Topping NX3s Headphone Ampsearch

Topping NX3s Headphone Amp

Topping NX3s Headphone Amp

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I have received my unit. With HD650, loud enough on low gain (pegged). On max gain, I was using at about 1:00 position. Nice power boost (and headroom increase) when used with my SMSL Idea dac/amp, which outputs at a good line level (approx 2VRMS). So by extension, at Gain=1, at same loudness IDEA, now with headroom. With weak laptop output (not using external DAC), am left wanting for more power. I have no experience with amps with ample power, this is my first. Bass incredibly more defined, rest of spectrum seems clean. I think unit has good noise spec. Funny how now that bass is where it should be, I am noticing the veil on the other end more. I need to adjust to this. Also, so far listening on with youtube videos, so don't count me as an expert. Will try with flac files later, don't have on my chromebook. This unit sure is cute.
JBiser
Amend to say, with weak laptop output, now have enough volume, but....not much headroom left over. Also, to clarify, the veil I was referring to is that of Sennheiser. Anyway veil is a stupid moniker. Headphone is soft at high end - noticeable more so with poor recordings (Youtube) which are themselves attenuated at high end. With good recordings, sounds just right.
does this work well with beyerdynamic dt770 250 ohms?
Has anyone else noticed how similar this is physically to my xduoo xp2, which I rather like although it has been pointed out that all recharables trend toward doorstops/paperweights ultimately
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I don't know why you would think that. I have an old Fiio E11 with stock battery still charging and working just fine. Same with plenty of old phones (blackberries, note 4, etc.). As long as you perform battery maintenance once to twice a year on your device, your batteries will last a very long time. Most manuals nowadays outline how to do this specifically for each device.
jaydunndiddit
Thank you for educating m
Whats the point of this drop ? Its more expensive than Aliexpress plus shipping adds to it.
Kr8nux
Not all massdrop customers would be aware of Alibaba or be willing to shop their ig =)
I have the NX1s and is pretty decent for the size. Solid construction not a sigle plastic piece in the case.
Sitomanvoy
I'll attest as well. Nx1s is a very good value proposition. Bests the headphone output of a Fiio X3ii, which is saying quite a bit.
In answer to Burson owner, or rather additional question - will it even fit? The whole amp is 1/2 inch high including case.
People should not look at reviews or specs of older nx3 - different animal.
I am looking forward to incredibly low THD + noise with my HD6xx and also a lot more dynamic headroom and volume than with my SMSL Idea (BTW cool product - you forget that it is in line the headphone cable, nothing extra to carry around) which achieves acceptable volume ( barely), but would like a bit more oomph).
I verified 5 ohm output impedance with topping customer support. However, there are some language issues- I also asked whether OPA 1688 would be a good chip to roll (I believe used in nx4s and also super cmoy project) and they replied not useable because amp uses output transistors, which is wrong.
Anyway, should work great for 50 ohm and above, probably Ok down to 32 ohm.
What no one has mentioned, if global feedback is used, then equivalent output impedance should be lower.
The chip used has high bandwidth and slew. Usually designers add output resistance for stability, like with Topping A30. This is the trade-off. Up until a few years ago, no one would think of designing an amp without some output impedance. I think that owners of 16 ohm Iems or multi-driver iems with poorly designed crossovers, should look at something like O2. Of course, the result of using those with this amp would be flabby boosted bass, which some people like anyway. Also, if there is feedback, maybe this won't happen.
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Hi there. What a detailed and thoughtful response. I'm still digesting this. Please don't think that I am some kind of expert, but like you, have been trying to inform myself, mostly because audio interest me. That said, we're kind of comparing two things - a desktop amp (O2) with a portable one. Even though O2 has the portable option, its runtime is short. This unit, I would say, is more optimized for portable operation, has relay switching to minimize turn on/off "pops", and better cutoff of the circuit when the batteries get low than the O2. I really do view the O2 as a desktop amp. Conversely, as a desktop unit, the Nx3s has a volume control that is not so easy to get at, nor am I sure that you can operate it continuously off the charger, or would want to. (I myself would). I don't know about any quality issues with Topping, and actually they have been designing well engineered designs, are honest and complete in their published specs, are reaching out to reviewers and others, who for example are developing Linux drivers for their DACs. They appear to be be a real audio company, as opposed to one-man boutique operations. Check out audiosciencereview.com It is difficult to implement a DAC correctly. They seem to nail it every time. This product is certified to the Japanese Hi-Rez standard. It used to be that anything around 98DB THD+Noise was good enough for CD audio, but people are using Hi-Rez formats nowadays. If you see a measurment in the range of -115DB, by the time they A-weight it, it is in the ballpark of 120DB. This is what everyone is shooting for. This is an order of magnitude better (or more?) than any headphones it will be driving. NWAVGuy designed the O2 to be used with CD audio. The IC's are much older. The O2 output is slew-rate limited about 3V/uV. Is this a problem? Probably not. He was also designing for stability and purposely did not use the ultra-fast chip available at the time, because he needed to fit a lot of stuff in a relatively small box, and genuinely did not believe any audio signal needs the higher slew. His amp is stable with a low output impedance. Job well done. The Topping NX4 DSD, this amp's big brother basically measures like a desktop amp, give or take. This one should measure just as well. It appears to be that quality, minus the DAC. For $50? It is a great time to be an audiophile. I would like to know what Massdrop's warrantee policy is, though.
