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Shanling UA2 Aborted Review (DAC & Amp)

sam_adams

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If you are advocating that I should never let you all see such things, that is good data point to have.

You should show us the bad along with the good. You could call it "The ASR Hall of Shame". I should have sent this POS to you for testing. The antenna mounting was so close to the mini-USB connector that you couldn't plug it in to power it on!
 

Jim Taylor

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I value reliability. I value consistency. I believe it leads to longevity. I'd like to know about the failures.

OTOH, I realize there is a legal issue here. I don't know how to balance the two values. Jim
 

Bullwinkle J Moose

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You miss the point. The owner who sent it in HAD used the app to limit the output. Amir did not know this and the device correctly keeps output limits between connected devices, app or not. Had the owner set it back to full output prior to sending in, this would not have been an issue. See @staticV3 recent post.
No, I got the point

The unit has an app that can bork the settings

FAIL!
 

PeteL

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you mean these things should blow up IEMs and destroy people's hearing out of the box?
Yes? Nobody wearing IEMs should press play with any device at full volume, whether it's your player's volume, set by a companion app, or with physical volume control. If the inability to destroy one's hearing was the criteria of a good DAC/Amp, then this "bug" we see here would be the norm and this review wouldn't have been aborted but would have had great score, but then you have a device that works only with ultra sensitive buds. This is what it is. in an amp you want some power, headphones requirements vary,It's a good thing, not bad, it's up to the user to be smart about protecting your audition.
 

Bullwinkle J Moose

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I don't review products that I "know" are malfunctioning. I plugged the dongle in like I have done with 50 other ones and it did what it did. I read the manual and searched the internet but could not find any information or FAQ indicating there was an app that could have screwed with the volume. I rebooted my machine, changed apps, changed sources, it all produced the same result.

In the past I have found some dongles producing low volume out of the box incorrectly. But that as soon as you adjust the volume control in windows, they start to work correctly. This did not work this time but led me to think it could be a bug as such.

The review is clearly titled as "aborted" and the short text explains the situation. Now if someone buys one of these used and finds the volume low, they know what could be causing it.

There are plenty of reviews you never see because I do find devices to be broken, not being a working design, etc. In those cases I have proof of the device being broken. Here, it just seemed like a firmware bug of sorts so I reported on that.

If you are advocating that I should never let you all see such things, that is good data point to have.
THIS is why it is a big FAIL!

You buy the device from a friend / enemy /stranger and try to use it
It doesn't work without an android app
AND, You don't have an android device
AND, You don't want to buy one
DOH
 

stalepie2

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I don't review products that I "know" are malfunctioning. I plugged the dongle in like I have done with 50 other ones and it did what it did. I read the manual and searched the internet but could not find any information or FAQ indicating there was an app that could have screwed with the volume. I rebooted my machine, changed apps, changed sources, it all produced the same result.

In the past I have found some dongles producing low volume out of the box incorrectly. But that as soon as you adjust the volume control in windows, they start to work correctly. This did not work this time but led me to think it could be a bug as such.

The review is clearly titled as "aborted" and the short text explains the situation. Now if someone buys one of these used and finds the volume low, they know what could be causing it.

There are plenty of reviews you never see because I do find devices to be broken, not being a working design, etc. In those cases I have proof of the device being broken. Here, it just seemed like a firmware bug of sorts so I reported on that.

If you are advocating that I should never let you all see such things, that is good data point to have.
But it's not for Windows. It's for phones.
 
OP
amirm

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But it's not for Windows. It's for phones.
It is for both. They even have a driver for Windows.

1627614117961.png


Many laptops have anemic or noisy analog out. So these dongles are essential for getting good sound out of them.
 

sam_adams

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It is for both. They even have a driver for Windows.

Their site says that it works with IOS and Macs—without a driver for macOS. That means that it's probably UAC2 compliant and may even work with the latest versions of Windows that have UAC2 support.

@amirm, if the owner is going to send it back to you, I think it's worth a go for an amended review just to be fair.
 

drplinker

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I was going to buy this tomorrow! Thank God this was posted! :oops:
@vinnik If you haven't read the entire thread yet - a misconfigured device was sent to Amir, which messed up the measurements.

Now that we know what happened and device is enroute to Amir, hopefully he will find time to measure it sooner that later.
 
