SHANLING UP4 2022 – Review

SHANLING UP4 2022

SHANLING UP4 2022

| Bluetooth Headphone Amp | Balanced | 



🎧 SHANLING UP4 2022, the newest generation of the UP4 series of portable Bluetooth headphone amplifiers.

Seeing the high quality audio components featured in the tiny device, we expect a very good performance from the Shanling UP4 2022.

Some of the inner guts include:

– Dual ES9219C DAC chips
– Qualcomm CSR8675 Bluetooth Chip
– Bluetooth codecs: LADC, LHDC, aptX HD, aptX low latency, aptX, AAC, SBC

The Shanling UP4 2022 is equipped with an internal 540 mAh battery that is rated to reach up to 15 hours of continuous use with the 3.5mm output – a full charge takes 2 hours with a recommended 5V 500mA charger.

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SHANLING UP4 2022 Review

Tests & Scores


 

A

Accessories & Packaging

The SHANLING UP4 2022 comes inside a small sized packaging with side opening and a magnetic closing system.

Inside the unit is well protected with cushiony padding.

Included with the unit you will receive a power-data USB-C cable and a removable clip.

gramophone-256604/5


W

Weight

SHANLING UP4 2022 weight in Ounces and SHANLING UP4 2022 weight in grams.

 


D

Design

The Shanling UP4 2022 has a very similar form factor and size of all the newest Bluetooth portable amps from the brand, which is a bit larger than their older models but, still, a very small footprint that is nearly 5 times smaller than a smartphone (but thicker).

Specifically, the dimensions of the Shanling UP4 2022 are 36x60x13,5mm and a mere weight of 37 grams.

The unit has a smooth rounded edged metal design with a glossy insert on both the front and rear panels, which result in a very clean and classy aesthetic look.

gramophone-256604.25/5


OC

Operation & Control

The Shanling UP4 2022 has a triple control system that includes a top button labeled “Mode” and the classic Shanling rotating wheel that is also a multifunction buttons.

The Mode button is used to switch gain modes and filters with a silence gap of nearly 1 second that confirms the mode switched. A double press is used to switch Gain modes while a 3 seconds press and hold switches filters.

The wheel is used to control volume while the multifunction button part can control media playback and skipping songs. This button acts also as the power, pairing and phone calls controls.

An always welcome function that gives a butter smooth ease of use is the implementation of NFC, owners of the UP4 2022 will benefit from instant pairing through the built-in NFC module which will also allow to switch between new devices on the fly or share it with friends with no cumbersome pairing processes.

Different to the Shanling UP5, the UP4 2022 does not have a screen. This means that users will have to refer to the manual or memorize the colors of the LED light indicator to know the precise codec, gain mode, filter and overall status.

On the other hand, for users pairing the device with an Android smartphone or tablet, you can (in theory) use the Shanling app to have a clear control of the UP4 and access deeper functions – yet, consider that the app labeled Shanling Controller does not seem to be yet updated to work correctly with the UP4 2022 model, instead you should use the Eddict Player app by Shanling.

gramophone-256604.25/5

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CB

Construction & Build

As soon as you hold the UP4 2022 on your hands you will feel a rugged product with a quality construction that inspires a durable longevity.

The wheel has a bit less tactility on each step (than other Shanling products that we have reviewed) but a smoother rotational movement.

The removable clip section is a very smart decision made by the brand as not every user might want to use it as a clip on amp. This clip design adds a nice versatility to adapt to the need of each user – yet it is fair to note that the build might not be as durable as the UP4 unit as this piece is fully made of plastic.

gramophone-256605/5

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C

Connectivity

The SHANLING UP4 2022 is equipped with 3 wired connections and 2 wireless connections.

The wired connections include a 3.5mm single-ended stereo, a 2.5mm balanced output and USB-C for USB DAC functionality, while the wireless connections bundled are a Bluetooth 5.0 wireless and NFC module.

