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Shanling M5s Review

The Shanling M5s is a HiFi DAP for the style lovers, who go gaga over design and looks without compromising on the sound quality and operability. The highlights of the China made device are, max sample rate of 32 bit, Bluetooth and WiFi options, and smooth streaming capacity. But that’s not all; an in-depth look reveals more features, which we’ll explore below.

Built Quality

The M5s’ built quality is exceptional. Made out of aluminum with a full glass front. It’s kinda thick, like most DAPs but nothing to be concerned, it’ll sure fit your pockets. The dimensions are similar to the FiiO M7, similarly long, considering the screen is only a little bigger than half of the from side.

Certainly the design of the M5s is a big plus point. The colors the device comes in are beautiful, and is a great plus point. The increases the aesthetic value of the DAP manifolds, and owners would love to flaunt the player.

Display

While the display lefts much to be desired, being only a bit bigger than half of the from side, it handles pretty well when combined with the fast software that comes with the M5s.

Software

The M5s comes with custom software, which means, no third party apps this time. But worry not, as this software is extremely fast. Expect a fast response and smooth sliding when browsing through your music.

It also has dual way bluetooth connectivity, if you were interested in an expensive bluetooth transmitter.

Physical Layout

On the bottom of the device you’ll find three different outputs. A bidirectional USB C , a 3.5 mm output, and a 2.5 mm balanced output. The controls are on the top left side of the device, fitting perfectly when holding the DAP on your right hand. It also has a nice volume knob on the top right side, which, unlike other volume knobs we’ve tested, has a nice feeling to it, changing volume in small percentages.

Sound Quality

If you’re a bass-head looking for a DAP that’ll suit your taste, this may not be the one, as the low frequencies aren’t much of a highlight in the M5s. Don’t misunderstand me, it ain’t bad, but it won’t shake your body. The good thing is, at the treble and mids, the M5s is soothing to the ears. With very nice detailing of the high ends the sound quality comes crisp, loud, and clear, without hurting the ears.

Battery Life

Whether the DAP will run for 8 hours or 17 hours, totally depends on the type of files you play on it. The files size, sound quality and all decides how long it would run. During our testing using FLAC files, we managed to get between 12 and 14 hours of play at a regular volume. We weren’t using particularly hard to drive headphones but neither easy to drive. But overall you show be expecting 16 hours of play if you’re using IEMs and 13 if using headphones.

Verdict

The Shanling M5s is a good high resolution music player with a decent battery, lovely color and style, and decent connectivity features to adapt to every user’s preferences, unless you ask for too much like high bass from the handy music player. At $429, it’s a good option to consider.

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