• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Topping G5 Review (Portable DAC & HP Amp)

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 11 3.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 20 6.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 65 20.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 223 69.9%

  • Total voters
    319

PGAMiami

Active Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
134
Likes
136
I just recently received my Topping G5. For now I’m using it via Roon on an Audio Alchemy DMP-1. Later will try it on iPhone and iPad. The Focal Utopia headphones with Amir’s parametric eq settings sound fantastic on medium gain, as do the JH Audio Angie CIEMs on low gain

This unit looks like something coming out of Nagra from Switzerland. The $299 dollars this cost with free shipping included from Headphones.com wouldn’t cover half the sales tax had it been branded by Nagra.

Also, just noticed the 3.5mm jack works fine with my old 3.5mm TRRS cables that were made up for a Sony DAP.
 
Last edited:

tifune

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
945
Likes
657
For loud listening, I had to go to 3:00 pm on the volume control. There was a bit more volume to be had if you turned it to max. There, I only heard distortion when the sub-bass notes arrived.

I've been wondering since I read this review, what could cause this? Thinking it through, Stealth impedance is flat 22 ohm. There's been a few minute variations in sensitivity measurements, so we'll call it 86dB/mW to err on conservative side. At G5's ~1.1W/ch @ 22ohm, that's 116dB.

Yet, I ask because I heard this same thing on my (slightly more powerful) NX7 before even reading this review. I don't think it's placebo of "being told" there's a sub-bass issue. It could obviously still be placebo in general, but not because of this review. So, what am I missing? The FFT gets a little shaky in the sub-bass, but since we're less sensitive to distortion down there I wouldn't expect that to make much difference.
 

antikryst

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2022
Messages
26
Likes
9
also about to jump the gun on the G5 for the aeon X closed but having doubts since i dont have a way to audition.
 

PGAMiami

Active Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
134
Likes
136
Paired up my G5 to the Monrarch Mk2. They sound fantastic together. Great combination. Obviously there is more than enough power even on low gain. No hiss. Very dynamic combination with spectacular detailing. Vocals pop, no sibilance, but with shimmering treble. Bass is very good also.
 

Shakes

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
14
Likes
11
also about to jump the gun on the G5 for the aeon X closed but having doubts since i dont have a way to audition.
It powers my Aeon Noire without problems, and I have no complaints in regards to sound quality or performance when using any of the input options.
 

sofastreamer

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
4
Is it again bass killer, lifeless, ess hump shill, in ear knifle like, metallic sound which was the case with DX3pro+ ? Or is it listenable this time ?

Dx3pro+ literally killed all my HP's bass. Even first gen k3, my second hand zxr, k5 pro akm sounds much much better than it. Yet again, with another Topping product include ESS that also has problems; -12db @ 20hz and you call it masterpiece. Good god !
must have been defective, as to my ears the dx3+ pushes an extrorinary powerfull bass. the g5 to my ears seems just a hair less powerfull if even.
 

SimoF

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
31
Likes
29
Got the g5. While I was trying it in amp mode (line in connected, 5v input, low gain) I switched it off and the unit still output what I was listening to, although with interruptions and distorted.
If the unit is switched off nothing should go from the line in to the headphone output.
That's worrying...

Can any other G5 owner try to reproduce this problem?
 
Last edited:

SimoF

Member
Joined
Apr 9, 2021
Messages
31
Likes
29
I've send an email to the topping customer support. Hopefully it's just a single defective unit and not a problem of the product itself.
 

arrow0309

Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
51
Likes
10
Location
Manchester
I just ordered one for myself yesterday as well (black), from Shenzhen Audio with a nice discount, paid about £220 taxed and shipped, can't wait to have it.
I will mainly use it from home with my TV in bluetooth (and the K712 Pro) and sometimes with my S22 Ultra and Apple Music. Also when I'm traveling for more than a day in usb with my laptop.
It will replace a Dx3 Pro+ and now I have two Premium ESS Sabre ES9068AS DAC chip (the other one on my desktop dac, E50) :p
Do I have to update / install new drivers on my laptop with this G5?
 

staticV3

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
3,283
Likes
4,724
Do I have to update / install new drivers on my laptop with this G5?
Topping uses one driver for most of their DACs:
Screenshot_20221105-184625_Chrome.png

Whatever version you have installed now should work fine with the G5 as well. If you want to update to the newest, the link is here.
 

KeiIto

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
10
Likes
2
I eventually got my G5. Great sound with HD650. Sharper sound and much less distortion compared to Fiio Q5s at loud volume. Easy connection with BlueTooth. Also quite good for driving Genelec active speakers of my bedside setup.

