TOPPING doesn’t make portables, so this is a first. The G5, their first portable, is a DAC/amp with Bluetooth. I can tell you this much: it sounds f****ng phenomenal because it uses the same sort of NFCA architecture of their other amps, but in a portable package.
I need to bring this up because it’s kind of an important thing. The most you can get out of it, on lower medium gain, is 25 hours. That’s amazing. That’s about what I would expect. If you listen on Bluetooth on medium low gain, you get 13 hours. On high gain Bluetooth, you get eight hours, which isn’t that bad, honestly. I mean, eight hours on high gain with this thing is fine. On USB, you get nine hours on low and medium and only six hours on high. So you could have the G5 last as long as 25 hours or as low as 6.5 hours if you’re using a high gain on USB.
One thing we’re missing on this is any sort of tone adjustment–bass, treble–and I got spoiled with the Griffin. Now, the Griffin is $700, and this is $300. At this price point, I think TOPPING is coming out strong. I think they have the market cornered. They make audio gear that sounds amazing, and it’s not that expensive.
What does this do? Amp. Done. DAC. Done. Power. Done. Clean. Yes. Linear. Yes. Does it sound like an A90D scaled down? Yeah. If TOPPING had a house sound, it’d be better than everyone else’s. That’s what TOPPING’s house sound is. That’s the simplest way I could put it as a reviewer. I could tell you, blindfolded, that this is a TOPPING unit. It’s clean and the word clean gets redefined every few years by TOPPING.
Let’s unplug this now and switch it to Bluetooth. Oh my god, this sounds as good as these headphones have ever sounded on anything, including desktop amps. So I think that qualifies the G5 to be one of the best-sounding devices that’s ever moved about.
This is a slightly flawed unit. It could easily be the best with a bass boost or even just anything to tweak the sound just a little bit. [As far as portable units go, the TOPPING G5] is your TOPPING A90D. At the price point, I’m happy. If this was $500, it’d be way overpriced. If it was $200, I’d tell everyone to buy one right now. $300 makes sense.