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Hippo Biscuit Music Player Review

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
(The following review is my impression and opinion on the Hippo Biscuit Premium Music Player, the latest Hippo Audio's DAP)
 
Hippo Biscuit? The first thing that pops out of my mind is: I'm Hungry For That!
 
Previously, Hippo Audio has successfully manufactured a very capable DAP (Digital Audio Player) in Hippo Gumstick. It was a cheap solution for audiophiles who yearn for good quality music playback on a portable device. But then, it has slowly stepped out of the market, and before we all realize, Hippo Audio gave us a pleasant surprise:
 
Hippo Biscuit Premium Music Player!
 
Here're some of the specification for the player:
*Support Audio Format : MP3, WAV
*Suitable headphone impedance : 16 ohms - 300 ohms
*Charge time : <1.5 hours (By USB)
*Play time : Around 10 hours
*Dimensions : 62.88mm x 35.7mm x 11mm
*Weight : 30g
*Memory type : External MicroSD card
*Free 2 GB kingston microSD card
 
The very first thing that pops out of my mind is: Why there's no FLAC support?
That's what intrigues me, because Hippo Audio is no stupid. They know what they're doing, and therefore, I'm going to dig out the surprises that they've prepared in this mystical music player.
 
ALAS, I've visited a local music enthusiast store (S.L.C.G.) in my hometown, and with the smiling permission of the store owner, I took the player and studied its physical appeals before venturing into its sound quality.
 
And my verdict?
GRAB it NOW.
 
Here's why:
Build-Ergonomics:
Sturdy as steel, this DAP has quite a wonderful finishing. The aluminium housing has similar brush as the other highly-acclaimed Hippo Audio gem: The Hippo CriCri amplifier and CriCri+ DAC/Amp. First thing I noticed is that, I can't locate the screen. Well, I asked, how are we going to know what song we are playing? And the answer is: That's why this player is designed not for you to put all your albums and tracks into it, but to pick and select the best songs that you're going to listen over-and-over. I came to agree on that, as we generally spend less time with our  portable audio setups. Therefore, there's no need for a screen as we will be enjoying all of our favorite songs along our outings. Worst come to worst, there's still the "Next" button! Besides, I think that having a screen isn't that good, as this player is made for heavy duty usage outdoor activities such as sports. You certainly want a player that can withstand wear and tear for that purpose.
 
Regarding the file type support, I realized that FLAC isn't that necessary when coming to outdoor usage. It is true that audiophiles pursue the highest quality digital playback in FLAC. However, MP3 at 320kbps has been proven to be as good as the lossless files in normal non-critical listening test. Don't believe me? Google "Blind Test for FLAC vs MP3", or better, try it yourself with your own songs. You'll be amazed that when you're not paying serious attention, you can hardly discern a properly encoded MP3 from its lossless counterpart. Therefore, having the aim of a very durable portable music player at mind, MP3 songs are more than enough to satisfy our on-going crave for good music. However, this is not to downplay the quality of FLAC, and if you insist on your lossless songs, don't worry, WAV files are still supported, at the cost of taking up larger storage space. Anyway, you can always made up with larger capacity SD cards. You can always arrange your music genre preferences on certain SD cards and swap them anytime according to your mood and liking.
 
Sound Quality:
Now here comes the part where we all concern. I'd like to point out that this player is built for instant music pleasure using high efficiency headphones such as In-Ear monitors and portable headphones. Therefore, it is not advisable to jack an external amp into it. As I tried using the Beyerdynamic XP series earphones, I try to pick up one important thing I find rather annoying: Background hiss. I'm glad I didn't hear anything bothering. And then I clicked the "Play Button".
 
It is GOOD.
 
Simple and marvelous. That's my praise for Hippo Biscuit Premium Music Player. You don't get the hissing or humming from a badly constructed DAP. You don't get distortion on any frequency as you turn on the volume. What you get is CLEAN, NEUTRAL and BALANCED music playing inside your ears. The DAP has great internal DAC and amp, which translate your songs as how the artists want them to be. There's no magic in it. I want a warm sound, I hook it up on XP1. I want a wide soundstage, I hook it up on XP2. I want a fun sound, I hook it up on XP3. The DAP does its work superbly and stay true to the source. That is a very important strength in this wonderfully crafted music player, as you want maximum transparency for your source and let your headphones dictate your music mood.
 
How about picking up flaws on this player?
The only flaw is that This Player Is Too Cheap for the price! According to the Law in Economics, the lower the price, the more people will afford the item. That's unfair because normally such gorgeously crafted player has to be bought at RM1000 (Roughly $330) and above! And for the price of RM219 (Roughly $70), we are going to see almost everyone owning it! And before you realize, it will be out of stock!
 
