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Topping E2x2 Audio Interface Review

Rate this audio interface

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 10 4.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 24 10.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 121 50.8%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 83 34.9%

  • Total voters
    238

lkanies

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Imo for the use case you are describing, I'm not sure the 87a is a good choice. It's a supercardioid handheld, you either need to have the think like an inch form your mouth or crank the gain through the roof. The previous being the far preferred option.
I pair it with a shotgun mic, which I use most of the time provides very good quality if not as good isolation, so I only use the 87a when I need a lot of privacy or a lot of noise isolation. In that sense, it works out pretty well. And I'm well trained to have my mouth right on the mic, although obviously this is a big part of why monitoring is so useful.

In retrospect I likely would have bought something else, like the SM7B, if I had done more research. But I got this in the initial peak of "oh we'll be spending our lives online and now need good microphones?" in early 2020. I don't feel terribly incentivized to replace it at this point.

If I had otherwise loved the e2x2, I would consider yet another change to a mic it could more easily drive. But I didn't love the experience of using it. Like I wanted to pull the knobs off my Motu and stick them on it, so they were easier to turn. And given my use case (frequent switching between speakers and headphones, and shotgun mic and close mic, plus it being used by multiple family members) usability and flexibility is key. I think the e2x2 would be great if you could configure it then never touch it. But that's not my setup.

It actually works pretty to have an external headphone amp, because the SMSL one I ended up with has a simple toggle to switch between headphones and speakers, vs all of the audio interfaces that require I turn down one volume and up the other one.

So, since I was moving the e2x2 on, and going back to the Motu, I'm having no trouble driving it.
 

ebastler

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Hi! Registered on purpose for a few questions... I currently use an Audient Evo4 (for a single mic in only...), and a jdslabs Element II. I would love being able to replace both with a single device, so this sparked my interest.

The Audient should be replaced entirely without drawbacks, but I am not sure about the Element II. Would the e2x2 be a significant downgrade (one I could actually hear) over an Element II, or just some measurement things that are beyond what can be heard? Got a pair of Focal Elear, so not particularly hard to drive, Element is always in low gain mode.

Is there any way to toggle between headphone and line out without opening the software? Hardware switch? I figure since the interface is a 2x2 it has 2 DAC channels only, so the two outputs will not be exposed as separate audio devices to the OS and switching has to happen in the interface - If I have to open the software everytime I want to switch sound from headphones to speakers connected to line out and back, that is a dealbreaker for me. My current Element II has a toggle button on the rear for that.

Oh, I saw mentions of a 1x2 somewhere - any ETA on that (since I saw someone from Topping is in the thread)? I only need 1 mic in channel, as long as everything else is not downgraded from 2x2 to 1x2, that would be neat to save a bit of desk space for features I do not need.
 

lkanies

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Is there any way to toggle between headphone and line out without opening the software?
It's like most other audio interfaces: Turn the headphone volume all the way down, and turn the main volume up. To switch, do the inverse.
 

jdjung

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I spoke with the Topping representative at So Cal can jam and told him I was very excited about them entering the audio interface market, and was hoping them to push the market like they did with DACs and Amps. I told him it was a totally different market with Focusrite, Motu, Apollo etc. Totally different then the brands we see generally see on this site except for RME.

I really think if Topping wants to disrupt the market, they need to go all in with better ergonomics, price and cleaner noise inputs, best headphone amp, put in their best DACs with LOW LAG, using reliable drivers and support. They would be coming from left field and blind side the competition. Low lag is very important now as they could undercut Apollo and Antelope Audio which has software effects which used to justify their high price tag before computers and lag have caught up to. Thus Topping doesn't need to worry so much about effect processing built into their audio interface now a days, and focus on the audio input/output quality, and reliability and speed of their drivers.

For those that don't know, input lag to output lag is a big deal for people that use effects for live music recording. This is when someone sings or plays an instrument into the audio interface, which then goes to the computer (DAW or software effects for live shows), gets processed by the computer then goes back out to the monitors. For live performers who are recording, a slight difference can be felt and throws off the timing. This is also important for live performances as well, as both dance coordination and singing have to match up. Price for professionals is much less a concern if the reliability and performance is there. Of course the inputs and outputs have to be transparent.

Anyhow, I really hope Topping pushes the boundaries on audio interfaces as I've seen them do in Dacs and Amps.
 

