The new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player could be described as the little brother of the Shanling M9 Portable Hi-res Player introduced by Shanling last year, or at least this is what the Chinese specialist for personal audio devices Shanling suggests on the occasion of the presentation of this new model. Shanling says that the new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player has many of the features of its big brother, but in a slightly more compact form factor. Thus, the new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player joins the Shanling M Line as a smaller version of the flagship.
Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player – The little brother of the Shanling M9 Portable Hi-res Player
According to Shanling, the launch of the Shanling M9 Portable Hi-res Player was an important milestone for the company. It was the first DAP in the Shanling M Line to feature Google Android 10 as its operating system and was equipped with a particularly powerful CPU and a flexible platform. However, this new platform, in combination with the new processor and the updated operating system, not only offered more performance, it also allowed for a smaller form factor and thus a particularly elegant, slim design, as Shanling itself describes it. Shanling referred to this concept as Wave Design.
It is precisely this Wave Design that the new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player is supposed to offer, but the inner values are also supposed to be quite similar to its big brother, as Shanling explicitly emphasises.
The new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player has the same 5-inch diagonal Full HD screen (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) as the older Shanling M8 Portable Hi-res Player, but in a slimmer Wave Design housing that measures 129 x 78 x 20 mm and weighs 312 g. Inside, the new features of the M7 HiFi Android Player have been incorporated. Inside, the innovations of the M9 have been adopted, including the one-piece aluminium housing and the integrated acoustic design with only one circuit board, as Shanling states on record.
Converter from ESS Technology Inc.
The audio circuitry of the Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player is based on the ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DAC from ESS Technology Inc. and represents the flagship of the ESS line.
Interestingly, Shanling speaks in this context of a power-hungry 8-channel beast, so it is extremely unusual and surprising that such a DAC is used in a DAP (Digital Audio Player) of all things. However, in the last few months, they have learned to appreciate this D/A converter very much, sometimes even forced to do so, after all, the offer on the market was – to put it cautiously and positively – very manageable. The experience gained from the integration of this converter in the Shanling CD3.2 (21) CD player was used to optimally implement it in portable devices such as the new Shanling M7 HiFi Android player.
The ESS ES9038 PRO DAC is used here in so-called current-mode operation, combined with a matching ESS ES9311 voltage regulator, a power circuit adapted from the Shanling M9 and the I/V converter stage developed by Shanling itself. Coupled with a so-called OP + BUF Amplifier Architecture, which has been further optimised for the Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player, a DAP is said to have been created that delivers outstanding measurement values and thus ensures impeccable playback. Specifically, it is a combination of components from Analog Devices Inc, Texas Instruments Inc and Nisshinbo Micro Devices Inc, an Analog Devices ADA4896-2, Nisshinbo Micro Devices MUSES8920, Texas Instruments OPA2211 and Texas Instruments BUF634.
The converter enables the Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player to play back content in Linear PCM at up to 32-bit and 768 kHz, DSD up to DSD512, and also MQA.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
At the heart of the new DAP from Shanling is an 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 CPU with Adreno 610 GPU and corresponding platform, which is supported by 6 GB RAM and a further 128 GB ROM, whereby the memory can be expanded using micro SD cards.
This platform around the Qualcomm processor also provides WiFi via the Qualcomm WCN3980 Wireless Module, so that the Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player can be directly integrated into the network and used as a dlna-certified UPnP streaming client. Apple AirPlay is also supported and of course you can directly access various streaming services. This is made possible by Google Android 10 as the operating system, which is open to the user in all its functionality.
The easiest way to connect headphones is via Bluetooth, although the Bluetooth 5.0 module of the new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player is designed as a transceiver and can therefore transmit and receive. A smartphone or tablet can also be connected to the DAP to benefit from the high-quality signal conversion.
It should also be mentioned that the new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player naturally has a USB-C interface to exchange data or even use it on a PC or Mac as a USB DAC with integrated headphone amplifier.
Unbalanced and balanced
Headphones can be connected to the new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player via cable in two ways: firstly, unbalanced via a 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack, and secondly, balanced via a 4.4 mm PENTACONN. Single-ended, i.e. unbalanced, the DAP delivers 400 mW at 32 ohms, while balanced, i.e. balanced, it delivers an impressive 900 mW at 32 ohms. In both cases, the output stage can be adjusted between low gain, medium gain and high gain to suit the respective headphones.
Up to ten hours
The integrated 7.000 mAh lithium-polymer battery of the new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player is said to offer a playing time of up to ten hours, as the manufacturer promises, whereby this specification applies to the unbalanced headphone output. If you use balanced headphones, the playing time is said to be up to 8.5 hours.
Prices and availability
The new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player should be available in specialist shops within the next few days, as the manufacturer states. Of course, this should always be viewed with a little caution and indulgence, not least because of the situation on the market as a whole. One thing is clear: if you are interested in the Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player, you will have to pay € 1.249,- for it.
Getting to the point
The Shanling M Line from the Chinese specialist for personal audio devices Shanling has once again grown, and at the top end. The new Shanling M7 HiFi Android Player, the little brother of the flagship, the Shanling M9 Portable Hi-res Player, is due to hit the shops these days. Many of the features of the top device will also be available here, but in a slimmer, equally elegant form factor with Wave Design.
|PRODUCT||SHANLING M7 HIFI ANDROID PLAYER|
|Distribution||NT Global Distribution GmbH|
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG|