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.
- 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)
- Size : 210mm x 170mm x 40mm
- Weight : 1230g
- Price : $399
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: