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Lifewire / Erika Rawes
Pre-loaded music apps
Good audio quality
Poor Wi-Fi adapter
Crashes and freezes randomly
No headphones included
The FiiO M6 serves as a one-stop device for music lovers, but it has a few issues that may affect the user experience.
The best MP3 players aim to provide you with portability and stellar quality audio, so you’ll want to put down your smartphone and use your music player to listen to your playlist. Technically classified as a DAP (digital audio player) the FiiO M6 is a fully-loaded music player with features ranging from lossless audio file support to Wi-Fi connectivity. I tested the FiiO M6 for a week to see how it compares to other music players on the market.
The FiiO M6 is sleek and compact, measuring only 2.1 inches wide and 3.64 inches tall. There’s virtually no bezel surrounding the 3.2-inch screen, although the screen does have a black interior border along the top and sides of the 480 x 800-resolution LCD screen.
Along the edges of the M6 sit the power button, volume controls, and the 3.5 mm audio output jack. There’s also a MicroSD card reader and a USB-type C connector. The USB-C port serves as a charging port, but it also allows you to transfer data.
Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the M6 looks like a mini smartphone. It even comes with a spare screen protector for its capacitive touch screen, as well as a protective silicone case. One downside to the protective case is that it covers the MicroSD slot, so you have to remove the case when you want to insert a MicroSD card. Another functional issue is that there’s no clip and the multitouch screen is incredibly sensitive, so I accidentally “pocket pressed” the touchscreen a few times.
When it comes to sound quality, the Hi-Res certified FiiO M6 is one the better MP3 players I’ve tested. Audio playback is crystal clear at every volume level, with powerful bass and no sharp or tinny sounds. Even with a cheap pair of earbuds, the sound quality on the FiiO M6 was impressive, but when I connected a pair of Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones, the sound was phenomenal. I heard a beautiful symphony of treble, mid-tones, and bass.
The FiiO M6 supports both lossy and lossless formats, including ISO, DFF, DSF, APE, WAV, FLAC, AIF, AIFF, M4A, WMA, OGG, AAC, ALAC, and MP3 audio formats. It also works with CUE files and M3U/M3U8 playlists.
Audio playback is crystal clear at every volume level, with powerful bass and no sharp or tinny sounds.
The M6 is one of the more feature-rich MP3 players available. It has a decent amount of power, with a 1 GHz Samsung Exynos 7270 Dual-Core CPU and 768 MB of RAM. The OS is a proprietary Android system, but its interface is somewhat basic.
The M6 includes pre-downloaded music apps right on the home screen. It comes with FiiO Music, Netease Music, MOOV, Tidal, and KKBOX pre-installed, but I was able to remove apps I didn’t want. A handful of other apps are whitelisted too, like ES File Manager and Spotify. FiiO says they’ll be adding more whitelisted apps in the future too. I used the Tidal App, so I could test the M6 with hi-res audio streaming.
The M6 has 2 GB of storage, and a MicroSD slot, which supports up to 2 TB. I was happy to see it had enough storage capacity to support a library of lossless files, which can quickly take up a lot of space. It has AirPlay, as well as a feature called FiiO link, so you can connect it to your iPhone or Android mobile device. You can also connect the M6 to other AirPlay capable devices. I was able to connect it to my Pioneer receiver via AirPlay. You can also take advantage of the USB-C connector, using the M6 as a USB DAC (digital-analog converter) to process sound through the M6 when you connect it to your computer.
Not all of the M6’s features are without problems though. The Wi-Fi adapter appears to have some issues, as the connection periodically dropped even when it remained stable on all of the other devices in my test home. On a few separate occasions, one of the apps randomly crashed during use. The screen also froze on a handful of occasions.
The M6 doesn’t include headphones, so you’ll need to connect your own pair of headphones or earbuds. But, the M6 supports several codecs, including aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, HWA, and SBC.
The Wi-Fi adapter appears to have some issues on the M6, as the connection periodically dropped even when it remained stable on all of the other devices in my test home.
The M6 has a 1200 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery. It takes roughly two and a half hours to reach a full charge. The specifications indicate the battery life at up to 13 hours of music playback when using wired headphones, and up to 26 days on standby. During testing, the battery lasted for around 12.25 hours alternating between Bluetooth and wired headphones and utilizing the AirPlay feature periodically.
The FiiO M6 sells for $130, which is not a bad price for such a feature-rich music player with Hi-Res audio, Wi-Fi, built-in apps, and support for so many file formats and audio codecs.
Unlike the FiiO M6, which has a Wi-Fi connection, the Sony NW-A45 Walkman doesn’t have Wi-Fi or music streaming applications. However, the pricier Sony NWA45 doesn’t suffer from the kinks the FiiO M6 does either. The NWA45 (view on Amazon) is an ideal gadget for those who own a library of music. The FiiO M6 is for music lovers who want the most bang for their buck.
A delight for your ears.
The FiiO M6 has a collection of useful features that make up for its occasional hiccups.