Topping G5 Portable DAC/Amplifier Review
Topping G5 Portable DAC/Amplifier Review
Topping (Topping Electronics & Technology co., LTD.) is a 2008 founded company with location in Guangzhou, China that is specialized in development, designing and production of Hi-Res portable and desktop type DAC/AMP’s and Amplifiers. The G5 is a powerful portable DAC/Amplifier with a specially modified NFCA module that features both wireless and wired connectivity. The device is equipped with an ES9068AS DAC chip, Qualcomm’s QCC5125 BT SoC, a 2nd Generation XMOS USB digital decoder and a built-in 4000mAh battery. Moreover, it offers both 3.5mm SE + 4.4mm Balanced analog outputs and Bluetooth + USB + AUX input options, which makes it to a pretty versatile device.
I would like to thank Shenzhen Audio for providing me the Topping G5 review sample. I am not affiliated with Topping and Shenzhen Audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered, opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price of the Topping G5 portable DAC & Amplifier is 299.00 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package & Accessories:
The Topping G5 came inside a rectangular shaped black box with the Topping brand logo on the top.
Inside the box are the following items/accessories;
- 1 x Topping G5 Portable USB DAC/Amplifier
- 1 x USB Type-C to USB A Cable
- 1 x Straight shaped USB Type-C to USB Type-C Cable
- 1 x Elbow shaped USB Type-C to USB Type-C Cable
- 1 x 3.5mm to 3.5mm AUX cable
- 1 x Silicone Stacking Pad
- 4 x Rubber Stacking Bands
- 1 x Print Material
Design & Build Quality:
The Topping G5 is a solid looking portable DAC/Amplifier with its CNC machined aluminum alloy housing that is available in two different color options, which are the one in silver and the one in black same like my review unit. The device has a relatively compact form factor with dimensions of approx 140mm x 70mm x 18mm and weights about 265g.
On the top of the device is a black tinted semi transparent plastic window, the G5 branding and the Topping logo.
The lower part of this window surface features illuminated symbols that give you information about the operating status of the device.
The semi transparent surface area makes it possible to see some of the internal components such like the ES9068AS DAC chip, which looks even more eye catching when the LED light of the status symbols are in operation. The LED status indicator lights up in Blue for PCM and in Red for DSD decoding.
At the back side of the G5 is a rubber surface with a Faux Leather finish that offers a decent grip and extra safety while holding the device in your hand.
On the front surface of the Topping G5 are the 4.4mm Balanced and 3.5mm Single Ended headphone outputs, the Line In/Line Out port and the Volume Controller that also the power On/Off switch of the device.
This surface comes also with a so called Anti-Mistouch & Breaking design in form of corner guards that does protect the headphone ports and the multifunctional Volume Controller from damages and mistouch.
The rear part of the Topping G5 is equipped with 1x Gain Switch, 1x Input Switch and 2x USB Type-C Ports. One of the ports is dedicated for charging, while the other port is used for Digital USB Input, which is a nice addition.
The overall built quality of the device is top notch from the housing up to the switches and volume controller.
- Model : G5
- DAC Chip : ES9068AS
- Bluetooth Chip : Qualcomm QCC5125
- Output Ports : 3.5mm Single Ended, 4.4mm Balanced, Line-Out
- Inputs : USB, Bluetooth, AUX (Line-In)
- Hi-RES Support : 32 Bit/ 768kHz & DSD512 (USB) / 24 bit/ 192kHz (SPDIF 3.55mm)
- Output Power : 1.2Wx2@32Ω, THD+N <0.1%
- Output Impedance : <0.1Ω
- THD+N (A-weighted) : <0.00010%@ 145mW (32Ω)
- SNR : 124dB
- DNR : 124dB
- Gain Levels : -15dB (low gain), -0.1dB (mid gain), 12dB (high gain)
- Output Level : 1.1Vpp (low gain), 6Vpp (mid gain), 21Vpp (high gain)
- Noise (A-weighted) : <1.0uVrms (low gain), <1.5uVrms (mid gain), <5.0uVrms (high gain)
- Channel crosstalk : -114dB@1kHz
- Channel balance : 0.3dB
- Load impedance : >8Ω
- Battery life : Up to 10H on USB, Up to 25H on Aux
- Dimensions : 140mm x 70mm x 18mm
- Weight : 265 grams
Hardware and Functionality:
The Topping G5 is a pretty versatile portable DAC/Amplifier is equipped with some decent hardware components such like an ES9068AS DAC chip, Qualcomm’s QCC5125 BT SoC, a 2nd Generation XMOS USB digital decoder and a built-in 4000mAh battery.
