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Shanling M30
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Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player

Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player is the name of the solution with which Shanling is celebrating its re-entry into the field of high-quality home and desktop hi-fi. It is a unique, modular solution that is ready for future updates and personal customisation.


Shanling has recently distinguished itself by offering an extremely broad range of products in the field of personal audio devices. Portable hi-res players in particular were at the top of the Chinese company’s list of priorities, as were impeccable headphones and, last but not least, portable headphone amplifiers based on Bluetooth.

One could almost say that Shanling has recently developed into a proven specialist in the field of personal audio devices, although the company’s roots lie in the field of classic hi-fi. And it is precisely to these roots that the company now wants to return, first and foremost with the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player.

The new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player is, according to Shanling’s claim, the re-entry into the field of high-quality HiFi solutions, and even more, the company speaks of a high-end HiFi solution especially in the field of desktop audio systems. It is an all-in-one solution, which naturally takes up a lot of what Shanling can offer in the field of portable hi-res audio players. To put it in a nutshell, the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player is a high-performance DAC, a headphone amplifier, but first and foremost a stand-alone hi-res audio music player for accessing your own content and various streaming services.

Yes, you can compare this solution directly with the portable hi-res audio players from Shanling, the functionality clearly corresponds to the current products, especially in the premium segment.

However, and this is a decisive difference, with the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player you don’t have to accept various compromises that a portable, slim solution naturally entails.

Of course, the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player is not really huge, but it measures no more than 26 x 21 x 5 cm and weighs about 3 kg. As already mentioned, it is designed as a desktop audio system, which means it has little in common with conventional hi-fi components.

Flat, slim and elegant – this is how the aluminium housing of the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player can be described without a doubt. Despite the most compact dimensions, there is much more space available to accommodate a wide variety of interfaces in different forms. Above all, this is the decisive difference to portable systems.

It is interesting that Shanling refers to the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player as a modular system that can be upgraded or converted in the future through various options and upgrades.

In fact, the exploded view that Shanling already presents on its website shows a frame that represents the basic foundation and into which various modules can be inserted. Five exchangeable modules are supposed to be offered here for individual customisation. This promises really exciting options for the future.

The heart of the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 8-core CPU, which is supported by 4 GByte RAM and 32 GByte ROM. The memory can be expanded at any time via SD cards, even for your own extensive media libraries. Of course, a specially adapted version of Google Android 7.1 is used as the operating system, although the user is hardly aware of this, as a separate app is the central interface.

Speaking of interfaces, the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player offers plenty of them. This starts with WiFi, an RJ45 Ethernet interface and Bluetooth, so that you can contact the “outside world” in many ways, more on that in a moment.

In addition, there are two USB A, one USB B and one USB C port, so that you can not only connect to a PC or Mac, a tablet or smartphone, but you can also use the corresponding storage media directly as a source.

For digital sources, the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player also offers an optical as well as coaxial S/PDIF interface, even analogue sources have been considered with a pair of cinch sockets, that should be mentioned in passing. By the way, the USB DAC is based on an XMOS XUF208.

Outputs include a pair of RCA sockets for unbalanced and a pair of XLR connectors for balanced connection to other hi-fi components.

Headphones can be connected unbalanced via a 3.5 mm stereo jack or 6.3 mm stereo jack, but there are also 3.5 mm PRO, 2.5 mm and 4.4 mm jacks for balanced headphones, as well as a 4-pin XLR.

Of course, headphones can also be connected via Bluetooth, which supports SBC and aptX as well as aptX HD, LHDC and LDAC. For the sake of completeness, it should also be mentioned that this Bluetooth 5.0 module can function not only as a transmitter but also as a receiver and supports SBC and LDAC.

The volume is controlled via an almost massive rotary encoder, which also sets a fine visual contrast in brass. A small display and status LEDs are also located directly on the front of the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player.

In our further consideration, we have to approach it a little differently than usual, because, as I said, the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player is a modular system.

For example, it has its own player module, which is inserted at the top and which basically contains the already mentioned “intelligence”, i.e. the main processor, the corresponding memory and the operating system.

On its upper side, a touch screen display with six inches and a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels is available as the central interface.

Via this player module, the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player functions as a dlna-certified UPnP streaming client in the network, but can also support Apple AirPlay. Of course, you can access a wide range of streaming services.

The DAC of the Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player is also a module, whereby two AKM AK4497s and two Texas Instruments Ti OPA1662s are used. This enables the Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player to process linear PCM data with up to 32 bits and 768 kHz, as well as DSD including DSD512 and MQA.

Another module is the headphone amplifier, where two ADi ADA4610-3 and four Texas Instruments Ti BUF634 are used.

A particularly exciting module is the so-called Tube Module, equipped with two Korg NuTube 6P1. With this, and this is really exciting, you can optionally rely on an output stage in transistor or tube technology, depending on your taste, depending on the source material, simply switch.

Even though this is explicitly not a portable, but rather a desktop device, the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player nevertheless has another module, namely a Battery Module.

With the help of the Battery Module, a clean signal processing free from external influences is guaranteed. In addition, this offers the advantage that the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player can be used flexibly anywhere in the house without being connected to the mains.

The battery module of the new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player is said to have a capacity of 16,500 mAh, although the manufacturer has not yet provided any detailed information about the battery runtime in the various operating modes.

The new Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player thus represents an extremely exciting system, which, according to the manufacturer, is to be launched on the market as early as the second quarter of 2021. However, Shanling’s high-end claim is also reflected in the price, which is expected to be € 3,599.

Getting to the point

Shanling hat sich ganz klar seine portablen Hi-res Audio-Player im Spitzenfeld als Vorbild für den neuen Shanling M30 Modular Desktop HiFi Streaming Player genommen, allerdings gestaltete man diese Desktop Audio-Lösung so, dass man Kompromisse, die man bei einer portablen Lösung eingehen muss, nicht hinnimmt. Das modular aufgebaute System verfügt somit über alle Ausstattungsmerkmale, die man von einem Stand-alone Hi-res Audio-Player, Streaming-Client, D/A-Wandler und Kopfhörer-Verstärker erwarten darf.

Manufacturer:Shanling
Distribution:NT Global Distribution GmbH
Price:€ 3.599,-

About Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.com, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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