FiiO M11

General Information

The M11 was released on FiiO 2019 Spring Launch Event on March 16th, 2019, featuring the following:

A. Industrial Design: All linear design + Bezel-less design + 18 : 9丨720P touch screen + Double-sided glass design + High-tech carbon fiber texture + Three-dimensional textured golden wheel + Healing your allodoxaphobia + The beauty of the sand-blasted technology + Concealed micro SD card design

B. Hardware Configuration: Samsung Exynos 7872 six-core processor chip + 3GB RAM + Dual high-performance DAC chips AK4493 + Self-improved FPGA + True balance audio circuit architecture

C. Features: ALL TO DSD + Capable of decoding iSO tracks in DST codec + Two modes of quick charging--QC2.0+MTK PE + Compatible with PD2.0 charger + 13 hours continuous playback + 50 days deep sleep +Two-way Type-C interface + Asynchronous USB DAC + USB Audio output + SPDIF output + Two-way LDAC Bluetooth + Dual-band 2.4G/5G WiFi

D. Software and UI: Deeply Customized Open Android7.0 OS + Why Android? + Better user experience app + FiiO Link + HiFi wireless to your iPhone + WiFi file transfer + All-new dynamic EQ + Double-click to awake the screen + Touch screen gestures

E. Accessories: Provided with TPU clear case + Tempered glass screen protector

M11-.jpg

Latest reviews

Pros: + Build Quality
+ Streaming / Bluetooth / Wifi Connection stability and reliability
+ Dynamics
+ Wide stage
+ Fluid OS
Cons: - Sparkly treble doesn't pair well with bright IEMs
- Not a lot of driving power for heavy cans
The partabile - FiiO M11 DAP Player Review

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Priced at about 420 USD, FiiO M11 is the next DAP from FiiO, made to compete fiercely in the midrange DAP market, having iBasso DX160, Hiby R6 and FiiO's own X5-3 as direct competitors. This being said, M11 comes with Roon, Tidal and full streaming support, so this will be a rather interesting review, seeing how it stacks when put against competitors worthy of being the best in the market as well.



Introduction

FiiO is quite an unibliquos name by now, and they are known for making some of the most revolutionary changes to the audio market by now, having released some really interesting products throughout the time, including their FiiO X5-3, FiiO M5/M6 as well as FiiO EH3 NC Headphones recently. They were also the ones who opened the headphone and portable market in many parts of the world, including Romania, as after they entered, there have been more and more people passionate about this hobby and about music around those places. This being said, when purchasing FiiO, it is best to purchase locally to get the best support from your local seller, as FiiO is a large company from China now, and it will be much faster to get all issues solved if relying on your local representative rather than relying on FiiO's HQ in China, as you'll also have shipping to consider if you'll be purchasing directly from them. FiiO products are generally reliable and you shouldn't expect to require warranty, but if you do, usually the local agents will replace your product on spot with a new boxed one.

It should be noted that I have no affiliation with FiiO, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I'd like to thank FiiO for providing the sample for the review. This review reflects my personal experience with FiiO M11. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in FiiO M11 find their next music companion.



About me

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/about.html



What to look in when purchasing a high-end DAP

https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/p/what-to-lookl.html



Build Quality/Aesthetics/UI/Firmware

The build quality and style of FiiO M11 is considerably more similar to that of FiiO X5-3 than something like FiiO M6, which was much more rounded and smooth, more ergonomic, compared to X5-3, which also came in a more angular and industrial design. This being said, the DAP is made of glass, both on the front, on the display, and in the back, the frame is made of metal, the jacks are at the bottom, with a Type-C USB Jack, a Single Ended, and two Balanced output ports, and with the power button at the top.

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There is also a volume wheel on the right side of the DAP, and there are navigation buttons right beneath the volume wheel. Single-handed and blind browsing your playlist are both easy and natural, with the volume wheel having a clicky feeling, and the clicks actually corresponding to one increment in the volume.

The good doesn't stop here, as there are two microSD slots, each supporting up to 4TB microSD cards, resulting in a huge storage. For those who encountered issues with slot #1, FiiO has posted a few firmware updates that should fix those entirely, and both slots should be working perfectly now.

The firmware is an Android 7.0, and it is supported by a Samsung Exynos 7872 CPU, along with 3 GB of RAM, enough for you to swap between music apps and between activities on your FiiO M11. FiiO decided to include QC, or quick charge with their M11, which makes its battery life of about 12-13 real hours pretty great. The DAC is a dual AK 4493, paired with a custom version of the OPA926, designed for a true Balanced path.

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FiiO M11 has support for all the current Bluetooth codecs, including LDAC and APT-X HD LL, along with Airplay and full ROON / Tidal support. Now that I have a chance to mention this, FiiO DAPs seem to be the only ones where using Roon with the DAP works well enough for the DAP to control ROON via its hardware buttons, so applause to FiiO for this rather awesome feature. FiiO Link and DLNA are also included with M11, leaving nothing to be desired when it comes to the ways you can enjoy this little DAP.

