Shanling M0 Pro


Reviewer at hxosplus
Is it a DAP? Is it a DAC? Is it a Bluetooth receiver? Is it a hobbit? No, it is the Shanling M0 Pro!
Pros: + Very good sound quality
+ Balanced sound signature without treble sharpness
+ Great technicalities for the price
+ Open and spacious soundstage
+ Single ended headphone output that can be made balanced with a simple adapter
+ The balanced output is quite powerful
+ Can be used as DAP, USB DAC, USB transport, Bluetooth transceiver
+ Stable Bluetooth connection with LDAC support and good sound quality
+ Ultra compact sized and featherweight
+ Excellent build quality
+ Lots of customization and 10 band EQ
+ Responsive touch screen
+ Value for money
Cons: - Lack of physical buttons for controlling music playback
- Small touch screen can make your life difficult
- Average battery duration
- aptX-HD codec is not supported
- An OTG cable is missing
- The balanced cable adapter is sold separately
- The balanced output is of better sound quality than the single ended
- Single ended power output is rather limited
- Slightly lean and dry texture
The review sample was kindly provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't receive monetary or any other kind of compensation and I don't use affiliate links.
The price of the M0 Pro is $129 and you can buy it from the Shanling Amazon store.

A Flashback

Do you remember the Shanling M0 or the FiiO M5?
These, and other miniature sized DAPs, were once in high demand but they have fallen into obscurity after the evolution of USB DAC dongles that have flooded the market.
But times are changing, history goes in circles and it seems that they are slowly recovering and becoming the trend again.
Hidizs, with the AP80 PRO-X, was one of the first manufacturers to resurrect them and now Shanling has released the successor to their legendary M0.


Shanling M0 Pro

The new M0 Pro follows closely in the M0 steps, but this time they managed to squeeze in a fully balanced audio circuit with two pieces of the ESS ES9219C DAC chip which supports up to 384kHz/32bit PCM and native DSD128.
Moreover, Shanling managed to utilize a balanced output, while keeping the overall size of M0 Pro the same as its predecessor, thanks to an innovative brand-new type of 3.5mm connector that combines both single-ended and balanced connections into one.
Working perfectly with all your standard single ended 3.5mm connectors, while allowing for a proper balanced connection through a special 5-pin 3.5mm to 4.4mm cable adapter that is sold separately.
M0 Pro is able to provide improved sound quality and an increased output power that can be as high as 236mW/32Ω from the balanced output or 90mW/32Ω from the single ended.


The M0 Pro also packs an upgraded, bidirectional, Bluetooth 5.0 chip, assuring compatibility with the latest Bluetooth headphones and improving connectivity.
It will transmit in LDAC, aptX, AAC, SBC and receive in LDAC, AAC and SBC so if your phone doesn't support LDAC you are stuck with the plain aptX since aptX-HD is not supported.
The M0 Pro has a micro SD card slot which supports up to 2TB of storage capacity while it has a bidirectional type-C output that can act both as a USB DAC or a USB transport.



The only accessories that you are going to find in the box is a USB A to C cable and an extra screen protector film except the one that is pre-installed from the factory.
A shorter, USB type C-C, cable would be very handy.


Design and build quality

The M0 Pro is extremely compact sized and lightweight as it measures 43.8x45x13.8mm and weighs 36.8g only.
It is not that bigger than the Shanling UA3 USB dongle.
It is more compact than the Hidizs AP80 PRO-X but it doesn't have hardware buttons for playback control and dual headphone jacks.
The square shaped chassis is made from a single aluminum piece with a curved glass front face that envelopes the 1.54" touch screen which has 240x240 resolution.
Build quality and finish are excellent and the M0 Pro is available in three colors, red, green and black.
A beautiful leather case is sold separately and you can choose between black, red, dark orange and green.


At the right side of the chassis there is the tiny volume control wheel which has tactile feedback and also acts as the on/off switch.
At the bottom you will find the micro SD card slot which is protected by a rubber lid, the USB type-C connector and the 3.5mm headphone jack.


User interface

The M0 Pro utilizes an Ingenic X1000 platform that runs a highly optimized version of the in-house developed MTouch OS which is designed to offer a simple, one-handed operation.
The LCD screen is quite responsive and it gets the job done but people with larger fingers will have some hard time with it while the lack of physical buttons for playback control will make your life more difficult.
Thankfully, you can customize the double and triple press action of the volume control switch to perform skip, next or play/pause but that's it.
The database update is pretty fast and browsing though the folders is done without lagging.


The home screen menus are cleverly arranged for a simple operation and include the Now playing screen, System configuration, Playback options, Folder browsing and Tag browsing.
You can't browse with art thumbnails but the cover will be displayed in the playback screen.
Swiping from the left side of the screen to the right will get you to the previous menu.

The M0 Pro is highly customizable and you can configure various parameters like max and default volume, gain, digital filter, gapless playback, channel balance, playback speed etc.
There is also a 10-band user configurable EQ with 12 presets and three empty spaces for storing your own curves.
Other system features include: setting the USB port as a mass storage device or as DAC input or as audio output with a fixed or a variable level, selecting between line or phone output, configuring auto shutting down times, Bluetooth parameters, firmware update etc.


