I was recently introduced to some Shanling’s products. And so far, in terms of sound, I’ve heard few other brands that are as good for the price. (FiiO comes to mind). So, naturally, my eyes fell upon Shanling’s most adorable toy, the M0. There’s no denying that it looks great and wins in terms of portability. But does this tiny thing sound any good? Let’s find out in this Shanling M0 Portable Music Player Review
IN the BOX
For a 100 bucks, this thing is decently solid. I should mention that the plastic cap, which protects the memory card, wouldn’t securely close after I first opened it. An aesthetic bummer for sure. Hopefully, it won't happen to you. But other than that, I didn’t run into any problems. The touch screen is pretty responsive, and it probably resembles the speed of an Apple iWatch. The included cable has a sturdy material coating and is unusually long for an accessory cable.
Again, if you have an Apple iWatch, the controls should feel familiar to you. Besides the touchscreen, the M0 has a dial on the side of the player which you can rotate or push, depending on which function you want to activate. Pressing the dial will activate or turn off the home screen, as well as switch on and off the device. Pressing down on the dial will adjust the volume. Everything else is controlled with a swipe or a tap.
Features and Connectivity
The M0 not only works as a player, but it also functions as a DAC. You can connect via USB directly to your mobile device, or use a Bluetooth connection. If you’re going to use a wired DAC connection, you’ll need an OTG adapter for the included cable, so you can hook it up to your mobile device. But given what’s included and what’s not included in the box, I think the DAC is ideally designed to be used as a Bluetooth device. If you are using the M0 as a Bluetooth DAC, it will support aptX and LDAC hi-res codecs. And the other great thing about the M0 is that it transmits Bluetooth signals both ways. So you can wirelessly connect the player to Bluetooth speaker, for example.
Battery life is an impressive 15 hours, and the M0 takes 2 hours to fully charge.
You won’t get any internal storage from this kitten. So, right off the bat, you’ll have to invest in an external card. The M0 can capacitate 512GB of external storage at a time.
The M0 is designed for IEMs. And though it could definitely handle a lower impedance over-ear headphone, it's not powerful enough to drive a pair of 250 Ohm cans, like the Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro.
The most noticeable difference in sound between this player and something like your iPhone, is the soundstage. You’ll get quite a bit more depth and general sense of spaciousness from the M0. The M0 has a very natural or realistic sound profile as well, and if you’re listening to hi-res files, it will probably make the tracks from your good ol’ phone sound really compressed in comparison. You can also expect the high frequencies to sparkle a little more, though I didn’t notice any extension in the bass frequencies.
If portability and cuteness are your priorities in addition to high fidelity, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that sounds this good in such a little package. And with a 2-way Bluetooth feature, the M0 comes packed with possibilities. I dig it.
You can order today at Audio46.