FiiO M15S Pocket Desktop-Level Player Discussion & Impressions Thread
May 1, 2023 at 11:00 PM Post #213 of 939
Post man just delivered a M15s ... I don't see how anyone won't like this DAP.... I also went to best buy and bought a Super Fast Charger... the Samsung T4510.. 45 watt PD Power Adapter...its a PD3.0 and works fine with the DAP unlocking the extra wattage... that out of the way, I setup wifi and loaded Apple Music then went thru the rest of the settings... nothing too hard to figure out... then I plugged in the Hifiman HE1000V2 .... with the 2nd harmonics setting to 2. I loaded up a song that I felt like would demonstrate the tuning of the DAP/Pairing of the headphone and overall sound signature..... I can report that if you know the HEKV2 for its wide sound stage, its instrument separation and extended highs then you will love the pairing.... the M15s takes the attributes of the HEKV2 to a new level.... the DAP sound signature is very much balanced from the lows, thru the mids and to the highs extended but not too much... lots of air in the presentation, the instruments are separated and highlighted in a huge sound stage.... amazing sounding actually.... the first test song I tried was Ciel Ouvert by Yello on the Stella (Deluxe Edition) album.... now thats a great demo of a sound stage.... bravo Fiio, the M15s rocks....
 
May 3, 2023 at 3:28 AM Post #214 of 939
hello, I'm tired, what an edge I always leave Spain for the last. I contacted the distributor @FiiO in Spain and they told me that I would have to wait a month. very very bad. This helped me decide on an iBasso Dx320
Dear friend,

We have arranged some M15S to our seller in Spain.

Best regards
 
FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/FiiOAUDIO https://twitter.com/FiiO_official https://www.instagram.com/fiioofficial/ https://www.fiio.com support@fiio.com
May 3, 2023 at 9:52 PM Post #216 of 939
hello and thanks for your answer. but the distributor in Spain tells me that they have no response from fiio. If it's like you say, could I give you my name? Miguel Angel Hidalgo
Dear friend,

The distributor told us that he will contact you about that.

Best regards
 
FiiO Stay updated on FiiO at their sponsor profile on Head-Fi.
 
https://www.facebook.com/FiiOAUDIO https://twitter.com/FiiO_official https://www.instagram.com/fiioofficial/ https://www.fiio.com support@fiio.com
May 9, 2023 at 10:24 PM Post #217 of 939
The M15S comes with a cooling stand. Does it have the same heat problem as the M17? My M17 gets pretty warm after 60 minutes without a fan, even with IEM, low gain, WIFI off, screen off. That's why I only use it with the fan in the stand so that there is no heat problem.
This is my biggest gripe with the M15s.

Here is a thermal image I took after 30 minutes of 44.1khz FLAC playback at medium gain volume 90 balanced

img_20230509_000227.png

Case was off. All to DSD off. I'll post an update with desktop ultra high mode and All to DSD later.

I really do not understand why it gets this hot. The DX240 with same SD660 and 9038Pro only gets slightly warm at most.

For me wanting Fiio to use a better Snapdragon and higher Android version is for better battery and power management. Eventually all DAP manufacturers will move to higher Snapdragon, probably the 730, and Android 12.

My first Gen Hiby R5 was a Snapdragon 425 with Android 8.1, so updates in DAP market do happen, but not at the speed as the Mobile phone market. Yes who wouldn't want a DAP with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 12GB of Ram, 1TB of UFS 4.0 storage, AMOLED screen with 120Hz refresh rate and 6000 mAh battery, but such a spec would cost over £2000.

The main thing is for Fiio to optimise the 660 and Android 10 to deliver great performance, power and battery management
I really hope something can be done about the efficiency of the M15s.

If the DX240 can provide 11 hours with a smaller 4400mah battery the M15s should be able to get at least 14.

R&D story chapter 3

In this chapter, we would like to talk about the audio architecture of the M15S. Is it an evolution of the M15, or the devolution of M17?



The audio architecture of the old M15 was composed of FPGA + AK4499x2 + OPA1612 for I/V conversion + OPA2211 for LPF (Low-Pass Filtering) and voltage amplification + OPA1622 for current amplification.



The audio architecture of the new M15S is composed of FPA + ES9038PROx1 + OPA927 for I/V conversion + OPA1612 for LPF (Low-Pass Filtering) and voltage amplification + OPA926 for current amplification.



