Design & Build Quality
As usual, Shanling nailed it with its M6. The Shanling M6 is one of the most exquisite players I have played with these past months.
The case is made of one solid block of aluminum, CNC-milled, brushed and anodized, magnified by the two glasses, front and back. Each glass follow the edges of the player, bonded to ensure a seamless experience.
It feels very Apple-esque : each detail has been carefully designed. The curved glasses, hidden screws, smooth touch from touch to bottom, it’s a wholesome experience and that makes a huge difference on a daily basis.
The big difference comes from the screen. Where the M5S left the bottom part of the front panel blank (or black), this time the display covers a much wider area. We still have those annoying bar in the upper and bottom part, but it’s much more manageable.
All in all, quality/price ratio is very high. There is no gap or flaw on any part of the player, the M6 feels premium, thanks to its hefty weight and, obviously, the gorgeous design. Even if the player looks astounding without the case, I’d prefer to keep it covered. Again, the leather case is provided separately, but at least, it’s available ! Not like with the FiiO M11 Pro.
The Shanling M6 enjoys an improved layout, compared to the previous models.
The multi-function scroll-wheel is still there, slightly recessed into the case to avoid any misclick. Provided by ALPS, it’s clickable and rotative, allowing you to rise or lower the volume and turn on/off the player. The scroll-wheel is made of the same metal and colour than the main body, again 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… Maybe have I been spoiled by the FiiO M11 and iBasso DX120, but I like to have a dual-slot option.
All the outputs/inputs are found at the bottom side of the M6 :
- a 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 !
At least, Shanling finally embraced the high-resolution world not only for our ears but also for our eyes.
Going from a 3.2” 320×480 screen to a 4.7” 720×1280 IPS screen, make a huge difference. Everything is sharper, colors are more vivid and thanks to the full-Android experience, it behaves like a smartphone 90% of the time.
Where the M2X and M5S looked pixelated and frankly outdated. Finally ,the Shanling M6 feels like a true, modern player and can compete with its direct competitor, such as the iBasso DX160 and the FiiO M11.
Responsiveness is good, contrast is better than expected and, if not for the upper and lower black bar, this is a great display.
Inside the box
The Shanling M6 bundle is very dire
- the Shanling M2X
- a USB-C cable
- a glass protection
- a quick-start manual
- a leather case (sold separately)
No adaptor, no coaxial, nothing!
The review continues on Page Three, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.