Shanling UP4 Version 2022 Review

The Shanling UP4 V22 is a 2022 update to the original UP4 Bluetooth wireless Amp/DAC that was somewhat popular when it came out for its small size, gold volume dial, and simple modern looks. The UP4 looks identical to the original one, but includes a newer ESS Sabre 9219C DAC chip.

This review unit was supplied to me by Aoshida Audio, and the UP4 V22 can be purchased directly from them at

General Usage

I never had an opportunity to play with the original UP4, but I have owned, used, and reviewed quite a few of these bluetooth adapters dating all way back to the days of Sony Ericsson, and their line of the original bluetooth adapters over a decade ago. In fact, I still own one of them and it works! I want to on a rant on how those old Sony models had OLED displays showing track/artist/song info, had FM Radio Tuner, and other neat simple things that none of the modern models do, but I'll save the longer version for another day.

The UP4 V22 was a bit of a pain to use. Ok maybe I will need to continue my rant. Unlike using a small Digital Audio Player, or using a bluetooth adapter with a stand-alone App, this model did not have one out of the box when I originally got it, and it was quite a pain in the butt to figure out how to change settings with only ONE button on the device to control with, not including the volume wheel/button. There was a variety of options including changing digital filters, changing modes, and changing gain that required button control, using one button, and nothing but an LED indicator to tell you what you're doing -- and that indicator only has 3 colors....

But luckily, Shanling did come out with Edict Player, which is their own music player, but has the ability to pair with the device and let you take some control of its settings. I would have preferred if the app was its own thing, because I don't really need another music player on my devices.


The UP4 has two audio outputs. The first is a standard 3.5mm normal stereo jack, which has up to 100mW of power. The other is a balanced output providing 165mW of power, both at 32ohm. The balanced output is 2.5mm, however, and I feel like this may be a poor choice in 2022, as most brands have switched over to 4.4mm for balanced connections now.


In terms of usage, the bluetooth connectivity to my phone, laptops, and other devices was easy and quick to pair, and I had no issues using it with my devices across long distances. There is an included clip-case that is useful for attaching to my body or to my bag when walking around.

The device can also be used as a USB DAC. This is where the UP4 is quite a mess. I can never get this mode to work with any of my other cables, and it seemed to only work right with the one it came with. I don't know why this is, but it is what it is. Even then, however, I could get it working as a USB device maybe 1 out of every 8 tries on any of my laptops or computers. It just did not want to play nicely as a USB device, even if Windows 10 and Windows 11 registers and sees it. Audio would not come out of the device for whatever reason. The few times it did work, it worked as it should.

Sound Impressions

The UP4 v22 sounds clean and neutral, and I did not find it push one way or another towards any coloration. Most of my listening was on bluetooth connection through the Hidition Viento, or the Empire Ears Odin, and for the most part, I found the UP4 V22 to sound fine for the going price. 

As with many bluetooth devices, I felt like the conversion process was the limiting factor, as I didn't get all the nuances of the upper treble or the layering of the deep subbass with these IEMs, and music, but for the most part, it sounded good. The biggest limiation other than the extreme frequency range was that the soundstage sounded more two-dimensional and flat than I would like. Again, many bluetooth devices, for whatever reason, seem to squish and compress just enough to make it slightly noticeable.

Final Thoughts

The UP4 V22 is an elegant and nice looking little bluetooth amp/dac unit, I really like the way it presents itself, and the little gold volume knob really adds a nice touch to the aesthetic. I had some major, major annoyances using this device however with the USB connectivity a big problem, and just knowing what I am changing on the device without the app to help me.

That said, as a bluetooth amplifier, it works pretty well, and I enjoyed its intended main purpose. I recommend using their Eddict Player app to make full use of the devices' settings without the hassles I had to deal with. If you want to use this as a USB DAC device -- well, good luck to you. 

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