Shanling M6 Pro Review

Shanling M6 Pro

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

If the M2X and M5S used a specific OS (Mtouch 2.0), the Shanling M6 Pro lets you enjoy the full Android experience.

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.

Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

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
Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

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
Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

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.

Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

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.

Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

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.

Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

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. 

Bluetooth

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.

Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro

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.

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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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