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

hashan

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@amirm
Hi, new member here :). Read quite alot of your reviews here today; must say they are some of the most objective and comprehensive audio gear reviews I've ever seen on the net. It's even better since HD650 is my primary headphone.

I've been using FX Audio X6 (over TOSLINK) with the HD650s for the last 2 years now and I've been totally satisfied with them. Do you think the Topping NX4 would be a worthwhile upgrade? It'll be on sale soon on AliExpress for ~$133 I guess.
I'm also considering the D30/A30 stack. But I don't feel like buying both of them at the moment. So A30 + X6 DAC is also another option.

How do you think NX4 would compare against X6, X6/A30 and D30/A30 for HD650s?
(Portability of NX4 is a nice bonus :))
 

Aibo

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^^ I've been listening both NX4 and FX X6 lately with AKG K92 and they both sound great, and both can keep these headphones thumping along very nicely even at very loud levels. I may noticed X6 has slightly rolled-off treble so NX4 conveys some atmospheric sounds more clearly - but that's it - I notice it more on NX4 but I don't really miss it on X6. I guess HD650s are much more demanding cans but I'm not really sure if you would get some meaningful upgrade there.

As often lately, I put all my impressions in the video too. It was made before I got X6 so I compared it mostly with Sabaj Da3 I had at hand. Between those two I personally liked NX4 better, especially with headphones where it has much more power. Da3 can sound flat with K92, especially at higher volumes but NX4 makes them almost jump on my head. :)

 

yue

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@amirm only measures the headphone out value but in various posts he is using that value to compare with line output of various other DACs (see the master SINAD chart, for instance). This is not an apple to apple comparison, as the amplifier distortion is also taken into account.

in reality the DAC SINAD should be much higher than 104db, which could make it into the first tier ranking of DAC tested.
 

Roen

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@amirm only measures the headphone out value but in various posts he is using that value to compare with line output of various other DACs (see the master SINAD chart, for instance). This is not an apple to apple comparison, as the amplifier distortion is also taken into account.

in reality the DAC SINAD should be much higher than 104db, which could make it into the first tier ranking of DAC tested.
Not necessarily.
A DAC SINAD of 104.3 with An Amp SINAD of 114 would probably still result in a 104 SINAD for the combination.
 

soundwave76

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Nice tests and an awesome forum I have just discovered! I hope you can review the Chord Mojo soon - I would love to see how that compared to this Topping.
 

soundwave76

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Thanks! I seemed to have missed this one while reading the reviewed DACs list. I use Mojo at work and just now ordered this Topping. Will compare them, but trusting your measurements, will probably sell the Mojo... :)
 

Pyms

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Hello,
Thanks for your work and precious informations !
I have a HD800, with a very old PPA custom amp ... So I am very interested by this NX4 or the DX3.

I am a little bit in trouble with the numbers of the NX4 : Topping claims a power for the NX4 at 124mWx2 at 300ohms, but if I understand well the measurements above, it is 20mW (it seems at high gain) ? Other measurements seem to be coherent with the Topping numbers, so maybe a bad interpretation from me ?
 

amirm

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Hello,
Thanks for your work and precious informations !
I have a HD800, with a very old PPA custom amp ... So I am very interested by this NX4 or the DX3.

I am a little bit in trouble with the numbers of the NX4 : Topping claims a power for the NX4 at 124mWx2 at 300ohms, but if I understand well the measurements above, it is 20mW (it seems at high gain) ? Other measurements seem to be coherent with the Topping numbers, so maybe a bad interpretation from me ?
Looks like there was a typo on the graphs. I updated them. It is still less than Topping specs but much better than the numbers before. :)
 

SiW

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If amp power and input sources weren’t important (eg only need USB input) - would the NX4 perform as well as the DX3Pro?
 

Pyms

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@Amir : thanks for your reactivity, it's impressive !

So, at 59mW, I could reach about 115db with the HD800 (sensitivity 102.3 db/Vrms) and the NX4 ? And with 123mW (DX3 Pro) almost 120Db ?

I do not want to listen at insane levels, but do the power reserve matters in listening enjoyment (for example in some tracks with high peaks) ?

So for HD800 (or other 300 ohms), is the DX3 worth the investment (and loss of battery/portability of the NX4) ?
 

pwjazz

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So, at 59mW, I could reach about 115db with the HD800 (sensitivity 102.3 db/Vrms) and the NX4 ? And with 123mW (DX3 Pro) almost 120Db ?
According to Audiobot 9000 you should only need 16.6 mW to reach 110 dB SPL, which is a commonly used target to make sure you have headroom for peaks during loud listening.
 

la2ygoo

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300 Ohm is already computed on my review graph:



For 150 ohm, eyeballing it, it produces about 3.1 volt so power would be 3.1*3.1/150 = 0.064 watt or 64 milliwatt.

For 250, it is still close to 20 milliwatt on the graph for 300.

this pic can not be see,please repair it,thx:)
 
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