A Compelling Singularity – A Review of the Topping DX7 Pro

0

::Disclaimer::
Apos provided the DX7 Pro free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill

The Topping DX7 Pro sells for $599 MSRP
Buy from Apos.Audio
www.Topping.com


Once again, I must thank our sponsor, APOS Audio HiFi for this opportunity. They reached out to see if any of our reviewers were interested in taking on the newest Topping DAC/Amp combo. When I checked to see what the hell it was, I became excited. My current all-in-one desktop setup is growing a little long in the tooth. The 2016 Audio-GD NFB-28 was still using the ES9018 SABRE chip, and I’ve been feeling the itch to upgrade. Also, that unit is HUGE!

I wanted the Topping DX7 Pro, if for no other reason than to have an ES9038PRO DAC. But as I read up on it, all its other features jumped out at me, as well.

Specs:

Support
USB in: 44.1-768 kHz/16-32 bit, DSD64-DSD256 (DoP), DSD64-DSD512 (native)
Opt/AES/COAX in: 44.1-192 kHz/16-24 bit, DSD64 (DoP)
IIS in: 44.1-768kHz/16-32bit, DSD64-DSD1024
Bluetooth in: LDAC/AAC/SBC/APTX/APTX LL/APTX HD

Headphone Out, 6.35mm
THD+N, A-weighted: <0.0004% at 1 kHz, 100 mW (32 ohms); <0.0005% at 20-20 kHz, 100 mW (32 ohms); <0.0003% at 1 kHz, 50 mW (300 ohms); <0.0004% at 20020 kHz, 50 mW (300 ohms) SNR, A-weighted: >120 dB at 1 kHz
Dynamic Range, A-weighted: >120 dB at 1 kHz
Frequency response: 20 Hz-20 kHz (+/- 0.1 dB), 20 Hz-40 kHz (+/- 0.3 dB)
Output level: 8.4 Vpp at G=L, 16.8 Vpp at G=H
Output impedance: 4.7 ohms
Output power: 840 mW x 2 at 32 ohms, THD+N <1%; 115 mW x 2 at 300 ohms, THD+N <1% Headphone Out, Balanced
THD+N, A-weighted: <0.0004% at 1 kHz, 300 mW (32 ohms); <0.0005% at 20-20 kHz, 300 mW (32 ohms); <0.0003% at 1 kHz, 200 mW (300 ohms); <0.0004% at 20020 kHz, 200 mW (300 ohms) SNR, A-weighted: >123 dB at 1 kHz
Dynamic Range, A-weighted: >123 dB at 1 kHz
Frequency response: 20 Hz-20 kHz (+/- 0.1 dB), 20 Hz-40 kHz (+/- 0.3 dB)
Output level: 16.8 Vpp at G=L, 33.6 Vpp at G=H
Output impedance: 9.4 ohms
Output power: 1700 mW x 2 at 32 ohms, THD+N <1%; 450 mW x 2 at 300 ohms, THD+N <1% Line Out RCA
THD+N, A-weighted: <0.00014% at 1 kHz, <0.00030% at 20-20 kHz SNR, A-weighted: >122 dB at 1 kHz
Dynamic Range, A-weighted: >122 dB at 1 kHz
Frequency response: 20 Hz-20 kHz (+/- 0.1 dB), 20 Hz-40 kHz (+/- 0.3 dB)
Output level: 2 Vrms at 0 dBFS
Line Out XLR
THD+N, A-weighted: <0.00010% at 1 kHz, <0.00020% at 20-20 kHz SNR, A-weighted: >126 dB at 1 kHz
Dynamic Range, A-weighted: >126 dB at 1 kHz
Frequency response: 20 Hz-20 kHz (+/- 0.1 dB), 20 Hz-40 kHz (+/- 0.3 dB)
Output level: 4 Vrms at 0 dBFS

Physical
Input: USB, OPT, AES, COAX, IIS, Bluetooth 5.0
Line out: XLR, RCA
Headphone out: 6.35 mm, XLR Balanced, 4.4 mm Balanced
Dimensions: 22.2cm x 17.8cm x 4.5cm
Weight: 1.4 kg

I mean, come the f**k on. How does that not look appealing as all hell? It does everything my Audio-GD does, and quite a lot more. It’s significantly smaller, and more attractive! The only downside, is it doesn’t have the same power output. But that’s what amps are for. And now that I have more desk space, there’s finally room to set those up.

The DX7 Pro isn’t tiny, exactly, but it feels ideal for just about any desktop. It possesses a quality aesthetic, with tight tolerances and solid-to-the-touch build and weight. The aluminum chassis inspires confidence every time you handle it. To put it simply, the DX7 Pro is a tidy, well-made device.

In my review of the iFi iDSD Pro, I knocked it pretty hard for lacking an XLR headphone out, making the purchase of their iCAN amp practically a necessity. And I knocked it even harder for having a faulty 2.5mm balanced headphone out. On two separate units I tested! Well, I’m pleased to say, Topping’s DX7 Pro rises to the occasion and shows iFi how it’s done. Putting 1/4”, XLR, and 4.4mmTRRRS right on the front of your DAC/Amp combo is truly how a standalone unit ought to be made. That is everything you need for function, ease-of-use, and convenience.

I currently have the DX7 Pro outputting to a switcher box, which allows me to change between three inputs and three outputs. I’m only using one of the inputs, running x2 3-pin XLR out of the DX7, but from the output, I have two more sets of XLR cables running to a Cayin amp and a XDuoo tube amp. Then I have a pair of RCA coax going to my Emotiva powered monitors. I was a little concerned I wouldn’t be able to safely convert Balanced XLR to RCA, but since the + and – remain separated for L and R, there hasn’t been a problem. In fact, it’s possible my speakers are being fed true balanced in this configuration, though I’m not certain enough of the circuitry to say that for sure.

What’s really nice about this Topping DAC is I can use the remote to switch between many different output configurations, and it remembers which volume you like for each one. So I can use PO to listen to headphones right from the DX7 Pro, then change to P+L (Phone and Line-out) to control my Emotiva monitors from the volume wheel on the DAC. Then I can move over to straight XLR line-out, which I have set to full volume, to feed my other amps. I love being able to alternate between all these settings and not have to remember to readjust the volume each time.

The one thing I don’t like, is to gain access to pure DAC mode, where volume is locked, you must enter a special settings mode. This mode is accessed by powering down the unit, then powering it back on while holding down the volume wheel button. There are a few options which can only be found here, DAC Mode among them. Because this is such a hassle to get to, I never use it. When I want to use the DX7 as a DAC only, I simply use the remote to switch to XLR output with the volume set to max (00.0dB).

Now for the big question: How does it sound, and does it even need a secondary amp? Find out on the next page!

1 2 3 4
Share.

About Author

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.

Leave A Reply