FiiO M15 Review

FiiO M15

Design & Build Quality



Oh you finally chose a Sony DAP as a runner ? – Nope, this is the new FiiO M15


Yes, there is no way around it : the M15 shares a lot of traits with Sony players, at least visually. The case is made of aluminum, with a matte black finish and round button subtly visible on the left side. Obviously, the screen is the same found within the FiiO M11/M11 Pro. It’s big, curved and beautiful, taking up to 90% of the front panel, far from the previous M9/M7 models.

Build quality is absolutely flawless, with no gaps and high-end materials everywhere your eye can see. Yet, my first sentence wasn’t entirely true, there is one fatal flaw with the FiiO M15, one you can only find once you hold it : the volume knob.

Here comes the FiiO M15

The poor guy has been given a glossy-plastic top covered volume knob which feels absolutely out of place when you handle it. Front panel? Gorilla glass. Back panel? Carbon Fiber covered with PET. The case ? Neat, CNC’ed, polished aluminum with a matte black finish. Volume Knob ? Big glossy plastic one. And that’s a shame because otherwise, the little guy is great to turn and handle.

Like every TOTL DAP, the FiiO M15 is bold and big. 13,4cm tall, 7,5cm wide and 1,8cm thick, so 0.3cm more than the M11 and 0.15 more than the M11 Pro. Compared to modern smartphones, size is not a real issue, even though it won’t fit in every pocket.

Rest assured, it looks and feels like a true high-end player, one that cost a bazillion bucks. Sure compared to the Luxury&Precision LP6 it may look too subtle, but that’s a good trait in my opinion.


The layout of the FiiO M15 slightly differs from the one found on the M11 and M11 Pro.

First and foremost, all the player’s controls have been moved to the left, leaving the right side completely blank, and the volume wheel has been replaced by a knob, now found at the top of the player

So, now you have, on the left side :

  • a switch to lock or unlock the screen
  • the classic power on/off button
  • the usual play/pause, forward/skip, reverse/backward
  • and a new blank button announced as a mighty “do-it-all” button

Double Hi-Res certification

On top of the player, we can find :

  • the volume knob, discretely lighted by a blue LED
  • 3.5mm headphone/line/digital output, so you can connect your headphone, a headphone amp or even a DAC,
  • 2.5mm balanced headphone output, a classic for all of you who didn’t switch for the…
  • 4.4mm Pentacon balanced headphone output, which is slowly becoming the new norm

If the 2.5mm output looked was the ugly duckling on the previous models, the M15 displays all the port in the same row now. Even more, all of them are fitted with a golden ring, even if the 4.4mm alone is really made of gold…

Finally, at the bottom of the FiiO M15, you get :

  • the USB-C port, to charge/connect your player and use it as a DAC or a source with the right device
  • a single micro-SD port, even if you can clearly see the outline for a second port on the bottom left side. FiiO tried to hide it with a “Dual AK4499” label, but you can’t fool us!

Obviously, everything looks and feels premium, but that was to be expected.

The triforce of headphone plugs


Same as before: the display is the one found on the M11 and M11 Pro.

A 5.15 inches IPS screen, boasting 16,7 million colors, a “retina” 312PPI definition thanks to the 1440×720 resolution and a 86% screen to body ratio. FiiO is proud to announce a border-less screen, but you still have a little black bar at the bottom of the player.

Still, it’s one of the best features of the FiiO M15. Viewing angle is large, the refresh rate is fast and you can even watch videos or movies, on a DAP ! Some would argue that the M15 could offer more, since the price is higher, but honestly, a QHD display on a DAP won’t make a big difference in my opinion.

All in all, you really have to be a nit-picker not to enjoy this screen.


Inside the box

The higher the price, the dire the bundle.

If the M11 pro ditched the silicon case, compared to the M11, now the M15 only offers… a USB-C cable. So, in the box you have :

  • the FiiO M15
  • a micro-SD slot tool
  • an USB-C cable
  • a screen protector
  • a quick-start manual

and… that’s it.

Sure, the black wooden box is a sight to behold, and that alone will make a nice addition to my collection. But, where is the damn case ! Even a simple silicon one would be enough…

Let’s see how it works now.

The article continues on Page Three, after the click here

4.4/5 - (196 votes)

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.


  • Reply February 20, 2020


    Nice review mate….could you explain more for the comparison between Kann cube and m15 regarding sound quality (mods,bass,etc.)? I can source a Kann cube at a lower price than the m15 but still considering if it’s worth it to get the pricier M15.
    I’m planning to use qobuz as my main music source (especially offline mode of qobuz), which would be better between Kann cube and m15 in your opinion?

    • Reply April 11, 2020


      I second that request. Please please do a detailed comparison of the M15 vs the Kann Cube. They seem to be very similar in that they are a new generation of players with no compromises in terms of power for those that don’t want to be tethered to a desk but don’t necessarily (or unneceesarily) need a tiny thin portable package. Plus, they’re right in the same price range. Looking forward to it!!!

  • Reply February 20, 2020

    Michael Racine

    I will take it to replace my current M11 with the focal clear

  • Reply February 20, 2020


    Thanks for the great review. This is how I personally summarize it for myself. Excellent TOTL spec. Great sound. But, don’t even need to compare against A&K SP2000 just because they use the same DAC chip.

    • Reply March 8, 2020


      Intentionally avoiding putting it against high end player i see?
      Now why is that?
      I think it only make sense to at least try to pit it against at least one of them

  • Reply February 21, 2020


    Good Review, thanks a lot! I`m a sounstage fanatic and cant decide between the M 11 pro and the M 15. Could you maybe do a short camparision? Or is there even another DAP with an even wider and deeper stage? Best regards!

  • Reply February 24, 2020


    Thanks for a great review.
    any idea on reviewing the Astell&Kern SA700 ????
    love to know how it compare to the FIIO M15 so i can make my purchasing decision.

  • Reply February 26, 2020

    Nilesh Desai

    Please suggest Kann cube or M15 ?

  • Reply April 12, 2020


    Move the sound section up. It took too long for me to get to what I wanted to hear. Also, all the specs discussion sounded more like an ad than a review. Your sound impressions were great.

  • Reply April 29, 2020

    Steven Zore

    I’m looking for a new dap, will probably go back to the SE100. I had the M11Pro but sold it because the mids were a tad too forward. Now this review says the highs are to harsh and piercing. It’s a shame Fiio cannot get their act together and tune their DAPS properly.

  • Reply August 18, 2020


    What is this supposed to mean please?

    Cowon Plenue L : if I could match the Plenue 2 MKii against the FiiO M15, I think that the Plenue L is a better match.

  • Reply September 8, 2022

    Mike F

    Great review but I have a tricky question. I was going to get the SMSL D1SE thanks to your review but a co-worker is selling his M15 really cheap so I’m wondering if the M15 can compete with a desktop DAC in terms of SQ?

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