Fiio M11-Better than X7 MKII ? ( Roundup Review)

Noted: Xtenik collected all the Fiio M11 reviews right here, so you can read them conveniently, if you want to read the full review, just click the button, it will redirect you to the original article

Article Review 

Headfonia Review 

UI & Usage

Android 7.0

Where the other FiiO M players use a tailored version of Android, the FiiO M11 enjoys an almost complete 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.

There are a lot of compatible, and available, applications 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 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. A big upgrade from the X5 and X7 !

fiio m11 ui

(Note: Picture credit Headfonia )

Overall navigation

That will be quick, like the FiiO M11. This player is, by far, the snappiest Android-based DAP I’ve ever tried. Powering the M11 takes less than 20 seconds, and shut down only 10 seconds. Every app you launch almost instantly pops up on the screen and the library scan is three-time faster than the M9.

So yeah, just for that, you really should try the M11.

Head-fi Review

BUILD QUALITY AND DESIGN

Most likely but they may not be giving justice to how beautiful this device really looks in person.

It is solid and hefty. There are no curves to it, just straight lines, which I love. It has an authoritative, powerful look, only tamed by the beautiful golden volume wheel.

Buttons are tightly tactile and very responsive, no loose feeling at all. Headphone ports are gold lined and reinforced. Headphone jacks plug in real tight and secure.

Notice the thread here?

There are no “loose ends” to the build. It is as solid and tight as they come.

SOUND

Burn-in: It is a DAP, not a headphone where the driver needs to loosen up so I do not expect a lot of changes after burn-in.

Approximately 10 hours in and the sound remained consistent, if a little richer out of the box. No other changes noted thereafter.

Set-up:

Fiio Music App EQ is off.

3.5mm headphone out (I have no balanced headphones to test)

Gain is set to HIGH

Filter is set at Short delay Sharp Roll-Off (default)

I would like to preface this section by saying that headphones produce what you hear.

The quality of bass, mids, highs, soundstage, and imaging are mostly dependent on the headphones.

What a DAP could lend is its inherent leanness or warmth (dependent on the DAC), lower noise, and clean, abundant power, among other features. The role of a DAP is to output as linear a sound as possible to the headphones and let the headphones do the trick.

Improvements to the headphone’s inherent qualities may be noticeable due to a better DAC and the added power (vs a phone or other DAPs).

The M11 sound is neither too lean (others may refer to this as thin or neutral) nor too warm (thick or dark). It hits the sweet spot at being lean and detailed with just the right warmth and richness so bass notes come off clean and clear.

I don’t find the need to EQ the default sound of the DAP. It is just right.

And if you ever want to EQ it, the equalizer in the Fiio Music App isn’t too invasive, but some may find it as ineffective since some EQs apply an immediate change to sound with a few DBs of adjustment. I think this is intentional to avoid distortion but Fiio could make it a touch more effective.

What it lends to the headphone is better detail in bass notes, mid-range, and treble. Differentiating notes in a bass guitar for example is easier, as well as differentiating vocal types from singers.

It’s easier to recognize that a particular singer sings in a particular range or pitch, etc. Vocal uniqueness among singers come in more distinctively.

The decay in cymbals and other high frequency instruments are much improved and you wouldn’t normally associate notes with cymbals but a simple mild crash can be very detailed and tingling.

As I prefaced, a better DAC (two DACs in this case), and the added clean power brings about these significant improvements to sound.

Tips: Someone was saying that if you use the Extreme cards, that album art loads faster. Also, loading up the cards would be faster too as they tend to have fast write speeds.

Headfonics Review ( M11 VS X5III, VS M9, VS M6)

Select Comparisons

FiiO X5iii

Although the M11 is in the M series, it looks like a premium version of the X5iii and replaces its product positioning and upgrades a lot of the functions. You will notice how similar the designs and features are yet the M11 complete everything the X5iii lacks. You get an extra 2GB ram, better noise control, a much larger screen, higher Bluetooth 4.2 standard, and extended battery life.

fiio-x5-iii

(Image Credit: Headfonics) 

The M11 has a comfortable tuning focusing on the midrange alike theX5iii, sound quality for both devices are similar especially on a balanced connection. On 3.5mm X5iii is more powerful and brighter whilst the M11 has its bass elevated and treble touched up.

