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Review and Measurements of Topping NX4 DSD Dac and Portable Headphone Amplifier

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Apr 9, 2018
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I thought I read elsewhere that the NX4 is one of the few DACs that do not require the camera adapter.
 
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Compared to the standard analog output on my dell xps15 laptop, I don't find the sound quality soo much of an improvement. It's louder, yes, I can blow up my ears with it now with the HD600's. And the sound is 'tighter'. Especially in the higher frequencies. But therefore also less 'warm' than the standard output on the laptop. Actually a little bit 'harsch' in the mid to high freq.. Maybe people find that the sound is 'more accurate'?

How would you guys describe the differences? Overall little difference between the output from my laptop and the nx4 dsd.
 
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Oct 2, 2018
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I didn’t realize how small the nx4 would be. I have it charging now with my iPhone charger. I have another charger coming from Amazon as my iPhone is only 1 amp and topping recommends 1.5 amps.
 
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The meenova cable alone does work with my iPhone at iOS 12 and the NX4. I hope my other cable posted on this site will work as well, hopefully it should be here next week.

I am quite blown away by what you get for 159 with the NX4. I have had quite a few portable amps including the Apex Glacier, Leckerton UHA6S, portaphile 627/627X, iFi micro (original non bl), pico dacamp, original dragonfly and original Meridian explorer to name a few.

Dollar per dollar this NX4 is by far the best value that I have ever owned as well as one of the best build qualities I have seen for a portable amp. It also sounds fantastic as well.

Dead silent, no hiss with my PSB M4U 4’s and no channel imbalance at even my lowest listening levels. For those of you with iem’s what volume position do you typically listen at? I was listening around 12 o’clock or slightly more and feel that I may go higher.

I’m assuming that you need to turn the volume all the way up on the iPhone. Does anyone know if this is bit perfect through the iPhone? Is it even at a lower level?

Thanks again Amir for all of the hard work that you do, if I had never stumbled across this site I never would have purchased the NX4. I very well may purchase a second one to have as a backup.
 

dc655321

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Dead silent, no hiss with my PSB M4U 4’s and no channel imbalance at even my lowest listening levels. For those of you with iem’s what volume position do you typically listen at? I was listening around 12 o’clock or slightly more and feel that I may go higher.
I did a bit of a report on this, here.
 
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Stump,
I have seen reports that it was working before as well. I just received the meenova cable yesterday and it works flawlessly with my iPhone 7 and iOS 12.
 
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Oct 23, 2018
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Hello,

It's my first post, although I've been following this website for some time.
First a special bonjour from a msoftee to another one!

I bought the Topping NX4 DSD 4 months ago, being convinced by the review I read here. And it was one of my best purchase in audio category. Thanks for the deep and honest reviews (they are rare commodities nowadays).

Last week, I wanted to check if I was able with this DAC to distinguish a FLAC at CD quality from HD FLAC files at various sampling rate. And with the DSD version. That's the context.
And I was surprised with the results. I was able to perfectly distinguish DSD files from FLAC files (and MP3 too) because. .. the left and right channels were flipped! That's the purpose of my post:
has anyone noticed that with DSD tracks, the stereo channels were flipped compared to the FLAC version (of course for the same track of the same album) using the USB audio input of the NX4 DSD? Is it the same with the Topping D50 (not sure if I need another DAC, but if so, that could be this one)?

More details and proof!
I have many SACD. I have ripped them to have a FLAC version because at a time my DAP was not compatible with DSD and storage was precious. My next DAP had greater storage but still no DSD capabilities, so I made a FLAC 24-176 version from the same SACD (actually the iso image). At last I bought a DAP that played DSD natively and finally this Topping.
Whatever the USB source (an Android tablet with USB APP or a DAP with USB Audio Out), whatever the cable (not the same for the 2 sources), DSD stereo channels were flipped compared to other format. Of course, I did not put the headphones in the wrong side!
I checked with the RB layer of Hybrid SACD (from a CD player) and it was like with FLAC conversion from the SACD. Moreover the "culprit" is definitely this Topping because if I play a DSD file directly (and natively) from the DAP, I have the same L/R order as with FLAC.
This is perfectly repeatable with severals SACD (not from the same label).

