amazon Topping DX3 PRO reviews
The international audio community knows topping as a manufacturer of DAC / AMP devices with high performance on price.
At the end of 2018, it released a new desktop DAC / AMP, codenamed DX3 PRO. That is the latest product and a rare version of the Topping family using a decoder chip from AKM. Whether DX3 PRO is a successful product of topping or not?
The design of the topping has always been minimalistic and still beautiful. The frame of the Topping DX3 Pro is made of solid aluminum. The smooth, glossy handle is very cool and hands-on. The contours on the DX3 PRO are more curved, so they look softer and more luxurious than previous DX7s or D10s.
The size of the Topping DX3 Pro is quite compact for a desktop DAC / AMP. Width only 12cm and 16.5cm long. Topping DX3 Pro will be very neat when placed on a desk.
There are two color versions for DX3 PRO: black and silver. I prefer silver because silver will not be exposed fingerprints or dirt on the surface like the black version.
The front of the Topping DX3 Pro in the center is a monochrome LCD screen that displays information. The color of the information shown is orange, which is quite prominent and easy to observe. Next to it will be a 6.3mm headphone port and a control knob. This control knob acts as both a volume and a function control cluster.
Unlike most previous Topping products, DX3 PRO is the first DAC / AMP model with convenient remote control. All setting operations, adjusting the volume or input, are performed quickly with just one touch of a button on the remote control. For a forgetful person like me, the use of control is not always an optimal solution. Luckily, if the driver cannot be found or the controller fails, the Topping DX3 Pro can still be controlled via the control knob on the device.
On the back, we have quite a lot of entertainment.
2 x Coaxial RCA ports for Digital signal input from a CD player or TV.
1 Toslink Optical port for optical signals from TV, PC …
1 USB port for PC, phone, tablet …
And especially a Bluetooth antenna.
So you know, Topping DX3 Pro is not just a wired DAC / AMP; it is also always a wireless audio decoder. Topping DX3 Pro was introduced to support the highest codec, Aptx-HD.
Comes with Topping DX3 Pro will still be a 15V / 1A adapter like the previous Topping D3. Personally, topping has always invested and perfected the product so well, but the accessories are quite poor. This adapter doesn’t look very good, and the included USB cord is included. To better experience Topping DX3 Pro, you may still need to invest in upgrading this accessory.
Topping is a company that bravely shows off its gut before the user can buy a unbox. Therefore, it is not difficult for us to carefully examine the configuration of Topping DX3 Pro visually, not by advertising specifications anymore.
Topping DX3 Pro supports the latest Bluetooth 5.0 standard by using a CSR8675 chip from Qualcomm. So Topping DX3 Pro can decode many common codecs such as AAC, SBC, and Qualcomm’s proprietary high-end codecs such as aptX, aptX-LL, or aptX-HD obtained to the decoder via the chip signal receiver AK4118 from Asahi Kasei.
The USB input is handled by the communication chip from XMOS, code XU208. The chip has huge bandwidth, supports DSD512 Native and 32M / 768kHz PCM. In addition, topping has also customized the Xmos driver, so DX3 PRO works better on PC. For other operating systems such as macOS or Android, DX3 PRO will work without the need for drivers.
The SPDIF signal ports, including Optical Toslink and 2 Coaxial RCA ports, will be taken care of by the AK4118 signal receiver chip to ensure low jitter and high signal stability. This chip allows maximum signal reception up to 24bit / 192kHz, the highest within the SPDIF transmission limit.
At the heart of the system, the signal decoding stage is handled by not only 1 but 2 separate DAC chips from Asahi Kasei AKM4493EQ. Each chip decodes each channel separately for impressive dynamics and extremely low distortion and noise. AK4493EQ is an upgraded version of the legendary AK4490 previously used on many DAC / AMP devices or Hi-end music players.
Topping DX3 Pro has a built-in amplifier for headphones with very impressive parameters. This time the output impedance has been reduced to only 0.08Ohm, enabling the pair with even high-sensitivity low-impedance IEMs headphones. The output power is extremely impressive when peaking at 1000mW at 32Ohm high-gain mode. Topping DX3 Pro will scale all types of headphones from IEM to Full-size without any problems.
Because the Topping DX3 Pro also functions as a DAC and AMP, the measurements will occur in parallel and begin with the DAC first.
The result is quite good; the line-out capacity reaches 2 Vrms. Signal distortion indicators are also very good, ranked 2nd in the DAC types we have ever tested. Although not a masterpiece but also very positive.
Dynamic Range is the same as above, very good. Nearly reached 120dB as announced.
Switch to the AMP lane. First in low-gain mode.