But I got one big problem. When I connect G5 with my iPhone 12 using Apple Lightning to USB-C cable (the cable that comes with iPhone), and select USB at the input selector of G5, iPhone does not recognize G5 as a sound output. It plays music from its speaker. The cable itself should be OK, because I can use the same cable to connect to my MacBook USB-C port. An iOS music player app "UBiO" has a function to switch sound output. When I connect via BT, both G5 and iPhone speaker appears in the list of possible outputs. When I try to connect via USB, howeve, G5 does not appear in the list. Only iPhone speaker is listed.

I have several DACs, but this is the first case when I cannot connect it with iPhone via USB. Could someone please tell me how I can let my iPhone to send the sound data to G5 via USB?
 

KeiIto

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
10
Likes
2
I of course connect the USB cable to the DAC port of G5, not Charge port.
 

staticV3

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
3,283
Likes
4,724
Could someone please tell me how I can let my iPhone to send the sound data to G5 via USB?
iPhone->Apple A1619->USB Type-A to Type-C->Topping G5
would probably work.
You can also try a direct Lightning->Type-C OTG cable like the Fiio LT-LT1.

You cannot use the stock Type-C to Lightning cable that came with your iPhone, because it is not an OTG cable.
This is a stupid problem that Apple manufactured to sell more "made for iPhone" licenses.
 

KeiIto

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2020
Messages
10
Likes
2
Thank you for your quick and helpful info!

I took my lightning-to-camera adapter and then the connection immediately worked fine. I will also purchase a short OTG cable as you suggested. But the fact that the standard Apple cable is not OTG... I strongly support the decision of EU to force Apple to switch to USB-C. (But then Apple might produce "made for iPhone" USB-C cables???)

By the way I found some definitive differences between 3.5mm and 4.4mm connectors. When I connect Genelec active speakers (8010 and 8020) via a 3.5mm-to-XLR Y-cable, everything works fine. But when I connect the same speakers via a 4.4mm-to-XLR Y-cable, the speakers give terrible ham noise when G5 with AC power supply is turned off. When I remove AC power supply (to run in the battery mode), the noise becomes much smaller but still persists. The noise level increases when I touch the G5 body. Apparently there is some difference (towards a bad direction) in the grounding of the 4.4mm connector circuits.

Genelec active speakers will automatically turn them off when there is no input. But they never turn off when they are connected to G5 that is switched off. (Both via 3.5mm and 4.4mm.) Thus, there may be very small static voltage (not completely 0 V) even when G5 is turned off. Some capacitor inserted between the + and ground ends?
(This problem occurred also with the 3.5mm and 4.4mm connectors of Fiio Q5s, but not with the XLR connectors of Topping D90.)
 

jackdanyal

Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2021
Messages
32
Likes
15
I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but for us planar addicts is it possible to start showing 16 ohm power for mobile HPAs? Topping have proven their specs match real world pretty closely, but not all are so "forthcoming."

Historically, although it seems to have improved lately, many mobile devices lose power below 32 ohm (I've still never heard why that is, if anyones willing to link/summarize I'd appreciate it)

Also, could you let us know what track gave you trouble w sub-bass on Stealth? I'd like to try it with my NX7 (only slightly more powerful)
which planar hp do u use with nx7? I'm considering to purchase it for my Fostex T60rp
 

tifune

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
945
Likes
657
which planar hp do u use with nx7? I'm considering to purchase it for my Fostex T60rp

DCA Stealth, I don't really use NX7 that much because of the mentioned sub-bass issue. Ampersand seems a bit better in that regard
 

PGAMiami

Active Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
134
Likes
136
iPhone->Apple A1619->USB Type-A to Type-C->Topping G5
would probably work.
You can also try a direct Lightning->Type-C OTG cable like the Fiio LT-LT1.

You cannot use the stock Type-C to Lightning cable that came with your iPhone, because it is not an OTG cable.
This is a stupid problem that Apple manufactured to sell more "made for iPhone" licenses.
I haven’t had any issues with the G5 on an iPhone 12 Pro and 14 Pro using a generic OTG USB cable. Only quirk I had is make sure volume on the iPhone is at max, otherwise DSD will not work. Sounds fabulous also on my Mac Air and iPad Pro. Using Roon, Roon ARC and Qobuz, full high res. Sometimes I do get a small bit of RF noise if it is right next to the iPhone. So far I’ve had excellent results with Focal Utopia, ThieAudio Monarch MKI, and Truthear x Crinacle Zero.
 
Top Bottom