I’ve recently heard great things about Shanling , but this is the first time I’ve had the opportunity to try a pair of their IEMs. And I have to say, for 120 bucks, the ME100 is pretty pretty pretty good. What sets these buds apart from the rest in this price range? Let’s find out in this Shanling ME100 IEM Review.
Shanling ME100 IEM Review
IN the BOX
I had no problems here. They’re light and comfortable to wear, and with the around-the-ear memory wire, they’re also snug and secure. They come with a freqload of tips, which will play with the sound signature a bit, as well. Sound isolation is a little less that you’d get from a Shure or Westone model. But once you hear these things, you won’t care.
The ME100 employs a single 10mm dynamic driver, and the shells are made from aluminum. The braided copper cable is pretty thick and durable looking for an IEM in this price range. Worse comes to worse, the cable has MMCX connectors. So, you can easily swap it out for a new one.
The buds have an impedance of 16 ohms and a sensitivity of 111 db; they’re extremely easy to drive. In fact, I highly recommend turning down the volume on your phone or player before you listen. I was at half volume and they blew my ears out. Careful, kids! Frequency range is 20-40,000 Hz, but numbers tend to lie in the audio world. So, let’s move on to the good stuff.
Overall Impressions: Well-balanced and tighter than David Beckham’s ass.
Shanling hit the sweet spot here. A perfect amount of bass presence (generous enough to satiate, but safe enough for those with Bassphobia) combined with a fast transient response makes pop music really pop. It’s a super tight sound. And listening to rock, the low end has just enough warmth and richness, while still maintaining a clean profile. String instruments in the low-end have texture and convey a natural feel. So, this frequency range checks every box.
We’ve got a beautifully balanced midrange. The low mids come out to play enough to give rock songs the meat the deserve. But the upper mids have just a slight emphasis, bringing vocals a tinsy bit forward in the mix. (Still, it’s far from overkill, and you won’t experience any harshness). Although the midrange has body, it avoids that heavy feeling you get after eating at Chipotle. Cellos, for example, had a buoyant fluidity, and notes seemed to roll effortlessly. Very pleasing to the ear. And again, these IEMs are damn fast and clean. Acoustic guitars showed great separation; picks and strums had crystal-like definition. So, folk music works great on the ME100 as well.
Listening to strings, there was an impressive amount of transparency, and in this respect, I would put the ME100 on par with the Sennheiser HD1 buds. Going back to pop, percussion has a crisp feel, but avoided being uncomfortably bright. So, it’s a fatigue free listening experience as well.
A nice soundstage for the price. It lacks the spaciousness and dimension of something like the Sennheiser HD1. (I like to compare IEMs in this price range to the HD1s because, in terms of overall skill, I haven’t heard anything better at that level.) But since it’s such a well separated sound, the imaging feels tidy and precise.
Yes. The ME100 is a frequen’ good time. This may be the tightest sound I’ve heard for 120 bucks. And if you like pop or funk, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything more suitable for the price. At the same time, because these buds are so well balanced, the ME100 can handle every genre with grace. In fact, I hardly ever do this, but I think these babies deserve the coveted MajorHiFi Gold Award.
You can find these bad girls for the best price at:
Audio 46: Shanling ME100 Earphones (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get a 10% discount)
Amazon: Shanling ME100 Earphones (Black)
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