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** Hisoundaudio Studio V Class A Portable Dap ** - Review with HD Images

post #1 of 126
Thread Starter 

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       $390

 

 

10Hz-25kHz

            Sensitivity (dB): 105dB

 

 

Earphone amplifier grade: Hisound's proprietory HiFi amplifier

            Frequency Response: 10Hz-25kHz

            Sensitivity (dB): 105dB (stocked earphone ),

            Impedance ;32 ohm earphone (earphone )

            Power-Handling: 100mW peak / 5mW rated (earphone)

            100mW peak / 5mW rated (earphone)

            S/N :96dB

          Memory capacity: 4G+expanding 

            Card Compatibility: Micro SD,  

 

            Battery capacity: 2000mAh 

            Battery continually playing time: > 80-100hours ( volume set at 3 degree

            Proprietary Power saving technology:  EMA Technology (Energy Management and Admeasurements Technology)

 

A big thank you to Jack at Hisoundaudio for everything he's been doing for me lately.  You are The Man

 

Portable Daps have come a long way since the Rio PMP3000 and similar portable players released so long ago.  I can recall the days when 256mb capacity daps were mind bendingly large.  An entire CD ripped in medium quality on one little player?  LIES! 

 

"This kind of space is insane, how can an entire CD fit into one small device like this!? "  - swbf2cheater circa 2001

 

Funny how I recall saying that over a decade ago the first year at high school, showing my awesome new gadget off to my buddies in the cafeteria and in the middle of class.  Quite funny actually, since teachers back then were used to CD players and the new mini disk recorders being a detention worthy offence if used in class.  I often let my professors and instructors hold my little mp3 player in hand, not knowing what it was and absolutely lying about what it was.  " Its a heart monitor, I plug my headphones in and it records my rhythm, its medical related."  Naturally, most of them were skeptical but due to one of my first mp3 players being immensely tiny, a little larger than the last generation sansa clip, nobody really believed it was a music device.  Some were gullible enough to believe me when I said that, now I look back on things and realized I really should have spent more time in detention.  I really deserved it, if there is an Audio Hell, I'll be going there ha!

 

Anywho, I was never fond of the other high end unportable daps as I call them, daps like the Colorfly C4 or the Hifiman HM801.  Bricks.  Giant bricks that didn't really fit into my pocket, especially not jeans.  Thankfully I am a cargo pants man myself, otherwise I'd have had a permanent HM801 shaped bruise on my leg for the rest of my life.  Hisoundaudio produces all their gear with one common trait:  Large spacious sound.  All of their headphones are amazing best buys and worth more than what you will pay, the Studio V is no different.  Its a juggernaut.  I actually reviewed the cheaper budget friendly Studio P a while back and really enjoyed it.  I expected the V to be much larger  but was shocked that its the same size in height and width, but much thicker.  Its still crazy tiny.  Look at this!

 

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Thats a Cowon J3, not really a small player, but not large either.  Slim, sleek you get the idea.  The Hisound Daps are really that small and weighted like a piece of lead.  Seriously heavy.  Super solid feeling and absolutely screams quality build materials were used. Yes, she is thick, but it fits my hand very well and I've never once thought its too thick, I prefer this type of feel actually.  Its rugged and I never lose my grip, short and stocky is the way to go for me ( no pun intended ).  Its a beast weighing in at 5.1 oz.  This is super heavy for a Dap, the Cowan J3 clocks in at only 2.8oz.   

 

Holy 1.21 Gigawatts Marty! Thats Heavy for a Dap this size!!!  

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Anywho, lets talk about the features.  The Studio V is immensely powerful and potent and puts the J3 and pretty much every other dap but the HM801 to shame in regards to pure amplification power.  Seriously, its the Super Saiyan of the Dap world and can boost volume, power, kick and dynamics into the sky with hard to drive headphones.  Hisound specifically designed it that way.  It drove the He-500 very well, significantly better than the Fiio E10 Dac or the J3.  I own the Fischer Audio FA 011 Woodies, which are not that easy to drive, the J3 cannot drive it nor can the E10, staging, kick, volume ect ect are all in the red, meaning its not something I would use with said gear. However, the V eats the 011 for breakfast.  The sound is huge, lively, open, dynamic and never lacking anything ( except Bass, which we will get to later ).  To sum it up, its got insane output and retains excellent sonic clarity and minimal distortion.

 

It can also be used as a stand alone AMP, it is far better and open sounding again than my loved Fiio E10 but I highly suggest getting a Digizoid Zo or something with a very clean and powerful Bass Booster.  Otherwise your experience,even with gear like the Popo also from Hisoundaudio, which has insane levels of Bass, sound lacking in the low department.  Something that when used with just my J3 or Fiio e10 achieves head shaking levels of bass, but has a balanced type sound with the V in the mix.  

