S.M.S.L AD18 vs SA300: The Ultimate Comparison Is Right Here!

Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, once quoted. “The advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don’t even notice it, so it’s part of everyday life.” The skyrocketing advancement of technology is undoubtedly astounding to see S.M.S.L AD18 vs SA300. As these advancements take place, we are the ones who get benefitted.

Today we are going to see some modern advancements in amplifiers. S.M.S.L AD18 vs SA300 are those stereo amplifiers that are booming the markets now.

Both are the titans of stereo amplifiers! S.M.S.L AD18 vs SA300, which one is worth your money?

And which of these two giants are advanced in features and techs? You’ll get all the ultimate comparisons just right here! So let’s move forward with our ultimate Lab analysis.

SMSL AD18 VS SA300 | Comparison Table

Specifications
AD18
SA300
Brand 
S.M.S.L
S.M.S.L
Item Dimensions (LxBxH)
6.77 x 2.01 x 3.35 inches
2.8 x 7.4 x 2.9 inches
Weight
1.3 Pounds
2.7 pounds
Digital Inputs
Jack 3.5mm
1x Micro USB  1x Stereo RCA   Bluetooth 5.0
Amplifier Power
2 x 70W at 4Ω    2 x 40W at 8Ω 
2x80W at 4Ω   2x40W at 8Ω
Frequency Response
18Hz - 22kHz
35W
Headphone Output
At 32Ω 53mW 
< 0.5W
Power Supply
Power supply included 24V, 6.75A   Jack DC 5.5/2.5mm
90dB
Accessories
Micro USB Cable  Power supply  Bluetooth Antenna        User manual        Remote
88dB
Specifications
AD18
Brand 
S.M.S.L
Item Dimensions (LxBxH)
6.77 x 2.01 x 3.35 inches
Weight
1.3 Pounds
Digital Inputs
Jack 3.5mm
Amplifier Power
2 x 70W at 4Ω    2 x 40W at 8Ω 
Frequency Response
18Hz - 22kHz
Headphone Output
At 32Ω 53mW 
Power Supply
Power supply included 24V, 6.75A   Jack DC 5.5/2.5mm
Accessories
Micro USB Cable  Power supply  Bluetooth Antenna        User manual        Remote
Specifications
SA300
Brand 
S.M.S.L
Item Dimensions (LxBxH)
2.8 x 7.4 x 2.9 inches
Weight
2.7 pounds
Digital Inputs
1x Micro USB  1x Stereo RCA   Bluetooth 5.0
Amplifier Power
2x80W at 4Ω   2x40W at 8Ω
Frequency Response
35W
Headphone Output
< 0.5W
Power Supply
90dB
Accessories
88dB

Further Details:

  • SMSL AD18 is a class D amplifier, and it supports USB coaxial, analog Bluetooth, and two optical inputs
  • It comes with a color display screen of 1.44 inches, along with brightness control.
  • AD18 has got customized BT4.2 Bluetooth module and supports apt-X, easily connect with Bluetooth by NFC

SMSL AD18: An Awesome Sounding Beast!

You can say SMSL AD18 is just a small monster that can bring life out of sounds!

It has got fantastic features and surely grabs the attention of everyone. Moreover, according to the price, it delivers the perfect feedback. Indeed, you shouldn’t be having any regrets when you get your hands on these! This amplifier is just excellent, the sound deliveries are clean and powerful, and I can assure you it will be worth your money!

Pros

  • Excellent Bluetooth connection
  • Compact and highly power-efficient
  • Excellent sound quality (if you are aiming for casual listening)
  • Elegant quality building
  • Satisfactory power output

Cons

  • Deformed delivery of sound at higher volumes
  • Deficient sound quality with analog input
  • Tonal controls are required for digital glare

Further Details:

  • SA300 is a class D power amplifier, highway in quality, and has an efficiency of up to 92%, therefore, reducing power consumption
  • It has volume control and low distortion, 32 bits 384kHz USB audio input
  • Built-in multiple EQ modes and bass adjustment for easy matching of a variety of speakers and music

Read: Best Amp for Bookshelf Speaker

SA300: The Rise of A Power Amplifier!

Sa300 is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and versatile amplifiers that can easily meet your expectations. No one wants to invest thousands of dollars on an amplifier that is “Godzilla” in size!! Everyone wants an amplifier that fits their budget and is also compact. The design of SA300 is very iconic. It has got that flawless and shiny textures that make it more attractive. Furthermore, the high-performing features of this amplifier also make it a prime option for anyone.

Pros

  • It’s very compact and easy to carry
  • The building quality is marvelous
  • The ports and the connections feel more secured and intact
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Immaculate delivery of sound even at high volumes

Cons

  • Some sub-bass sound might leak out from the main speakers.
  • High-pitched coil whining might be heard from the AC adapter.

Insides of The Packaging.

Like Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, once quoted. “Packaging can be theater; it can create a story.” That’s how important the packaging can be. The first impression is the last.. When you receive a package top-notch, it’ll indeed have a positive impact on you. Even before unboxing the product, it will create an image of the product in your mind. Both the SMSL AD18 and SA300 come in a medium-sized simple and polished package, each containing all the necessary items for the amplifiers.

Read: 2 Amp from Sennhieser

 SA300:

The SA300 amplifier comes in a very well-packed cardboard box. As you open it, you’ll see a user manual that will help you to guide your way through. A USB cord for the DAC. A massive power supply that’s capable of outputting 162W.  Remote control and a Bluetooth antenna. Most of the weight is due to the 384kHz 32bit driver-free DAC and the power supply.

