Shanling M1 DAP Review
The Shanling M1 is the perfect everyday DAP, also doubling up as the perfect gym companion, offering a clean and detailed sound for under £150, very impressive.
- Price to performance
- Button layout could be more like the M2s
Aesthetics, Accessories and User Interface
The Shanling M1 is a tiny player, it is shaped like the later iPod Nano and is sleek and easily slips into your pocket. The front is glass, the edges are aluminium and the back is plastic, you have a volume wheel (which is also the select button) on the top right hand side and the power button underneath. On the other side you have playback buttons (skip track and back), on the bottom you have the USB C port for charging and also file transfer along with the headphone jack and MicroSD slot. The power button also works to unlock the screen, overall the look and feel of this player is excellent.
The M1 comes with a USB cable, Card reader and 4 screen protectors, all you need is a microSD card with music on. Available separately is a leather case, and you can also purchase extra screen protectors.
The user interface is easy to get around, you have plenty of settings and then when in your music you can either browse by Artist, Album, Genre, Playlist, Favourites or display all tracks. The wheel acts as the scrolling mechanism, and click inwards on the wheel to select. The playing screen displays the album artwork, with the format below and the track name and artist. The button layout is not as intuitive and natural as the M2s, but it doesn’t take long to get used to it.
This player has some added functions, it can be used as an external USB DAC for your computer.
The USB C port can feed a digital signal to an external DAC too, it has high and low gain settings, EQ, two way Bluetooth (AptX) support and more.
I would class the Shanling M1 as one of the more neutral sounding players, it’s sibling the M2s has a noticeable warmth to the sound that the M1 doesn’t have. The M1 has plenty of gain, but the actual output power is lower than the M2s, meaning the M1 is best paired with in-ear headphones and easier to drive full size ones.
There is still a slight smoothness to the sound, which makes this an easy listen. The lows are slightly full and easy to follow, they are not lacking in extension are definition but they are slightly fuller than a strictly neutral sound.
The mids are detailed and present, and the highs are well extended with possibly a hint of softness making this a non fatiguing and easy listening player.
The M1 is the perfect player for everyday easy listening and also for sports use. It’s size and aftermarket case allow you to clip it to an armband, and the bluetooth support allows you to go wireless when out jogging.
It has some great features like USB DAC support, USB output support, Bluetooth and more, it may not be the most powerful player but for under £150 you get a surprisingly clean and detailed sound.