SMSL HO200 Review



Fully balanced design

SMSL promised us “ultra-compact design, high power output” and if you read the specs sheets, it looks like the HO200 delivers. Output power is rated at 6000mW with a 16ohm charge and 3000mW at 32ohm.

But, what’s even more impressive are THD numbers. With a 32ohm Load, the SMSL HO200 harmonic distortion reaches an abysmal level (0.00006%) while maintaining a very high signal-to-noise ratio (140dB).


Yet, the “piece of resistance” remains the fully-balanced circuitry. I couldn’t open this device as I didn’t have my iFixit kit at the moment, but from the official pics, you can easily see how clean the build is: blackboard, symmetrical op-amp, and MOSFET perfectly aligned and ready to work.

With 4 ultra-low distortion precision linear feedback circuits, a custom ultra-low noise power supply, and Texas Instruments OP-Amp, the amp is advertised as “noiseless, or almost” with just 1.0uV. For comparison, my Cayin iHA-6 should be three-time noisier, and I already have trouble hearing those artifacts.

Last but not least, SMSL gave us some measurements and if I couldn’t do the same, RMS Level and scope are always interesting to look at, from an objective point of view. A-Weighted, the HO200 reaches 4.9Vrms per channel, with 0.00005% THD+N ratio.



The SMSL HO200 bundle is pretty dire.

Inside the box you have :

  • 1x SMSL HO200
  • 1x power plug

And… that’s it. Ok, it may not be the most expensive amplifier out there, but even a simple RCA cable would have been a nice gesture.So yeah you better get an RCA cable or even better, XLR ones before you order this amp. 

For the nerdiest one, here are the graphs and full technical data, for the rest, you can go to the next page already.


Technical Data

  • Model SMSL HO200
  • Type : Headphone amplifier / Pre-Amp
  • Headphone Outputs: 6.35mm / 4.4mm / 6.35mm
  • Pre-amplified Outputs: RCA / XLR
  • Input: RCA / XLR
  • Volume Knob: ALPS Analog
  • THD: 0.00006% (1kHz, 32ohm)
  • SNR: > 140dB
  • Output Noise: 1.0 uV
  • Output impedance (headphone): near 0 ohm
  • Pre-output impedance: 44ohm (balanced) / 22ohm (unbalanced)
  • Gain (Unbalanced): Low(-10dB), Middle(0dB), High(17dB)
  • Gain (Balanced) : Low(-4dB), Middle(6dB), High(23dB)
  • Frequencey Response : 20Hz – 20kHz (0.3dB)


 The review continues on Page five, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.

Page 1: About the brand

Page 2: Design & Build Quality

Page 3: UI & Usage

Page 5: Sound performances

If you arrived on this page directly, please click here to start reading in the beginning:

4.7/5 - (8 votes)

A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.


  • Reply October 15, 2021


    Looking forward to a review of S.M.S.L. AO200 Amplifier and the soon to be released S.M.S.L. DO200 DAC.

    I received my new AO200 amp a few days ago and it’s very impressive. I suspect that SMSL is about to redefine the audiophile budget category.

  • Reply October 15, 2021


    Thanks for the review. I love my m500 but am seeking a balanced option thay works well with the focal clears. As a 90% electro listener… Curious of your favorite few dacs and amps or combo units or suggestions for the focals. Thanks!

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