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SMSL Announces SU-9 Balanced DAC

SMSL Announces SU-9 Balanced DAC

SMSL is known to pack a ton of features into each of their products. The company maintains its intention of providing the best value and sound quality to its customers. SMSL SU-9 is the new upgrade to the previous SU-8 and features a newly developed upgraded circuit design.

The famous audio company has unveiled the latest DAC in DAC family lineup, aiming for high-quality performance at entry-level prices.


SMSL announced the new upgrade to the SU-8, the new SU-9. The SU-9 balanced DAC uses the state-of-the-art ESS Sabre ES9038Pro DAC Chip, 32-bit HyperStream II modulation. The SU-9 has single-ended (RCA) and balanced outputs (XLR) and has a 1.9 inch TFT LCD color display.

The all-new SMSL SU-9 DAC from the brand includes a lot of upgrades. Notable upgrades include a better DAC chip, color display, Bluetooth, MQA support, and improved performance.

The SMSL SU-9 is not the first DAC by SMSL that features the ES9038 Pro DAC chip; weeks ago, the brand announced its DP5 streamer DAC that uses the same chip for Hi-Fi streaming and decoding.


ES9038Pro is currently the highest offering from American DAC chip manufacturing company ESS Technologies. The new SMSL SU-9 DAC supports a wide range of input formats, including: PCM up to 32bit 768kHz, DSD, DoP, and SPDIF. The SU-9 features a front panel with a minimalist style with a color display in the middle, and a rotary encoder on the right.

SMSL has carefully thought the circuit board layout and design through using short tracks for the analog signal to get the highest sound quality. The rotary encoder on the front panel allows for switching between inputs, changing sound color modes, setting the DAC to preamp mode, and digital volume control provided in 99 steps.


USB digital input is handled by XMOS XU-208, enabling the SMSL SU-9 of decoding PCM up to 32bit/768kHz and DSD512 and MQA. Other notable specs include seven user-selectable filters, Bluetooth connectivity, an optimized clock processing circuit, and ES9311 voltage regulators that have an ultra-low noise of 1uVrms.

The SMSL SU-9 DAC follows the company‘s footsteps and includes an internal power supply, which is definitely a plus makes the SU-9 feel heavy, assuring its high quality.

SU-9 includes a digital PLL jitter-reduction system option to reduce jitter to undetectable levels, which is useful when connecting the balanced DAC to optical source connections such as TV.


The SMSL SU-9 includes seven digital filters that are coded in the ESS ES9039Pro DAC chip itself, such as Apodizing linear fast, a fast linear and minimum phase filters, a slow linear and minimum phase filter, along with the traditional brick wall.

For wireless music playback, the SMSL SU-9 also includes a Bluetooth connection and a wireless removable Bluetooth antenna attached to the back panel of the DAC.

Priced at $439.99, the SMSL SU-9 DAC will be released on September 30th, pre-order would be opened at that time and the first batch will be delivered since October 10th. 

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