SMSL AD18 Bluetooth Amplifier 80W Power Amplifier Review
Are you looking for a FDA( Full digital amplifier)?
If yes, you can take a look at this SMSL AD18 80W2 Bluetooth 4.2 HIFI USB DSP Digital Decoding Power Amplifier. ( SMSL just complete the updated in September 2017) .
So, without wasting anymore time, we are now going to take a look at all the things on this amplifier.
Main features of SMSL AD18
- AD 18 is a small full digital class bluetooth amplifier with built-in independent headphone amplifier , and it supports subwoofer output.
- It can connect to your computer and use it to drive your headphones with an amplifier or to power your passive speakers(4ohm speaker produces 80Wx2 output power).
- Sophisticated matting aluminum housing reduces interference.
- Patented SDB sound and +-8 level treble and bass adjustment.
- Independent headphone amplifier design and advanced DSP technology makes the unit more desirable.
Build of SMSL AD18
AD18 is the flagship amplifier in the SMSL AD series product line. It is portable design and equipping with a 1.44 inch TFT color screen on the front panel, so you can see the real time information on that screen.
It is pretty small if you compare it with the NAD or Onkyo. Almost half size of a brick, pretty light as well. And It comes with a bluetooth antenna which needs to be fixed to the slot.
The funnily thing is that the power adapter has almost the same size as the amp.
The chassis is strong enough, and the usage is very intuitive and quite brilliant effort at simplicity by SMSL engineers.
There is a large dial on the front panel of SMSL AD18. It is an all-in-one button for multiple usage, volume control, power on/off and menu selection.
Besides, AD18 comes with a aluminum remote, and it is pretty small, only half size of a credit card . All functions can be controlled by the remote, and again, it is very intuitive.
PS: for transport security reasons, the battery was not installed in the remote, so you need to install them before operation.
What is the output power for SMSL AD18 ? It is 80W*2 (4ohm)
First menu selection is for sources five in total Aux, Optical, Micro USB, Coax and Bluetooth. BT is 4.2 and aptx compatible. Coax is a jack type and not RCA type.
Second option is to select the output between headphones and speakers ; it has a very good headphone amp output.
Third is EQ : if offers 6 settings jazz, rock etc. Next menu is for bass and treble settings, only +/- 3 levels, Next option to change the display color from white, blue or green all with very good visibility overall.
The supplied manual is pretty basic, but it is useful.
Does SMSL AD18 need to install the driver when you are connecting with Windows 10 PC? The answer is no need.
SMSL AD18 provide two connection options,
- Bluetooth connection directly. Search SMSL Bluetooth 4.2.
- Using NFC connection. What does it means?
Well, there is a NFC sensor area on the body of AD18, you can use your smart phone to connect the AD18 by approaching the sensor parts. So, you don’t need to connect it by searching the Bluetooth manually each time. It is more convenience.
Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Well, it has happened.
Sound of SMSL AD18
The sound is amazing, great bass and a nice warm quality. The 80Wx2 power rating might be a little optimistic, but it DOES seem to hold its own against a 60w Yamaha A-S301.
When I connected to its Bluetooth for iPhone streaming, the sound was very clear and free from any kind of distortion. The reception and range of its Bluetooth is impressive. I can walk across my whole house while maintaining a stable connection
I used my headphones to listen and the built-in headphone amp works great too. Then when I switched to speakers, the sound was again very much engaging.
In short, all the inputs works as expected, except the aux, so, if you generally rely on analog sources, AD18 might not be the best choice for you.
The good thing is that there is a subwoofer output for SMSL AD18, so that you can drive your small bookshelf speakers plenty loudly.
|Signal-to-noise ratio||90 dB|
|Power amplifier output powe||80 W x 2(4 ohm)|
|Headphone output, 32 ohm||53 mW at 0.04% THD|
|EQ quality||7 kinds|
|Treble adjustable range||+/- 8 dB|
|Bass adjustment range||+/- 8 dB|
|Bluetooth specification||Bluetooth 4.2, support Apt-x|
|Input interface||USB, coaxial, 3.5mm analog, Bluetooth, 2 optical|
|Output interface||Amplifier output port, headphone port|
|Chip||TAS5508C, TAS5342A, CS8422, VT1620A, MAX97220A, CS5341|
|USB sampling rate||16 bit 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz; 24 bit 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 96 kHz|
|USB compatibility||USB 2.0|
|Optical fiber sampling rate||16 bit 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 96 kHz, 192 kHz|
|Coaxial sampling rate||16 bit 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 96 kHz, 192 kHz|
|Power amplifier power consumption||50 W|
|Amp consumption||4 W|
|Standby power||0.8 W|
|Supply voltage||24 V|
|Dimensions||10.8 x 9.1 x 2.9 in (27.5 x 23.1 x 7.4 cm)|
√ Very good Bluetooth connection
√ Compact size, Good build quality, led display
√ Patent SDB (SMSL Dynamic Bass) sound, good sound quality
√ Have bunch of useful line in/connection
√ Good on board DAC
√ Variety EQ setting
⊙ Poor quality cable
⊙ The others input works fine, but with USB input, after some times using, it plays random (loud) bursts of static
⊙ The manual of remote control is not very clear, some people will get confused about how to use it, and sometimes, the inside battery will die every two or three days
What is in the box?
- SMSL AD18
- Power supply
- MICRO USB cable
- Remote control
AD18 is very easy to use, offers multiple input options, comes with a handy remote control and delivers excellent audio output with different sources.
If you are searching for a Bluetooth, compact and durable amplifier which is not highly expensive, but delivers decent performance , SMSL AD18 is surely a great option.
Alexander Zawadiel Mchome
September 16, 2018 @ 3:42 pm
Hello!Im lnterested with SMSL AD 18 bluetooth Amplifier..I would like to get one.
Im living in Arusha -Tanzania.Please let me know what should I do to have this product.
September 17, 2018 @ 2:55 pm
For your country, the best place to buy SMSL AD18 is Aliexpress.
But if you would like to buy Xduoo product, you can buy on our store.
September 3, 2020 @ 12:13 am
Inside battery dies, what inside battery? Thought this was powered by an adapter?
September 5, 2020 @ 9:45 am
It is powered by adapter.