Aune M1s 32/384 DSD128 Balanced Portable Music Player

General Information

The M1s is the second generation product of the popular Aune M1 , it adopts an asynchronous clock technology and the latest Cortex-M7 pure hardware solution framework, supporting multiple music formats and DSD hard-ware solution. It is high-end mini high fidelity player with balanced output and continuous playback. Specification Output: Headphone impedance range: 8-600R Headphone output THD + n: 0.00027% Headphone output power: 110mW @ 32Ω BAL output -180W @ 32Ω DNR: 120 dB CCIF: 19KHz + 20KHz 0.00012% @ 32R Noise: 2.52μVrms MAX Level: 1.92Vrms Supported formats: WAV: 16bit︳24bit︳32bit-44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192K/352.8K/384K WAV + CUE FLAC: 16bit︳24bit-44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192K DSD: DSF/DFF/ISO/DSD128 APE: 16bit/44.1K normal level MP3/ALAC/AAC Battery: Continuous playback of more than 10 hours (16bit / 44.1K file / continuous playback) The maximum charge current of the battery is 1.3A, 1.5A or more recommended adapter to achieve the fastest charging effect Interface: 3.5mm headphone jack, 2.5mm balanced headphone jack Screen: 2.4 inch IPS display Media: TF card (up to 128GB, FAT32 format) Font: Simplified Chinese / Traditional Chinese / English / Japanese / 한국 의 Size: 55 × 126 × 14.8 (mm) Weight: 147g Package Includes: 1 x AUNE M1S 1 x USB cable
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Latest reviews

Pros: Very transparent, dynamic and detailed sound. Balanced output, simple & fast user interface. Native DSD support. Sturdy build.
Cons: No sound tweaks / equalizer, no extensive features (like Wi-Fi, USB-DAC), wonky D-pad design
Hi to all fellow Head-Fi'ers!
I am here to write my impressions about Aune's (still) popular high resolution audio player M1S. I should state that the player was provided to me with confidence by Aune free of charge in exchange of my honest opinion.
So I'll try to do my best on that.
It's been quite a while since M1S was released, and I will try to add some comparisons with some recent strong competitors of M1S (like Sony A35 Walkman and Fiio X3 3rd Gen.) as of December 2017.
This is a frequently reviewed player on Head-Fi, so I'll try not to repeat the highly accessible info about M1S (that other reviewers already mentioned); rather I'll focus more on its most highlighted feature :
Sound quality.
But first things first. My setup :

I used M1S with as many headphones and IEM's to reach an overall evaluation of its sound performance. In the listening tests I used Grado HF-1, PS500e, Sony Mdr-1abt, Sony Z1R, Audio Technica MSR-7, Hifiman Edition S, Hifiman RE400 and RE600, 1More Triple Driver, Custom Art Fibae 1 & 2 and Mee Audio Pinnacle P1.
(Due to their bright nature, I first thought that M1S would not sound good with Grado's, yet the only cans in the group that did not match well with M1S had been the Audio Technica MSR-7 and MeeAudio Pinnacle P1 duo. Both presented an overly prevalent treble with M1S. )

Design, Build and Use

Let me go over the design, build, ergonomics and usability briefly.
Aune M1S has an aluminium chassis and it feels quite sturdy. My sample came with two screen protectors. Besides, silicon cases of three colours were added.

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The screen is glass (not plastic) and the side buttons are accessible / usable in pocket.
The 2.5mm balanced and 3.5mm single-ended ports are placed on the bottom (as I prefer), and they seem to be made of high quality.

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I especially liked their grip which prevents easy rotation of headphone jacks and in turn contributing to the durability of them.
The build quality is decent for the price of $249.

