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Shanling ME100

Rating:
4/5,
  1. ngoshawk
    Shanling ME100-First attempt worth a good score
    Written by ngoshawk
    Published Jun 18, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Shanling build.
    Unique look.
    The Case!!!
    Solid sound for first attempt.
    Cons - Not sure about the look.
    Cable can tangle.
    Pushing into a tight price point.
    Shanling ME100-A first attempt worthy of a good score ($99 on sale):


    Links:

    · http://en.shanling.com/product/228

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    Intro: Once Frantisek contacted me asking if I would like to review the ME100, on the heels of the M0, I quickly accepted his gracious offer. This ME100 is part of a small group of which I do hope it returns my way. But if another is the lucky recipient, then I consider myself lucky to have had my extended listen. You would not believe that this is the first attempt by a company known for DAP’s, at least in the portable market. Would this impress like the other Shanling offerings? Would it match the real-hype of the M5s? Or the older M3s?

    I will openly admit to my admiration of Shanling DAP’s. I have the M5, M3s and M1. I have also reviewed the M0, and BRIEFLY played with the M5s of @PinkyPowers. I have one coming in the future for review. I cannot wait, for it was the M5, which drew me in to the hobby at a higher level. It was that warm luscious Shanling sound, with which I fell hard. I purchased a secondhand M5, and still use it often. VERY often, even though I have much higher items such as the Opus #2 and QP2R. I do so appreciate the Shanling sound very much.

    But this is not about the Shanling DAP’s, but their first foray into the IEM business-end of the equation. With a history in audio amplifiers dating back to 1988, Shanling has been around in the Chi-Fi scene longer than most. And having an excellent reputation in that aspect of the market certainly doesn’t hurt. That sense of detail carries over to the DAP market with the aforementioned products above. One might question why a company wouldn’t come into the IEM market based upon their success. FiiO and iBasso have successfully carried products across “genre” so-to-speak. Shanling thought they would give it a go as well.

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    At the $120USD ($99 on sale) market though, there is a crowd…a huge crowd the size of which might be compared to when the Chicago Cubs won the World Series and held their victory parade. This IEM sub-$150USD market is wrought with many options. And many of them should be worthy of mention as well. Equally as many should not be mentioned (so I won’t). So, let us see what the Shanling can bring to the table, which might set it apart.

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    Specs:
    • Type: In-ear
    • Driver: 10 mm Dynamic
    • Plug: 3.5 mm gold plated
    • Cable length: 1.3 m
    • Wire: oxygen-free copper
    • Impedance: 16 Ω
    • Sensitivity: 111 ± 3 dB
    • Frequency response: 20 - 40,0000 Hz
    • Weight: 28 g
    [​IMG]

    Gear used/compared:


    All prices in USD, unless noted otherwise

    TEHNZ Audio P4 Pro ($120)
    Simgot EN700 Pro ($119)
    BGVP DMG ($139)

    XDuoo x10t ii/iFi Pro iDSD
    MacBook Pro/Burson Fun (V6 Vivid OpAmp)
    Shanling M5s


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    Songs used:

    Too bloody many to list all, but you want songs, so there you go:

    Coldplay-All I Can think About Is You
    Coldplay-A Message
    Coldplay-White Shadows
    Dona Onete-Sonos de Adolescente
    Los Lonely Boys- Heaven (en Espanol)
    twenty one pilots-Trees
    twenty one pilots-Car Radio
    twenty one pilots-Heathens
    Damian Marley-Everybody Wants To Be Somebody
    Damian Marley-So A Child May Follow
    Damian Marley-The Struggle Discontinues
    Ziggy Marley-Lighthouse
    Ziggy Marely-See Dem Fake Leaders
    Mark Knopfler-Laughs And Jokes And Drinks And Smokes
    Santana w/ Mana- Corazon Espinado

    The new twenty one pilots album, Trench

    The new Mark Knopfler album, Down The Road Wherever

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    Unboxing:

    As is the case with many recent striding’s through my abode, the box is of medium size and white. And sleeved. My first thought (and it seems to be my mantra against many of late from the Chi-fi realm) was “oh great, another without a case.” Luckily, I was wrong for upon the back there it lay…a picture, in color even of a…wait for it…A CASE! Of tan leather (I didn’t care, I was dancing), opening from the front like an engagement ring. And a very nice one at that. Oh, JOY be had! I was tickled pink with euphoria, for one of my favorite companies at included that jewel of my eye…a CASE! Sigh, it really does not take much to make me happy these days. Or peeved.


