At the moment, smartphones have become the most genuine portable media combines, but the proverb “Everything is taken, but not everything works out” very accurately describes the experience of using them. Of course, most will be enough of the minimum quality of multimedia features that offer smartphones. But what about those who want more from the photo, video, and music in their device? Unfortunately, as before, go to the store for a specialized device: a good camera, preferably a mirror, or a music player with a digital-to-analog converter. For the first one, you still need to purchase a pair of lenses and a tripod, and for the second, decent headphones. However, manufacturers are trying to make their product lines as wide and flexible as possible so that both an enthusiast and an amateur can choose the device to suit their needs. Everything starts as usual with entry-level devices, such as the Canon EOS 4000D, for example, when it comes to cameras, or the FiiO M7, if you need a good and inexpensive Hi-Res audio player. We will tell about it in our short review.

The Chinese company  FiiO was founded in 2007 and set a goal to improve and strengthen the reputation of the phrase “Made in China” in the global market. The manufacturer adheres to strict ISO9001 standards, creating high-quality and affordable audio equipment: music players, portable audio amplifiers and headphones.

As mentioned above, the FiiO M7 is an entry-level device, which is confirmed by its price and concept. Immediately run ahead, any smartphone, no matter how “musical” it is, in all respects loses this player. However, the average M7 price of 16,000 rubles to a regular phone user may seem too high. But the M7 is not a simple MP3 player that we all used at the beginning of the zero. This is an advanced device that supports many lossless audio formats, as well as the “audiophile” Hi-Res standard and is capable of transmitting audio via Bluetooth.

Technical characteristics of FiiO M7:

  • Processor: Samsung Exynos 7270
  • Sound power: 70 mW (per channel)
  • S / N ratio: 117 dB
  • DAC: ESS ES9018
  • Max. digit capacity / sampling rate: 24 bits / 192 kHz
  • Built-in memory: 2 GB
  • Memory card support: single microSD slot
  • The maximum amount of memory card: 512 GB
  • Screen: LCD color, touch, diagonal 3.2 inch, 480×800
  • Interfaces: USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Audio format support: MP3, WMA, OGG, AAC, FLAC, APE, Apple Lossless, WAV, PCM, AIFF, DSD, DFF, DSF
  • FM tuner
  • Maximum running time: 20 hours
  • Charging connector type: USB Type-C
  • Dimensions: 52x109x13 mm (W × H × T)
  • Weight: 116 g

Available in four colors – gray, black, red and blue – the FiiO M7 looks modern and elegant. The player is a rectangular, aluminum monolith, most of the front panel of which is occupied by the display. On the right side are the main controls – the rewind and playback buttons, as well as the volume control wheel, implemented according to the jog dial principle – endless, stepwise scrolling in both directions. When raising (or lowering) the volume by one unit, the wheel produces a short, delicate click, which is distinguishable not only by ear, but also tactile, so the volume can be accurately controlled even from the jacket pocket.

As the operating system, the manufacturer chose Andriod 7.0, adapting it as much as possible to the modest needs of the music player. Many of the interface elements and applications familiar to users of the operating system from Google have disappeared from the firmware. The M7 is based on the Samsung Exynos 7270 chipset, a tiny microchip that fits on your fingertip and is used to make smartwatches and other portable electronics. Despite the fact that the processor includes LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and FM receiver modules, the device uses only the last two, which is reflected in the lightweight firmware: the user does not have access to the Internet, respectively, there is neither a browser nor Google Play with extensive catalog of programs. And the fact that there is, reflects the musical specialization of the device. For example,

The main application is FiiO Music v 1.0.4, which is familiar to smartphone owners on both iOS and Android, but in M7 it has support for the Russian language. This is a simple and clear music player with sorting songs into different categories, an equalizer and the ability to create your playlists – an extremely utilitarian program without excesses. The second item on the main screen is Radio, which is also a very Spartan application, unfortunately, without the support of the Radio Data System. In addition, there is an “Explorer” on the screen for managing files on the device and a memory card, “Gallery”, where all graphics files are displayed, for example, album covers, “Settings” with numerous changeable parameters relating both to the musical part of the device and to its interface.

FiiO M7 – this is the golden mean, which is to start exploring the limitless world of lossless music. However, when making a choice in favor of such a device, remember that audiophilia is a chronic, protracted illness, from which there is no medicine and which does not have remissions. And the M7, continuing this metaphor, is a high-tech syringe gun with an incredibly contagious virus.

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