 

My Sandisk 64gb Micro Sd card works perfectly with it once it was formatted in Fat32, so don't worry about it.  Best Buy just had a sale at $75 for the 64gb card so feel free to enjoy.  The interface will need to scan the card if you recharge or turn the Dap off, which takes 30 seconds to 3 minutes depending on the day.  I've no clue why there is a change in scan time, sometimes its quick, sometimes its long.  Either way 3 minute bootup is great for 64gb of flac music. 

 

The Studio V has a ton of UI bugs and problems, so expect some stress and serious WHAT THE HELL moments.  A few problems I've found are that there are:

 

-No songs listings, only Now Playing ( which if set to random in settings will randomize all tracks both on internal and exterior memory ) Albums and Artists.  These menus are horrifically laggy and slow.  It could potentially take hours to cycle down through all my albums.  Instead, use the Resource Manager to get through your Albums very quickly. For some reason this area works immensely well as you can sift through your Albums on interior or exterior memory very very very quickly.  Hisound should completely remove the Album and Artists menu, they are literally Dead Weight and vastly inferior to Resource Manager. 

 

-I don't really see any EQ menu as there was in the Rocoo P.  You are stuck with a natural stock EQ and cannot change it, thankfully it sounds great.  The Studio V is not a Bassy Dap, it was made to sound as natural as possible so there is no exaggerations in the Lows.  However again, if you have a bass booster, much more bass can be achieved.  Without one, even Bass potent headphones will sound much less bassy.  

 

-Freezing occurs now and then and I was forced to use the hard reset button.  

 

-Sometimes, all settings will default back to stock after you shut down by holding the center button or after recharging.  Really the only setting I toggle is the randomize shuffle play option anyway so its not a big deal to me.  During Battery life testing, I couldn't get past 10 hours of continued play before it would freeze up, this happened three times and i gave up trying to find out just how long it would go on playing.  The good news is that 10 hours of Flac is great and I think it might be caused by one of my tracks being corrupted, the bad news is which one would be causing the freezing, I did set it to random play, maybe someone else can confirm how long she lasts. 

 

Hisound shipped the dap to me via a slow route, it then sat in US customs for almost 3 weeks and the day I got it, battery life was down to 50%.  Stand by time is insane.  I've never witnessed anything like that before.  As I use it, it takes more time in the day than I listen to music with demanding headphones playing flac music at mid volume levels to drop down 1 bar out of 4.  Battery life is unrivaled, you can go through 5 HM801s and C4s before the Studio V starts to fade out.  

 

 

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Sound Qualities are stellar.  I've never owned or heard a portable dap with a stage this lively, open and spacious.  It absolutely smashed the J3 and the HM801 which to me sounded Phiaton-esque, meaning not much center imaging going on at all.  Undoubtedly the KING of Dap Soundstaging.  Sonic Clarity is excellent but not quiet as good as the C4 or HM801, but then again this player is close to half the price of those two.  I havent heard Ibassos new dap, so I cannot comment about it.  Overall, this player has amazing mids and highs, a lively stage and I will never use another dap again until something better comes out with a better staging experience. 

 

The V has Bass issues.  Since it was designed to have a natural appearing in presentation, Bass is going to be lacking and more balanced sounding.  It makes my Livewire customs sound beautiful, since they are a more balanced sound type anyway, I do find the bass lacking on them and but again the V is the Dap I would use over most anything else when comboed with headphones that are bass light or moderate to begin with, or lacking staging qualities.  Earbuds like the MX980 or Hisound Pro/Live known for large stages are absolutely killer with this Dap.  The Fischer Audio FA011 is also again, excellent through this piece of gear.  I am very satisfied.  Since it is a bassy can, only some bass rumble is lost, its more evened out which I am not happy about but then again you really shouldnt be pairing bassy headphones with it.  

 

Coloration is light, its a natural sound with an attempt to sound uncolored, Hisound did well and delivers on its promises.  Its not warm or fuzzy, however its highly musical and I've not heard a Dap that has a higher musicality to it.  All in all the Dap is incredible but hisound really needs to hire someone else to do their UI design.  Get rockbox! If this dap ever lands Rockbox, I might pass out with excitement.  The stock UI is horrid and simple, expect some bugs, but the quality and price to performances absolutely killed everything I've ever experienced.  Some people say there is some hiss with sensitive iems, I own none so I cannot comment.  They sound perfect with my Livewires.   Hisound has yet to make something that sucks.  Every piece of gear from them, headphones to amps, amps to daps, daps to cables sound excellent and are priced well below what I was willing to pay for their performance. 

