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Shanling UA2 Aborted Review (DAC & Amp)

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amirm

amirm

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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.
If you had sent me the product, that is exactly what would happen. I would have shown you the measurements and asked you for feedback prior to publication. This is a courtesy I provide to manufacturers who volunteer to have their products tested. To the extent you did not do that and left it to me and membership to fund acquisition of the product, then I publish what I find as a service to that member and the membership at large.

Had you sent me a product and then told me an app had caused the levels to go down, I would have scolded you for a) not being clear in documentation this could happen and b) not providing for a hardware reset. Plenty of products have persistent settings like active professional speakers and AV Receivers. In all cases, they allow you to do a factory reset which I always do prior to testing.

For your product, I thought there would be such a thing but all I found was the USB button. I played with that but it didn't obviously solve this problem. You need to update the firmware to allow that button to be used as a reset, e.g. by holding it down 10 seconds or something like that.

Ideally there would also be an indication on the device that the volume is not at default level, say with an LED, but I understand that increases power consumption.

Your are a small company and could disappear tomorrow. This hardware can't become obsolete if your app disappears with it with the next update of Android OS. There must be a hardware reset.

Remember, almost no other dongle works this way. So there can't be an expectation that the user figures all this out especially given lack of documentation. I appreciate the benefit it provides but you need to be very strong in documenting and providing work-arounds. Throwing this at my feet as if you have done the perfect thing is not proper. I tested your dongle just like all other dongles. It is not my job to think of possibilities that simply don't exist with countless competing products.

I actually went searching for this online. Read a bunch of posts, etc. but nothing came up. With this thread available, people running into this at least can find out what is going on. It also helped me figure out what was going on when member kindly post the possibility of the Android app changing this. Had I not post this, that information would not have come to light -- again because of incomplete documentation and indication on the device.

Note that the article clearly says it is "aborted" and finishes with it is an "FYI." And that is what it was. My attempt to test your device and not being able to get it to work like dozens of other dongles have.

I suggest going back and improving the documentation. While you are at it, please put a copy on your website.
 

sprellemannen

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If you had sent me the product, that is exactly what would happen. I would have shown you the measurements and asked you for feedback prior to publication. This is a courtesy I provide to manufacturers who volunteer to have their products tested. To the extent you did not do that and left it to me and membership to fund acquisition of the product, then I publish what I find as a service to that member and the membership at large.
For me, Amir's "procedure" is totally fair and understandable.
 

Bullwinkle J Moose

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What hoops?

Hoops >

1. Buying a driverless DAC, only to find that it requires an OS that has the drivers

Case in point:
Only my Fiio BTR-3K is truly driverless and even works in Windows XP as a USB DAC without any drivers
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. Buying a dongle DAC that is supposed to work out of the box with Windows

Case in point:
Hidizs S9 does not work on any USB 3 port with any version of Windows
The S9 only works glitch free without dropouts on USB 2 ports

A beta firmware update "may" fix the problem or simply void the warranty (who knows)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. USB DAC's "should" all decode at the same sample rate as the audio file being played, instead of requiring manually changing the samle rate in Windows

Case in point:
Only my Micca Origen G2 auto selects the sample rate of the audio being played (no need for manual adjustment)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. Dongles should be plug and play without needing to be reset by a special app

Case in point:
The topic of this thread!
 

Saidera

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When it comes to audio products that simply aren't perfect, the measurements definitely aren't the entire story. It is only the customer's voices that can bring about change.

I didn't realise Shanling is a small company and could disappear tomorrow. I see they haven't got a wikipedia page. They were founded in 1988, and are based in Shenzhen, a place I know from books like those from Bunnie Huang. Wikipedia says Shenzhen has many numerous small-time manufacturers or software companies but only the likes of Huawei and Tencent became big. At first glance I was attracted to what I imagined about Shenzhen, comparable to Akihabara for hobbyists or Silicon Valley for businesses. But I looked more broadly and it became clear that despite its strength in science, fashion, and industry, it's not got enough culture and history to attract me. Shenzhen might be quite multicultural though. Given that most of us already live in cities, surrounded by man-made stuff and intermittently locked down with only technology as company, what is needed more is probably the non-mainstream culture, the fringe, for example vibrant and beautiful Xinjiang, the Middle East etc. There are lifestyles and people I envy to live and be with. Of course, viewing it on a screen is a much more pleasant and low-risk way than to travel and be exposed to all the suffering as well.

