HiBy R6pro II

redrich2000

Headphoneus Supremus
Mid-fi King?
Pros: Excellent sound quality
Unique and impressive design
Slick UX
Cons: Size
Battery life
I had the chance to tour the Hiby R6 Pro II thanks to @Damz87. It’s the first time I’ve toured something that I had considered buying, so I was very keen to try this.

Design and Aesthetics

I really like the design of the R6P2, the textured matte back is a big improvement on glass-backed DAPs. It's unique and stands out. It feels really nice in the hand and more solid, less fragile. I think I would use this without a case if I owned one. It does have some sharpish corners, but that’s a pretty minor issue.


UX

The R6P2 runs the SD 865 chip with Android 12. I recently owned the FiiO M11 plus ESS that ran Android 10 on the 860 chip. The R6P2 is not really noticeably faster than that DAP for common functions. I never pushed them with mutli-tasking etc. Android 12 may give you more longevity. But apart from that, I don’t think that’s a reason to prefer the R6P2.

When Hiby first released the R6iii with Android 12, it was a bit buggy. But those bugs seem to be resolved now.

It offers the usual Hiby features, including the system-wide MSEB EQ. I quite like that myself, once you get the hang of it, it’s useful for making small tweaks. If you’re into full band EQ, you can run apps like Wavelet and PowerAmp on it.

I didn’t really have a chance to push the battery life on it. But I was surprised by how well it lasted given the specs. If you’re only listening for an hour or two here and there, you’d only need to charge every 4-5 days. Obviously if you’re a heavy user the battery life may be an issue.


Sound Quality

I’m going to do this in comparison-mode. I currently own the Mojo 2 and Hiby R5G2. I recently owned the Hiby R6iii and FiiO M11 plus ESS. Out of those, the Mojo for me is the clear winner in technical performance. The R6P2 is good, but the Mojo gives better resolution, better staging, better micro detail and a more refined/natural overall tonality.

That said, the R6P2 is not too far behind and would an excellent alternative to the Mojo if you are using it while on the move and prefer a single box solution (unless you spring for the Chord Poly with the Mojo).

In terms of tonality, compared to the Mojo 2, the R6P2 is cooler, less organic, more leading-edge sharpness, less upper bass and midrange warmth. If you like that type of presentation you may prefer the R6P2. But I prefer the Mojo’s tonality.

I also own a Hiby R5G2 that I used to use as transport before I got the Poly. The R6P2 is significantly better the R5G2 in every way, as it should be. I previously owned the R6iii, from memory I’m pretty confident it would be an upgrade on that. Similar tonality but more resolving.

The M11 plus ESS I think would be closer comparison, but I no longer have it to direct compare. The R6P2 is new with a better SoC chip but worse battery life. If I was buying new, I would go for the R6P2, the design is nicer, newer tech and battery life is not an issue for the way I would use it.

Conclusion

The Hiby R6 Pro ii is an excellent DAP. It brings a great combination of unique design, slick UX and superb sound quality for the price. I think it probably reigns atop the pile of mid level DAPs at present.

Should you buy it? If sound quality is your primary concern and you don't need a pocket-friendly one-box player, I'd still go for the Mojo 2 (and the Poly if budget allows). As a Mojo2/Poly user, I was very interested whether the R6P2 would tempt me to simplify back down to a DAP. It didn't. It is slightly nicer UX then the Mojo/Poly, but not enough to justify the drop is sound quality for me. YMMV.

If you do want to be able to pocket it though and have large pockets, then the only concern would be battery life. But as long as you're only listening for an hour or two each day or are okay charging every couple of days, the battery life is fine IMO.

grumpy213

100+ Head-Fier
Form > Function?
Pros: Hugely dynamic
Sleek design
Excellent software with DSP capabilities
Cons: Middling battery life
Heavily reliant on buttons that don’t feel that great
Poor raw power output

Preamble​

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Thank you to @Damz87, @Joe Bloggs and Hiby for arranging the Australian tour of the Hiby R6 Pro 2. Big thank you especially to Joe for providing his personal unit on tour.

The digital audio player (DAP) is something of an anomaly among people who do not care much for audio fidelity. Often, they gawk at my oddly shaped brick and query, “what is that?”. To which I must go into an explanation that it is essentially an iPod, and so beings the game of 21 questions as to why I bother when I have a phone and Airpods at my disposal. This is not a new experience to me but at the same time, even audiophiles with a wealth of equipment also find themselves querying, “why a DAP?”.

Today’s review concerns the Hiby R6 Pro II (R6P2) a DAP that is priced to be mid-fi but promises a wealth of features and sound quality that would have you believe that it is a summit-fi DAP. And instead of just talking about the R6P2 I would like to talk about the concept of DAPs as a whole.

The Factual Stuff​

The R6P2 is an Android 12 powered DAP featuring a Snapdragon 665 SoC and more importantly, a AK4191EQ + dual AK4499EX DAC. Finished in aluminium anodised in either purple or black, the R6P2 takes a more design-forward approach to aesthetics, with curves and a machined pattern in the rear. On the underside of the unit is a wealth of ports including a 3.5mm LO and PO as well as a 4.4mm LO and PO.

The R6P2 features a large 5.9” IPS screen with a higher than HD resolution of 1080 x 2160.

Within the R6P2 is 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. Either side of the R6P2 feature a rocker button and an additional button offset.

The amplification stage of the R6P2 is drive by 2 OPA1652s and 8 NXP bipolar transistors leading to 125mW output through the unbalanced 3.5mm and 383 mW output through the balanced 4.4mm with either Class A or Class AB output.

The R6P2 has a 5000 mAh battery and Hiby report play time of 8 hours at the longest through 3.5mm, Class AB and 5 hours at the shortest through 4.4mm, Class A.

The Opinion Stuff​

But why male models?​

Perhaps delving into why the R6P2 is or isn’t a good DAP, perhaps it is more pertinent to explain why bother with DAPs in the first place. I personally enjoy DAPs as my audio source as I am often listening on the go and whilst the smartphone + dongle combination is something that would likely be able to match a DAP, the DAP remains hugely convenient to me. By having a separate device purely dedicated to music listening, I am able to save my phone’s battery life, remove distractions from my music listening and be able to use various SD cards at my ease. I find that when I plug my IEMs into my DAP I am removing the chance of being distracted by apps (despite DAPs being able to have these apps), emails or calls coming through that can definitely wait.

Sound​

If you’re reading a DAP review, I would venture to believe that you are a believer of source impact on sound quality. If you are not, I would skip this section completely and move to the “Quality of Life & Value” section as you would believe that it is sheer baloney.

Bass​

The most prominent aspect of the R6P2 seems to be a healthy amount of boost in the low end. The sub-bass of IEMs when paired with the R6P2 appears to be presented with added presence and extension in the low end providing a deep rumble with certain tracks. This is not an overbloated sub-bass boost, it remains subtle, nuanced and controlled with the bass notes. To this effect, mid-bass seems to have little to no movement, I would not term the R6P2 as a warm source as more neutral IEMs remain so and warm IEMs do not descend into the overly dark territory.

The bass extension seems to be the most prominent aspect of the R6P2 as there is a seemingly deeper reach into the low end creating a very pleasing sense of physicality with IEMs that had none previously.

Mids​


The midrange of the R6P2 remains distinctly neutral to my ears with no real emphasis on any particular aspect of the midrange. There is not sudden injection of warmth nor is there a dramatic emphasis on sibilant upper midrange notes with more neutral IEMs. There is a certain sense of spaciousness and airiness with vocals on the whole that provides you with a distinct sense of naturalness to the timbre. I would definitely not call the R6P2 as thin nor ‘digital’ in nature as instrumentalization and vocals remain very good in their tonality, but there isn’t much in the way of tonal colouring going on with the R6P2.

Note weight isn’t heavy nor thin in any regard owing to the retention of mid-bass and so I believe that the R6P2 is a good choice for maintaining a neutral mid-range performance unlike some sources which seek to colour this region considerably.

Treble

Treble performance on the R6P2 is similarly a good story with a perceived slight boost in this region. This is not making a dead IEM suddenly sparkly nor is it going to make a sparkly IEM induce ear bleeding but rather there is an enhanced sense of layering and separation between regions and instruments.

Compared to the likes of cheaper dongles such as the DC04Pro wherein sibilance may be a side effect of drawing out additional top-end detail, the R6P2 remains fairly neutral.

Overall, there is not much to say for this region other than there is a slight emphasis on the upper regions of the frequency response that seeks to heighten the fun factor of the R6P2 by creating a edginess and crispiness to the notes in this region. When combined with the low-end performance, one could characterise the R6P2 as having a slightly v-shaped tonality.

Technicalities:

The most prominent element about the R6P2 is the significant boost in dynamic performance of certain IEMs. The MEST MK2 is hardly a dynamic IEM remaining rather subdued with swings of volume in certain songs. The R6P2 amplifies such dynamic swings adding a sense of drama to your music. Soundtracks to films and video games have not sounded better on the MK2 until it was paired with the R6P2 with jarring crescendos being reproduced with gusto and jumps in volume giving me a great sense of scale and dynamic range.

Sound staging is rather good, presenting music in a spacious manner. The R6P2 doesn’t imbue a huge amount of staging width nor depth but rather seems to extend things slightly wider when listening closely. This is unlike certain sources such as the W4 or the RU7 which extended staging broadly to the point of potentially losing some engagement. The R6P2 remains present and thoroughly engaging throughout the entirety of the listening experience.

Detail retrieval and imaging is also similarly good for the price as I feel that microdetails and placement of certain instruments become more well defined when compared to the likes of competitors in the price range. The M6U (more on this below) feels less defined and sharp with its laissez-faire reproduction.

Overall​

It is difficult to fault the R6P2 on the basis of sound. Very dynamic with a fun infused V-shaped tuning, the R6P2 provides the end user with a significant injection of excitement into any IEM that they listen to as well as the ability to tweak sound signatures with the wealth of DSP built into their software.

Overall, I would say that the R6P2 provides a very compelling package from a sound quality standpoint, especially when compared to its peers.

Comparisons​

Shanling M6 Ultra (M6U)​

The M6U takes a different approach to sound quality when compared to R6P2. The M6U seemingly represents a phrase I have heard commonly in audio circles of “Shanling house sound”. With increased warmth, smoothness and note weight, the M6U colours tonality to a greater extent than the R6P2.

This shift in sound signature is likely a love-hate relationship whereas the R6P2 is seemingly able to appeal to a larger audience.
Technical performance on the R6P2 is better with a noticeable improvement in dynamics and a perceived extension in bass frequencies.

Outside of sound, the M6U takes a smaller footprint and features a volume wheel making adjusting volume a much more intuitive. The M6U runs an older version of Android and has fewer built-in DSP features.

Overall, the R6P2 is likely to appeal to more people whereas those who are looking for a more analogue and coloured tonality would likely love the M6U. I can see people owning both to achieve different sound signatures but if it were up to me to have only one DAP, I would go with the R6P2 for an all-rounder.

Luxury & Precision W4​

The W4 with fast filter, Tone set to 02 and all other DSP off creates a fairly dry and fast reproduction of music that seeks to heighten detail retrieval and clearly defines the edges of notes. The detriment of this tonality is a slight unnaturalness to certain instruments as well as vocal tonality. Comparatively speaking, the R6P2 maintains a natural presentation of music with greater dynamics and greater punchiness in the sub-bass region whereas mid-bass gets a little more love with the W4. Technicality wise, the W4 presents in a more wide and more flat staging compared to the R6P2 and as such I prefer the R6P2.

The W4 therefore is a more detail-orientated source with a great sense of speed and edginess to the music whereas the R6P2 seeks to be more engaging with its dramatic low-end and excellent dynamics.

The dongle is something of a love-hate source choice being extremely convenient but also somewhat annoying to carry around with your phone. The R6P2 suits my use case better in this scenario but the W4 is able to trade blows from a detail standpoint but ultimately, I feel that the R6P2 is far more engaging with its presentation.

Chord Mojo 2 + Poly​

The Mojo 2 presents a warmed up signature compared to the R6P2 with greater mid-bass imbuing a sense of low-end punch. Despite this warmth, upper mids remain fairly forward in the mix and the staging of the Mojo2 is wider than that of the R6P2. There is a greater sense of depth with the Mojo2 as well but there is a slightly more coloured tonality compared to the R6P2. Ultimately, where the R6P2 presents its greatest advantage is of course, the dynamics and microdetail retrieval.

The R6P2 also presents a greater emphasis on the upper mids and the treble regions of the frequency response curve creating a greater sense of crispness and tingle in the upper end that I thoroughly enjoy with certain IEMs.

The R6P2 and the Mojo2 present significant DSP capabilities but I, being the simpleton as I am, enjoy pushing buttons on the Mojo more than I do playing with convolution filters and incremental sliding scales on the MSEB.

Overall, the Mojo2 presents a more laid-back reproduction of music whereas the R6P2 seems to attack you more.

Quality of Life & Value​

The R6P2 eschews from DAP conventions to innovate some novel approaches to common complaints. The R6P2 utilises a rocker button and another offset button on either side of the DAP, leading to a total of 6 buttons on the DAP. These control volume, power and media controls and allow for the R6P2 to be rotated in a manner to reorientate the outputs. This is a tremendous design choice as it provides people with the option to utilise their DAP with their cables hanging from the top of the DAP or from the bottom.

The reality of this configuration however is that the buttons are fairly mushy to the touch and are not as intuitive to use as a encoder wheel which provide greater ease of adjustment. The button configuration is also quite odd on the left side of the R6P2 as the rocker is play/pause and skip defying conventional thinking.

The wealth of outputs on the R6P2 is a tremendous quality of life bonus for those who look to use their DAP in a more varied manner than a glorified MP3 player. Line outputs allow users to bypass the amplification stage of the R6P2 and connect to an external amp. This line out is also variable, allowing users to control volume on the line-out which is something that is a bit of a rarity on DAPs.

Android 13 on a DAP is a rarity unless you’re HIby. So often do many DAP manufacturers utilise obsolete versions of the Android operating system which is not an issue if you plan on using local files but poses a larger issue if you want to use apps which are constantly updating their requirements. For example, the Wavelet app only works on Android 10 and above.

Hiby is also known for their significant digital signal processing capabilities when compared to other DAP manufacturers. With their MSEB which seeks to simplify a 10 band EQ into more easily understood terms, various digital filters and add-ons such as a convolution filter and the DRX10K Dynamic plug-in. These elements provide the end-user with tremendous granularity in adjusting the sound signature of the R6P2 and is a definite bonus to those who are looking to tweak their sound signature. The dynamics plug-in creates a very unique shift in sound quality that is more easy to use than messing to use with a 10-band EQ and seems to achieve dramatic shifts in dynamic performance, which on the R6P2, is already stellar.

