SMSL AD18 Bluetooth & USB Power Amplifiersearch

SMSL AD18 Bluetooth & USB Power Amplifier

SMSL AD18 Bluetooth & USB Power Amplifier

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How much did the dac/amp cost on massdrop ?
would it kill you guys to include a picture of the back panel? trying to see if there's a sub woofer output.
welinder
There is.
Can I use 220v power plug?
Seems the consensus is this does pretty well for a speaker amp, but not so much as a headphone amp. Anyone found a good option for a similar 'all in one' solution (DAC/AMP for Speakers and Headphones) that does an equally good job for both in a similar price point give or take $100? Planning on driving a couple Micca MB42x's and Sennheiser HD58X's.
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TomSawyer2112
It seems like the primary complaint about the headphone output is that it struggles to drive certain cans. Though there are a few that speak to the sound quality lacking also. I'm on the fence... I love all the inputs + BT + remote +speaker & headphone output both... but if the sound isn't good then I guess I'll pass.
TomSawyer2112
Honestly, it will power your 58X's well. It manages my 6XX's which require double the power. This amp/dac combo is incredible. I picked it up to power Fluance SX6's and they sound beautiful and I never put the amp passed level 20 (it goes to 65!!). The bluetooth is amazing and works great. I have it all set up to my Xbox but have been using the bluetooth connection from my phone to just play music randomly. It is so easy to just turn on and start playing music from my phone so I listen to music more frequently now. This amp for headphones isn't the most powerful, sure, but it will certainly have enough power to get those 58X's running, and the in-amp bass and treble adjustments will compliment that pair of headphones well if you need a little extra bass or treble. To sum up, yes, this isn't the BEST headphone amp, but it will do it's job well, and for the money this amp has plenty of connection options where other amps just can't compete for this price range. This amp powers speakers very well.
Unfortunately the Massdrop website didn't give me the option to write a review. Perhaps that is because I didn't purchase through MD and therefore am not a "verified purchaser?" At any rate, I really like this unit for what it is: A very tiny speaker amplifier with moderate amounts of power and good sound for the price. Do NOT think of it as a headphone amp, consider it a speaker amp that happens to have a headphone jack as a convenience. With these expectations, I think you'll enjoy this product. I am using it in a bedroom, to drive a pair of cheap polk tower speakers and provide amplified sound for the bedroom TV and blu-ray player, without taking up space or being visibly prominent as a receiver would be. It drives the 6.5" Polk towers to very loud levels, has surprisingly impactful bass, and doesn't sound strained until it is at very high volumes. Best of all, it fits UNDER the screen of the TV. It is much smaller than I anticipated, which is a very good thing for my application. The bluetooth receiver works great and allows me to stream music from my phone to the speakers, and I have had no issues whatsoever with either optical input. If you are seeking a headphone amp, look elsewhere. If you want a tiny speaker amp for non-critical listening that packs a surprising amount of punch and has a wealth of connectivity options, I highly recommend this unit. *** UPDATE *** I like this so much I bought a second one to use at my computer. I have it driving a pair of Klipsch reference series bookshelf speakers, and feeding Klipsch 10" sub via the SMSL's subwoofer line out. I just cannot believe a Class-D amplifier sounds this good. There is space around the instruments, an open, airy sound, smooth and crisp highs, punchy dynamics, and a remarkably thumpy and tight bottom for the size. My Klipsch R-15M speakers can sound slightly bright in the upper mids where I had to pull a couple dB's out via EQ on my prior amp, but it is super smooth via the SMSL without losing any presence. And there is a genuine sense of 3D imaging with near-field monitoring. I hated the sound of the SMSL M8A/9038, but I love this product.
Is the model that has the SUBWOOFER out ?
Own this and love it
Is this drop the second revision with the sub out?
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Thanks!
aellena
You're welcome. Welcome to Massdrop!
Looking at these pics and... baby got back?
if only this thing has an AM/FM....
Does anyone know if the volume control modifies the digital data or operates in the analog space?
bamyasi
It's digital. Knob spins freely and volume can be controlled via the remote
So if I get this right; this has no line-out.
Hence to use the multiple power speaker sets I have and use an Amazon echo as BT input, I'm basically better-off looking elsewhere?
Shame as this would otherwise have been the missing piece of my home audio setup...
