• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

DX3 Pro vs Atom + DAC

Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
32
Likes
0
#1
Hey guys,

I'm new to the audio game. I have an AKG 712 and currently a small fiio Q1 mark ii amp.

The Q1 is great for powering from my macbook and apple products but my gaming PC it fails to gain adequete volumes for games and movies/films. I have a PS4 Pro, Switch and a PC. Mostly the Pc will be used with the headphones but it would be nice to be able to manage multiple inputs.

What are my options in terms of DAC/Amps?

I've gathered I can either get an Atom (which just seems to get universal praise) + a Topping D30.

OR

I can get a DX3 Pro.


I do like the idea of having a remote to control the volume as I sit on a couch but its only 2-3 metres away so not a huge deal. I'm slightly worried about all the DX3 Pro build issue threads but I'm guessing any tech has its fair share of issues in the early days.


Which way do you think is best to go to make my life a bit easier when coming to connecting multiple devices etc.?
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
21,230
Likes
28,558
Location
Seattle Area
#2
The combination of any DAC+atom will give you more power at the limit. DX3 Pro though is smaller, more convenient and has no trouble providing ample power for me. So even though I have countless DACs and atom (plus THX AAA 789), DX3 Pro is what I use. Note that DX3 Pro has perfect channel matching too due to inclusion of DAC.

The reliability issues with DX3 Pro remain though. So if you are going to buy it, buy from a local vendor so that returns are easy. Play with it a lot during that period, plugging and unplugging the unit, letting it go to sleep and such and make sure it stays solid.

An alternative for more money would be SMSL SU-8 and atom. You get reliability, remote, etc. but will cost you another $100.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
32
Likes
0
#3
The combination of any DAC+atom will give you more power at the limit. DX3 Pro though is smaller, more convenient and has no trouble providing ample power for me. So even though I have countless DACs and atom (plus THX AAA 789), DX3 Pro is what I use. Note that DX3 Pro has perfect channel matching too due to inclusion of DAC.

The reliability issues with DX3 Pro remain though. So if you are going to buy it, buy from a local vendor so that returns are easy. Play with it a lot during that period, plugging and unplugging the unit, letting it go to sleep and such and make sure it stays solid.

An alternative for more money would be SMSL SU-8 and atom. You get reliability, remote, etc. but will cost you another $100.
Thank you for your awesome response.

I would be ordered from amazon so that wouldn’t be too difficult to return. The su-8 combo is very very interesting though for the extra 100. Would the su-8 be able to control the audio output volume from the atom?

My akgs have been a little difficult to run from my windows rig with a Fiio q1 hence why I’ve been more towards the atom.

Also I appreciate the ability to update my amp and/or dac if I don’t go for a combo unit.
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
21,230
Likes
28,558
Location
Seattle Area
#4
I would be ordered from amazon so that wouldn’t be too difficult to return. The su-8 combo is very very interesting though for the extra 100. Would the su-8 be able to control the audio output volume from the atom?
It can if you set the volume to high or max on atom. It may not be the best idea though. The volume remote is good for driving speakers.
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
32
Likes
0
#5
It can if you set the volume to high or max on atom. It may not be the best idea though. The volume remote is good for driving speakers.

ahh I see.

Does the DX3 Pro allow me to do it from the couch?


Part of me is thinking I should just get off my butt and change the volume when needed...
 

frogmeat69

Active Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2018
Messages
214
Likes
199
Location
Western New York, USA
#7
The Atom, along with the Topping D10 is a nice little combo. Looks good together, too.
But not as nice looking as the Atom-Topping D50 combo, which is what I have been using lately, since having PC problems and tearing down my entire rack of headphone gear and selling some stuff.
But either combo sounds good to my ears, and the Atom is a little beast of an amp.
 

pwjazz

Active Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
277
Likes
332
#8
The other thing to consider if you're using Apple products is that the 3.5mm output on them is likely quite good to begin with, so you could skip the external DAC and just feed the Atom directly. I primarily feed my Atom directly from an LG V20 and it sounds great.
 

soundwave76

Senior Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
354
Likes
347
Location
Finland
#11
I don't know, I haven't had D30. I had D10 and Khadas though. D50 fits bets with Atom visually. Audibly I don't hear any differences and I doubt nobody will.
 
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
33
Likes
12
Location
Wisconsin
#18
So I just purchased one of these (DX3 Pro) from Amazon "used" for $205 shipped (it'll be here Monday). I'll be sure to run it through its paces during the return period. I read about the DX7s not having any thermal compound in between the heatsinks as one Topping issue but has anyone figured out what the general failure issues with Topping products are due to? ...bad soldering...failing components...etc? I want to get a DX7S too.
 

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
21,230
Likes
28,558
Location
Seattle Area
#19
There are no heatsinks in DX3 Pro so that is not the issue. It seems the output stage goes into protection mode and/or shorts out potentially due to the way it is soldered. I have only had my two units shut down once each but then recover without problem.
 
Top Bottom