Topping A30 Pro/D30 Pro-Amp/DAC ($700ish): A duo meant to be together

Topping A30 Pro/D30 Pro-Amp/DAC: A duo meant to be together

Pros: Build quality
Power & adaptability
Sound-the duo work really well together

Cons: “Not premium”
Small size?
Too affordable?
Not much else

Topping A30 Pro/D30 Pro-Amp/DAC: A duo meant to be together


A30 Pro

D30 Pro

Topping is a well-known brand from China, making affordable headphone amplifiers and DAC’s (digital to analog convertor’s). Known for immense power, affordability and a somewhat sketchy past of mediocre construction; I can state that the latter is behind them. The A30P/D30P is a fabulous duo, powering everything thrown its way from easy to drive IEM’s (in-ear monitors) to hard driving headphones for the most part. With plenty of adjustment on both, you should be able to reach volume levels, which would make your neighbor pound on the floor. I was the lucky winner of a Topping L30 headphone amp, and it still graces a corner of my desktop/shelving workspace; used for various reviews. Quite powerful, and easy to use; it epitomized affordability and functionality. So far, the A30P/D30P do as well.

Topping now has a full line up of headphone amplifiers, DAC’s and linear power supplies. Running from quite affordable to prices, which might make a two-channel audiophile go “hmmmm…” the gear comes with various features and power. The TOPPING A30 Pro outputs 6,000 milliwatts per channel at 16Ω, 5,500 milliwatts per channel at 32Ω, and 840mw per channel at 300Ω. It can easily power hard-to-drive full-size headphones like the Sennheiser HD 660 S and the Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro.

This is a review of the A30 Pro & D30 Pro together, separated only by the specs and technical bits. I thank Apos audio for sending the duo, they really are a fabulous pair.

Gear Used:

Auribus Acoustics Mt. Everest
Audeze LCD-3
Ultimate Ears Live

Specs (A30P):

  • 6W x 2 @ 16Ω output power
  • Bypass output when power off
  • Balanced input/output
  • 3 Outputs: 4-pin XLR, 4.4mm, 6.35mm
  • THD+N: <0.00006%
  • Noise: <0.3uVrms
  • Power: 100-240VAC 50Hz/60Hz
  • Gain switch: Low (-14dB), Medium (0dB), High (+14dB)
  • 3 Inputs: XLR (L+R), RCA (L+R)
  • Passthrough outputs: 6.35mm TRS (L+R), RCA (L+R)
  • Power consumption: <9W

Output power:

  • 6W x2 @ 16Ω THD+N <0.1%
  • 5,500mW x2 @ 32Ω THD+N <0.1%
  • 840mW x2 @300Ω THD+N <0.1%

THD+N @1kHz A-wt

  • SE IN: <0.00007% @ 3.5W (32Ω), <0.00006% @ 90mW (300Ω)
  • BAL IN: <0.00007% @ 3.2W (32Ω), <0.00006% @ 86mW (300Ω)

THD @ 20-20,000Hz 90kBW

  • SE IN: <0.00008% @ 760mW (32Ω), <0.00007% @ 81mW (300Ω)
  • BAL IN: <0.00008% @ 760mW (32Ω), <0.00007% @ 81mW (300Ω)

SNR @ MAX OUT 1kHz A-wt

  • SE IN: 145dB
  • BAL IN: 140dB

SNR @50mV OUT 1kHz

  • SE IN: 104dB
  • BAL IN: 104dB

Dynamic range @1kHz A-wt

  • SE IN: 145dB
  • BAL IN: 140dB

Frequency response

  • SE IN: 20-40,000Hz (±0.05dB)
  • BAL IN: 20-40,000Hz (±0.1dB)

Output level

  • SE IN: 34Vpp @ low gain, 34Vpp @ medium gain, 45Vpp @ high gain
  • BAL IN: 6.6Vpp @ low gain, 34Vpp @ medium gain, 45Vpp @ high gain

AP measured noise level @A-wt

  • SE IN: <0.7uVrms @ low gain, 0.7uVrms @ medium gain, 1.2 uVrms @ high gain
  • BAL IN: <0.7uVrms @ low gain, <0.7uVrms @ medium gain, <1.2 uVrms @ high gain

Actual noise level

  • SE IN: <0.3uVrms @ low gain, <0.3uVrms @ medium gain, <0.9uVrms @ high gain
  • BAL IN: <0.3uVrms @ low gain, <0.3uVrms @ medium gain, <1.1uVrms @ high gain

