FiiO M11S portable music player boasts dual DACs, hi-res MQA support and is cheaper than Astell & Kern rival

FiiO M11S portable music player
(Image credit: FiiO)

FiiO has a brand new hi-res portable music player, the FiiO M11S. The new player boasts extensive audio file compatibility, dual DAC configuration and a new amplification circuit – all for a rather sensible price for a hi-res player.

Following in the footsteps of the widely popular M11 and excellent premium M11 Pro players, the M11S aims to extend the Chinese brand's success.

The M11S features two high-quality ES9038Q2M DAC chips – one for the left channel and one for the right channel. There's support for high-resolution audio files up to 32-bit/384kHz, DSD256 and it can decode MQA tracks from Tidal. 

The M11S is also equipped with a new "innovative" headphone amplifier circuit and FiiO claims to achieve "one of the lowest noise floors" found in portable music players, measuring just 1.9uV. It should be powerful too – the balanced power output measures a claimed 670mW at 32 ohms. There is a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, 2.5mm and 4.4mm balanced headphone outputs, and a dedicated line-out.

Additionally, the M11S can be used as a USB DAC for your laptop – similar to the five-star M11 Pro we tested in 2020 – and as a Bluetooth transmitter/receiver for your smartphone and similar devices.

FiiO M11S portable music player

(Image credit: FiiO)

Powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 660 chip (the same is used in FiiO's flagship M17 model), the new M11S runs on Android 10 OS. 

There are plenty of wireless options offered by the FiiO M11S: along with DLNA and AirPlay streaming, the player supports the LDAC, aptX HD and LHDC Bluetooth codecs for higher-quality streams between compatible devices. You can also install music streaming apps such as Tidal, Qobuz and Apple Music and enjoy their hi-res lossless library in bit-perfect quality.

The M11S sports a 5-inch HD touchscreen display, lasts for 14 hours on battery, and has an onboard storage of 32GB – this can be extended using the micro SD card slot that supports up to 2TB cards. Ideal if you want to carry a significant, hi-res audio library with you at all times.

The FiiO M11S is available now for £489 / $499 (around AU$862). That's a fair bit cheaper than our current 2022 Award-winning Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 MKII player, which offers up similar file compatibility, built-in streaming apps, exquisite design and advanced audio tech for a hefty £699 / $749 / AU$1099. Whether the new FiiO M11S can match A&K's proficiency for impressive sound quality (or indeed match its own M11 Pro) remains to be seen, but we're keen to find out.


Read our FiiO M11 Pro review

And the Astell & Kern A&norma SR25 MKII review

Our pick of the best portable music players

Kashfia Kabir
Hi-Fi and Audio Editor

Kashfia is the Hi-Fi and Audio Editor of What Hi-Fi? and first joined the brand over 10 years ago. During her time in the consumer tech industry, she has reviewed hundreds of products (including speakers, amplifiers and headphones), been to countless trade shows across the world and fallen in love with hi-fi kit much bigger than her. In her spare time, Kash can be found tending to an ever-growing houseplant collection and hanging out with her cat Jolene.