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Shanling M8 High-End Digital Audio Player Review Roundup

Shanling M8 High-End Digital Audio Player Review Roundup

Shanling is a well-reputed HiFi audio equipment brand based in China. They have a wide range of products across different categories such as Digital Audio Players, In-Ear Monitors, USB Dongle DACs, and more. A few months before they released their flagship Hi-Res Player, the Shanling M8.

Shanling’s “M” series of portable Digital Audio Players is one of the most successful product lineups with highly successful products such as M6 Pro and now the M8. The latest M8 brings an innovative interchangeable headphone socket design to the market of Hi-Res Audio Players. It allows the users to change the socket as per their desired termination requirement. The M8 is equipped with two of the latest flagship AK4499EQ DAC chips from AKM Technologies for high-quality audio decoding. It has received nothing but only praises and positive feedbacks from audiophiles from all around the globe. Let’s hear out what they have to say for this high-grade audio player.

Shanling M8-1


The Shanling M8 is an outstanding DAP with its own unique flair – a rich and mature sound with full-bodied tonality and dynamism. The dual AK4499EQ paired with the op-amp combo really delivers a musically primed sound with fantastic balance amidst a pitch-black background. Shanling has not taken any compromises either when it comes to functionality and the M8 supports streaming from all the familiar services out there including Spotify, Tidal, and Deezer. For all these reasons, the Shanling M8 undoubtedly deserves to take a seat on our all-time best digital audio players list. While it is not the cheapest DAP out there, consumers looking to uphaul their portable audio collection should seriously consider the M8 to drive the very best of IEMs all the way up to full-sized headphones.

Check out their complete review here.


From the soothing M6 to the vividly presented M6Pro Shanling proves their tuning expertise and hardware qualities, and once again they combine the merits in tuning with top-grade AK4499EQ decoding capability plus an amping circuit overhaul.

The result is a very well-polished, mature-sounding signature that has everything in place and is highly coherent. M8 has a look that is consistent with its sound design, achieving tranquility and serenity in and out with minimalistic topologies, sounding elegant, effortless, and expressive with dense and rich details, especially in the lower frequencies.

Music is part of my meditation and this is the kind of sound that is deep and calming for night-time listens. With distinct resolution, excellent headroom, a strong dense mid-bass character that does not compromise dynamics, the M8 is the most expressive DAP based I have heard so far.

As long as you do not mind the larger form factor, this is a solid recommendation for anyone who loves mega-rich bass details, soothing vocals, and grand staging.

Check out their complete review here.


Shanling M8 felt and performed with all my headphones like a true high-end DAP from any point of view. Its build quality is top-notch, it has a perfect layout and sexy looks. I particularly liked its unique sound tuning, it played like anything I’ve tried up to this point and I hope they will continue using its unique character in the future and of course its legendary flow. Its bass performance was something I never expected to hear out of a portable device and its upper registers were quite special with treble intensive music.

M8 performed at a very high level with every IEM, portable, and desktop headphone I’ve tried and as result prepare to pay a premium for all that goodness. Shanling M8 will cost you $1659, it is uncomfortable saying this, but it’s worth it! I liked it so much, that I decided to purchase the review sample to be used in my future reviews, so you can be sure that these were my unspoiled, honest impressions.

Check out their complete review here.

You can also check out their video review on YouTube here.


The last time I was really impressed by a DAP (excluding the SP2000), I was in London, and Covid19 wasn’t introduced to the world. That device was no other than the Lotoo Paw Gold Touch. Now the world is a different place, but the qualities that make a DAP good didn’t change really, especially for sound quality.

So how should I rank the Shanling M8? I would say it’s among the best. This is the first DAP that really impressed me for quite a while. Aside from its unmistakable sound presentation, it has a clean-cut Android software implemented with good features in a versatile environment. It has good battery life, build quality, and design. It has a unique approach to headphone outputs, which I really liked. Some people disagree about the idea, but I beg to differ.

Check out their complete review here.


Shanling’s M8 is quite the audiophile device. This DAP contains some powerful hardware and boasts a performance to match. The removable sockets are a more than welcome innovation for audio players of this kind, and while it might not be appealing to some, I definitely found it interesting. Some might not want to worry about switching out sockets, and you’ll be out of luck if you end up losing one, but it makes for a sleeker appearance. This is one of the best-looking DAPs around with its beautiful 5-inch screen and strong chassis. Most of the user interface is simple and easy to operate especially if you’re familiar with Android OS. The highlight of the M8 for me was getting to use the 4.4mm connector that showcased some of the best resolutions on the M8. The $1659 price point might be a dealbreaker, but for an endgame audio player, it stands prominently next to other high-end brands like Astell and Kern. If the M8 ends up being your endgame DAP, you won’t be disappointed. 

Check out their complete review here.


When moving from the desktop system to DAP reviews, it is often better to take a day or so to reacclimate to the differences in overall sound quality, which is often quite stark. The Shanling M8 provided for less of a difference across “platforms” than I have ever experienced from a DAP and this was truly amazing.

The Shanling M8 is an extraordinary “Portable Music Player” more detailed and extended than the DX220 AMP1 MkII, more musical and engaging than the Cayin N6II/A01, and it is as powerful as some desktop systems (and more transparent). The Shanling M8 also proved outstanding as a digital transport to the Border Patrol SE-I DAC. The iBasso and the Cayin are both quite good, highly rated DAPs, the M8, however, is on another level altogether in what it brings to the rendering of one’s music. 

If you are a music lover, and for me, I imagine that in every music lover there is a bit of the romantic, the artist/poet—engaged or frustrated—the habituated realist, and the lover of all things beautiful (art, architecture, design, etc.), then this may well be your last DAP or “Portable Music Player.” In some ways, it will be soothingly reminiscent of vinyl played on a good turntable. And, of course, this is my subjective opinion. 

The Shanling M8’s many features, its voice and outstanding musicality, its transparency, its build quality, design, and its ability to bring forward enough power to drive the oBravo RA-C-CU (93dB, 182Ω), are astonishing! Perhaps it is, after all, a desktop system or component misnamed or masquerading as a DAP. That said, the Shanling M8 is the third product to receive our GOLDEN KEYNOTE award for excellence.

Check out their complete review here.


The Shanling M8 is really good, developers have managed to create the sound that stands out for its character, but technical enough to suit the top segment. Add stylish design, good ergonomics, and interesting idea of swappable connectors, and we have a very interesting and worthy device in its segment. Device developers took sound tuning reasonably, they have analyzed the sound of competitors, and have decided that Shanling flagship should have its own unique sound and presentation. They succeeded in it. M8 offers enhanced macro details and provides a very involving sound.

Check out their complete review here.


With the M8 Shanling has firmly established themselves in the portable high-end with a very refined, high quality, and beautiful sounding DAP. A lot of attention to detail went into it and the only area where some improvements can be made is at the software level. The implementation of the AK4499EQ DAC chips has been done very well and the sound quality reflects that it is a very high-quality reference sound with a hint of warmth and a natural feel. It is refined and does not resort to any tricks to add a perception of detail. Build quality is great and the system runs super smooth with full Play Store support. Last but not least, the highly innovative interchangeable headphone socket adds versatility that will extend beyond just the different types of standard headphone out. Excellent job Shanling!

Check out their complete review here.

Shanling M8-2

These reviews give us an idea of how good the Shanling M8 actually is. If you are looking to buy an end-game Digital Audio Player, the Shanling M8 is surely gonna end your search giving you a fantastic time!! It has a price tag of 1659$, you can check out more details here.

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