The EPZ TP30 was offered from EPZ at a discounted price. I am going to be as objective as possible in this evaluation, and as a typical audio enthusiast , I will use basic language.
The review will still be honest, 100% genuine, and unaffected by the discount.
The Dacs, in my opinion, sound extremely similar to each other, or they shouldn’t take away or add anything to the sound.
The sound currently varies depending on chip and company implementations.
Like any review that talks about audio, the sensations are strictly personal and may vary from person to person.
EPZ TP30 Tech Specs:
- ESS ES9038Q2M
- Dual RT6863 Ricore Technology Op Amp
- PCM 768kHz/32bit and DSD512
- 3.5mm SE – 2vrms 125 MW at 32 Ohms
- 4.4mm Balanced – 4vrms 270 MW at 32 Ohms
- Price around 80 USD
EPZ TP30 Packaging:
The EPZ TP30 is packaged in a sturdy carton that is pretty basic and typical (the same as the TP20).
When the interior is opened, the DAC is embedded, and the accessories are below:
- Type C to Type C cable (similar to models from Jcally)
- Instruction Manual
EPZ TP30 Build Quality:
The build quality here is comparable to the TP20.
The EPZ TP30 has a sturdy chassis and is unquestionably well constructed; it has the air of a high-end item.
Although significantly different from the TP20, the button feedback is very acceptable (slightly better on the TP20).
On Android and OS X, the volume buttons function without any issues, but the volume is independent from the source.
The ES9038Q2M is paired with two RT6863 OP amps.
“The RT6863 is a high-quality audiophile operational amplifier design for ESS Sabre. It is a very low-noise and low-distortion device. The RT6863’s linear output current is more than 100 mA, so it can easily drive any load.”
As with the other model, the technical specifications change if you read them on the box, instructions, or website. Which ones are more correct, I can’t tell you, but I can assure you that they have power to spare. Probably the technical specs that came with the products are right (Shanling UA2 Plus got the same chip configuration and same power).
The difference in terms of power is noticeable, but what stands out is that slight extra detail in the high frequencies. It goes great with warm headphones and IEMs.
Its power is fine for almost all headphones and IEMs; however, compared to other DACs in my possession, it definitely has more juice (comparison above).
The volume is independent from the source, so you have double volume steps (really appreciated).
Seems to consume a little more battery than other DACs. In balanced mode and at high volumes, it gets slightly warm.
I tested it with:
- KZ PR2 on 4.4 Balanced high gain and needed just 1/3 volume to get them to good pressure level.
- Blon Z300 in 3.5mm, just less than 40% volume
- Whizzer He10 and HE01 on 3.5SE need less than 35% volume
- Thuthear Zero needs 35% volume on 3.5SE
- Philips X2HR needs like 40% volume to shine
At the maximum volume of the TP30 on balanced output, the KZ PR2 suffers distortion. Obviously, dealing with the loud pressure is impossible. To get a warmer signature, I prefer to pair the PR2 with Cirrus logic DACs.
In comparison to a CS43131, the ESS ES9038Q2M with twin RT6863 op amps provides an analytical and slightly natural bright tone. The output is really strong. Even when using extremely sensitive headphones, no background noise or hiss is audible (if BA is present, something can be heard).
The soundstage appears unchanged, the layering is nice, and the treble is slightly improved, so matching them with warm IEMs is the best option.
This thing is a little powerful golden nugget; it requires just 30–40% volume to make most IEMs sing.
Pairs well with warm-toned headphones. Goes to the wedding with the gold-colored Blon Z300!
First of all, one must consider that they cost twice as much as each other. The EPZ TP20, with its buttons and gain switch, is tremendously versatile. In my case, they work on both Android and OSX. Warmer sound and a little less power. The TP30 slightly emphasizes the high frequencies and seems to have more detail and better image representation (obviously a subjective opinion). I like them both very much, but if I had to choose, I would go for the Cirrus Logic (because I like the warmer note).
vs Hidizs XO
They both share the same signature but have different power outputs. They’re both extremely good and also extremely different. The Hidizs XO is more refined and natural and seem to add some layers to the sound.
Hidizs seems to be more refined in its image representation. The only cons are the balanced 2.5mm output, less power, and the fact that it gets quite warm.
Let it be clear that XO in balanced output is more than enough
F.Audio KS01 got the same ESS chip, but different amplifier. They’re 90% the same sound. If you are looking for a very cheap ESS DAC, the KS01 is one of the most powerful SE I have been able to test, and it is also too cheap to be true!
vs Creative SXFi
The Creative SXFi DAC still powerful, for what it costs, it offers exactly everything you need with much higher support (firmware updates + App). Its sound is definitely different from the classic AK4377, but you feel that Creative’s experience has added what was missing from the original AK sound.
The SFXi, however, is very light and robust! Ideal for portability!
Who do I recommend this DAC to?
Actually, I suggest you choose your DAC depending on what you have to drive with it.
If you are on a budget, this could be too much for your pockets, but you can take a look at the EPZ TP20, F.Audio KS01 or also the Creative SFXi.
It feels slightly lighter than the TP20, but they are two really heavy dongles.
Personally, for me, the fact that it is so sturdy and heavy is an added value, but it could be an issue for someone else.
During my use it has always gone well with both Smartphone and PC. The build quality is excellent and the price lower than the competition.
In my opinion an excellent Dac to take into consideration.
- Build Quality
- Balanced output
- LED shows audio quality/format
- Ultra-low-noise LDOs and femtosecond crystal oscillators
- Slightly bright sound (typical ESS)
- Removable cable
- Functional button for volume adjustment (independent volume)
- Strong power output
- Sturdy Zinc alloy case
- No play/pause and change song buttons
- Quite heavy ( Slightly less than Tp20)
- Consume more batteries
- No Type C to USB adaptor
- Golden color could be too much for someone
Where to buy: