FiiO M7 Music Player Bluetooth Black
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|Memory storage capacity||512 GB|
About this item
- ES9018Q2C DAC combines a high-performance DAC and headphone amp into one tiny package.
- Si4705 chip dedicated to FM radio performance (FM Range: 76MHz - 108 MHz)
- 20 hours play time 40 days standby time
- 2GB built in storage expandable by 512GB
- Batteries : 1 LR44 batteries required. (included)
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.3 x 10.9 cm; 116 Grams
- Date First Available : 23 May 2018
- Manufacturer : FiiO
- ASIN : B07D7Z67F5
- Item Model Number : M7
Best Sellers Rank:
162,760 in Electronics (See Top 100 in Electronics)
- 452 in MP3 & Digital Audio Players
- Customer Reviews:
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FiiO M7 Hi-Res Lossless Audio Player with Bluetooth and FM Radio The FiiO M7 is the latest addition to the celebrated range of FiiO players featuring Hi-Res audio support Bluetooth with LDAC support USB audio and even an FM Radio. The M7 is FiiO's first player to use Samsung's Exynos 7270 Soc This core uses 20% less power for greater efficiency and battery life. High fidelity wireless The M7 features Bluetooth 4.2 and supports the apt-X-HD audio codec allowing you to enjoy your music in high fidelity without the hassle of wires. In addition the M7 also supports Sony's LDAC wireless audio codec. USB Audio The M7 features digital audio output via USB with support for various sampling rates and DSD output. With this you can have the M7 act as a digital transport connected to an external device for digital-to-analogue decoding. ESS Sabre 9018 chip for unsurpassed sound quality The 9018Q2C chip saves space within the player reduces power consumption compared to competing solutions and delivers up to 49mW of output power at a total harmonic distortion level of -100dB a signal-to-noise ratio of -121dB and support for up to 384kHz/32bit PCM and 11 2 MHz DSD audio. Excellent battery life The 1180mAh battery allows the M7 to have a play time of 20 hours or more or a standby time up to 40 days. In standby mode you can instantly wake up the device so you can enjoy your music immediately whenever you want while still saving power. FM Radio The M7 contains a dedicated FM chip the Si4705. This is a specialised DSP with excellent FM reception that outputs a digital signal directly to the DAC. The FM chip uses your headphones as an antenna. FM frequencies between 76MHz - 108MHz are received by the M7. Features ES9018Q2C DAC combines a high-performance DAC and headphone amp into one tiny package. Si4705 chip dedicated to FM radio performance (FM Range: 76MHz - 108 MHz) 20 hours play time 40 days standby time 2GB built in storage expandable by 512GB Supports APE/WAV/FLAC/WMA/OGG/AAC/.
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Warning: LONG review, that gets a bit techy in places. Nothing too off-putting, hopefully, but if you're just looking for a simple-to-use, easygoing music player and aren't really all that bothered about whether or not it sounds fantastic, then I can save you some time and tell you now, this is not the music player for you. If, on the other hand, you put sound quality first but you want to know what the Fiio does well and what it doesn't, then read on, and hopefully this will be of some use to you. Cheers.
OK, first the good:
- Sound quality is excellent. I have a massive music library; having it all on one device in lossless format - even flac - is just not an option. I'd need terrabytes and terrabytes of storage, and the technology just isn't there yet to get that much data on one microSD card or one device. So I still use mp3 (v0 LAME encoded, mostly) and AAC/MP4 music files. A slight trade-off in sound quality, which you'll maybe notice if your ears aren't aged like mine and if you use top quality, wired earphones. For the rest of us, a well-encoded mp3 or mp4 file sounds just as good and takes up a fraction of the space. And the Fiio makes even these lossy formats shine. It's actually slightly better sound quality than my old Cowon Z2 Plenue - which, I'll be honest, surprised me, as the Cowon's sound was tweakable to the nth degree, it had a great DAC and headphone amp. The Fiio gives slightly better stereo imaging/soundscape, slightly more detail, much better sub-bass, and sounds just a little bit less 'digital' than the Cowon did. It's just a joy to listen to, even through bluetooth earphones.
- It can take a 512gb microSD card, no problem. My library of 12,000 songs takes up about a third of that, so it'll be a long, long time til I need to worry about storage space.
