• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Topping D70s MQA Review (DAC)

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
34,615
Likes
125,913
Location
Seattle Area
#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the just announced Topping D70s MQA USB DAC with Bluetooth support. It was kindly sent to me by the company and costs US $649.99.

Style wise, the D70S naturally follows the rest of the Topping product line:

Topping D70s Review MQA Balanced USB DAC Bluetooth.jpg


I must say I miss the rotary knob of the past Topping products for volume control. That said, when using a remote (included) then you only have up and down anyway so for non-desktop application, it is fine.

The back of the unit has what you expect:
Topping D70s Review MQA Balanced XLR Toslink Coax USB DAC Bluetooth.jpg


Note that there is a mains voltage slider on the side. Be sure that is set to for the voltage in your country. Mine came set to 230 which caused a bit of head scratching to figure out why it was not coming on. Linear power supplies as used here are not universal so you have to live with a hard switch.

The D70s MQA is based on dual AKM AK4497. I asked another DAC company what the supply situation was given the fire at AKM factory in Japan. I was told parts were available but at much higher cost.

Topping D70s MQA Measurements
As usual we start with our dashboard using balanced out and USB input:

Topping D70s Measurements MQA Balanced.png


As you see, the max output nicely exceeds the nominal 4 volts that we measure at and used to be standard. This extra headroom comes in handy when you have room equalization or an amplifier that runs better at a lower gain. The sum of relative noise and distortion is superb:
Best USB MQA DAC Review.png


Zooming in, we see that a hair separates the top 10:

Best USB MQA DAC Review zoomed.png


We are talking about such low levels of noise here that just sitting there performance rankings can change. And some of noise is actually contributed by my audio analyzer.

Back to our dashboard, here is the RCA performance:

Topping D70s Measurements MQA RCA.png


And a sweep to see how the performance varies with output level:

Topping D70s Measurements MQA Balanced THD+N vs Level.png


That little glitch down is the analyzer changing input scales and having its own performance suffer a bit, not something in the DAC. You can see that the unit can be comfortably used at top tier performance from 2.5 volts to 4 volts and beyond.

Dynamic range is of course exceptional:

Topping D70s Measurements MQA Balanced Dynamic Range.png


You could play at 120 dBSPL and still have the noise floor be below threshold of hearing! One minute you are hearing nothing but silence and another, your life comes to an end on those 120 dBSPL peaks! :)

Jitter is excellent over USB:
Topping D70s Measurements MQA Balanced USB Jitter.png


Since AKM DAC chips don't have a resampler like ESS DACs do, performance suffers a bit with synchronous digital inputs like Coax and Toslink:

Topping D70s Measurements MQA Balanced Coax Toslink Jitter.png


Levels are essentially at or below threshold of audibility so more of a bother for the eye and then the ear. And at any rate, hopefully you are using these legacy ports for secondary use (TV ARC and such) or in desperation (ground loop).

Intermodulation distortion vs level is stellar:

Topping D70s Measurements MQA Balanced IMD Distortion USB DAC.png


Like the high level of attenuation out of some of the DAC filters:

Topping D70s Measurements MQA Balanced DAC Filter.png


And that the MQA filter is not forced on PCM audio samples.

THD+N vs frequency as usual is a bit worse than ESS based DACs:
Topping D70s Measurements MQA Balanced THD+N vs Frequency.png


Linearity was textbook perfect:
Topping D70s Measurements MQA Balanced Linearity.png


Finally multitone test resembling "music" is drool-worthy:

Topping D70s Measurements MQA Balanced Multitone.png


Conclusions
Another stellar DAC is released by Topping in the form of D70s giving us another option to purchase. Instrument grade performance is provided. Yes, our tests are so good that even in best of the best we can expose a few tiny rough corners. But in the larger picture it is hard to hold back anything but top praise for this level of engineering.

It is my pleasure to highly recommend the Topping D70s.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
34,615
Likes
125,913
Location
Seattle Area
Thread Starter #4
A couple bluetooth tests would be nice to compare with other products
It has been a long day today.... May run them tomorrow....
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
34,615
Likes
125,913
Location
Seattle Area
Thread Starter #5
I seriously doubt that anyone could tell the difference between even something as inexpensive as the Topping E30 and this DAC in a blind A/B test. We are lucky that such neutral, accurate equipment is now within financial reach of the common working person. And, I just don't get MQA. It's a complex, lossy format in a day when storage is dirt cheap. Get your music is FLAC format, and be done with it.
These comments belong outside of review thread of this specific product. Future posts will be deleted. Discuss it elsewhere.
 

kkeretic

Active Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2020
Messages
201
Likes
155
Location
Croatia
#9
If I understood correctly the specs from the Topping website, the screen can't be turned off completely :facepalm: ? Some dot stays lit if the screen is set to be turned off after 30sec, I guess as the indicator that the device is actually turned on? Am I right or?
 

PeteL

Major Contributor
Joined
Jun 1, 2020
Messages
1,181
Likes
1,162
#10
Since AKM DAC chips don't have a resampler like ESS DACs do, performance suffers a bit with synchronous digital inputs like Coax and Toslink:
Is it a reclocker Or a resampler? I am not familiar with ESS Dacs, if it is in fact the right terminology, or the terminology they use, does someone knows what it means in this application?
 

YSC

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
1,363
Likes
925
#15
good dac performance, but I wonders the reason to spread into so many lines of similarly performance dacs, won't it be more cost effective and maybe can lower the price if focus on one dac chip choice of each generation?
 

Veri

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 6, 2018
Messages
7,822
Likes
9,420
#16
won't it be more cost effective and maybe can lower the price if focus on one dac chip choice of each generation?
Well that's kinda what they're doing no? D70s squuezes absolute utmost out of AK4497. D90 series uses AK4499.
The future is uncertain though, what with AKM factory plant that caught fire. So a lot of devices could see redesigns.
 

threni

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Oct 18, 2019
Messages
680
Likes
779
Location
/dev/null
#18
Okay, that hurt. So, never mind. I'll delete the post, and go elsewhere for reviews from now on. Feel free to delete my account.
Bit of an overreaction; I'd have just posted it in a different forum.
 

Matias

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
2,524
Likes
4,067
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
#19
That multitone is exceptional. Great stuff
I wonder if the A70s will shift some buyers from D90 into it because of that. Really impressive multitone, probably the best measured here in ASR.
 
Top Bottom