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

shanling-m2x-picture-sunday-headfonia (9)


For the nit-pickers and nerdy ones here, I’m giving the specs and technical sheets . For all the other, you can just go to the next page to see how the amp performs.


The Shanling M2X cuts off one of the dual AKM AK4490EN chips found in the M5S. A splendid chip working in duo with a TI OPA1612 for low-pass filtering. If you look at the numbers, they are a bit behind the M5S :

  • the advertised SNR is now announced at 117dB in Single-ended mode, and to 116dB in Balanced mode.
  • sampling rates support is now limited to 384kHz instead of 768kHz max.

The new circuit traded the previous amplifiers for a new set of AD8397. Power output is rated at 106mW @ 32ohm (single ended) and 120mW @ 32ohm (balanced) which is still plenty for a pair of IEM or portable headphones.

Another difference is the adjusted output impedance, respectively 1 ohm in single-ended and 2 ohm in balanced mode. No noise whatsoever, theoretically.


The WiFi is limited to 2.4ghz on the Shanling M2X which should not be an issue since the DAP isn’t made for Netflix or gaming. For Airplay and DNLA, this is more than enough, even if you send high bitrate files through the server.

Signal strength was good and I never lose the signal on a daily use.

Full specs

  • Type : Digital Audio Player- OS : Mtouch OS 2.0
  • DAC : 1x AK4490EN
  • LPF : 1x Ti OPA1612
  • BUF : 2x AD8397
  • Sample rate : PCM : 8Hz – 384kHz (8/16/24/32bit) native – DSD64/128/256
  • System clock : Full synchronization technology with FPGA processor and dual clock
  • Outputs : 3.5mm headphone out/line-out – 2.5mm balanced headphone output
  • Input : USB Type-C
  • Screen : 3.2″ 320×480 IPS Screen from LG
  • Micro SD : SDHC / SDXC (single slot)
  • USB DAC : yes
  • WiFi : 2.4 GHz support (b/g/n)
  • DNLA/Airplay/TIDAL
  • Bluetooth support : SBC, apt-X, LDAC
  • Duplex Bluetooth : player can emits and receive music
  • USB out : available in every mode
  • Battery : 3.8V 2400mAh Li-Polymer
  • Quick Charge : yes
  • Battery life : 10h in single ended, 7h in balanced
  • Charging time : around 1h30
  • Size : 98mm*60mm*16mm
  • Weight : 147g (160g with the silicon sleeve)

3.5 mm Headphone out

  • Output power : 180mW @16ohm / 106mW @32ohm
  • SNR : 117 dB
  • Channel separation : 70dB
  • Output impedance : 1 ohms
  • Distorsion : < 0.0015%

2.5 mm Headphone out

  • Output power : 210mW @16ohm / [email protected]
  • SNR : 117 dB
  • Channel separation : 107dB
  • Output impedance : 2 ohms
  • Distorsion : < 0.0016%

The review continues on Page five, 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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