Topping E70 & L70 Review

On this page, we’re checking out the Topping E70 & L70 DAC & AMP stack performance.

Topping E70 & L70 DAC & AMP Stack Performance

Testing Gear: Hifiman Edition XS, Vision Ears VE7, Audioquest Golden Gate RCA Interconnect, Audioquest Pearl USB A-to-B, Qobuz & MacOS 12.6

Naturally, the E70 and L70 are designed to be used in stacks with each other, but their standalone performance is also quite impressive as we have reviewed in the past pages. Combine these two impressive products and you have a highly versatile duo on your desk that performs well above the $700 price tag and can be used with your studio speakers, sensitive IEMs, and power-hungry full-size headphones. Frankly, it was this kind of versatility that drove me from portable audio to desktop.

The E70 & L70 stack sounds transparent, detailed, and tonally accurate. The stack sounds coherent and linear throughout the spectrum, there are no dips or peaks, sibilance, or lack of fidelity in any region. You feel like they are in perfect control. Pairing the duo with sensitive monitors is a breeze as well, you get a dark, silent background even when paired with 8-ohm IEMs like the Yanyin Canon.

The stack improves the technical aspects of the equipment you pair them with, without coloring their signature. Combining the duo with a budget full-size headphone like the 58X gets you a very clear idea of what they can do. The 58X is a good headphone, especially around its debut price, a little over hundred bucks. However, it is not the best out there when it comes to PRaT and congestion handling. Combining it with our trusty duo gets us a huge improvement in these areas.

The 58X sounds much faster, more spacious, and effortless than before. If you have equipment that you like the signature of but don’t listen to anymore because you find its technical performance insufficient, which every audiophile does, I think you will be surprised by what you hear when you pair it with this impressive duo.

In my review of the E50 and L50, I mentioned that they offer good dynamism and energy as well as a colorless signature. The E70 and L70 take this a level further and feel more natural and effortless than their predecessors, as well as offering an energetic and vibrant presentation. I paired the E70 and L70 with my long-time favorite, Hifiman Edition XS. It is, in my opinion, one the best headphones of 2022 and price-wise a perfect match for the E70 & L70 combo.

The Edition XS sounds dreamy, from the point you plug it in and start listening to your favorite tunes. The Edition XS has a fairly balanced signature with a great technical foundation. Combining it with the E70 & L70 yields an excellent outcome. To me, the pairing sounds detailed, spacious, neutral & natural. It also feels tonally precise. The note-weight is perfectly balanced, the vocals have good authority, the string instruments sound vivid, and the wind instruments feel airy.

Just as it should be. I listen to a various number of genres and this pairing was great for each and every one of them. From Miles Davis to Ben Böhmer, the reproduction was faithful and realistic.


vs. Yulong DA-ART Aurora

The Aurora is a very interesting all-in-one device, with a class A amplifier stage that gives it a warmer, more saturated sound signature than alternatives in its class. Aurora’s DAC stage uses ESS Technology’s ES9068AS, a premium tier chipset, and houses 7 OPA1612s on its audio circuitry.

The I/O options are not as rich as the Topping L70-E70, but they are sufficient for an all-in-one device. The Aurora also features a balanced architecture and can deliver 4 watts of power into a 32-ohm load. In terms of size, the footprint is more or less similar to the Topping stack. 

Sound-wise, the most obvious difference is the tonal balance. The Aurora sounds warm, authoritative, and lush. In direct comparison, the Aurora is more romantic and does a great job of hiding the imperfections of the tracks. The Aurora has this milder, rounder delivery. It has limited bite, extension, and decay compared to the E70 & L70. The E70 & L70 have superior detail-retrieval, and feel more spacious and effortless in comparison.

Aurora’s soundstage is limited in width, but the depth is good. The Topping stack feels more 3-dimensional. It is easier to track individual instruments and PRaT feels superior. The Aurora’s midrange and mid-bass are thicker, more rounded, and more pronounced. The Topping stack has a better treble extension, bite, and energy. Feels more vivid throughout the spectrum.

FiiO K9 Pro ESS Ed.

The K9 Pro ESS is powered by dual ES9038 flagship chips with dual THX 788+ amp modules and features a balanced architecture. FiiO selected HQ components for this unit, like a Toroidal Linear PSU, Nichicon capacitors, and eight pieces of OPA1612s. The K9 Pro ESS is perhaps the FiiO’s best-sounding device and it is a worthy rival to the E70 & L70 stack. It can push 2.1w of power into a 32-ohm load. The E70 & L70 can push three times more power. Let’s take a closer look at the sound details.

Sound-wise, both of the devices have a balanced signature with a great technical foundation. There are some nuances and to my ears, the most discernible difference is the delivery. Topping’s stack feels more linear, and slightly less colored compared to the K9 Pro ESS. The K9 Pro ESS has hints of warmth and feels slightly more organic in direct comparison. This is not discernible with some of my headphones like the Deva, or the 58X.

