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Topping E30 DAC Review

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the new Topping E30 USB DAC. It was kindly sent to me by the company for testing. Unfortunately I did not get pricing information. As soon as I get it, I will post it.

EDIT: just heard back. US cost is just $129.99!

This is a bit of a new look for Topping DAC, borrowing from DX3 Pro but with dual color display:

Topping E30 USB DAC Audio Review.jpg

It looks better in person than my low-contrast image above. A touch button turns on the unit (takes it out of standby) and also lets you select inputs.

Note that it will be available in black and silver.

Here is the back:

Topping E30 USB DAC Back Panel Inputs Audio Review.jpg

It is a similar setup as Topping D50 with external USB power (mandatory for all inputs). For my testing, I hooked up the power input using the supplied cable from my USB display hub (next to its data port).

A remote control is provided which works identically as previous Topping products. Indeed I used the one from my Topping DX3 Pro to control it.

Internally this shows progression of Topping toward AKM DAC chips in the form of AK4493.

DAC Audio Measurements
Let's start with our usual dashboard:
Topping E30 USB DAC Audio Measurements.png


Distortion levels are incredibly low at -120 dB and lower. The addition of noise takes SINAD down to 112 dB which is most competent for a small little DAC like this:
best USB DAC Review and Tested 2020.png


Dynamic range follows suit:
Topping E30 USB DAC Dynamic Range Audio Measurements.png


When I run my IMD test, I usually expect DACs to struggle to match the Topping DX3 Pro. The E30 nicely matches it in noise and then bests it in final distortion amount:

Topping E30 USB DAC IMD Distortion Audio Measurements.png


Multitone test shows low enough distortion product as to be fit for the best you can do in any high resolution audio format:
Topping E30 USB DAC Multitone  Audio Measurements.png


Due to low level of noise, some spurious tones are visible but they are utterly inaudible:

Topping E30 USB DAC Jitter Audio Measurements.png


THD+N versus Frequency is a bit less staller:

Topping E30 USB DAC THD vs Frequency Audio Measurements.png


As is typical, this test includes components well above audible band and there, there is some extra energy which causes the graph to lift up independent of frequency. We can see the reason in the filter settings available:

Topping E30 USB DAC Filter Response Audio Measurements.png


What chip companies call "sharp" is still soft in that instead of roll off at 22.05 kHz, it goes on to 24 kHz. That allows some energy to escape into ultrasonic frequencies as noted.

Linearity is absolutely nailed:

Topping E30 USB DAC Linearity Audio Measurements.png


Conclusions
The Topping E30 targets a (small) step from state of the art in DAC performance and it delivers. It has attractive look and design element. I have a soft spot for orange LED displays so excuse me for that. :) Note that there is no Bluetooth input so if you care about that, you need to look at other Topping offerings.

With my assumption that this is a mid-priced DAC, I am happy to add Topping E30 to my recommended desktop DACs.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Packed and shipped three boxes, one of which almost clocked 70 pounds! I feel like calling UPS and getting an honorary delivery man badge given how much I am shipping things back and forth. I sure hope this makes you feel guilty enough to donate a few dollars using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #4
Not knocking nor trying to educate or anything. This is what we got for dashboard. The small peaks around 1khz shouldn't be there. I would like to know what caused it.
I suspect it has to do with how it is powered. I on purpose went with the "dirtiest" source of USB input.
 

digicidal

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#6
I suspect it has to do with how it is powered. I on purpose went with the "dirtiest" source of USB input.
So you left almost 2dB (of totally inaudible) SINAD off the table? For shame. ;)
 

Music1969

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#8
PS: I didn't design this this time.
Is it possible for the end user to enable "DSD Direct" mode of the AKM DAC chip?

If not this product, then coming Topping DACs?

Especially for those of us that like to use HQPlayer to convert to high DSD rates and by-pass all DAC chip DSP.
 

Tks

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#9
I suspect it has to do with how it is powered. I on purpose went with the "dirtiest" source of USB input.
Yo bossman, I was just wondering. Usually when I see any "distortion spikes" above the 1kHz single being passed, I always assume that is inherent distortion (like IMD for instance) that is native to the device regardless of source for the most part (cleaner power I would imagine has theoretically SOME impact in lowering distortion, but not by much these days and modern designs). But when I see spikes under the 1kHz I assume that is mains related.

Am I assuming this incorrectly? When/how do you know when some spikes are power source related, and others simply things like IMD (if I am wrong in my assumption I've held all this time)?
 

August

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#11
Is it possible to show the results of using a better power input (such as a mobile power supply or a mobile phone charger)?
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #12
Yo bossman, I was just wondering. Usually when I see any "distortion spikes" above the 1kHz single being passed, I always assume that is inherent distortion (like IMD for instance) that is native to the device regardless of source for the most part (cleaner power I would imagine has theoretically SOME impact in lowering distortion, but not by much these days and modern designs). But when I see spikes under the 1kHz I assume that is mains related.

Am I assuming this incorrectly? When/how do you know when some spikes are power source related, and others simply things like IMD (if I am wrong in my assumption I've held all this time)?
The only thing you know is that they are not non-linearities. They could be caused by many factors from refresh rates of the display, the little CPU that drives it, other timers in the system and yes, noise that manages to bleed through the USB port. To be sure we would need to change the power source to confirm in this case. I just sat down after starting a speaker test so too lazy to go and confirm that. :)
 

JohnYang1997

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#14
Is it possible for the end user to enable "DSD Direct" mode of the AKM DAC chip?

If not this product, then coming Topping DACs?

Especially for those of us that like to use HQPlayer to convert to high DSD rates and by-pass all DAC chip DSP.
There's the pure dac mode that enables it.
 

Sal1950

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#20
It looks better in person than my low-contrast image above.
I tip my hat to Topping for once again designing a near SOTA DAC for what I'm sure will end up being a reasonable cost.
But to me it looks just like my $10 Chinese alarm clock. :p
 

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