Review: FiiO M3 Digital Audio Player

Posted on 4th February, 2016

Review: FiiO M3 Digital Audio Player

Fiio have recently accrued a lot of attention in the audio community with the release of their recent flagship DAP, the Fiio X7. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the Fiio M3 was soon to follow with a simple and elegant philosophy.

The M3 utilises a very small footprint and like the K1, was designed with the intentions of being ultra-portable. The design strays from the conventional Fiio line of DAPs but is currently the most affordable at the modest price of $79 in Australia.

The Packaging

Fiio’s M3 comes in a white and red packaged box with a plastic insert inside resting the M3s. Also accompanying the M3 is a set of earphones along with Fiio’s manuals, screen protectors, USB cables and lanyards. Overall, the design is utilitarian and does the job. Perhaps Fiio could have opted for more of a minimalist approach with regards to the front of the box but that is just nit-picking. At this price point, the packaging bears resemblance to Fiio’s simple and understated philosophies.

FIIO M3 Digital Audio Player - REVIEWED

The Build & Design

The Fiio M3 is constructed from a moulded plastic unibody which, as mentioned, is rather different from the metal components of Fiio’s more expensive digital audio players. While not necessarily displeasing, Fiio could have employed metal to create a more refined and premium looking device. Nevertheless, plastic components do help to keep the device at a rather light weight of 40g.

The left hand side houses the power button which switches the device on and off. On the bottom is the 3.5 mm headphone jack. On the right, there is a lock slide button. Track-related buttons such as play/pause, skip/forward and the volume keys are located on the front of the device beneath the 240 x 320 pixel 2” screen. The screen is not conducive to touch and thus the option to navigate around the device can be found in the form of button also on the front of the device below the screen.

The User Interface

The user interface is simple but not without its flaws. Tagged libraries for example seem to be limited to a maximum of 4000 files and while navigation is not an issue in itself, folder and albums may not necessarily appear in the right order. Still, the interface is useable but Fiio need to update the firmware to get rid of the small bugs to make the experience as smooth as possible.

Also a hassle was getting the language setting from Chinese to English which did take a bit of fiddling around at first. Though, with that said, the instructions can be found on Fiio’s website. Overcoming small hurdles like this and tailoring the M3 to your personal requirements helps to customise and streamline the experience.

Smit Patel's avatar

Smit Patel

A dual balanced-armature earphone called Rock-it Sounds R50 ignited my interest for all things audio. Since then, I have been enthralled with psycho-acoustic impressions ranging from gear such as IEMs to DAPs and eventually full-sized headphones.

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Posted in: Headphones
Tags: fiio