Shanling ME700 Lite IEM Review
Shanling was founded in 1988 in China and began to develop audio products and launched their first Hi-Fi stereo amplifier in the same year. Shanling is a high-tech company combining R&D, production, processing and sales of products, including Hi-Res portable music players, portable amplifiers, Hi-Fi headphones/In-Ear Monitors, SACD/CD players, Hi-Fi amplifiers, power conditioners and many other Hi-Fi products. ·
- Shanling Webpage: https://en.shanling.com/
The Shanling ME700 Lite is the flagship IEM of the company together with the ME700, which offers a slightly different sound tuning. The ME700 Lite features a Hybrid Driver Configuration that adopts 4 Custom made Balanced Armature Drivers + 1 Dynamic Driver with Titanium Coated Diaphragm, which are integrated in to a nice looking 3D Printed monitor shell.
I would like to thank Shanling for providing me the ME700 Lite IEM sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Shanling beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual MSRP price for the Shanling ME700 Lite is about 499.00 USD. More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package and Accessories:
The box of the ME700 Lite is in black color and hast the Shanling brand logo on the top. This box has sports a cardboard sleeve with some product brandings on the top.
This box includes the following contents;
- 1 x pair of ME700 Lite In-Ear Monitor
- 1 x detachable cable with MMCX connector & 3.5mm headphone plug
- 3 x pairs of Soundstage silicone ear tips
- 3 x pairs of Balanced silicone ear tips
- 3 x pairs of Vocal silicone ear tips
- 1 x Leather Carry Case
- 1 x Cleaning Tool/Brush
- 1 x Print Material
The ME700 Lite came with very stylish & eye-catching leather case in brown color, which is of very high quality.
Shanling has put also 9 pairs of silicone ear tips with three different sound signatures in to the box, which have been carefully placed in to the foam filling that shows a labeling of each sound character that are balanced, vocal and soundstage.
The box includes a cleaning tool/brush that is a nice addition.
Design, Build Quality and Fit:
The Shanling ME700 Lite is a Hybrid In-Ear Monitor with a 4BA + 1DD driver configuration, which offers a comfortable fit thanks to its 3D Printed semi-custom monitor shell that is in white color.
The faceplate of the monitor shell features the Shanling brand logo that is in gold color that looks pretty nice.
The rear surface of the monitor shell has an ached shape that fit nice to my average sized ear concha. Here are also the left and right markings together with the ME700 branding.
The sound nozzle is made of metal material in gold color that has a small lip to hold de ear-tips and a fine metal mesh on the top to prevent the insertion of dust and earwax partials inside the monitor. The nozzle is a bit short bit was compatible with most third party ear tips.
At the backside of the monitor shell is a small bass vent for the Dynamic Driver unit.
On the top of the housing is the MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) female connector that offers a pretty secure and tight connection with the male connector of the detachable cable.
The Shanling ME700 Lite is comes with a high quality detachable cable with a braided design.
The cable has a braided design with a hybrid construction that combines silver-plated and gold-plated copper wire material.
The MMCX connectors do have SUS316F grade stainless steel metal housing in silver color with L (left) & R (Right) markings.
Near the connectors are transparent heat shrink ear guides with metal parts of each end.
The cable is has a transparent plastic insulation and features a metal y-splitter and a chin slider.
The cable of the Shanling ME700 Lite has a straight profiled headphone housing that comes with a 3.5mm Single Ended (TRS) plug.
The overall build quality of both the monitors and the detachable cable are top notch!
Comfort & Isolation:
The Shanling ME700 Lite has a slightly larger monitor size compared to other hybrid IEM’s with the same driver configuration. It fits pretty well to my ear-concha with an average size, while people with very small ear-concha may experience discomfort after longer listening periods.
The isolation of the ME700 Lite shows an above average performance for a Universal IEM that was quite efficient in relative noisy environments such like a bus or train.
The Shanling ME700 Lite shows a low amount of driver flex while inserting it to my eras.
- Driver Type : 4 Balanced Armature Drivers + 1 Dynamic Driver
- Freq. Res. : 20Hz-40 kHz
- Sensitivity : 106dB±3dB
- Impedance : 18 ohm
- Plug Size : 3.5mm Single Ended (TRS)
- Cable length : 1.2m
- Weight : 6.8g for each Monitor
The Shanling ME700 Lite is an efficient IEM due to its fairly low impedance of 18 ohms and a sensitivity of 106dB±3dB, which makes ideal for the use with relative weak sources like Smartphone’s, Tablets or smaller sized Digital Audio Players. However, the sound performance shows an audible refinement when paired with devices with higher amplification values.