Actually what I struggle to understand is what benefit technology has really brought to people's lives. I feel that I am drunk in technology and am not using it usefully and intelligently as the older generations can do. The downsides of technology are clear and definite, yet it could be that technology itself has enabled us to notice those downsides. And if so far technology has failed to do much of the positive things we expect from it, all that must be done is to focus on how technology can help really truly improve the bare necessities of existence, those being knowledge dissemination, food, shelter, overall health, avoiding unnecessary suffering and similar issues. Audio electronics appears to assist in knowledge dissemination. And if some classical musicians are right, it might reduce unnecessary suffering by its pacifying effect.
 

JJB70

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Shanling are probably the company that established China as a serious player in audio. I remember seeing their CD players in the early 90's and being amazed that these exotic devices with their remarkable design and build quality were from a Chinese company. They certainly deserve a bit more respect based on their pedigree than to be inferred as some sort of here today - gone tomorrow outfit.
 

Saidera

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Seems they (90s products) were and are still largely in obscurity. They weren't released on the international market.

Anyway, fame was only achieved it seems after they began their portable player series.
 

Jimbob54

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Hoops >

1. Buying a driverless DAC, only to find that it requires an OS that has the drivers

Case in point:
Only my Fiio BTR-3K is truly driverless and even works in Windows XP as a USB DAC without any drivers
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. Buying a dongle DAC that is supposed to work out of the box with Windows

Case in point:
Hidizs S9 does not work on any USB 3 port with any version of Windows
The S9 only works glitch free without dropouts on USB 2 ports

A beta firmware update "may" fix the problem or simply void the warranty (who knows)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
3. USB DAC's "should" all decode at the same sample rate as the audio file being played, instead of requiring manually changing the samle rate in Windows

Case in point:
Only my Micca Origen G2 auto selects the sample rate of the audio being played (no need for manual adjustment)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. Dongles should be plug and play without needing to be reset by a special app

Case in point:
The topic of this thread!

3. That really depends on how the software player and/or OS is set up doesnt it? Either ability to use WASAPI/exclusive mode or ASIO drivers. Anything going through the windows audio stack is going to come out at whatever sample rate its set to. That's not a DAC/ dongle issue.

Edit - I see you have barked up this wrong tree before https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-modern-dac-amps-are-broken.22107/post-734040

Bang a drum all you like, but do it outside the right person's door.
 
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DamDamxD

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@amirm Hi! I can help you fix this, Usb Audio Player app helped me solve what you found here, connect UA2 to the phone, then open UAP, click volume button, small window will pop up, there is ,,hardware volume" button, click it, then you will see 3 sliders, put them all up and then on high gain there will be 1.9V output on SE and 3.85V output on Balanced. Before that i also measured 0.1V max output Voltage. I would like so much to see your measurements of it :(
Screenshot_20210801-111845_USB Audio Player PRO.jpg
 

JJB70

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Seems they (90s products) were and are still largely in obscurity. They weren't released on the international market.

Anyway, fame was only achieved it seems after they began their portable player series.

Shanling were sold in the UKin the 1990's, their UK to importer was very enthusiastic about the brand. I was a little surprised to see their portable gear is as they established their name is here with expensive high end gear
 

DamDamxD

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After adjusting it's like that on balanced, i know that is not professional gear but playing sine on max volume should be measured pretty fine with standard AC Voltage meter.
20210801_113606.jpg
 

Saidera

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Oh man, yet another 1.9V output on SE? I was expecting something like 9038D's!
 

