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TOPPING NX1 Portable Headphone Amplifier Impressions Thread - Page 19

post #271 of 2036
But you and others say that it has forward mids even in low gain (so, forward mids in both low and high gain), whereas others speak of a V shaped signature with boosted bass and treble. How can both be true? How am I supposed to decide if that amp is for me or not? I'm super confused. Maybe someone could do one of those RIAA measurements?
post #272 of 2036
There's always going to be a large degree of subjectivity with reviews and each is going to be coloured by personal taste and the equipment being used as a reference. At the cost of the NX1, I'd say take a punt and try it. If it's not for you, sell it on eBay and lose maybe the cost of a beer......
post #273 of 2036
I have ordered the nx1 after reading this thread. It will be my first amp.
post #274 of 2036
Originally Posted by Supergen2 View Post

I have ordered the nx1 after reading this thread. It will be my first amp.

Good choice. You won't regret it. It's awesome value for the quality. I wish these were around when I bought the e11 as my first amp
post #275 of 2036
Originally Posted by Supergen2 View Post

I have ordered the nx1 after reading this thread. It will be my first amp.


Originally Posted by DMax99 View Post

Good choice. You won't regret it. It's awesome value for the quality. I wish these were around when I bought the e11 as my first amp


It is definitely the best starter amp available. Better than anything under the $80 price range.

post #276 of 2036
Originally Posted by gfinlayson View Post

There's always going to be a large degree of subjectivity with reviews and each is going to be coloured by personal taste and the equipment being used as a reference.

Sorry for asking, but.... what's the point, then? blink.gif
post #277 of 2036
Originally Posted by BatFi View Post

Sorry for asking, but.... what's the point, then? blink.gif

Why are you reading reviews? Why does anyone read reviews?
You want to know what people think about products?
People think differently, people hear differently, people have different opinions and people have different gear and testing environments. This makes reviews different. When ever I buy a product, I read all the reviews and weigh the con's and pros, but ultimately in the end you always have to go with a your gut instinct. What a million people say they think about something might and mostly probably be different to what you think. That's why you take all reviews with a pinch of salt.

All I can tell you about this particular product is that you won't find a better one within this price range and will have to spend more than $100 to get a slightly better or equivalent portable amplifier. Period.
post #278 of 2036
Recently picked one of these up, very hard to resist such a low price, my only real concern is the that people who put this stuff together must be on a pretty low hourly wage!

Anyway, It's very well put together,extremely solid, nothing rattling around, got some weight to it.

With sensitive and low impedance headphones there is noticable hiss! but with sensitve IEMS (low impedance) this is common for many amps. But with sensitive IEMS you dont really need an amp in the first place.

Headphones with higher imedance and the hiss goes away. (er-4s 100ohm).

The sweet spot on the volume is around 12-2 oclock. (but your line output will ultimately determine your comfortable volume postion)

The sound is clean, clear, and uncoloured. The V shape frequency curve that others talk about being as much as 2-3db is I reckon probably only around 1db max.

Hi and Low gain have slightly different characteristics and depending on your headphones/IEMS either might suit you, althoughs high impedance headphones will def' need gain set to high.

I would love to see this compared to a few more expensive amps, it's a definite bargain, why do I get the feeling that this wont stay around very long at these low prices.

I guess maybe the NX-2 and NX-3 will have improved noise level (although as I sated earlier, on NX-1 it's only noticable on very sensitve IEMS)
post #279 of 2036

TOPPING NX1 TOUR Xtralglactic



Firstly I'd like to thank DJScope for his contribution so far and the awesome A-B Switch which made the comparison easier and reduced the stagefright somewhat. Also @DMax99  for sending this awesome little portable headphone amplifier on a tour of Australia, and H20Fidelity for helping out organise the event.




This will be my first impressions post in Headfi that is more then a paragraph and thus I am abit apprehensive (thus the stage fright) because I have no qualifications in sound engineering or understand the nitty gritty of electronics and how to read frequency graphs or sine waves or square wave responses etc. So please consider me a noob in this and judge this only on a hobbyist level. I have just been fortunate enough to have spendable income to spend on this part of my life and my room has thus been know as the Harvey Norman Annexe (a big chain of electronic stores for those not in Australia).


I have chosen to compare the NX1 with the C&C BH amp series 1 and the FIIO E11. My headphones of choice are the UE9000 (I think its an excellent overall closed back headphone and can re produce sub bass with aplomb) and the somewhat flavor of the month Fidelio X1's which I absolutely love everything about it and its an open can too so hopefully if these are any soundstage differences I will be able to pick them out (if Í even can).


My source is my Ipod touch 4th Gen with Itunes quality music on it. Thanks to DJScope for the custom cables he made for me so I can now not be embarrassed about taking pictures of my setup as before I was using jaycar cables etc that hmm didnt look esoteric enough :)  


AAND of course DJScope's A-B Switch ;) which I believe will go to Dmax99 as a thank you.




My music tastes really vary and of course I will use English songs in my review so its fair and everyone has chance to type it in Youtube or whatever so you can hear for yourself.


