Shanling MTW300 is a new single dynamic driver TWS featuring BT5.2, IPX7, aptX decoding, and up to 35 hours of battery life. It is priced at $129
Disclaimer: The Shanling MTW300 sent to us is a sample in exchange for our honest opinion in this review. We thank the team at Shanling for giving us this opportunity.
To read more about Shanling products we have reviewed on Headfonics click here.
Note, this 3-page review follows our new scoring guidelines for 2021 which you can read up on here.
The MTW300 might not be the best sounding device out there, or the worst either. Neither do they offer a full app but make up for it with earbuds that are comfortable enough to sleep with them on, a cradle with heavy-duty construction, good battery life, and a well-tuned touch control system.
It seems the TWS segment is releasing dozens of new models every month and the segment is getting harder to keep up with. The TWS segment is growing fast and everyone wants a piece of the pie, consumers, and manufacturers alike.
Shanling now makes three sets of TWS models; from the bottom tier up, the line starts with the MTW100, and the next model after that is the MTW200. Looking at those model numbers you could almost blindly guess what the next model number up will be. The Shanling MTW300 of course.
The Shanling MTW300 is a rather standout TWS model in today’s market with a somewhat unique design. It seems like the MTW300 was created with a focus on comfort, ergonomics, and construction quality.
The Shanling MTW300 uses a tri-core-based Qualcomm QCC3040 SOC which has quietly become the QCC3020 replacement and does offer some improvements over the previous 3020 chip. The obvious improvement is the step up to Bluetooth 5.2 which has improved protocols and some power consumption improvements.
These power improvements have some bilateral benefits. The Qualcomm QCC3040 boasts not only lower power consumption but it seems amplification is better with a dual-mode design that can operate in either class D or class A/B.
The 99.3dB rated class D amplifier section has decent enough to power most single dynamic drivers just fine. The chip also has a higher 101 DBA rated class A/B amp section.
Inside each earbud is a single 6 mm driver which is a newly designed dynamic driver with a carbon nanotube diaphragm that operates in full range mode.
Codecs on the MTW300 are the most commonly used including, AAC, SBC, and aptX giving the Shanling MTW300 TWS set decent compatibility.
I must say this is the second TWS model I reviewed that employs the QCC3040 and for some reason, it registers on my phone as having an aptX HD signal. The thing is there is no mention of this anywhere in either Shanling’s literature or Qualcomm specifications.
Perhaps it’s just detecting the 24bit audio interface that the QCC3040 runs off and interprets it as being an HD signal. I am not sure what is happening here. I speculated the chip uses adaptive aptX, perhaps that’s it.
The Shanling MTW300 TWS has a rather unique short stem earbud design similar to their MTW100 model but unlike their other sibling the MTW200 which has a long stem design. These IPX 7 rated earbuds are rather small and light and each earbud weighs a barely noticeable 4.8g which Shanling claims is less than the weight of a sheet of paper.
Construction-wise, the shells are made of silicon which translates into skin-friendly and I personally did not feel any irritation when using them. All the inner surfaces are rounded, have no sharp edges and the shape itself is fairly ergonomic which is very comfortable and easy on the ear.
Another aspect I like about these earbuds is the size of their LEDs which are small enough not to be annoyingly bright but still remain visible enough to not have to strain your eyes and the LEDs strike a good level of balance of soft illumination with good visibility.
The charging cradle was designed from a different and opposite viewpoint of the earbud design which was made to be light and small. The weight actually seems off proportionate with the size of this cradle.
Yes, the round lava rock style cradle is small indeed, but the weight is up the scale at 89 grams mostly because of the all-metal construction. Construction is hefty, to say the least.
The cradle is a chunk of metal on the outside with a plastic internal finish. Sections like the inside part where the earbuds sit inside the cradle are made of plastic. Three LEDs on the inside lip indicate charging but I found that to be counterintuitive for the simple fact that they are inside and not visible while the cover is shut.
I applaud companies that are honest with their specifications and give high praise to those who are modest with their specifications and Shanling seems to be very honest with their specs.
Shanling claims the MTW300 TWS battery life specifications as 10 hours on each earbud fully charged and 35 hours total time and note that you get 3 full charges from a fully charged charging cradle.
Well, I got a little over 9 hours and got 3.5 full charges off the cradle from my particular unit. Both are just a hair below the manufacturer’s claim which compared to other TWS models is still not bad at all.
A full set of controls were programed into the touch control system on the Shanling MTW300. All the important functions are accessible through a combination of touch-control commands.
Volume up and down has been implemented on this set and I have an understanding this was a concern to some buyers. Voice command, pick up and hang up, previous and next track functions all work.
I did have to get used to the pickup pattern because they seem to have a touch delay. To explain, volume for example is done by a single tap but it’s more like a tap and holds for a split second which is fine.
Once you get used to the controls, you get a good sense of security far as knowing the touch command will work. It seems well tweaked, intuitive and the touch controls work well.
Comfort & Isolation
I could wear these little guys for hours. I’ll elaborate on that because the Shanling MTW300 earbuds must have been purposefully designed to be small, unobtrusive, low profile, and comfortable.
It seems the engineers and designers worked extra time to get these earbuds down to a very small size without compromising any area I could think of or see on the surface.
On another note, this is another TWS model that employs the Qualcomm QCC3040 SOC chip which is stated to have ANC capability but this set only uses noise reduction on the microphone system and offers no type whatsoever of ANC external noise suppression.
Passively they do well but just keep that in mind because I know that is a particular feature most people look for in a TWS and this set just does not have it.
You have probably seen dozens of tips, of all types, maybe hundreds or even thousands of IEM tips right? But have you ever seen baby tips?
Shanling included a pair of what I have to say is a set of the smallest tips I have ever seen. Shanling I guess includes tips for the entire family, everyone from dad to the two-year-old toddler. They seem to be less than half the size of an average small-sized tip, seriously.
These earbuds will accept other tips but to my demise, I found the earbuds would no longer fit inside the cradle. So be careful in investing in some aftermarket tips for the MTW300 to find out you have to remove them every time they go back in the cradle. So, you might have to stick with stock tips.
Packaging & Accessories
Packaging is rather simple and it all comes inside a well-laminated box with all the contents nestled inside a foam mold. Once you open the magnetic flap you will see the cradle and the two earbuds displayed within the foam mold.
A USB charging wire is included along with a small owner’s manual. My favorite accessory is the optional cradle cover which is made of rubber and I’m certain the cradle will last a long time with it on. It seems thick enough rubber to withstand some punishment plus absorb the impact of a drop for example
The tip selection count is an okay seven pairs but there are only one type and they are all silicon tips. I found a size that fits my ears just fine and I’m pretty sure you will too.
Click on page 2 for sound impressions and select comparisons