Music Players, Reviews

Shanling M6 Pro – First impressions!!

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Shanling M6 pro is the successor of their first android DAP M6. However, all audiophiles have already known the name of Shanling. They are a china based audio player brand…
Shanling M6 Pro - Unboxing and first impressions

Shanling M6 pro is the successor of their first android DAP M6. However, all audiophiles have already known the name of Shanling. They are a china based audio player brand competing at a very high degree, with a lot of audio companies head to head. So, They have introduced the world with their flagship device, the Shanling M6 pro, in March this year.

The Shanling M6 pro is the current flagship model of their lineup. The dap will cost $759. Their previous flagship the Shanling M6 is currently $499, which gathered praise for sound and overall presentation.

So, we got our hands on a unit for unboxing and initial impression.

Firstly, I want to add the technical specifications for Shanling M6 pro.

Features and Configuration For Shanling M6 Pro

  • High-Performance Dual DAC Setup by AKM, AK4497EQ x 2.
  • PCM Decoding up to 32-Bit/768kHz, DSD up to DSD256 Natively.
  • Lightning Fast Snapdragon 430 Processor.
  • 4GB RAM+32GB ROM.
  • An upgraded circuit including 4 Low pass filters  OPA1622+ADA4610-2 + BUF634 x 2, providing a fully balanced output.
  • Open Android Operating System.
  • Three Output Ports: 2.5mm Balanced, 4.4mm balanced, and 3.5mm single-ended.
  • Three Mode Hardware Gain Switch: Low Gain/ High Gain/ Ultra High Gain Mode.
  • Crisp 720P Display
  • Two-Way Bluetooth V4.2 support with Hi-res codes support (Two-way supports LDAC, SBC, only Transmission mode supports: AptX, AptX HD, HWA). So, it will be useful for a lot of people
  • Dual-Band Wi-Fi support: 2.4GHz/5GHz.
  • Weight: 244 grams.
  • TF Memory Card supported up to 512gb capacity.
  • 4000mAh Battery which supports QC3.0 quick charging.
Shanling M6 Pro - Unboxing and first impressions
Shanling M6 Pro Leather case

Output Power

3.5mm Single-Ended Mode

  • Output: 19mW @ 32Ω (low gain), 47mW @ 32Ω (high gain), 200mW @ 32Ω (ultra high gain).
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 121 dB.
  • Dynamic range: 121dB.
  • Channel separation : 75 dB (32 Ω).
  • THD + N: <0.0009%.
  • Output impedance: <1Ω.

2.5mm and 4.4mm Balanced Mode

  • Output: 56mW @ 32Ω (low gain) 141mW @ 32Ω (high gain) 600mW @ 32Ω (ultra-high gain).
  • Signal to noise ratio: 123 dB.
  • Channel separation: 110 dB (32 Ω).
  • Dynamic range: 123 dB.
  • THD + N: <0.0011%.
  • Output impedance: <2Ω.

Battery Life

  • Up to 13 hours (Single Ended Single DAC Mode).
  • Up to 9 hours (Single Ended  Dual DAC Mode).
  • And up to 8 hours (Balanced Mode Dual DAC).

Dual AKM AK4497EQ DAC

The Shanling M6 PRO comes equipped with a high-performance Dual DAC setup consisting of Dual AK4497EQ premium DAC chips. So, The DAC provides a clean and crisp sound decoding with support for PCM decoding of up to 32-Bit/768kHz, or DSD up to DSD256 natively. 

Premium Component Circuitry

The analog circuit in the M6 Pro consists of premium and upgraded components like OPA 1622 Low pass filters, ADA4610-2(OPA), BUF634 x 2. Therefore, this OPA and BUF amplification circuit provide a fully balanced and powerful sound output.

Output Ports of Shanling M6 Pro

The Shanling M6 PRO is equipped with three output ports including, 3.5mm single-ended, 4.4mm balanced, and 2.5mm balanced ports with a monstrous output power of up to 600mW at 32 ohms of load. Therefore, it will be adequate for most of the audio lovers.

The specs of Shanling M6 Pro surely looks promising, paired with a Matte glass back panel the player surely looks rich and premium. The Shanling M6 Pro is priced at 759$, you can order this powerful player from here.

Some Key Differences between Shanling M6 and M6 Pro

  • The Shanling M6 features a Dual AK4495EQ DAC while the M6 Pro has Dual AK4497EQ DAC, the upgraded DAC supports a better cleaner decoding with more detail retrieval as compared to the previous-gen.
  • The Shanling M6 is equipped with OPA 1612 Low pass filters while the M6 Pro version comes equipped with OPA 1622 Low pass filters along, the whole circuit includes premium-grade four low pass filters providing the users with a much cleaner and powerful sound output.
  • Lastly, With better decoding and amplification the M6 pro reproduces a much more detailed and lively sound output.