One point of criticism I have is about the design of the center buttons. The one in the middle is for play / pause and it has a circular, scroll-like one around it. However, as well as being wonky and making strange sounds during use, this circular button has no scrolling function and is actually a D-pad with four buttons for up-down and left-right.
As well as being an unnecessary complication (and a deceiving one) it degrades the usability of the player in pocket on the go.
I think it would have been simpler and better if Aune design team placed four independent buttons for D-pad.
Concerning use, this is probably the fastest booting DAP I've ever seen. After pressing the on / off button at the right side, it takes like 3 to 4 seconds for you to get to the main menu screen.
Impressive.
Initially after boot, there is a slight lag after pressing the play button until the playback starts, but other than that operation is instant.
The user interface is highly simple (that is also one of the reasons why it is so fast), but it does the job, and it goes well with a minimalist DAP like M1S.
I am also quite happy to say that I've experienced like zero crashes in user interface during three months of use.
Sometimes simplicity is bliss.
Here are the options in the simple the menu of M1S :

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One thing I didn't like about in M1S' menu is the gain switch(ing) of the player.
Aune M1S has 3 levels of gain as low / mid / high, selectable through software from the main menu. That's alright.
However, in case you have sensitive ears and also use sensitive cans (especially low impendance / high sensitivity IEM's), one should be careful when switching gain, since the jump between those gain steps is instant and you can go from "low" to "high" with one press of a button, and that jump in output may be problematic for some.

The output of M1S is not that powerful even in balanced mode (2 x 180mW @ 32 ohm), however it might have been better if Aune implemented a volume limit system when switching gain. (A good example is on Sony WM series Walkmans in which volume is lowered to half when you switch gain.)
I believe Aune can add something like that in the next firmware or in the successor models of M1S.
During use M1S gets quite warm, even in low gain. However, it does not become "hot" and I didn't find that warmth as disturbing even in a hot Turkish summer.
As many have noted, M1S has no equalizer & sound enhancements whatsoever. For modifying the sound of the player (in case of need), there are the three built-in filters of the ES9018K2M DAC.
The filter "FAST" has the most dynamic, airy and extended presentation. However, for the likes of people who may find it a little bit aggressive, there are "SLOW" and "MP" filters which smoothen up the upper frequencies a bit.
I should state that these filters do not alter the base sound of M1S dramatically.
So you should use M1S with a headphone / IEM that would match the sonic characteristic of the player, as it offers virtually no options of altering its sound. I'll talk more about this in the sound section below.
This is one of the primary limitations of this player.

Sound Signature

(Note : I don't have a headphone with balanced 2.5mm plug at the moment, so I made my listening over the standard 3.5 mm jack. I'll update my impressions after I get one. Balanced performance of M1S is highly praised by listeners, so I'm curious.)

- Generally (and very superficially) speaking, two mainstream approaches to the tuning of digital audio players are being followed in the market.
One that is warmer and more fun-oriented (hi Sony and Fiio!) tuning and the other being less colored / more sterile or analytical sounding.
Ibasso DX90 or Hifiman's HM901U can be considered two nice examples of the latter approach.
In terms of sound signature, I might say Aune M1S can be considered closer to the second camp.

The sound M1S produces can be said to be neutral with very little coloration or warmth. Due to that, it is possible that some might find the player as a bit cold sounding.
It has a quite even balance across the spectrum with a little elevation in the treble region.
So it is possible that some may find M1S a tad bit bright due to that peak.
Besides, there is no mid-bass emphasis on the sound of M1s (which is more or less present on many of the DAPs to a degree). Because of that and the slight treble elevation, some may find M1S slightly bass-light (Though I am not one of them).
Other than that, I didn't notice any particular emphasis on any part of base / mid or high frequencies.
M1S has a relatively flat and balanced sound presentation.

Bass
Deep with decent impact, clean and very fast.
Without any exaggeration, I can say that Aune M1S has one of the tightest bass I've ever seen in a portable player.
It hits quite hard and decays in a short time.
I've even been able to get some decent "kick" from my relatively bass-light Grado's.
However, as I've said above, because of the flat-like bass presentation of M1S (that does not show any mid-bass emphasis), it may feel slightly bass-light with some headphones.
I am not very fond of using equalizer, but it would be nice if the player has some bass boost option for ones that seek more prominent bass.
I believe even a rudimentary one (like the very lovely hardware bass equalizer in Fiio X3 1st Gen.) would have added some more value to the player.

