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Topping DX5 Review (DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this product:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 16 4.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 8 2.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 89 23.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 262 69.9%

  • Total voters
    375

DrZingo

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While I don't quite like the display fonts, I could live with the design at large. It's not a sculpture, it's a small utility.
I don't know. If it was one of their sub-$100 DACs I would agree, but if they have ambitions to be a major player around $500 I personally think they should put a little more thought into the design.
Don't get me wrong, I like Topping and this is clearly stellar technical performance. But most people who spend this amount of money on a source probably want to display it, not tuck it away behind their amp. Why not for example put the model number below the brand name, something like this? (I made this on some free painting app on my daughter's phone in about two minutes, but maybe you get the idea.)
 

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cheapmessiah

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As i said on the other thread, Im of the opinion that the value proposition is not there on this AiO, not much more than Dx3pro+ on performance or features and its more than twice the price.

I do however like the unit, and no disrespect to amirs pictures, I think his pics are more focused on showing features than aesthetics, and that a further away pic showing the whole unit (or seeing the thing IRL) might change peoples opinion about it, I think its nice that its not a rectangular or squared box.
 

spigot

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Lovely display. Plus, thank you for another excellent review.
 

RandomEar

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Like the combination of balanced + unbalanced outputs as well as the Bluetooth in that is still missing on many otherwise very competent DACs.

Don't like the OLED display at all. They look good and sharp, but with ample use they will show severe burn-in after about a year. There are reports about this issue with other Topping products, but it's a basic flaw of the technology and not limited to Topping. I get that IPS displays have lower contrast and look a bit worse in dark environments, but at least they tend to outlive the device they are used in.
 

Matias

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Very nice device.
apos-audio-topping-headphone-dac-amp-topping-dx5-dac-amp-36794926137580_1000x.jpg
 

Steve Rogers

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Nice performance but as already mentioned, the design is pretty poor, so poor that I wouldn't buy it. Good thing that tastes are different so there will be enough people who will also like the new design.

As i said on the other thread, Im of the opinion that the value proposition is not there on this AiO, not much more than Dx3pro+ on performance or features and its more than twice the price.

I do however like the unit, and no disrespect to amirs pictures, I think his pics are more focused on showing features than aesthetics, and that a further away pic showing the whole unit (or seeing the thing IRL) might change peoples opinion about it, I think its nice that its not a rectangular or squared box.
+1, as audio scientists we dont go for mqa so why not go for one of the cheaper topping or rival offers? I think review should relate to value of product, at its price and with the hassle of postage if you need to return it it is quite expensive.
 

DavidK442

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Probably not the place for this comment, but seeing yet another “DAC/headphone amp” made me ponder the use case for these prolific little boxes.
What do most people use as a source? Computer? Streamer? Phone to Bluetooth?
How do they listen?
Headphones tethered by a cable? Speakers via separate amp?
I would love for Topping to finally offer a compact, high performance replacement for my ugly, mediocre, big box receiver.
 

AlephAlpha001

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Today I got an email from Shenzen-Audio with the presentation of the Topping DX5. Then want to take a look at ASR if there is any further information about this device and what could I read: The superb review of the Topping DX5 ;-). Coincidence?
Not remotely a coincidence and I hope to see many more of these non-coincidences... My only regret is that I didn't know about ASR and just how good almost everything Topping makes is before I'd already stumped for a D90SE and an A90. Could theoretically (*) have saved some cash and bought cheaper items like this DX5.

*Theoretically because went and bought an RME ADI-2 and a second A90 after getting into ASR reviews in a big way. Oh well! At least I'll never blow money on a Dave or a Bartok now. There's that.
 

DrZingo

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Yes. Personally, I would certainly buy a reasonably sized and priced multiple-HDMI-input two-channel digital amplifier with a splitter/through HDMI out. (Using the digital out on the TV for music isn't an option, as that means having to keep it on.)
 
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_thelaughingman

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*Theoretically because went and bought an RME ADI-2 and a second A90 after getting into ASR reviews in a big way. Oh well! At least I'll never blow money on a Dave or a Bartok now. There's that.
Let's be honest, though, would it even be worth all the that money to invest in those brands when the performance to price ratio of Topping blows them away. You've definitely made a good choice with A90 and RME.
 

iLoveCats

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Probably not the place for this comment, but seeing yet another “DAC/headphone amp” made me ponder the use case for these prolific little boxes.
What do most people use as a source? Computer? Streamer? Phone to Bluetooth?
How do they listen?
Headphones tethered by a cable? Speakers via separate amp?
I would love for Topping to finally offer a compact, high performance replacement for my ugly, mediocre, big box receiver.
Computer is my source and I use a Topping EX5 (DX5 close cousin). I have headphones and I also feed a subwoofer via RCA and an amp via XLR for a pair of floor standing speakers. It is my all on one replacement for my previous Denon 4400 big box AVR.
 

Doodski

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There are reports about this issue with other Topping products, but it's a basic flaw of the technology and not limited to Topping.
Thanks for the heads up. I just had a birthday pass and I'm looking for something to treat myself and I was thinking of this DX5 but the display issue is just too glaring a issue to make this my new AIO. :D
 
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anmpr1

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Thanks for the heads up. I just had a birthday pass and I'm looking for something to treat myself and I was thinking of this DX50 but the display issue is just too glaring a issue to make this my new AIO. :D
While not affecting performance, it's disappointing. Yet probably not uncommon. From personal experience, the USB LED indicator on my four year old desktop Cambridge Audio Super Magical DAC Plus went out last year. So I have to cycle through all the other lit inputs, and then choose the one that doesn't come on, to know I'm at USB. LOL

My DAC from the Full of Schiit guys doesn't even have any lights* or screens at all. Just a button. It's a pretty nice button, but if you don't intuitively recognize what the little icons represent, you have to cycle through inputs until you hear some noise.

My Benchmark HGC DAC has a bunch of LED lights that are pretty strong, and have held up, and show anything and everything you would want to know (in combinations), but I must admit that it's not the most intuitive thing to figure out, at a glance. Not like an OLED screen.

I'm sure Topping (and others like them) are attempting to come in at a specified price point, and incorporating an appreciably better part on the front panel, but at the next higher price point cutoff, is what they are trying to avoid. Or maybe it's just a bad run of parts, and not typical of the average thing. That might be it.

*correction--I just looked, and it has working LEDs, but associated with the oddball icons. So I guess that's a plus. I guess.
 

Countach

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I agree it looks a bit cheap. Especially the dial has this old radio design. The performance is top-class but I'm not a fan of multiplying the chips. It raises the price and gives little in return. I'll stick to my DX3 Pro+.
 

Doodski

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I'm sure Topping (and others like them) are attempting to come in at a specified price point, and incorporating an appreciably better part on the front panel, but at the next higher price point cutoff, is what they are trying to avoid. Or maybe it's just a bad run of parts, and not typical of the average thing. That might be it.
Do you think these people are not turning OFF their OLED display and that causes the burn-in? How sensitive are these OLED displays to burn-in? I don't think I have a OLED display @ home and so I have no experience with them.
 

anmpr1

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I agree it looks a bit cheap. Especially the dial has this old radio design. The performance is top-class but I'm not a fan of multiplying the chips. It raises the price and gives little in return. I'll stick to my DX3 Pro+.
Well, it is a bit cheap. And, if I may say so, it certainly looks as good if not better than the DX3, but that's just an opinion, and like other things, everyone has one of those.

I'm not really getting what folks are expecting at this price point, in the fit and finish department.
 
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