 

-Mike

 

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Edited by swbf2cheater - 3/21/12 at 12:18pm
post #2 of 126

you didn't have any hissing issues with your customs?

post #3 of 126
Thread Starter 

Noda, they aren't sensitive customs so I hear nothing.  Also, another problem with the UI is that I hear a funny DERP sound when I changed the track, its faint an if the track doesnt have immediate audio upon track selection switching, you will hear that noise. 

post #4 of 126

Thank you for review! I am really learning toward to Studio V, but I have a concern about some bugs that were mentioned here and in other threads. I wonder will they be fixed by Hisound?

post #5 of 126

i have one question that i cant find the answer since 1 year ago, there are how many version of Hisoundaudio Studio?

post #6 of 126

The V sounds spectacular with Sennheiser IE-80's, especially the bass & soundstage.

 

2X: Rockbox would be the ultimate FW for the V, sure wish it was available.

post #7 of 126

Nice review SW. I recommend you clean the tags up and remove all album art from these files that are loaded onto your Studio V. Remove all ID 3V2 tags as they don't play nicely with the V  and replace them with ID3v1 tags. This can all be done easily on the fly with mp3tag. PM me for specific directions on how to do this in literally minutes to avoid having to manually make these changes (which can be a nightmare). This should greatly improve boot times and I'm sure, resolve you freezing issues (although the UI is still very buggy other than using the resource manager).

 

I was also informed that letting the V play for days on end won't yield you the longest battery life. If you test it by playing it back in 5 hour intervals you should get 55+ hours of flac playback time while 80+ with lossy files.


Edited by lee730 - 3/19/12 at 10:46am
post #8 of 126

Nice review.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by swbf2cheater View Post

 

Undoubtedly the KING of Dap Soundstaging.


+2. One of my favorite attributes of this player. My trusty Cowon D2+ quickly lost its position.

post #9 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_tumiwa View Post

i have one question that i cant find the answer since 1 year ago, there are how many version of Hisoundaudio Studio?


That's a very reasonable question.  I have through my own personal research come to the conclusion that there are three versions: Studio, Studio-I and the latest Studio-V, all included numerous firmwares. I do predict that the next release will be a Studio-X !

post #10 of 126

You have it only for 3 days now, you might want to let them run for a while. I had the same initial reaction when I got my V. My bass was greatly improved after running it for around 1 month for approximately 8-10 hours per day.

I'm quite convinced it is not my brain getting used to the sound because I just let it run without listening much to it. I started using it intensively last week after I feel it's quite settled.


Edited by Jazzyfi - 3/20/12 at 4:56am
post #11 of 126
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee730 View Post

Nice review SW. I recommend you clean the tags up and remove all album art from these files that are loaded onto your Studio V. Remove all ID 3V2 tags as they don't play nicely with the V  and replace them with ID3v1 tags. This can all be done easily on the fly with mp3tag. PM me for specific directions on how to do this in literally minutes to avoid having to manually make these changes (which can be a nightmare). This should greatly improve boot times and I'm sure, resolve you freezing issues (although the UI is still very buggy other than using the resource manager).

 

I was also informed that letting the V play for days on end won't yield you the longest battery life. If you test it by playing it back in 5 hour intervals you should get 55+ hours of flac playback time while 80+ with lossy files.


This made great improvements to menu surfing in Albums and Artists, as well as boot up time which seems to be about 40 seconds on a class 6 micro sd card with 41gb of music.  Resource Manager is still better, still a small stutter in the other menus.  Thanks for the tip, I was using Mp3tag to handle it all, highlighted all my tracks and right clicked to remove tags, worked perfectly.  Took like an hour for me to complete it all on an i7 rig. 

 

post #12 of 126

Can i ask you a question?

I heard about this studio use a cheap dac (Sigmatel 3770) but how it can beat the j3 even it use that kind of dac?

Isn't j3 use WM8960G ? I thought wolfson is the best chip?

post #13 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evister View Post

Can i ask you a question?

I heard about this studio use a cheap dac (Sigmatel 3770) but how it can beat the j3 even it use that kind of dac?

Isn't j3 use WM8960G ? I thought wolfson is the best chip?


I've said it once and I'll say it again... It's not always what's under the hood, but how you use it. You could have the best DAC in the world connected to rubbish components and you'll get "rubbish sound." However Hi-sound pulled it off, and they did an amazing job IMO. So implementation will have a drastic effect on the overall outcome (sound). Don't be fooled by specs all the time. It will lead you to dissapointment.
post #14 of 126

Has it hold switch or sth like this?

post #15 of 126

Not sure what you mean by your question?

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