Aug 5, 2019 at 1:44 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 40


500+ Head-Fier
Jan 24, 2017
Toronto, Ca
In March, 2019 Fiio introduced M5 portable player on the market which is the next generation of its popular Bluetooth decoders and ears after BTR3, boosting the appetite of the audience.

What is the advantage of this model over BTR 3 which is already quite popular? The answer is quite ambiguous, but the main difference is the multi-functionality. In particular, М5 is not only a BT device (a receiver and a transmitter), but also a portable player of a small size which can be paired with a smart phone or used independently. To me it is one of the best players as far as the multi-functionality is taken into consideration.

Well, and now let’s move to the specifications of this wonderful device.

With the sizes of 45.3мм x 42мм x 13.7мм and weighing only 38 gram M5 is one of the most convenient players to carry in a pocket. And it is obvious at first sight. It can be worn on any garment since (as an option) the device is completed with a transparent clip/latch which allows you to hang the M5 anywhere you want to hang, daily use of the street is very convenient.

Take it in your hands and it will be quite hard to take it away. The 1.54 inch touch screen made of tempered glass (240х240) and the body made of aluminum alloy make it look very attractive.

In addition to all that, the touch screen makes the device easy to operate and intuitive to use. It is possible to press the screen and swap a finger to enable various functions. The device comes back to work easily after hibernation. For me there was no necessity to read the Operation manual as I’ve already pointed out the device UI is very intuitive.

As mentioned above, М5 is not only a portable player of a tiny size (can’t help being amazed how they managed to “squeeze” so many useful functions into such a small body), but also a very strong BT device (both the receiver and the transmitter) which is the best BT device of all I’ve tried. Coupled with BTR3 the signal goes easily through 2 concrete walls. As a receiver it handles SBC/ AAC/aptX/ aptX HD and LDAC formats and as a transmitter it supports SBC/aptX/ and LDAC formats. These enable easy pairing with practically any smart phones and wireless headphones.

There are the people who state that they do not care about the sound quality of a portable player. They allegedly care about the size of a player only (the smaller the better), but who will refuse the tiny size of a player and a divine sound quality? Well, М5 combines these two wonderful properties. It is especially important when a player is used in gyms where the size of a mobile phone delivers a maximum of inconvenience. In addition to a transparent clip for fastening М5 to any part of clothes the Fiio developers created a silicone wrist band for wearing the subj on a wrist. It would be just a gimmick unless they created a customizable screen operation which can be set to 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees.

The player does not only play music and shows the time/date but counts the steps. It is equipped with a high precision pedometer chip. I have a FitBit Blaze fitness tracker which counts the amount of steps quite correctly (I counted 1000 steps which I made and compared it to the amount of Blaze readings. The difference was from 3 to 6 steps for one thousand steps). The difference of indications between Blaze and Fiio M5 makes 2-3 steps. Most likely, they use the identical algorithm of step calculation. It’s obvious that Fiio has set for itself a target to create such a device without which the user could not do a single day. And in my opinion this task has been executed successfully.

One more thing which has amazed me is 5 types of dials which can be changed depending on one’s mood. FitBit started with only 4 dials! For a minute, FitBit Blaze is a high-grade smart watch.

M5 is equipped with a Japanese Asahi Kasei Microdevices (AKM) AK4377 DAC.
The AK4377 is stereo advanced 32-bit high sound quality audio DAC with a built-in ground-referenced headphone amplifier that adopted VELVET SOUND technology. The AK4377 has four types of 32-bit digital filters for better sound quality, achieving low distortion characteristics and wide dynamic range. AK4377 accepts up to 768kHz PCM data and DSD256 input. The AK4377 achieves -109dB THD+N and 128dB SNR, which is top performing for a compact DAC with headphone amplifier in portable audio. The AK4377 exhibits flat THD+N characteristics of -105dB or less in all audible bands, enhancing the ability to reproduce the original sound. AK4377 chip, made in 2018, has better characteristics than AK4376A of 2017 which has already found application in the portable devices.

Also on "board" the М5 is a microchip with the flagman silent module CSR8675 Bluetooth, allowing to carry out wireless transfer of the audiodata between audiodevices making use of classical connection (wired) and Bluetooth with low power consumption. A minor drawback in BT system is that the equalizer cannot be used when BT receiver is enabled. With wired connection the equalizer with 7 presets for different musical genres such as rock, classical music, jazz, pop, dance, vocal, metal and custom can be used.

The device is equipped with high-efficiency and "flexible" processor Ingenic X1000E, with the maximum frequency of 1 GHz and specific consumption of a kernel only 0,09 mVt/MHz. It is one of the first processors which was purposefully developed for IoT appendices. "IoT" is the Internet of things (Internet of Things, IoT) which is a new ecosystem of devices and the appendices integrated in the innovative image and giving intellectual services.