To answer the first question of user concern- why would we choose one ESS9038PRO instead of two, or choose the AK4499EX?



This was a decision based on a variety of factors. The main factors are as follows.



A) We started with the ES9038PRO in the M17, and then in the Q7 and K9 Pro. So we are familiar with the tuning and application of the ES9038RPO. In other words, we are more experienced in polishing it and capable of realizing the full potential of the ES9038RPO.



B) The power consumption of the ES9038RPO is relatively high, and the package volume is also large. However, we were positioning the M15S as a pocket-size portable music player, so the heat generation and size would be uncontrollable if putting 2 DACs.



C) As FiiO’s sub-flagship portable player, the price of the M15S must be kept at a certain distance from the M17. At present, the costs of the ES9038RPO and ES9039PRO are the highest, higher than the AK4499 and the new AK4191+AK4499EX. So one ES9038PRO is the most reasonable.



Of course, in terms of performance, since the AK4499 is 4-channel while the ES9038PRO is 8-channel, two AK4499 equal one ES9038PRO, and the performance indicators are also relatively close. The difference in tone is inevitable, but not entirely determined by the DAC. From user feedback, the tuning of the M15S is literally successful.



The second question is, why did the M15S not use the THX amp circuit?



It is easy to explain. In the several THX architecture, no one can fit the M15’s output power. Either like the one in the M17, it is too big, or the one in the M11 Plus, too small.



In terms of product positioning, the output power of the M15S is between the M11 Plus and the M17, so we did not accommodate the THX architecture.



The third question is, in terms of sound, is it a minor change to the M15 or devolution of the M17?



From our intention in designing the M15S, it was clear that we wanted to democratize the sound architecture of the M17, mainly reflected in the following aspects.



A) The application of the ES9038RPO.



B) The output power in Ultra high gain mode.



C) The op-amp combo and sound tuning were also referring to the M17 as far as possible and we also made some improvements.



From the feedback we have received so far, the sound quality, tone, and output power of the M15S are well acclaimed by users.



We are expecting that you can have a try in our sales agents’ with your own ears. We always believe that there is no best sound but the most appropriate one. Hope you can find the most appropriate HiFi devices for yourselves.
I can vouch for this, the M15s sound close to the M17 and the M17 only pulls a head noticeably with DC mode.

We are discussing whether FIIO M15s - for 1000$ - Should it have newer android+newer cpu+newer chips, yes no...

By the way Hiby R6 Pro II (2023 Edition) quietly appeared on sale for the price of sic! - 749$
It offers equipment with Android 12, Snapdragon 655, 2x Dual AK4499EX + AK4191EQ for the digital stage.
(configuration like Astell & Kern SP3000 for 4000$ :slight_smile:)

Let's compare these DAPs FIIO and Hiby - Let's listen, let's wait, let's read, let's see which one is better - I think the winner will stay not only in my house.
P.S. And in a moment, the new Astell & Kern SR35 will appear on the market in May - normally a flood of DAPs.:smile_phones:
I have been demoing a lot of daps recently and the SP3000 surprised me and not in a good way.

I'm not sure if its the implementation or DAC but it sounds too polite? Dynamics seemed lacking and blunted, notes lacked authority and overall it had this diffuse nature to the sound.

The Sp2000T and M17 DC sounded significantly better imo.
 
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May 9, 2023 at 10:58 PM Post #218 of 939
My M15S does not get that hot and I have the case on. Maybe the case dissipates the heat?
I play FLAC files as well on high gain with no issue.
I have even tried all to DSD and it barely gets warm, unlike the M15.
Maybe others can chime in about their experience?
 
May 9, 2023 at 11:11 PM Post #219 of 939
hi i demoed the M15S today and is there exclusive mode for streaming services? While im very impressed with pure music mode being very black and agrassive while not killing off microdetails and surprisingly more akm like than the actual akm hiby r6 pro II
 
May 9, 2023 at 11:11 PM Post #220 of 939
My M15S does not get that hot and I have the case on. Maybe the case dissipates the heat?
I play FLAC files as well on high gain with no issue.
I have even tried all to DSD and it barely gets warm, unlike the M15.
Maybe others can chime in about their experience?
Are you using android or FiiO pure music mode? Battery saver on or off?

