Shanling M2s – Ultra-Portable Versatility
Shanling brings the smallest device we’ve ever seen to our table, with promises of an awesome sound, along with a lot of features. In this review we’ll explore how much a device this small can do.
Shanling is a huge company from China, well-known for their portable devices, as well as desktop Amps, DACs, Power Conditioners and many other devices, which are quite loved within the Chinese and the Asian Market. They recently started selling their awesome products outside of China, and Shanling M2s is one of their latest introductions, an ultra-portable DAP with a lot of power backing it.
It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with Shanling, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. This review is not sponsored nor has been paid for by Shanling or any other company. I’d like to thank Frankie from Shanling for providing the sample for the review. The sample was provided along with Shanling’s request for an honest and unbiased review. This review will be as objective as it is humanly possible, and it reflects my personal experience with Shanling M2s. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in Shanling M2s find their next music companion.
It was a very interesting day when I received Shanling M2s. It arrived late in the afternoon, when I was already awake, and working on a very intriguing script for Seventh Heart Studios’s Eternal Hour.
A delivery car quickly brought Shanling M2s in a friendly fashion.
Since it was a late Summer day, I rushed back to the cool comfort of my room, to explore M2s and its intricacies.
At first, I was dazzled by how small M2s can be, how nimble yet gentle the overall device felt, and by how much of the device’s front panel was occupied by its display. I turned it on, then noticed a bright and vivid display, and was greeted by Shanling friendly firmware. Somehow, it reminded me of the good-old-days of FiiO X5 and FiiO X5ii.
All said and done, I plugged the little device with HIFIMAN RE2000, to see what the fuss is all about.
For a moment, I couldn’t believe my ears, as Shanling M2s sounded very good, despite its size. In fact, it was many times better than the likes of Clip+ or such, M2s having a very full bass, and a sparkly treble. I went outside to take a walk, and meditate on the sound I was hearing from this impossibly small yet unbelievably strong device.
First things first, let’s get the packaging out of the way:
Shanling M2s comes packaged in a small yet very functional package, where it has all the space needed for its accessories. The black box with is made out of hard cardboard, and it has a slightly velvety feeling, with the device’s outline painted on the top.
Shanling neatly wrote the rather impressive specifications on the back of the box, in a silvery-fine writing.
The unboxing leaves a nice impression, with a good sense of value within the package, along with a general feeling of quality.
There a quite a few extras tucked in the package, like a few screen protectors, that can also be applied on the back of M2s, a high-grade USB cable, and the mighty M2s itself.
The package is pretty nice for an entry-level DAP, and it really doesn’t feel like Shanling is treating M2s as an entry-level, but more like the best budget option they were able to offer.
What to look in when purchasing a high-end DAP
DAC – AK4490EQ
Perfect Bit Playback – Yes
Max Decoding – 32bit / 192kHz
USB DAC – Yes, Dedicated Tesycon Driver
Display – 3.0″ Retina IPS Panel
DSD Playback – Yes
Operating System – Android
Bluetooth – 4.0 + APT-X
Battery – 1800 mAh, 3.7V Lithium
SE Output – Yes, 3.5mm
Weight – 100g
Dimensions – 53 mm x 14.5 mm x 85.6 mm
Body Material – Glass + Aluminium
Output Power – 130mW at 32 OHM
Frequency Response – 20Hz – 20 kHz
Amplifier – TPA6120
Output Impedance – 4.58 OHM
Playback Time – 9 – 10 Hours
USB – USB Type-C
Colors – Red, Blue, Black
(Build Quality, Sonic Quality & Usage Next Page)