DAP DAP's FiiO M3K review Technology Up To $100

FiiO M3K Review | Headfonics

FiiO M3K

FiiO has been inside the marketplace for moveable music gamers for a while now. Ceaselessly increasing their prowess within the DAP area of tomorrow with new entries for our ears to take pleasure in.

Right now, we will probably be taking a look at their extremely finances M3K, which is a $69USD mannequin that could be one which redefines the most effective finances values within the decrease tier.

FiiO’s M3K is crafted from CNC aluminum and for such a small, ultraportable design, it has some good weight to it. Lots of cheaper DAP’s nowadays have a tendency to supply a much less dense bodily attraction, which accounts for the pricing I suppose. It additionally is available in a silver and black choice.

On this case, the $69.99 M3K has unbelievable construct high quality. True, the display could be very finances oriented, so don’t anticipate an OLED or a excessive refresh fee. For what it’s, it’s simply advantageous. More often than not, whereas out and about, I’m not wanting on the display anyway and simply letting it play in my pocket or aspect bag.

For ultraportable wants, I don’t actually need a fantastic display anyway so as to add to the pricing of the unit. I’d like one thing that gives simply an okay visible expertise with nice sonic constancy. Fortunately, I did obtain that.

FiiO M3K

FiiO’s price range fashions are all the time primary in setup and stream. That’s what I might assume the overall shopper would need of their expertise. However, not what the standard audiophile would need. Sadly, the EQ expertise is severely missing on the M3K, because it provides no customized choices and just some presets, all of which I’m very unfond of. However, that’s completely subjective.

It is likely one of the first situations the place I vastly favor EQ completely disabled and operating on a flat expertise. To my ear, every thing is sonically superior with EQ solely disabled on the M3K. I’m not complaining a lot although, I’ll get extra into this in only a bit with regard to general response tonality and the way EQ performs an element in that. For now, the consumer interface is comprised of just some subset folders. Consider it or not, I actually choose this simplicity over something complicated.

Simply give me an All folder, so I can shuffle all tracks, give me a primary Artists and Album folder space too. Past that, only one Favorites menu is all I ever actually wanted. Fortunately, the Favourite menu is accessed via one of many few main folders and never hidden someplace.

Proper now, I’m reviewing the $1,299USD Colorfly U8 DAP, which has a really unusual placement space for his or her favorites males which appears to need to delete itself if I take away the sd card. Nevertheless and fortunately, the M3K retains my favorites listing that I’ve arrange even after eradicating the sd card. Some DAP’s on the market auto-reset that, so watch out.

FiiO M3K

A Totally different sort of Contact

The M3K doesn’t have a full adaptive contact show. As an alternative, it makes use of one contact delicate vertical bar column that may be touched to boost up and down by way of menus and folders. Tapping the middle of the column is your choice button movement.

The M3K additionally has 4 icons across the middle bar that function some primary menu functionalities. Including favorites and toggling a couple of of the choices within the backside left main perform button is a little bit of a nightmare typically, because of the contact sensitivity of the column bar being a bit of too delicate and vulnerable to skipping over what you are attempting to pick.

I type of want a type of devoted contact buttons was purely customize-friendly. I might like to dedicate that button to ‘adding a favorite’, as an alternative of being pressured to open a menu, scroll to favoriting, choose and approve. Or, even an auto EQ adjuster with a faucet of a button. Something actually would have been nicer.

Wow. I’m past surprised. The M3K presents top-of-the-line, if not the most effective standby occasions that I’ve ever seen on a transportable participant all yr lengthy. I’m able to maintain the system on and take a couple of days away from it totally, simply let it sit on my desk, come again to it and see the battery drained only a bit.

FiiO claims every week on standby time and I feel that’s correct. Nevertheless, that may deplete in fact when you maintain the display on and let it play, or use high-quality music information. I acquired properly over 12 hours of regular utilization with this DAP and proper now that’s incredible.

I really feel like we’ve taken an enormous leap backward in time with regard to battery life these days. So, it is rather refreshing to expertise a pleasant, lengthy musical expertise that lasts longer than a whole workday. Good job, FiiO. This can be a battery life titan. I feel a number of that has to do with the facility draw from the DAC they’ve opted for.

