Shanling M0 DAP Portable Audio Player Review
Shanling’s shrinking players know no bounds; the titchy M0 measures just 4cm by 4.5cm. Add to that the touchscreen feature, two-way bluetooth, DSD capabilities and 512Gb Micro SD compatibility and you have a fully functional micro miracle! Much smaller, and we may start needing tweezers to handle the thing..
- Tiny size and light
- Good sound
- Touchscreen operated
- Can require some practice to operate
- Small screen can omit parts of longer folder/file names
Design and Appearance
The Shanling M0 is very smart and simple-looking from the outside with only one control; that being the combined power and volume control on the right side. On the left is a covered slot for a micro SD card of your choice (all currently available capacities are supported) and along the bottom is a USB-C socket and a 3.5mm headphone socket.
The casing is metallic, with an anodised-style paint job which looks the part and is kind to fingers in that no obvious marks are left after handling. The touchscreen is not so fingerprint-proof but a quick wipe deals with that.
Since the screen is so tiny, any list of folders and tracks may not be so meaningful if you have a few folders which are named starting with the artist name, for example. The album titles are not visible as they are cut off by the edge of the screen, leading the user to guess which album they are going into. There is no option to alter the text size, or use two lines of the display to display the folder or file names – perhaps a future firmware update will address this.
The touchscreen operation is quite intuitive, but some may require a little practice with their swiping actions in order to use the M0 and navigate through the various menus and options.
Durability and Build Quality
The bevelled edges make it sit great in the hands of most people; it feels like a solid and dependable unit with a combined power button, selector and volume control which has a knurled edge so it’s not fiddly. If your fingers are dry (or banana-like) and you’re concerned about dropping this little fella, there are natty little leather cases available for the M0 which will offer some additional grip and protection.
Suitability for intended application
The Shanling M0 is a versatile unit; there is a number of bluetooth standards it can operate by, and the two-way bluetooth feature will allow the M0 to act as a receiver so it can be used with a full-size music system (outputting audio at line-level) if you wanted to listen to the music stored on it whilst relaxing at home. Just remember to alter the output setting back to ‘PO’ (phones out) when connecting headphones again.
Its light weight (37.5 grams or about an ounce and a bit) makes it perfect for joggers who are keen on using bluetooth headphones; slip it in a pocket and it can be virtually forgotten about!
Considering the diminutive size of the Shanling M0, it packs a surprising punch and can adequately power any portable headphones, with a decent amount of bass and clarity. It also has a few EQ presets for a limited amount of sound customisation but the sound is really quite good as it comes, with the EQ off.