Shanling M2X Review - expatinjapan

Shanling M2X review


The Shanling M2X is basically a mini me version of the Shanling M5S. One less Dac chip, smaller size etc etc. But that does not mean it slacks off. Whilst having slightly less resolution than its bigger brother the M5S it still is an excellent device  at around US$200.

The new wave of touchscreen Shanling Daps are splendid devices, up to the just announced and soon to be released Shanling M6 (Which is their first Android dap and will go head to head with the iBasso DX160, Hiby R5 and FiiO M11).

Earlier non touch screen releases did not lack in the sound department. Such as the M3S which still holds its own in terms of sound and as a source.

The Shanling M0 took the portable audio world by storm, with is cute size, great sound and host of handy functions. reviewed here:

Shanling M2X Dual AK4490DAC DSD256 Decoding Bluetooth Wireless WiFi HiFi Lossless Music Player


Balanced output HIFI player

M2X adopts 4 independent amplifiers to form a 2.5mm balanced output. Compared with the common 3.5mm single-end output, the output power, sound field performance, music details, three-frequency fullness and other parameters are better.

Audio match at will
2-way Bluetooth, 2-way USB, match at will

Wireless turntable
Receive signals via DLNA, AirPlay and Bluetooth, and output signals via USB.

Bluetooth player
Receive signals via DLNA、AirPlay、USB, and output signal via Bluetooth.

Original intention and inheritance
Hyperboloid glass, cambered surface metal body, portable for outdoor, miniature size, comfortable sense of holding, one key operation

Touch operation

The M2X comes with a 3.2-inch LG HD touch screen, and the cover can start its show any time.

Random cover, smooth gestures operate, MTouch 2.0 operating system
We also configured 15 random covers for the M2X. When the song itself has no cover, the system will randomly match the preset exquisite cover.

WiFi function unlocks more operating space
Support DLNA, AirPlay

Local songs or mainstream media resources such as KuGou Music, Netease Music, and TIDAL Music are sending to M2X, and the transmission process has no distortion, enabling better playback on M2X.

WiFi transmit songs

When the mobile phone /PC and M2X are in the same WiFi, high-speed songs can be transmitted between the mobile phone /PC and M2X.

OTA online upgrade is also supported

Get rid of the tedious upgrade steps. When connecting to WiFi, you can upgrade the player with one click.

*support TF card upgrade at the meantime

Supports multiple Bluetooth encoding modes

M2X support:LDAC/aptX/AAC

*SONY LDAC: It can transmit 96kHz/24Bit music files, and the transmission rate can reach three times of ordinary SBC code.

* Qualcomm aptX: With more efficient encoding, music details can be retained to a large extent and the sound quality can be reached at the CD level (44.1kHz/16Bit).

*AAC: An algorithm from Dolby Labs with a high compression ratio, with power consumption similar to that of SBC, but with a better sense of hearing.

Circuit design, 31 years of tuning details, using high - quality circuit components

DAC: Using AK4490EN with high signal-to-noise ratio and low distortion as DAC chip and five digital filters, it provides excellent sound basis for M2X.


Two active crystal oscillators with low phase noise from Japanese KDS Company and SS1712 independent FPGA chip are adopted to reduce phase difference and real restore audio signal. Meanwhile, DSD256 hard solution is also supported.

Amplifying circuit

Using an American TI OPA1612 operational amplifier for low pass filtering, two 1µF Panasonic film capacitors and two Panasonic polymer tantalum capacitors form a coupling circuit, two ADI AD8397 dual channel operational amplifiers correspond to four balanced amplifier circuits, with high output power and wide output dynamics.  

Power supply

A total of 4 Panasonic macromolecule tantalum capacitors and 4 Japanese ELNA advanced slimicII capacitors are used, so that each chip can play well and ensure the sound is clean and stable.

Copper-Nickel-Zinc Alloy shielding case

To use of better electrical conductivity of the white copper shield, the key parts of the shielding process, to ensure that the each part of circuit will not crosstalk each other, to achieve the 0 noise output.

Support all current audio formats

* Support 2T TF card extension

* Not support SDT format’s ISO Doc.


936 hours deep in standby, beyond imagination, long lasting

Single-ended in 10.5 hour/ balanced in 7.5 hours

* The above data are battery life and standby time in the laboratory state, the data fluctuates due to factors such as battery life and file type (the higher the specs, the shorter the battery life).


Size: 90*60*16mm

Screen: 3.2inch, 320 x 480(resolution ratio)

Weight: about 147g


Support: 32bit/384kHz, DSD256

Gain compensation: high, low

Storage: external TF card, support 2TB capacity

D/A transform chip: AK4490EN

Power (adapter): DC5V,2A/Type-C USB connector

Bluetooth: 4.2 Version

Bluetooth code system: LDAC(2-way)/aptX( launch only)/AAC(2-way)

Single-ended output

Output power: 180mW@16Ω/106mW@32Ω

Frequency response: 20Hz-40kHz(-0.5dB)

SNR: 117dB(A-Weighting)

Output impedance: 1 Ω

Channel separation: 70dB(32Ω)

Dynamic range: 116dB

Distortion + noise: 0.0015%

Balanced output

Output power: 212mW@160Ω/120mW@32Ω

Frequency response: 20Hz-40kHz(-0.5dB)

SNR: 117dB(A-Weighting)

Output impedance: 2Ω

Channel separation: 107dB

Dynamic range: 116dB

Distortion + noise: 0.0016%


WiFi standard: IEEE802.11b/g/n

WiFi use: DLNA/AirPlay/OTA online upgrade/HiFi Cloud Library/KuGou Music/TIDAL Music


2400 mAh, fully charged in 2.5 hour

10.5 hours in Single-ended output mode, 7.5 hours in Balanced output mode lasting.


Shanling M2X

*(Specs via Penon Audio).

Shanling M2X unboxing

For more detailed information visit Shanling at:

The unboxing, where in all but the sound is revealed to you dear reader through handy visuals.


The Shanling M2X is an excellent starter dap due to its affordable entry price of around US$200 and pure, natural, neutral and analytical sound. But does not veer into dryness.

If one has some easy to drive headphones for on the go, or IEMs this would be a great dap with its single and balanced outputs.

Wifi, and bi-directional Bluetooth make it an excellent companion for those who want to stream music.

It is nearly fully quiet as far as noise floor is concerned.

Earphones are usually said to have the soundstage and not the daps, and well the M2X has enough head room and width to please. I did not find it to choke out earphones up to the $400-$700 price range. And even above the performance was satisfying enough.

The Shanling is a dap I would not hesitate to recommend to a friend who is looking to enter in the world of daps. With is excellent sonic performance, oodles of options and attractive price when paired with an earphone from $50 - $300 it makes for a decent starter pack.

I think even the more seasoned audiophile warrior would be pleasantly pleased with it as a secondary dap, daily traveling dap or as gym mate.

I am looking forward to seeing what Shanling brings to the game with the up and coming Shanling M6.

Thank you to Shanling for sending Head pie the M2X for review

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