My ratings on this music player:
Build: 4/5
(Sturdy Aluminium housing capable of withstanding everyday wear and tear)
Ergonomics: 3/5
(All the buttons you need are there, just that the conventional screen isn't there)
Features: 3/5
(Strictly for music. No video or picture playback)
Sound Quality: 4.5/5
(No distortion. Clean, transparent sound)
Value: 5/5
(Nuff Said, this is one good player available in the market)
 
Thanks for reading.
post #2 of 25

The Hippo Biscuit sound  has similarity with Rocoo P in some ways, the treble is  smooth and extend, the mid is neutral and transparance,  the bass also clean and have a good impact, from my experience it were relatively bright sounded DAP. Compares with iphone 3GS and sansa clip, the biscuit is clearly better,  but it's still below  HM601. My conclusion is, with the Biscuit you can get the SQ from $200 DAP for only $70


Edited by miprasetya - 10/13/12 at 8:00am
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

Yup, I agree with that.

 

If you are asking if the biscuit can power up strong ohms headphones, no.

If you are asking if the biscuit has some specific sound signature, no.

It does what it is supposed to do. A portable player powering portable headphones, as transparent as it can be.

 

For that price, there's not much player out there which can compete.

If the fact that it's without a screen bothers so much, then you may be missing a great gem over here!

 

FWIW, it does excellently for that price point.beerchug.gif

post #4 of 25

I don't see why this has a MicroSD slot, but no screen or at the very least not even a shuffle function... what's the point?

 

Basically they're selling a player that you have to pay extra for because it has absolutely no features... confused.gif


Edited by Belabor - 10/13/12 at 9:49am
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belabor View Post

I don't see why this has a MicroSD slot, but no screen or at the very least not even a shuffle function... what's the point?

 

Basically they're selling a player that you have to pay extra for because it has absolutely no features... confused.gif

 

Belabor, if you're referring to "paying extra" because it has less feature, you are right in your perception.

This player has no screen, rendering it incapable of performing what most players can.

 

But to me, it has done its job. It aims the budget audiophile market, giving them what they need at a lower cost. Transparent sound quality, flexibility of switching SD cards, and sufficient power for portable headphones, those are the qualities that they deliver. It WILL NOT satisfy everyone, and heck I'm sure it didn't want to satisfy everyone without the screen.

 

All and all, I won't try to say the typical "Try it for yourself and feel the quality". What I say is, this player isn't for every Tom, Dick, and Jane. And there are still a lot of players in today's market to choose from. FWIW, it does satisfy a certain group of people who just need exactly what Hippo Biscuit offers.

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnholy View Post

 

Belabor, if you're referring to "paying extra" because it has less feature, you are right in your perception.

This player has no screen, rendering it incapable of performing what most players can.

 

But to me, it has done its job. It aims the budget audiophile market, giving them what they need at a lower cost. Transparent sound quality, flexibility of switching SD cards, and sufficient power for portable headphones, those are the qualities that they deliver. It WILL NOT satisfy everyone, and heck I'm sure it didn't want to satisfy everyone without the screen.

 

All and all, I won't try to say the typical "Try it for yourself and feel the quality". What I say is, this player isn't for every Tom, Dick, and Jane. And there are still a lot of players in today's market to choose from. FWIW, it does satisfy a certain group of people who just need exactly what Hippo Biscuit offers.

Have to say I disagree with you. The only way this could work out is if you have something like SlotRadio cards, which each contain a small number of tracks. Or maybe an SD-card that only contains one album. How else would you use this player?

 

It's a niche thing. A little joke, put in a rather nice suit. It does look good, and it appeals to me at some levels. As a player for daily use, though, it's a complete flop.

 

Don't let my words discourage you, though. You seem to really enjoy it, and after all, that's all that counts. wink.gif

 

EDIT: I would like to add that I WOULD have considered buying this device if it had a shuffle function/button. But as it is right now, I won't even give it a second look.


Edited by Belabor - 10/13/12 at 10:08am
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

Nah, I wouldn't mind about that. Nobody would've thought iPod Shuffle would have fans too, right?

 

It's just about creating a trend, and see how people respond (or adapt) to it.

