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Color: Silver Description Innovation Power Supply Design With DAC Decoder USB intelligent...

Topping NX3 HiFi Portable Headphone Amplifier (Silver)

  • Color: Silver Description Innovation Power Supply Design With DAC Decoder USB intelligent Charging By internal NX3 it's a 2400mAh large-capacity litchium polymer battery,charging 0.5hour,it can work 5 hours. 220V working voltage can give full play to the op-amp and guarantee the good performance. NX3 is able to drive high impedance headphones which enough dynamic level range NX-3 can adapt to the charge output of computer USB port and varitey of plugs. It automatically adjust the suitable charging current with the fastest speed to supplement the battery. Specification Weight: 145g Min THD+N:0.0018% S/N:108db(RL=250Ω,GAIN=L) Dimensions: 66mmx108mmx13mm Battery: 2400mAh Rechargeable Frequency Response: 10Hz-100KHz Output Power: 103mW (RL=16Ω,THD+N=1%) 98mW (RL=32Ω,THD+N=1%) 30mW (RL=250Ω,THD+N=1%) Suitable Headphone Impedance: 16-300Ω SoundCard: PCM2704 HI-FI USB DAC SPDIF Package 1*NX3 Headphone 1*Audio Cable 1*USB Cable 1*Silicone Band 1*Velcro 1*Manual

Recent Reviews

  1. Zelda
    Great for the price
    Written by Zelda
    Published Sep 2, 2016
    Pros - Build quality; Battery; Sound Quality for the price
    Cons - Bass is not "Mega"
    REVIEW: Topping NX3 - Portable Amplifier
    Website: tpdz.net
    Full specifications: Link
    Available in Black and Silver color.
    1. 3.5mm to 3.5mm short cable
    2. USB cable
    3. 2 rubber bands
    4. 5 pairs of adhesive velcro pads
    Pretty much everything needed for a portable amp, though a carrying pouch would be nice to have.
    Build & Design:
    Build quality is excellent on the NX3 and not just for the price but as a portable amplifier. The whole body is made of very thick aluminum, including the volume knob. It's a bit heavy but still well suited for its portable use. The matte surface is very smooth and gives it a more discreet look.
    As for the controls and connections is also quite simple. At the front there're the two in and output connections, the Gain and Bass switches and the volume knob which also turns the amplifier on/off, and the LED indicator. The volume knob is tight enough to prevent an unintentionally volume change. At the back, there's just the micro-USB and charging LED.
    Power, Hiss, Battery:
    The NX3 specifications states to be suitable up to 300ohm headphones which seems quite accurate after some tests, as it can drive the VE Zen earbuds quite well with their high 320ohm impedance. Haven't got a chance to try it with more demanding full-size sets with 600ohm, but still the NX3 has plenty of driving power.
    At low gain, the amplifier didn't show any sign of hiss, even with most sensitive IEM/CIEMs. On high gain the hiss is minimal and only with those really sensitive sets.
    Battery is quite good. The stated 25+ hrs seems accurate as well. While I didn't get to try the previous NX1/NX1A models with their supposed much longer battery, I found the NX3 to last much more than other portable amplifiers.
    With the Bass gain off, the NX3 has a rather linear response. Not a flat/neutral signal, as there's a very slight hint of warmth, but overall it shows almost no coloration. It plays well with popular budget oriented sources such as the Sandisk Clip series or the iPod Shuffle and Nano, which are quite decent sounding DAP. The addition of the Topping NX3 is very favorable with these small ultraportable players that lack the extra power for more demanding gears, and are also limited in terms of dynamics and stage dimensions. On the other hand, with powerful and more dedicated sources like the Hifiman HM-700 and HM-650, Lotoo PAW5000 or Fiio X3, the results were not as positive, as these higher portable players already have a quite clear signal and the addition of NX3 didn't mean much; moreover, with the PAW5000 the results are a bit negative, as the sound is more distorted. Considering its affordable price I don't find it as a negative aspect of the amplifier; being able to nicely improve the sound of small players for its low price it's a good achievement for the NX3.
    Getting to sound itself, NX3 does have a more solid low-end presence with better layering and dynamics. Bass sounds more realistic in texture, better in depth but not the deepest and has a small mid-bass emphasis for a greater presentation, yet it is a bit tighter, more effortless and well controlled. It goes well with soft bass sounding earphones and gives a nicer touch to the bass response of single BA IEM sets. Note presentation is slightly towards the thin side without the bass gain.
    Mids are well balanced with the low and upper end, neither more forward nor more recessed than the true nature of the chosen headphone. The midrange could be described as crisp and detailed. It has a little cold and leaner tonality that trades some lush and smoothness for a dryer sound yet more fluent and dynamic midrange with slight more upper-mid emphasis. Expectedly, there is no midrange bleed before turning the bass switch on.
    The upper-end follows the same formula as the mids. No real extra energy, remaining pretty much unchanged in terms of quantities, but it does show more refinement and slightly rounder notes. The NX3 has some own merit over brighter/analytical or more transparent sources like more expensive Cayin C5 when treating sibilance and taming some treble harshness/sharpness on more energetic sets like the RHA MA750, VE Duke and Asura 2.0. On the other hand, higher detail retrieval is not really noticed, not a stronger sense of air, but at least maintains a timbre level better than the AMP-HP and old Fiio E11 (not A3/E11K).
    Switching the Bass on, sound gets fuller and more rumbly, but not as much as the "Mega Bass" advertise warrants. The stronger bass elevation causes the NX3 to sound less controlled, boomier and less dynamic, giving a warmer tone to the overall sound. Moreover, the bass gain varies a lot on the ear/headphone used. With more open design sets, there's practically very little more bass quantity; VE Asura 2.0 (w/o foams) or full size SoundMagic HP200 and (briefly auditioned) Sennheiser HD650 are some examples. Moreover, in-ear models that have a soft bass character, i.e. VE Duke and Fidue A63, don't show any major difference in the low-end, although the tonality gets a tad warmer/fuller. The real changes were with closed designs, where the bass is strongly boosted. Personally, I wouldn't turn the bass gain with earphones that already have a dominating low-end. Maybe that's what the "Mega Bass" feature means.
    As for the presentation of the Topping NX3, it is wider and has a better instruments positioning and separation, but some soundstage depth is missing despite sounding a bit more spacious. Layering is about average, but upper-end extension is quite good for the affordable price of the small amplifier.
    Some comparisons and pairing results:
    NX3 vs. Audinst AMP-HP:
    Similarly priced and featuring a very solid build quality as the NX3, the Audinst AMP-HP is also a sub $100 option for the portable amplifier. However, in terms of sound they are quite totally opposite to each other. The AMP-HP features the opamp rolling option, but with the installed Muses 8820 the sound is more midrange centered with some gain towards the upper mid, smoother upper treble and soft low-end. It gives a better texture to vocals, but soundstage is a bit narrow and extension more limited. The NX3 has a stronger and deeper bass, crispier but less smooth treble and midrange is leaner with better instrument separation. Neither of them shows a strong improvement in detail retrieval, but the NX3 has the upper hand in extension and is also more versatile, offers 2 gain, bass boost option and can also drive TRRS balanced and microphone sets without the need of an adapter.
    NX3 Vs Cayin C5 (Link):
    The sound presentation of the so well regarded Cayin C5 is quite amazing for its price. It offers a very open, spacious and highly detailed sound. It's quite a powerful device and shows great synergy with different audio sets. The treble can get more prominent with a kind of analytical touch on it. The NX3 does share a certain balanced presentation with the C5, but the pricier C5 is on a higher league. The NX3 sound is a warmer in the bass end, not as tight and less dynamic, but the treble, while not as refined and resolving, is smoother and more forgiving with brighter headphones. Both amplifiers also share similar hardware characteristics; 2 gain and bass boost options (stronger on the Cayin C5) and the ability to drive TRRS 3.5 balanced ended sets.
    With its higher price (2 or 3 times) over the NX3, the C5 definitely offers a major improvement in terms of SQ alone. Even though, the Topping has the upper hand. The NX3 has better build quality and quality control and has a much better battery behavior with no bugs.
    VE Zen 2.0 (w/donut foams) - H Gain:
    The Zen 2.0 earbud with its high 300+ ohm impedance is a great way to test the driving power and dynamics of a source. The NX3 specs states up to 300ohm, so the H-gain of amplifier is needed to drive well the Zen 2 to a proper level. It still doesn't bring the VE 2 to its best performance in terms of dynamics and resolution, speed and detail are well done. Bass response can become a bit overwhelming with the Bass gain on, losing in texture and control. Treble is better rounded, more present and authoritative; with the Bass gain is softer and smoother.
    VE Duke:
    The IEM model of VE is very source (and eartip) dependant. It's not very hard to drive but shows very different results with every source in overall presentation. With the NX3, the foam tips are very recommended to get a good balance from lows to highs, otherwise it might sound a bit thin and too bright. Soundstage is rather wide and speed excellent.
    AAW Nebula One:
    Not a hard to drive earphone but benefits from a more spacious sounding source. Very good balance with the NX3, better texture and layering, especially on the bass region and more forward mids. The Bass Gain works great without losing control or getting overpowered despite the strong bass nature of the One.
    Hifiman RE-400-B, RE-600, Compact Earbuds: Balanced TRRS output
    All of these Hifiman earphones are TRRS balanced ended, and like the Cayin C5, the NX3 can drive them properly showing the differences between the single-ended and balanced outputs. The results are as expected, a wider range, more spacious sound and better dynamics. The mids are thinner, though, not distant but sound less intimate than when the TRS adapter is used.

    I must say that on the first tries, the topping NX3 didn't sound very impressive or convincing, but after trying different gears it managed to show its real strengths. If the retail price is around $80 it has a good value already, but if found for ~$60 it makes a great deal for sure. It offers pretty much everything a portable amplifier should, build quality, friendly design, excellent battery, and most importantly, great sound with most of the headphones I've tried. For more dedicated and strong DAPs the NX3 didn't make much difference, but for budget players it is a very good improvement.
    1. peter123
      Great read, thanks!
      peter123, Sep 2, 2016
    2. DynamikeB
      Good review, thank you.  I am still hesitating between Nx2 and Nx3...
      DynamikeB, Sep 4, 2016
    3. Zelda
      Thanks!. Don't know about the NX2, but there's a new NX5 for ~$100. might pick one myself
      Zelda, Sep 5, 2016


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