Topping D10 is the most affordable DAC in the Topping family. Today I’ll try to answer – what do we actually get with it?
BUILD AND LOOKS
D10 uses brushed aluminum chases and it feels nice and sturdy. There is only one input and that’s a USB. The other connections you can see on the back are optical and coaxial. Beware that those are actually digital outputs. I would prefer to see those as inputs instead but it is what it is. D10 has a big display with big orange writing. It will tell you the sampling frequency of files being played… and that’s it. D10 has no remote, no buttons, no volume controls, or anything that can put it to good use. On the bright side – it’s orange and I like the orange color.
But what about the sound? It’s well balanced and detailed. Bass can go deep and mids are present and neutral. There is no sibilance in vocals which sound quite natural. Highs are very detailed and on the brightish side, but not too sharp or edgy. Compare it to USB stick like SMSL Idea and the soundstage is a bit wider, the bass goes a bit deeper. The whole sound is slightly fuller and bigger.
It’s inevitable to compare it with its older brother D30 too. That one is about 25% more expensive and in my opinion, it justifies the price difference. It sounds even more natural, the soundstage is wider, and notes attack with more energy and body to them. D30 also comes with additional digital inputs (adding S/PDIF optical and coaxial to USB) but has no digital outputs like D10.
Approaching 2020 little D10 is facing some tough competition. First among them is SMSL M100 that can offer even greater transparency and resolution at the same price. If your budget allows it, next in line would be Schiit Modi 3. It can offer even more sound quality with both great transparency and midrange fullness that the other two simply don’t possess.
If you’re on a limited budget, and you just need a DAC without headphone output or volume control, and you’re OK with one USB input – Topping D10 might be a fine choice. But there’s some tough competition in this sub $100 region nowadays that is worth considering too.
UPDATE (September 2020): Check out the latest revision Topping D10s review
|TOPPING D10 – CHARACTERISTICS
Power input: DC 5V/0.5A (USB powered)