TOPPING E30 – Review

TOPPING E30

TOPPING E30

| DAC | Pre-Amp | USB DAC | Touch Screen | DSD512 |



🎧 We are reviewing the TOPPING E30, a tiny DAC with entry-line price but high-class specs.

The TOPPING E30 features a Hi-Res audio certification with support for DSD512 and up to 768kHz/32-bit audio.

Further, in-depth techy specs include: 126dB of dynamic range, AK4493 DAC chip, -113dB off distortion, an XMOS XU208 and an AKM AK4118 receiver.

TOPPING might be less popular than mainstream western brands but the Asian company has gained a solid reputation with their bang for buck alternatives products including the:

The brand lists 5 different colors for the TOPPING E30, but you can actually can buy the TOPPING E30 in:

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TOPPING E30 Review

Tests & Scores


AF

Advanced Features

The TOPPING E30 features include advanced options such as:

  • USB DAC
  • Pre-amp
  • Native DSD
  • DSD Direct mode
  • Filter modes

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W

Weight

TOPPING E30 weight in Ounces and TOPPING E30 weight in grams.

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A

Accessories & Packaging

The TOPPING E30 unboxing results in a USB cable for USB DAC, an USB to DC cable, an infrared remote control and a screen protector that is already placed on the screen.

The DAP comes inside small white box but with a generous amount of soft padding inside as to grant a safe transportation and delivery of the unit.

gramophone-256604/5


D

Design

The TOPPING E30 has a nearly unibody construction with a very clean and minimal aesthetics that are inline with the rest of the brand’s catalog of products.

The metal shell has a brushed metal finish in both the silver and the black version.

With dimensions of just 3.2cmĂ—10cmĂ—12.5cm, the TOPPING E30 is a mini DAC that can be fitted in any desktop.

With it’s USB DAC capabilities, users might think that the unit will get powered by the USB cable but, instead, it needs a DC connection as it cannot be powered by the same USB input signal connection (though a smart USB 5V power requirement is needed and a USB to DC cord is included)

Despite being rated to need a power input of 5V 1A, we found that standard/legacy USB 2.0 ports could power up the TOPPING E30 without issues.

gramophone-25660 4.5/5

TOPPING MX3 vs TOPPING E30
TOPPING MX3 vs TOPPING E30
TOPPING E30
TOPPING E30

OC

Operation & Control

The TOPPING E30 has a single multifunction touch-enabled button that is placed on the front panel – right next to the screen.

Despite sounding like an interesting idea, this button has very limited functionality. Indeed, this button acts only as a power button and an input mode switcher.

Fortunately, the TOPPING E30 comes with a bundled infrared remote that enables the full control of the unit and access to all the functions of this DAC.

It is fair to notice, though, that the remote is large in comparison to the tiny size of the DAC – as a point of reference, the remote of the TOPPING E30 vs TOPPING MX3 is identical in size.

An odd aspect of the E30’s remote is that 4 of the buttons do not correspond to any function of the unit and do not serve to control any additional feature.

gramophone-25660  4/5

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TOPPING E30 remote control
TOPPING E30 remote control
TOPPING E30
TOPPING E30

CB

Construction & Build

The TOPPING E30 is build entirely in metal (besides the front plastic screen and the rear plastic panel) making it feel much more premium than it’s price suggests.

Despite the rugged metal build, the E30 is very light with a weight of 265g, approximately. If you are a TOPPING fan or already own products from them, you can expect the same level of quality build and construction materials with the TOPPING E30.

The brand ships the screen with a screen protector that is intended to be removed but it can be left in place if you want to ensure a further protection to scratches – the DAC’s touch button will respond equally as well with or without the screen protector.

gramophone-25660 4.75/5

TOPPING E30
TOPPING E30
TOPPING E30 vs TOPPING MX3
TOPPING E30 vs TOPPING MX3

S

Screen

The TOPPING E30 has front screen that shows all the relevant information regarding input modes, filters, dB, kHz, etc.

The resolution of the screen is not specified by the manufacturer but at first sight appears to have better definition and resolution than the screen of the TOPPING MX3.

The screen’s brightness can be adjusted through the menu enabled with the remote control – there are 3 levels of brightness available.

The style of the screen uses the same superb orange “fonts” over black background as most TOPPING products. This color scheme combined with the big digits make it a pleasure and ease to read – that can be seen even with the sun pointing at it.