A very handy feature is that the M0 Pro supports the Shanling Eddict player application link which allows users to control music playback and browsing with their phone when they are paired together through Bluetooth.
So you can have the M0 Pro inside your pocket and control playback with the ease of your phone.

There is no Bluetooth shortcut menu on the home screen but if you swipe from the bottom to the top of the screen then a sub-menu will appear with shortcuts to enable the Bluetooth, adjust screen brightness and playback order.


When the M0 Pro is connected to a host device as a USB DAC you can choose whether it will charge or not.
The M0 Pro runs completely cool under normal circumstances but it will get pretty hot when charging and playing music at the same time.


Battery duration and power output

The M0 Pro has a small 650mAh battery that can keep it running for about 8-9 hours depending on the situation.
High resolution files or Bluetooth connection and the use of the balanced output will deplete the battery faster but still you can expect about 7 hours of duration.

The single ended power output is mostly suitable for sensitive earphones but the balanced one is really powerful and it can drive full sized headphones with ease.
I have mostly used the Sennheiser HD660S with a Lavricables pure silver cable and the M0 Pro did an excellent job driving it with plenty of headroom, without a hint of distortion, never getting past ¾ of the available volume.
Earphones like the Penon Vortex or the FiiO FH15 are an easy task for it even from the 3.5mm jack.
The M0 Pro is dead silent and noise free even when connected to a cellphone with a USB cable.


Listening impressions

The M0 Pro has the typical sound signature of the ES9219C DAC/amp chip when it is used without additional amplification and extra tweaks on the circuit.
This is a crystal clear and transparent sounding DAP with a great level of technicalities for the category, while it is not lacking in musicality and enjoyment factor either.
This particular chip has the tendency to sound a little sharp in the treble but in the M0 Pro, Shanling have managed to keep things under control, especially in minimizing the higher frequencies glare and digital artifacts so comparatively, the M0 Pro is less sharp and artificial sounding than the Hidizs AP80 PRO-X.
It can't match the natural timbre of it's bigger brother, the M3 Ultra, that uses the same DAC configuration but with an extra amplification stage but still the M0 Pro has plenty of realism and a satisfyingly natural timbre.

The bass is tight, fast, controlled and impactful enough with great definition but the texture is more on the leaner and drier side rather than being weighty and full bodied.
Mid range is full of transparency and fidelity with a crystalline clarity while it has a lot of harmonic depth to make it sound natural and realistic.
The treble is extended, sparkling and luminous with excessive energy but, as stated earlier, not too bright, sharp or artificial sounding.
It is just a little pronounced when compared to the rest of the frequency spectrum but not harsh or fatiguing, you can listen for hours long without feeling annoyed.
The texture is still on the lean side but not leaner or thinner than that of the bass so the sound has a good level of homogeneity.
Detail retrieval is more than enough while the soundstage is open and widely extended with good positioning accuracy.
Not that grand sized or holographic nor too deep but still very spacious and airy without any signs of congestion at least from the balanced output.
The M0 Pro, together with the Sennheiser HD660S, provided a surprisingly immersive listening experience with classical music, a high spirited presentation that perfectly suited Prokofiev's 1st symphony.


Balanced vs single ended

And this gets as to the balanced vs single ended comparison with the former having the definite upper hand.
Better overall sound quality and technical performance, greater sense of impact and realism and of course more expanded and accurate soundstage.
The M0 Pro is good from the single ended output but the balanced is definitely the better one so it is highly recommended to invest into buying the adapter cable, at least if you own earphones with balanced cables.


Bluetooth connection

The Bluetooth connection is strong and stable with minimal sound quality degradation that is mostly audible at the higher frequencies.
That is if you have an LDAC capable source because otherwise the lack of the aptX-HD codec support is a limiting factor.


In the end

The Shanling M0 Pro is an extremely compact sized and featherweight DAP that can successfully fulfill various use scenarios:
A traditional DAP for local music playback with an output to a wired or a Bluetooth headphone, PC or OTG USB DAC without draining the host battery, USB digital transport to an external DAC and a high quality Bluetooth receiver.
Add to these, the very good sound performance, the powerful headphone output, the ease of use and the good battery duration and it becomes pretty apparent why there is still plenty of room for such compact sized DAPs despite the ongoing rise of the USB DAC dongles.

Test playlist

Copyright - Petros Laskis 2023.
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New Head-Fier
ShortShorts: Shanling M0 Pro
Pros: - ultra-portable
- price
- very good player
- versatile all-rounder
- surprising power despite diminutive form factor
- simple OS
Cons: - essential accessories not included
- simple OS
- battery limitations due to small size

Here’s another distraction to my pending reviews. I promise those are forthcoming soon. However, I must digress: In my relatively nascent journey in this hobby, I always gravitated towards portable audio gear due to my limited budget and small desk real estate. As a general rule, smaller music devices are cheaper and would definitely leave a small footprint, not to mention that I’m often mobile and will have to work from where ever I am currently located, so portability is a big plus for me. I have always been searching for an ultra-portable digital audio player (DAP) to satisfy my audio cravings while on the go. I think I’ve found that elusive device: the Shanling M0 Pro.

Disclaimer: Again, this is a personal purchase, so there might be some confirmation bias involved in this post. I am not affiliated with Shanling, and all thoughts, musings, opinions, and errors expressed herein are entirely my own.

