May 6, 2021

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Shanling M6 21 evaluation: you can change the chip, and the sound quality experience is online

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Do you ask me if I have a stereotype of Shanling? That’s true.

In the past few years, my impression of Shanling products is that the sound quality is good, the tuning tastes good, but the system is relatively backward, and the player screen display effect can directly go back to 2006, especially if the screen viewing angle is materialized then it would  be very impressive. In short, it is still a very traditional and Hi-Fi style with priority to sound quality. But after I haven’t touched the Shanling player for a long time, the Shanling M6 21 version is enough to refresh my mind.

In the past few years, my impression of Shanling products is that the sound quality is good, the tuning tastes good, but the system is relatively backward, and the player screen display effect can directly go back to 2006, especially if the screen viewing angle is materialized then it would  be very impressive. In short, it is still a very traditional and Hi-Fi style with priority to sound quality. But after I haven’t touched the Shanling player for a long time, the Shanling M6 21 version is enough to refresh my mind.

 

Change the core without changing the soul

Since Shanling officially made a very intuitive parameter comparison table. Here we first look at the specific upgrade details of the Shanling M6 21 version compared to the old Shanling M6 from the table.

The most notable of these hardware changes is that the DAC chip has been changed from the previous generation of dual AK4495SEQ to dual ES9038Q2M, and the op-amp is also changed from dual OPA1612 to dual OPA2211. The machine’s output power has also been increased to 190mW single-ended and 570mW balanced, which is a significant improvement over the previous generation, and the gain also provides three gears of high, medium, and low.

In addition to these, parameters such as signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range have also been improved. I will not list them all here. Just look at the table.

Judging from the current supply situation, Shanling M6 21 version chip replacement may also be a helpless move when the industry’s chip supply is insufficient. After all, a fire at the AKM factory is no different from a supply for the entire audio industry. However, the Shanling M6 21 version still achieves a sufficiently high sound quality level under the premise of replacing the main components, and the style is also primarily inherited from the previous work. It can be said that Shanling’s best counterattack against chip-only fans.

Back to the topic, although few audio equipment reviews have too much ink on the player screen, as an experientialist, I have to praise this good-quality screen.

Although the Shanling player of the past two years had a good design and texture, the big screen with a very narrow viewing angle was impressive. Although the essential thing of a music player is sound quality, the screen is just a “song selection assistant,” but it is also an important part of the experience.

The screen of the Shanling M6 21 version finally made me unable to complaint about it. Although I can’t compare it with the top-level screen with more powerful parameters and colors on the smart phone, this screen is entirely the player’s specification. Relatively high with experience. This screen has completely subverted my concept of Shanling products, and it is even enough to become a new reason to buy the machine. Its progress is so great.

Of course, I haven’t experienced Shanling in-depth for a long time so that this jumpy feeling will be more obvious. For the old users of Shanling, you may feel the improvement of the screen quality more gradually.

There is another essential thing. Shanling M6 21 version is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 mobile platform this time, equipped with 4GB RAM + 32GB ROM, and is also a familiar Android system. You should know that this configuration may only be a few bucks machine specification on a smart phone, but for a player whose primary function is music playback, such a configuration is indeed relatively high-end, and it is also smooth for general use and brings full assurance.

Of course, just like what I said when we talked about the screen: don’t use smartphones’ standards to require the screen of this player, such as details or the holding and other details. As a player, this kind of hardware is perfect.

Although the Shanling M6 21 version is not Shanling’s first player with a higher-quality screen and (relatively) high-performance processor, this is my first in-depth experience of the Shanling in its current form. Some people may think that my evaluation is a bit like Old fashioned entry into the Grand View Garden, but for me, the feeling that the Shanling M6 21 version brings to me is really refreshing and even refreshing the stereotype.

 

Quality and sense of hearing no longer make choices

Although a different chip is changed, the Shanling M6 21 version’s tuning style has not changed much, and it is still similar to the previous generation.

