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SMSL Aoshida Hi-Fi DO200

ozboater

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Well, Day 1 was today. The Topping XLR cables, on order, have not arrived yet, so I am using RCA.
The experience with my 3 previous DACs was they sounded flat for the first week or 2, and then blossomed into beautiful transparent addictive sound. Each time by week 2, I was in audio heaven. [After burn-in of the new Dac, I would plug in the old dac to compare and each time decided I could hear, and enjoyed the improvement and there was no going back]

DO200 surprised me as it wasn't flat sounding at all from the get go. In fact soundstage is wider than my month-old E50. I listened to the same albums today as I did yesterday.
So, like you jokan, I'm really keen to see if there is an improvement over the next 2 weeks, as I just can't imagine it right now.

I do expect further improvement when I get the XLR cables, as I was surprised when I changed up to Balanced on the E50. Maybe it is to do with 4v vs 1.5 or 2v

My experience is that DAC burn in is a real thing.
I have seen 'burn in' described as nothing more than your ears adjusting to a change, so YMMV. I have seen many cynical and put-down responses to some comments on the forums about this - so whatever. Other's experiences and knowledge is theirs, and I happily live with mine.

Now I have my perfect system, as the AO200 and DO200 together give me music that is super clean and free of noise and distortion, with any possible system deficiencies waaaay beyond any ability to hear them.

I use Foobar 2000 on Win 11 to feed the Dac, then Amp, then feed to my big 4ohm floorstanders - Richter Dragon V, and 6ohm bookshelves - QAcoustics 3020i (when the house demands a little quiet :)

Day 1 summary - really impressed. Immediate step forward. No doubt here.
 
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jokan

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@ozboater if an electronic device has a circuit board, resistors, inductors, capacitors, then burn-in happens. The results always vary. Rarely is the result negatively impactful. And it is NOT your ears getting used to new equipment.

How is Win11? Any compatibility issues with the DAC? Very curious as my next big purchase will be a new PC, probably going with a small mostly all solid state device by someone like minisforum.

The newer DAC's (say maybe the past year compared to 2-3 years ago) on a consumer level have made huge leaps in sound quality, musicality, convincing musical reproduction. I think it's not so much the chips themselves, I think the engineering and understanding of what it takes to make a good sounding DAC has become much more common knowledge compared to those devices from several years ago. I admit to having a really cheap simple 192/24 toslink/coax to RCA DAC that I use in case of emergency. I modded it with parts that cost double the actual cheap DAC. I use it as a reference for comparing many devices to see if there is a significant improvement or not. I know that the DO has a lot of new thinking behind it along with the current generation of DAC's from virtually every "entry level priced" products/companies.

I suspect that a few days in, the soundstage will suddenly open up, like a curtain has been lifted.

Keep us apprised of any developments. XLR is a mixed bag with how many companies chose to make the balanced inputs. Most companies at this price point use op-amps for the circuit which means you are hearing the op-amp to a lesser or greater degree. Therein lies the small problem of expectation. Also input/output impedance isn't standardised as it should be. The better (read more expensive) brands stick to a standard. I use an RME ADI-2 DAC fs for my main room, but I am thinking of adding a second setup and the DO is on the list! I love the looks of it, and also the HO200 too. It's simple, has few things to clutter the simple appearance. To me the RME is too busy in appearance though I use all of the features of the RME ADI2.

Happy listening! And oh, yeah, consider buying another set of XLR cables so you can compare them. They sound different even at a 50cm length!

