FiiO M11 Plus HiFi Player Review: Successfully changed “heart”

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FiiO M11 Plus

FiiO M11 Plus is already the second FiiO product that has been forced to change its “heart” recently. But it must be admitted that the two core changes were very successful. Although the price of the previous FiiO K5 Pro ESS has increased slightly after the DAC has been replaced, the performance and other aspects have been improved. In my opinion, the replacement of the “core” of the FiiO M11 Plus music player is even more successful. On the basis of a slight increase in performance, the price is cheaper. Therefore, it is very suitable for friends who are looking for a mid-to-high-end player.

FiiO M11 Plus specs and features:
  • Android 10 system
  • 5.5-inch bezel-less touchscreen
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 with 4+64gb
  • SBC/AAC/LDAC two-way Bluetooth 5.0
  • 14 hrs playback and 1000 hrs standby
  • 6000mAh battery with 27W smart fast charging
  • Supports MQA 8x decoding
  • 2.5/3.5/4.4 headphone outs
  • $700 – Check latest price on: AliExpress, Amazon US, other Amazon countries

Unboxing: The details are up again

Since unboxing is mentioned, it is necessary to introduce the accessories of FiiO M11 Plus. The accessories of the FiiO M11 Plus can basically be said to be complete in one step. The player has been pasted with a tempered film (and has an oleophobic layer) when it leaves the factory. In addition to the film, there are leather protective sleeves, card pins, USB3.0 Type-C cable, coaxial adapter cable, manual and warranty card.

FiiO M11 Plus

The FiiO M11 Plus uses the same 5.5-inch 1440×720 18:9 touchscreen display as its predecessor. The top border and left and right borders of the player are all designed with ultra-narrow borders, allowing users to get a more immersive visual experience. It’s just that the frame at the bottom of the player is slightly wider, about 8mm, which will have a little impact on the visual experience. The size of the player is 136.6×75.7×17.6mm and the weight is about 310g. The size and weight of the FiiO M11 Plus are not much different from the previous generation. It feels solid in the hand, but it’s definitely not heavy. After all, all 5G smartphones now have 250G.

FiiO M11 Plus is exquisite in appearance and workmanship. The black aluminum alloy frame around the fuselage has an icy sheen. The button design on the left and right sides of the fuselage adopts the hexagonal honeycomb element of FiiO family style. The body of the FiiO M11 Plus still uses a diamond-like texture. This smooth fuselage back panel uses the principle of optical refraction, so that each area on the back panel obtains different refraction angles, which can present different aesthetics, thus creating a very strong three-dimensional sense.

FiiO M11 Plus FiiO M11 Plus

FiiO M11 Plus abandons the traditional volume knob design in the key design, and thus becomes a key and touch sliding adjustment method. Compared with the knob design, such a design will greatly reduce the probability of user accidental touch. In addition, FiiO has adopted various methods in both software and hardware to prevent users from accidentally touching them. Not only that, the M11 Plus is also designed with a “HOLD button” on the right side of the fuselage, which allows users to directly disable those buttons with a high probability of being touched by mistake, avoiding misoperation from the root cause.

It is worth mentioning that the FiiO M11 Plus also upgraded the volume touch panel to a carbon fiber reinforced touch panel. This volume touch adjustment panel is very delicate, and compared to the material used in the previous generation, the carbon fiber keys of the new product are easier to use and more wear-resistant. At the same time, it can also increase its anti-sweat performance to a certain extent.

FiiO M11 Plus

In terms of interface design, FiiO M11 Plus music player has designed all interfaces at the bottom, which makes the player have better integrity. The bottom of the player is equipped with two balanced output ports of 4.4mm and 2.5mm and a single-ended output port of 3.5mm. In addition, there is a Type-C interface in the middle. It is worth mentioning that the 4.4mm interface supports balanced line-out output, and users can use this interface to balance the output to the pre-amp or amp equipment.

FiiO M11 Plus

FiiO M11 Plus is still powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor and deeply customized Android 10 system. This configuration allows the FiiO M11 Plus to run smoothly whether browsing the web or watching videos. In terms of charging and battery life, the FiiO M11 Plus supports the QC4.0 fast charging protocol, and it only takes 3.5 hours to fully charge the 6000mAh battery. When fully charged, the FiiO M11 Plus can provide up to 14.5 hours of continuous music listening time.

FiiO M11 Plus

This time, the FiiO M11 Plus has made major changes in hardware. The DAC chip of FiiO M11 Plus has been replaced by ESS ES9068AS from the previous AK4497EQ limited edition. The amp architecture is the well-received THX AAA-78 architecture, coupled with a proprietary feedforward error correction technology and an “achromatic” soundless amplifier architecture. FiiO M11 Plus is equipped with the fourth-generation self-developed FPGA clock phase-locked loop technology, supplemented by two Nissan NDK femtosecond crystals.

In terms of bluetooth, FiiO M11 Plus supports Bluetooth 5.0, supports SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX-HD, and LDAC formats for transmission, and supports SBC, AAC, and LDAC formats for bluetooth reception. FiiO M11 Plus is a very rare HiFi player that supports AAC/LDAC two-way bluetooth.


Sound quality

In this evaluation, we chose FiiO FH9, the flagship headphones just released by FiiO, as the main reference device.

FiiO FH9 is the new flagship product of FiiO hybrid driver earbuds product line. This earphone is a $130 with 1 dynamic+6 balanced armature. As the most high-end product in the hybrid driver series, FiiO FH9 has reached a new height in its headphone product line in terms of sound performance and configuration. The tri-band of FiiO FH9 is very balanced, and the connection between mid-low frequency and mid-high frequency is also very smooth, and the interpretation of classical music is absolutely pure. It couldn’t be more appropriate to use this headphone as a reference headphone.

FiiO M11 Plus

My first impression of the FiiO M11 Plus is that this player has a neutral-to-cold sound tuning. The sound is clean and transparent, the tri-frequency has a very high balance, the details are clear, loose and natural, and it is very durable. In terms of tri-band performance, the FiiO M11 Plus has plenty of low frequency volume, deep downward extension, fast rebound speed, and sound details can be well presented to me. The mids and high frequencies are very natural, and the vocals have very little “dyeing”. Of course, having the issue of “dyeing” is both a good and a bad thing, depending on what style you prefer. The high frequency of FiiO M11 Plus is crisp and bright, and the high frequency extension and details are excellent. It can be clearly felt that the FiiO M11 Plus handles the treble of the instrument properly and also has good control.

FiiO M11 Plus

In my opinion, when listening to some classical music, it can better reflect the hard power of a player. FiiO M11 Plus music player can restore the sound details of each part of the sound field very accurately when playing back large classical music, and almost all instruments in different positions can be distinguished. Dynamic performance is also a feature of the FiiO M11 Plus. Although this player, as mentioned above, does not have any sound coloration, but when the melody is ups and downs, its dynamic energy is full, and it can express the emotion in the music vividly. It is very rare that the $700 FiiO M11 Plus has such sound performance.


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