- Bluetooth 5.0 on this thing is excellent. I get an absolutely rock-solid connection to my earphones (Shure TW1, which also run Bluetooth 5.0), no matter which Bluetooth codec I use. Even when I'm out running, with the Fiio in an armband swinging to and fro, it just works. The only time it's ever disconnected - and it was only once, and for a fraction of a second - was when a car passed me. It looked as though the driver in the car was doing something with his phone at the time (because who cares about paying attention to the road, right?) ... something bluetoothy, that interfered with my connection. It happened once, and it's never happened again since then. Thanks to lockdown and working from home, I can't yet say how it fares in a busy environment such as a packed train where there's lots of other bluetooth stuff going on.
- Build quality is very good. It even comes with a clear soft plastic (or hard rubber?) protective casing, so you don't have to worry about buying an after-market protector.
- The buttons - next track, previous track, play/pause, and power on/off - are responsive, and the volume roller works well.
- The 3.5mm headphone socket is at the top of the device, where it should be. Not at the bottom, where other, lesser device-makers put it.
- Unless you're technologically clueless, initial setup is fairly straightforward. OK, I wouldn't expect my granny to get it right first time, but for anyone used to using a PC or a smartphone, it's easy enough. Connect it to your Windows PC and it'll appear in Explorer right away, so you can drag and drop music to the device. To be able to do the same with the microSD card, find the Drivers folder on the Fiio device (still in Windows, that is), copy it to your PC, then install the driver (Samsung MTP driver) on your PC. You can then drag and drop your music to the microSD card too.
- It's pretty easy to update the firmware and/or the Fiio Music app. Look up instructions online for installing the firmware or the Fiio Music apk. It really is easy. My device came with the latest firmware but with an older version of the music app, which worked well enough but took *forever* to scan for music, so it's well worth updating to the latest version - which still takes a while to scan, but it's nothing like as slow as the stock version. My library (around 12,000 songs, remember) took about 2 hours to scan using the stock version of the music app. With the latest version, it took less than an hour.
- Volume level is not capped - or at least, not so capped that you'll need to find a hack. With my wired earphones, a normal listening volume is about 25 (out of 60). With my wireless earphones I initially had to crank it up to about 50, but after a firmware update to the earphones, that's sorted, so about 25-30 for bluetooth.
- Battery life when listening to music (with the screen off) is excellent, and it charges very quickly compared to my smartphone or my old Cowon. Using the screen obviously eats battery, as does scanning the library. Listening to music at a reasonable volume with the screen off for 30 minutes uses about 2% of the battery. Scanning the library for 30 minutes uses about 10%. So do your scanning when it's plugged in and charging, ideally.
- The screen is tiny, and there's nothing in Settings to make text size larger (or anything Accessibility-related at all, in fact). You're stuck with the display as it comes. Which, again, is tiny. If like me you've got big fingers and struggle to type on a smartphone, you'll *really* struggle with this thing. It's not helped by the fact that the Fiio Music app makes no attempt whatsoever to cater for those of us with shovels for hands, with its tiny icons and text. If having to make several attempts to press the right button or menu option enrages you, you should look for a bigger device with a bigger screen. Knowing what I know now, I do wish I'd sprung for a bigger Fiio. But then, the small size of this model makes it perfect for popping into an armband for when I'm going running; I quickly forget it's there.
- Still on the screen: it's not very bright. In sunlight, even at full brightness, it's almost impossible to see what's happening on the screen. Come on, Fiio; having to find a shady spot if I want to search for a particular artist/genre/track really shouldn't be necessary.
- As mentioned above, the music app takes a *long* time to scan the library, even when you tell it to just scan one particular folder with only a handful of files in it. I've never known a music player take so long to scan. And best of all, you need to keep the screen on while it's scanning, otherwise it won't ever finish the scan - it's like the device goes to sleep when the screen does, and pauses the scan. Maddening. And, as mentioned above, having the screen on really eats the battery (like you wouldn't believe). Doing a full scan of my library (around 12,000 tracks) uses about 9% of the battery. Worse than that though, it doesn't auto-scan after you disconnect the device from your PC (or re-insert the microSD card) as you might expect. So every time you add new files or delete files, you need to go into the music app, go into Settings (which may or may not involve much rage as you try to get your finger-press juuuuust right to hit the tiny, tiny Settings icon), then (more potential rage, fellow fat-fingered folks!) try to select the Scan option in the tiny menu, then you can either select 'Scan All' - which will take about 5-10 minutes, depending on how much has changed and how big your library is - or, if you're brave, you can tell it you want to Scan Specific Folders, which requires more deft, laser-accurate selecting of folders by your ham-fisted self. You'll probably tire quite quickly of constantly selecting the wrong folder accidentally, and just use the Scan All option instead. Oh, and on the subject of Scanning, I've discovered another annoyance: if you amend the tags on a file (say, change the genre), doing a Scan doesn't update the details in the library. What you have to do is delete the track from the library, then re-scan. Or you can remove the library altogether and do a full scan (which doesn't take that much longer).