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    Also, upon the back were pictures of the IEM itself, as well as the 10mm dynamic driver and MMCX cable. At least the strands of the cable. I should have known about the above as the front is laden with the IEM arranged in heart-shaped fashion. A good start.

    Pulling the sleeve off you get a shiny, plain box laden with the Shanling logo. Opening like a casket from the right, one pulls the fabric loop to reveal the body, err case and the hard foam insert, which holds the multitude of tips included. Ranging from “Vocal” to “Balanced” and “Bass,” a pair of foam tips was even included (the medium Balanced tips are already mounted). Very similar to the Hidizs MS4 I have on hand as well. I for one like that the tips are labeled, for my old rotting memory would not remember what tip does which sound. Thank you to Shanling!

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    Under the tip insert is a smallish black box, replete with “grab-handle,” so you can more easily take it from the cradle holding it. Inside lie the instruction guide as well as an IEM brush. All in all, a decent effort for the box and accessories.

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    Sound qualities:

    I will admit that the look to me is a polarizing issue. While the design is clean with rounded edges awash with a good fit, I find the shiny-poly insert on the back a bit garish. Almost tacky to me. It shows fingerprints as well. I will add though, that the IEM itself does not hold prints on its matte-like finish. A huge plus to me. But this section is about the sound…

    When I found out that Shanling (like competitor FiiO) was dropping into the IEM market, I thought…hmmmph. OK. It took FiiO a few tries before they settled on to something that actually rode acclaims in the market. Good for them, but their early iterations were on the less-expensive side and well, average at best. The parallel was that both companies produce DAP’s of very good sound quality, the likes of which many enjoy (including me).

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    So, I thought what will Shanling do with an IEM (the ME500 is on the way, and I’d like to try it). The ME100 comes into the market at a very tough price. Over $100, customers expect stellar performance and ergonomics. They almost expect TOO much at that price. I would garner that the $125-range is the new $50 range. Expectations rose high.

    You need not worry. The ME100 can ride well in the crowded $125-market. While not superb in anything, it does all well, with only minor misses. Decent reach down low. A bit of glitter (not sparkle) up top, and vocals, which come through clean. This is not a detail master such as the TFZ Secret Garden (very good to me), but it is no slouch either. Again, it does detail well.

    Paired with the Shanling M5s, it is obvious the pair come from the same lineage, or genetics. Slightly on the darker side, but close enough to see neutral, the ME100 presents the music well. Cymbal crashes are not obstructed. Drum strokes hit where they should without artificiality. Most is done well.

    I will add that to me, the mids could use the most help. I find them a bit tame, and a bit clouded. Not so much so that the sound is cluttered, but just a bit domesticated. I found it a bit hard to describe until I read @wyville’s review. He called the ME100 “better for female vocals, lacking throatiness and that lower chest that comes from the upper bass and lower mids.” I agree and now better understand the feeling I get from the mids.

    What does that leave you with then? Well, a very competent mid-fi IEM, that’s what. With nothing that offends your palate, you get an honest sound, which can be used in most genre. Reggae from Bob & Ziggy sounded appealing and thoughtful. Blues from SRV or Mary Lane sound wonderful. Mary’s voice is old-school blues and the ME100 does her voice justice. Just like the previous paragraph states, female vocals are good, but not earth shattering. I do enjoy the sound though as it tends to approach what I would call “my favorite,” which is good rich vocal sound backed by excellent reach of bass and not too much sparkle up top. The ME100 almost dots those I’s and crosses those T’s. It presents a sound with which I can live happily, knowing that this is a very decent IEM in an ever-increasing market at this price. As stated above as well, this range is the new $50-range and it had better be good.

