Review : Shanling M2X – Harder, better, faster, stronger

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In this review we take a close look at the Shanling M2X DAP.

Disclaimer : the Shanling M2X was sent to us free of charge by the brand in exchange for an honest opinion. 

About Shanling

Founded in 1988, Shanling has been developing Hi-Fi products for more than 30 years now. From high-end CD players to classy tube-amps, the brand made a name thanks to great craftsmanship and top of the line performances.

Shanling logo

Since then, Shanling has extended their range to reach higher grounds, all up to… portable players. We’ve reviewed almost all of their DAPs, from the tiny M0 to their flagship, the M5S. Today, we take a look at their newest model : the M2X.

The Shanling DAP Series

Shanling M0

As one of the smallest players out there, the Shanling M0 can easily be mistaken for an Apple Watch. It’s so tiny that you could use it as a watch, like the iPod Nano : 38g for a mere 40×13.5x45mm. With the correct wristband, you got a bulky smart watch or a very portable DAP, depends of what you see.

Shanling M0

Shanling M0

At the core of the Shanling M0, you have a SABRE 9218P chip. It’s a bit different than the usual 9018S but the specs remains mostly the same, a good thing. The main difference between the M0 and the previous generation comes for the screen : it’s finally a touchscreen instead of the old wheel-control.

If you want to know more about the M0, you must check Berkhan review : “hello beastie”.

Shanling M1

Bigger and bulkier than its smaller siblings, the Shanling M1 is also older. To be completely honest, if you want a small audiophile player, just go directly for the M0, unless you hate touchscreen.

Shanling M2S

Visually appealing, the Shanling M2S looks like a M1+. It has a classy 3“screen displaying a a nice 800×480 resolution, a full aluminium case available in all kind of colors and a very nice UI. The only drawback comes from the non-touch/scroll-wheel-operated design.

Sound wise, the Shanling M2S trust the good old AKM AK4490EQ DAC and à MUSE8920 for low pass filtering. I had one for a few times and if you can live with a wheel, it’s a beautiful player and overall a good sounding one, even for today.

Shanling M3S

Take a Shanling M2S and stretch it from top to bottom, you get the Shanling M3S. From a side to side comparison, the only difference would be this black box at the bottom of the player. Same (astoundingly) good build, same scroll-wheel system, same screen size.

The difference comes from the inside, the Shanling M3S doubling almost every specs : 2x AK4490EQ DAC, 4x LPF circuit, 4x headphone amp circuits and 2x headphone output (single-ended and balanced).

Another nice addition is HiBy link supports, allowing the Shanling M3S to be linked to a smartphone for better control. Add a bigger battery, a 4.1 Bluetooth support an you have a great player.
Find out more information from our review, linked here : “Perfectly Balanced”

Shanling M5S

If you really want to go limo style with your Shanling DAP, you may lean toward the M5S. We reviewed it a few months ago and if the UI was not the keenest to the eye, soundwise it was (and still is) excellent.

I stand my grounds and still think that is one of the best choice in term of sound, if you’re new to the DAP world. You can even check my own review here !

The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.

4.3/5 - (48 votes)

A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.


  • Reply April 25, 2019


    I’ve owned the Fiio M9, Fiio M6, Fiio m3k, Shanling m0 and the Shanling m5s. I think the m5s has the best sound of all of them. I also feel like the OS on the Shanling m5s is the best/easiest to use/intuitive of all these devices. How’s the screen in comparison to the m5s? Is it the same resolution/quality? I really like the smaller size of the player vs the m5s which is tank.

    • Reply June 11, 2019


      can elaborate more in that statement?!
      how is m5s compared to fiio m6 for music like metal or rock?!

  • Reply April 25, 2019

    Skirmantas Milius

    Should I upgrade from my current ibasso DX90 which I still enjoy?

  • Reply April 27, 2019


    I have an M2S, the output power with the M2X is lower, how does the sound compare between the two??

  • Reply May 7, 2019

    Malay Raj

    Hi does it support .m3u8 playlists?

  • Reply May 14, 2019


    Can you please make comparison with hiby r3. Thank

  • Reply July 26, 2019


    Great review! I like the Shanling M2x, Can you sum up the difference between the m2x and fiio M9, thanks

  • Reply March 13, 2021

    Lo Testoni

    Hi, i’m planning to buy my first DAP that have bidirectional bluetooth but torn between m2x and HiBy R3 Pro Saber.

    Could anyone help to compare their sound signature and quality? Since R3 pro saber hasn’t been review in here and I read many good review from it

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