Is the FiiO M11 Plus LTD better or equal to the AK Kann Alpha in SQ?
Nov 5, 2021 at 1:51 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


100+ Head-Fier
Dec 29, 2010
As the title states, is the Fiio M11 plus LTD as good as the Kann Alpha or is the Kann alpha better in the terms of SQ? Would any consider Fiio M11 as a mid tier or above based on SQ?
Nov 20, 2021 at 2:13 PM Post #2 of 6
From the specs of both, the FiiO M11 Plus LTD is best for IEMs or sensitive on-ear/over-ears and the AK Kann Alpha is best for general on-ear/over-ear use.
Nov 23, 2021 at 4:31 PM Post #3 of 6
I just bought the M11 Plus LTD.

I had the Kann Alpha. Three units. All returned.

Kann Alpha is plagued by wifi issues in Europe. Beware.

M11 Plus LTD isn't remotely as powerful which is the whole point of the Kann Alpha — there's nothing like it on the market in terms of form factor/power.

If you don't need the Kann Alpha's power, I'd say get the M11 Plus LTD.
Dec 3, 2021 at 11:29 PM Post #5 of 6
I liked the Alpha Kann over M11 Plus LTD. Same specs but different tuning and circuitry. I like the Alpha in terms of SQ (all aspects) but not functionality. Slower UI, not fantastic in terms of customer experience as compared to smoother and buttery fully Android on FiiO.
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Dec 5, 2021 at 11:06 PM Post #6 of 6
The M11+ has the weakness of a poor amp circuit. (by comparison to better FiiO parts, eg the M15, tuned ‘non THX’ parts)
Everything else of the M11+ in terms of pushing audio is excellent. This is one of my favorite transports from the modern ‘mid fi’ market. (not the equal of a Questyle QP1R, but ‘close’ enough and with more output options etc).
Fed into outboard DACs or DAC/AMP or AMP, it is the front end many systems need but are oblivious to what they are missing. (Good DAP flogging best phones etc)
The nuanced delivery and exceptional transport quality do help the inbuilt amps, but they are the ‘big let down’ that would easily have other kit besting the M11+ ‘total sound’.
I bought the M11+ for every other aspect of it, sans the THX amp modules that I had no interest to use... (if FiiO had done their typical customised sound circuit I’d have been happier, but they would have netted less ‘flavour of the moment’ sales from the consumer interest ‘THX’ buzzword)
Do I think that the A&K players have a ‘full package’ high quality delivery? yes

And whilst I might like to own one, the M11+ is the perfect front end tool, and as there isn’t a lot of ‘one box to rule them all’ players out there.. most users are willing to mix and match/pair up ‘as appropriate’ to make stuff work ‘its best’.

There is something lovely about ‘one small box’ audio systems.
I tried to love the THX amp modules in the M11+, and was doing fine until I attempted to fire some ‘Muse’ (loud dynamic rock, live recording) through them.. (admittedly into full sized over ear cans)
The visceral basslines were gone, and I was at 66% volume level, balanced, on low gain mode.
An outboard power amp returned the tunes to sounding brilliant.
I doubt the A&K would fair much better at this test (it would, but not enough to equal an external amp).

Must admit I have always put up with clunky front ends and ‘missing features’ to choose sound quality (function greater than ‘form’?) (I’d stick to the A&K and feel very happy)
but then i want every dollar invested in audio to net good returns. I find the M11+ an unbeatable proposition, and would keep two in the cupboard (unopened) if I had the liquid funds towards disposable projects. (Back in the day I bought three Sega Dreamcasts ‘for the cupboard’ when they exited the market); of course 3x the M11+ cost would buy some pretty amazing kit..

What weighing do you give their respective costs? do you ever use outboard amps?

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