Shanling M3X Portable Player - Our smallest Android Player
May 15, 2021 at 12:27 PM Post #811 of 1,584

rlw6534

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One question I forgot to ask here, which do you prefer between R5 and M3X? Does M3X has a larger soundstage than R5?

I'm currently using the M3X as my primary DAP with the R5 put away for now (in reserve :relaxed:). That's the best answer I have. As I have said before, the DAPs are very similar in features and sound (to my ears). I feel somewhat inadequate in describing soundstage, sorry. Perhaps others with better ears can chime in. I very much wish I could hear some of the differences I have heard described in these forums (as well as what some the description words actually mean)... I don't have a good setup for a/b testing without swapping IEMs and, of course, louder alway sounds better, fuller and wider... For me, the choice of IEMs is what determines the sound.
 
May 15, 2021 at 12:48 PM Post #812 of 1,584

el-jorge

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Well my M11 Pro (SS version) is the largest DAP I own, especially when you consider thickness. Perhaps the picture is a bit misleading. The SS version weighs twice as much as the M3X as well. I can't comfortably carry it in my shirt pocket, which is my preferred spot, both due to size and weight. I believe most would consider the 4497 DAC to be superior to the Sabre DAC in the M3X but you do pay the price in battery life and excess heat (and purchase $$$). I'm not the guy who can tell much of a difference between quality DACs so I'm not going to tell you that one sounds better than the other, I honestly don't know. To me, they both sound great. I do like that the M11 Pro has both 2.5 and 4.4 mm balanced jacks, however. The M3X easily has twice the battery life and doesn't heat up when playing which matters to me. I already own both, so I don't have to choose... I actually think they complement each other well if you have room for two DAPs... :relaxed:

Thanks. I already have a m11 (non pro). But it’s large and heavy. I’m thinking to get something smaller with a good balanced output. The M3x checks the boxes.
 
May 15, 2021 at 1:02 PM Post #813 of 1,584

rlw6534

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Thanks. I already have a m11 (non pro). But it’s large and heavy. I’m thinking to get something smaller with a good balanced output. The M3x checks the boxes.

Well, if you want small, full Android and balanced output, the R5 and M3X are really the only choices in this price range. Here are some comparison charts of current DAPs that I find useful:

http://bit.ly/DAP2021Q2
 
May 15, 2021 at 1:11 PM Post #814 of 1,584

el-jorge

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Well, if you want small, full Android and balanced output, the R5 and M3X are really the only choices in this price range. Here are some comparison charts of current DAPs that I find useful:

http://bit.ly/DAP2021Q2

thanks. That doesn’t make it easier 😂. I was already eye balling the r5 also. But have to read a lot more about it. Is see there are 2 versions r5 and r5 saber.
 
May 15, 2021 at 2:10 PM Post #815 of 1,584

Victory112

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Well, if you want small, full Android and balanced output, the R5 and M3X are really the only choices in this price range. Here are some comparison charts of current DAPs that I find useful:

http://bit.ly/DAP2021Q2
wow, who made that graphic? it's up-to-date and pretty impressive-looking.
 
May 15, 2021 at 2:10 PM Post #816 of 1,584

rlw6534

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thanks. That doesn’t make it easier 😂. I was already eye balling the r5 also. But have to read a lot more about it. Is see there are 2 versions r5 and r5 saber.

The only difference between the R5 and R5s is the op amps. The R5s uses a newer (but slightly cheaper) version. This may have been an availability issue more than anything as performance is similar. Hiby says the R5 is warmer and the R5s more detailed. They use the same Cirrus DAC so don't let the name fool you (Saber versus Sabre for ESS DACs).
 
May 15, 2021 at 2:13 PM Post #818 of 1,584

rlw6534

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wow, who made that graphic? it's up-to-date and pretty impressive-looking.

I agree... Note that the posts are in Japanese.

