Review : FiiO M11 – So Far, So Good

Fiio M11

Design & Build Quality

Casing

The FiiO M11 isn’t a small player and doesn’t intend to be. Where the FiiO M6/M7/M9 were all true portable devices that could be carried in a tight pocket, the M11 won’t. It’s 13cm long, 7cm wide an 1.5cm thick, almost like an iPhone X but twice as thick.

That said, this is for the greater good and if longer, the screen also got bigger. Yes, the FiiO M11 takes almost all of the front panel : 86% screen ratio ! That’s stratospheric numbers if you compare to the other FiiO players which kept the bottom free of any pixels.

Build quality is superb. The brand took what worked on the FiiO X7 Mark II – aluminum casing, glass panels front and back – and improved it a little more. For example, the wedges are smaller and the glass panels are even more seamlessly integrated. So much you can swipe your fingers from through the borders and miss the gap.

Another quirk you won’t miss when you hold the FiiO M11 : the volume wheel offers a little resistance. It’s light but that truly gives a high-end impression to the whole ordeal, like those alcantara roofs in luxury cars. You won’t know until you try.

Layout

No more modular amp modules on the FiiO M11 ! Gone is the system that was first inaugurated in the FiiO X7 Mark I, so that makes the M11 an X5 Mark III replacement more than the X7 Mark II.

That said, the layout is pretty complete as I’m about to show you :

  • 1x 3.5mm headphone/line output. A single-ended output that suits all basic needs, it can be switched to line-out function or coaxial if you need to connect an external amp/DAC to the M11.
  • 1x 4.4mm Pentacon balanced output. It’s becoming a thing, the 4.4mm output is now available on almost every DAP on the market. You have to choose people : 2.5mm TRRS or 4.4mm Pentacon…
  • 1x 2.5mm TRRS… or maybe not ! FiiO has given us every chance with a second balanced output !
  • 1x USB-C. A standard now, used for charging, data transfer and even to connect an external DAC to the FiiO M11. Also, the DAP supports the USB-DAC function, so you can plug it to your computer and bypass your sound card, a good point.

Apart from the 2.5mm TRRS plug, the two other plugs are either gold plated or gold circled. This is classy and reminds me of the iBasso DX120 which also carried the same setup. The USB Type-C doesn’t get any gold, but the volume scroll wheel does !

On the left side, from up to bottom you have :

  • the play/pause button,
  • the gold platted volume wheel
  • next/previous track button

On the right side :

  • 2x micro-SD port

On the upper side :

  • a power/sleep/wake button, surrounded by a led light

On the bottom :

  • the USB Type-C input/output
  • all the headphone outputs

All the inputs feel sturdy and the buttons react nicely to the touch. As usual, the silicon case offers a better grip but this time doesn’t cover the control buttons.

Screen

You don’t need an eagle eye to see how much of an upgrade the FiiO M11 screen is from the previous versions.

First, it takes almost all of the front panel. So once you power on the player, you’re delightfully surprised by a surge of pixels, screaming : “Hey ! It’s 2019 B$tches, eat some more DPI”. That combined with the smallest bezels I’ve seen on a DAP, narrows the gap with modern smartphones.

The definition is great and the FiiO M11 is rated at 312ppi and the resolution at 1440*720. Colors are vivid, backlight even and, for those who might be concerned, viewing angles are pretty large. Actually, this is important to say because, for the first time, you can truly use Google Chrome on the player and watch videos! Not slideshows at 10fps, real videos from YouTube and such.

For a 500$ player, this is a big surprise. Sure, even a 100$ smartphone could do the same… but does it carries a double AKM DAC ? Hum ? That’s what I thought.
So yeah, the FiiO M11 is, for now, the new top choice if you want a truly versatile audiophile player, with a 5.5inch screen.

Bundle

Inside the box

To be honest, when I received the FiiO M11 box, I expected a complete bundle. But it ended to be pretty scarce, so here is what you have :

  • the FiiO M11
  • a TPU protection case + glass screen protection
  • a USB-C cable
  • a jack to coaxial adaptor
  • a quick-start manual

Of couse, FiiO is going to offer a full range of accessories, but I like complete packages.

The article continues on Page Three, after the click here

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A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

    10 Comments

    • Reply July 23, 2019

      Erick Osmanto

      Hi nice review, can you give detail impressions for the S8F with fiio M11?

    • Reply July 23, 2019

      PCiez

      Copy and paste works when you replace M9 with M11 ????

    • Reply July 23, 2019

      Sergei Lokhmachev

      Interesting and very detailed review, but what about the comparison?
      Can you compare it with Cayin N5iiS, Onkyo DP-S1 or HiBy R6 in terms of a sound?

    • Reply July 24, 2019

      Kevin Glimmersten

      I bought the M11.

      I was extremely disappointed with its sound performance. The soundstage is ANYTHING but massive, and the bass is thin and not dense at all.

      Its a boring, analytical presentation.

      • Reply July 27, 2019

        Alessandro

        È meglio di AK SR15? Sono indeciso tra questo e Cowon PL, cosa mi consigliate? Grazie

    • Reply July 24, 2019

      Kayla

      Hi!
      Being that you noted this is a worthy albeit not “the best” DAP – I’m wondering what you’d recommend to someone whom has a budget of around $1000 and is strictly concerned with sound quality? I’ve heard the soundstage on the M11 leaves much to be desired, so this is a definite detractor for me.

      Thanks!

    • Reply July 25, 2019

      Timmy

      Just tell it like it is Headphonia, this player according to a lot of people sounds like crap.

    • Reply July 25, 2019

      Scotosan

      Are you people shills/trolls The soundstage IS big and the sound while neutralish isn’t boring by any means. Kayla, who says the soundstage leaves a lot to be desired? Kevin Glimmerson on these comments? Can you link any of these reports of the soundstage leaving a lot to be desired?

      The bass goes deep and isn’t thin by any means, I switched to neutron from fiio to get a little LESS bass.

      Look this thing sounds like an sp1000 or wm1a for 500 bucks.

      If you’re not messing around or putting out some fiio anti, I’d go see an audiologist stat for a hearing test.

    • Reply September 16, 2019

      nik from moscow

      > Is it better than the FiiO X7 Mark II ? Sorry… but yes !

      No, it’s not.

      I just bought the X7 MK2 the other day, and M11 was in the test-listen list. It is comparable with X7, at best. You also mention M9 to be… ok, sorta? Dude, my LG smartphone sounds cleaner than the M9!

      The only thing i remember about M11 is how crazily loud it is. Then i stuck in the final selection between DX150 and X7, because although X7 gives clearly more detail, the DX150 sounded kinda… more interesting.

      Until i realized, it’s just about EQing. Use a little eq on your X7, and you get the same flavour of DX150, with the detail of X7. I bet, it goes the same with mimicking M11.

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