Shanling ME500 Review

Disclaimer: The Shanling ME500 (Platinum Edition) was sent to us free of charge by the brand in exchange for our honest opinion. The price is $269 and as usual, you can find them at your local audio store or e-shop.




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.

Since, Shanling 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 or the beloved M2X.

But today, we are not reviewing a DAP, no. We are about to test their all-new IEM: the Shanling ME500. And not any version, we received the Platinum edition!

The MEX00 Series

As usual, here is a quick presentation of the Shanling IEM range. For now, they only offer three models, or four if you count the platinum edition, which is a different iteration of the Shanling ME500.


The Shanling ME100 is the entry-level IEM from the brand. Sold just under 120$/€, it has got one dynamic driver, an aluminum frame CNC Milled, removable cables with MMCX socket and nice packaging.

There are a lot of options in this price range, so we’ll have to check if the ME100 is any good.
That said, the custom made driver is capable of exceeding one Tesla, which is impressive, to say the least.


The Shanling ME200 is a hybrid, dual driver, IEM. What’s taking it apart from the other models, is its acrylic 3D printed shell, whereas the others model prefer aluminum or brass for the ME500. Still, acrylic shells remain the best option available, in term of comfort and isolation.

The dynamic driver is strictly the same: a double magnet dynamic driver, with a nano-composite diaphragm. For the mids and highs, Shanling added a Knowles driver, properly tuned for their need.

Last but not least, there are five acidulous colors available: floating clouds purple, sun red, volcanic ash grey, clear blue and deep blue. All match well with the silver-plated copper cable.


The Shanling ME500 is, at the moment, the flagship IEM from the brand. Like the ME200, the ME500 enjoys a dual driver in a hybrid configuration. What’s the difference? The Knowles driver integrates two models in one to offer better performance.

Again, the shell is made of CNC cut metal, but not just any metal: brass. The only other device that has been using brass recently was… the Cowon Plenue L, which is quite more expensive than the ME500.

ME500 Platinum

If you want to go even higher, there is a platinum version of the Shanling ME500. The difference? The shell is coated with platinum, one of the most precious metals on earth.

Is it really better ? We’ll see about that as it’s the one we received for review!

On those good words, it’s time to unbox the Shanling ME500.

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4.3/5 - (19 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 March 2, 2020

    Matt C

    Hi there, just wondering how thus IEM would match up to either HiBy R5, Shanling M5s, or Ibasso DX160 for listening to classical music? thanks

    • Reply March 2, 2020

      Matt C

      Sorry I was referring to the ME500 Platinum, thanks

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