Actually, it was only supposed to be a Bluetooth receiver based on the FiiO BTR3 Bluetooth receiver, but then they decided to integrate a display. And if you already have a display, there’s no reason not to create a complete portable Hi-res audio player in a very compact form, the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player.
In addition to headphones for on-the-go use, mobile headphone amplifiers and portable hi-fi audio players, FiiO Electronics Technology Co Ltd. has dedicated itself to Bluetooth receivers for years. Their primary task is to provide a “wireless” connection between the source device, such as a smartphone or notebook, and the headphones.
In the middle of last year, FiiO Electronics Technology Co Ltd. introduced the FiiO BTR3 Bluetooth Receiver, which has been the top model in this product group ever since. The FiiO BTR3 Bluetooth Receiver’s unique feature is that it supports all relevant Bluetooth codecs, so that you are prepared for all eventualities and always get the best signal quality depending on the source itself. In addition, the new FiiO BTR3 Bluetooth Receiver also serves as a USB DAC, so it can be connected directly to a notebook via USB-C.
But that wasn’t enough, the company decided to build on the FiiO BTR3 Bluetooth Receiver to create another solution, a new flagship Bluetooth receiver, the company says. What was it to be, the FiiO BTR5 Flagship Hi-Fi Bluetooth Receiver as the crowning touch to the FiiO BTR Series?
In addition to the audio features and state-of-the-art equipment, the developers focused on even simpler operation. After all, this solution already offers a remarkable range of functions, so they decided to use a display for the new model. And if you’re going to use a display, why limit yourself to the functionality of a Bluetooth receiver, even if, as FiiO Electronics Technology Co Ltd. now states on the occasion of the presentation of the new solution, they have developed nothing less than “the ultimate of Bluetooth receivers”. The company describes the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player not just as a Bluetooth receiver, but as an “innovative portable Hi-Fi dual-mode music player”.
In purely formal terms, the new Bluetooth receiver is no longer part of the FiiO BTR Series, but of the FiiO M Range, although it is based on a completely different technological platform than most of the other solutions in this range, and also on a much more compact form factor.
The new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player is no larger than 45.3 x 42 x 13.9 mm, a mere 38 g. Yes, the design is a little reminiscent of a Smartwatch, and that’s no coincidence. In fact, the manufacturer has even included accessories such as a wristband to make the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player look like a watch on your wrist. A matching transparent plastic case with a clip to attach the tiny device directly to clothing is even included in the scope of delivery.
The housing of the FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player is CNC machined from aluminium, with both the front and back made of scratch-resistant glass. Aluminium is the material that allows designers the freedom to create their own designs, and the FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player will be available in black and later in anodised finishes in red, blue, silver, titanium, etc.
At the heart of the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player is a Silicon on a Chip (SoC) platform, the Ingenic X1000E. A further essential component is of course the Bluetooth chip, with Qualcomm’s CSR8675 with 24-bit audio processing being the most modern representative of the specialist to date. This also ensures that the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player supports all currently relevant Bluetooth codecs, starting with SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, HWA and LDAC as receiver, and SBC, aptX and aptX HD as transmitter.
Of course, once connected to a smartphone, the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player can be used to make phone calls, and even more, it can record phone calls, according to the manufacturer. For this purpose, it is equipped with two microphones, for which the company also uses cVc Noise Cancellation Technology for best voice quality. The connection to the smartphone or another Bluetooth source is indicated by a status LED.
The new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player can also be connected to the source device via a USB C interface, be it a smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. It acts as a USB DAC. It can also output audio via USB, supporting 24-bit and 192 kHz linear PCM, and DSD with DoP (DSD over PCM).
Speaking of DAC, the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player uses an AK4377A high-performance DAC from AKM. This enables it to process signals with up to 32 bits and 768 kHz and DSD up to DSD256. Accordingly, the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player features both the Hi-res Audio logo and the Hi-res Audio Wireless logo.
But the FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player is not only a Bluetooth receiver and USB DAC, it is also, as the name suggests, a portable Hi-res player. For this purpose, a micro SD card slot is available, which accepts the corresponding storage media. Of course, the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player supports OTG file transfer.
For an especially easy operation, a color touch-screen display is provided, to be exact, a 1.54 inch IPS touch screen with a resolution of 240 x 240 pixels, which even allows gesture control. In keeping with the square, compact design, the orientation of the display can be selected depending on how the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player is used.
What is exciting is that the developers at FiiO Electronics Technology Co Ltd. have equipped the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player with a time and date display so that it actually looks like a clock. Several display options, i.e. different dials, are available. There’s also a pedometer so you can use this solution for sports activities as well.
The FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player has a built-in EQ that provides eight presets: Rock, Classical, Jazz, Pop, Dance, Vocal, Metal and Custom.
Headphones can be connected via a 3.5 mm stereo mini jack socket, with the manufacturer specifying a power output of 45 mW. This 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack connector is designed as a so-called combi-connector, thus also providing a coaxial S/PDIF interface for direct digital connection to an audio system.
The integrated lithium polymer battery of the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player has a capacity of 550 mAh 3.8 V and is expected to provide up to 15 hours of playing time. The standby time is specified by the manufacturer as 24 days.
As the distributor NT-Global Distribution GmbH informed us, the new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player will be offered at an absolutely competitive price – there is no other way to describe it. The recommended retail price should not be more than € 99,99…
Getting to the point
The new FiiO M5 Hi-res Lossless Music Player is no larger than 45.3 x 42 x 13.9 mm and weighs just 38 g. Yes, the design is a little reminiscent of a Smartwatch, and that’s no coincidence. In fact, you can wear it as a watch, but it comes with a Bluetooth receiver with integrated D/A converter and headphone amplifier on the wrist, which can also function as a hi-res player. On a PC or Mac it can also serve as a USB DAC. It is obvious that the manufacturer is talking about the new flagship in this product group, and is therefore no longer assigning it to the FiiO BTR range, but to the FiiO M range.
|FiiO Electronics Technology Co Ltd.
|NT-Global Distribution GmbH