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Great review - we are very much on the same page with this DAP. Happy listening :)
Comprehensive, relevant and a great read, as we have come to expect from a gLer review.
Essential reading for any prospective owner. Kudos!
(Love the wallpaper too...)
It looks by your picture you had the Sennheisers in the balanced input jack, is that correct? Wondered if you tried them also in unbalanced mode and how they sounded. I'd read the Fiio specs that recommend headphones above 150ohms be used only in balanced mode.
Neutron can play bit for bit.
I'm similarly dismayed at why DAPs that have gone to USB Type-C aren't dual-ended or at least max out at USB 3.0. My 2013 MacBook Pro at least has 3.0, and that's 10x faster than the ancient 2.0. Urg.
Thanks for a great review! You've mentioned you had IFI Micro iDSD. I'm listening to FH5 via iDSD now, and I really enjoy the sound, but I'd like to swap it with M11 to make a setup smaller/more portable. Can you help with some direct comparison iDSD - M11? iDSD has such cool features like Crossfeed and Bass Boost, while M11 hasn't. Will it cause more narrow soundstage, or less weight in bass region on M11? Thanks!
[USER=513633]@text[/USER] - yes the HD800 are plugged into the 4.4mm balanced output. I have an XLR to 2.5mm balanced adapter cable and also a FiiO 2.5mm to 4.4mm balanced adapter cable.
[USER=496812]@blackyangell[/USER] I don't currently have the iDSD with me so can't do direct comparisons unfortunately. Hoping to do some A/B with an iDSD BL soon though. The iDSD is a great day/amp that's more transportable than portable. I consider it a desktop amp/dac, and that's how I mainly used mine - it will likely drive desktop headphones with more authority than a dap. That said, I'd probably not take it travelling with me now that I have a dap like the M11.
This is the finest DAP FiiO has produced while still half the price of their competition at this level. Besides driving my top of the line Ultrasones with aplomb, the M11 pairs wonderfully with the FA7 balanced IEMs... with a balanced cable, of course.
Thanks for the great review. Where does the M11 fit in against the "X" sonically?
[USER=397324]@Darren Cotter[/USER] I couldn’t personally say, but from other reviews I know it far surpasses the entire X series in terms of performance and UI and screen quality. Soundwise I’d venture it’ll be better technically than the X5iii (based purely on the audio hardware improvements), and be different to the X7ii sonically mainly because of the latter’s Sabre dacs (which some prefer and others don’t).
The devil is in the details...of this review! Excellent! Thanks for the quick shoutout. Appreciate it. And thank you for giving better justice to the DAP than I did previously. Much respect. :)
You’re welcome [USER=428934]@audiophilefan[/USER] - thank you for doing all the heavy lifting with describing the details, meant I could just jump straight in to the UI. Consider ours a two-part review :)
most likely one of the best reviews (if not the best) I've read about the M11!
I have a couple of question that maybe you did not mention or I missed... Can the M11 be used as a USB DAC connected to an iphone or ipad? and... (this may be a very naive question...) Which connection delivers the best sound quality: Mac+M11 as USB DAC+IEMs... or M11+IEMs?
bonus: can you save TIDAL playlists on your built-in storage and sd cards for offline playback?
thanks in advance!! and congrats again.
[USER=513855]@vonBurg[/USER] IIRC, FiiO commented on the use of microUSB inputs for Q5 DAC/AMP "S" revision, instead of opting for USB C connection... I think the MFi certification is only yet available to FiiO in microUSB connections for use with Apple Products. Finding newer documentation about that is difficult as FiiO has two websites fiio.com and fiio.net neither of which have updated their product pages for Q5 to reflect its newer internals.
[USER=513855]@vonBurg[/USER] Instead they have for you the option of making the M11 (like several other of its newer devices) an Airplay destination for playing audio from your iPhone or iPad. My understanding is Airplay involves transcoding of audio to Apple Lossless Audio Codec at 16bit/44.1kHz.
Really nice review, and very much like my own experience. Like you, I came to the M11 right after buying the M9. Unlike you, my previous DAP experience was with a higher-end player, the AK240. I sold that off and went to all iPhone with the advent of Apple Music, but I missed the sound of great high-res audio and so was tempted back.
I hope you'll share some of the tweaks you made with Nova. I haven't played around with that at all.
[USER=513855]@vonBurg[/USER] thanks for the kind words. I tried connecting my iPhone via OTG to the M11 but it (the M11) didn't switch to USB DAC mode, so I suspect what [USER=388252]@WitzyZed[/USER] is right about USB-C and Micro USB and Apple MFi. Coming from Apple, I'm quite dismayed at all the workarounds you need to get Apple stuff working - I mean, you don't even get AAC Bluetooth support and I suspect that's only because of licensing fees.
Personally my excellent experience with the M11 has made me seriously question my longstanding commitment to iOS, to the point where my next phone might well be an Android phone. As for USB DAC from the Mac, yes it works well, although I haven't compared quality yet. Should be interesting though...
[USER=474900]@gLer[/USER] Off topic - switch to Android already. I'm sure you'll never miss iOS. Android phones are much better and easier to use and you don't have to be "trapped" to what Apple could offer, which is almost primitive tech (no offense). Trust me on this. Plus there are Android phones that sound amazingly good too, according to reviews (e.g. LG V series). Go ahead, switch. I feel you want to. :)
Excellent review [USER=474900]@gLer[/USER]! I love the individual opinion as opposed to the regular review of any item that we read on most blogs/sites. Honest, open and to the point! You were saying that the other andriod music players are not bit perfect...the same goes for Hiby music player, Onkyo etc? Which music app delivers the right amount of features and is sonically sound?
[USER=428934]@audiophilefan[/USER] Agree with you, own the LG G7 and it has the same dac as the Shanling M0 and the Hidizs AP80 except it is in Quad Dac Configuration. Best Sound in the market ( smartphone). ( LG has Quad dac on nearly all their phones like the G7,G8, V30,V40)