Great, at max volume, the index is even nicer on line-out. SINAD increased from 106 to 108dB
Most of the previous DAC / AMPs of Topping had an output impedance greater than 10 Ohm; with Topping DX3 Pro, everything was much better. The result of the measurement is 1 Ohm. The measured value is usually higher than the published NSX due to its dependence on the measurement signal wire.
The low output impedance means you can plug in any headset without worrying about the frequency response.
See the output power with distortion when downloading 300 Ohm headphones on Topping DX3 Pro.
No clipping or distortion phenomenon even when maximizing volume. SINAD in High-gain mode is also below 100dB, which is great. That means that if you have a 300Ohm impedance headset like the Sennheiser HD650, you can turn it up as much as you want without worrying about distortion due to the source’s inability to pull.
Switching to downloading 33Ohm headphones, we still get more than expected.
We have more than half a Watt in high-gain mode, but the sound is clipped at that maximum. The parameter that topping gives is 1 Watt with 1% distortion is interpolation according to this measurement.
In low-gain mode, there is no distortion even when max capacity is reached at 120mW.
Finally, let’s look at the channel balance control when adjusting the volume. This measurement indicates whether or not the left and right channel deviations occur when we change the volume.
As expected, the electronic volume control chip provides an extremely good response to channel deviation until the maximum volume is turned on at 99dB. No amly using an analog volume can do this.
where can you get a Topping DX3 PRO online
Topping DX3 Pro LDAC Headphone Amplifier DAC DSD512 PCM32bit/768kHz XMOS XU208 APTX USB Bluetooth Decoder Headphone Amplifier (Black): Buy it now
Topping DX3 Pro USB DAC Headphone Amplifier DSD512 32bit/768kHz XMOS XU208 APTX Bluetooth 5.0 AK4493 OPA1612 Hifi Decoder (Silver): Buy it now
Topping DX3 Pro USB DAC Headphone Amplifier DSD512 32Bit/768kHz XMOS XU208 APTX Bluetooth Optical Coaxial Stereo Audio Amp Decoder: Buy it now
EXPERIENCE AND SOUND
Getting to know and using Topping DX3 Pro is extremely simple with the remote control. Just plug-in power, plug the signal wire (USB, Coaxial, or Toslink), press the power button on the remote, choose the correct input that Topping DX3 Pro can play music. The input will appear on the screen.
Topping DX3 Pro can easily connect to any smartphone or tablet via OTG connection; you will need to buy an appropriate OTG cable to do this.
As for Bluetooth connectivity, the connection will be a bit more complicated. You will have to switch DX3 PRO to Bluetooth mode with the remote, then use your phone or PC connected to DX3 PRO. I encourage you to use smartphones or tablets that support the aptX-HD standard for the best sound.
Bluetooth experience is very good; there is no phenomenon of interrupted audio when listening. The sound quality is also quite good, though not comparable to wired connections but still more detailed and vivid than any Bluetooth Receiver I’ve ever heard before.
Use Topping DX3 Pro as pure DAC.
The following adjectives can summarize the characteristics of DX3 PRO in DAC mode. Clear, slightly balanced sound, natural, fine details, and wide open. Compared to my DAC ES9018, the sound is slimmer and less warm. However, it is not bad for everyone, just because I am very addicted to electronic tube amplifiers, so I feel so. The sound of the Topping DX3 Pro is not cold; it’s just less tonal and relaxing than the tinkling and thick style of DAC ESS chips I’ve used. However, it must be recognized that the sound of DX3 PRO through the line out is quite flat.
Use Topping DX3 Pro as DAC / AMP.
Believe it or not, your Beyerdynamic headset mod 600Ohm can pull quite well on Topping DX3 Pro. The power supply is weak; I feel that the bass is not full and dynamic tin. However, when trying to switch to the ATH-M50X, everything was much different. The sound of Topping DX3 Pro is rich in energy, clear, good dynamics, and crisp high range. The sound is noticeably thicker and funnier than the line-out. My Lehman amp is tidier and smoother because I have tweaked it a lot, but compared to the default opamp, the sound is very similar to that of DX3 PRO now. So I can advise you if you do not have a separate amp, the Topping DX3 Pro is a very all-rounder.
After a series of measurements, it can be concluded that Topping engineers are very talented when calculating and designing a product with impressive specifications in the price range. Topping DX3 Pro is a fairly comprehensive desktop DAC / AMP that supports many common inputs and includes Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless music listening. Compact design, convenient controls, and the ability to match headphones from low to high impedance without difficulty. That is the right device if you need a solution to play high-quality music for your work corner.
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