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SMSL SU-1 Stereo DAC Review

Rate this DAC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 7 1.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 7 1.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 52 12.6%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 346 84.0%

  • Total voters
    412

Nutul

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2023
Messages
313
Likes
172
I heard about the SU-1 and wanted to check it out myself, so I decided to purchase it.
As rumored, the sound quality is incredible considering the price.
I checked the USB/COAX/OPT input by randomly switching between PCM44.1~768kHz 16/24bit and DSD64~DSD512 files, and the playback operation was extremely smooth and stable. There were no worrisome movements or habits. The workmanship is unbelievable for the price.
The difference in sound quality with higher-end models has become really small.

MQA playback is smoother and more comfortable with the USB input than any other DAC I've tried.
However, switching to COAX/OPT input will result in poor operation.
The beginning of the song is always cut off, which makes me feel strange.
Also, if you stop in the middle of a song and play it again, the sound will come out once and then cut out for 1 to 2 seconds.
This also occurs when changing the playback position. Well, I don't use MQA for COAX/OPT input, so I don't care.
So, in the end, the audio sh*t you are decribing happend only when playing MQA, right?
So, yes, everything is fine with your setup, as nobody cares about MQA. And if someone still does, then may burn in hell.
R.I.P. MQA, once and for all.
 

Toku

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
2,366
Likes
2,755
Location
Japan
So, in the end, the audio sh*t you are decribing happend only when playing MQA, right?
So, yes, everything is fine with your setup, as nobody cares about MQA. And if someone still does, then may burn in hell.
R.I.P. MQA, once and for all.
Yes, it is. MQA playback with OPT/COX is not smooth.
I'm not interested in MQA myself, but since MQA is a feature of the product, I tested it.
 

WinWiz

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
98
Likes
34
So no remote included.
Would it be possible to use a programable ir remote? Or no IR sensor at all?
 

staticV3

Master Contributor
Joined
Aug 29, 2019
Messages
7,102
Likes
11,281
So no remote included.
Would it be possible to use a programable ir remote? Or no IR sensor at all?
I don't think the SU-1 has an IR receiver built-in.

If you're looking for a DAC with remote, then take a look at the SMSL C100 ($120) or Topping E30 II Lite ($100).
 

WinWiz

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
98
Likes
34
I know im gonna get slapped for this but I actually enjoy MQA o_O
-and I have kind of promised my wife not to spend more money on hifi this year...

My HIFI rack is hidden in my attic.
Is it possible to turn the SU-1 ON/OFF with a smart power socket?
 
Last edited:

Toku

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
2,366
Likes
2,755
Location
Japan
I know im gonna get slapped for this but I actually enjoy MQA o_O
-and I have kind of promised my wife not to spend more money on hifi this year...

My HIFI rack is hidden in my attic.
Is it possible to turn the SU-1 ON/OFF with a smart power socket?
Will SU-1 be used by you with OPT/COAX input?
If so, you can operate it by turning the power ON/OFF.
Even if you turn off the power during playback, playback will continue if you turn on the power again.
In the case of USB, if the power is turned off, the connection will be cut off and playback will not start even if the power is turned on again.
 

WinWiz

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
98
Likes
34
Source for the dac would be my wiim pro. So I would probably use Optical connection to avoid any ground issues.

So just to confirm the su-1 does not enter Standby mode when power is interrupted?
 

bobcat11

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2021
Messages
19
Likes
6
Your setup is good enough to be able to show the the differences between the su1 and a better dac. Ive Not heard the z8, but I can say that the DAC I replaced the su1 with is a country mile better and makes the difference between me enjoying music and not. The su1 is decent in a desktop system but is shown up in a ‘proper’ revealing hi-fi.
What dac did you prefer to the su1?
 

wiz2596

Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
67
Likes
46
My brand new smsl su-1 has arrived!!! I'm very surprised in how little this thing is, really cute on my desk
PXL_20231111_181555709.jpg
 

wavetrade

Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2023
Messages
64
Likes
43
what i found really strange is that people will heap crap on the SU-1 but not on its functionally identical brother, the C-100?
I have both and love the SU-1 but not feeling it with the C100. I am sure they are both transparent but in A/B tests I came away with a clear preference for the SU-1. My C100 also came with a very jacked up bluetooth antenna connection (installed way crooked). Maybe that tarnished my impression.

Regarding power, I did a lot of experimenting with the SU1 running it off of everything from a Samsung charger, macbook, mac mini, pc to a battery power bank. They all sounded the same to me. I don't think it is sensitive to dirty power.
 
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Toku

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
2,366
Likes
2,755
Location
Japan
I think the basic parts of the DAC are the same for SU-1 and C100. I think the problem is the poor design of the C100 and the poor image of the product photos.
For some reason, when I look at the C100 product photos, I don't feel like buying it.
 

friedpickles

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2023
Messages
10
Likes
1
I have both and love the SU-1 but not feeling it with the C100. I am sure they are both transparent but in A/B tests I came away with a clear preference for the SU-1. My C100 also came with a very jacked up bluetooth antenna connection (installed way crooked). Maybe that tarnished my impression.

Regarding power, I did a lot of experimenting with the SU1 running it off of everything from a Samsung charger, macbook, mac mini, pc to a battery power bank. They all sounded the same to me. I don't think it is sensitive to dirty power.
is the su-1 noticeably power hungry? planning to use it with my macbook air but worried about the battery life being affected
 

vrobec

Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2020
Messages
64
Likes
15
Any way to use some kind of remote control with this DAC? Any android app or third party remote?
 

ArdaDaMarda

New Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2023
Messages
3
Likes
2
Using Wiim Pro with enable Chromecast to SMSL SU 1...no sound, I can move the volume up and down and show casting but no sound at all. From spotify works fine but not Chromecast.
Were you able to fix this?
 

flexbuffchest

New Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2023
Messages
1
Likes
0
So I'm incredibly embarrassed to even ask this as I'm sure the fix is right in front of my face and the problem seems so stupid, but I can't get any sound out of this and I have no idea what the problem is.

I have A HD660S currently and recently was given a SMSL SU-1. I had to buy an RCA-3.5mm adapter in order to connect it but I get no sound. I've borrowed someone's AudioEngine D1 and it works just fine with the 3.5mm jack but when I try to use the adapter with that I again get no sound. Is there some setting in windows you have to enable or is this most likely a bad adapter I have or do the adapters just not work with HD660S? I'm losing my mind with this as I know the answer is something so simple.
 
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