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ONIX Alpha XI1 - Fine sound in compact form

Shanling promises first-class sound in a small, compact form with the new portable D/A converter with integrated headphone amplifier from the ONIX brand, the ONIX Alpha XI1 High-Power Portable USB DAC/AMP.

Story Highlights
  • The ONIX Alpha XI1 is the smallest D/A converter of the ONIX brand to date and is also particularly attractively priced.

Shanling has been working with the ONIX brand for some time now on selected solutions. ONIX is a Taiwanese company whose products are manufactured and distributed worldwide by Shanling. A handful of ONIX brand products are already available, which are always intended to represent something special in their respective class and convey a touch of exclusivity.

This also applies to the latest addition to this collaboration, although it is explicitly stated that the new ONIX Alpha XI1 High-Power Portable USB DAC/AMP is not only the most compact but also the most affordable ONIX solution to date.

Excellent sound in the most compact form with up to 32 bit and 768 kHz and DSD256

In the new ONIX Alpha XI1 High-Power Portable USB DAC/AMP, a 32-bit ARM architecture provides the corresponding performance and two Cirrus Logic CS43198 DAC converters from Cirrus Logic Inc. are responsible for an exquisite, clean sound, as the manufacturer states, with a unique sound tuning that only ONIX brand solutions offer. Audio signals in Linear PCM with up to 32 bit and 768 kHz as well as DSD up to DSD256 can be processed.

Incidentally, a fully symmetrical circuit design is used here, which means that not only the DACs are duplicated, but also the output stages. This means that two SGM8262 operational amplifiers from SG Micro Corp. are available, which can deliver up to 500 mW for headphones at an impedance of 32 ohms.

Suitable for a wide range of headphones

The new ONIX Alpha XI1 offers two options for connecting headphones: an unbalanced 3.5 mm stereo mini jack, which provides a maximum of 180 mW at 32 ohms, or a balanced connection in the form of a 4.4 mm Pentaconn, which can deliver the aforementioned 500 mW at 32 ohms.

This guarantees that the new ONIX Alpha XI1 can be used with a wide range of different headphone models without any problems, as the headphones are always under optimum control. According to the manufacturer, there is nothing to prevent the use of low-impedance in-ear headphones or high-impedance over-ear headphones.

Especially as it is possible to adjust the output power using Low Gain and High Gain, as the data sheet reveals.

Simple control, easy handling

Three buttons are available here to ensure simple operation, as well as a 0.87-inch monochrome display. The new ONIX Alpha XI1 is of course connected to smartphones, tablets and notebooks as a source via a USB-C port, which also supplies the power.

Elegant design

Like all ONIX brand solutions, the new ONIX Alpha XI1 is characterised by an elegant appearance, although this is of course only partially effective given the very compact dimensions.

This solution is presented in deep black combined with elements in gold, whereby the housing made of aluminium, glass and leather elements is designed to be particularly robust. With dimensions of 64 x 32 x 14 mm, this solution weighs just 38 g.

Prices and availability

The new ONIX Alpha XI1 High-Power Portable USB DAC/AMP will be available immediately, according to Shanling, at a price of US$ 109,-.

Getting to the point

The new ONIX Alpha XI1 High-Power Portable USB DAC/AMP is the first particularly small D/A converter and headphone amplifier from the ONIX brand, a brand that operates as an independent Taiwanese company, but whose solutions are all manufactured and distributed worldwide by the Chinese company Shanling, making it a kind of premium line in its own right. In view of this, the new ONIX Alpha XI1 High-Power Portable USB DAC/AMP can be described as a very attractively priced solution.

PRODUCTONIX Alpha XI1 High-Power Portable USB DAC/AMP
PriceUS$ 109,-
BRANDONIX
ManufacturerOnix
DistributionNT Global Distribution GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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