Unboxing Impressions

The Packaging was fairly convincing. If you open the box you will be greeted by the following things.

  • Player
  • 1 USB Type C charging cable
  • Manual
  • Warranty Card
  • Screen protector
Shanling M6 Pro - Unboxing and first impressions
Shanling M6 Pro packaging contents

Build of Shanling M6 Pro

The main difference with the M6 ​​is the material. Technically it’s the 5th edition design of Shanling. However, the new generation of M6 Pro comes with the power of symmetrical aesthetics. It doesn’t have the original mountain-like R corner of the original M6, the sides of the border form symmetry, and the “R corner” design is moved to the upper right corner of the screen. Although the opening of the bezel and the button layout are consistent, the M6 ​​Pro is slightly shorter in height than the M6 ​​in the wheel button part, or it shrinks a little inside the bezel. The guess maybe to further enhance the durability of the button.

The back is where the M6 ​​Pro has changed a lot. Shanling first integrated the process of AG matte sand erosion into the design of the product. This makes the back of the M6 ​​Pro, form a richer level transition, and this transition includes both visual and tactile, and also quickly brings key information such as brand logos and product models into the user’s sight. Individuals are also very pleased with this design element.

User Interface

M6 pro gets power from Snapdragon 430 Processor chipset and 4GB RAM+32GB ROM. So, the user interface is very quick and smooth, even with about 4000 FLAC songs loaded into the memory card the transitions are smooth and crisp. The cover arts load quickly, with no lag and no software issues.

The Shanling M6 pro runs Android straight out of the box which also enables us to use different streaming apps on the player.

shanling m6 pro

Android Music Player

It is a double-edged sword to install Android on professional players. Firstly, it can greatly increase the customization and scalability of the DAP, and it has more freedom and better performance of UI; with the ability of network connection. Plus we are getting cloud music playback. But from the other side of the blade, Android’s “not paying attention” to the audio subsystem design will obviously reduce the sound quality, so that it can’t create a machine that will not “sound” the sound.

Shanling’s approach to Android’s audio problem

ShanLing RD specially developed AGLO (Android Global Lossless Output) Android global lossless audio framework. However, I am not interested in these bells and whistles, I only care about the specific implementation. According to the official introduction, it is probably done like this. App’s audio digital stream output is exclusive. It bypasses other audio mixing output. So, only one app can monopolize audio output at the same time, regardless of mixing, no sampling rate is converted at the HAL. It will not happen in SRC. Certainly, they customized the FPGA to process the audio signal separately and cooperated with the high-precision clock signal generated by the double crystal oscillator to transmit the audio stream to the two AK4497EQ DACs at the back. Thus, they are confident about their Audio output process.

Shanling M6 Pro - Unboxing and first impressions
Shanling M6 Pro

Shanling M6 Pro’s Sound Quality

Whenever we are buying a new Digital Audio Player, we always think about it’s pairing with our headphones/earphones. Mostly we think about its sound quality. But in the case of Shanling m6 pro, it sounds like a flagship player in its price range.

M6 Pro supports balanced + single-ended output and provides 3.5mm + 2.5mm + 4.4mm at the same time. The fully balanced output mode naturally binds two DACs. This is no surprise because everyone basically does this. However, the M6 ​​Pro plays more in the single-ended working mode, allowing single or two DACs to work; because the limit of the single-ended limit is lower than the balance, the benefits of the two DACs are not large; In some cases, it’s still useful to use a single DAC, but I’m curious why other manufacturers don’t do this? It’s actually quite interesting. In terms of the sense of hearing after the actual switching of the working mode, the sound density in the dual DAC mode is significantly enhanced, and the dynamics are also slightly fuller at both ends. There is no obvious difference in tone.

This time Shanling designed the analog part of M6 Pro more violently. The OP + BUF AMP architecture is very common. It also carries OPA 1662 for low-pass filtering, ADA4610-2 (OP) + BUF634 * 2 (BUF); cooperates with the two The AK4497EQ DAC and M6 Pro have very good acoustic qualities. From the official nominal data, they do have very beautiful performance indicators. Lastly, it needs more time to evaluate the actual detail of sound analysis. So, stay tuned for the final review of M6 pro.

Final Impressions

The Shanling m6 pro is actually a very brilliant flagship DAP with support for all the formats. Shanling M6 pro is a bit close to a “mid-end ruler” at a price of $700-800. Although it is The power, the single-end / balanced sound level, and the adaptability of the earplugs is versatile. it is for most audio lovers. Stay with us for more impressions and reviews.

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