SMSL DL100 Amplifier/DAC Review

Just got one of these in, here some photos including a couple with a ruler to see the size of what amplifier could fit on it. It’s indeed smaller than the DL200 so full size amps like the A90 won’t fit (though the A30Pro fits great). There’s no high gain mode, just a single one. There’s no 4/5 volt switch like was confirmed. Volume control is in decibels (-99 to 0) and not the usual 0-99 on the DL200. It’s got a no oversampling filter with the others, I just kept it on the default for now. The plugs on the front are pretty recessed, so thick connectors might have clearance issues. It runs ice cold, even under heavy load for an hour or so. I ran different file formats like DSF (SACD) and it handled them well with the current SMSL driver in Foobar2000. The 4.4mm jack is smooth now, previous models have been pretty scratchy inserting a plug until worn in.

One nice thing is there’s no tick/pop when switching bit rates like on the DL200 and D-6s, so speaker people rejoice. All the rest checks out, Bluetooth 5.1 works well, but didn’t try the HDMI yet. Coax and Optical is smooth even with a cheap Sybasonic I use to test for functionality. Noise floor is silent when pausing a song with 18 ohm IEMs and turning the volume up to listen for a hiss, nothing to hear. I’ll believe the power rating when I see measurements, I remember the DL200 in high gain being a lot more impressive. If I was going to pair this to an amplifier, it would be the Drop SMSL HO150x which would easily fit, and has twice the power. I have an H300 and H400 but doubt those or the A90 are going to fit on it.

It sounds great, and I’m sure this will measure really well. I just don’t know why they made it smaller when the XLR plugs on the back are larger than the DL200 with it’s 1/4" balanced outputs. One really nice feature is the volume wheel is so far away from the headphone jacks, no chance you’ll run into them. The wheel is smooth, but has soft clicks for each DB change. Overall it’s really nice, but if you plan to put a full size amp on it, check the ruler measurements I did to make sure it’ll fit. It uses the standard RC-8C remote that comes with many of their other things. As you can see, the XLR connectors are upside down, so short 6" interconnects won’t work, 1ft or longer are best so you have some room to twist them.

It’s a great value for a 5.1 volt DAC with XLR and not 1/4" RCA if you have a ton of XLR cables already. The display turns off completely with an adjustable timeout. People with speakers will like this a lot more than the DL200 or D-6s, which make a slight pop when switching bit rates. This is a different chipset and is silent when switching. Also the 4.4mm connector is smooth on this one, other recent models like the M300SE and DL200 felt pretty “grindy” rough when inserting a plug. If it’s not enough power down the road, the Drop SMSL HO150x or Topping A30Pro are my top choices to sit on top of it.

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