Shanling UP4 Bluetooth Headphone Amp
- Dual ES9218P DAC/AMP
- 3.5mm Single-ended and 2.5mm balanced output
- High gain / Low gain / Dual DAC mode
- 91 mW@32Ohm Single-Ended and 160 mW@32Ohm Balanced output
- NFC pairing
- Bluetooth 5.0 Qualcomm CSR8675 chip
- Supports LDAC, HWA LHDC, aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, aptX, AAC and SBC codecs
- Thin and sleek design for your pocket, comes with additional case with clip
- Multifunctional wheel for total control over playback and calls
- Build-in microphone for phone calls and voice assistants
- Can be connected to computer to serve as USB DAC
- Battery life up to 15 (SE) / 10 (H) hours
I recently purchased a few Bluetooth DAC/Amps to test out, EarStudio ES100, FiiO BTR5, and Shanking UP4. Without a doubt, FiiO BTR5 and Shanling UP4 win in sound quality over EarStudio ES100 which sounds very thin in comparison. BTR5 and UP4 are a different story. They both sound very good and have many pros and a couple cons. I'll concentrate on those, since they're the best options for audiophiles looking for a small, portable DAC/Amp to use with their smartphone.
UP4 has a smoother, warmer, fuller sound than BTR5 which makes me keep coming back to UP4 over BTR5. It really complements more energetic ear/headphones well. Battery life is better than BTR5, as well. One downside as Robert R. pointed out is the lack of any display to make changing settings easier. The other downside is that there's no app to help with this yet, either (although Shanling has promised that one is coming soon).
BTR5 on the other hand has a very simple, two-line OLED display, a companion app, and a crunchier sound.
Overall, I'd say they have very complementary sound signatures, so I'm more than happy to own both. However, if I had to go for just one it would be UP4 because I prefer its fuller, warmer sound. Of course, ymmv!