The Shanling M6 21 version is still a familiar and delicate style and does not have the “loud and thick” feeling of traditional domestic players but has a perfect sense of atmosphere. From the perspective of sound completion, I think the Shanling M6 21 version’s performance is indeed more mature.

And in the case of similar styles, the overall sense of hearing of the Shanling M6 21 version has become more transparent, and the sound field’s size has also improved to a certain extent. If the previous Shanling is still more biased towards the warm paste analog flavor, then the Shanling M6 21 version is somewhat closer to the digital taste, and it is more appetizing for the current market.

And in the case of similar styles, the overall sense of hearing of the Shanling M6 21 version has become more transparent, and the sound field’s size has also improved to a certain extent. If the previous Shanling is still more biased towards the warm paste analog flavor, then the Shanling M6 21 version is somewhat closer to the digital taste, and it is more appetizing for the current market.

From the tri-frequency point of view, the Shanling M6 21 version’s high frequency is relatively bright, and the style is more transparent. The sense of extension and lines are in place. The middle frequency is moderately thick, with a certain sense of moisture, and the voice is relatively close to the ear (but not Very close in the absolute sense); the graininess is not apparent. While the low frequency can be said to be a bright spot, the texture is firm, the sense of volume is sufficient but not too much, the dive is also in place, and the rebound is not procrastinated.

And in terms of resolution and information, the performance of the Shanling M6 21 version is also excellent, the separation and positioning are also apparent when there are relatively many instruments, and the transient dynamics are also very good at the same price. All in all, this time, I am delighted with the hard quality aspects of the Shanling M6 21 version.

Although I didn’t have much contact with the previous generation of Shanling M6 on and off, I can feel the improvement of the overall sound quality of the Shanling M6 21 version. Even with a new chip, this player has improved significantly in terms of overall quality, information volume, other rigid performance, and the analysis has also improved. Therefore, the Shanling M6 21 version is more capable of playing at the same price, but it also needs to be used with headphones with sufficient resolution.

In fact, it is not surprising that the Shanling M6 21 version has such a tuning style. After all, Shanling has long been not the traditional tuning style that only seeks quality and resolution but pays more attention to taste. But now Shanling can better combine taste and quality, and maintain a high level of hearing so that the overall sense of hearing of the Shanling M6 21 version is further improved.

In terms of personal preference, I will not conceal my praise for Shanling’s tuning style that considers both taste and quality. After all, I personally often listen to female voices and various OSTs. Both taste and quality are significant for the listening needs of these two types of music. If the style of Shanling I used to listen to female voices better before, then the style of Shanling M6 21 version now I only think that the female voice and OST sound very good. This new tuning style will improve the style of Shanling M6 21 version. It is very meaningful in terms of adaptability.

Speaking of this, I would like to talk about comparative philosophy. Think about ourselves. We used to be sharp but gradually learned to be smooth in the beatings of society. Shanling’s pursuit of taste seems to have been the edges and corners of the past, but now the improvement of quality is more like respect for users’ needs. When the two and the two gradually merge into one, it is the time when a product has both pursuit and market recognition.

Shanling M6 21 may not be the final result, but it may be a very gratifying part of the process.

 

Maturity is the most important thing

If you ask me to recommend the Shanling player two years earlier, I might say that if you like its taste, then you can buy it. Now that the hardware is upgraded and the tuning is more advanced, the overall performance of the Shanling M6 21 version at the $450 gear is more prominent. It has both quality and taste and the overall tuning style. From the aspect of adaptability, It is also extensive.

From a quality point of view, the Shanling M6 21 version has reached the standard; and from a taste point of view, the Shanling M6 21 does not lose its familiar taste. This kind of player that can balance taste and quality is more likable, or that this is the mature form that an audio product should have.

 

Of course, I do not hope that the transformation of the Shanling M6 21 version is just an attempt. I hope that Shanling can introduce more mature models of this kind in the future. Models that consider artistry, design, sense of hearing, and quality make consumers comfortable and a stepping stone for manufacturers to avoid spontaneous enclosing and embark on a more popular market.

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