Today we check out the €599 Topping DX7 Pro DAC/AMP for the first time before the full review.
Disclaimer: This post is part of our new First Look Sunday series, you can find all of the previous ones here. The DX7 Pro was sent to us in exchange for our honest opinion.
Topping is one of those brands that has slowly been gaining more and more followers. Units such as the D90 DAC and the unit we’re looking at today simply are very popular among audiophiles all over the world. And as such, it’s about time we bring the brand back on Headfonia.
Our last Topping reviews actually date back to December 2012, when Mike checked out the D1Mk2, the D2 and D20 units.
It’s not always easy to get background information on Chinese companies and it’s no different this time. Topping has an English “About us” on their website which doesn’t really say much. What we do know is that they’re located in Guangzhou and that this is their philosophy:
TOPPING firmly believes that the Hi-Fi should be highly united with pleasant hearing and superb performance. Therefore, since its establishment, TOPPING has determined a R&D route of parallel hearing experience and parameters, and put the R&D in the first place. We set up the R&D department composed of senior engineers and audiophiles and invested a large amount of money in purchasing professional audio instruments to ensure performance.
Yes, you read that right.
Next to this DX7 Pro, we will also be reviewing the Topping D90 DAC as well as the brand new E30 DAC. Of course the DX7 Pro also has a dedicated web page with everything you need to know about this combo unit. You can find that here: http://www.tpdz.net/productinfo/398244.html.
The most impressive features:
- ES9038Pro DAC chip (single)
- BT 5.0 / LDAC
- DSD 1024
- Opamp rolling (LME47920
- 3 headphone outputs (XLR, 4.4mm, 6.3mm)
- XLR/RCA Output (DAC only)
I was pleasantly surprised right from the start. The design, build quality and user experience are all really good for this price. Design-wise the only thing I can complain about is that the unit is rather light so it tends to not stay in place and it moves around your desktop when plugging/unplugging cables and headphones. But it is small, pretty and stylish. Who cares if it’s on the light side.
Sound-wise I use the DX7 Pro in combination with the SoundAware A1, which only serves as ROON end point. From there I use the optical out to the DX7 Pro’s optical input. I first used the DX7 Pro as a DAC only, hooked up to the Niimbus US4+ and the Auris Audio Euterpe. As DAC you get a very clean sound signature from the DX7 Pro, with a neutral tuning. The DX7 Pro’s DAC is detailed, very balanced and it has great energy and dynamics. It doesn’t boost frequencies and doesn’t put anything in the front or the back. The sound stage is wide and deep and there is excellent layering from top to bottom. The upper mids and treble section are especially good, but basically everything is pretty good: air, spaciousness, separation, etc. You name it, the DX7 Pro delivers.
The lively, detailed and fast presentation is also present when using the DX7 Pro as DAC/AMP. Especially the balanced outputs are the ones that really rock, and the synergy with headphones such as the Hifiman HE-1000SE and HEDD is incredible. You get a neutral and balanced tuning but with great speed and precision. The energy level is always high but it combines it with a dynamic and musical presentation. From bass to treble you get excellent detail retrieval, a spacious presentation and excellent depth and impressive layering. Like before the upper mids and treble section are very impressive but the lower mids and bass aren’t far behind either. Body-wise the DX7 PRo is a lighter as you expect from a neutral, transparent unit, but it’s very linear in this regard and you never get the feeling there isn’t enough body. The extension and decay with a top level headphone are also very impressive.
If you’re looking for a warm, smooth sound with a full bodied, impactful presentation, then this is not your thing. But if you like transparency, energy and detail; combined with a musical and dynamic delivery, than the Topping DX7 Pro will impress.
For only $599 you get a lot in return and for me personally the DX7Pro outperforms its price point quite a bit. I fully understand now why everyone is liking these things.
The full review of the DX7 Pro will follow in a few weeks, but boy, what a lovely discovery!