The Shanling M6 Portable Hi-Res Player (21) will replace the “regular” M6 in the portfolio of the Chinese brand Shanling Audio. However, the differences are not that great. DAC chips manufactured by Asahi Kasei Microdevices as part of the Shanling M6 gave way to a pair of ESS Saber ES9038Q2M. Moreover, the replacement was not an initiative of the developers.
The reason lies in the fire that happened at the AKM factory last fall. As a result, the company was unable to provide sufficient chip production. Stocks of AKM DACs allowed Shanling to continue production for a while, but now they had to make changes to the circuit.
DAC ESS Saber ES9038Q2M also required reworking of the analog part of the player, in which the output stage was updated. In addition, Shanling M6 (21) now supports MQA encoding. The rest of the player is completely identical to the previous model. The novelty will go on sale in April.
The innovations required a slight price increase – in Europe, the Android-player Shanling M6 (21) will cost 570 euros.