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Topping E30 II Lite DAC review and measurements

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    Votes: 2 2.3%
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Rja4000

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Here is a review and measurements of the recent
Topping E30 II Lite DAC

_R9A0819_dxo_3.jpg


Here you see it on top of the gorgeous Topping A70 Pro, to give an idea of its size.
Yes, it's a very small DAC.

I purchased it new from Audiophonics for around 100€.
This is one of the cheapest DACs with SPDIF inputs, level control and remote.

It comes with usual connectors: USB, Optical and coaxial (RCA) SPDIF inputs, and of course a pair of unbalanced analog RCA outputs.

_R9A0815_dxo.jpg


In the box, there is also a remote, but NO power supply (nor batteries for the remote)
This for sure helped to lower the price.
The DAC may be powered from any USB source, so just a USB power cable is provided.

It worked for me from any USB power source I had at hand, including a power bank.

There are 2 modes: DAC (fixed volume) and "Pre" (where volume is variable with the remote control).
In DAC mode, the frequency is always shown.
In Pre mode, the volume is displayed (frequency is only displayed on change).
The remote also allows to select the digital input, the filter and display light level.

Topping says it's built around an AK4493s chip.

Just a detail to note: In practice, the DAC is light.
Too light maybe, and it may be pulled by heavy cables.


Measurements

Measures are performed with following equipment:
RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE, as the main ADC
For very low levels, I used the RME 12Mic-D Mic preamp/interface.

Software is Virtins Multi Instrument 3.9.8.1

There are some limitations and differences compared to Amir's testing with an Audio Precision APx555.
That's more than enough to get a good idea of the device performances though.
I'll post comments where such differences are most important.




SINAD measurement

There is only unbalanced outputs, so here it is.

Topping E30 II Lite SINAD 44.1kHz RME ADI-2-4 13dBu Mono Battery powered_crop..png


You will probably get slightly better result if you measure it with the AudioPrecision.
However, this is already very good.
(This is left channel, right channel is 1dB lower.)

My measurement is not far from the Topping RD3 TP Amir reviewed, which uses the same DAC chip, with its measured 116.8dB SINAD in unbalanced mode.
The distortion profile (H3 then H2 and H5) is also very similar.

This measurement is a bit better after powering the RME from a battery.


Dynamic range

Dynamic range is very impressive.

Topping E30 II Lite Dynamic Range - ADC RME 12Mic-D 60dB Gain_Cropped.png


You read it right, that's almost 120dB of dynamic range.

Note that this figure, like all figures I publish, is un-weighted. Topping publishes a dynamic range figure wich is A-weighted.

The level you see in the plot is as seen by the RME 12Mic-D I use as ADC for this measurement. It is set for 60dB gain, 0dBFS here is -42dBu.


Linearity

Topping E30 II Lite Linearity.png


I've done my best to replicate Amir's measurement here.


Multitone measurement

Topping E30II Lite Multitone 192k - ADC 192k 128k._crop..png


Multitone measurement is always very informative, as it allows to assess a lot of different things in one single measurement:
You see the noise, all kind of distortions (shown at the frequency where you'll hear their effect), the frequency response, and even the crosstalk.

We have a very good performance here.

NB: TD+N in Multitone measurement is higher than THD+N in SINAD measurement, partly because the average RMS level is much lower in Multitone. So this is quite normal.

Frequency response and Crosstalk (from Multitone)

MT32 Frequency Response and Crosstalk.png



Sine 50Hz under 600 Ohm load measurement
(Torture test)

I ran this new test Amir added in the recent SABAJ A20d measurements.

I now run this test with an home-made 600 Ohm load.

Topping E30 II Lite 50Hz 600 Ohm load_crop..png




To get a comparison point, I ran the same test WITHOUT load (so load is the unbalanced RME input, ie 45k Ohm 22.5k Ohm - in Mono mode)

As we see, the main impact is the decrease in input voltage.

Topping E30 II Lite 50Hz without load_crop..png



Output impedance

Output impedance is in line with Topping specs (20 Ohm)

Open circuit VoltageV12.1138Vrms
Load resistanceRL613.9Ohm
Loaded circuit VoltageV22.0454Vrms
Zo=RL*(V1/V2-1)Zo20.5Ohm
(Reference)

Measured at 997Hz only, with a calibrated Brymen BM869s.



IMD measurement

I ran the ususal IMD vs Level measurement

Topping E30 II Lite IMD vs Level.png


Nothing wrong to note here.

A few comments about this measurement:
I always get slightly better figures than Amir's measurement with Audio Precision, for some unknown reason. So do not compare with Amir's results.
This still gives an indication nothing wrong happens here.

The slight glitches you see in the graph around -8dBFS and -3dBFS are due to the RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE switching Input range.
I should re-run this with switching ranges manually, probably.



