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TOPPING Audio Interfaces Coming soon!

somebodyelse

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No sign of control software for MacOS, iOS or Android? They're _meant_ to be supported. Linux isn't unfortunately.
 

epicure

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I am curious if software like REW on macOS would work with this interface?
 

Tokyo_John

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It is fun to see Topping emphasize their strengths in characteristics that are more important in the domain of audio reproduction, but are often less important in audio recording. This is to be expected, it is new territory for these guys.

The reported 68 dB gain is decent for a little AI like this one, and significantly higher than the popular Focusrite Scarlett 2i2's rated 46 dB. As such, it should work nicely with a solid inexpensive dynamic mic like the Shure SM57/SM58 with no need for a boost. This pairing would make an excellent and inexpensive desktop AI that would punch well above its price point in terms of audio quality.

As others noted, customer support, software, etc., are critical in this area...that's a steep hill to climb. I recall being exceedingly impressed by Focusrite in this regard, and I suspect it is the reason why they have garnered a large market share.

PS: I wish Topping could figure out how to compose their web pages using actual searchable/translatable text rather than embedding and locking everything inside images. They would probably get more web traffic (and business) if they did so...
 

Sokel

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Looks like it needs both a USB-C for power and another for DATA.
They say better use it but it's not a must:

auxi.PNG
 

dfuller

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Honestly I wish more bus-powered interfaces had an aux power input, things can get annoyingly flaky and/or fussy without.
My experience is that the bus powered interfaces always lack headroom. Even if they're doing DC-DC conversion, they're quite limited on total power draw from a USB port (unless it's USB-C with USB-PD), so they'll run out of current and sag. I had a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB and then a Saffire Pro 40, the Pro 40 was mains powered and despite having the same exact preamps the Pro 40 had substantially more headroom.
 

lkanies

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It's on their website now: https://topping.pro/e2x2/
I have been eagerly waiting for this, and hoping it would magically solve my problems. It does not look like it.

I use a Motu M2 for input for my video calls, podcasts, etc (a condenser mic for one-on-one, and a shotgun mic for group calls or when I don't want to look like a podcaster), and outputting balanced audio to my near field speakers. I quite like the front display of the M2 -- it's very helpful having immediate information on what channels are getting audio. And the M2 supports balanced out, which I have found is necessary for my desk setup. I had used unbalanced for years, and apparently have enough crap on my desk that I regularly got interference of some kind because of cables crossing. I could often make it go away for a while by moving cables around, but it's obviously cleaner to just switch to balanced.

Earlier this year I upgraded to DCA Noire headphones, and of course, the Motu is not powerful enough for these on their own. Given how good Topping's headphone amps are, I hoped maybe this interface would have just such a headphone amp built in, so I've held off on buying an amp until this got announced.

It looks like the amp is powerful for an audio interface, but nowhere near what their dedicated amps do, and below what is recommended for the DCA Noire headphones.

And I can't confirm, but it looks like the audio output is not balanced, which would rule this out for me.

I think I have to replace the M2 anyway, because it seems to be cutting off output when I use a shotgun mic. That is, if I am on a video call and using the shotgun mic, if I am talking then the other person's voice won't come through the speakers. This happens when the mic is connected to the Motu, but not when I have a USB shotgun mic is connected. Seems like that means it has to be the Motu, rather than my Mac or Zoom, but I haven't been able to try other interfaces and confirm.

So I guess I'll try an interface from RME plus a Topping headphone amp?
 

AnalogSteph

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I had a Focusrite Saffire 6 USB and then a Saffire Pro 40, the Pro 40 was mains powered and despite having the same exact preamps the Pro 40 had substantially more headroom.
In this case I'm hardly surprised, according to this teardown the Saffire 6 USB appears to be a single-supply job with only some LDOs to clean up USB power (so a modest +4.5ish V for the analog stages), while the PRO 40 had a substantially more generous +/-7 V bipolar supply. These days, only bottom of the barrel interfaces will not at least use an inverter to generate something approaching +/-5 V. Bipolar supplies are just much less of a headache, not to mention that cheap oldschool opamps are substantially happier like this as well.

With more power being available following USB 3.0 proliferation, manufacturers got braver. A MOTU M2 has a +/-8 V internal supply if memory serves, Babyface Pro FS is also in this ballpark. Audient iD4/iD14 MkII go even higher I think, at least for the headphone amp.
 

AtomicSpark

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It looks like the amp is powerful for an audio interface, but nowhere near what their dedicated amps do, and below what is recommended for the DCA Noire headphones.
I don't see an impedance rating listed on their website, but @amirm stated that a dedicated headphone amplifier would be mandatory and that's not the role of a studio interface.
And I can't confirm, but it looks like the audio output is not balanced, which would rule this out for me.
The line outputs are the typical ¼” TRS balanced jack.
I think I have to replace the M2 anyway, because it seems to be cutting off output when I use a shotgun mic. That is, if I am on a video call and using the shotgun mic, if I am talking then the other person's voice won't come through the speakers. This happens when the mic is connected to the Motu, but not when I have a USB shotgun mic is connected. Seems like that means it has to be the Motu, rather than my Mac or Zoom, but I haven't been able to try other interfaces and confirm.
This seems like a software issue rather than a hardware issue, but searching for solutions for Zoom issues is about as fun as reading answers.microsoft.com.