Sorry for being long (I wanted to avoid replies like the issue was with the DSD, or your can etc.)

Thank you for your help and greetings from Burgundy
Larate
 
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mi-fu

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Hello,

It's my first post, although I've been following this website for some time.
First a special bonjour from a msoftee to another one!

I bought the Topping NX4 DSD 4 months ago, being convinced by the review I read here. And it was one of my best purchase in audio category. Thanks for the deep and honest reviews (they are rare commodities nowadays).

Last week, I wanted to check if I was able with this DAC to distinguish a FLAC at CD quality from HD FLAC files at various sampling rate. And with the DSD version. That's the context.
And I was surprised with the results. I was able to perfectly distinguish DSD files from FLAC files (and MP3 too) because. .. the left and right channels were flipped! That's the purpose of my post:
has anyone noticed that with DSD tracks, the stereo channels were flipped compared to the FLAC version (of course for the same track of the same album) using the USB audio input of the NX4 DSD? Is it the same with the Topping D50 (not sure if I need another DAC, but if so, that could be this one)?

More details and proof!
I have many SACD. I have ripped them to have a FLAC version because at a time my DAP was not compatible with DSD and storage was precious. My next DAP had greater storage but still no DSD capabilities, so I made a FLAC 24-176 version from the same SACD (actually the iso image). At last I bought a DAP that played DSD natively and finally this Topping.
Whatever the USB source (an Android tablet with USB APP or a DAP with USB Audio Out), whatever the cable (not the same for the 2 sources), DSD stereo channels were flipped compared to other format. Of course, I did not put the headphones in the wrong side!
I checked with the RB layer of Hybrid SACD (from a CD player) and it was like with FLAC conversion from the SACD. Moreover the "culprit" is definitely this Topping because if I play a DSD file directly (and natively) from the DAP, I have the same L/R order as with FLAC.
This is perfectly repeatable with severals SACD (not from the same label).

Sorry for being long (I wanted to avoid replies like the issue was with the DSD, or your can etc.)

Thank you for your help and greetings from Burgundy
Larate
Hi, I just tested on my NX4 DSD. It didn't show the problem you mentioned. I would guess probably your dac is defective. Hope it helps. :)
 

yue

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Jul 21, 2018
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And I was surprised with the results. I was able to perfectly distinguish DSD files from FLAC files (and MP3 too) because. .. the left and right channels were flipped! That's the purpose of my post:
has anyone noticed that with DSD tracks, the stereo channels were flipped compared to the FLAC version (of course for the same track of the same album) using the USB audio input of the NX4 DSD? Is it the same with the Topping D50 (not sure if I need another DAC, but if so, that could be this one)?
This bug might be related to your ripper or player, or a software channel configuration. Shouldn't be a hardware issue.
 
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Oct 2, 2018
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The other braided 90 degree angle iPhone cable that I posted earlier in this thread is functioning as well. This is a great little unit.
 
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Oct 23, 2018
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@amir you're right and actually I planned doing that but I wanted to know whether I was living alone in an island before !

@mi-fu oh thank you very much for having done the test. May I ask you something. Have you verified that the led near the USB Audio Input was red and not blue (on the NX4 DSD of course) when playing the DSD? I've been caught myself, thinking it was native DSD format while actually the source had converted it to PCM.

@yue Can you elaborate please? Why dou you think that that should not be a hardware issue?

Larate
 

yue

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@yue Can you elaborate please? Why dou you think that that should not be a hardware issue?

Larate
if you play other files (wav or any wav based format such as mp3 or flac) fine, and only dsd has this issue, then it's not a hardware issue.
 
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