Skip to content

Topping D70s Review – Effortless

Pros –

Highly linear sound, Excellent detail retrieval throughout, Hard-hitting yet even bass, Wide BT codec support

Cons –

Settings menu overly-complicated to access, Volume buttons are inefficient, Large footprint

Verdict –

The D70s’ strength lies in its ability to effortlessly resolve the minutiae and do so without any fatigue, all the while upholding an almost perfectly even-handed presentation

Introduction –

I’m sure by now the vast majority are no stranger to Topping. The company has been making source devices for quite a few years now and have recently received widespread accolades for their chart-topping measurements and cost-efficient, scalable designs. The D70s represents the successor to Topping’s original D70, sitting just below the D90 in their dedicated DAC line-up. It utilises two of AKM’s AK4497EQ chips and features an upgraded XMOS 16-core XU216 microcontroller in addition to BT5.0 with LDAC support. Topping promise less jitter and native MQA decoding for a hearty jump in measurable performance over its predecessor.

The D70s retails for $649.99 USD at the time of writing. You can read more about it and treat yourself to a unit on Apos Audio (affiliate).

Disclaimer –

I would like to the team at Apos Audio for their quick communication and for providing me with the D70S for the purpose of review. The company is a sponsor of THL, however, all words are my own and no monetary incentive has been provided at any time for a positive review. Despite receiving the DAC free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

Contents –

Behind the Design –

Linear Power Supply

All great sources are built atop a quality power supply and the D70s is no different, using the same linear, regulated toroidal transformer as the D90. It has 8 independent voltage regulators and 7 Nichicon electrolytic high-grade caps built for audio application that provide clean and stable power.

Dual AK4497EQ DAC Chip

At its heart lies two of AKM’s 2nd highest DAC chip, the AK4497. However, Topping were able to beat even AKM’s own reference design in terms of measurable performance, to the extent that it almost matches the flagship AK4499 as used in the D90. Besides this, the D70s implements the same Accusilicon AS317 femto-clocks and Altera MAX II CPDL FGPA module with Topping coding.

High-Performance Inputs

The D70s utilises XMOS’ latest USB chipset that enables full-MQA decoding and native playback. In addition, they pair the AKM DAC with AKM’s AK4118 chip handling digital inputs for maximum compatibility and performance. On the Bluetooth front is the CSR8675 receiver chip from Qualcomm with wide codec support and BT5.0.

Unboxing –

Similar to Topping’s amplifiers, the D70s comes within a large card box with the device itself safely secured within a laser cut foam inlet. There are adjacent cutouts for the remote, power wire, BT antenna and USB cable in addition to a user manual and warranty papers on top. The unboxing experience is simple, effective and utilitarian matching the ethos of the product itself.

Design –

As compared to the original D70, the successor boasts a slightly more sophisticated design and proud MQA certification on its faceplate. It retains the aluminium shell that provides rigidity in addition to enhanced isolation. Robust silicone feet provide a planted and stable feel on the desk. The fit and feel is also impressive with rounded edges and a nice, uniform sand-blasted finish across its exterior. Though this remains far from a modern design, especially coming from SMSL’s competing devices, with visible screws and a simplified black and white OLED display with 4-button navigation. The faceplate is squared off and protrudes noticeably from the housing rather than sitting flush. In turn, I find this design to be nowhere near as sleek as the D90 or even the former D70 to my eyes. However, this can also suggest that the device is intended to be stacked or contained.

Otherwise, it feels solid and robust; Topping are clearly capable of providing strong build quality and the D70s’ BOM are well considered. The device does have quite a large footprint, being the largest Topping DAC in fact, which is something to consider if you have small desk. It is clearly larger than my THX789 and the SMSL SU-9, especially in width. The control scheme is button-based as opposed to the rotary encoders we’ve seen implemented elsewhere. On the rear are the inputs and outputs. A power switch sits adjacent to the plug and a voltage selection switch is located on the right-hand side since this device uses a linear power supply that cannot automatically adjust for different voltages. The D70s supports AES, COAX, USB, Optical, I2S and Bluetooth inputs while providing XLR and RCA outputs.

Usability –


The D70s provides, to me, a versatile experience albeit not the most intuitive one for the user. It excels best, in my experiences, as an all-in-one DAC used not just for headphones but also speakers and perhaps even a media/TV setup. This is because the device is, by far, easier to navigate with the included remote, which can be inconvenient to constantly have on hand during use in a regular headphone/desk setup.

Accessing the sound setting menu without the remote requires powering off the device using the rear-facing power switch, holding the sel button and switching the DAC back on. Otherwise, when on, the sel button simply changes sources, the arrows the level of the pre-amp output unless set to pure DAC-mode (in which volume control is disabled). It’s frustrating that holding the sel button whilst the device is on offers no further functionality here as would be intuitive.

Apart from this, the D70s provides a streamlined experience and users shouldn’t feel the need to constantly tweak these settings during daily use. It also features an auto-power on feature which is super handy for use with a PC setup. A small niggle, the volume control via the front-facing buttons is noticeably slower than a rotary-encoder, however, source selection is quick and clearly denoted by the large OLED display. The DAC also constantly provides status of the inputs/outputs in use, the volume setting and the sampling rate it is currently using.