Out of the Box





Unboxing was a simple affair, as one reviewer would fondly comment. The box includes the basic items sans the essential accessories, i.e., the case and 3.5 mm to 4.4 mm balanced adapter, which are conditions sine qua non for enjoying this little gem’s full potential. Fortunately, I was able to buy these accessories, particularly the adapter, which even arrived ahead of the M0 Pro.





I plugged in my 1 terabyte microSD card to do an initial test. It scanned around 380 gigabytes of music files in 15 minutes or thereabouts. This is much slower than the scanning ability of the Hiby R6Pro2 (running on Android 12) or the FiiO M11 Plus ESS (running on Android 10), but this is simply not a fair comparison and is actually a testament to the capabilities of this diminutive DAP. Running on its own no-frills Hiby OS, I think that’s quite acceptable.

Sound Impressions

For sound impressions, I immediately tested the M0 Pro with the FiiO FA9 on a 4.4 balanced connection via the Shanling adapter using the TRN pure gold modular cable with volume at 32 dB on high gain. A few quick observations:




  • Bass is surprisingly good, thumpy, and digs deep on kick drums and bass guitar. I like the sound replay.
  • I tried the M0 Pro with the not-easy-to-drive Audeze Sine+custom pure silver 4.4 mm balanced cable plugged into the M0 Pro via the Shanling adapter. The volume was at a comfortable 72 dB with satisfying replay already. This diminutive DAP packs a punch.
  • I then checked the device’s Bluetooth capabilities, particularly its receiving mode, by connecting it to my iPhone. When connected to the iPhone and streaming AAC, the volume had to be raised to 76 to 82 dB. The quality was still outstanding, and it was still quite enjoyable to listen to.
  • I switched to USB DAC mode connected to the iPhone, and the volume was raised to 80 to 86 dB; playback was slightly better than Bluetooth over AAC. Both are enjoyable, albeit with better performance via wired DAC mode.
  • I then connected the Edifier Neobuds Pro to the M0 Pro via LDAC. The sound replay is lovely, at around 60 to 65 dB. I got a very clear and detailed playback. It seems to have retained the last setting of the Neobuds Pro when connected to the M0 Pro, which is high noise canceling. This is my favorite combination so far, considering the case-use scenario I envisioned when I bought the M0 Pro.






I’m excited to find more hidden synergies the M0 Pro has with my other audio gears and discover the perfect combo for this little gem. I am sure that this will be my constant travel companion due to its sheer portability, or should I say, pocketability. I don’t even need a bag for this. The Edifier Neobuds Pro and the Shanling M0 Pro will fit in my jeans pockets.

#ShortShorts #DAPs #Shanling #M0Pro #MALEAudioReviews
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good review, mate!
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Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: -ultra small and portable
-very powerful balanced output
-lush mid centric musicality
-lot of features and setting
-usb DAC
-bidirectional bluetooth
Cons: -average resolution and technicalities
-poor battery life
-lack of botton control
-poor UI and touch screen sensitivity
-balanced 4.4mm to 3.5mm adapter isn't included
-ultra small=too small touch screen

TONALITY: 8.5/10
FEATURES: 8.5/10


Shanling is a chinese audio company with more than 20 years of experience in DAC-AMPS and DAP creation.
I've never try any of their products and today I will review my first one, the entry level Shanling M0pro.
Priced 130$, the M0pro is an ultra portable DAP using dual ES9219C DAC. It can play up to 32 bit / 384 kHz & DSD128, have bidirectional bluetooth and it have a dual single ended-balanced output promising high amping power.

Let see in this review what this DAP truely worth.



Firstly this is an ultra portable DAP, which mean it's ultra small too. In fact, it's tinniest DAP i've ever owned and strangely it's more powerfull than my way bigger Questyle QP2R, which is certainly insane!But that mean the screen is very small too, so for people with big thumbs like me it might not be the ideal, but I will explain how to bypass the dependancy to touch screen further in this review.

So the size is less than 5cmx5cm, it's 5 times smaller than my hand and fit anywhere, even on a beach or nudist camp you will find a way to hide this DAP somewhere on you. It's that minuscule.
And well built too since it feel sturdy, i'm not that worry to drop it on the floor. It weight 36.8g, so it's ultra light.

The built is all metal with tempered glass touch screen. It have a volume wheel on right side that can be used as a knob too. This is the only screen less control you have, so better maximize it. You can do this by going in Setting menu and customizing ''Wheel Shortcuts''. So, One long click is to power ON/OFF the DAP, fast click is to open/close screen, 2 fast click is to go Next track and 3 fast clicks is to Play/Pause. Or you do it as you wish. I most admit the fast 3 clicks can be a bit hit or miss since it need to be very fast!

Then, at bottom of the DAP we have the micro SD slot that have a plastic cover to avoid dust entering it, it work well and unlike some other DAP it's not too hard to push the card inside even with short nail. You have the USB-C port which can be used for 3 things: charging, using DAC mode or Docking mode so you can plug dongle, which isn't really suggested since it will drown battery quite fast.

And then the 3.5mm dual single ended and balanced output, which is both a blessing and damnationg. Why? Because Shanling think it was a wise idea to don't include the cheap 4.4mm to 3.5mm bal adapter in the package, so you need to order it at extra cost, which is about 15$ USD. I suggest you to order it at same time since it's surely the big highlight of this mini DAP.
All in all, the construction is great, but the design could include an extra multi purpose button so we can have touch screen less control that is less minimalist.


