Topping D70 Pro Octo DAC is a Fantastic Value

Topping D70 Pro Octo VU meter

Topping D70 Pro Octo (tested at $599)

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Sound 9
Build 10
Features 10
Compatibility 10
Value 10
  • Revealing but not analytical
  • Rich tone timbre
  • Fantastic value
  • Nothing of note

Topping D70 Pro Octo is the direct descendent of the very popular D70s that I reviewed some two years ago. A lot happened on the market between now and then, many new models appeared and D70s was not my go-to recommendation for some time now. But here’s the fun twist, D70 Pro launched in two variations: Pro Sabre going for $699, and Pro Octo we’re reviewing today and that goes for $599. What’s happening here? Do these two DACs sound the same? If not, what’s the difference and why did Topping do this? Let’s find out.

Build and Features

D70 Pro Octo is built up to the high standards that I expect from Topping, but the overall design is fully new this time around. The display is moved to the left, it’s colored this time and easily readable. It’s also utilized well, for example, you can choose three different skins that will be displayed during the music playback: normal info, VU meter, or FFT graf. UI is completely redesigned and richer than before, it’s called Aurora UI and this is the first model ever to utilize it. Menus and commands are very intuitive and I didn’t feel a need to look at the user manual even once, which is something you definitely needed to do to change advanced settings with previous models. Among other settings, you can choose between several digital filters and three sound colors: default, valve, and transistor.

Inside the device, we find a Cirrus Logic CS43198 DAC chip, actually eight of them working in tandem to increase the technical excellence beyond what would be possible for one of these chips. Topping didn’t disclose much about the rest of the design. Because of that, the signal processor and output stage design are not familiar at this point. But Topping is proudly boasting a fantastic set of measurements, which is now commonly associated with the brand.

Topping D70 Pro Octo Graphic EQ


Digital inputs include USB, Optical, Coaxial, AES, and Bluetooth if you wish to connect wirelessly. Some of you might notice that I2S is absent even though it was featured on the D70s. A cost-saving measure so the price doesn’t follow inflation fully? Possibly. When it comes to analog outputs, we have both single-ended RCAs and balanced XLRs onboard. There’s a choice of two different output levels: standard 2.1V/4.2V or elevated 2.6V/5.2V. Volume attenuation is on board too so you can connect this DAC directly to the power amp that doesn’t have its own volume control. The remote control is provided too, it’s small, plastic, and needs to be aimed directly at the device but it’s functional and very useful.

Lastly, the power inlet is a full-sized IEC that will accept 110/220 V AC, depending on the region you’re in. This means that the whole power supply is located inside of the box, so no need, and no way really, to purchase aftermarket power supplies as a way to upgrade your sound. 

Topping D70 Pro Octo back


Unlike the Sabre version, the Topping D70 Pro Octo has a kind of laid-back sound character to it. The midrange is crisp and very revealing of fine details and tone textures, yet it never feels forward and in your face. The bassline is pleasantly full, with a hint of warmth, but still plenty agile when needed. The highest frequencies are refined and informative, but not as extended as on the Sabre version. It’s not something you miss in isolation however because Octo manages to paint a very believable and natural tonality. Play wind instruments for example and they will sound airy and rich with inner tone texture the way they sound in real life. Only truly high-pitched tones like triangle produces may have a touch less brilliance compared to some other DACs with more emphasis on those highest frequencies.

The soundstage is reasonably wide and airy, with a respectable perceived depth too. Generally speaking, D70 Pro Octo tends to paint the soundscape starting from your speakers and going behind them, not pushing leading vocals and instruments forward the way the Sabre version does. But don’t get me wrong here – Octo is not a closed-sounding or too tame-sounding DAC. Its spatially laid-back presentation doesn’t conceal fine information or inner tone detailing.

Dynamics and microdynamics are very capable too. When fast pace song comes along, Topping D70 Pro Octo will not leave you wanting. It’s a quick and lively-sounding DAC, with enough mass and authority to bring the rhythm section alive. This is for example something that old D70s or Gustard X16 couldn’t fully do.


Topping E70 Velvet is more affordable at $449 and offers a very similar set of features but without a new color display and UI. That aside, when compared directly, the D70 Pro Octo pulls ahead as a cleaner-sounding device with slightly higher detail retrieval, a darker background, and increased speed and dynamics. The difference is not really big in absolute terms, but it’s noticeable when both DACs are put in a transparent system. Topping is obviously aware of this and the D70 Pro Octo is priced accordingly.

Now if you’re wondering about the comparison with SMSL SU-9 Pro, that one is on the exact same level of transparency as E70 velvet, so that comparison would have the exact same description as this one.

Topping D70 Pro Sabre is basically the same device but built around a different DAC chip coming from Sabre. The Sabre version sounds more forward and offers bolder dynamics. It has the same kind of vigor and attack that Topping D90LE had for example. Octo is less high-octane sounding and more laid back, but it doesn’t give much in terms of detail retrieval. Actually, I don’t think it gives anything, it just arranges it in a different way. For example, whereas individual tones feel slightly cleaner and better etched with the Sabre version – Octo counters with a richer inner tone texture that makes for crunchier tones. Neither is inherently superior, just different. In my system and to my taste, Octo was ever so slightly more preferable but that is as subjective as it gets. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Octo is one hundred dollars cheaper than the Sabre version, which makes it an even greater value.

SMSL SU-10 is pricier and with a similar feature set. SMSL’s champion sounds warmer in the bassline and through the midbass and lower midrange. This adds some warmth and pleasant roundness to all tones. SU-10 also sounds even more spacious and a touch richer when it comes to tone timbre. Because of this, I preferred it to Topping D70 Pro Octo but this kind of difference might not be easily noticeable in every system. To put it simply, the performance gap is not as big as the price gap, which is a very common pattern in HiFi.

Chord Mojo 2 is a very specific DAC with a different set of features. I’m not going to go into that here, but keep it short and about their sound differences instead. Not unlike the last comparison with SMSL SU-10, Chord Mojo 2 presents fuller tonality with richer tone timbre, and I would choose it before D70 Pro Octo for most of my favorite music genres like Blues, Jazz, Country, etc. Topping on the other hand offers slightly better dynamics than Mojo 2. So if you often listen to fast-paced, energetic music, Topping might be a better choice for you.


Topping D70 Pro Octo is an equally good product as the Sabre version but with a different sonic signature. The fact that it comes at an even lower price makes it a truly great value (and a reason why the Value score for the Sabre version has to be adjusted slightly). Easy recommendation.


DAC chip: 8 x CS43198
Format support: PCM up to 32 bit / 768 kHz, DSD up to DSD512
Inputs: USB, Optical, Coaxial, AES
Bluetooth: Apt-X, Apt-X HD, Apt-X LL, LDAC, SBC, AAC
DNR: 133 dB
Line out: RCA (2.1 V or 2.6 V), XLR (4.2 V or 5.2 V)
Power supply: 110/220 V AC

Official product page

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