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Review and Measurements of Topping DX3Pro DAC and Headphone Amp

GAP

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While I agree with Bigsy that the DX3 if it have excessive clicking in normal computer audio use-cases, this is a problem with the product as a general product. Hopefully Topping will be able to solve some of these issues. However it is equally important to stress the use cases in which it functions desirably. I would have cancelled my order if those had not been presented. For me this was all the time going to be connected to a dedicated Roon-endpoint.

Hence, in the short term perspective i'm not stressed out, but in the long term and if I find another use for it I hope the issue is somewhat remedied.
 

THW

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While I agree with Bigsy that the DX3 if it have excessive clicking in normal computer audio use-cases, this is a problem with the product as a general product. Hopefully Topping will be able to solve some of these issues. However it is equally important to stress the use cases in which it functions desirably. I would have cancelled my order if those had not been presented. For me this was all the time going to be connected to a dedicated Roon-endpoint.

Hence, in the short term perspective i'm not stressed out, but in the long term and if I find another use for it I hope the issue is somewhat remedied.
Yeah I’m not disagreeing with fixes, I’m taking a bigger issue with how (in my opinion) this is all blown out of proportion

@Bigsy yeah ok I can buy the bit about different use cases. for at home desktop use though, my point still stands, it’s not really that big of a problem.
 
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Well in your option, my unit clicks after a few seconds with no sound and with open back headphones I can obviously hear it clear as day every damn time and it's annoying. But like I said it was for work where I don't feel I can use it in its current state.
 
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Just to clarify (as I am not eager to reference several pages back), is the constant click only occurring with people using it in WASAPI mode for music playback and then browsing the web (which should not be attaching to the DX3 at all)?
Or is it happening to them constantly even in shared mode?

I received my unit today and have been using it in shared mode with Topping driver. The clicks don't seem to happen that often, only after playback stops in either Foobar or web browser, or when changing bit rate. Certainly it does not happen "with every web page load" or anything of that nature. And to be honest, it's hardly audible even with a fully open headphone on. It's a rather faint sound.
 

Veri

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Just to clarify (as I am not eager to reference several pages back), is the constant click only occurring with people using it in WASAPI mode for music playback and then browsing the web (which should not be attaching to the DX3 at all)?
Or is it happening to them constantly even in shared mode?

I received my unit today and have been using it in shared mode with Topping driver. The clicks don't seem to happen that often, only after playback stops in either Foobar or web browser, or when changing bit rate. Certainly it does not happen "with every web page load" or anything of that nature. And to be honest, it's hardly audible even with a fully open headphone on. It's a rather faint sound.
Shared mode is what people were saying.
 
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I received my unit today and have been using it in shared mode with Topping driver. The clicks don't seem to happen that often, only after playback stops in either Foobar or web browser, or when changing bit rate. Certainly it does not happen "with every web page load" or anything of that nature. And to be honest, it's hardly audible even with a fully open headphone on. It's a rather faint sound.
As it renegotiates the rate everytime a stream starts and stops regardless of actual rate then if you have say windows sounds enabled and say every web url you click (with mouse) will result in a dac click and then another click a few seconds after as windows plays a 'tick' sound as you navigate. It basically depends what sounds you have on. Obviously, you can turn windows sounds off but it happens all over really if you run the dac in this mode.
 
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What do you think, if to solder short this relay to always be in the 'on' state, can the device work normally or not?
 
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Before taking a soldering iron to the relays, I'd just use alligator clips or a paperclip and electrical tape, i.e. something easy to undo. Then you can evaluate how it works.

I noticed above, the Topping rep suggested that the AK4493 chip itself makes popping noises under some circumstances, and that was at least one of the reasons for including the relays. So, having the relays always closed may trade one problem for another.

I'm curious if the AK4493 still makes those popping noises if its volume is set to zero (or muted, if it has such functionality). If so, I would think the right way to solve the problem is have a microcontroller use the chip's builtin muting function instead of relays. That would certainly be cheaper, and "budget" is clearly a design goal of this device. So presumably using the IC's muting capability is not sufficient.

On the other hand, it is possible to build a transistor-based relay-equivalent, see this for example. But I suspect that adds too much cost/complexity for the DX3 Pro's target market.
 
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That's my experience too. On top of that when wearing my headphones I can't hear any relay clicking at all.
Just received the unit yesterday, and Amir's description of the user experience is so far close to mine.
I just rebuilt Windows 10 on my PC this weekend, so I haven't gotten to configuring foobar2000 for exclusive mode.
I've used the DX3 driver with 32-bit output, with YouTube, FLAC 44.1, iTunes 44.1, iPhone Music over AAC Bluetooth. So far I haven't heard the clicking. Granted, I have headphones on.

I have one bit of feedback up front. I'd like to see the output volume levels stored for each of the inputs, and each of those separately for variable LINE OUT and HEADPHONE. My speakers are consistently too loud, when I switch away from my 300 Ohm headphones, and BT is louder than my PC. I'm going to have to reinstall my Schiit SYS in series with the speaker lines and control the speaker volume there. I'd prefer a simpler setup (no SYS), since the DX3Pro hardware appears to be able to support it.
 
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As I understood they said 'pop' sound can be when changing frame rate, but not in every sound start/stop. And changing frame rate not so often as start/stop. And this relay useless maybe
 

TonyM

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Just received the unit yesterday, and Amir's description of the user experience is so far close to mine.
I just rebuilt Windows 10 on my PC this weekend, so I haven't gotten to configuring foobar2000 for exclusive mode.
I've used the DX3 driver with 32-bit output, with YouTube, FLAC 44.1, iTunes 44.1, iPhone Music over AAC Bluetooth. So far I haven't heard the clicking. Granted, I have headphones on.

