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FiiO M7 Review

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Goh Beng Yeow
Goh Beng Yeow
Goh Beng Yeow, the Founder / Editor at Porta-Fi™, is a recipient of the IT Youth Award in Singapore. Twice nominated for EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, Beng Yeow has previously founded startups such as PDALive.com, Coded Pixels Consultants and was a Tech writer for TODAY, a national daily newspaper under MediaCorp. Since 2017, he has been writing, editing and producing commentaries, interviews, news and reviews on Porta-Fi™. In 2019, Beng Yeow was appointed Advisor to LHDC™, the industry's latest low latency and high-definition Bluetooth audio codec.

Usability

The FiiO M7 is an entry-level DAP and is designed to be a DAP with the consumer who wants a better playback device that is perhaps better than the smartphone. The DAP runs on a deeply customised Android which is trimmed down to support music playback via FiiO Music app.

FiiO M7 User Interface

Since the release of FiiO M7, the software engineering team has added support for DSD 128 playback, FiiO Link, FiiO Q5 control via Bluetooth, HWA (LHDC) Bluetooth codec to FiiO Music App. These have greatly increased the usability of the DAP, especially FiiO Link, a companion functionality which allows users to remotely control their FiiO DAP with a synchronised view of the playback through their smartphones via Bluetooth.

As a Bluetooth transmitter, the FiiO M7 supports aptX, aptX HD, SBC and LDAC Bluetooth codecs ensuring that the DAP can support most of the TrueWireless Stereo (TWS) and wireless headphones available in the market. And if one would like to explore the horizon beyond music playback, the FiiO M7 can be configured to be a Bluetooth receiver, a functionality added since firmware 1.0.4 with support for LDAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs. Meaning to say, one can pair their digital devices with the DAP via either Bluetooth codecs, run music streaming apps such as Tidal or Spotify and playback the music via their DAP.

FiiO M7 Bluetooth Settings

USB-DAC functionality has also been added since firmware 1.0.4, this allows the FiiO M7 to be used as a USB DAC for one’s digital devices such as laptops and tablets through the DAP’s USB-C port, one can also use the DAP as a digital transport, outputting USB-audio to an external DAC which is better than the ES9018Q2C on the FiiO M7.

In truth, the features of the FiiO revolves around Bluetooth, music playback, radio and USB. Wait a min, radio? Yes, the FiiO M7 sports a dedicated Si4705 FM chip with a specialised DSP which provides radio functionality that ingeniously uses your earphones cable as the antenna.

FiiO M7 - Radio Functionality

During the review period, the FiiO M7 was able to achieve an average playback time of 19 hours and 42 minutes from the device’s internal 1,800 mAh 3.8V Li-Polymer battery, not too far from the 20 hours on the specifications provided by FiiO.

In the area of memory and storage, the FiiO M7 has a RAM of 768MB and a ROM of 4GB where 2GB is available for music storage

Part 1: Introduction, Design and Build
Part 2: Usability
Part 3: Sound Quality
Part 4: Product Specifications
Part 5: Review Ratings, Summary

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