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I took the time to post the official SMSL diagram of the back of the unit, which is more than Massdrop did. (Amazingly, they don't even shown a photo of the back of the unit on the main page!)
If you'd have asked, I would have explained to you the function and benefit of having a true analog "Line Out". But after your post full of "dickheadedness", I'll leave that up to you.
For owners (and prospective owners) of the AD18, you can just use its headphone jack as a Line Out substitute.
Yes, if you use the headphone jack on the front as your Line Out for your powered Klipschs. The 3.5mm jack on the rear is a Sub Out on one channel only.
Not sure if this is what I need to play music in my garage while working on my car. I have a set of JBL 3-way floor speakers on top of my cabinets and would like to stream from my Android phone.
The speakers are currently powered by a Sony receiver/amp but it does not have BT and the reception is poor despite a large external antenna. The speakers are 70's vintage, completely rebuilt a few years ago and the receiver is 90's.
Will this unit work for my application or am I rolling the dice? Thanks,
Gary
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Jamie, Thanks for the reply. I think the unit will work ok. I am not looking for excessive power, just enough to be able to listen to music and podcasts while washing and detailing my car. hard to believe that a little unit like this will push big speakers but a lot has happened in electronics.
Luscombe
My unit arrived today. I connected it to the speakers plugged it in and turned it on. I had to turn on the NFC on my phone and connect it with the unit and then I was able to pair the BT with my phone. Not sure if that was the right way but it worked. I can stream thru my phone to the 3-way JBL speakers now. I can get plenty of volume out of the speakers so no worries there. Very happy with the unit. Old amp is going to good will.
I own this. I like it but don't love it. It does the job. I was wondering, though, what the next step up might be. The TEAC ai 101/301 series? Any ideas?
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dcofficehack
That's hard to say, what about it do you not like? What budget are you looking at?
If the amp isn't powerful enough you can always pick up SMSL's SA-98E...but since you mentioned the TEAC, are you more concerned with the fidelity? Could be the integrated DAC. You could always just leave the amp and run your audio source through a better DAC such as Schiit's offerings
dcofficehack
NAD 3020D V2
Has anyone gotten the sub out to work? I have tried 2 different powered subs and 2 different 3.5 to RCA cables and no sound. Didn't see any setting or EQ for the sub.
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Sub out work using a 3.5mm to RCA plugged into Optical 1 of the amp - HOWEVER your amp must be version 2.0 or later for this to work, info shows up at startup, mine is ver 2.1 and I'm running a SA60 pushing a passive 6.5" subwoofer
NathanRobinson
Also you need to use a stereo 3.5mm and the sub only plugs into one of the channels...forgot which one but you can reference the manual
Will these power den hd6xx and hifiman 4xx ?
JustmeAL
Also thinking about buying massdrop plus iem how do they do with lower imp iems?
JustmeAL
Would not get it for the 6xx.
I have DT 770's 80 OHM, and that's what I'm mainly gonna be using it with, for both gaming and music, will these be good?
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get the JDS Labs - Objective2+ODAC Combo ( 2 in 1 box) , guaranteed wont go wrong
neoslover
I guess I'll get that when I upgrade, since it's currently out of my price range, and plus, I already have the AD18
Anyone manage to pair a universal remote with the AD18?
If so, what remote and what codes worked for you?
user33
My Logitech Harmony One works with this. And it's wonderful... The remote that comes with these SMSL amps are complete GARBAGE. Haha. I do enjoy SMSL equipment though. I'm using mine for TV speakers. Optical out from the TV, and in to the AMP with 2 decent Polk bookshelf speakers and a powered sub.
Blackflag486
Fantastic, thanks for the reply! I had read in a number of places how the remote was a weak spot. I'm hoping other universal remotes might work as well, so anyone else feel free to add to the discussion.
Question for the gallery...I'm essentially looking for a DAC only version of this fellow, since I already have an amp I plan to use. In other words, I want RCA jacks out instead of speakers.
On the input side, I need the BT and USB. Optical, coax, etc. are nice to have, but not necessary.
I've been having a bit of a challenge finding the right kit for this. Anybody have a recommendation?
GunsOfBrixton
Right now, the closest I see in an active drop is AUX in/out, on the xDuoo XP-2 Bluetooth & USB DAC/Amp, but there are also a lot of ended drops that matched my search for 'bluetooth DAC" on this site. Hopefully one that matches your specs will be dropped (again) soon.