The resolution on both devices in balanced mode is similar. The M11 has a more mid-bass/ vocal forwarded tuning, pops and guitars sound dynamic and smoother but with most IEMs I hope there could be more sub-bass presence for better resolution.

The M11 is doubtlessly a great upgrade with all the latest hardware, now you could practically watch shows online on a bigger screen and being able to read the subtitles. Tuning works great with youtube videos, games also streaming from Spotify outdoor and I hope pure music mode on X5iii to come back with a later firmware upgrade, perhaps with a cleaner tuning for indoor listening.

FiiO M9

You will hear more power and resolution in the mids and treble with the M11 compared to the M9 on both 2.5mm and 3.5mm outputs. There is also more texture and presence in the vocals. With a more open sounding performance, the treble sounds more natural on the M11 compared to the M9’s harder-edged sound.

Both devices have a slow decay and a soft punch in the bass, which fits slow-paced and relaxing music such as acoustic guitar solos. However, both may sound congested with faster electronic music or rock, especially with dynamic IEMs.

There are better dynamics on the M11 and you will hear more treble detail. Instrumental separation is obviously better on the M11 as well. Comparatively, the M9 is less aggressive in its low-end and the output is weaker so it may struggle to power gear that the M11 has no issues with.

Soundnews

Audio Performance

On the go I have listened to M11 mostly via the 2.5 mm balanced out with the FiiO’s very sensitive FH7 and FA7 IEMs which are picky in terms of noise floor and at home mostly with my Quad ERA-1 planars via the 3.5 mm SE output.

I was surprised to properly drive my ERA-1 planars on the SE 3.5 mm output at about 105 volume with modern tunes and at about 110 for high dynamic range tracks as older jazz or classic, that was unexpected. On the balanced out there is even more power on tap so it should have an even higher headroom for harder to drive headphones.

After about 2 days of non-stop burn-in I started listening to it closely and I am happy to report that FiiO went with a cleaner presentation and with a much wider sound. It reminds me a lot about their Q5 flagship DAC, the tuning is almost the same.

M11 has a layered and spread out sound, normally with portable devices I am not having such a wide spread and out of head experience, M11 sounds more like a pumped-up desktop DAC/Amp than as a portable DAP.

I think it slams awesome in the bass department and kicks my eardrums with authority, it is certainly in the higher-class category.

Thephonograph.net

Design

The FiiO M11 has a high-end aesthetic design with confident angles and golden accents.

The overall looks of the device has a semi-matte finish and a glass back with a carbon-fiber background pattern – this carbon-fiber looks are only found on the back panel of the music player.

Different to the past M models from FiiO, the FiiO M11 has a more aggressive look and an overall design that, we would say, has inherited many of the outstanding features of the M series blended with classics from the brand such as the FiiO X7 Mark II and FiiO X5 III.

The FiiO M11 has a very similar buttons and wheel placement as the FiiO M9 – placed on the left edge of the device to increase their ergonomics and usability. In addition to this, a ring light around the top power button will glow, blink and/or change color according to the status of the device

Moreover, it is great to see that FiiO has decided to use the full area of the front panel for the screen – more inline with the FiiO M6 screen design.

The FiiO M11 is certainly a bigger music player than the M9, M6, M7 with it’s much bigger screen and dimensions (with the cover) of 132mm×72.8mm×17mm – yet remaining fairly light weighted at 211 grams (no TPU cover); the size of the FiiO M11 without the TPU cover is 130mmx70.5mmx15.5mm.

Do you want to know Fiio M11 VS Ibasso DX220 ? I guess you did.  So click here to check the the video from Bad guy Good Audio Reviews

Twister6 Review 

Apps/Streaming

Before looking at apps there is something that needs to be clearly stated here: The M11 does not offer Google Play store support at this point in time.

This is something that is very important to be aware of because it means apps need to be side-loaded and not all apps will work optimally.

As such the user experience will feel different compared to an Android phone with full Google Play store support. I think that this is easy to underestimate and has led to some users being disappointed with the M11.

FiiO have clearly been working on ways to make it easier, such as the FiiO Market, where some of the most popular apps such as Tidal and Spotify can be found, as well as third-party app markets such as APK Pure.

This helps to make it easier, but can still feel cumbersome for people less well versed in the Android environment.

