As I have been testing out my latest set of cans (Moonlight), I have been looking for more affordable headphone amps to suggest to pair with them as they need a decent amount of power. Has anyone had any experience with the Topping A70 Pro? What are your thoughts on its performance and overall sound characteristics? TOPPING A70 Pro Fully Balanced Headphone Amplifier – Apos Audio
Thanks in advance!
I haven’t owned or listened to many amps from topping or smsl, but I’ve enjoyed the a70 pro. It’s a good compliment/contrast to my jot2 and ta-22. It has decent detail retrieval, and enough bass for me. Stage size is good
There have been reports of it getting pushed into protection/fault with low sensitivity, low impedance headphones like the Susvara. I’m not sure if the Moonlight would do the same. It can get warm in high gain. I’m not sure if that was just the first batch or what. I haven’t pushed it, and bought from a reputable retailer just in case. I suspect you might see it discounted leading up to and during 11/11.
I got the A70 Pro and also the A90 and A90D Discrete to side by side compare. If you have any of these, it’s a sidegrade for sound, they’re just too close to call. The only use for the added power is if you have a 5 volt DAC and your white whale is something like the HE6se or Susvara and then it’s worth a little more headroom to equalize. The A70 Pro on balanced with the HE5xx is low gain at -28db volume and the power is just ridiculous. The good news is you can stay in low or medium gain on almost anything.
On the single end, the power is a lot less, but for IEMs and stuff it’s plenty. Even for 600 ohm Beyerdynamics it’s no problem. The display is neat, great detail, soundstage, etc. Completely distortion free, so it’s hard to describe perfect with FLAC files. Most amps with a 120+ SINAD sound so close to each other these days. The only one that competes for me is the Topping A30Pro which has full power on all connectors. I got one coming in and will likely use that as a daily driver. I get headphones in constantly for the business and it’s nice to have the same power on all outputs.
The SMSL DL200 is on the way also, and it’s dirt cheap during the 11/11 sale at Aliexpress. It’s got 5 volt output and much less than the D90LE I’m using currently if you want to keep costs down. I’ve got the latest firmware on the A70 Pro and no issues at all. If you have something good like a Schiit Magni Heresy or JDS Atom+ I’d just upgrade if you want to go balanced or know you could use the extra power. Soundstage is nice, but it’s not earth shattering or worth going into debt over.
Could you talk a little more about the A70 compared to TA22/Jot2?
In the past I had the TA22 and Jot 2 here but I ended up selling both and today I don’t know what direction to take in an update since my current headphone is a simple Hifiman HE-R9, but I like to always have extra future-proof power, I’m also thinking about the A30pro which the user @Dunring spoke well about it.
All three are pretty similar when talking about sound quality, but there are small differences. More of a sidegrade than upgrade. The A70 is more neutral than both. Treble doesn’t roll off as much as either (Jot2 is pretty close). More bass than the ta-22, but less forward mids. Jot2 has more punchy low end. Ta-22 has the biggest stage. There’s more width with the A70 and depth with the Jot2. I’ll be letting go of the ta-22, and either the Jot2 or A70 (haven’t decided yet) soon. I couldn’t resist and got the Sparkos Gemini.
The Aune S17 Pro might be a good option. I haven’t heard it, but it seems like it’s a step above the ta22/A70/Jot2. The ta20plus looks interesting too, but might not be a clear upgrade either.