Let me add: Expect 50 - 70 clean mW output at 300 ohms. That is one "limitation". Also, despite prodigious output at 32 ohm, we have the output impedance issue. Or maybe non-issue. Anyway, I'm only interested in 300 ohm, so not an issue for me. If you are using on a desk, a desktop amp is definitely better. May I also suggest Topping A30, again with the output impedance issue, but otherwise great.
I see these for sale already on Fleabay, Can anyone say for sure these are opamp rollable like listed? if so I'm game. Ive got two Burston v.5s ready. I already have the nx3 but rolling its a no brainer at $50
What a heartbreak for me, .. stayed off cause of the alleged 5ohm output impedance, kind regret it.,, looks like some possibly nice specs otherwise ,. didnt come with a warranty eh? Nothing said on the sale page that i seen.., :.( What a temping device. 120SNR would go real nice with some low impedance phones i know..,
I have some questions regarding the product.,, Does the amp have an overcharge protection circuit for the battery charging? I read complaints about the Topping flagship portable amp, the NX5 getting really hot, and that it is considered by some likely a safety hazard, thought liable to catch fire if left plugged in after charging is complete,.. So then; do i have to manually turn the nx3s off then, "after charging" to prevent a failure and possible malfunction? Or also when it's off, do i have to unplug it? Like; can one safely leave this thing plugged in 24/7, on and off? Or do i have to watch it/? Also, can the device operate without the battery and does it operate on usb power when plugged in, or off the battery? Finally, the power switch is within the volume knob, eh?. These are the sorts of questions i still have.., I suspect this NX3s is really intended soley for brief commuting, and unlike the objetive2 cant really be used as an "all round" amp. like the 02 operates as a desktop amp, set it and forget it, but is also fully functional for mobile and portable, though less apt as a mobile ;-) unless your the type who like to geek out with an 02 belt clip on, lol. hahaha Then i say; with an o2 you'll be perfectly fine mobile as well :P "Geek".
while this NX3S looks like an interesting product, i looked it up awhile ago online, but found that the output impedance is 5ohms, (unless "2 people" lied to me or were somehow mistaken) which I feel, sadly makes it unsuitable for general system implementation, since it's out of spec for most headphones for achieving a good damping factor.. Certainly worse then a modern creative Soundcards 1ohm output impedance or a FiiO A5... Like, it's a shame they have that figure, otherwise I'd probably be in., Also, as an Nx5 owner, Also, i think the build quality of topping offerings isnt nearly to the same level as a FiiO like A5., there are reports especially on the flagship NX5 model, if you go to amazon japan, (where topping is more sold than amazon America) you'll find lots of complaints about the NX5 headphone jack and USB jacks shorting, with mild use.,, not saying that effects all their models, but effects their top shelf models, and I'd trade my NX5 for an A5, just knowing this. They have more low star reviews where i seen on the amazon page of certified purchases, they have more 1 and 2 star reviews than 5 star reviews.,, And that's a red flag for me.. The FiiO A5 has reinforcements made to the TRS jacks, to suspend them in-place mechanically, to prevent the failure of electrical connections made by mechanical stresses, while the NX5 has reportedly insufficient mechanical enforcement to protect the electrical connections, and that all mechanical enforcement of those common jacks might actually just be the electrical connection.., which i say is largely a concerning thing., Which is one reason i think the A5 has a much better build quality then the less popular Topping offerings. That said, the NX3s is a newer product than the NX5, so those design issues maybe have been addressed, or might not surface here. I personally inquired about the NX3s's output impedance, and was reported by a retailer to be 5ohms, now the person trying to sell it to me might be lying, however, it makes sense given the output impedance's of their other products, like the nx1s being 3.5+ohms and the Topping A30 desktop amp being 10ohms and 30ohms output.. Good for certain headphones maybe, but limited implementation certainly I'd say. The Benchmark DAC company says aim for a 20 damping factor if possible, to ensure an unknown implementation should be well, so I'm not sure i could vest myself here unless i was looking to support a very specific headphone.., it would suck to buy the device, and then buy a new headphone but then need another amp/., Generally I'd rather loose a bit of SNR to gain that flexibility in implementation.. Certainly cant properly pair this with sensitive low impedance iems eh, But certainly i'd think it should be good for a number of headphones =) Just saying, it would suck to buy this amp, and