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Topping E2x2 Audio Interface Review

Rate this audio interface

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 10 4.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 23 9.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 121 52.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 78 33.6%

  • Total voters
    232

JohnYang1997

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As pointed out earlier these products needs computer software, so the software quality and support is as important as the device itself.
The interface can run without the software. It can also run standalone. But sure we develop the software ourselves so the support is very responsive. The product actually has been out since August. Most issues are ironed out. The market response is even better in China actually much better than initially anticipated.
 

Robbo99999

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As pointed out earlier these products need computer software, so the software quality and support is as important as the device itself.
As I said, I was just trying to work out how this product would be used, and @andymcbain explained it very clearly for me. I don't know why you're bringing up software as it wasn't part of our conversation flow, but yes I suppose the software is important, are you saying the software is not good? Amir seemed happy with the software, and a cursory glance at the screenshots of it seem fine to me.
 

Mulder

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The interface can run without the software. It can also run standalone. But sure we develop the software ourselves so the support is very responsive. The product actually has been out since August. Most issues are ironed out. The market response is even better in China actually much better than initially anticipated.
If you buy this with the intention to use it for what it is intended to, for sure you need a computer with appropiate software for mixing, recording etc. It may work in the basic meaning of ”working”, but that makes no sense from a user perspective. You just need a software - suggesting anything else is just not serious.
 

AnalogSteph

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Indeed. 2-3dB is more the kind of variation you could expect, even between high end preamps and (modern) low cost ones using THAT chip.
So this graph showing 14 dB noise difference is completely unrealistic.
You have no idea how utterly shit the mic inputs can be on inexpensive USB audio interfaces. On the very budget end you can usually take your pick between something with half-decent noise on a dynamic (but perhaps not entirely distortion-free on a LDC) and something that sounds fine on a condenser but ranges between rather noisy and flat out terrible on a dynamic. The latter variant is usually courtesy of some sort of lowish-noise opamp like an NJM2068. (Those much worse than -120 dBu usually have some sort of constructive issues, like the notorious Audiobox USB 96 which seems to have a noisy virtual ground.) That used to be the standard performance level before people (presumably at Focusrite) figured out that you could press an NJM2122 into service with decent results.

Excuse the test en allemand (machine translation advised), but listen to the SM7B sample:
Utterly horrifying. It sounds like a cheap headset mic or something. My guess is that it simultaneously runs out of amplifier GBW and low end at high gain (the capacitor in feedback tends to be 1000+ µF and this may not have fit, neither the case nor the budget), all while having substantial amounts of input noise.

You will have noticed that the majority of interfaces do find themselves between about -127 und -131 dBu(A), which is a much more sensible span of about 4 dB. Modern constructions beyond the absolute bargain basement price range generally are at least decent, thankfully.
 

JohnYang1997

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If you buy this with the intention to use it for what it is intended to, for sure you need a computer with appropiate software for mixing, recording etc. It may work in the basic meaning of ”working”, but that makes no sense from a user perspective. You just need a software - suggesting anything else is just not serious.
Umm. There are many use cases.
You can download the workspace settings to the device and carry to other places plug and play with other computers PC or MAC and it will just work.

It can also work as a standalone mic pre, at 192khz the latency is 0.1ms. Connecting with other interfaces with extra line in you can connect more mics or instruments.

Our users have used in all of these scenarios.

BTW Motu M series don't have such software.
 

Mulder

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As I said, I was just trying to work out how this product would be used, and @andymcbain explained it very clearly for me. I don't know why you're bringing up software as it wasn't part of our conversation flow, but yes I suppose the software is important, are you saying the software is not good? Amir seemed happy with the software, and a cursory glance at the screenshots of it seem fine to me.
I don´t know if whether the software is good or bad. I just pointed out that software ought to be a part of the evaluation of these kind of product. If you don´t get why this is important I suggest you read @ocinn post #56 above.
 
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Robbo99999

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I don´t know if the software is good. If you don´t get why this is important I suggest you read @ocinn post #56 above.
I don't know why you're talking to me about the software, I think you're confused, I never brought up the software originally, instead I just wanted to know the main use cases for this device (which another user kindly clearly described). Looking at some of your recent posts you seem to have an anti Topping agenda, plus I don't know your fixation on the software in relation to the conversation we were having which was not even related to the software - you just decided to include it. I suggest you gain a bit more posting integrity.
 

