UI & Usage
Like the FiiO M11 and FiiO M11 pro, the M15 enjoys an almost untouched version of Android 7.0. I say “almost” because FiiO didn’t get the Google Play Store approval, instead, they are offering their own FiiO Market, where you can download most streaming apps.
There are a lot of compatible, and available, apps that could be downloaded directly from the FiiO market. The best of them is, of course, APK Pure which replaces the Google Play store and gives you an, almost, unlimited access to all the possible APKs available.
I downloaded my usual set of apps : Qobuz, Tidal, Deezer and of course Spotify. All of that took less than 10 minutes, thanks to the 5Ghz wifi connection and a solid signal.
Again, some apps won’t work like Apple Music or USB Audio Player Pro, and you’ll have to check for a specific version of popular applications, like Netflix. Yet, the FiiO M15 remains one of the most versatile players on the market, thanks to that Android + Exynos SOC.
The FiiO M15 gives you 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.
If you really want to play “spot the difference” here is a quick list :
- there is a new “over-ear headphone mode”, in addition to the classic low/high gain
- you have two new modes available directly from the quick-access panel: USB DAC mode / Bluetooth Receiving mode
And… that’s it
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 M15 perfectly. It’s fast, reliable, easy to use and never crashed once (!)
It’s one of the most potent app I used those last months, with the Shanling M6 UI.
- 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
- Scan for music : if you need to scan your SD Cards, you can choose to scan the whole card or just a specified folder
- 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 : if you want to enable MQA decoding, you’ll have to turn it on (who would turn it off, that’s the question)
- Fixed volume settings : if you want your player to launch at the same volume each time
- 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
- WiFi music transfer : a very quirky option, enabling music transfer from your local wifi
- DNLA : the basic of local storage playback, once connected to the local WiFi
- 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
The article continues on Page Four, after the click here
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?
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!!!
I will take it to replace my current M11 with the focal clear
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.
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
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!
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.
Please suggest Kann cube or M15 ?
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.
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.
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.
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?