I'm very glad that you are happy so far, I think it will continue. You're also being unfair a little bit with your comparison from the E50! lol.
 

ozboater

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How is Win11? Any compatibility issues with the DAC? Very curious as my next big purchase will be a new PC, probably going with a small mostly all solid state device by someone like minisforum.
XLR is a mixed bag with how many companies chose to make the balanced inputs. Most companies at this price point use op-amps for the circuit which means you are hearing the op-amp to a lesser or greater degree. Therein lies the small problem of expectation. Also input/output impedance isn't standardised as it should be. The better (read more expensive) brands stick to a standard.
Win 11 was a painless and faultless upgrade - I waited a few weeks for the AMD fixes first. Upgraded from an .iso on USB.
Some things are in a different place, but I am seeing the logic of the interface efficiency now, and have no trouble doing anything at all. It's snappier than Win 10.
Impressively, Win 11 recognised the DO200 immediately (as 'SMSL USB DAC'), and I had sound through the system to my speakers as soon as I set up my inputs on the Dac and Amp.

I wasn't expecting much difference on the E50 when I swapped over from RCA to Topping Balanced cables, but it was immediate and likeable. I'm hoping it is much the same when my new XLR plugs (also from Topping) arrive for the DO200. Maybe that is the op-amp you mention increasing volume. No diss on the E50 - it is fantastic.

What I really liked with the DO200 is that there was no 'new Dac' flatness at all, and the soundstage right out of the box is wider than a burned in E50. Both use the same 8068 chip, so you'd expect them to be similar. Maybe this is the benefit of having 2 of them, one for each channel, rather than sharing 1 for both channels.

He he he... man, if this improves further with burn-in and XLR I'll be even further over the moon.
 

Volikovvv

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Win 11 was a painless and faultless upgrade - I waited a few weeks for the AMD fixes first. Upgraded from an .iso on USB.
Some things are in a different place, but I am seeing the logic of the interface efficiency now, and have no trouble doing anything at all. It's snappier than Win 10.
Impressively, Win 11 recognised the DO200 immediately (as 'SMSL USB DAC'), and I had sound through the system to my speakers as soon as I set up my inputs on the Dac and Amp.

I wasn't expecting much difference on the E50 when I swapped over from RCA to Topping Balanced cables, but it was immediate and likeable. I'm hoping it is much the same when my new XLR plugs (also from Topping) arrive for the DO200. Maybe that is the op-amp you mention increasing volume. No diss on the E50 - it is fantastic.

What I really liked with the DO200 is that there was no 'new Dac' flatness at all, and the soundstage right out of the box is wider than a burned in E50. Both use the same 8068 chip, so you'd expect them to be similar. Maybe this is the benefit of having 2 of them, one for each channel, rather than sharing 1 for both channels.

He he he... man, if this improves further with burn-in and XLR I'll be even further over the moon.
Very interesting your observations on burn in, im currently burn in my d1se dac, currently 48 hours approximately with amplifier turned off, im planning to burn in it up to the week. Straight from the box the bass was boomy and highs was rude, i tried several tracks today, it get much better. I hope it will shine after week of burn in
 
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jokan

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@ozboater, @Volikovvv, Burn-in is not voodoo, it is a real phenomenon. Usually for DAC's depending on how many hours you use the device, a week is a good rule of thumb.

Thanks for your assessment of win11 with computer audio. I'm sure there will be more updates from microsoft to help with any and all compatibility issues. I just don't like being a test guinea pig for new OS's in general. Amplifiers too!

I'm glad that you are enjoying your dac. One of the things I always look out for personally to tell how good a dac sounds is how quiet the quiet passages are. Silence should be like having the lights turned off, pitch black. The better the dac, the more information you'll likely find in between the notes/silence.

look out for the silent bits, or quiet bits of music. usually, the better the DAC, the more hidden parts of music you'll find!
Enjoy and take good care of the DAC. It sounds like it's a keeper for you!
 