The variance of class A and class AB seem to be minute if anything with IEMs. Call it a trick of the mind but I noticed the most minor increase in bass quantity and sense of punch when in Class A versus Class AB. This was somewhat more pronounced on headphones with the HD6XX being more confined in staging but with a greater sense of presence and impact in its reproduction of music. Power output is a sore point on the R6P2 with the volume having to be pushed quite high even on high-gain on IEMs. No IEM had any issues on the R6P2 but I am willing to bet that the R6P2 is not ideal for certain headphones in the market. The HD6XX required 75 / 100 to be at the peak of my listening volume on the 3.5mm.

Battery life is also a poor element of the R6P2 with Class A and 4.4mm balanced output being only rated for 5 hours. Whilst you can bring this figure up with AB and 3.5mm it is still hardly a world beater in this regard. I did not do any specific testing but anecdotally, seeing percentages drop considerably with only a few hours of listening is a hugely disheartening factor of the R6P2 when compared to the likes of the Mojo + Poly combo and the M6U.

Overall, the QoL with the R6P2 leaves a lot to be desired. Hardware design, whilst wonderful to look at, leaves a lot to be desired when you’re actually interacting with the device. Software is great with the latest and greatest of Android combined with a suite of DSP, but the lack of a dedicated listening mode that you see with devices from Shanling (Prime Mode) and iBasso (Mango) is something that I miss somewhat. Battery life and power output are the weakest elements of the R6P2 as both are middling and somewhat annoying to deal with. I cannot recommend the R6P2 for people with power-hungry headphones nor can I recommend it for those looking for an all-day device, especially if you find yourself enamoured with the Class A mode.

Conclusion​

The R6P2 brings a very even keeled approach to sound seeking to enhance more technical elements of whatever you’re listening to rather than the tonality. By increasing extension and improving dynamics there is a sense of “opening up” your IEM and improving the dynamic range of what you can hear.

The R6P2 has some creature comforts and excellent quality of life features that seek to improve your DAP experience but fundamental aspects such as power output and battery life suffer considerably.

I cannot fault the R6P2 on a sound quality perspective but on a liveability perspective, it leaves a lot to be desired.
And if you are willing to make sacrifices for sound quality to a certain budget, the R6P2 punches above its weight in this regard.

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Bosk

1000+ Head-Fier
Hiby R6 Pro II - Why spend more on a flagship?
Pros: Unprecedented sonic performance for this price
Cons: Lacks a volume wheel
Champagne performance on a beer budget – it’s been the subject of audiophile speculation & mythology since time immemorial.

Recently I was notified by Damz87 that Hiby representative Joe Bloggs had generously decided to make his personal Hiby R6 Pro II unit available for an Australian Head-Fi tour that I’d have the opportunity to participate in, and I immediately jumped at the chance.

You see several prominent Head-Fi members who’ve typically owned flagship Digital Audio Players had recently purchased the R6 Pro II (R6P2), and I was surprised how long they’d kept these players in their collection – it isn’t unusual for audiophiles with expensive taste to try out cheaper equipment from time to time, but rarely to they hang on to such items for long…. unless they’re something special about them.

In fact many of my friends who owned TOTL DAPs had spoken of the USD $749 R6P2 almost as if it belonged in the same category – that sonically it was extremely well balanced, and felt much like a flagship player in everyday use. Frankly I was skeptical this could be the case… were they being influenced by hype, or the thrill of a new toy? I made it my business to uncover the truth, so when the opportunity came to try one I leapt.

Now you’ll discover if those R6P2 claims are fact or fiction.



Tech Specs & Battery Life​

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The Hiby R6 Pro II is an Android 12-based player with a fast Snapdragon 665 processor and 64GB of storage. It utilises two AKM AK4499EX DAC chips & one AK4191EQ chip to process PCM audio files up to an astonishing 1536KHz, DSD up to DSD1024, and it supports MQA 16X unfolding.

R6P2’s headphone amplifier output is a respectable 383mW from its’ 4.4mm balanced jack & 125mW from the 3.5mm single-ended jack. It features Bluetooth 5.0 and supports the UAT, LDAC,aptx, aptX HD, AAC & SBC standards.

Battery life is not one of the R6P2’s strengths. Its’ amplifier can be run in Class A or Class AB modes, with Class A resulting in shorter battery life but supposedly better sound – though I’m unable to hear any difference between them using IEMs. In Class AB the R6P2 is rated for 7 hours from the 4.4mm jack and 8 hours single-ended, whereas in Class A that dives to 5 hours balanced & 6 hours single-ended.



Ergonomics​

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Ergonomically the R6P2 is a mixed bag, though the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

To begin with at 285 grams it’s much lighter than most flagship players which tend to be well over 400 grams these days, even 600+ in some cases. So if that’s what you’re used to you’re going to find the R6P2 refreshingly light. No, it isn’t truly lightweight like say the Astell & Kern SR35 at 184 grams, but this isn’t a player that prioritises portability over sound quality in quite the same way.

Next, there’s the IPS screen. At 5.9 inches & 1080*2160 resolution it looks fantastic and makes browsing your music a breeze. I wouldn’t say it’s quite up to flagship DAP brightness & contrast standards, but really isn’t far off at all. Using the R6P2 has been a pleasure for this reason alone.

Like anything however the R6P2 isn’t perfect. Firstly there’s no volume wheel so you must instead click Up & Down buttons to change volume, and though I can live with this it definitely isn’t my preference. Secondly the R6P2’s chassis is fairly angular, and doesn’t feel as comfortable in the hand as it would’ve had the edges been more rounded.



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Finally there’s the size – this is quite a large player, and though fairly thin & not terribly heavy it’s impossible to build a device with 5.9″ screen that’ll glide in & out of a pocket effortlessly. Whether or not a more dainty DAP with a smaller screen would suit you better probably depends how often you’ll use it while commuting, though there’s no question the larger screen is nice when using it at home.

It should also be mentioned the R6P2 is bundled with a leather case that’s a great inclusion, but I’ve been disappointed with the quality of the leather which isn’t terribly supple at all.



Usability​

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First I’ll cover R6P2’s main drawback – the lack of a volume wheel is something that’ll bother some people more than others, I’ve even read comments from audiophiles (particularly Sony fans) who actually prefer using buttons. However I’m not one of them, a volume wheel is a convenience I can live without but would much rather have when choosing between players.

Volume wheel aside, it’s all good news here. The Snapdragon 665 processor must be extremely capable because the R6P2 delivers what feels like a flagship DAP experience, with fluid responsiveness tapping through Apple Music menus that’s almost reminiscent of using a smartphone – there’s very little slowdown, and my experience using the R6P2 has been excellent as a result.

Wifi performance has also been strong, perhaps not quite up to flagship DAP levels but definitely not something that’s hindered my Apple Music R6P2 experience.



Sound Performance​

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I find the R6P2 quite well balanced, with a slightly U-shaped presentation though not so coloured as to prevent it pairing well with most IEMs.

Sonically the first thing I notice about the R6P2 is its’ deep, powerful bass which feels slightly elevated above neutral yet tastefully so. Bass also possesses fantastic texture, with plenty of slam and bite you can sink your teeth into. This is dangerously close to flagship-DAP level bass performance, which right off the bat gives you some notion of why the R6P2 is so impressive.

The R6P2’s midrange is very capable, with vocal performances delivered with a satisfying sense of gravitas and scale, though I find this is an area where the tonality of the IEM itself has a larger influence on what we end up hearing. Voices & instruments in general on budget DAPs often have a way of sounding smaller, but I find that’s not the case here at all.

In terms of tonality the R6P2 doesn’t quite deliver the sense of refinement of flagship players, which is to say there isn’t the same luxuriousness or effortlessness you’ll find on Astell & Kern’s more expensive DAPs for instance, though the R6P2 isn’t far off.

The difference is fairly negligible – to the point where careful A/Bing may be required to pick up tiny differences, but I do find flagship players can sound just that touch more analogue with greater liquidity, as opposed to the more jagged digital overtones we often associate with cheaper players, particularly those with ESS DACs. I do want to emphasise however – the R6P2 is very, very close, and is certainly not what I’d describe as excessively bright or “digital” sounding…. however that final 1% of organic richness and body to each note is absent.

The story is similar when it comes to treble, where the R6P2 again performs spectacularly given its’ pricetag and accomplishes a level of capability I feel satisfied listening to, yet if you’re willing to spend far more you’ll find flagship players inject just a little more sweetness and sparkle into each violin note, though we’re talking about very incremental improvements.



Technical Performance​

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The R6P2 is very spacious sounding player with a wide soundstage that has really impressed me – even by flagship DAP standards. Stage depth isn’t as strong as I’ve heard from TOTL DAPs but is acceptably close, and not something I’d cite as a problem.

Dynamics are a real strength of the R6P2 and are almost as good as I’ve heard from any player, absolutely performing at flagship levels. If this is a characteristic you value highly it’ll go a long way towards convincing you of the R6P2’s sonic merits.

Imaging is very solid, but doesn’t jump out as overwhelming strong. This is an area I feel the IEM itself does more of the heavy lifting, though adding an external amp or using a beefy 8 wire cable can help.

Resolution is excellent – right up there with flagship players, although nuances aren’t presented quite as effortlessly or with the same sense of refinement, but the differences are marginal. With price factored into account the R6P2 is outstanding in this regard.

If you’re interested in adding a portable or desktop amplifier to your chain, it’s worth noting the R6P2 features dedicated 4.4mm & 3.5mm Line Out jacks with variable output – meaning you can still use the R6P2 to increase or decrease volume while in LO mode. I’ve found the 4.4mm R6P2 LO to be spectacularly good, pairing superbly with my Mass Kobo 475 amplifier.



Source Comparisons​

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I used a trio of IEMs to compare the R6P2 with other players on hand, namely the UM MEST MKIII, Noble Spartacus & Penon Turbo. All DAPs were run in their highest-possible gain mode, streaming a mixture of Electronic & Classical music via Apple Music.



Astell & Kern SR35 (USD $799)

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Despite being price similarly the SR35 is tiny, dwarfed by the R6P2 which is roughly 100g heavier. As I mentioned in my SR35 review, this is one of the best players on the market for commuting because it absolutely disappears into a pocket and weighs so little, whereas the R6P2 is so much larger it almost feels like a device built for a completely different purpose.

The SR35 is far more comfortable to hold, infinitely more pocketable and its’ high quality volume wheel is much more convenient & pleasurable to use than the R6P2’s volume buttons. Ergonomically there really is no comparison, the SR35 is very hard to beat.

Usability is where the tables are turned. The SR35 is a compromise device, with its’ 3.6″ screen & slow CPU the price of its’ tiny form factor. Even wifi performance is dramatically slower than the R6P2’s, which is far more fluid & responsive cycling through Apple Music menus. In fact the performance gap is probably equally as large as the difference in ergonomics, this time in the R6P2’s favour.



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Sonically the R6P2 is a solid step-up from the SR35 in nearly all departments. SR35 bass feels a bit more one-note and isn’t quite as textured, though in terms of quantity sub bass feels more prominent on the SR35 and certainly stands out from the rest of the presentation more.

The SR35 has a greater midrange emphasis & coloration which is something Astell & Kern have been famous for, whereas the R6P2 feels more neutral. I notice the midrange on the SR35 more, whereas the R6P2 emphasises treble a bit more prominently – which means the SR35 could be less fatiguing in long listening sessions, but may come across as more boring or even muddier.



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The SR35’s technical performance may also suffer from its’ more muted treble and this is where the Hiby player pulls ahead. The R6P2 has superior dynamics, a blacker background, slightly sharper imaging & higher resolution, and instruments feel like they’re larger.

However if that gives you the impression the R6P2 is light years ahead rest assured that’s definitely is not the case – indeed I find careful A/Bing is required to fully grasp the differences between them, and if portability were my chief concern I’d still choose the SR35 over the R6P2.



Cayin N8ii (USD $3499)

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At 442 grams the N8ii feels much heavier than the R6P2, and is twice as thick. Despite the N8ii’s rounded edges making it more comfortable to hold in some ways, it’s a player I’d think twice about using during commutes due to weight & bulk whereas the R6P2 I’d be more comfortable dealing with.

The N8ii’s screen is slightly smaller at 5″ but is brighter, with better contrast & richer colours. The responsiveness of both players is very similar, each providing an extremely fluid Apple Music experience. The N8ii may be slightly faster with marginally quicker wifi performance, but the difference between them feels negligible – a massive win for the R6P2 given the price difference.

I do much prefer the N8ii’s volume wheel to the R6p2’s volume buttons, and also appreciate the N8ii’s Double-tap To Wake function which the R6P2 lacks. However the N8ii’s Line Out is fixed voltage whereas I prefer the R6P2’s variable LO when paired with my Mass Kobo 475 amplifier.



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Sonically the N8ii offers greater flexibility, featuring the same Class A/AB & low/mid/hi-gain modes, but adding the superb P+ mode (which almost feels like the addition of a subwoofer) along with Nutube output which imparts a vacuum tube-like colouration – admittedly I generally stick with solid-stage output, but it’s nice having that option.

The N8ii provides some of the highest quality bass of any player on the market, with superb texture and a very elevated amount of quantity – particularly in P+ mode. This is especially beneficial for BA bass IEMs, where the N8ii can add that little bit of extra oomph necessary for their bass output to be satisfying.

The N8ii has a V-shaped tonality and can be fairly bright at times, though you may be surprised to learn I find the N8ii’s greatest sonic strength is its’ tonality – with a midrange in particular that’s extremely organic, making it to my ears one of the most analogue-sounding Android players on the market.



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Surprisingly the R6P2 matches the N8ii for dynamics & imaging, and comes shockingly close in resolution. In fact the R6P2’s soundstage is wider as well, though the N8ii’s is undoubtedly deeper.

Where the N8ii pulls ahead is in refinement, with more effortless delivery of nuances and notes that feel more satisfyingly rounded with no loss of detail. Note weight is also better on the N8ii, with a more pronounced sense of fullness & superior layering.

The R6P2 comes remarkably close for a vastly inferior sum however, so which of the two I’d reach for would largely be determined by source/IEM synergy more than anything else.



More Source Comparisons​

I also visited my local audio dealer Addicted to Audio in Melbourne to compare the R6P2 with several of their audio players. I used the UM MEST MKIII IEMs for these comparisons, playing my favourite Yello track “Drive/Driven” through Apple Music, with all DAPs set to their highest gain level.



