FiiO M15: Under what usage scenarios is the hardware leveraged?
May 22, 2021 at 7:32 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

nyceyes

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Dear Friends:

I have a FiiO M15 and am trying to understand when it's DAC hardware is used and when it isn't (so I know how to best leverage it).

Scenario-1) WiFi Music streaming (eg, DEEZER or Spotify) + Bluetooth AptX HD headphones. In this scenario, is the music routed through the FiiO M15 DAC hardware, or is it just straight Android software (like on regular Android cell phones)?

Scenario-2) Local FLAC files + Bluetooth AptX HD Headphones + JetAudio HD+ player App.
In this scenario, is music routed through the hardware, or is it just software DSP provided by my JetAudio HD+ player App?

Scenario-3: The FiiO M15 has it's own player App; but I don't use it because it's UI is a huge disappointment. Anyway, it has a graphic equalizer function. Being the FiiO M15 native player App, does this mean it's equalizer function is hardware based, or just software based? I can't find anything to confirm which is the case.

I guess what I'm asking is, under what usage configuration is it's hardware leveraged, including the ability to tweak its listening (ie, sound processeing) profile (... for example widening it's left / right channels).

Perhaps this is only possible via wired headphones first (not Bluetooth), and then some App that can access the hardware to tune it. I'm unsure and is why I'm asking friends here.

I wish there were Player Apps that could discover & control hardware-based not software-based listening profiles (eg, hardware equalizer, hardware widening of the left / right channels, etc). For example, my JetAudio HD+ player App is awesome and has DSP plug-ins, equilazers (etc) that make things sound beautifully wide and rich; but I don't think it's tapping the FiiO M15 hardware to accomplish this (though I wish it did because why leave the hardware underutilized).

Incidentally, my questions above really aren't limited to the FiiO M15. They apply to any player with processing hardware.

Thank you! :)
 
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May 23, 2021 at 1:06 AM Post #2 of 5

ThomasHK

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Any time you use BT headphones, it will not use the DAC.
Any time you plug in wired headphones, it will use the DAC.
 
May 23, 2021 at 1:23 AM Post #3 of 5

nyceyes

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Any time you use BT headphones, it will not use the DAC.
Any time you plug in wired headphones, it will use the DAC.
Hi! Thank you for confirming that. That helps me a lot.

If using wired headphones (I have some), will the hardware be used when listening to online streaming services; or only when listening to physical files on the local lhard drive?

Thank you!
 
May 23, 2021 at 2:01 AM Post #4 of 5

ThomasHK

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Hi! Thank you for confirming that. That helps me a lot.

If using wired headphones (I have some), will the hardware be used when listening to online streaming services; or only when listening to physical files on the local lhard drive?

Thank you!
Both. The DAC converts the incoming digital audio stream to analog before the amplification stage. All audio on your device will go through this process IF using a wired connection.

For BT the digital audio streams gets transcoded to another digital audio stream that can be sent over BT (SBC/AAC/APT-X/...) depending on the receiver. The audio never reaches the analog section of your DAP (DAC+amp).
 
May 23, 2021 at 2:51 AM Post #5 of 5

nyceyes

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Both. The DAC converts the incoming digital audio stream to analog before the amplification stage. All audio on your device will go through this process IF using a wired connection.

For BT the digital audio streams gets transcoded to another digital audio stream that can be sent over BT (SBC/AAC/APT-X/...) depending on the receiver. The audio never reaches the analog section of your DAP (DAC+amp).
Hi Thomas. Ah okay, this makes total sense now.

As a result, I'll purchase better quality wired cans (which I prefer to ear buds); and on the Bluetooth end of things, since that audio takes a different egress path (not involving the DAP), I'll try Bluetooth cans with LDAC support,... maybe the Sony WH-1000XM4 model.

Now I clearly understand the various data paths and processing involve, whereas I didn't before. Thank you very much Thomas. : )
 
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