Smartphones has eaten up the share of the music player market. iPod and other digital players are not immune. Of course, the major audio brands are actively responding. Because of the openness of Android system, the major players have been developing Android music players. But Android is very demanding in processor performance and manufacturers’ ability to maintain high level of audio performanc...
The ShanLing M0 is a compact Walkman player with a good look, feature and $109 price. It almost integrates the most popular features of the Walkman player today, and the satisfaction of playing them all over again should be able to exceed its selling price. Of course, we’ll also look at how the M0 featuredetails are and how well the sound quality is performed in all aspects.
Appearance and key features
The design of the ShanLing M0 should be derived from the m1 in front of itself, which continues the design style and shell process of the M1, as well as the layout of most of the features, while the M0 is more extremely in pursuit of smaller upgrades. M0 appearance size, 40×13.5x45mm, weight only 38 g, so that there are a number of netizens message said why not M0 as a watch?
When the watch is a little heavier, it is light enough as a portable player. M0 uses an aluminum housing, with a variety of colors to choose from, regardless of the fillet and detail treatment of the body housing or the surface of the oxidation blasting process is very delicate, but from the recent Le Bang MU02, it seems that everyone in the aluminum alloy surface treatment process has been fully improved. The right side of the M0 also has a special knob for adjusting the volume. The keys can be pressed down for breath-taking.
M0 uses 1.54-inch 240×240 resolution LCD touch screen, screen proportion naturally can not be pursued, but the operation and use with optimization of the better UI is still good. On the lower side of the player, there is a Type-C USB connector and a 3.5mm headphone output.
The M0 has no storage space and a MicroSD card slot on the left, which supports a maximum capacity of 512GB.
Shanling M0 almost all rely on the touch screen operation, UI design is more convenient for such a small screen to operate. The LOGO icon under the UI home directory represents the functionality of each project. Includes: Now Playing, My Music, Folders, Play Settings, System Settings.
We don’t cover one of the sub-items, from the use of the project setup function is still quite complete, here are a few common and we think related to the music playback function manipulation details.
First of all, after the ShanLing M0 lights up the screen with the right knob, it does not enter the first-level root directory menu as we mentioned above. If you’ve ever played music, it goes to the current now playing music catalog where you’re staying at the time. The M0’s touch-back level menu, achieved by swiping inward from the left edge of the screen, responds better without errors.
Slide back from the current play track, naturally is the track is the classification or catalog, the first level of regression is, the operating logic is clear. In such a small directory to choose tracks is not convenient, such as first say a little M0 weak point, its screen is small, but the name of the track is not possible to scroll, so the long track is not complete, the track can only display 11 characters, replaced with Chinese is four or five words, I hope that in the future firmware can improve this function,
Supports track full name scrolling. However, in the library classification, Shanling M0 did very carefully, which facilitates the classification of the track management. First, when browsing through the folder, for the entire album of individual files, CUE classified music, in the Mountain Soul M0 catalog will be directly displayed as a divided track, without the original file. In the field of library management, there are not only categories of performers, track types, albums, etc., as well as song list categories and personal collection categories. At the same time, the categories for most recent and frequent playback are automatically generated.
But this recent play is more bizarre, it seems to be a few recently played music, and then not by time, but by file name.
But overall, shanling M0 this set of touch is stable and reliable, whether it is the upper and lower directory jump or touch confirmation and menu scrolling are stable and reliable, which is not easy. Play function and settings: Shanling M0 supports a variety of common audio formats, specific file extensions everyone check their own official Internet cafes. PCM supports 24bit/384kHz decoding, and DSD supports DSD128 decoding. Shanling M0 also passed hi-Res certification, so when playing 48kHz sampling rate above the specifications PCM and DSD, the player interface will have the HR logo display, this logo seems to be Also Hi-Res unified?
Same as shown on the Sony player. In terms of USB input and output, the DSD output of Shanling M0 can set the output rules of D2P and DoP, which refers to DSD to PCM, which is converted to PCM output. Paradoxically, this DoP and D2P actually imaged the performance of shanling M0 itself when decoding DSD, as we said in the objective test below. It’s a bit odd that M0 is doing a good job in terms of compatibility with external decoders and compatibility with Type-C. Because the iBasso DX150 and Haibei R6 Type-C we tested earlier seem to have compatibility issues with Type-C USB3.1 Gen2, but the Mountain M0 does n’which doesn’t exist and is well-compatible with various external transfer Hubs. There is no problem in the output of PCM and DSD.
We tested XMOS and Chord’s USB solution, Le Bang Monitor 09 failed, the player will automatically shut down, burst electricity and other strange phenomena. In playback-related projects, The Mountain Ling M0 offers a truly seamless playback switch, USB DAC mode and storage mode switch, PO and LO software switching, as well as some EQ options.