FiiO M15s (USD $999)

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The M15s’ background hiss is immediately noticeable, in stark contrast to the R6P2’s black background. The M15s has a much flatter, less dynamic tonality, which feels more smoothed out and almost reminds me of the stereotypical R2R sound which I don’t especially care for.

Bass on the M15s is also fairly disappointing, and I’m noticing much more treble prominence on the R6P2 which may be a good or bad thing depending on your preference. To my ears the M15s softens & rounds the attack on notes too much, and also projects a soundstage that feels artificially stretched, where instruments are positioned in front of me a great distance away rather than wrapped around my head.

The M15s could be useful for dulling down an overly-aggressive or excessively bright IEM, but I much prefer the R6P2 for my taste.



Astell & Kern SE300 (USD $1899)

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The SE300 features a much smoother, more refined R2R tonality than the R6P2, with a more liquid midrange that flows smoothly and imparts a greater feeling of analogue refinement.

Sonically the R6P2 feels brighter and more V-shaped, whereas the SE300 is warmer, smoother and in this particular case does an excellent job of balancing out MEST MKIII’s V-shaped’s presentation.

Other than a slightly deeper stage however, I don’t feel like the SE300 is performing to a higher technical level, though it does resolve similar amounts of information without having to rely quite so much on treble prominence to do it. I definitely prefer the SE300’s build quality and volume wheel, but can imagine many people appreciating the R6P2’s slightly more exciting presentation.



Astell & Kern SP3000 (USD $3699)

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At 493 grams the SP3000 feels substantially heavier, which along with its’ more vibrant screen helps impart a more premium feel.

The SP3000 is tuned more politely, with a much greater sense of refinement. Midrange texture and tonality is smoother, treble feels less harsh, and imaging is perhaps the best I’ve heard from any player on the market with notes popping out from an inky black background.

The SP3000’s soundstage feels similarly wide, but is undoubtedly deeper, though I find its’ dynamics a tad muted which to me suggests its’ headphone amplifier may be lacking. It makes the R6P2 sound unrefined by comparison, though I’m not sure the differences between them are enough to justify the price gap, nor do I suspect everyone would prefer the SP3000’s more polite presentation.



Conclusion​

There’s not much more that needs to be said about the Hiby R6 Pro II except that I’m planning on buying one – which should tell you everything you need to know about how highly I rate it.

This is the first mid-range player that goes close enough to bridging the sonic gap between itself and its’ high-end counterparts that I feel completely comfortable choosing it without that nagging feeling of missing out on anything vital for critical listening.

Yes that last little bit of sonic refinement is absent, but even in A/B testing it wasn’t always easy to distinguish the R6P2 from its’ TOTL rivals which is a testament to the incredible performance the device delivers, something unprecedented at this price level.

Listening directly from the R6P2 is a satisfying experience, but adding a Mass Kobo 475 amplifier kicks things up a few notches, and the R6P2’s 4.4mm Line Out is of such high quality I’d unquestionably choose such a system over any standalone flagship DAP on the market – which is precisely my plan.

Congratulations and well done Hiby on terrific accomplishment.

Zerstorer_GOhren

500+ Head-Fier
HIBY R6 PRO II: Truly Versatile Multimedia Device
Pros: △ Overall solid construction with asymmetrical and angular design cues.
△ Crisp and vivid high resolution screen.
△ Separate LO (Line Output) and PO (Power Output) audio interfaces, both have 3.5mm SE and 4.4mm balanced output jacks.
△ Qualcomm Quick charge and power delivery compliant device.
△ It has a decently capable processor for basic computation and operational tasks.
△ Latest flagship AKM DAC chips for the best possible decoding capability.
△ Eyebrow raising decoding bit depth and sampling rate, MQA unfolding up to 16x.
△ 5000 mAH battery
△ Android 12 OS
△ Inclusion of high quality PU leather case.
△ Balanced-neutral tuning for discerning audiophiles.
△ Sufficient punchiness on bass response, rich, texture yet detailed midrange and crisp with ample sparkle on its already airy treble.
△ System-wide plugins are quite useful to tailor your preferred sound quality.
△ MSEB is the probably one of the best parametric EQ out there.
△ Impressive technical capabilities.
△ Capable to drive some of the capricious IEM sets out there especially with magnetic planars.
Cons: ▽ On paper, might be underpowered to drive some of the power demanding cans out there in the market.
▽ Wishing for a volume wheel for better finger response.
▽ Might be too large or heavy to some users.
▽ Battery life despite of its large battery capacity.
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Digital Audio Players or simply known as DAPs are types of multimedia devices that are specifically for listening to high-quality music. Not simply listening to it but to be more immersed in the high fidelity audio quality that few selected portable media devices are able to offer. These devices have unusual components such as powerful amps, high quality DAC audio chips and complex circuitry for better power delivery. With the absence of headphone jacks on current smartphones and if adding a DAC/Amps dongle is a bit of a hassle for portability to be put in a pocket, DAPs are the logical solution for portable audio enthusiasts.


HIBY Music is one of the well-known audio companies that specialises in making this kind of multimedia devices and they have extensive experience, with their dedicated research and development team along with strong logistical support and capable marketing arm for altogether developing, making and selling such portable DAPs. HIBY Music DAPs are quite well-known have a good reputation in the audio community for overall performance and build quality.

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What makes this review article even more special is that this is actually my first product review on a DAP device. What I have here is their latest device, The HIBY R6 PRO II. This is HIBY's current DAP model in the midrange segment and like some of its competitors, it is loaded with advanced audio technology features that an audio enthusiast could ask for.

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On physical aspects, HIBY R6 PRO II is quite large and has a thick profile for a DAP compared to some DAPs that I've tested before but it has its benefits that will be more functional and usable. It has 5.9 inches on its screen with a 1080p resolution on its IPS display to give a more vivid and crisp colour reproduction for viewing its user interface.

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In the left side of the panel, there are some buttons with some basic functions for Play & Stop, Next and Previous tracks. There's also a micro SD card slot for more extended capacity for more audio tracks. On the right side, there is an LED indicator for charging and determining the sampling rate or type of an audio codec in which I will post it later and another set of buttons for power and volume control. At the bottom part of this device, there are some interfaces for both analogue and digital. The placement of these audio interfaces are quite symmetrical that there are four different types of audio jacks on both sides while a USB Type-C port is at the centre part. The said audio jacks are of 3.5mm SE and 4.4mm Balanced interfaces which are divided for different types of output, the Line out (LO) which is generally use for desktop power amplifiers and Power out (PO) which is a standard use for headphones, earphones and speakers. All the interfaces are gold-plated to ensure better resistance to corrosion while enhancing its conductivity and lessening its wear and heat for longevity of its ports. The USB type-C is a 2.0 and also compatible with 3.1 protocol that can maintain up to 10Gbps of data transfer speed and it can support both Qualcomm 3.0 fast charging and PD (Power Delivery) 18w to replenish the battery power faster.

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At the rear part of R6 PRO II, there we will look upon its asymmetrical design element on its back plate which is quite futuristic and also, it seems that it takes some design cues from hyper cars. On its back plate, there is a wavy patterns on the bottom part while at the centre, there's a triangular shape where the HIBY logo print was etched. At the top part, there is a carbon-fibre sheet that was topped with high quality tempered glass.

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In overall construction, HIBY R6 PRO II's case chassis is made of a solid aircraft-grade CNC-milled aluminium alloy and it has a total dimension of 147.45mm x 75.2mm x 15mm with an approximate weight at 285g which makes this portable device on a heftier side. With its sturdy builtd quality, R6 PRO II is indeed a very solid device that can take some heavy and rough usage.

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Regarding its LED colour indicator, here are some description of its colour code:


RED - Charging mode

CYAN - 24 to 32 bit, 96Khz to 1536KHz PCM mode

BLUE - Pause mode

GREEN - MQA decoding mode, rated unfolding up to 16x

YELLOW GREEN - 16 to 24 bit, 44.1 - 48Khz PCM mode

WHITE - DSD mode, rated up to DSD1024.


Inside of its structure, HIBY diligently implemented the best possible components on this device. This one has a mid-range processor, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 that was known to be a reliable chipset despite its age, and it has decent speed and processing power up to 2 GHz. It also has an A.I. to support some capabilities like better sensors, improvement tasks on software algorithms and biometric systems. The chipset itself has quite capable connectivity like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Its Wi-Fi spectral band can support up to 5GHz for seamless connection on streaming to your favourite music service, while its Bluetooth connectivity which has 5.0 version which offers better wireless connection with less latency. With its bluetooth capabilities, The HIBY R6 PRO II will be able to support advanced Bluetooth codecs like Sony's LDAC, Qualcomm's aptX and aptx-HD aside from basic ones such as AAC and SBC along with its TrueWireless Stereo Plus Technology. Another feature of its bluetooth capability is that HIBY has a proprietary bluetooth codec, UAT (Ultra Audio Transmission) that can receive up to 1200 kbps and can support up to 24-bit, 192Khz which is quite a feat for wireless connectivity, and it also has a 2-way system that enables a wireless audio output to serve as a receiver for wired earphones and headphones.


HIBY R6 PRO II has a Li-ion battery with a capacity of 5000 mAh/3.8V. As for its play time rating, on Class AB mode, 3.5mm PO is over 8 hours while 4.4mm PO is around 7 hours, while on Class A in which I don't really use it as I don't have a desktop amplifier, according to HIBY's official specification, it has a play time duration up to 5 to 6 hours due to its power demanding. As for thermal build-up, this device does really get noticeable warm in a normal operation during long play time usage, approximately an hour.


The most critical components that DAPs truly differentiate itself from other modern portable multimedia devices were the application of audiophile-grade Hi-Fi DACs, powerful headphone amplifiers and more complex circuitry design that works in tandem with power supply, oscillators and amplifiers with its bipolar transistors. These components are of high quality and the latest generation of its architecture that few TOTL flagship DAPs can have and HIBY was able to accomplish it with this device.


HIBY R6 PRO II uses the latest generation of AKM (Asahi Kasei Microdevices) DACs, the AK4191EQ and AK4499EX in dual configuration. These DAC chip ICs' are known to be power efficient as it maintains a degree of low distortions and low noises while maximising its sonic quality. Like all AKM chips, it still retains their proprietary sound architecture, The Velvet Sound Technology, in which AKM claims that it delivers an exact and accurate sound reproduction that our ears could perceive naturally.

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These DACs are implemented on their All-In audio architecture which is a complex circuitry with I/V conversions, analogue switches and outputs for single-ended and balanced operation. It is also supported with an array of discreet power supplies which their respective inductors are shielded while it has low resistance and high fluctuation rating for better performance on their respective tasks like decoding and output staging with a very minimal chance of power impedance. HIBY also implemented some crystal oscillators from a reputable company that specialises on crystal oscillators, signal generators and millimetre-wave converters, NDK (Nihon Dempa Kogyo). And these crystal oscillators will activate its mechanical resonance via vibration and it will generate precisely some of its electrical signals with jitter and ultra-low noise phases for well-defined analogue sound, better dynamics and improved sonic clarity.


Regarding its amplifier interfaces, it employs both Class A and Class AB modes and can be switched via status bar. The Class A amplifier was powered by dual Texas Instrument OPA1652 along with NXP bipolar transistors for rectifying and filtering current output , faster transient response and eliminating some crossover distortion.

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As for its power output rating, On paper, It is rather less remarkable and a bit power conservative visually as it has only 125mW on a 3.5mm single ended output and 383mW on a 4.4mm balanced jack in a 32 ohms load which might be an issue to some power hungry cans but right now, I only have IEMs to pair with it and most of them have low to normal impedance rating. This device is suffice enough to drive most of my IEMs and even with magnetic planar transducers which are notoriously power hungry for its output requirement, R6 PRO II will easily amplify them without any issues. I even think that this device could be paired with some IEMs that are quite finicky and very sensitive to sources like Campfire Audio Andromeda.

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For more technical explanation on concerns regarding its power output, check it out here for more comprehensive detail.


With the latest generation and very capable audio chips that this device has, it has one of the highest decoding capabilities in the midrange DAP segment that can process a very high sampling rate and bit depth on both PCM (Pulse-code modulation) and DSD (Direct Stream Digital) formats. The PCM lossless formats like FLAC, ALAC and WAV, can reach up to 32-bit/1536KHz while the DSD native decoding is rated up to DSD1024 which is really mind blowing in my opinion given that I have some saved audio files with high bitrate. It is also noted that this device is also MQA-certified and it can unfolds up to 16x for better replay.


As for its screen resolution and mobile operating system, HIBY R6 PRO II has a 1080 x 2160 HD resolution in a 5.9mm IPS screen which is quite similar to my old flagship smartphone, LG V20. Regarding its OS, it has Android 12 in which HIBY heavily modified its UI and optimises its functionality to have a better software integration that is able to execute a system-wide bit perfect audio output and customise plug-ins. It is also noted that this device has a charging optimisation like trickling charging once its reaches an optimum power level to avoid overheating and at the same time, to extend its battery health.

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This device has an internal build-in memory storage of 64GB ROM along with 4GB of RAM. With the inclusion of memory card slot on this device, we can expand the memory storage with microSD cards that can support up to 2 terabyte theoretically.


On its software aspects, The status and notification bar retains some of its basic features that a typical Android UI has like Internet, Bluetooth, Auto-rotate and Settings but HIBY even added more functionalities and settings specifically for audio improvements like advance audio settings, gain mode and amplifier switch mode. Overall, its user interface is pretty snappy and responsive and it appears that it supports multi-touch capacitive contact gestures.

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Under audio settings, there's a digital tuning filters to choose from, amplification operation, gain mode, plug-ins (system-wide), MSEB (Mage Sound Eight Ball), DSD gain compensation, channel balance, volume level and MQA decoder.

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Speaking of MSEB, this particular setting was HIBY's proprietary advanced software algorithm feature that combines parametric equalisation and sound field adjustments. This feature is quite very helpful to attained your sound target preference in a less hassle and more easy to use functionality. This one is also fully integrated into their HIBY MUSIC app.

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On gain mode, there's three options to choose from, either low, medium and high gain modes. These gains will able to deliver more power output depends on the impedance requirement of an earphone or headphone.

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In system-wide audio plug-ins, here are some features that you can try and do some experiment for better audio experience:

DRX10K - it adjusts and enhances the dynamics to some parts of the frequency range. It gives some boosts to have more punch and even more snappier. It somehow removes some muddiness and bloat on bass while removing some sibilance and possible harshness in treble response.

