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Topping E50 Review (Balanced DAC)

Chagall

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Excuse me. I am french speaking and if you could please explain some as I dont understand .





So it is all in our imagination.
Yes it's all imagination.

Also I made a joke Golden ears being a real skill and are quite rare and real, while DAC ears are imagined differences people hear while listening to DACs. Quite common on this forum.
 
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Got mine today after sending the SU1 back due to it dying on me after a week. Tele-xlr and it does sound good.
I bought the SU1 for shits and giggles, but I felt that it sounded better than my Node x, "felt"!
It's not a night and day difference and the difference I don't know of its in my imagination. But the spaces between the music is more present. Im gonna master my next single on this instead of the RME babyface pro that i use and see what i see.

Love the display so I can see what khz I'm in, always fun to know.
Love this page as well. :D Happy new year, since it's around the corner.
 

ADoIDo

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Any better value in the world if these can be found for 150 on the secondary market? Also I have a D10, not sure if an E50 would be much of an actual upgrade? Any input appreciated.
 

staticV3

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Any better value in the world if these can be found for 150 on the secondary market? Also I have a D10, not sure if an E50 would be much of an actual upgrade? Any input appreciated.
If you're in need of a DAC with differential output, then an E50 for $150 is hard to beat.
I'd also consider the SMSL D-6 and Khadas Tone2.

However, if your D10 does its job without any issues, then upgrading to the E50 would be pretty bad value as the sound quality would stay the same.

You'd be better off spending that money on a UMIK, new speakers, or some room treatment.
 

dominikz

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Past few days I was playing around with my measurement gear and noticed something a bit unexpected with the E50 - it seems that the level of H3 in both channels depends on whether the other channel is playing the same signal or not.

Let me illustrate; first the results when both channels are playing the test tone:
1704570275168.png

H2 and H3 are both around -130dB and therefore look pretty similar to what @amirm measured in #1.

However, if I drive only one channel and keep the other silent, H3 in the measured channel goes up by ~10dB!
1704570492438.png

1704570528640.png

Note that I get the same results even if only one channel is physically connected between the DAC and ADC.
Enabling the disconnected playback channel in the DAC (e.g. by enabling the secondary generator channel) improves the measured H3 in the connected DAC channel by ~10dB (compared to only one channel being driven). This IMHO shows it is not an issue in the ADC (nor the Scaler), but how the DAC itself functions.

These remain stellar measurements even so, just notice that SINAD when driving a single channel now becomes distortion-dominated (rather than noise-dominated) and should be around 118dB.
My theory is that the E50 THD calibration was optimized for best results when both channels are driven and that this is an expected artifact of it, but I'd be interested to hear thoughts of others who may be more experienced in the topic.

@amirm Have you perhaps seen such behaviour in other DACs before? Thanks!
 
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half_dog

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Past few days I was playing around with my measurement gear and noticed something a bit unexpected with the E50 - it seems that the level of H3 in both channels depends on whether the other channel is playing the same signal or not.

Let me illustrate; first the results when both channels are playing the test tone:
View attachment 340134
H2 and H3 are both around -130dB and therefore look pretty similar to what @amirm measured in #1.

However, if I drive only one channel and keep the other silent, H3 in the measured channel goes up by ~10dB!
View attachment 340135
View attachment 340137
Note that I get the same results even if only one channel is physically connected between the DAC and ADC.
Enabling the disconnected playback channel in the DAC (e.g. by enabling the secondary generator channel) improves the measured H3 in the connected DAC channel by ~10dB (compared to only one channel being driven). This IMHO shows it is not an issue in the ADC (nor the Scaler), but how the DAC itself functions.

These remain stellar measurements even so, just notice that SINAD when driving a single channel now becomes distortion-dominated (rather than noise-dominated) and should be around 118dB.
My theory is that the E50 THD calibration was optimized for best results when both channels are driven and that this is an expected artifact of it, but I'd be interested to hear thoughts of others who may be more experienced in the topic.

@amirm Have you perhaps seen such behaviour in other DACs before? Thanks!
The first SMSL M500 had something similar but worst. I don't know about others DACs
 

dominikz

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@dominikz still all on UNAUDIBLE domain.

Why care?
Mainly because I'm an engineer and these kinds of things interest me. :D

Also, because there might be much worse examples of such behavior (e.g. see the SMSL M500 link in the post above) so perhaps it makes sense to test for it.