Jitter

Jitter performance through SPDIF is disappointing
Not likely to be audible though.

Topping E30 II Lite Jitter SPDIF_Cropped.png



While it is (almost) text book perfect through USB

Topping E30 II Lite Jitter USB_Cropped.png



Filters comparison

NB: Black plot is F6

Topping E30 II Lite Filters 44.1kHz Comparison vs F6.png


Topping E30 II Lite Filters 44.1kHz Comparison vs F6 Zoom.png



F1 and F3 give identical results. F2 and F6 as well.
I ran all other measurements using F6 filter.


Filters Impulse responses

I recorded each Filter's impulse timeplot
From which we may deduct each filter's name:

F1 Slow
F2 SD Sharp
F3 SD Slow
F4 Super slow
F5 LD Short
F6 Sharp

Topping E30 II Lite Filter Impulse F1.pngTopping E30 II Lite Filter Impulse F2.pngTopping E30 II Lite Filter Impulse F3.pngTopping E30 II Lite Filter Impulse F4.pngTopping E30 II Lite Filter Impulse F5.pngTopping E30 II Lite Filter Impulse F6.png

Measured with RME ADI-2/4 Pro se @768kHz with Virtins MultiInstrument 3.9.8.1
See also the
"AK4493S product brief PDF"


THD+N ratio vs Frequency (90kHz BW)

Again, nothing to complain about here.

Topping E30 II Lite THD vs Frequency.png



Intersample overs

As I usually do now, I tested for intersample overs, up to +3dB overload, and there is just a small hint of distortion at +3dB
This is excellent performance, and much better than other ESS DACs I have measured, on par with the RME performance.

I don't know if Intersample overshoots are actually a problem in real life, but not with this DAC anyway.

1693381399205.png



Conclusion

We have a very competent device here.

If you except the Jitter for SPDIF, which could (maybe) somehow be improved, this is impressive performance for any DAC, not to speak for a DAC costing around 100 € !

For me,
This is excellent !
 
Last edited:
Also, because i know some are looking into this, here is a 997Hz Sine wave played at -90.31dBFS through the Topping E30 II Lite in 16 bits mode

Topping E30 II Lite Sine -90.31dB 16bits - ADC RME 12Mic-D 75dB gain_crop_zoom..png


And here is the same in 24 bits mode

Topping E30 II Lite Sine -90.31dB 24bits - ADC RME 12Mic-D 75dB gain_crop_Zoom..png


Both are exactly as expected.

So nothing wrong here.


The RME 12Mic-D is used as ADC here. It is set for 75dB gain for this measurement.




Measurements details (for those interested...)


SINAD measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F6 filter, RCA out USB in, 44.1kHz 32bits REW 997.256Hz 0dBFS signal 24bits dithering - ADC: RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE Mono 13dBu, 44.1kHz, Sharp filter - FFT: 32k 0.74s, Dolph-Chebyshev 200 window, 6 averages - BW: 20Hz-20kHz
Dynamic Range measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F6 filter, RCA out TosLInk in, 44.1kHz 32bits REW 997.256Hz -60dBFS signal 24bits dithering - ADC: RME 12Mic-D 60dB gain, 176.4kHz, Std filter - FFT: 128k 1s, Dolph-Chebyshev 200 window, 6 averages - BW: 20Hz-20kHz
Linearity measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F6 filter, RCA out TosLInk in, 48kHz 32bits MI 199.219Hz -120dBFS-0dBFS signal No dithering - ADC: RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE Mono 13dBu, 48kHz, Sharp filter - FFT: 16k 1s, Rectangle window, 10 averages - BW: 1/3 Octave - HPF BW180Hz - LPF BW 220Hz
Multitone measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F6 filter, RCA out TosLInk in, 192kHz 32bits AP MT32 -3.1dBFS signal unknown dithering - ADC: RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE Mono 13dBu, 192kHz, Sharp filter - FFT: 128k 2s, Rectangle window, 8 averages - BW: 20Hz-20kHz
Sine 50Hz 600Ohm measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F6 filter, RCA out USB in, 44.1kHz 32bits REW 49.796Hz 0dBFS signal 24bits dithering - ADC: RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE Mono 13dBu, 44.1kHz, Sharp filter - FFT: 64k 2s, Dolph-Chebyshev 200 window, 6 averages - BW: 20Hz-20kHz
IMD measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F6 filter, RCA out USB in, 48kHz 32bits MI 60Hz-7kHz 1:4 -60dBFS-0dBFS signal No dithering - ADC: RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE Mono 1dBu-7dBu-13dBu, 48kHz, Sharp filter - FFT: 64k 1s, Dolph-Chebyshev 200 window, 6 averages - BW: IMD only
Jitter measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F6 filter, RCA out TosLInk/USB in, 48kHz 24bits MI J-Test signal No dithering - ADC: RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE Mono 13dBu, 48kHz, Sharp filter - FFT: 64k 2s, Blackman Harris 7 window, 20 averages - BW: 0Hz-24kHz
Filter measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F1-F6 filter, RCA out TosLInk in, 44.1kHz 32bits FFR 44k_4k_13 0dBFS signal No dithering - ADC: RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE Mono 13dBu, 176.4kHz, Sharp filter - FFT: 16k 0.10s, Rectangle window, No averages - BW: -88.2kHz
Filter Impulse measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F1-F6 filter, RCA out USB in, 48kHz 32bits MI Unit Impulse 0dBFS signal No dithering - ADC: RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE Mono 13dBu, 768kHz, Sharp filter - 0.004s
THD vs Frequency measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F6 filter, RCA out USB in, 192kHz 24bits MI 20Hz-20kHz -3dBFS signal No dithering - ADC: RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE Mono 13dBu, 192kHz, Sharp filter - FFT: 128k 1s, Dolph-Chebyshev 200 window, 4 averages - BW: 20Hz-90kHz
Intersample over measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F6 filter, RCA out USB in, 48kHz 32bits MI 12kHz 45° -6dBFS-0dBFS signal No dithering - ADC: RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE Mono 13dBu, 192kHz, Sharp filter - FFT: 64k 2s, Dolph-Chebyshev 200 window, 6 averages - BW: 20Hz-90kHz
-90.31dB sine measurement: DAC: Topping E30 II Lite DAC mode, F6 filter, RCA out USB in, 44.1kHz 16/24bits REW 997.256Hz 0dBFS signal No dithering - ADC: RME 12Mic-D 75dB gain, 176.4kHz, Std filter
 
