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HiFiMan HM-601 Appreciation, Discussion and Review Thread

post #1 of 87
Thread Starter 

HiFiMan HM-601

 

2010Nov15011249_MG_9163.jpg

 

Quote:

Benefitting from NOS DAC design, HM-601 is a warm, natural and musical sounding player. HM-601 has very similar sound to HM-602 because these two players share same D/A converter and headphone amplifier circuit. HM-601 has slightly better bass extension than HM-602, and a little less sweetness and smooth texture in mid and high (A lot of people might not be able to tell difference at all).  As the simplified version of HM-602, HM-601 can not work as a soundcard, and using different op-amps. HM-601 has 2Gb memory, which is much smaller than HM-602's 16Gb memory. With the high / low Gain switch, HM-601 can drive both high efficiency IEM and most full size headphones.

 

 

D/A Chip: TDA1543
Freqency Response: 20-20K Hz
Distortion: 0.09%
S/N: 92 DB
Stereo crosstalk:74 DB (Lineout)
Headphone Amplifier
Output level: 1.1v at 32 Ohm; 2.2v at 150 Ohm
Max Output: 30mw at 32 Ohm; 26mw at 150 Ohm
Size: 62mm*103mm*26.5mm or 2.4 * 4.05 * 1.04 Inch
Weight: About 200g / 7Oz
On board Flash: 2 GB
Battery time: 9 to 10 Hrs
I / O: Headphone Output; Line Output; USB Data Exchange; SD card (up to 32GB)

 

Waranty: 30 days refund. 90 days free replacement and 1 year repair

 

 

Official Release Thread: Winter Deal: HM-601 Player and RE-Zero Combo $259

Review by LFF: REVIEW: HiFiman HM-601

 

 

A Mini Instruction Manual: (taken from CSIR)

Up Arrow: Reset track/previous track. Holding it down will fast-forward.

Down Arrow: Next track. Holding it down will rewind.

Right Arrow: Select/Navigate forwards. 

Left Arrow: Go Backwards/Previous location.

 

Supported Files: (taken from warp08)

FLAC: VBR 16bit 44.1kHz and 24bit 48kHz(?).

APE: High Mode, Normal, Fast.

AAC: 16 to 320 kbps.

WMA: 8 to 356 kbps.

OGG: Quality 0 to Quality 10.

WAV: PCM, MSW-ADPCM, IMA-ADPCM

MP3: 8 to 320 kbps.


Edited by Hero Kid - 11/22/10 at 2:34pm
post #2 of 87

 

So the "real" thread got pruned because it went way off-topic and looked rather not-nice for an advertising campaign, afterall this is a "winter deal" for that dark time of the year when we want high quality music.  My take on it is HiFiMAN have been around for a while, improving their DAP's and IEM's along the way, ironing out the errors and tweaking the sound, now there's a DAP from them for $160 with their highly regarded IEM's for $100, it sounds like a deal to me.

 

 

It seems like there are a lot of haters, though, especially when I visited a different forum on this topic, I don't want to spark or get involved in that conversation at all, I just found it annoying to see some posters taking the hate-side to fit in or join in and not show any interest or respect in the product.

 

I am taking the other side of that hate-fest because I feel like the haters are measuring the statistics of a blu-ray disc on an old black and white TV and saying blu-ray is useless.

 

I mean can those RMAA tests honestly tell you the difference in sound between a vintage amp, a cheap laptop soundcard, a high-end studio system, an apple shuffle, a cassette player, a 90's Sony Discman, a ghettoblaster, a mobile phone HO, a high-end $10,000 amp?  I highly doubt it, my hunch is the RMAA tests are really limited in the overall experience of how a DAP actually sounds, so unless I'm mistaken the discussion is ridiculous, it's like saying stock apple earbuds and HD650 sound the same because it says so on paper in an FR graph.

 

Here's a highly relevant article http://stereophile.com/reference/50/

 

At the end there is a glossary of audio terms, AFAIK there is no testing equipment available which can reliably measure all of these terms and show us on paper how they actually sound.

 

I don't feel like getting involved in this discussion I just wanted to lay out these thoughts beause the posts I was reading on the topic seemed naive and annoying.

 

 

post #3 of 87

ph34r.gif

post #4 of 87

those scientists in this forum will not agree with Kiteki.

post #5 of 87

popcorn.gif

post #6 of 87

I am an evidence-based person, so I have looked at the "graph results" and associated arguments for and against the performance of the HiFiMan 601.  However when it comes to audio, first and foremost I am a trust your ears listener, I have not bought anything ever based on a frequency chart.  I have the 601 arriving soon and I will be interested to see how it "sounds" to my ears with my gear in comparison to my excellent Sony NWZA816S.


Edited by Kernmac - 11/23/10 at 1:53pm
post #7 of 87

I was originally planning on spending my money by buying a pair of customs but due to them receiving a high amount of orders I will wait which gives me time to buy these. I'm going to wait until Monday just in case there are any incredible deals for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If nothing appeals to me I'll be buying the HM601 and RE-Zero bundle and selling the RE-Zero which should make a decent player for a but less than $200. I have a 8GB sdhc card in my camera but I do have a 2gb that I haven't used in a year or two so I can replace that. I'll do that until I get around to buying a 16GB card (maybe on Monday). If it's worth it for me I will see if I will keep my J3 but if it is not a clear improvement I will sell it and then move from there.

