Shanling ME500 Review

Design & Build Quality





From afar, it’ll be difficult to distinguish the Shanling ME500 and the TinHifi P1. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

In just a few years, 3D milling has become the norm, replacing the traditional plastic mold on most IEMs. Or at least, the Chinese ones. But, that doesn’t mean all earphones look or feel the same, and the Shanling ME500 is a good example.

The shells have been crafted in brass and not aluminum. It’s a bit heavier and in the hand it feels denser, like a big jewel. The platinum coating is superb, homogeneously covering the whole IEM. Thankfully, that shiny touch seems not too prone to scratch, as I never saw any bruises over time. The nozzle is not added after the build, it’s directly carved into the shell. Which is great for sturdiness as you’ll never have to worry about losing it over time. The grill enjoys the same level of cautiousness, I put some light kick on it, and it didn’t budge by a millimeter.

Pretty nice overall.

Build quality

Unsurprisingly, the build quality is excellent and these earphones will definitely outlast me.

The Shanling ME500 is built like a tank, a shiny tank, but still one. The MMCX plugs are sturdy, there are no loose parts and the brand didn’t forget to put a small lid on the nozzle, to hold the tips. No rough edges, no flaw in the coating, everywhere you touch it feels right.

The braided cable is equally beautiful. It’s made of silver-plated copper cable, instead of the hybrid one you have on the basic ME500. It’s much thinner than I thought, and lighter too, making the in-ear so much more comfortable

On a daily basis, the IEM will withstand every kind of abuse, even if you just throw them in the bottom of your bag, or let them fall on hard concrete.

Bundle and Comfort

Inside the box

The Shanling ME500 platinum edition comes in a leather box, instead of the metallic one you find with the classic version. There is quite enough space to store the IEM, two pairs of cables and a set of tips.

The bundle is quite complete :

  • the Shanling ME500
  • 3x pairs of vocal ear tips / 3x pairs of sound stage eartips / 3x pairs of bass ear tips / 3x pairs of balanced ear tips / 2x pairs of foam
  • the silver-plated cable
  • the leather box

I usually complain about the bundle, but for once I won’t, there is quite enough tips to cope for a few years!

Additional accessories

Do you know what’s missing in the box? A balanced cable!

This will be the only addition you can add to your Shanling ME500. The MMCX plugs allow you to swap the (great) cable for a 2.5mm one or a 4.4mm plug to connect your DAP or DAC.

As usual, prices can raise quite fast, so be careful.


Once you’ve found the right size for your tips, the Shanling ME500 fits tightly in your ears.

The overall shape slides easily, and the rounded form makes it easy to insert or remove the IEM. Thankfully, the cable follows the same path: it’s light, well-built and never bothered me at any moment.

This time I can heartfully recommend you to keep the provided cable, for maximum comfort.


Isolation is good, so much that it can match some acrylic models.

As usual, the foam tips give the best results, properly stopping unwanted noises. Even if the Shanling ME500 got small vents, this was not an issue and the IEMs muffled the conversation hum, coming from my daily commute.

Silicon tips also give good results, but not as good as the foam. My best choice remains SpinFit tips, even if the provided white one doesn’t fall short.

So, time to check the specs!

The article continues on Page Three, after the click here

4.2/5 - (17 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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