Balance - Adjustment of both left and right channel balance.

Sound Field - It adds some space in a perceived sound field, slightly improved its stereo imaging.

Fixed Sample Rate - This is rather a experimental as you might encounter no sound output from your device. It is nominally used to fix a sample rate.

Convolution - This plug-in will only take effect on PCM audio at 44.1 kHz and shouldn't be use with EFO USpatializer or EFO SVirtuallzer due to some possible technical issues.

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HIBY R6 II PRO's stock music player which is a "professional" and full version of its highly regarded HIBY Music App which offers more features that makes listening to music more pleasant and enjoyable. You can choose a theme that suits your visual preferences. All known audio file formats either it is lossy or lossless, PCM or DSD, this device is very capable on decoding them all effortlessly.


The product packaging and inclusions of HIBY R6 PRO II is quite satisfying on how it was presented and its accessories were organised. Its packaging box is square-shaped and wide enough to accommodate the contents inside.

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Here are the following contents inside:

HIBY R6 PRO II DAP

■ Leather case

■ A thick Type-C to Type-C USB cable

■ Extra screen protectors

■ USB Type-A to Type-C adapter

■ Some paperwork like instruction manual, warranty and quality control.

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In regard of its tonality, with the implementation of flagship-level, audiophile-grade AKM DACs, HIBY R6 PRO II has a quite neutral sound profile on both tone and timbre, more in a line of a balanced-neutral tonality with its clean, detailed, natural and balanced texture with a tad warmth on its midrange, well-balanced bass and treble response in a pitch black sonic canvas. To be exact, it actually reminds me of how the LOTOO Paw Gold Touch sounds like that HIBY R6 PRO II is able to achieve its tonal quality for at least 80% albeit it has lower power output compared to the said flagship DAP of LOTOO. I can assure that this is not a clinical and analytical type of neutrality as it doesn't sound dry and dead in my humble opinion as it retains some of its musicality aspect.


I will pair the HIBY R6 PRO II with some of my neutral-sounding sets like HIBY Crystal 6 MK.II, LETSHUOER EJ07M, BQEYZ WINTER, BQEYZ WIND AND KINERA IDUN GOLDEN.

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Note: There will be no activation of any plug-ins or software equalisers upon testing this device. It will be all in stock settings only. Only the DSD option that I only change, from DOP to Native DSD.


LOWS/BASS:

As usual for a DAP with a balanced-neutral sound profile. The bass quality of HIBY R6 PRO II is quite well-balanced with a sufficient thump, slam and depth while maintaining a clean and separation from the other parts of the frequency range.

There's an apparent sub-bass presence as I evidently felt those reverberations and rumbling sound from synthesisers, octabasses, drum machines and low tone bass guitar. Mid-bass is properly textured and well-controlled as it gives a good definition and natural sound on timbre and tonality of specific vocals and instruments. Bass guitars and double basses have similar sound characteristics as both instruments have a weight, rasping and resonance on them with a sufficient dark tone. Bass kick drums seem to have a rumbling and thudding with deep resonating tone. On bass to bass-baritone vocals, it shows that this device is quite capable of rendering its depth and weight to deliver that woolly and dusky sound with a darker tone.


MIDRANGE:

As an audio enthusiast that values and favours towards a well-textured, clean and detailed midrange. The rendition of midrange quality of HIBY R6 PRO II is absolutely astonishing as I even consider it almost flawless. The Velvet Sound of the AKM DACs are really captivating on how it presents the midrange frequency in a very natural, tidy and pretty articulate manner. While it quite neutral, it still has some musicality and engagement that won't sound too analytical.

The vocals and instruments are well-represented here to have a natural, soothing and almost tonally accurate sound to give that emotive and immersive feel. Both male and female vocals have a sufficient texture, volume and depth that I certainly feel that they sound very thorough. Baritones has lush and richness on their vocals, tenors have clear and dazzling voices and the countertenors have its typical tenderness and smoothness of their vocals. Regarding female vocals, contraltos have a smoky and husky voice while mezzo-sopranos have their fiery, radiant and smooth vocals. And then on sopranos, they are able to project an energetic and airy vocals as I hear a silvery, creamy and silky sound in any type of this specific vocal type.

As for instruments, they all sound natural, precise and well-detailed. Strings like guitars and violins have a crisp, brilliant and vibrant sound from them. On brasses like trumpets, trombones and horns, trumpets have rounded, brilliant and vivid sound while trombones have powerful, brassy and full sound from them, and then on horns, they have these full and resounding qualities with a hint of mellowness. Woodwind instruments have its bright, ethereal, graceful, airy and reedy sound from them, whether it is from picollos, concert flutes, saxophones or clarinets. On some percussives, toms and field drums have a resonant, sonorous and full sound while snares have a sharp and clear sound. Kettledrums have a deep, booming and resonant sound while pianos has a balanced tone as it has both have an ample warmth with a noticeable bright tinge sound on it.


HIGHS/TREBLE:

The treble quality of R6 PRO II is quite neutral on how it sounds into my ears. It has an even and smooth treble response with just a hint of brightness just to give a well-rendered instrument attack and clarity on some female vocals. The evenness and cleanliness on the treble response of this device means that it won't produce any hint of harshness and the sibilance is kept under control to almost imperceptible.

This device is capable of projecting a well-extended airiness with a good amount of sparkle on it. It also gives some accurate timbre and sound characteristics on some instruments like cymbals, hi-hats, glockenspiels and celestas. Cymbals can sound either bright or lustrous while hi-hats still have its chick sound with its shortened buzzing tone. Glockenspiels have a silvery and glistening sound, and then on celestas, they have that bright and ethereal sound that we are familiar with.


SOUNDSTAGE, IMAGING & OTHER TECHNICALITIES:

In terms of sound/speaker stage proportion. R6 PRO II has a naturally wide lateral expansion, good height reach and depth that gives me a fairly spacious head room within my aural sense.

On stereo imaging, it projects a holographic presentation as we can certainly pinpoint the placement of instruments and vocals in a sonic canvas. All the elements within the mix are well-separated as they have a good spacing on each other along the presentation of multi-layer of frequency tones that are well-arranged that even the most complex audio tracks like choral pieces, orchestras and jazz ensembles, R6 PRO II is very capable to play

The R6 PRO II has excellent resolution capability on both macro-dynamics and micro-detail retrieval. It has a well-texture sound with perceivable notation attacks and note ends from both vocals and room resonance. On detail retrieval, it has a good sharp definition that it was able to extract a good amount of details and nuances from an audio track.


PEER COMPARISONS:

IBASSO DX160 (DEMO)


■ This DAP was priced around $400 at the time of its release. Like the R6 PRO II, it has an aluminium alloy frame with 5.0 inches 1080p with volume wheel at the right part of the panel which makes it a smaller frame and lighter one and memory card slot for memory expansion. It was equipped with dual Cirrus Logic DACs that can decode up to DSD256, PCM 32-bit/384kHz and also a MQA-certified one. This device was operated by Android 8 and powered by an older entry-level Qualcomm snapdragon chip. This device has 3 main audio interfaces; 3.5mm SE, 4.4mm balanced and USB Type-C connector.

■ On paper, it has a more power output than the R6 PRO II as its amp staging is quite powerful, up to 3.2Vrms on SE and 6.4Vrms on balanced mode. To be honest, I'm not fond of iBasso's tuning on their DAPs as I also tested some their models, they are a bit too warm in my liking that affects the timbre and tonality of instruments and vocal, and unfortunately, DX160 also display the same type of "in-house" sound.

■ Technicalities-wise, DX160 projects a rather narrow sound/speaker. The separation and layering performance is quite sub-par compared to R6 PRO II due to less distinct and less defined placement with a bit of congested spatiality on spacing.


ASTELL & KERN SR25 MK.II (DEMO)

■ A&K's entry-level to mid-range model of their A&Norma. Like the R6 pro II, it has an asymmetrical and angular design on its aluminium shell structure which makes it handy and offers better grip. Its audio interfaces consist of 3.5mm SE, 4.4mm balanced while still retaining the 2.5mm balanced audio jack which is a staple feature of A&K series. Entry-level to midrange DAPs are usually implemented with ESS DACs but this time, A&K decided to implement as Cirrus Logic DAC along with their newer circuitry design for better signal along with its silver-plated shielding for better resistant against electromagnetic interference that might affect its output.

■ Tonality-wise, SR25 MK.II has a warmer sounding signature which is typical of A&K in-house tuning. Compared to R6 PRO II, it has a deeper bass response, a lusher and warmer midrange and similar treble response with lesser airy extension while having a good sparkle and energy.

■ This device's technical aspect is quite capable, but compared to R6 PRO II, it has a less spacious sound/speaker stage and resolution is rather above average in my opinion as the SR25 MK.II is less defined particularly on micro-dynamics.


SONY NW-A105 (DEMO)

■ This is part of Sony's Walkman series with Android OS in their midrange DAP line-up. It appears to have an under 4.0 inch screen size with decent resolution that are sharp enough to be viewed in different angles. It has more tactile key buttons as you will feel its snappier and more tactile response. It has 16GB of internal memory which is quite inadequate for today's requirements especially on DSD and higher PCM formats but the good thing is that it has a microSD slot for memory expansion. Unfortunately, it only has a 3.5mm SE as its main audio interface but at least it has a rather minimalist stock Android OS that offers smooth UI response.

■ In terms of power output, its a bit lacking but enough for IEMs with single dynamics or hybrid driver configuration. Even my LG devices have better power output than this device. As for tonality, it has that typical Sony in-house sound profile, a very warm and fun sound that simply makes it more engaging rather than to experience a better high fidelity experience. When I tested it along with CA Andromeda (also a demo unit from a store that also sells Sony products), I remember that I hear a slightly audible hiss from it.

■ Like most Sony DAPs that I've tested (including the "venerable" MW1Z), it doesn't have the best technical capabilities as it won't give you the widest sound field dimensions nor the most well-defined separation and layering that it won't able to touch the superb technical capabilities of R6 PRO II.


To summarise my assessment of HIBY R6 PRO II, this is one of the few DAPs that truly amazes me on how this device along with its rich features peculiar design cues, solidly built, new generation AKM DACs, more audio interfaces and exquisite sound quality that only TOTL flagship DAPs can offer.


As I conclude this review, despite of having a lower power output compare to some of its contemporaries, its main aspects wereits impressive decoding capabilities, remarkable technical capabilities and superb clarity on its sound quality while retaining a semblance of musicality that only few devices are able to match. HIBY R6 PRO II is one of the few devices that will probably stand among the titans in the DAP segment.


HIBY R6 PRO II is currently available in HIBY's official store, check the unaffiliated link below if you are interested to purchase it.

★★HIBY R6 PRO II - OFFICIAL STORE★★

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Some Tracks Tested: ( * = 16-bit FLAC, ** = 24-bit FLAC, *'* = MQA, '*' = DSD, *'= .WAV)

Alison Krauss -When You Say Nothing At All *
Jade Wiedlin - Blue Kiss**
Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks **
Mountain - Mississippi Queen *
Queen - Killer Queen **
Guns N' Roses - Patience *'*
Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven '*'
Sergio Mendes- Never Gonna Let You Go '*'
Pearl Jam - Daughter **
Roselia - Hidamari Rhodonite *
Assassin - Fight (To Stop The Tyranny)*
Celtic Frost- Visual Aggression *
New Order - Blue Monday *
The Corrs- What Can I do (unplugged version) *
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Voodoo Child *
The Madness- Buggy Trousers *
Metallica - Motorbreath **
Mariah Carey- Always Be My Baby *
Destiny's Child - Say My Name *
Malice Mizer- Au Revoir *
Mozart - Lacrimosa *
New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Dvorak- Symphony 9 " From the New World." *
Eva Cassidy - Fields of Gold (Sting cover)*
Michael Jackson - Give In To Me *
Exciter - Violence and Force *
Diana Krall - Stop This World **
Debbie Gibson - Foolish Beat *'*
The Sisters of Mercy – Lucretia My Reflection**
Suzanne Vega – Luka **
Lauren Christy – Steep *
Ottoman Mehter - Hucum Marsi *
Diana Damrau - Mozart: Die Zauberflöte*
Type O Negative - Black No.1 *
Felix Ayo - Vivaldi: Presto **
Three Tenors - Nessum Dorma *
Mercyful Fate - Witches' Dance *

P.S.

I am not affiliated to HIBY MUSIC nor receive monetary incentives and financial gains as they provide me a review unit for an exchange of factual and sincere feedback from yours truly.

Once again, I would like to send my gratitude to JOSEPH YEUNG of HIBY MUSIC for providing this review unit. I truly appreciate his generosity and trust towards me and other reviewers.



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SherryLion

New Head-Fier
The Next Gen DAP! The Hiby R6 Pro II
Pros: 1. Fulfilling and rich sound
2. Improves details and resolution
3. Great amplification but for IEMs
4. Great hardware and software support
5. Build and aesthetics looks futuristic and premium
Cons: 1. Heating issues
2. Short time battery usage
3. Too large to practically use

The HiBy R6 Pro II


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Introduction


I recently learned about HiBy, a company that specializes in making high-quality digital audio players, DAC/AMPs, and IEMs. I had the good fortune to test out their newest flagship IEM, the HiBy Zeta, and it greatly impressed me. I mean, this is what I experienced, so I can confidently say that the quality that this Chinese company promotes is reliable. They not only create some of the best-sounding DAPs, but their products also have a luxurious, lovely aesthetic appeal. Fortunately, I'll be reviewing their newest DAP, the R6 Pro II, but first, a few things need to be clarified.

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Disclaimer


*Since this unit tour was organised by Joe Bloggs, I am very grateful for this opportunity. And as I've said in all of my evaluations, the same is true for this one: all of the concepts I've expressed below are entirely my own, original ideas that haven't been influenced by anyone else. If interested, go to this link.
*I am not associated with the connection, and I receive no financial assistance from anyone.
*For the remainder of the review, I will refer to the DAP as “R6 Pro II.”
*I am using various IEMs and sources for better judgement and versatility.
*Finally, I will only evaluate the R6 Pro II. based on their performance, even though I will explain how it feels and seems physically and aesthetically.