SMSL AD18:

As similar to SA300, SMSL AD18 also comes in a compact cardboard box. And it also has a USB cord. It has a massive power supply of 24V, 6.75A, a remote control, Bluetooth antenna, and the amplifier itself. There’s not much of a difference in the packaging. So we can say both the amplifiers have got the same style of packing.

WINNER: TIE

S.M.S.L AD18 vs SA300 Feature: Which One Will Be The Winner?

You surely want your audio device to sound fantastic. But won’t you want them to have great features as well?

-Yes!!

It’s very likely for you to have a desire to grasp such an amplifier that’s great in sound and also rich in features. When you get a poorly-featured device on your hands, it will always have a detrimental image on you, even if it sounds great. On the other hand, the well-designed, structured, and highly featured devices will surely give a long-lasting impression.

Read: JDS or Magni 3: Which is the Best

SMSL AD18:

Let us go into details now.

SMSL AD18 claims that it is 80W per channel, and I wouldn’t doubt that. So just to be clear, it does say 80W per channel into 4-ohms. Therefore, if you are not using a 4-ohm speaker, then it’s not 80W per channel.

This is a class D amplifier, so looking at the front, you’ll see a volume control that you can also press to “change modes” and change between the settings. There’s also a 1.44-inch color screen which is cool to watch. And on the top, you’ll notice an NFC tag which seems quite fascinating.

Now you must be wondering what’s an NFC is?

If your phone is NFC enabled and if it comes in contact with the amplifier, then it’ll automatically connect to Bluetooth without having you do anything on your own.

So you can just pair and unpair only by touching your phone. That means you don’t need to connect the Bluetooth manually!

Especially if you have multiple phones and maybe somebody wants to connect the amplifier with their phone. They don’t need to do anything and disable yours. All they have to do is just walk up and touch their phone with the amplifier. That’s all they need to do!

As far as the inputs are concerned, this has an additional input USB coaxial optical and Bluetooth AptX.

The left and right speaker terminals in this amplifier accept banana plugs, and one more thing that you need to know is that it also has a subwoofer output!!!! For me, it’s just amazing.

With the auxiliary output, you’ll be able to connect it with your computer or maybe some of your older TVs.  Because this amplifier has optical or coaxial, you can also connect it to your newer TVs. It also has a headphone output so that you can plug in your headphones. And the sound is just fantastic!

The remote is the only Achilles heel for AD18. When you hold the remote in your hand, it will feel a little bit cheap. And I can also say this remote isn’t the best-looking remotes even the labels are not nicely printed.

AD18 also has a color screen, so you change it between white, red, yellow, purple, blue, and green. You can say it’s very cool. You can also dim the brightness down so that you don’t have that blaring light into your eyes if you’re in a dark situation.

Read: Comparision A90 or THX which Amp is good?

SMSL SA300:

Let’s now look at the SA300.

If you get yourself an SA300 amplifier, you’ll notice that it has two optical inputs missing than that with the AD18. This was a key feature if you wanted to use this as an alternative to a soundbar for those TVs that didn’t have analog outputs.  So I’m not so sure why they took it out, but it’s not there.

Also, the SA300 does not have a headphone output. Even the remote that they provide with the SA300 doesn’t have any batteries. Moreover, if you even search through the manuals, you’ll not find any instructions regarding dimming the screen brightness. On the other hand, AD18 had that feature!

SA300 does no longer has NFC. So, if your phone has NFC, then it’s of no use.

Although both the S.M.S.L AD18 vs SA300 amplifiers have the same amount of power at 80W per channel at 4-ohms and 40W per channel at 8-ohms.

The screen itself looks very similar in size and shape. They’re both multicolored screens, and they give you the option to choose a color that suits your preference. The UI itself seems the same, and you use them both as DACs. They both have the same remote. Furthermore, both have tone controls that allow you to adjust the bass and treble to your preference.

Read: How to Choose amp for Speaker

Now, What’s New in SA300?

SA300 uses Bluetooth 5.0; this should result in increased range, lower power consumption, and better sound quality. This amplifier supports 384kHz and 32bits, where AD18 supports 96kHz and 24bits.

A few new features that are added in SA300 are the chip’s ability to do multi-switching. That means the amplifier optimizes its performance based on the input voltage. It sounds beneficial if a battery powers the amplifier. But in this case, it’s powered by an AC power brick, so I don’t see the usefulness of this input voltage!

And one more thing to notice is when you compare it with the AD18. You’ll see that SA300 has a total distortion of 0.008% compared to 0.004% in the AD18.

SA300 amplifier no longer uses a 3.5mm auxiliary jack input. Instead, it’s been replaced with RCA.

This amplifier also has a lower power consumption. This is useful if you are planning to turn it on all the time. SA300 can play the sounds loud and clear until the amplifier reaches its limits.

One difference that you’ll notice between these two amplifiers is that they were both able to play speakers pretty loudly, but the AD18 would clip sooner than the SA300.

So if we compare, in many ways, there were more features present in the AD18 than in the SA300. But the sound quality of SA300 is unbeatable!

Winner: SA300

Final Words of S.M.S.L AD18 vs SA300

When it comes to looks and designs, both are quite gorgeously manufactured. But the SA300 is indeed far more smooth in design and textures. On the other hand, SMSL AD18 might have few extra things, but as far as the quality and sounding are concerned, SA300 is the champion.