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Shanling M5

Shanling M5

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While I like the sound of the M5, not being a technical person, I find their UI not very intuitive or user friendly. The instructions that came with the M5 are so skeletal, they're just about worthless to someone like me. The wheel is cheap plastic. I dropped the M5 at a restaurant (a couple of feet) and the wheel was a goner. Had to contact Shanling for a replacement, which took several weeks.
I hate that the M5 keeps shutting down on its own. I would really appreciate it if someone can give me step-by-step instructions on how to upgrade to v.2.1 firmware? Thank you!
Shanling has heard our concerns! As far as I can tell, the firmware 2.1 update fixes the annoying auto shutdown bug with the scroll wheel. Putting it to the test right now but if it's the case, this is indeed awesome news.

ETA: Took the M5 with me today on the train, bus, walk, etc. and it looks like Shanling heard our (my) howls of discontent and fixed the shutdown bug. Glad it was fixable and now the M5 can stand alongside other mid-fi DAP champs because a portable you can't walk with is pointless.
Does anyone know if it's possible to bypass the internal dac when using the line out? I'm new to DAPs not sure if any DAP would do that. I just think it would be nice to use a a source when I'm not travelling at home with my Violectric DAC and amp.
You can turn the Line Out into a Coax out that will bypass the DAC in the settings menu. That's the easy part. I think finding the right cable without overspending is a bigger challenge.
Thank you very much, that's extremely useful knowledge for me!
My FiiO X5 3rd Gen was shipped today and should be at my doorstep on Friday. For $40 more than the M5 I can't see taking both the quality and poor customer service risk along with the big difference in features.

I have the M1 (also from Massdrop) and while it's a neat little device the UI and other functionality issues make it a pain to use at times.
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Do you see anything on the paper specs for the X5 3rd generation that leads you to believe the M5 will still outperform it?
On paper, the X5 3g kinda looks better than the Shanling. But of course, I need to hear how the device actually sounds before making any informed comparison. I'm not into aggressive or peaky treble. I got rid of my DX90 for that very reason. If the X5 can deliver on a smooth yet detailed top end, the feature set alone might have me picking one up for myself. Haha.
So, the last time my M5 stopped working, it started up again, a couple of days later. This time, it's really dead. So, after about 6 months of regular use, it refuses to turn on anymore. I emailed Shanling with a copy of my receipt and still haven't heard back from them yet. At this point, I doubt I'll hear back. I LOVE this device but at this point I can't see myself replacing it with another. No warranty service, no sale.
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I forgot to follow-up. My Shanling M5 is working and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. The issue is that there's a weird shutdown bug that happens sometimes when the scroll wheel is active and there's a sudden jarring action to the wheel. Then you have press the power button for 10 sec then again for another 5 sec until it turns back on. By turning off the wheel when the screen is off, that solves 95% of the problem. If you smack the M5's wheel while the screen is on, it might shut off again but it is avoidable. So, it's not as bad as I initially thought it was!

I would still buy one, even after learning of the quirks.
I spoke too soon. It's not dead, it just has a weird shut down bug that doesn't happen as often now that I've turned the wheel off.
What is the warranty of this product and where can I claim warranty?
The warranty card states some limitations but is non-specific as to how to initiate an in-warranty fix. It just says to contact Shanling via email. I assume the message just goes into a giant pile of pneumatic tubes.
will we get an update on the shipment tracking numbers by chance?
My new-ish M5 just died. Time to dig up that warranty card!
Not dead. Just occasionally shuts down.
Individual shipments are being prepared now! Our warehouse team received the group's bulk order earlier and have already broken everything down into the individual packages. As soon as your package is scanned into the courier's system an email will be sent with shipping confirmation and tracking info.

Expect another update from us on 1/10 or sooner if something comes up.

If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (
Thanks again for joining this drop! We have submitted the group's order with the vendor for the Shanling M5 and they are working hard to prepare it for shipment.

As soon as the group's order is ready at the vendor's location, they will send the bulk shipment to our warehouse in New Jersey where our warehouse team will break it up into individual orders and ship them. The current estimated ship date from our warehouse is 1/4.

We will keep the group updated throughout the fulfillment process. You can expect an update from us by the end of the day Pacific Time on 1/16.

If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center (
I'd love to join this buy, but I am wondering how I could economically send the unit to China, from the USA, for repairs if that is necessary in the future. I imagine it would be costly (?).
The Shanling M5 remains one of my favorite mid-tier DAPs to date, and I've tried quite a few. It provides a nice, smooth listen yet retains good detail retrieval and soundstage. It's a noticeable difference when switching back and forth between mid-tier DAPs in my collection like the Aune M2, Cayin N5, FiiO X5, iBasso DX80, L&P L3, Opus #1, and Shanling M3. That's not to say you'll prefer the M5 over any of those, but for my tastes I'm listening to M5 and Opus #1 most right now for their complementary sound signatures.

The GUI is very similar to those found in Cayin N5 and the FiiO X1, X3ii, X5, and X5ii DAPs but is is designed just a bit better for my tastes - seems more intuitive.

The scroll wheel / d-pad control is a bit controversial. I really like it as do most of the right-handed people I've loaned it to. It's a toss-up with the lefties, though. Some lefties are fine with it. Some have a hard time getting used to it. The reason I like it is that the controls are completely centralized and easily manipulated with just my thumb, and it's positioned such that I can maintain a very firm grip on the M5 while using the controls. After using the M5, it made me realize just how much more secure my grip is on it vs the touch wheel DAPs I've used. The one caveat is that because the volume is controlled by the wheel, you can't change volume while scrolling through menus. Dedicated volume buttons would be nice.

Firmware updates come fairly often and contain very nice upgrades like deep sleep, quick scrolling, replaygain functionality. It's nice to see Shanling listening to their customers and adding in very useful features over time.
As someone who's had little experience with DAPs (my only other device was the DX90 and I think the M5 is a huge step up from that one), I would agree with everything you posted except that the scroll wheel tends to turn on its own when I put the M5 in my pocket and walk around, although maybe my pockets are too overstuffed for my own good.
I agree that M5 is a big step up from the DX90. M5 is an underrated DAP IMHO!