SMSL SP400 THX AAA 888 Headphone Amp
An SMSL classic gets a makeover
The SMSL SP400 arrives just over a year after the release of its predecessor, the SP200. The SP200 wowed reviewers with its “vanishingly low distortion and tons of power.” The SP400 retains the THX AAA-888 amplifier of its predecessor and, with it, most of its predecessor’s specs. So how’s it different?
You’ll find most of the upgrades on the box itself. The SP400 has been given a nice bright 1.9” LCD display, a full-function remote, and a pre-balanced output. Plus, it matches the SM400 DAC in size and style, so you’ll be able to stack the two with ease.
Power for all your headphones
But is it powerful enough to drive all your headphones? The answer in this case is (almost) definitely. With 12W at 16Ω and 6W at 32Ω, the SP400 can power nearly everything. And if you need a little extra oomph, just toggle the three-position gain for an extra three to six decibels.
(If you’re unsure about your headphone’s power requirements, check out this handy headphone power calculator, courtesy of DigiZoid.)
The THX AAA-888 offers extreme clarity
The THX AAA lineup of amps are known for their power and clarity. Unlike many amplifiers, THX AAA amps use a feed-forward error correction topology that removes common distortion issues. To put it simply, the amp measures errors in an early part of the system and corrects them in a later part of the system.
Pure black background
The THX AAA-888 is the most sophisticated iteration of the lineup. Its distortion levels are seriously low. Signal-to-noise ratio is 133dB, meaning that you’d have to crank the amp up to 134dB before hearing any hiss. And unless you’re trying to permanently damage your eardrums, you’re probably not going to do that.
To put these numbers in perspective, the loudness of a jackhammer is 110dB, an ambulance 120dB. So under any normal, healthy listening scenario with the SP400, you’re going to hear nothing but pure signal.
Despite its massive output capabilities, the SP400 is actually quite small. At 8.6” on its longest size, you should have no problem fitting it onto most desktops. And as we said, it’s designed to stack with the M400. Together, the pair reach just over three inches in height.
THXAAA-888 Headphone Amplifier with THX AAA Technology
Balanced stereo headphone output
Balanced stereo line input
High precision resistors for temperature stability
Pop-less design with high-quality relays
High precision and low noise 256-level relay volume control
3-position switchable gain control
DC, over-voltage, over-current, short-circuit and thermal protection
High-efficiency ultra-low-noise power supply
Full function remote
1.9” LCD display
Inputs: 1 balanced, 1 unbalanced
Outputs: 1 balanced, 1 unbalanced, 1 pre-balanced
12W x 2 (16Ω)
6W x 2 (32Ω)
880mW x 2 (300Ω)
440mW x 2 (600Ω)
6W x 2 (16Ω)
3W x 2 (32Ω)
440mW x 2 (300Ω)
220mW x 2 (600Ω)
SNR: 133dB, A-weighted
Output noise: 1.9uV, A-weighted
THD+N: -123dB, 0.00007% (1kHz, 32Ω)
THD+N: -117dB, 0.00013% (20-20kHz, 32Ω, -3dB)
THD: <-125dB, 0.00006%
Input impedance: 47kΩ
Output impedance: Near 0 Ω
Frequency Response: 0.1Hz - 500,000Hz(-3dB)
Power supply voltage/frequency: AC100-240V, 50-60Hz
Power consumption (EN60065): <40W
Power consumption in standby mode: <0.1W
Size: 8.66 x 8.4 x 1.69” (220 x 215 x 43mm)
Weight: 2.9lbs (1330g)
Power supply cord
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