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Shanling UA2 Aborted Review (DAC & Amp)

abdo123

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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.

No? The European union already sets volume limits of 85dB (A-weighted) for any phone and pairing headphone/earphone sold in the EU while allowing the possibility of increasing the limit by the user later on.

so the responsibility is no longer on;y on the user anymore, there are regulations in place to make sure kids aren't blasting music like crazy and damaging their hearing.
 

Frankie-Shanling

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Oh, too bad you didn't send us email or even PM me here on forum, could have looked at it before you posted this.

Original post also was missing any info if you used it with the Windows drivers.

Is this mfr in any way related to Topping or SMSL?

No, we have nothing to do with these two companies, apart from being in same region of China.

UAC1 toggle? Wonder if it has to do with getting the PS5 to recognize it as an external sound device. UAC2 isnt supported which is the majority of devices out on the market.

It works at UAC2 at standard, you switch it to UAC1 only when needed (For some phones / Nintendo Switch)

Garry Shanling?

No, he was Shandling. But we sometimes get mentioned by accident on Twitter due to this.

I already use an app obviously but I dont see the need to use their prop app instead of any common music playing app aka NeutronMP, etc. No way!

There is no need to use the app. At default it's set to high gain, with full range of volume available. The companion app is there just in case you wanna customize it more than you can with other such devices. (limit volume range, gain, channel balance, digital filter).
 

Jimbob54

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Ah, ok i see.
Fail.

To be clear, it is @Bullwinkle J Moose view that it "should" reset when connecting to a different device . I dont believe that is the view of many readers here or indeed Shanling.

By that view, the E1DA dacs should also fail as they have that same feature. An app enabled volume limit that "sticks" between devices, app installed or not, until you manually change it or reset the device. Again, I dont see this as being a problem and not a problem for anyone buying new (as it ships at max output). It may, as Bullwinkle has suggested, be an issue for anyone buying second hand that cant get/ dont want the app and the previous owner applies the limitation.
 

tomtoo

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To be clear, it is @Bullwinkle J Moose view that it "should" reset when connecting to a different device . I dont believe that is the view of many readers here or indeed Shanling.

Ah, ok i see. Not fail. ;)
My thought would be, it should not reset automated but should have a reset button.
 

Jimbob54

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Ah, ok i see. Not fail. ;)
My thought would be, it should not reset automated but should have a reset button.

I totally agree. a physical factory reset button as well as app control would remove the issue. Im just not sure it is an issue that needs sorting.
 

tomtoo

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I totally agree. a physical factory reset button as well as app control would remove the issue. Im just not sure it is an issue that needs sorting.

No dont think its needet, but would be nice.
I just like if you can factory reset things.
Androide changes, you not know how long the app is supported, things like that you know.
 
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PeteL

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No? The European union already sets volume limits of 85dB (A-weighted) for any phone and pairing headphone/earphone sold in the EU while allowing the possibility of increasing the limit by the user later on.

so the responsibility is no longer on;y on the user anymore, there are regulations in place to make sure kids aren't blasting music like crazy and damaging their hearing.
Absolutely but this is not a headphone, this is made to accomodate many headphones. Should we Ban all amps? Many are able to supply much more extreme levels than this. An amp cannot possibly know the sensitivity of what you plug in it! So what do you feel should be the maximum output voltage of an analog output that allow to plug headphone in?
 
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abdo123

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Absolutely but this is not a headphone, this is made to accomodate many headphones. Should we Ban all amps? Many are able to supply much more extreme levels than this. An amp cannot possibly know the sensitivity of what you plug in it! So what do you feel should be the maximum output voltage of an analog output that allow to plug headphone in?

this is a different topic and discussion. Which i have no interest in investing in.
 

PeteL

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this is a different topic and discussion. Which i have no interest in investing in.
No problems, but you are the one that opened the discussion, by asking the question if it was ok that a product out of the box can damage hearing of earphones. Different topic?
 
