FiiO M15 Review
Disclaimer: FiiO sent us the $1,499 USD Fiio M15 for the purpose of this review, free of charge. In exchange, we’re going to give our honest opinion, as always.
Lieven already previewed the Fiio M15 a few weeks ago, but he wasn’t blown away with the M15’s sound. Will I be? Let’s find out.
From its creation in 2007, FiiO has been pushing further and further to become one of the top players in the market. And you know what? After more than 10 years of hard work, I think they achieved their goal as the once unknown brand is now on top of mind with almost all “audiophiles” who are into personal audio.
Last time, we reviewed the FiiO M11 Pro, the upgraded M11 with a THX circuit and a dual AK4497EN DAC and thought this was FiiO endgame. How wrong was I…
So, yes, today we are reviewing the FiiO M15, the TOTL DAP from the brand, priced at 1,499€/$. Is it worth its price ? Let’s find out.
The FiiO Series
The FiiO M6 is, in my opinion, the best option available in this price range. It’s small, powerful enough to drive most portable headphones, has a WiFi + Bluetooth connection and it costs less than a cheap smartphone.
To auto quote: ” Let’s cut to the chase: for 150€, the FiiO M6 is a no-brainer. It blends good performance – neat design – great battery life – extensive capability and it can even be connected to another DAC through USB.”
The FiiO M7 introduced the new M series. It is one of the classiest players available in my opinion. It’s basically an Astell&Kern AK120ii but cheaper and lighter. Lieven made a comprehensive review of this player and said :
“Even though the Fiio M7 isn’t the typical audiophile DAP, I have really enjoyed using it to get to work and back home. Yes, it’s a “back to basics” device but it comes with an FM Radio, looks great and most important of all, it sounds more than just good. I’m pretty sure normal consumers will be blown away with its performance, both in usability as well as with its sound.”
If it’s cheaper than the M9, it’s more expensive than the M6 without the benefits. There is no wifi connection, no streaming support and the only plus is the FM Radio embedded (and design). So yeah, it’s an odd player.
The FiiO M9 shares the same SOC with the M7 and M6, but gains a dual DAC for better sound performances. Like the M6, you get an access to most streaming apps (Qobuz, Deezer, Tidal, Spotify), as long as FiiO white-listed your app (Tune-in doesn’t work for example). Still, for less than 300€/$, it’s still a solid choice thanks to the dual AK4490EN chips and versatile connectivity.
What did I say in the review? “Access to third party-apps and Bluetooth duplex alone, make it a top choice for me. For 299€, it’s simply the most versatile audiophile player you could get at the moment. The perfect blend of audiophile prowess, compact design, and Swiss-knife capabilities. Get this and a Q5, you’ll be fully equipped for years.”
The FiiO M11 is, for now at least, my favorite DAP from this generation. It has got a dual-SD slot, two AK4493EN chips, a super widescreen with a full-android experience and all-in-all, it’s one of the best bangs for a buck player of the market, with the Shanling M6.
A quote : “With its latest player, FiiO is pushing the last nail in the coffin, taking the crown as the best DAP in the mid-tier section. At the moment, I can’t think of any other player that can compete with the M11 : fluid UI, double micro-SD slot, solid WiFi connection with apk pure and the complete balanced layout.”
In fact, I liked it so much that it ended up in our Best DAP Buy List.
FiiO M11 Pro
If the M11 is not enough for you, now there is the FiiO M11 Pro. If they look the same, the brand upgraded the player with a set of AK4497EN DAC and two THX-78B chips, wee! The catch? The price raised up to 699€/$ and more importantly, there is only one SD Slot!
Did I like it? “This new M11 Pro costs 200$ more than the classic M11 and it ditched the second micro-SD slot. So, if you’re on a budget or need a vast amount of storage, you may want to stick to the first version. That said; if sound quality is your main concern, all of those changes are of no concern.”
But, all of those DAP was just an introduction to the new Flagship: the FiiO M15. So time to check it out.
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