Volikovvv

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@ozboater, @Volikovvv, Burn-in is not voodoo, it is a real phenomenon. Usually for DAC's depending on how many hours you use the device, a week is a good rule of thumb.
Im agree with you, but this topic is like taboo on this forum, any who tell about burn in, difference in dac sound - become outcasts. So im usually share my impressions on other forums, usually im trying to avoid to do it on ASR. This forum is good for measurements and other technical aspects, but i sad to say emotions from this audio units goes to another forum:)
 

kiyu

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Very interesting your observations on burn in, im currently burn in my d1se dac, currently 48 hours approximately with amplifier turned off, im planning to burn in it up to the week. Straight from the box the bass was boomy and highs was rude, i tried several tracks today, it get much better. I hope it will shine after week of burn in
could you please share your experience after 1 week?
I am thinking on getting or the D200 or the d1se, but is almost 200 extra bucks, and not sure those 200 are worth it or not, not many reviews on the internet, a couple of reviewers says that is even better than Topping d90SE.
 

Volikovvv

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could you please share your experience after 1 week?
I am thinking on getting or the D200 or the d1se, but is almost 200 extra bucks, and not sure those 200 are worth it or not, not many reviews on the internet, a couple of reviewers says that is even better than Topping d90SE.
I can absolutely say it is worth over su-9 and non-mqa version of d90! From my point of view, after one week of burn in 24/7, with good power cable, good xlr, supra usb and A30 pro amp, this D1se is the most realistic sound that i ever heard, maybe it not as ultra detIled, but the way it render sound field is holographic,in my opinion it is the best dac i ever heard, compared to smsl m8a, su-8,su-9, m400, Topping e30,e50, d30 pro, first revision of D90, aune x8, allo revolution... That sounds crazy, but when the pandemic begins, i started to work at home and decided to build setup, and from march 2019 i tried all theese dacs ...
D1SE better, it sounds livelier, more dimensional, more open, soundstage has deep dimension. But you should to notice, that just straight from the box, without burn in, on stock cables - it sounds too bass heavy and bloated, highs was a little bit edgy and fatigue...
Please notice: your own preference may vary! I understand people ehich prefer AK sound like RME dac, it is reference like, monitor, studio sound - and it is great! But my type of person a little bit different, my preference are different..

DO200 - never tried this one, and thanks god, i don't have to sell the dac and try something else, because d1se is my choice. Dac Search is over, amplifier search was over last spring, when A30 pro amplifier come in to my home, it stomps every other amp from schiit, topping, singxer, xduoo and many others.
Now i use this chain with dt 1990 headphones, and i ordered my first planars - Hifiman edition XS. I think it is time to play a little with headphones:)

P.s. now ASR objectevists will eat me alive, for that words! Please don't tell me that all dacs sound the same - i trust you, if that confirmation from my side needs to use and talk to others on this forum, ok, no problem: all dacs sound the same, amps too, cables does not affect sound quality! :)
 
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dendypopzarlis

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Well, Day 1 was today. The Topping XLR cables, on order, have not arrived yet, so I am using RCA.
The experience with my 3 previous DACs was they sounded flat for the first week or 2, and then blossomed into beautiful transparent addictive sound. Each time by week 2, I was in audio heaven. [After burn-in of the new Dac, I would plug in the old dac to compare and each time decided I could hear, and enjoyed the improvement and there was no going back]

DO200 surprised me as it wasn't flat sounding at all from the get go. In fact soundstage is wider than my month-old E50. I listened to the same albums today as I did yesterday.
So, like you jokan, I'm really keen to see if there is an improvement over the next 2 weeks, as I just can't imagine it right now.

I do expect further improvement when I get the XLR cables, as I was surprised when I changed up to Balanced on the E50. Maybe it is to do with 4v vs 1.5 or 2v

My experience is that DAC burn in is a real thing.
I have seen 'burn in' described as nothing more than your ears adjusting to a change, so YMMV. I have seen many cynical and put-down responses to some comments on the forums about this - so whatever. Other's experiences and knowledge is theirs, and I happily live with mine.

Now I have my perfect system, as the AO200 and DO200 together give me music that is super clean and free of noise and distortion, with any possible system deficiencies waaaay beyond any ability to hear them.