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Mids
Very clean and transparent, textured, well separated.
I can easily say that in the transparency department, M1S can rival even some flagship daps that cost more than a grand.
The instruments are placed nicely in the horizontal X-axis creating an enfolding image. I didn't feel any recession or harshness in mids.
Thanks to the decent layering, it was especially enjoyable for me to listen to the keyboards in the back of the vocals and main instruments in pop / rock music records.
Well done, nice job again in here.

Treble
Slightly elevated, airy, extended, dynamic, precise with some sharpness and decent attack (typical for an ESS Sabre ES9018K2M DAC) and interestingly at the same time having some smoothness to it.
Despite having some prevalent treble, I didn't hear any harshness or hotness in the treble presentation of M1S.
In terms of signature, it resembles the one of Ibasso DX90 (which I rate highly in technical capability). They share the same Sabre DAC chip (though DX90 has two of those), yet these two have some differences in presentation.

DX90 has a slight V-shape signature with laid-back mids whereas the mids of M1S are more forward, clearer and more transparent. Apart from that, soundstage of M1S is also wider than that of DX90, producing a more intense and roomy presentation with a more enfolding stereo image.
And strangely (in a beautiful way), M1S has less of the "Sabre glare" in its sound, making it an easier DAP to listen compared to DX90.
Both have very similar treble character, yet DX90 virtually show no smoothness in the upper frequencies, producing a sound more open to cause fatigue due to it's sharp treble.
M1S on the other hand, while retaining the detailed, airy, highly dynamic and precise treble performance of DX90, also has some smoothness to it's sound preventing it from sounding "too aggressive".
Aune engineers must have done some nice tuning here.
Well done.

Soundstage and Imaging
One more strong point for the player.
I should state again that these impressions are from the 3.5 mm single-ended output of the player, but even at that condition, the stage of M1S is excellent for it's price point.
It is wide from left to right, and also it has some depth together with a very decent performance on layering.
Imaging has good accuracy and it is positively affected by the amount of air between the instruments.
The staging of the player is widely said to improve through balanced, and I will update my findings after I get a 2.5 mm balanced cable for my phones.

Power
Shortly : M1S has a moderately powerful amplifier section.
It produces 110 mW @ 32 ohm single-ended, and 180 mW @ 32 ohm through balanced.
M1S would probably drive your phones to a highly satisfactory level provided that they have low impedance & high sensitivity.
But within these numbers, do not expect M1S to feed enough juice for, say a Sennheiser HD6XX.

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Hissing
M1S has a beautiful black background. I wish that I had the chance to try it with some sensitive IEMs, but among the ones I used, M1S presented a pitch-black background. So you can trust its really high SNR ratio in that.
In fact in some cans, I felt that it even introduced less hiss to the recording than the already quite silent, Top-Of-The-Line Sony WM1A which costs $1100.

Battery
I usually reached around 10 hours of use on mixed 16 & 24 bit flac files on mid and high gain. So it lives up to the specs stated by Aune.

Some Comparisons
At the moment, I have Sony A35 and Fiio X3 3rd Gen. in my hands besides Aune M1s. So I gave some A / B listening to these daps.
In terms of sound, the biggest difference between the trio is the sound signature.
M1S is, as I've said before, the less-coloured sounding of the three whereas A35 has slight warmth in its sound, and X3 Mark III is the warmest sounding of the group.
Compared to A35, M1S has more airy and crisp treble, better dynamics, clearer overall sound and a blacker background.
It also offers slightly faster operation, balanced output and thus a more powerful amplifier.
The sound quality of M1S has some edge over that of A35 via single-ended connection, and I assume that the difference would grow bigger in favor of M1S through balanced.
On the other side, A35 has its own strenghts.
It has a very small footprint with a good and a more sophisticated user interface compared to M1S and more than double the battery life on one charge.
And despite being inferior in sound in terms of technical capabilities, A35 presents a slightly more organic timbre than that of M1S, which can also be tailored to one's needs via a nice equalizer and sound enhancements.
A35 can also send wireless signal to Bluetooth devices like headphones, speakers etc.
It is rumoured by some listeners for the newer A45 to be better sounding than A35, and I will post here my findings after I got a Sony A45 Walkman.

