Topping NX5 - Portable Amplifier

REVIEW: Topping NX5 - Portable Amplifier


Price: ~U$D 100 from Ebay.

Available in Black or Silver color.


The NX5 arrives in a nice and more friendly package and includes the following accessories:

  • 3.5mm to 3.5mm short cable
  • USB cable
  • 2 rubber bands
  • 5 pairs of adhesive velcro pads
  • Silicone

Everything needed for a portable amp, but a carrying case or small bag could be useful.

Build & Design:

The build quality on the NX5 is just excellent and the black version looks very nice. The whole body is made of very thick aluminum, including the volume knob. It's a bit heavy but still well suited for its portable use. The matte surface is very smooth and gives it a more discreet look.
At the front there're the two in and output connections, the L/H Gain and Bass switches and the volume knob which also turns the amplifier on/off, and the LED indicator. The volume knob is tight enough to prevent an unintentionally volume change. At the back, there's the micro-USB and charging LED.

(Front view)

(Side view)

(Back view)

Power, Hiss, Battery:

Specifications on the NX5 rates it to be suitable up to 300ohm, and it seems right from most of the demanding ear/headphones I tried on the amplifier.
Hiss wasn’t noticed on low gain even with most sensitive earphones and even on High gain it is very low.
Battery is very good. This new NX5 now states 30+ hours of use, and it definitely delivers it. On a daily 1~2 hrs use for like more than a month (at low to moderate volumes), there was no need to recharge the NX5. Topping is offering a great battery life against many other competitors.

Sound Impressions

The new NX5 turns out to be a technically very strong portable amplifier. It tends to offer a very balanced sound, neither too flat nor colored, regardless the source used. While not a completely transparent little amp, it would classify as being ‘neutral with a slight sense of warmth’, very detailed but without giving a too analytical presentation like say something as the Cayin C5 but noticeable stronger than a AMP-HP with the Burson V5i opamp. Extension on both ends is very good which may give a more lively presentation. Treble quality is surprisingly really good, smooth but not laid back, helping a lot with sibilance issues.

The midrange takes a better position, but it won’t became more dominate or thicker. Slightly fuller and better textured and resolving.  Vocals and instruments sound more neutral pairing well with v-shaped sets. Warm or mid-centered earphones might feel cooler in tonality, but they can achieve a better overall balance without sounding unnatural. It’s the more clear and effortless presentation that makes it sound more open, airy and resolving. Sound also arrives smoother with excellent control to the unnecessary/unwanted extra brightness that usually leads harshness or extra grain in the upper mids.

The low end remains neutral, meaning the amplifier won’t provide more bass quantity than what the headphones should deliver. However, the bass performance is quite impressive, having a faster response, deeper and further extension, and mainly, much better quality and layering.
With Bass gain on, it has a better impact, and sometimes even worth the 'Mega Bass' description with certain earphones. Yet, the NX5 Bass boost is closer to that of a C5, as it helps the low end rather than changing the overall tonality.

Soundstage is certainly improved above average but the NX5 doesn’t intend to show a wider presentation than the earphone or headphone in use is meant to have, though it certainly improves the layering and dynamics, and has very good speed, with a more natural decay and extension

All-in-all, I found that instead of adding a certain flavor to the overall sound, the real strength of the new NX5 lies in simply improving each aspect of the sound, both in a technical and musical manner. Balance from the NX5 alone is superb; which I personally like over the Cayin C5 or FA HDB, reminding of the Panda AMP-S in its super technical abilities (but that one is still the king of details and resolution even after a few years).

Gears used (to mention some):

DN2002, VSD5S, Finder X1, RX-1, VE Zen 2.0, Asura 2.0.
Senn HD600, ATH M50, Fidelio X1
Fiio X1, Sandisk Clip Sport, Lotoo PAW5000


The last Topping addition to portable gear has everything needed for a good portable amplifier. It may not be up there in pure quality with the upper models, but still wins in many aspects like size factor, design, build quality, and most importantly it does improves the sound and the battery is excellent as well. Upgrade or not the NX5 is definitely worth the price and well deserves a 5 star rating!