If people appreciate it, then other companies would follow suit too.

post #8 of 25

Nice review you have there!

post #9 of 25

I just heard one yesterday at Jaben.  I have a (rockboxed) clip zip with music loaded on the micro-SD card, so it was easy for me to go back and forth.  Using a single BA IEM, its a pretty powerful little thing, much more so than the clip.  Where the clip is something I'd describe as smooth and balanced, the biscuit is power and dynamics.  It gives a much greater 'kick' to the music that the clip manages, though I appreciate the texture and resolution of the clip.  Unfortunately I didn't have my Aurisonics ASG-1s to try it out, so I can't say much about how well it copes with dynamic driver IEMs.  All in all, its a positive step forward, much better than their previous effort at a DAPredface.gif

 

But, yes I'd prefer a small screen for browsing.  Makes life easier on a day to day basis, but then again am spoilt by the clip.  The player shuffles whatever that's in a folder for playback, but will apparently play folders in alphabetical sequence. 

post #10 of 25

Recently i feel empty..i feel the need to find a way to motivate me...and the only way to do so quickly is to listen to music. I have Iphone 4, HTC Evo 3D, Ipod Shuffle..and why the hell do i need to look for a good digital audio player..?? I dont have a direct answer, maybe it is my fetish for aluminium stuff..maybe it is my lust to collect gadgets or maybe i believe good sound reproduction can only be made possible via good hardware and not just software like BBE.
 

So while i am having dinner with my lovely wife, i pass through Jaben. So i told my wife i will just hand out for a while to check out whats new. The person at the counter told me there is a new kids on the block..a mp3 player fully made of aluminium with superb clean sound. I was delighted!! MP3 full aluminium, good sound is good news to me...but wait...no screen???
 
Yeah no screen. It means browsing through folders will be a nightmare. To add salt to injury this lil gem has a micro SD card slot..wtf..imagin having to browse through 5 folders with 100 of songs. The only way you can do it is click on next next next and next...But then the guy over the counter try to calm me down and ask me to relax. He say chill, listen to the song first and judge the SQ for yourself first.
 
So ok i told myself to give it a try. I Listened to a few demo music from Adele, EAgle Hotel California and some other songs...The first impression i get is "Clean". No hiss no distortion and just pure clean music even if you crank up the volume. It is on the warmer side. Yeah no screen means no build in EQ too..So there will only be 1 sound signature which is a lil bit on the warm side. I did AB comparison with my iphone 4 and this player certainly win in term of SQ most probably because of the clean sound. But i have yet to test it with iphone 4 LOD.
When you amp this Hippo Biscuit with Fiio E11 amp, you will get a bass machine :)
And i think when it is pair with the IEM Hippo Pearl, it gives you a nice , warm on stage feel. Pure audhiophile might not like this as they prefer off stage feel most of the time. The V based EQ signature on this Biscuit will be easily acceptable by average Joe like me..
Another complain is it do not accept flac, WMA and other file format. Just Mp3 and Wav..Hopefully a future firmware update will fix this. I also do not have any information on the hardware. No one knows what type of AMP or chipset is being used. Google is futile...no information on the net. Navigation is simple. The middle button which has a green LED is actually the on off button. You have to hold it for 2 second to turn off or on. Press it again to play and press it again to hold. There is a volume up and down button and two more buttone to play forward or reverse track,.yeah is that bloody simple.
 
Summary :-If you are looking for a mp3 player with clean sound and intend to use it like the 80s walkman, then this is the player for u. It is sturdy, tough and i doubt it will ever damage cause there is no screen on it. But if you are looking for a mp3 to store all your mp3 collection, then this is not the player for you
post #11 of 25

Does anyone know where it is for sale?  I have not been able to find any places that stock it and google searches only point to reviews and those kinder hippo cookies....


Edited by Rush1184 - 10/22/12 at 6:28pm
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rush1184 View Post

Does anyone know where it is for sale?  I have not been able to find any places that stock it and google searches only point to reviews and those kinder hippo cookies....

 

I'm in Malaysia, and here we have Jaben Malaysia to try it.

post #13 of 25

Hippo Biscuit Unboxing

 

post #14 of 25

Wait what... What? Okay I'm trying to keep an open mind here.  How do you actually use it? Have one mSD card for every album?

 

BTW what would a player with feature rating 1/5 or 0/5 look like? Would you have to take it apart and short circuit a chip to make it play? Or code your own firmware from scratch? biggrin.gif

 

I've just seen a feature on 'Attack of the Super Monsters' schlock movie and now I see an audiophile player with no screen. I guess I must be high.

 

This is so silly I just gotta check it out somewhere and hear for myself how much of everything I'd be willing to sacrifice for some extra sound quality.

post #15 of 25

Any Clip+ comparisons? I'm having trouble justifying why I would pick up this versus the Clip+ if durability is a primary selling point (the little Sansa is a tough SOB).

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