There’s no denying how great the Topping DX7 Pro sounds. No matter what I plug into it, I love what I hear. However, due to the DX7’s extreme neutrality and clarity, I personally find warmer-sounding headphones to vibe the best.
The HIFIMAN Sundara ($349, Review HERE) were my reference monitors for this review. To my ears, they are dead neutral, and awesomely detailed. In other words, the perfect choice to reveal the soul of your source. I am quite fond of this pairing, despite its distance from the ideal I mentioned at the top of the page. Sundara never sounds thin or cold, which is a concern for these headphones. Topping’s hint of warmth and robust notes fill out Sundara in a most pleasing fashion.
One of the very best things you can connect to this DAC is the Audeze LCD-3 Fazor ($2,000). These are so liquid and lush, with the kind of warmth that plays well with high levels of resolution and clarity. Together, the LCD-3 and DX7 Pro strike a glorious balance between warmth and transparency. You forget about nonsensical things like grain, and are utterly swept away by the richness of the reproduction.
Meze’s Empyrean ($3,000) is another prince of darkness. It’s hard to imagine a more splendid marriage. The chocolaty voicing and opulent flourishes help to sweeten the drier characteristic of the DAC, while the impressive performance shines ably through.
To my ears, the Sennheiser HD800 ($1,350) struggles with the DX7 Pro. It’s a famously dry and bright headphone, so it should come as no surprise. That’s why there’s an HD800S, after all. And yet… while it’s a little too dry and a little too thin, I don’t hate it. If the music is acoustic or more laidback, it can be such an immersive experience. You must simply watch out for tracks featuring aggressive, forward-placed drums, or an abundance of treble-oriented instruments. This can become grating. But that is the universal truth for the HD800, isn’t it?
For a more affordable option that is among my very favorites, try the Kennerton Magni (around $750 USD). It delivers much of the same benefits found in the LCD-3 and Empyrean, but for a fraction of the cost. The warm, lush tones help to liquefy the DX7, while Magni’s exquisite clarity showcases the marvelous technicality of this device. Air and transparency, warmth and smoothness. All the pros, and none of the cons. I love it!
To test hiss and potential impedance skew, I used my most sensitive IEMs, the Noble Audio Kaiser Encore ($1,850, Review HERE). On low-gain, which is all you’ll ever need for an IEM, I discerned zero hiss and no obvious tuning change. In fact, I found the volume easy to set to my sweet spot, and the listening experience utterly delightful.