Bsmooth

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Just a quick question, very new to Audio Interfaces, but I have done a fair bit of research so far. I like the older dynamic mics like the Shure SM57 and even better the Beta SM56a and 57a. But I have heard they need good gain to drive them for the best sound. I had planned on getting the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, but the Topping and SSL 2 (not tested here that I could see) are also in the running as well as the Motu M2.
Out of all of these which would be better for the likes of mics like the old Shure SM57 or SM56a ? I am just a fair to middle acoustic guitarist that wants to try recording to try and improve a little.
 

staticV3

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Out of all of these which would be better for the likes of mics like the old Shure SM57 or SM56a ? I am just a fair to middle acoustic guitarist that wants to try recording to try and improve a little.
Here are all relevant graphs from Julian Krause's database of interface measurements:
Screenshot 2024-01-20 at 20.14.42.png Screenshot 2024-01-20 at 20.16.01.png Screenshot 2024-01-20 at 20.17.05.png
 

Bsmooth

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I did read these but, had a tough time seeing them. Much appreciated format you posted ! I can actually read them now. Topping looks very good as well as the SSL 2
 

lkanies

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Just a quick question, very new to Audio Interfaces, but I have done a fair bit of research so far. I like the older dynamic mics like the Shure SM57 and even better the Beta SM56a and 57a. But I have heard they need good gain to drive them for the best sound. I had planned on getting the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, but the Topping and SSL 2 (not tested here that I could see) are also in the running as well as the Motu M2.
Out of all of these which would be better for the likes of mics like the old Shure SM57 or SM56a ? I am just a fair to middle acoustic guitarist that wants to try recording to try and improve a little.
I tried the e2x2 with my Shure BETA 87a, and it struggled to drive it. I constantly found myself either too quiet, or with the gain cranked so high I could hear the walls breathe.

My Motu M2 does not have that problem. It still struggles to drive it a bit - I have gain turned up very high - but it’s not so high that it picks up a ton of other noise.

I’m looking for a replacement mic for this reason. But at least with the Motu it is not urgent.
 

DLS79

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I tried the e2x2 with my Shure BETA 87a, and it struggled to drive it. I constantly found myself either too quiet, or with the gain cranked so high I could hear the walls breathe.

My Motu M2 does not have that problem. It still struggles to drive it a bit - I have gain turned up very high - but it’s not so high that it picks up a ton of other noise.

I’m looking for a replacement mic for this reason. But at least with the Motu it is not urgent.


Sensitivity​

(@ 1 kHz, open circuit voltage)

-56.0 dBV/Pa [1] (1.6 mV)

If memory serves that means you want an interface that can deliver at least 56 dB of gain.
 

Bsmooth

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I was going to suggest the Shure Beta 56a or 57a but the gain available is only 51. But I have heard they are better for Acoustic Guitar. The Shure KSM137 comes highly suggested for ACoustic Guitar yet its different being a small diapraghm condenser mic, but its gain is only 37 I think. So is gain as important or there must be other factors too?
 

LukeA

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What are Topping like with returns on their store?

Thinking I'll probably wait until Amazon stocks it....
 

usern

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You can wait and I recommend you to. We are currently discussing with some big resellers. It will take some time. But still please feel comfortable to purchase from aliexpress directly from us. And we upped the game setting premium shipping free.
I keep checking Amazon and Thomann, but nothing yet. Has there been any developments in distributing it in Europe?
 

bwcgrx

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I have placed an order, through Aliexpress, for an e4x4 as my ART USB Dual Pre has developed a bad input. It's currently outbound out of China so with any luck I'll have it in a few weeks. I'll report my experiences once I've spent some time with it in use.
 

Zmix

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The Topping e2x2 looks virtually identical to the Arturia MiniFuse2, right down to the software interface and it's use of virtual channels:


I wonder if:

a: Topping is the OEM

or

b: Topping borrowed the design.
 

MAB

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The Topping e2x2 looks virtually identical to the Arturia MiniFuse2, right down to the software interface and it's use of virtual channels:


I wonder if:

a: Topping is the OEM

or

b: Topping borrowed the design.
Thanks for posting!
Also, the Arturia comes with a 5 year warranty:):
We're so confident in the MiniFuses' durability that we offer a 5-year hardware warranty on every unit we sell - one of the most extensive warranties on the market. Get creative safe in the knowledge that your MiniFuse can go the distance.
Topping Pro warranty is 1 year. Given most of my Topping devices are now dead and had difficult time with after-sale service, Arturia looks like a great alternative. That is if the word alternative is the correct use.;)
 

MAB

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The Topping e2x2 looks virtually identical to the Arturia MiniFuse2, right down to the software interface and it's use of virtual channels:


I wonder if:

a: Topping is the OEM

or

b: Topping borrowed the design.
I didn't notice until now the MiniFuse2 was tested here as well:facepalm::
Interesting that while some measurements are similar, others (like ADC performance and headphone performance for instance) not even close.
 
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Are the internals of the E1x2 and the E2x2 practically the same apart from the single XLR input and added USB-C connector at the back? Some of the specs on the website look the same but are worded differently so was unsure whether it still has the same stuff in it pretty much.
 
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For anyone who is wondering. I contacted the Topping Sales team to ask when they would be supplying European retailers with this product. They informed me that Scan was their main UK distributor and that I should contact them. After contacting the Scan sales team, they informed me that they had just received this product and said I could buy it from them now (through email). So I'm guessing they will have it on their site soon. Hopefully, this is going to start appearing on more sites too.
 

CleanSound

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I see a volume control, can some confirm if I can connect this directly to an amp?
 
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