Topping D3 USB&Optical&Coaxial&BNC DAC black

General Information

Overall parameters Analog audio inputs: RCA * 1 Digital audio input interface USB + Fiber + RCA + BNC Coaxial Coaxial Block 6.35mm headphone amp output interface Sample median 16-24bit Sampling frequency 32-192kHz (USB up to 96kHz) Single Weight Approximately 588g Dimensions (including protruding parts) 20CM * 5CM long deep * 11.5CM High Amp parameters Range of 16-600¦¸ load impedance Maximum output power 165mW (RL = 32¦¸, THD + N = 1%) 110mW (RL = 300¦¸, THD + N = 1%) 70mW (RL = 600¦¸, THD + N = 1%) Minimum Distortion 0.0007% (RL = 32¦¸, Pout = 50mW) Typical Distortion (@ 1kHz) 0.0032% (RL = 32¦¸, Pout = 50mW) 4-32kHz frequency response range Frequency response flatness 0.04dB (20-20kHz) Input Sensitivity 2.3Vrms Noise floor

Latest reviews


Pros: DAC sounds very clean, neutral, many input options
Cons: Amp isn't very powerful; No gain switch
I bought this DAC/AMP to replace my Asus Xonar Essence ST because I needed the PCI slot that the sound card was taking up so I was looking to switch to an external solution. I was mainly looking around the 200-399$ range and considered stuff like O2 and even the Asus Xonar STU because I quite liked the sound of my Asus Xonar ST. Unfortunately, the STU was just a little out of my price range so I opted for the much cheaper Topping D3 since I had read good reviews of the Topping D2, its predecessor.
The Topping D3 is not a terrible DAC/AMP, that's for certain, but it by no means blew me away. I definitely did not expect it to sound leaps and bounds better than my Asus Xonar ST, but I did expect it to at least not make me want to switch back to my sound card. By comparison of sound signature, the Topping D3 has a little less bass and somewhat of a boosted treble. The mids also sound a bit bland. I would describe it as a very cold and neutral sound signature. They are, however, very accurate and detailed, but I'm honestly not too big of a fan of this kind of sound signature. All this would be forgiven though, as it can be remedied via equalizer, but the biggest problem is its amp section and design of the outputs.
I use a Hifiman HE-400 and are supposedly easy to drive. My Xonar ST definitely drove these headphones with extreme ease. The Topping D3 however, seems to be not nearly be as powerful. Of course the music can get loud enough to hurt your ears, but first I had to turn up my system volume by +20% and turn the volume pot quite a bit. At first this might seem trivial, I mean for most people this probably isn't even a problem, but I find it very annoying. The reason for this is because turning up the system volume means I have to turn down the volume knob on my speaker amp, but the problem is, the volume knob is already very close to 0 and turning it down more results in channel imbalance. Otherwise, the DAC from the Topping D3 definitely made my speakers sound a tad clearer.
The last problem I have with this amp is that I cannot select either rear output or front output; both output at the same time. And since I have speakers plugged into the rear output, when I play music, it plays through my speakers and headphones at the same time which is very annoying. Right now, my only solution is to turn off my speaker amp when listening to my headphones and then turn the volume pot all the way down or unplug my headphones when listening to my speakers. Again, some may think this to be trivial, but when I had my sound card in, I had hot keys set up and I would just press Alt + F1/F2/F3 to switch between headphones, speakers, or front panel respectively. That solution was much, much more convenient. Since they added a button to switch between inputs on the Topping D3, they probably could have also added a button to switch between the two outputs.
In conclusion, for the price I paid (230$+30$ shipping), the Topping D3 is a very nice looking, quality feeling, slick DAC/AMP. The problems I covered in this review may very well be an isolated case that only involves me, but that is the nature of a personal review of a product. I would recommend the Topping D3 to anyone who primarily uses headphones and enjoys a very neutral/analytic sound signature. I would also recommend it to anyone with many devices they want to connect to a single DAC/AMP because the Topping D3 definitely has many inputs with a button to switch between them. My review may have sounded negative, but this DAC/AMP actually does sound nice and is very detailed. It's just my preference that I enjoy a darker sound signature.
I have just been looking at these on eBay and thought it may be just what I need but your review has thrown me completely. Perhaps I have misunderstood how you are using this? I would really appreciate your comments.
It appears from the eBay listing to be primarily a DAC with line level outputs on the back intended to be fed into the line-level inputs of a hifi system or powered speakers. You are not inadvertently using 'mic-in' or other sensitive inputs are you? Or worse still..... phono-in!  Only joking.
The volume control on the front is not meant to alter the line-level outputs - which should obviously remain fixed at all times. I would also suggest that the D3 is intended to be used without volume alteration by the PC. The normal PC sound-card volume control is pretty crude and really shouldn't be used. It is really not intended for high quality sound. Either set output to 'fixed' or leave it on Max all the time. I appreciate that you may currently have a problem with the speaker amp but it can't be right to compromise the sound quality of everything in the chain just to overcome the amp problem - whatever that is. That separate amp problem should be overcome separately.
I presume you are using USB input, but it sounds like you are then partially controlling the volume from your PC. Unless the D3 completely replaces the PC sound card, and it does not SAY that it does, you are quite likely compromising sound quality by double processing. I hope I haven't insulted you by stating the obvious, that was not my intention. My intention was to buy one of these - right up to the time when I read your review. If you have now overcome the quality issues I would be very pleased to hear more.


There are no comments to display.