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Shenzhenaudio Topping EX5 Review (DAC and Headphone Amplifier)

Yorkshire Mouth

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Okay, I’m still mulling this over.

I feel I have reasonable grasp of Amir’s review measurements and graphs, but a few things are beyond me, so over to you lot.

I was planning to buy the upcoming balanced version of the Topping DS10, and a headphone amp with balanced input like the SMSL SH-8S.

I’m not interested in ‘bragging rights’ performance figures, just something transparent to the source.

Is there any reason to go with one option rather than the other?

Many thanks.
 

usern

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Is there any reason to go with one option rather than the other?
It's about features and connectivity. If your amp has balanced line inputs and only thing you need is to connect to PC, then D10 balanced could be the best value. If you need Bluetooth, then EX5 will do that for you.
 

aandres_gm

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Okay, I’m still mulling this over.

I feel I have reasonable grasp of Amir’s review measurements and graphs, but a few things are beyond me, so over to you lot.

I was planning to buy the upcoming balanced version of the Topping DS10, and a headphone amp with balanced input like the SMSL SH-8S.

I’m not interested in ‘bragging rights’ performance figures, just something transparent to the source.

Is there any reason to go with one option rather than the other?

Many thanks.
Power requirements and physical connections should be what you're looking for. Do you need to connect an analogue source to the device? How power-hungry are your headphones? What kind of outputs do you need?
 

Yorkshire Mouth

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It's about features and connectivity. If your amp has balanced line inputs and only thing you need is to connect to PC, then D10 balanced could be the best value. If you need Bluetooth, then EX5 will do that for you.


Power requirements and physical connections should be what you're looking for. Do you need to connect an analogue source to the device? How power-hungry are your headphones? What kind of outputs do you need?

Thanks.

I don’t currently need anything other than something(s) accepting USB and outputting to headphones. But line outs may well be very useful in the future.

Headphones are (or soon will be) AKG K371, Sennheiser HD600s and Beyerdynamic DT990 (600ohm).
 

cestmoi

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LOL

Now, I'm glad topping included MQA on its Ex5, so I ended up grabbing my new amp/dac combo from another brand and hence avoided such a 'tricking' engineering.
 

Berwhale

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...and hence avoided such a 'tricking' engineering.

The EX5 is built to a price. This means that compromises are made from an engineering perspective. One could even suggest that Engineering is the 'science of compromise'. This is how the world works.
 

DeepFried

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Is there any reason to go with one option rather than the other?

For me, the advantages of a DAC/AMP combo are the simplicity of a single device, and the digital volume control. Not everyone likes the digital volume control as an analogue vol pot is going to technically result in less distortion, but i'd challenge anyone to actually hear the difference in a proper blind test. And vol pots have their own issues such as poor channel balance and the risk of becoming scratchy. Personally i'd take a digital volume control every time, and its the main reason i'd look at this device rather than a stack.
 
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adamjohari

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The EX5 is built to a price. This means that compromises are made from an engineering perspective. One could even suggest that Engineering is the 'science of compromise'. This is how the world works.
True. But I don't feel like they compromised 300 bucks worse than the d30 + a30 stack. Thinking of selling my drop thx 789 + topping d10s and getting this.
 

WondrousHippo

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Got mine in today, and gotta say, I'm a big fan. Small desktop footprint, the volume knob feels nice. The whole thing sounds transparent, but we all kind of figured that.

Anyway, as far as usage:

It's the same remote as the D50s, likely other Topping products. Much easier with remote operation, since getting into the menu with the knob and button alone requires a weird power-off sequence, I think? Just use the remote.

The line outputs and headphone output have independent volume settings!

The Bluetooth works well, my iPhone doesn't auto-reconnect which is nice so that I can only connect when I want it to do so.

I think this one's a keeper.
 

kion

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Just pulled the trigger on the EX5, look forward to playing around with it.

One quick question for @JohnYang1997 - if both HP outputs are connected, will there be some kind of degrade in performance/increase in distortion? Same question for my A30 Pro actually.
 

Addy

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How to read this graph please.
 

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Matias

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muslhead

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There's no issue.
John, i appreciate all you do and contribute to this forum but your response is confusing for dumbasses like me.
Is the answer to his question, yes or no. The answer you gave is neither of those so i dont know what it means.
 

JohnYang1997

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John, i appreciate all you do and contribute to this forum but your response is confusing for dumbasses like me.
Is the answer to his question, yes or no. The answer you gave is neither of those so i dont know what it means.
You can connect multiple headphones at the same time. And there's no issue doing so.

You cannot adjust each headphones individually. But if you want, both will produce sound the same time. You can share with some other people listening to the same music.

In more detail, as long as the paralleled impedance of the headphones is higher than 8ohm, it's fine. If you do connect two 12ohm headphones to the output(6ohm in parallel), you still can listen to music at normal level. Although you may strain the output stage and the heatsinking is not designed for the said condition.

Another way of proceeding it, if it doesn't sound bad, it's probably ok.

Hopefully this helps.
 
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muslhead

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You can connect multiple headphones at the same time. And there's no issue doing so.

You cannot adjust each headphones individually. But if you want, both will produce sound the same time. You can share with some other people listening to the same music.

In more detail, as long as the paralleled impedance of the headphones are higher than 8ohm, it's fine. If you do connect to 12ohm headphones to the output, you still can listen to music at normal level. Although you may strain the output stage and the heatsinking is not designed for the said condition.

Another way of proceeding it, if it doesn't sound bad, it's probably ok.

Hopefully this helps.
That helps, thanks.
 
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