Over So Small a Thing – A Review of the Shanling M2s


That’s it, man. That’s the end. I can say no more on the matter. I don’t have much experience with budget DAPs. This one does impress me. Especially the amperage. I can see myself opting for the light-weight, small form factor of the Shanling M2s over my bigger, heavier DAPs, from time to time. If I’m going for a walk, this would be the superior choice. When taking a brisk constitutional, so many subtle qualities are lost in TOTL gear. Why not choose the low-profile budget player? And again, the fact you can stream right to the M2s, and then stream out to a Bluetooth headphone… it’s sort of amazing.

Given the price, the size, and the selection of features Shanling decided on, I have no choice but to recommend this digital audio player. If you’re in the market for anything remotely like this, look no further. The Shanling M2s is the new pinnacle of budget gear.


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About Author

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.


  1. Leslie on

    The presentation and support for the MPs is shockingly bad. The instructions are minimal and virtually unintelligible, tracks downloaded from a PC (using any number of software solutions) end up as unidentified, meaning the player is useless. It only just works with MP3 files, meaning that all the high specs are little short of useless fluff. It’s shockingly bad,

    • Pinky Powers on

      I don’t recall if I ever transferred any files over while the card was inside the M2s. I just put in my 128GB microSD, full of FLAC files (in properly formatted folders), and Shanling had no trouble reading those files.

      If worse comes to worse, you can format your card in the player, take the card out, and use an SD reader to load it up from your computer. Then just put it back in.

  2. Gleb on

    Shanling M2 has 4.9 Ohm output impedance, not 7.
    Shanling M2s has 4.6 Ohm output impedance.
    And you said that M2s has no matching issues, lol. I already have no confidence in your review.

    • Pinky Powers on

      Thanks for pointing that out.

      When I’m writing, I don’t like to break my flow by scouring the net for numbers. Usually I’ll do that after, during the editing process. Sometimes certain things are simply missed.

      The 7 Ohm output was me trying to remember from nearly two years when I reviewed the M2. I always meant to double check that, but it got passed me.

      As for my experiencing with the M2s… it sounds fine on all my IEMs. Since the output impedance is nearly the same on both players, I don’t know why that is. Sadly I don’t have Angie around anymore for me to see how she handles the new Shanling.

  3. Manuel Jenkin on

    Hey there.. without a point of reference (atleast the options I can afford) it is hard for me to understand how this would sound. I am looking at this player for my vsonic gr07. My surface book drives the gr07 plenty well with decent depth and very good extension.. Atleast to my standards that is (yeah I haven’t heard the greater iems/headphones tho I did own an entry fi hd598 before gr07)…this is the problem I am facing out of this review since I can’t see any way to compare with what I have. I don’t like the way my OnePlus 3 sounds. It’s not terrible but I wish for better. It is midbassy with not good extension so lacking proper low end and bad hazy stereo image(I love the phone for things I other than sound). So all I want is the dap to sound atleast as good as the surface book (which has a fairly weak amp but clean btw). Things I love about gr07.

    1. Imaging (atleast compared to what I have heard)
    2. Lack of grain (except in treble region where there is minor ringing).
    3. Fairly linear but extended low end without much bloat..

    I don’t necessarily desire a warm sound or anything like that. I like any tonality as long as it has nice detail layering extension and imaging and doesn’t have much peaks and dips.

    Do you think the shanling m2s would fit my needs well?

    • Pinky Powers on

      From my experience, a device like the M2s will deliver a noticeable improvement in sound quality over any smartphone, or computer.

  4. TA. on

    “Depth and layering is practically nonexistent.”
    Fuck me, pinkypoofter talks bollocks again.

    • Pinky Powers on

      It’s heartfelt bullocks, and I do it all for you, my loyal readers. 😉

  5. Mateusz on

    Hey Man you think re 800 is Good upgrade re600 ? I have qp1r and Perfect synergy with 600.

    • Pinky Powers on

      I have not heard the RE600. In fact, this is my first exposure to HiFiMAN, period.

  6. Jeff Hawke on

    I have recently reviewed the Cayin N3 as part of the European tour. I strongly suggest you give it a try, as soon as you have a chance to do so. It may make you rewrite the last line of your (excellent) review, at least soundwise.

    • Pinky Powers on

      Hopefully I’ll get the N3 back pretty soon. I spent a little time with it before sending it on its way for the North American Tour. It was quite good, but that was weeks and weeks ago. I don’t remember enough of how it sounds to make a proper comparison.

      After the tour is over, the agreement is for it to come back my way, and I’ll do a review of it then.

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