In this review we take a close look at the Shanling M6 Pro DAP, selling for $759 USD.
Disclaimer : The Shanling M6 Pro was sent to us free of charge by the brand in exchange for an honest opinion. As usual, if you want to get one, reach out to your local retailer.
Founded in 1988, Shanling has been developing Hi-Fi products for more than 30 years now. From high-end CD player to classy tube-amp, the brand made a name thanks to great craftsmanship and top of the line performances.
These past years, the brand also developed a complete range of players and IEM. We reviewed almost all of their recent players – M5S, M6 – and IEMs – ME500, ME700 – so naturally, we couldn’t pass the new Shanling M6 Pro.
The Shanling DAP Series
As usual, we’ll begin with a quick presentation of Shanling’s DAP catalog.
The Shanling Q1 is the newest DAP from the brand, one made to fit every pocket. Like the MTW100, it’s got a “sugar-coated” shell: which means the player shows a glossy, zinc-alloyed, colored case. Super small but also super nice, in my opinion.
Inside, you get a Sabre ESS ES9218P DAC, duplex Bluetooth support, long battery life, and a nifty volume wheel. A player that could give the FiiO M3 a run for the money, so we hope to try one soon!
The Shanling M0 is a small DAP that looks a lot like the famous Apple Watch. As a matter of fact, you can even use the M0 as a watch, with the proper wristband. At the core of the Shanling M0, you have a SABRE 9019P chip. It’s a bit different than the usual 9018S but the specs remain mostly the same, a good thing.
Berkhan reviewed it and said: “For its very small price and footprint, very good usage and sound performance (…) it sounds good, performs good and the amount of features were just enough to convince me.”
If you want to know more about the M0, you must check Berkhan’s review :
The Shanling M2X replaced the M2S in the brand’s catalog. It shares the same footprint but enjoys a better chipset with an AK4490EN DAC and a WiFi connection for AirPlay and Tidal Playback.
Honestly, it’s a Shanling M5S, but cheaper and smaller with all the goods, minus the stretched case. I liked it a lot during my previous review : “Simply put, the Shanling M2X is an M5S in kid clothes. You get the same sound signature – dry, precise, subtle – without the awkward design previously shown by the M5S“.
Take a Shanling M2S, stretch it from top to bottom and you get the Shanling M3S. From a side to side comparison, the only difference would be this black box at the bottom of the player. Same (astoundingly) good build, same scroll-wheel system, same screen size.
The difference is on the inside, the Shanling M3S doubling almost every spec: 2x AK4490EQ DAC, 4x LPF circuit, 4x headphone amp circuits, and 2x headphone output (single-ended and balanced).
Again, Berkhan reviewed it and said: “Tiny in size may be, but this is a huge DAP from Shanling. They surely know how to create an effective audio circuitry and great sound quality with that”.
Find out more information from our review, linked here:
If you really want to go limo style with your Shanling DAP, you may lean toward the M5S. It’s great player with a dual AK4490EN circuit and a powerful headphone amp section. The sound is superb, but the UI is quite quirky and if you’re on a budget, the M2X gets you nearly the same performance, for a fraction of the size/price.
We reviewed that player a few months ago: “ The splendid build quality alone is a vast accomplishment on its own if you don’t take into account of the low-resolution screen. The DAP is enjoyable on various levels: the fast UI and a straightforward and beautiful design”
You can even check my own review here:
The Shanling M6 was the previous top of the line DAP from the brand. It offers everything you can ask for in a DAP in 2020: full Android experience, Dual AKM AK4495SEQ DAC, balanced 2.5mm + 4.4mm outputs, a wide and well-defined screen. So yeah, in all honesty, if you were to get one player from Shanling’s actual range, this was the one.
I reviewed it previously, and here is a snippet: “ Obviously, the Shanling M6 goes directly to my recommendation list and should be an alternative to the FiiO M11. If the M6 sounds slightly better in my opinion, it lacks the dual-slot found in the FiiO player, but that’s a personal choice. “
Shanling M6 Pro
The Shanling M6 Pro is… the pro version of the M6. You get better DAC, more power, lower noise, and a strange AGLO technology. We loved the M6, so obviously we are pretty curious to see if the new M6 Pro really makes a difference for the cautious audiophile.
So time to get into the review !
The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.