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SMSL IQ Portable DAC/Amp

SMSL IQ Portable DAC/Amp

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Product Description
A flat, portable DAC/amp, the SMSL IQ is best paired with laptops or smartphones and high-end IEMs. To deliver an accurate, reference-quality sound, it uses the well-regarded Sabre 9012Q2C DAC and the second-generation XMOS xCORE-200 XU208 chip Read More

Oct 20, 2018
How does this compare to the topping nx4 dsd? Seems like the nx4 dsd is better although this thing is rather tempting with all the extra stuff
Mar 7, 2018
I acquired one of these recently. Using primarily with Sony MDR-V6 as a desktop DAC on a Windows 10 machine with Foobar2000. No issues installing the driver package. If you want DSD playback that will be a little more tricky with Foobar but not that hard. The DAC in my Android phone is pretty good, probably better than this anyway so I haven't tried it with my phone. Someone asked about the wheel - it's a right/left single click at a time, plus with a push button function to access the menu. If you want to increase or decease the volume more than one step you can simply hold it to the left or right - there is no need to do a single click to change the volume one step at a time unless you want to. Sound is nice, no real complaints so far. I've played 16/44, 24/96, and even DSD256 files with it.
Feb 3, 2018
Will this DAC work with Android phone via USB-C ? Note 8 specifically - Thanks
Feb 3, 2018
What's everyone's opinion on using this as a desktop DAC? I was looking at M8A, which uses a single ESS chip and would pretty much require me to buy a linear supply, ending up costing at least thrice as much as this one.
I do not care much about the amplification as I already have a magni 3. Could still use the amp with my IEMs when outside if I want to; though my axon 7 does a pretty good job, even with my pair of HE560s.
If anyone can share their insight on how an m8/m8a, or even a modi might be better than this one, I'd love to hear them.
Mar 7, 2018
CaptainNemo412I have a Modi2Uber. I'm not set up to A/B test the two DACs and the Modi remains hooked up to my stereo system, not at my desk. If you want something small and portable with DSD capability, then the IQ makes sense. If you don't care about that, then the Modi2Uber is a fine option.
Mar 8, 2018
JMW1Thanks @JMW1 . However, at this point, I am pretty much decided on the Topping NX4 DSD. Lucky for me. A drop opened up just today.
Feb 2, 2018
The DAC specs look great, but that power output looks really low - especially for the unbalanced output which most headphones would use - compared to e.g. my FiiO Q1 (> 190 mW @ 32 Ω, 75 mW @ 150 Ω) which costs half as much.
No mention of battery here and no details on the "big capacity battery" on the manufacturer's product page[1] or in the manual[2], which seems like a rather big oversight for a mobile device, but there are some response curves including one for frequency response above 20 Hz on this device advertised as "10 Hz–100 kHz".
The "USB" support details give little confidence in the DAC support. There is a Zip download which suggests proprietary driver for the limited versions of the two platforms mentioned, neither of which is the platform running on your mobile device. It may work with your Android, iOS or other USB Audio capable device, but apart from mentioning that they package a USB C cable the manufacturer doesn't seem to think it worth mentioning. We probably have to rely on support for the chip.
This may be a good portable DAC+Amp for some easily driven headphones, but the manufacturer is less than forthcoming on some most important details compared to some of their competitors.
[1] [2] (n.b. it's not an English up-and-download)
Feb 4, 2018
AJCxZ0It's for IEMs primarily, as it says in the description. The FiiO Q1 Mark II which features balanced output also has less power output than the Q1, so that might be a trade-off in compact designs that offer both balanced and unbalanced.
Feb 2, 2018
Doesn't state the battery-time, and doesn't state the Crosstalk/Separation spec. Why do these chinese companies hide key specs? Shozy Alien DAP hides the specs, so does Cowon.
MbotCowon is Korean. Also has the specs you mentioned. Not sure about Shozy, but a simple google search should be enough to get those numbers.
So my headphones don't need any amp so tge purchase would be down to whether the DAC is better. How much difference between whatever DAC chip they used and the one in my Note8 can I really expect? Samsung owns AKG so they probably have a few decent audio guys deciding what goes in there I would hope. And if there's a difference, will I even perceive it when in public places? A good DAC is nice but I'm not sure if the added bundle of stuff to have with me is worth it.
Thanks. Would you say the difference is noticeable with ambient noise levels of say, while walking on a sidewalk along city traffic.
Feb 2, 2018
EdTheNerdIn that case, I sure hope your headphones have a decent enough isolation. if not, the dac won't matter much.
Feb 1, 2018
maybe 9018?
Feb 1, 2018
WiHHi_Z3_PuXYes, that's a mistype.
Feb 1, 2018
Regarding that volume knob on the DAC, is it a fully rotating knob or just a 2 direction switch kinda thing that you can't fully turn it?
Feb 1, 2018
Is it me or this looks like a miniature double door refrigerator?
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