UI & Usage
While the FiiO M11 / M11 pro and M15, still run on Android 7.0, the new M11 Plus LTD is fueled by the 10th version of the popular OS.
Thanks to that, the player now supports dark mode, gestures, and most of all, a full Google Play Store experience. This means you can install all third-party apps, like Qobuz, Tidal, and… Apple Music!
Of course, if you prefer to use APK Pure, or FiiO’s own market, you can. Both apps are still pre-installed and thanks to the faster CPU + Wi-Fi chips, download speed is now on par with players like iBasso DX300.
Compared to the previous generation, the difference isn’t massive, but some things are definitely faster: boot-up speed, firmware upgrade, and other little caveats, now gone.
The FiiO M11 Plus LTD gives you, roughly, the same navigation menu as the classic M11 and M11 Pro. No more, no less, which is a good thing as the FiiO M11 really outperformed a lot of players on this point.
What’s interesting however is how snappier the whole player appears, compared to its predecessor. The new CPU and new UI seem to edge the previous generation in terms of speed, even if by a small margin on daily use. It’s essentially when you’ll begin to download some tracks, try new apps or navigate through those same apps that you’ll begin to feel the difference.
All in all, it’s one of the best experiences available at the moment, but I expected no less.
Since the first FiiO X7, the brand began to move from its old UI to a modern one: FiiO Music. It’s an android application, available on the AppStore and Play Store but on the latest players, the integration goes further beyond a simple app.
Sure you can use any android music player app you want, but the FiiO Music app is now very, if not the most, competent and matches the FiiO M11 Plus LTD perfectly well. It’s fast, reliable, easy to use, and remains one of the best player app out there.
It’s one of the most potent apps I used those last months, with the Shanling M6 UI.
- Scan for music : if you need to scan your SD Cards, you can choose to scan the whole card or just a specified folder
- Sleep timer : choose if the player turns off after a specified time, this works with the FiiO Music app only.
- Resume : choose if the player resumes to your latest track or the latest position in the track
- WiFi music transfer : a very quirky option, enabling music transfer from your local wifi
- Theme : now you can choose any background you like, even a manga-desu one !
- Gap less playback : if you listen to concerts or live performances, be sure to check it out
- Play through folder : this option enables the continuous play if you began to play your music from a folder
- Equalizer : want to tune your music ? This is where you go
- FiiO Link : this option allows you to control the player directly from your smartphone
- Auto search for lyrics : like Shazam, but for your song lyrics
- Auto-access to : I couldn’t figure out what’s the point of this one, but I kept it on anyway
- MQA SPDIF : if you want to output MQA through the coax port, you can chose between bitstream and decoded MQA
- Replay Gain : this mode automatically augments or lowers the gain depending of the track you’re playing to avoid wide volume range
- USB Output mode : if you want to plug a USB DAC to your FiiO M9, you can either choose DoP or D2P
- HWA : an option for enabling high definition streaming through Bluetooth headphones, once this mode is enabled you won’t be able to select the volume from the M9 anymore, in Bluetooth
- Automatic lyric search: for your karaoke need
- Lockscreen album art : if you like to see your album art when the player is on
- Reset database : it clears all the music you have, simple as that
Streaming / DNLA / AirPlay / FiiO Link
Now that the FiiO M11 Plus LTD is gifted with a Google Play Store certification, all it takes is a wifi connection, and you can directly install all the apps you need.
FiiO Link is still available: with Bluetooth pairing, you can control your player directly through your phone. It works well and somehow gives the same seamless experience than the Hiby link on Hiby and Cayin player. The only catch is that it’s only available for Android, for now?
Strangely, FiiO ditched AirPlay support and if you can still stream your music through the Bluetooth connection, no more stream from your Apple devices!
DNLA works the usual way, and you can even access your distant drives from the FiiO Music app. Or any compatible app, like HiBy music or Audio Player Pro.
Battery Life and Charging
The FiiO M11 Plus LTD battery is smaller than the one found in the M15, but bigger than the one used in the M11 and M11 Pro. Rated at 6000mAh, the new ultra-high capacity battery uses lithium cobalt oxide to offer a better weight/capacity ratio.
It supports QC4.0, MTK PE, and USB PD, so you can quickly charge the player from almost any power supply. Personally, I used my own computer charger (60W) and it worked like a charm.
FiiO advertises 11.5h of continuous playback and a much more conservative 41 days of deep sleep. In real-life usage, the player nearly matched those values and peaked at 10h30, wifi and Bluetooth always on.
USB-C and SD Card
The FiiO M11 Plus LTD uses a USB Type-C port. It’s the best option available yet, with a reversible design, fast data transfer, and Quick charge to fill the big(ger) battery.
The USB port works as an entry and a gateway: you can either plug the M11 Plus LTD into your computer and use it as a DAC, or connect a DAC and use the player as a source. A cool option we are seeing more and more on DAPs, and one I use much more than I expected with my actual setup.
But, underneath, FiiO did a massive upgrade: the M11 Plus LTD now supports USB 3.0 transfers. If that doesn’t make a big difference in your daily use, it’s a game-changer when you have to copy/remove some music from your player. On most players, I usually preferred to use my own micro-SD reader (USB 3.0) but now, I can just connect the player and do all my data transfers, directly from the player.
Finally, like every FiiO’s player, the M11 Plus LTD sports a classic micro-SD slot, with a tray system.
Bigger and bolder, the FiiO M11 Plus LTD is also thicker than its predecessor.
To be fair, it’s only thicker by a mere 2-3mm, but it’s considerably heavier. The classic version, the one I received, is 310g heavy and the Stainless Steel version exceeds the 400g!
It’s still a supersized smartphone or one with a big battery attached. It’s not impossible to carry – we’ve seen so much more – but I would be lying if I said it’s an easy player to carry. But, the square design makes it easier to carry than the M15 in my opinion, that and the sleeker casing.
Moreover, the new volume controller is just super, duper cool. To lower/increase the volume, you can just slide your finger across the surface, and the player will make that cool, clicky, sound mimicking the old scroll wheel sound. It’s simple and surprisingly accurate, even on the run! But, if you prefer step-by-step increases, you can just click the touch panel, and it’ll work like a classic button. Clever!
Last but not least, there are the new honeycomb-shaped buttons. It doesn’t make a big difference but I found them pretty cool to look and handle, especially when you use the leather pouch.
The article continues on Page four, after the click here
Page 1: about FiiO
Page 2: Design, build quality
Page 4: Technical specifications
Page 5: Sound performance
Page 6: Sound Part 2, Comparison and conclusion