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I stopped using my X3ii after I got my Shanling M5 here on MD.
After seeing this come up, however, I pulled it out again to give it another listen.
Yes, overall, the M5 sounds better to my ear. I think it's the MUSES op amp in the M5 amp section that makes it more musical.
But the X3ii was very enjoyable. More enjoyable than I remember it being.
The Shanling M5 is around twice the price if I remember correctly, so the X3ii is a great value, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good sounding DAP for a good price.
Plus you can output the DAC to an outboard amp if you want another sound signature.
I'd be getting one of these if I didn't already have one!