• 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 DX3 Pro+ Review (DAC & Headphone Amp)

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
35,409
Likes
136,171
Location
Seattle Area
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Topping DX3 Pro+ DAC and headphone amplifier. It is a replacement for one of my most favorite combo products, the DX3 Pro. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $199.

The DX3 Pro+ maintains the gorgeous and high contrast orange LEDs which I am very fond of:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Review Bluetooth USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.jpg


The back panel is a bit unusual in a good way with sporting dual Coax inputs:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Review Back Panel Bluetooth USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.jpg


There is a remote and support for Bluetooth. The external power supply is a 15 volt one which should help with power output of the headphone amplifier.

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements
Let's start with our DAC measurements and the dashboard:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


I expect great performance from Topping and the DX3 Pro+ naturally delivers. Distortion products are at -125 dB worst case which is well below threshold of audibility. THD+N sums to 0.000146 which matches company spec of 0.00015 rating of the company. Converting that to dB, we get our SINAD which comfortably lands in our top tier of all DACs tested:
Best stereo DAC 2021.png


Zooming into its neighbors:

Best stereo DAC zoom 2021.png


Dynamic range is excellent:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements DNR USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


Multitone test shows again the low level of distortion no matter how many tones we throw at it:


Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements Multitone USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


Intermodulation distortion shows that it matches its older brother and then beats it at highest output levels:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements IMD USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


The graph never tilts up indicating that it is noise limited, not distortion.

Jitter test shows a bit of interference below 1 kHz which fortunately is completely inaudible:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements Jitter DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


Linearity is nailed showing excellent accuracy of levels:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements Linearity DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


A bunch of filters are available for you to play with as usual:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements Filter USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


THD+N vs frequency naturally varies with the filter you use:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements THD+N vs Frequency USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


Headphone Amplifier Measurements
Let's start with our signal to noise ratio with headphone out:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements Headphone SNR USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


I was hoping for a little bit better performance at 50 mv output although what is there is clearly above average:


most quiet headphone amp reviewed.png


Most important test here is power output:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements Headphone 300 ohm USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


There is plenty of power and no clipping/rise in distortion.

Switching to 32 ohm load, we still have good bit of power:

Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements Headphone 32 ohm USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


Testing at many load impedances tells us that the amp doesn't like very low impedances:
Topping DX3 Pro+ Measurements Headphone Power vs Load USB DAC Bluetooth Stereo.png


This was a good test of the microprocessor controlled protection circuit which kicked in at the lowest impedances. This had been a sore point with the older DX3 Pro and Topping has gone aggressive with active monitoring here.

Topping DX3 Pro+ Listening Tests
I performed all of my testing in high gain and there, the DX3 Pro+ had no trouble bringing out the best fidelity in both Sennheiser HD650 and Drop Ether CX. It drove them with authority, creating a dynamic response with tons of detail and superb tonality. Anyone who thinks these superbly low noise and distortion audio products sound "clinical," should check themselves into a clinic!

For grins, I also drive my Dan Clark Stealth headphone. Here, there was less power than when using the above to headphones but still very usable. Note however that when I cranked up the volume to 0 dB for testing, the amp went into protection. I tried it again but could not duplicate it. Regardless, it was pretty good before it hit that limit anyway.

Conclusions
Prior to this review, I was getting depressed testing product after product with awful performance. Results were so bad that I was starting to doubt my Audio Precision analyzer! Fortunately I had the DX3 Pro+ to test which as you see, not only performed superbly, it also vindicated the audio analyzer! :) This combo unit gives you everything you need in a compact and attractive unit at excellent price. It doesn't have infinite capability as far as low impedance headphones are concerned so for that, you need to step up to myriad of other options from Topping. Outside of that niche use though, the DX3 Pro+ does the job and does it superbly.

I am happy to recommend the Topping DX3Pro+.

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

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Kachda

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 31, 2020
Messages
573
Likes
814
Location
NY
I almost bought the ex5, glad i didn’t now. Though one wonders what topping has in their back pocket.
 

Tks

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
2,905
Likes
4,577
Anyone who thinks these superbly low noise and distortion audio products sound "clinical," should check themselves into a clinic!

I’m going to use this sometime. Lol audiophiles just got rekt.

Btw do you have the input impedance? That was the whole fiasco with the updated V2 back in the day.

@JohnYang1997 thank you and your team for bringing an iteration of what is arguably my favorite product you guys made. I think the first one was released before you started work there. And I imagine surly the performance boost has been thanks to some of what you brought to the table. Still got a V1 and works great thankfully. Also thank you for the ESS chip this time. Far more sensible filters from my perspective than AKM ones.