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amirm

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@amirm, if the owner is going to send it back to you, I think it's worth a go for an amended review just to be fair.
??? Of course that is what I am going to do. Why else would he send it to me?
 

Saidera

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This is one of the most surprising threads on a usb adapter I have ever seen. It shows that people care about these adapters which is great.

It'll go down in history as the UA2 mishap.

I want to see dongles outperforming Apple USB-C at the same price (9-15).

Basically a Meizu-like USB-C adapter at the price of an Apple USB-C, by a dominant global brand like Samsung.

I want to see dongles outperforming SHDP/S8 at the same price (40-60).

Anything over 60 is just beyond my cost-performance radar.

Basically a USB-C dongle or adapter with UA2’s 768kHz PCM support, 9038D’s output power, better ASIO drivers, and overall measurements better than SHDP/S8, or approaching Topping at the same price as SHDP. No LED lights, no dependency on apps, but keeping volume buttons and memory of the last set volume.

For some reason all that is changing is the exterior and the extraneous. Complexity is increasing, transparency is decreasing, diversification is intensifying. Technical support isn’t keeping up with the complexity and non plug and play nature of these products. Behind all this is the difficulty in sourcing chips; even UA1 has to become a UA1 Pro, just as S9 became S9 Pro. Shipping fees are completely different now and ships take months of delay to leave ports. And nobody really takes these dongles seriously.

I reckon UA2’s stand out feature is its support for 768kHz PCM. But since Apple USB-C satisfies 98% of users of smartphones, and no HQPlayer exists for smartphones to enable 768kHz PCM, I really don’t see any point in Shanling enabling 768kHz PCM. They should have focused on PC ASIO support where competitors using Savitech’s ASIO drivers are somewhat less than satisfactory (especially control of latency/buffers), if they considered 768kHz PCM to be a selling point – although I guess they probably didn’t. They still view USB-C adapters as smartphone-centric, not as USB dongles for desktop PC use.

Actually I don’t want to see dongles better than Apple/SHDP/S8 with the same price, since the amount of dongles I have is more than a handful; I am saturated with dongles. I have 11, of which only 4 are proven to stand out from the rest: 2 Sonata HD Pros, 1 Meizu Hifi, and 1 Apple USB-C. So it is good to see UA2 aborted. Further, given the global chip shortage, a focus on loudspeakers is preferred.

Edit: I see dongles being released which are even further away from my 'cost-performance radar', such as YIN LU MEI S4, which does have 768kHz PCM support, and incredible output power. And I thought L&P's dongles were overkill.
 
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Jimbob54

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No, I got the point

The unit has an app that can bork the settings

FAIL!
It doesn't bork them. It does exactly what the owner wanted it to do, give him greater volume control with less max output. A great feature.

And if you want to use such a feature, you'd want it to "stick" regardless whether you connected to your phone, pc or office pc.

But to "unstick" it, you need the app. No physical controls barring the USB type selector.

The device did and will continue to work exactly as intended. It's just a shame Amir was not aware of this prior to testing and publishing.

Consider a desktop device with hidden dip switches that massively alters performance. Owner engages, doesn't tell Amir, sends for testing but Amir isn't aware. Fails the device. Fair test?

Buy the device new it will run at full output, never need the app if you don't want. No issues.

EDIT- where it does fail, seemingly, is in communicating the app and its features to second hand buyers/ reviewers. I do take your point about buying second hand- you would want to know a factory reset had been performed before acquiring if you didnt want to use the app.
 
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Bullwinkle J Moose

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If things like this can happen, there should be a way to factory reset that thing without a app.
It "should" auto reset when connected to any device that does not have the app installed, and use the app setting on any device that it is installed on

But it doesn't

FAIL
 

vinnik

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@vinnik If you haven't read the entire thread yet - a misconfigured device was sent to Amir, which messed up the measurements.

Now that we know what happened and device is enroute to Amir, hopefully he will find time to measure it sooner that later.
Oh, i see. I'm needing a DAC dongle to use with my new Topping L30, and since i really don't care about expensive DACs, since technology evolved to a point that it's beyond human hearing (my point of view), this dongle should be enough to me. My only concern is the output voltage (1.6v). Let's see.
 
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