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SMSL D-6 DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 1.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 6 2.5%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 77 32.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 155 64.3%

  • Total voters
    241

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
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Hello, I'm new in the forum so please be gentle if I make some mistakes :)



USB Input:
I got rid of the mentioned clicking noises :)
except clicks when the sample rate changes (which is normal as I understood)
1) Download and install XMOS Driver from SMSL Site (obviously choose Dac D-6) : https://www.smsl-audio.com/portal/product/downlist/id/11.html
2) Follow these Instructions to active "Streaming:Always On": https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...os-driver-settings-for-no-cutoff-delay.25838/
The instructions are for another driver but its 100% identical for SMSL Driver
3) Activate "Streaming:Always On" in Driver Control Panel
4) Enjoy D-6 without clicks and/or delay

Toslink/Optical Input:
Slight pop noise at the beginning of each song/sound (e.g. Windows Explorer sound when you change directory).

Bluetooth Input:
Delay of like 1s when starting a song and no sound was playing for ~4-5s, otherwise no delay at all. So I guess its the same "problem" as with the USB input and streaming not always on. I checked the developer Bluetooth settings on my android phone but that option isn't available (right away). So far, I did not put any more energy in this problem, since it does not really bother me.
I'm using LDAC codec with 32bit/96kHz since it should be the best option quality wise?! (LDAC, aptx HD, aptx, AAC and SBC available)

I'm 100% satisfied with this dac now :)
- superb sound quality overall (a lot better than my old M-Audio M-Track Hub and also a lot higher level/volume)
- no clicking noises with USB input (main input for me)
- really good sound quality and connection stability (even through walls) with bluetooth

Btw, why are the sound engineers of smsl not able to solve it, when it was obvious for me that the output is turned of after like 4s of no audio (which causes the clicks) and I just searched for a solution....

Thanks for this info!

So this is only an issue with Windows then?

If you connect a Linux based streamer (say kernel 5.15 or newer), this 5 seconds of no audio is no issue?
 

pjoh

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Messages
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Likes
22
Thanks for this info!

So this is only an issue with Windows then?

If you connect a Linux based streamer (say kernel 5.15 or newer), this 5 seconds of no audio is no issue?

hello, I just tested it with my 18.04 Ubuntu (kernel 4.15) and it had the same clicking problem with 5s no audio :(
I don't know about newer kernels ...
Also a quick google search didn't lead me to a simple solution, right now I don't have time to search for this...
If anyone has a (possible) solution I'm happy to test it on said ubuntu 18.04, since I use it from time to time.
 

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
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2,115
hello, I just tested it with my 18.04 Ubuntu (kernel 4.15) and it had the same clicking problem with 5s no audio :(
I don't know about newer kernels ...
Also a quick google search didn't lead me to a simple solution, right now I don't have time to search for this...
If anyone has a (possible) solution I'm happy to test it on said ubuntu 18.04, since I use it from time to time.

Yikes thats bad.

But its possible 5.15 kernel is better.

I assume you don't want to update to latest LTS release anytime soon ?

Thanks for trying on 18.04 anyway
 

pjoh

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Messages
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22
Yikes thats bad.

But its possible 5.15 kernel is better.

I assume you don't want to update to latest LTS release anytime soon ?

Thanks for trying on 18.04 anyway
Hey, no I don't plan to update it anytime soon because its work related and I don't know if everything will work on 22.04/kernel 5.15...
But I will search for a fix when I have time :)
 

Music1969

Major Contributor
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Feb 19, 2018
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But I will search for a fix when I have time :)

No worries!

Or if you had an RPi4 for example?

And used a distro for music streaming - one with kernel 5.15 or better.

I know DietPi is running 5.15 at the moment.

Do you have anything that can run DietPi? Many SBC's are supported, not just RPi

DietPi supports UPnP, Airplay, Spotify Connect, Roon. I imagine one of those would cover how you listen?
 

carlcamper

Active Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
120
Likes
147
Location
Cavite, Philippines
Hello, I'm new in the forum so please be gentle if I make some mistakes :)



USB Input:
I got rid of the mentioned clicking noises :)
except clicks when the sample rate changes (which is normal as I understood)
1) Download and install XMOS Driver from SMSL Site (obviously choose Dac D-6) : https://www.smsl-audio.com/portal/product/downlist/id/11.html
2) Follow these Instructions to active "Streaming:Always On": https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...os-driver-settings-for-no-cutoff-delay.25838/
The instructions are for another driver but its 100% identical for SMSL Driver
3) Activate "Streaming:Always On" in Driver Control Panel
4) Enjoy D-6 without clicks and/or delay

Toslink/Optical Input:
Slight pop noise at the beginning of each song/sound (e.g. Windows Explorer sound when you change directory).