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This is an "aborted" review of the Shanling UA2 portable DAC and headphone amplifier "dongle" (adapter). It is on kind loan from a member and costs US $85.

The UA2 looks like any other dongle except that it has an unusual button to change USB mode from 1 to 2:

View attachment 144187

It has both balanced (2.5mm) and unbalanced (3.5mm) outputs which is nice.

The reason this is an aborted review is that no matter what I did, I could not get anything close to the rated output:

View attachment 144188

Switching to balanced out doubled this to just 0.1 volt.

Playing with Windows volume control would make a difference between zero and roughly 50% but nothing above that. I hooked up a Sennheiser HD650 to it to make sure there is no instrumentation error and same low volume issue persisted there.

Not sure if this is a firmware bug/regression or broken device. I have had fair number of requests to test this device so I thought I post this just in case others run into the same issue.

I will be on the look out for another one to test and should those results be different, I will update this review. For now, this is just an "FYI."
Must be broken. The output of mine is huge...used with a MacBook.
 

anphex

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Hmmm this is one unfortunate review and thread. I think it's unfair leaving the thread like this and let search engines put it at the top of their search results when looking for reviews of this gadget. I would suggest either this thread gets hidden or a do-not-crawl tag if possible until you can review a working unit. As others said it's a pity the support wasn't contacted before posting this. But it can still be fixed, no hard feelings :)
 

staticV3

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Must be broken. The output of mine is huge...used with a MacBook.
It's not broken. The forum member who sent the UA2 to Amir used the accompanying App to limit the DAC's output.
This limit is stored on the unit itself and stays active no matter what USB host you use, so that's what Amir was left with.
 

JJB70

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If you set a volume output limit then locking that into the device unless reset via the app is completely sensible. Why would you use the feature (and I completely get why people would do so) and then have to reset it every time you plug it in or use it with a different device? That would be a stupid implementation. The device is shipped ready to use without the app and Shanling are clear on their website that advanced features are accessed via the app. There is nothing wrong with this device. How it will measure I have no idea but it will function out of the box and based on experience with other Shanling products probably be a well made product that customers will be happy with. I find it disappointing some are blaming Shanling and inferring there is a serious problem with this product based on the user using advanced settings to limit output and this not being recognised.
 

Saidera

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If it's not the maker's serious problem, it could be ours, and anyway, try taking a look over at headfi where users are having trouble with the latest PC drivers from Google Drive that Shanling linked there.

In a way this thread builds suspense for the outcome of a re-review of UA2.
 

Bullwinkle J Moose

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This dongle may be perfectly acceptable to some of you and you are free to give it a pass

For me, I'm done with all the hoops manufacturers put in the way for me to jump through, and for me, it's a FAIL regardless of how well it measures
 

JJB70

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This dongle may be perfectly acceptable to some of you and you are free to give it a pass

For me, I'm done with all the hoops manufacturers put in the way for me to jump through, and for me, it's a FAIL regardless of how well it measures

What hoops?
 

staticV3

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What hoops?
If you buy a used UA2 and the previous owner happened to set a hardware volume limit using the App, then you would have to install the App as well to reset that limit.
 

JJB70

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If you buy a used UA2 and the previous owner happened to set a hardware volume limit using the App, then you would have to install the App as well to reset that limit.

But that's not a manufacturer hoop, it's a common scenario for many products. If you buy second hand then the previous owner could have played with the settings. As someone else has stated, a factory reset switch could be useful but fundamentally this product follows the general trend in using an app to control advanced settings. If you don't want to use those settings then don't, it works out of the box. If you don't want to have to download an app to revert settings to default then don't buy second hand but this is hardly unique to this product and to describe it as a manufacturer putting hoops in the way is hardly correct. Even the real technophobes are now pretty comfortable with the idea of using apps to configure advanced settings, or alternatively just ignoring them
 

JJB70

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Using an app is a lot easier for most than playing with dip switches or opening the case to swap jumpers over, both of which were quite common when advanced settings relied on physical controls
 
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