Last edited:
Here is a review and measurements of the recent
Topping E30 II Lite DAC

View attachment 308704

Here you see it on top of the RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE, to give an idea of its size.
Yes, it's a very small DAC.

I purchased it new from Audiphonics for around 100€.
This is one of the cheapest DACs with SPDIF inputs, level control and remote.

It comes with usual connectors: USB, Optical and coaxial (RCA) SPDIF inputs, and of course a pair of unbalanced analog RCA outputs.

View attachment 308705

In the box, there is also a remote, but NO power supply (nor batteries for the remote)
This for sure helped to lower the price.
The DAC may be powered from any USB source, so just a USB power cable is provided.

It worked for me from any USB power source I had at hand, including a power bank.

There are 2 modes: DAC (fixed volume) and "Pre" (where volume is variable with the remote control).
In DAC mode, the frequency is always shown.
In Pre mode, the volume is displayed (frequency is only displayed on change).
The remote also allows to select the digital input, the filter and display light level.

Topping says it's built around an AK4493s chip.

Just a detail to note: In practice, the DAC is light.
Too light maybe, and it may be pulled by heavy cables.


Measurements

Measures are performed with following equipment:
RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE, as the main ADC
For very low levels, I used the RME 12Mic-D Mic preamp/interface.

Software is Virtins Multi Instrument 3.9.8.1

There are some limitations and differences compared to Amir's testing with an Audio Precision APx555.
That's more than enough to get a good idea of the device performances though.
I'll post comments where such differences are most important.




SINAD measurement

There is only unbalanced outputs, so here it is.

View attachment 308760

You will probably get slightly better result using the AudioPrecision.
However, this is already very good.
(This is left channel, right channel is 1dB lower.)

My measurement is not far from the Topping RD3 TP Amir reviewed, which uses the same DAC chip, with its measured 116.8dB SINAD in unbalanced mode.
The distortion profile (H3 then H2 and H5) is also very similar.

This measurement is a bit better after powering the RME from a battery.


Dynamic range

Dynamic range is very impressive.

View attachment 308709

You read it right, that's almost 120dB of dynamic range.

Note that this figure, like all figures I publish, is un-weighted. Topping publishes a dynamic range figure wich is A-weighted.

The level you see in the plot is as seen by the RME 12Mic-D I use as ADC for this measurement. It is set for 60dB gain, 0dBFS here is -42dBu.


Multitone measurement

View attachment 308762

Multitone measurement is always very informative, as it allows to assess a lot of different things in one single measurement:
You see the noise, all kind of distortions (shown at the frequency where you'll hear their effect), the frequency response, and even the crosstalk.

We have a very good performance here.

NB: TD+N in Multitone measurement is higher than THD+N in SINAD measurement, partly because the average RMS level is much lower in Multitone. So this is quite normal.

Frequency response and Crosstalk (from Multitone)

View attachment 308713


Sine 50Hz under 600 Ohm load measurement
(Torture test)

I ran this new test Amir added in the recent SABAJ A20d measurements.

I now run this test with an home-made 600 Ohm load.

