In today’s reality, True Wireless headphones became consistently popular. Listening to music via Bluetooth is convenient, so music lovers prefer to get rid of all the tangled wires. However, consumers usually opt in favor of TWS earbuds from mass brands, which rarely have a high sound quality and rather are a gadget for everyday use – reliable, multifunctional, but not too musical.
Will you believe me, though, if I say that you can get much more for the same money? Some companies are focused only on the development of audio devices, and many of them have already released their wireless headphones. If you appreciate sound quality, there is no reason to buy TWS from your smartphone manufacturer. You’d be better off looking for some audiophile options. Today I am testing a fresh model – Shanling MTW200. The Shanling Audio brand is considered a leader among Hi-Fi equipment manufacturers. Their players, amplifiers, and headphones are praised by experienced audiophiles. The Shanling MTW200 has become a real top of its lineup. I, personally, really enjoy using them. Additionally, with a budget of up to $ 100, they are probably one of the best choices. Let’s get to the point and find out why these headphones deserve your attention.
Technical Specifications of Shanling MTW200
|Connection type||True Wireless|
|Codec support||SBC, AAC, aptX|
|Wireless distance||10 m.|
|Driver type||10mm diameter dynamic driver with composite diaphragm|
|Frequency range||20 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Microphones||2 in every earbud, supports Qualcomm’s 8th gen CVC (Clear Voice Capture) technology|
|Earbud weight||3,9 g.|
|Case weight||65 g.|
|Battery life||up to 9 hours plus up to 42 hours with the case.|
|Case charging times||4|
|Charging port||USB Type-C|
|Earbuds charging time||1,5 hr|
|Case charging time||1,5 hr|
|Recommended retail price in Ukraine||2 736 UAH (SoundMag)|
What’s in the package?
The first thing we see is a small and sturdy charging case made of zinc alloy. Quite impressive by design, its assembly and glossy surface of a pleasant color create a feeling of a refined and expensive product. The lid is not loose, and closes with a satisfying click, like a Zippo lighter. You can easily open it with one hand. The headphones are kept inside by quality magnets so they won’t get loose and fall out.
The case is really compact and has a fairly flat shape. You can easily carry it in a small pocket. On the other hand, it is quite heavy. Another drawbacks are that there is no wireless charging, there are no separate light indicators of the exact charge level, and if you use large third-party earbud tips Shanling MTW200 will not fit in its case. And, as often, the smooth surface is very delicate, it catches fingerprints and small scratches easily. So if you are a perfectionist, I recommend having a protective silicone case, or at least a cloth bag.
Other usual accessories in the headphone set are a short USB Type-C cord and 4 pairs of silicone tips to choose from.
Design and in-ear comfort
Let’s talk about the look of the MTW200. The cases are made of quality soft-touch plastic, the outer panels have metal inserts with brand logos. There are two color options: gray and silver. The overall design is stylish and neat. But, again, be prepared that the surface of the headphones will collect fingerprints. As for the general built quality, it is at a high level as well, I have no complaints.
It is especially satisfying that, compared to the case, the earbuds themselves are very light. Each one weighs only 3.9 g, you almost forget you are wearing them. The shape with a “leg” is not my favorite, but in this case, I can not complain, they fit very comfortably. Despite the relatively short sound guides, the Shanling MTW200 hold securely in your ears. They do not have ANC, but with the right selection of tips passive sound insulation will be better than average. Although, of course, this is purely individual.
In this category, this model even exceeds its price tag. Apart from the absence of ANC and the transparency mode, it has no other disappointments. They use up-to-date 5.2 Bluetooth with AAC and aptX codecs, as well as a modern Qualcomm QCC3040 chip. Additionally, there is IPX4 entry-level moisture protection. All this provides excellent connection speed, stability, and versatility in different usage scenarios. Using the MTW200 was nice, connection was steady and did not break without reason. You cannot swim with them, however, they provide decent protection from sweat and splashes.
Headphones quickly connect automatically to known devices. There is a delay in playback, but it’s minimal. You can still notice a faint background noise when the music is paused, but only in complete silence. By the way, another useful feature – each earbud can work separately.
You control Shanling MTW200 with touch panels which are extremely sensitive to pressure. I had accidental triggers, so you have to get used to it. However, this sensitivity ensures that you won’t hit the earphone on the “leg” numerous times without it realizing that you need something.
Controls are simple and intuitive, you are unlikely to be confused:
- Single touch on the right – increase the volume, pick up a call;
- Single touch on the left – decrease the volume, pick up a call;
- Long touch to the right – go to the next track;
- Long touch to the left – go to the previous track;
- Double-tap on any headphone – play, pause, hang up;
- Triple touch to any headphone – voice assistant.
Shanling MTW200 sound
Here we come to the main reason why Shanling MTW200 will be a likely choice for music lovers. The sound profile in this model is exciting, it slowly makes you get used to long and pleasant sessions of listening to your favorite recordings. You will get a wider imaginary scene, clarity and detail, warm timbres of instruments, emotionality, and great dynamics so that any track is perceived more vividly and energetic. The absence of bass hum or other muddy mess allows you to appreciate the expression and clearness of the entire range. Of course, the headphones are not studio standard, it’s still TWS, but their softness does not get muted. The presentation is lively, with a good arrangement of accents. Consumer wireless models usually sound much more flat and boring.
The genre or quality of music is not important – Shanling MTW200 have a rather universal sound profile. However, it would be better to use them with devices that support the aptX codec, so you can get a noticeable increase in quality.
The bass in the MTW200 is deep, with a noticeable vibrating impact and increased weight. Bass impact is normally controlled so that earbuds stay in place. The mid frequencies have good detail, and the scene is large and airy. Female vocals are emphasized, lengthy, and emotional, although a bit dry, so if you are sensitive to the spectrum try to test the model before buying. But for most, the sound will be quite comfortable. Treble is clear, fast, slightly decorated, gentle, and ringing. Being a Bluetooth model, the processing of the higher frequencies is surprisingly good, in live genres you can even hear a certain number of overtones. In general, the presentation is natural and smooth, created to entertain, but without a radical loss of informative sound picture.
I can’t say that the Shanling MTW200 turned out to be the perfect headset for talking in the street crowd. The clarity of the voice is surely acceptable, but not perfect. Each headphone has two microphones with Qualcomm cVc 8.0 noise reduction technology. People I called mostly did not complain and didn’t need to ask again, especially when I was talking in a quiet room. However TWS from mass brands usually offer much more clarity when calling, as this is one of their key features. And the main talent of Shanling MTW200 is the charm of musical presentation.
As a result, I would not point out the quality of microphones as a strength of the model, but if you aren’t going to rely on them as the main communicative device, there should be no problems with their use.
Again, here we have a flagship rather than a budget level. The manufacturer says that the Shanling MTW200 lasts up to 9 hours on a single charge, and the case provides the headphones with 4 more full charging cycles. Given its compact size, such charge times are great.
In real life, headphones I had tested kept the charge for about 7 hours. Depending on the volume, this time may change slightly. And this is more than a worthy result, it is literally a record in its class.