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SMSL DO100 Review (Stereo DAC)

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 1 0.4%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 4 1.4%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 26 9.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 248 88.9%

  • Total voters
    279

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the SMSL DO100 stereo balanced DAC with Bluetooth. It was sent to me by Aoshida Audio and costs US 239.
SMSL DO100 DAC Review Stereo Balanced USB DAC.jpg


Sorry about the fuzzy front panel picture. It looks better in person. The rotary control makes it nice to adjust volume. Back panel is the usual affair but with USB-C connector instead of the usual Type B:

SMSL DO100 DAC Review Stereo Backk Panel Bluetooth Balanced USB DAC.jpg


Nice that AC adapter is built into the unit so you don't have to worry about a dongle. The usual SMSL remote control is provided.

SMSL DO100 Measurements
Let's start with our usual dashboard using XLR balanced out:
SMSL DO100 DAC Measurements Stereo XLR Balanced USB DAC.png

This is superb performance especially at this price, landing the DO100 nicely in our top 20 list of best DACs ever measured:

Top 20 DAC Review 2022 stereo.png


RCA output is just slightly worse:
SMSL DO100 DAC Measurements Stereo Balanced USB DAC.png


Same shows up in dynamic range:

SMSL DO100 DAC Measurements DNR noise Stereo Balanced USB DAC.png


Multitone test shows the extremely low distortion:
SMSL DO100 DAC Measurements Stereo Multitone Balanced USB DAC.png


We are talking 15 dB lower than threshold of hearing folks!

IMD distortion is excellent with ever so slight hint of "ESS IMD Hump:"
SMSL DO100 DAC Measurements Stereo IMD Distortion XLR Balanced USB DAC.png


Jitter performance is superb across all three inputs -- something we don't always see:
SMSL DO100 DAC Measurements Stereo XLR Jitter Balanced USB DAC.png


Linearity is textbook perfect of course:
SMSL DO100 DAC Measurements Stereo XLR Linearity Balanced USB DAC.png


Seven different filters are provided:

SMSL DO100 DAC Measurements Stereo Filter Balanced USB DAC.png



Using the default filter 1, we get incredibly good performance in our wideband distortion measurement:
SMSL DO100 DAC Measurements Stereo Distortion vs frequency XLR Balanced USB DAC.png


Conclusions
This is a flawless performance from SMSL. Every test is aced, leaving no room for any complaint whatsoever. When you consider that this state of the art performance is offered at relatively low cost, it is quite an achievement. There is no excuse left to not opt for full transparency folks.

It is my pleasure to recommend the SMSL DO100.

---------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

F1308

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Congratulations, SMSL.
Just a tiny bit short of perfection.
Add lossless Bluetooth and allow control via an Android APP, removing the price dedicated to the already included remote, and it will be there.
 
Last edited:

Grotti

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What an impressive little unit! And thank you @amirm for being so busy....

At this price point I am on the fence to buy one just out of curiosity. At least in terms of electronics we seem to live in a golden age.
 

VintageFlanker

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Exceptional performance at this price point.:cool:

At least a cheaper alternative (Balanced DAC with physical volume knob and integrated PSU) to the SU-9. This should do a great job when paired with power amps, such as assembled Ncore etc.

Add lossless Bluetooth and it will be there.
Supports both LDAC and Aptx-HD. Should be enough for BT usage...;)
 
Last edited:

Robbo99999

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Very nice! A balanced DAC with remote control and all manner of input options, and perfect measurements whilst not being silly expensive - about the best DAC you could hope to have for 2 channel output. I'd probably get this DAC if I needed balanced outs, but I managed to fix all ground loops so don't really need that, but the extra power associated with balanced out could be useful for some people driving hard to drive headphones (not many of those about though) and of course for solving ground loop problems. Best value / best performance balanced DAC we've seen so far?
 

Astojab

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That looks great and is even a bit cheaper than the E50 I am currently using in my livingroom set up. Does anyone know whether the SMSL remotes are better than the Topping ones, cause the E50 Remote is annoying me (you have to be very precise in pointing the remote towards the DAC).
 

Bleib

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Red_Red

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A priori a very good little Dac indeed, but apart from the Jitter I unfortunately do not see any measurement with the coaxial input...

Can you make them or if it is done put them online? For some of us this is very important!

In any case, thank you, once again Amir, for this test.
 

Red_Red

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Jitter is usually the only measurement where you can see a difference between USB, Spdif, and Toslink with these DACs.
So not always... ;)
And if so, we would just appreciate if Amir clarified it with a sentence like "the measures are equivalent whit the other inputs"
 

TabCam

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Very good measurements is not the only factor for solid engineering IMHO. How does the device react to turning on/off, switches to different types of input 44.1 -> 48 kHz, 16 -> 24, DSD, PCM etc. without any pops are also signs of good engineering. It is even more important with streaming audio as big as it is nowadays, either from an ISP or locally.
 

Bleib

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Very good measurements is not the only factor for solid engineering IMHO. How does the device react to turning on/off, switches to different types of input 44.1 -> 48 kHz, 16 -> 24, DSD, PCM etc. without any pops are also signs of good engineering. It is even more important with streaming audio as big as it is nowadays, either from an ISP or locally.
And maybe this too?

Any high pitched noise (coil whine) coming from DO100?
audible at 5-10 cm from unit.
Taken from other topic
 

AudioSceptic

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the SMSL DO100 stereo balanced DAC with Bluetooth. It was sent to me by Aoshida Audio and costs US 239.
View attachment 208131

Sorry about the fuzzy front panel picture. It looks better in person. The rotary control makes it nice to adjust volume. Back panel is the usual affair but with USB-C connector instead of the usual Type B:

View attachment 208132

Nice that AC adapter is built into the unit so you don't have to worry about a dongle. The usual SMSL remote control is provided.

SMSL DO100 Measurements
Let's start with our usual dashboard using XLR balanced out:
View attachment 208133
This is superb performance especially at this price, landing the DO100 nicely in our top 20 list of best DACs ever measured:

View attachment 208134

RCA output is just slightly worse:
View attachment 208135

Same shows up in dynamic range:

View attachment 208136

Multitone test shows the extremely low distortion:
View attachment 208137

We are talking 15 dB lower than threshold of hearing folks!

IMD distortion is excellent with ever so slight hint of "ESS IMD Hump:"
View attachment 208138

Jitter performance is superb across all three inputs -- something we don't always see:
View attachment 208139

Linearity is textbook perfect of course:
View attachment 208140

Seven different filters are provided:

View attachment 208141


Using the default filter 1, we get incredibly good performance in our wideband distortion measurement:
View attachment 208142

Conclusions
This is a flawless performance from SMSL. Every test is aced, leaving no room for any complaint whatsoever. When you consider that this state of the art performance is offered at relatively low cost, it is quite an achievement. There is no excuse left to not opt for full transparency folks.

It is my pleasure to recommend the SMSL DO100.

---------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Great results. Why doesn't every product using ESS chips allow the user to choose from the range of filters like this one does?
 
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