Play setup items under the interface of playing music, slide a page to enter, the operation logic is reasonable and easy to learn. Power management: Shanling M0 this software system still seems to come from haibei, so power management do not have to worry, it has a good sleep battery, there is the option of deep sleep settings. However, there seems to be a problem in the percentage of the power display, for example, we used it without power to shut down, but it was rushed for less than 15 minutes, the power display was full, but it took less than a few minutes to drop a grid (a total of 5 cells).
This power display problem, when external USB device son is more likely to appear, fully self-playing seems not a problem. Storage speed: Shanling M0 does not have built-in storage, although can support the latest specifications of 512GB expansion card, but the write speed is relatively general, the actual use of Sandisk 300x card test, the actual average write speed is about 10MB/s, peak in 10-12MB/s.
If you really intend to use a large-capacity card, I am afraid that the external reader copy will be faster. Internal core architecture: M0 we didn’t do disassembly, we didn’t find a third-party disassembly, so it doesn’t seem to need to introduce much internal structure. Only know that its scheme is ESS Sabre ES9218P chip. The ES9218P is better known for its use in LG’s V30 and subsequent models, and is certified by MQA on the V30 and V30 Plus. The decoding capabilities of PCM and DSD have been said above. The ES9218P is the top-of-the-line version of ESS’s latest mobile version of DAC, with the latest generation of optimized processors that optimize the performance of PCB aisles and peripheral power supply. Crucially, it has built-in headphone output and nominal 2Vrms output capabilities. is a highly integrated DAC SoC solution. Of course, past experience has shown that analog play most of the high integration degree often does not bring good sound quality.
In terms of indicators, ES9218P is officially labeled -114dB’s THD-N, and 130dB signal-to-noise ratio. The digital filter aspect is a big selling point after the ESS generation DAC chip has updated the kernel DSP, and the digital filter options supported by the ES9218P DAC chip are similar to the ES9026Pro and ES9038Pro. Eight projects are included, four of which are slow and fast Roll-off combined with linear phase and minimum phase. Two quick cuts, one BrickWall, and one because the screen is too small to show the full name… The digital filter effect switch is quite obvious, which also means that the new generation DAC chip is designed in software to make it stable and reliable switching state while playing music.
In fact, many DACs can’t do this before, so many times you can’t hear the switching effect, because they probably don’t follow the operation to switch. In addition, it is worth mentioning that in addition to the DAC, there may be The Bluetooth function of M0.
M0 can support The Bluetooth audio connection of Sony LDAC, Qualcomm CSR apt-X and AAC, and see apt-X and LDAC from the box but get certified LOGO.
In the objective test we tested the player mode of the headset output of the Mountain Ling M0 and the USB DAC mode separately. And using the Mountain Ling M0 external torque MINI-i Pro2S decoder for testing, listing three sets of RMAA scores. The output level in M0 player mode is -1.5dB, and the ES9218P nominal 2VRMS output is close, slightly lower in USB DAC mode -2dB.
From the test spectrum and data analysis, M0’s output signal-to-noise ratio is good, but the intermodulation distortion part of the high frequency has a relatively obvious several harmonic bulge, performance is not good enough, stereo separation is no problem, performance is very good. And when you look at the DSD pattern of the frequency scan, here’s the odd phenomenon, as mentioned above. Originally, the DSD mode inside M0 could have been set to D2P or DoP, but this was actually set up for external USB. In the actual test situation, it also images the case of the player itself playing The DSD. In D2P mode, M0 playing DSD is problematic and there is a lot of noise in the 20Hz-20kHz section. And switch to DoP mode, everything works. In addition, although the same XMOS USB solution, the Mini-i Pro2S and X Sabre Pro perform differently, in the Mini-i Pro2S Yamaling M0 seems to have a little compatibility issue, there is a 16bit lock problem, there will be no 24bit.
However, the problem does not exist on the X Sabre Pro.
Subjective hearing and functional experience
Shanling M0 player function is still relatively strong, but as an entry audio player its sound quality is exactly what level is the traditional concept of fundamental, but because of the powerful Bluetooth mode and more and more users are concerned about the digital turntable external dAC function, is also the focus of this test. The target of the test comparison is Sony’s A45 player. The external decoder uses Chord Hugo2 and Moment Sound X-Sabre Pro. Choose westone W60, FLC8n and Sony MDR-Z5 with headsets.
Shanling M0’s ES9218P SoC scheme is still not available and external LPF delivery chip program comparison, even if it is the previous generation of chip ES9028Q2M and other programs, such as Xplay5s. Of course, even the fully externalES 9018K2M and 9028Q2M of the I/V are even more powerful. ES9218P’s overall sound style is relatively light and neutral, high frequency and medium frequency to ensure good enough analytical force, the transient speed is moderate, and there is no obvious hard and burr, but also not soft.