Of course, with the large 5.15" bright IPS Display, which is fully readable in full sunlight, and which also has beautiful vibrant colors, you can easily watch movies or play games as well, and FiiO M11 won't lag one bit, and without the whitelist app policy, as now the DAP runs a full fledged version of Android, you will have the closest thing to a smartphone that has a really amazing sonic output.

A little feature that many probably won't notice at first is Wifi Music Transfer, which enables you to transfer your music using FiiO's music app, from either your PC or your mobile phone to your M11. The speed isn't quite as fast as using a Type-C USB cable, but it still works really nicely for when you don't want to bother.

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Speaking of the Wifi support and data rates, M11 is actually the fastest DAP I have tested currently, beating even other flagships in terms of how stable its Wifi connection is. This stays the same for Bluetooth and I can surely say, after testing, that it is even more stable than my smartphones, making M11 a really proper DAP if you rely a lot on Streaming and bluetooth.

There's nothing left to be desired for with M11, and I can say it satisfies everyone regardless of the typical usage scenarios.



Sound Quality

The general tuning of M11 is towards a more safe, more balanced overall sound, with good bass depth, but with a more wooly and soft texture, the midrange is softer and lacks grain, but still manages to have good speed, with the treble being a bit on the harder side, with good extension and more sparkle than what I'd call dead neutral. This means that M11 pairs best with meatier, heavier, warmer and thicker sounding IEMs and Headphones, and pairs less well with bright or dead neutral IEMs. FiiO FH5 makes a really good pairing, and so does FiiO FA7, but not FiiO FH7.

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The bass is what you would look for if you were a moderate to slightly heavier music lover, the kind that drops the hits a bit heavier and has a meatier feeling to it than say, a dead neutral source. This also means that the sub bass is a bit lower in quantity than the mid and the upper bass, which makes it more of a safe tuning, as having high amounts of sub-bass may throw some off, especially if the IEMs or headphones connected to it wouldn't keep up. On the other hand, this also gives some weight to each musical note, making listening to classical and orchestral music really enjoyable with M11.

The midrange is what I would call soft and grain-free with good detail and impressive soundstage width, also presenting good speed. The only downside if you could call it that way, would be that it also has softer textures than what would typically be dead-neutral, so it compliments music that you want to sound softer more than music that you'd want to sound hard. For example, a quiet classical piece would be better complimented that a hard bass song would be.

The treble is well extended and a touch bright, at least compared to what would be dead neutral, so most warmer and thicker sounding IEMs are complimented as well more than bright and cold sounding IEMs and headphones. The treble has a good amount of detail and comes through as slightly soft in textures, but the extra sparkle makes M11 pair much better with warmer and thicker sounding IEMs rather than colder ones.

As for the Balanced outputs, this is one of the first times that I noticed the tuning to be slightly different on Balanced, with no noise and no hissing on either outputs, but with the Balanced sounding smoother, warmer, cleaner, more dynamic and more punchy on an overall level. The treble could be said to be more tame and less sparkly on the balanced output. Speaking of the dynamics and punchiness, the single ended output is also pretty dynamic and punchy, although the soundstage is more wide than it is deep. The stage is pretty holographic as well.



Portable Usage

In terms of portability, M11 is pretty portable, with a good battery life, it will stay on for about 12 hours, more than most people will ever need. Of course, this is while just playing music, if you want to turn on the Wifi or even play some games, this time will lower a bit. With Wifi turned on at all times, and playing FLAC files at loud volumes, combined with some TIDAL streaming, I could get about 10 hours of battery life, more than most DAPs in Today's market were able to do. Furthermore, M11 comes with Quick charge and it will replenish its battery life in about two hours, and it will be ready to go again.

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The ergonomics are also pretty much excellent, with good pocketed usage, good blind navigation, good support from FiiO's own music app, as well as other music apps on PlayStore having good randomization algorithms, and since M11 is a full fledged Android DAP, you won't feel like you're missing on anything other apps might had had, like for example, you will also have access to Viper and other effects.

The last part about the portable usage is about matching M11 with hard-to-drive headphones as well as matching it with IEMs. With IEMs, I noticed no hissing and no noise with Campfire Atlas, as well as FiiO FH7, so there have been no issues in enjoying M11. With larger headphones, I have been able to drive Ultrasone Signature DXP, Grado SR80e, as well as Kennerton Thror with M11, but I would say that for harder to drive planars, like Audeze LCD-2C, you will do okay with M11 only if you listen at more moderate volumes. This being said, other planars, like Rosson RAD-0 presented no issue for M11.



Select Pairings

For the pairing part of this review, I have chosen FiiO FH7, FiiO FA7, and FiiO EH3NC. This may sound a bit odd, since I'm going for all-FiiO setups, but I found it to be quite relevant to show what FiiO purposed for us when designing M11 together with their IEMs and Headphones.

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FiiO M11 + FiiO FA7 - With FiiO FA7, M11 really sings, making them more even, and more balanced, and giving them a better overall treble sparkle, making them from a one trick pony, that has a good trick up its sleeve, as I called them in my review, into a more balanced, more pleasing experience that sounds good with a wider selection of music styles. There is no hiss, and no noise, and they sound more detailed and more revealing than when paired with a fully warm source as well.

FiiO M11 + FiiO FH7 - With FiiO FH7, the pairing is not quite as good as with FA7, because FH7 is already a touch cold and bright, making the pairing a bit cold and brittle, but still with excellent detail and a wide soundstage, incredible instrument separation, and a great overall experience. This being said, FH7 is better paired with a warmer, more laid-back DAP, that is smoother, if you don't like a sparkly treble, like FiiO's own X5-3.

FiiO M11 + FiiO EH3NC - Now, FiiO just released a headphone, and it has a nice price point, of just 200 USD, and they come with Bluetooth, and Noise Cancelling, being one of the headphones with the best price / performance ratios out there. This being said, the headphones sound much better without the noise cancelling engaged, but M11 was able to show a very good bluetooth range and signal stability, and the overall sound was actually great when driving them on the wire, because EH3 are quite warm and commercial / fun tuned, and M11 made them more balanced, more revealing and more enjoyable.



Comparisons

The main competitors and comparison DAPs for M11 are FiiO X5-3, or 3rd generation, iBasso DX160, and Hiby R6. All of those are in a similar price segment as FiiO M11, and all of them are interesting to look at when considering getting a FiiO M11.

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FiiO M11 vs FiiO X5-3 - FiiO against FiiO, but a few years later. Given the fact that X5-3 has been on the market for a while now, and that it was also really well received at the launch, this is a very pertinent comparison. X5-3 has a much more limited android interface, with a less capable CPU and with less RAM, but it also had a good display. The sonics of X5-3 were much warmer, smoother, more tame in the treble, and thicker than M11, that you'd think FiiO changed the people who designed the sound and signature of their DAPs. In fact, M11 sounds much closer to the flagship X7mkii in its original configuration, with AM01, rather than X5-3. I also like how FiiO improved the Bluetooth and the Wifi modules with each generation, now M11 being in line with your midrange smartphone, greatly improving on their previous releases.

FiiO M11 vs iBasso DX160 - Comparing these two is probably going to be the most asked question for the following few months, if not year(s). It is understood that most people who will be looking into an upper midrange DAP will be considering either DX160 or M11 as their next companion, and well, it will all come down to what is the most important aspect in a DAP for you. The two companies made sure to refine their products in such a way that they are as competitive as possible, so both have similar abilities and both have excellent hardware, so instead of mentioning what both have, I'll focus more on the differences. Here, we start with the output power, which is higher on DX160, and it has a more dynamic and punchy sound. This being said, M11 sounds wider and brighter, with more top end sparkle. The wifi and bluetooth connection power and stability are both better on M11, and quite a bit better I would say. The default software is rock stable on both DAPs, and both are pretty much Android devices with unlimited abilities. I think that DX160 is slightly more ergonomic thanks to its shape and design, but I like the volume wheels on both. If you plan on using a lot of bluetooth headphones and a lot of wifi and Tidal and such, M11 may be the better option, while if you want the more driving power, and the more natural, punchy and dynamic sound, DX160 should be your choice.

FiiO M11 vs Hiby R6 - It has been quite a while since R6 has been released, compared to M11 which is a totally new DAP, but R6 has been quite loved at the moment of its release, and although it was released at a higher price than M11, it is similar in price to M11 at the moment of writing this review. This being said, the DAPs are quite different, and although at that moment R6 was one of the best DAPs in terms of CPU and RAM, M11 is better in every way possible, having a larger display, better CPU, and better overall Android integration. In terms of sonics, R6 has hiss with almost every IEM, having a really high output impedance, and this can be heard quite easily. On the other hand, R6 has more driving power than M11, so if you're into hard to drive headphones, R6 may still be a very worthwhile choice.



Value and Conclusion

The value of FiiO M11 is pretty much one of the best I've seen in today's market, with the price being really good for what you're getting, which is a very potent DAP with good wifi, bluetooth, battery life, sonic quality, and CPU/RAM/GPU and Display. Basically, you get a DAP that's better or at least at the level with the average smartphone, but which has the sonic performance of a DAP, for the price of, well, a midrange smartphone.

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FiiO never fails to impress with the package and with the stuff they manage to include with their products, from the case and the high-quality USB cable, to the handy coax cable. What's more interesting is that M11 has two microSD slots, and while having a SIM Tray eject tool isn't something to brag about, the two microSD slots are something that all DAPs should brag about when they have those.

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In terms of build quality, it is a fully metallic DAP, with a larger IPS display, on which you can watch movies, play some games, and have a lot of fun with your music. What's more, balanced outputs, a good bluetooth and wifi module, and a solid overall CPU and RAM makes M11 one of the best DAPs you could get in today's market. This means that it will also be added to Audiophile-Heaven's Hall Of Fame, as it really offers all you could ask for in a DAP at this price point.

The sound is something a bit more safe, with a softer bass, softer midrange, and with a sparkly treble, making M11 pair well with most of today's IEMs and headphones, especially the thicker and warmer ones, which are the majority of midrange and high-end IEMs and headphones. In the entry-level Chifi market, there are a lot of strongly V-shaped, U-shaped or brighter IEMs, but after you cross a certain threshold, there are many IEMs and headphones that are warm, thick, and which are complemented by M11, like TheCustomArt Fibae Black, Dita Fealty, CTM Da Vinci IX, FiiO FA7, and many others.