I use Foobar 2000 on Win 11 to feed the Dac, then Amp, then feed to my big 4ohm floorstanders - Richter Dragon V, and 6ohm bookshelves - QAcoustics 3020i (when the house demands a little quiet :)

Day 1 summary - really impressed. Immediate step forward. No doubt here.
Hi ozboater - I'm expecting delivery from Amazon of an AO200 which will drive my Dynaudio Emit 10's and was thinking to add the DO200. Might I ask where you bought yours as they don't seem to have landed in Oz just yet? Sounds like you're having a good experience so far with the DO200. I haven't heard either of these SMSL products but that can be the nature of buying audio gear these days. Cheers
 

JayGilb

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if an electronic device has a circuit board, resistors, inductors, capacitors, then burn-in happens. The results always vary. Rarely is the result negatively impactful. And it is NOT your ears getting used to new equipment.
From a technical viewpoint, what physical changes do you think happens to a carbon film resistor or electrolytic capacitor during a burn-in period ?
If a resistor changes resistance during that period, why would it most likely skew towards an audible improvement ?
 
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ozboater

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Hi ozboater - I'm expecting delivery from Amazon of an AO200 which will drive my Dynaudio Emit 10's and was thinking to add the DO200. Might I ask where you bought yours...
Hi dendypopzarlis,
Bought mine from the Aoshida Store on Amazon. With free freight and 10% pre Black Friday it was a good deal. Aoshida, like SchenzhenAudio, is a totally reliable online store.

The AO200, DO200, and HO200 were made by S.M.S.L specifically for Aoshida and their requirements and sold exclusively by Aoshida.

While this is based on the SU-9 (made for SchenzhenAudio), it is similar, with improvements mainly to the power input and shielding to reduce interference and noise. Separating the power supply to the side and giving it more shielding required a wider case than the SU-9. Dimensions were kept consistent for the stack.

I'm not getting HO200 as I don't need a headphone amplifier, but now I've had a few more days of critical listening I am super super happy with this AO200 and DO200 stack. For me, the clarity, ultra-detail, complete lack of noise and distortion, and in general purity of musical delivery is phenomenal. Connected with Topping XLR cables.

Having tried 4 amps and 4 Dacs over the last 5 years, I am at my happy endpoint of my search for faultless audio. No doubt the future will bring even improved gear, but this will take some beating. The last 6 months has seen S.M.S.L Gustard and Topping make big leaps forward in improved Dac performance. There are now good competitive choices for excellent gear with amazing measurements.

I run my system into good Aussie Richter Dragon V floorstanders (4 ohm), and occasionally Q-Acoustic 3020i (6 ohm)

All the best for Chrissie.
 
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dendypopzarlis

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Hi dendypopzarlis,
Bought mine from the Aoshida Store on Amazon. With free freight and 10% pre Black Friday it was a good deal. Aoshida, like SchenzhenAudio, is a totally reliable online store.

The AO200, DO200, and HO200 were made by S.M.S.L specifically for Aoshida and their requirements and sold exclusively by Aoshida.

While this is based on the SU-9 (made for SchenzhenAudio), it is similar, with improvements mainly to the power input and shielding to reduce interference and noise. Separating the power supply to the side and giving it more shielding required a wider case than the SU-9. Dimensions were kept consistent for the stack.

I'm not getting HO200 as I don't need a headphone amplifier, but now I've had a few more days of critical listening I am super super happy with this AO200 and DO200 stack. For me, the clarity, ultra-detail, complete lack of noise and distortion, and in general purity of musical delivery is phenomenal. Connected with Topping XLR cables.

Having tried 4 amps and 4 Dacs over the last 5 years, I am at my happy endpoint of my search for faultless audio. No doubt the future will bring even improved gear, but this will take some beating. The last 6 months has seen S.M.S.L Gustard and Topping make big leaps forward in improved Dac performance. There are now good competitive choices for excellent gear with amazing measurements.

I run my system into good Aussie Richter Dragon V floorstanders (4 ohm), and occasionally Q-Acoustic 3020i (6 ohm)

All the best for Chrissie.
Thanks for taking the time to reply so comprehensively...