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Specification


The Class A/AB dual amplification circuit design of the R6 Pro II uses ultra-low jitter femtosecond precision crystal oscillators and houses AK4191EQ + dual AK4499EX dac chips along with a four section independent power supply design. The system supports audio signals PCM up to 32-bit/ 1536kHz and DSD1024, and it runs on hardware with the Android 12 operating system, which is powered by the snapdragon 665 silicon chip. Additionally, it has line out support, a coaxial digital out, a two-way bluetooth connection, and a USB dac. The R6 Pro II has a 5.9-inch large 1080p display screen, a 5000mah battery, and independent 3.5mm and 4.4mm headphone & line-out sockets. The system has a 64GB internal storage space and 4GB of RAM (LPDDR4x 1886). The device also accepts micro SD cards that can hold up to 2TB of data.

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Design And Aesthetics


The R6 Pro II feels substantial and expensive in the hand, but it's a little too big for my own use, especially with a big display. Even though the device is slimmer than typical DAPs, using it one-handedly still feels uncomfortable. Since DAPs are used for audio purposes, in my opinion, they should be more concentrated on producing the best results possible. The R6 Pro does establish this, but I find the device's size to be inconvenient to use. But I'm still amazed by the features. The chases have a toughened glass backplate and are made of aluminum.

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Usage


When I was mostly using the balanced output, the R6 Pro II provided approximately 5.5 hours using Class A/B configuration and 4 hours using Class A configuration. I found that using only IEMs for the review was preferable because my Sennheiser weren't able to produce a fuller sound, so I forgot to think about this pairing. The operating system was very simple to use, and I had no lag or bug issues. The device's heating, which was a frequent occurrence, was the only problem I encountered. In my testing, the device typically began to heat up after 20 to 25 minutes of use while using Class A amplification. It was therefore nearly impossible for me to use it while still making it a pocketable item. Other than that, the device outperforms any industry standard in terms of features and quality.

Sound Impressions


The R6 Pro II sounds energetic, refined, and tonally neutral in my testing. The response coming from the IEMs is more revealing and expressive, but it also tends to sound monotonous. The response's energy is expressed throughout, with a balance between note weight and note clarity. Let's explore the impressions in more detail.

IEMs


Thieaudio Monarch MKII

Monarch MKII is the foundation from where I start recognising other IEMs. For me the Monarch MKII has the perfect treble, mid range and bass. I may prefer more punchy bass though, but all in all close to what I find in an IEM. The treble is extensive and exceptionally smooth for my taste. The mid range is centric and very expressive and the bass goes deep and rumbles beautifully. The bass feels lacking slam but it is there, but I love the way it is. In my opinion, these are technical monster, as the stage is expansive and realistic with great depth and acting dimensions. The imaging may have been more edgy and sharp but it is enough to sound clean and crisp. The separation is really how distant and distinctive every element should be. The attack and decay resolves at a pace I find natural and real. All in all I find it to sound perfect with superb tonality and excellent technicalities. Monarch MKII still surprises me how both technical and tonal performances blend and compliments each other. A peaceful and relaxed play. No other sources were able to alter or change the sound of this IEM except for the mid range which either became subdued or very revealing, the sound felt the same except for warm sources or very transparent ones like the WM1A and Questyle M15.

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So I assumed the same with the pairing of both the HiBy R6 Pro II and the Monarch MKII and to an extend I was right but I believe what I was missing was the correct balance between the very revealing vocals or subdued vocals which tempered with the tonal quality was finally found with the R6 Pro II, there was no other changes in the sound but the vocals sounded just right and maybe the bass felt more accurate but other than this revelation nothing was altered or changed.Although the response was unchanged from the Monarch MKII, it sounded better. In my opinion, the R6 Pro II only partially patched the Monarch MKII. Even if I think the reaction is becoming hazy and tedious to listen to since nothing comes across as interesting or expressive enough—or perhaps I was expecting it to—the response is still all one could hope for.

Thieaudio Hype2

The hype2 is an IEM with a natural sound that completely outperforms IEMs in this price range in terms of tonality, sound imaging, separation, and resolution. The sound is fuller and richer, and the imaging and separation make it easy to listen to vocals, particularly female vocals. It is hypnotic to listen to because it is easy to distinguish between the various vocalists or the vocal layering. The Hype2 is a very capable IEM because I never noticed any changes in tone or quality missing from the response from any of my sources, including the Sony WM1A, Tempotec V6, or other sources I had the chance to listen to like the RU7, BTR7, or Astell & Kern Khan Max. It is only when the vocals are slightly provoked or subdued using sources that there is a slight difference, but that is mostly what I heard while listening. The Hype2 is one of the top IEMs in this price range in my opinion, and it can layer and image just as well as the Monarch MKII.

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When listening with the Hiby R6 Pro II, the sound wasn't particularly unexpected or different in terms of technical or tonal performances, but that is what I initially perceived. After giving the pair a good deal of listening, I felt that the details were more refined and the energy rose a notch in the mix, which made the stage more satisfying. However, the response was not particularly interesting; I think it is the IEM.In my opinion, the R6 Pro II brings out the true value of this IEM, and in my opinion, this is the response I fell in love with. The correction might not be with the R6 Pro II but with the IEM itself as I already feel the IEM is perfect. It's possible that other sources have manipulated nuances in the mix to make it sound distinctive.

Thor Mjolnir MKII

Mjolnir is a very bassy set which has a lot of sub bass emphasis. The treble and upper mid range is also very forward in the mix. The upper treble has great extension as well. The bass is very punchy and boomy while acting fast. Mjolnir is a great V-shape sounding IEM with a different approach to explosive bass that has better technicalities, especially in this price range. The stage is great with nice surround stage and depth where the separation of each element sounding distant enough them to procure space to breathe and distinct themselves. The attack and decay of the driver capability is really quick and performs great. The vocals may feel lean and sparkly, the warmth or the fuller experience is something that these lack. Th bass response does vary from sources to sources whether I listen to a warm source or a neutral one, the bass becomes either overwhelming or authoritative or both.

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I discovered that the Thor Mjolnir MKII sounded very dynamic when paired with the HiBy R6 Pro II, whether it was the bass or the upper frequencies. The response slightly changed, but the excitement level has increased. The bass feels more textured and full of energy, almost to the point of losing control but managing to maintain it. Both the upper midrange and lower treble's upper frequencies sounded more transparent and revealing. The treble was typically a little too much for me when listening to other sources for extended periods of time, but in this particular instance, the effect was lessened when listening to the R6 Pro II. The lower notes' warmth was somewhat lost even though the response turned obedient.

Kinera Wyvern Pro

Wyvern Pro has a great balance of energy in both the upper midrange and lower notes. The sound is strikingly reminiscent of old IEMs like the DUNU Kima and others that used LCP drivers. Because there is a good deal of mid bass and sub bass, the impact can be more punchy and less meaty. The midrange has a forward sound that is expressive and energetic, while the treble is generally clear and detailed but not particularly extended. When taken into account as a gaming set, the Wyvern Pro actually has good sound quality for an IEM. As most other gaming sets aren't that impressive and frequently have very poor quality in terms of their overall response, I am impressed after learning that this can also be used for good audiophile listening, which is essentially killing two birds with one stone. The IEM doesn't really become much more subdued when paired with other sources like the ones I own; instead, the response becomes slightly warmer or more transparent.

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Therefore, the sound felt more neutral and brighter with good exposure in the upper mid range when I paired it with the HiBy R6 Pro II. Even though the notes weren't noticeably clearer and more detailed, the vocals still sounded the same while being more energizing.

Tin Hifi C0

The Tin Hifi is a well-balanced set that sounds clean and detailed, especially considering the price. The driver quality is better than that of other IEMs that are or were in this price range, as the C0's response is the same as the CHU's, but the C0 is much more refined in terms of tonal performance while maintaining the CHU's technical performance. The same is true of the Wan'er, which has more subbass but still has better clarity. Every source I tried with the C0 yielded the same results in terms of how the sound felt, which was either smooth, relaxed, and warm with warm sources or tinny metallic with neutral sources.

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The same can be said for the HiBy R6 Pro II and Tin Hifi C0 combination, but when it comes to how the sound differs, the R6 Pro II makes it sound more refined and detailed, though one may miss the tonal accuracy when heard, which I typically get better response from most of the other sources. Additionally, the bass has better texture and is cleaner. The middle range was consistent.


Comparisons


Tempotec V6 vs HiBy R6 Pro II

When I compared the Tempotec V6 to the R6 Pro II, I discovered that the Tempotec had more energy but wasn't enhancing the entire response like the R6 Pro II does; rather, the V6 was highlighting the areas where the IEMs were already very forward, making those particular parts more revealing and exciting to listen to. In comparison to the V6, the R6 Pro II had a more refined response with better details in the notes, which gave the response a strong sense of clarity.
Such a response is a little boring to me because it doesn't stimulate my mind to think of new nuanced interpretations that might change how I feel about the song, but a more accurate response is also what I'm looking for. Technically speaking and tonally speaking, the quality is undoubtedly superior to the V6. In addition, I discover that the V6's amplification is superior to that of the Sennheiser HD600.


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Sony WM1A vs HiBy R6 Pro II

I believe that making a comparison and recognizing which is superior is pointless. Only one's subjective nature can possibly comprehend what I'll say now because sound delivery and quality vary greatly. While the R6 Pro II is a device that produces an accurate and neutral sound that aids in producing accurate responses, the WM1A is a warm source that allows for an expansive and rich response. The R6 Pro II sounds revealing while the WM1A sounds musical in contrast. Although the WM1A still provides a responsive and detailed sound, the R6 Pro II has a more convincing exposure. I came to the conclusion that the R6 Pro II has better amplification after testing a number of IEMs on both sources.

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Tracks


Luna Haruna - Glory days
Luna Haruna - Overfly
Rokudenashi - The Flame of Love
LMYK - 0 (zero)
ORESKABAND - Jitensya
Marina Horiuchi - Mizukagami no Sekai
RADWIMPS - Suzume
Indila - Love Story
Indila - Tourner dans le vide
Earth, Wind & Fire - September
Tom Petty - Free Fallin'
Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere
Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
Blue Oyester Cult - (Don't Fear) The Reaper
Guns 'N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine
The Police - Every Breath You Take
Gojira - Amazonia
TV on the radio - Wolf Like Me
Bring Me To The Horizon - Can You Feel My Heart
Bring Me To The Horizon - sTraNgeRs
Avril Lavigne - Dare To Love Me
Travis - Love Will Come Through
Gotye - Somebody That I Used To Know
DJ Shadows - Six Days (Remix) [feat. Mos Def]
Lady Gaga - Just Dance
Lil Wayne - Lollipop
Flo Rida - Low
Sebastian Lopez & Flug - Electronic Measures
Federico Mecozzi - Blue (Da Ba Dee)
Wayve - Not Enough
Kai Wachi & TeZATalks - Ghost
NGHTMRE, Zeds Dead & Tori Levett - Shady Intentions
Zeds Dead, DNMO & GG Magree - Save My Grave
Skrillex, Noisia, josh pan & Dylan Brady - Supersonic
Skrillex & Nai Barghouti - Xena
Skrillex, Missy Elliott & Mr. Oizo - RATATA
Kaifi Khalil, Eva B & Wahab Bugti - Kana Yaari
A.R. Rahman, Javed Ali & Mohit Chauhan - Kun Faya Kun


Conclusion


I would say that this is a really fantastic work of art with one of the best features on the market to wrap up my evaluation. Offering Class A amplification in such a slim body actually surprises me a lot, and the heating problems make me concerned as well. Despite this, I think the R6 Pro is a worthwhile investment for an Android streaming Dap given all the features it offers and the high-quality audio it generates.

harishl20

New Head-Fier
Hiby R6pro II - Purple Lamborghini
Pros: Warm and lush sound
Good Display
Class A/Class AB modes
Great LO on both 3.5mm and 4.4mm
Cons: Weird button Positions
Battery backup is average
Ergonomics
lacking stage depth
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Disclaimer
This is my first mid-fi DAP experience and I'm not much of DAP person, so my impressions and thoughts would be reflective of these facts.

Gears Used:
Sony EX1000
IMR Ozar
Newbsound newb50
Amps paired:
Gustard H16
Schiit valhalla 2

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Device:
HiBy R6pro 2 is a stunning device, I was very intrigued by the looks since the launch and it did live up to it, beautiful looks and display. The device has snapdragon 665 chipset which is fairly new and decent performer and 4gb ram. The same applies in the performance of this device, it is pretty decent overall but stutters at times. I suppose that is ok for a DAP.
User interface is pretty much vanilla android(12.0) and gain, class modes are available from notification center.
Battery drain is quite fast as it has class A amplification.
I found the button placement to be odd on the left of the device. I kept mis clicking the next/previous button whenever I handle the device.

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Sound:
Lows:
The bass is quite balanced on these. I don't find them to be overpowering even though this has warm tonality. The sub bass has decent depth and has good texture. Bass is quite fast, tight and controlled keeping the mids clean.

Mids:
The mids are clear, lush and forward. Though it tends to be on leaner side, it does have a tinge of warmth and gives life to the vocals. Female vocals comes across lively but there's a slight shimmer on upper mids which could be felt on some tracks. This could be more pronounced with bright or lean IEMs. Male vocals could lack heft at times. But overall it is smooth listen yet brings in lot of details

Highs:
There is no sibilance, they are just as smooth as butter on hot pan. Again details are amazing on these keeping the sibilance in control. Sony EX1k could be sibilant if pairing is not good or when paired with bright or neutral source but this had great synergy. Lovely vocals and highs.

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Staging has great width and height but depth can be bit lacking. Imaging is precise, instrument positions can be distinguished quite clearly. Layering goes hand in as well, no problem with busy tracks. I cannot compare these with any other DAP in the range as I haven't heard other ones in this range but R6pro II does sound warm/clean/detailed for what it is.

iampidugu

Head-Fier
HiBy R6 Pro II : Where Sound Quality Meets Amplification Excellence!
Pros: Versatile Amplification: Its powerful amplification system, with the option of switching between Class A and Class AB modes, caters to a wide range of headphones and IEMs, offering flexibility and adaptability.
Exceptional Sound Quality: Delivers outstanding audio quality with a warm/neutral tonality, quick transient response, and exceptional transparency, making it a compelling choice for audiophiles.
Detailed Midrange: The midrange impresses with warmth, transparency, and a forward presentation that enhances vocals and instrumentals, making it a standout feature of the player.
Cons: Warm Tonality: Some users seeking a more neutral or analytical sound may find the player's slightly warm tonality not to their liking.
Limited Colour Options: The R6 Pro II is available in a limited selection of colours (Black/Purple), limiting personalisation choices for the price.
Not Suitable for Bass-Forward Sound: If you prefer a bass-forward sound with a coloured and fun signature, the R6 Pro II may not be the ideal choice, as it aims for a more audiophile-oriented sound.
The HiBy R6 Pro II DAP is a remarkable addition to the world of portable digital audio players. With its promise of delivering high-resolution audio and a host of impressive features, this device has caught the attention of audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike. In this review, we'll delve into the key aspects of the HiBy R6 Pro II to see if it lives up to the hype.

