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FiiO M3K-Probably the Most Cost-Effective Hi-Res Music Player, Discrete HiFi DAC Chip, Supports up to 384K/32B

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by FiiO, Jul 23, 2018.
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  1. erha
    Thank you for your answer. I meant text file which contains list of played tracks.
  2. microphonic
    I have owned the m3k for a week now - so I am posting some general impressions.

    I purchased this as a dap for daily commuting and it's excellent for that purpose. UI is good, intuitive, simple to work out and no discernible lag. Easy to operate with one hand. I have noticed a problem with fast forward within a track - the player often stalls and won't resume playback when ff-ing - and I have to re-select the track to resume playback. Otherwise I haven't noticed any UI issues. I am using a 128 GB San Disc card, completely full, with no problem (haven't tried a 256). Build quality is typical FiiO - i.e. very good, and the small size is great for carrying around in a pocket.

    Sonically the m3k significantly exceeds my expectations for a cheap dap. My other budget dap is a Shanling M0, which is $30 dearer but the m3k beats it in sound quality - not by a lot but there is noticeable superiority in some areas. My listening is mainly with Shure 535s and also Philips L2BO cans.

    Claimed battery life is 21 hours. Can neither confirm nor deny - I have only gone 8 hours playback between recharges. At that point the battery indicator registers half full (for what that's worth). I think this unit could handle a long-haul flight no problem.

    Background is quite black - can't hear any hiss at all with the 535s. (I don't own anything super-sensitive like andro's, but this isn't a dap for totl iems anyway).

    Bass is well controlled with good attacks and decays. Layering and detail are surprisingly good. My main test track for that is Night Train by Christian McBride - a solo bass track with plenty of harmonic resonances and overtones and finger-slaps on the neck and bout of the bass that provide simultaneous contrasting woody notes. It's all there with the m3k - and the tonality is quite pleasing.

    Mids are good, somewhat forward - certainly vocals sound forward in the mix. This has been tuned for everyday listening so the sound is relatively smooth and musical - but the level of detail would be considered acceptable in a $300 - 400 dap and is a pleasant surprise for a $70 unit.

    Treble is less impressive than the bass / mids - noticeable roll off in the upper treble and I find there can be some glare or harshness with some higher pitched female vocals. It's not bad but if your musical tastes are treble-centric then the m3k is probably not the best choice.

    Soundstage has decent width but no depth. There is no sense of any sounds being in front of you or behind you, but there is some sense of space left and right.

    Overall, I think the m3k sets a new benchmark for sub $100 daps. Sound quality is clearly better than my iphone and is a step up from the X1 first gen which I owned. I can't say how it compares with the current X1 and X3 soundwise, but it wins on battery life and form factor. If you're looking for a budget dap and want maximum bang for not much buck, the m3k is probably the best currently available.

    hqssui, vsls, ASpencer and 1 other person like this.
  3. ExpatinJapan

    Some pics if the general UI.

    More on head pie

    CF57E2BD-C0C5-41B0-982A-5A21B21642D0.jpeg FA5A2CC0-8C85-4CF9-8AFC-C022AD681088.jpeg 4B98C897-78B3-4CD7-AF9F-4F9C769D1439.jpeg 4F413A0F-073E-4BAD-B7BE-2980F78C38E1.jpeg E5396330-A31B-4A43-80A4-01ED045391DF.jpeg C969F731-E011-4DAC-AA90-84844A2B2D5A.jpeg

    M3k, M7 and X7ii


    CE826DE4-EB29-410C-8DC0-EA327FA13F7F.jpeg A29CD322-D9A9-4D03-860A-ADDF7A74156E.jpeg B5C2C225-A04C-45CC-AC05-7C5C1073F65F.jpeg 800C43BE-F869-443F-9FA8-9BBCC55B81FB.jpeg

    50119CBD-12D5-4445-BEFD-6E0463A58E61.jpeg 52CCFC70-9807-4452-9BF8-EA0D530C2728.jpeg

