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Comparison of Hifiman HM models

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am looking to upgrade to something better than a first-generation iPod touch for playing music when out and about. Specifically, I've been hearing about the Hifiman players for a while and they look like a great alternative for audiophiles. I am thinking the HM-601 looks like a great buy for me, but I have a two questions first.


1. It looks like these players all accept SD cards. Do you then put music on them by simply transferring the files onto the card, with no syncing software? (Having been an iPod man for over four years, this is too wonderful for me to imagine) Are there any issues with syncing them using Linux; can any Linux users/Hifiman owners tell me their experience? Linux compatibility is the reason I'm switching, rather than sound quality; I can't find a solution for syncing my iPod on Linux that actually works besides dual-booting Windows.

2. And what are the differences between the various Hifiman players? It look like the HM-801 is their top of the line model, and the 601 and 602 differ in that the 602 can double as a USB DAC; anything else? I'm especially curious what the difference between the 4G and 8G models listed on their website is.

3. Is there anything else an iPod user like myself should be aware of with how the Hifiman handles music? (It supports playlists, right?)

post #2 of 16

" I'm especially curious what the difference between the 4G and 8G models listed on their website is."


really? you can't work this bit out?


801 no longer available btw

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, my first thought was internal storage size, but according to the specs they both have 8 GB, and if it's like 2G/3G/4G networks, where are the intermediate 5G, 6G, and 7G?

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Do any Hifiman models support gapless playback?

Edited by DarthMarth - 5/25/12 at 3:10pm
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Sorry about all the questions. I decided the lack of gapless playback wasn't too big a problem and went ahead and ordered the 4GB model. I have also purchased a 32GB class 10 SDHC card for it. Apparently my laptop's card reader doesn't support SDHC, so I have no way to interface with the card right now. I assume that once the HM-601 comes, I'll be able to put the card in it and interface with it that way via the USB cable?

post #6 of 16

yes, and about the missing gapless feature , you can fix that with rockbox :)


also there is no synching , only drag&drop

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

That's perfect; I am proficient in Python and will write my own command-line syncing tool. Rockbox's website says it is "unstable" on Hifiman players; do you have personal experience on getting this to work?

post #8 of 16

yes , using a hm602 with rockbox and i have no problems ... everything works like a charm. i read that some new 601 slim wont work due to a new display that head direct used.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hm...could anyone with an HM-601 who has tried Rockbox let me know how it went? Unless I know it works, I'll just try Rockbox if the lack of gapless support becomes a huge issue.

post #10 of 16

I went to RockBox on my 601 about ten days ago.  Working good except I can't get the internal memory to work, but that seems to be a remaining issue for this build, according to the RockBox notes.  I put a 16gb card in using an adapter and it works just fine.  


Otherwise, I like the RockBox if for no other reason than the original interface was so bad.  I think it does gapless but I haven't paid much attention.


I'm not using the 601 slim, just the regular one.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Is it possible to switch back to the built-in OS if I have problems with Rock Box?

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

I got the HM-601, but I can't get Rockbox to work. After I follow the instructions at http://www.rockbox.org/wiki/HifimanPort, my Hifiman becomes unresponsive and doesn't do anything until I reset and then connect it. It then tells mew it's updating the HM-801 (sic) firmware and a few seconds later boots to the original firmware. I'm going to stop trying and just live with this before I brick the thing. It's not an issue with most of my music.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 

...it bricked itself when I was just using it normally. I can't get it to do anything with any combination of the power switch, reset button, and plugging it into USb, except plugging it into USB turns the backlight on and reset turns it off. All this less than an hour after opening it. Wow.

post #14 of 16

Wow that's crazy, I'm sorry to hear! Did you contact Hifiman?

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I returned it and should be getting a refund soon.

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