Shanling ME100 Video Review
The ME100 is Shanling’s first step into the world of earphones. Their history goes back a long way, starting off making high-end hifi equipment and then more recently becoming very well known for their portable music players. Now they've decided to apply their years of experience to the earphone market.
It’s clear to see that Shanling mean business with the ME100. The housings are made using aluminium with a tempered glass outer coating. The aluminium has a matt black finish, which is a nice contrast to the glossy finish of the tempered glass. giving the earphones a very stylish look and feeling like they are built to last. Inside the housing is a 10mm dynamic driver. The drivers have been developed by Shanling themselves, with a nanocomposite diaphragm and a lightweight voice coil, providing more control and speaker efficiency.
Due to the size, weight and finish of the housings, comfort is very good with the ME100. They fit with the cable going over the ear: a typical in-ear monitor design. This provides a secure fit as well as deep insertion into the ear canal which helps with the sound performance and isolation. You also get a range of different eartips, with silicone and foam options. There’s a range of different sized silicone tips; the foam tips are supplied in medium size only. The large range of tips help to ensure that you’re getting a good seal, which is extremely important. I recommend you try all of the tips to make sure you are getting the most from the earphones, as a poor seal will result in a lack of bass and a tinny sound, which nobody wants.
Shanling haven’t scrimped when it comes to the accessories. The replacement cable is made using high purity oxygen free copper, with 8 wires all made up of 18 conductors each. The cable is coated in a TPE material which helps reduce microphonics, meaning cable noise is kept to a minimum. You also get a hard carry case which looks very posh. it’s a shame there isn’t a smaller pouch as well as the case supplied is fairly large. Once you’ve found the best fitting eartips, isolation is decent with the ME100.
At 16ohms, the ME100 is designed to be driven well by portable devices, and the 111dB sensitivity means that they can go nice and loud from a phone or laptop. Plug them into a high quality player or amplifier, and the ME100 brings even more in terms of dynamics and soundstage, showing just how well the ME100 has been designed and built.
Now for the sound quality! The ME100 has really impressed me here. Bass is full and deep with a really enjoyable warmth. The bass stays where it needs to. It re-enforces the midrange without getting in the way. Shanling have nailed the midrange. It’s clear and crisp with a musical tone that’s on the brighter side, so it’s not as rich sounding as some other models out there, yet they do work well with both male and female vocals. There’s a good amount of body there and for me, I experienced no fatigue or sibilance. Up top, the treble extends far and keeps things exciting. Soundstage is very impressive. There’s a lot of space with well defined separation and clear imaging going from left to right.
For just under £100, I think the Shanling ME100 is extremely competitive, if not a bit of a steal. There are millions of earphones out there for under £100, including models from big brands like Shure, SoundMAGIC, RHA, Beyerdynamic and more. I think you’d struggle to find another earphone at this price that has the same level of build, with a replaceable cable, and sound verging on audiophile quality. The ME100 isn’t going to please bass heads, or those who want Bluetooth (even though you could attach a Bluetooth cable to the ME100’s MMCX connectors). The Shanling ME100 is well worth considering. You may not have heard of the brand before, but don’t let that put you off. You’ll thank me for it.