Gustard A22 vs SMSL M400 Comparison Chart

In our latest battle of the DACs, the Gustard A22 DAC is compared to the SMSL M400 MQA DAC! The specs and influencer reviews are laid out for you to shop and compare before you buy, so read on, see how they stack up, and make an informed purchase decision! If you have any questions, please contact our Support Team who are standing by to assist you.

Gustard A22 DAC

S.M.S.L M400 DAC


$1,179.99 USD (Standard)

$1,259.99 (MQA)

$859.99 (USD)


13 x 10.2 x 2.56 (in)

33 x 26 x 6.5 (cm)

8.46 x 1.7 x 8.66 (in)

21.5 x 4.3 x 22 (cm)


15.4 (lbs; includes packaging)

7 (kg; includes packaging)

3.4 (lbs)

1.5 (kg)

D/A Chip

AKM AK4499 (2x)

AKM AK4499


  • USB
  • IIS
  • Optical
  • Coaxial
  • SPDIF, AES/EBU (all)
  • XLR (Single)
  • MQA (MQA Version Only)
  • USB
  • Optical
  • Coaxial
  • Bluetooth
  • MQA


  • Balanced XLR
  • Single Ended RCA
  • XLR
  • RCA


  • None
  • aptX HD
  • LDAC
  • 5.0

USB Interface

  • XMOS XU208


Sampling Rates

USB: 44.1-768 kHz/16-32 bit, DSD64-DSD256 (DoP), DSD64-DSD512 (native)

IIS: 44.1-768kHz/16-32bit, DSD64-DSD256 (DoP); DSD64-512 (native)

Coaxial, AES: 44.1-384 kHz/16-24 bit, DSD64-DSD128 (DoP)

Optical: 44.1-192 kHz/16-24 bit, DSD64 (DoP)

USB: PCM up to 44.1bit 768kHz /DSD 2.8224 to 22.5792MHz

IIS: PCM up to 44.1bit 768kHz /DSD 2.8224 to 22.5792MHz

Coaxial, Optical, AES: PCM up to 44.1bit 192kHz

Dynamic Range

  • 124 dB
  • XLR: 131 dB
  • RCA: 125 dB

Influencer Sound Opinion

“A22 presented itself open wide sounding, with a precise pin-point imaging. It was slightly smaller sounding compared to the Audio-GD R7 but at the same time the sharpness and leading edge was considerably better defined on the A22. It sounded impressively clear and detailed; I was particularly impressed by the top-end. 

I connected sensitive IEMs as FiiO FH7, I pushed the volume much higher than my comfortable level and started listening to some of my favorite tracks. No matter how hard I pressed myself, the good power filtering said its final words in here, background is simply as black as I’ve heard on any other top-performing DACs. ...I’m pleased to report, that I experienced absolutely the same in the speaker setup.

DAC-A22 is a very resolving and transparent sounding DAC and if resolution is your thing, it could be easily compared to the best ones. This is still the second AK4499 based DAC that I have listened to, but boy, it already outperformed most of the ES9038 PRO based DACs and some of them at higher price points.

It’s not hot news to anyone that out of all D/S sigma DACs, a dual mono AKM design can’t be beaten at their own game and A22 is not shy in showing that off. Even the cheaper Topping D90, sounded exceptionally airy and almost limitless in terms of width. A22, with a close to zero crosstalk, especially on the XLR output is making even crowded hardcore very manageable and easy to focus on anything you want.”

—Sandu Vitalie,

“[My] friend who actually records music, he listens to them in live events and he listens to them at home and he said that this this [S.M.S.L. 400] reproduced the music that he heard live closer to the real thing than the other DAC that he had….in the past he cannot listen without a subwoofer, but because there's good bass with this SMSL, he can actually listen even without a subwoofer. The only thing he probably needs to do is probably get a super tweeter for it, because the top end is a bit rolled off with the tiler and given the SMSL is a neutral deck — whatever you have will sound exactly the way it's meant to be. For those of you who want that boosted top pen, this is not it; it will reveal exactly what your system is.”

—Thomas & Stereo

Influencer Conclusion

“DAC-A22 shown to me that if you know how, musical and smooth sounding sources can still be made with flagship D/S chips too. I had absolutely nothing to reproach in the frequency response as from the lowest to the highest octaves, everything was preserved clean, defined and transparent. I consider it having an amazing tonal balance, offering a warmer and heavier tonality, add that impressive holographic image, a wide soundstage on all axes, a smoother presentation and you could listen to music all day long without any listening fatigue.

It also got the title as the best preamp from all DAC + preamp combos that I have tested around here so if you are searching for a nice All-in-One, this just might be the best option for you.”

—Sandu Vitalie,

“If you have decided to go for a neutral-sounding DAC, that's your direction

you've decided...I say save up and get this DAC. The reason is because once you get this DAC you no longer need to upgrade, unless you're thinking to skip to the $4,000 - 6,000 area. Your system bottleneck will no longer be the DAC. But, it's very important this has to be your taste, if you like something with a bit more color, then of course you look at the other DACs, but if you want a neutral DAC this is what you get.”

—Thomas & Stereo

Apos Audio Customer Reviews

Take a look at the community reviews: Gustard A22 DAC

Take a look at the community reviews:  SMSL M400 MQA DAC

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