FiiO M3K

FiiO has opted for a more moderen, trendy DAC, as an alternative of recycling some older cellular 9018 mannequin. I’m impressed with the facility draw capabilities of this DAC or, at the least, the shortage thereof.

FiiO has defined that the AK4376A is supremely environment friendly on energy consumption, which lends credibility to the huge standby time the unit is definitely able to. I don’t have to cost it day-after-day. I can use it for a couple of hours or much less, and simply let it exist on my desk for a bit till a day or two passes and nonetheless have hours of time left earlier than I require a cost. That’s superb.

Past the good DAC inside, the X1000E CPU is absurdly quick for such a finances pricing. I’m able to boot up, scan a whole 200gb microSD card and begin enjoying inside 60 seconds, and by that I imply from the primary preliminary scan in.

Boot up time is quick and scrolling via menus and tracks is a breeze. I actually want to see what this CPU can do in far more costly fashions as a result of I’m actually uninterested in costly merchandise lagging quite a bit when monitor skipping. I’m not keen on that, however right here within the M3K and with $69USD pricing in thoughts, I can’t actually complain in any respect.

At 42mW on excessive achieve, the DAP is lower than reasonably highly effective and is clearly meant for headphones at or beneath 80Ω. Little question probably meant to be used together with your typical units of portables and IEM’s which might be very environment friendly. For those who want extra energy, odds are good you’ll require a transportable amplifier as nicely. However, that’s just for audiophile utilization. Drop in a pleasant moveable amp within the mid-tier, go for it. You gained’t be let down by the combo, I feel the M3K sounds greater than clear sufficient for use in a strong mid-budget moveable rig.

FiiO M3K

Constancy – Bass

Sadly, the MK3 lacks bass depth and responsiveness to bassy cues in tracks. The missing EQ performance makes this so much worse on me as a bass fanatic. I can’t obtain wonderful depth and rumble right here. However, fortunately, the general constancy and purity issue is excellent. For $69USD? I’ve zero gripes. What’s there’s lots pure and clear, bordering on reference in tonality sort.

This isn’t a heat sounding participant within the slightest. These purists and medical lovers on the market will take pleasure in this sound, particularly anybody on the lookout for an affordable and pure sounding unit. Often, the very finances DAP’s out yonder have bass bloom and a way of heat to them that exceeds this kind of tonality presentation. So, good on FiiO for selecting the extra purist route right here.

Bass Dynamics

The bodily putting energy, or dynamic kick of the low finish, is usually too partaking for me on a subjective degree. As somebody who prefers musicality, my preferences are arrange for a softer bodily kick and slam issue on the low finish and I don’t take pleasure in wince issue. The wince issue on a flat EQ provided is one among a reasonably highly effective tendency.

Those that like partaking and pure sounding bass will love this. Nevertheless, those that need a softer, extra wooly sort of bass with a slower decay won’t take pleasure in it. That’s completely subjective and solely a press release for shoppers on the lookout for a selected sound. These shoppers who simply need a good sounding participant don’t want to fret, all of it sounds good general.


This FiiO M3K is reasonably introduced within the vocal expertise. I’ve a couple of different DAP’s launched in 2018 that provide a extra ahead, or extra relaxed presentation. So, the center floor is the place the midrange expertise is and I really feel that to be the wisest plan of action.

The sound of the participant, with regard to vocals, is in what I think about the “safe zone”. Which means, it caters to most listeners preferences. Ahead tracks sound lots ahead, very enjoyable and extensive tracks sound lots relaxed. It doesn’t in any respect lack anyplace particularly, however there are higher choices in case you are in search of a selected vocal expertise.

Midrange constancy for this worth is stellar. I’m extraordinarily impressed, as soon as once more, with the general purity issue being provided The one gripe I’ve is that typically the higher midrange areas can sound a bit too sharp and pure. Typically, sudden piano key strikes and vocal cues are a bit startling, however not overly so.

Once more, purity often equates to some wince issue and that’s okay as long as it doesn’t go overboard. It doesn’t go overboard within the M3K, however I might have most popular a bit extra heft and density issue to the vocal experiences than what’s there.

FiiO M3K


The M3K wins the award for a few of the most lovely and tamed treble I’ve heard in an ultraportable. It positively shredded the Xduoo X3ii that I’ve lately reviewed, making it sound overly hazy and muted.

The whole prime finish of this participant is a stark distinction to the remainder of what is obtainable, the place the whole lot else appears purist based mostly, the highest finish right here gently brilliant and musical. I actually love this sort of tonality and it match immensely properly with my older AKG Okay267, which has superb treble capabilities, even my Flare Audio R2Pro’s sounded superb! I’m so proud of the tonality of the highest finish.

You simply don’t hear one of these a musical tendency nowadays and I want FiiO would make a really heat, very musical sounding DAP on this ultraportable tier someday quickly to enrich the sound of the M3K. The treble presence and dynamic kick are lower than average and nearer to the underside finish of the tier. Which means, it’s farther from slamming than it’s from very smooth.


Soundstage depth of area is superb and competes with far more expertise DAP’s that I personal. That ahead stage presence and realism in reaching out into the entrance aspect of the void potential is sort of superb for less than $69.

Peak and general width are simply okay, as are vocal realism and instrument density issue within the void itself. By that, I imply that the imaging properties are simply shoulder shrug-worthy past the superb depth of area issue. My ears crave rather more width to compensate for the superb depth issue that’s provided.

Vocal and instrumental separation properties are good, however not nice. Once more, if you would like that, Xduoo’s X3ii could be higher for you as a staging fanatic. For now, the imaging properties of the MK3 are general simply good and greater than satisfactory. When you’ve got some price range headphones with wonderful depth of area issue, like a Denon D2000 or comparable IEM, then this can be a nice choice for you.

FiiO M3K

Hidizs AP80 and Shanling M0 vs FiiO M3K

The Shanling M0 is presently priced at $109 MSRP and the Hidizs AP80 is priced at $115. Each of them are a good deal costlier, however not an excessive amount of. All of them are within the finances tier parameters. The hole between the M0 and the M3K is smaller than the hole between the AP80 and the M3K, all of those units sound and really feel totally different and there’s a lot to debate about how every differs from the opposite.

FiiO M3K

Shanling M0


FiiO’s general tonality is much less dense feeling and missing a way of vividness. Though proper off the again, A vs B comparisons showcase the M3K’s superior staging in depth of subject issue, whereas each sound usually the identical in general width and peak elements.

Coherent instrument and vocalist formations, which means, the realism issue, is somewhat superior on the M0, however not by a lot. At this worth vary, I really feel like I’d subjectively want the superior depth issue of the M3K, it provides my ears one thing to carry onto with regard to the stereo void.

Fascinating “somethings” are higher to me than how pure one thing sounds, as my ears, once more subjectively, get bored after some time on the M0 with regard to imaging. Nevertheless, the M0’s backside finish potential is noticeably extra rumble and deep reaching.

Tonality on the highest finish of the M0 feels a bit extra dry, much less fascinating. FiiO did a wonderful job with the treble response and I had already loved the M0’s treble, to start with, but really feel the M3K to be a bit of extra clear feeling at occasions. Though, once more, density issue and heft are noticeably superior on the M0. The UI performance of the M3K can also be simpler to navigate, however for me, that’s because of the touchscreen measurement of the M0 being very small.

Shanling M0

Hidizs AP80


The AP80 is sort of a step up in constancy throughout the board, particularly so once I forgot that I had customized EQ settings activated on the AP80 proper once I began my comparability processes. With that in thoughts, the AP80 provides considerably extra staging coherency and bass response.

All the tonality and presentation feels a lot denser and weighted from prime to backside. As good because the treble response is on the M3K and the M0, the AP80’s inventory sound on prime of the spectrum feels noticeably cleaner than the M3K and the M0. It may be extremely custom-made with the MSEB features inside, that EQ system is completely stellar.

Additionally it is good to have full touchscreen capabilities on each the M0 and the AP80, whereas the M3K has a contact bar and solely 4 touch-sensitive areas on the display with regard to 4 small buttons on every nook of the panel.

Shockingly, the M3K almost doubles the battery lifetime of each the M0 and the AP80 and 10x’ed the standby time of each of them as nicely. When it comes to battery prowess, the M3K reigns supreme. The UI expertise on the AP80 is vastly superior, extra detailed and sophisticated. The place the M3K could be very primary and naked by comparability, the AP80 is dynamic and have wealthy.

Hidizs AP80

FiiO actually has gone above and past with this one. The construct high quality is absurdly good and dense at 77.5g for such a small mannequin. The touchscreen is a bit bizarre, however that’s okay to me and doesn’t intrude on the expertise in any respect for me past it being a brand new tactile expertise for me with a vertical touchpad.

Past that, the unit could be very pure sounding till you get to the highest finish, the place issues acquired very musical and hyper gratifying for me. Typically, I take heed to classical music and screaming guitars and discover myself air-playing to myself in entrance of others…as a result of I discover the treble response and presentation that fulfilling. Proper now, my pattern is a beta unit and didn’t embrace customized EQ. Nevertheless, FiiO has informed me that they are going to be updating the M3K with customized EQ very quickly!

The M3K is just $69.99USD and gives a number of the greatest battery life and treble I’ve seen in a very long time for such a budget-oriented mannequin. Nice job, FiiO. This can be a keeper.

Fundamental Unit

CPU mannequin Ingenic X1000/E,40nm
CPU working frequency 1GHz
Keyboard Contact button
Particular options Lengthy battery life, Deep sleep, Recording, Repeat
Chips used SoC: Ingenic X1000/E,DAC:AK4376A
Working System Linux
No. of cores Single
Enter technique Contact button+Bodily button
Consumer interface Deeply custom-made


WiFi N/A
USB Micro USB2.zero
Bluetooth N/A

Show display

Show measurement 2.zero inches
Show sort IPS TFT
Decision 240×320
Touchscreen N/A
Quantity of colours 262Okay
Viewable angle Full-view
Pixel density(PPI) 200


Storage enlargement sort Micro SD
Most storage enlargement Theoretically 2TB (solely one micro SD card slot)
ROM obtainable to the consumer N/A

Buttons and ports

Buttons Contact button+Bodily button
Headphone out (PO) Normal three.5mm stereo jack adorned with metallic ring
USB Micro USB2.zero
(Charging/Knowledge switch/OTG/USB DAC)


Colour Silver(may have extra colours coming out)
Weight About 77.5g
Beneficial headphone impedance 16~100Ω
Treble management N/A
Stability management ±5dB
USB DAC Asynchronous USB Dac, up to 192kHz/24bit supported
Dimensions 90.8mm×44.2mm×12mm
Quantity management 60 steps digital potentiometer
Equalizer 5-band EQ (±6dB),7 presets
Bass increase N/A
Achieve management N/A
Highest pattern fee supported 384kHz/32bit

Energy specs

USB energy adapter DC 5V/2A Beneficial
Charging indication Giant charging icon exhibits on show when it’s off,
small charging icon exhibits on the higher proper of
 show when it’s on
Battery capability 1100mAh Li-polymer battery
<2.5 h (DC5V/2A)
Battery indication – Sure
Battery Life & Check Circumstances
three.5mm headphone output:>24h
Quantity 24
Display OFF
Load M3 open earbuds (27 Ω)
Check File MP3 44.1kHz/16bit
Recording Supported
Date&Clock Supported
A-B Repeat Supported
USB OTG Supported

Headphone out specs

Output energy 1 ≥42mW(16Ω / THD+N<1%)
Output energy 2 ≥25mW(32Ω /THD+N<1%)
Frequency response 5Hz~90 kHz(-3dB)
SNR ≥117dB (A-weighted)
Output impedance <1Ω(32Ω)
THD+N <zero.004%(1kHz/32Ω)
Noise flooring <2uV
Peak output voltage 2.46Vp-p

File format help

Lossless: DSD:DSD64(“.iso”“.dsf”,“.dff”)
APE(Quick): 192 kHz/24 bit
APE(Regular): 96 kHz/24 bit
APE (Excessive): 96 kHz/24 bit
FLAC: 192 kHz/24 bit
WAV: 384 kHz/32 bit
Aiff:192 kHz/24 bit
Aif:192 kHz/24 bit
WMA Lossless: 48 kHz/24 bit
Apple Lossless: 192 kHz/24 bit

FiiO M3K Review

four (80%) 2 votes


Construct Quality8.2




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