Robbo99999

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Rja4000

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You have no idea how utterly shit the mic inputs can be on inexpensive USB audio interfaces. On the very budget end you can usually take your pick between something with half-decent noise on a dynamic (but perhaps not entirely distortion-free on a LDC) and something that sounds fine on a condenser but ranges between rather noisy and flat out terrible on a dynamic. The latter variant is usually courtesy of some sort of lowish-noise opamp like an NJM2068. (Those much worse than -120 dBu usually have some sort of constructive issues, like the notorious Audiobox USB 96 which seems to have a noisy virtual ground.) That used to be the standard performance level before people (presumably at Focusrite) figured out that you could press an NJM2122 into service with decent results.

Excuse the test en allemand (machine translation advised), but listen to the SM7B sample:
Utterly horrifying. It sounds like a cheap headset mic or something. My guess is that it simultaneously runs out of amplifier GBW and low end at high gain (the capacitor in feedback tends to be 1000+ µF and this may not have fit, neither the case nor the budget), all while having substantial amounts of input noise.

You will have noticed that the majority of interfaces do find themselves between about -127 und -131 dBu(A), which is a much more sensible span of about 4 dB. Modern constructions beyond the absolute bargain basement price range generally are at least decent, thankfully.
OK, we may use this to disqualify horrible results.
But you should never use this to rank interfaces.

To provide proper ranking (if it makes sense), you'd really need to compare apples to apples, so to compare all interfaces for a given max voltage at 0dBFS.
I do it for 100mV rms at 0dBFS.
 

AnalogSteph

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To provide proper ranking (if it makes sense), you'd really need to compare apples to apples, so to compare all interfaces for a given max voltage at 0dBFS.
I do it for 100mV rms at 0dBFS.
IMHO this level is rather high, even for a condenser mic. That would generally put a spoken word / podcasting application below -20 dBFS peak when using a -37 dBV/Pa LDC, or below -40 dBFS peak when using an SM7B (-59 dBV/Pa). At that point, the difference between 0 dBFS and typical EIN would be about 110 dB(A), making the ADC the bottleneck on many interfaces, at times severely so. It's fine in the context of standalone microphone amps with ample supplies, but think of the poor little PCM29xx powered jobs like the Behringer UMC22 or M-Audio M-Track Solo/Duo with their sub-90 dB ADCs and +5V single-supply analog stages but actually rather decent EIN levels (basically, these were designed for podcasting with a cheap dynamic like the trusty Behringer XM8500).

Now if you wanted to make sure to mostly eliminate the ADC and bring up analog noise at -128 dBu to -73 dBFS or so, that would mean you'd need a system gain of 57 dBFS/dBV. Not all interfaces even have that much gain available to begin with, a bunch only make it into the 40s.

I fully get why one would want to log EIN at some standard sensitivity levels (say, -20 dBV, -40 dBV, min), but at the end of the day what people are most interested in is what kind of output levels and noise floor you'll get out of a (demanding) dynamic mic, and Julian's tests are quite adequate for that. (Distortion near max gain arguably still is a bit of a blind spot.)
 

Bruce Morgen

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If you buy this with the intention to use it for what it is intended to, for sure you need a computer with appropiate software for mixing, recording etc. It may work in the basic meaning of ”working”, but that makes no sense from a user perspective. You just need a software - suggesting anything else is just not serious.
Of course one needs software -- e.g. some sort of media player -- for the DAC function too, and an ADC-equipped device will need DAW software in order to record anything. I think the software to which Mr. Yang is referring is control software specific to this particular product, which is indeed entirely optional -- i.e. the product is usable without it.
 

Bruce Morgen

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but think of the poor little PCM29xx powered jobs like the Behringer UMC22 or M-Audio M-Track Solo/Duo with their sub-90 dB ADCs and +5V single-supply analog stages but actually rather decent EIN levels (basically, these were designed for podcasting with a cheap dynamic like the trusty Behringer XM8500).
So, the 48VDC phantom power feature of (many, if not most) cheap interfaces is just there to check a marketing box?
 