This DAP might be small but it's fully packed with feature and setting option. The control is quite intuitive even if the active touch screen is extremely small at 3cmx2.8cm. Yes, as big as an apple watch.

I decide to show you the UI in a video here (it include extra impressions about construction and design):


The battery life is stated 14.5 hours single ended but I don't think it translate the reality, in single ended I get up to 6-8H max at half volume while with balanced output its between 4 to 6h, which is quite underwhelming. This kind of cancel the ultra portable potential since you need to charge it quite often. But charging time is low, less than 1h, which is a plus.
Nonetheless, I always complaint about battery life of DAP, and this one don't have wifi or Android to justify this low battery life. Let say the use of a 650mah battery sure have it's limitation.


Even at single ended, the M0pro is decently powerfull and will most likely drive 90% of IEM without issue, for headphones it will be another story but anything under 32ohm should be OK. The output spec is 90mW.

But the real marvel begin when we use balanced output, which deliver 230mW. This would be plenty for any IEM and Headphones under 200ohm. Sure, the voltage output is limited to 2.75V so you don't have the dynamic heft of a 4vrms DAP or dongle.

The amping quality is OK, but not the cleanest and background noise floor seem a bit high so it will affect sens of crispness, air and transparency. As well, i'm not sure if the output impedance is stated for high or low gain, but for single ended it's 0.4ohm which is OK for sensitive IEM, but the balanced output impedance is stated 0.8ohm and at high gain it can create distortion or hiss with sensitive IEM like the Audiosense T800.



I've heard alot of dongle and DAP using dual ES9219 DACs, to name a few: Hidizs AP80 PRO X, Hidizs XO, Tempotec HD V and Serenade X. Straight out of the bath I can confirm the M0pro offer the most natural tonality, with a lush well rounded balance and warm but not plain dark macro resolution.

To my ear it doesn't sound neutral, nor cold or clinical. It's not a reference sound, nor very high fidelity rendering but a smooth W shape balance where low and mid range are center of the show and treble is softed in edge and thick in rendering.

If your into lean neutral tonality with treble boost, this isn't for you and I would redirect you to either Hidizs AP80 PRO X or Tempotec Serenade X.

The bass here is chunky, warm and hefty, with a vibrant but not very long rumble sustain, it's the sens of weight, tactility and impact that is boosted we can say and transition to mid range isn't edgy nor the cleanest in separation. Unlike lot of DAP that try to boost clarity by taming the bass dynamic, M0pro deliver beefy punch. When I pair it with the Simgot EA500, the kick goes warmer and chunkier, it add slam weight and widen the impact presence, yet the extension densify too. In fact, i do perceive extra lower mids boost too, as if the goal is to add fundamental harmonic fullness and euphonic to color the sound and make it feel fuller and more natural.

So the mid range isn't recessed or thin at all, nor just about presence grain boost due to extra energy tweak in upper mids. Nope, the M0pro will in fact tend to smoothen vocal edge and foward it's lower harmony fullness by thickening the timbre density. Both EA500 and Final A8000 can be agressive in upper mids and the M0pro make this part of spectrum more creamy and even in term of musicality. This isn't the kinda DAP that will extract every micro details of the texture, but it will magnify fullness of tone. The mids are fowards in a thick way, not in a crisp airy or open way, nor in a very transparent way. Violin sound particularly good with this DAP, and vocalist are near you, not recessed like with the Tempotec V6, you are into center stage here, not distant from it looking at it in a clinical or analytical way. Another interesting aspect of sound is that Mopro tend to add a sens of note weight to instrument like piano, but the impact decay will be hard to follow due to average clarity.

This tonality lushness and thickness has a trade off when it come to treble, while not plain dark, it's quite average in micro details, doesn't offer extra snap and sparkle to your IEMs nor add air to spatiality. In fact, it stole air between instrument and tend to tame natural decay extension and percussions brilliance. The snare is edgy enough but percussion can get lost in the mix, being less focus than mids and bass, vocal will be a bit to opaque for proper highs perception. So, the M0pro is certainly not for treble head or audiophile seeking high resolution. Their not alot to say about the highs, it's softed in attack lead and definition edge, euphonic but not grainy in texture and laid back, non fatiguing nor agressive.


So as said the resolution is average, especially when we try to perceive micro details. I don't know if its amping part or some digital damping filter that are used but at they end it's really the mid range that attract our attention here. But again, it doesn't mean it's bad, just that it's better to pair the M0pro with crisp or bright IEM that are already capable of delivering high amount of details. The Final A8000 is a perfect example and richness of timbre is excellent in fact, with a DAP that have too boosted presence resolution might be higher but musicality lower too.

The attack speed, sustain-release and timing is OK but don't expect super clean edge and crazy percussions timing and decay layering. Yet, IEM choice will inflict on the result (duh). It seem the M0pro will favor mid range before treble, so in term of layering speed it go euphonic and blurry a bit. You have more sustain than release.

Now, the spatiality cue isn't plain bad but with all this power I would have expected more open sound. It seem it's taller than wider, and what it lack is deepness. The channel separation isn't very good with the M0pro, so as a listner you feel mixed up in sound layers.

