• 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). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Topping DX3 Pro+ Review (DAC & Headphone Amp)

OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
37,967
Likes
162,411
Location
Seattle Area
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
37,967
Likes
162,411
Location
Seattle Area
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?
No, they are filters 1 and 2. #2 was the best there. What is in text in the main graph is correct. The caption on the right is not.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
37,967
Likes
162,411
Location
Seattle Area
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 think we needed a proper combo device to replace the DX3 Pro and its high impedance and this delivers. For a while I have been stomped when people asking for an under $200 DAC and Amp combo. We have that now again from Topping.
 

Merkurio

Active Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
222
Likes
379
@JohnYang1997 How is the performance gain compared to the first (non-LDAC) DX3 Pro for IEM scenarios?

I use mine mostly with IEMs (due the incredible convenience of the 3.5 mm output), but with very sensitive ones I find a slight bit of hiss.
 

da Choge

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
131
Likes
144
Location
DFW
Results were so bad that I was starting to doubt Audio Precision analyzer or Amir ability to use it.
C'mon, you're prolly lots smarter than me, but even the thought of that is just a little bit ridiculous!
 

musicforcities

Active Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
178
Likes
158
Anyone who thinks these superbly low noise and distortion audio products sound "clinical," should check themselves into a clinic!

Nice.
If one pauses to think about the metaphor invoked why would “clinical” be negative? What would they prefer? Oh yea, superstition.

I never figured out why “warm” means good either though. Or what warm sound would be. Is it so Loud that it’s vibrations increase ambient temperature?

Don’t get me wrong. I have a tube preamp I enjoy a lot sometimes Not because of its warmth (though it does get toasty), but because i enjoy those holographic sonic effects of tube distortion with some recordings.
 

musicforcities

Active Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
178
Likes
158
Prior to this review, I was getting depressed reding tests for product after product with awful performance

Loosing streaks will do that. Fortunately it’s just a probabilistic concurrence. We now return you to more obvious stochastic fluctuations.

Amir, are we reaching a plateau in performance / price for dacs and headphone amps? At least for the best ones that is, with current tech and biological limit and economics of production, is the performance curve flattening? Once one reaches SINADs of 115 + and similarly high performance measures, where does o r go? What would be more than incremental?

Agree it’s great to have a new combined machine. It looks nicely made and like it has good ergonomics.

SMSL has been upping its physical design recently along with many of its products performance. Topping tends to a more “conservative” or “standard” metal extrusion look. The market is now so swamped with so many similar boxes however, I think topping needs to rethink how it’s products exterior can convey the excellence within and differentiate them more from OEM pseudo-/mushroom- brands. It strikes me though that a few subtle design alterations to the casing could keep the brand identity while making it stand out. Crisp and minimalist aluminum cases or ones that simply and elegantly accentuate the extrusion fabrication into something distinctive. These little things often sit on a desk and are frequently touched and seen up close. Just my two cents as someone in the design professions.

I wonder if the market for separates is larger than combined these days. one can get something like the Schiit IEMagni plus a top DAC for roughly equivalent price as this all in one. But sometimes you just want one box, one wall wart, one less of cables.
 
Last edited:

phoenixsong

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
799
Likes
602
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
I did suggest the Pro Audio route some months back. However, thinking about it now, Pro audio is quite different with software and functionality requirements. I think high performance *portable DAC/Amp combos for the likes of IEMs or headphones like the DC Stealth would be an easier venture from this point
*Edit: lmao missed out the keyword
 
Last edited:

gvl

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
3,033
Likes
3,276
Location
SoCal
Will there be Topping DX3 Pro++? At the rate they are releasing new models they need to rethink their product naming, it’s already hard to follow.
 

pavuol

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 2, 2019
Messages
1,284
Likes
3,224
Location
EU next to warzone :.(
2021-10-07 08_57_51-Window.jpg
 

alekksander

Active Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
143
Likes
85
Location
Poland
another topping, another not so excellent multitone performance in low frequencies (compared to the rest of spectrum). yet still better than my d30pro. what gives? my assumption towards marketing plan rather than engineering.

regarding the design i'm happy to see the form of old dx3 pro which still looks attractive. probably gonna get one for my beloved as „aio music solution”.

still i wish topping makes a plain dac with usb in → balanced output with fixed volume and without any additional features. display is redundant in such design as well. pure performance in reasonable price for those who sleep better knowing their dac is performing in both sinad and multitone, but never intend to use coax/optical/bt or play with remote. d10b is close ofc, but not in terms of performance and lack of features. it'd have to be even simpler and outperforming. just connect and forget abut its existence.
 
Last edited:

phoenixsong

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Messages
799
Likes
602
another topping, another not so excellent multitone performance in low frequencies (compared to the rest of spectrum). yet still better than my d30pro. what gives? my assumption towards marketing plan rather than engineering.

regarding the design i'm happy to see the form of old dx3 pro which still looks attractive. probably gonna get one for my beloved as „aio music solution”.

still i wish topping makes a plain dac with usb in → balanced output with fixed volume and without any additional features. display is redundant in such design as well. pure performance in reasonable price for those who sleep better knowing their dac is performing in both sinad and multitone, but never intend to use coax/optical/bt or play with remote. d10b is close ofc, but not in terms of performance and lack of features. it'd have to be even simpler and outperforming. just connect and forget abut its existence.
It's not about Topping, maybe it's about your expectations? Coz it sounds like you're after the D90SE's performance in a plainer, cheaper version of the D10 Balanced https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/topping-d90se-review-balanced-dac.24235/
 

musicforcities

Active Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
178
Likes
158
Topping DX3 Pro++

Oh no…I can see it now…
“DX3 super pro ++^2 MAX”

please no more things with pluses or Pro Suffixes. Apple has killed that. And i am so tired of elongated names line something out of games of thrones… “Sanskrit the destroyer of worlds the 11th, edition II, SE Jr. “

Maybe it should be more like BMW or Mercedes. You have “classes” of devices based on type and performance, and within those classes numbers or some meaningful abbreviation or acronym and different price point. Keep names the same and add aversion number like software or Append the month and year it was issued to differentiate née from old.

The DX 3 is the DX 3 (921). The new one in six months is the DX 3 (322).

Or maybe the DX 3 (322) Targa. ;-)
 
Top Bottom