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My review of the Hippo Gumstick

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

 

Hippo Gumstick

 

DSCF1315.JPG

 

The Hippo Gumstick is a reworked Hisoundaudio Rocoo / Cube C30, same housing is used but the internals differ.

 

Specs:

Class A amp

Dimensions: approx 75x27x10 mm

Weight: 45 gram

Screen: 1 inch OLED b/w, 2-3 lines of text
Price: $99

 

Features:

Audio codec: MP3, WMA, AAC, APE, FLAC

4GB internal memory and micro SDHC expansion slot

FM radio

5 band EQ (normal, rock, jazz, classical, pop, bass, user  +/- 12dB on 80, 250, 1K, 4K and 12K Hz)

4 playback modes (normal, repeat one, repeat all, random)

Multi-tasking

Voice and radio recorder

Text and lyrics reader

File browser

MSC, drag and drop
 

Included accessories:
USB Cable

Manual

 

DSCF1307.JPG

 

Build quality and hardware:

The Gumstick is made of high quality plastic and what seems to be a metal frame, it feels very well put together. The screen is built in behind of the face of the player which makes it look very exclusive, and it works very well too. On the face of the Gumstick there is a rocker pad, with prev/next track and +/- volume as well as scrolling the menus. To the right of the rocker pad there are two discreet rocker buttons, menu/select and play/pause combined on/off. At the top of the player there you will find a microphone and a rocker button for recording and A-B repeat. On the right side, there is the mini USB port and headphone out, at the bottom is the on/off slider button and a reset hole, and on the left hand side is a micro SDHC slot.

The nice looking UI is quick and easy in use.

 

DSCF1310.JPG

              

Audio:

To test the audio qualities of the Gumstick I have used a wide array of IEM’s (ATH CK10 UM2, UM-3X, Hippo VB, Hippo Shroom, FA Eterna) on ears Koss Portapro, Jays v-Jays, and Philips SBC HP1000 full sized cans..

One thing that becomes apparent straight away is the silence, the Gumstick doesn’t seem to hiss or produce any other static noises.

The Gumstick incorporates a Class A amp, in other words it packs an incredible power for such a small device, it can easily drive more demanding phones as well. The sound signature is natural/neutral, with a deep “quality over quantity” bass, lively and detailed mids and clear highs. The detail in sound is excellent, better than Cowon D2 and Sansa Clip, same goes for the soundstage and the imaging.

As I have found the Gumstick sounds especially good with warmer sounding IEM’s, Klipsch S4, Hippo VB, FA Eterna are very good matches.

There are EQ options for those who wish to use them, but to be honest, the Gumstick sounds so good that most users should not need to tinker with any settings.

 

DSCF1318.JPG

 

Other:

There is also a FM radio, text/lyrics viewer and a voice recorder built in. These work as they are meant to, and may come in very handy for some users.

 

Conclusion:

The Hippo Gumstick offers a great sound quality and great design. Highly recommended.


Edited by mp3 - 6/30/10 at 5:28am
post #2 of 29

Thanks for the review. But i have few questions, if you dont mind.

 

1. File library is based on ID3tag or file browsing?

2. How's the microSDHC integration? (reference to question 1)

3. File deletion via player possible?

4. Battery life?

5. Firmware stability?

post #3 of 29

1.) How well would it drive Full Sized Cans?

2.) What DAC does it Use?

3.) Does it support gapless mp3, wma and flac?


Edited by IDK - 6/29/10 at 7:15pm
post #4 of 29

 

 

I don't have one, but I was browsing through some Singapore forums, I can relay information.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by toughnut View Post

Thanks for the review. But i have few questions, if you dont mind.

 

1. File library is based on ID3tag or file browsing?

 

File browsing, follows order of transfer

 

2. How's the microSDHC integration? (reference to question 1)

3. File deletion via player possible?

4. Battery life?

 

I've seen 7-9 hours for FLAC, a bit more for MP3s

 

5. Firmware stability?





Quote:
Originally Posted by IDK View Post

1.) How well would it drive Full Sized Cans?

 

There was a user who tested it with a DT880  600 ohm, he said it drives "fairly good". He also tested it with a HD800, said he thought it wasn't quite good enough to drive it, borderline.

Another user said his DT880 250 ohm, which on the Sansa Fuze's maximum volume was barely below listening levels, was driven very well by the Gumstick, even having extra volume to push more. And yet another user said "Yes, the output are quite high, i tested it with Beyerdynamic DT880 250ohm, and it can drive it quite well without amp."

 

2.) What DAC does it Use?

3.) Does it support gapless mp3, wma and flac?

 

File Formats supported: MP3, WMA, FLAC, APE - No idea on gapless

 

 

 

Feel free to peruse the board http://forum.lowyat.net/topic/1453217

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks for chipping in gimmethatbeatfool.

 

Toughnut's questions,

1. File browsing, follows order of transfer.

2. Unfortuately I do not have a micro SDHC card so haven't been able to test this, but the file viewer shows up "internal media" and "external media", so I would think that there isn't any integration as such.

3. Doesn't seem to be possible.

4. 7-9h for flac, around 9-10h for mp3.

5. Very stable, no crashes or hick-ups yet.

 

IDK's questions,

1. Personally I have only got the cans listed, and they were no match at all to drive. Gimmethatbeatfool's answer is way better than I could do, and shows that the Gumstick has potential to drive rather big loads. 

2. Unfortunately there isn't any information about the DAC, but my guess would be that it's the same as on the Rocoo.

3. No gapless, I'm afraid.

post #6 of 29

Does it hiss as much as rocco?

post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 

It doesn't produce any hissing with the earphones I've tried it with.

post #8 of 29

I see it as $99 USD on Jaben's site

No hiss?!

!!

hum..

how does it sound compared to the rocoo? and possibly even c30?

post #9 of 29
Thread Starter 

Price set at $99 

 

At my listening levels, 10-15 of 31, I can't hear any hiss from it, or at least not anymore than from my Cowon D2 and Sansa Clip.

Compared to Rocoo, it's not really fair to compare to the Rocoo I have as it's a pre-production unit, the Gumstick does everything better. I haven't heard the C30.


Edited by mp3 - 6/30/10 at 5:37am
post #10 of 29

How does it sound compared to the clip+, sflo2, Ipod Video via LO or hifiman?


Edited by IDK - 6/30/10 at 9:51am
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 

Out of those I have only heard the Clip, and I prefer the sound of the Gumstick. It sounds more powerful, detailed and airier overall.

post #12 of 29

gumstick>>clip+

 

the gumstick sounds like a mini amp3 without any hiss. it seems to give my mtpc another lease of life !

post #13 of 29

Read from chinese forum, Hippo Gumstick is Hisound oem.

post #14 of 29

Hi,

 

I've bought one but the right button is a bit stuck. Is this supposed?

post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 

All buttons have a good "click" feel to them on mine, maybe you should have yours swapped?

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