View attachment 308748



To get a comparison point, I ran the same test WITHOUT load (so load is the unbalanced RME input, ie 45k Ohm)

As we see, the main impact is the decrease in input voltage.

View attachment 308744


IMD measurement

I ran the ususal IMD vs Level measurement

View attachment 308717

Nothing wrong to note here.

A few comments about this measurement:
I always get slightly better figures than Amir's measurement with Audio Precision, for some unknown reason. So do not compare with Amir's results.
This still gives an indication nothing wrong happens here.

The slight glitches you see in the graph around -8dBFS and -3dBFS are due to the RME ADI-2/4 Pro SE switching Input range.
I should re-run this with switching ranges manually, probably.



Jitter

Jitter performance through SPDIF is disappointing
Not likely to be audible though.

View attachment 308724


While it is (almost) text book perfect through USB

View attachment 308725


Filters comparison

NB: Black plot is F6

View attachment 308718

View attachment 308719


F1 and F3 give identical results. F2 and F6 as well.
I ran all other measurements using F6 filter.


THD+N ratio vs Frequency (90kHz BW)

Again, nothing to complain about here.

View attachment 308720


Intersample overs

As I usually do now, I tested for intersample overs, up to +3dB overload, and thre is just a small hint of distortion at +3dB
This is excellent performance, and much better than other ESS DACs I have measured, on par with the RME performance.

I don't know if Intersample overshoots are actually a problem in real life, but not with this DAC anyway.

View attachment 308721


Conclusion

We have a very competent device here.

If you except the Jitter for SPDIF, which could be (maybe) somehow improved, this is impressive performance for any DAC, not to speak for a DAC costing around 100 € !

For me,
This is excellent !
Very nice review ! :)

Two questions about the preamp :

1. Output impedance ? Less than 300 Ohm would be nice.
2. When using the volume regulation at -20 dB ( typical use as a preamp ) - what is the SINAD ?
 
Last edited:
Awesome review, thanks!

This one is a great competitor to the SMSL SU-1, 20 usd more expensive but has a display, volume control and a remote, well worth it imo.
 
Awesome review, thanks!
Thanks
This one is a great competitor to the SMSL SU-1, 20 usd more expensive but has a display, volume control and a remote, well worth it imo.
I needed a small DAC, but with remote and volume control.
(I guess I'm not the only one...)

So, indeed, the SU-1 was not on my short list, for that very reason.
 
I now added linearity.

This seems easy, but it's actually quite difficult to reproduce Amir's test for this.

I was able to reproduce it's bandpass filter.
(Thanks to @amirm for sharing the data about it)
But I think I need to mimic the AP scale-switching behaviour to really reach the right level of accuracy.
I'll give it a try later.

Results I've got for the Topping E30 II lite are good enough, anyway, so I published them as is.
But I'm sure I can improve the measurement and the measured result will be even better.

By the way, linearity is an important measurement, IMO.
 
I now added linearity.

This seems easy, but it's actually quite difficult to reproduce Amir's test for this.

I was able to reproduce it's bandpass filter.
(Thanks to amirm for sharing the data about it)
But I think I need to mimic the AP scale-switching behaviour to really reach the right level of accuracy.
That's one thing I've yet to understand tbh.

Obviously we have to filter the Linearity test, lest it become just an SNR measurement with extra steps.

However, instead of plotting the total output signal amplitude vs input amplitude and using ever tighter band pass filters around the fundamental to fight the noise, why not just use ye olde FFT to read the amplitude of just the frequency bin that contains the test signal?
 
Linearity

Topping E30 II Lite Linearity.png


I've done my best to replicate Amir's measurement here.
What format were you feeding the DAC with? -0.6 dB means about 23.5 dB below, so at -120 dBFS that's -143.5 dBFS... that looks suspiciously like 24-bit truncation.

It feels weird to think of something like 24 bits as requiring dither or to be left behind for 32 bits, but there you go. This is a problem you only ever have with test signals, real audio contains enough noise by itself.

On the upside, it probably means your bandwidth is narrow enough. :)
 
Last edited:
what ess filter you use for tests?
;-)
It's like E30-ii, SU-1, AKM AK4493(SEQ) based. Not ESS. It's also right there in the review:

I ran all other measurements using F6 filter.
 
It's like E30-ii, SU-1, AKM AK4493(SEQ) based. Not ESS. It's also right there in the review:

I ran all other measurements using F6 filter.
sorry....:oops::oops:
very very badly awakened...

what does this f6 correspond to?

(my question is due to the fact that in many other cases, we often observe quite different behavior for example thd vs frequency etc.. I don't know if the case here.. but it could be interesting to carry out these measurements depending on the filter in use)
 
Last edited:
in the end sinad/thd vs frequency is a much more interesting test than a simple sinad at 1khz and shows the whole limit of this "so limited" measurement ... a pity that it is similarly considered just because it can give "a number" :(

example
 

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