The supported formats are
(MP3/OGG/AAC/AIFF/WMA/APE/FLAC/ALAC/WAV/DSD/ISO) - 384kHz-32bit/DSD128, and in general AK4377 is capable to "read" PCM to 768 kHz and DSD256 with a maximum of its target capacity 45 mW.

The Fiio M5’s main storage will be via a single micro SD card that can support up to 2TB of microSDXC. It is possible to use a microSD card for the device firmware update.
bottom of Fiio m5.jpg

It has a symmetrical USB Type-C port for USB DAC, USB output and file transfer as well.

The player is equipped with a dual high fidelity microphone with cVc noise cancelling. The microphone is designed for recording and talking on the phone.
top of Fiio M5.jpg

FiiO M5 portable player built-in 550mAh battery, battery life of about 12 hours, the data will change according to the use of users, basically meet the needs of a week is sufficient, but a little pity, M5 does not support any fast charge protocol, fully charged for more than 2.5 hours.

At present it is possible to get Fiio M5 for $109.99 at where I actually received this device. The web address is The order was received in less than 2 weeks.

Thanks for your time, let me know if you have any questions.

I did not write anything about the sound quality as it is very subjective category. The SQ can depend on lots of different factors. Different people while listening to this device will percept the sound differently. If somebody is interested in my personal opinion, please PM me and I will certainly respond it.

The latest firmware update (V. 1.3.0) can be downloaded from here. Most of the problems have been solved.
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Aug 6, 2019 at 11:54 AM Post #2 of 40
My general impression is that when paired with BTR3 M5 goes to the darker side, say, 20%. The highs and mids are a bit recessed as compared with a wired connection. But still I am amazed as theoretically Bluetooth sound should be much worse and it did not happen. Sub-bus is boosted just slightly but the mid bass massages my ear drums which I like very much. And I am talking about LDAC. If/when FIIO enables HWA codec in M5 the difference will be negligible as I know how BTR3 sounds with HWA codec. I am getting in love with M5 more and more.:ksc75smile:
Aug 6, 2019 at 6:30 PM Post #4 of 40
I think one thing about this player that makes it somewhat inferior to the Shanling m0 is its lower power output.
While the m0 can output at 70mW @ 32Ohms, the M5 can do around 60mW @ 16Ohms (according to the spec sheet of the AK chip).
Not sure what other important features the Fiio has over the older m0, though. I could be missing a detail or two.
Aug 6, 2019 at 9:44 PM Post #5 of 40
If you had these players R3 or shanling m0 how is it compared to them. Also does it have recently added playlist.
Unfortunately I don't own R3 and M0 s I can't compare them.
You can add a play list in M5. Or do you mean the feature that the player shows the recently played files?
Aug 6, 2019 at 10:01 PM Post #7 of 40
I meant every time I add music files it shows them.
If I got it correctly when you add new files you should update the full media library which is not quite comfy as it takes time (depending on the size of the media library) to start from a scratch.
Aug 6, 2019 at 10:20 PM Post #9 of 40
I'll check it tomorrow if you don't mind.
Aug 7, 2019 at 9:54 AM Post #11 of 40
That’s fine. Thanks
I've looked everywhere in the player. The Fiio playlist does not exist. I guess it's a minus for the player.
Could you tell me in a few of words how this Fiio playlist works?
Aug 17, 2019 at 9:51 AM Post #13 of 40
Just got my M5 and have been using it for an hour. Preliminary observation
- Currently using folder browsing to play songs. Every time after power up, M5 wont be able to recognize micro SD card. Need to manually remove the card and reinsert, wait for 5 seconds, then the device can recognize it. Am using a 128GB sandisk card that works flawlessly on my X5 II for years.
- Playback. Somehow, it always skips the first second of every single track. Is there any setting that can solve this?
- Touch screen sensitivity is one of the worst I've ever experienced, ever. It is hard to press any button on the screen, need to press multiple times on the same region to register a single click. Is even harder to slide the screen from left to right, need to apply a specific amount of pressure and slide with a specific speed, anything out of the range will not register a slide.
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Aug 17, 2019 at 11:23 AM Post #14 of 40
Every time after power up, M5 wont be able to recognize micro SD card.
Did you do "Update Media Library" which is in Settings?
Sometimes it is necessary to format a microSD card in FAT32. I guess this should help you.
I've tried at least 5 different cards and there was no problem with any of them.
If FAT32 does not help there's a problem with the hardware and the device should be sent for repairs or replaced.
Actually I don't have a single problem which you described. The device they sent you must be faulty.
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Aug 17, 2019 at 7:57 PM Post #15 of 40
The M5 has so much potential. It just needs a good firmware update. Need a scroll bar for large library (like the MO), A play all when going to artist category (like the MO) . Also need a recently added playlist and need a recently played playlist (like the MO). And Fixed external playlists (like the MO) Other then that it’s a cool little player. Please @FiiO add this. Thanks

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