The Shenzhen-based manufacturer of audio devices Shanling is known for its digital audio players and Bluetooth amplifiers. We tested the Shanling M0, a compact digital audio player that weighs more in terms of size and price. However, the company also manufactures wired and wireless headphones. Given that real wireless audio is currently the big buzz, Shanling has launched its first real wireless headphone, the MTW100, in India.
Price at Rs. From 5,999, the Shanling MTW100 is interestingly available in two versions with different driver types. You can have dynamic drivers for Rs. 5,999 or technically superior symmetrical anchor drivers for Rs. 6,999. We had the opportunity to test both versions of these affordable real wireless earbuds. Read on to find out if this little-known brand has what it takes to stand out in the affordable True Wireless segment in India.
Shanling MTW100 design and specifications
The Shanling MTW100 earphones are available in three color options. However, the choice of color also depends on the choice of driver. The black and red versions of the MTW100 use symmetrical anchor drivers, while the white version has dynamic drivers. In this case, your choice of color has a significant impact on performance.
Regardless of the color you choose, the headphones come with a contrast sleeve. The black housing is orange on the inside, the red on the inside black and the white on the inside red. These two-tone color combinations look great and the cases have matching straps on the back. The outer, shiny housings of the headphones are colored, while the inner parts for all three versions are made of matt black plastic. We really liked the black version and especially the black-orange combination of the case.
The Shanling MTW100 headphones themselves look good and have a unique shape. They are small with slightly elongated stems at the bottom where the microphones are. A Shanling logo is visible on the outside of each earphone. Directly below the logos are touch sensors that control playback and transparency mode, and directly above are small operating indicators. The volume cannot be controlled via the headphones and must be adjusted on the paired device.
When it comes to fit and comfort, the Shanling MTW100 is one of the best in the budget segment for real wireless devices. The headphones are light and with the right tips we were able to achieve a safe, noise isolating fit that effectively keeps noise out. The transparency mode worked well, but made the ambient sound a bit artificial and "whistle". It was only really effective when there was no music or sound playing through the headphones because music tended to overwhelm what the microphones could pick up from our surroundings.
The charging bag is similar to the headphones in terms of workmanship and design and is compact enough to carry in the bag. The headphones snap into place magnetically and automatically switch on or off when required. Three small LEDs light up to indicate the power level of the case when the headphones are placed in it. However, we were not very impressed with the hinge of the lid; Although it looked modern and stylish, it didn't feel very sturdy and the lid was too loose when opened.
The Shanling MTW100 sales package includes a total of six pairs of silicone earplugs, an instruction manual and a short USB Type-C cable to charge the case. With the dynamic driver variant, we achieved a battery life of approx. 5 hours per charge, and the housing offered the headphones three additional charges for a total of 20 hours per charge cycle. Although we did not specifically measure the battery life of the balanced anchor variant, we expect it to take a little longer because the drivers themselves are a bit more energy efficient.
Shanling MTW100 performance
The two variants of the Shanling MTW100 use different driver technologies and of course sound completely different. As expected, the more expensive variant with a balanced anchor sounded better in our opinion. We used both headphones with a OnePlus 7T Pro (review) and an Apple iPad mini (2019) (review) for music and audio in TV shows, movies and games.
Although both versions sound good when considering a variety of use cases, the balanced anchor MTW100 is a bit more musical and powerful when it comes to the core usage experience. The acoustic signature is entertaining, suitable for most genres, and the sound across the frequency range is well processed. Don't expect a neutral or flat sounding output here. The balanced Anker Shanling MTW100 is definitely tuned to the sound that works with popular music.
You would expect the dynamic driver variant to be a bit more bass-loving, and that's basically how it is. However, the bass is a bit rough and unrefined, while the balanced armature drivers produce a more calculated and tighter low-end that doesn't feel excessive or dampens the rest of the frequency range. That means there is less raw punch, but a lot more drive and attack if you choose the balanced anchor drivers.
However, this is only really noticeable with music; We found both variants equally well positioned for audio in films, TV shows and games. The sound quality is decent enough, and the excellent passive noise isolation has given us a good listening experience in these scenarios.
Listening to Passion Pits Sleepyhead's Borgore remix on both headphones highlighted this well. We started with the dynamic driver variant to listen to this dubstep track and found that the bass had a bit more punch and expansion, but the midrange and treble felt a bit boring in comparison because the headphones are rumbling the deep concentrated. When switching to the headphones with a balanced anchor, the vocals sounded much sharper, while the depths were a little crisper and clearer. The heights weren't quite as impressive and felt a bit subdued, but that didn't affect the enjoyment of the route too much.
Next we listened to the pretty crazy Club Bolly remix by David Bowies Let & # 39; s Dance. The balanced Anker Shanling MTW100 produced a detailed and entertaining representation of this fusion track with a spacious sound stage and an immersive character. The balanced anchor drivers have once again captured the essence of this track better than the dynamic drivers and the details in Indian instruments and Bowie's soulful voice have been better reproduced.
While we liked to hear the Shanling MTW100 and found that the headphones were worth every rupee (at least the variant with a balanced anchor), we felt that these headphones were somewhat disappointed in one big technical aspect – the Bluetooth codec support. The headphones support the SBC and AAC codecs, and the lack of support for aptX restricts the rather powerful drivers and tuning.
Finally, we also used the headphones for calls and were impressed with their performance. Call sound was good on both ends, both in quiet and noisy environments. The good passive noise isolation was also useful here to reduce outside noise and to clearly hear the caller's voice.
Shanling is not a very well-known name for most audio buyers, but the brand is highly valued in audiophile circles and by advanced users. The company's first true wireless earbuds are good value for money and are definitely worth considering if you have a budget of under Rs. 10,000. The headphones look decent, sound good, and also have good battery life.
Although the dynamic driver variant is cheaper with Rs. 5,999, we would highly recommend spending Rs. 1,000 more and the variant with a balanced anchor. It's more musical, better tuned, and probably also offers better battery life. Some competing options in this price segment offer better codec support, such as: B. the 1More Stylish True Wireless, and are worth considering due to its similar overall experience.
Price: Rs. 5,999 (dynamic driver), Rs. 6,999 (balanced anchor)
- Looks good
- Comfortable, great passive noise isolation
- Decent battery life
- Balanced anchor drivers are detailed and musical
- Spacious sound stage, impressive sound
- Good call performance
- The dynamic driver variant is not very sophisticated
- No aptX support
Reviews (of 5) – Shanling MTW100 with Balanced Armature Drivers
- Design / comfort: 4
- Audio quality: 4
- Battery life: 4
- Price-performance ratio: 4
- Total: 4
Reviews (of 5) – Shanling MTW100 with dynamic drivers
- Design / comfort: 4
- Audio quality: 3.5
- Battery life: 4
- Price-performance ratio: 3.5
- Overall: 3.5