Channel crosstalk @1kHz

  • SE IN: -106dB
  • BAL IN: -101dB

IMD CCIF @(18kHz+19kHz)

  • SE IN: -116dB
  • BAL IN: -116dB

IMD SMPTE @(60Hz+7kHz)

  • SE IN: -110dB@SMPTE4: 1, -115dB@SMPTE1: 1
  • BAL IN: -110dB@SMPTE4: 1, -116dB@SMPTE1: 1

Input sensitivity

  • SE IN: 60Vrms @ low gain, 12.6Vrms @ medium gain, 2.7Vrms @ high gain
  • BAL IN: 12.7Vrms @ low gain, 12.7Vrms @ medium gain, 2.7Vrms @ high gain


  • SE IN: -14dB @ low gain, 0dB @ medium gain, 14dB @ high gain
  • BAL IN: -14dB @ low gain, 0dB @ medium gain, 14dB @ high gain

Output impedance

  • SE IN: <0.1Ω
  • BAL IN: <0.1Ω

Adapter impedance: >8Ω



The A30 Pro comes with many good specs, including the ability to run balanced inputs. Switching between the RCA input and XLR, there is a nice difference to each. The XLR is noticeably richer on most headphones, but on some IEM’s, I did note that the RCA connection was better. In other words, it is nice to have this choice. That said, I put more into what the unit sounds like, than the overall specs. Below a certain threshold, the human ear cannot hear distortion anyway; so, the point is moot to me when comparing specs. Suffice to say, the A30 Pro can hold its own with most mid-fi set ups. A high output curve does allow the amp to drive low impedance headphones with ease, and my LCD-3’s came across quite nicely in the mix, when listening to Art Blakely through Tidal.

Specs (D30P):

  • 4x CS43198 Cirrus Logic DAC chips
  • USB supports up to DSD256 and PCM384kHz
  • XMOS XU208 USB chip
  • USB, optical, and coaxial inputs
  • RCA & XLR outputs
  • Preamplifier function
  • Remote control
  • Aluminum alloy shell
  • THD+N as low as 0.00009%
  • USB sampling rate
    • PCM: 16-32bit/44.1-384kHz
    • DSD: DSD64-DSD256 (Native), DSD64-DSD128 (Dop)
  • Coax/Opt sampling rate
    • PCM: 16-24bit/44.1-192kHz
    • DSD: DSD64 (Dop)
  • THD+N@A-wt
    • RCA: <0.0001%@1kHz
    • XLR: <0.00009%@1kHz
  • THD@No-wt 45kBw
    • RCA: <0.0004% @20-20kHz
    • XLR: <0.0004% @20-20kHz
  • SNR@A-wt
    • RCA: 127dB @1kHz
    • XLR: 132dB @1kHz
  • Dynamic range @A-wt
    • RCA: 127dB @1kHz
    • XLR: 132dB @1kHz
  • Frequency response
    • RCA: 20-20,000Hz (±0.1dB), 20-40,000Hz (±0.3dB)
    • XLR: 20-20,000Hz (±0.1dB), 20-40,000Hz (±0.3dB)
  • Output voltage
    • RCA: 2Vrms @ 0dBFS
    • XLR: 4Vrms @ 0dBFS
  • Noise @A-wt
    • RCA: <0.9uVrms
    • XLR: <1.1uVrms
  • Crosstalk
    • RCA: -116dB@1kHz
    • XLR: -145dB@1kHz
  • Output impedance
    • RCA: 20Ω
    • XLR: 40Ω
  • Dimensions: 6.85 x 5.4 x 1.7” (17.4 x 13.8 x 4.5cm)


You will note that I changed my format a bit. That is because this was a more flowing review, than strictly cookie-cutter format. As something occurred to me, I placed it within the appropriate category, much like the jazz I used in my listening.

Running an array of OPA1656 op-amps in a nested feedback composite amplifier circuit array, just like the A90 Pro, allows the A30P to run equally well with headphones that run a high current demand and those with larger voltage demands. What this means, is that you should not be afraid to run your high demand headphones such as those listed above. The A30P can handle them. And handle them well. I enjoyed pretty much all genres thrown at the A30P/D30P combo, from Green Day to the aforementioned Art Blakey. The combo played well. Period.

