• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

SMSL DO200 MKII DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 9 3.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 15 6.2%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 64 26.3%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 155 63.8%

  • Total voters
    243

sarakyel

Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2020
Messages
15
Likes
50
Location
Finland
This device basically offers the same level of objective performance as the C200 - without the integrated headphone amp - but for twice the price. I really don't see the point to this unit unless you really need an AES-EBU input, and I would tend to think that the audio engineers who do would use professional DAC/ADC units from RME and the likes. Not sure who this DO200 is aimed at...
 

Marcos Mazur

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
65
Likes
10
It seems that SMSL is targeting both analytical and neutral sounding audiences and also laid-back kind at the same time.
It's a good level of professionalism to launch several quality dac's and amp's in short intervals of time.
 

DSJR

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
3,205
Likes
4,318
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
It seems that SMSL is targeting both analytical and neutral sounding audiences and also laid-back kind.
Not sure I understand - it's a *modern* dac right and with performance way in advance of our hearing abilities...
 

anphex

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 14, 2021
Messages
656
Likes
863
Location
Berlin, Germany
*scroll*

*scroll*

*scroll*

Yep, my theory about SMSL emptying their storehouses and slapping all remaining electronics and semiconductors into random new products is taking shape.
 

Marcos Mazur

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
65
Likes
10
If all DACs sound the same, why keep testing them?

I am interested to see some of your research and tests.

I spoke in a somewhat general way, most of it is subjective and things I've seen in several reviews, including here, it also depends on the setup and pairing, for example, DAC in fact are small differences in the case of SMSL is what almost every world attests, but the amps definitely have significant differences, I tested the SMSL SU-9 and it sounds different from the A300 for example, but it is a small difference, which for some may be insignificant but for others a good idea to change, for me for example , that I don't want such an analytical sound.
 

BR52

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
570
Likes
491
Location
Germany
I spoke in a somewhat general way, most of it is subjective and things I've seen in several reviews, including here, it also depends on the setup and pairing, for example, DAC in fact are small differences in the case of SMSL is what almost every world attests, but the amps definitely have significant differences, I tested the SMSL SU-9 and it sounds different from the A300 for example, but it is a small difference, which for some may be insignificant but for others a good idea to change, for me for example , that I don't want such an analytical sound.
Are you sure you're in the right forum, here we are here focused on measurements? There are other, more esoteric in the WWW.
 

Marcos Mazur

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
65
Likes
10
Are you sure you're in the right forum, here we are here focused on measurements? There are other, more esoteric in the WWW.

Okay ''man of science''... It is worth testing the products themselves as ALSO the same product with other equipment and the inability to measure what we have are our hearing, the subjective experience is just as important as the measurement, both are not so separate, the two are a reality as each setup has different gears as well as are reproduced in different rooms, live with it and if there's something really esoteric and nebulous, it's this childishness of treating ''sacred'' scientific data to the point of being bothered by mere comments from a person who is trying to learn and exchange experiences, that even a psychologist can't solve, but anyway, if you look at all the technical dac reviews, most are very interested in the subjective experience as well.
 

BR52

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
570
Likes
491
Location
Germany
kay ''man of science''... It is worth testing the products themselves as ALSO the same product with other equipment and the inability to measure what we have are our hearing, the subjective experience is just as important as the measurement, both are not so separate, the two are a reality as each setup has different gears as well as are reproduced in different rooms, live with it and if there's something really esoteric and nebulous, it's this childishness of treating ''sacred'' scientific data to the point of being bothered by mere comments from a person who is trying to learn and exchange experiences, that even a psychologist can't solve, but anyway, if you look at all the technical dac reviews, most are very interested in the subjective experience as well.
Please ask @amirm, maybe he will change his reviews to be more esoteric.:facepalm:
 

_thelaughingman

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2020
Messages
1,323
Likes
1,937
There are a variety of models with slight or significant differences in sound quality, but all good, from what I researched and tested.
Did you research include listening to the DAC’s in a blind ABX study? Let’s agree to disagree that your research is flawed and missing some key controls
 

prerich

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
307
Likes
218
If all DACs sound the same, why keep testing them?
Seems like they've gone beyond the range of audibility. Seems like there's no use to test anything above say 115 SINAD. Since speakers near the end of the chain, testing more of those would be exciting. What would be really exciting is modeling several in-room responses (typical rooms ...a large, a medium, and a small). Rooms are next to last in the chain ...the last being our ears, but it's up to us to have those tested....and then - if it sounds good to you, be happy.
 

prerich

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
307
Likes
218
Are you sure you're in the right forum, here we are here focused on measurements? There are other, more esoteric in the WWW.
I love measurements as much as the next guy. However, I'd like us to dig further in the chain. I love the speaker reviews the most, but even after that...I'd like to see hypothetical situation in which a well measuring system is placed into a room situation. That would be really interesting. I believe I'm through with DACs as there's nothing else to gain from them - measurement wise ...at least what is audible. We can close the dac files unless we come across something that's just horrible.
 

Marcos Mazur

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2020
Messages
65
Likes
10
Did you research include listening to the DAC’s in a blind ABX study? Let’s agree to disagree that your research is flawed and missing some key controls
Not yet.
I trust my ears but only as subjective data among many others, as certain anecdotal or individual experiences tend to be very similar to others, but I believe that measurements are also necessary, in fact I know that to say with certainty that my ''research'' ' are not accurate and informative for others who seek validity,
 

AndreaT

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 19, 2020
Messages
608
Likes
1,170
Location
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Great product, great price, in line w performance of Gustard X16. It does not stop to amaze me how a few years ago you had to spend North of $ 5,000 for this kind of performance. Something is improving on Mother Earth! Thank you Amir for a splendid review!
 

BR52

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 3, 2021
Messages
570
Likes
491
Location
Germany
However, I'd like us to dig further in the chain. I love the speaker reviews the most, but even after that...I'd like to see hypothetical situation in which a well measuring system is placed into a room situation. That would be really interesting. I believe I'm through with DACs as there's nothing else to gain from them - measurement wise ...at least what is audible. We can close the dac files unless we come across something that's just horrible
I agree the interactions between the building blocks are not covered fully in the measurements here. For example, we seldom have information about output, input impedance of DAC's, Pre-amps, Amp's etc. It can be a difference between an APxx and a real Amp.
 

prerich

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2016
Messages
307
Likes
218
Did you research include listening to the DAC’s in a blind ABX study? Let’s agree to disagree that your research is flawed and missing some key controls
ABX testing of DAC's would be possibly an interesting thing in the reviews...however if DACs all sound the same - seems like it, that will become boring as well. The X factor in listening to a scientifically sound system will always be the room and the condition of the listeners ears. You can have what would be considered a "perfect system", but put it in the wrong room, with a person with less than perfect hearing, combined with the listening paradigm of the subject - that system will "sound" like trash to that person. Toole has done controlled experiments - and I'm a great fan of Toole - I've had the opportunity to engage with him in a private conversation, but I believe that the X-factor - the enigma of human health and the effect of our eclectic room (or lack of) effect user experience directly. This is why people tell people to demo speakers at home - because you and your space are the ultimate X-factor.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom