Shanling M8 Android Portable player
Jan 24, 2021 at 4:42 PM Post #1,382 of 4,564

NewEve

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Some preliminary thoughts about my new M8 from a Calyx M aficionado:

Pros - Significantly more power reserves (M8 is even more dynamic). Balanced mode allows use of REAL headphones like my Audeze LCD-2 Fazors. Similar noise floor (i.e. total lack of background noise). Similar "analog" sound signature. All mod cons - WiFi, Bluetooth. Much faster UI. Much better battery life (9 hours+ versus 4). Fires up in seconds versus minutes. Essentially, what I had hoped a Calyx "N" might be.

Cons - even bigger and heavier (but not prohibitively so). No gapless playback.

Wishes - Ideally one could pick how to sort by genre (e.g. by artist, album). At the very least I would like to have albums represented by thumbnails, like in the album view. Instead, you get a header for each album (alphabetically) and a list of all tracks. I have over 500 classical albums. Each takes at least a page on the screen. Browsing is a nightmare. Frankly, that is about it. Sure, I could use Neutron or another app, but I have too many DSF files that I would like to play natively. Matter of principles.


Some brief context - I have been an audiphile since I bought my first stereo for $50 at Montgomery Wards. I was 10. It was 1976. That was more money to me then than the M8 is to me now. I replaced the speakers with open baffles I pulled from our Datsun. My main system has evolved quite a bit, and is now a pretty serious piece of kit with a delicate beast amplifier from Germany's T+A driving Magnepans, controlled by a Sonic Frontiers hybrid pre. But with a family of five in sound-averse Switzerland, letting it rip is verboten. So I have become a real head-fi enthusiast over the past decade. Luckily, headphones have come a very long way indeed since 2010, never mind 1976. And portable players, too. My Calyx M from 2014 has until now been the one piece of gear I used the most. It was a revelation. Miles ahead of the Walkman WM-10 I still miss, and as satisfying, if in different ways, as my speaker system.

The M8 clearly surpasses both. Sure, for a dinner party or a stolen kiss of a moment, I will fire up all the components and let the beast purr and roar. And pray the police don't come a-knocking. Otherwise, it's the M8. Even for my LCD-2s, which I used to jack into the big rig. No longer. The M8 beats it.

The spaciousness, "iron fist in a glove full of Vaseline" dynamic control, resolution, bass, glisten and just overall richness the M8 provides is what I have been searching decades to find. It handles my Noble K10 iems, my closed Sines, and my open LCD-2s with equanimity. I just pick which 'phones make the most sense at a given time and I am gone.

The M8 is pretty expensive, even if there are lots of pricier options these days. But it is worth every penny. Want to feel Stewart Copeland's octobans cut through as intended? To be in the room with Janos Starker as he duels with Bach over the cellos sonatas? Mainline the briliant expression of the Red Priest as interpreted by Rachel Podger? Untangle the harmonic lines by John, Paul and George from that AAA 24bit-192kHz needledrop of their 2014 mono remasters? Get seduced then steamrolled by Talk Talk? Get some good hi-res files, a great set of a cans, and let the M8 take you away.

Bravo, Shanling. And thanks.

F* me... Another Swiss on the same thread than me 😊 Nice write-up! Cannot wait to get mine 😃
 
Jan 24, 2021 at 6:00 PM Post #1,383 of 4,564

szore

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Some preliminary thoughts about my new M8 from a Calyx M aficionado:

Pros - Significantly more power reserves (M8 is even more dynamic). Balanced mode allows use of REAL headphones like my Audeze LCD-2 Fazors. Similar noise floor (i.e. total lack of background noise). Similar "analog" sound signature. All mod cons - WiFi, Bluetooth. Much faster UI. Much better battery life (9 hours+ versus 4). Fires up in seconds versus minutes. Essentially, what I had hoped a Calyx "N" might be.

Cons - even bigger and heavier (but not prohibitively so). No gapless playback.

Wishes - Ideally one could pick how to sort by genre (e.g. by artist, album). At the very least I would like to have albums represented by thumbnails, like in the album view. Instead, you get a header for each album (alphabetically) and a list of all tracks. I have over 500 classical albums. Each takes at least a page on the screen. Browsing is a nightmare. Frankly, that is about it. Sure, I could use Neutron or another app, but I have too many DSF files that I would like to play natively. Matter of principles.


