Design & Build Quality
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.
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!
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.
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 !
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.
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 ?
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.