Highs : super sharp. The FiiO M11 presentation was all about subtlety and the M15 about grandiloquence. Meanwhile, the M11 Plus LTD is more about precision. It sounds TOTL and you’ll hear every micro-detail but never feel overcome by the sound. Like a good maestro at a concert, the M11 Plus LTD conduct sounds more than it delivers.
Mids : excellent layering and dynamic. Voices have always been good on FiiO players, and the M11 Plus LTD is no exception. This is especially true with big cans, as the sound pressure delivers superb vocals, when the track is well recorded.
Lows : best in class. This is where the M11 Plus LTD impressed me the most: whatever the track, the player was able to reach the deepest note, with ease. You never have to raise the volume, but if you do the bass will remain strong and steady, with no dragging sound. It’s the BEST bass you can get, in my opinion.
Noise and power
Noise: nothing to worry about, the residual noise is absent. Even my hypersensitive Onkyo could not spot anything! Even with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on, EMI shielding made a great job and I never encountered any parasite or buzz during my listening.
Power: now FiiO offers three different levels of gain for its player. If low is really low and should only be used with IEMs, the mid-level was enough for 90% of my headphones, even cans like the Grado. Obviously, if you want to drive cans like the Audeze or Sennheiser flagship, you better put the gain in high and stick to the balanced output. If not as powerful as the M15, there is clearly enough power for daily use.
Line out/Coax out: a quick word regarding the line out. If the FiiO M11 Plus LTD offers the classic 3.5mm output, to connect your amp, the player also introduces a new balanced, 4.4mm, line-out. Unfortunately none of my gear support this type of plug, but it’d be pretty interesting to see if this matches the usual XLR line out.
Shanling M6 21: you can find this player for approximately the same price. It’s a great edition of a superb player, now with a Sabre chip to replace the AKM one. Visually, the M6 is better looking and offers a nicer screen, but sound-wise, it’ll just come down to your personal choice. Both are exceptionally gifted players and if the M6 21 got into my recommendation list, so did the M11 Pro and so will the M11 Plus LTD…
Astell&Kern SR25: the SR25 was just a SR15 revamp, but it’s still an A&K from knees to toes. The dual Cirrus-Logic is a great alternative to AKM chips and the Astell did a great job with this later player, giving us the perfect balance between sharpness, and sweetness. That said, compared to the FiiO and Shanling, the SR25 seems a bit limited and the UI falls far below its contender in 2021.
Let’s make it simple, like the FiiO M11 Pro before, the M11 Plus LTD is one, if not the best player you can get in this price range.
UI is fast, the sound is superb, and it does almost everything well, either as a DAP or as a source. You can just fill it with your own music, install the music APP of your choice or simply use it as a great source for your car (yes FiiO did earn a certification for that too). Add a layer of finesse, thanks to years of work at FiiO’s engineer camp, and you got it all.
If you didn’t have the chance to get the M11 Pro before, you should seriously consider the M11 Plus LTD. It’s equally good, if not better in some aspect. The only viable contender that I could think of is the Shanling M6 21, but it’s also one of my top picks. So here it is people, two players, two choices, but at the end of the day two incredible devices. And you better get one till you can, who knows what could happen this year again.
The Fiio M11 Plus replaces the Fiio M11 Pro on our list of recommended DAPs. So yes, the FiiO M11 Plus LTD wins our recommended buy award!
Page 1: about FiiO
Page 2: Design, build quality
Page 3: UI, Usage, Bundle
Page 4: Technical specifications
Page 5: Sound performance
Page 6: Sound Part 2, Comparison and conclusion