£115 for a compact multi-input DAC? Hi-Fi World’s Chris Frankland was curious: what was under the bonnet and could it live up to its ‘hot hatch’ moniker?
Topping makes a range of DACs, from the single-input D10 at £89 to the D90 Balanced at £780, as well as a range of headphone and power amplifiers.
The E30 is one up from the D10 and comes with three inputs and six digital filters, an unusual find at this price point. The USB input handles PCM signals from 44.1 to 768kHz and up to 32bit. It can also decode native DSD from DSD64 to 512 and DoP up to DSD256. The optical and coaxial inputs are 44.1 to 192kHz and up to 24bit.
‘Under the bonnet’ is an AKM4493 chipset and an XMOS XU208 USB driver, boasting a dynamic range of 119dB and a signal/noise ratio of >121dB.
But can something so compact and affordable really deliver ‘hot hatch’ performance? Yes, concludes Frankland after some close sonic scrutiny. “It has a well balanced, dynamic and musical quality that would be a phenomenal improvement over the output from a laptop computer and will also improve on the internal DACs on many cheap CD players. Highly recommended.”
Read the full review in the May 2021 issue of Hi-Fi World.