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Topping A70 Pro HP & Preamp Review

Rate this preamplifier and headphone amp:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 13 4.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 7 2.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 37 11.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 268 82.5%

  • Total voters
    325

PeteL

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When I check my mixes, I do check them with headphones and monitors. The A90D and A70Pro don’t have both outputs active, you have to switch between headphone amp or pre amp. The HPA4 have both outputs active all the time with separate volume control and mute. I think the HPA4 is currently the only headphone amp / pre amp with this capability. Sometimes I have friends and customers coming to check their mixes so I use the unbalanced inputs in the HPA4 to plug in their equipment.
Isn’t listening to a mix on headphone while the speakers still playing would give you the wrong impression on how it sound with headphones. It’s never fully sealed no?
 

enricoclaudio

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Isn’t listening to a mix on headphone while the speakers still playing would give you the wrong impression on how it sound with headphones. It’s never fully sealed no?
Of course I mute one of the two. But I don’t need to switch amp stage.

IMG_8834.jpeg
 

enricoclaudio

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Another function that I got used to it with the HPA4 is the Auto-ON function. When Auto-ON is Enabled, the HPA4 will automatically turn ON when AC power is applied. I have my HPA4 plugged into a a Lutron Caseta Outdoor Smart Plug that turns ON and OFF when turning ON or OFF my office desk lamps. So as soon I wake up, I turn my office lights ON and the HPA4 turns ON as well. When going to bed, I turn OFF my office lights and the HPA4 turns OFF as well. I haven't seem this feature on any other headphone amp or pre amp other than in my old Parasound Halo P5 because the new Parasound Halo P6 doesn't have it anymore.

IMG_8835.jpeg
 

PeteL

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Of course I mute one of the two. But I don’t need to switch amp stage.

View attachment 285712
Fair enough, still think it’s fair to say that Topping is not trying to target your particular use case. Benchmark on the other end do have a strong pedigree in Pro Audio. They understand your needs. I think companies should not try to be everything for everybody, That’s where you loose touch with your base and become average at everything instead of being a reference at what you do. Benchmark is also significantly more costly.
 

enricoclaudio

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Fair enough, still think it’s fair to say that Topping is not trying to target your particular use case. Benchmark on the other end do have a strong pedigree in Pro Audio. They understand your needs. I think companies should not try to be everything for everybody, That’s where you loose touch with your base and become average at everything instead of being a reference at what you do. Benchmark is also significantly more costly.

100% in agreement with you. The problem is that every time a new headphone amp shows up that prove to be an excellent performer, you will see as well comments popping up comparing those new amps with the HPA4 and calling them "HPA4 killer" or "Lets see if Benchmark can do a headphone amp for $500.....". People needs to understand that Benchmark is focused on, like you said, pro audio and commercial market mostly. Topping is focused in home audio market. I don't see Topping DACs or amps for sale at Sweetwater, however, Sweetwater is a Benchmark Authorized dealer. I have been is a lot of mastering and recording studios and in most of them a Benchmark DAC or a Benchmark HPA4 headphone amp is going to be present. I haven't seem a singe Topping DAC in any of the recording or mastering studios I have visited.
 

PeteL

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100% in agreement with you. The problem is that every time a new headphone amp shows up that prove to be an excellent performer, you will see as well comments popping up comparing those new amps with the HPA4 and calling them "HPA4 killer" or "Lets see if Benchmark can do a headphone amp for $500.....". People needs to understand that Benchmark is focused on, like you said, pro audio and commercial market mostly. Topping is focused in home audio market. I don't see Topping DACs or amps for sale at Sweetwater, however, Sweetwater is a Benchmark Authorized dealer. I have been is a lot of mastering and recording studios and in most of them a Benchmark DAC or a Benchmark HPA4 headphone amp is going to be present. I haven't seem a singe Topping DAC in any of the recording or mastering studios I have visited.
Yep I personally have lost touch a bit with this world of music and broadcast production. Back in the days, I can definitely tell you that at least in Canada, for amplification Bryston 3B was surely the king of the hill. It was just the standard, everywhere. Now the Idea of headphone mixing was quite embrionary and there was no real go to thing, but the board headphones output still had fairly high impedance so High impedance cans where the norm. I’d be interrested to see how much of that evolved and how much a company like Benchmark have been taken from Bryston days.
 

Nordling

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When I check my mixes, I do check them with headphones and monitors. The A90D and A70Pro don’t have both outputs active, you have to switch between headphone amp or pre amp. The HPA4 have both outputs active all the time with separate volume control and mute. I think the HPA4 is currently the only headphone amp / pre amp with this capability. Sometimes I have friends and customers coming to check their mixes so I use the unbalanced inputs in the HPA4 to plug in their equipment.
Actually, A70Pro can have both the headphone outputs and preamp outputs active at the same time. It's called 'HPA+PRE output mode'. However there are no seperate volume controls.

From the user manual:
Screenshot_20230516-053349_1.png
 
Last edited:

BrooklynNick

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What proportion of wired Headphones that you know ship with 10 ft+ cables?

Mass market brands? Very few. For "high-end" over-ear headphones, a 2 to 2.5 meter cable is pretty standard. Some major brands such as Focal (eg: Utopia, Stellia, Clear Mg) and HifiMan (eg: Susvara), Final Audio, and AKG (eg: K812) include a three meter+ cable. Others, such as DCA, offer it as an option at the time of purchase. People, including myself, who spend hundreds of dollars (or thousands) on headphones/amps/dacs are a different breed from most headphone listeners who are happy with just using their phones.
 

PeteL

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Mass market brands? Very few. For "high-end" over-ear headphones, a 2 to 2.5 meter cable is pretty standard. Some major brands such as Focal (eg: Utopia, Stellia, Clear Mg) and HifiMan (eg: Susvara), Final Audio, and AKG (eg: K812) include a three meter+ cable. Others, such as DCA, offer it as an option at the time of purchase. People, including myself, who spend hundreds of dollars (or thousands) on headphones/amps/dacs are a different breed from most headphone listeners who are happy with just using their phones.
Yes, my point is simply that it's a small market.
 

AVKS

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What are the dimensions of this thing? It may be 100% fail on my part but I can't seem to find that.
 

enricoclaudio

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IAtaman

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I'm all for graphic design and such but this should just be clearly listed somewhere instead of buried in the middle of a wall of graphics. Maybe it's just me.

Onward with the thread! Looks like a great product.
Agreed. Posting just a non text searchable image as product specs/marketing material is not helpful.
 

Whoareyou

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Slightly different specs from the Pre90, but it also has the headphone amp and the display to help out with seeing what's going on.
So, at this price point what is advantage of ordering the pre90?
 

Elitzur–Vaidman

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When I check my mixes, I do check them with headphones and monitors. The A90D and A70Pro don’t have both outputs active, you have to switch between headphone amp or pre amp. The HPA4 have both outputs active all the time with separate volume control and mute. I think the HPA4 is currently the only headphone amp / pre amp with this capability. Sometimes I have friends and customers coming to check their mixes so I use the unbalanced inputs in the HPA4 to plug in their equipment.
Couldn't you pair those with a D90 or D70Pro and use the RCA outputs as a way to switch between monitors and headphone amps?
 
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