Some brief context - I have been an audiphile since I bought my first stereo for $50 at Montgomery Wards. I was 10. It was 1976. That was more money to me then than the M8 is to me now. I replaced the speakers with open baffles I pulled from our Datsun. My main system has evolved quite a bit, and is now a pretty serious piece of kit with a delicate beast amplifier from Germany's T+A driving Magnepans, controlled by a Sonic Frontiers hybrid pre. But with a family of five in sound-averse Switzerland, letting it rip is verboten. So I have become a real head-fi enthusiast over the past decade. Luckily, headphones have come a very long way indeed since 2010, never mind 1976. And portable players, too. My Calyx M from 2014 has until now been the one piece of gear I used the most. It was a revelation. Miles ahead of the Walkman WM-10 I still miss, and as satisfying, if in different ways, as my speaker system.

The M8 clearly surpasses both. Sure, for a dinner party or a stolen kiss of a moment, I will fire up all the components and let the beast purr and roar. And pray the police don't come a-knocking. Otherwise, it's the M8. Even for my LCD-2s, which I used to jack into the big rig. No longer. The M8 beats it.

The spaciousness, "iron fist in a glove full of Vaseline" dynamic control, resolution, bass, glisten and just overall richness the M8 provides is what I have been searching decades to find. It handles my Noble K10 iems, my closed Sines, and my open LCD-2s with equanimity. I just pick which 'phones make the most sense at a given time and I am gone.

The M8 is pretty expensive, even if there are lots of pricier options these days. But it is worth every penny. Want to feel Stewart Copeland's octobans cut through as intended? To be in the room with Janos Starker as he duels with Bach over the cellos sonatas? Mainline the briliant expression of the Red Priest as interpreted by Rachel Podger? Untangle the harmonic lines by John, Paul and George from that AAA 24bit-192kHz needledrop of their 2014 mono remasters? Get seduced then steamrolled by Talk Talk? Get some good hi-res files, a great set of a cans, and let the M8 take you away.

Bravo, Shanling. And thanks.
so what is the Stewart Copeland recording?
 
Jan 24, 2021 at 8:26 PM Post #1,384 of 4,564
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I couldn't get any of my screen P to work...I have nothing on it right now...

Wasn't Shanling supposed to send out new screen protectors to the people who need them? Whatever happened with that?

We send extra screen protectors to our distributors. In USA you can contact MusicTeck for it

Does anyone notice some clicks when M8 is playing dsd512 files?

DSD512 is not really common, so we are not seeing much feedback on it. Do you mean some clicks coming out of device when the song starts? Or getting some noise during playback?

Did you try it in Prime Mode as well?

The UX feedback hurts - @Shanling anything planned in this regard? I mean, reading @Rockwell75 we’re talking to the point that a competitor’s app seems to run better on the M8.

We have firmware update coming that will be improving some things on the M8.
But we are aware that some parts of our software are far from ideal, we can just hope our software team will manage to improve it further.

I was just wondering (maybe someone asked already) but what happens if someone loses one of those sockets or the "pull tool"? Will Shanling sell those separately for disorganized folks like me?

Replacement modules can be ordered through our official distributors.

- Would the noise floor be significantly better with the M8 and create a black background which I am really looking for?
- After what I read, I guess it is safe to assume that MQA support for Tidal plus Tidal offline will be available via firmware update at some point? (very important for me).

We always focus a lot on the noise performance of our players and seems users are reporting very well contorlled backgorund on M8.
We have new firmware with MQA ready, but need to see update from side of Tidal.
 
Shanling Have any question about our players? Just PM me or send me email. Stay updated on Shanling at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/Shanling-Audio-603230783166845/ https://twitter.com/ShanlingAudio https://www.instagram.com/shanlingaudio/ http://en.shanling.com/ frankie@shanling.com
Jan 25, 2021 at 2:28 AM Post #1,386 of 4,564

NewEve

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We have firmware update coming that will be improving some things on the M8.
But we are aware that some parts of our software are far from ideal, we can just hope our software team will manage to improve it further.

Thanks!

Quick one: how much leverage do you have? I imagine you pass on what's being said here, correct?
 
Jan 25, 2021 at 2:40 AM Post #1,387 of 4,564

Twjones

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so what is the Stewart Copeland recording?
Pretty much everything he did with the Police :wink: I have been listening to a PS3 rip of the Japanese SACD of Ghost in the Machine, an album I first bought when it was released. Copeland's fills on his octobans, toms and snare snap like strings of Black Cat firecrackers on the M8. Redefine "percussive" for me...
 