- No WiFi, only Bluetooth, so - although this is technically an Android device - you can't download apps from the Google Play store. You can get apps onto it, if you can find the .apk for the app you want, download it to your PC and then copy it to the device. That's how you update the Fiio Music app, as I mentioned earlier. However, I've yet to find another .apk which the device will install. I'm guessing Fiio have restricted it. Which is fair enough; this is a music player, not a smartphone, after all, but if you're thinking you can use this for more than playing music, then think again.
- On-board memory is tiny, so you *will* need a microSD card
- There's something very wrong with the Graphic Equalizer (in both the stock music app and the latest version of that app). As long as you choose one of the presets, it's fine; but if you try to go all 'Custom' and choose your own EQ settings, something weird happens: as soon as you move one of the sliders up, even just one notch, the whole volume dips and all the other frequencies get clipped dramatically. It's just broken, basically. To restore the sound to how it was before, you have to either turn the equalizer off or switch from 'Custom' back to one of the presets. Luckily with the equalizer off the sound is great through my earphones, so for me this isn't a deal-breaker. But if your earphones or your preferred sound require some equalizer tweaking, you'd better hope one of the presets suits you, Otherwise you're out of luck until they fix the EQ.
- Now, this next one might not bother you at all, but I have to mention it, as it's almost been a deal-breaker for me. Bear with me here, I get a bit nerdy. For the purposes of transferring media, the device will *only* connect to your PC by way of MTP (Media Transfer Protocol), which I'd have thought by now would be old, obsolete tech. You cannot - repeat, cannot - connect it as a 'mounted storage' device, like you would an external drive or a memory card, so you can't map it as a drive in Windows. What this means - at least, in Windows 10 - is that when you connect the device to your PC to transfer music onto the microSD card, add files, delete files, amend tags, etc, it's slow. So very, very slow. If like me your music library is massive, with hundreds of folders, then hundreds more subfolders, it's painfully, tediously slow. Go into an Artist folder from the main library, then come back out of it to the main library again, and it takes aaaaaages to populate the list. I'm not being dramatic here; it takes over a minute. That gets really old, really quickly. Also, the default folder view in Windows is Icons rather than List or Details. If you want to see the folders in a List or as Details, you have to change the View in Windows. No big deal, you're thinking. Ah, but wait - as this is an MTP device only, you can't apply that change to the whole device/microSD, you have to do it for each folder that you go into. I know. In this day and age, right? Oh, and if you're thinking you can just tell windows to Customise the folders (so that they look the same as, say, the Music folder on your PC - same columns, same sort order, etc... (and why wouldn't you want that?), well, tough. You can't. The option to Customise just doesn't appear. (You can apparently fiddle with the Registry in earlier versions of Windows, to trick it into letting you Customise, but not in Windows 10). Now, again, this might not sound like a big deal, but if like me you're a bit OCD about file tags, artwork, etc, it's a MASSIVE deal. In short, it makes navigating around the device in Windows a real chore. Oh, also, you won't be able to see thumbnails (artwork), so every file will look the same, with the generic 'blank' icon that Windows uses for a music file. And every file's file size and bit rate will show as zero in the preview pane. Again, sounds trivial, but it's not. So rather than connecting the device with a USB cable and wrestling with all this nonsense, I've resorted to removing the microSD card from the Fiio every time I want to do anything with it: pop it into an adaptor and insert it into my PC as an SD card. That way it's far, far quicker to use, and Windows treats it like any other storage space, so you can customise the view wholesale rather than folder-by-folder, you can see artwork/thumbnails, file size, bitrate, etc, and it doesn't take an eternity to jump in and out of folders. Removing and re-instering the microSD card is pretty easy once you get the hang of it, but it's something you'd rather not have to do; eventually - we're probably talking years here, I know, but still - it's going to wear out the card or the slot. If Fiio had done what other brands (eg, Cowon) do with their devices, which is to let Windows treat them as a mounted storage device instead of just an MTP device, you could leave the card in the device, connect it to your PC and it would behave like a USB drive or an external hard drive - ie, efficiently, quickly, the view readily customisable, etc; just... better, in short. MTP-only is such a backward step, tech-wise, I'm at a bit of a loss to understand how the decision-makers at Fiio signed off on it. Cutting costs, I guess. I don't know if this is something that could ever be fixed by a firmware update, but I would guess not, otherwise surely to God it would have been fixed by now.
- It's very fussy about which mp3 tags it likes and which it doesn't. It took me a long while to figure out why it wasn't picking up the genre on certain tracks. Eventually I worked out that it likes ID3v2.3 but not ID3v2.4, so I've had to download a program (for the PC, not an app for the Fiio, just to be clear) that can remove v2.4 tags and replace with v2.3.
OK, I don't want to end on a string of cons here, as - despite all these shortcomings - I do actually love a lot about the device. For a runner using bluetooth earbuds, once I've selected my music (indoors, out of sunlight so I'm able to see the dim little screen) and strapped it to my arm and hit play, step out the door and start my run, it's just a joy to listen to. Music sounds superb, Bluetooth connection is rock-solid, and I quickly forget what a ball-ache the whole file-management rigmarole was.
This is a budget music player, remember. Look at the cost of other 'hi-res' music players from established names and you'll see that this is very much towards the cheaper end of the market. But you do get an awful lot for your money: I think you'll struggle to get a music player that sounds this good, and if the build quality is as good as it seems, you should get years and years of use out of it. If you have small, nimble fingers (or if you're not as easily enraged as me and you think you can live with the tiny, useless-in-sunlight screen), and if you can look past or live with having to work around all the shortcomings when it comes to managing your music library, then this is a great little music player and I don't think you'll regret your purchase.
Thanks for reading. 👍
The player is beautifully made from aluminium and the screen is clear and quite responsive to touch. The OS is Android but a massively customised version and you can’t install other apps or sideload them. This doesn’t bother me as that’s not what I bought the Fiio for. Overall I am extremely pleased with this player and it has caused me to spend more time listening to my music than I have in a long time.
I have so far played just about every genre of music on this baby and I really am hearing parts of the music I have just not heard on cheaper players, they play with the same sound quality I expect from my Bose systems. I updated the player to the 1.3 firmware and have not come across any issues at all. I would highly recommend this player to any real lover of music who spends quality time gathering the best from their tunes.
File loading is a sinch, put the sd card into your pc, open it up then just drop in your music files to the sd card,, if you use ITunes, then just find your main iTunes music folder, grab the files you want, drop them onto the sd card, put the sd card into the M7 and there you go. When you first start the M7 it will find your music and create the library. Volume is superb, quiet as you like, or blow your ears away as loud as you like. Its ease of use is wonderful.. Faultless perfection indeed.
Now for the niggles, the buttons on the side are too sensitive to put it in your pocket and it not randomly skip/pause tracks, which is a shame, but at least you can disable them when the screens off, although this ment I had to take the device out of my pocket to change tracks, so I ended up buying a small Bluetooth remote (satechi media remote, as fiio's own one looked cheap), which works great in the house, and on the train.
Some software annoyances, like Fiio Music, the provided app, can't display album artists, only artists, so albums with lots of collaborations fill your artist list with duplicate entries, I'm looking at you Kanye West. (I'm currently retagging 12,000 tracks to get round this).
Luckily since buying the M7, theres been a few firmware upgrades, the last of which improved Fiio Music and allows sideloading apps, so you can get round it, but I find myself always going back to the original Fiio app as it seems to work on the screen size/shape best, out of the alternative apps I've tried (vinyl, shuttle, Poweramp?).
Please bare in mind, I am a software developer, so these software issues may not annoy others as much as they do me.
Coming from rockbox, the open source music player firmware, I do miss some features I would consider basic, like being to add tracks to the current playlist on the fly, but hopefully this feature will be added in the future.
Overall I'm still really happy with the device, I have a 512gb sd card in there full of Flacs, I use it easily 8hrs a day, and the Bluetooth is a added bonus for in the car.
Also I can confirm that it even works as a USB DAC under Linux (xubuntu), no drivers needed, wonderful.
This is a great entry level device for anyone looking to get into Hi-Res portable audio, and Fiio does seem to care about feedback from customers, unlike some Chinese manufacturers.