The D30P uses 4x CS43198 Cirrus Logic DAC chips, which can support up to DSD256 and PCM384kHz. With an XMOS XU208 USB chip (2nd gen 8-core), the D30P can also double as a pre-amp as well, making it quite versatile. In some of my pre-readings, some users in fact mentioned using the D30P with other desktop amplifiers to good results. After this audition, I am not surprised. The ability to run RCA and XLR simply means you can hook both up and run whichever you like. I did spend most of my time on XLR, though. You also have optical, USB & coaxial inputs for your sources, lending itself to versatile input options. I ran USB for the vast majority.



Instead of a common running of sound as normal, I will try to evolve into how the settings changed what I had to do in order to listen in a pleasant manner, such as changing gain, etc. That said, I did run the D30P most of the time at -5.0dB’s, which is most of the way up. I wanted to be able to play with the gain and volume settings on the A30P more, since I knew the D30P could handle itself in “line-out” mode.

I had to wait on another pair of XLR to XLR cables, since my primary pair were running off my iFi Pro set up. While I waited, I used the excellent DDHiFi RC20A cables instead. These are fabulously built and sounding cables, and to me amongst the best RCA cable I have used. Through this format, and the RCA switch on the front of the A30P. I found I could manipulate the gain with either medium, or high gain. If I was listening to my UE Live, I used medium, and turned the D30P down a bit as well. Easy to drive, the sound was very, very good; with a succinctness to the sound, which allowed me to differentiate where the players were in the music.

Green Day’s American Idiot came across as full, rich and complicated. No matter, the sound was right up there with the best mid-fi’s I have tested. Complimenting this sound, through the equally excellent Auribus Mt. Everest (review coming), Paul Chamber’s Yesterdays played deep and rich with the bass cello. Each layer of sound could be felt through the combination, and I had no problem discerning where each instrument lay; such was the music. On You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To, the staccato piano notes ring true and vibrant. But not with fragility or analytical sound. Vibrant with weight, the duo of the A30P/D30P comes across as an excellent combination for the Mt. Everest. Going back to the Green Day song, a certain vibrancy rang through the song with the Everest & Topping duo. Expansive, but not cavernous; the song had a certain urgency to it, with helped with the detailed clarity I heard. I stopped only to turn the volume up, eventually reaching the point where I was satiated.

Billie Eilish’s seminal bad guy allowed the beat to come across as foundational, but not overly intrusive. To me, most solid-state amplifiers lack that certain bass depth, which tube amplifiers personify. But here, through this song the excellent clarity and succinctness of notes allowed the signature of all to meld in a thoroughly quenching manner. I again played the song over again to ensure I had those words correct (that’s my excuse, haha).

Moving to the UE Live, my first custom, I lowered the gain to medium. Playing at a much lower volume as well, the detail was still present. I appreciated the transparency of sound emitting from the songs and kept that volume lower by choice. The trio came across as completely compelling to me, and the “mid-fi” Topping duo could certainly hold their own with the Live attached. I do wish for more bass from the Live, but due to its excellent clarity I appreciated the tuning and the pairing with the Topping duo.

Switching to the LCD-3, was simply put, a treat. Vibrant note of song, richness of bass and vocals, which to me came across as emotional and natural; gave the A30P an A+ experience in the mid-fi realm. This showed yet again that the A30P/D30P combination can hold its own in this crowded market. It seems based upon this listening that Topping has their stuff together. Eilish’s song gave a thumping rendition of bass through this trio (mistyped as trip, which would have worked as well).



Through all types of music, and numerous headphones/IEM’s, the A30P did not miss a step. If more power was needed, I raised the gain. If lower volumes were called for, lower gains allowed the same musical signature to come through. Delicate songs were portrayed with aplomb. Songs, which required verve and vigor played at higher volumes and/or high gain to get the point across. Jazz played particularly well as Paul Chambers & Art Blakely brought me back to a small jazz club in the basement of a restaurant in Westport, downtown Kansas City. What a place that was for live music, and I spent many weekend nights there listening to everything from Grunge, to Rock to Jazz. All came across as fantastic experiences, much like the A30P/D30P does right now. Yes, live music is still the best, but isn’t the point of our listening devices to mirror or make us remember those times at venues we hold close? To me, the Topping duo did just that, and I can without hesitation recommend the Topping A30P for your desktop system. Meant to be paired with the D30 Pro, you would get a very, very good mid-fi system for an affordable song. Less than many spend on headphones. And it will carry those higher priced headphones as they should sound. With a musical signature that makes us remember. Or make new memories.


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