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SMSL SU-9 Pro not compatible with Mac

wbenjin

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Jul 14, 2022
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I recently bought a SMSL SU-9 Pro DAC, and it just can't work with Mac. I've tried 2 Macs(MBP 2017 & 2019) and 3 operation systems (10.15 & 12.0 & 13.0), non of them can identify SU-9 Pro with USB connection. Windows 10 and Ubuntu 22.04 both works. Talked to SMSL customer service and they just told me to change a cable or computer or even try connect a ipad (?) After some meaningless conversation with customer service I decide to exchange for another SU-9 Pro, it cost me about 25USD to send the package and pay the customs, but as expected, the new one still can't be identified by Mac.

I am very disappointed with SMSL, they don't care about software or firmware and user experience. I have bought SMSL D-6 DAC and returned because of the annoying pop sound and crappy volume control. Despite SU-9 Pro is in 500-dollar class it sill comes with a cheap-feeling volume knob. Topping also has their own problem (quality control, sample variation, channel imbalance). I think this is the last time I buy China-branded HiFi product. They chasing 120+ SINAD and throw away some very basic principles.
 

Boerd

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Dec 3, 2018
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You get what you pay for... Simple physics. I wouldn't touch Topping/SMSL/miniDSP with a 10 foot pole.
 

cheapsoundguy

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Dec 13, 2021
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There is some serious quality control issues with Topping and SMSL. (I have an early M400). They sound great, but it’s really hit or miss when it comes to quality control and service.
 
OP
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wbenjin

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Update: Doesn't work with SOME Macs
Work: Mac mini 2009, Macbook Pro 15" 2017 with direct USB connection
Doesn't work: Macbook Pro 16" 2019, Macbook Pro 2017 with USB hub.
 
OP
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wbenjin

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What this says to me is that the Macs are the problem, not the DAC.
Seems like what you said, but I think the manufacturer should do compatibility check before release the product. And this is the first time I encountered the compatibility problem between DAC and OS. Maybe there is some issue with XU316 chip and macOS driver.
 

soundaholic

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Jan 7, 2023
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Hey, also had an issue with my Macbook Pro 14' M1 Pro (2021) and the SMSL SU-9n where it randomly cut out. Did send the DAC back.
 

kevinsullivan

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Dec 27, 2022
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I thought for a few weeks that my DAC had stopped being recognized by my MacBook over USB. It had been working great, then I updated the MacOS operating system and BOOM it no longer worked. Haha. Just one of those stupid things: I had *also* changed the input USB setting to bluetooth. As soon as I changed it back to USB, magically my old MacBook Pro, with an updated OS, detected the unit over USB again. Oh well. Glad it's no longer a paperweight again. User error in this case.
 

capdec

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Jun 28, 2022
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Any update on this? I am considering this DAC, I have 3 MAC computers, it would be a deal breaker if this DAC is not compatible with MAC. I am thinking of pairing it with my 2012 mac mini
 

mocenigo

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Dec 8, 2018
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What this says to me is that the Macs are the problem, not the DAC.

No. The problem is the DAC. The manufacturer should ensure that their products work properly with at least the most popular platforms. Today it is an embarrassment to manufacture a DAC that does not work properly with Apple computers.
 

MaxwellsEq

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Aug 18, 2020
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No. The problem is the DAC. The manufacturer should ensure that their products work properly with at least the most popular platforms..
Even if Apple do something mind blowingly, stupidly wrong that other OS developers realise is dumb and so don't make the same mistake?
 

mocenigo

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Even if Apple do something mind blowingly, stupidly wrong that other OS developers realise is dumb and so don't make the same mistake?

And what would be this mistake? It has happened to me in the past that a USB device would not be recognised by an iPhone (never by a macOS machine) and it was always in a beta – and this was fixed within the next two beta releases.

Apple computers are the machines of choice of most audio professionals. Do you really think that Apple would do such a mistake and not notice it? The USB specs are badly written and have various points that are ambiguous. So, suppose both SMSL/Topping and Apple implement the spec as correctly as they can, but there are some not matching parameters, whose is the main responsibility? 99.9% (say) of the USB DACs work with a Mac. So it is the responsibility of the manufacturers of the remaining 0.1% to make sure theirs work. Because other DACs work. And they are the ones selling their DACs into a large market. A customer will just skip that non-working DAC and use another one.

Roberto
 
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