Now for the first round:


C&C BH VS NX1 (are the makers Star Trek Fans? NX01 is the registration of Captain Archers starship Enterprise but I digress) The C&C BH will have High gain but LF (low frequency boost) and SF (sound field) enhancements will be set to OFF position to have a level playing field as the NX1 does not have any of those. I will not comment on the those things being activated as it wont be fair the NX1 I believe, and yes the Volume pot noise in the NX1 is evident to me as well but that disappeared later on.




Using my UE9000 headphones in the unpowered mode (Noise cancelling turned off)


I must say I find the NX1 to sound almost exactly the same as the C&C BH amp with everything turned off. Both amps were on high gain and set the volume to what I thought was roughly similar in volume and voila! I listened to Micheal Buble's Me and Mrs Jones Live from Madison Square Garden and I noticed that the CC BH amp had a more boosted low end than the NX1 but not by much. The bass kicks were more pronounced. Micheal Buble's voice remained the same on both amps but I believe the soundstage advantage goes to the C&C BH here its wider. The atmospherics of the arena even the echoes produced are conveyed by both amps beautifully. The other element that I could hear more clearly was the cymbal crashes and the metal brushing across a drum?? Theres not really very much between the two but for me the most important difference I can hear the elevated bass of the C&C BH and its wider soundstage, and perhaps the highs are also a tad more pronounced in the CC BH. This is quite and achievement considering theres about $100 price difference between the 2.


Now listening to the Late Micheal Jackson's and Justin Timberlake collaboration with the song "Love never felt so good from the EXSCAPE Album: Immediately the naturally elevated sub bass response from the CCBH appears to come to the fore. Soundstage is also again noticeably wider in the C&C BH. In the upper registers it appears also the C&H BH has more pronounced treble but not by much. Again I find that there's not really that much between these two amps.


Now for a jazzy track I chose Maysa's "Have sweet dreams" from her Motions of Love album: This is such a nice song listening to before going to be BED!! Her voice is so velvety smooth and soothing. Im mainly looking to see how both amps render her voice and there's nothing to it. They sound to me exactly the same as each other except for the bass and soundstage. I actually prefer the sound coming from the NX1 for this track as it makes the sound more intimate to me due to the slightly narrower soundstage. Its like she directly singing to my ear!


NOW LETS REVISIT THE 3 SONGS but now using my Fidelio X1's Open Back!


Micheal Buble's Me and Mrs Jones: NOW these two amps are sounding more alike! Theres not really that much difference in it! Soundstage is now basically on Par! I now have to activate the sound field enhancer on the CCBH amp to hear a difference! amazing! Micheal Bubles voices is presented exactly the same. The Bass has also had abit of a change! in this track I feel theres more kick to it in the NX1 than the CCBH. Is that because the X1's are only capable of going down to 70hz only (as per Innerfidelity, Tyll Hyrsten's obersvation) and the UE9000's are able to produce lower sub bass notes? :) But also ive noticed that now Ive been listening constantly for 4 hours now and the NX1 sounds actually louder than the CC BH and i didnt touch the volume controls at all!! HMMM..


Now to Micheal Jackson's Love never felt so good: Ive had to listen 4 times to this in succession and the only thing I can notice is that the C&C BH has like a V shaped sound signature applied to it if we imagine the NX1 as flatter. The bass just thumps on X1's. Im just amazed at these X1's. Bass is awesome without bleeding into mids. Otherwise theres not really much difference for me between the amps on this track.  Actually I prefer the sound coming from the NX1 on this occasion as its more balanced. It leaves more room for the separate elements of the song to be clear and distinct. NX1 is starting to look to be an excellent value for money proposition.


Maysa's Have Sweet Dreams: Again the slight V shaped sound signature appears here again due to the bass being more prominent and the highs have more energy to them. Maysas soulful melodic voice remains the same though.


It is evident to me that NX1 is very good value for its performance. Its at least on par with the C&C BH with everything off except high gain. It represents a more balanced sound signature which i believe is what some people are looking for.


The sound field enhancer and the low frequency boost in the C&C BH works as advertised and when these are activated of course it leave the NX1 behind but is it really worth the extra $100? I leave it up to you.



NOW TO COMPARE WITH THE FIIO E11 using the same set up and songs!






I believe these 2 amps are closer in price so this will be an interesting comparison. I will be setting the EQ to 0 on the FIIO E11 but both amps will be on high gain.


Using my UE9000 headphones in the unpowered mode (Noise cancelling turned off)


Micheal Buble's Me and Mrs Jones: Is apparent that the E11 is the darker sounding of the 2 amps. When I switched to the E11 from the NX1 I thought to myself "Where did the atmospherics and the soundstage go?? The NX1 definitely beats the E11 in the soundstage department for me. The NX1 is more dynamic and ""alive"" sounding to me. There seems to be more detail in the NX1 throughout the whole song. The E11 I would say is for those who prefer their music presented more closed in and laid back and easy. Maybe for those people also that are sensitive to treble as sometimes it just doesnt have that top end sparkle and extension. The E11 is definitely more bassy at first listen but i think thats due to mid bass not the true sub bass that I can hear with the NX1. In this track the NX1 wins for me.


