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Topping L30 II Review (Headphone Amp)

Rate this headphone amplifier:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 2.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 7 2.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 23 8.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 242 86.7%

  • Total voters
    279

amirm

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This is a review, detailed measurements and listening test of Topping L30 II. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $149.
Topping L30 II Headphone Amplifier review.jpg

It comes in a number of colors. Usability could not be better with positive clicking switches for power/pre and gains. Three gains are provided with the low gain being very negative (-14 dB?) which should be very useful to drive sensitive IEMs.

Power is provided through an AC transformer:

best headphone amplifier back panel review.jpg


In use the unit ran warm but noting concerning. It survived my multiple overload tests.

Topping L30 II Measurements
As usual we start with our "unity gain" dashboard of 2 volts in/2 volts out which required using medium gain:

Topping L30 II Headphone Amplifier Measurements.png


Wow, check out that distortion. We are talking -148 dB which is basically what the analyzer itself generates! Noise level is also very low:
Topping L30 II Headphone Amplifier SNR Measurements.png


Check out how low it is when I adjust the output to just 50 mv:
Topping L30 II Headphone Amplifier SNR 50 mv Measurements.png


This shatters all previous records:
best headphone amplifier review.png


We are talking a 5 dB gain over the best before! Considering that the analyzer noise is also in there, this is a remarkable achievement. Translating, even at 50 mv output, your noise floor is well below that of CD's 16 bit format!

Back to distortion, here is our multitone:
Topping L30 II Headphone Amplifier Multitone Measurements.png


Frequency response is the flattest I have measured of any amplifier I think, extending to beyond 100 kHz!

Topping L30 II Headphone Amplifier frequency response Measurements.png


Beyond noise, power is everything for a headphone amp so let's see how much we have:
Topping L30 II Headphone Amplifier Power into 300 ohm Measurements.png


Am I seeing right? Nearly 0.6 watts into 300 ohm? Are you kidding me? All of you with high impedance headphones rejoice!!!

Power into 32 ohm is no slouch either:
Topping L30 II Headphone Amplifier Power into 32 ohm Measurements.png


There is plenty of drive for every load you throw at it:
Topping L30 II Headphone Amplifier Power vs load  Measurements.png


Importantly there is no clipping at 300 ohm and higher meaning if you hear distortion, it is your headphone!

Finally, here is channel match:
Topping L30 II Headphone Amplifier Channel Match Measurements.png


There is an initial glitch with a deviation of 0.7 db but then things get better and you get plenty of attenuation.

Topping L30 II Listening Tests
I paired the L300 II with its companion E30II DAC for testing. I started with my difficult to drive Dan Clark Stealth headphone. In high gain, the L30 II had no trouble driving it to incredible volume and dynamics. Except in one rare case, I could not get the amp to produce anything but pure, clean distortion-free response with amazing detail.

Switching to Sennheiser HD300 meant there was more power than you ever wanted. In high gain, I could get the headphone to produce superb bass response that rattles your skull like you have your head in a drum set! :)

I wanted to just sit there and listen to this. Alas, it is past 1:00am in the morning and I have to get this review out...

Conclusions
Just when I thought boredom was setting in in this class of headphone amplifier, here comes Topping raising the bar so much. Not only does it set new record as far as noise performance, but it delivers incredible amount of power. And does it for US $149!!! I mean lunch at McDonald's for two is starting to get close to $30. And here we have an audio product that obsoletes even my made of phrase of "instrument grade!"

It is my pleasure to recommend Topping L30 II. This is engineering at its ultimate best.

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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/
 

Jimbob54

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I really hope this one doesn't have any widespread issues because it would be great if this could legitimately be the default recommendation for all headphones.

Time will tell.
 
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Yet another benchmark for price and performance.
I guess we can expect the same from the companion DAC E30 II?
 

jannek

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I really hope there are no issues as with it's predecessor. But I think Topping has learnt from it...
 

Jimbob54

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An excellent set of measurements in a low priced HP amplifier. A game changer (possibly a “game over” product) in the arena of similar products. Superb performance from Topping. To note how it is almost 1/100th of the price of DAVE. Thank you Amir!!
If it helps, think of the Dave as a £100 headphone amp lugging a £9,900 DAC around on its back
 

JohnYang1997

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60Hz from the AC ps i guess a switch mode ps would rise the price. If you can hear it pls let me know (;-)
A SMPS would actually cause more issue and higher mains frequency noise in a all single ended device. Current external transformer solution is the best solution for single ended applications.
 
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