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 $269 and as usual, you can find them at your local audio store or e-shop.
Founded in 1988, Shanling has been developing Hi-Fi products for more than 30 years now. From high-end CD players to classy tube-amps, the brand made a name thanks to great craftsmanship and top of the line performances.
But today, we are not reviewing a DAP, no. We are about to test their all-new IEM: the Shanling ME500. And not any version, we received the Platinum edition!
The MEX00 Series
As usual, here is a quick presentation of the Shanling IEM range. For now, they only offer three models, or four if you count the platinum edition, which is a different iteration of the Shanling ME500.
The Shanling ME100 is the entry-level IEM from the brand. Sold just under 120$/€, 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.
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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