I ordered my first set of planar magnetic headphones a couple of days ago as a black friday deal on Amazon, and got them for less than half off their regular price. They’re light membrane headphones sufficient for use without an amplifier, although I’ll get more out of them with the new DAP that’s coming soon, as it has a balanced output with greater load capacity. They also need to break in for about 150 hours to reach their full membrane motility. I’ve been listening to my favorite audiophile albums on them through my Fiio M6 DAP while waiting for the new M11 that was gifted me to arrive.
I also got a special 4.4mm balanced cable to match the balanced output on the M11, so I’ll have full drive capacity, as well as independent power rails and output stages for each channel.
There are numerous improvements to the M11 over the M6: It has a much better display that is 5.5″ vs. the 3.5″ display on the M6. It’s also a less simplified build of Android, and doesn’t have the whitelist requirement for third party apps, so I can sideload any apps I like. This means I’ll be able to use Radio Paradise’s free lossless streaming service.
When paired with the all-through-DSD setting on the M11, I can get lossless master quality audio input from Radio Paradise with bit-to-bit from the output stage of the DSP to the analog stage, with unmeasurable/negligible jitter.
There’s also a new hardware control surface setup on the M11 that includes the metal volume knob that I miss from the Oknyo DPS-3, and volume control is at the amplifier stage. Track controls are now independent from the volume control, which is a big improvement — the M6’s combination volume/track control made adjusting the volume clunky. The power button is still on the top right though, which I feel is a good place for it.
Of course in addition to the 2.5mm, 4.4mm and 3.5mm outputs, the M11 supports LDAC for lossless wireless audio transmission to Sony headphones. So I can still use my WH-1000XM3 with full LDAC support (hopefully they’ll have fixed the audio drop-outs that were present in the M6 when using LDAC in Quality mode). And I can also use my casual listening/walking Urbanears Plattan 2 headphones via the 3.5mm output, as well as the Hifiman HE400i’s via the 4.4mm balanced output.
Although I’m quite fond of the M6 for its simplicity, I’ll probably replace it fully with the M11.