UI & Usage
No surprise here, the Shanling M6 Pro offers the same exact experience found with the previous M6.
Android 7.1 + Shanling Music App
Sure, Android 7.1 Nougat is a bit old now and some players, like iBasso DX220 already moved to Android 8.1. Fortunately, you can still install, almost, any app you like. If the previous models only support Tidal, the M6 Pro unlocks Spotify, Qobuz, Deezer, and all the others.
Boot up is slightly faster compared to the M6, but that’s still way faster than the Astell&Kern players and on-par with iBasso. Then, the experience is pretty seamless and thanks to the new Qualcomm CPU, everything feels buttery smooth.
The Shanling Music App is an as good improvement as before. It’s snappy and fast, displays the right amount of settings, and offers a great stock player.
Now that Shanling ditched the bottom buttons, you have to swipe from right to left to go back. It’s not super intuitive at first, but once you’ve got it, it becomes a habit. Swiping from top to bottom unveils the quick-access menu, where you can choose to :
- switch on/off the WiFi
- same for the Bluetooth
- activate the line-out function or use the phone-out
- enable the high-gain level, or the low-gain
- enable the AirPlay playback function
Audio Setting menu
- Select output : phone out (PO) / Line-out (LO)
- DAC : single / dual // the M6 Pro can be put in single DAC mode for single-ended use
- Lowpass filter : Sharp Roll-Off / Slow Roll-Off / Short delay Sharp Roll-Off / Short delay Slow Roll-Off / Super Slow Roll-Off
- Gain : Low / High / Turbo // Low for your IEM and sensitive headphones, High for the demanding one, Turbo for the VERY demanding one
- Balance : Left -10-0 / Right -10-0 // if you have an auditive deficiency, this might help
- Boot Volume : if you want your player to boot up at a specific volume level
- Max Volume : for your satefy, cap the volume
- Wireless playback quality : you can choose between LDAC (Adaptative/Standard/Sound quality first/Connection First) or aptX(HD) and SBC, depending of your headphone
- AirPlay : with AirPlay playback, you can stream your music wirelessly from any iDevice, like a smartphone or a Mac
USB-C and SD Card
All Shanling players use the future-proof USB-C connector and the Shanling M6 Pro makes no exception. The transfer rate is great and the DAP supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0.
The M6 Pro, like the M6, offers 32Gb of internal memory and rely on micro-SD cards for any additional storage. Every type and size are supported, from SDHC to SDXC up to 2TB, even if they are not available yet.
Again, the USB-C port supports two-way transfers and so, the Shanling M6 Pro can be used as a DAC on a computer, or a source once paired with a DAC.
Airplay / DNLA / Tidal
Good news, the Shanling M6 Pro supports all major streaming providers!
You can download your favorite apps through APK Pure, or the Google Play Store. The latter auto-install as soon as you connect the player to a WiFi connection. Then, all you have to do is sign-in with your Google account, and download the apps you need.
The Shanling Music app supports DNLA. All you have to do is click on “UPnP servers” and scan for a nearby connection. I never had any issues and was more than surprised by the steady connection. Once connected to your local hotspot, you can easily play music from every source to your DAP.
I mostly used the Airplay function as my iPhone and iPad always hang around me.
It’s flawless with the album cover displayed on the M6 Pro screen and all the playback control is left to the source.
Battery Life and Charging
The Shanling M6 Pro battery is rated at 4000mAh, the same as before.
Continuous playback can reach up to 13h in single-ended mode + Single DAC, 9h in single-ended mode + Dual DAC and finally 8h in full-balanced mode. Again, those were conservative values as I outperformed them, by a small margin, and reached 10h in balanced mode with my IEM.
The bug causing the battery-drain in Bluetooth has been fixed as it seems. If the M2X was not super quick to charge, the M6 Pro enjoys Qualcomm Fast Charge V3, so expect half the time when charging with the adequate charger.
The deep sleep function works perfectly fine and if you just listen during your work commute, one charge could last one full week.
Shanling was one of the first brands to add dual-way Bluetooth on its DAP. This mode allows the listener to connect a digital source to the player all wirelessly. Compared to DNLA and Airplay, this option trades quality (due to the limited bandwidth) for versatility: almost everything has Bluetooth now.
Compatible with apt-X, AAC/SBC and LDAC, the Shanling M6 Pro supports apt-X HD. Also, if LDAC, AAC and SBC get bidirectional support, apt-X (HD) can only send music to a headphone/speakers, no reception. If your source supports LDAC, no worries, if not you’ll be stuck in AAC or SBC.
Apart from that, it works perfectly well and it’s a great option if your smartphone doesn’t have a headphone output anymore. Compared to Airplay/DNLA, you get controls directly on the player but lose album covers, your call.
The review continues on Page four, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.