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SMSL AO100 Amplifier Class D "Subjective review"

robertospeed

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SMSL AO100

IMG_20220913_121813 (Copia).jpg


IMG_20220913_121717 (Copia).jpg


Hello to all friends of ASR, as I like to buy these class D mini amplifiers at a really affordable price and I love to try and test them I would like to do a little review of my experience with this very small SMSL AO100 class D amplifier, sorry for mine English, but I'm Italian and I use the translator.

Short review

The amplifier is rated up to 70W at 4 Ohms,
since most amplifiers show their power of 8 Ohms, so let's assume it's around 30W.
That's still a significant amount of power for small satellite or desk bookshelf speakers.
The amplifier is powered by the German Infineon MA12070 class D chipset.

SMSL AO100 is also equipped with a remote control that can change various settings within the amplifier.
These include inputs from Line In and BT, turning up and down volume,
changing bass and treble levels (basic EQ functionality) along with 5 preset equalizers,
gain level (low or high) and surround sound effects (3 effects and off) and display brightness levels and also turn off the display.

Here you can see all the accessories

IMG_20220913_121617 (Copia).jpg




I have only briefly used surround effects, equalizers etc .. because I prefer a neutral sound when listening to music.
They just make things brighter to the point that I found them annoying and decided to leave all tone and surround controls off.
The surround effects on the other hand for listening to movies and PC games are excellent.

To better understand the menu of this amplifier, I downloaded the manual in pdf from the official SMSL website which is in English and Chinese, but there is also the instruction booklet included.

Menù.png




I tried listening to music with the BT and it hears pretty good even though the BT is not in HD.

SMSL AO100 has the tone of sound like its big brother SMSL AO200 which I also have, but with less power being only 30 watts into 8 Ohms.

The tweeters are crisp and clear, the mids are also good, and the bass is nice full-bodied and fast.
Tried with several bookshelf and floorstanding speakers, but based on its power in 8 Ohms which is 30 watts it needs easy to drive speakers to perform at its best.
In this case I used the Eltax Monitor 3 which among the ones I have are the easiest to drive + an active subwoofer.
This amplifier with small bookshelf speakers + subwoofer is truly a sight for 2.1 desktop use

IMG_20220914_080300 (Copia).jpg


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Bookshelf speakers Eltax Monitor III

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I have been using it for several hours always on and it does not heat and it works great, I have not found any problems with this amplifier.


Overall:

The new SMSL AO100 is a cute little amplifier that can do the job with small speakers + active subwoofer.

It is recommended for those looking for a small and cheap BT amplifier that is easy to place anywhere because it has an integrated power supply and is not bulky.

It's a well priced amplifier with good features, bluetooth and a nice remote. I must say that I am impressed for this price.


I also uploaded a video to my YouTube channel:

 

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kaopad999

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Really nice little looking little amp. Fantastic for high sensitive speakers, or near field listening/ desktop use. but i think i'd rather just spend the extra and buy the SMSL A300 or Da9.
Love the design of the SMSL's and their power ratings appear to be a lot more honest compared with other Chinese manufacturers.

If you were forced to keep just one of your Class D amps, which one would you choose ? :p
 
OP
robertospeed

robertospeed

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Really nice little looking little amp. Fantastic for high sensitive speakers, or near field listening/ desktop use. but i think i'd rather just spend the extra and buy the SMSL A300 or Da9.
Love the design of the SMSL's and their power ratings appear to be a lot more honest compared with other Chinese manufacturers.

If you were forced to keep just one of your Class D amps, which one would you choose ? :p
SMSL A300 I use it with my PC station and with these speakers + sub you are seeing on the photo.
SMSL AO100 I use it with the TV I have in another room and I listen to movies and listen to the sound when I play with the Playstation. , with other small speakers + sub
 

kaopad999

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SMSL A300 I use it with my PC station and with these speakers + sub you are seeing on the photo.
SMSL AO100 I use it with the TV I have in another room and I listen to movies and listen to the sound when I play with the Playstation. , with other small speakers + sub
nice combination ;)

I'm going to have to get my hands on one of these SMSL amps :)
 

Joe Smith

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I'm using mine in the dining room downstairs with some KEF Coda 7 speakers. Nice level of sound for when we are getting dinner ready or playing games at the table and don't want to use the main living room system. Nice to have the tone controls and the integrated BT, as I am often using Spotify on my iPhone as the source (also have cassette or CD to plug into the line input). The remote is nice as if we are doing something where I want to mute or lower the volume, I don't have to walk over to adjust the level.
 

