Click to view our Accessibility Statement or contact us with accessibility-related questions
SMSL SAP-1 Headphone Amplifier

SMSL SAP-1 Headphone Amplifier

Where's the price?
To negotiate the best possible price for our customers, we agree to hide prices prior to logging in.
445 requests
Product Description
A simple but functional headphone amplifier for anyone looking to take their desk setup up a notch, the SMSL SAP-1 delivers clean, powerful sound from a compact package. Because it stands vertically, it has an exceptionally small footprint for a class-A amp—5.9 inches deep and 3 inches wide, to be exact Read More

Customer Reviews

(49 reviews)
98% would recommend to a friend
Nov 7, 2020
checkVerified Buyer
Absolutely outstanding little amp
Beautifully built, very discreet and nice looking little amp. I purchased this not expecting much for the price but boy oh boy was I pleasantly surprised. I am truly blown away by how remarkably clear, clean, transparent and neutral this amp is. Running side by side with my Topping A90 and THX AAA 789 (fed through topping D90 DAC, smsl m400, smsl su-9 & Sanskrit 10th mk2) I honestly can say despite the obvious power differences that for $42 this amp is no joke just as clean and transparent as the other 2 amps with all the detail retrieval you could ask. There really isn't much more to say about how impressed I am with the performance of the smsl sap-1. If you don't have overly demanding headphones and your on a budget this amp is an absolute immidiate rec. Seriously, just buy this I mean it's only $42 and easily worth 10x that much it supplied at least 2 watts of power but hey it powers HD 600's just fine. I wouldn't recommend buying for anything more demanding than those are however. Oh yeah and that beautiful volume knob... Yeah it's butter smooth
Recommends this product? Yes
Nov 5, 2020
checkVerified Buyer
A total steal for ~$50
Got my SAP-1 and I've been comparing it to my Topping A30 with Burson V5i-S opamps. That makes the A30 about a $150-$200 amp depending on current pricing. I've been using Shuoer Tape IEMs in the comparison. I can tell virtually no difference between the two. So, I'm definitely impressed, especially considering how solidly built the SAP-1 is. For those that are worried about whether this provides enough juice for headphones with higher impedance, I can say that it seems to provide just slightly less amplification than my DarkVoice 336SE tube amp, which is obviously much larger than the SAP-1. So yeah, at $42 before shipping, this thing is an obvious buy. Why there are no in depth reviews of this little guy on the inter-webs yet is beyond me.
Recommends this product? Yes
Nov 18, 2020
checkVerified Buyer
Works Fine, Looks Great
I’ve had it for a while. First off, when i ordered it we all wanted to know this, so here is the answer for those looking: THE SMALL LHOLE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE FRONT FACE IS A HEX BOLT HOLE, NOT A PORT But for what i can tell it works great. Misc stuff:
  • TLDR (More detailed explanation)
  • little to no noticeable noise (in detail: may be some faint noise when use it to down-amplify a loud source (my Chromecast audio) (and it is thus at the lowest the knob can go) )
  • Looks Great (Subjective but the front panel is quite “clean” and just has the knob + ports etc
Complaints: not any, only potential improvements really;
  • more connectors for inputs, mainly xlr and/or a 3.5mm jak
  • a way to turn off the led for low light use (edge case, but when i have the room dark for color grading, or testing a light show, the blue led can SOMEWHAT stand out, it is dim enough to be less bad than my clock)
  • A red led would also help the above issue/be an alternative solution
This is one of my first reviews, so it may be low quality and sorry for that.
Recommends this product? Yes
May 7, 2021
EricLotzeWhy not cover it with a piece of black tape?
Nov 4, 2020
checkVerified Buyer
Really quite nice
Before this I just used a fiio q1 mkII and I would frequently max out the volume on it when using my HE-4XX but on this amp I don't dare going past one on the volume and it really is one of a kind at this price. Where else would you find a class a amplifier for 46 DOLLARS it is as good as I could expect Edit: It was 42 dollars not 46.
Recommends this product? Yes
Feb 7, 2021
checkVerified Buyer
Good Class-A Sound
Sound: Pleasantly warmer than what I would consider neutral, with a nice bump to the sound-stage. It feels as if the amp is pulling your headphones a little farther away from your head from where they normally sit. Implied in that is a small dip in detail in the higher/treble frequencies, but as it contributes to the widening effect, I'm not sure sure if I would consider it a detriment to the sound quality Pros: -small size -no wall wart Cons: -channel imbalance at lower volume (evens out at ~9:00) -blue power LED -power switch on the back(not on the front) A note on the channel imbalance: It is common for cheaper volume pots to have this problem, and it is not a manufacturing defect. However on the HD 58X's it's noticeable at what I would consider a slightly-lower-than-normal "content consumption" volume. This is only a problem if you like to listen at a quieter volume, or have sensitive headphones/IEMs, but since it is there, I want to address it. Who is it for: -People with a good THX or Topping amp that want something different. -Anyone in the market for a $100 dollar amp. This matches the sound quality of the other $100 options (Schiit Modi, JDS labs atom, etc), and at the drop price of $42 that I bought it at, it is just the better value. -People who bought the 6XX, or the 58X and want an external amp to get the sound quality they paid for.
Recommends this product? Yes
Feb 11, 2021
profNoI appreciate the note about channel imbalance at lower volume. I'm in the minority who like to listen at lower volumes, and I've run into this with other amps, too. I get that it's not specific to this brand or model, but still helpful to know.