I remember you told me how most companies and Topping included avoids DACAMP combos since there is far more profit in selling separates. So it’s nice to see the company not neglecting that segment of the market even if it’s not the most lucrative.

Though I still hope to see Topping tackle RME and implement DSP and more functionality in DACAMPs , or get into the ADC/Interface market and challenge Motu for example. But this works as a stopgap
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
35,409
Likes
136,171
Location
Seattle Area
Btw do you have the input impedance? That was the whole fiasco with the updated V2 back in the day.
They document it at 0.1 ohm and I believe it. Otherwise you could not at all get that kind of power into 32 ohm.
 

musicforcities

Active Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
147
Likes
139
It is as if the audio gods sensed Amir was bummed out due to a run of disappointing tests. And verily they spoke, “Despair For Topping brings you good measurements with great value!”

Topping likes their 15v power supplies. First DAC I bought due to ASR review was a D30, also having a 16v ps. Unusual. Wonder why they don’t just use 16v.
 

musicforcities

Active Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
147
Likes
139
one wonders what topping has in their back pocket.

Dirac quality dsp room correction unit for $100 including measurement mic.

$165 for balanced I/O

$269 for 7.2 atmos (HDMI & Dolby licensing is not cheap)

I dream. Though I would not put it beyond the realm of topping possibility in the coming years.
 
Last edited:

Bel Canto

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2021
Messages
38
Likes
31
L30/E30 just makes less sense now. A good thing overall except for previous owners. Also, makes me wonder why they went for the 3.5mm instead of 6 considering the low impedance limit for iems
My thoughts are the E30/L30 stack still offers a little more flexibility. Can drive IEM's really well and is not bothered by low impedance phones. Also has a bit more power.

The DX3pro looks like an amazing entry level product and surely has a place in the Topping lineup.
 

da Choge

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
117
Likes
124
Location
DFW
Thanks, Amir, for this favorable review. It seems as if Topping is content on releasing newer and just a wee-bit better iterations of their past successful units; all just to keep us on board. These are interesting, but I'm bored; these may measure and look/perform a smidge better, but NOT really noteworthy as far as discernible listening quality.

I have to wonder, at this point, is Topping just keeping us distracted, with all these "new" releases/reiterations of their past well-enough performing units? And is it maybe at the cost of delaying what we really want -- their long anticipated release of a quality mono/stereo speaker amplifier module? We've all been looking forward to this. C'mon, Topping, if you really want to stay relevant, and keep all of us interested, show us what you can really do.
 

Budgeter

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2019
Messages
92
Likes
46
Finally a zoom in bar chart!!!
Can we also have a channel balance graph? If all goes well, whenever it is sold by or at least ship from Amazon, I will grab one.
 

phoenixsong

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
669
Likes
531
Nice! Amir, just for confirmation, is it filter 3 or 7 that is tested and shows the best performance in the THD+N vs frequency graph?
 

JohnYang1997

Master Contributor
Technical Expert
Manufacturer
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
7,006
Likes
15,851
Location
China
Thanks, Amir, for this favorable review. It seems as if Topping is content on releasing newer and just a wee-bit better iterations of their past successful units; all just to keep us on board. These are interesting, but I'm bored; these may measure and look/perform a smidge better, but NOT really noteworthy as far as discernible listening quality.

I have to wonder, at this point, is Topping just keeping us distracted, with all these "new" releases/reiterations of their past well-enough performing units? And is it maybe at the cost of delaying what we really want -- their long anticipated release of a quality mono/stereo speaker amplifier module? We've all been looking forward to this. C'mon, Topping, if you really want to stay relevant, and keep all of us interested, show us what you can really do.
The fire at AKM factory means we have to refresh lots of our product line. And the component shortages this year is making things worse. It's been a difficult year for many companies.
In terms of something new. I had been teasing for some time now. A new class D amp is coming with satisfactory performance.
 

da Choge

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
117
Likes
124
Location
DFW
The fire at AKM factory means we have to refresh lots of our product line. And the component shortages this year is making things worse. It's been a difficult year for many companies.
In terms of something new. I had been teasing for some time now. A new class D amp is coming with satisfactory performance.
Sorry, John, it's been a really difficult and trying year for me (and I'm sure for many others) as well. I guess I was just hoping for something cheerful from Topping to keep me going. We all want some good news at this point. GAMBARU !!! (Sorry, I know you're not Japanese, but I like this phrase).
 
Top Bottom