Compendium updated February 25th, 2021.
Although its third birthday has come and gone, celebrations continue for the Shanling M0, perhaps the smallest DAP to boast an ESS Sabre DAC chip.
We’ve compiled reviews of this mighty little portable from across the web for your reference. What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in. Thanks for visiting!
From Headphonics’ review of the Shanling M0, originally published June 15th, 2018:
“The M0 is probably the best value player I’ve ever tested. It is actually clean enough to use alongside my ESW11LTD from Audio Technica and a lot of other middle-tier headphones I enjoy on the go. But, that was where the line was drawn.
“It is a great stepping stone product for the budding audiophile to route to a more expensive model if said M0 tickles their ear enough to want more. Not only does BlueTooth sound very good and retains a strong connection, but battery life at around 12-15 hours was solid as well when not playing DSD or Flac playlists.
“The unit is very nicely built and has a very simple and effective UI, considering the size of the tiny screen, it is a wonder they incorporated so many bold icons in view. There is a small shuffle button on the bottom left and a track favorite on the right. In the center, a standard track selection and play/pause. If you want to go back a menu, hold an empty space area and it will revert to the folder list area. It is quite a bold design element to house that much on a small screen and have it all work perfectly fine.
“The M0 is a great deal. I will be recommending it to anyone seeking a $109 and under DAP. It handles pretty much everything I toss at it and performed as a solid musical sounding music source that didn’t go too far into exaggerated tonality. Great job, team Shanling. This is a keeper.”
From Headfonia’s review of the Shanling M0, originally published June 9th, 20th:
“For its very small price and footprint, very good usage and sound performance altogether, the M0 has made it to our Portable Player Recommendations. It sounds good, performs good and the amount of features were just enough to convince me to make this decision. I can’t think of an extremely small player like this which has these features in an all in one package.
“Maybe the upcoming Hidisz AP80 will also be impressive, but that’s Lieven’s job to analyse.
"I recommend the M0 to everyone who has an active lifestyle, who has good IEMs for sport and etc. and wants to have a good sound quality from their sources. Congrats to Shanling Audio.”
From Audiophile-Heaven's review of the Shanling M0, originally published February 7th, 2019:
“Talking about the value of M0 could take more than talking about any aspect of it, as this is one of the best value DAPs there is, since it costs very little relative to other DAPs in the market, being priced at just 110 USD, but it offers quite a lot of power and features...
"The sound is crisp and clear, albeit it is also fairly intimate and soft, making M0 an excellent pair for brighter, colder, and more airy cans, especially those where you always wished they were softer, leaner, or more intimate.
"With a large number of features, excellent build quality, great battery life, bluetooth APT-X, LDAC, and a clear and crisp, punchy and dynamic sound, if you’re looking for an ultra-portable Music Player for about 110 USD, you should really give Shanling M0 a shot, and don’t forget to grab a clip case, if you plan on clipping it to your clothing, or on using it in your car, to provide sound to your car’s head unit!”
From Darko.audio’s review of the Shanling M0, originally published March 5th, 2019:
“Ultimately, the amplification stage seems to be the M0’s primary strength. If you intend to use relatively power-hungry cans on a regular basis, the Shanling won’t be ideal, but most reasonably portable transducers should be fair game – it easily powers anything that I’d actually take on the go. For home use with harder to drive cans, I just grab a 3.5mm to RCA cable to send a proper 2V signal out to something like the Rupert Neve RNHP. The Shanling performs as well in this role as any sub-$500 disc spinner I’ve encountered in terms of sonic satisfaction…
"...if you demand nothing but the absolute highest caliber sound paired with the most robust feature set (and are willing to pay the premium), get thee to a flagship DAP like the $3300 Cayin N8. For everyone else, I think Shanling’s ultra-portable M0 makes a very compelling case for itself. The sound, the user experience, the build quality and durability, and of course, the reasonable price. They all add up to something that has become a staple in my daily life. After all, the best DAP is the one you have with you."
From The Headphone List’s review of the Shanling M0, originally published August 31st, 2018:
“Pros –Excellent build and design, Fast yet feature-rich UI, Clean sound with wide soundstage, Extremely low output impedance, Zero hiss, Awesome value!
"Cons –No user configurable eQ, Screen tearing, Questionable battery life with Bluetooth enabled, No in-line remote support
"Verdict – With an excellent form-factor, quality audio hardware and affordable price, the M0 is versatile, capable and simply a bargain.”
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.