Fiio X3 3rd Generation is the latest product coming from Fiio's first digital audio player line of X3 released four years ago. The product was lent to me with confidence by Fiio. So I would like to thank them also from here.
I'll be posting a full review of Fiio X3 Mark III in a short while here on Head-Fi.
X3 3rd Gen. has a pretty more coloured and warmer sound compared to the more neutral and analytical sound of M1S.
In comparison of the two daps both from their 3.5 mm single-ended out, M1S again has the slight edge in terms of technical capabilities, resolution and extension in both ends.
However, X3 III also presents nice staging, detail, separation over a balanced sound signature. Yet, its top end is more smoothened up compared to M1S, which makes X3 an ideal player for long listening sessions.
X3 1st Generation of 2013 was way too polite in the upper registers when it was released, thus it was definitely a non-ideal player for music with high dynamic content (like rock and metal). And I thought that was a flaw.
X3 3rd Gen. that I'm holding in my hands right now still continues that Fiio "politeness" in sound, but I can say that it can also rock when it needs to rock.
What it doesn't have is the aggressive bite and sparkle of M1S in the treble section.
So I think that's a matter of choice.

In terms of user interface, X3 III definitely has many more options (including a working equalizer) to offer than the rudimentary menu of system of M1S. However, accessing these options in X3 III can be a pain sometimes due to the slightly slower operation and button arrangement system of the player.
So the usability of M1S is better than X3 III probably thanks to its simple menu system.

Conclusion

It has been nearly a year after M1S' release in the beginning of 2017.
However, I believe M1S is still a strong competitor for the price of $249, in terms of its sound, balanced out option and fluid usability.
And I think a listener who prefers the less coloured, more neutral and "studio-like" sound signature compared to the warmer and more coloured one would still be delighted by the performance M1S offers.
It has its limitations (and it may not be the most "handsome" player indeed :)), yet as a "music player" it is definitely a credit to the Aune brand.

Good job Aune!
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Pros: Excellent sound quality - detail, stage and resolution
Build quality
Easy UI
Impressive 2.5mm balanced output
Cons: Battery
Very simple UI
Lacks EQ and extra features
Aune M1s – Balance, Detail & Value

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Note: The actual rating should be 4.5/5.

Website: Aune

Full details and specifications can be found here

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Price (MSRP): U$D 250.
Available from Auneaudio store and Venture Electronics (Veclan)


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The Aune M1s unit arrives in a simple hassle free box which includes the basic accessories, a USB to micro-USB cable and a pair of screen protectors. The latest package might include a silicone case too; it can also be purchased separately at the price of ~$10.

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Build quality & Design:


Build quality on the Aune M1s is very solid and feels very durable. The whole chassis is made of a very sturdy and thick aluminum material, 100% CNC type (supposedly). The strong material also makes the M1s a heavy unit that might push the limits of truly portable players. The size is actually comfortable to carry around, being a larger than wider than the similar large DAPs. The finish is plain, discreet and smooth; though still has some edges towards the back panel.

On the front panel there’s the 2.4” screen, which is sharp enough but nothing fancy, just simply a 2 color one (grey/white). Just below are placed the main playback and navigation controls, ‘Home’ on left, ‘Back’ on right and the 4-pad control for ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘left’, ‘right’ and the circle ‘Ok/Enter’ button just in the middle.

On the right side, there are the power button which is also used as screen on/off, and the volume up and down just below. A small reset button in the middle and then the Micro SD slot towards the lower part. Finally, at the bottom part there’re the micro-USB slot for both charging and transferring, and the two output options, 3.5mm for both headphones and lineout and the 2.5mm balanced one. Nothing on the left and upper sides.

