.
Or there is the Hifiman EF400.

Fun fact is that I also have found a killer deal on another Burson, a Conductor 3X Reference this time. I already know I will experience the same issues as with my previous one, but being a good deal I am also tempted to try anyway to to taste the difference from the 3 Performance to the 3X Reference, eventually flipping it few months down the line.

I welcome advices and suggestions!


Have you thought about the HiFiMan EF400? It doesn’t get talked about enough, but everything I’ve read about it is only good.

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Yes, I have very briefly mentioned it in my post as one of the possible candidates.
Meanwhile I found a written review of the DO400 (and I imagine that the conclusion would be valid for the Loxjie D40 Pro) that is not so recommended for sensitive headphones, so maybe not the best match for the XS (18 Ohms)?

What’s your budget? There’s a pretty wide range in price of the units you described? Burson being a clear step up. Depending on how good the Burson deal is, You could always get something like the Ifi iematch to use with iem’s.

I have the ta-22. I’ve been quite impressed. It’s got decent highs, and bass. Great midrange. It has a good sized soundstage. I use it with IEM’s and I haven’t heard any noise. I know a few reviews have reported some. It probably won’t compete on detail retrieval with the Smsl or burson. I also have a Schiit jot2/bifrost2 which is more punchy with a less treble roll off. Smaller stage though. I had the soloist 3xp briefly, and I’d consider it a pretty clear step up in detail and soundstage from both my sets. It did have some noise with iem’s, and I felt the jot2 came close for a good bit less.