Shanling M6 Portable Music Player

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by purr1n, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    Oh yeah, the days of Shanling's big Hi-Fi machines. We are still making them, but sells are pretty much all limited just to China. Hopefully it will change next year.

    Little bit tricky to say to be honest.

    Run with 16/44 and just as music player? Around 11-12 in single ended and less than 10 in balanced.

    Streaming over Tidal, changing song every few minutes? Or playing DSD256? That can cut it by few more hours.
     
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  2. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    It's your pal again @Bina, will Shanling would entertain any Android updates to 9.0 in the future for both M6 models? I dunno how the Eastern market is like, but at least for me and others in the Western market we do not want to buy a DAP and then have to deal with an outdated Android OS with APKs no longer updating due to the outdated Android OS in a few months/one year.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  3. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    purr1n did you try this with any full size HP's? I currently use a Questyle Qp2r, mostly with Focal Clear's and Stellia in bed. Looking at this for the Android/streaming/Roon functionality. Keeping in mind the limitations of DAP's from a SQ perspective, Just looking for any obvious "gotchas"
     
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  4. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    I purchased a secondhand ZX2 about a year ago and was mortified by how clunky and slow the software/UI is even compared to my 2015 Galaxy Note 5. Felt like watching a power point presentation while scrolling. I know you mentioned the M6 runs far smoother than the ZX2, but is it as responsive and smooth as a smartphone? At least for web browsing / music streaming / messaging.

    ZX2 was right on the edge in terms of driving my uber-efficient modded TH900s, but it looks like the M6 is spec'd at 600mW into 32 ohms which would be far beyond enough to deafen me with 90% of my full size headphones.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  5. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    I had one of those on hand for a few days once. One of the most distinctively beautiful sounding players I've ever tried. I couldn't get on with the clunky mechanics and user interface unfortunately and if I'd kept it I probably would have eventually thrown it through a window.
     
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  6. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    I fully understand you.

    There were some talks with our software team about possibly moving to Android 8 or 9, but for now can't promise anything. :(
     
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  7. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    I get it man. Just tell corporate as feedback as to what the users are looking for (at least in the Western markets). I might consider down the road getting the M6 Pro, but I would be pissed if it stays on Android 7.1 and Shanling release a new DAP with a newer Android version. I want my APKs to last for a long time. :p
     
  8. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    I'm European, so I understand western markets very well ;) And this is not just about west, like Japan is our main market and they push for this even more.

    This is not really about company not wanting to fix/improve this. But about what our software team is able to do...
     
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  9. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Dude, I get it. ;)

    I just wish other Chinese manufacturers put a heavier focus on software development, but you know this is a huge problem in China.

    Tell them $$$$$$ for more sales! :p
     
  10. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    The sound quality of the Qp2r was a surprise to me as well. One expects (or should) these little AIO opamp driven devices to be limited, but the Qp2r has a clarity/resolve/detail beyond the usual, and even a tad bit of head stage on decent full size HP's. ZMF's were too much for it, but Focal's have the sensitivity to get something more than a compressed "hey it makes sound" out of it. I had trouble going back to IFi nano and the like after getting it.

    You nailed it UI and clunky mech's - why does it have to make so much noise?! It was not a satisfying device in bed with my wife :p Now that I am wanting something that can be a Roon endpoint I am looking beyond it.

    I went ahead and ordered an M6 Pro today thinking it might be a better fit for me. Will drop a review in a week or two when it comes in, though I don't do IEM's like it seems most users of these sorts of DAP's do.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 28, 2020
  11. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Excellent, let me know if the M6 Pros are better wearing your Star Wars hat.

    But on a serious note, let us know how you like the software end of things.
     
  12. Rockwell

    Rockwell Friend

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    Yeah the ZX300 sounded like compressed mud to me after having the QP2R. Funny you mention Focal...I think the QP2R was bundled with a Focal headphone at one point. I wish the company kept going. There was some hype around a new player from them bit it tanked because the QP2R didn't sell well enough. It's too bad nobody else is really trying to use that sort of amplification tech with better operating mechanics/software in another device. I'd be very interested.
     