Bluetooth Input:
Delay of like 1s when starting a song and no sound was playing for ~4-5s, otherwise no delay at all. So I guess its the same "problem" as with the USB input and streaming not always on. I checked the developer Bluetooth settings on my android phone but that option isn't available (right away). So far, I did not put any more energy in this problem, since it does not really bother me.
I'm using LDAC codec with 32bit/96kHz since it should be the best option quality wise?! (LDAC, aptx HD, aptx, AAC and SBC available)

I'm 100% satisfied with this dac now :)
- superb sound quality overall (a lot better than my old M-Audio M-Track Hub and also a lot higher level/volume)
- no clicking noises with USB input (main input for me)
- really good sound quality and connection stability (even through walls) with bluetooth

Btw, why are the sound engineers of smsl not able to solve it, when it was obvious for me that the output is turned of after like 4s of no audio (which causes the clicks) and I just searched for a solution....
Thanks a lot! I hope there's also a way of getting rid of the click sound from a non-Windows USB source like an Android phone :)
 

Ryeno

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2022
Messages
17
Likes
11
Toslink/Optical Input:
Slight pop noise at the beginning of each song/sound (e.g. Windows Explorer sound when you change directory).
So whenever the unit gets no signal and then a signal, it makes a pop sound?
 

pjoh

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Messages
7
Likes
22
No worries!

Or if you had an RPi4 for example?

And used a distro for music streaming - one with kernel 5.15 or better.

I know DietPi is running 5.15 at the moment.

Do you have anything that can run DietPi? Many SBC's are supported, not just RPi

DietPi supports UPnP, Airplay, Spotify Connect, Roon. I imagine one of those would cover how you listen?
Sorry I don't own any of this. I just have dualboot on my pc because I'm a programmer/researcher and have to use linux/ubuntu. I just use Tidal webplayer if I want to listen to some music while working. Maybe I can try it with a fresh ubuntu from a boot device (e.g. usb stick) but I don't have time for that right now ...
 

pjoh

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
Messages
7
Likes
22
Thanks a lot! I hope there's also a way of getting rid of the click sound from a non-Windows USB source like an Android phone :)
If you use it via Bluetooth there are no click noises at all, just a delay of 1-2s when u didn't play audio for more than 5s.
For android USB: There is an option in USB Audio Pro where you can play "silence" over android audio, maybe it has the same effect. But I can't test it cuz I don't have an OTG cabel... and I don't know if there are click/pop noises from android usb at all
 

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
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2,115
I ordered this last week because it ticked all the boxes at a bargain price. I'm pleased as punch that it performs well. Can't wait until it arrives.

How is it going?

Are you getting any of the pops/ticks/clicks a few have reported?

Mine arrives in a couple weeks
 
Last edited:

Music1969

Major Contributor
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It's really great. However, this product has a clicking issue at the beginning when playing music files on the Tidal. I don't know why, but I hope it will be updated soon.

Good job bro
Solved or still an issue?

Was your issue only with Windows source?

Or Linux/macOS ?
 

Music1969

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still with Windows
Do you have an RPi running DietPi or something?

Curious if this is Windows only problem, or also Linux/macOS

There was a potential Windows solution posted 1 page back

 

pjoh

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2022
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Do you have an RPi running DietPi or something?

Curious if this is Windows only problem, or also Linux/macOS

There was a potential Windows solution posted 1 page back

I found a solution for Linux/Ubuntu. You just need PulseAudio installed and follow these instructions: https://askubuntu.com/questions/1015384/keep-audio-awake
Afterwards you get only clicks when changing sample rate. It's the same solution as for Windows, the output is constantly active ...
There are a lot of different settings available by editing /etc/pulse/deamon.conf/.

I'm 100% satisfied now :)
 

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
3,649
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2,115
I found a solution for Linux/Ubuntu. You just need PulseAudio installed and follow these instructions: https://askubuntu.com/questions/1015384/keep-audio-awake
Afterwards you get only clicks when changing sample rate. It's the same solution as for Windows, the output is constantly active ...
There are a lot of different settings available by editing /etc/pulse/deamon.conf/.

I'm 100% satisfied now :)
Great find !

I guess one way you can get rid of the last remaining ticks is to have software upsample to a fixed sample rate - then DAC only sees one sample rate and no more ticks when tracks change sample rate
 

carlcamper

Active Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
120
Likes
147
Location
Cavite, Philippines
If you use it via Bluetooth there are no click noises at all, just a delay of 1-2s when u didn't play audio for more than 5s.
For android USB: There is an option in USB Audio Pro where you can play "silence" over android audio, maybe it has the same effect. But I can't test it cuz I don't have an OTG cabel... and I don't know if there are click/pop noises from android usb at all
I dont use USB audio Pro, sadly. Yes, the issue is still present on Android. Maybe your linux fix will work, but my phone isnt rooted so I cant test it.
 

anli

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2021
Messages
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11
Hi!
To avoid electrical connection I prefer a Toslink over USB to feed a DAC from digital source (a workstation). Are there some reasons why USB can be better at D-6 use case?
 
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