The Bluetooth input is also easy to use, simply change to the BT source input and it becomes discoverable by any BT source. The D70s promptly paired to my Xperia 5 II over an LDAC connection. On the phone I was able to prioritise either signal stability or sound quality in addition to LDAC’s usually auto-scaling function. The wide codec support of this DAC is a huge plus, providing the convenience of wireless with surprisingly low-quality degradation. Of course, this is not how the DAC will be assessed but is surely handy when listening to music during social events. I found the connection to be stable and the range easily sufficient to traverse a large room without any form of intermittency or artefacts on behalf of the external antenna.

Next Page: Sound Breakdown & Verdict

4 thoughts on “Topping D70s Review – Effortless Leave a comment

  1. I totally disagree, the reviewer never ever said how many hours they used for run in time .
    I doubt many having owned a Audiostore for 10 years digital can taker longer then most
    Forit is a very low voltage .I bought theD70S for a second system .it has a small 1/2 amp T fuse
    Which I will be replacing with a synergistic 🍊 fuse. Also any decent dac deserves a decent power cord . Out of the box even after 24 hours this D70S is on the detailed neutral side .
    I let it play for a full week it was noticeably better in character, bigger soundstage and image depth
    It was noticably warmer sounding .I plsy 10 reference songs from different types of music And this dac was very well balanced I actually like this better then the current D90 Mqa dac
    Detail is on par , nit quite as nimble or fast but a more natural character which was more enjoyable . I let it play for 2 weeks straight and it got abut better still in refinement .
    On the front panel for adjustments I found easy .just hold the front. Center button then turn on
    I turned off BT since I run direct ,and put in direct Dac mode, and I was only using rca I turned off
    Xlr rca combo . And Mqa set to hard where . The Is2 I use from my Blu tooth this sounds better and has adjustments for no is2 standard . My brothers has the Denafrips Arias2 dac which is a R2R dac ,this has a similar character after 2 full weeks run in and the dual AKM 4497 dacs Are my favorite AKM chipset in naturalness. The latest Xmos 216 has 16 cores, 2 x the processing power and 4 x the ram of the older xmos 208 and sameness thst in the90 Mqa.
    There is a firmware upgrades so flats April 21 for a slight glitch withMQA thst solves this on toppings website . I like this dac better then theDenafrips Aries 2 similar character but this 70s
    Has better detail and low bass ,both has excellent midrange .
    Update I installed the synergistic orange fuse with writing synergistic facing up direction of electrical flow. After a full week this added. A noticeable improvement in detail resolution and depth .this dac has very good detail to start with .well deserving of the$$ fuse. It sounds excellent
    My favorite dac under $1 k .


  2. One more thing to add ,whst did the reviewer use fora power cord ? The Usb cable thst comes with the unit, as well as power cord pure junk. Treat it with respect a
    For any dac worth its salt at least a $150-$250 power cord .I used the Wireworld under $200
    And A pangea $200 sig mk2 awg14 power cord. It doesnot matter if the dac was only$650
    With this many quality parts inside including a decent sealed linear transformer 7 big Audio grade Nichicon capacitors for thepower supply and 8 seperate regulated power supplies ,same as in. The latest D90. The key is leave no weak link in the chain , a fuse upgrade even using a medpricedHigi tuning supreme fuse 500 Ma ,slow blow night and day less resistance = 3-4x lower distortion , judt look up metal index ,resistance steel buzz fuse 18 , top silver, copper 65.
    Any Audiophile with experience knows sonicly a upgraded power cord, better usb cable, andfuse upgrade complete eliminating weak links in the Audii chain no matter what dac you have .
    Using the$3 cables in the box it’s robbing you blind of the actual D70S potential .
    Check other reviews they display things used ,I was the only one who changed fuses which
    We changed back and forth from stock fuse a Clesr difference no brainer upgrade across the board.


  3. Cardas, Audioquest,Wireworld , USBcable ,great value
    Audio Advisor – pangea power cords for a 1.5m -$199 delivered forthe awg14 sig mk2
    Using Cardas grade1 – 6-9s -0 crystal copper ,and gold copper connectors far better then most cheap brass much better conductor,lower resistance.andBTW use decent cablesWire world excellent valueper$$ spent
    I use theirEclipse cables👍


    • Hey PJ,

      Thanks for your input, I’m honestly not sure how to address this. I will not discredit your opinion, in fact, I think we align mostly in the subjective impressions. Clearly, there are some details you do not agree with and this is also okay. I personally do not have access to the wires you’re using, hence why I didn’t test using them. In turn, it is to be expected that we do not align on certain impressions given there are so many differences in our setups.

      At the end of the day if you’re enjoying your D70S, this is nothing but a good thing, and I hope my review hasn’t affected your (or anyone else’s) enjoyment either. Your insights are valuable and will be kept in mind for future reviews.

      Warm regards,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Coffee Equipment Reviews

prosumer espresso equipment, machines, roasters and gadgets

Audio123 Reviews

Reviews on IEM, Earbud, Cable, DAC/AMP, DAP


Audio reviews for everyone!

Part-Time Audiophile

Hi-Fi News, Reviews, and Views

Twister6 Reviews

Twister6 Audio Gear Reviews

%d bloggers like this: