SMSL DO100PRO Review: Unlocking Audiophile Sound Without the “Audiophile” Price

SMSL DO100PRO Desktop HiFi Balanced DAC

SMSL DO100PRO Desktop HiFi Balanced DAC







What We Dig

  • Great Build Quality
  • Remarkable Sound With Good Separation And Focus
  • Nice Feature Set

What To Think About

  • Bluetooth Could Be A Little More Transparent

SMSL DO100PRO Review: Don’t let its size fool you. It packs a punch with dual DAC chips, MQA, and multiple inputs. Find out why it’s a top pick!

The SMSL DO100PRO is a desktop DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) and digital preamp designed to enhance the audio quality of your music system. It takes digital audio signals from various sources and converts them into analog signals that can be amplified and played through your speakers or headphones.

This standalone DAC (no headamp built-in) boasts impressive specs and features for its price point (like dual DAC chips and an HDMI input). This makes it a compelling option for budding audiophiles looking to upgrade from a DAC/Amp combo to a more capable DAC/Amp separates without spending a ton of cash.

SMSL DO100PRO Review: Build & Design

SMSL DO100PRO Review

The DO100PRO features a compact and sleek design with a sturdy metal casing. Its small footprint makes integrating into any desktop or gaming setup easy. The front panel includes a smooth-turning multi-function knob and a crisp floating glass display showing the input source/sample rate and menu options. The well-laid-out back panel houses various input and output options, which are gold-plated for better conductivity. SMSL always seems to step up its design language and build quality with each new product launch, and the DO100PRO is yet another solidly built product from this company.

SMSL DO100PRO Review: Features

SMSL DO100PRO Review

The SMSL DO100PRO is packed with features that cater to both audiophiles and a/v enthusiasts. At its core are dual ES9039Q2M DAC chips, renowned for their exceptional audio performance, ensuring a detailed and dynamic sound signature. It boasts versatile connectivity with USB, Bluetooth 5.1 (aptX, AAC, SBC), Optical, Coaxial, and HDMI ARC inputs, allowing you to connect various devices effortlessly.

The XMOS XU316 USB receiver ensures seamless handling of high-resolution audio formats. At the same time, MQA decoding unlocks the full potential of Tidal Masters music files for a detailed listening experience (That said, keep in mind that Tidal is getting rid of MQA on July 24th). Whether you prefer RCA or XLR-balanced outputs, the DO100PRO has you covered. And for added convenience, a handy remote control allows you to change inputs and adjust settings quickly.

Speaking of settings, the DO100PRO has a Brightness option to adjust the display panel, a DPLL setting to control jitter, along with a USB setting to switch between USB 1.0 and 2.0 (the latter supports PC drivers), and a PCM Filter option that lets you pick between seven filter options to tweak the sound of the DAC.

SMSL DO100PRO Review: Performance

SMSL DO100PRO Review

Like all of the SMSL DACs I’ve reviewed in the past, the DO100PRO delivers remarkable sound quality, especially considering its price. The dual ES9039Q2M DAC chips provide a detailed, transparent sound signature faithful to the original recording. I find the 9039 to be more tonally even-handed than prior ESS chips, even though it still has some of the trademark ESS edge in the upper midrange. It may be more noticeable with gear and source material that accents this portion of the audioband. On the other hand, the DAC excels at reproducing subtle nuances and powerful dynamics, making it suitable for various music genres.

Listening to the new “Sonido Cosmico” album from Hermanos Gutierrez from Tidal via USB, I was impressed by the focus and layering of this DAC. The placement of the guitar and vocal parts was precise and easy to pick out, and everything sounded organic. That said, this is a $200 DAC, so it isn’t quite as detailed as more expensive DACs, and you will get more depth and separation from a pricier offering such as SMSL’s DO300 DAC ($549).

By the way, I also listened via Bluetooth to test the DO100PRO’s wireless capability. I used my Samsung S22 Ultra to stream TIDAL to the DAC via aptX, and while it was good to listen to in a pinch, I found it to have substantially less detail and depth than the wired connection. That said, it’s good enough for a quick listen while working at your desk.

SMSL DO100PRO Review: Value

SMSL DO100PRO Review

The SMSL DO100PRO offers good value for its price. It provides a substantial portion of the performance from DACs that cost significantly more. You’ll get audiophile-grade sound quality and a wide range of features at a fraction of their cost. It’s an excellent choice for those looking to upgrade from the cheap DongleDACs; I also think it’s a good step up from the combo DAC/Amp units at the same price point. Grab a quality headphone amp like the SMSL C200, and you will learn the virtues of separate audio components.


The SMSL DO100PRO is a recommended desktop DAC for audio enthusiasts and casual listeners alike. It delivers remarkable sound quality, offers versatile connectivity options (including HDMI for A/V use), and supports high-resolution audio formats. While Bluetooth connectivity may not sound the greatest, its impressive performance and affordable price overall make it a good choice in its category. If you want to elevate your audio experience, the DO100PRO is a quality investment.

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