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Topping E50 Review (Balanced DAC)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the new Topping E50 balanced USB DAC. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $269. I just reviewed its companion headphone amplifier, the Topping L50.

The E50 takes my favorite orange LED display and makes it even nicer!

Topping E50 Review DAC Balanced USB.jpg


It is a gorgeous bright orange display. A single button turns the unit on and cycles through the inputs. You also get a remote control:

Topping E50 Review DAC back panel Balanced USB.jpg


As you see, power is provided through a 5 volt barrel connector. Topping provides a USB to barrel cable adapter so you can use any USB power supply.

As with more recent Topping products, it uses TRS output for balanced output instead of XLR which takes up a lot more space.

Topping E50 Measurements
As usual we start without dashboard. Let's test the balanced output with USB input:

Topping E50 DAC Measurements Balanced USB.png


Another exemplary performance from Topping, landing it almost at top of all DACs ever tested:
best USB DAC reviewed.png


RCA output is nearly as good:

Topping E50 DAC Measurements RCA USB.png


Noise performance is excellent as well:

Topping E50 DAC Measurements Dynamic Range RCA USB.png


Linearity is as perfect as you can get:
Topping E50 DAC Linearity Measurements Balanced USB.png


IMD performance is excellent:
Topping E50 DAC IMD Measurements Balanced USB.png


I see a hint of ESS dac chip IMD hump. I wonder if that is what powers it.

Multitone performance is superb with almost no frequency dependency:
Topping E50 DAC Multitone Measurements Balanced USB.png


Jitter over USB is perfect:
Topping E50 DAC jitter Measurements Balanced USB.png


It degrades just a hair over Toslink/Coax:
Topping E50 DAC Jitter toslink coax Measurements Balanced USB.png


There are three filers available:
Topping E50 DAC Filter Measurements Balanced USB.png


They impact our THD+N vs frequency thusly:
Topping E50 DAC THD+N vs freq Measurements Balanced USB.png


Conclusions
What can I say but another star performance from Topping. Company is so focused on squeezing every bit of noise and distortion out of these products while providing them to us at bargain prices. And in this case, great looks as well. I wish I could complain about something but nothing comes to mind.

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

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

enricoclaudio

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Great job, @JohnYang1997 and excellent review, @amirm as always. I think the Topping E50 + L50 Combo is going to be the perfect companion for a Raspberry Pi 4 with Display running RoPieeeXL (Roon Bridge) to set it up as Desk Roon end point. Literally a full streamer for less than $700. What a bargain!!!
 

AudioJester

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I cant keep up. Still have my original dx7, but why so many variations of dacs, headphone amps? How many does Topping now make and how do you differentiate between the products?
Or are these just upgrades of existing product lines?
 

Bel Canto

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I'd be interested to know what receiver is being used for the Spidf inputs, coax & optical.
Is it the same one used on the new E30 model or a different version to ensure the "drop out" issue has been resolved.
 

Tks

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Same SINAD at both 2V and 4V which is crazy at 120dB for BOTH. But alas, the 50mV spec is missing. (I wonder, could we get SINAD and not just SNR for 50mV?) I know you don't do it for DACs, but still :\

Alas, I just have to say it.. I HATE not having XLR for balanced duty (both input and output), I really like how solid and instant a connection is with XLR. I can somewhat understand for portable devices that use 4.4 or 2.5mm (though 2.5mm creator should be flogged, it's far too fragile at that size).

Also like the new LED screen, using more sectioned LED's, just looks better plainly put. Though dread the plexi front as always.
 

PhnomPenhPaul

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Damn, it missed my "I wonder how much Topping will release this for?" by $20! [I was hoping it would be half the price of the Gustard X16 given the different feature set and the price of the E30]. Thank you Topping for providing such a great range of DACs with different feature sets at different price points.
 
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JohnYang1997

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I'd be interested to know what receiver is being used for the Spidf inputs, coax & optical.
Is it the same one used on the new E30 model or a different version to ensure the "drop out" issue has been resolved.
It will have same compatibility as D90se. Better than cs8416.
 

DanTheMan

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Wow! The want one so bad! I’m not even sure what else to say. Funny thing is, I want it more for its looks.
 

magicscreen

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20-22 bits of distortion free range

I am curious when will we be able to listen to 24 Hi-res music? Will it be possible in the near future?
 

buckaboo49

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I've never been a Topping person after receiving a D50 DOA and hearing about others having issues with failing components but dang that's kind of sexy.
 

solderdude

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20-22 bits of distortion free range

I am curious when will we be able to listen to 24 Hi-res music? Will it be possible in the near future?

You can already listen to 24 bit music for decades. You don't need true 24 bit resolution for that. You can't hear -120 dB signals in music anyway (if it could be recorded in real life situations anyway).

It's not like you could ever hear the difference between -120dB and -140dB distortion and noise anyway.
The improvements are only technical improvements by chip manufacturers and designers making improvements on the borders of what's technically possible.
 
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Lupin

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Measures excellent as expected.
At this price point you start to wonder what the D30Pro adds to justify the price jump ;)
 

gvl

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So what's the logic behind D and E designations in model names? I thought D was for reserved DACs and Dx for DAC/amp combos.
 

respice finem

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You can already listen to 24 bit music for decades. You don't need true 24 bit resolution for that. You can't hear -120 dB signals in music anyway (if it could be recorded in real life situations anyway).
Like hearing a spider running away during an orchestra "tutti" :D some people believe they can...
Ceterum censeo: For the consumer, this whole Hires BS is plain marketing. Any differences are due to different mixing/mastering.
On the producer side, it gives more headroom, but last time I had a chance to check, 24/96 was "tops" there, and it wasn't long ago.
 
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