DamDamxD

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Oh man, yet another 1.9V output on SE? I was expecting something like 9038D's!
For me that is completly fine, I'm using something like 0.3V on HD650 on casual listening session using low gain, and there is no more demanding headphones in my collection, just hope to get low distorted dongle for IEMs that can handle also my bigger headphones when needed. Also I think that Shanling really did good job making UA2 but really BAD move to limit it by factory settings, by default i was also shocked how little power this provides, but it took me 3 minutes to solve that and now i LOVE it! From what i've also checked it drain a little less than 120mA from phone USB.
 

JJB70

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I don't have any really really hard to drive headphones, the hardest are probably the DT1990 which do benefit from a decent amplifier with a bit of power but work OK from a smartphone jack or dongle. My Austrian Audio Hi-X55 are very easy to drive and don't need anything more than a smartphone output or dongle to get seriously loud, ditto my ER4SR. I find the current obsession with headphone amplifier power output and ratings in W rather than mW rather amusing. If people want several hundred mW or W then fair enough, we should all be free to make our own choices but I would worry about my ears and the possibility of a mistake blowing my headphones and causing serious hearing damage. If I bought one of these crazy high output amplifiers I would want a volume lock to avoid such mishaps, although I have no reason to buy such an amplifier.
 

Rottmannash

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I don't have any really really hard to drive headphones, the hardest are probably the DT1990 which do benefit from a decent amplifier with a bit of power but work OK from a smartphone jack or dongle. My Austrian Audio Hi-X55 are very easy to drive and don't need anything more than a smartphone output or dongle to get seriously loud, ditto my ER4SR. I find the current obsession with headphone amplifier power output and ratings in W rather than mW rather amusing. If people want several hundred mW or W then fair enough, we should all be free to make our own choices but I would worry about my ears and the possibility of a mistake blowing my headphones and causing serious hearing damage. If I bought one of these crazy high output amplifiers I would want a volume lock to avoid such mishaps, although I have no reason to buy such an amplifier.
All one needs is to accidentally put IEM's in and the 9038D resort to full volume-very scary and damaging to hearing for sure. Once is all it took.
 

Jimbob54

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All one needs is to accidentally put IEM's in and the 9038D resort to full volume-very scary and damaging to hearing for sure. Once is all it took.

Yup- for one am grateful for the volume limiting in the E1DA app- I run my IEM below -20dB mostly and knowing that I can swap devices and that setting stay in place is good to know. Still worth lowering the player volume at first just to make sure though.
 

JJB70

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I remember a few years ago Emotiva had an amplifier (BasX?) which had internal jumpers to provide a n insane output to the headphone jack. Certain reviewers waxed lyrical about it but I found the potential to do serious damage to hearing by knocking the volume knob scary
 
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DamDamxD

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I don't have any really really hard to drive headphones, the hardest are probably the DT1990 which do benefit from a decent amplifier with a bit of power but work OK from a smartphone jack or dongle. My Austrian Audio Hi-X55 are very easy to drive and don't need anything more than a smartphone output or dongle to get seriously loud, ditto my ER4SR. I find the current obsession with headphone amplifier power output and ratings in W rather than mW rather amusing. If people want several hundred mW or W then fair enough, we should all be free to make our own choices but I would worry about my ears and the possibility of a mistake blowing my headphones and causing serious hearing damage. If I bought one of these crazy high output amplifiers I would want a volume lock to avoid such mishaps, although I have no reason to buy such an amplifier.
Yes! People don't know how little power headphones requies... and they impressed by heavy power amplifiers just cause they have different tuning, but people do not realize that they increasing thd, noise and dynamic range drops using too powerfull gear. But hardest thing is to convince them that this is bad way, so i don't even try anymore.
 

PeteL

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Seems they (90s products) were and are still largely in obscurity. They weren't released on the international market.

Anyway, fame was only achieved it seems after they began their portable player series.
Their CD players were highly praised and were available in North America.
 

JJB70

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I remember their CD players had some stunning industrial design and were beautifully made.
 
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