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Infected Mushroom – Flamingo (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Deezer HiFi)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Deezer HiFi)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Deezer HiFi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Photek – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Deezer HiFi)
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Deezer HiFi)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Deezer HiFi)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Deezer HiFi)
Sources used for this review:
- IEM : Shanling ME700 Lİte, Oriveti OH500, Dunu DK-3001
- DAP/DAC : iBasso DX300, iBasso 220 MAX, FiiO M11 Pro, iPad Air2
What I have immediately noticed when I had put the ME700 Lite for the first time in to my ears was the impressive sense of clarity/transparency and airiness of the sound that has been produced. The next thing that has impressed me was the overall detail retrieval that has been produced by this In-Ear Monitor.
The ME700 Lite shows a close to neutral, slightly bright and quite balanced tonality. The bass is fast and controlled and has a moderate intensity; the midrange on the other hand has a great level of clarity and detail retrieval, while the treble area is focused to the upper treble region that is responsible for the nice sense of airiness and sparkle.
The Shanling ME700 Lite has a nicely balanced bass tuning that sounds pretty fast and controlled thanks to its well implemented Dynamic Driver with a titanium coated diaphragm. The separation and layering from the subbbass to the midbass is great for an In-Ear Monitor below the 800 – 1000 USD price tag.
The subbass region of the Shanling shows a moderate level of deep, intensity and extension that doesn’t sounds overwhelming even after longer listening periods. The subbass reproduction is maybe not high in terms of rumble or quantity, which makes it not the best choice for bassheads, however it is quite impressive in terms of quality, when I do listen to songs like Massive Attack’s “Angel” or Portishead’s “It Could Be Sweet”.
The midbass region of the Shanling ME700 Lite offers a good sense of impact and dynamism while listen to Toutant’s “Rebirth” or Infected Mushroom’s “Flamingo”. The midbass quantity and intensity will satisfy most listeners with exception of those who prefer a higher sense of slam affect such like basshead’s.
The bass of the Shanling ME700 Lite sounds in general highly controlled and shows a mildly warm tonality when I do listen to percussion instruments or instruments guitars or violas, which makes the ME700 Lite to an IEM that, is quite pleasant to listen to.
One of the main highlights of the Shanling ME700 Lite that really impressed me was midrange character and overall atmosphere that shows a great sense of clarity, airiness and detail retrieval that will outperform many IEM’s with double the price.
Instruments & Vocals:
The Shanling ME700 Lite shows a slightly warmer than neutral instrument tonality and has a pretty natural timbre that is neither too analytical nor too dry or weak in its presentation. The ME700 Lite offers a very transparent and detailed instrument reproduction with above average clarity and extension. The airy and spacious soundstage is a great benefit for genres with a relative high instrument density such like classical music or fast & complex genres like metal music.
Instruments like acoustic guitars are mildly warm, a bit bassy and bright towards the top end of the upper midrange. Other instruments such like pianos and organs, up to the electro guitar are reproduced with a nice sense of presence and musicality.
The general instrument presentation of the Shanling ME700 Lite can be described as lively, clean and balanced, which shows also a great sense of transparency and detail retrieval.
The lower midrange of the Shanlig ME700 Lite shows a moderate level of depth and intensity, which is slightly less pronounced compared to the upper midrange area. Male vocals do sound detailed and clear, while epic voices with a deep and emotional tonality like Barry White or Isaac Hayes are quite pleasant to listen to.
The upper midrange of the Shanling ME700 Lite is quite pronounced, natural and bright in its tonality, without to be prone to sibilance or sharpness. This upper midrange character helps the ME700 Lite to reproduce female vocals like Edith Piaf, Sertap Erener or Diana Krall in a very lively, transparent and detailed manner. The female vocal presentation of the ME700 Lite shows also an above average performance in terms of extension and clarity.
From jazz vocals to pop vocals, from sopranos to trance vocals all female voices I did listen with the ME700 Lite did sound very transparent, detailed and pretty emotional.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
The upper midrange of the Shanling ME700 Lite is quite highlighted detailed and shows a musical timbre. The transitions from the upper midrange towards the lower treble area do sound in general controlled without to show remarkable negative conditions such like sibilance or harshness, even in genres like metal music.
What I do found quite impressive about the upper midrange tuning of the Shanling ME700 Lite is the possibility to hear even the finest nuances and details from a violin, cymbal or piano.
When it comes to the treble I can say that the Shanling ME700 Lite shows balanced mildly bright and highly controlled tuning, which makes it to an ideal In-Ear Monitor for log listening periods without to tire your ears.
The lower treble region is less pronounced compared to the upper treble area that has an audible dip around the 5 kHz region. The lower treble range of the ME700 Lite offers a moderate level of clarity and extension while the detail retrieval fits my expectations from an In-Ear Monitor at this price range. The crispness of instruments like snare drums or violins is on a sufficient level.
