Topping A50s Headphone Amp Review – Amazing value!

Topping A50s Review – A small but powerful desktop amp for headphones.

Topping is one of the most unassuming and best value manufacturers in the headphone space. They consistently put out high-quality amps, DAC’s and more without much fanfare, but the truth is they offer some of the best bang for your buck in the marketplace.

The Topping A50s we are reviewing today is the perfect example of that—a simple and well-made headphone amplifier with fantastic transparency and lots of power.

Packaging and Accessories

You don’t get much in the box, but it’s an amp, so you don’t really need anything to get you going. You obviously are going to provide the source are the headphones. The A50s comes in a nice black cardboard box with tasteful branding. On the inside is a power plug with European and US adapters and a 1/4 headphone jack adapter.

Build Quality and Design

Topping A50s paired with a pair of NiceHCK earbuds

This is the thing about topping; they never true and go too far with their design and build in unnecessary embellishments. They focus on clean design and excellent build quality.

The A50s is nothing more than a small slab of square metal with beveled edges and some buttons and connections front and back.

The unit’s back has RCA inputs and outputs (the input is not a balanced connection). The front contains a volume pot with very smooth action and a touch of resistance.

There is also a power button that could do with being a bit more tactile, but it’s fine; it’s a power button, after all. It doubles a gain switch and operates by long press to turn the A50s on and off while a quick press switches the gain modes. Next to it is a small LED to show the current status of the device. Is it on the 0db setting or 6db?

In the middle, you have two connections, one for balanced 4.4mm cables and the other for a 1/4 inch stereo jack.

The unit is very well made. It’s extremely dense and heavy for its size, and I foresee zero issues developing due to the design. This should happily sit on your desk for years to come pumping out your sweet music.

Performance

Topping A50s testing with the Goldplanar Gl2000 Headphones

Really there is very little to say here; it is a headphone amp and a fantastically transparent one. If you don’t know what an amp is meant to do, please read our explanation of how to choose a headphone amp.

This product does nothing more than amplify the signal and allow your headphones to operate to their full potential. I used it with a wide variety of audiophile-grade headphones such as the Audeze LCD-2 closed-back, Focal Stellia, and Hifiman HE1000SE. There is no more that I can say other than I felt that they were driven perfectly well, and no detectable coloration or artifacts were detected.

I know that sounds a little bit boring, and people expect all sorts of grand claims in audio reviews, but an amp’s functional goal is simple. This one meets all the requirements, and it does it at a price that should scare the pants off of more expensive brands that charge an arm and a leg for this type of performance.

If you can grasp the concepts of graphing and want a deeper explanation of the capabilities of the Topping A50s, then please please check out Amirin’s thread on Audiosciencereview. Warning it is very technical, but the way he presents the information is fantastic. Amps are parts of the audio chain that are very, very factual. Performance can be shown in definite terms, and these guys are the best at showing that.

Conclusion

To me, this is a no-brainer product. The A50s is outstanding value for money and certainly the best amplifier I can think of in this price range. My only sole criticism is the lack of a balanced input that would make this perfect. However, when the price is considered along with the great build and incredible sound, I think it is something you should certainly consider for many people.

For pricing and more information check out the Topping A50s (which is available in two colors) at Linsoul.com

Audiophile Onhttp://www.audiophileon.com
Audiophile On is a website dedicated to high-end audio products. With over 15 years as a reviewer, all articles are hand-written by one person to allow the comparison of products. Headphones, earphones, speakers, amplifiers, or DAC's we cover here.

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