Topping EHA5 Headphone Amp Review

Topping EHA5 Headphone Amp Review


EHA5 Headphone Amplifier

AUD $699 RRP

Topping EHA5 Review

Headphone listening is extra widespread than ever, but electrostatic designs stay an esoteric proposition for many. This is primarily resulting from price, as not solely are the perfect designs costly, however they require devoted energy – you may’t merely plug them into the headphone socket in your amplifier.

Chinese producer Topping seeks to alter this state of affairs with its new EHA5, a devoted electrostatic headphone amp – typically known as an energiser – retailing at a modest $699 (or much less in case you store round). A pair of Stax SR-L300s had been used for the needs of this evaluate.

Topping EHA5 Review


The EHA5 is a small field design – round half the width of a standard hi-fi amplifier – constructed into an aluminium chassis with a gorgeous matt-black end. A Stax-compatible 5-pin headphone output is located on the centre of the entrance panel with a quantity management to the correct. Two switches seem on the left of the unit, the primary being the ability swap, which additionally permits the collection of balanced enter and output (through both XLR or quarter-inch TRS combo connectors) or single-ended RCA on the rear panel. Also on the again panel is a 12 volt set off part that facilitates the amp being linked to different Topping amps for simplified operation. Plus there is a USB interface particularly for firmware updates, which sits adjoining to the ability socket for the 15V wall-wart energy provide.

Topping EHA5 Review

The second front-panel swap is for low or excessive achieve operation; the upper choice is healthier suited to extra insensitive electrostatic designs. The increased achieve works nicely with the SR-L300s, though the amount management must be dialled up previous the mid-position for a good degree – round 2 or 3 o’clock appears regular in most conditions. Upon power-up, the field emits a beautiful heat, orange glow paying homage to thermionic gadgets. However, there aren’t any tubes contained in the field, merely a pair of LEDs offering the valve-like gentle.


Used along side my Chord Qutest DAC streaming Qobuz, the Stax/Topping combo presents a completely completely different listening expertise from any dynamic headphones I’ve heard. Its trip-hammer transient response delivers the form of openness, delicacy and subtlety that even my reference, twice-as-expensive Air Motion Transformer (AMT) headphones wrestle to realize.

Topping EHA5 Review

Blur‘s newest album, The Ballad of Darren, is a good trendy pop recording stuffed with ambiance, which this method replays with incredible focus and transparency. Ambient cues, such because the layered reverb and slap-back echo on lead vocals, make for a chic rendition of the opening observe. Then St. Charles Square sees the band in additional acquainted Parklife territory, full with a shouted ‘oi’ throughout the intro. However, a delicate snigger previous it’s a revelation beforehand unheard exterior the electrostatic headphone expertise. The panned electrical guitars and wide-stereo drums replay with superior spatial definition, making the AMT telephones sound shut-in by comparability.

While the electrostatics do a advantageous job of expressing a lot of the slam and drive of more durable rock tracks, it is with extra fantastically recorded music that this method shines brightest. The delicate acoustic backing of Norah JonesCome Away With Me showcases the exact placement and spacing of devices, whereas the expressiveness of the vocal efficiency reveals a tangible degree of realism and emotional engagement that evades all however the easiest techniques.

Topping EHA5 Review

Staying with recordings launched on the Blue Note label, Herbie Hancock‘s Maiden Voyage is a basic mid-sixties jazz recording from grasp engineer Rudy Van Gelder‘s New Jersey studio. The composer’s piano sits centre stage flanked by Freddie Hubbard‘s trumpet within the left speaker and George Coleman‘s tenor sax to the correct. Despite the much-maligned piano sound, this method brings out the perfect of it by way of readability, together with the musical separation of the brass and woodwind; stereo soundstaging is great.


The drawback with electrostatic headphone and amplifier packages is that they are usually prohibitively costly, however Topping’s wallet-friendly EHA5 amplifier takes a number of the sting out of the shopping for expertise. Paired with Stax’s comparatively inexpensive SR-L300 electrostatic headphones, the result’s a clear, candy sound with an unrivalled degree of timbral decision, accuracy and musical coherence. Well price an audition.

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November 22, 2023 at 02:25AM

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