Design and Build Quality: The R6 Pro II is a visually appealing DAP, boasting a sleek and modern design. Its chassis feels premium and durable, with a satisfying heft in the hand. The large touchscreen display is sharp and responsive, making navigation through menus and album artwork a breeze. It's evident that HiBy has put considerable thought into the design and ergonomics of this player.

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User Interface and Software:The player runs on a customized version of Android 12, providing a familiar smartphone-like experience. The software is responsive and intuitive, but it may take some time for those new to Android-based DAPs to fully grasp the interface. Additionally, regular firmware updates from HiBy have addressed many initial software quirks, improving the overall user experience.

Connectivity: HiBy has left no stone unturned in ensuring connectivity options galore. The R6 Pro II supports a variety of wireless protocols, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with LDAC support, and even aptX HD for high-quality wireless audio streaming. This player is also compatible with streaming services like Tidal and Qobuz, further expanding your music library options.

Battery Life: One of the few drawbacks of the R6 Pro II is its battery life. While it offers decent endurance, averaging around 8-10 hours of playback, it falls short compared to some of its competitors. However, the inclusion of a USB-C port for fast charging helps mitigate this issue to some extent.

Price: The HiBy R6 Pro II is positioned in the premium segment of the DAP market, and it comes with a price tag to match. While it may be a substantial investment, the exceptional audio quality and feature set make it a worthy consideration for serious music enthusiasts.

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Balanced and Unbalanced Outputs: One of the notable features of this DAP is its support for both balanced and unbalanced outputs. It offers 3.5mm and 4.4mm output ports for both single-ended and balanced connections. This flexibility allows users to choose their preferred amplification setup based on their headphones or earphones, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of audio equipment.

Audio Quality: The standout feature of the R6 Pro II is its stellar audio quality, it promises a remarkable audio experience, and it delivers on this front with its exceptional sound quality and versatility. Here's a summary of the sound impressions.

It supports a wide range of audio formats, allowing you to enjoy your music in its purest form. The sound signature is neutral, offering a faithful representation of the original recordings, which is a boon for audiophiles seeking accuracy.

The amplification capabilities are a critical component that contributes to its reputation as a high-quality digital audio player (DAP). This device is equipped with a sophisticated amplification system that enhances the overall audio experience for its users. The player offers both Class AB and Class A amplification modes, catering to different preferences. Class AB amplification combines the efficiency of Class B amplification with the linearity of Class A amplification, striking a balance between power and audio quality. Class A amplification, on the other hand, is renowned for its purity and low distortion, making it ideal for audiophiles seeking the utmost in sound quality.

The HiBy R6Pro II is also designed to handle a wide range of headphone impedances. Whether you have low-impedance in-ear monitors or high-impedance over-ear headphones, the player can provide the necessary power to drive them effectively. This impedance matching ensures that your headphones receive the optimal amplification for the best possible sound quality.

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The bass, though not the central focus, impresses with a tactile sub-bass and tight mid-bass. It maintains control without bleeding into the midrange. While it doesn't boost bass quantity, it elevates its quality, providing an authentic and textured bass experience. This refinement is particularly evident when compared to inferior sources.

The midrange shines, offering a warmish neutral profile with transparency and smoothness. Notes are well-defined, not overly sharp, and vocals are slightly forward but well-controlled. This emphasis adds depth to vocals and instruments without veering into metallic or grainy territory, resulting in a pleasing and engaging midrange.

Vocals exhibit a balanced thickness in the midrange, avoiding dryness. Note body has structure and a relaxed, yet energetic, character. Lower-mids provide additional warmth, while upper-mids offer clarity and a hint of shimmer. Male and female vocals are rendered with depth and detail, showcasing the 8x DAC architecture's capabilities. Details are easily illuminated, and the timbre remains natural and unprocessed.

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Treble is balanced and refined, integrating seamlessly with the mix. Even with IEMs emphasizing highs, the R6 Pro II maintains control and refines treble presentation, offering a punchy but not harsh character. It provides good extension and clarity beyond 10kHz, enhancing the overall listening experience. Extended listening sessions remain fatigue-free.

Surprisingly, the R6 Pro II provides a spacious soundstage given its power rating. Sound is naturally rendered without feeling pushed too forward or recessed. While the vocal imaging benefits from MSEB settings, it is firmer on the 3.5mm output compared to the 4.4mm output, which sounds more expansive. Elevated bass and emphasized upper mids strike a balance between resolution and dynamics, offering an engaging listening experience.

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In a nutshell, the HiBy R6 Pro II (Gen 2) is a symphony of sound quality and customization that will make audiophiles' hearts sing. With its dynamic amplification, versatile Class A/AB modes, and meticulous tuning, it's the top choice for those looking to elevate their musical journey. Whether you crave relaxation or dynamism, this player puts you in control, ensuring an immersive and mesmerizing sonic adventure. It sets a new standard in the world of high-fidelity portable audio, making it a must-have for the discerning music enthusiast.
123peter
123peter
Very nice review with interesting descriptions.
HIBY R6PRO II - I had the opportunity to listen.
In this price range, great design, great sound, bright, readable screen, great possibilities, space specification and...................weak battery.
I guess there weren't a few centimeters of a larger housing to increase the capacity of the very weak battery.
If the FIIO M23 DAP announced for this year (FIIO Q15 amp/dac, also with similar specifications already shown at the shows) is to have a similar specification as the HIBY R6PRO II - but with a larger battery, I choose FIIO M23.

MusicalDoc8

500+ Head-Fier
An incredible balancing act!
Pros: Detail
Musicality
Ease of Battery Access
Polished software
MSEB
Price
Weight
Cons: Battery isn't too long-lasting
Heats up when using the included case (no back venting)
Disclaimer:

I don’t love showing you specs and stats. Plenty of people have the gear and the technical expertise to do that better than me. I’ll give you my opinion, based on how I think it sounds and then on how much it is worth compared to the asking price. When I evaluate DAPs, I only use my LCD-5. They are both my musical benchmark and also the most revealing headphone I have. If this kind of review speaks to you, happy to share my feedback.

The exterior:

Well made, screws easily accessible to replace the internal battery, great screen with fullHD resolution (2k screen and the likes are just useful to kill battery and increase temperature), great set of inputs that forgo analogue knobs for simple buttons. Very handy and very ground-to-earth. Bell and whistles are fun and dandy until they become more a bother than an asset. Pushing the button for volume and adjusting it on screen is very fast and a pleasant UX.

The interior:
Well made implementation of android 12, good connectivity and very good responsiveness. I have yet to encouter bugs.

The Software:

Haven’t encounter bugs, glitches or hangups. Using the usual apps I install on my DAPs I have found no hiccups.

The Sound Software:
Hiby is peculiar in the sense that it does actually let you personalize the sound. And while the darwin-architecture lets you fine tune int more, even with this Digital DAC the “MSEB” software is present, letting you personalize to quite an extent the sound. It emulates various aspect of sound and you will end up playing with it to find your personal sweetspot. Not many makers employ such a deep and powerful software in their offer, and certainly not at this price range. Most you can get usually is a EQ. So this speak highly of the care that HiBy puts in their software. This isn’t your avereage “mid-fi” throwaway device that you will ditch once going kilobucks. This will stay with you faithfully!

THE SOUND:
Yeah finally the sound. In a vacuum, I LOVE this little DAP. It’s very musical, detailed and, to my ear, the frequency response is very revealing, and unless you mess with MSEB, it is as neutral as it can get. Perhaps there is a slight hint of less-than-amazing bass response, but this COULD be because it isn’t very powerful specs-wise, so maybe on the headphones the effect is not that felt.

Let’s go for comparisons now! Cause we all love all the DAPs, but some are better (a lot) or worse (A LOT) than others.

VS FiiO M15

So this thing has a nice implementation of the AK4499, and a powerful amp part. Good detailed sound. But software and hardware issues overshadow the (many) goods of this player.

Musically, vs the R6ProII it loses in detail, possibly only keeping the edge in raw power. But being powerful to me isn’t enough if you have less detailed sound and even less bass texture.

If you add to the mix that the MSRP was 1399 vs the 799 of the HiBy, this isn’t even a discussion. The HiBy does EVERYTHING better, from an improved sound to a mindboggling improvement in software and hardware. So the HiBy R6Pro II overwhelmingly wins.

VS HiBy RS8

Is it fair? Hell no. But is it fun to compare? YES!
Because in the case of the R6ProII you forgo (lots) of shiny things in the hardware department, because that huge chunk of pure titanium and the humongous copper heatsink inside make the RS8 not only BIG and powerful but also feels straight out of a jewelry store.

Of course having much more battery, more power and an R-R DAC means the RS8 should be eating the R6P2 for breakfast. But instead HiBy, wise not to be greedy and damage its mid-line, made such a well balanced device that if you are content with less power and less battery (much less IRL usage in balanced 4.4) you will find that the sound is not that distant. Yes, everything is better on the RS8, would be a problem if it wasn’t so, but you don’t feel like you’re listening to some cheap toy when you come back to the R6P2. You feel the difference, you hear the difference.
Mids and high are very very close, bass is another beast on the RS8 and the overall “coherency” of the music is one of the reasons why the RS8 is worth the money to me.
The R6P2 has less of everything, but not that much.

Closing words:
if you don’t have a DAP and you want one that will stay with you a LONG time, go buy the R6P2. Not joking, for 799 you get one of the best music players ever, at a price that usually was in the “overpriced for what it does” that sits in the middle between low tier gear and high-tier gear. Instead you get something that could be almost considered underpriced for what It does. You will have to make due with non analogue music wheel, way less battery, less detail and less power.

But you won’t feel like you are stuck in that middle-fi hell where you feel like you spent too much for a small improvement, and instead you feel like you found someone handing you a high-tier unit on the cheap.
originalsnuffy
originalsnuffy
If HiBy took this basic design, improved the heat dissipation, and put it in a more compact design (and a traditional design) with a volume knob I would be much more interested. Plus perhaps they could throw in some dongle capabilities so the unit would also be a nice adjunct to our smart phones.

Visveswaran Umashankar

Member of the Trade: ALT-R
Hiby R6 Pro II - Mid-fi Magic!
Pros: 1. Smooth liquid AKM sound
2. Excellent screen
3. Great height and width in a more or less 2D field.
4. Lends a somewhat natural tone and timbre to my IEMs (Ragnar and Radon6).
Cons: 1. Not so impressive battery life
2. No difference between A and AB modes
3. Android performance is only about 4-5 hours.
4. Holographic almost missing completely, flat staging.
First of all, I'd like to thank @gadgetgod and Hiby for organising this review tour in India, and giving me this opportunity. I have used my Fir Audio Radon6 and Noble Audio Viking Ragnar IEMs to test the DAP, along with PW Audio First Times cable with Shielding.

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Let's get on with the bit on how I found this device in terms of operability.

Device

The device has a no nonsense packaging with a simple cable, the device, its purple case. The screen is almost phone like, with pretty decent color reproduction for a DAP. Can't really complain at this price range for a better setup. And with its curves, the Dap looked quite stylish and different to me. UI is also pretty smooth, a bit laggy sometimes, but nothing much to complain abou given the price.

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Battery

In short, below average, is how I'd rate the battery performance, it lasted only about 6-6.5 hours for me, and with Android operations (using streaming services), the battery fell by about 27-28% in just an hour, which alarmed me quite a bit. Because, the sound was quite engaging (which I'll talk about in the next section), but the battery performance was an absolute bummer for me, totally unacceptable by any standards.

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Let's talk about the sound quality in detail now!



Staging, Layering, separation, resolution and Dynamics :-



Wide, tall, still lacking in depth. The stage extends really well both on the X and Y axes. Especially the height, simply stunning for the price at which this device is being offered. But the depth wasn't great at all, very mediocre actually, horizontal instrument placement on "Chesky's Ultimate demonstration disk" album was quite weak on tracks like "If I could sing your blues". All in all, a mixed bag when it comes to staging.

Layering, imaging and separation, all come together very well to give a very well defined and spacious sounding presentation. Dynamics are pretty decent as well, slightly on the softer side for me, as the kicks felt a bit rounded, but the sudden instrument and vocal shifts and octave changes were all rendered quite well, and nothing felt out of place to me. Tone and timbre, while pairing with my Radon6, sounded quite lifelike, but with Ragnar (which in itself, takes a lot to sound natural, namely Wm1z M2+FTS+a100tb), that wasn't the case, and it did sound a bit unnatural as it mostly does. But it did retain the resolution of both Ragnar and Radon6, as they should be, and it aided the overall presentation to have an excellent definition and space.



The R6 pro2 didn't make my life difficult at all when I picked it up, in spite of the fact that I was coming from Wm1z M2 and DX320. It's a pretty decent technical performer, to sum it up, but, sans staging depth. 🙂

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Mids, Bass and Treble :-



All are great, thank you! 😜



Alright, no need to get disappointed, I'll explain it one by one



Mids :- It did sound quite melodious, rich and emotional, while maintaining an amazing sense of clarity and details. I was totally taken aback by the level of finesse shown by R6 pro II, considering the price. I couldn't help but feel that it was comparable to some multi kilobuck DAPs that I have heard previously. Surprising performance, coming dangerously close to my beloved gold brick, which is commendable for the price it is being offered at.



Bass :- Slamming and pounding bass, I absolutely loved the dexterity and the gentle handling to showcase the viscerality of the sub-bass and mid bass regions. In spite of that, it retained the monstrosity of Radon6's bass impact and sheer power. Again, I was baffled by what I was listening to, on some of Ritviz and Nucleya tracks. How can a DAP, ridicule some bigwigs, not in terms of relative performance, but in absolute terms as well. Incredible job Hiby.



Treble :- Smooth, velvety and dripping with honey, yet retaining it's sparkle, R6 pro II again took me by surprise. No idea how the Hiby engineers managed to do it, but whatever they were high on while designing a sub-1k DAP, please have more of such substances, while designing the rest of your lineup. 😜 Cymbal crashes don't sound as harsh and/or smeared with Ragnar, which has tendency to expose a bad pairing so blatantly. Radon6 had an extra dose of sparkle, which balanced out it's slightly darker nature, by lending a bit more air in the upper treble reaches. In short, treble is without any trouble on the R6 pro II. 😁



Conclusion :- I would've bought the DAP in a heartbeat, hadn't it been for the almost absent staging depth and the poor battery performance. If you can live with that, then I can confidently say that I haven't come across a DAP that can perform so well under the 1k mark. My friend tells me that both these departments have improved after a few more charging cycles and burn in. I hope I'm proven wrong and I end up picking this gorgeous DAP for myself.