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At the end of this review, if you're looking for a very capable smartpho- I mean DAP, M11 should satisfy your needs really well, with a good CPU, good display, good sonic abilities, balanced output, two microSD slots, and good bluetooth / wifi performance, and with a good battery life, making it one of the best midrange DAPs you can look at.


Full Playlist used for this review

While we listened to considerably more songs than those named in this playlist, those are excellent for identifying certain aspects of the sound, like PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you're searching for new most, most of them being rather catchy.

Song List

Bats - Gamma Ray Burst: Second Date
Eskimo Callboy - Frances
Incubus - Summer Romance
Electric Six - Dager! High Voltage
Kishida Cult - High School Of The Dead
Dimmu Borgir - Dimmu Borgir
Breaking Benjamin - I Will Not Bow
Thousand Foot Krutch - The Flame In All Of Us
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
Infected Mushroom - Song Pong
Attack Attack - Kissed A Girl
Doctor P - Bulletproof
Maximum The Hormone - Rock n Roll Chainsaw
Rob Zombie - Werewolf, Baby!
Escape The Fate - Gorgeous Nightmare
SOAD - Chop Suey
Ken Ashcorp - Absolute Territory
Machinae Supremacy - Need For Steve
Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Wanna Stop
Crow'sclaw - Loudness War
Eminem - Rap God
Stromae - Humain À L'eau
Sonata Arctica - My Selene
Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Metallica - Fuel
Veil Of Maya - Unbreakable
Masa Works - Golden Japang
REOL - Luvoratorrrrry
Dope - Addiction
Korn - Word Up!
Papa Roach - ... To be Loved
Fever The Ghost - Source
Fall Out Boy - Immortals
Green Day - Know The Enemy
Mindless Self Indulgence - London Bridge
A static Lullaby - Toxic
Royal Republic - Addictive
Astronautalis - The River, The Woods
We Came As Romans - My Love
Skillet - What I Believe
Man With A Mission - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Yasuda Rei - Mirror
Mojo Juju - Must Be Desire
Falling Up - Falling In Love
Manafest - Retro Love
Rodrigo Y Grabriela - Paris
Zomboy - Lights Out
Muse - Resistance
T.A.T.U & Rammstein - Mosaku
Grey Daze - Anything, Anything
Katy Perry - Who Am I Living For
Maroon 5 - Lucky Strike
Machinae Supremacy - Killer Instinct
Pendulum - Propane Nightmares
Sirenia - Lithium And A Lover
Saving Abel - Addicted
Hollywood Undead - Levitate
The Offspring - Special Delivery
Escape The Fate - Smooth
Samsara Blues Experiment - One With The Universe
Dope - Rebel Yell
Crazy Town - Butterfly
Silverstein - My Heroine
Memphis May Fire - Not Over Yet



I hope my review is helpful to you!

PLS Also read it on Audiophile-Heaven for the complete version : https://www.audiophile-heaven.com/2020/02/the-partabile-fiio-m11-dap-player-review.html
Jotaro
Jotaro
So, I am not the only feeling the balanced output with different signature..
Dobrescu George
Dobrescu George
@Jotaro Feels like most DAPs and devices have a different sig for their balanced output nowadays actually :)
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Pros: * On par with Fiio Q5 as a source
* Modified Android(*) allows for multiple streaming services and additional use cases
* Outputs for a portable
* USB DAC
* Bluetooth Receiver
* Expandable Storage
Cons: * Battery life
* SoC
* Interface
* Laggy
Amateur Hour
Hey Head-Fi. I am just a regular guy that got into the audio hobby after developing the need to have some kind of noise playing during the day (I try to use white noise/rain sounds but will overlay Lofi off of Youtube). But when I do listen to music, and I will admit I'll really listen to anything, I enjoy the Hi-Fi experience. This review is based off using the Fiio M11 for approximately 40~ hours on Fiio FH5, Tin P1, and Shure SE 215. I played a mixture of Spotify HQ, Youtube Music, FLAC, MP3 320 Kbps, and MP3 192 Kbps. I compared this source to my Pioneer XDP 30R and FiiO Q5S connected to an iPhone 11 Pro.

TL;DR/Summary
I feel that this player does an amazing job at being a source. If your primary goal is to just use the device for music playback, especially locally off of the two SD card slots (tons of expandable storage!), the added features such as a USB DAC, Bluetooth Audio receiver, and range of streaming apps makes this a fantastic player. However, I cannot feel that alternatives can be had for a similar price that provide a better quality of life experience. My only reason for really docking this player is the software and hardware limitations that FiiO implicitly put on themselves for choosing to run Android on it.

However, if you want to get a more feature-filled experience, I highly recommend buying the FiiO Q5S and tethering it to your phone or buying a cheap Android phone in the $200-$300 range. This in total will be slightly more than the FiiO M11 but if you want to have a lag-free, feature rich Android DAP experience, it will be 100x better than what the M11 provides. If you are considering this player because of Android: run away. If you are considering this player for an amazing audio experience without the need for a super fluid UI and the occasional hiccup: this is the player I would choose. I am sadly going to be returning my M11 but hope to return to the DAP scene if FiiO decides to just take a Samsung Galaxy S8 and shove audio into it.


Hardware
Find some pictures of my player below. FiiO's marketing materials on this device are better than anything my iPhone can take so check those out for sure. I will say that my player came with the protective case pre-installed and have not removed it for anything other than inserting my own SD-Card. The device is rather bulky with the case on, about the size of two iPhone's stacked on top of each other. But that edge pushing display and glass body with aluminum trim are undeniably beautiful. Compared to my XDP 30R, this is a premium feeling device and looks great. The 4.4 Pentaconn balanced, 2.5mm balanced, and 3.5mm input are awesome for output capabilities. The device uses USB C for charging and USB DAC. The player supports Bluetooth 4.2 (not the standard 5.0) but has support for LDAC/aptX.

Software
I am a software engineer by profession and I can tell what FiiO did to cut corners on this player. The DAC/AMP chipset is definitely wonderful and will push IEMs to levels that are beyond just enjoyable, however, the real issue is the operating system and the SoC (Exynos 7872) that FiiO put into this device.

Android's optimizations are somewhat poor out of the box, and this box is of course the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The AOSP allows companies to build and run "Android" on their devices but lacks the license agreement needed to install Google Play Services and GMS, two components which will unlock the Android that most people know of. Additionally, the optimizations needed to get this player to play with a slightly modified stock version of Android 7.0 just do not seem to be present. As a result, you are missing out on the Google Play store and are forced to sideload applications from APKPure and FiiO's built in "app store". This is not a fault of FiiO so much as there not really being a need for securing a licensing deal for this player since it is first and foremost a portable DAP and the added benefits of Android are secondary. However, if you are planning on buying this player, I imagine you are somewhat interested in knowing how much of that "Android" can you take advantage of. The lack of Google Play Services means that you will have to also use a "piracy" version of YouTube since YouTube depends on Google specific services.

This, coupled with a lackluster 3 GB of RAM, mean that you are getting a severely laggy device. I'm making an assumption here but arguendo, if you're looking at buying this player you most likely have had some experience with a modern Android phone. And by modern, I do not mean a flagship like a OnePlus 7T or Samsung Note 10+. I mean even the cheap Pocofone, Huawei P30 Lite, Moto Z Play, etc. These phones even with their limitations have amazing performance compared to the FiiO. It's not just a laggy UI that is caused by a lack of RAM, processing power, and optimizations, it's the hang ups. I will be using the player and encounter just random freezing or crashing apps. When trying to skip through a large track (3 hours) I encounter a hang, something that never happened on my Pioneer XDP 30R, a relatively weaker portable. This portable has a subpar UX compared to a "dumb" player that runs a custom operating system.

The worst part is that the FiiO M11 Pro and M15 use the same SoC, and while I have not had the chance to use either, I can imagine the same problems that plague this device in usability will be present on those and feel even more exaggerated for the price. The Exynos 7872 is well known for its use in the budget phone, Meizu M6S. That phone came out in 2018. This device, a device that lacks the cellular radio, telephony components, camera, etc, performs seemingly worse!

To sum it up, this device performs poorly compared to what is possible for Android phones in this price bracket. The fact that FiiO put Android on the device makes me expect at least budget phone performance and this is just laughably bad, especially at the price of some *flagship* products.


Music!
Well that is what the player is for! I had a blast using this player with my IEMs. I took it around for a bit just to see what the experience would be like compared to a phone and Q5S combo and the experience is comparable. I tried a ton of tracks from Tycho, Owl City, Taylor Swift, Iann Dior, Tobu, Juice WRLD, Lofi Remixes, and JPop. All in all, the player handled everything in my library well and only struggled on playback of large mixes that I had compiled -- the player would hang when trying to skip to certain parts of the mix. The FiiO Music app is actually pretty gorgeous for what it is and has tons of customizability with an EQ, Gapless playback, Theming, FiiO link, etc. It is very similar to the FiiO app on the phone. Spotify works flawlessly on the music side but is hindered by the software stutters and lag. YouTube, something that I actually use quite a bit because of the convenience, does not work natively. There is a piracy enabled version of YouTube that *does* work with the player but that does not allow for YouTube sign on -- a feature I miss because of my playlists and the fact that I pay for YouTube premium.

The player supports high-res music files and handled my FLACs of Coldplay no problem. I will say that I found the EQ rather interesting in that it seems to lower the volume as compared to it just being off but it allows for quite a range of customizability and will satisfy most people.

There are music filters! I found no real difference with them on my IEMs but there is the option for those that appreciate tuning the playback. High/low gain present and works flawlessly.

Comfort-review-wise: I loved listening to music on this device. When I got my playlists loaded in and threw in my IEMs for a couple hours of work or reading, I got lost. I really enjoyed using this player when it was just playing music. But the software really hinders it in UX and thus got me thinking that the Q5S+Phone was really enough.


