Shanling M6 Pro Review

Shanling M6 Pro

Design & Build Quality

 

 

Casing

At first glance, the Shanling M6 Pro looks exactly like the classic M6.

A case made of one solid block of aluminum, CNC-milled, brushed and anodized, magnified by the two glasses, front and back. The glass follows the edges of the player, bonded to ensure a seamless experience.

The first difference comes from the backplate, now made of frosted glass with two nice openings, displaying Shanling’s logo and the Hi-Res Audio logos. It’s a minor divergence with a major sensation when you hold the player in your hand.

It feels very Apple-esque : each detail has been carefully designed. The curved glasses, hidden screws, smooth touch from touch to bottom, it’s – again – one of the best experiences you can get and that makes a huge difference on a daily basis.

Shanling M6 Pro

The screen ratio remains the same, and we still have those annoying bars in the upper and bottom part, but now I don’t see that as an issue anymore. Over time, it grew on me and I accepted it.

There is no gap or flaw on any part of the player, the M6 Pro feels premium, thanks to its hefty weight and, obviously, the gorgeous design. Even if the player looks astounding without the case, I prefer to keep it covered. Again, the leather case is provided separately, but at least, it’s available. As it should be!

Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

Layout

The Shanling M6 Pro gets the exact same layout as found in the M6.

The multi-function scroll-wheel is still there, slightly recessed into the case to avoid any misclick. Provided by ALPS, it’s clickable and rotating, allowing you to raise or lower the volume and turn on/off the player. The scroll-wheel is made from the same metal and color than the main body, again a seamless design.

Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

On the left side, you have three buttons to control the playback : play/pause, next song, previous song. A small but nice difference is how those buttons slightly stick out from the player. This makes the player a little more easy to control in blind mode, a good upgrade. Obviously, it looks a lot like the latest Sony players, which is not a bad case in my opinion.

You also have the micro-SD port, sealed with a rubber plug to avoid dust and particle penetration. Only one port though… Like the FiiO M11 Pro and iBasso DX220, but now that I have a 1To micro-SD card, that doesn’t bother me anymore.

All the outputs/inputs are found on the bottom side of the M6 Pro:

  • an USB Type-C port, dual-way to connect the Shanling to a computer and use it as a DAC/Amp, or to a DAP to make it the source.
  • 1x single-ended 3.5mm TRS headphone output to connect your usual headphones
  • 1x balanced 2.5mm TRRS headphone output
  • 1x balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn headphone output, hurray !
Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

Screen

Good news, Shanling kept the same screen on its M6 and M6 pro

A vivid, sharp 4.7” 720×1280 IPS screen combined with a full-Android experience, that behaves like a smartphone 90% of the time. Album covers aren’t pixelated anymore, responsiveness is top-notch and contrast looks very good too.

The screen/size ratio isn’t as good as Android or iOS flagship’s, but it’s a DAP so no one will really complain. At the end of the day, it’s still a very good screen.

Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

Bundle

Inside the box

The Shanling M6 Pro bundle isn’t particularly extensive :

  • the Shanling M6 Pro
  • a USB-C cable
  • a glass protection
  • a quick-start manual
  • a leather case (sold separately)

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

Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

Everyday carry

On a day to day basis, the Shanling M6 Pro is very pleasant to use, but it is a bit too big sometimes.

It’s a bit thick and even if it’s not as long as my iPhone, the thickness can be an issue when you put it in your pocket. This can be even more problematic once the M6 Pro wears its leather pouch. Apart from that, there is no real drawback.

The scroll-wheel remains a pleasure to use, it’s accurate and allows you to finely tune the listening volume. With the new case, I didn’t have the previous issue where I ended up pressing the button I took out the player.

The Shanling M6 Pro now weighs 244g for 133,5mm x 71mm x 17.5mm and the case adds up roughly 1cm overall.

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

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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.

    4 Comments

    • Reply June 16, 2020

      Vincent

      Thank you for the detail review NanoTechnos. It is quite informative.
      M6 Pro is an interesting player.
      May I ask you the definition of dry sound? I am to the hobby.

      I am evaluating whether to get Shanling M6PRO, Cayni N6 Mark II (the most color sound)
      or iBasso DX 220. I believe they all have somewhat different sound signature. Shanling seems to be slightly color to my sound preference (neutral but slightly boosted bass and elevated treble).

      I originally thought about getting the iBasso DX 220 but worry about the software implementation which is not as smooth as the other two based on the review.

      I look forward to your feedback.

    • Reply June 16, 2020

      Michael Gunin

      Great review! Any chance you could compare M6 Pro with Dethonray DTR1 and QLS QA361 in terms of sound?

    • Reply June 17, 2020

      janno

      I plan to get m6 pro or astell & kern SR25. Today I have a chance to try both of it with two different earphone, Custom IEM and custom 4 driver tuned earphone. I love both DAP but surprisingly in different ways.

      M6 pro with IEM (balance), it feels dry and neutral. Good dynamic range and layer separation. Sound stage on wide site. Nice impact and feels the rumble. Vocal up front. Crisp but not sharp.

      M6 pro with tuned earphone (unbalance), not dry but neutral. More dynamic, more width and fullness sound. Nice wide sound stage. Crispier and very fun to listen.

      In other hand on SR25 make me confusing to decide.

      SR25 with IEM (balance), Fullness of sound. Great dynamic and layering. Wide sound stage. Nice impact but not as good as M6 pro. Good clear vocal tone. High crisp and clear. Very fun to listen.

      SR25 pro with tuned earphone (unbalance), flat and neutral with good dynamic. Good sounding overall but I didnt feel excite compare with pairing on IEM.

      By my taste, i like M6 pro with tuned earphone (unbalance) and SR25 with IEM (balance) both combination make me very excite but in different way. This make me very confuse to pick up one.

      I want to hear your opinion. Comparing M6 pro and SR25 in sound wise.

    • Reply August 28, 2020

      Fyrsten

      Thank you for the review, it was a pleasant read, and very detailed.

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