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UI, Navigation and Firmware:


Using the M1s player is very simple. Unlike the many portable players from Chinese companies with their complex and sometimes annoying, non-friendly interface, the M1s is so comfortable and easy to use. It actually reminds a lot of the famous little Sandisk Clip Plus for is simplicity and easy going interface. With the Home button it is possible to get back to the main screen with a single click and then back to the playing screen with just pressing it again. The Back button helps to go back to the just previous screen and also to the playing screen if located at the main screen as well. Navigation through menus can be done with the up/down buttons or with the left/right to get to the previous/next page on the whole list which just makes things even faster.


The last firmware 1.06 version is very stable, never frozen or crashed so far. Not the fastest response, but cannot be called slow. On this current 1.06 release it’s possible to setup the playback controls even when the screen is off, which should help in saving the battery usage. It is also possible to select various playback options, including continuous playback to the next folders.

Supposedly, the M1s presents an extra special “sound filter” feature with 3 different tuning options. Unfortunately, it seems to work only with DSD type of files. Moreover, the ‘gapless playback’ doesn’t seem to work with every file type either. And one extra complain would be that the M1s turns off after a few minutes of pausing the music, and it cannot be setup otherwise, and it won’t resume playback when turn on again, but start from the beginning of the last played track.


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PC connectivity and file transferring:


There is no internal memory on the M1s and the whole file handling is made via the micro SD card. When off and connected to the PC the player is immediately recognized as an extra memory unit (the micro SD card). Even the system upgrade is made by simply adding the firmware file to the card and then selecting the upgrade option on the player settings.


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Battery, Hiss:


Battery life is rated around the 10 hours, which seems fairly accurate, but mainly when used on lower volume with easier to drive earphones. The M1s is a quiet DAP No hiss was noticed even with most sensitive in-ear sets (including Custom IEM), and even from the balanced output, which is slightly louder.








Volume & Power:


The volume steps go from 0 to 100. The player also features 3 gain levels, low, mid and high, that would give even a higher scale when needed for more demanding sets. There is also an interesting fact with the current 1.06 firmware version that wasn’t in the previous two; it’s possible to choose between two upgrade files, “less aggressive” and “more aggressive” volume curve, which basically mean a slower or faster volume gain between each step. Might be a useful feature depending on the headphone in use.

As for the driving power of this Aune DAP, it can handle higher impedance stuff pretty well; the VE Zen 2.0 was no challenge here, and even both Sennheiser HD600 and HD650 could be driven to a fairly effortless level, though I’d personally still recommend a decent extra amplifier for these open-back cans. The HD25 II, on the other hand, sound fantastically nice out of the M1s, a pair that usually asks for some portable amplification at least.




Sound impressions


Technically, the sound quality out of the M1s is superb for its price. From lows to mids and up to the upper treble the M1s doesn’t stop to amaze with its fantastic level of detail, speed, accuracy and excellent dynamics. Be it a low budget earphone or a more expensive model, the M1s manages to surprise with its high gain in pure overall sound quality. Starting from the low-end it offers great depth and effortless extension down to sub-bass with a high control and accuracy that goes up to mid and upper bass notes, sounding very clean and noticeable taking down the extra mid-bass bloat out of warmer or bassier sets. It is faster and maybe a bit softer in impact, but the more aggressive nature of the DAP doesn’t sound missing in fullness and note weight. Yet, the most noticed improvements are in the speed and dynamics; listening to hybrid type IEMs is much easier out of the Aune as it tends to improve the typical (if any) drivers type incoherence issues bringing better harmony.


The midrange gets even more interesting. The clarity and detail are simply outstanding, and resolution is boosted up by a high margin. Nonetheless, the M1s still manages to maintain a delicate and more refined presentation. The instruments’ separation is excellent with better dynamics and positioning. The midrange still remains neutral, uncolored and flatter all the way up to the lower treble, while sounding simply more liquid and transparent. Voices also gain more detail, however the tonality of the DAP is slightly to the colder side of things, and thus the sweet and warmness can be missing with more mid-centered sets.