Remember, I am strictly analogue when it comes to this and so I will admit that for me there was a learning curve, although definitely rewarding once I got the hang of it. Mind you, I have not emerged as the “Grand Wizard of all things Android” either.

Another thing that is good to be aware of is that the M11 comes standard with ES File Explorer installed. This app might not be secure and has recently been removed from the Google Play store as a result of various problems. It might be good to look at an alternative instead.

Youtube Review 

1.) Who doesn’t know Z reviews, click to check his review on Fiio M11

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mg_z34lJ0qY

2. )The comprehensive review and hits on ALL the important points. This is what we call objective, nice video, by Channel Currawong

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD4lEaOuYuM 

3.) Why we said the review from Currawong is comprehensive, besides the above video, he made another follow up Q&A and stuff, really nice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo2UcAchuN0 

4.)Porta.fi is very active in answering every questions, if you have any questions about Fiio M11, maybe you can try to commnet on his video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxi0O1xv6fU

5.)Fiio M11 VS X7 II 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1eFezVSKdo&t=90s 

6.) FiiO M11 v.s. iBasso DX220

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19JQgD9FGkE 

7.) In the comments, you can find the answer why you should choose M11, but not X7 II

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZiyu-gUPZU 

8.) Goerge is enthusiastic about the products that he review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJIhIh8dfxo 

FAQ 

Question: Is Fiio M11 support only aptx or also aptx-hd? 

It supports aptx-hd. 

Question: Can it drive hd600 at full potential?

Unless you want to drive them to hearing-destroying levels, yes.

Question: Does Andromeda has any hiss with M11? 

It’s in there. Only a very tiny amount which is inaudible when music is playing.

Question: Can you install the youtube app on the M11?

Yes, you can. 

Question: I’m looking at buying either the M11 or the Hiby R6.  Are you able to give a preference?

I vastly prefer the m11 from the UI to the SQ

Question: Which sounds better Fiio M11 or Hiby R6 Pro? And R6 Pro has Google Play Store make’s a difference?

I think the fiio sounds better and more analytical. The Hiby sounded too warm and colored to me.

Question: Can I juse Tidal in Japan ?

Japan don’t have Tidal yet, To use Tidal, 

You need to register and use a proxy/VPN. After that, you don’t need anything.

Question: Is it required to have the 4.4mm terminal cable in order to get DSD format audio?

Weird question, but no. The 4.4mm output has nothing to do with DSD at all.

Question: Fiio M11 or Fiio x7 II?

When it comes to usability M11 is just better, it handles harder loads much faster (Faster SoC, bigger RAM), Overall it is a hassle free experience. 

X7 Mk2 in the stock form will not sound better than M11, stock amp module of X7 Mk2 is weak and has just a bit of hiss with IEMs. 

M11 internal amp is noise-less, even with very sensitive IEMs. 

However, you can make X7 MK2 sound better than M11, that is true, only by using a better amp module like AM3B or AM3D, but it adds to the cost. 

M11 is a 450 USD device, X7 Mk2 is 650 USD + add another 150 USD for AM3D and you have almost doubled the price. 

If you have the cash and if you care only about SQ, X7 Mk2 might be for you. But, I would advice against X7 Mk2 at this point as its successor is around the corner – a little birdie told me it should be released later this year.

Question: Do you have any experience M11 paired with CA Andro?  What signature will they do?

The M11 has a sufficiently low output impedance that the Andromedas will sound as they usually do out of most DAPs. It is only models like the original Hiby R6 that had a high enough output impedance that would cause changes to the sound. 

Question: Do you mean Hiby R6 gives a better synergy with Andro? 

I meant that most DAPs have a very low output impedance. Some DAPs, like the Hiby R6, have a high output impedance which can cause unintended changes to the sound as the Andromedas don’t have a flat impedance.

How is the Tunein radio app on this?  Will it allow downloads of podcasts? Is there a simple way to add apps?   

I tried TuneIn, just for you, and it works with regular streaming radio. I can’t tell you if it will work with podcast downloads. You can add apps with APK Pure, which there is an option within the M11 to easily install.  I could get TIDAL to save offline on a micro SD card though, so it might work. 

Question: Now I use Andromeda and finding DAP, do you recommend M11?

Yes, definitely. 

Question: How does this compare to pioneer xdp 300r or onkyo dp x1? 

I have the DP-X1a and just got the M11. 