Misc
This might sound strange but I saw that I was able to install Kindle on the player. The player is amazing for music playback but in a strange way was perfect for reading. Since it is so hindered in being used as a regular Android device, I was able to comfortably read and listen to music without feeling the FOMO of a regular phone with notifications pinging every minute. While this is not what the player is meant to be used for, those that want to extract additional functionality out of it for running Android should do some research into the apps that you want to use to see if they require Google Play Services.

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Pros: Best value of any current daps; exceptionally powerful hardware for a smooth, responsive user experience; premium packaging, build quality and industrial design; dual balanced dacs and amps, including 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced outputs, deliver an accurate, resolving and dynamic sound with enough juice to drive full size high-impedance headphones and finesse to power sensitive IEMs without any background noise;
Cons: No Google Play support could limit future versatility; Big
Disclaimer: I would like to thank fiio for sending this product for review in exchange for my honest review. The products can be found on their website.


Design and Build:

The FiiO M11 isn't a small player and doesn't intend to be. Where the FiiO M6/M7/M9 were all true portable devices that could be carried in a tight pocket, the M11 won't. It's 13cm long, 7cm wide an 1.5cm thick, almost like an iPhone X but twice as thick.

That said, this is for the greater good and if longer, the screen also got bigger. Yes, the FiiO M11 takes almost all of the front panel: 86% screen ratio. That's extremely high numbers if you compare to the other FiiO players which kept the bottom free of any pixels.

Manufacture quality is sublime. The brand took what dealt with the FiiO X7 Mark II – aluminium packaging, glass boards front and back – and improved it somewhat more. For instance, the wedges are littler and the glass boards are considerably more consistently incorporated. So much you can swipe your fingers from through the fringes and miss the hole.

Another peculiarity you won't miss when you hold the FiiO M11: the volume wheel offers a little obstruction. It's light yet that really gives a very good quality impression to the entire experience, similar to those Alcantara rooftops in extravagance autos. You won't know until you attempt

You needn't bother with a hawk eye to perceive the amount of an overhaul the FiiO M11 screen is from the past forms.

The definition is extraordinary and the FiiO M11 is evaluated at 312ppi and the goals at 1440*720. Hues are distinctive, backdrop illumination even and, for the individuals who may be concerned, seeing edges are really enormous. In reality, this is critical to state in light of the fact that just because, you can genuinely utilize Google Chrome on the player and watch recordings! Not slideshows at 10fps, genuine recordings from YouTube and such.

For a 500$ player, this is a major shock. Of course, even a 100$ cell phone could do likewise… yet does it conveys a twofold AKM DAC? Murmur? That is the thing that I thought.

No doubt about it the FiiO M11 is, for the time being, the new top decision on the off chance that you need a genuinely flexible audiophile player, with a 5.5inch screen

UI:

Where the other FiiO M players utilize a custom-fitted form of Android, the FiiO M11 appreciates a practically complete variant of Android 7.0. I state "nearly" in light of the fact that FiiO didn't get the Google Play Store endorsement, rather, they are offering their own FiiO Market.

There is a great deal of perfect, and accessible, applications that could be downloaded straightforwardly from the FiiO showcase. The best of them is, obviously, APK Pure which replaces the Google Play store and gives you practically boundless access to all the conceivable APKs accessible.

Since the first FiiO X7, the brand started to move from its old UI to an advanced one: FiiO Music. It's an android application, accessible on the AppStore and Play Store however on the most recent players, the incorporation goes further past a straightforward application.

Sure you can utilize any android music player application you need, however, the FiiO Music application is presently exceptionally skilful and matches the FiiO M11 splendidly. It's quick, solid, simple to utilize and in the event that it crashed once with a 200Gb miniaturized scale SD-card, once refreshed it never happened again.

Setting:

  • Off timer: choose if the player goes off after a specified time, this work with the FiiO Music app only.
  • Scan for songs: if you need to scan your SD Cards, you can choose to scan the whole card or just a specified folder
  • Resume: choose if the player resume to your latest track or the latest position in the track
  • Gapless playback: if you listen to a concert or live performances, be sure to check it out
  • Play through folder: this option enables the continuous play if you began to play your music from a folder
  • Auto-update: enable it if you change your sd card frequently, this will be easier than do the manual scan each time
  • Fixed volume settings: if you want your player to launch at the same volume each time
  • Replay Gain: this mode automatically augment or lower the gain depending on the track you’re playing to avoid wide volume range
  • USB Output mode: if you want to plug a USB DAC to your FiiO M9, you can either choose DoP or D2P
  • HWA: an option for enable high definition streaming through Bluetooth headphones, once this mode is enabled you won’t be able to select the volume from the M9 anymore, in Bluetooth
  • WiFi song transfer: a very quirky option, enabling music transfer from your local wifi
  • DNLA: the basic of local storage playback, once connected to the local WiFi
  • Theme: choose the theme of your FiiO M9, white or black, your call
  • Lockscreen album art: if you like to see your album art when the player is
  • FiiO Link: this option allows you to control the player directly from your smartphone
  • Reset database: it clears all the music you have, simple as that

Streaming:

The FiiO M11 doesn't bolster google play store yet supports gushing applications. Everything necessary is a WiFi association and you can straightforwardly introduce them from the FiiO Marketplace or APK Pure. Starting today, you'll discover all the real applications: Tidal, Deezer, Apple Music, Spotify, Qobuz, Moov, KKbox or NetEase Music.

