Compendium updated February 24th, 2021
Audio is an industry of constant iteration. New products leapfrog over their predecessors quarter after quarter with improvements that range from stunning to so-minor-you’d-miss-them. It’s rare then for a product to leapfrog so far ahead that it remains a viable option for years.
At three years old, the TOPPING NX4 is sort of an elder statesman of portable DAC/amps, having blazed the trail that so many others in the category followed.
Its features are still impressive (quite a feat in an industry where the test of time is often only a couple of years): an ESS SABRE chip, PCM768kHz and DSD512 native decoding, and an XMOS XU208 chip, among other things. It’s no wonder then that people still line up to get their hands on one.
We’ve compiled reviews from across the web for your reference. What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in. Happy hunting!
From Audio Science Review's review of the TOPPING NX4, first published on June 18th, 2018:
“Let me make a confession before giving you my conclusion: people accuse me so much of being in Topping's pocket based on good reviews I have given them that I secretly wish that some of their products don't do well so that I can say that and get out of jail!!! Alas, that opportunity is not here yet. The Topping NX4 DSD is a superb portable DAC and headphone offering at super attractive pricing.
“Yeh, channel balance could be better and frequency response droops a bit. But other than that, Topping shows one more time that proper engineering matters. And design verification matters. That attention to quality and execution matters. And bargain prices matter.
“The DSD NX4 has impressed me greatly. It would be my choice for a portable headphone+DAC or a stand-alone desktop DAC for that matter. All the positive vibes on this unit are indeed true.”
From Soundphile Review's review of the TOPPING NX4, first published on April 2nd, 2018:
“With the low output impedance leading to compatibility with low-impedance headphones and power output being sufficient to drive full-size cans, the Topping NX4 DSD is able to drive most headphones on the market. Its neutral sound signature means you won’t hear it – you will only hear your headphones, which is just great. Considering the sub-$150 price, the value of the NX4 DSD is excellent. Topping nailed it once again and created a fantastic portable companion. It is so good it is probably one of the best sub-$200 portable DAC/amps on the market right now!”
From iiwireview's review of the TOPPING NX4, first published on November 29th, 2019:
“In conclusion, except that a small complaint about that battery LED warning showing too late, I really liked Topping NX4. As a DAC, it matched and even slightly surpassed the sound quality of D30. It also comes with a really good headphone amp that can drive most headphones without a problem. It’s portable too. NX4 is a stellar multipurpose device with a great set of skills. If you find yourself in need of these skills – it’s an easy recommendation.”
From ZReview's review of the TOPPING NX4, first published on November 7th, 2018:
“I didn’t think that this would be able to keep up with power output...but it absolutely does."
“I have a thing with TOPPING products in that they usually disappoint me. This does not.”
“I would be glad to call this my portable amp solution.”
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.