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SMSL DO200 MKII DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 9 3.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 14 5.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 64 26.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 151 63.4%

  • Total voters
    238

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the SMSL DO200 MKII stereo USB DAC. It was sent to me by aoshida-audio who is a distributor for SMSL and costs US $469.
SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo Audio Review.jpg

Not much to complain about here as it fits the latest design of SMSL line. I like the clarity of the LCD and large volume indicator. Back panel is a you expect:

SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo back panel bluetooth Audio Review.jpg


Standard SMSL remote control is provided.

SMSL DO200 MKII Measurements
Let's start with our usual dashboard with XLR output:
SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo Audio Measurements.png


Superbly low noise and distortion lands the unit in our 20 best DACs tested as far as sum of distortion and noise:
best midpriced stereo dac review 2023.png


RCA output is nearly as good:
SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC RCA Stereo Audio Measurements.png


Performance is noise limited as is the case with all DACs in this tier:
SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo THD+N vs Level Audio Measurements.png


What noise there is, is very low:

SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo DNR Audio Measurements.png


And well below threshold of audibility (assuming 120 dBSPL playback).

Linearity is perfect:
SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo Linearity Audio Measurements.png


Jitter is almost as perfect:
SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo Jitter  Audio Measurements.png


IMD distortion is well under control:
SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo IMD Distortion Audio Measurements.png


Multitone tone test shows extremely low intermodulation distortion:
SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo Multitone Audio Measurements.png


Unlike some other DACs, there are only three filters to choose from:
SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo Filter Audio Measurements.png

SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo Frequency Response Audio Measurements.png


As noted I would go with the default Fast Linear.

I was a bit surprised to see higher than expected noise level in our wideband test:
SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC RCA Stereo THD vs frequency Audio Measurements.png


Quick look at the spectrum shows that it is due to noise shaping:

SMSL DO200 MKII MQA DAC Balanced Stereo FFT Audio Measurements.png


Actual harmonic distortion is under -130 dB which is superb. So not a concern.

Conclusions
Another superb offering from SMSL in the "mid-price" category of DACs. Don't know what else needs to be said!

I am happy to recommend the SMSL DO200 MKII.
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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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respice finem

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A headphone amp on board would be nice, but this would probably cannibalize the (existing or upcoming) matching separate unit. With such a seperate HPA, the price will probably be equal to RME and such. I'm wondering how many will be sold at this price level.
 
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Talisman

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Not a criticism of this particular product, but more generally I wonder why in slightly more advanced units like this one, of medium size, they cannot insert double coaxial and optical inputs, it would be infinitely more comfortable for those who have many things to connect , and it seems like a triviality to implement.
For example, only the dx3pro+ topping has dual coaxial inputs, and this was enough to make me buy it
 

vkvedam

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Nice! Does this mean that it's not ideal using it as a preamp, correct?
1674811294184.png
 

martijn86

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With so many top 20 DAC's at a reasonable price with balanced output and an internal power supply. I'm going to be nitpicking. It needs a USB-C port, preferably with Power Delivery and I would personally like a trigger.

This performance and price has gone from disruptive to expected.
 

Bleib

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Ellebob

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Not a criticism of this particular product, but more generally I wonder why in slightly more advanced units like this one, of medium size, they cannot insert double coaxial and optical inputs, it would be infinitely more comfortable for those who have many things to connect , and it seems like a triviality to implement.
For example, only the dx3pro+ topping has dual coaxial inputs, and this was enough to make me buy it
I agree and I will add to it I think another miss in products like these and not this one in particular is no HDMI ARC input. I think a lot of people would use something like this for TV but would like not needing a second remote to use it.
 

Rewind

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But does it have the infamous popping sound between DSD tracks that the Gustard X16 and a few other DACs had? I just sent my X16 unit back to Audiophonics.fr for service and updated firmware to make it work according to DSD specification and mute 50ms between tracks.
 

Trell

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A headphone amp on board would be nice, but this would probably cannibalize the (existing or upcoming) matching separate unit. With such a seperate HPA, the price will probably be equal to RME and such. I'm wondering how many will be sold at this price level.
Agree. I would not buy such a SMLS combo as a replacement for my RME ADI-2 DAC FS as the RME has a ton of useful features.
 
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Trouble Maker

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the price will probably be equal to RME and such
Isn't the RME $1300 now? If I'm reading correctly the 'matching' amp for the D0200 is the HO200 which is $399 making this stack under $900. Not really in the same price, or as you mention also feature set bracket, but that's what you should get for over $400 more. For right or wrong the $1k limit probably holds sway for many and this being under it puts it in a good price position.
 

_thelaughingman

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Still waiting on a PEQ/EQ built in on one of these. :rolleyes:
 

respice finem

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Isn't the RME $1300 now? If I'm reading correctly the 'matching' amp for the D0200 is the HO200 which is $399 making this stack under $900. Not really in the same price, or as you mention also feature set bracket, but that's what you should get for over $400 more. For right or wrong the $1k limit probably holds sway for many and this being under it puts it in a good price position.
Oh, indeed. Lucky I bought it when it was cheaper (and a Topping EX5 for the second setup).
So, from today's perspective, I got the latter free :cool:
 
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AudioSceptic

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With so many top 20 DAC's at a reasonable price with balanced output and an internal power supply. I'm going to be nitpicking. It needs a USB-C port, preferably with Power Delivery and I would personally like a trigger.

This performance and price has gone from disruptive to expected.
I agree about USB-C: USB-B looks ancient now. But why Power Delivery? I thought that only applied to devices with rechargeable batteries.
 

droid2000

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Isn't the RME $1300 now? If I'm reading correctly the 'matching' amp for the D0200 is the HO200 which is $399 making this stack under $900. Not really in the same price, or as you mention also feature set bracket, but that's what you should get for over $400 more. For right or wrong the $1k limit probably holds sway for many and this being under it puts it in a good price position.
I just bought one for $1K on Amazon. Plus $100 tax. Free shipping.
 

JimWeir

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Not a criticism of this particular product, but more generally I wonder why in slightly more advanced units like this one, of medium size, they cannot insert double coaxial and optical inputs, it would be infinitely more comfortable for those who have many things to connect , and it seems like a triviality to implement.
For example, only the dx3pro+ topping has dual coaxial inputs, and this was enough to make me buy it
Perhaps there is a market for a digital input device three optical, three coax, 3 HDMI, 3 USB. AES?
 

mdsimon2

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Nice! Does this mean that it's not ideal using it as a preamp, correct?
View attachment 260324

Why? Performance looks noise dominated as it is very linear. I imagine the little up/down between 2-3 volts is the analyzer switching ranges. Overall exactly what I would have expected as the dynamic range measurement is very close to the SINAD measurement which means it is noise dominated.

As a sanity check looks like 117 dB at 2 V and I would expect 0.2 V to be 20 x log(2/0.2) = 20 dB worse and 0.2 V is ~97 dB.

Michael
 
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