The establishment is extremely simple and contrasted with the FiiO M6/M9 which required a PC, all you'll ever need is a WiFi switch. Airplay is as yet bolstered so you can stream your music from your iPhone/iPad legitimately through the FiiO M11, remotely.

FiiO Link is another expansion to the M11, with Bluetooth blending you can control your player legitimately through your telephone. It functions admirably and by one way or another gives the equivalent consistent experience than the Hiby interface on Hiby and Cayin player. The main catch is that is accessible for Android.

Battery Life:

The FiiO M11 conveys a 3800 mAh battery and is promoted for 13h of ceaseless playback. All things considered, utilization was more around 11h, with WiFi and Bluetooth consistently on, so on the off chance that you switch it off, you may adhere to the promoted qualities.

The profound rest capacity appears to be considerably progressively amazing. FiiO publicizes 50 days of standby for its M11, and from individual experience, this may be valid. Certainly, I couldn't attempt it for 50 days yet even after 48h, the player didn't lose a lot of its battery.

Additionally, the FiiO M11 is the main player of the M arrangement to be perfect with USB-C PD. A major in addition to as I would see it as I would now be able to utilize a similar charger for every one of my gadgets!

Sd card and USB C:

The FiiO M11 utilizes a USB Type-C port. It's the best alternative accessible yet, with a reversible plan, quick information move, and Quickcharge to fill the 3800mAh battery. Truly, that is a great deal of juice, however you need a ton of capacity to encourage those amps.

The USB port functions as a passage and an entryway: you can either plug the M11 to your PC and use it as a DAC, or associate a DAC, and utilize the M11 as a source. A cool alternative we are seeing increasingly more on DAP.

You don't get one, however, two small scale SD openings. This is incredible in the event that you claim an extremely enormous index of High Definition Tracks. Hypothetically, you are as yet stuck at 2Tb max, yet that is in the event that you discover two 1Tb cards, which probably won't be conceivable before one more year. All things considered, 1Tb is as of now colossal on a DAP.

Bluetooth:

The FiiO M11 does everything, Bluetooth talking.

SBC, aptX, well-suited X HD, LDAC, LHCD/HWA… It's Hi-Res Audio Wireless Certified so you can be certain that it associates with anything, at the most ideal transmission rate.

Fundamentally, with a perfect earphone or recipient, you'll generally get the best quality accessible. Obviously, on the off chance that you have a TOTL IEM or a monstrous can, a wired association will consistently be the best one.

Another uplifting news, similar to the Shanling M2X and FiiO M6, the M11 supports duplex Bluetooth. You can utilize the player as a Bluetooth beneficiary with a cell phone, PC or any Bluetooth producer. Since the M11 as of now approaches a WiFi association this was a bit much, yet it's a decent expansion from FiiO.


Specs:

  • Type : Digital Audio Player
  • OS : FiiO OS
  • CPU : Exynos 7872
  • RAM : 3 Gb LPDDR5
  • Rom : 32 Gb (2Gb for the system)
  • DAC : 2x AK4493EQ
  • Sample rate : PCM : 8Hz – 384kHz (8/16/24/32bits) native – DSD64/128
  • System clock : Full synchronization technology with FPGA processor
  • Outputs : 3.5mm headphone out – line out – coax out / 2.5mm TRRS / 4.4mm Pentaconn
  • Input : USB Type-C
  • Screen : 5.5″ 1440×720 IPS Screen from LG
  • Micro SD : SDHC / SDXC (dual slot)
  • WiFi : 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz support
  • Streaming supported directly
  • Bluetooth support : SBC, apt-X, apt-X HD, LDAC, HWA
  • Duplex Bluetooth : player can emits and receive music
  • Battery : 3.8V 3800mAh Li-Polymer
  • Quick Charge : yes, QC2.0/3.0, PD2.0, DC12V/1.5Ah, 9V/2A, 5V/2A
  • Battery life : 12h with wired headphone, 30h with a Bluetooth headphone
  • Charging time : around 2h
  • Size : 70,5mm*130mm*13,5mm
  • Weight : 211g
Line Out
  • Frequency Response : 10Hz – 90kHz
  • THD : 0.001%
  • SNR : 115 dB
  • Crosstalk : 108dB
  • Line Level : 1.95V
3.5 mm Headphone out
  • Output power : 225mW @16ohm / 195mW @32ohm / 22mW @300ohm
  • Frequency Response : 10Hz – 90kHz
  • THD : > 0.002%
  • SNR : > 118 dB
  • Crosstalk : >72 dB
  • Output impedance : < 1 ohms (32ohms)
2.5mm / 4.4mm Headphone out
  • Output power : 480mW @16ohm / 550mW @32ohm / 88,5mW @300ohm
  • Frequency Response : 10Hz – 90kHz
  • THD : > 0.002%
  • SNR : > 118 dB
  • Crosstalk : > 107 dB
  • Output impedance : < 2 ohms (32ohms)
Sound:

For the purpose of this review, I used a various set of IEMs and headphones. For the IEMs, I kept my good old Onkyo IE-C3, the Fiio fh7, Campfire Andromeda, Fearless Audio S8F and the BGVP DM7. The headphones i used was the Sennheiser HD800S, Audeze LCD-X and a simple, but trusty, MSR7 from Audio-Technica.

