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SMSL DO100 Review (Stereo DAC)

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

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

    Votes: 6 1.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 30 9.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 275 87.9%

  • Total voters
    313

doug2761

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How bad is that? I am considering this unit, but kinda worried after reading your reports
I've had one for a few months now in place of my Chord Qutest. It works fine for me and I don't hear any noises. One exception is that on startup it defaults to DSD and on the first song played there is a pop when it changes to PCM. It doesn't do that again after the initial one even if switching back to DSD and PCM. I just leave it on. No other issues. Reviewers don't seem to talk about these sorts of clicks and pops that can happen on start up so it's a bit of a dice roll on any given model.
 

Graham849

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How bad is that? I am considering this unit, but kinda worried after reading your reports
It's not bad, only there if I turn it off on the unit and not disconnected from power.. I leave it on 24/7. I have been using it for 5 months. I think its great value for money.
 

SmokinJoe

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Oct 4, 2022
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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/
Can the XLR and RCA outputs be used simultaneously?
 

panther

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If I got this and paired with the AO200, which device would control the volume?
 

GPJ

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If I got this and paired with the AO200, which device would control the volume?

Use the AO200 for volume control. If I had the AO200 I would connect my DO100 to it with XLR cables. Then just run the volume of the DAC all the way to max (99). There is no DAC mode on the DO100, but using max volume will be the same thing so just do that.
 

panther

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Use the AO200 for volume control. If I had the AO200 I would connect my DO100 to it with XLR cables. Then just run the volume of the DAC all the way to max (99). There is no DAC mode on the DO100, but using max volume will be the same thing so just do that.
Thank you, this is what I kinda thought but glad to have some feedback.
 
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kolestonin

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Jul 5, 2021
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I use this is as a dac with a pre amp so I don't need to use the volume function.

Is there a way to make it turn on and off with windows?

My Topping E30 does that and is nice to not have the dac constantly on.

I want to put it in a cabinet and don't have to use the remote.
 
Last edited:

kolestonin

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I guess I will turn off the screen and leave it permanently on.

Standby power is 0.5w according the manual.

So I guess by leaving it on, the consumption will be 0.5w as long as no signal is going through the DAC.

Is my understanding of standby power correct?
 

GPJ

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I currently have a Logitech Squeezebox Touch connected by USB to the DO100 by USB (linux OS). When switching to stream DSF files, from say FLAC streams, I get a loud pop in the speakers. After it starts it is OK, but there are pops when switching. It is not a deal breaker. I think the DAC is excellent and I don't have the issue with Win 10. It seems SMSL doesn't update firmware often and I'm not sure this particular issue is fixable. I recently read where it may be a problem with Linux based OS's. Anyway, the DAC is excellent and the I can live with the pops.
 
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GPJ

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FWIW .... the popping doesn't occur on my E50 .... I'd be shocked if this is ever fixed.
 

Bleib

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Yeah I have had some popping on USB connection. It's a bit disappointing.
Try another USB cable. The one I received with the DAC was no good but replacing it worked.
 
Last edited:
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Okay I have just upgraded my speakers to the Magnepan LRS + and also updated my amplifier to the Peachtree Gan400. I currently have my streamer hooked up to a JDS EL dacii . Would this SMSL do 100 be a significant upgrade from the EL dacii or am I just spinning my wheels with this?
 
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It wouldn't.
Room treatment and EQ are the most significant upgrades you can make to your setup, and the latter is free!
I do already have a few room treatments, and I am using the Schitt Freya + with balanced inputs so I can use balanced cables through the whole analog signal. Something that the ELdacii is not going to offer.
 
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I just received the Dac from Amazon and even though I am seeing a 24/96 recording from my streamer app it will not display any more than 44.1 on any recordings. Is it a mode I have to engage to get it to playback high resolution?
 

Bleib

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I just received the Dac from Amazon and even though I am seeing a 24/96 recording from my streamer app it will not display any more than 44.1 on any recordings. Is it a mode I have to engage to get it to playback high resolution?.
Not on the dac. This has to do with the source, possibly windows which resamples everything before sending it out.
 
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