Feb 17, 2021
PrintingPresserNo problem. If you're married to an amp that has this problem, I would suggest getting a DAC with volume controls like a SU-8 or anything from Geshelli labs (Although, from a price to performance perspective, it might just be better to get a 789 or an SH-9 and call it quits).
Nov 19, 2020
checkVerified Buyer
Great headphone amp
Great headphone amp for the most part, four stars because the volume control sucks
Recommends this product? Yes
Nov 30, 2020
checkVerified Buyer
две дырки сзади одна спереди
ничего лишнего
Recommends this product? Yes
Nov 2, 2020
checkVerified Buyer
This is my second Amp I've bought, I'm quite inexperienced with a lot of audio equipment but I'm very happy with this. I bought a FiiO Taishan DAC with DT990 250Ohm headphones and I really like this amp. I takes up the right amount of space on my desk, has a very nice volume control knob, and fits in with the rest of my desk. Really nothing to complain about this especially for the price point. Would recommend for anyone else that is starting to get into beginner audio setups!
Feb 27, 2021
checkVerified Buyer
Excellent Heaphone Amplifier
Firstly, I am not an audiophile (whatever that means) but I do enjoy listening to music with decent headphones so please take this review as a very subjective review by someone more interested in music than specifications or cost of hardware meant to impress. My only other headphone amplifier is a JDS Labs O2 which is an excellent piece of engineering, works very well and didn't require me to sell something in order to purchase it. My preferred way to listen is in a darkened room sitting back in my recliner often with eyes closed. Pros: I quite enjoy the size and heft of the amp. I believe one reason for the added heft is because the power transformer is built into the amplifier. The O2 has an external power transformer which allows for the smaller size and weight. I think this stays put better than the JDS Labs O2. I quite enjoy the large, smooth and easy to access volume control knob located on the top of the amps' front. I find it easier to adjust in a dimly lit room. The O2 has a smallish volume control that is my personal pet peeve with it. The rocker type power switch is located on the rear of the amplifier. It is a comfortable switch, easy to find in the dark but never is in jeopardy of inadvertently being toggled and powering off the amp. I accidentally powered off the O2 a couple times when switching headphones in a dimly lit den. The LED power indicator located below the volume control is cool colored, not intrusive yet very functional. The O2 also has a single LED power indicator. To my way of thinking and listening this is the only indicator necessary for an analog headphone amplifier. Connectivity for signal input and headphone output is also perfect in my opinion. A single pair of RCA jacks in the rear of the amp take my music source. A single 1/4" jack on the front accepts a plug from headphones so equipped. My older Sennheisers have such a plug, however, my HD58x and DT990s are equipped with 1/8" plugs. An adapter is provided for this purpose. The O2 has a 1/8" jack on its front panel for headphones. Regardless of what standard headphone jack is provide I need an adapter depending on which headphones I am listening with. In my opinion, sound quality from the amp is excellent. As best I can tell the frequency response is flat regardless of the volume setting and compared to the the O2 I can discern no distortion . Both channels seem to exhibit the same volume, however, I have not measured this nor am I likely to. The O2 is very good in this respect as well, with perhaps a bit more output available for less sensitive headphones. The cost of this amp was a whopping $42 plus shipping. I saw the same amp advertised in a couple of other online retailers for around $90. This was a real bargain and a major incentive to purchase. Cons: The only negatives I might mention, and they are all tiny issues, are I didn't like the wait. It took over a month to arrive, however, I expected this. Now that I have it I seem to spend more time listening to music now that I have a new toy to play with. The O2 has batteries in it and this amp does not. The only issue here is that should I wish to go into another room it is not as easy because of the power cord. Honestly, this is not a shortcoming of the amplifier but more of an issue of power socket locations in my house. In my opinion if you have the spare change, purchase this amp. I really like this little thing and just enjoy the simplicity and great functionality of this device.
Recommends this product? Yes
Feb 16, 2021
checkVerified Buyer
Awesome form factor, solid build, clean sound but a little under power.
I love the form factor of the SMSL Sap-1 headphones amp. I will pick this anytime over “ifi” audio, I can never get use to the hideous shape of “ifi” form factor. Of course the price is absolutely ridiculous!! It arrived in perfect condition from Drop. The volume knob is smooth, there is no distortion what so ever. The sound is very clean, slightly on the warm side. The only complaint is slightly under power. 2021 July 23rd update. I was wrong about the under power part. I am still a beginner in headphile sector. So I was not too clear about the output impedance. I think it's important to match out impedance of your amp to your headphones. I put this amp away for a few months and recently I plug in my Grado PS1000e to it and I realized I was so wrong. Grado PS1000e Nominal Impedance: 32 ohms and it works perfectly with my SMSL Sap 1. I am using a Ibasso DX160 as source, Xduoo XD05 Plus as a DAC. My Grado PS1000e sounds so smooth and at 9:00 o'clock the sound is perfect and anything above it will be loud. The sound of SMSL SAP1 is warmth, sound stage is good, sound separation is also very reasonable. I think the value of this amp is exceeded $100 value.

Recommends this product? Yes
Showing 13 of 59
Related Products