I ended up ordering from HiFiGo who seem pretty efficient although I haven't received it yet - hopefully just after Christmas which is fine.
The A0200 and DO200 are for my office where the Emit's live - I'm already finding that the amp has more than enough juice to drive the Dynaudio's to levels way beyond my intended use. Not a big headphone user but I do have the Naim Atom Headphone Edition which can handle most any headphones but it's primarily used as a pre-amp to drive some Buchardt active speakers.

Thanks again for replying.

Cheers, Denis
 

Veri

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Is this Head-Fi all of a sudden?
 
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Pulkass

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They've added MQA on the SMSL Aoshida DO200 even though MQA has been taken out of the SU-9n.
Op-Amps on the SU-9n are not mentioned though I know Vintage, that you've figure it out by now.
The global shortage of chips is forcing manufacturers to work with what they have. I think the DO200 maybe one of the last devices that use the opa1612. (Genuine 1612's? not sure about that!).

It's scheduled to ship on the 29th here in Japan. I don't know what the timing is elsewhere.
Can it work as a pre ???
 

chocomamey

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User updatable firmware! FINALLY!
I2s doesn't interest me, nor does MQA.
I like the rest of the DAC though. At least on paper.

It is my opinion that we have too many similar devices with no real innovation. There's also the global Chip shortage/crisis which will probably force companies to "make do" with what is available. I don't expect real innovation for the coming year unless the manufacturers collectively find a new and improved way to make DAC's. A rethink is needed.
what bugs me is that publitubers push these products and practically scream "go run and buy it ..its better than (eg. Su9)".. just because is a new chip and reproduce mqa cd (yes If you like to spend 40-50 bucks on a cd) ...when a real chance in this price range is not gonna happen ..maybe buy better speakers? better amp?
 

chocomamey

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My DO200 is arriving in a week, along with XLR cables.
This will be paired with the AO200 I've had for a month, and really like (although I do much prefer silver gear, not black).

Lusting after Gustards, L.K.S MH-004s etc (but not wanting to spend), with their 2x DAC chips and high performance, I decided to take a punt after finding out about the DO200 after buying the AO200.

Do I need it ? Heck no. Currently using a Topping E50 with XLR, but in my head it will be sexy to have 2x ES8068 chips and it matches the Amp.

DAC progression since discovering Amir's ASR and chi-fi has been S.M.S.L M8 (ES8018) with Linear PS, then M8A (ES8028Q2M), thenTopping E50.
I am completely stunned at the incredibly high performance of this latest generation of gear from S.M.S.L and Topping.
I can happily and confidently report that the MQA will never get used :)
would you give us a real veredict about using do200 ? I have SMSL Su9 and I dont know if theres a real difference in sound..I dont think anymore that a change of very similar chip would chance sound ..only a better power supply or so .
 

jlt_asr_un

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OK…posting some initial thoughts regarding my new SMSL DO200 DAC. For disclosure I have used both the Node 2i and now the Node N130. The external DACs I’ve used include the Topping D90SE, the Gustard x16 and now the DO200. My music system features Totem Acoustic Sky bookshelf speakers, a B&W compact sub, all powered using a McIntosh MA252 integrated amp. I really like the Gustard x16. It was an immediate improvement over the Node’s internal DAC, and I was happy with the sound. The x16 provides plenty of punch, detailed highs and very good channel separation. I love this DAC, however the DO200 is better, much better.

Why?

I think it might be largely due to a lower noise floor. This DAC is silent, dead-freakin’-silent. At least one reviewer mentioned that he thinks its because they improved the power supply and found a way to better shield/isolate the PS from the rest of the components. (Could the proponents of upgraded power supplies actually be right?) I have to assume that with a lower noise floor there is more room for the music to come through and shine. It might be that simple. Everything is better, details, channel separation, bass, soundstage, everything. It seems that my ears and perhaps my equipment really like the sound of the 9068AS chip. Both the x16 and the DO200 feature dual 9068 chips. As far as the 9 different sound color options, the “standard” setting sounded better than everything except, the “Tube 1” option which sounds magnificent (to me).