The upper treble region offers a good sense of presence while listen to a wide variety of string instrument and pianos. The upper treble range sounds in general slightly more detailed compared to the lower treble region and has an audible peak around the 7-8 kHz region that adds the ME700 Lite a nice sense of airiness and sparkle when I do listen to crash cymbals and snare drums in metal music and jazz music.
The general treble presentation of the Shanling ME700 Lite can be described as smooth, fatigue-free yet detailed. It offers a good level of clarity, extension and contol, which fits my expectations from an In-Ear Monitor at this price range.
Soundstage & Imaging:
The Shanling ME700 Lite offers solid performance in terms of separation and placement of instruments and vocals with its pretty wide and sufficiently deep soundstage. The openness of the stage gives the overall presentation a good sense of airiness while listen to songs with high instrument density.
Shanling ME700 Lite versus Oriveti OH500:
The Oriveti OH500 shows a warmer and smoother tonality compared to the Shanling ME700 Lite that has a slightly brighter and a livelier presentation. Both IEM’s are successful in terms of subbass depth and extension. The OH500 shows slightly more subbass rumble and extension, while the ME700 Lite has the upper hand when it comes to the control in this area. The midbass region of the OH500 is more highlighted that shows a higher level of intensity and impact. The ME700 Lite on the other hand offers a better sense of speed, control and resolution.
The midrange of the Shanling ME700 Lite is superior in terms of clarity and airiness, and has the slightly edge when it comes to the general detail retrieval in this area. The lower midrange of the OH500 shows more depth and intensity that makes it successful with male vocals and instruments like acoustic guitars or organs. The ME700 Lite is superior to the OH500 when I do listen to female vocals or instruments like flutes or pianos with its highlighted upper midrange character.
Both the upper midrange and treble region of the Shanling ME700 Lite is more pronounced and detailed compared to the Oriveti OH500 that shows a smoother presentation. The lower treble region of the ME700 Lite offers a better sense of clarity and definition. The upper treble region of the Oriveti OH500 is smoother slightly recessed and fatigue free which makes it ideal for longer listening periods.
Both IEM’s are successful in terms of separation and placement of instruments and vocals while the ME700 Lite has the upper hand when it comes to the wideness and airiness of the stage, while both are similar in terms of soundstage depth.
Shanling ME700 Lite versus Dunu DK-3001 Pro:
Both IEM’s are Universal IEM’s with a 4BA + 1DD Hybrid driver configuration that do have also a similar pricing.
When it comes to the sound, I can say that the Shanling ME700 Lite shows a slightly brighter, in general livelier, and more dynamic/energetic presentation compared to the Dunu DK-3001 Pro.
The subbass region of both the ME700 Lite and DK-3001 Pro is pretty similar in terms of depth, intensity and extension. The ME700 Lite may have the slightly edge in terms of control. The midbass region of the both IEM’s is successful in terms of control and resolution, while the DK-3001 Pro shows slightly more impact and extension.
The midrange of the Dunu DK-3001 Pro is slightly more recessed compared to the Shanling ME700 Lite that sounds a bit more upfront and intimate while listen to vocals. The ME700 Lite has a brighter and tonality due to the upper midrange tuning that gives It the slightly edge in terms of clarity and detail retrieval in this area.
Both IEM’s are successful with male vocals due to the similarities in the lower midrange, while the Shanling ME700 Lite is more suitable for female vocals thanks to the upper midrange tuning that adds additional transparency and detail compared to the DUNU DK-3001 Pro.
The lower treble region of the Dunu DK-3001 Pro sounds slightly more highlighted compared to the Shanling ME700 Lite that shows a dip in the 5 kHz Region, which adds the DK-3001 Pro additional clarity in this area. The upper treble region of both the ME700 Lite and DK-3001 Pro offers a good sense of airiness and sparkle. The Shanling ME700 Lite has the slightly edge when it comes to the extension and detail retrieval in this area.
The soundstage of both In-Ear Monitors is pretty similar in terms of separation and placement of instrument and vocals. The soundstage of the Shanling ME700 Lite is a little bit wider and offers a better level of airiness, while the Dunu DK-3001 Pro has the slightly edge when it comes to the depth of the stage.
The Shanling ME700 Lite impressed me immediately with its plain but beautiful looking monitor design and a sound character that shows a great sense of clarity, airiness and dynamism that makes it suitable for a wide variety of genres. The high quality Gold & Silver Plated Hybrid cable and the very esthetic looking leather case are some nice additions that are included in the box of the ME700 Lite.
Pros & Cons:
- + The Master of Clarity
- + Overall Transparency and detail retrieval
- + Bass Response (Speed, Intensity, Control)
- + Upper Midrange Extension & Detail Retrieval
- + Mature Treble Tuning
- + Design & Build Quality (Monitor, Cable & Storage Case)
- – Mildly Roll-Off in the Lower Treble Range
- – Driver Flex
- – No Balanced Cable or Adaptors
Thank you for the Read!