The the sens of dynamic isn't bad, it's not vivid or very energic but have good sens of note weight in mid range.

Don't expect high fidelity finess with the M0pro, it's a laid back and musical sounding DAP that hook you with it's tone and timbre fullness and density, this mean it's versatile but will not make your IEM or headphones scale up in resolution or imaging.

(based on balanced output-low gain, IEM used 64audio U4S)

VS MOONDROP DAWN 4.4 (dual CS43131 DAC-SNR:132db-power output:230mw-4Vrms)

While the Dawn 4.4 is a dongle, I find it interesting to compare it sound performance wise. Out of the bath, it's clearly superior in all technical department from dynamic, resolution, note definition and timing, spatial size and openess.
What I find interesting is that while the power output is similar in mW (both being about 230mw@32ohm) it isn't in Volt where the Dawn offer 4vrms while the M0pro top at 2.75vrms.
This mean sens of loudness is greater with the Dawn 4.4, which puzzle me at first until i see voltage output specs of M0pro.
So, sound wise the Dawn is cleaner, more open, crisper and more detailed. Transparency is superior as well as background noise floor, which seem notably noisier with the M0pro, adding a sens of euphony to macro resolution and stoling the clear silence that we get with Dawn. M0pro is warmer and darker, with more blurry definition edge, more euphonic and smooth timbre and a bit chunkier mid bass.
Imaging is from another league with the Dawn, bass is better separate and rounded but not as thick an warm. Timbre is richer in texture but a bit thinner, so vocal aren't as smooth as the M0pro. Treble is really the part were Dawn show it's superiority, it extend further, offer more snap and brilliance and add sens of proper energic edge to attack.
SNR is notably higher with the Dawn, and this indeed translate in sharper sens of dynamic, i feel crosstalk is better to and that perhaps output impedance is lower than 0.8ohm. THD+N too is superior, about 3 times better with th Dawn.
And the price is 70$. Which is half the price of the M0pro (bal adapter included)
But it's a dongle, yet, I will get longer battery life with my phone than with M0pro.
All in all, sound value is notably better with the Moondrop Dawn 4.4, from another league I would say.

VS HIDIZS AP80 PRO X (dual ES9219C-SNR:120db-power output:190mw)

So, I think this is the direct competitor the M0pro since this is an ultra portable DAP with similar feature but slightly bigger size which is more appropriate for touch screen control. As well, the PRO X have 3 extra button for proper blind control, so you can fast foward and change tracks as any DAP should do.
The UI is based on Hiby music app, which is way mmore user friendly. Quality of the screen is superior with PRO X too, so the scrolling is more precise and touching is more sensitive.
Unlike dual 3.5mm se and bal output of M0pro, you have a 2.5mm bal out and 3.5mm single ended out, which i prefer. The battery life is near 2 time longer too, which is another big plus. For EQ lover, PRO X is better too, since you have the nice Hiby EQ and MSEB sound tweaking too.

Now, soundwise while not as impressive as the Moondrop Dawn 4.4, it certainly offer higher fidelity sound. Again, it's cleaner and edgier in definition, spatiality is notably deeper and imaging way better.
We have more sound info, micro details and while more vivid and energic, the balance feel more neutral and not as spiky in treble plus euphonic bass and mids that the M0pro offer.
Channel separation is 10db better with the PRO X which surely explain superior imaging accuracy and cleaner space in separation.
Tonality wise, it brighter, dryier and have thinner timbre that isn't as warm and thick as the M0pro, I do prefer vocal timbre of M0pro and mids seem a bit lighter in note weight, sens of dynamic is more excited with the PRO X too so while I would pair the M0pro with bright IEM, i wouldn't with the PRO X.
Sound layers are wider in presence, making the soundstage more holographic and immersive, while with M0pro it's rather an ''in your face'' presentation.

If you seek for a euphonic tonality with thicker and more natural timbre (colored way), the M0pro might be a better choice, but for 30$ more you get better and cleaner and more neutral sound performance with the AP80 PRO X, which have longer battery life and way better UI too so for me the choice is easy here, even if the more laid back musicality of M0pro can feel more versatile for diversify IEM pairing, which will get darken, smoothen and thicken in their sound presentation.



With the time, I devlop I hate/love affair with M0pro. It begin with the fact that the balanced adapter wasn't included and take months to arrive. Then the control screen was too small for my thumb and not very precise in scrolling, affecting my enjoyment of this DAP.

The lack of control botton didn't help, but I find a way to accomodate this need by customizing it.

Then I discover the balanced output and tremendous power it deliver, and enjoy the warm dynamic musicality it deliver....until I discover the battery life limitation.

I can't overseen that for 130$, the Shanling M0pro deliver a very immersive, natural, mid centric and laid back musicality that I want to get lost in for hours....I mean, until the battery is fully drown. But at they end, it doesn't feel like a fully finish product and the clumsy UI solidify my dislike of touch screen dependancy when it come to DAP.

Half recommended!


PS: I want to thanks Linsoul for sending me this review sample. I'm not affiliated nor compensated to write this review. My opinion are 100% independant and unbiased.

You can order the Shanling M0pro for 130$ here (strangely, the mandatory balanced adapter isn't for sell at this store):
I think you're very mild still giving it 4 stars :wink:

Thanks for the review. I miss my Q1, will get the m1 pro later this year.
Interesting comparison with the Moondrop Dawn, Sir. 👍🏽


100+ Head-Fier
Mini Wonder
Pros: Countleess nice features in a smartwatch-size thingie
Good balanced output power
Very good in/out BT connectivity
Convenient in/out USB connectivity
Good touchscreen gestures implementation
Very accurate design and build
Android companion app for playback remote control
Above decent battery life
Shanling long term sw support realiability
Cons: Uninspiring single ended output quality
Balanced output requires separately sold adapter
Balanced adapter only available with 4.4 port
Android companion app requires update (due soon)
Not my first time with a Shanling product in my hands, yet this is no doubt the most eye-captivating one at the very least.

An M0 Pro has been sent to me for review by the manufacturer. You can find specs and full official description here. It currently retails for €155 including shipping from China and Italian VAT. Here’s my report.

The Shanling M0 Pro was provided by Shanling for my review – and I thank them for that. You find more information on the product page.

Features and description


The M0 Pro is amazingly small an featherweight : a bit less than 44 x 45 x 14mm and just 37g. Fits an Italian espresso coffe cup. For reference, an Apple Watch is minorly thinner and lighter…

The screen is 1.54″ (a bit less than 4cm diagonal) and offers a 240×240 pixel map. Definition is quite nice, and brightness (which can be sw-controlled) is OK for sunlight visibility.

Globally taken, M0 Pro exhudes design and build quality. The aluminum chassis is extremely well conceived in terms of ergonomics and haptics, so is the screen on its front face, which is even slightly curved at its edges to better connect with the housing.

Managing the GUI via that tiny screen may seem discouraging before trying, but it oppositely proves incredibly efficient thanks, I guess, to good hardware and some quite smart tap and swipe implementation choices (more on this later). Be as it may, using M0 Pro’s touch screen is easy and straighforward.

On the upper right side there’s the sole physical control being the general on-off / screen on-off / volume up-down button.

On the bottom panel there’s a slot for an SDC card (up to 2TB), a USB-C port and the 3.5mm phone out port.


It’s not an “accessory”, but the carton packaging M0 Pro comes in is amongst the better designed, more captivating and nicer looking I ever met – at any price by the way. At Shanling they evidently care about consistent communcation and they – correctly – properly invest in the right complements to their main product to reinforce the positive user’s impression about the care they put in their products.

M0 Pro comes with a good quality factory-preinstalled screen protection film. A spare one is supplied too, it can be found inside the flat box containing product literature.

Part of the package is also a good quality USB-A to USB-C cable .

My sample unit was also supplied with a leather “jacket” – which is normally sold separately and in facts came in a standalone package. A very nice add-on, both for quality and even more for looks.

One thing worth noting is the jacket “embraces” the devices, and ends up “overlapping” the front screen by like 2 / 3mm on both left and right sides, and it’s like 1mm+ thick. I presume there’s little to do with such sizes / measures as long as one wants to keep the same raw material and manufacturing quality, however I feel it’s worth noting that the jacket prevents both horizontal thumb-swipe gestures to swing all the way from/to the very screen border(s). Tapping really close to screen borders is also nigh impossible – this, even to people with relatively lean fingers like myself.

Regarding horizontal swipe “span” – so to call it – Shanling support pointed my attention on the fact that on-screen swipes on M0 Pro do indeed work best (as in: more precise and responsive) when initiated from the center of the screen, not from its sides. And that’s true (I checked)! So once taken such habit, the jacket’s presence ceases to represent a hurdle for effective horizontal thumb swipes.

It stays however extremely hard (too hard, really) to tap very close to screen borders, which means that those “…” icons on the far right side of Album or Track lines on the GUI are de facto inaccessible when the jacket is on. A venial sin in my effective use case, yet still worth noting.

Lastly: considering how small and lightweight the device is, I find it a bit odd that no shirt-clip, nor wrist-strap addon/option is available. Not too difficult to find adaptable third party ones. however – also considering how nice the rest of the package is – I reckon the average M0 Pro user may reasonably expect “something” in that direction to be included within the box. I shared my thought with Shanling and they told me they are working on this.


The M0 Pro is based on an Ingenic X1000 SoC (System on a Chip). It’s an ultra low power microprocessor – take it as the mini-mini-brother of the CPU inside your smartphone. Spec sheet here.

The X1000 takes care of everything the device does (display, USB I/O, BT 5.0 I/O etc etc) bar the sole sound part, which is delegated to a pair of ESS ES9219C DAC/AMP chips (data sheet here), working in team.

The ES9219C is 32bit quad-dac audio SOC, one of those chips which are commonly used inside budget and/or small size audio devices where there is little space (economical and physical alike) to include separate components and tunings.

ES9219C processes PCM data up to 32bit / 384KHz and DSD native data up to DSD 128. Talking about DSD, accepted formats include DSF, DFF and even ISO.

The ES9219C sports brilliant power features considering its minuscle power requirements : 1,7V on 32 ohm corresponding to circa 90mW, and low output impedance (0.4 ohm). By integrating 2 of them in a Balanced scheme the M0 Pro can deliver up to 235mW @32ohm with a still interestingly low output impedance (0.8 ohm) when a balanced ended cabled driver is connected.