The highs gain a stronger emphasis which starts from upper mids to the whole treble itself. As such, the M1s does rate under the “bright” sounding DAPs. There is definitely extra energy and more sparkle with most of the earphones or headphones tried through the M1s, however the treble control and definition is very good, and rarely sounded harsh or more sibilant. There were some exceptions, mostly with more V-shaped sets, such as the Fiio EX1 or RHA MA750 where the sound got even more fatiguing than usual, but not annoying with other bright IEMs like the VE Duke or Sennheiser HD600 over-ear. Treble extension is superb and even more noticed than the bass extension which is already good.

The presentation is ample and the M1s is very resolving but also revealing like trying to present a more analytical sound with a very wide stage with more than average depth. The stage dimensions are not overly vast but very impressive for the price, and definitely surpass even more expensive portable players. Clarity is top notch and even the smallest the micro details are so easy to perceive. As mentioned, the tonality is more towards the cooler side, and while very liquid and dynamic, the M1s is less organic sounding than the PAW5000 or the X5 2nd Gen.. The PAW5000 wins in midrange richness and mainly in the vocals presentation with a smooth and sweeter texture. The X5, on the other hand, gives some extra weight to instruments and sound has a bit more 3D surrounding effect. They both sound ‘more musical’ than the M1s (at least in Single output), but even though, none of these pricier DAPs can match the micro detail and stage out of the Aune.





The Balanced Output



Switching to the balanced 2.5mm output on the Aune M1s brings out a very strong improvement on the whole sound quality and presentation. Basically, it starts from just getting technically better in every single aspect from extension on both ends to pure quality in each frequency with a higher refinement on the overall sound. Nonetheless, they were very good examples of what the balanced mode is capable of. While the level of detail on the single output was already impressive for this M1s player price, it simply gets even more amazing as it goes “balanced”. It may be considered even more analytical in its ability of showing every single micro detail in a much effortless way with better control, and despite being even brighter in tonality it’s still more forgiving, more delicate and resolving. The gain in dynamics is impressive as well and the higher speed and layering makes it sound even more musical in a certain way. The bass is noticeable softer in impact but tighter and better textured. The midrange feels slightly more forward but it’s more about the more open and airy sound. As expected, the right and left separation is better defined giving a wider stage effect with a more accurate image. It is also worth mentioning that the volume is higher on the balanced mode, but yet with a darker and cleaner background even from the more sensitive CIEMs. Compared to the PAW5000 2.5mm balanced output the differences are strong. The Lotoo didn’t showed much improvement on the balanced form. On a brief audition of the newest Fiio X5 3rd gen, while the balanced gain is better than with the PAW5000, it still doesn’t reach the same level of the M1s. It could be considered a pretty much flawless sound if you can get the right setup for it.



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Summary


The Aune M1s is a very impressive addition to the portable audio market. While the main contenders keep adding new features like touch colorful screens, wireless Bluetooth playback, DAC option and more, the M1s has skipped all of that and simply focus on giving the best sound quality for the money. The build quality is very strong and the interface, while too simple, is very easy to handle. The firmware is very stable as well, though there’re certain features that should be fixed like the power-off timing and the gapless playback. The battery too, could still be better when compared to other players that can last around 15 hours and more on a single charge, and like the rest of the Aune players there’re no EQ options. Yet, the best part of the Aune M1s is the balanced output which rises its sound quality even much higher and gives a much better value as a simple portable player.

Pros: Sound quality
Cons: missing some frills like album art and EQ.
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AUNE M1S

Disclaimer

· AUNE provided me with a test unit to review and provide feedback on firmware updates. I want to start off by thanking them for their kindness and for this wonderful DAP that has increased my music listening enjoyment dramatically. I feel like a proud dad showing pictures of my M1s, haha.