On the other hand, the mode indicator on the screen uses a dimmer white-ish light that is kind of harder to see, in comparison to the orange used for the rest of the screen’s indicators.

gramophone-256604.25/5

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TOPPING E30 screen
TOPPING E30 screen

C

Connectivity

The TOPPING E30 connectivity section is grouped on the back panel.

The unit offers 4 of the most mainstream connections on the market: RCA stereo (out), COAX (in), Optical (in) and USB (in)

The capabilities of their inputs are:

  • USB: PCM 44.1kHz-768kHz, 16bit-32bit, Native DSD64-DSD512 (DoP= DSD64-256)
  • Optical: PCM 44.1kHz-192kHz, 16bit-24bit
  • Coaxial: PCM 44.1kHz-192kHz, 16bit-24bit

gramophone-256604.25/5

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TOPPING E30 connectors
TOPPING E30 connectors

S

Sound

Some sound-related technical specifications of the TOPPING E30, that might be interested to audiophiles, include: an output voltage of 2Vrms, with a THD+N <0.0003%, noise floor of <2uV, SNR of 121dB and channel balance <0.3dB.

The DAC can receive the input signal through it’s USB connection or through the optical or COAX one. Testing out the DAC performance, the E30 showed extremely clean output without interference, noticeable noise nor coloration of any type – audiophiles on a budget looking for a pristine output sound without having to break the bank will be excited with this DAC.

Furthermore, the TOPPING E30 comes packed with advanced customization thanks to dedicated DAC filter modes with 6 different variants: sharp roll-off, slow roll-off, short delay sharp roll-off, short delay slow roll-off, super slow roll-off and low dispersion short delay – it is worth noting that these 6 DAC filters are available on PCM decoding (2 in DSD decoding: F-1= 39kHz, F-2=76kHz) Each mode can be selected through the menus using the “FIR” button on the remote control and can be found as (respectively): F-1, F-2, F-3, F-4, F-5, F-6.

TOPPING E30
TOPPING E30

This tiny beast is not only a DAC, it is also a pre-amp with volume control that can be perfectly matched and used with active speakers or amplifiers and having full-control of the potentiometer through the E30. A hint, by touching and holding the power button (not on the remote) the E30 will allow to choose between solely DAC mode or DAC+Pre-Amp mode.

The DAC+Pre-Amp mode enables an endless number of combinations such as using it along with budget tube amps like this or even with more rich-featured tube amps like this xDuoo model or with very powerful amps that lack DAC capabilities. As expected with a DAC with pre-amp, the TOPPING E30 can be matched with powered speakers.

In addition to this, this DAC offers a pure DAC mode for high-demanding audiophiles and DSD fans; that brings DSD signal bypassing the modulator and sent directly to the SCF.

Measuring the TOPPING E30 frequency response, the DAC demonstrated a flawless flat response and further measurements of the precision of it’s dB range control showed spot on 0.5dB steps.

gramophone-256605/5

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TOPPING E30 front view
TOPPING E30 front view

FT

Features

Besides the added decoding and DAC capabilities of the TOPPING E30, users will also gain wireless volume control through the TOPPING E30 pre-amp and it’s remote – even when matched with Amps with analog potentiometers.

To be more specific, there is a range of 99dB of volume control that can be set at 0.5dB intervals from 0 to -60dB and at 1dB from -60dB up to -99dB.

Furthermore, the TOPPING E30 is ASIO compatible and due to their THESYCON customized drivers and the bundled software addons, the TOPPING can be used and enable DSD capabilities in many of the most popular audio players used by audio-enthusiasts.

A design detail, that might seem negligible but that makes a great different, this TOPPING DAC has 4 rubber feet that do an outstanding job to keep things in place without sliding.

gramophone-256604.25/5

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TOPPING E30 bottom view
TOPPING E30 bottom view


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Frequency Response (raw)

TOPPING E30 Frequency Response Curve

TOPPING E30 frequency response curve
TOPPING E30 frequency response curve

TOPPING E30 Volume Control Precision

TOPPING E30 volume control
TOPPING E30 volume control

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Specifications

TOPPING E30 Technical Specifications

TypeDAC/Pre-amp
Screen size5×1.5cm
Music PlayerNo
DACYes
Pre-AmpYes
BatteryNo
Screen resolutionUnknown
Native DSD64-512
32bit/PCM 768kHz (USB) — 24bit/192kHz for Optical and Coaxial
WeightApprox. 265g

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Scores Scores

TOPPING E30 Scores

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Photos

TOPPING E30 Photos

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TOPPING E30

8.9

SCORE

8.9/10


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