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Froz2204

New Head-Fier
Hiby R6 Pro 2- A Monster of Mid-fi
Pros: - Beautiful display screen
- Amazing sound quality
- Android for streaming
- A great DAP in the price range
- Smooth OS
- Decent power with Class A Amplifier
Cons: - Battery life could be better
- Heat dissipation could be better
- Weird function button postions
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Sponsor of the review: A moment of promotion for the sponsor of this review: My friend's Wallet, may his day of eating instant noodles is going smooth and a special thanks to him for making this review possible.

Unboxing and Accessories:
All in the pictures: Leather case; Charging cable; Some papers, the DAP itself, and nothing else.
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Design:
Pretty big, feel like it's a smartphone but minus the call function, the bezel-less screen makes me cautious, a wild guess that if this thing drops the screen will definitely going to crack so the user better be careful and avoid impact. I will let the picture do the rest of the talking here, you guys can see it yourself, I still not getting used to the button position but that is probably just me.
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Battery life and Other stuff:
Battery life is not the strong point of the R6 Pro 2, offline listening I will say can last about 2-3 days with a listening time of about 2-3 hours every day. The battery takes a hit if you turn on wifi and do streaming so I say it may only last a day if you listen for a long time and maybe can extend to 2 days if you listen in short sessions. Luckily it uses USB- C and charges up pretty fast so you can give it 30mins to 1h recharge and it's good to go. For it to be fully charged I would say take about 2h or so. Also, Class A Amp drain battery faster than Class AB Amp and i do not notice any difference in SQ between the two, so go AB for more battery life.

Thermal I think it's not a serious problem, it definitely heats up after 1h- 1h30m of using FLAC and will heat up much faster if you are on DSD but I have never reached the scorching hot level, only warm and relatively hot. Since the chassis is made of aluminium, the heat dissipates fairly quickly so the cooldown is alright.

Sound Quality:
Fashion time is over and enough chit-chat, time to jump to the most important part. All tested in Class AB Amp.

I. Bass:
The Bass of the R6 Pro 2 is leaning on the delicate, precise side, or simply say it's not boosted. The bass is not over-emphasized, the amount of sub-bass is sufficient with no excessed sub-bass, the position of the bass is rather pushed back a little making the soundstage a bit wider, the mid-bass hit clean and the decay speed is relatively fast. Overall I can feel the target of Hiby aim when tuning like this is to provide the listeners with a pleasant feeling and easy to listen, focusing on the relaxation. If you looking for some extra warm bass then this Dap is not for you.
When I paired it with the Z1R the amount of bass is significantly and noticeably less compared to I paired it with the WM1Z. However, If you have an IEMs that have a tad of too much bass for you it might balance out and go well with each other and if you looking for a DAP with clean, fast bass and not over-emphasized then this one is also for you.

II. Mid
The details and clarity of the mid-range are undeniably good, this is where I have to give credit to the R6 Pro 2. I have to be honest that it's been a while since I last heard a mid-fi DAP that has such clarity and details. To my knowledge, it's almost impossible to find a DAP with similar quality without paying a kilobucks price 3-5 years ago. The Mid-range of the R6 Pro 2 is smooth, lot of details, and well positioned. It's not the close, intimate vocal you gonna get but rather fairly distant to match up with the bass for a relaxed listening experience.
At first, I feel the mid-range is pretty neutral, going well with male and female vocals. With more listening time and AB testing with other DAPs, I find the R6’s mid-range is slightly boosted in high mid, also it lacks a bit of weight making the male vocal feel rather thin but that exceptionally goes well for the female counterpart. Nonetheless, Male vocals whose voices are leaning on the female side can be pretty good as those can draw out the cleanliness and crispiness.
Finally, without a doubt, High female vocal is the strength of the R6 Pro 2, female vocal sound energetic with buttery smooth making the listening experience is like melting slowly and elegantly, with no harsh and no over-emphasized voice raking your ears (unless the record’s quality is bad or the records purposely doing so). If your library contains mostly female vocal songs then buckle up because the ecstasy train is going nonstop and it going to please you most unexpectedly.

III. Treble
Normally for chifi Dap I usually notice the boost in high mid and treble, some are so rough and obvious which makes the music sound ridiculous and unpleasant. However, the R6 Pro 2 is a different case as its treble is smooth and clean, and it's the final piece that Hiby put in the big relaxed sound signature when they created Pro 2. I must say I like this much more, and I feel this is a more mature way of Hiby’s tuning compared to other products like the 1st gen Hiby DAPs or even the old flagship R8. High notes of pianos, string-instruments are portrayed in a smooth and soft.
Some treblehead may feel the decay speed is slightly fast and may consider it a rolled-off treble or it's just not sparkling (or piercing) enough and thus might not be satisfied but overall I think it is indeed good and well-balanced.

IV. Soundstage and imaging
Not the widest soundstage I have heard but it's the widest for a DAP under 1000$, up to this moment I don't know any DAP that has an equal soundstage that the R6 Pro 2. The width is fairly wide, depth is good, arguably great. Imaging is also great, instruments position is pushed to the side and distant a bit more. All mixed up to create a wide sound field that may or may not put you in awe but enough to not disappoint you in any genre.


Comparison and Pair-up
In this section, I will describe the comparison with my only DAP – the WM1Z and pair them up with some of my iems.
Compare to the WM1Z, the R6 Pro 2 offers a different tuning. The WM1Z is focused on an intimate, neutral mid-range with a warm, abundant amount of bass empowered by good imaging, separation, and high musicality fuse in a soundstage enough for you to indulge yourself in music. The R6 Pro 2 is totally on the contrary, smooth, with details mostly neutral mid but packing with an energetic high mid and elegant treble, delicate bass with width soundstage, and great imaging will be your guide to the world of music
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Sony IER- Z1R
The first shot will be the famous Z1R. WM1Z pairing with Z1R offer a bassy sound combine with the intimate mid of the WM1Z balanced out the thin mid of the Z1R. The R6 Pro 2 when paired up with the Z1R is different, the thin mid-range is clearly noticeable but it's very smooth, with much less bass both in sub-bass and force of impact but the soundstage and image of the Z1R, really shine with the R6 Pro 2. This is where you have to choose your flavors, as R6 Pro 2 offers a more relaxed, easy-to-listen, wider soundstage suitable for those who want to flow in the calming sea of music for a long time without being exhausted while the WM1Z is offer full fun and slamming bass with a warm, intimate mid-range which is suitable for those who looking for strong feelings or intimacy, something to smash the tired and burst yourself free.

For example “Apocalypsis Aquarius” of Final Fantasy XV OST, R6 Pro 2’s wide soundstage alone follow by the choir of the song delivers an in-game-like feeling like you are actually there. However, the lack of bass impact will make some desire for more. The story is different on the WM1Z, while the soundstage is not wider, or somewhat narrower, the bass hit is impressive and delivers powerful punches which definitely fit the atmosphere and build up an epic feeling leaving you impressed.

“Howl Moving Castle ” From Ghibli Music Box Edition is in favor of the R6 Pro 2 here as the soundstage superiority and relaxing sound signature fit well for the song and the music expands naturally and softly please your ears. The WM1Z is also not bad, piano notes sound natural with each note, decent soundstage, and good separation, and the musicality is hard to ignore. However, the R6 Pro 2’s prowess here is undeniable.

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AuR Audio Aure
The 2nd iem on the test is the AuR Audio Aure, now I don't know what the guys make iem at AuR Audio smoke but I want those stuff because for me Aure when pairing with the R6 Pro 2 it's an ABSOLUTELY BEAST.
Deep, rumbling bass; neutral, smooth, and clear mid-range; soft clean treble – all engulfed in a huge soundstage – a combination of the right depth of the Aure with the width of the R6 knock me off the chair because of how incredible and addicting that is. Now I know it sounds like a shill right now but it's really good. Aure is not the most expensive iem in my collection but it goes extremely well with the R6 Pro 2 to the point that some of my friends even consider it a better combo than pairing it with the Z1R, the musicality is simply off the roof. Sadly, AuR Audio discontinued this gem and no longer selling them but to those 20 people-ish holding this iem or to anyone that ever gets the chance please try the Aure with the R6 Pro 2.
You can say that I'm a Sony fanboy to the heart and I won't deny that but this time I will give the crown to the R6 Pro 2, the synergy with the Aure is simply unbeatable, it's impossible for the WM1Z to beat.

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JVC - FW1000 (aka 10k )
The 3rd Iem on the table is my end game, champion of all my iems, the JVC – FW10000. Now this review is already pretty long and I will go straight to the point, I think it does not go well with the R6 Pro 2. Why? The strength of the 10k is instrument separations, and massive soundstage all mixed to create a theater-like experience. On paper, this might sound extra good when paired with the R6 Pro2 but in reality, is a different story, the soundstage doesn’t get any wider but somehow got flattened out, and the instrument's position is rearranged making it less enjoyable compare to the WM1Z. Also, the amount of bass on the R6 Pro 2 is not enough to cover for an already not bassy iem. WM1Z on the other hand, fixed many of the 10k’s weak points, extra thumpy and impactful bass, details, layered mid-range sound natural and mellow. All of the above make the 10k shine like a true end game iem. The musicality also sounds much better on the WM1Z So the WM1Z is clearly superior here.

V. Verdict
My point stands still, the Hiby R6 Pro 2 is without a doubt a fascinating and amazing DAP. It's a “Monster of Mid-fi” in my vocabulary. For what it offers it truly breaks the market price and seriously brings quality to the user. Back 5 years ago I wouldn't dream of this thing will cost under 1000$ but it might cost 1500$ - 2000$ and it's absurd. I’m happy that quality audio is finally available at a lower price and more people can enjoy it. I am looking forward to future products of Hiby as the R6 Pro 2 truly leave a nice impression in my heart.
Thank you all for reading all these walls of text that i put out and yes definitely recommend this DAP for sure
Last edited:
Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
I believe he did review it, in that he mentioned it sounded the same to him. Which is unfortunate for us, but it is well within his rights to form such an opinion. And it is soundwise a positive review despite that.
Froz2204
Froz2204
Hi, i did not notice the differences between A and AB class, I usually set it at AB for better battery, and I think this wouldn't bother users. The power of the Hiby R6 Pro 2 is already impressive and the sound as I said above is simply fantastic.
Orfik
Orfik
Ah, okay. Thanks for the review!

Ceeluh7

500+ Head-Fier
Hiby R6 Pro ii Review
Pros: -Android 12
-Build Quality
-The aesthetic and ergonomics are nice
-The design is one of a kind (She’s got them curves)
-The screen is gorgeous!
-Two types of amping power (Class A/B & Class-A)
-Hiby uses a dual AK dac chip and it shows
-Once understood, the user experience is fantastic
-Overall the sound is extremely transparent and smooth
-Technicalities are some of the best in the price point
-There is four different outputs
-Sound quality in general is certainly a “Pro”
Cons: -Battery life is not the best in the field of similarly priced daps
-The UI is a hair slower at times and on certain 3rd party apps
-I would have loved to see a volume wheel
-Not the most powerful dap, especially for the price point
-The user experience can be tricky coming from other daps

Hiby R6 Pro ii Review



Hiby R6 Pro ii Review


HR6P2

Hiby R6 Pro ii

Intro

Hello, this is my full written review of Hiby’s brand new mid-level dap, the “Hiby R6 Pro ii” or R6P2 (as I’ll refer to it for review purposes). I received the R6P2 as I was part of the Hiby tour which brought to me the Hiby Zeta (Hiby Zeta Review HERE) as well as the R6 Pro ii. So far, I have been more than impressed with this beautiful digital audio player and hopefully I can tell you why in a way that makes sense to you.

Hiby

The audio company Hiby has been around for quite some time, since around 2011 and have mostly specialized in their Digital Audio Players (DAP) as well as smaller dac/amp dongle for mobile uses. Hiby seems to specialize in R&D, and it is evident in their products. I haven’t been able to actually test out most of Hiby’s DAP products besides the Hiby R3 Pro 2022 and the dap I’m reviewing today. That said, they have a very extensive list of Daps from the budget sector all the way to the high-end arena. Hiby also has a very nice list of Dongle Dacs, dac/amps, iems and even a few True Wireless to round out their product list. Truly it’s quite impressive. I suppose that I had no idea how extensive it was until I really dug deep through Hiby’s history.

With that said I was very excited to get my hands on this unit in particular as it boasts some nice specs and quality Internals as well as a beautifully big screen. Like I said, I will try my best at informing the buying public of my thoughts so as to possibly help to make a purchasing decision. I will always give my thoughts and only my thoughts and I’m not in any way swayed by the fact that this is a tour unit. Without further ado… The Hiby R6 Pro ii…

Purchase Links:

Hiby Store

Amazon US

HiFiGo

HR6P2
What a pairing! The Hiby R6 Pro ii coupled with the Hiby Zeta

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The Hiby R6 Pro ii with the Fiio FH9

Gear used for testing

Yanyin Canon
Fiio FH9
Shanling MG600
Hiby Zeta
-Who am I kidding, most every iem in my collection



HR6P2

Specifications

Main features

Model: HiBy R6Pro (Gen 2)

Operating System: Android 12

SoC: Snapdragon 665 (8-core 1.8GHz kryo 260)

DAC: AK4191EQ+dual AK4499EX (nOCTA-DAC output architecture

for all outputs)

Audio formats: DSD1024 / PCM1536KHz/32bit / MQA16X

Output ports (analog): 3.5mm PO / 4.4mm BAL

3.5mm LO / 4.4mm BAL LO

Output ports (digital): Typе-C USB and coaxial digital

Wireless functions

WiFi frequencies: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz supported

Bluetooth: Two-way Bluetooth 5.0

Hi-res Bluetooth Codecs: UAT LDAC APTX APTXHD AAC SBC

WiFi audio: Airplay/DLNA/HiByLink

Display specifications

Screen size: 5.9″

Display type: IPS

Resolution: 1080-2160

Storage configuration

RAM: 4GB (LPDDR4X-1866)

Internal storage: 64GB

USB port: USB-2.0 and 3.1 compatible up to 10 Gbps bandwidth

Micro SD card slot: Supports up to 2TB

External features

Color choices: Black/ Purple

Chassis material: Aluminium chassis with toughened glass backplate

Dimensions: 147.45 x 75.2 x 15mm

Weight: 285G

Power specifications

Charging: 9 Volt-2 Amps or 5 Volt-0.5 Amps

Battery capacity: 5000mAh/3.8V

Play Time(Battery Life): 3.5mmPO (Class AB): 8 Hours

4.4mmBAL (Class AB): 7 Hours

3.5mmPO (ClassA): 6 Hours

4.4mmBAL (ClassA): 5 Hours

Charging standard: PD 2.0 18W

Charging time: <2 Hours 0%-100%)

Miscellaneous

Firmware upgrades: OTA online updates

Font Size: Adjustable

App 3rd Party apps: Installable

HR6P2

Packaging / Accessories

Let’s begin this review with a little bit of an unboxing experience run-down. First off, I should state that the packaging and box is not wasteful. I’ve owned quite a number of daps in my audio time, and this is one of the smaller boxes. Anyways, the packaging is fitting of a $749 device. Also, I should state that this is a tour unit so I honestly have no clue the arrangement of the accessories so I will skip that and simply tell you what’s inside. I do know that once the box lid comes off you do see the absolutely stunningly designed R6P2 in all its glory looking back at you as it sits in a tight hard foam cut-out. However, this thing is a bear to get out. Please trust me. I honestly thought I was going to break it. This is where you breathe, exhale and give it a little wiggle ‘n pull.

