Shanling MW200 IEM Bluetooth Neckband

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by purr1n, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Many many years ago, @zerodeefex pieced together a solution to run his IEMs via Bluetooth / LDAC for devices that supported Android O. This solution consisted of the Sony "XBA Series Bluetooth Upgrade" or MUC-M2BT1 (probably not availability in North America) and a few wire hooks. Fast forward a few years, and Shanling has made this solution easy for us with their MW200 IEM Bluetooth doodad.

    PXL_20210125_184430989.jpg
    The MW200 cables are terminated for use with MMCX micro coaxial IEMs. There is no need to purchase over the ear hooks are these are built into the cable. I guess the downside is if one uses IEMs where the cables drop down. An AKM DAC/amp chip deal feeds the IEMs. I have only have a chance to try the MW200 with Campfire IEMs, known for their super sensitivity. I can happily report that I do not hear any hiss or noise. BTW, the price is a stupid low $120.

    If I had any complaints, it would have been the manual. It was printed in one of those 2" fold outs. As such, the text was too small for anyone in my family to read, with the exception of my son who is 12 years old and has perfect vision. Not that it mattered anyway as the device was easy enough to figure out without reading the manual. Basically press the power button a few seconds to turn on, or turn off. I've paired the MW200 with a laptop, my Pixel 2, iPhone 8, and Shanling M8 portable player - all without a single hitch. Everything just worked perfectly.

    Note that charging is with a USB C connector. However, I found the high-power USB connectors provided with the Android phones (USB C both ends) unable to charge the MW200. A USB charger with USB B connector on the power brick end was required.

    I've added the scanned instructions below for convenience.
    page1.jpg page2.jpg
     
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  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    There's been much discussion about the LDAC protocol since it's come out. How close is it to lossless, or compared to older Bluetooth CODECs such as AptX or AAC. Well, Shanling provides a little app that lets us find out, provided our Bluetooth devices will support the CODECs. This knowing that there are limitations with such a tiny ultraportable neckband (I will offer comparisons of the MW200 to the Shanling M6 portable player wired balanced output with the Campfire Audio Ara.

    The Shanling Controller App lets us do quite a few things such as EQ or even select the digital filter. However, one cool feature is the ability to select the CODEC.
    Screenshot_20210125-151306.jpg

    Screenshot_20210125-122750.jpg
     
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  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'll get straight to the point without any fluff: LDAC is not bad, actually pretty good, and something I could live with. The Campfire Audio Ara IEMs via LDAC sounded the same to me from both the Pixel 2 and M6 (as it should). However, LDAC (from MW200) does not sound as good as the balanced output from the M6 player. This was no surprise. The hardwired output sounded a little bit more dynamic, more resolving, and had quite a bit more air. I will try to take some measurements to confirm. The overall presentation and tonality is actually very similar to that of the Shanling M6. Still, LDAC was pretty damn good - more than good enough.

    Being curious, I downgraded to aptX-HD. Yuck. The sound was warmer, smeared, and smoothed over. Use aptX if you want to simulate warmpoo tube amps and want to avoid any hint of grain, even if the grain is part of the recording. AAC I tried too. It's even worse.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
  4. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    OH SHIT! Someone made it actually decent out of the box.

    @purr1n the big question though is HOW IS THE MIC QUALITY? Can we use this in a zoom/google meet/teams call world?
     
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  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'll Zoom with @YMO during our next meeting. Will switch between this thing and laptop mic. The MW200 has one of them Knowles mics in them.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Did a few recordings. It sounds fine. The Dell laptop micarray sounds higher fidelity, clearer, less muffled, more extended response, but also picks up a lot of background noise. I don't know where or how the MW200 microphones are oriented, but it cuts out background noise very well. For voice it's fine. Bandwidth limited, a bit dead on the transients, no ultimate plankton - but clear. I don't know if it's good enough for YT videos, but then again, many of those YT video people have awesome microphone setups. I'm being nitpicky (I don't think Blue Yeti Large Diaphragm USB stuff sounds all that great either - it's OK).
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  7. YMO

    YMO it's not drinking alone if you're on Zoom

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    LMK best times for you on the weekend.
     
  8. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    I haven't used my MUC in ages, but these features look nice (like not having to go into the Dev settings to select LDAC every time).

    How is the material on the neckband part? My MUC is starting to get sticky, as a lot of rubbery plastics do after aging.

    Sorry, OT. Are those status icons for a McD's app?
     
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  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    The neckband part is rubbery plastic. No idea if they will get sticky and gross like the rubbery plastic on my OG Monster Beats. Maybe @Bina can advise?

    Yes, McD's deals, for when I used to live in CA. I now go to this place:
    chick.jpg

    They have zero tolerance zero mask policy. As in no masks. :p I'm pretty sure the burning hot chicken direct from the fryer kills the virus.
     
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  10. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Bullshit, I know you're a double masker like me now.
     
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  11. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    Thanks for review on MW200.

    USB-C chargers - Yes, seems there is some issue in our charging circuit that doesn't work correctly with the now spreading PD chargers. Same for our UP2/UP4.

    Manual - I will check with out IT to add PDF manual to our download section.

    Neckband over time - MW200 are on market for 5 months and so far we are not seeing issues with the material getting sticky.
     
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  12. Panohm

    Panohm Friend

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    I heard mention of a two-pin version, which is what i've been looking for for a while, however I can't find any retailers online selling the two-pin version, is this still being rolled out or made to order?
     
  13. Bina

    Bina MOT - Shanling

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    For example HifiGo is selling them now: https://hifigo.com/products/shanlin...cx-earphone-cable?_pos=4&_sid=06af303e2&_ss=r

    With international distributors, it can sometimes take a little bit longer to get it in stock. You can send them email and ask if they have it coming or if they can order one for you.
     
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