Shanling M2s gear gallery and first impressions: a pint-sized performer

In a little bit of a different take on gear galleries, this post has some initial impressions. Things I like:

  • Tiny. Super tiny. This thing is smaller than a pack of cards. It looks like the perfect mate to a Mojo.
  • Can be used as external DAC
  • Bluetooth receive and transmit (Cayin N3 does this too)
  • Bright and beautiful screen
  • Drove sensitive multi-BA iems: I tried this with the Noble Kaiser Encore and it sounded really good. On RHA DACAMP L1, the 4.4Ω output impedance caused audible distortion—that didn’t happen with the 4.8Ω output on the M2s.
  • Drove insensitive IEMs: both the RHA CL1 and CL750 sounded excellent with it which prompted me to
  • Drive the HD600 better than the more powerful Aune M1S and Cayin i5 (from memory), no distortions in the sound signature but requires maximum volume. I’m looking forward to more testing with this. I’ll do a comparison between the HiFiMAN SuperMini and Echobox Explorer on this when it comes back from touring.
  • Native DSD256, DSD128 (DoP) as external DAC
  • Intuitive operating system
  • Excellent, thoughtful ergonomics
  • Optical USB out, line out (Whoops! We all make mistakes, corrected now.)
  • Comes with screen protectors
  • Can have loads of playlists

Things I’m less into:

  • Box is super tight, it was very hard to open
  • No balanced output
  • Playlists have static names that may not fit your intent
  • Fiddly screen protectors, none applied—I managed to get one on the back
  • Genre tab is just a list of songs, which is friggin’ awful—if HiBy touches the OS, this seems to be a common flaw. Get with it HiBy.
  • 1 microSD and no internal storage

Now for the pictures!

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