Specs:

(from Penon’s site)


Output:

· Headphone impedance range: 8-600R

· Headphone output THD + n: 0.00027%

· Headphone output power: 110mW @ 32Ω BAL output -180W @ 32Ω

· DNR: 120 dB

· CCIF: 19KHz + 20KHz 0.00012% @ 32R

· Noise: 2.52μVrms

· MAX Level: 1.92Vrms

Supported formats:

· WAV: 16bit︳24bit︳32bit-44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192K/352.8K/384K WAV + CUE

· FLAC: 16bit︳24bit-44.1K/48K/88.2K/96K/176.4K/192K

· DSD: DSF/DFF/ISO/DSD128

· APE: 16bit/44.1K normal level

· MP3/ALAC/AAC

Battery:

· Continuous playback of more than 10 hours (16bit / 44.1K file / continuous playback)

· The maximum charge current of the battery is 1.3A, 1.5A or more recommended adapter to achieve the fastest charging effect

· Interface: 3.5mm headphone jack, 2.5mm balanced headphone jack

· Screen: 2.4 inch IPS display

· Media: TF card (up to 128GB, FAT32 format)

· Font: Simplified Chinese / Traditional Chinese / English / Japanese / 한국 의

· Size: 55 × 126 × 14.8 (mm)

· Weight: 147g


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Design:

·The design of the M1S is beautiful. Looking through pictures it's hard not to fall in love with the look but the hand feel is even better. I switched to this from xduoo x3 so it was similar. Hahahaha, ok it's kind of wrong to compare the two. The M1S is much more thoughtful and really gives the user an easy to hold and navigate experience. It fits really well in pockets and is very lightweight. It is a little slippery without the silicon case. I use the grey case as it matches it perfectly but there is also blue and red if that matches your stuff better. It has two outputs one balanced 2.5mm and a 3.5mm. Both can be used as a true line out at 2v. The one area I will say that AUNE missed a wonderful chance to allow for USB DAC function. Sadly this is not even possible with the way the hardware is set up. It is not what they were going for though; they wanted to make the purest high quality experience that everyone can afford. At the end of the day steaming music is not important because if you truly love a song you own it and it’s in your collection.


A video over look:



Firmware/UI:

·The UI is extremely simple. No pictures just the basics, not even an EQ. The reality is that this DAP is for purists. The settings are basic which is a good thing. There are 3 filters Slow, Medium and Fast. I find that Medium is perfect for me, just the right amount. There is also the option for 3 gain settings. The unit is very powerful on high gain and can play my notorious Havi B3’s well on its own. For those not familiar, the Havi is ridiculously picky about sources. When you want dial in some nice IEM’s I find the low setting to be awesome.

Sound:

· The sound of the M1S is clear and coherent. It is very neutral it can play everything up to DSD128. The 2.5mm output is new to me and I had to buy earphones just to use it. I tried balanced Monk Plus, Asura 2 and Zen 2. Let me say this now if anyone is thinking it, I am a Venture Electronics fan. Lol. Ok back to what I was saying, the balanced output is slightly more powerful than the internal amps on the 3.5mm port. Dynamics and separation were increased as well using the balanced port. I even felt the Zen was useable without an amp. With that being said the Line out to amp is ridiculously good. I have a special edition RA plus from VE. That truly lets the Zen shine. The sound is excellent but it comes down to sound signature when one is looking for a DAP and this wallet friendly unit is as close to neutral as I have ever experienced. You can take my word for but there are many users sharing their positive thoughts.

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Accessories:

· It comes with 3 silicon cases, a screen protector and a USB cable. There is also a screen protector included. It feels very safe with the combo. Also, while the unit is off you can transfer to the SD card inside.

Conclusion:

· If you looking for a straight up high quality DAP that is focused on music It's a no brainer to pick this up. I carry it with my daily with my 2.5mm balanced monk plus. Everything has been collecting dust in my collection because the M1s is so easy to carry.

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Comments

Sadly the player has a limitation of 10.000 playable files, so with an 128GB sdcard, 10.000 mp3 files i my case need only 80GB.
Hope it will be solved i a firmware update.
 
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