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Fiio M15S | S for Super

▶️ Available for audition! Ready stock now!

The FiiO M15S is a mid-to-high-end open Android 10-based portable audio player and an update on the original M15 DAP, which launched about 3 years ago. It integrates some of the technology that’s found on their latest flagship the M17, while upgrading much of the internals while keeping most of the design language from the original M15 (which I personally approve!). 

From a design perspective, the M15S retains the “Bauhaus’ rational design concept” found on the previous M15, with minor adjustments and refinement. The design shies away from the more aggressive angular style of the M17, Q7 and the M11s, instead it has a smooth, ergonomic and curvaceous design. I personally like the m15’s ergonomics as its design shape encourages a good, secure purchase on the device and fingers are comfortably within reach of the side buttons. The finishing on the black CNC aluminum body of the M15S looks a lot more minimalistic with a smooth paint job. Physical buttons seem a little more prominent, shinier, and smoother to the touch as well as the M15’s analog port’s shiny gold finish replaced with a lower-profile black finish. The design still has that prominent analog potentiometer (volume knob) on the top panel and it’s a little less resistant in its movement. The knob knurling has also been refined, with its sizing slightly bigger and housed on the right side as opposed to the left on the previous M15. The M15S potentiometer’s LED ring light still functions as a sample rate indicator during playback. Just like the flagships M17 and Q7, the M15S also has both the analogue and digital volume controls; if you find the analog volume knob a little too fast in movement and irregular in gain control, then switching to the digital buttons will allow more fine tuned adjustment which is much appreciated.

The M15S’s I/O configuration isn’t that much different from the original version; you get pretty much the same connections; 4.4mm, 2.5mm TRRS balanced outputs and one 3.5mm SE output. Unfortunately, there are no optical output options, coupled with just 64GB of onboard memory (of which, nearly 18GB is for Android OS) and only 1 micro SD card tray, highly recommended to get the biggest memory card you can afford and store most of your music there. Ports wise, there’s a USB-C 3.0 port for both charging & data transfer, which if plugged to a Quick Charge/PD compatible charging brick, the M15S will initiate desktop mode, unlocking its highest power outputs. Do note that there is no quick charging brick in the box, but the cables are compliant.

A pleasant surprise when unboxing, just like the M17 and Q7, the M15s also has a desktop fan accessory (DK3S) made for using with the M15S in desktop mode, but unlike its flagship models, the stand is included in the box. Sweet. The DK3S  is smaller in dimensions than the DK3 designed to fit the M15S’s dimensions, with a smaller 50MM fan instead. The stand is also in two pieces and can be disassembled for easy packing/travel.

Now onto the main part, the sound. The M15S delivers a smoother and weightier performance compared to the original. It is more refined on the highs, offering more vivid vocals and a stronger punchier low end.. While its tuning is not quite the same as the M15, having more similarities with their M17, to keep it short; the M15S is pretty much an upgrade on every aspect of the M15, with a more dynamic and engaging sound, while offering more driving power and convenience. The M15S now has everything I personally look for in its sound; punchy, guttural lows, vibrant vocals, clear highs, and just that little zest of fun. The M15S’s dynamic range is significantly better, offering much more weight, punchy and resolution even when powering higher end gear. Just like the M17, with a power charger plugged with it, using the desktop mode, the M15s can also power a lot of mid to upper mid-range headphones, even some slightly demanding Planars. Fiio offers four levels of gain (low/mid/high/desktop) to fit every type of headset/IEMs and frankly, even on low gain, it can pretty much drive any IEM I tested on, with effortless power. Don’t get me wrong, sound-wise, it’s not as impressive as the M17 or the Q7, but the M15s confidently places itself above the M11s and the M11 Plus. The M15s doesn't has the THXX rated amps, but it can get plenty powerful and visceral.

In conclusion, the FiiO M15S is an excellent player that manages to not only live up to the hype but surpass its predecessor the M15 in meaningful ways. Yes, its price tag is on the steep side, however it sounds amazing, it's price to performance is comparable to other TOTL players. If you’ve been holding out for a midrange DAP player, but found the M11 to be underwhelming, and the M17 to be too expensive, the M15S is the player for you.

✒️ Author : Kah Hon | 📷 Photo : Hai Wei
More Stars Picker's In-House Review |

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◆ Carefully tuned open-back acoustic structure

◆ Specially developed HD driver units
◆ Studio monitor sound for mixing and mastering
◆ Stereo & spatial sound creation with High-Resolution Audio capability

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⭐ Official Store | |

◇ Retail : RM 4299
◇ PM for best price

□ Top up RM50 for Fiio LD-TC1 USB Type-B to Type-C cable worth RM59 (50cm)
□ Top up RM50 for Fiio LT-TC4 USB Type-C to Type-C cable worth RM59 (50cm)

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■ Physical shop / audio specialist⁣ since 2013⁣
■ Authorised distributor of Fiio in Malaysia
■ 100% genuine / warranty covered⁣
■ Malaysia’s first audio theme cafe / library

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