FiiO M3 DAP review - Tiny and powerful

The world of high-end DAPs is an expensive one, with few options available for users on a budget. FiiO already has a relatively cheap, small-ish player, the X1, but recently they prepared an even more lightweight model, that being the M3.

With a price-point that puts in the bracket of most age-old MP3 players, the M3 has no direct competition, at least not one with matching technical specs and build quality. While this may seem like a ringing endorsement on its own, there is a question that keeps popping up whenever an established developer releases an extreme budgeted model: How much did they cut out of the end-product, and is it still worth a damn?

Fiio M3 - Product Image

FiiO might have a reputation, but it has one for making excellent DAPs, DACs, and amplifiers cheaper than competing forces, but not necessarily budget items. With the M3, that changes, as this is the kind of device that costs less than a pair of decent IEMs. That kind of price-point makes me at least a bit suspicious. Does it have a right to sit next to X1, X3, X5, or X7?

That’s what I intend to find out, from checking its design, construction, battery life and last, but not least, performance. 

First, a small table with its technical specs:

Fiio M3 DAP


2.0” TFT Colour LCD (320x240)


CS42L51 (supports up to 96/24 res)


Integrated with DAC


Combined 3.5mm Headphone Out


1 x microSD (max support 64GB at time of review)

Supported Formats

APE, WAV, FLAC, MP3, WMA, OGG, M4A (without raw .AAC)

Headphone output Impedance

<0.4 Ω (32Ω)


70 dB@1KHz - THD+N
0.008%@1KHz - MAX output voltage
4.2 Vp-p

Max output current

46 mA


110 dB

Output power

50mW@16Ω, 30mW@16Ω (THD+N<1%)


550mAh Li-Polymer, up to 24 hours playback

Charge Time

< 2.5 hours


40mm x 47mm x 9mm

Net Weight


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