Xhifi XDC-1 Desktop Audio System Reviewed

Xhifi XDC-1 Desktop Audio System Reviewed

The Xhifi XDC-1 "utilizes advanced driver and enclosure technology designed for near-field listening, beefed-up amplification and elegant finishing to bring genuine high-end performance to everyday applications." Our reviewer was impressed by the bass, noting it "is better than anything I have heard in a desktop system

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Xhifi's XDC-1 Desktop Audio system bridges the gap between your prized home theater loudspeakers and those you normally find on your desk hooked up to your computer, iPod, mobile phone or gaming console. It utilizes advanced driver and enclosure technology designed for near-field listening, beefed-up amplification and elegant finishing to bring genuine high-end performance to everyday applications.

Additional Resources
Read more about XHifi on HomeTheaterReview.com.
Read a review of Logitech Z-2300 Desktop System here.

Finished in a gorgeous European Cherry veneer, the XDC-1 provides one RCA input (no digital or USB connections), pin speaker outputs, two volume controls and a phase control. The volume controls, labeled Master and Subwoofer, allow for individual adjustments to both the low frequencies and the entire signal. It also provides an IEC power connector, allowing for easy power cord upgrades. The two sets of screw-in dual-height feet add a nice touch, so you can tilt the satellite speakers for better performance at specific listening positions.

The XDC-1's XD1 satellite speakers utilize a Radial Ribbon driver element within a cylindrical enclosure, offering tremendous speed and accuracy, along with a 360-degree radiation pattern. The cylindrical enclosure minimizes standing waves, making it difficult to hear the speaker's physical contents while listening; this is a hallmark of high-end loudspeakers. The thin design creates a very small footprint, making it easy to place in small settings, and the gold-plated binding posts make a very nice touch.

A custom-designed 50-watt digital amplifier drives the XD1 satellites. This circuit, about the size of an index card, provides high power and current drive, while keeping very cool inside the subwoofer's enclosure. Digital amplifiers present designers of today's smaller, more mobile consumer electronics with much more flexible options for driving speakers. While the purists claim the sound doesn't approach that of traditional amplifier designs, I would disagree with that on an absolute basis (digital designs get better literally every day), and, when combined with the enormous flexibility advantages, it makes the argument frankly not even close.

The Sub-1 Subwoofer also uses a cylindrical design, offering an elegant, rounded look at its front. It sits on three tiptoes, mounted on a flat base, creating a stable footprint with excellent de-coupling. The unit's down-firing driver is a six-inch paper type, specially designed for high-excursion and power handling. The down-firing design also allows for easier placement under desks and other similar tight spaces (a computer loudspeaker system's subwoofer doesn't have much use if it is firing into your legs).

The XDC-1 creates a very deep and wide soundstage, with the sound appearing out of nowhere in front of you, up and around the satellites. The highs are smooth and detailed, and the sub packs a punch. The ribbon drivers' exceptional speed combines with terrific bandwidth, making for great highs and midrange, and the unit's custom crossover seamlessly hands off to the sub, making for a very complete presentation.

Read The High Points, The Low Points and the Conclusion on Page 2

High Points
- I can't think of another high-end desktop speaker system today with an audiophile pedigree and a MartinLogan-like sound. While these are more expensive than injection-mold plastic speakers, you are actually getting a system of significance for your money.
- The bass on the XDC-1 is better than anything I have heard in a desktop system. The highs are more open and resolute than the legendary $2,000 Evett and Shaw Elan speaker system. 
- The system will play loudly if needed. In most desktop environments, you simply won't rock like this, but just as it's nice to know that your S-class can go 155, you should know you have the horsepower to get loud if you want to do it.
- Personally, I like the cherry wood finish a lot. The bases are nicely done. This is no plastic speaker system. This is high-end audio for your PC or Mac.

Low Points
- It's tough not to have any USB inputs in today's desktop audio market. The XDC-1 has been around for a while but, at its price, I would have liked to see USB inputs, as these would allow it to hang more as a standalone audio system. With that said, the Xhifi XDC-1 is best in class desktop audio.
- The included speaker cables look like Radio Shack zip cord. It's the only touch of the XDC-1 that isn't high end. I wonder how much extra a pair of higher-end, custom-terminated speaker cables would cost, because that would have been a cool touch.

Conclusion
If you can swing the $995 asking price, the XDC-1 will usher you into a world where your high-end expectations don't have to get checked at the door of your office as you turn on your computer. It also equally supercharges your iPod or gaming console, making those increasingly popular sources the heart of a meaningful audio playback system. Consider the Xhifi XDC-1 truly best in class audio performance for computers, MP3 devices and beyond.

Additional Resources
• Read more about XHifi on HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Read a review of Logitech Z-2300 Desktop System here.

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