  13. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    The QP1R was already a standout for me, just some minor ergonomic and UI issues. iFi nano (non black) was horrible. I get an idea what Sony was trying to do with ZX300, but it just wasn't good enough.

    I'll give full sized headphones a try with the M6. I also ordered balanced MMCX cables for IEM cables and will report back on that too.

    BTW, Shanling MW200 (bluetooth neckband) is a standout with IEM use! Review pending.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    I'll dig it up from the storage Pod and try it out. The problem is that I cannot remember the box I put it in!

    It's not so clear cut in this case. I do think it may work. Sony ZX2 was merely OK and not optimal with the FDX01. The reason is the organic lows of the ZX2 didn't mesh well with the FDX01 lows which can be kind of thick and almost veiled. While the M6 is does have a dark tilt and is similarly laid back, the lows are not so blatantly organic as the ZX2, so there is hope. I would be curious how the M6 Pro (a few extra) would fair. I still have not found the optimal portable synergistic pairing with FDX01 yet. I know others have tried. @brencho? The optimal sound would have tight, maybe even lean bass, but laid back in upper-mids. That's an odd combo. Only Mojo comes to mind, but as you said, separates are PIA.
     
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  15. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    M6 performed very well web browsing with Chrome while I was on the airplane and in the airport. I actually kept up on SBAF and replied in a few threads. While it didn't feel like Pixel 4A 5 smartphone performance, the experience wasn't clunky and chopping like the ZX2 using Chrome. I'd say the experience was like using a Pixel 1 phone which has been used for a few years. The main downside is that the screen is small. This also presents a slight problem with the Roon app, but my eyes are still good enough to use it. Maybe there is a blind person setting in the Roon app?
     
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  16. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Dynamics and the bass authority is my only nitpick with the M6. It is not velvety or soft, but it isn’t quite authoritative as I would like. The head stage is very spacious for a device in this price range. The real specialty of the M6 is its timbre and the lack of any digital nasties for a DS chip based device.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Super Friend

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    Agreed on that. Restrained is the word I would use. The xDuoo XD-05 Plus is better in this respect, but one needs to roll boutique expensive opamps to get the same timbre, and even then, it's a separate DAC/amp without music storage / WiFi / UI, the volume is touchy with CF IEMs, the build refinement and maturity is circa 2010, and no Android.

    The Q2PR may be interesting, but it's one or two price brackets higher, and I wasn't enamored with the Q1PR's iPod like circa 2006 interface.

    Note that the AK portables, even on the high-end, are restrained like this too, perhaps even moreso. It seems to be their house sound. Maybe M6 Pro or M8 to save the day? At least in respect to Android. I would have a hard time giving up the Android streaming apps.

    I do have a MMCX to 4.4 cable on the way. Maybe the M6 is better with the balanced output? It's a got a another circuit that consists of two amps running the differential signal for balanced output.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
  18. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    Is there a Dual DAC mode for single ended @purr1n? I thought I read it somewhere that it does.
     
  19. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    Sorry for the quick off-topic but for what it's worth, Upscale Audio has a blingy gold QP2R on sale for $600. I'd considered getting it when looking for a DAP for my Andro 2020 a few months ago but ended up going with the ZX2 instead.

    It's good to hear that the M6 is a successor to the ZX2 and that it does streaming well. Lots of folks have complained that the AK SR25, at a comparable price to the M6 Pro, fails to maintain a decent, stable wifi connection. Were it not for this the AK player might have been a good option, with its slightly higher OI for the Campfire BA IEMs. Kudos, then, to Shanling for getting the wifi and streaming down so well.
     
  20. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    On M6, both DACs are active in single ended use.

    Dual DAC mode switch for now is only available on M6 Pro, as it's using more power hungry DACs and switching to single DAC can prolong battery life when desired.
     
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