🔷 SMSL M500

This is the official thread for the SMSL M500

This thread is for discussion and reviews.


  • USB, 2x toslink, spdif in, XLR & RCA out, 1/4 inch headphone out
  • ES9038PRO, XMOS XU-216, Supports MQA
  • 570mw @ 32 ohms headphone out

:red_circle: Hifiguides Amazon Link


Z Reviews


Hey, I have one of these! I use it as a DAC to feed into my RNHP (you guys sold me on that, no regrets!) I’m pretty happy with the M500, although there are a couple of caveats to that.

I got it originally as a DAC/AMP combo with MQA when I decided to build my first proper hifi listening setup. It worked great for that, but when I wanted to listen to local music with Replaygain on, the output was too weak to power my Senn HD650s and just enough to power my Focal Elex. That led me to the RNHP, which is fantastic.

There are a couple little issues though. Sometimes the M500 loses sync with my computer when the computer goes to sleep. Also, there are a couple of hardware flaws that you could run into that have been heavily detailed over at Audio Science Review. There have been multiple hardware revisions, with the most recent one being safe, but people with older versions had some issues. Like signal leakage from one input to another (Z goes over this in his review), slight SINAD/THD degradation when in use for a while due to heat, or people’s units fully bricking if they attempted to upgrade the firmware more than once! While I don’t really care for ASR as a forum, they covered this thing to death over there. It’s definitely worth looking at the thread over there to see how SMSL Official responded to this issue before you consider buying any SMSL products.

It works really well as a DAC for sure, and it’s a great piece of my sweet little setup, but I don’t think I can fully recommend it given all the little issues.

I just got this DAC. A tip, install the drivers for this DAC and find the volume output in the driver control panel and go to volume output, its at -15db by default and set it to 0 if your using it as a DAC and not as anything else. I was wondering why my volume was so low when I hooked it up.

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