Upgraded my Sony NW-WM1A to the M9. Recommended by Andrew. Great recommendation! Better resolution, separation, 3D, clarity, and timing. Less fatigue. Better in every way. I love it. I listen mostly to classical and voice and the nuances of voice especially is incredible.
I have reached one end point.
the FiiO DAPs M15 and M17 are cool and inorganic sounds and very boring, but I think Shanling is doing very well. It is very warm and has softness, reality and three-dimensionality in the sound. The moment I got the Shanling M9, I sold the M17.
A great well-designed DAP M9.
I spent 9 months with the M8. the sound was definitely warm with slightly recessed mids, Highs were there but did not have sparkle.
The M9 builds upon the M8 in terms of sound quality and refinement. cooler in the bass department but the quality is more refined, mids are more prominent and the highs have a good amount of sparkle to them.
The user interface like the M8 is lackluster, its missing features that are present on DAP's by other manufactures. Both Amazon music and Tidal have annoying issues that tend to ruin
my musical listening experience. The build quality is great , until you get to the volume knob. It feels flimsy and not engaging like the M8. for a $2800 player in my eyes these pitfalls are unacceptable, for the money you are better off with a Fiio M17 or a HiBy RS6.
Slight warmth and highly dynamic DAP. A solid refinement to the M8.