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AOSHIDA SMSL C200 Review (DAC & Amp)

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 8 3.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 2 0.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 46 18.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 199 78.0%

  • Total voters
    255

Wolven

Active Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
Messages
226
Likes
110
I replaced my iFi nano with the C200 and couldn't be happier. After just two years, the iFi started randomly losing a channel or outputted no audio, possibly due to a problem with the small toggle switch (which I rarely used). Also, it had a ground loop issue with my new monitors and that disappeared with the C200, even when using the unbalanced RCA outs.

Question: the C200 offers a choice of six filters. Is there a preferred one? I listen to CDs, wav files, and Spotify?

Also, I, too, wish the display defaulted to volume.
Apparently Filter 3 is perfect. I like 6 for some reason.
 

ELOJR

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2022
Messages
26
Likes
2
OK...dumb question.

Installed my new C200. Get audio out of desktop monitors fine, but...absolutely no audio from headphiones, which worked fine with my iFi noan.

Thoughts?
 

ELOJR

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2022
Messages
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2
Never mind. Did a quick search of this great forum and found the answer. Having not come across this before, I never would have thought of switching gain from "L" to "H."
 

Zek

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
Messages
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1,727
I never would have thought of switching gain from "L" to "H."
You obviously messed something up!!!
Screenshot 2022-10-18 at 01.34.17.png
 

ELOJR

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2022
Messages
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2
"You obviously messed something up!!!"

Messed something up? How, exactly?
 

ELOJR

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2022
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And...in over 50 years of personal & professional experience with audio gear...inserting a jack into the headphone input always automatically muted the speaker outputs and allowed the volume control to adjust headphone volume. This included the iFi DAC that the C200 replaced.

Now about that display default...

It's a strange new world we live in!

:)
 

Zek

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 17, 2018
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...inserting a jack into the headphone input always automatically muted the speaker outputs
It's generally the worst way to break the audio signal because of the physical contacts in the 6.3 jack, it's much better to do it electronically.
 

ELOJR

Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2022
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Question: Can I connect speakers to the RCA and the TRS outputs at the same time...as in TRS to my main L/R monitors and RCA to a sub?

(I'd check this myself, but I don't have a TRS cable.)

Thanks!
 

Hellboy.

New Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2022
Messages
3
Likes
1
I learned what a DAC is about 3 days ago. I don't know much about this.. 2 Question:

1. The SMSL D-6 DAC say "USB transmission:Asynchronous". Someone know if the SMSL C200 is too.
2. If i want to use the balanced output to a speaker Power Amplifier, the Power Amplifier need balanced input or i can use balanced output to the RCA input and the performance is the same.

Thanks in advance.
 

Wolven

Active Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2018
Messages
226
Likes
110
I learned what a DAC is about 3 days ago. I don't know much about this.. 2 Question:

1. The SMSL D-6 DAC say "USB transmission:Asynchronous". Someone know if the SMSL C200 is too.
2. If i want to use the balanced output to a speaker Power Amplifier, the Power Amplifier need balanced input or i can use balanced output to the RCA input and the performance is the same.

Thanks in advance.
Don't worry about it, they both transmit the same way. D6 has AKM chip, C200 has ESS chip and better specs. Also C200 has a headphone amp.
Balance TRS output of these DACs goes to balanced XLR or TRS input on the amp and/or powered speaker.
RCA output goes to RCA input.
Balanced is better on several levels, including interference.
 

Zek

Major Contributor
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Feb 17, 2018
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or i can use balanced output to the RCA input
It is usually not recommended to connect the balanced connections from the DAC to the SE connection on the amplifier, due to a possible short circuit at the DAC output.
 

Alexium

Active Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
201
Likes
113
Location
Ukraine
I'm torn between DX3+ Pro and SMSL C200. What is this talk about it not being "truly balanced"? I've read it in multiple places, but never with an explanation or proof.
 

staticV3

Major Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
3,281
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4,720
I'm torn between DX3+ Pro and SMSL C200. What is this talk about it not being "truly balanced"? I've read it in multiple places, but never with an explanation or proof.
there are two headphone outputs on the front of the C200:
202208311427565378.png
people have come to expect that the balanced headphone jack offers about twice as much output power as the unbalanced jack on the same device.
However, there's a recent trend in the industry to include a balanced headphone jack, but without the supporting electronics required for a true differential output (so four opamps).
Instead, the balanced jack is just there for convenience and carries the same unbalanced signal as the unbalanced jack.
The C200 is one such device.
SMSL are not lying or anything as in the specs sheet they quote only one set of gains and max power for both headphone outputs, so the two should be assumed equal as far as the signals they carry.
This trend came to be because there's really no advantage of a differential headphone output for desktop headphone Amps, so manufactureres did the smart thing by giving the people the ports they want, but without the useless electronics.
The TRS Line out on the back of the C200 is a proper differential output btw, since that one is actually advantageous for connecting to speakers elsewhere in the room.
 
Last edited:

Badunn

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2022
Messages
22
Likes
37
Just my 2 cents to add for the C200. I had previously been using a chord mojo for headphone listening (Monoprice 1060c open back mod).

The C200 absolutely demolished it.

Listening to Peter Gabriel 4 (an early CD pressing converted to flac) presented me with an intricately layered soundstage with sonic cues I had never heard before. What was most striking though was how main vocals were anchored to the centre - with space and depth around them. There‘s been few hardware changes in my 40 years of hifi pursuence that created such an improvement. This was one of them.

The best £185 I’ve spent in a long long time!

Like I said…just my 2 cents…but great to share it with like minded people
 

unfit327

Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2020
Messages
30
Likes
4
Anyone know how much better this is than my magni modi schiit stack? I'm contemplating trading someone my stack for some hd 600's and then buying the smsl to have one device for my needs.
 

mirage_dragon

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2022
Messages
1
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0
Is it normal to have a faint whine coming from the unit when it's off? It's not that loud but it's noticeable, and I don't really like it. Because if it's a defect I'll ask for a replacement, but if it's normal I'm kinda tempted to get my money back.
 

crea

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2021
Messages
10
Likes
1
Happy C200 owner here, can anyone suggest me a 4,4mm to 3,5mm adapter?
 
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