SMSL IDEA DAC/Amp
SMSL IDEA DAC/Amp
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Product Description
Ideal for driving your IEMs or headphones from a laptop or phone, the SMSL IDEA DAC/amp also works well as a tiny DAC solution. It measures 2.25 inches long and weighs just 9 grams, making it easy to bring everywhere you go Read More

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Goblank
1
Apr 15, 2019
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Great while it lasted. Lasted about a year then just stopped working. Need a better build and usb-c in the next version
Apr 15, 2019
L0L0L0L0L0L
18
Jan 13, 2019
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Had this for over a year, and then it broke. Sounds amazing (compared to onboard sound, at least), but pretty much low quality build, esp, on usb plug and volume button (they pretty much gave up after a year of use) Also extremely hot when on use. If you want something that last a long time, there are better choices.
Jan 13, 2019
Thechansen
28
Jan 4, 2019
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I wish we could have it default to max volume when connecting it. I am using it as my primary DAC for a couple of different amps since it outputs at 2v at max volume. Saved me from having to purchase multiple/haul around my OLdac.
Jan 4, 2019
bunkbail
175
Jun 9, 2018
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I have this one, and tbh it's decent, but nothing great (for music at least). It runs hot, like very hot. If you run this guy at line-level (max volume, 2Vrms) alongside an O2 amp driving a Takstar Pro 82 headphone, you can turn the said headphone into a superb gaming headphone. I'm not kidding, it feels like you're using wallhacks or something. The clarity, pinpoint accuracy and imaging is out of this world! But for music, its kinda meh. A Schiit Fulla 2 or Stoner Acoustics UD125 are more enjoyable than this iDEA, imo.
Jun 9, 2018
satanislove
5
Jun 10, 2018
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Gaming is for girls.
Jun 10, 2018
verifonix
678
Jun 11, 2018
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I quite like girls so it's k
Jun 11, 2018
boolean-julien
244
Jun 8, 2018
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I have one and love it. It's as good as a Dragonfly Red, except better because the noise floor is near non-existent, even on sensitive IEMs.
I'm aware of the USB port issue, and my solution is to never remove the cable. I've been using it for about 6 months like this with no problems.
Jun 8, 2018
rosrock2000
13
Jun 11, 2018
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same been using it for months
Jun 11, 2018
Timewalker
10
May 8, 2018
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I was looking for an ESS-SABRE-based portable DAC/Amp to drive my low impedance office headphones 32ohm & 45ohm and give me clarity of sound and a little extra gain. I'm not a fan of loud volumes as I listen to music for hours.
The SMSL IDEA portable DAC caught my attention during research as did the identical Sabaj DA2 but I've read 80% of reviewers claim the micro USB port is so flimsy that it won't last even a few months. In the end we're talking $75-$85 (regular price) that can go into the bin or go through the hassle and wait of returning faulty items.
I guess someone needs to incorporate this "phenomenal" SABRE9018Q2C DAC into a portable thumb drive style DAC+Amp with the design and build quality of an Audioquest Dragonfly Black 1.5 and price it at $90 (IT MUST HAVE a soldered USB-A at one end, not a micro USB port) I believe this would be a true winner given what's on the market. I won't spend $200 on a thumb-drive style DAC, sorry Dragonfly Red.
I've decided to not take risks with both SMSL Idea & Sabaj DA2 (awesome products on paper just reviews say they are fragile and have compatibility issues). The Dragonfly Black V1.5 still retails for $120 where I live.
SO I ORDERED a HiFime UAE23HD USB DAC (ES9018K2M+SA9023) for $69 (ex-shipping). It is purposely limited to 24bit 96kHz and does not play DSD in exchange for lower power consumption. Will share my opinion when I get the HIFIme if it's worth its money.
May 8, 2018
Timewalker
10
May 8, 2018
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UPDATE: I've just found that the NextDrive Specta actually adopts the ESS Sabre 9018Q2C with a USB A on a cord. Thinking more about it USB A on a braided cable should be durable, the only problem is if the cable breaks you cannot replace it yourself, whereas if USB A is soldered onto the DAC you can buy cables. However, this DAC has great reviews but the cost is $149. @MassDrop this needs to be dropped on your marketplace!
May 8, 2018
PeteMtl
302
Jun 8, 2018
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« I won't spend $200 on a thumb-drive style DAC, sorry Dragonfly Red. »: Well in my humble opinion you should, I strongly recommend the Red. With its 2v output, It can drive 150 or 300 ohms headphones like the HD660S/HD58x or HD600/650/6xx easily, and the sound quality is stellar. No it’s not a power beast, but don't Be fooled by its form factor and size. Some have even compared its sound quality to the Mojo, although I don’t agree, nevertheless for 200$ in my opinion you cannot find a better super-portable DAC/amp, which can be powered by your phone or tablet with the proper Apple or Android adaptor with a Lightning/USB connector
Jun 8, 2018
techroadtrip
3
Jan 30, 2018
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Another SMSL IDEA video review (SABAJ DA2) which might help you to answer some mentioned question here. Also includes proper foobar setup for the native DSD playback really working .


https://youtu.be/XUiCICBqM7k
Jan 30, 2018
DarrylG
40
Jan 30, 2018
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Yes, I have the Idea, and I'm a little apprehensive every time I remove or plug in the usb cable.
Jan 30, 2018
techroadtrip
3
Jan 31, 2018
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I agree. I also have felt it delicate. But I understand that the design idea was to make it really small and purposely small portable dac/amp unfortunately it doesn't go with a general fragility of micro usb port. Basically as I said the cables you connect it with are more heavier than the DAC itself. But still from my point of view it's understandable and for what you are getting it is worth to give it a bit of extra care and always double check it's plugged well.
Jan 31, 2018
Oleksa
45
Jan 29, 2018
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This post is about SMSL customer support.
So I bought SMSL Idea from aliexpress 3-4 months back. Although I liked the sound, but got one very irritative issue: the device was often disconnected from my laptop, as aI believe, because of a loose usb cable socket. I wrote reg. the same to the Seller . He asked to make a video proving the issue and promised to forward it to the Manufacturer. I actually was very sceptic about any positive solution but did as he asked. Then in a few days the Seller sent me a tracking number. When I asked for what was that, he replied that the Manufacturer sent me completely new device!
Jan 29, 2018
Oleksa
45
Mar 8, 2018
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Update: I indeed received completely new devise. It is working very good.
Mar 8, 2018
GuyInPittsburgh
139
Jan 26, 2018
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SMSL or Nuforce.....same shit here EVERY day lately. Hey, Massdrop, did you know that there are actually more than these two manufacturers in the audiophile world? And, did you know that many (If not most) make even better products. Do you need someone to help you use Google to find them?
Please, please, please,......ENOUGH from SMSL and Nuforce!!!
Jan 26, 2018
Saaki
2
Jan 18, 2018
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Looking to sell a black one of these. Like new, only used a hand full of times. Please let me know if you're interested!
Jan 18, 2018
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