In the world of high performance hi-fi with high budgets to match, you might assume that an asking price of £125 wouldn’t buy you much. Think again, says Hi-Fi World, having just discovered the “hidden charms” of Topping Audio’s entry-level headphone amp.
Headphone sales and usage have taken off in recent years as our lives become ever more on-the-go, fuelling demand for all things portable. While most music lovers started off with cheap in-ear headphones, many of us have since moved over to better quality over-ear models which offer the twin benefits of great portable sound quality, plus the freedom to rock out at home without disturbing the rest of the household. If you’re in the process of making that move and don’t want to spend a small fortune getting kitted out, then Topping Audio may well have the answer.
The L30 can either be used on its own as a headphone amplifier fed from a CD player, or in tandem with Topping’s E30 DAC (£115), allowing you to add a low-cost streamer to the mix. The L30/E30 combo can also be hooked up to an active loudspeaker.
“The L30 impressed me,” writes Chris Frankland in the magazine’s July issue. “My fear was that a headphone amp at such a low price might not be worth considering. That fear has been dispelled.” The L30 may be only £125 yet “it was detailed, dynamic and lacking in any serious flaws.”
Read the full review in the July 2021 issue of Hi-Fi World.