This nuance of a difference is discernible via Vision Ears VE7 or Edition XS, and it is quite subtle. Both devices feature great detail retrieval, clarity, and resolution. The Topping feels ever so slightly more spacious, especially with congestion-prone tracks. If you need an all-in-one device that does it all, go for the FiiO. If you need more power and do not mind going duo device setup, the E70 and L70 will keep you happy for a long, long time.

Last Words

The E70 & L70 are an impressive duo and Topping seems to have thought of everything. With improvements based on user feedback, it’s safe to say that this is a uniquely excellent option in this price range. Versatile enough to serve multiple purposes and fit easily into many setups, this duo delivers the performance we’ve come to expect from Topping in terms of build, design, and sound quality.

When all these great features are combined with perhaps the most powerful amplifier module in this price range, it becomes much easier for me to recommend the E70 & L70.

If you need a solid, versatile DAC and an amplifier, I definitely recommend that you give the this duo a chance. We thought it is only fair to award the E70 and L70 stack with the HFN Recommended Award. So these units are now featured our best DAC/AMP combo list!

Page 1: Topping E70 Desktop DAC, Packaging & Accessories, Design & Build Quality, Controls & UI, DAC Performance

Page 2: Topping L70 Desktop Amp, Packaging & Accessories, Design & Build Quality, Technology & Power, AMP Performance

Page 3: Topping E70 & L70 DAC & AMP Stack Performance, Comparison, Last Words


4.5/5 - (281 votes)

Long time Tech Enthusiast, an ambitious petrol-head, Yagiz likes his gadgets and always finds new ways into the tinkerer's world. He tries to improve anything and everything he gets his hands onto. Loves an occasional shine on the rocks.


  • Reply December 4, 2022

    Mr Jamie Hutber

    Thanks for the review guys!!
    I just wise I could find a good DAC that also included a pre-amp for my microphone!! 🙁

    • Reply December 4, 2022


      Thanks for the kind words Jamie!
      I know, right? Focusrite is just not cutting it after trying proper DACs

  • Reply December 8, 2022

    Pedro Gonzalez

    Thanks for the review guys. How does this stack compare to the IFI One Signature and the IFI Zen Can Signature? Would you say equivalent?

    • Reply December 17, 2022


      I would say better.

  • Reply December 19, 2022


    Great review. Just wish you detailed the L70’s controls and UI like you did for the E70. I currently use a Topping L30 which conveniently switches from headphone to pre-amp outputs using a toggle on the front panel. I love how easy it is to swap between my headphones and powered speakers and control their volume.

    How easy is it to do this on the new L70? Does swapping outputs mute the non-active device? What hoops do you have to jump through in the absence of a simple toggle switch?

    • Reply December 21, 2022


      It is quite easy to control via the included remote. The transition is smooth, fast, seamless. I use it with multiple connections. Swapping takes a button. Going from SE to BAL mutes SE and vica-versa.

  • Reply January 8, 2023


    Thank you so much for the review as there is hardly anything on the L70. I was wondering if you know how this compares with the A90 Discrete? They seem extremely similar. Thanks.

    • Reply January 11, 2023


      Hello Alan, unfortunately I don’t own an A90.
      I agree with you though, they seem similar.

  • Reply February 16, 2023

    Andrew Ballew

    The E70 falls short of actual performance compared to the non-signature iFi ZEN DAC V2. The fact for $200 you get a DAC and headphone amp for $150 its a non brainer to pick the iFi. You want to really beat the E70 for only about 50 bucks more put together a ZEN DAC V2 and a iFi ZEN CAN. A combo that is difficult to beat without a lot more money invested.

    Yes, I know the E70 measures well. I have measured it thoroughly myself, and have seen it hit 120db SINAD and get close to -128db SNR. The iFi can’t match that, but so what? The iFi still has a super wide -114db SNR, and if you actually take a look at its distortion on the spectrum analyzer, it is dominated by even order distortion. Which is often done on purpose when designing because to many ears is just sounds very good. See tubes for an example.

    All that said, E70 is a fine DAC yes. Especially when using HQPlayer to oversample to DSD512, or if you can’t afford that, Roon itself has a very, very nice sounding oversampler that can do the same. If you are still wanting to go the Topping route though, save up another hundred bucks and get the newer E70V. It in a different class as far as actual sound is concerned (and does eek out over the E70 by nearly a couple db in SINAD).

  • Reply March 12, 2023


    They sounded great to me, and initially I liked the form factor, but the controls and volume adjustment just didn’t do it for me so I went for K9 Pro ESS for a combo solution.

    I do recommend this stack, but as always personal preferences come to the fore. You’ll like these if you want a small form factor stack that’s better than the cheap stuff.

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