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Topping DX3 Pro+ Review (DAC & Headphone Amp)

radix

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Ok, all I can say is this.
With my HD58X on max possible listening volume (really loud):
- Headphone out causes a scratch in the treble (voices saying "S" or "CH" for example)
- Liquid Spark AMP is super smooth with no scratch
I think it's the headphone out. Maybe I am wrong here again :):facepalm:;)
EDIT: Yes, I can confirm. At higher volumes, the problem becomes obvious. It's the headphone out that is a bit "scratchy".
You can reproduce it by watching this video through the headphone out and then through an amp.
Whenever there is an "S" or a "T" there is a scratchy sound. This is not there when run in DAC mode through an AMP.
The first couple of lines of "Ella Fitzgerald - Solitude" sound so harsh through the headphone out. But through my AMPs they sound just normal.

Do you use EQ on the headphones or the amp?
 

jani80k

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Do you use EQ on the headphones or the amp?
No, I don't.
I just unplug my headphones from the DAC and plug them into the AMP which has already been connected to the DAC. Then I switch the output target pf the DAC from Headphone out to Line out and the AMP starts playing.
It sounds almost identical in terms of neutrality but better in regards to sound quality. Smooother and more natural sound.
The issue is very minor, but enough for me to send it back because I only like the unit 100% in DAC mode, so in combination with an AMP. And it's too expensive for that.
 
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jani80k

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So I went to my Amazon orders. Clicked the return button (only received the unit less than a week ago) on the DX3 order. Message pops up: "This item cannot be returned according to our security policy because it contains gas or liquids."
I scratch my head, then call customer support. The guy confirms that the item is too dangerous to ship it back and he will just refund all of my money but I can keep the unit. Okay.
 

Veri

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I scratch my head, then call customer support. The guy confirms that the item is too dangerous to ship it back and he will just refund all of my money but I can keep the unit. Okay.
Whaaat.
 

jani80k

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Yeah, will make a nice stack with my Liquid Spark AMP. Nice combo.
 

xnor

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Sorry, hiss was the wrong word. I mean a hissing sound caused by certain letters/sounds.
Comparing the data we have on both devices, the Liquid Spark should have about 10-15 dB higher THD+N in that range, but this shouldn't be audible.
Another difference could again be output impedance. amirm measured 0.8 ohms for the Liquid Spark but specs say <0.1 ohms. He didn't measure it for the DX3 pro+ afaik, but it also looks like the measurement may be inaccurate anyway.

A better guess however would be that you're again failing to properly match levels. Liquid Spark also starts clipping at ~170 mW while DX3 Pro+ doesn't clip even at the max ~250 mW (both into 300 ohms).
Nobody knows what "max possible listening volume (really loud)" means.
 

raistlin65

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No, I don't.
I just unplug my headphones from the DAC and plug them into the AMP which has already been connected to the DAC. Then I switch the output target pf the DAC from Headphone out to Line out and the AMP starts playing.
It sounds almost identical in terms of neutrality but better in regards to sound quality. Smooother and more natural sound.
The issue is very minor, but enough for me to send it back because I only like the unit 100% in DAC mode, so in combination with an AMP. And it's too expensive for that.

If you are not properly volume leveling in your comparisons, that could be the difference you're hearing.
 

BXLMatt

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So I went to my Amazon orders. Clicked the return button (only received the unit less than a week ago) on the DX3 order. Message pops up: "This item cannot be returned according to our security policy because it contains gas or liquids."
I scratch my head, then call customer support. The guy confirms that the item is too dangerous to ship it back and he will just refund all of my money but I can keep the unit. Okay.
Exactly the same happened to me. It's not much use to me as a dac because it doesn't like my TV but as a free headphone amp....
 

jani80k

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SMSL M500 headphone out: a bit mid foward but mostly neutral
SMSL SP200 with M500 connected: neutral
ToppingDX3 Pro+: neutral but sibilance
SMSL SP200 with DX3+: neutral
Liquid Spark with M500/DX3+: natural sounding
Headphone out of my Focusrite 6i6 audio interface: neutral
Fiio E10K: natural/neutral

I am happy with all the sources I could use as a headphone out.
Except for the DX3 Pro+.
 

jani80k

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HD58X
 

noiseangel

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Topping continue to embarrass the biggest names in the business. If the companies in the hit list below Topping spent as much money on their R & D as they do on their marketing telling us how good they sound and their fancy $5k CNC machined boxes to put their sub-standard electronics in, Amir would be out of a job.
 

