SMSL M500 vs TOPPING D90 Comparison Chart

Given the popularity of our last comparison chart, Apos has put in a little more elbow work so that you don't have to when it comes to the TOPPING D90 vs SMSL M500. Below you will find the TOPPING D90 vs SMSL M500 comparison chart and we hope it will assist you in your purchasing decision. As always, reach out to us at "contact@apos.audio" at any time if you have further questions!

 

TOPPING D90 DAC

S.M.S.L M500 V2 MQA Amp/DAC

Price

$699.99 (USD)

$399.99 (USD)

Dimensions

1.77 x 8.74 x 6.3 (in)

4.5 x 22.2 x 16 (cm)

3.35 x 3.5 x 7.75 (in)

8.5 x 8.8 x 19.7 (cm)

Weight

6.6 (lbs)

2.9 (kg)

2.0 (lbs)

.91 (kg)

D/A Chip

AKM AK4499

ESS ES9038PRO 

Inputs

  • USB
  • IIS LVDS (HDMI)
  • Optical
  • Coaxial SPDIF
  • AES/EBU
  • Bluetooth
  • MQA (MQA Version only)
  • USB
  • Optical (x2)
  • Coaxial
  • MQA (via USB only)

Outputs

  • Balanced XLR
  • Single Ended RCA
  • XLR
  • RCA
  • RCA Headphone Amplifier

Bluetooth

  • aptX HD
  • LDAC
  • 5.0
  • None

USB Interface

  • XMOS XU208 (Standard)
  • XMOS XU216 (MQA)
  • XMOS-XU208

Sampling Rates

USB: PCM up to 32bit 768kHz / Native DSD up to DSD512 / DSD DoP up to DSD256

IIS: PCM up to 32bit 768kHz / DSD up to DSD512

Coaxial, Optical, AES: PCM up to 24bit 192kHz

USB: PCM 44.1 ~ 768kHz / DSD 2.8224 ~ 22.5792MHz

Coaxial, Optical: PCM 44.1 ~ 192kHz / DSD DSD64(DoP)

Dynamic Range

  • 128 dB
  • XLR 125dB
  • RCA 120dB

Influencer Sound Opinion

D90 is fast, articulate and it hits like a train when it's needed. It doesn’t roll-off sub-bass information and my usual pugilist music as electronica and rock started throwing punches at me, I finally felt a crazy amount of energy and impact. Finally, I can listen to my rock without feeling that something is missing from my music. In this respect, D90 is sounding like a grown-up, balls to the wall DAC with authority has its chin up and knows to impress a music aficionado like myself. Finally, an AKM based DAC with a slam, speed, and impact, the end must be near for sure.

—Sandu Vitalie, Soundnews.net

“Compared to HPA4, the M500 headphone amp section is fairly neutral with just a small emphasis in the upper treble area and in the mid-bass section. It sounds V-shaped a bit, I presume there is a boost of about 2 to 3 dB in those areas just to make it feel airier and more vibrant somehow. M500 loses a bit of holography and spatial cues, but that is understandable given the much higher power reserve HPA4 is having.

Nonetheless, the power reserve of M500 was quite obvious with the Quad ERA-1 and with Sennheiser HD660s and it actually never transformed those headphones into something else. M500 is quite honest sounding, without leaving a big stain on the musical performance.”

—Sandu Vitalie, Soundnews.net

Influencer Conclusion

“I am not that easily impressed when it comes to audio sources, I evaluated more than 20 audio sources last year and out of all of those, probably only 3 of them created goosebump moments for me. D90 is sounding easily in the top 3 DACs I tested at my place at any price point. It sounds so familiar and yet so different compared to other delta-sigma designs that I don’t know how to start this evaluation….Any music I would play, D90 would always unfold it like candy in front of me. It grew on me because I can now listen to even too-crowded and up-front music with ease, D90 makes that a lot more approachable, I can chew that pill much easier, I’m again impressed.”


—Sandu Vitalie, Soundnews.net

“My definition of “giant killer” is this: if the overall performance is close enough in every single category, then for me it makes more sense to purchase the less expensive unit. That's why I call it “giant killer” ...that's why giant killers can be a $300 or $1,000 DAC, it doesn't matter, the price because if a $300

DAC performance is close enough to a $1,000 DAC, that as far as I'm concerned is called a “giant killer.” This TOPPING D90 is a giant killer.”

—Thomas & Stereo

“As a DAC and headphone amp combo, it is a dream come true if you are a streaming head, even better! Tidal Masters sounded amazing and any faults I’ve heard on usual 16-bit tracks were cured with Hi-Res, DSD or MQA content.

As a DAC only device, you have everything you need: an RCA and XLR output and it is volume controllable, meaning it can also work as a digital preamp and the remote control at your fingertips is a very nice addition too.

A full MQA decoder at less than half a grand is something new and slowly but surely SMSL Audio is paving its way in the great sounding equipment category at very affordable prices.”

—Sandu Vitalie, Soundnews.net

Apos Audio Customer Reviews

Take a look at the community reviews: TOPPING D90 DAC

Take a look at the community reviews:  SMSL M500 DAC

If you have any questions, you can start a chat or email us at “contact@apos.audio”