There is not yet much information available from FiiO Electronics Technology Co Ltd. about the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player, but the data that has already been communicated is extremely exciting. The new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player is a technological milestone in portable hi-fi audio players.
FiiO Electronics Technologies Co Ltd. can rightly be considered one of the most dedicated companies in the personal audio and portable audio market. Not only does the Chinese company deal with a wide range of products, from headphones to portable headphone amplifiers, portable D/A converters, portable hi-res audio players and accessories, but they also offer a wide range of products in all these areas. In addition, the company is constantly striving to be at the cutting edge of technology, which means that it is able to react to the rapid developments in this field with new products at fairly short intervals.
At CanJam Singapore 2018, for example, the company recently unveiled its new portable Hi-res audio player, the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player, which FiiO Electronics Technology Co Ltd believes is a milestone in this product area.
This is the first time that not only the latest technologies, which have been taken directly from the rapid development in the smartphone segment, are used, but also the latest manufacturing technologies based on these technologies, which have a direct impact on a wide range of key factors in such solutions, including functionality, quality, dimensions and, last but not least, battery life.
The new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player will be the first to use a platform that was originally developed for smartphones and smart watches by Samsung, probably the world’s leading technology group for portable device solutions. The new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player is based on a platform built around the Samsung Exynos 7220 Processor from the Samsung Exynos 7 Dual Series. This in turn is a so-called SiP-ePoP from Samsung, whereby this abbreviation stands for System-in-Package, also for embedded Package on Package, and is based on a 14 nm FinFET processor.
This ultimately means nothing other than that we are dealing here with a highly integrated solution in which, in this specific case, all the essential components are accommodated in a minimum of space. For example, the processor is combined with the memory DRAM and eMMC as well as the power management IC, so that with the Samsung Exynos 72070 and its two ARM Cortex A53 cores a platform is available that is 20 percent more effective than previous solutions.
Thanks to the high level of integration, the heart of the player already requires significantly less space. FiiO Electronics Technology Co Ltd., for example, says that this design has enabled a 40 percent smaller “package” to be achieved compared to conventional technologies. As if that wasn’t enough, the high level of integration and the resulting compactness of the player is also reflected in the rest of the design, as the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player uses a state-of-the-art 6-layer multi-stage HDI PCB, where HDI stands for High density Interconnect. This is only 0.8 mm thick and thus corresponds exactly to the technology used in the latest smartphones. This provides plenty of space for developers to implement new functions. It also increased the scope for better separating the various elements that could have a negative impact on each other and thus impair sound quality. The power supply could also be designed much more solidly without having to fear negative influences, while at the same time providing the optimal basis for better sound quality, for example for the analog output stage.
The new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player is based on the platform just outlined, with a 1 GHz processor and 2 GByte RAM memory. The memory for music data can be expanded to up to 512 GByte via microSD cards.
As a basis for signal processing, the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player features an ESS ES9018Q2C Sabre32 XMOS DAC that is capable of processing all relevant audio formats, both Linear PCM and DSD. This DAC can not only be used for the content directly in the player’s memory, but also as an external DAC, whereby the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player is obviously the first to use USB Type C as an interface.
It’s also interesting that a radio was also considered here, as the very first published data sheet even contains an FM tuner, this should be mentioned for completeness.
Of course, the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player has Bluetooth, but does without WiFi. It’s interesting that the developers decided on a chip from Samsung, which corresponds to Bluetooth 4.2, and supports aptX as well as aptX HD in addition to the usual possibilities, so that a hi-res audio playback with 24 bit and 48 kHz is possible with appropriately equipped headphones. Furthermore, this Bluetooth chipset even supports Sony LDAC, a wireless audio codec, which is supposed to allow an even higher data rate, three times as high as conventional Bluetooth. This ensures that Hi-res audio is even possible with up to 24 bits and 96 kHz, provided that the headphones also support LDAC, which is currently only the case with selected Sony models.
As already indicated, the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player is said to have a particularly long battery life. Thus, the manufacturer states a playing time of up to 20 hours, for the standby mode the manufacturer even speaks of up to 40 days.
The operating concept of the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player also focuses on a very generously designed touchscreen display, which offers a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels with a screen diagonal of 3.2 inches. On the sides, there is a rotary encoder for controlling the volume, buttons for controlling the playback, and of course a connection for headphones.
The design is even more reduced and clearer than previous models, making the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player extremely elegant and stylish.
In conclusion, the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player will probably take some time to become available. FiiO Electronics Technology Co Ltd is still very reluctant to give any information, but also to give any information about the delivery date. Ultimately, the FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player is a crowdfunding project, which was initiated directly in China. According to the manufacturer, products will first be made available to all those who participated in this campaign, and only then will the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player be gradually introduced in the various markets.
The new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player will have its European premiere at the High End 2018 in Munich. The recommended retail price for this new player is € 249,-.
Getting to the point
With the new FiiO M7 High Resolution Lossless Audio Player, FiiO Electronics Technology Co Ltd. is relying on the latest equipment and manufacturing technologies in the smartphone and smart watch sector, specifically the technologies of Samsung, the leader in this segment. The aim is to take the possibilities of portable hi-fi players to a whole new level and create significantly more flexible and powerful solutions that also allow for increased battery life and smaller dimensions.