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Topping DX3 Pro+ Review (DAC & Headphone Amp)

alekksander

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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/
doesn't have to be cheaper than d10 balanced. i could really accept around $300. but yes, d90se performance in plainest box possible and lacks of features i will never even try out. well, maybe just rca + tsr output ;)
 

phoenixsong

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doesn't have to be cheaper than d10 balanced. i could really accept around $300. but yes, d90se performance in plainest box possible and lacks of features i will never even try out. well, maybe just rca + tsr output ;)
At that level of performance, definitely go for XLR/*TRS balanced. Even the smallest levels of noise and interference would detrimentally affect it
 
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phoenixsong

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Does the EX5 offer anything that this unit lacks? Yes I have buyer's remorse with my 2 week old combo :p
For me the main difference is with the rear balanced outputs, which is convenient for connecting to my active speakers with. Some people will also want the *dual headphone outputs to accommodate their current *headphone cable terminations
*added for clarity
 
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vkvedam

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Nice one! The only thing that moves me is the Class D @JohnYang1997

giphy.gif
 
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Nango

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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:

View attachment 157571

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

View attachment 157572

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:

View attachment 157573

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:
View attachment 157574

Zooming into its neighbors:

View attachment 157575

Dynamic range is excellent:

View attachment 157576

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


View attachment 157577

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

View attachment 157578

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:

View attachment 157579

Linearity is nailed showing excellent accuracy of levels:

View attachment 157580

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

View attachment 157581

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

View attachment 157586

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

View attachment 157582

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


View attachment 157583

Most important test here is power output:

View attachment 157584

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

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

View attachment 157585

Testing at many load impedances tells us that the amp doesn't like very low impedances:
View attachment 157587

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+.

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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/
Stop pls testing Topping again and again. Enough is enough.
 

_theLaughingman

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I was recently looking to move away from my stack and buy a combo device due to the small size of my computer desk. Well this is definitely going to my buy list for the near future.
 

_theLaughingman

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Indeed, there is a line between backseat driving and contributing; the former is not welcome :)
It's the same repetitive narrative that ASR only reviews cherry picked Topping devices because they're cheap. Many of those that subscribe to this narrative forget that ASR and Amir' tests products that are loaned or sent in to him to be tested. Besides I have yet to see any high dollar priced products from established brands out perform Topping products for the price they command. A high dollar price for a product does not equate to good performance, apparently many people in this hobby still do not believe in that.
 

phoenixsong

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It's the same repetitive narrative that ASR only reviews cherry picked Topping devices because they're cheap. Many of those that subscribe to this narrative forget that ASR and Amir' tests products that are loaned or sent in to him to be tested. Besides I have yet to see any high dollar priced products from established brands out perform Topping products for the price they command. A high dollar price for a product does not equate to good performance, apparently many people in this hobby still do not believe in that.
Yeah! Though with the myriad of costlier devices which have been measured here (and Topping was not always King either), I thought that notion ought to have been debunked long ago. It's actually really simple- Topping products' low price points *for incredible measured performance, increasing popularity, and their representative's activeness in reaching out and engagement have resulted in them becoming a staple on this forum is all
 

VintageFlanker

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