then 3 months later need to shop again an almost identical one but for a low impedance headphone. this is one reason i differed from the NX3s so far.. not even talking about the money so much as the hassle and the money., lol The second being concerned about topping builds compared with say the competition; FiiO. That said i read one person say the Topping portable amp flagship NX5 has an output impedance us below 1ohm, but i read elsewhere it was 8ohm, I have not the tools atm, or time to measure, but i think i'll be pairing it with a 250ohm headphone for a single application anyhow.., just food for thought fellow people, on the nx3s. You might not realize, it doesn't have an under 1 ohm output impedance, it's 5 shopper. At least, thats what was told to me, Topping only advertises the output impedance of the NX4s, which is below 1ohm, but imo; actively hides the figures for their other offerings., is this who you want to give money to and support? Where is it specified here on massdrop?! I don't think it's responsible as a consumer, in that sense to give money to a company(topping) which seeks to mislead consumers.. They should be listing even their challenging specs, so that a consumer can make a sound choice, and not try to make every sale and hoodwink those uninformed into a possibly poor implementation., but serving goods which to deliver strong results. i duno if you can support a company which deos that. Also, i read the nx5 has no overcharge safety off,.. so is a fire hazard., I'm not making this up, i'm just the messenger as a witness for my fellow. The nx5 is a few year older product i think, however.
can this power my Sennheiser HD6XX and 1More Triple Driver headphones?
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Yeap, i'd say for a case where you know the driver VERY WELL; go for it, and a case where the damping factors is such as it is with your sens' the NX3s may be a great deal for that application.., =) As a great and handy low cost solution, or any.. I'm not sure if it' bests the objective 2 however. They both seem to advertise very similar reproduction quality figures, for like high efficiency devices, but clearly the topping has the mobility edge. ;-) The o2 out of Mayflower Electronics while prices almost twice as much; at 100 bucks, however has a 10 year warranty , is made in the U.S.A and has replaceable batteries, and can charge and play at-specs, so might end up costing much less in both the short term (1-3 years) and the long term (1-20), and be more useful, but costs almost twice as much upfront, could be counted on much more. That nx battery will probably not last so long eh. I read about alot of fiio amps batteries dying, but i bet they are replaceable, there is a thread on FiiO E11/A3 with lots of information about batteries, over at headfi.., I suspect topping uses leads soldered to the nx3s pcb to make the battery connection, if you find one replacement (in-spec with overcharge protection built in) which can fit, i'd say it can still be economical.., Just crimp the soldered leads with a dsub pin tool ($30) and "make" an interface, and find the right battery, or let it die... for most people, i'd think the 02 would last at least three times as long as the nx3s, and need lss babysitting. I guess it also depends on the headphone one wants to power =) Are you an owner of this NX3s amplifier Jay? Did you join a drop?
denlim777
Listen to @PeteMtl
Would this be able to drive my Senn HD6XX? They are the only headphones I have that are difficult to drive. Sometimes I like to sit in my backyard and it'd be nice to not have to drag out my whole amp and the extension cords too. I almost bought the NX4 recently but figured it was too expensive. Would this be worth it for me?
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The HD6xx has a high impedance but at the same time it is very efficient and easy to drive, producing 103db with only 1V. All you need under 300 ohms to produce 110db is 17mw (or 2,3V). So the MX3s with its rated 100mw output under 300 ohms is more than enough and still has sufficient headroom for peak transients over 17mw... Therefore there is no power issue for the NX3s paired with the HD6xx. Case dismissed.
cwelton17
@PeteMtl knows about this stuff better than most here. Trust him/her. This little guy is a very decent pairing for the voltage hungry, yet efficient HD6XX. For a brand new portable amp with this price tag, you'll be pleased.
Which DAC chip does this use? And what's the output impedance?
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chucktdriscoll
No Dac In this baby, just an amp
chucktdriscoll
I was told the output impedance is 5ohms, 5 times higher than a FiiO A3, A5 or Objective2, afaik, but inline with the higher output impedance of topping offerings, like the Nx1s(3.5ohms), and A30(10ohms&30ohms). So, maybe not the most suitable for typical "consumer" spec headphones, at 32ohms,. sadly. If it were like 1ohm output impedance, i'd have probably snapped it up by now.., ;-)