FiiO is my favorite brand when it comes to quality for the price. And lately, it has been releasing digital audio players like a Sony engineer on crack. Now, FiiO is introducing its most adorable high resolution music player, the M6. How does it sound, and what is its functionality? And how does it differ from the M7 or the M9? Let’s find out in this FiiO M6 High Resolution Music Player Review.
FiiO M6 High Resolution Music Player Review
IN the BOX
The M6 employs an aluminum alloy body with sexy 2.5D glass. The touchscreen is quite responsive, though perhaps not as fast as the screen on my iPhone. The size was perfect for my tiny hands, and I appreciated the free case and screen protector that FiiO threw in with the player.
Like the M9, the M6 comes with 2GB of internal storage. It also accepts micro-SD cards of up to 2TB, which a lot more than the M7’s limit of 512 GB. (Note that 2TB cards don’t yet exist).
The M7 can do more than just play downloaded music files. Unlike the more limited M7, the M6 has WiFi streaming capability, which allows you to use third party apps, like Tidal or Spotify. Apple users can also stream music via AirPlay.
The M6 has Bluetooth capability, which gives you the option of listening wirelessly through Bluetooth headphones. Also, if you have an Android phone, you can use FiiO Link, which allows you to control the M6’s functions from your phone if you need to step away from your player. Note that the Bluetooth capability is not 2-way like the M9, so it can’t receive Bluetooth signals. It can only send them.
And if you just need a straight digital to analogue converter (DAC) for your computer, the USB-C connected M6 can act as that stand alone device as well.
Inputs, Outputs and Buttons
The M6 uses a USB-C connection for charging and transferring data. And as mentioned above, this is also the connection you would use to utilize the M6 as a DAC. The only other output is the 3.5mm connection. Unlike it’s bigger brother, the M7, it does not have a line out. And it’s also missing the 2.5mm balanced output offered by the M9.
On the side of the player, you will find three buttons that control volume (which can also be controlled on the touch screen), as well as play and pause.
Using wired headphones, you can expect 13 hours of playback. And you’ll get 15 hours of usage via Bluetooth connection. The M6 takes 2.5 hours to fully charge.
aptXHD, aptX, SBC, LDAC.
ISO, DFF, DSF, APE, WAV, FLAC, AIF, AIFF, M4A, WMA, OGG, AAC, ALAC, MP3, DSD.
You’ll hear two major differences when comparing a high resolution file played on your iPhone to the same track on the M6. Firstly, the soundstage felt wider and more layered or multidimensional on trhe M6. Also, the instruments sounded much less compressed, bringing out details in the track that would be inaudible through the DAC on your iPhone. It’s a much cleaner sound overall. Don’t expect the same quality as you would from the M9, since the M9 has two DAC chips that are superior to the single M6 DAC. That being said, if you’re listening to high resolution files, it’s still a significant upgrade from most mobile devices.
If you are looking for the streaming capability of the M9, but don’t need an amplifier, balanced connection or line-out, then the M6 is a smaller and cuter alternative for half the price (even if it can’t match the sound quality of the M9). In fact, I haven’t seen a better built DAP for under $150. And for those who once owned an old player, like the iPod, and are in the market for a simple and affordable sound upgrade with more functionality, then the M6 is a great choice.
You can find the FiiO M6 for the best price here:
Audio 46 (Use our promo code, “majorhifi” to get 10% off)