Although the Mountain Ling M0 should be higher than the Sony A45 and A35 in terms of output voltage and output power, the reference value is not high at this time because the industry standard sits at 1kHz.
Shanling M0 sound is not as good as Xplay5s and A45 is mainly low- and medium-frequency and low-frequency volume sense is too little, vocals and other medium frequency shows a significantthofth thin, dynamic is not enough to listen. Even under the relatively rich and easy-to-drive Z5, the sound is much worse than the A45. I believe that compared to the ordinary iPhone wiring, in the medium frequency thickness, low frequency sense of the same is not superior. However, the ESS scheme still ensures the clean and analytical power of the whole sound, there will be no too much trouble and image hearing resistance sharp, irritability and other serious problems.
So The Mountain Ling M0 is really getting started with the sound quality of the headset output in terms of the player.
Bluetooth experience: On the Sanling M0 Bluetooth experience, we used the Sony MDR-1000X to verify LDAC, as well as Apple’s Airpods, Beats’ Solo 3 and FIIL DIVA as a reference, LDAC intended to use the A45 as a reference.
In the end, it didn’t really need to be, because we also found some obvious problems. Shanling M0 Bluetooth signal, search pairing and other aspects of the experience no problem.
After supporting AAC, apt-X and LDAC headset connections, you can have a corresponding Logo display in the upper right corner. But I don’t know if you remember, we tested Beats and Airpods, said that when connecting non-Apple devices, the output level of these headphones will be much lower, in layman’s way, the volume will be much lower. And the Mountain Ling M0 with the MDR-1000X and Apple, Beats headphones also encountered.
This time we seem to understand the truth. Since the M0 is so low when connected to the MDR-1000X and Airpods headphones that the maximum volume is almost impossible to use properly, this seriously affects the dynamics and detail of the sound, and it can almost be thought that it is paired with Airpods, Beats’ Bluetooth and Sony MDR-1000X are not usable. What’s the reason? Because there is no volume sync confirmation between the Mountain M0 player and the headset. When we use the Sony WI-1000XM2 on the iPhone, we can see that the volume adjustment on the iPhone pops up the first time we connect, and the headphone section has a drop-voice sync volume. For the Sony 1000X, Apple and Beats Bluetooth headsets, all need to do this work, otherwise they will encounter such a problem.
The volume is too small to work. But FIIL Diva is different, its volume is not synchronized with the player side, independently controlled, so there is no such problem. If the current situation, because the LDAC equipment is basically only Sony’s headphones and speakers, so the Mountain Ling M0 is not working properly. When paired with Apple and Beats headsets, the simultaneous volume is even lower.
Apt-X performs well without a problem with FIIL’s volume. USB DAC function: Shanling M0 external USB device seems to consume a significantly larger amount of power, which seems to have little way, similar to the mobile phone player have the same problem, and there seems to be no way to charge and play at the same time. From our external decoder, if you want to compare with computer macOS and Windows, Shanling M0 external sound quality is still not good enough, mainly in the middle frequency dry, low frequency tight. By comparison, the Sony A45 has the most softest sound, but it’s not as loose as laptops and desktops.
The iPhone’s external sound is also better than the Mountain M0, mainly in terms of dynamics, but the sound is also very tight, not the best level of full, relaxed.
We did not have too high expectations for THE ES9218P, but Shanling M0 in its own sound quality for the price of 598 yuan is still qualified, but if you really want to challenge the phone external Type-C line, or vivo’s perverted design, it is indeed a gap. Even in the face of Sony’s most prime player, the ES9218P solution has a clear no advantage in sound quality. In the USB external DAC, specifications and stability are not a problem, the sound quality basically belongs to the mobile device external decoder the same level. In the Bluetooth side, since the investment in LDAC certification costs, but did not do the actual product verification, at present, with Sony LDAC and Apple, Beats headphones because of volume synchronization problems caused by the sound is too small, basically unavailable.
There is no problem with the volume independently adjustable headphones. As the beginning of the article said, the fun of Shanling M0 is that 598 yuan can buy such a multi-functional toy, all play again is quite satisfied, not to mention its software system and control is stable and reliable, play will not have any trouble. But in terms of sound quality, it’s still quite a primer, just like the iPod Nano, iPod shuffle location, can only get started and listen. Challenging HiFi phones and portable sound cards is impossible.
On the Bluetooth side, there are significant bugs that need to be addressed, and if they are resolved we may arrange supplementary assessments (current testing based on version 2.1 firmware).
ShanLing M0 Portable HIFI Music Player In-depth Review
The ShanLing M0 is a compact Walkman player with a good look, feature and $109 price. It almost integrates the most popular features of the Walkman player today, and the satisfaction of playing them all over again should be able to exceed its selling price. Of course, we'll also look at how the M0 featuredetails are and how well the sound quality is performed in all aspects.