    CA986348-C37C-4D7C-BDC9-E193C22F4579.jpeg 0B69B310-E2AC-4184-ACBB-0AA35FE29EF1.jpeg 0AABC7C0-E91D-4310-9328-5F4A09564E8C.jpeg 90B0F2C1-6176-4AC4-8F3C-0AFD495FAF18.jpeg 768A3FC8-45B2-4EB1-BA2B-A1BBE03382AB.jpeg 036C2A47-44E0-44B6-957E-0CC73635A919.jpeg F2FAE1B2-D6F2-4DC7-8E7E-73215039D798.jpeg 24A6FE59-9A06-409D-9E95-F3BBF64FC12D.jpeg
    FiiO, MXRaia and mmoyano like this.
  4. vsls
    Since I'm looking for a pocket DAP, so far Shaling M0 is the frontrunner but it seems extremely small and the lack of physical buttons is still a problem.
    Could M3K be a better solution in both sound and functionality? So far @microphonic helps with his first impressions so anything more is useful
    Also I would be curious to see how it compares with Sony A45 as the form factor is quite close.
  5. MXRaia
    I got to try the M3K today. The silicone case feels nice in the hand. The touchpad works quite well once you get used to it. It sounds good.

    Something that bothered me is how the UI becomes a bit laggy when you’re playing music. When changing the volume through the side buttons, it takes an extra split second for the volume number to be reflected on the screen. I was also a bit surprised at its size. It’s almost the same size as the original X1.

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  6. microphonic
    Shanling M0 does have a physical volume / power button. It does take a while to get used to, but once you get the hang of the UI it's functional enough. Screen resolution is better on the M0 if you care about that. I bought the M0 for exercise and it is great for that because it is so small, but from an operability point of view it's actually too small in my opinion. Paradoxically - because it is so small it actually needs both hands to operate it. Trying to hold it and swipe the screen with one hand is too fiddly. Also battery life is about half of the m3k. Having both the m3k and the M0, I find myself reaching for the m3k for daily use. However if you want a small dap - it might be worth waiting for the Hidiz AP80 to come out in November. Very favourably reviewed by Porta-Fi

    cleg likes this.
  7. AndySocial
    "Audiobook" isn't a company. I assume you meant "Audible," the Amazon subsidiary. But, most folks nowadays don't expect Audible support on standalone machines. We would like the device to recognize the genres "audiobook" and "podcast" and treat them as something other than music. The most important function is bookmarking (preferably automatically remembering position for each audiobook/podcast file), while the second-most common request would be the ability to set the speed of playback for audiobook/podcast files. This would allow the functionality of an MP3 player circa 2005 - all the audio you want to carry with you in one device.
    ASpencer likes this.
  8. Zachik
    Plus (for podcasts) button (on screen) to "skip 15 seconds" for skipping boring parts / ads... :wink:
  9. AndySocial
    I've never had a player with a skip function, but that would be awesome.
  10. vsls
    Thanks again for your input!

    Yeap M0 seems great for its size, I’d prefer to have dedicated buttons as well, I’m not so thrilled on the touch buttons of M3K either tbh, but at least it seems possible to skip tracks with the volume buttons.
    It’s interesting that M3K seems to have better sound than M0, that puts another positive remark on that.
    Although M3K (size-wise) seems close(r) to Sony A-45 series so I’m still hesitating, as I want a total pocketable player!

    You are right on the Hidizs AP80 seems perfect for my needs, or Shanling M1 (if it wasn’t dead by now), I’m just too eager to get one now and not wait till December! :wink:
  11. Galeonero
    Hi, how is this m3k? I read that fiio lately is taking products with good specifications but with quite beta software and have many errors. Is this the case? I would like a dap since my phone does not have 3.5 mm but not that it is very small like the shanling m0, the hiding ap80 would be perfect but it costs 160 approximately and it is sold in November (I know that it is currently 115 in kickstar but I am not in use until November).
    Is there any better alternative, which is really worth it?
  12. microphonic
    There is a nice 1 min video showing UI operation here - courtesy of Minidisc in Sydney (good shop!):

  13. Zachik
    iPhone podcast player app (built-in app by Apple) has a 15 second forward and 15 second back - so one could skip in 15 second increments within a podcast. See below in a random screen shot I found online:


    See how easily you can tap on the "1x" to change playback speed, 15 sec back, pause, 15 sec forward?
    That is in essence the podcast support I want in a DAP. Very simple.
  14. doug.kavendek
    I guess 0:45 answers my question about scrolling. If I had to scroll at that speed through a thousand artists it would be unusable for me because I would never be able to actually get to the bottom. This device sounds great otherwise, but that would just kill it for me.
    AndySocial likes this.
  15. AndySocial
    I'm an atavistic throwback to an era without smartphones (I don't carry one ever), and all my portable media players have been lacking in touch screens thus far. So, not a lot of UI flexibility in a D-pad and a volume control. :)
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