Comparing the T2 and X1 - what should I listen for?

Looking for suggestions (ideally from @wklie) about what I should listen for when comparing the T2 and X1 if I have them side by side for comparison (which I do right now).

I understand the technical differences between them, but am looking for some specifics on how those differences may present in the listening experience. I realize that everyone’s ears are different, but it would be helpful to try and narrow my focus when doing this comparison.


Please, make your own mind up - don’t ask someone to tell you which sounds better, because this will influence your experience. Balance price with connectivity, features, and sound.

@mikeb I’m not asking for someone to tell me what sounds better. I’m asking for guidance from the manufacturer on how the differences is technical design typically present themselves based on their detailed knowledge of both platforms.

Additionally, I’ve already listened to both on their own and have formed opinions. This request is the next step in the comparison process for me.

Excellent :slight_smile: Good luck in your quest :+1:

You get better everything from the X1 flagship, including but not limited to details and 3D imaging. X1 may also have comparatively a more warm, rich and dense tone.

I’m sure it depends very much on the calibre of the other components in your system. I think an X1 would be wasted in my system, but if I had, for example, Boulder 2150s and Dynaudio Confidence 60s that would be a different story. The T2 I have complements my other components wonderfully.

I made the transition from the D2 to the T2 and was happy with the T2. However an opportunity came along to acquire an X1 which was too good to let go so I’ve now been using the the X1 for several months. I would support Peter’s comments on the X1. The soundstage it produces is just amazing and stable to my ears regardless of the recording. I mainly listen to jazz and I think it does a fantastic job of reproducing the the subtleties of the instruments like nothing else I’ve heard. The T2 is a fine piece of kit but for me the X1 is the ultimate transport/DAC. No doubt you will have read many reviews of both Lumin products but the design and engineering that’s gone into the X1 is just superb. Good luck with your decision making.


I’d be interested in hearing your comparisons.

Somehow it is obvious the X sounds better than the T. Could be explained how it justifies the over 2,5 times price please?

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to spend some concentrated time with both units and do the comparison I wanted to.

First–the caveat. My observations are only relevant to my system and my 50-year-old ears. Feel free to take what you want from it, but I don’t pretend that my observations are relevant to anyone but me

Second–my system:

  • Simaudio 700i v2 Integrated Amp
  • Focal Sopra No. 2 speakers
  • AC cabling is Shunyata Delta v2
  • Speaker and interconnect cables are Townshend Fractal F1

The process–I had four songs that I know really well in my playlist, all from different genres (classical, jazz, electronic and vocal). While it’s not ideal to conduct an A/B test where you have to switch interconnects on the amp input when switching sources, it was the best I could do. I tried to do one song at a time, switching back and forth between the units as quickly as possible multiple times.

The results–it’s REALLY hard to tell the two units apart…period. This is, above all, a testament to what Lumin has been able to achieve with the T2. The most obvious difference was that the X1 sounded smoother in my system than the T2 did. For me, I actually prefer the additional “sizzle” that I get out of the T2, but I have always preferred that type of sound in my listening. As much as I tried to, I didn’t notice any real difference in imaging/soundstage.

So where does this leave me? I currently own both units, but will only keep one. While I understand that the X1 is a better design in many ways, I don’t know that it’s worth the 2x+ investment of the T2. I’ve always believed that the music and enjoyment of it come first, and with that in mind I’m leaning towards keeping the T2 and letting the X1 go to a set of ears that will enjoy it’s amazing capabilities.

Kudos to Lumin for making such fantastic units. Some companies might shy away from making the product below their flagship nearly as good as the flagship itself, but clearly Lumin believes in doing just that.


The T2 is great unit. I only sold mine (in the past few days) because I have a MSB Premier DAC with a network renderer now.

I originally looked at Lumin, Auralic, Bryston, Matrix Audio, Chord, Lindemann and Mytek when I bought my T2 and I was not disappointed. Super great sounding, very high voltage XLR outputs and flawless performance. I could happily upscale to DSD512 with it and there was a lot of great functionality included in the device.

The T2 is a fantastic machine, but I got a deal on a MSB that I just couldn’t pass up so it now has pride of place in my main stereo setup.

That’s some serious hardware, congrats - I’m sure it sounds awesome!

I can only dream of the X1…lol
But my recently acquired T2 is moving mountains for me right now and tbh it is really hard to imagine anything that is noticeably better than what I am hearing right now.

Wish I could use the xlr output but my amp only has one set of xlr inputs and they are spoken for from my phonostage.

Enjoy whichever LUMIN you decide to keep!

Actually it’s the other way round.

We launched X1 first, then for T2 we reduced the cost from X1 design as much as possible while inheriting the essence of the technical architecture that give its SQ, and priced it aggressively so the T2 price is significantly lowered, and is positioned as the product with the greatest cost-performance in the Lumin lineup.

As for the price of X1, it’s partly due to the expensive components and chassis costs. You’ll find the same expensive Lundahl output transformers in the recently announced USD39K product from a competitor, i.e. nearly triple the price of X1. The pricing of X1 also underwent a SQ-oriented market study such that we feel its SQ beats the other competitors at its price range.


You should swap that out - T2 sounds a lot better putting out over XLR. No real scientific reason why, but it does. And, you know, records are just sooooo 2010…

True balanced design.

And by its very nature phono cartridges are a fully balanced design and sorry but my vinyl rig still trounces my digital by a fair margin.
I may try it one day but I severely doubt it would remain as permeant move so probably not really worth the effort on my part to move all those dang cables around

Decided to keep the X1 after all, so the T2 is up for sale in the For Sale forum.


Well Linn spent a decade of R&D perfecting the Klimax DSM. Their streamers probably would be more affordable if they, I don’t know… just kinda copied a competitor’s product and built them in China.

Did you not mention the name of the company for legal purposes? Y’all make great products but don’t the designers feel a bit ashamed that after 7 years they still can’t create a unique design?

I’m not trying to be a jerk but it’s just weird you’d even mention Linn’s new streamer considering the history.

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