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SMSL DP3 HIFI Bluetooth Music Player Balanced Headphone Amplifier DSD256 Apt-X 2.4G/5G Wifi

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by smallcaps, May 12, 2018.
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  1. smallcaps
    SMSL DP3 HIFI Bluetooth Music Player Balanced Headphone Amplifier DSD256 Apt-X 2.4G/5G Wifi


    The SMSL DP3 has a rich collection of features that include a decent set of connectivity and network support, as well as HiBy Link so you can control the player via an Android device. Headphone out includes a balanced, 4 pin XLR jack along with a 6.3mm single ended one. Output impedance for the headphone jacks seems to be quite high, so you would need an attenuator for use with IEMs or other sensitive headphones.
    Input connections are geared for a network environment and include: 100BASE-TX LAN port, wifi, bluetooth dual way transmission, Micro SD card, and 2 USB ports for what looks to be HDD storage, along with the pair of headphone jacks. Outputs include micro USB, optical, coaxial, AES and RCA. Shame there isn't balanced XLR outputs, and there seems to be no way to connect this to a source such as a computer via optical, coax or USB input as all those options are outputs in the DP3, so the primary utility is for media streaming and playback. Control directly on the device looks centered around the jog dial and screen. Unsure how usable this is going to be but it's nice that its there. As a standalone device or paired with a large hard drive or NAS, it does have the potential to be an all-in-one connected solution for any room or office. Throw in a couple powered monitors and it becomes a quasi-integrated amp solution, perfect for small room listening or workstation environments.
    Current pricing on sites like Aliexpress, Ebay and Amazon peg it at $279 USD. Interested to see if this will hit Massdrop anytime soon, as for the price I would be tempted to roll the dice as I have an environment that could utilize one.
    This is looking to be a good all-in-one candidate for my workplace desktop rig, and it seems to be quite affordable if you're pushing mid-fi cans. From a feature set perspective, I just wish it had more DAC I/O functionality. I recently picked up the HE4xx during the last drop and I'm hoping it will pair acceptably with the DP3. Besides the convenience of connectivity and storage support should enable it to function in a number of usecases... but how does it sound?!

    I'll add links to member reviews as they come in. Also made a Head Gear page so please share you impressions and reviews. I'll try to update this post as more info comes in.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  2. smallcaps
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  3. mp29k
    Huge missed opportunity to not offer even a single DAC input. Seems such a shame to offer such an awesome DAC and not allow input to it from anywhere other than LAN files or wireless. For example, this could be awesome to act as integrated DAC for something like a CD player and or a TV and then use the RCA analog outs to go to a nice tube integrated amp with a single input. I don't understand why they have so many digital Outputs on a DAC like this. Why would I want to send a digital signal out to another dac when this one has good DAC internal... product doesn't make much sense...
    Ab10 and smallcaps like this.
  4. tylerindianapolis
    in the user manual it says “USB mode: The Micro USB is set as *USB disk mode* the DP3 in this mode you can access micro SD card in your computer.
    **The Micro USB is set as *DAC mode* in this mode the DP3 is turned into a ***USB DAC***, the computer’s audio playback software can be used to play the computer’s music files thru this unit**<—does that not mean it is also a DAC. i am going to try to use with CCK and IOS but mostly the computer and the NAS.

    ok. gotcha. i think i understand what you are saying. well use apple TV then airplay or bluetooth it back to this device and set up optical out to your surround sound system. get the optical back on the Apple TV4K :)
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
    smallcaps likes this.
  5. smallcaps
    I haven't looked at the manual. Would it be possible to link here and I'll add it to the op?

    If it does indeed offer usb DAC functionality, then it would be marginally better then what I thought it was. i/o could always be better (XLR balanced outs would be my pick), but for the price it still looks to be a good value, compared to picking up a mid-fi DAP for transport purposes, especially if you don't intend to move it much.
  6. tylerindianapolis
  7. Ab10
    OMG...I thought Coaxial and Optical are also input - Didn't realize at all they are output, (Thanks to fellow member mp29k) - Even DP1 got One Optical Input One Optical Output, This time SMSL skip that - Totally dumb move. So far I thought Micro USB + Coaxial +Optical all are input and Line Out + AES at the Back are only output....Jeeze.

    Also, like to know if that Screen can be turned off when not in use ? Say playing a long list of playlist...Or always on so that it can be burned and blow off.

    Edit : - Got it screen can be turn off - Source the manual page

    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    smallcaps likes this.
  8. smallcaps
    Here is the only video I could find on YouTube. Any Cantonese peeps can help out with a quick & dirty (that's what sh..) translate?

    Ab10 and tylerindianapolis like this.
  9. Aoshida
    tylerindianapolis likes this.
  10. tylerindianapolis
    Here are the steps to make this happen.
    1. Go to your Video Manager.
    2. Next to the video you want to translate select Edit. ...
    3. Under the video, select the Subtitles and CC tab.
    4. Click Add new subtitles or CC and choose the language that you want to translate your video title, description, and captions into.
    smallcaps likes this.
  11. Ab10
    Eagerly waiting to know more about this product - What are Drawbacks etc...
  12. tylerindianapolis
    8CEB6998-3797-4921-BA28-E1C47A2A0EAE.jpeg i have used a lot of its features. but in the end i use it as a DAC connected to my laptop. sounds good with my hifiman 400i and sony mdra1 headphones.

    Airplay works good. If i stopped using airplay i would have to toggle it off/on to get it to be available.
    DLNA works good with my QNAP
    Bluetooth works i am not a pro at sound but i hear a little loss but it says it has APTX I have never been able to figure out how all the underlying BT options are on or off with IOS.
    it has 2 usb ports to hook up a hard drive too i have not done that but it is there.
    it says the usb ports can connect to another DAC? tried to connect to a couple other dacs and could not get it to work. don’t know why one would anyways but i thought maybe i could have 2 dacs playing at the same time.

    it is pretty neat down the road if i upgrade it i can repurpose this to do a lot of different things since it has digital out via tos, analog, coaxial along with airplay, dlna, and bluetooth.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
    Ab10 and smallcaps like this.
  13. Ab10
    Thanks @ tylerindianapolis for posting initial views - How is the RCA Line Out - Signal quality is clean? My intended use will connect a Speaker Amplifier via RCA and use this player as a standalone player.

    Is this screen enough to browse large music collection in folder mode (I'm only interested in this mode) staying on 200 GB micro SD (Fat32) card and 1 TB Hard Drive (NTFS) ? either option will do for me.

    Not important but do you have any Apt-X device to test with DP3's Apt-X BT? If yes, Still DP3 loses quality?

    Can you check and let me know here.
  14. maxxevv
    Looks good from a pure convenience point of view. The LAN and Wifi most definitely.

    But I believe SMSL is due for an update on the specs soon. There are already 9038Q2M based DAC's that come with BT5.0 at US$100/- less.
  15. Goncalo Costa
    tylerindianapolis, with which other DACs have you connected the SMSL DP3.

    I read that works fine with XMOS and Amanero interfaces but somebody tried with SA9023 and PCM2704 without success.
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