A multi-talented digital audio participant with a barrel load of options, the FiiO M11S entertains with its balanced, constant efficiency throughout a variety of sources. It’s a worthy journey companion to go along with your smartphone of alternative.
- Balanced, informative sound
- Simple to make use of
- Vibrant show
- Android integration
- Huge specification
- Some might hanker for extra pleasure
- Pretty massive in measurement
ModesSwap between Android, Music, AirPlay, Roon, and extra
Hello-Res AudioHelps file codecs as much as 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256
Android modeObtain third-party apps from Google Play Retailer
I maintain listening to there’s no place for a transportable music participant in in the present day’s world with the smartphone, however somebody someplace have to be shopping for – in any other case you wouldn’t be studying this evaluation.
If something, moveable music gamers have change into extra like smartphones, adopting related interfaces, touchscreens and being simply as straightforward to function.
The FiiO M11S is a transportable music participant that operates like a smartphone with its Android UI. Some should really feel their smartphone does all the pieces they want it to, however the FiiO M11S has completely different concepts.
- Vibrant, vibrant show
- A lot heavier than a smartphone
- Balanced/line outputs
One of the simplest ways to explain the M11S can be a comparability to a top-of-the-line telephones round. It’s thicker than the Samsung Galaxy S23 (18.5mm vs 7.6mm), heavier (271g vs 168g) and has a smaller display (5-inches vs 6.1).
However regardless of its bigger dimensions, it’s significantly well-built from all angles. The 5-inch IPS display has a 720p decision, and textual content is sharp and clear to learn. The display is vibrant – album paintings seems nice – and it’s brilliant, although not brilliant sufficient to face up to the glare of a sunny day.
The M11S comes with a transparent case and the display already has a protector pre-applied, although these scale back the participant’s general aesthetics. The rear of the M11S is glass which supplies the unit a premium end. Any fingerprints and smudges will be simply wiped off.
Working the FiiO M11S took me a short while to determine. There’s no management wheel for quantity like there may be on Astell & Kern gamers however a checkerboard-styled rocker on the left facet. Urgent in direction of the highest bumps quantity up and vice versa on the backside does. Above the amount management is a button for energy/display on/off and beneath the rocker is a customisable button. Like an Android smartphone, maintain the ability and quantity buttons collectively and you’ll take a screenshot.
The ergonomics of the M11S when it comes to form and measurement go well with me holding it in my left hand; thumb on the left facet, with index, and center for playback management on the correct, after which working the display with my proper hand. I didn’t expertise points shuffling my digits about to cowl the buttons, the position of which appears properly thought out.
On the right-hand facet are playback buttons, and under that’s the microSD slot. Inputs are on the underside which is the standard means of doing issues but in addition implies that the participant can be the wrong way up in a pocket throughout use. I’m unsure if I favor this fashion or the Astell & Kern technique of placing them on the high – both works actually.
These inputs, earlier than I neglect, are USB-C to USB-A (for charging or turning it right into a USB DAC), together with a 2.5mm balanced out, 3.5mm out/line-out/coaxial out and a 4.4mm balanced/line output. The M11S solely is available in black.
- Twin DAC design
- Hello-res audio help
- 14-hour battery life
Geared up with two ESS ES9038Q2H DACs to cowl the correct and left channels, the M11S makes use of FiiO’s 4th Gen FPGA (Area Programmable Gate Arrays) with phase-locked loop know-how. Some digging on-line infers the circuit continually adjusts to match the frequency of the enter sign it’s receiving.
And dealing together with twin customized femtosecond crystal oscillators, the concept is that this set-up affords “elevated precision” and low jitter (digital audio errors) to provide a clear audio efficiency. File help is as much as 32-bit/384kHz and DSD256, and there are three ranges of acquire to select from low, medium, and excessive: relying on a headphone’s impedance.
There’s Android OS help customised to the M11S’ wants, and just like the FiiO R7 it affords the complete Android efficiency. Having Android is helpful in that when you join a pair of Bluetooth headphones you’ll be able to obtain its corresponding app. Android appears higher suited right here for moveable use than it’s on the R7 desktop amplifier.
A swipe down brings the short menu settings, and you’ll swipe away notifications such as you would on a smartphone.
There are completely different menus too, from Android (for putting in apps) to the Pure (or FiiO) Music interface, Bluetooth receiving, USB DAC, and AirPlay modes.
The touchscreen affords a swift response to presses and swiping gestures, and navigation is fluid with no lag or slowdown. The participant comes with 3GB of RAM and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 chipset. That’s a mid-range chip from just a few years in the past, equal to what’s within the Xiaomi Redmi Notice 7 or Samsung Galaxy A9.
32GB of inside storage is offered however that may be expanded with microSD playing cards as much as 2TB. The 1300mAH battery claims to supply 14 hours of service earlier than recharging. Streaming a playlist from Amazon Music for an hour at 50% quantity introduced the battery life down by 7% and that’s heading in the right direction for the 14-hour whole. Do you have to up the amount the general battery life will fall to lower than that.
Different options embrace full unfolding of MQA recordsdata for very best quality efficiency. The International SRC bypass overrides Android’s Pattern Charge Conversion for bit-perfect playback, and there’s Roon Prepared help as properly.
Bluetooth 5.0 is included with the M11S capable of obtain SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs, in addition to transmit these codecs together with aptX, aptX HD, LDAC and LHDC for increased high quality wi-fi playback. There’s additionally Wi-Fi within the type of 2.4 and 5GHz connectivity.
