FiiO Electronics

FiiO is a Chinese company founded in 2007 that manifactures portable music players, audio amplifiers and DACs, earphones, as well as various cables and accessories.

This is the place to discuss everything related to that company !

Thought I would start the discussion with the FiiO M11 Pro, which should be released later this year. Any thoughts ?

Here are the specs (taken from their Facebook page) and compared to the standard M11 :

  1. DAC chips are upgraded to dual AK4497EQ
  2. Adopted THX-AAA amplifier chipset
  3. Increased ROM to 64GB
  4. Increased battery capacity from 3800 to 4370mAh

Scheduled to be released in Oct. (subjected to change)

Estimated SRP at USD 600-700 (subjected to final confirmation)

It’s an interesting sounding unit. FiiO usually do nice hardware. Their firmware has been a very mixed bag, historically, however.

But … my first real thoughts were:

  • Why did they remove one of the storage card slots vs. the M11? Seems a bit daft that the “Pro” model can mount less storage than the “normal” version.

  • I hope they do a proper job with the 4497 - it’s not as simple to implement as the 4490 and 4493, and so far every inexpensive 4497-based unit I’ve heard (or measured) has been no better off, and sometimes a fair bit worse off, than older 4490 based units.

  • Rumors about an M15 are floating about - so were I in the market for this in the first place, I’d at least want to wait and see what that was about (FiiO can be their own worst enemy sometimes).

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Good points you’re bringing here. The storage is kind of a bummer, especially with the price increase. For sound, I guess we will have to wait for a couple of reviews to come in to know how good or bad it is. As for the M15, that’s interesting ! Will probably be over $1000. Also, when does FiiO release new flagship products usually ?

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I don’t know what FiiO’s typical release schedule is. They’ve been on a bit of a tear lately with the M-series stuff. As I recall the X-series line was introduced/revised a bit less aggressively (my memory could well be off on that).

The M11 and M11 Pro has some serious competition on the horizon with the Hiby R5 coming out soon, the new Hiby R6 Pro PURPLE edition, the upcoming iBasso DX160, and the new nuTube module for the existing iBasso DX series, as well as the A&K SR15, which I still really like.

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I almost bought the HiBy purple R6Pro…but for only one reason, which is obvious if you know me lol…

But I’m not a fan of Sabre DACs…so it’s admired but not purchased.

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One of the most frustrating things I find with FiiO, and their immediate competitors (iBasso, Hiby, maybe Shanling) is that while the hardware is often excellent, and almost unassailable in terms of value, it’s the firmware/software that lets things down.

I gave up on iBasso a couple of years ago because I had literally never found a player/firmware that would index my library (nothing else has issues with it), without randomly failing. Yes, it’s a BIG library, but even the FiiO X5iii managed it after a couple of firmware updates (and even before that it wouldn’t fail, it’d just skip a few files).

I’d love to see the DX220 be able to overcome that … but not so much that I want to spend my own money to find out if they’ve gotten there yet.

I am fan of the NuTube in DAP applications … anything that uses it will pique my interest. Though the N8 is going to be though competition there!

When buying a dedicate music player, I expect it to EXCEL in that role … not just in sound … and not come in a distant 3rd place to random Smartphone apps. Which is the major reason why I’ve gravitated back towards A&K (I really didn’t like the AK120ii or AK240 at ALL, and the AK3XX series were entirely borderline value-wise) … whose firmware/software is pretty much as good as it gets in the DAP market, and then unique hardware like the Cayin N8 …

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the new iBassos and Hiby run full android now, so if their player doesnt suit you, you can just install something else. Hiby’s android implementation at least takes full use of their dac/amp architecture and bypasses android completely. Not sure on iBasso.

The iBasso DX150/200 both run pretty laggy from what I hear though, and not sure if the 220 and the upcoming 160 improve that. They seem to like RockChip CPUs.

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That’s good to hear, in regards to bypassing Android’s audio-stack, with the Hiby stuff! I’ll have to read up on what iBasso are doing there. The one thing that’ll never be an option is an Android DAP that uses the standard audio path.

Every RockChip based player I’ve had in my hands has been laggy. It seemed to be something FiiO couldn’t get away from for a long time, though they’re better chipsets now. But modern UX/DAP behavior seems to be beyond what the RockChip parts could handle fluidly, so that’d be a disqualifier too.

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The R5 pro will be something to look out for, especially with the success of the R6 pro (what is that naming convention by the way). If it brings significant improvements to the already pretty good (spec wise) R5, it’s going to be a winner for most people.

That’s assuming they release a Pro version. :slight_smile:

The Hiby R3 hasn’t had a Pro update and the R6 got one to incorporate 4.4mm and fix output impedance. The R5 will have both of those in from day 1.

Now… If they released one with volume wheel…

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We can dream for it :wink: ! Volume wheel would be awesome !