Signature:


Sound-wise, the FiiO M6 was generally excellent and the M9 extraordinary. So the FiiO M11 ought to be sublime, no?

Luckily, it is! I won't state it's the better DAP out there, as far as sound quality, yet it effectively outflanks anything in this value extend. Through the decent yield, the sound stage is gigantic, so much it could equal A&K on this point. The layering is on par and symphonic tracks are a delight to tune in to.

This is all gratitude to the new circuit intensification, which conveys control with delicacy and control, even at high volume. It's superior to the FiiO X7 Mark II, without a doubt, regardless of whether I favored the ESS Saber sound mark: increasingly direct, and some way or another progressively… star.

All things considered, the FiiO sound mark gets on right away. Mids are onwards and give voices an inconspicuous, sweet, accentuation. Some will say, that is the thing that makes the FiiO players so mainstream, and they'd be correct. However, this is on point with the various M players and I like strong arrangement, similar to a Panini deck.

The unequal yield doesn't miss the mark. I've driven the Audeze LCD-X and could get the bass hammer, regardless of whether returning to adjusted mode has a delicate effect. Notwithstanding when I associated my iPhone in Bluetooth to the FiiO M11, sustaining the DAP with Spotify through SBC transmit, the unequal - > adjusted switch has been obviously discernible. Indeed remain in adjusted mode.

Getting a smart player has an immense effect, notwithstanding when it's only for music tuning in. Going from 16/44 tracks, to 24/96 and afterward returning to some AAC 256 (Spotify) appeared to be consistent. There was no jitter, no "pop", no snap. Also, you realize what's best ? Notwithstanding when you stream music from the web, there are no

parasites ! At any rate !

In this way, we should get straight to the point.

Is the FiiO M11 superior to the M9 ? Obviously.

Is it superior to the FiiO X7 Mark II ? Sorry… however yes !

Indeed, even with the new AM3D module ? That will be affirmed, yet I regardless of whether I lean toward the Saber contact, 99% of audience members will incline toward the double AKM from the M11.

Is it the best player existing apart from everything else ? Sound-wise just ? No, however it's almost fantastic at 500$


Tone:

Highs : easy. The FiiO M11's introduction is about nuance. You hear everything about even miniaturized scale subtleties that could be heard distinctly on top-level players, without the pomposity. It gives a ton, sure, yet the DAP doesn't shout like some TOTL models. It's a decent blend of well known tuning and extraordinary qualities. I like that.

Mids : smooth. Be it Saber, Wolfson, Burr-Brown or AKM chips, FiiO consistently nailed it. Mids are sharp with wonderful homeless people, on each earphone/headphone I attempted. That makes the M11 extremely adaptable, regardless of whether some will locate the sound mark a piece excessively "well known". In the event that you need insane sharp mids, go fo Cayin or Astell&Kern, at the same time, generally, this is the to-go DAP.

Lows : more tightly than at any other time. In the event that you contrast the FiiO M11 with the M9, that may be the principal thing that will you see: the M11 has better bass control. It never felt like it, yet now I saw the FiiO M9 lows as lacking, both in definition and profundity. The M11 dives deep down with the LCD-X, even without a committed module.

Clamour: nothing to stress over, the leftover commotion is missing. Notwithstanding when you keep WiFi and Bluetooth on.


Conclusion:

It's winding up difficult to compose awful things about FiiO players, significantly more with models like the M11. The $450 FiiO M11 is very much structured, got extraordinary specs, sounds brilliant and… cost under 500 bucks.

With its most recent player, FiiO is pushing the last nail in the box, accepting the crown as the best DAP in the mid-level segment. Right now, I can't think of another player that can rival the M11: liquid UI, twofold smaller scale SD space, strong WiFi association with apk unadulterated and the total adjusted format.

FiiO-M11-HIFI-Music-Player-AK4493EQ-2-Balanced-Output-Support-WIFI-Air-Play-Spotify-Bluetooth-4.jpg
M11-.jpg
10.jpg

Once more, there are better players out there, in the event that you centre around melodic execution as it were. Yet, on the off chance that you need a player, that does everything without costing an arm, the FiiO M11 is the one to go for. So simply envision if a FiiO M15/M17 were to come…
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iBo0m
iBo0m
Great review, awesome DAP!
C
chillearphonehub
Thank you!
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Comments

I just received my M11 this week and so far I'm loving it. One problem though, I can't seem to get Airplay to work. I'm trying to connect to my Sonos speakers. I start the Airplay app and it doesn't do anything, it just sits on the start screen. Any ideas ?
 
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