Monday, June 8, 2020

FiiO M3 Pro Digital Audio Player: 4 Reasons to Buy This Device (Sound is NOT One of These Reasons)

By Clay Valarezo

Chief DAP-a-holic Officer (CDO)


Read time: 8 minutes



Last week, I purchased the FiiO M3 Pro on Amazon (It is currently selling for $80). Consequently, I wrote a review mainly about its “harsh” sound characteristics, as I feel it is on the “tab-bit-bright” side. I don’t typically write about my sound impressions for two reasons. One, I am not a sound expert or engineer. Secondly, I believe sound preference to be completely subjective, and diverse according to the listener.


When I buy DAPs (and review them), I don’t focus on sound quality. I, instead, focus on the user experience and the battery life; these two factors are my biggest priorities when I give praise or criticism to budget Hi-Fi DAPs.


For this post, I would like to highlight 4 reasons why DAP addicts (I know you’re out there) SHOULD buy the FiiO M3 Pro. The reasons include its low price, touch screen interface, audio recorder, and calculator. Let’s discuss these factors individually.


Low Price

It is clear to me, that FiiO wanted to design not only a feature-rich device, but also a cost-effective solution for students or learners who enjoy high-quality sound. As I mentioned, the device is on sale right now for $80 on Amazon and has a normal price of $100. Even at full price, I still feel compelled to purchase the FiiO M3 Pro (another one or two), because of the abundance of functional-value it has, and also because I am a straight up DAP-a-holic! I have nearly 40 budget-level DAP’s in my collection. I know… I have a problem… and its remedy?... MORE DAPS!


Touch Screen/ UX


This device has the perfect screen size for a display and folder menu, and because of that, it is well suited to have a touch screen interface. Unlike the FiiO M5 and the Shanling M0, it is easier (and makes more sense) to scroll through hundreds of songs. This is possible due to a nearly-lagless interface and the size of the screen.


Although, I am fond of the FiiO M5 and the Shanling M0, those devices are not designed to scroll through hundreds of songs effectively, because you can only see 5 of them at a time. The screen is THAT small on those two devices.


The “theme” of the device, or display icons, is very similar to the Shanling Q1, even though the OS is proprietary. Let’s talk about the audio recorder.


Audio Recorder


I love the fact that FiiO has been implementing an audio recorder on some of the iterations of their players. Let’s keep in mind that the FiiO M3 Pro IS a high-resolution audio device, with a high quality and efficient DAC chip. The device itself, is optimized for sound reproduction.


Yet, the audio recorder is a bonus feature in the overall scheme of a DAP, and a useful one. I have used the audio recording function when I record interviews and study sessions with clients and classmates.


The duration of the audio recording function depends on the battery level of the device (which for me, is around 13 hours) as well as the size of your Micro SD card.


After you have recorded a segment of audio, you can automatically save that sample in the remaining space in your Micro SD card. Let’s talk about the next un-traditional function of this device that I find highly valuable, the calculator.




At this point, it probably sounds like my praise for FiiO’s design team is hyperbolic by my grandiose praise, but it isn’t. The calculator is the last function that I find to be a value-added feature, and it works seamlessly.


You can listen to a song and make “simple” calculations simultaneously. Fantastic! Who wants to stop their music listening experience while doing math homework? I know I don’t.




In my Amazon review, I said that this device has a harshly bright sound. I still stand by this comment. Since then, I have solved this issue by pairing the FiiO M3 Pro with Sennheiser Momentum Headphones, which to me, sound warmer than my Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 32 Ohms.


All of the functions (benefits) that I listed in this post, eat into the battery. So, the more you use them, the more you need to monitor the remaining battery life.


I hope this post was valuable for you, and that it helped you make a decision to buy (or not to buy) this product. For all of you DAP-a-holics out there: do you need another DAP in your collection? Do you absolutely need this DAP in your collection?


The answer is no. We are an irrational breed. We love this hobby of music listening with a passion. We are constantly looking to improve our listening experience in the cheapest way possible, and some products are better than others. I hope that I can provide y’all with a layman’s perspective, as I love this hobby too! I am convinced that I will be addicted to this hobby as long as they continue to create these awesome magical devices.


Let’s enjoy this hobby together. I am new to the art of blogging, so I don’t have a call-to-action just yet. I will let y’all know when I have any updates that will be useful to you, the current DAP-a-holics of the world. Until then, stay listening.

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