FiiO M3K review - expatinjapan



FiiO M3K review
 - expatinjapan 


Sleek and simple the FiiO M3k is a no frills, entry level dap with great sound for those amongst you 
who simply want to listen to music and at an affordable price.




Unboxing







USB-A and Micro USB cable 






Screen protector already applied and a rubber case provided. 









FiiO M3K. FiiO M7 and FiiO X7ii

User interface


Swipe up and down to scroll, push the middle for enter.


















UI in action, video


More details



  
 Updating the firmware

Very simple download the update to a Micro SD card and push the on button and the volume up at the same time. It should engage and update itself.

Latest M3K firmware at the time of this writing was FW1.2.1

FiiO M3K Firmware download link:
http://www.fiio.me/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=43627&extra=page%3D1


Audience and intended market


The FiiO M3K and its very affordable and to an extent no frills approach seems geared toward a younger crowd who just simply want to listen to some music. Priced at US$69.99 it is certainly entry level in that regard and is a different machine from the M series and the earlier X series. 

Also for youth and those perhaps who are not allowed a phone or internet connected device at their place of study or work the FiiO M3K also fits that bill.



Price

US$69.99


Sound

I used the usual 16/44 Flac files and a variety of earphones and comparisons with other daps in my stable to get to the root of just what this US$69.00 dap by FiiO was offering and where it fit in within the current line up.

The FiiO M3K is definitely an entry level device more designed for the casual listener in my view, it does perform well in that sound is satisfying but may not make the mark for any audiophiles who like to spend upwards of $500 on their earphones or head phones, it just does not have that super finer detail and resolution of more expensive daps. But of course, its US$69.99.

But with that caveat, it is not a slouch in the sound department either.

I mainly used the Campfire Audio Andromeda as it is a good reference to use and I am very familiar with it, even though the price between the two is US$1000.

The M3K is fairly neutral in he sound department, no real emphasis or coloration on the lows/mids/treble etc. And thats how it generally should be , and is these days. Of course one can add a lil of this and that via the EQ or ideally by the earphones and tips chosen. The dap would hopefully be the tabula rasa in the equation these days.

With that said I am enjoying the tonality and the female vocals, sound stage is a bit more smaller on the Andromedas and they do not reach their full potential as expected, but still the sound is unexpectedly good.

It could have a bit more body and depth to the bass, but the realism is there. Mids come across natural/warm and complement the vocals, the vocals can appear forward at times, treble is quite beautiful and one of the highlights.

The soundstage of earphones are not large as when they may be large on a more high end dap, instrument separation is average. Imaging and depth are quite excellent, it provides a decent field.

Many of these details would probably be lost on the causal consumer who is just after an easy to use portable player for on the go and is not listening analytically with US$1000+ IEMs like I am.
More cheaper earphones that are less sensitive and more forgiving would yield a pleasant experience.

The US$200 Campfire Audio Comet smoothed off some of the edges and revealed others, gave it a boost to the lows, but at times the highs were a bit over extended. Radiohead sounded excellent.

But intended market and consumer is everything. This is stripped down version of FiiOs latest releases which of recent offerings show that FiiO is really hitting their stride. Who knows what is happening in those conference and engineering meetings but it is certainly paying off.

A simple player, priced under US$100 which many would find enjoyable and a bargain, but If you are a hard core frothing at the mouth looking for the audio unicorn at the end of the audiophile rainbow this would not be the dap for you.

If you are looking for a simple easy to use player that sounds rather delightful and has enough fidelity to please then do take a chance at the FiiO M3K.


 Overall

Another in the little dap that could global line up which seems to be one of the audiophile themes for 2018.

The FiiO M3K the latest and most diminutive in the recent line up of releases by FiiO is a mysterious wee dap that is lightweight and controlled via a slider that is easily manipulated and well placed.

After reviewing the FiiO M7 and quite some time ago now the original M3 I was not sure what to expect. FiiO has come quite a long way from the earlier daps which were a bit dark and enclosed for me, and now seem to be hitting their stride in presentation and performance.

I did think the FiiO M3K would be an easy review, just drop it below the M7, echo some of that review and dial it back a bit to fit within the price difference. lazy for sure, preconceptions, yes true also. The small M3K had a few tricks up its sleeve and surprised me, but I should have already expected that from other little daps I have tried this year.

A simple player with a usb dac function. That should be enough to keep some happy. No Bluetooth, and no touch screen or wifi. Do not get me wrong, I am not simply pointing out what it lacks, but what it is. A simple stripped down player, one that functions beautifully I might add.

It seems to have enough power to make most portable earphones and head phones perform well enough.

The DAC inside is fairly decent too.

Excellent battery life and stand by.

There are many other small players that have been released onto the market in 2018 and one does really have to be firm in what they are seeking and what functions they personally require in making their final decision on which precious to possess.

Luckily FiiO has many daps and dac/amps in their product line up, each with an array of functions, so there is one fiiO product to fit the need for about everyone I the M3k isn`t your cup of tea.

The FiiO M3K player, perhaps one for the younger phone less set, or for one who can not take a phone to school or work, for casual listening around the home, taking a walk, working out or as a dac for the computer whilst on Facebook or catching up on some work.

Sometimes the old adage is true...simple is best.





Thank you to FiiO for sending Head pie the FiiO M3K for review 










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