The well-lit top end and excellent tonality combines with a deep and musical low end that is amongst the best in class. The results are never less than convincing be it the reproduction of a kick drum, bass guitar or purely electronic rumble.
Give the M3i a complex and fast-moving bass line and it will reproduce it with fantastic speed and assurance that makes it a must-listen for anyone with preferences towards rock or dance music.
Timing can be a tricky concept to define and explain but by most standards the M3i has it in spades. When given gentler music to work with, this can manifest itself as if the M3i is trying to add pace and excitement to material that is less suitable for it to work this trick on. For some, this slight relentlessness might prove distracting while others will revel in this sense of liveliness.
To round off an impressive set of sonic attributes, the M3i generates a substantial and convincing soundstage with musicians placed believably within it. The results are not as panoramic as some of the competition, but neither is there the sense of sound clinging closely to speakers and giving a very 'left/ right' presentation.
Life in the fast lane
Summarised in one word, the M3i could only be described as 'entertaining'. It will replay anything with a sense of excitement and liveliness that is hard not to like. That this punch and timing is coupled to excellent tonality and soundstage and placed in a well-finished and relatively well-specified box, results in a very strong performer at the price point.
The slightly boisterous presentation it can sometimes display with gentler music may not be to everybody's taste, but many will revel in the sheer enjoyment that the M3i can bring to listening.
If this is the result of a new Musical Fidelity philosophy and an example of what we can expect in the future, then we hope it is one that the firm will follow enthusiastically for some time to come. The M3i is definitely a welcome addition to the fold."