Someone with more experience than me want to suggest if it's a good idea to use this to power some mid 90's paradigm 9se mk2's? Just moved, procured these speakers and had a lead on a nice Yamaha amp from the same era but someone else bought it. I like the Bluetooth option and size but thinking this may be the bottleneck in the set up. Mainly for vinyl, but thought the Bluetooth would be a nice addition for podcasts. I like the size and reviews look solid so far, but mainly all using modern bookshelf speakers.
milbsy
Those Paradigm are fairly sensitive as speakers go. They're 90dB/1W. They'll do just fine with the AD18 for anything short of party levels.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but it's not uncommon at all for bigger speakers are easier to drive than smaller ones.
GeckoDeLimon
Thanks!
Will this work with 220v power?
Jackel2k
Can't say absolutely, but with the right cord, MOST PROBABLY.
fwiw, Amazon listing for the SMSL AD18 shows a new upgraded remote.
Haven't seen any reviews talk about the new remote yet, curious if it is better than the current one. (it takes AAA batteries rather than the round type the current one takes)

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astroooo
I have the one with AAA, and it works fine.
astroooo
This is the remote I received with my drop yesterday. ⬆️
bugs me you don't show the "Back Panel"........ input wise
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ahhhh, THERE's the sub out. Thanks.
IppoJ
It's a sub out, but the sound that comes out of it isn't what you would expect a normal subout would be. You will hear normal audio out of it.. You'll need a separate powered sub with it's own input levels for it to sound as best as it can.
Have this paired up with KEF Q300s, and it works perfectly, hard to beat this thing for value and features..was one of the people who read 100s of comments for different amps and setups before buying, very happy with my decision =)
I have a question, my use case currently is a Steel-series H wireless taking a usb input from my computer as well as an optical input from my Xbox and outputting both to my headset. Does this amp, or would another one out there allow me to still use multiple inputs mixed at the same time like this?
Vidjagames_72
Not at the same time, but you can listen to one input at a time.
TheFieryHaze
That's what I kinda thought, thank you for the answer.
Received mine and used it over the weekend with Klipsch R-15M bookshelf speakers. It sounds a lot warmer than the other amp I've been using. I think that's a good thing as Klipsch's are known for ear fatigue. I used them for maybe 6 hours straight one night. I highly recommended this amp.
I purchased this on Amazon because I didn't want any issues with returning it if I didn't like it, or ran into quality issues. Guess it was hard for me to get my head around paying less that $150 for a decent amp, which it most certainly is. Had it 3 months now and very pleased - powering KEF Q100s. Gets loud, but does reach a point of distortion perhaps ahead of where I might otherwise expect. Heck, all amps do, but just don't expect this to be 80w with headroom. Haven't tried it with other speakers so its hard to say for certain, but sure seems a little bright, but not badly so. The KEFs are known to be bright, too, and the combo is a very good sound to me, primarily because the Q100s have the bass to offset. Would have no qualms at this point ordering from Massdrop if I wanted another one, which is something you can consider at this price point.
scope
I run the exact same setup! Very impressed
Massdrop, you really need to say which revision you're selling on drops like this. I would love to buy it except that I have no idea whether I'll be getting something I can use with the powered sub I have already.
Good little receiver. I had two. One is setup in living room powering two ELAC 6 speakers. Plenty of power. I sold the other to a friend who hooked it up to two bookshelf and sub out and says its fine. Key on this little guy are features not fidelity. It will power smaller speakers and sound very good. I would not suggest setting up a sub unless your looking to power a small setup in which case two bookshelf with built in low frequency drivers / cone may work better without compromising what wattage you have (2 x 80). If you want good sound your speakers must have enough power.
I purchased this specifically to power two ELACs while streaming Tidal off of an APT X compatible tablet. We walk around the house and can easily use internet radio stations and any streaming services that have an Android app. Its a very functional, great sounding setup.
I would not purchase with the intent of using as a quality "headphone" Amp / DAC. Set expectations understanding this is feature rich at a low cost.
Enjoy.
I'm guessing this does not have a subwoofer output. So this is the older revision.
APhamX
According to all the documentation and previous comments, these are version 3 and have sub out.