Toku

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The AO100 is a group of products that share the same amplifier section as SMSL's SA300, C200, A12, DA-6, and Sabaj A1.
Some product variations are created by differences in input circuits, electronic volume, BT, USB input, display, etc.
AO100 and C200 are SMSL products planned and sold by Aoshida HiFi, and I feel that they are positioned a little higher.
It is an amplifier that uses the well-received MA12070 chip, and I think it is most suitable for desktop use for TVs and PCs due to the size and price of the housing rather than the sound quality.
I used to have three SA300s at one point. These small amplifiers are stable in operation and useful in various applications.
 

carlcamper

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I've ordered mine to replace the SMSL DA-6 as I'm looking to integrate a small Edifier T5 subwoofer with my SVS SBS-02 bookshelf speakers. Will chime in once I test them.
 

carlcamper

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I've ordered mine to replace the SMSL DA-6 as I'm looking to integrate a small Edifier T5 subwoofer with my SVS SBS-02 bookshelf speakers. Will chime in once I test them.
To update: the amp is great! An excellent pairing with my system:
20221004_100443.jpg
 

Chrispy

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The amplifier is rated up to 70W at 4 Ohms,
since most amplifiers show their power of 8 Ohms, so let's assume it's around 30W.
Just a comment on these specs. The 70wpc spec at 4 ohm is what frequency/bandwidth and distortion level? With typical amps for the same parameters I'd probably look to more like 50wpc at 8 ohm too. However it's simply unclear at what distortion level that 70wpc spec is based on, looking at their own chart it may be only at 1khz and more like 50wpc at 1% thd+n.
 

warpdrive

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Does this amp make any pops when shutting it on or off? I have a cheap amp and it bothers me a lot that it makes a loud pop when it shuts off.
 

carlcamper

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Does this amp make any pops when shutting it on or off? I have a cheap amp and it bothers me a lot that it makes a loud pop when it shuts off.
No pops for me
 
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robertospeed

robertospeed

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Does this amp make any pops when shutting it on or off? I have a cheap amp and it bothers me a lot that it makes a loud pop when it shuts off.
when I turn it on I do not hear any pop noise, when I turn it off there is very little pop noise which is inaudible and cannot damage the speakers. From the remote instead when it turns on and off there is no pop noise if I remember correctly, only when it is turned off from the volume knob there is a very small and inaudible pop noise, however it is an amp that sounds good, but not it's quite powerful, with small and easy-to-drive speakers and an active sub, it sounds really great.
 

ITguyAR

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Ok, so I'm intrigued by these little amps, and their bigger brothers, and curious if anyone has used them on large floor standing speakers that are fairly efficient. I have a pair of Klipsch Epic CF-3's rated at [email protected] (more like 95) and a pair of ads L1230's that are a real 95db. For years, I've ran a quite powerful, and fully rebuilt, Carver M-1.0t rated at 460 wpc and sounds great. But there are times I'd just like to have something smaller to use when we're upstairs (my music room) and not really playing as loud. I don't sit at a computer and listen to music nor do I care to. I sit in front of one most days as a Network Administrator. lol
 
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robertospeed

robertospeed

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Ok, so I'm intrigued by these little amps, and their bigger brothers, and curious if anyone has used them on large floor standing speakers that are fairly efficient. I have a pair of Klipsch Epic CF-3's rated at [email protected] (more like 95) and a pair of ads L1230's that are a real 95db. For years, I've ran a quite powerful, and fully rebuilt, Carver M-1.0t rated at 460 wpc and sounds great. But there are times I'd just like to have something smaller to use when we're upstairs (my music room) and not really playing as loud. I don't sit at a computer and listen to music nor do I care to. I sit in front of one most days as a Network Administrator. lol
SMSL A300 is much more powerful and works much better, but costs 215 euros, but drives floor loudspeakers better
 

Taoster

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Hi guys. Just wanted to say thank you for the discussions and reviews and to give my thumbs up to this little beauty. This is my first foray in mini budget d class amp and I can't believe how compact and amazing it is. It is a full integrated with volume+tone control, a remote and at half the size of my peachtree dac itx!
the ao100 is replacing arcam solo mini.
The Bluetooth is ok but does not compare to the quality from the line out. My signal chain is Yt music hq, Chromecast tv, cheap HDMI audio converter, peachtree dac itx, smsl ao100 and Sony ss-csd1 2way 12cm woofer 6ohm mini Sys bookshelf. Plenty of power and punch for the Sony bookshelf, it really sings, brining out the golden Sony syrup prat.

Rediculous price, absolutely ridiculous! Black magic stuff.
 

carlcamper

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Boris Badinov

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So far so good, not boomy, and well integrated with my SVS SBS-02 bookshelf speakers :)
Thanks, I was looking at one just this evening as a replacement for my desk system. I pulled my old accoustic audio 8" out of storage and it has a terrible hum when no music is playing. Since my desk is in the bed room, it kept me up half the night. finally had to pull it from under the desk to unplug it. and just added an SMSL A300 to the desk set-up.
EDIT: Since money became a bigger concern, I opted for the Jamo S808...beats my earlier sub away. Not the same as my Elac, but good for near-field.
Went from this:
desktop.jpg

To this:

New Desktop.jpg

Sub is under RH cabinet
 
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Taoster

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Anybody else experimented with the tone control? I been using direct but has found it, dare I say fatiguing with longer listening. I am not sure what or why.. is it the highs? Soundstage, room size?
 

ITguyAR

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So do most people here just do desktop computer audio systems with these little amps?
 
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