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Jan 25, 2021 at 2:59 AM Post #1,388 of 4,564
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Thanks!

Quick one: how much leverage do you have? I imagine you pass on what's being said here, correct?

I can report any bugs, fixes, make some suggestions, etc. But personally I can't give any orders or choose priority for the items.
 
Shanling Have any question about our players? Just PM me or send me email. Stay updated on Shanling at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/Shanling-Audio-603230783166845/ https://twitter.com/ShanlingAudio https://www.instagram.com/shanlingaudio/ http://en.shanling.com/ frankie@shanling.com
Jan 25, 2021 at 7:07 AM Post #1,390 of 4,564

Twjones

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Shanling -

We send extra screen protectors to our distributors. In USA you can contact MusicTeck for it



DSD512 is not really common, so we are not seeing much feedback on it. Do you mean some clicks coming out of device when the song starts? Or getting some noise during playback?



We have firmware update coming that will be improving some things on the M8.
But we are aware that some parts of our software are far from ideal, we can just hope our software team will manage to improve it further.



Replacement modules can be ordered through our official distributors.



We always focus a lot on the noise performance of our players and seems users are reporting very well contorlled backgorund on M8.
We have new firmware with MQA ready, but need to see update from side of Tidal.
Will the new firmware address some of the basic issues with file sorting? After loading up my M8 I notice that the alphabetical listing of albums under the Artist view only works for the first word. For example, bands whose names start with "The" are randomly listed. The Rolling Stones are followed The Beatles which are followed by The Art of Noise. As this affects about a hundred bands on my SD card, this sorting is problematic. Cheers.
 
Jan 25, 2021 at 7:40 AM Post #1,391 of 4,564

szore

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Pretty much everything he did with the Police :wink: I have been listening to a PS3 rip of the Japanese SACD of Ghost in the Machine, an album I first bought when it was released. Copeland's fills on his octobans, toms and snare snap like strings of Black Cat firecrackers on the M8. Redefine "percussive" for me...
Stewart Copeland is a percussionist, not a 'drummer'; love that kid.
 
Jan 25, 2021 at 5:08 PM Post #1,392 of 4,564

denis1976

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We send extra screen protectors to our distributors. In USA you can contact MusicTeck for it



DSD512 is not really common, so we are not seeing much feedback on it. Do you mean some clicks coming out of device when the song starts? Or getting some noise during playback?



We have firmware update coming that will be improving some things on the M8.
But we are aware that some parts of our software are far from ideal, we can just hope our software team will manage to improve it further.



Replacement modules can be ordered through our official distributors.



We always focus a lot on the noise performance of our players and seems users are reporting very well contorlled backgorund on M8.
We have new firmware with MQA ready, but need to see update from side of Tidal.
The clicks are when are dynamic shifts for instance when a drum attacks when the bass it hard, in resume when the music signal incrises
 
Jan 25, 2021 at 6:10 PM Post #1,393 of 4,564

RTodd

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Man I really want to try the M8 but I’m so lazy and I think I’ll prefer the DX300 based on design/UI alone.

The Traillii reminds me a lot of the VE Elysium in some ways so I’m following your impressions and thoughts pretty closely to see how each DAP pairs with your Ely.
Andrew at MusicTeck mentioned to me you were wondering about the pairing of the Traillii with the M8, I have this combo, as well I now have a newly acquired Elysium thanks to all the praise in this thread. On that subject for me the Ely sounds better on the M8 than the Traillii. Think it is down to the mids I used Karyn Allison’s version of You Do Not Know What Love Is and compared the difference, took seconds to hear that her voice was presented much better from the Ely dynamic driver, not that Traillii was at all bad sounding. The Triallii beats the Ely in treble slightly, after you upgrade the Ely stock cable, before you do that the treble in the Ely to me can be a little shrill. Code 51 solved that. On Bass it is quite close. For the DAPs I have the Traillii on the P6 Pro is at its best. If I only had the M8 and the Triallii I would not be unhappy. The Traillii is superior to the Ely but for some reason with the M8 the Ely wins for me. Just my opinion here admittedly my experience is somewhat limited.
 
Jan 25, 2021 at 6:16 PM Post #1,395 of 4,564

Rockwell75

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With the M8 the Ely wins for me.

It's a great pairing and a testament to how good synergy can be imho. With the n6ii I still loved Ely but it felt like I was making a slight concession with the bass. With the M8 everything is absolutely perfect and oh so seductive and I'm honestly having a hard time imagining a setup at any cost better tuned to my preferences.
 
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