This Shanling M3X portable Hi-Res player is built on the same platform as the previous three Android models. With this most affordable M3X, the manufacturer aims at the bottom-end of the head-fi market. Doing so, the manufacturer focusses less on implementing the most premium DAC chipsets or amplifiers but makes virtually no concessions to functionality and, most important, sound quality. The result is a Hi-Res music player that offers an exceptionally good ratio between price and performance.
Compact and Handy
Designed as a scaled-down version of the M8 flagship, the M3X is 25% more compact than Shanling's popular M6 and M6 Pro players. The compact size makes this player much easier for on-the-go use and thanks to the 4.2-inch touchscreen it's still easy to operate. Shanling has equipped this player with the ESS Sabre ES9219C DAC/AMP. This is the successor of the popular DAC/AMP of ESS that the brand has applied in e.g. its M0 and UP4 models.
True Balanced Design
Shanling uses two separate ES9219C DAC chips in this M3X music player, providing a truly balanced headphone output for a portable music player in this price range. In addition to higher output power, this balanced circuit also provides a significantly better sound quality. The gain is adjustable and highres audio formats are supported up to 24bit-384kHz and DSD256. Moreover, the DAC supports the full 16x MQA unfold. If you are a music enthusiast looking for a gem of a player, you might just found it.