Shanling H5 Review



For the nitpickers and nerdy ones here, I’m giving the specs and technical sheets. For all the others, you can just go to the next page to see how the H7 performs.


AKM AK4493SEQ + TPA6120A2

Why change a winning team? Once again, Shanling decided to go for AKM ! For the Shanling H5, the brand packed the new Asahi Kasei Ak4493SEQ chips, paired with the same powerful Texas-Instruments TPA6120A2 op-amps found in the H7, carefully matched with ELNA SILMIC II and Panasonic tantalum capacitors – with “adjusted tuning to highlight the overall warmer sound of the H5” dixit Shanling.

A very potent chip, found in high-end devices like the Astell&Kern SE180 + SEM2 module – check Berkhan’s review, it’s pretty cool. It offers the usual lovely features you’d expect, namely:

  • full high-resolution PCM decoding, up to 64bit/1536kHz(!) (32bit / 768kHz in the HD)
  • native DSD support up to DSD1024 and MQA 8x unfold
  • extended DSP options (roll-off, soft mute,…) 
  • excellent Signal-to-noise Ratio, up to 128dB theoretically, in dual mono mode (121dB in the H7)
  • full I2S/DoP/DSD/SPDIF input

And, as usual, you can top that with the Velvet Sound architecture, and a powerful oversampling digital filter for those who seek the highest performance. Needless to say that you should be able to decode any type of file with this setup.


XMOS XU316 + In-House developed I/V Stage

To ensure the best performances, Shanling developed a fourth-generation FPGA chip with “more two low-phase noise 22.5792MHz / 24.576MHz active oscillators”, combined with an XMOS XU316 chip. Unlike Chord which uses an FPGA chip as a DAC, here it’s used as a middle-man between the 16-core audio processor from Xmos and the AKM DAC – working in I2S/DSD.

Add a set of highly optimized LTA8092 Op-Amp, designed to reduce mutual interferences and achieve a cleaner balanced output, and two low-pass filters (OPA1612) provided by Texas Instruments “picked for its low noise and high bandwidth performance”, offering ultra-low noise Low-dropout regulator, for “the cleanest signal output” 

All that little world working hard to ensure everything is phase-locked / 100% bit-perfect, with full DSD512 / PCM 32bit/768kHz support. A great layout in and out!


Bluetooth 5.0 + Embedded player (Eddict player)

Like the H7, the Shanling H5 only supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC. No Apt-X nor Apt-X HD/Adaptive, which came as a bit of a surprise. However, the Hi-Res Audio Wireless Certified logo is well-endowed on top of the player, with the Hi-Res Audio logo and MQA blazon. 

But, the biggest surprise, by far, is the inclusion of a fully-fledged music player, that allows stand-alone use of the H5. In fact, the DAC is one of the few, maybe the only one, that can be used as a sole device, free of any source, all thanks to the Ingenic X1000 (Not X2000) platform. 

All you have to do is plug a micro-SD card into the dedicated port, switch to “player” mode, and then you’ll be able to play your music like every standard DAP. And, if you’re not satisfied by the small embedded screen, you can even connect the Shanling H5 via Bluetooth to your smartphone, and use the Eddict Player app, to access your full music library.

It’s a lot like HiBy Music Player, but for Shanling players, and it works quite well with the H5. A killer feature in my opinion!

Do you still want the full specs? Ok, here they are for you.

Shanling H7

Full specs

  • Model: Shanling H5
  • Type: Digital Audio Converter + headphone amplifier
  • DAC: 2x AKM AK4493SEQ
  • Sample rate : PCM : 8Hz – 768Hz (8/16/24/32bits) native – DSD64/128/256/512 – MQA 8X unfold
  • System clock: Full synchronization technology with FPGA processor crystal clock
  • Outputs: 3.5mm TRS // 4.4mm Pentaconn // RCA Line Out
  • Input: USB-C // Coaxial // Optical // Bluetooth // micro-SD 
  • Screen: 0.87″ IPS Screen OLED
  • Bluetooth support: SBC, AAC, LDAC
  • Battery: 3.8V 3500mAh Li-Polymer
  • Quick Charge: yes, QC3.0
  • Battery life: 12.5h with wired headphones (3.5mm), 10h with a Balanced headphone
  • Charging time: around 2.5h
  • Size : 102mm x 85mm x 25mm
  • Weight: 270,4g
  • Price : $369
3.5 mm Headphone out 
  • Output power : 227mW @32ohm
  • Frequency Response : 20Hz – 40kHz (-0,7dB)
  • THD : > 0.0014%
  • SNR : > 118 dB
  • Dynamic range: 118dB
  • Crosstalk : > 80 dB
  • Output impedance : 4.7 ohm
4.4mm  Pentaconn Headphone out 
  • Output power : 840mW @32ohm
  • Frequency Response : 20Hz – 40kHz (-0,7dB)
  • THD : > 0.0004%
  • SNR : > 121 dB
  • Dynamic range: 121dB
  • Crosstalk : > 105 dB
  • Output impedance : 6.6 ohm

Time to plug the DAC now!

The article continues on Page four, with the part on sound, after the click here

Page 1: about Shanling, casing, construction
Page 2: UI & Usage, Bundle
Page 3: Specifications
Page 4: sound & conclusion

4.6/5 - (108 votes)

A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

1 Comment

  • Reply November 16, 2023

    Gilles Vandermeer

    Is the sound quality on par with something like the Chord Mojo 2?

    I like the portability of both but also want to add it in my hifi system (setup: Wiim pro + Mojo 2 or only Shanling H5 as all in one device)

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