The dual chip option is also obviously the one to go in terms of sound quality: DR and SNR get better by 2dB, and most of all channel separation improves from 70 to 109dB.

The ESS SOC includes 4 standard and more programmable FIR filters, and M0 Pro offers a choice of 2 : a linear phase fast rolloff and an apodizing fast rollof – sadly no slow rolloff option available. (If you are unsure about FIR filters, you can read my piece here).

The M0 Pro includes a 640mAh battery which offers is up to 14h play time on single ended and 10h on balanced ended – which are plate figures as always. My direct experience talks more about 7-8h play time on Balanced which is still a good figure for such a tiny and small device. M0 Pro also offers weeks of sleep time thanks to negligible absorbtion when the device falls into deepsleep mode.


M0 Pro has a surprisingly complete operating system and audio playback application.

Apart from the necessarily “miniaturised GUI”, resolving into totally excusable concessions for example in terms of labels readability and such, the vast majority of the key features regularly available on much higher end DAP are available to the user, and even some ones that are not so common to find on any DAP, too.

I’ll mention here those I consider most interesting / handy. Take into account that what follows is not a complete list (!).

A 10-band graphic equaliser is present, featuring separate attenuation control, 12 pre-defined profiles and 3 “blank” ones. All profiles (13+3) are customisable and get saved once modified. Their names cannot be changed, that’s the sole real limitation.

There is a Low / High Gain option switch, and a Gapless playback switch too.

A switch to select one’s preferred FIR filter is also available.

It’s possible to define a Max Volume. This is handy if you know you’ll be using very sensitive IEMs and don’t want to run the risk to pierce your eardrums by mistake. On a similar line, it’s possible to set the Default Volume, i.e. the volume which is set when you turn the M0 Pro on, irregardless to what value was it set at when you turned it off.

On DAPs I normally use folder-level navigation onto the library. For those who are rather keen on using tag-level navingation, M0 Pro gives you the possibility to choose amongst Artist or Album Artist sorting – which is crucial for my experience.

You can customise after how long the screen turns off, and wether the Volume wheel will stay active or not while the screen is off. You can also set wether the device is to just go to “sleep” after 1 min of inactivity, or it has fully shust down after 1 or more inactivity minutes.

A switch defines if the 3.5mm connector delivers Headphone output, or Line output. In the latter case, the volume control is set to Max Fixed.

Another switch defines how the USB port is supposed to behave: just allow for battery charging, provide USB digital output (e.g. to connect a dongle or a DAC/AMP), or receive USB digital input (e.g. to connect the M0 Pro to a PC or a phone as an external DAC/AMP.

When set for digital USB out, with another control you also switch between fixed and variable (digital) volume – the latter being handy of course when the downstream DAC/AMP does not have its own independent volume control, the former being best (higher output quality) in the opposite case.

An android (only) companion app is available which allows for remote-controlling playback on M0 Pro from a smartphone. It’s called Eddict Player and can be downloaded by the public Google Play store. It’s in fact a full-blown music player, offering a feature set very similar to that of HiBy’s HiByMusic, if you know that.

The remote controlling mechanism also works very similarly to HiBy’s case : you need to enable a SincLink option under M0 Pro’s Settings menu, in addition to BT communication – once that’s enabled, the Eddict Player app will be able to “find” the M0 Pro as a pairable device, and take control of it. Once the M0 Pro is under control, you can select music, and manage basic playback (play, stop, pause). Nothing else, sadly – so no remote access to advanced features like EQ, filter selection etc is available.

Last but likely not least I must note how commendable is on-screen swipe gestures’ implementation on M0 Pro. Given how tiny the screen is, a very accurate tuning must have been run on this aspect to find the right compromise in favour of the user’s comfort.

Tap is of course the way to “click” and “drill down” the various options, and right-swipe is the way to “back-track up” from any tree branch. The latter potentially being a bit tedious (it takes 5 right-swipes to get from Track-being-played all the way up to the main menu), long-tapping on any screen brings you straight to Home screen (Yeah I know, that’s unexpected. What can I say? RTFM…)

Up/down swipe is of course the way to scroll through lists (folders contents, settings options etc). That’s probably where some “hand” has to be taken at first to “calibrate” how the “short swipe” stroke you want to command a quick scroll: making it “too strong” makes the scroll “too wide”. Nothing that can’t be managed in more than 1 day of direct experience.


The main way to feed music to the M0 Pro is of course by means of an SD Card. The most recent ones are accepted, up to 2TB capacity.

Two altenative input routes are also available: Bluetooth and USB.

When used as BT 5.0 receiver M0 Pro supports LDAC, SBC and AAC codecs (no APTX available in receiver mode). LDAC connectivity in particular is for my experience very stable and works with no glitch with my Samsung phone.

Considering how small the M0 Pro is, it can in pratice be used as sort of “addon BT receiver” for otherwise wired-only headphones/earphones.

The less-than-desireable thing about BT-receive mode is that it is essentially modeless. The sole thing you can do when a source is streaming music to M0 Pro via BT is adjusting volume. The EQ, for example, is not available. Nor any other GUI controls.

The M0 Pro also can be used as a USB DAC/AMP. I.e., you can connect it to a PC, Mac or Linux host, to an Android phone via an OTG cable or to an iPhone via the Apple Camera adapter. When connected, those sources will “see” the M0 Pro as an external DAC/AMP.