DAC (Digital to Analog Converter):
The Topping G5 is equipped with an ES9068AS DAC chip that delivers a SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) of 124dB over both the 3.5mm Single Ended 4.4mm Balanced (TRRRS) outputs and a Total Harmonic Distortion (THD+N) that measures approx <0.00010%.
The Topping G5 handles up to 32-bit 768 kHz PCM and Native DSD decoding up to DSD512.
The LED status indicator lights up in Blue for PCM and in Red for DSD decoding.
The Topping G5 is compatible with MAC’s, Windows PC’s, Android and iOS devices, while Windows PC’s do need the installation of an USB DAC driver to use the full potential such like ASIO support for Foobar2000 that is available on Topping’s official website.
The Topping G5 is equipped with both 3.5mm Single Ended and 4.4mm Balanced outputs, which are part of the a specially modified NFCA module design that is able to produce powerful amplification with lower distortion and high battery efficiency. The G5 offers up to 1200mW per channel @ 32Ω, which is quite impressive.
- Output Levels: 1.1Vpp @ Low Gain, 6Vpp @ Mid Gain), 21Vpp @ High Gain)
Both the 3.5mm Single Ended and the 4.4mm Balanced outputs do have a pretty clean background with almost zero level of hissing.
The G5 comes with three gain options, which are Low, Middle and High that can be manually selected with the hardware gain switch button. This feature makes it ideal for the use High Demeaning Headphones up to sensitive In-Ear Monitors that is supported with its pretty clean and almost hiss-free background.
The Topping G5 is equipped with Qualcomm’s latest QCC5125 Bluetooth SoC, which supports BT codes such like LDAC, APTX HD, AptX LL, AptX Adaptive, SBC and AAC. The Bluetooth operating distance of the G5 is flawlessly up to a distance of 9 – 10 meters when paired with my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in an open environment.
The Topping G5 is equipped with a 4000mAh battery that is supported with a specially modified NFCA module design for better efficiency at higher output levels. The battery of the device needs about 5 hours to be fully charged. The Topping G5 offers up to 24-25 hours of playback time in AUX mode @ low gain, while the endurance drops to approx 9 – 10 hours in Bluetooth and USB DAC Mode @ low gain.
- Steady yellow light: Charging
- Steady green light: Enough power or fully charged
- Steady red light: Low battery
Equipments used for this review:
- Devices : Topping G5, xDuoo Poke II
- IEM’s : Moondrop Stellaris, FiiO FH9, Final Audio B1, Meze Audio ADVAR
- Headphones : HiFiMAN Edition XS, Moondrop Void
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Photek – The Hiden Camera (Spotify)
- Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Rush – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
The Topping G5 is a DAC & Headphone amplifier with a decent level of clarity and resolution and excellent technical performance for its price, which shows only a mild amount of coloration that adds some nice sense of musically and warmth to the overall presentation.
This review has been written after a burn-in period of approx. 120 hours. My sound impressions below are based to my impression in USB DAC Mode over both the 3.5mm SE and 4.4mm Balanced outputs paired with IEM’s like the FiiO FH9, Moondrop Stellaris and Meze Audio ADVAR and Headphones like the Moondrop Void and HiFiMAN Edition XS.
Bass / Midrange / Treble / Soundstage:
The lower frequency region of the Topping G5 stands out with its level of clarity, extension and authority from the subbass up to the midbass area. The lows of the G5 sounds pretty natural and balanced with just a hint of coloration that adds the overall presentation a nice sense of warmth and musicality. The subbass area is shown with efficient grade of depth and extension when I do listen to songs like Lorde’s “Royals”, Massive Attack’s “Angel” and Armin Van Buuren’s “Vini Vici”.
