Looking for a way to directly stream music from your mobile phone or other audio device to the stereo system?
With the decreasing popularity of HTPC systems (Home Theater Personal Computer), streaming clients have gained a widespread popularity.
For instance, Bluetooth stereo receiver , like SMSL B1, come with a host of features which not only facilitate audio streaming but further enhance your audio listening experience.
There are already quite a few popular brands like AudioEngine, Fiio amps, Auris, and Bose that are very popular among the masses.
However, one thing that is common among most of these brands is their price tag. The Bluetooth audio amplifiers offered by these brands are expensive.
If you are looking for a reliable brand which offers an extensive range of Bluetooth amps, meanwhile, it also offers exceptional performance in a limited budget, SMSL can be the way to go.
Well, in this review, we will talk about SMSL B1 Bluetooth Input Audio Receiver DAC, a popular product from the brand.
Main Features of SMSL B1
- Advanced Bluetooth BT4.2 plan
- Support APT-X-ray transmission
- Independent DAC and headphone amp design, better sound quality
- High value of stereo transmission, >10 meters trans distance
- 24 hours of continuous playback
Comparing with the hot-sale item SMSL AD18, SMSL B1 has a very compact size, measures only 7*5*2 inches, and weighs 7.2 ounces. So, it is highly portable and light in the weight.
If you want to make sure that your Bluetooth audio amplifier stays hidden in your living room, you will definitely be able to do it with this compact amp.
Besides, SMSL B1 comes with a small Bluetooth antenna, it is easy to fold it if you are not using it.
Build of SMSL B1
The SMSL B1 Bluetooth stereo amplifier has a large dial on the front, which can handle all of its features and functions, such as adjusting volume, selection menu options, and turning the amp on/off.
Unlike the other Bluetooth amplifiers from SMSL, B1 only offers Bluetooth input, while the output interface including 3.5mm headphone jack, Optical, RCA analog and Coax.
Moreover, it is one of the latest breeds of Bluetooth amps that are compatible with APT-X-ray transmission. So, you can easily select the input from the available options with the first selection of the dial.
Besides, SMSL B1 provide the NFC function, which means it is super easy to connect the Bluetooth, using your smart-phone ( with NFC) to approach the sensor area, it would be connected automatically. So, you don’t need to search the Bluetooth signal every time.
Sounds great? Well, let’s move on.
You can switch between speakers and headphones by turning the dial further.
I tested this amplifier with Bluetooth with speakers as well as headphones to accurately judge its performance. As compared to the speakers, I liked the audio quality on headphones better.
But do not misunderstand me on this, because the quality on speakers was good too. It is just too loud for me. Even at lower volume levels, the speakers were very loud.
The next on the menu is the EQ selection.
There are many different EQ settings like rock, jazz, classical, etc. which you can select as per your requirement. I am not a big fan of EQ so I didn’t experiment much with this option.
Move the dial and you can now adjust the bass and treble. There are a total of three different levels in this setting. That is pretty much about setting up this Bluetooth audio amplifier.
Next, let us get to the most important section, the sound quality of SMSL B1.
To test this SMSL B1 receiver, I made it go through Bluetooth streaming, tried its different port, and connected it to my speakers.
It was pretty evident that the sound quality was exceptional across all the different outputs. While the audio was too loud around 30 level, but it was very impressive with my SkullCandy headphones.
The lows were very clear and free from any kind of distortions. I like my music with a bit of bass. The default bass was fine too, when it increased it to the first level, there was a significant improvement in the overall bass, which was pretty adequate for my ears.
I also increased it to the second and third level and the bass actually increased with every increment. While the sound quality started to suffer a little when the bass was above 35. But I was highly satisfied with the bass at the first level and the default bass for that matter.
The inbuilt DAC of this amplifier with Bluetooth is of great quality , and switching between sources is very simple. If you are just a casual listener, I would highly recommend this product.
In case you may wondering the parameter of SMSL B1, we list them all for your reference,
|Bluetooth specification||Bluetooth 4.2|
|Output||Optical,Coaxial,RCA,3.5mm headphone port|
|Optical,Coaxial sampling rate||48 kHz|
|DAC dynamic range||95dB|
|RCA output level||1.8Vems|
|DAC SNR||93 db|
|Built-in battery capacity||800mAh|
|Last time||24 hours|
|Headphone Amp THD+N||0.03%|
|Digital transmission IC||CS8406-CZZ|
|Headphone Amp IC||MAX97220A|
|Headphone amp output(@0.1% THD+N)|
|Built-in battery capacity||800 mAh|
|Battery lasting time||24 hours|
|Charging time||2.5 hours|
|Accessory||Micro USB cable, antenna|
√ Inbuilt DAC is very good
√ Easy controls
√ Compact and lightweight design
√ Highly durable
√ Excellent sound quality
√ Great product for casual listeners
√ Default base is good
⊙ Distortion when bass is increased at higher volume
I would certainly not recommend SMSL B1 to someone who is professionally into music. But It is a great product for casual listeners.
It has everything that a buyer would expect from a modern Bluetooth stereo amplifier. Right from its build quality, Bluetooth range and reception, sound quality, to its inexpensive price tag, I am thoroughly impressed with this Bluetooth DAC receiver.
If you too are looking for a high-quality product from a brand that has gained a lot of attention, this SMSL B1 can be an excellent choice for you. Just go ahead with the purchase and you will thank me later!