Rja4000

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IMHO this level is rather high, even for a condenser mic. That would generally put a spoken word / podcasting application below -20 dBFS peak when using a -37 dBV/Pa LDC, or below -40 dBFS peak when using an SM7B (-59 dBV/Pa). At that point, the difference between 0 dBFS and typical EIN would be about 110 dB(A), making the ADC the bottleneck on many interfaces, at times severely so. It's fine in the context of standalone microphone amps with ample supplies, but think of the poor little PCM29xx powered jobs like the Behringer UMC22 or M-Audio M-Track Solo/Duo with their sub-90 dB ADCs and +5V single-supply analog stages but actually rather decent EIN levels (basically, these were designed for podcasting with a cheap dynamic like the trusty Behringer XM8500).

Now if you wanted to make sure to mostly eliminate the ADC and bring up analog noise at -128 dBu to -73 dBFS or so, that would mean you'd need a system gain of 57 dBFS/dBV. Not all interfaces even have that much gain available to begin with, a bunch only make it into the 40s.

I fully get why one would want to log EIN at some standard sensitivity levels (say, -20 dBV, -40 dBV, min), but at the end of the day what people are most interested in is what kind of output levels and noise floor you'll get out of a (demanding) dynamic mic, and Julian's tests are quite adequate for that. (Distortion near max gain arguably still is a bit of a blind spot.)
1698859222547.png

Here are some measurements at and around that "reference gain" for some professional mic preamps/interfaces (150 ohm load).

About the reference level, I explained in this thread post why I choose this one.
The idea was to set a gain realistic for a singer using a Shure SM58.

The goal of this reference is to align all interfaces (and analog mic preamps) at the same level.
Of course, you may still look at the gain figure corresponding more to your use.
Podcasting, which means spoken words and not loud singing, would probably need a gain 20dB higher. But you'll still be able to compare interfaces at that level by looking at this plot. Just use values for X=+20dB.

By the way, Audiofanzine.fr (1.1Mio visits/month) is also using 100mV for their interface measurements now.

Maybe we should start another thread to discuss that topic if there is an interest ?
 
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hestejoe

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Probably a niche question but as a synth head, I would love to know if this unit is DC-coupled?

I have already decided that my next interface should offer this option and perhaps I am not alone.
 

Labjr

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All these new DACs are getting boring. I'm glad Topping is finally getting into audio interfaces. I hope all manufactuers of budget DAC's will follow with software and also DSP.
 
OP
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sgent

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tence. I bought one of their speakers on Amazon. Measured it. It was clearly broken. Initiated a warranty repair. After some delay and back and forth, they said to send it to them which I did. Even though I had bought this

One of the things I really like about the m4 is the double outputs. I have one set powering a sub and the other powering monitors. The MOTU also has beautiful very legible meters, although these may be just as good.

If you do need lots of juice for headphones the MOTU isn't quite as good as this I think but it's good enough for most people most of the time.

I really like the software interface. Another set of outputs and a couple bands of switchable EQ on every output would be an instant buy for me.

This is a wonderful device though, and I commend Topping for delivering such a mature product in a new area.

Will the volume knob on the MOTU adjust 1-3 / 1-4? That was my hangup is that outputs 3/4 couldn't be grouped with 1/2, unless you do them in software?
 

AnalogSteph

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So, the 48VDC phantom power feature of (many, if not most) cheap interfaces is just there to check a marketing box?
No, they'll generally work OK with condensers, too (and as mentioned, some wallflowers will even give better results), and since you need a boost converter anyway, phantom power also tends to be the real deal with around 48 V rather than say 15 as found on some mixers. It's just that a $30 dynamic will be more appealing to rookie podcasters or budding singer-songwriters both in terms of price in relation to a $50 interface (although condensers seem to have come down a bit in the US lately, you never used to see sub-$50 options or anything close even) as well as placement / speaking distance in the face of generally untreated rooms. One thing to watch out for with these cheapies is that they like to start distorting / clipping well short of 0 dBFS.
 

LIΟN

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The interface can run without the software. It can also run standalone. But sure we develop the software ourselves so the support is very responsive. The product actually has been out since August. Most issues are ironed out. The market response is even better in China actually much better than initially anticipated.
e2x2 is good!
but software need to be optimize or somethin fix when install.


As soon as I received this product yesterday, I installed drivers and software and suffered from endless firmware updates.
But the interesting thing was that I deleted and rebooted and reinstalled the program, and I deleted and rebooted it a few times and it worked. There was not even a firmware update notification.
It's fortunate and strange that nothing has changed, and it's been fixed by repeated installations, uninstallations, and reboots.

Of course, I'm satisfied with the product e2x2. It's very suitable for my purpose.

1698836523.jpg


It's neat and well-made. :)
 
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