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SMSL D12 DAC & Headphone Amp Review

Rate this DAC & HP Amp

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 16 8.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 101 56.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 61 34.1%

  • Total voters
    179
I prefer a red or blue PCB but black is popular for some reason. If the yellow marked section is for buffers and the red section is for muting then what is the green section for?
View attachment 300312
You have the same green section in SMSL su1.
Edit: the SMSL D6 has it also, on that PCB is says ”mute”. It seems that maybe the red section is something different ?
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I prefer a red or blue PCB but black is popular for some reason. If the yellow marked section is for buffers and the red section is for muting then what is the green section for?
View attachment 300312
you're all wrong. yellow is the output buffer. red is the headphone amp. green is the muting IC.
 
I would think with a really efficient phone like an LCD-X, this might be all anyone would need. Needless to say a steal for those kind of phones.

Could also use this as a starter and add a much more powerful headphone amp later as budget allows.
 
...A year ago performance at this level for this price would have been a 10 out of 10 and topped the charts. Amazing that we can get this level of sophistication at such a low price. Thanks Amir, you have been an incredible force upon the Audio device market. :cool:
Thanx @amirm and thank you "Moore's Law".. for not being dead yet!
:)
 
This might be compatible with the ps5 because of the uac1 switch. Something small like the shanling up5 with uac1/uac2 mode is working for me now, but this with 2 volts will be a great upgrade to power an active speakers.
Sure should, I agree, but @amirm this would have been a great opportunity to have comparison measurments, especially for J-Test but others as well, it's not that often that a product allow that easily to hot switch seamlessly from asynchronous to synchronous. It could be quite informative and interesting.
 
A review by Amir of a budget DAC-amp from SMSL to compare to Amir’s review of Topping’s budget DAC-amp, the DX1…

…hang on, I’ll get back to you with the link to that in a minute…

…erm… ;)
 
Interesting SMSL is using what appears to be identical circuitry in multiple models and the red section is seemingly missing. I'm more curious now. LoL.
View attachment 300362

Green: either a differential to single-end buffer, or just a buffer after that discrete gain/filter stage (red)

The PCB uses noisy buck converters... this is most likely why one channel is noisier than the other. I think that's be left channel.
 
If this is connected to android, can you control the volume with android? Or you need to use the dial or remote?
 
If this is connected to android, can you control the volume with android? Or you need to use the dial or remote?
You can always control the volume with Android.

It's only with iOS or macOS that, depending on which USB DAC you use, the default volume control may be disabled.
 
You can always control the volume with Android.

It's only with iOS or macOS that, depending on which USB DAC you use, the default volume control may be disabled.
Im using a DAC in my car and I have issues controlling the volume unless it's the preamp volume software controller.

I have tried JDs labs atom, topping e30ii and a smsl su1. I can't get it to do the volume when using neutron or uapp. It always does the internal DAC volume instead
 
Im using a DAC in my car and I have issues controlling the volume unless it's the preamp volume software controller.

I have tried JDs labs atom, topping e30ii and a smsl su1. I can't get it to do the volume when using neutron or uapp. It always does the internal DAC volume instead
Neutron and UAPP are special cases in that they completely bypass the Android OS, including Android's default volume control.

If you use UAPP or Neutron, then the default Android volume will not work regardless of what DAC you use.

If however you use regular Apps like YouTube, Spotify, ... that use the default Android audio pipeline, then the default Android volume control will keep working, regardless of what USB DAC you use.
 
If you use UAPP or Neutron, then the default Android volume will not work regardless of what DAC you use.
If however you use regular Apps like YouTube, Spotify, ... that use the default Android audio pipeline, then the default Android volume control will keep working, regardless of what USB DAC you use.
You seem to be in the know, @staticV3;
Have any of the phones (iPhone/Android) ever been tested here for sound quality?
 
You seem to be in the know, @staticV3;
Have any of the phones (iPhone/Android) ever been tested here for sound quality?
Here are those that I remember:

More phones have been tested on 0dB and on RAA.
 
Well i figured out you can reroute the DAC audio using xposed modules on a rooted headunit but it doesn't exsist for my unit. However the d12 does work perfectly with the power dial. I'm just having issues getting the USB DAC being recognized by android so I can use it on Poweramp. So I'll stick to UAPP
 
Does anyone know the torx size for this unit? I want to add a small fan for this unit since I use it in my car. It seems to overheat and it makes a huge loud noise that won't go away unit it cools off.
 
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