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Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP – The new member of the Shanling UA Line with AKM AK4493SEQ DAC

Shanling is expanding the Shanling UA Line with a very special solution, namely the new Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP. For the first time, it features the new D/A converter from Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation, the AKM AK4493SEQ DAC.

The Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP is the latest addition to the so-called Shanling UA Line and thus to the product series that the Chinese company Shanling envisages as optimal products for use in the mobile sector. Compact, light and therefore easy to take with you anywhere and at any time, it is supposed to provide D/A converters with integrated headphone amplifiers on a high quality level. Of course, all this also applies to the new Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP, which for the first time features a new D/A converter from Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation, namely the AKM AK4493SEQ DAC.

Shanling’s preferred D/A converter

For many years, AKM’s D/A converters were at the heart of Shanling’s audio design, according to the personal audio device specialist, which credits them with playing a crucial role in the distinctive sound of its solutions.

However, the fire at the Japanese semiconductor manufacturer’s factory in 2020 meant that it was not only Shanling that was suddenly confronted with the problem of looking for alternatives from one day to the next and essentially redesigning the entire product range. In general, the future of AKM was not the best, so that there was already speculation in the industry as to whether one could expect D/A converters from AKM at all in the future.

Most new products in 2021 were affected, Shanling said, but they had managed to make the transition successfully and maintain the rigorous hi-fi standards they had built up over the past 34 years, the company said in a statement.

Fortunately, AKM returned in early 2022 with a new series of D/A converters, which are now gradually finding their way back into new products from a wide range of manufacturers, including Shanling.

Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP with AKM AK4493SEQ DAC

The Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP, the latest addition to the Shanling UA line, is one of the first results of AKM’s efforts in this area.

The new Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP builds on the successful concept of the Shanling UA2 Portable USB DAC/ AMP, but brings with it a number of significant innovations, according to Shanling about the new product.

At the heart of the new Shanling U2 Portable DAC/ AMP is the AKM AK4493SEQ DAC, which enables it to process signals at up to 32 bits and 768 kHz, as well as DSD at up to DSD512.

The new Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP relies on USB-C for connection to a wide range of devices such as smartphones, tablets and notebooks, supporting UAC2.0 and UAC1.0 and thus not only supporting solutions with Google Android, Apple iOS, Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS, but can also be used with the Nintendo Switch and other gaming systems.

  • Foto © Shanling | Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP
  • Foto © Shanling | Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP
  • Foto © Shanling | Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP

Powerful output stage

A key feature of the new Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP is its powerful output stage, which uses two Ricore RT6863 headphone amplifiers to deliver up to 125 mW of power via the unbalanced output and as much as 211 mW via the balanced output to headphones with an impedance of 32 ohms.

Both an unbalanced 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack and a balanced 4.4 mm PENTACONN are available for connecting the headphones.

Operation is, of course, primarily via the source device, although the new Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP has its own buttons for direct control of the volume.

Prices and availability

According to Shanling, the new Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP will soon be available in specialised shops. The manufacturer lists the recommended retail price as € 109,-.

Getting to the point

Even though they had to rely on solutions from other manufacturers due to the tense situation on the market concerning the availability of D/A converters after the fire at the Asahi Kasei Microdevices Corporation factory last year, the Chinese specialist for personal audio devices Shanling admits in no uncertain terms that the converters from the Japanese semiconductor expert are among their favourites. The company is all the more pleased that AKM has returned with new products and can now present the new Shanling UA3 Portable DAC/AMP, the first solution of the Shanling UA Line, which features the brand-new AKM AK4493SEQ DAC.

Price€ 109,-
DistributionNT Global Distribution GmbH
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Michael Holzinger

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

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