Twitter: @align_centre
 
May 15, 2021 at 2:18 PM Post #819 of 1,584

rlw6534

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I am getting the sense that the R5 and the M3X are "cut from the same cloth". I almost wonder if HiBy helped Shanling with the design. That used to be HiBy's business model.

I know that Hiby had partnerships with Shanling, Cayin, and FiiO before they (Hiby) got into the DAP business. I suspect that arrangement continues to some degree.
 
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May 15, 2021 at 8:59 PM Post #821 of 1,584

ClarenceKyle

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Thanks all for the information on the M3X. Based a lot on the perspectives here, I bought and am very happy. I had frankly been a bit skeptical about how much improvement I'd get given my CIEMs are all quite efficient, and I was already using a DAC dongle with my iPhone. But it was the need for more storage for my music, as well as desire for AptX BT, that I finally decided to get a DAP. And yes an improvement over the DAC dongle in SE mode, though I wouldn't say huge.

Having balanced though allowed me to use my Dan Clark Aeons with them, which I do when I want more soundstage, or right after a shower, while still wanting some sound isolation. Does a fine job driving the Aeons. However, it's quite noticeable that with sharp quick bass, it doesn't come close to my home DAC/Amp (Topping DX7 Pro). Very noticeable on Tool's Fear Inoculum, even though on low gain I'm listening around 60, so not very loud. That said, for me a small disadvantage as I mostly use the M3X with CIEMs. And when I do use it with the Aeons, I'm satisfied. I didn't expect it to perform as well as a desktop DAC.
 
May 15, 2021 at 9:29 PM Post #823 of 1,584

rlw6534

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Thanks all for the information on the M3X. Based a lot on the perspectives here, I bought and am very happy. I had frankly been a bit skeptical about how much improvement I'd get given my CIEMs are all quite efficient, and I was already using a DAC dongle with my iPhone. But it was the need for more storage for my music, as well as desire for AptX BT, that I finally decided to get a DAP. And yes an improvement over the DAC dongle in SE mode, though I wouldn't say huge.

Having balanced though allowed me to use my Dan Clark Aeons with them, which I do when I want more soundstage, or right after a shower, while still wanting some sound isolation. Does a fine job driving the Aeons. However, it's quite noticeable that with sharp quick bass, it doesn't come close to my home DAC/Amp (Topping DX7 Pro). Very noticeable on Tool's Fear Inoculum, even though on low gain I'm listening around 60, so not very loud. That said, for me a small disadvantage as I mostly use the M3X with CIEMs. And when I do use it with the Aeons, I'm satisfied. I didn't expect it to perform as well as a desktop DAC.

Some of the DAC dongles are pretty good devices. I used a Dragonfly before I had this idea that it would be nice to separate my phone device from my music listening device (poor battery life with the Dragonfly + iPhone). Probably not my best idea based on $$$ spent on this hobby... :sunglasses:
 
May 16, 2021 at 8:33 AM Post #824 of 1,584

slex

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May 16, 2021 at 9:12 AM Post #825 of 1,584

Dcell7

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I know that Hiby had partnerships with Shanling, Cayin, and FiiO before they (Hiby) got into the DAP business. I suspect that arrangement continues to some degree.
Hiby was always about the software for DAPs before they started to make DAPs on their own. As far as i know when Hiby started to get into the DAP hardware business the other brands started to develop and use their own (Android based) software.

So i suspect there is no connection to Hiby anymore, at least with Shanling i do not see any relation to Hiby anymore. All software is developed in-house (Shanling Mtouch) or Android based. Same for Fiio, they also use Android or Android-based software for their DAPs nowadays.

The hardware on most daps is fairly standardized. There are a few DAC makers and most brands choose the DAC according to the segment. For opamps it is probably the same. So it is quite common that the specs of DAPs are almost the same. They are all fishing in the same pond as far as acquiring hardware for DAPs.

Only Sony does their own in-house development. Maybe @Shanling can shed a bit of light of their current relation to Hiby. I am curious as well.
 

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