GoMrPickles

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SMSL M500 headphone out: a bit mid foward but mostly neutral
SMSL SP200 with M500 connected: neutral
ToppingDX3 Pro+: neutral but sibilance
SMSL SP200 with DX3+: neutral
Liquid Spark with M500/DX3+: natural sounding
Headphone out of my Focusrite 6i6 audio interface: neutral
Fiio E10K: natural/neutral

I am happy with all the sources I could use as a headphone out.
Except for the DX3 Pro+.
I mean this positively: It *seems* like you're used to your setup (which I think was the Fiio?), and like the sound of the harmonics/noise present in the Fiio. I suspect, but obviously cannot prove, that it's also louder.

Amir reviewed the Fiio here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...dslabs-odac-rev-b-compared-to-fiio-e10k.2068/

You can save a lot of money by preferring your existing gear! :)

(Want to sell your DX3+?)
 

Bourneendboy

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I have just purchased a DX3 Pro+ and have a quick question regarding the volume control.

When I turn the volume knob clockwise or I press the + on the remote the volume goes up, but strangely the numbers on the front of the screen go down The lower the number, the higher the volume.

This is very strange, is it normal?

Thanks for any advice.
 

staticV3

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I have just purchased a DX3 Pro+ and have a quick question regarding the volume control.

When I turn the volume knob clockwise or I press the + on the remote the volume goes up, but strangely the numbers on the front of the screen go down The lower the number, the higher the volume.

This is very strange, is it normal?

Thanks for any advice.
There's a minus in front of the numbers. They do in fact go up.
Signal amplitude in the digital realm is specified in dBFS. 0dBFS is the highest value.
 

Dukies07

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Newbie back with another question. I’ve had my DX3 Pro+ for about a week now using it with DT 900 Pro X headphones. I decided I’d try experimenting with some EQ, so I just installed Peace. Without applying any EQ settings and even at relatively low volumes using low gain, Peace is indicating that it is clipping. Is this normal or is there something I need to adjust to prevent this?
 

Bourneendboy

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There's a minus in front of the numbers. They do in fact go up.
Signal amplitude in the digital realm is specified in dBFS. 0dBFS is the highest value.
Thanks for your quick reply, I thought I was going to have to send it back:facepalm:
 

dreamscene

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Headfonia just published a review of the Fiio K5 Pro ESS (Same chip as this Topping) and were very happy with it. On the 2nd page, they did a brief comparision to the Topping DX3Pro+ and found it to be very favorable. They will be publishing a more indepth review on the topping soon as well.

vs. Topping DX3 Pro+ ($199 USD)

The DX3 Pro+’s review is in the works and it will be published in the near future. Just like the K5Pro ESS, it is also an AIO device that features the same DAC of K5Pro ESS. Topping managed to impress me with its fantastic sound quality and wireless capability in a budget package. It can be used as a separate DAC and PRE. Furthermore, it can dish out 1.8W into a 32-ohm load so power-wise, this puts the DX3 Pro+ in front of all the units that I mentioned here. Sound-wise it feels more spacious, slightly more resolving, and articulate compared to the K5Pro ESS. It has a slightly more energetic and vivid presentation. Instead of a 6.3mm HPO, it comes with a 3.5mm HPO. Stay tuned for the review!

 

Miiman

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Headfonia just published a review of the Fiio K5 Pro ESS (Same chip as this Topping) and were very happy with it. On the 2nd page, they did a brief comparision to the Topping DX3Pro+ and found it to be very favorable. They will be publishing a more indepth review on the topping soon as well.

vs. Topping DX3 Pro+ ($199 USD)

The DX3 Pro+’s review is in the works and it will be published in the near future. Just like the K5Pro ESS, it is also an AIO device that features the same DAC of K5Pro ESS. Topping managed to impress me with its fantastic sound quality and wireless capability in a budget package. It can be used as a separate DAC and PRE. Furthermore, it can dish out 1.8W into a 32-ohm load so power-wise, this puts the DX3 Pro+ in front of all the units that I mentioned here. Sound-wise it feels more spacious, slightly more resolving, and articulate compared to the K5Pro ESS. It has a slightly more energetic and vivid presentation. Instead of a 6.3mm HPO, it comes with a 3.5mm HPO. Stay tuned for the review!


Thanks for posting! Always nice to get confirmation that it was indeed a good buy. Looking forward to read their complete review.
 

GoMrPickles

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Ordered one via Amazon/ShenzhenAudio. May take 6 weeks to arrive. Will report back. Primarily use w/Spotify & Apple music via USB. Replacing or augmenting an SMSL SU-8 + Topping L30; headphones are Oppo PM-3 (primary) and Drop 6XX (secondary).
 
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