DAC/USB DAC - Headphone Amplifier.
S.M.S.L DO100 - HO100

S.M.S.L DO100 - HO100

We got to know SMSL and their products in 2021, when we had the opportunity to review the DO200 d/a converter. Founded in 2009, in Shenzhen, China, the company offers a truly impressive range of products. While writing these lines, their DAC range consisted of no less than twenty devices, while their headphone amplifiers range, is somewhat more… modest, with only twelve models.
Each manufacturer who respects himself aspires to show off his design abilities, by presenting one or more models in an affordable price range, defining, from his perspective, what is possible when cost plays the most important role when buying an audio device. This is a difficult task and yours truly has often expressed the view that what we call "Budget Hi-Fi" is more than just low-priced devices. It is a market field where a designer's ideas and a manufacturer's know-how are hard tested.

That being said, a DAC and headphone amplifier pair with a total price of around €400,- is something that, inevitably, draws attention. The cost is objectively low and it all depends on the quality and the features provided. What can one buy with such an amount?
The SMSL pair we review in the following pages aspires to be an answer to this question. Both D100 and HO100 are designed to be something more than just two devices that simply perform basic tasks, as they include features usually found in a higher price range. How well do they perform then? Let's discover it right away…

Dimitris Stamatakos

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Original Publilcation: 2022/08/28 Last Follow Up: 2022/08/28 Original Language: Greek (Translated)

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