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TOPPING's DX3 Pro DAC & Headphone amplifier

Topping DX3 Pro

Rating:
5/5,
  • ae5f1a7f-bb01-4226-af47-4830466c4197.jpg 5666e3da13b7489791f389c5e926477d.jpg

    There's 4 output mode of DX3 Pro: Headphone amp only, Headphone amp + Line out, DAC only, Pre-amplifier. DX3 Pro is suitable for almost all usage scenarios.

    DX3 Pro is using XMOS XU208 + 2 x AK4493 + OPA1612 to support up to 32bit768kHz PCM decoding and DSD512 native decoding of USB input. Besides, DX3 Pro has 2 x Coaxial and 1 x Optical input which support up to 24bit192kHz PCM decoding. DX3 Pro also has bluetooth input which support SBC, ACC, APTX, APTX-II, APTX-HD transmission.

    We also made efforts on Headphone amp of DX3 Pro. It's output power is up to 1000mW x 2@32ohm load and 125mW x 2@300ohm, which is almost suitable for all headphones. Another point which is worth to mentioning is, output impedance of it is no higher than 0.1 ohm (Probably it will be even lower at retail version).
    Stay tuned for more information.

Recent Reviews

  1. Cidious
    Little gem
    Written by Cidious
    Published Dec 16, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Dirt CHEAP
    FEATURES!
    Bluetooth including all latest standards
    Remote control that is logically designed
    DSD capabilty
    Transparant and natural sounding DAC
    Great powerful amp
    Cons - Standard switching power supply doesn't cut it for the amp with harder to drive cans
    NOTHING else at this pricepoint!
    So I got the Topping DX3 Pro for about 4 days now and I've been fiddling around with it quite a bit. I didn't care much for burn-in time etc, but the truth is that it's sounding better now after 3-4 days playing than when just out of the box. Less crisp. More smooth.
    I bought it for JUST 1083 RMB (=€140) at Taobao 12.12 discount. Which makes it a TRUE bargain! Let me start out by saying that at that price point it's hard to beat! I did add my own ultra low noise linear power supply that is able to deliver 1.5A on 15V. Which improved the power it can deliver on harder to drive cans. (388 rmb = €50, which brings it to a total of no €200 including shipping) A dual AK4473 DAC, Headphone amp AND bluetooth receiver in one.. Let's see how it performs.

    Gear used:
    Laptop -> QED USB cable -> UFEEL USB004 signal purifier -> Topping DX3 Pro -> optional Lehman BCL (customised) -> Canare Quad star L-4E6S cable -> Beyerdynamic DT770s (modded with 600ohm 45m T1 Tesla drivers), Mr Speakers Mad Dogs, Audio Technica ATX-M50X 32ohm, QMS Q5 studio monitor speakers

    WeChat Image_20181217005646.jpg

    DAC only:
    Sadly at this time I don't have any other DAC running (that's why I bought it) since my other DACs died in the past year. I had a LKS custom built ES9018 DAC with a highly tuned output stage and some other small DACs (Sanskrit, Aune T1SE, Aune X1S, onboard ES9018K2M). So no direct A/B comparison DAC only. Sorry. The ES9018K2M in my laptop is not worth comparing it with.

    Findings:
    Transparant
    Natural sounding
    Detailed enough
    Open sound

    Nice open sound with enough detail and soundstage. Compared to my ES9018 (from what I remember) it's a bit more clinical and less warm (in comparison, don't read as unnatural), but that's probably not a bad thing for many since I personally always lean heavily to a tube sound and I had tuned it's output stage heavily for this type of sound. I'd say the DAC is really clean and neutral. Don't get me wrong. It's NOT cold. It's still musically pleasing and warm but just different from that typical sparkly thick ESS sound that i'm used to. I'd say it's a bit more flat.


    DAC + Headphone amp
    I could compare my highly customised Lehman to the built in headphone amp. And I can tell you already, WHAT FUN to discover what that little thing is capable of! I NEVER expected it to drive my 600ohm customised Beyers.. but even without the 9db gain option it drivers them perfectly fine! NOTE: this is with the linear power supply. With the standard switching power supply brick bass is less full for sure and lacking in dynamics. On my Audio Technica M50X I couldn't hear much difference between power supplies, probably since they are much easier to driver at 32ohm impedance.

    Findings:
    Lots of power
    Transparant
    Good dynamics
    Energetic sounding
    A bit crisp

    My Lehman is a little bit more refined and smooth sounding since I tweaked every last bit out of it, but the onboard amp is getting darn close! A true audiophile would maybe hear the difference and it doesn't make my Lehman obsolete yet. But darn what does it come close! sometimes I was switching back and forth and got drawn into some typing on some forums to start guessing which amp I have my cans plugged in. If I wouldn't have my Lehman at hand here I would EASILY take the DX3's headamp as my daily driver with a smile on my face.

    It's just a great value package together! Is this the ultimate audiophile package? but at this price point I would DARE other products to contest with it. Because the truth is that I just can't find many serious flaws. It offers more than you pay for it and in my opinion sets a new standard at this price point for other companies to come with something as complete and well functioning as this little beauty.

    That said I am gunning for the Topping D50 since its also the same darn cheap here to A/B compare it with.

    UPDATE 1:
    The unit is now properly burned. In and I finally get why AKM refers to this chip with 'velvet sound'. The crisp has softened and the whole sound is more cohesive than at first (don't read as worse instrument seperation or anything, just more balanced)
    I have to be honest that I don't use the headamp that much since I got my Lehman (Burson v6) which I also use as a pre-amp for my studio monitors. This pairs amazingly with the AKM DAC.

    Somewhere this week I'll get my LKS ES9018 back and I'll be able to make a nice comparison. The 9018 uses AD828 opamps in the IV stage and OPA1612 as buffer. Was my favorite DAC for my studiosmonitors. Let's hear.

    Also I bought the DX7S Remote for on my desk which gives it a nice luxury feel since it's an aluminum cast remote control unit. Even though the plastic one coming with the DX3 Pro is better shaped for comfort, the feel of aluminum has a nice touch to it for the desk. It's fully compatible so far. Same functionality.
      PacoBdn, bidn, volly and 3 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Cidious
      Ah? I'm not sure what you're gunning at. The specs of the DAC are 15V/1A right? So 15V/1.5A is the only option you can choose.. there are no other 15V versions right ? Just the 15V/1.5A version is the one you need. For the D50 some other options are available. But for DX3 Pro just 15V/1.5A and it comes with the right cable and DC plug.
      Cidious, Dec 24, 2018
    3. Cidious
      Sorry I'm reading it again and kind of assume now that your knowledge of electricity might be minimal. The voltage needs to be the same. The amperage needs to be same or higher than the specs of the device prescribes. The voltage is important for all components are designed to work at that voltage. Putting through a higher voltage might cause damage to the individual compononets. .
      Cidious, Dec 24, 2018
    4. Cidious
      Amperage just means how much current it can deliver. If the specs of the device state 1A then 1.5A should be more than sufficient headroom
      Cidious, Dec 24, 2018

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