Anyone that might be after a great value portable player with an amazing sound, plenty of power and a plethora of features, then the FiiO M9 fits that bill perfectly. I was after a dedicated portable player that matches our amazing oBravo Cupid earphones with a standalone 2.5mm balanced output. This will get the very best out of the Cupid and enable you to not have to carry around loads of adapters. The tiny footprint of the M9 and lovely screen will provide you with an awesome experience. The M9 is a solidly built music player and has a raft of features for almost any requirement, making the M9 one of the best value music players in our portfolio and built using dual 4490EN DAC chips.
To begin with the M9 features a simple to use interface, enabling the fast navigation of your favourite music. You can download a number of whitelisted streaming apps and use offline mode if required.
In order to make the M9 compete sonically with other players on the market, a lot of research has been done to ensure the M9 has exceptionally good sound, especially with vocal and treble. The FiiO M9 uses TI OPA1612 which is used as the LPF, while the TI OPA1622 serves as the current buffer. To achieve single-ended and balanced output, there are two OPA1622 op-amps used that provide up to 77mW* of power under a 300Ω load.
The M9 comes with an impressive 768MB RAM of computing memory which ensures smooth multi-tasking, while there is only 4 GB of built-in storage there is a micro-SD card slot supporting up to 2TB card meaning you can store thousands of lossless music files.
To ensure speed and a great user expereience FiiO chose the dual-core Samsung Exynos 7270 SoC to power the M9.
As with most high end players above the £1000 mark at the moment, inside the M9 are two AKM AK4490 DACs reacreating your music.
With its support of Bluetooth 4.2, the M11 can transmit the SBC/aptX HD/LDAC/LHDC Bluetooth formats as well as receive most formats including LDAC in a coming firmware update. The M9’s high-performance Bluetooth radio ensures you can transmit signals further with stronger overall signal strength, so nothing can get in your way of enjoying quality wireless music.
When set to be in Bluetooth receiver mode, the M9 transforms into a high-quality Bluetooth amplifier, with significantly better frequency response, as well as lower distortion, noise floor, and cross talk compared to typical Bluetooth solutions. On top of that, the M9 can also output any received Bluetooth signals through the coaxial output to an external DAC so you can enjoy truly divine sound over the wireless convenience of Bluetooth.
With FiiO featuring most features per buck in our portfolio you will usually see high-end portable music players now include balanced headphone outputs. However, the M9 goes one step further by including a 2.5mm balanced socket as well as retaining the 3.5mm single-ended output. No need for cumbersome adapters with the M9 – simply just plug in your headphones to the right output jack! This is perfect for the oBravo Cupid as it is packaged with a 2.5mm balanced cable as standard.
With the M9’s dual-band Wi-Fi radio, you can expect better signal strength as well as faster and more stable connections – especially when using Wi-Fi on the 5GHz band to avoid interference 2.4GHz Bluetooth.
The M9 can support the out of a wide variety of formats through its USB connector, including DSD64/128. Simply connect the M9 to an external decoder, and you have a portable jukebox capable of delivering excellent sound wherever you go.
If you are after a feature packed player with balanced output then there is no other option at this price other than the FiiO M9.