Topping E30/L30 Review – Just How Good Is It?

Part of a Topping Mini-Series

Updates:

  • 11/28/20. Article posted.
  • 12/7/20. Added video.

1,288-word post, approx. 3 min. read

For those interested, I did a more in-depth comparison to another stack: Topping E30/L30 vs. iFi Zen CAN Signature 6XX

Now…

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Video Review

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Now let’s talk about the Topping E30 and L30…

In the Box/Build

In the box, we’ve got the amp, a ¼” adapter, a user manual, a warranty card, and a power supply that’s DUMMY THICC…

As far as build goes, it’s excellent in both models. The L30 is heavier than the E30 at 11.8 Oz., but as a stack, they both feel very substantial in your hand. The E30 is 9.1 Oz. for comparison’s sake.

Topping E30/L30 Review

Regardless, you’ll know where your money went!

Both all-aluminum chassis’ has an incredibly small footprint, so if you’re hurting for space, don’t fret. They’ll fit nearly anywhere and look great doing so.

Both have a glossy front face and will collect fingerprints fairly easily, which is a minor gripe but largely inconsequential.

The L30 can be used as a preamp or headphone amp via the leftmost switch on the front of the unit and it’s RCA outputs. Next to that switch, there’s a switch for gain with -9dB, 0dB, and a +9dB boost. There’s also a set of RCA inputs for connection to the E30, or any DAC of your choosing.

Topping E30/L30 Review

The L30 provides plenty of clean, neutral power output for most headphones. I feel comfortable driving anything I have with it: The HIFIMAN DEVA, AKG K702, and K612, Sennheiser HD600, Philips SHP9500 and 9600, KPH30i, etc.

In my previous video comparing this stack to iFi’s, the L30 appeared to have more power on paper, but it was a bit of a misnomer.

Those numbers specify peak power and not continuous, but the unit still has plenty and you won’t have to worry too much about it.

The E30

How about the E30?

In the box, there’s the DAC, a warranty card, user manual, USB cable, and remote.

The E30 supports up to DSD512 and PCM 768kHz, but none of that even matters because you can’t hear anything over 20kHz. Period. So seriously audio companies, stop advertising some stupid inconsequential sh** that has no basis in reality. Frankly, it’s insulting and I don’t care. I’ve talked ad nauseam about why.

And for those who counter with “Well it can be felt on a subconscious level, blah blah blah”.

Yeah, you just proved my point that what you’re hearing is nothing more than a placebo. A fantastic way of justifying your own bias towards meaningless numbers.

Numbers that ruin the actual audio experience and result in people going back and forth about measurements rather than listen to and talk about music.

/rant

Topping E30/L30 Review

A measurement that does matter is the L30’s super-low 0.1 Ohm output impedance. This is perhaps the cleanest amp I’ve heard, alongside such favorites as the Topping NX4, FiiO A3, JDS ATOM & Objective 2, etc. I’m not including the Magni in there because it’s a piece of Schiit.

There’s not much more to say. It’s going to paint the music portrait exactly as it was recorded and sounds great. Crisp and clean, but surprisingly not overly sterile or cold. It’s a natural, effortless, portrayal.

The stack is capable of playing Tidal masters as well. Just make sure to set Tidal to exclusive mode first.

Go to File > Settings > Streaming, and scroll down to Sound/Sound Output. Right next to that it will say (more settings). Click that and tick the switch to exclusive mode. Now you’ll see the numbers change based on what you’re listening to.

Topping E30/L30 ReviewTopping E30/L30 ReviewTopping E30/L30 Review

Anyways, the E30 has optical and coaxial inputs, as well as a pair of RCA outputs for use with the L30. Connect it to your PC via the supplied USB Type-B cable, and plug it into wall power.

For single-player gaming, as well as film, this stack is great because you don’t have to move.

I use an optical cable from my PS4 into the E30, and then a pair of RCA to RCA’s from the E30 into the L30. Adjust the volume on the amp first, and then plop down on the couch and assume your sedentary position. You can now adjust volume based on what you’re doing with the supplied remote, i.e. you’ll never have to get up ever again.

Yay future health problems!

To sum up, I like this combo quite a bit.

One complaint I have (and this applies to most companies) is that they hardly EVER provide the necessary cables to get started. I’m paying you close to $300 for this stack but you can’t put an RCA to RCA in there? You can’t put an optical cable in there? It’s just irritating.

The other minor gripe I have is with the remote. At times it’s a bit slow to respond when you click. It seems to be really particular about how you point it at the DAC as well. All in all, it’s a small concern.

What does separate the E30 from other DACS for me is the addition of said remote and the E30’s optical input, as well as the L30’s very low output impedance and more than adequate power output. E30’s front-lit interface is also a nice touch. I probably wouldn’t rely on the L30 for really hard to drive cans like the LCD-4, but it’s going to do really well with most mid-fi offerings and sits in a nice wheelhouse for the majority of products that people will look to pair it with.

 

Interested in how the E30/L30 compares to the Zen Can Signature 6XX?

 

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this Topping E30/L30 Stacked Review, and are better equipped to make a purchasing decision!

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Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

Is the Topping something you would invest in? I would love to hear your thoughts. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

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Topping E30/L30

4.7

Build

4.8/5

Features & Connections

5.0/5

Sound Quality

5.0/5

Power Output

4.8/5

Accessories

4.0/5

Pros

  • Clean, neutral sound
  • Great build
  • Easy to use
  • Extremely versatile, great for gamers and film buffs

Cons

  • Would have liked some RCA and optical cables in either package
  • Remote is sometimes finicky
  • Fingerprint magnet

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