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Shonyun SH-306A

Posted

Pros: Impressive capability to drive all kinds of headphones

Cons: Not really suitable for low independence IEM

Packaging

 
The packaging is somehow not something really impressive, a thick carton box. Package includes:
-    Shonyun 306A Portable Amp
-    A Charging Adaptor (3.5mm large pin like the Nokia 3310’s)
-    User Manual
-    Interconnect Cable
 
Build Quality
 
The side by side comparison of the Shonyun Amp and the Iphone 4s. It is just about the size of the Iphone which would have a nice grip on your palm. (Dimension : 11.5cm x 5.8cm). The whole amp is built with solid metal casing with the faceplate that has the logos and the wording on it. Personally, I think that it would be great if Shonyun may do some re-design for their wording and the logos for this amp or plate it with simple carbon fibre surface with their branding on it. 
The faceplate itself would be in a blue light when it is turned on and red light while it is charging. A fully charged Shonyun may last for about 8 hours.
 
The Shonyun 306A has a 2cm thickness. Its quite thick but still not considered as bulky and is suitable for portables.
 
 
The amp comes with the normal 3.5mm headphone output port and input port along with an extendable volume knob at the top part of the amp and the Charging port is located at the bottom of the amp. There are no gain switch and power button for this amp.
 
 
 
Key Features
 
Extendable Volume Knob
There are a few interesting features in this amp which really fascinates me.One of it is the extendable knob which it will be bounced out with a single click.The knob is firm and steady and this features avoid me from sliding the volume knob accidently when it is in my pocket.
 
Auto On/Off Mechanism 
Another feature that comes with this amp is the Auto On/Off switch which will switch on the amp when you plug in your headphone and switch off when you removed the jack from it. Its an very interactive feature  would safe you from burning your battery by forgetting turning it off.  
 
 
 
Initial Impressions
The first impression when I got this amp. The faceplate of the amp is somehow not really suitable and I am doubting about how well would this thing be? The first thing I did with this amp is plugging in my custom JH-5 and sourcing from my Fiio X3 to give it a try. The only thing I can hear from it is the harshness of highs and the sibilances everywhere.This might be a sign that this amp is actually too powerful. Then I tried it with my ATH M50. Well, its another different story again. Although the ATH-M50 is a low independace headphone but it does not face the overstriking problem for the IEM. After that, I tried it with some high ranged headphones like HD800, ATH-W5000, Beyer T5p. I am amazed by how well this little portable amp can drives a big can.
 
 
Sound Quality
Gadgets involved :
Fiio X3 as source
Jh5, RE400B, ATH-M50, HD800, ATH-W5000, Beyer T5p
Copper Colour OCS Interconnect Cable
 
Sound wise, this amp is categorized as neutral sounding. The highs are being ariculated adequately, the mids we can notice a better clarity, more presence and improved smoothness.
The best part is at the bass part where there are increased of tightness and impacts on the lows. The soundstage is being widen but not very significantly. 
However, it is suggested that Shonyun 306A should not be paired with low independence IEM unless with a 75ohm adapter. 
 
 
The best part about this amp is how well it can drives big cans like HD800, ATH-W5000 and Beyer T5p like any other desktop amps. This amp is a very powerful amp that can feed these big cans. Usually I would need to use amp with power source while trying with HD800 and ATH-W5000. But this little Shonyun can drives them very easily. It’s a perfect amp for headphones which always hungers for power.
 
 
 
 
Conclusion
A very good and neutral pairing amp for mid-high independace IEM and all range of headphones. The capability on driving some big cans makes it a very worth trying amp around. Shonyun is a brand that worth a look into it and hope they can improve more on this amp by adding a gain switch that might fix the problem of limitation for low independence IEM and a redesign of the faceplates. 

Posted

Pros: Well built, Retractable vol. knob, Clean & neutral tone, Pure performance amplifier

Cons: Lack of power switch,

Disclaimer: I am by no means a hi-fi enthusiast, only a fellow music lover. Oh and the unit is a loner to me.

 

Hard paper box

 

 

Content inside

 

 

The unit itself, SH306A

 


FEATURES


DISPLAY INDICATOR - Blue light will emit (on the Shonyun logo itself, and with red colour when you plug in the power adapter - the only visual indication that the device is now powered up and ready to be use) upon insertion of headphone jack to the amp line IN. A mechanism to indicate the level of battery would be a nice useful added feature though.


VOLUME KNOB – Its recessed capability is a welcome feature. It prevent any chances of accidental volume change and with the volume knob being able to be fully pushed inside and immersed made the amp easier to store and inconspicuous for transporting etc.. Though I reckon the volume increment sensitivity can yet be improved. Having said that, I would usually prefer an analogue volume knob as compared to a digital one. A digital volume control would almost always impose either too large of an increment or too less of an increment.

 

 

Bottom end of the amp - with power supply input

 

 

Top end of the amp - with vol. knob, headphone in

 

 

SQ


NEUTRAL – I reckoned that the 306A is a rather neutral amp. Those with analytical and/or bright sound preference rejoice.


POWER – The 306A is clearly packed with ample juice to drive (common) big cans. But the (fixed) gain may prove to be too much at times, so usually I would just stick to a quarter of the volume knob (rotation).


DYNAMIC – I believe the 306A would pair up nicely with all those big cans. I could hear the details coming out effortlessly from my DT880-250. Instruments separation are also better and just cruising in altogether. I particularly like how the cymbals and tambourine simmer down. Bass also sound solid and at times you can hear the bass guitar steel string vibrating (My Medicine – The Pretty Reckless). The background accompanying music in Primadonna by Marina and The Diamonds also sound rather engaging and interesting.


BASS - The bass decay may have diminish a bit too soon thus giving the impression of a lesser full bodied sound.

 

 

 

 

ENDWORDS


To sum it up, I honestly believe that you will gain substantially should you decide to purchase and pair the 306A with your source to facilitate in driving you headphone better. Especially those who own big cans. In my opinion, the Shonyun SH-306A really does present your DAP/source up to their maximum potential without altering their respective sound signature which I think is a job well done and would serve a great deal of music lovers looking for this sort of amp characteristic to properly drive their headphone.

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Shonyun SH-306A
Description:

SH-306A Frequency Response: 10-100 kHz Output Power: 455mW @ 16 ohm SNR: 105dB Distortion: Less than 0.005% Recommended Headphone Impedance: 16~300 ohm Input Impedance: 28 kOhm Output Current: 600mA max Battery Life: Around 12 hours Power Supply: 110~220V AC IN / 21V 500mA DC OUT Size: 110mm*70mm*25mm MSRP: US$160

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