Today we review the Shanling MG600, the first model of the new MG series selling for €/$649.
Disclaimer: the Shanling MG600 was sent to us free of charge by Shanling in exchange for our honest opinion. You can find them on their website, or your nearest dealer.
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. A legacy we can find in their new range, made of exquisite DAP, like the M6 Pro, the M8, or the M30, even if the latter looks more like a desktop station than a DAP…
In parallel, the brand also offers its own collection of earphones, from entry-level models like the ME80, up to high-end models like the ME700 or the ME800 – the top dog with dual DD for the bass. But, now that Shanling has covered the top, and the bottom, they went a bit crazier and decided to go for something new: a semi-open IEM, with a wooden shell.
Somehow, a mix of FiiO’s FD7 and BGVP DM8, for the best? That’s what we’ll find out!
The Shanling Series
Shanling’s in-ears series split into two different categories:
- MEXXX, for dynamic and hybrid IEMs, like the ME700 and ME800
- AEX, for balanced IEMs, like the AE3 (the only model available at the moment)
- MGx, for dynamic IEMs, like the Shanling MG600 we are reviewing today
So, as usual, let’s take a quick look at Shanling’s actual range.
The Shanling AE3 is the sole fully-balanced driver IEM from the brand, embedding three Sonion drivers, in a beautiful, 3D-printed acrylic shell. With its “starry sky” faceplate, inspired by Van Gogh’s painting, and the deep blue main body, it’s one of the most beautiful IEM I reviewed recently.
Sound-wise, I’ll quote my own review (it’s very good):
“The Shanling AE3 is a great IEM, in every way. Build quality is superb, comfort is excellent and, even if didn’t expect much from them at first, I became immediately hooked the moment I put them in my ears. The AE3 sound and feel like a top-tier IEM – clean mids, sharp highs, deep bass – for a quarter of the price.”
Shanling ME500 / ME500 Platinum
The Shanling ME500 is the mid-range/premium model from the brand. Like the ME200, it enjoys a dual-driver hybrid configuration, where a dynamic one is matched to a BA driver. Bonus point, the Knowles driver combines two chambers in one, to ensure better performances.
If you want to go even higher, there is a platinum version of the Shanling ME500. What’s the difference? The shell is coated with platinum, one of the most precious metals on earth.
I reviewed it a few months ago, so I can auto-quote myself:
“They are built like a tank, comfortable, well-designed (yes that’s subjective I know) and, most of all, sound great. If they can become hissy with some sources, once correctly driven, they give a crisp and clear performance. If you favor voices and dynamic, the ME500 should definitely be in your list.”
The Shanling ME700 is the golden boy, the high-end model before the ME800 came out. So much that the brand even chose to gold-plate the dynamic driver for “further absorption and unwanted vibrations”. Also, while the ME500 and ME500 platinum enjoyed metallic cases, the new ME700 gets a more classic acrylic shell.
We reviewed that model a few months ago, here is an excerpt:
“The Shanling ME700 isn’t the TOTL you would expect, but they are the great IEM you deserve. [..] Sound-wise, it follows the path carved by the ME500, but improves almost every aspect: wider sound stage, richer mids, cleaner lows, and a step-up in terms of resolution. My only regret is how shy the lows may appear on budget DAP, not that may be a concern for most of you. Yet, it’s been a long time since I’ve put my ear on an in-ear this dependent of the source.”
The Shanling ME800 is the top model from the brand, boasting four custom balanced armature drivers and no less than two crystal-plated bio-dynamic drivers, for utmost performance. Add to that a dual-tone switch, handcrafted faceplates, and a whole new three-way crossover, and you get one of the best IEMs available in this price range.
Here’s an excerpt of our last review:
“Slowly but surely, Shanling unfolds its plan, enhancing its range of DAP, DAC, and now IEM. The Shanling ME800 might be the most expensive model from the brand, up to date, but overall, it’s worth its price. From top to bottom, the end result is simply flawless. The design is superb, the sound is excellent, comfort is perfect, and it ticks all the right boxes. The only drawback I could outline was the tuning switches, which didn’t align with my personal taste. But maybe you’d like it, I don’t know!”
So, with no further introduction, let’s see how it fares.
The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.
Page 2: Design, comfort, specifications
Page 3: Sound and tonality