Hi-Fi takeaway: this premium portable FiiO music player excels at home or on the move

The FiiO MS15S portable music player, alongside a pile of books

The new M15S, from portable audio specialist FiiO, doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going. It can be used as a pocketable Digital Audio Player or desktop Hi-Fi device. If you’ve been looking to update your home Hi-Fi, without sacrificing performance, this desirable DAP could be the way to go.

It’s certainly versatile and well specified. The M15S supports playback of audio files up to 384kHz/DSD256, and is MQA compliant, whether playing tracks from TIDAL or a local music library. Doing the heavy lifting are ES9038PRO DAC chips, in a left/right configuration, each using four D/A converters.

The player has a 5.5-inch multi-touch HD display, and onboard storage of 64GB. For those needing more space, the M15S has a micro SD card slot with support for up to 2TB cards.

Connections include 3.5mm single-ended and 2.5mm/4.4mm balanced headphone outputs, and both single-ended/balanced line-outs.

Here’s the cute bit: the M15S can transmit and receive audio across Bluetooth (aptX, aptX LL, aptX Adaptive, AAC and SBC), LDAC, and LHDC. This two-way connectivity means the M15S can receive music from a smartphone, PC or other device, and be used as a Bluetooth DAC/amplifier, while pairing with high quality Bluetooth headphones.

The M15S can transmit and receive audio across Bluetooth which means the M15S can receive music from a smartphone, PC or other device, and be used as a Bluetooth DAC/amplifier…

It also has dual band (2.4GHz/5GHz) Wi-Fi support, for Apple AirPlay, DLNA streaming and Roon Ready connectivity.

When in the dedicated desktop mode, the M15S operates without using the internal battery and is said to output 21 per cent more power as a result. This should ensure a wide range of headphones/IEMs are catered for; manual adjustments allow users to fine tune with five levels of gain. ​ 

When out and about, battery life is rated at 10.5 hours. The player utilises a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, and runs Android 10.  A global SRC bypass allows streaming apps like TIDAL, Qobuz, Apple Music, and Deezer to be installed and run full lossless.

Available from April, the FiiO M15S is priced at £979 ($999).

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About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and editor of The Luxe Review, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, Yahoo UK, Home Cinema Choice, Games Radar, Ideal Home, Louder Sounds, Channel News and Boat International. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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