FiiO M15S has carried out many upgrades on the basis of FiiO M15, making the user experience more humanized. The most incredible thing is that the starting price of M15S is cheaper than M15.
FiiO M15S specs and features:
- 5.5-inch 18:9 HD display
- High-performance ES9038PRO 8-channel DAC chip
- Bluetooth 5.0 with full bluetooth format support
- Desktop and portable dual power supplies
- 6200mAh battery and QC3.0+PD fast charging
- $999 – Check latest price on AliExpress, Amazon US, Amazon Germany or other Amazon countries
Design, Buttons and Interface
FiiO M15S continues the classic design of FiiO M15. But some improvements have been made in terms of button layout, screen and processor.
Among the most obvious changes is the move of the left volume knob to the right and the addition of a customizable RGB breathing light. The RGB breathing light of the volume knob of FiiO M15S can be customized and adjusted through the settings. Users can adjust the brightness, color, display effect of the indicator light and display the corresponding working status of the player.
The headphone jack maintains the same configuration as the FiiO M15, including 2.5mm balanced, 3.5mm single-ended and 4.4mm balanced headphone outputs. However, the color scheme of the M15S near the headphone jack has been changed, from the previous gold to the black that is consistent with the body, maintaining visual unity. The bottom of the body is the USB-C interface and TF card slot.
The buttons of FiiO M15S have also been improved, from single-sided buttons (M15) to double-sided buttons (M15S). On the right side of the M15S, a volume +/- button and a playback mode button are added. Users can not only adjust the volume through the knob, but also use the buttons on the right to adjust the volume more precisely. In addition, the button feel of FiiO M15S is also worth mentioning. Compared with the softer button rebound on FiiO M15, the button rebound of M15S is stronger and the touch is more clear.
Battery Life and Display: The screen is a little bigger
Although there is relatively little demand for watching videos or playing games on HiFi players, large-screen design has become the mainstream trend of modern mobile devices, and it is also easier to adapt to various music streaming applications. The screen of FiiO M15S has been upgraded to 5.5 inches, maintaining the resolution of 1440×720. Although the screen is not the focus of the M15S, for a HiFi player, I am very satisfied with the screen.
The FiiO M15S has a built-in 6300mAh battery, which has a reduced capacity compared to the 7490mAh battery of the FiiO M15 – resulting in a reduction in the maximum battery life of the M15S to around 10 hours. However, the M15S supports QC3.0 and PD fast charging. As long as the charging head supports this protocol, it can quickly charge the M15S, which makes up for the shortcomings in battery life to a certain extent.
Snapdragon 660 Processor and Operating System
FiiO M15S upgrades the Snapdragon 660 processor. The Snapdragon 660 chip is much higher than the Samsung Exynos 7872 equipped with the previous generation FiiO M15 in terms of single-core performance, multi-core performance, and comprehensive scene benchmarks. Replacing with a faster chip ensures the smoothness of the M15S in daily use.
In addition to upgrading the processor, the M15S has also upgraded the Android 10 OS. Android 10 has brought some significant improvements, the most notable of which are the global dark mode and full-screen gestures – making FiiO M15S more in line with the current mainstream smartphone experience in use. Moreover, Android 10 has better compatibility with mainstream music software.
Independent DAC Chip and Playback Mode
In the field of HiFi players, it has become a common practice to use the independent DAC system to bypass the SRC (Sample Rate Conversion) of the Android system. FiiO M15S is equipped with a high-performance ES9038PRO DAC chip, bringing the sound quality experience of a desktop player to this small machine. The sound reproduction of the ES9038PRO DAC chip is excellent, providing the natural and relaxed hearing.
In my experience, using the M15S with FiiO FF5 earphones, I feel the excellent performance of the ES9038PRO DAC chip in terms of sound quality. FiiO FF5 exhibits a delicate and precise hearing, while also presenting a wide soundstage. The high accuracy and delicacy of the sound exhibited by FiiO M15S completely immersed me in the music.
The portable desktop mode is a very practical update highlight of the FiiO M15S – the fast charge through the USB-C interface can make the M15S enter the desktop mode. In desktop mode, the M15S is completely powered by an external power source and does not use the built-in battery – avoiding damage to the battery from overcharging. At the same time, the desktop mode can also activate “Ultra High Mode” to release the greater potential of the headphone amplifier – the output power has reached 1200mW@32Ω, making the audio output of the M15S close to the level of ordinary desktop amps. Ultra High Mode makes M15S more flexible in different scenarios.
I connected FiiO FT3 headphone after turning on Ultra High Mode, and FiiO M15S has no problem driving it. The sound details of the headphones are very rich, and the soundstage is also very wide. It can be said that on the M15S, FiiO FT3 showed its full charm.
Accessories and Others
FiiO M15S comes with DK3S heat dissipation dock. The heat dissipation dock not only allows the M15S to be placed on the table for use, but also can dissipate heat for the machine. In addition, there are leather case, PD charging/data cable, USB power cable, USB adapter and miscro SD card removal pin.
Also, it has been upgraded in other aspects: the USB port has been upgraded to version 3.0, which means faster data transmission speed and more stable connection. At the same time, the FiiO M15S also adds support for the aptX Adaptive bluetooth audio format. These upgrades bring users more convenient and high-quality experience.
FiiO M15S incorporates top-of-the-line audio technology and codecs while maintaining portability – elevating the performance of HiFi players to a new level. What makes it great is not only its compatibility with music streaming platforms, but also its high-quality acoustic architecture. What is especially gratifying is that the price of FiiO M15S is only 999.99 dollars.