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    More detail:

    Bass: On Love Is A Stranger, the bass comes through with a solid line at the bottom. Nothing spectacular, but present to give aid overall. There is no rumble, but it isn’t anemic either. Keeping my interest, I can focus on Annie’s sultry voice. To me she has one of the best voices ever. I am so smitten we will save that for another tale. Needless to say, that here the bass does not get in the way. Nor does it support fully the way I would have liked either. I wish the reach was deeper, especially with that lack of overall thump. If it were to go deeper, then the subtleties, which could come through would have been better appreciated. Here the bass seems to be playing catch up (not in speed), and almost keeping up. Just not enough for what is needed. Luckily the song following is Bob’s Zion Train and there is enough of that bass. Good support where too much bass would have overshadowed the sound. So, a tale of two songs. One lacking, one just about right. I do wish for a bit more rumble.

    Mids: As mentioned above Anne Lennox’s voice is sultry and superb. Female vocals sound quite good. Male vocals are very tolerable as well. Bob’s voice comes through quite well, but without that extra push, which some IEM’s can bring. There is a bit lacking and in the male vocals that bit lacking shows. Dave Matthew’s voice on I’ll Back You Up sounds good, just not superb. A good centered sound, but just not with enough oomph behind it. It lacks depth to me, which is a shame because the sound is quite pleasant and tolerable. Tip selection helps a bit, but with the foam (most throat in my mind) it is still lacking. Again, these are minor quibbles in a very good sound, but still must be mentioned.

    Treble: Thankfully for me there is no over the top sound to the treble. I am at the age where I do not turn the music up much anymore other than for review purposes. And here, Turning Dave up gives a good indication of the sound up top. Separation of sound is good, without sibilance or too much sparkle. This is an IEM I can keep up for extended time. U2’s A Sort Of Homecoming continues that sound. Not grating or overly bothersome, the highs come through quick and succinct. To me there was no annoying “extra” when the volume goes up. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes when I turn the volume up, what could be considered good to very good sparkle or treble sound can become grating to me. With the ME100, that is not present. So, I call that a win.

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    Separation/Instrumentation/Layering:

    Continuing the Bob theme, on Oh What A Rat Race, you clearly hear where the instruments are, and placement is good. Not the finest of definition, but enough to let you enjoy the music. Not enough separation of layers to me, though. This would be like that new cake recipe, which didn’t finish properly. It still tastes good, but each flavor is not held of its own. That’s how the music comes through. Good overall but lacking that distinctness of each. Dream unknown from Ella is sublime, though. That big band sound supporting her sumptuous voice comes through clean and clear. I am refocused to a smoky club in Las Vegas, with the sheer pleasure of hearing her up close and personal. The ME100 plays this song very, very well. Follow that with 10,000 Maniacs Hey Jack Kerouac and the stimulation almost continues. A bit too much going on to enjoy the way I did Ella, but Natalie’s is still good.

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    Comparison:

    Shanling ME100 ($120) vs TEHNZ Audio P4 Pro ($120):

    When the P4 Pro arrived some months ago, I did my usual listen then put it on the M3s to burn. I was pleasantly surprised by that initial listen. And once the queue brought it forward, I was still surprised. With a more mid-oriented sound than the ME100, the background isn’t as black either. Detail retrieval is better as well. I can more clearly hear individual sounds with the P4 Pro, a nice aspect. A bit higher push up top can become tedious at times, but I very much appreciate the sound characteristics of the P4. Again, not quite enough quality of the bass, but vocals come through nicely and there is definitely a bit of sparkle up top. If the ME100 was aiming for the P4 Pro, it missed. It almost hit the mark, but the P4 is another reason that chi-fi is taking over. When you can present this type of sound at this price it is hard to beat.