And yes while using the case makes it holdable it still gets quite hot. I'll take temps later with and without the case.

Hopefully we can figure out what works to reduce temps.
 
May 9, 2023 at 11:20 PM Post #221 of 939
Are you using android or FiiO pure music mode? Battery saver on or off?

And yes while using the case makes it holdable it still gets quite hot. I'll take temps later with and without the case.

Hopefully we can figure out what works to reduce temps.
Android mode, battery saver off, dark mode.
I could only get mine warm in desktop mode which is where you would use the stand anyway but only used it once as I use mine as a portable device.
I do not have a thermal scanner but I have a laser therm and can take readings later.
I use Poweramp instead of FiiO for playing my music.
 
May 10, 2023 at 2:45 AM Post #222 of 939
This is my biggest gripe with the M15s.

Here is a thermal image I took after 30 minutes of 44.1khz FLAC playback at medium gain volume 90 balanced

img_20230509_000227.png

Case was off. All to DSD off. I'll post an update with desktop ultra high mode and All to DSD later.

I really do not understand why it gets this hot. The DX240 with same SD660 and 9038Pro only gets slightly warm at most.

I really hope something can be done about the efficiency of the M15s.

If the DX240 can provide 11 hours with a smaller 4400mah battery the M15s should be able to get at least 14.

I can vouch for this, the M15s sound close to the M17 and the M17 only pulls a head noticeably with DC mode.

I have been demoing a lot of daps recently and the SP3000 surprised me and not in a good way.

I'm not sure if its the implementation or DAC but it sounds too polite? Dynamics seemed lacking and blunted, notes lacked authority and overall it had this diffuse nature to the sound.

The Sp2000T and M17 DC sounded significantly better imo.
This is interesting. My unit never gets hot, and I haven't once taken it out of the case. 95% of the time, I'm on medium gain with 'all to DSD' mode on 100% of the time. Only time it gets warm is when I'm using and charging at the same time. In desktop mode, it stays relatively cool. I mainly use the device in Roon Ready mode. Cayin N8II and Shanling M9 typically ran warmer when I had them. That being said, never tested it in my pocket. It usually stays on the included stand with the fan off.
 
May 10, 2023 at 7:24 AM Post #223 of 939
Mine does not get hot... in fact I have never taken the fan out of the box to use... don't even know if it works.... it depends on what you plug into it.... some headphones will cause it to draw more power and I would think the more power required the unit could get hot.... the only phone I tried that should have gotten it hot is the Hifiman HE6s V2 but I didn't listen to it much as the M15s does not have the power for those.... the other two phones I used for burn-in testing was the LCD-x21 and the Hifiman HE1000v2... the LCD-X21 is the easier one to drive and the HE1000V2 was the one I plugged it into the M15s and let it play around the clock for several days and just checking on the sound every few hours during the daytime... it did not get hot during the burn in... if anyone finds one of those clear plastic covers I'd like to get one so I can stack the M15s without messing up the leather one... just to add a note - during the majority of my burn in/testing I was plugged into the charger with battery turned off... so that alone might allow the M15s to run cool as the battery would never get warm... I'm sure that is why mine was running cool at all times...
 
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May 10, 2023 at 7:02 PM Post #224 of 939
This is interesting. My unit never gets hot, and I haven't once taken it out of the case. 95% of the time, I'm on medium gain with 'all to DSD' mode on 100% of the time. Only time it gets warm is when I'm using and charging at the same time. In desktop mode, it stays relatively cool. I mainly use the device in Roon Ready mode. Cayin N8II and Shanling M9 typically ran warmer when I had them. That being said, never tested it in my pocket. It usually stays on the included stand with the fan off.
How would you compare the m15s to the M9? I remember the M9 to be an exceptionally sounding dap. Is the m15s significantly below in sq?
 
May 11, 2023 at 4:33 AM Post #225 of 939
How would you compare the m15s to the M9? I remember the M9 to be an exceptionally sounding dap. Is the m15s significantly below in sq?
I can't really compare the two as I let that one go a while back. But like you mentioned, I remember it sounding really good, albeit having some frustrations with its software. But most DAPs sound good these days IMO, and the difference between TOTL and the rest is never night and day. What I can say is that IMO, M15s is much better value and more unique with its USB desktop mode and being Roon ready. And I certainly don't believe M9 is significantly better in SQ.
 

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