• 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.

Is there really no alternative to Topping MX3?

ozz

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
27
Likes
1
#1
Hey guys,
I've been reading about this for days and I'm getting sick of it.

Here's what I need. A dac and headphone amp combo (or a separate dac and headphone amp) that has optical input and a remote, I want this to listen to my headphones (64ohm) with my TV. I thought this will be easy but like 4-5 days later, I found MX3, DX3 pro, SMSL AD18, of these 3, I have no use for all the functionality that AD18 and MX3 have (although BT would be nice if it could be turned off, otherwise it's a nightmare as I've read on this forum and the ability to use powered speakers with so rca out would be useful) and I'm terrified of the DX3 pro after reading about 30 pages of people having nightmares with it and it costs a lot of money for what I want. The MX3 has better head amp and cheaper than the AD18 that's the reason for the title.

I'd like to use a modi + magni or atom (even though I'm in EU and everything from US would cost 30-40% more) or I'd bet even an SMSL M3 would be enough for me but why does nothing else have remotes ? I mean nothing below 250$, I don't wanna pay that much simply to be able to control volume, it's ridiculous even to say it.

Is there any other way to control remote without spending a bunch of money?
 

RayDunzl

Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
7,740
Likes
4,610
Location
Riverview FL
#2

ozz

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
27
Likes
1
#3
Thanks for looking into it. This is exactly what I'd need but after reading all the comments, I realize it's a ****** product, many people complain how it affects audio quality, clipping, humming, extra white noise and the universal complaint is the remote, doesn't work, gets stuck and becomes volume on or mute basically.

This thing is so weird to me, does nobody watch movies with headphones on at 3AM in the night when you can't blast the speakers?
 

Cahudson42

Active Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2019
Messages
182
Likes
180
#5
Would you consider Bluetooth as an alternate?

I use this $30 bt receiver/headphone amp at bedside with my SHP9500 phones, and TV Firestick transmitting bt:

CAMWAY Bluetooth 5.0 DAC, 192kHZ Digital to Analog Audio Converter with Bluetooth Receiver, Optical/Coaxial to RCA 3.5mm Audio Output with Volume Control for TV Phone Tablet Amplifer https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DJ9SRGY/

For watching TV at 3am, I find the audio quality ok.

If no bt on your TV, toslink bt transmitters are about $15, and could provide the bt tx side...
 

ozz

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
27
Likes
1
#6
Would you consider Bluetooth as an alternate?

I use this $30 bt receiver/headphone amp at bedside with my SHP9500 phones, and TV Firestick transmitting bt:

CAMWAY Bluetooth 5.0 DAC, 192kHZ Digital to Analog Audio Converter with Bluetooth Receiver, Optical/Coaxial to RCA 3.5mm Audio Output with Volume Control for TV Phone Tablet Amplifer https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DJ9SRGY/

For watching TV at 3am, I find the audio quality ok.

If no bt on your TV, toslink bt transmitters are about $15, and could provide the bt tx side...
I once bought a sony mdr-1000xb (noise cancelling) as a birthday present and I tried it out, it sounded super weak, somewhat better with cables plugged in but still, it was nowhere near my cheaper FA003. BT itself just sounds sh*tty (maybe there are high quality BT receivers for a lot of money? but the average stuff is bad). I was thinking about this exact camway DAC when I first started searching for a solution but I quickly remember how bad BT sounded..
 

Cahudson42

Active Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2019
Messages
182
Likes
180
#7
@ozz

With the camway you are at least being able to use your regular wired phones - not some bt-phones piece-of-c***

If you get it from Amazon, remember you have 30-days to return it. I've done so on several items, including an es100 and BTR3 which I didn't like, with no return problems
 

ozz

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
27
Likes
1
#8
@ozz

With the camway you are at least being able to use your regular wired phones - not some bt-phones piece-of-c***

If you get it from Amazon, remember you have 30-days to return it. I've done so on several items, including an es100 and BTR3 which I didn't like, with no return problems
Yeah I get you but still BT degrades audio quality a lot. By the way, amazon is only a great deal for US, UK people, I'm in eastern europe, if I ordered that 24$ dac, I'd pay about 20$ shipping and 10$ custom tax, also 5% amazon exchange fee (what a scam..), so double the price and to return it, 20$ (at best amazon refunds half of that). If we buy something from amazon or china and it costs 50$ or less, if it's DOA or just bad, we lose that money.
 

Berwhale

Senior Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
327
Likes
277
Location
West Sussex, UK
#9
I have a Sennheiser Flex 5000 for the TV (it's connected to the optical out on my Samsung QLED). I bought 'B Stock' from the Sennheiser Outlet. It was in mint condition. Subjective sound quality is excellent.

It's currently £108, but there's a 20% off code: Outlet20.

https://en-uk.sennheiser-outlet.com/shops/detail.php?product_id=3338

(If the link doesn't work, Google for Sennheiser outlet and go to the Home & TV section - you may want to do this to get to the outlet shop for your own country).

Note that the Flex 5000 requires a PCM input. Fortunately my Samsung allows independent setting of encoding between optical and HDMI - so I can have PCM to the optical and DD5.1 going to my AVR via HDMI and use both at the same time.
 
Last edited:

Berwhale

Senior Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
327
Likes
277
Location
West Sussex, UK
#10
...does nothing else have remotes ? I mean nothing below 250$, I don't wanna pay that much simply to be able to control volume, it's ridiculous even to say it.
The cheapest DAC with a remote that I could find is the SMSL Sanskrit 10th. I bought one from Amazon Warehouse for £66, but I sent it back due to a faulty line output (which probably explains why it was the the Warehouse).
 

AudioSceptic

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
579
Likes
446
Location
Northampton, UK
#12
Hey guys,
I've been reading about this for days and I'm getting sick of it.