    Shanling ME100 ($120) vs Simgot EN700 Pro ($119):

    Simgot is a conundrum. With many in their line, which boast good to excellent sound (including the EN700 Pro here, they are a force in which you should look in this price (and above with another). But middling build quality and ergonomics, which can be described at best as middling you do not get the whole package. I very much like the sound representation of the EN700, probably my favorite of the ones I have tried. With better control of the bass, reaching deeper the EN700 Pro was one of the first from the Chi-Fi mold, which could actually back up what was presented. Early on, the Chi-Fi sig was upper end biased, with not much down below. The EN700 wads at the front of this change. It is still one of my go-to and favorites at this price.

    But that success is not total though. The cable is still a mess. If my life was dependent upon getting it untangled in a timely manner, I would surely perish. Tactility of said cable is horrible as well. Go outside, look for the weed Bedstraw (Galium aparine) pick it, then throw it on your shirt…that’s the EN700 Pro cable in a nutshell. Obviously Simgot spent more R&D in sound than cables. Time to up that game, Simgot. That said, if I had to choose, the nod still goes its way due to overall control of the sound. Good stuff, even if it sticks to you.


    Shanling ME100 ($120) vs BGVP DMG ($139):

    The DMG was one of the first of many BGVP products I heard, and still one of my favorites. A certain reviewer holds a certain disdain for many (most) Chi-Fi products, and I do believe he misses the point. For without these (many of which are not worthy mind you) we would not have “mainstream” audio products raising their game. Innovation is the way to stay ahead, and as long as the sound follows suit, this is good. Thankfully, most BGVP products have, pretty much set in tone by the DMG. With a straight forward easy to use cable, and fit, which is quite good there isn’t much not to like surrounding the DMG. Bass can get a little overwhelming, as evident on Bob Marley’s Cry To Me, but his songs typically are of that sound. Strong solid bass. His voice sounds a bit hollow, but on par with what the ME100 brings. A bit of artificiality also hinders the overall sound signature of the DMG as well. I still very much like the DMG but feel it has been passed by the EN700 in sound quality (to me). But I won’t cry over it, for this just goes to show that innovation of which I speak. I would call this one a draw, but with better bass from the BGVP product.

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    The Ending:

    So, what are we left with? Well, many previous reviews of the ME100 dismissed it as a product of a company that should have stayed in the DAP market. While I understand what they are saying, I disagree a bit. For without that innovation, company’s in today’s audio market may fall flat on their face. I cannot fault a company for putting out what their engineers understand to be their favored sound signature, just like I will not fault someone for purchasing a Chevrolet when a Toyota or Honda might have been the better choice. That is the true beauty of this market. There are SO many choices, that it is up to the user-defined characteristics to choose wisely. Some may like this sound (pretty much neutral and unassuming), while others may think it bland and uninspiring (their choice as well). But the fact that another DAP audio company thinks it is worth their time to invest in the IEM market should be a heads up to the established. They are coming, and will catch on soon enough, so take notice.

    I thank Fran and Shanling for the opportunity (I took too long, apologies) to review their first iteration, the ME100. It is a good step forward and should be looked at if you want a no-fuss, no-problem middle of the road IEM. A decent start it is.

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      B9Scrambler likes this.
  2. Wyville
    Shanling ME100 - Clear, Clean, Comfortable
    Written by Wyville
    Published Feb 20, 2019
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Solidly built aluminium shells, great comfort, good selection of accessories (great leather case!), good quality ergonomic cable, a clean and clear sound
    Cons - Can be a little too bright for some, PVC ear guides can cause some irritation over time
    Shanling ME100

    Disclaimer
    I would like to thank Shanling for providing me with the ME100 in exchange for my honest opinion. No incentive was given for a favourable review.

    ME100
    • Drivers: Single 10mm dynamic driver
    • Frequency response: 20 - 40,0000 Hz
    • Sensitivity: 111 ± 3 dB
    • Impedance: 16 Ω
    • Cable: 8-wire, oxygen-free copper with MMCX connectors
    • Price: US$ 119

    Links:
    https://www.shanling.com
    https://www.facebook.com/Shanling-Audio-603230783166845/

    Preamble
    Although it might not always be obvious to those of us in the head-fi community who focus more on portable gear, Shanling is actually a Chinese Hi-Fi company with a long history. Established in 1988, Shanling finds its roots in stereo amplifiers and has since then gradually built up a portfolio with a wide range of products. The move into the portable gear market came in 2014 when Shanling released their first portable DAP, the M3, followed a year later by their entry-level M2 and in 2016 by both their flagship M5 and the highly popular miniature-sized M1. The M1 was recently succeeded by the even smaller sized M0, which I have been using as my training DAP and packs an awful lot of performance in a diminutive sized player. With their various DAPs, Shanling established itself as one of the most popular companies for affordable, yet high-quality players on the global market, breaking the stereotype that is sometimes still attached to Chinese products.

    Most recently Shanling added a completely new product line to their portfolio by moving into IEMs. Shanling entered this market with the entry level, single dynamic driver ME100, which will be followed by the slightly higher-level hybrid ME500. At around US$120, the ME100 sit in a highly competitive market that seems to be flooded by IEMs of widely varying quality. There is a large selection of what a friend of mine recently called "generic meh" and maybe one or two really stand out as quality offerings. It is very rewarding if you can find those one or two, but I have tried to get a feel for the various IEMs and it feels like trying to find a needle in a haystack. So generally I don't get around to many offerings within this price range. The Final E4000 and E5000 were the exception up to now and I was really impressed by them. I still am actually, as the E4000 are these days paired with the M0 for a really great, small form factor training setup. So when I got in touch with Shanling about the ME100 I was a little sceptical at first, but soon found that Shanling had been putting a lot of thought into their first IEMs and I felt they sounded really promising. More than enough reason for me to have a closer look.

    Unboxing
    When the ME100 arrived I was quite surprised by what I received. Removing the white cardboard sleeve and opening the black box revealed a very nice presentation of the selection of included tips with above it a leather case in which the ME100 monitors were neatly presented together with the mmcx cable. Included also were a booklet and cleaning tool. I felt the presentation made the unboxing feel quite like you would expect with a premium product. Moreover, the selection of included accessories is really well thought through. The leather case is genuinely useful and the foam holding the ME100 monitors can be removed to create the perfect amount of space to place the ME100 connected to the M0, making for an ideal travel setup. The foam on which the tips are presented has an indication of what their effect on the sound is. Out of the box medium sized 'balanced' tips were fitted on the ME100, but also included are 'vocal' tips and 'bass' tips, all in small, medium and large sizes, as well as one set of medium foam tips.

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    Build quality and fit
    Of course a nice presentation does very little if the product itself does not have the quality to live up to the expectation that is built up by it. Happily Shanling's attention to detail extends to the ME100 themselves.

    The shells are made out of two pieces of CNC machined aluminium with a decorative piece of black tempered glass on it. From the website I gather that this design was inspired by the shape and smoothness of a water droplet. It is a nice design, but importantly, is also very solid and the shells feel like they will hold up to intensive use well. As the ME100 have a 10mm dynamic driver, the shells are vented and Shanling went for two vents, one on the back of the shell and one on the inside. It is smoothly done and indeed the whole shell is as smooth as a drop of water, giving great comfort. I have worn them for long listening sessions and found the shape to be very ergonomic, the weight to be nice and light, and the stems to have a good size (not too thick or too long). Overall comfort was among the best I have had from all the IEMs I have used.

