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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, 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.

Sound Quality

As a DAP, the DAC chip is probably the most critical component of the FiiO M7. Sporting a SABRE9018Q2C from ESS, the 6-layer multi-stage High-Density Interconnect (HDI) PCB allows the development team to incorporate a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) designed to act as a bridge to handle between the digital audio signals coming out of the Exynos 7270 SoC and the SABRE9018Q2C. Two crystals oscillators, each clocked to handle sampling rates in the multiples of 44.1kHz and 48kHz respectively are also added to the circuit to provide enhancements to the sound quality.

FiiO M7

The FiiO M7 supports up to 192kHz/24-bit PCM audio and Native DSD playback of up to DSD 128 (5.6Mhz), formats supported include WAV, FLAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, APE, AAC, ALAC, AIFF, DFF, DSF.

When reviewing the FiiO M7, what surprises us is how much detail there is across the frequencies, from the low-end to the mids and the high-end. For an entry-level DAP, the team at FiiO has created a device that is possibly the best sounding across entry-level offerings in the market today.

At the low-end, the sub-bass is nicely defined and not overbearing. Dynamic and impactful are two words which define the low-end of the FiiO M7. At this level, it would be unrealistic to expect a low-end with fine details which allows one to experience the texture and depth of the low-end, however, the DAP does offer a low-end that is difficult to pick on particular at this price point.

FiiO M7

Similar to the low-end, the mid-range is full-bodied with enough details to provide an enjoyable presentation. Its coherence with the low-end and the high-end is evidence as together they provide a musical signature that is really easy on the ears.

Providing enough contrast to be in coherence with the rest of the frequencies, the high-end on the FiiO M7 lacks sparkle but again is full-bodied with enough details to provide an enjoyable experience.

To cap it off, the FiiO M7 has a very balanced and slightly warm signature which shows off the coherence which the frequencies share to provide an experience that is musical, engaging, addictive and non-fatiguing with a sound stage that is above-average in width and depth allowing for a more defined sound imaging. The clean presentation made possible by the low noise level of the device aids the detail retrieval and adds a feather to the cap.

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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