Article smsl m300 mkii review
China’s SMSL has a real hit on its hands with this new entry-level DAC. It’s fully-featured with digital inputs via TOSLINK and coaxial as well as a (micro)USB that doubles as power and supports PCM up to 768kHz as well as native DSD512. Analog outputs are dual single-ended RCA and balanced XLR. It also comes with a 1.5’’ IPS display on the tempered glass front panel that indicates the active input, returns sample rate input info and provides a nice splash of color.
SMSL ditched the mediocre sounding AK4452 found in their previous M100 DAC and went with Asahi Kasei’s premium chip, the AK4493 that contains some of that mambo-jumbo also called Velvet Sound Technology, which supposedly tames a bit the top end and adds a bit more life to the midrange compared to say an ESS Sabre design. It’s also a multi-output DAC with a built-in headphone amplifier supporting Bluetooth 5.0 with apt-X support, which should be fast enough for most.
The M300 is packed in a small box, reminiscent of the Topping E30, with plenty of black foam to protect it. It includes the unit itself, 8 transparent silicone feet, a Hi-Res Audio sticker, an after-sales service card and user manual. A single USB Type-A to Micro-USB cable is also included which will provide both the signal and the power for the DAC.