Shanling M0 Pro Review – Audio Gear of the Year
Shanling M0 Pro, as a true successor to the 2018 M0 model, has upgrades in every aspect including the DAC chips, headphone jack, Bluetooth, and many other features. The M0 Pro maintains the ultra-compact, handy form factor of the original M0. It houses a 1.54” touchscreen that allows you to navigate hassle-free.
Shanling M0 Pro is an extremely small, lightweight, and super pocketable device. It shares the same design characteristics as other DAPs of Shanling, yet it has this super compact form factor.
Shanlign M0 Pro comes with dual ES9219C DAC chips that provide upgraded performance in decoding high-resolution audio signals. It natively supports DSD128 audio and 32-Bit/384kHz PCM formats.
Shanling M0 Pro features a specially-developed 3.5mm headphone jack. It not only has a single-ended 3.5mm headphone output but can also be connected with balanced connections with an appropriate connector cable (sold separately). The M0 Pro has got two-level gain modes (low and high gain). It provides a powerful output thrust of upto 236mW@32Ω (Balanced connection).
Shanling has updated the Bluetooth connectivity on the M0 Pro. Earlier the M0 used to feature Bluetooth V4.1 connectivity, but the new M0 Pro brings you newer, advanced, more stable Bluetooth V5.0 connectivity. It serves you with a two-way Bluetooth connection. M0 Pro has got LDAC, AptX, AAC, and SBC codecs for receiving and LDAC, AAC, and SBC for transmission.
Shanling M0 Pro has got an upgraded MicroSD card slot. Earlier model M0 supported 512GB microSD cards only, but the new M0 Pro brings full support for microSD cards up to 2TB capacity.
You can use it as a USB DAC for your Smartphone or PC. You can also connect your smartphone wirelessly to use your streaming applications and vice versa, as a transmitter and receiver, Mo Pro supports a two-way Bluetooth connection. It’s a very feature-packed device for its size and price level.
The M0 Pro has a SnycLink feature, which allows you to control your DAP from your smartphone. What you need is an app called Eddict Player. After installing the app, open the SyncLink and Bluetooth functions on the DAP and connect your smartphone with BT. Then you should be able to control the playback and the volume from your phone.
The user interface (UI) of MTouch OS is well-designed and compatible with the size limitation of the screen (watch the unboxing video for a simple UI walkthrough). Swipe left or right to easily navigate between menus, touch the big icons in the main menu, and swipe right for going back to any screen. You can also tap and hold anywhere on the screen to go back to the main menu. The same operation as the original model, easy and smooth.
Settings-wise you have channel balance, gain setting, max & default volume settings, gapless playback, skipping between folders, and playing modes like shuffle and DAC filter options for sound. There’s even a manual EQ.
Shanling M0 Pro is launched in three color options, Red, Black, & Green.
What’s in the box
- Available in Red, Green, and Black colors.
- Dimensions: 43.8 x 45 x 13.8
- Weight: 36.8g
- Display: 1.54-Inch 240 x 240
- DAC: Dual ESS ES9219C
- Memory: MicroSD card slot, up to 2TB support
- Battery: 650 mAh
- Battery Life: Up to 14.5 hours
- Bluetooth 5.0
- BT Codec Support: LDAC, aptX, AAC, SBC Transmitter / LDAC, AAC, SBC Receiver
- Hi-Res support: 32 bit / 384 kHz & DSD128
- Output Power: 1.7 V @ 32 Ohm (90 mW)
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 40 kHz
- THD+N: 0.0006%
- SNR: 118 dB @ 32 Ohm
- Channel Separation: 72 dB @ 32 Ohm
- Output Impedance: 0.4 Ohm
- Output Power: 2.75 V @ 32 Ohm (236 mW)
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 40 kHz
- THD+N: 0.0004%
- SNR: 119 dB @ 32 Ohm
- Channel Separation: 109 dB @ 32 Ohm
- Output Impedance: 0.8 Ohm
I would like to thank Shanling for providing me with the review sample of Shanling M0 Pro.
M0 Pro’s 3.5mm single-ended output comes off very neutral and clean with a fairly well-sized soundstage but it’s the 4.4mm balanced output that will impress most. The balanced mode has a significant volume boost compared to the single-ended, so you need to subtract the perceived effect of the volume boost in order to judge the true sound differences between the two outputs properly.
The balanced output is slightly punchier, and richer. It has more bass punch and slams as well as has ever so slightly sparklier treble compared to the single-ended. I also hear slightly better-textured layering across the spectrum. The bass is slightly more upfront. It sounds more dynamic and vibrant compared to the single-ended. Of course, all these differences are relatively minor. They are definitely noticeable but don’t expect there to be a night and day difference. Shanling M0 Pro overall has pretty good resolution and clarity for its price segment.
The bass region is fast, agile, and has a good texture. The quantity of the sub-bass is sufficient, but I can say that I expected a little bit better in terms of impact. Bass feels agile and recovers fast. I think the overall bass performance of the M0 Pro is quite good for the asking price.
Mids have good attack and dynamism, together with excellent transparency. The low mids have a good body, are adequate, does not feel too thick or too thin. The M0 Pro is quite balanced in this regard. The timbre feels accurate, the presentation feels neutral. The tonality is good and neutral without any coloration. The vocals are brilliant with good resolution.
The treble area is nicely defined with a sharp attack and good timbre, but not overly aggressive. Has good extension and articulation. The definition and extension are also great, have good attack/decay and feel dynamic.
Shanling M0 Pro, this tiny DAP is like a Swiss army knife that can do everything in the name of processing audio. Every music lover should carry it in their pockets. And trust me you definitely have that wow factor the first time you listen to it, wondering how a big and good sound comes out of this kind of a small factor. The tiny mighty, for me, is the audio gear of the year.