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    The ME100 use MMCX connectors, which I personally think are a sensible choice. I know that not everyone is equally happy with those connectors, but my Shure SE215 have never given me any issues in all the years that I have abused them. Only my E4000 have given me some rare cut outs after I went running with those in the pouring rain and the hard wind blew the rain straight onto the IEMs for more than a hour. I expect that if you keep them dry and clean, they should work well long-term.

    The included cable is another example of Shanling's attention to detail. It is an 8-wire, pure copper cable that uses quite a thin gauge. The braiding itself is quite tight, but the thinness of the individual wires means the cable maintains a nice suppleness and is not thick or bulky at all. The termination is made with a nice aluminium plug that is smooth, but has edges to provide grip, which is mirrored in the design of the aluminium y-split. The MMCX connectors have an aluminium base with a plastic cover that has ridges to provide good grip when plugging or unplugging the connectors. The ear guides are made of a pre-bent PVC tube, which is certainly more comfortable than the cables that also have a memory wire in them, but I am personally not a big fan of this either. When I wear the IEMs for long periods of time I do start to experience some skin irritation from the PVC rubbing against my ears.

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    Overall I think the ME100 offer an excellent build quality for this price range (and above), a well thought out design, good selection of parts and great comfort. So it is high time to have a look, or more accurately "a hear", to see if the sound too can live up to all the anticipation that is being built up.

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    Source
    All listening was done with my AK70 from the SE out and some with the Shanling M0 and Cowon Plenue 2.

    Presentation
    As indicated in the unboxing, the ME100 come with three sets of silicone tips that have been selected for slight changes in sound to benefit 'vocals', the 'bass', or offer a 'balanced' sound. My sound impressions here were all with the 'balanced' tips, but I did briefly try out the others as well. To my ears the 'vocal' tips do indeed seem to add a hint of mid-range clarity, while the 'bass' tips add a bit more warmth, but the differences are very subtle. Still, it can certainly be an interesting way to fine-tune the sound a little based on the music you are listening to, or simply the comfort of the tips themselves.

    Overall the ME100 are very clear and airy IEMs, and when I first started listening I was quite surprised by how airy the sound was, expecting the music to be more confined within my head. The ME100 have an uncoloured type of sound that is complimented by a well-controlled 'dynamic driver' bass. Emphasis though seems to be more towards the upper mids and lower treble, giving them a brightness that might not suit everyone. It creates a brighter and more articulate sound that can for some people, such as yours truly, get too close to their treble sensitivity. I did not have too many issues with it, but did notice that after a few hours of listening it became a little fatiguing. The advantage of it is that the ME100 are very detailed and offer a balanced sound for those who prefer their music to come through clear and detailed.

    Bass
    One of the things I thought was very interesting about the ME100 was that their sound seemed to be aimed at achieving a clear and uncoloured sound while using a dynamic driver. Dynamic drivers are usually more associated with a warm and bass-heavy sound because of their natural strengths. As a result, upon hearing the ME100, I found that the bass was much more controlled than I had expected and did not give off a lot of warmth to the mids and treble. However, it did give the extra texture that dynamic drivers do so well. Control over the bass is really quite good and the bass is not too noticeable unless it is actually called for. At that time it can offer a nice bit of rumble, although it does not extend very far into the sub-bass region. Playing Astronaut Ape's track Awaredance shows the ME100 are capable of some decent bass impact while keeping everything tight and avoiding the darkening of the signature. This is also very noticeable with Massive Attack's Angel, which I normally love for how dark it can get with the kind of warm and bass-heavy IEMs I love when I am not listening to classical music. With the ME100 there is none of that darkness and the track stays really clean and clear.

    The bass still feels somewhat lifted when I listen to classical music, with the bass section having a relatively prominent presence when I listen to Beethoven's 5th. This actually works rather well when I listen to the Rolling Stones, where drums have a nice impact and that helps to avoid the ME100 sounding too clinical or boring. The same goes for more heavy music such as metal by Disturbed, which has a nice energy to it, although again it is not as dark as I personally would like it to be. Clean and clear is where it is at with the ME100.

