As usual, files were played from either Qobuz / Spotify or my own music library. I highlighted some tracks, just so you can try them home too!
“Silence is golden. But my eyes still see.
The first thing that struck me once I’ve put the Shanling ME700 in my ears, was the fact that it didn’t sound as good as the ME500 I previously owned. Same volume, same track, same source, the ME700 seemed a little shyer, with dull bass.
Why was that? Simply because I tried them on my iPhone. Compared to its older siblings, the ME700 has to be paired with a proper DAP, or at least a real USB-DAC, and not just Apple’s little dongle. Once done, things changed drastically.
Unlike before, the dynamic was simply awesome, surpassing the ME500 which was already a beast on this aspect. On tracks like Closed on Sunday from Justice Der, each note was perfectly distinct, never overlapping the prior one, even if the latter was played Forte, where the prior was Piano.
Paired with the FiiO M15, mids were razor-sharp, with more pressure and a fuller background. It’s a lush sound, jazzy voices taking the edge on lighter singers. Gregory Porter sounded amazing, pounding each note with its usual confidence as if the IEM guided him right inside my eardrums.
On the long run
It’s a superb IEM, one with excellent articulation, fast transients, and the right amount of force to surpass its predecessor, but not too much so it never gets tiring. My only regrets remaining the bass, still way too shy in my opinion.
Yes, lows are delightful and the ME700 magnifies each and every detail. But, like the ME500, it’s never as boomy as could be a BGVP DMG for example. And, sometimes, I want that little nudge over the head, one that keeps pushing to help you make it through the day.
And that’s a shame because the Low driver can go deep, very deep. I’m a big fan of Infected Mushroom or Aerix, repetitive yet sometimes complex tracks, with insane drums&bass lines. So, when I found out that the ME700 could cope with those tracks, and even surpass my usual CIEM, I was both surprised and delighted. Still not explosive, but darn impressive.
All in all, it’s awesome, but a (very) good source is a must!
Highs: crisp and clean. As usual with Shanling, there is a slight emphasis on highs. Nothing to be afraid of, but once bright sources, this might get a bit tiring. The BA drivers offer low distortion, great ASDR, and once properly driven, the result is absolutely superb.
Mediums: spaciousness and accuracy. The sound stage is amazing and voices are, once again, the strong point of this IEM well helped by the super-wide dynamic. Excellent sound stage, razor-sharp mids, and the right amount of warm give outstanding results. Unfortunately, those ears are still prone to hiss, so be extremely wary of the source.
Bass: deep but shy. Like the ME500, the ME700 isn’t expansive on the lower end. Bass is there, well-defined, with good extension, yet it always seems to shy off compared to the usual chi-fi IEM I’m accustomed to. Add a small bump around the 500Hz, for a funkier sound and you’ll discover how good this gold-plated DD can get.
The article continues on Page Five, after the click here