Want to improve your music experience from earbuds just by attaching a portable amplifier to your phones? Making your smartphones sound good as Hi-Fi Audio Equiment, but you don’t have to invest much money on it, perhaps Topping NX1 may help. Here’s our review of the budget amp for audiophiles, Topping NX1.
With impressive Specs like 100 hours, THD+Noise: 0.001%, Gain with 2 levels, low/high
Topping NX1 packed with accessories includes silicon band, USB charge cable, IC, and in stead of rubber strand like other portable amp, Topping NX1 is supplied with 5 pairs of single sided tape
It’s pretty solid on hand with the rounded-edge and refined coating. Like almost other amps, Topping NX1 has metal chassis, the material has been proved that can significantly prevent sound distortion. Topping NX1 also has a really good finish.
Topping NX1 is small and very portable, its size is equal to ibasso D-zero MK1. Generally ports of Topping NX1 is well positioned, so it’s easy to plug/unplug jacks from headphones or imput audio.
The mp3 player Walkman A15, which is not that much in sound amplication, was used as an audio source, and LOD Fiio L5 cable is to connect Topping NX1 to various types of headphones, including ATH AD900x–open-back headphones, Sony MA900, and HAVI B3 Pro-earbuds. Fiio E11K is another gear to directly compete with Topping NX1 for comparison, and Topping NX1 was burned-in for around an hour before testing.
First of all, the background noise was tested, this is a neccessary step to evaluate an portable amplifier. The headphones was used for this test is Ostry KC06A, a low impedance and high sensitivity earbuds, if the background noise exsits, Ostry KC06A is about to capture. Either high gain or low gain, NX1’s background is pretty clean; no hiss is present, even when I turn it on/off, there is no such “pop noise” obtained.
Since NX1 exploited Analog Volume control so that it’s not supprised that sound chanel is drifted at low volume. However, it is a plus point that you only need to turn the volume controller a little to the 7h-8h position, the sound in turn will become balanced, no more floating.
Topping NX1 makes the volume quite boosted, while A15 amplifier requires nearly max volume when used with AD900x headhphones, Topping NX1’s controller is just needed to adjust to a bit to 11h position, a volume level that is sufficiently good for listening.
Topping NX1 offers a sufficient amount of bass, and has a tendency to sound like E11K’s warm souding. But Topping NX1 basically enhance the bass, which makes users feel that bass have a more impact on music. The bass is also crisp and more concentrated from the headphones without the amplifier from mp3 player. However, bass quanlity through NX1 is not as high as A15’s intact bass. And it seems more natural and balanced by the way the bass is reproduced than without NX1 that bass was not quite solid but overwhelmed.
Mid is just a bit recessed, indeed I can’t really tell it is a recession. Sound quality at mid-range didn’t change that much, and it is airier and focuses a little bit on high-mids. Note that middle-range is sastifactory for audio purists, and it did not make me feel the sound thicker. E11K, on the other hand, makes sound more smooth and fairly warmer.
Highs is quite bright, flowing, and light. It goes fine and airy, but is still kept smooth and not noticeably crunchy. Treble is more energetic and summon up a good detail when using Walkman A15 with Fiio E11k. String instruments sound significantly better, and is tightly controlled and not distorted. I highly rate this range of Topping NX1.
Soundstage and acoustic separation are very good that instruments are well separated and I felt the soundstage is a bit wide and layered.
Topping NX1 personally I think, in which there was a investment and it is a decent sounding amp for the price. Topping NX1 is slightly deemed to V-shaped, because mid-range is a bit recessed but overall all ranges remain balanced and neutral. Additionally, Topping NX1 has an impressive battery life that can last up to 100 hours, E11K’s battery in comparison is just 14-16 hours to stir up sound enhancement.
Translated by contributor from XV-TOPPING NX1