Shanling M6 Review

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.

Shanling M6 new IPS screen

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.

4.2/5 - (95 votes)

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.


  • Reply February 7, 2020

    Vibhav Srivaths

    Page 2 has a typo, mentioning that a Shanling M2x is is bundled with the Shanling M6 – took me by surprise 🙂

  • Reply April 24, 2020

    Mr Fripp

    I think shanling is an undervalued brand. The have very good DAP’s. I have tried many DAP including fiio m6, m9 y m11 pro. Today i have sr15, kann, m2x, r6 pro and now the shanling m6. Despite of some thing that they have to fix (like gapless option) this DAP sound great. I really enjoy listening it. My first impresion is that I enjoyed more that the m11 pro (i sold it). I cannot say that sound better than the m11 pro because it depends of many thing like the headphones thay you are using and the style of music that you are listening. I love rock ( all kind of) so for me, rock music sound better in my m6 thant the m11 pro. If I listen pantera or metallica, in my m11 pro will sound beautiful but losing the energy. It’s just my opinion.

    Thanks fornthe review

    • Reply May 31, 2020

      Matthew Helvick

      Can you elaborate on the gapless issue? Is it something that just isnt an option? I usually put my stuff on random but most albums i have flow from song to song. Gapless was something i thought was solved back in the early 2000s

  • Reply June 7, 2020

    Mr fripp


    They don’t put the gapless option in their music app. I asked them and they confirm me that the option is not available and probably they will add it. For that reason i have dowloaded the fiio music. I love progressive rock and there are song that must be played with gapless option but i agree, most of the time i play random music too.

  • Reply June 13, 2020


    Hello, what would be a better option? ibasso dx160 or Shanling M6 (no pro) greetings and thanks

  • Reply July 23, 2020


    Can you compare to the ibasso dx160?

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