Lastly, because I use the E50 as a clean signal generator for audio measurement purposes and bought it specifically because it has such incredibly low noise and distortion (while still being relatively affordable). Not all of us use DACs only for music listening. :)
 

Sokel

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Past few days I was playing around with my measurement gear and noticed something a bit unexpected with the E50 - it seems that the level of H3 in both channels depends on whether the other channel is playing the same signal or not.

Let me illustrate; first the results when both channels are playing the test tone:
View attachment 340134
H2 and H3 are both around -130dB and therefore look pretty similar to what @amirm measured in #1.

However, if I drive only one channel and keep the other silent, H3 in the measured channel goes up by ~10dB!
View attachment 340135
View attachment 340137
Note that I get the same results even if only one channel is physically connected between the DAC and ADC.
Enabling the disconnected playback channel in the DAC (e.g. by enabling the secondary generator channel) improves the measured H3 in the connected DAC channel by ~10dB (compared to only one channel being driven). This IMHO shows it is not an issue in the ADC (nor the Scaler), but how the DAC itself functions.

These remain stellar measurements even so, just notice that SINAD when driving a single channel now becomes distortion-dominated (rather than noise-dominated) and should be around 118dB.
My theory is that the E50 THD calibration was optimized for best results when both channels are driven and that this is an expected artifact of it, but I'd be interested to hear thoughts of others who may be more experienced in the topic.

@amirm Have you perhaps seen such behaviour in other DACs before? Thanks!
Get lower,in the 20-30Hz area and do the same.sometimes there's a party going on there depending measuring one or both channels.
 

Leo_Torres

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Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but considering the measurents of the Topping E50, is the difference with a much more expensiva DAC like the eversolo dac-Z8 audible?
I'm asking this because I am looking for a new dac and in this case they cost 200€ and 700€ respectively, whereas in measured performance they don't seem to be that far away from one another...
 

Power Pop 23

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Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but considering the measurents of the Topping E50, is the difference with a much more expensiva DAC like the eversolo dac-Z8 audible?
I'm asking this because I am looking for a new dac and in this case they cost 200€ and 700€ respectively, whereas in measured performance they don't seem to be that far away from one another...
I have been enjoying the performance of a Topping E50 for 26 months. I think I would have difficulty reliably discerning a difference between the measured performance of the E50 and the Eversolo dac-Z8.
 

dominikz

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Apologies if this has already been mentioned, but considering the measurents of the Topping E50, is the difference with a much more expensiva DAC like the eversolo dac-Z8 audible?
I'm asking this because I am looking for a new dac and in this case they cost 200€ and 700€ respectively, whereas in measured performance they don't seem to be that far away from one another...
Topping E50 and the EverSolo Z8 DAC are both audibly transparent, as are many other well-designed DACs - even many that cost less (and measure worse).

IMHO it is not worth obsessing too much about DAC sound quality (assuming solid measurements, of course). Basically anything with SINAD >100dB and a flat frequency response 20Hz-20kHz is probably well into transparency for the purpose of sound reproduction at home. Therefore I'd suggest to look more at features, type of connections, ergonomics/ease of use, reliability, SW support, price etc. when making your choice.

Perhaps you will also find my online ABX test between Topping E50 (~230$) and FiiO Taishan D03K (~35$) interesting; here are latest published results after 350 participants finished the test.
In this case there were quite significant measurable differences in the files recorded through the two DACs (in distortion, noise and even in frequency response) but results still indicate that the overwhelming majority of the participants couldn't reliably tell the two files apart in a level-matched blind test.
 

Leo_Torres

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Topping E50 and the EverSolo Z8 DAC are both audibly transparent, as are many other well-designed DACs - even many that cost less (and measure worse).

IMHO it is not worth obsessing too much about DAC sound quality (assuming solid measurements, of course). Basically anything with SINAD >100dB and a flat frequency response 20Hz-20kHz is probably well into transparency for the purpose of sound reproduction at home. Therefore I'd suggest to look more at features, type of connections, ergonomics/ease of use, reliability, SW support, price etc. when making your choice.

Perhaps you will also find my online ABX test between Topping E50 (~230$) and FiiO Taishan D03K (~35$) interesting; here are latest published results after 350 participants finished the test.
In this case there were quite significant measurable differences in the files recorded through the two DACs (in distortion, noise and even in frequency response) but results still indicate that the overwhelming majority of the participants couldn't reliably tell the two files apart in a level-matched blind test.
Thanks a lot!
 
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