Here's what I need. A dac and headphone amp combo (or a separate dac and headphone amp) that has optical input and a remote, I want this to listen to my headphones (64ohm) with my TV. I thought this will be easy but like 4-5 days later, I found MX3, DX3 pro, SMSL AD18, of these 3, I have no use for all the functionality that AD18 and MX3 have (although BT would be nice if it could be turned off, otherwise it's a nightmare as I've read on this forum and the ability to use powered speakers with so rca out would be useful) and I'm terrified of the DX3 pro after reading about 30 pages of people having nightmares with it and it costs a lot of money for what I want. The MX3 has better head amp and cheaper than the AD18 that's the reason for the title.

I'd like to use a modi + magni or atom (even though I'm in EU and everything from US would cost 30-40% more) or I'd bet even an SMSL M3 would be enough for me but why does nothing else have remotes ? I mean nothing below 250$, I don't wanna pay that much simply to be able to control volume, it's ridiculous even to say it.

Is there any other way to control remote without spending a bunch of money?
The TV has no headphone socket, or the SQ's not good enough?

Other than that, the Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital does what you want, although it is over your $250 limit and has line-outs which you don't need (I assume). I'm happy with mine. ;)
 

ozz

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
27
Likes
1
#13
I have a Sennheiser Flex 5000 for the TV (it's connected to the optical out on my Samsung QLED). I bought 'B Stock' from the Sennheiser Outlet. It was in mint condition. Subjective sound quality is excellent.

It's currently £108, but there's a 20% off code: Outlet20.

https://en-uk.sennheiser-outlet.com/shops/detail.php?product_id=3338

(If the link doesn't work, Google for Sennheiser outlet and go to the Home & TV section - you may want to do this to get to the outlet shop for your own country).

Note that the Flex 5000 requires a PCM input. Fortunately my Samsung allows independent setting of encoding between optical and HDMI - so I can have PCM to the optical and DD5.1 going to my AVR via HDMI and use both at the same time.
I don't really get that product, so it's a dac that transmits via RF to that remote control that you charge up and you plug the headphones into the remote control? where do you put the head amp? This stuff is more likely for people who struggle with hearing speech, 15h-15khz freq range doesn't feel like it's for high quality music/movies.
 

ozz

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2019
Messages
27
Likes
1
#14
The TV has no headphone socket, or the SQ's not good enough?

Other than that, the Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital does what you want, although it is over your $250 limit and has line-outs which you don't need (I assume). I'm happy with mine. ;)
The TV is https://www.displayspecifications.com/en/model/a1cebf4 the only audio out is optical, so I need a dac and head amp. So far nothing seems to have dac/amp and remote beside MX3, DX3 pro, seems like I'm stuck with one of those.
Yeah that's 400$, above budget but the head amp spec on that is very low, 6.6 mW / 600 Ohm; 68 mW / 32 Ohm, what headphones you drive with it ?
 

Berwhale

Senior Member
Patreon Donor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
327
Likes
277
Location
West Sussex, UK
#15
I don't really get that product, so it's a dac that transmits via RF to that remote control that you charge up and you plug the headphones into the remote control? where do you put the head amp? This stuff is more likely for people who struggle with hearing speech, 15h-15khz freq range doesn't feel like it's for high quality music/movies.
Yes, that's true. But it is has several benefits...

1. You can plug any headphones you like into it (it comes with some serviceable in-ears, but i've used AKGK712Pro's and Sennheiser Momentum 2.0's with it).
2. It's not Bluetooth and avoids issues with paring, codec selection, latency, etc.
3. It's easy to use: pick it up, press volume up and it starts working. Put it back on the charger, it stops playing and starts charging.
4. The SQ seems excellent to me - this guy agrees: https://theaudiophileman.com/flex-5000/
 

AudioSceptic

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jul 31, 2019
Messages
579
Likes
446
Location
Northampton, UK
#16
The TV is https://www.displayspecifications.com/en/model/a1cebf4 the only audio out is optical, so I need a dac and head amp. So far nothing seems to have dac/amp and remote beside MX3, DX3 pro, seems like I'm stuck with one of those.
Yeah that's 400$, above budget but the head amp spec on that is very low, 6.6 mW / 600 Ohm; 68 mW / 32 Ohm, what headphones you drive with it ?
Works very well with Beyer DT880 Edition 32 Ohm and Grado SR80e. Don't know how it would fare with less efficient/ tougher load phones.
 

bravomail

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
410
Likes
146
#17
Hey guys,
I've been reading about this for days and I'm getting sick of it.

Here's what I need. A dac and headphone amp combo (or a separate dac and headphone amp) that has optical input and a remote, I want this to listen to my headphones (64ohm) with my TV. I thought this will be easy but like 4-5 days later, I found MX3, DX3 pro, SMSL AD18, of these 3, I have no use for all the functionality that AD18 and MX3 have (although BT would be nice if it could be turned off, otherwise it's a nightmare as I've read on this forum and the ability to use powered speakers with so rca out would be useful) and I'm terrified of the DX3 pro after reading about 30 pages of people having nightmares with it and it costs a lot of money for what I want. The MX3 has better head amp and cheaper than the AD18 that's the reason for the title.

I'd like to use a modi + magni or atom (even though I'm in EU and everything from US would cost 30-40% more) or I'd bet even an SMSL M3 would be enough for me but why does nothing else have remotes ? I mean nothing below 250$, I don't wanna pay that much simply to be able to control volume, it's ridiculous even to say it.

Is there any other way to control remote without spending a bunch of money?
There are cheap enough AV receivers... :) Sony 190 got the praise from Amir - but test it within return window.
 
Top Bottom