UI on both is responsive (neither is laggy, even with large music collections) and both have lots of functionality and big, vibrant screens.  

Sound quality for both is high; I honestly think that you will see a much bigger difference between what headphones you are using than between these two DAPs.  

Both were super easy to set up out of the box, but the M11 has a few advantages.  

It very quickly scans all contents from both SD cards into one cohesive sound library (DP-X1a doesn’t).  I’m using 2 x Samsung EVO 256gb micro SDs and it scanned 10,000+ flac files in a minute or two.  

You can really feel the extra speed of the 3GB RAM vs 2GB of the Onkyo.  Probably because of this, the M11 boot up time is MUCH quicker. It also seems to have a better battery life so far.  It does all of this while having appreciably more power for lower sensitivity/higher impedance headphones than the DP-X1a.  

On the high output setting/balanced 2.5mm input, the M11 will more adequately power the HiFiman HE-4xx, which is a low sensitivity planar magnetic headphone.  The M11 also seems to drive the Philips X2 and B&W P7 with more authority and weight.  

About to try the Sennheiser HD58x (150 ohm) with the M11, and I expect that it will have no problem with them. The DP-X1a is a good player too, but the M11 seems more technologically advanced to me, even if I don’t use it for streaming or online music services.  

It’s strictly a DAP for my own music collection. So far I am very happy with the M11.  It may be a small thing to some people, but an important thing to me that I really appreciate about it is the relatively quick boot-up time and non-laggy UI.

Question: Is there a big difference between using the 4.4/2.5 connections and the 3.5? 

Only with full-sized headphones, where the maximum power output is lower from the 3.5mm. With most IEMs nothing significant.

The 4.4/2.5 uses different op amps to drive the headphones than the 3.5mm port so I would have to assume there will be some sound changes.  I haven’t listened to them enough yet and only put my full sized headphones in the 4.4mm port and my IEMs in the 3.5mm port. Check on the Fiio website for the M11 and there is a block diagram explaining the internal layout.  It’s a nice level of detail to explain what you can expect.

Question: Are Fiio M11 a phone? ( This question is for those who don’t know what Fiio M11 is) 

Not a phone, but more like an iPod. They use the same OS (Android) as most phones, but instead have a much bigger battery and much better electronics for audio. With a good pair of (wired) in-ear monitors or headphones, they sound much better than using a phone.  If you want to store a LOT of music too, this one has two micro SD card slots.

Question: 2 x AK4493EQ 32-Bit DAC does this have a good reputation? 

Yes. The particular DAC chip isn’t important though, it’s how they design around it.

Main Features 

FiiO officially released its latest music player named Fiio M11 along with many smart features. It has a very similar design to a smart-phone, with an 18:9 full-view display, a high resolution of 1440×720 pixels, 312ppi for the ability to display extremely sharp pictures.

FiiO M11 comes with both 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced jacks, best compatible with high-end headphones and cables on the market.  And like the other recent DAP, the M11 plugs into the computer to make USB DAC via USB-C port.

Well, let’s look into the full new features as follows first.

Samsung Exynos 7872Flagship main chipset
Two-way Bluetooth with LDACTransmission of all Bluetooth formats
+ reception of lossless Bluetooth
Numerous ways to output your musicBluetooth / single-ended /
balanced / line output / USB / coaxial
Dual-band WiFi2.4GHz and 5GHz
High-performance audiophile DACAK4493*2
High-res music formats supportedUp to PCM 384kHz, and native DSD256
5.15 inch bezeMess touchscreen18:9 ratio, 720P resolution
Long battery life13 hours battery life, 50 days deep sleep -standby time
Copious amounts of RAM and storage3G8 RAM+32G8 storage
Symmetrical USB Type-C connectorWith USB DAC and USB audio out functionality
Open-source Android 7.0 NougatSupports any 3rd party apps
All To DSDFiiO is the first to support this feature
All major portable headphone outputs2.5mm/3.5mm/4.4mm
Numerous ways to connect to your musicFiiO Link/AirPlay/DLNA/WiFi
Dual quick charging technologiesQuick Charge 2.0 + MediaTek Pump Express
Dual Hi-Res Audio certificationsHi-Res Audio and Hi-Res Audio Wireless certified

Following is the unboxing video from Fiio official( By the way, Chinese girl from Fiio in the video speak English very well. )