I am absolutely floored that I can get this type of sound from a DAC that costs (slightly) less than $500. I’m not urging anyone to go out and purchase this DAC. I’m simply providing my own initial impressions. Cheers!
 
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jokan

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I welcome your user opinion. At this $500 ish price point the competition is so fierce that I don't think any company will product and release a bad product. The only thing is how well it works with your specific product combination. I think that RMS ADI-fs 2 is hard to beat. Not that there isn't better, there are. Add in the variable of price point and the options are limited. I'm glad you like it. They've come along way in recent years. Just remember there is better, there always will be. For me, the next step up is over $5k for a dac. I'm sure I'll like it but my rack will need major thought and construction. Things that fit the compact chassis are inherently limited.

Don't allow detractor to say that your products are bad. There's always going to be a step up! In the meantime, raid your back catalogue of music!
 

jlt_asr_un

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I welcome your user opinion. At this $500 ish price point the competition is so fierce that I don't think any company will product and release a bad product. The only thing is how well it works with your specific product combination. I think that RMS ADI-fs 2 is hard to beat. Not that there isn't better, there are. Add in the variable of price point and the options are limited. I'm glad you like it. They've come along way in recent years. Just remember there is better, there always will be. For me, the next step up is over $5k for a dac. I'm sure I'll like it but my rack will need major thought and construction. Things that fit the compact chassis are inherently limited.

Don't allow detractor to say that your products are bad. There's always going to be a step up! In the meantime, raid your back catalogue of music!
Thanks for your comments! I agree with your assessment of better equipment, and I know that the RMS ADI-FS 2 is a highly regarded DAC. The setup I’m using the DO200 with is my “lesser” system; the one I use in my home gym. My home theater/audio setup uses a Lumin D2 streamer/DAC. Using another MacIntosh amp and a better set of Totem speakers here. The Lumin is amazing. Hopefully I’m set for a while. (Famous last words.) :)
 

robertospeed

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Well, Day 1 was today. The Topping XLR cables, on order, have not arrived yet, so I am using RCA.
The experience with my 3 previous DACs was they sounded flat for the first week or 2, and then blossomed into beautiful transparent addictive sound. Each time by week 2, I was in audio heaven. [After burn-in of the new Dac, I would plug in the old dac to compare and each time decided I could hear, and enjoyed the improvement and there was no going back]

DO200 surprised me as it wasn't flat sounding at all from the get go. In fact soundstage is wider than my month-old E50. I listened to the same albums today as I did yesterday.
So, like you jokan, I'm really keen to see if there is an improvement over the next 2 weeks, as I just can't imagine it right now.

I do expect further improvement when I get the XLR cables, as I was surprised when I changed up to Balanced on the E50. Maybe it is to do with 4v vs 1.5 or 2v

My experience is that DAC burn in is a real thing.
I have seen 'burn in' described as nothing more than your ears adjusting to a change, so YMMV. I have seen many cynical and put-down responses to some comments on the forums about this - so whatever. Other's experiences and knowledge is theirs, and I happily live with mine.

Now I have my perfect system, as the AO200 and DO200 together give me music that is super clean and free of noise and distortion, with any possible system deficiencies waaaay beyond any ability to hear them.

I use Foobar 2000 on Win 11 to feed the Dac, then Amp, then feed to my big 4ohm floorstanders - Richter Dragon V, and 6ohm bookshelves - QAcoustics 3020i (when the house demands a little quiet :)

Day 1 summary - really impressed. Immediate step forward. No doubt here.

Do you hear differences in sound and volume between the RCA or XLR connection with SMSL AO200? I don't hear any difference in my AO200, the difference is only with HO200 which sounds louder in XLR and very low volume RCA
 
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