Audio

FiiO M3 Review

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Lighten your Music World with FiiO M3

There are a lot of FiiO DAP out there in the market right now. For example, we got the X series, 2nd Gen X series with X3ii being the cheapest and smallest. Well we have the FiiO M3 DAP from FiiO. It’s really small, cute and is going for just $55. This is also the first time FiiO is using the letter M series.

Summary

FiiO M3 may be the most affordable DAP in the market right now, but it’s still far from offering the capabilities of other much better players. The sound quality might be on par with what most smartphone offer you now, not to mention the file format incompatibilities. You would be better off sticking with your phone audio.

However, the advantage is the size and battery life is you really decided you should have it as well. You could even use it for your car to free up your phone memory as a backup plan.

Our Score:
Amazon1
Pros
• Small and light
• 8GB internal storage plus slot for expansion
• Fairly neutral, open sound
Cons
• Not all common file formats and bit-rates supported
• Sound quality is ordinary
• Poorly designed user interface

FiiO M3

What exactly is FiiO M3?

Well, to put it simply, it’s a DAP, and a really cheap one in fact. Weight in at only 40g, measuring 74 x 39.7 x 9.1mm, it can easily fit into your pocket. It also got a really good battery life of around 20-24 hours, ability to take in a 64gb SD card and the sound quality is really good for something that cost only $55.

How does it feel?

FiiO looks like a small size brick, with its sharp edges and buttons that flush with the device itself. On the left side, we have the power button and lock slider on the right side. The bottom has the Micro-USB port for charging and data transfer, 3.5mm socket and microSD card slot. The navigation buttons are place right below the screen. So in term of user-friendliness, it’s very easy to get used to.

FiiO M3 comes with its own earphone, but they don’t offer much sonic isolation. But I suspect anyone buying this will have something of their own to jack into. There’s also a standard Micro-USB cable included in the box for charging and data transfers.

FiiO M3

Specification and Software

FiiO M3 itself has 8GB of internal storage. There is also the microSD card slot that support up to 64gb of storage. So all in all, you will have a maximum of 72GB of storage space. Next is the 550mAh battery which can power the DAP for up to claimed 24 hours  , thanks to low-power Cirrus Logic CS42L51 DAC.

The device has a small 2-inch 240×320-pixel screen for visual cues and controls, oriented in portrait mode. It isn’t a very good screen, but then it doesn’t need to be since you’ll only be using it to control playback.

The downside is, the device has limited support for high-resolution audio format, supporting up to 24-bit/48kHz FLAC files, and 24-bit/96kHz WAV files. MP3, WMA, OGG and M4A are supported, but this does not include M4A-encrypted Apple Lossless (ALAC) files, which is a bit of a disappointment. The device can drive headphones with an impedance range of 16-100Ohms.

FiiO M3

Performance

We personally find the FiiO M3 smooth sound that goes really well with average listening and modern genre selection. Its does not have the best attenuated top end headroom, but still acceptable in lower treble and mid-range.

Verdict

FiiO M3 may be the most affordable DAP in the market right now, but it’s still far from offering the capabilities of other much better players. The sound quality might be on par with what most smartphone offer you now, not to mention the file format incompatibilities. You would be better off sticking with your phone audio.

However, the advantage is the size and battery life is you really decided you should have it as well. You could even use it for your car to free up your phone memory as a backup plan.

Official Website: FiiO

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