The Topping G5 offers a nicely controlled midbass response along with a pretty natural impact and timbre while listen to a wide variety of instruments. Instruments like trumpets or cross drums are nicely pronounced, while bass guitars do sound mildly warm in tonality.
The Topping G5 offers a highly transparent and detailed midrange presentation with excellent sense of naturalness that was immediately audible. The midrange has in general a quite airy atmosphere, which is a remarkable plus point while listen to instruments and vocals. There is a slightly grade of coloration that exists in the lower midrange and particularly in the upper midrange regions. The tonality can be described as slightly warmer than neutral.
The lower midrange is shown with an adequate level of body and depth when I do listen to vocals male voices such like Sting, Dave Gahan and Elton John. Instruments in this area such like cellos, violas and electro guitars are reproduced with sufficient amount of fullness and decent level of clarity and resolution.
The Topping G5 has pretty lively upper midrange presentation with decent grade of clarity and brightness that is not overdone. The transitions are in general controlled, while the level of resolution and extension is excellent for a portable All in One DAC & Amplifier solution at this price range. Both female voices and instruments such like violins, side flutes and pianos are reproduced with an adequate grade of emphasis, extension and detail retrieval.
The Topping G5 shows a pretty crisp and dynamic treble presentation with all sources I have paired the device. The level of resolution is quite good for a portable DAC & Amplifier at this price range. The lower treble range offers a good sense of presence and an above average level of clarity and definition when I do listen to string and pianos or to soprano voices.
The upper treble area offers a good amount of airiness and sparkle that was pretty audible when I have listen to strings, hi-hats and cymbals especially when paired with headphones like the HiFiMAN Edition XS or IEM like the FiiO FH9 and Meze Audio ADVAR.
The Topping G5 offers a decent soundstage performance thanks to its pretty spacious and airy soundstage atmosphere, which has been supported with its pretty dark and clean background. This creates good conditions for a fairly precise placement and separation of instruments and vocals. The soundstage of the G5 is shown with a good sense of depth and wideness, while the height of the stage is on a moderate level.
Topping G5 versus xDuoo Poke II:
The Topping G5 has a more transparent and airy overall presentation with slightly less tonal coloration compared to the xDuoo Poke II that shows a tad warmer and smoother sound profile.
The lower frequency area of the xDuoo Poke II does sound a bit more pronounced, voluminous and saturated, while the Topping G5 shows a slightly more liner presentation with better sense of authority, resolution and layering.
The midrange area of both the Poke II and the G5 sounds pretty natural and detailed from the lower midrange up to the upper midrange area. The xDuoo Poke II shows a slightly warmer tonality and smoother overall midrange presentation created in the lower midrange where it shows a bit more body and depth compared to the G5. The G5 has the upper hand when it comes to the clarity and resolution for the lower and upper midrange area. The upper midrange of the Topping G5 shows a better level of extension and is also a bit more pronounced and detailed than those xDuoo Poke II.
The treble range of the Topping G5 is a bit more pronounced and energetic compared to xDuoo Poke II and offers also a slightly better sense of extension and resolution, especially in the lower treble area.
The Topping G5 has the slightly edge in terms of soundstage wideness, while both devices are fairly equal in when in it comes to the depth and height of the stage.
The Topping G5 is a highly versatile all-in one solution in a portable format with a solid sound performance and decent build quality, which comes also with many good implemented hardware features such like the modified NFCA module and ES9068AS DAC chip. The device offers a sound profile with excellent level of clarity, resolution and great overall technical performance, especially for its price. It shows just the right amount of coloration that adds some nice sense of warmth and musically to your source, which I very enjoyed both in Wireless and Wired modes.
Pros & Cons:
- + Technical Performance
- + Overall Clarity & Resolution from the Lows to the Highs
- + Clean output with a dark background atmosphere ideal for sensitive IEM’s
- + Comes with lots of Connectivity Options (BT/USB/AUX, 3.5mm SE &4.4mm Balanced)
- + Plenty of Headphone Power (up to 1200mW @ 32 ohm)
- + Build Quality
- – No MQA support
- – A bass control switch would be welcome (may not a real con)
- – Lighting cable needs to be selected separately
Thank you for the Read!