The specific specs of the connections are:

  • 3.5mm:
    Frequency response: 20Hz – 40kHz
    THD+N: 0.002%
    Channel separation: 71dB
    SNR: 119dB
    Noise floor: 114dB
    Output impedance: <1 ohm
  • 2.5mm:
    Frequency response: 20Hz – 40kHz
    THD+N: 0.0018%
    Channel separation: 92dB
    SNR: 119dB
    Noise floor: 112dB
    Output impedance: <1 ohm

 

gramophone-256604.5/5


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S

Sound

With a power capacity rated at 165mW (balanced output), 100mw (Dual DAC Mode), 71mW (High Gain mode) and unknown power rating at Low Gain mode at 32ohm; we decided test out its power on a real life scenario trying to drive an Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X full-sized open-back headphone.

The results showed that the Shanling amp was able to drive it with a limited margin when set on Low Gain Mode, switching to High Mode showed a much better extension and a clear capacity to drive the huge drivers of the Audio-Technica and when using the Dual DAC boost mode, the Shanling UP4 managed the headphone with ease and plenty power margin. The Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X does not have a balanced 2.5mm connection so we did not tested out the 65% higher power capacity offered by the balanced dual output.

Equipped with built-in filters, users can switch on-the-fly between two options: a linear phase fast roll-off and a apodization fast roll-off which, the first one is supposed to be better adapted for a fast songs and natural sound while the second one for slow songs and full-bodied sound. Users should expect a subtle but noticeable sound difference without distortion and sound deterioration seen on EQ interventions as this filters happen at DAC conversion level.

Regarding noise levels and other flaws such a hiss seen on many Bluetooth devices, the Shanling UP4 2022 showed a pristine performance with absolute zero hiss while the use of a digital potentiometer makes it free of any scratching noises from volume switching.

The Shanling UP4 2022 is also a USB DAC, this function is enabled by simply connecting the unit to your Windows PC (through its USB-C connector and choosing the UP4 2022 as your audio device on Windows.
On USB DAC mode, the Shanling UP4 2022 showed the exact same high performing results as tested in standalone Bluetooth mode.

In addition to this, the unit includes Knowles SiSonic microphones with cVc 8.0 noise cancelling tech for phone calls

 

gramophone-256605/5

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Scores Scores

SHANLING UP4 2022 Scores

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Frequency Response (raw)

SHANLING UP4 2022 Frequency Response Curve

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Specifications

SHANLING UP4 2022 Technical Specifications

Product Features
Dual ES9219C DAC
Single-Ended Enables Dual DAC Gain Mode
CSR8675 Bluetooth 5.0
Supports all Bluetooth encoding formats
3.5 Single Ended + 2.5 Balanced Dual Output
Powerful thrust
11.5H battery life
Support high and low gain switching
Golden scroll wheel

Specification
Bluetooth codec format: LDAC / LHDC / aptX HD / aptX Low Latency / aptX / AAC / SBC
Bluetooth chip:Qualcomm CSR8675
DAC chip:ES9219C x 2
Bluetooth version:Bluetooth 5.0
Transmission distance:10 meters
Microphone: High quality microphone
Endurance:15 (hours) single-ended,10 hours (balanced)
Charging: 2 hours
Battery capacity:540mAh
Power adapter:DC 5V/500mA

b>Single-ended output
Output Power:
1.75V / 32Ω (100mW / 32Ω)(Dual DAC Mode)
1.51V / 32Ω (71mW / 32Ω)(High Gain Mode)
Frequency Response:20Hz – 40kHz (-0.7dB)
THD+N:0.002% (A-W / 1V / 32Ω)
Channel Separation:71dB / 32Ω
Signal-to-noise ratio:119dB
Noise Floor:114dB (High Gain Mode)
Output Impedance: <1Ω

Balanced output:
Output Power: 2.3V/32Ω (165mW/32Ω)
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 40kHz (-0.7dB)
THD+N:0.0018% (A-W / 1V / 32Ω)
Channel Separation: 92dB / 32Ω
Signal-to-noise ratio:119dB
Noise Floor:112dB
Output Impedance:<1Ω

USB:
Type-C interface, support driver-free
USB DAC (Windows only)
Volume adjustment: use the scroll wheel to independently adjust the volume of the phone.
Plug:3.5mm /2.5mm, support car AUX
Size: 60mm X 36mm X 13.5mm
Weight:37g

Accessories:
1 x Shanling UP4 2022
1 x Independent split back clip
1 x Type-C data cable
1 x Manual

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Shanling UP4 2022

8.8

SCORE

8.8/10


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