Shanling M6 21 Review



 For the nit-pickers and nerdy ones here, I’m giving the specs and technical sheets. For all the others, you can just get to the next page and see how the DAP performs.


Since the Asahi Kasei factory fire, AKM chips have been in complete shortage (like Nvidia RTX cards). So instead of packing AKM AK4495EQ chips, the Shanling M6 21 now sports a dual Sabre ES 9038Q2M. A great chip found in a wide variety of players or DAC already, and various home-theater amplifier

It’s a popular one, found within iBasso’s DC01 and DC02 for example, or Astell&Kern’s Kann Cube. To quote the ESS website “ The ES9038Q3M Sabre Reference DAC is a very high-performance, 32-bit, stereo audio D/A converter designed for audiophile-grade power-sensitive applications such as digital music players”


The DAC is advertised for a DNR of up to 128dB and THD of -120dB, and it can handle up to 32-Bit 768kHz PCM, DSD256 via DoP, and native DSD512. For amp and LPF, Shanling uses a new setup of OPA2211 combined with ADI AD8397 chips and the KDS crystal oscillators, helped by the new FPGA chip, to guarantee a bit-perfect playback.

In single-ended mode, separation is rated at [email protected] But, in balanced mode, the separation reaches new heights, [email protected], a whopping difference. And if not as impressive the dynamic range also gains a few dB: 123dB in single-ended mode, 126dB in balanced mode.

Power output is rated at 12mW/48mW/[email protected] (L/M/H) in single-ended mode, and triple up to 36mW/143mW/[email protected] in balanced mode. So, again, I’d strongly suggest that you use the Shanling M6 21 through its balanced outputs.



Inside the box

The Shanling M6 21 Bundle is one of the direst out there :

  • the Shanling M6 21
  • a USB-C cable
  • a glass protection
  • a quick-start manual
  • a leather case (sold separately)
  • and you’re done!

No adapter, no coaxial cable, nothing! If you compare the ME700 bundle and the M6 21, there is a huge difference, but maybe that’s the point?


Full specs

  • Type: Digital Audio Player

  • OS: Android 7.1.1
  • CPU : Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
  • RAM: 4Gb
  • ROM: 32Gb
  • DAC: 2x ES9038Q2M
  • LPF: 2x Ti OPA2211
  • BUF: 4x ADI AD8397
  • Sample rate: PCM : 8Hz – 768kHz (8/16/24/32bits) native – DSD64/128/256/512
  • System clock: Full synchronization technology with FPGA processor and dual clock
  • Outputs: 3.5mm headphone out/line-out  / 2.5mm balanced headphone output / 4.4mm balanced headphone output
  • Input: USB Type-C
  • Screen: 4.7″ 720×1080 IPS Screen from Sharp
  • Micro SD: SDHC / SDXC (single slot)
  • USB DAC: yes
  • WiFi : 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz support
  • DNLA + Full google play support
  • Bluetooth support : SBC, aptX, LDAC, aptX-HD, AAC
  • Duplex Bluetooth: player can emit and receive music
  • Battery: 3.8V 4000mAh Li-Polymer
  • Quick Charge: yes (QC 3.0)
  • Battery life: 11h in single-ended, 9h in balanced
  • Charging time: around 1h30
  • Size: 71mm*133.5mm*17.5mm
  • Weight: 233g (250g with the leather case)

 3.5 mm Headphone out

  • Output power: 190mW @32ohm (high gain)
  • SNR: 124 dB
  • Channel separation: 76dB
  • Output impedance: 0.3 ohms
  • THD: 0.0005%

2.5 mm Headphone out / 4.4mm Headphone out

  • Output power : [email protected]
  • SNR: 127 dB
  • Channel separation: 111dB
  • Output impedance: 0.6 ohms
  • THD: 0.0006%

 The review continues on Page five, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.

Page 1: About the brand

Page 2: Design & Build Quality

Page 3: UI & Usage

Page 5: Sound performances

4.2/5 - (139 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.

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