The product we will be featuring this time is the XSL X-One, a clone-type Chinese earphone of the final A8000 made by XSL, an emerging brand of Chinese earphones.
Reproduces the sound of the final A8000 quite faithfully.
The X-ONE is tuned based on the popular final Audio A8000 in Japan, and the brand claims that its sound quality reproduction reaches more than 85% of that of the original A8000. If the price of only $50 is comparable to most of the sound of the $1000 final A8000, it may indeed be a flagship-class earphone, as they claim.
もう一つ今購入を考えているイヤホン#Xsl X-ONE— audio-sound @ hatena (@audio_sound_Twr) April 26, 2023
- Driver type: Single dynamic driver
- Frequency Response: 8-48kHz
- Sensitivity: 108dB
- Impedance: 32 ohm
In terms of specifications, these earphones have fairly standard specifications. It is not considered to be an earphone that is difficult to sound on a smartphone. It is claimed that the frequency range extends to 48kHz, equivalent to high-resolution, but we do not know what it actually is because the measurements published by the manufacturer itself are for the audible range of 20-20kHz to begin with. At the very least, they probably have not obtained a "Hi-Res" certification.
The housing appears to be made of CNC aluminum. The faceplate is divided into five asymmetrical inclined planes and seems to be sculpted with a three-dimensional three-dimensional sense. This is probably inspired by the original A8000, but since the lower models of the A series, such as the original A3000 and A4000, have a resin housing, the metal housing may at least be superior in terms of durability.
XSL states that the aluminum alloy was chosen not only for its aesthetic appearance and durability, but also for its stable acoustic performance.
It doesn't look cheap, even when seen in person in the video review and other reviews discussed below. It is sandblasted and appears to have a rather high-quality appearance.
The driver, the core of the sound, uses a 10mm diameter DLC (diamond-like carbon) diaphragm.
Hi Fri, famous for his disassembled reviews on Head-fi, posted disassembled photos, suggesting that the driver is in the same class as the $599 "MiM Audio Dark Magician," which was once a hot topic.
Dark Magician has a CNT diaphragm and X-One has a DLC diaphragm, which may seem different at first glance, but DLC diaphragms are often referred to as CNT diaphragms with a DLC coating, so perhaps it is not contradictory to say they are of identical quality.
The MiM Audio Dark Magician is a minor but controversial model that has generated a lot of speculation among some Chinese earphone enthusiasts due to its similar appearance to the FAudio, and reviews that it is quite superior in terms of sound quality.
While I don't think the Dark Magician will take the crown from the Tanchjim Oxygen, which I have always loved and considered the finest dynamic-driver earphones, I think it can share the single dynamic-driver crown as a close equal. I think Dark Magician can share the crown of single dynamic driver as a near equal, though not quite taking the crown.
XSL X-One Review
My favorite Mr. Akros has posted an early review.
The X-One has a normal signature, however from neutral you can tell that the bass is quite pronounced. Some would consider it a bit darker and warmer sounding.
That seems like a reasonable opinion to me. I would have to actually measure it, but the midrange area seems to be relatively clean and well-defined.
The XSL lineup also includes a model called XSL X-Zero, which seems to be influenced by the Tripowin Olina and Mele designs. My guess is that it is almost identical to the XINHS XINHS-02.
XSL is obviously being contracted by the same kind of OEM contractor as the more successful top-tier overseas brands such as Tripowin, and seems to be drawing on the tuning data and other know-how gained from working with these brands.
The low-priced earphone industry in China is not only improving in quality, but the know-how of successful models is being immediately applied to other brands, and even unknown emerging brands seem to be able to offer superior products.
Aside from the overall quality of the package, the build quality of the XSL X-One seems to be as good as that of earphones priced at $100 or more, and the sound quality seems reasonable compared to previous Chinese earphones.
Above all, in the past, when Chinese earphones referenced foreign models, it was common for them to make and sell inferior copies of counterfeit products. Recently, however, there has been a shift toward offering products like X-One, which offer the same sound and quality as products from more expensive developed countries, but at a lower price. This seems to be a change that cannot be ignored. In other words, the confidence that Chinese brands can already compete with brands from developed countries may be reflected in this change in sales methods.