A few threads on other forums suggest configuring professional audio settings for Zoom Meetings.
 

lkanies

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I don't see an impedance rating listed on their website, but @amirm stated that a dedicated headphone amplifier would be mandatory and that's not the role of a studio interface.
A guy can dream. :) I see no reason why an audio interface couldn't have a good headphone amp. And I'd love to have just the one device on my desk. But it's clear that's not an option here. Now I just need to spend another five hours or whatever trying to understand the difference between Topping's headphone amplifiers so I can decide which one to get...
The line outputs are the typical ¼” TRS balanced jack.
Ah. I couldn't confirm it. Thanks.
This seems like a software issue rather than a hardware issue, but searching for solutions for Zoom issues is about as fun as reading answers.microsoft.com.

A few threads on other forums suggest configuring professional audio settings for Zoom Meetings.
I haven't tried those because it seems unlikely to be the problem -- I have two nearly identical mics (Rode shotgun mics, one USB, one XLR). I have the problem when I use the XLR mic plugged into the Motu M2, I don't have the problem with the USB mic plugged into my computer, thus bypassing the Motu.

Obviously it's possible that Zoom is treating these mics differently for some reason, or even my mac is. But the simplest explanation seemed to be that the Motu was doing something.

However, I'll take your advice to heart and see if changing that makes any difference. I am also working on borrowing an audio interface from a friend so I can directly compare.

Thanks!
 

AnalogSteph

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I see no reason why an audio interface couldn't have a good headphone amp.
Going by its specs, the E2X2 certainly isn't a slouch. At +17 dBu max (that's 100 mW in 300 ohms) and 580 mW @ 32 ohms, it has more power than the DX1, though not as much as the DX3Pro+. It's roughly comparable to the venerable O2 amplifier, with even lower noise. Among the audio interfaces Julian has tested, a few come close at the high-impedance end, but none has more than half the power into 32 ohms to offer and only a few even a third.
 

The Red

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A review from Cuckoo Studio:
 

dfuller

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900R input impedance is kind of a strange choice... There's no question in my mind that will load down most dynamics and ribbons which tend to be around 300R Zout. Combine that with the input rolloff and this is going to be one dark sounding interface.
 

AnalogSteph

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Fortunately, @JohnYang1997 has commented that the second batch ships with 1.5k, as well as 10k on the line-in.

I'm not sure why it was that low to begin with. Keeping CMRR degradation from input capacitor tolerances at bay? But then going for a T-type topology for the input Rs and Cs would address that as well... say 2.2k+2.2k / 22k...100k and 470p+470p / 22p. RF is kept out well, while practical CMRR should remain high throughout the band as common-mode input impedance is dominated by 22k...100k || 22p.
 

Carlo2AC

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I have been eagerly waiting for this, and hoping it would magically solve my problems. It does not look like it.

I use a Motu M2 for input for my video calls, podcasts, etc (a condenser mic for one-on-one, and a shotgun mic for group calls or when I don't want to look like a podcaster), and outputting balanced audio to my near field speakers. I quite like the front display of the M2 -- it's very helpful having immediate information on what channels are getting audio. And the M2 supports balanced out, which I have found is necessary for my desk setup. I had used unbalanced for years, and apparently have enough crap on my desk that I regularly got interference of some kind because of cables crossing. I could often make it go away for a while by moving cables around, but it's obviously cleaner to just switch to balanced.

Earlier this year I upgraded to DCA Noire headphones, and of course, the Motu is not powerful enough for these on their own. Given how good Topping's headphone amps are, I hoped maybe this interface would have just such a headphone amp built in, so I've held off on buying an amp until this got announced.

It looks like the amp is powerful for an audio interface, but nowhere near what their dedicated amps do, and below what is recommended for the DCA Noire headphones.

And I can't confirm, but it looks like the audio output is not balanced, which would rule this out for me.

I think I have to replace the M2 anyway, because it seems to be cutting off output when I use a shotgun mic. That is, if I am on a video call and using the shotgun mic, if I am talking then the other person's voice won't come through the speakers. This happens when the mic is connected to the Motu, but not when I have a USB shotgun mic is connected. Seems like that means it has to be the Motu, rather than my Mac or Zoom, but I haven't been able to try other interfaces and confirm.

So I guess I'll try an interface from RME plus a Topping headphone amp?
I am interested in what solution you settle for friend

A powerful audio interface would clean so much desk clutter for me :)
 

Dave Zan

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It looks like the amp is powerful for an audio interface, but nowhere near what their dedicated amps do, and below what is recommended for the DCA Noire headphones.
What is that based on?
From Julian Krause' numbers and Amir's measurement of the Noire it looks like it should drive them to >105 dB.
I have the Noire myself and I think that should be fine.
My hesitation is from other aspects, as Julian says, some of the measured results are a minor disappointment compared to their own previous products, or the competition.
The numbers may be below audible, but I want to use it for measurements too.
So it may be adequate but it's not a "shut up and take my money" deal.
I may wait for the second batch, with better input impedance, before I buy.
If Amir hasn't measured it already then there has been sufficient interest that I will drop ship him mine.

Best wishes
David
 
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