- Balanced, uncoloured sound
- Informative element ranges throughout frequency vary
- Measured bass supply
Should you’ve learn my FiiO R7 evaluation, it shouldn’t be a shock that the FiiO M11S adheres to an identical method. It’s a impartial supply, maybe not the showiest efficiency, however its balanced method is greater than passable.
With a pair of Sennheiser IE 200 in-ears and a stream of Educational Decommitment from the Spider-Man: Homecoming soundtrack; the FiiO M11S outputs a spacious soundstage that’s knitted collectively properly, that includes sturdy ranges of element and an pleasurable impression of the observe’s dynamics.
It’s a really measured, balanced, and studious efficiency – you’ll be able to really feel the M11S’ hand directing playback however not all the time in an apparent means. The FiiO sounds pure – neither heat nor significantly crisp, music has a solidity to it, and distortion is minimal if there may be any in any respect.
A swap to a pair of Sivga Robin SV021 and the FiiO’s tone stays constant. Sticking with Spider-Man – this time the Throughout the Spider-Verse soundtrack – and that measured method is noticeable within the opening observe’s percussive notes. Bass doesn’t dominate proceedings, however the low frequencies have weight, and observe as an entire is energetic and dynamic.
With GoGo Penguin’s Raven – a check observe favorite of mine – the M11S’ copy of the piano is properly brilliant and sharp. I can hear pretty variation within the piano notes as they articulately ascend and descend, standing out with high-quality readability among the many quick beats and cymbal crashes. Even when treble notes don’t register the next degree of brightness or sharpness, they’re all the time described in clear phrases.
The midrange is introduced in informative phrases with Mitski’s Keep Tender, which is relayed with bundles of element, definition, and readability. Mitski’s soulful voice comes by way of clearly, easily and with a pure disposition. Devices are properly outlined – the sense of separation between devices will not be keenly felt I’d add, however not missed both. The sound the M11S creates is a coherent one.
The FiiO’s sense of group of its soundstage is probably its most spectacular trait – there’s a neat and tidy sense of the way it goes about its enterprise, seemingly unflustered by no matter data it must feed to the listener. Dynamically it goes from loud to quiet and vice versa with composure, although this space does reveal a facet of the FiiO that is perhaps a slight letdown.
I wouldn’t describe FiiO as probably the most energetic or attacking performer. It could present an pleasurable sense of momentum and drive, but in addition feels as if it’s holding one thing again. It’s this space the place the controlling hand of the FiiO feels extra apparent, and the place the Astell & Kern SR35 feels livelier and extra energetic.
Linked with a pair of Bluetooth wi-fi headphones – the Sony WH-1000XM4 – and just like the FiiO R7, the efficiency is generally high-quality. It takes the identical impartial method, tempering the Sony’s richer sound however audio isn’t as detailed or as dynamic sounding as wired headphones. The amount wants elevating too, to derive a extra energetic sense of circulate and drive.
The USB DAC efficiency is an enchancment over plugging headphones straight into my Lenovo laptop computer. After some experimentation with the amount, I discovered the highest finish of the frequency was brighter, the soundstage greater in measurement, and the FiiO extracting a extra dynamic efficiency than my laptop computer might; although I discovered with some tracks that the midrange was just a little extra detailed on my laptop computer than the M11S.
Do you have to purchase it?
A multi-talented digital audio participant: A transportable participant, USB-DAC, AirPlay, and Bluetooth receiver in a single type. If you wish to enhance your music listening expertise, the FiiO covers the bases.
You need just a little extra pleasure: The FiiO’s general method to sound is a measured and balanced one. Should you’re after extra sonic fireworks, the Astell & Kern SR35 is perhaps of extra curiosity.
Just like the R7, the FiiO M11S is a product with an exhaustive spec. It covers just about each space you might need from a digital audio participant; its flexibility is spectacular and if I used to be to check it to a smartphone in audio phrases, it’s simply the higher choice.
However will potential clients wish to have two gamers of their pockets? I think not, however all which means is the FiiO would sit in a bag to be introduced out when the event requires it. Its characteristic set is broad, and its Android integration makes extra significant sense right here than it does on the R7 desktop amplifier.
And most significantly it sounds good, placing in a balanced and composed efficiency, although I’d argue for some extra punch and power in some areas. However, the M11S is a likeable private music participant from FiiO at a extra inexpensive worth than its Astell & Kern SR35 rival.
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We check each moveable music participant we evaluation completely over an prolonged time period. We use trade commonplace checks to check options correctly. We’ll all the time inform you what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to evaluation a product.
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Examined throughout a number of months
Examined with actual world use
The FiiO M11S helps an intensive record of codecs, that embrace as much as DSD256, 24-bit/352.8K DXD, APE codecs as much as 24-bit/384kHz, Apple Lossless as much as 32-bit/384kHz, AIFF, FLAC, and WAV as much as 32-bit/384kHz, WMA Lossless as much as 24-bit/192kHz, in addition to MQA, MP3, OGG, and AAC.
USB DAC Mode
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
microSD card as much as 2TB
74 x 19.5 x 125.2 MM
2.5mm balanced out, 3.5mm out/line-out/coaxial out, 4.4mm balanced/line output
Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi
DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, 24-bit/352.8K DXD, APE codecs as much as 24-bit/384kHz, Apple Lossless as much as 32-bit/384kHz, AIFF, FLAC, and WAV as much as 32-bit/384kHz, WMA Lossless as much as 24-bit/192kHz, MQA, MP3, OGG, AAC