Similarly to the BT situation, no sound control except volume is available while USB-receiving. You can however decide via a switch if you want or not the M0 Pro to get recharging power from the USB connection while playing.

An odd difference between BT and USB input cases is the following: while the M0 Pro is in BT-input mode, swiping on the screen makes a pop-up appear asking the user if they want to stop BT transmission – so one can just tap NO in case of mistake; no pop-up happens when swiping while in USB-input mode – so an unwanted swipe produces an automatic sudden break-up of the stream.

M0 Pro is a pure DAP, there is no way to feed it with analog input. You cannot use it as a mere “amp”.


M0 Pro’s main output is – of course – the analog 3.5 port on its bottom panel.

By default, that port provides single-ended Headphone output signal.

A GUI control allows for switching into Line Out mode. In that case the output volume is set to Max-Fixed. This mode is what you want to set the M0 Pro at when using it as a pure DAC, or DAC+Preamp, connecting it to a downstream amplifier.

Last but certainly not least, M0 Pro’s 3.5 port actually has a special internal structure allowing for a special 3.5 pentaconn-male to 4.4 pentaconn-female short adapter cable, purchaseable separately. Via such adapter you can plug any 4.4-balanced wired driver (or, by means of a further adapter, any 2.5-balanced driver, too).

Considering M0 Pro’s super-tiny size I guess this was the sole available way to provide both single ended and balanced ended connectivity, so that’s understandable. Of course having to (separately) purchase an adapter is less than ideal but there’s little to complain given what just said. Sole oddity: Shanling only offers the 4.4-female version of the adapter, no 2.5-female version available – at least for now.

In addition to its analog output, M0 Pro also allows for BT and USB interfaces to be used as digital outputs.

It’s possible to connect BT 5.0 compliant devices (TWS drivers, or BT streamers) to M0 Pro. In this case LDAC, SBC, AAC and APTx codecs are available.

And finally, it’s possible to connect M0 Pro to the USB input port of a standalone DAC, DAC-AMP, or to a dongle, defacto using it as a tiny transport.

Of course in the built-in battery being calibrated for the needs of the M0 Pro itself will do what it can when a high power requiring dongle is connected – so appropriate countermeasures with a side-battery and a Y-USB cable better be taken in that case.

Sound quality and power

Very much in the line of most devices offering both single ended and balanced output, M0 Pro shows a dramatic difference between the two cases in terms of sound quality. Long story short: this is yet another case where balanced output is the sole one you really want.

From its balanced output M0 Pro sounds way above decent. Of course it won’t replace a mid-tier DAP, let alone a high end one, however the sound quality compromise vis-a-vis this little boy’s minuscle size and convenience is waaaay acceptable.

M0 Pro has a quite relaxed sound presentation, nicely extended bass, and nice treble. No signs of shoutyness in the highmids, indeed the opposite, if something – a tad relaxed and tamed, overall “soft”.

Aa for output power capabilities – from the Balanced ended port – the situation in terms of voltage swing is very good, while obviously limited in terms of current delivery.

M0 Pro’s power vs the “usual” 16 to 30 ohm impedance, 105++ db/mW sensitivity IEMs is way enough not to bother about this piece of info. For the more curious, M0 Pro delivers 236mW on 32 ohm, which is “good”.

On high impedance loads – like an HD600 for example – M0 Pro deliver almost 3V, enough to make those cans sing properly when the original digital material is not particularly tamed – which is the most common case. There’s only little room to compensate for low tracks volume (e.g. vinyl digitisations, DSD conversion compensations, pre-attenuations due to important EQ compensations).

On the opposite end M0 Pro – like most of its similar priced peers, and most DAPs in general indeed – won’t be able to properly feed < 16 ohm, < 100 dB/mW drivers. Although I didn’t (as always) bother measuring it, it’s quite clear that the system quickly runs out of current under a certain threshold load condition. The usual workbench E5000 sound tamed, dark, unresolving. Simply put: forget M0 Pro for such type of “job”.

Considerations & conclusions

I am more than impressed by M0 Pro. It’s a unique, very well made DAP featuring minuscle size and weight, paired with a bold feature set and way more than decent sonic performaces at an affordable price.

When looking at its totally reasonable price point, and the countless features it offers, I’d get as far ahead as stating that whoever is not excessively concerned with “top-audiophile-level” sound quality may easily be find M0 Pro the one DAP that makes sense owning.

Weighing output capabilities (quality and power) vs price M0 Pro comes out as a remarkable offering in the DAP market. To my experience it’s quite tough to do better with a € 150 tax included nowadays: also considering Sony A55 is sadly discontinued, DAPs delivering significantly better sound and features cost almost 2, better 3 times more.

Caveat : Different is the case if we take the DAP format out of the equation, and we consider sheer sound quality and power vs a 150€ budget – in such case E1DA dongles still run circles around any similar or somewhat higher priced competitor – but that’s another story of course, that’s why I mention it here "in parentheses", for completeness.

All in all, M0 Pro gets my solid recommendation as a difficult-to-beat allrounder DAP for non-extreme audiophiles. And even those with a more audiophile tooth – so to call them – may consider M0 Pro when looking for a super-portable if a tad relaxed-sonic-quality companion for outdoors or such.

This article originally appeared on, here.
Much appreciate the E5000 test.