I have one bit of feedback up front. I'd like to see the output volume levels stored for each of the inputs, and each of those separately for variable LINE OUT and HEADPHONE. My speakers are consistently too loud, when I switch away from my 300 Ohm headphones, and BT is louder than my PC. I'm going to have to reinstall my Schiit SYS in series with the speaker lines and control the speaker volume there. I'd prefer a simpler setup (no SYS), since the DX3Pro hardware appears to support it.
Hi,

this sounds pretty close to what my setup would look like...only it would be in the office with 2 colleagues in the same room......could you maybe pay a bit attention to it without the headphones on if it makes noises?

Cheers
Andreas
 
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Just received the unit yesterday, and Amir's description of the user experience is so far close to mine.
I just rebuilt Windows 10 on my PC this weekend, so I haven't gotten to configuring foobar2000 for exclusive mode.
I've used the DX3 driver with 32-bit output, with YouTube, FLAC 44.1, iTunes 44.1, iPhone Music over AAC Bluetooth. So far I haven't heard the clicking. Granted, I have headphones on.

I have one bit of feedback up front. I'd like to see the output volume levels stored for each of the inputs, and each of those separately for variable LINE OUT and HEADPHONE. My speakers are consistently too loud, when I switch away from my 300 Ohm headphones, and BT is louder than my PC. I'm going to have to reinstall my Schiit SYS in series with the speaker lines and control the speaker volume there. I'd prefer a simpler setup (no SYS), since the DX3Pro hardware appears to support it.
It's worth noting that if something is basically holding the stream open you won't get any clicking when using desktop likesources, for example when I restart my PC spotify will always load at startup and it will have the previous song open but paused (could also maybe a paused youtube video in a tab... something like that). I can use the computer normally at this point and if everything is the same rate.. no clicking.

Not saying that's what's happening here but I suspect that's what's happening to some people who report no clicks or very few clicks... because they should be there, its a design fault in all units it would seem.
 
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Hi,

this sounds pretty close to what my setup would look like...only it would be in the office with 2 colleagues in the same room......could you maybe pay a bit attention to it without the headphones on if it makes noises?

Cheers
Andreas
Sure thing, Andreas - I'm not saying the clicking wasn't there, but the speaker/headphone (HD 650 played loudly) output and my forced-air heating system likely masked it. I can try it with just a headphone cord attached.
Another thing I'd like to see, when in HEADPHONE mode, is for the display to temporarily show bit rate changes - or have a display mode that can optionally favor the bit rate. This would help us correlate the clicking, also.
 
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Sure thing, Andreas - I'm not saying the clicking wasn't there, but the speaker/headphone (HD 650 played loudly) output and my forced-air heating system likely masked it. I can try it with just a headphone cord attached.
Another thing I'd like to see, when in HEADPHONE mode, is for the display to temporarily show bit rate changes - or have a display mode that can optionally favor the bit rate. This would help us correlate the clicking, also.
It does show rate changes on screen in headphone mode?!? It's doesn't however show a "renegotiated" rate change, least mine doesn't.
 

Wolven

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I was the first to report clicks with DX3pro. Before, buying I asked Armin if he heard a lot of clicks, and his unit was fine, so there was a Topping change in production units.

Topping rep said this clicking is normal for the unit but they will change XMOS to get rid of clicks. Or remove the ones that don't involve rate change. I consider click after rate change normal although not desirable. This type of behaviour seems to be common with other DACs.

Or do people have DACs that don't do that in WASAPI? (running DS windows driver doesn't count)

So, all units click, just some people use units in a way that minimizes it. I do it, and I'm fine with my unit.

It does appear the remotes are junk, and a few of us need replacements. Not the end of the world they will send new ones, just annoying.
 

dkinric

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Well, this thread has certainly taken an interesting turn. I am amazed at the entitlement of some to criticize the sharing of freely offered objective measurements and experienced subjective opinions, presented as no more than that. Perhaps it is a culture difference, where well intentioned constructive feedback is not coming across as intended? Personally I am extremely grateful for the info shared here and I can make more informed decisions based on this as an important datapoint. When someone gives you a gift, it's bad form to criticize and point out how it is flawed. I would think constructive criticism would be welcomed if presented properly.

Back on topic, I also received my DX3PRO yesterday (ordered off ebay 11/21) and it seems to be working properly. Nice looking, compact unit!

I also could not find a battery for the remote so will need to purchase. I will be using via chromecast optical output to DX3, to my Sennheiser HD6XX. I was able to go into the setup mode as instructed (hold down knob when inserting power cord) and change to high gain.
I did not realize I needed to purchase a special miniToslink to Toslink cable as the CC only has one multifunction output. I used Bluetooth last night, which worked fine, but will withold my opinion until I can get a better source signal.
Clicking was not an issue at all for me.
 
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It does show rate changes on screen in headphone mode?!? It's doesn't however show a "renegotiated" rate change, least mine doesn't.
Perhaps that's another reason I'm not noticing clicking, yet - maybe Win 10 is holding the bitrate constant in Shared Mode. I don't know, yet. When I've gotten a little further with my PC reconfig, I'll be able to report more thoroughly on the bitrate issue.
 
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