 

I have high hopes but realistic expectations. I should have adequate gear for a portable setup without an amp so hopefully there are nothing that is too much of a bottleneck.

post #8 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by rawrster View Post

I was originally planning on spending my money by buying a pair of customs but due to them receiving a high amount of orders I will wait which gives me time to buy these. I'm going to wait until Monday just in case there are any incredible deals for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. If nothing appeals to me I'll be buying the HM601 and RE-Zero bundle and selling the RE-Zero which should make a decent player for a but less than $200. I have a 8GB sdhc card in my camera but I do have a 2gb that I haven't used in a year or two so I can replace that. I'll do that until I get around to buying a 16GB card (maybe on Monday). If it's worth it for me I will see if I will keep my J3 but if it is not a clear improvement I will sell it and then move from there.

 

I have high hopes but realistic expectations. I should have adequate gear for a portable setup without an amp so hopefully there are nothing that is too much of a bottleneck.


Cant wait to see you w/ the J3 and 601 as a duo.  Still have my QA350 though its been gathering dust for the past few weeks.  I know it still has a place though.

post #9 of 87

The chances of me keeping the J3 if the 601 does better is quite low. The J3 was purchased because of its long battery and a long battery wouldn't be useful if a player isn't being used as often. I may sell it and get something cheap, powerful but still having a decent battery life in the C30. 2 customs and 2 dap's sounds like a good idea if one does better than the other for a certain one. I'll wait a while for the 2nd customs since they are busy so when I order I won't have to wait as long.

 

I'll order at the end of the week and hopefully get it mid next week. If this works out I'm probably coming close to the end of my portable journey.

post #10 of 87

I figured Cowon users just had to have their EQ.  wink_face.gif

post #11 of 87

I'm not the biggest advocate for EQ although I don't mind if others use it. With my computer I use a music server which doesn't have EQ although I do have another program I use which has 16 band or so EQ which is pretty good. The J3 has good EQ but the settings are horrible. Most of them become quite bassy or sound interesting but crap. When I control the EQ settings it's better. I typically don't use EQ much unless I'm using an earphone which I find has the need for EQ. I'll take long battery over a usable EQ any day. Of course if EQ was important I wouldn't consider the 602. IMO any good phone should not have a need for EQ to sound good. The worst the phone the more need for EQ but then again no point in a 602 if I have bad phones.

post #12 of 87
Thread Starter 

    Quote:

Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post

[...]

 

Now, the HM601 is a very FINE sounding player. With bright earphones, it is like a soothing balm. With overly warm earphones, it isn't my favourite player, but honestly, Head-Direct hit it with this one. The S:Flo had a similar low pass filter, but, it did it with the overall sharp signature found in iPods and Cowon players. What you get is a sharp sounding player with sudden softness. Head-Direct have done it right: the interface is not great, but it is WAAAAY better than S:Flo. THe battery life is similar. The ID3 support is way better.

 

The sound: hiss levels are similar, so very low. Overall, the HM601 is amazing.



For those that missed it in the other thread.  Also trying to get this thread rolling rather than dappled conversations in numerous topics.

post #13 of 87

Honestly, I am surprised. I am not a big one for stuffy audiophile marketing especially after being stung by a number of 'audiophile' products. So, the HM601, while marketed at audiophiles - a very gullible market - is a surprise. I has quirks that I don't like such as needing to charge via external charger, lack of gapless, completely bass ackwards navigation system; but overall, it sounds good.

 

Now, it isn't the last word on accuracy. I accept that especially as it is a player, like its older siblings, that is built with NOS components and made for a specific sound. Playing around with Teclast, cowon, iPod, etc., you get a different feel in music. There are things to enjoy in every player, but the HM601 (and by extension, the HM602), you can run into a comfortable veil of deep bass and warm, smooth mids. Yes, the top end is rolled off and yes, I am generally against roll off. But, where other players are built from off-the-shelf parts and label themselves 'audiophile' or 'professional', the HM601 is more laid back.

 

For trance and fast techno, I tend to prefer the iPod from HPO or from LO to a good amp. But put on CK10 from audio technica and Dianna Krall or Nick Cave or anything with slower vocals and natural instruments, and HELLO, the HM601 is beautiful. Again, toss accuracy out the window for a moment and enjoy the sound. That is it. 

 

If, however, it were a mass market player, I'd probably be a bit upset with the sound. Mass market in some ways should pay attention to the masses and to both audiophiles and accuracy heads. 

 

I really like it. The price is in some ways hard to swallow because you get 2GB. But the SD card integrates well. What it also does is drain the battery a bit. I get maybe 7 hours - maybe. And, with the GoDAP from VentureCraft, I get a smoother sound for acoustic music plus about 7-10 hours music, more formats, gapless, etc. It, has a hi-pass filter instead though!

 

Audiophiles have one thing in common, it seems: the need to apply a house sound on an item, or search for one. At the moment, I am not upset with it at all, and if you have followed some of my posts here, you may find that contrary, or interesting. Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about the HM601. Rather, I've a surprised respect for most of its design decisions. 

 

Good on ya, Head Direct.

post #14 of 87

well said shigzeo, when someone creates a player that you and I like that means that it must be really good. The HM-601 has the best sound after comparing it to the s:flo 2, the cube c30, ipod video 5.5g (stock), fuze, clip, etc. I will post my detailed impressions later today.

post #15 of 87

Haha, George, you are right: if both you AND I can like the same player, it is saying something. 

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