    Mids
    In the mids there is a focus towards the upper mids. This is most clearly noticeable with vocals, where the ME100 favour female vocals over male. Male vocals lack the lower chest and throatiness that come from the upper bass and lower mids. I felt this was especially noticeable with live albums of Sting and Eric Clapton, where I found the music lacked the intimate feeling and vocals sounded a little sterile and without much density. Despite favouring female vocals, I did not think the ME100 did great with those either. Especially with higher pitched vocals such as Norwegian singer Aurora Aksnes (Aurora) it can just sound a bit too bright for my liking. Yet I have to hand it to the ME100, when I put them to the ultimate test with Soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, I did find that they maintained an even tone that did not go into sibilance. It is bright, but balanced.

    Interestingly I found that mid-range instruments in classical music had a pretty good tonality considering the overall brighter tone of the ME100. With classical music, instruments such as the clarinet and even the flute have a good tonality and can stand up well against the emphasis on strings and brass instruments. That same emphasis also comes back in electric and acoustic guitars, which sound pretty good and you can really hear the plucking of the strings.

    Treble
    The ME100 have to my ears a clear lower-treble lift, which is where a lot of the overall clarity comes from, but also where I personally find them a little too bright. To my ears it makes the treble very articulate and a little 'tinny' sounding. Especially in classical music, violin strings and brass instruments are a little too sharp for my liking and there is not enough warmth coming from the bass to counter that. It does bring cymbals and such instruments more forward in music such as rock and blues to add excitement, but here I feel the treble extension is lacking for it to sound natural.

    Now I am far from a treble head and have often confessed to some degree of "treblephobia" and so it is really important to see my comments here in this context. I don't hear any sibilance and the overall tone is even. It is still quite bright and dances a little too much around my treble sensitivity. That can be a word of caution to others who are sensitive to treble, or indeed an invitation to treble heads who are looking for this upper-mids/lower-treble emphasis. I don't think this is an exceptionally natural treble, but do think this is quite a unique tuning in this price range, as most others I have heard had the more popular V-shape with lots of bass.

    (Just as a way of testing my impressions of the lower treble lift, I spent some time using the Cowon Plenue 2's excellent EQ and ended up lowering the 5.1 kHz and 6.2 kHz bands by 4 dB. This indeed made the ME100 a lot smoother and less fatiguing for me, although this of course did come at a cost of some of the clarity.)

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    Comparisons
    -Final E4000-
    Speaking of others within this price range. While I don't have many of those lying around, I do still have the Final E4000. When it comes to my personal preferences, the E4000 do really well. They are much more in line with the warm, V-shape I was talking about and have that warm, resonant bass. Bass impact is about the same as the ME100, but it is looser and more natural, where the ME100's bass is tighter and much more controlled. As a consequence of the bass tuning, the mid-range of the E4000 is much warmer giving more body to mid range instruments. Vocals do not necessarily feel stronger, but those too are warmer and male vocals sound more natural. The ME100 have more clarity and sound more detailed by comparison. The treble of the E4000 is a lot easier for me to live with, has a bit more sweetness to it and feels more extended.

    Overall (it will come as no surprise) I much prefer the sound of the E4000, which I consider to be incredibly good value and a real winner for this price range. The ME100 on the other hand offer a sound signature that I have not come across in this price range very often and that in itself can make them a very interesting proposition for people looking to step away from the more "popular" tuning of the E4000 in favour of a much more clear and clean sound.

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    Conclusions
    I think that with the ME100, Shanling have come up with high quality IEMs that set themselves apart within a very competitive segment with a tuning aimed towards clarity and detail. It is a clean and balanced sound with a brighter feel to it, which might well be just what some people are looking for. It can also be a bit too bright for others and a fatiguing after long listening sessions. For the right people I think that with the build quality, ergonomics, included accessories and balanced quality of the signature the ME100 present a very good value proposition that is certainly worth a closer look.
      Guss013, Gustavo1976 and Light - Man like this.