FiiO M3 Quick Review
Thanks to FiiO for the sample.
Brief: Itty bitty DAP.
Price: US$55 or £50
Specifications: You name it, they list it. See here for full details. http://fiio.net/en/products/47/parameters
Accessories: A micro USB cable, a pair of earbuds and a neck length lanyard.
Build Quality: It would all seem to be pretty reasonably constructed. It’s all very light though which some people think means lacking, the thing weighs almost nothing which I see as a boon myself.
Aesthetics: I have the black one and its looks alright. However there is a part of me that’s kicking myself for not having asked for the blue one. I know I know, the grass is always greener but that blue looks so different. Anyway, the black, yeah its looks fine nothing wildly eye-catching though.
Power: While harder to drive things I felt it was struggling in the lower end but in terms of volume, my god it can scream when it wants too. The dial goes to 60 but I couldn’t push it beyond 40 before it was uncomfortably loud. So if you want to blast stuff out of maybe you have a hearing problem this can go stupidly loud.
Sound: The little M3 is a tiny little thing and its super cheap so I didn’t have the highest of expectations. Acoustically it is very pleasantly warmed, smoothed and with a little dash of cream. It’s a very pleasant rendition and it worked extremely well when paired with the Sony EX500’s. Both sharing that Far East / Sony sound. Big, warm, slightly diffuse bottom, somewhat creamy mids and a mostly muted, dampened treble except for a little peak in there to keep things on track. It’s been a highly popular sound signature for years so I’d expect it to be popular with likely buyers too. It’s a gently warming, adding a dash of chocolatey brownness to things. For me it turns more fast paced, powerful tracks into ones a little too heavy and too impactful. The initial impact is calmed but there is such a weight behind it. Never the less its one I know the masses like.
Overall the tiny little thing does a really rather capable job of everything you ask of it acoustically. It’s a little bit flavoured but oh noes, it’s got a bit boosted bass, that enhances its expansion and weighty follow through. Its target user isn’t exactly going to see that as an issue, they are much more likely to see it as a great big plus!
Value: Has FiiO ever made anything that wasn’t great value? FiiO are arguably the kings of high value DAP’s and the little M3 slotting in at the bottom end of their range does nothing to change that perception. Its great value for its US$55 price tag.
Pros: Thing is cray cray tiny. Great battery life. Real hardware buttons!!!
Con’s: Id rather swap a smaller screen for bigger buttons.