Now to Micheal Jackson's Love never felt so good: These 2 amps sound so similar here and Im led to believe if the mastering of the song plays a part. The NX1 has definitely more bass quality and dare I say it goes deeper than the E11. The soundstage advantage is not as apparent as it was with the Micheal Buble song, maybe due to this being a studio recording not a live recording. But for me the NX1 wins on this song but not by much.


Maysa's Have Sweet Dreams: The NX1 renders this song beautifully with energy and bass to boot but for me the E11 wins here as I prefer to listen to this song in a warm laid back manner. The NX1 is definitely more energetic in terms of added sub bass and treble energy of the two. Also there's not a a lot of elements going on in this song so I prefer to keep it warm laid back and simple. Sound goes to NX1 but preference is the E11!


Now using my Fidelio X1 Open Back


Micheal Buble's Me and Mrs Jones: Definitely a close call. I guess the inherent qualities of the open backed headphones immensely helped the E11 with its soundstaging problems. The only thing perhaps I could pick up was that the bass went deeper on the NX1 but the E11 had more impact, perhaps again due to the fact that E11 had more of a mid bass hump. Micheal's voice sounded nearly alike and the echoes of the instruments and the crowd that that can be heard at various points of the song were more distinct in the NX1. NX1 has a very narrow win on the width of the soundstage. Actually, now that Im using open backed headphones, for me if I were to pick it would be the E11 as I think it complements the qualities of the X1's quite well.


Micheal Jackson's Love never felt so good: Nothing much here to say as well. This is a studio recorded track. The sub bass is more present on the NX1 but the E11 has that slam to it. Soundstage is again very closely matched. If anything the E11 sounds more focused and the NX1 had more width to the sound. Micheal's voice is reproduced in nearly the same manner, the E11 sounds mid forwards abit here but not by much. The highs were very nearly the same with the NX1. There really isn't anything in the higher frequencies in this song, perhaps the cymbal or a high hat here and there. The only thing that also really moved around in the music soundstage were the cowbells. Again for me I believe the E11 matches the sonic qualities of the X1's and this produced good synergy!


Maysa's Have Sweet Dreams: Close call again on this one. The NX1 definitely has the wider soundstage here and it helps the other instruments of the song to be more separate have it own space. The E11 had more forward mids and this presents itself as more focused again. The bass on the E11 had more SLAM but the NX1 went deeper. Maysa's voice had more warmth with the E11. The highs were indeed more extended and airy in the NX1 but for me this makes it somewhat less distinct than the more focused sound of the E11. I guess for my take on this the E11 synergises well with the E11. 


Conclusion of the First Round.


Lessons learnt for me: The way the song was recorded/mastered really does matter. The live recorded albums really does test the soundstage qualities of a headphone. Amps can actually make some headphones excel if it synergises well with it. Using different types of headphones (a least closed back and open back examples in this case) affect aspects of the song when listening to different amps. I Cannot say which one I enjoyed more. As you can see above, the NX1 seemed to pair well with the UE9000 because it catered to its abilities quite well in which it could reproduce deeper base. Closed back headphones have inherent soundstaging shortcomings but since the NX1 had a wider soundstage this helped to alleviate that problem somewhat.


The E11 paired well with the X1. Its was already open backed to soundstage wouldn't be a problem. Now the NX1 with its wider soundstage, all it did was make the elements seem further apart and less focused and less distinct. Like the sound mode went to  'HALL" for me instead of "STAGE" or "STUDIO. The E11 helped to make the X1 sound more focused and thus I think it synergises well. It now seems to me that one mans trash is another ones treasure! (in terms of amp sound characteristics) one helped the other excel in one aspect, but was actually not good when applied to the other headphone.


The NX1 actually needed time to "warm up" if thats even a correct observation as the volume went a tad louder on by itself!


Hopefully this all makes sense to you as right now my E11 just ran out of juice. AND Its freakin COLD!!! 


Now the next round hopefully will be the amps paired with 2 of my IEMS: Monster Gratitude Earth Wind and Fire and the Sony XBA3.



Edited by Xtralglactic - 6/29/14 at 5:42am
post #280 of 2036
Thread Starter 

That was awesome Xtraglactic. I truly enjoyed reading that. Some good humour and Australian slang thrown in.

Good on you champ, you did super good!

PS: Everyones impressions are now added to the OP in order of which they arrived to the thread. 

I'm glad everyone is having fun with the tour. :smile: 

post #281 of 2036
Brilliant read... thanks for a really enjoyable and informative post.
post #282 of 2036

Awesome! Can't wait for round 2!

post #283 of 2036

Where can i find them for a nice price?

post #284 of 2036
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by altrunox View Post

Where can i find them for a nice price?

The NX1 amp? Find them on eBay for about $45 USD. Be careful of scammer sellers over charging.
post #285 of 2036

The NX-1 is such a cost effective solution for packing with mySen' HD600 in my Peli Storm case. Just does the job well and drives the HD600 without any problem whatsoever. Sounds fine to my ears.

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