In today’s review, I’m doing a thorough evaluation of the Topping E70 Velvet DAC. The E70 Velvet is an upgraded version of the original E70 and comes with the latest AKM AK4499EX flagship DAC chip. It’s priced at $449.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Shenzhen Audio for an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Topping E70 Velvet
What’s in the Box
- Topping E70 Velvet DAC
- Power cable
- USB-B to USB-A power cable
- Remote control
- Bluetooth antenna
The Topping E70 Velvet DAC has a sleek black chassis with a touch-sensitive button on the left, a large OLED display in the centre, and a multifunction knob and button on the right, which are the same as the E70 model.
At the heart of the E70 Velvet is an AKM AK4499EX flagship DAC chip. It also features the latest XMOS XU316 and supports up to DSD512 & PCM 768kHz, making it capable of delivering true high-resolution audio.
The E70 Velvet also supports Hi-Res Audio Wireless, utilizing the premium-tier QCC5125 chipset to support LDAC/AAC/SBC/aptX/aptX LL/aptX HD/aptX Adaptive protocol via Bluetooth 5.1.
It can work as a fixed-level DAC or variable level and can be used as a preamp, making it compatible with powered monitors, headphone amplifiers and power amplifiers.
The THD of the Topping E70 Velvet DAC is incredibly low at 0.00006%, ensuring that it provides a clear and accurate sound. It also has an auto On/Off function that turns on and sets to the valid input, and it automatically turns off after 1 minute if there is no input.
Additionally, the E70 Velvet has a 12V trigger interface with trigger out and trigger in, allowing it to be turned on and off synchronously with other devices that have a 12V trigger interface. Finally, it can select to output to either XLR or RCA or both simultaneously, giving users the flexibility to connect to different types of devices.
I tested the E70 Velvet primarily with the Topping L70 headphone amplifier and a variety of headphones and IEMs such as the Sennheiser HD650 and Westone MACH 60.
I was impressed by the original E70 so the E70 Velvet has some pretty big shoes to fill, considering it’s priced around $100 higher. To be fair, the differences in sound are small but they are noticeable.
In my opinion, the E70 Velvet aptly lives up to its name as it delivers a smooth and silky sound. However, it doesn’t compromise on detail or transparency. In fact, it reveals every nuance and detail of the music. The E70 Velvet maintains a calm and confident demeanour, while also capturing the energy and rhythmic drive of the music. Additionally, it delivers a natural and well-balanced sound.
Listening to Jan Lundgren Trio’s Golden Earrings, the E70 Velvet produces clean and well-defined instruments, and the soundstage is deep and layered. The imaging is precise, and the soundstage has clear boundaries. The bass extension is exceptional, and the double bass is textured and well-defined.
Switching to AVKRVST’s The Pale Moon, the E70 Velvet demonstrates its ability to create a wide soundstage and a sense of scale. The DAC delivers strong dynamics and maintains a clear distinction between the vocals and instrument elements. The E70V delivers the track with nimbleness and articulation.
Comparison with Topping E70
The Topping E70 (review here) looks identical externally to the E70V. It has an ES9028Pro DAC chip compared to the AK4499EX in the Velvet.
In terms of sound quality, the E70 falls short of the velvet in bass extension – the E70V delivers a more authoritative bass. The E70’s midrange is leaner, while the E70V offers a richer, more natural sound. As for treble, both DACs excel in precision and detail with excellent speed and extension. While the E70 has a slightly shallower soundstage than the E70V, the difference is minimal.
Overall, the Topping E70 Velvet DAC is a high-quality and versatile device that offers exceptional sound quality, build, and features. With its flagship AKM AK4499EX DAC chip, Hi-Res Audio Wireless support, and THD of only 0.00006%, it can deliver true high-resolution audio with incredible accuracy and detail.
The E70 Velvet also has a sleek design and user-friendly interface, making it easy to use as a preamp or fixed-level DAC. Its ability to output to either XLR or RCA or both simultaneously is a nice touch, giving users the flexibility to connect to different types of devices.
Furthermore, the E70 Velvet aptly lives up to its name, delivering a smooth and silky sound that doesn’t compromise on detail or transparency. Although it is priced around $100 higher than the original E70, the differences in sound quality are noticeable, making the E70 Velvet a worthy investment for audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike.