I haven’t had hungry eyes since the release of the famous Q5 DAC/Amp. But what I love about the M9 is that it has a lot of the functionality of the Q5 DAC in the form of a digital audio player. So, what can the new M9 do that the smaller M7 can’t? And how much better does it sound than your iPhone? Let’s find out in this FiiO M9 Portable High Resolution Music Player Review.
FiiO M9 Portable High Resolution Music Player Review
The M9 is packed with capabilities. Besides acting as a music player, it can also be used as a straight DAC, which you can connect from your computer.
And like the Q5, the M9 allows you to turn your old stereo into a Bluetooth setup. Simply connect the device’s line-out to your stereo, and then connect your mobile device via Bluetooth to the M9. Boom. You’ve got a wireless stereo system.
The M9 not only receives Bluetooth, but it also sends a Bluetooth signal, which allows you to connect to wireless headphones as well.
In addition, the M9 employs Wifi. This means that you can transfer audio files wirelessly from your computer to your player. The Wifi capability also allows you to use the built-in streaming apps, like Tidal.
Inputs and Outputs
The M9 offers a few options here. You’ve got a balanced input and a single-ended input that also acts as a line out / coax out.
The touch response may not be as fast as it is on an iPhone or an Astell&Kern player, for example, but it’s got a decent response speed.
Theoretically, the M9 can hold 2 terabytes of storage. But I haven’t seen an SD card that can store that much. The M9 houses one SD card slot and 2 gigabyte of internal storage.
The DAC is upgraded from the M7, using the same chips as the X5 III (AK4490EN×2) and the Q5.
Like the M7, the M9 supports LDAC, Aptx, Aptx HD and SBC.
Among a freqload of other codecs, the M9 also decodes DSD 64/128 format. A light indicator shows which format is being decoded.
APE(Fast): 192 kHz/24 bit
APE(Normal): 192 kHz/24 bit
APE (High): 192kHz/24 bit
APE (Extra High): 48kHz/24 bit
APE (Insane): 48kHz/24 bit
FLAC: 192 kHz/24 bit
WAV: 192 kHz/64 bit
Aiff：192 kHz/24 bit
Aif:192 kHz/24 bit
WMA Lossless: 96 kHz/24 bit
Apple Lossless: 192 kHz/24 bit
This little thing can juice up a 300 Ohm headphone. I tried it with the DT 1770, which is a 250 Ohm headphone, and it provided enough power. The M7, on the other hand, can’t manage a high impedance headphone.
The M9 will give you 10 hours of playback and 45 days on standby mode. It takes 2 hours to charge the device.
Like the M7, the M9 gives you an equalizer with a bunch of presets. And besides Tidal, you can get other services, including KKBOX, NetEase and MOOV.
I used the Campfire Andromeda to compare the M9 to the sound on my phone. Listening to FLAC files on Tidal, the bass was more compact and impactful. The highs were more pronounced and the sound was a lot cleaner. Because of this tightness, the tracks felt faster as well. Indeed, it’s quite an upgrade from the iPhone.
If you don’t already have a great DAC for your phone, the M9 is a fantastic option for the price. It’s also a great way to add a wireless system to your stereo. If you’re on a budget, but you value great sound on the go, this little gadget will make you a happy camper.
It would have been 5 skulls if the touchscreen was as fast as the iPhone.
You can find this cutie for the best price at:
Audio 46: FiiO M9 Portable High Resolution Music Player
Amazon: FiiO M9 High Resolution Lossless Music MP3 Player with aptX, aptX HD, LDAC HiFi Bluetooth, USB Audio/DAC,DSD128 Support and WiFi/Air Play Full Touch Screen (Silver)