Under the R6P2 you’ll find only a couple extra items. One of those items being the case which serves to protect your Hiby R6 Pro 2. You also receive a Type-C to Type-C adapter cable as well as a Type-C to Type-A USB adapter charging cable. Hiby also provides a couple screen protectors for the front and back of the unit and some reading material (manual etc.). All things considered the Hiby R6 Pro 2 is packaged well and is obviously well protected for transport.

HR6P2 Packaging
HR6P2 Packaging
HR6P2 Packaging
HR6P2 Packaging

Case

HR6P2 Case

Due to the fact that I received the purple R6P2, I also received a purple case to color match. I find the case is actually very nice and just as ergonomic as holding the R6P2 without it. Made of what appears to be a faux leather material, I find this case very stylish and very trendy looking. All ports are open and accessible. I also appreciate that the case just slides on and off and is held on very well. You will never have an issue with this case falling off or sliding off like some cases. The fit is perfect as there are raised areas on the R6P2 that the case is perfectly molded to. Truly it looks fantastic. I love the stitching on the case which lines the curves of this beauty as well as the imposed “Hiby” on the back. I want to extend a pat on the back to the designers. Top notch in every way.


Build / Aesthetic

This dap is absolutely beautiful and it’s chunky too. In hand it feels awesome. Truly it is a good size and offers a very nice experience. The R6P2 has a special feel to it, like I’m holding some fully premium tech in my hand. I don’t quite know how to explain it. The R6P2 comes in both “black” & “purple”, and both are striking in design. The bottom half of the device is thinner making it very ergonomic for most any hand. Somehow, I find the look to be very elegant, almost Buji, but also very classy and sleek. There is some weight to this unit as it’s on the larger side within the world of daps. It feels substantial, and is very solid in hand, as it should be.

On the back you’ll notice wavy raised grooves or lines which run up and down while following the curves of the device itself. There’s also a cool looking pattern with the name “Hiby” imposed on the back. The chassis itself is made of pure aluminum and Hiby decided on a chic looking glass backing which is likely hardened glass for protection. You may want to keep the case on.

HR6P2 Build
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HR6P2 Build

She’s a beaut…

Truthfully, the R6P2 is one of the better designed daps in the market, without question. Hiby pulled out all the stops to assure this dap is unique and one of a kind with a special appearance for an audio fan. Personally, I adore the look and while I wouldn’t usually go for anything purple… Folks…this purple is DOPE!! Flat out and hands down one of the best-looking daps… period!! End of discussion. Now, I would have loved to see a volume wheel like my iBasso DX240 or my Shanling M6 Ultra, but we can’t have everything we want. To be honest I feel that after a good hour of use the controls become second nature, but I’ll cover that later.

Ports & Buttons

You’ll notice on the bottom the 3.5 PO outlet as well as the 4.4 balanced port as well as the 3.5 LO and 4.4 LO ports right next to them. Underneath you can also find the Type-C USB & Coaxial Digital outlet as well which supports data transmission as well as PD2.0 18w charging. All well placed however I do tend to prefer ports on the top I must say that this is a minor thing for me. I have daps that have them both ways and enjoy them all. Along the left side are the next & back track buttons as well as a pause & play button. On the right side are the volume control buttons (100 steps) as well as the power button for on & off.

I find the button placement is good and they function very nicely. Really, it can go one of two ways with buttons folks. I’ve had daps with less than adequate buttons in the past that have no haptic recognition of the button push. The R6P2 on the other hand has nice responsiveness with a good tactile compression on each button, and a nice click when pressing down. There’s also a micro-SD card slot that supports up to 2 tb cards. I used a 1 tb card and loaded about 800gb of music. One other small gripe for me; the music loaded slower for me compared to other daps. Not that it’s unbearably slow but should be mentioned.

Screen

One thing which cannot go overlooked or understated is the beautiful IPS 1080×2060 5.9″ screen. What a very nice screen! Much more vibrant than Fiio offerings at the same price point and much more visually appealing and bright than my Shanling M6 Ultra. Truly it is beautiful, and it’s only rivaled by some iBasso dap screens, which is a huge compliment. The screen boasts great colors that are very radiant and showy and really help to make album art “Pop”! One of the highlights of the R6P2, without question. The screen is huge and is reminiscent of a large smartphone screen. The pixel density is fantastic and if you value album artwork… at all… then you will value what the R6P2 can provide as far as the screen is concerned. The screen has excellent responsiveness to finger taps as well.

Under the hood

Hiby went a very unique route in choosing the dac chips as well using two of AKM’s latest Dac chips, the AK4191EQ + dual AK4499EX which can output and astounding 32bit/1536ghz audio. Another treat is that the R6P2 can also play DSD1024. These dual dac chips allow the R6P2 to have complete system bit-perfect audio bragging rights. I happen to love this. This means that most 3rd party apps can operate “bit-perfect”. One other nice functionality is 16x MQA unfolding. Yeah yeah, I know, MQA is donzo. Still, if you need it… It’s there.

Class A/B & Class A

I love Hiby’s usage of both class A/B as well as class A amping circuitry which is very simple to quickly change-up depending on your power needs. The amp circuits are operated using two OPA1652 chips as well as 8 NXP Bipolar Transistors. These amp circuits also work in tandem with two dedicated NDK femtosecond precision Crystal Oscillators (45.1584MHz / 49.152MHz) for an ultra-low noise floor & jitter which basically helps the sound to come across cleaner.

There is a lot going on and it’s all working in Hiby’s favor. Especially having both Class A/B & Class A options, as there are a few reasons why one would want this ability in their dap. It’s nice to be able to tailor your power output per the iems or headphones you are choosing to use. I found that class A/B amping to be plenty for most of my iems but if I’m being honest, I did still use Class-A most of the time. Second, you can also switch to Class A/B for better battery life as there is most certainly a difference in the length of listening sessions depending on what amp circuit you choose.

Differences in amp circuit

Another thing…there is a definite recognizable difference in sound quality depending on what amp circuit you are using. Not that the A/B is much worse, but I did notice an actual audible difference going between them. I found the Class-A amp to be a more refined version of the same sound. I felt the stage widened; transient attack tightened up a bit too. Also, the bass gained density and became more taught and generally the sound seemed more expressive with slightly more pronounced macro-dynamics. Hence why I chose to keep the Class-A amp mode turned on for most of my time critical listening.

Output power

This is something that I must bring up as I know it’s on the mind of those who are looking for their next dap. One thing we are always looking at is the power under the hood. Now, the R6P2 isn’t exactly a powerhouse. The output power of both classes of amplifiers is the same, 125mw using 3.5 single ended and 383mw running 4.4 balanced. Yes, I realize this seems low and in truth it is. In fact, for a Dap this price it’s very low. However, this doesn’t stop the R6P2 from easily driving any iem that I have in my collection. From Final Audio products to planars the R6P2 has plenty of juice. What’s great is that there is very little hiss which makes your listening very clean from the jump. It may seem low but have no fear, the R6P2 is perfectly capable of driving any iem and most headsets with plenty of headroom.

Battery

This is one area that I found a bit of an issue with. First let me start with the specs (listed above too). The R6P2 has an inboard 5000mah battery, which rivals most smartphones. You cannot swap batteries either (if you are wondering). Hiby states that you can get roughly 8 hours using 3.5 mm PO and 7 hours using 4.4 balanced on class A/B amping. If you choose class A amping Hiby says you should be around 6 Hours on 3.5 and 5 Hours on 4.4.

Battery usage

There is a lot to unpack to reach those numbers. Let me start by saying that I didn’t get quite that amount of usage time. I used class A amping on 4.4. balanced most of the time while I listened to my Playlists. When listening, I usually scroll through (screen on) and then turn the screen off to listen. I do this 100% of the time unless I’m listening straight through an album. I would usually get around 3 hours and be at about 20% battery life remaining when listening to the R6P2. Now, I’m sure you may get close if you watch your volume, gain settings, keep the screen off and less bright when it is on, turn Bluetooth off, turn Wi-Fi off and a few other settings and by all means, if you want to save your battery use the Class-A/B amping when you can.

The same can be said for each of the hour ratings that Hiby states in their promotional material. I noticed a little bit less but again, I also scrolled through album art and searched for titles after each track and such. So, it’s partially my fault. Granted, I use my other daps the same way and battery life doesn’t seem to drop as quickly. With all that being said, I don’t think battery life is terrible. Hardly am I listening for over 3 hours in one sitting. I have children, a full-time job, a house that needs to be tended to and so I relish my time that I get to chill for more than 4 hours.

Memory

The R6P2 comes equipped with 64GB ROM which is great for apps and all the regular duties of an Android player. Also, 64GB is pretty much standard in this price bracket which is great to see. Again, plenty of memory for storing 3rd party apps from the Google Play Store. Hiby also added 4GB of RAM which is the least you would need for Android 12 and helps the R6P2 to feel quick scrolling through apps and the home screen and settings menus. Honestly, if you’d like to use the R6P2 for videos on YouTube or even scrolling through Facebook it feels identical to a smartphone and offered zero hiccups or issues that I found.

HR6P2

UI Functionality / Software

One thing that impressed me was the implementation of Android 12 in dap form. I feel Hiby created an Android infrastructure that doesn’t skip a beat from something like a smartphone. Going from my Galaxy Fold 4 to the Hiby R6 Pro 2 I honestly wasn’t missing much. The home screen UI as well as searching through apps and settings is a breeze. Truly a snappy experience! The R6P2 uses a hobby best SOC in the Snapdragon 665 which happens to be a 1.8 ghz Kryo260 8-Core (Octa-Core) chip. Please trust me this thing is fast. However, for whatever reason there were some apps that were rather sluggish. I don’t think it was a processing issue at all but a compatibility issue maybe. Not a horrible issue but something to note. Surfing the web was breezy and almost all functionality that an Android dap would be capable of is a whizz on the R6P2. Really, the designers & engineers should get a pat on the back… Here is me clapping!!!

Android 12

If ever you’ve used an Android smartphone or device, then the R6P2 will suit you just fine. To be honest the R6P2 is just as quick as my other daps, if not a pinch quicker. Simply just sluggish with some 3rd party apps. The essence of Android 12 is captured very well as Hiby actually uses their own spin on the operating system with a very slightly remade version of Android 12. We see this often with Android devices. Some things remain exactly the same however, as in the way the build feels and operates exactly as a smartphone would yet with some added tweaks that Hiby made. Whether it be adding widgets, changing home themes (I used Nova) or swapping wallpapers, display settings, developer settings, and everything in between the R6P2 handles these adjustments perfectly and without issue.

HR6P2 Android
The Hiby R6 Pro ii running a full functional Google Play Store
HR6P2 Android
HR6P2 Android

Hiby Music Player

I won’t go too much into Hiby’s own music player which you can also get through the Google Play store and put on any device. Anyways, the Hiby Player is in my opinion one of the best music players you can get for anything Android. I use it frequently along with USB Audio Player Pro (UAPP). I find that the aesthetic of the player is very appealing with album art that bounces off the screen and a UI that is very easy to navigate. Plus, there are a myriad of functions and settings to change up the sound to your liking (MSEB next section). This is truly an all-in-one type of music player that I do recommend you check out. Anyways, the Hiby Music Player comes as an on-board app on the R6P2.

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Hiby Music Player
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Hiby Music Player

MSEB

One feature that is worth noting within the Hiby Music Player is the fantastically designed and imagined “MSEB”. As you scroll through settings you will easily find the “Audio Settings”. Inside the audio settings tab you can swap different filters among other things relevant to a digital audio player. You’ll also notice MSEB tuning which is a Hiby exclusive and does a fantastic job of tuning your music per your preferences. If you haven’t checked it out, then I would push you to do so. MSEB is actually a type of equalizer which makes tuning easy to understand and use. Actually, it’s about as easy as it gets. Hiby basically uses their own adjustable version of preset settings which are labeled and made ridiculously easy to learn and play around with. I don’t usually use any equalizer settings but for those who do, MSEB is a game changer.

HibyCast

This is a cool feature. HibyCast allows the user to operate his or her R6P2 from their smartphone. Now, just about every dap I own has this functionality already, but I find that Hiby does a great job at implementing it. The responsiveness is very nice and quicker than even some more expensive daps that I own. You can play any app, browse, control music, Bluetooth, basically anything.

Bluetooth

It should be noted and added to this review simply for purposes of my due diligence, the Hiby R6 Pro 2 does have two-way Bluetooth abilities. Meaning, you can use the R6P2 as a Bluetooth Receiver or a Transmitter. This has been around for years but not all daps make good use of it. Just for the sake of honesty and transparency I did not use this feature as it doesn’t make sense for my use cases but it’s nice to have when you need it.

The R6P2 operates Bluetooth 5.0 and carries a number of high-quality Audio Codecs. Namely the R6P2 has UAT (Hiby owned), LDAC, Aptx-Hd, Aptx, AAC & SBC Codecs. There are some very high-quality Codecs at play here ladies and gentlemen. UAT can transmit up to 1200 kbps and 24bit/192khz audio and LDAC can run around 990 kbps and 24bit/192khz audio. Aptx-Hd can get up to 576 kbps and 24bit/48khz while Aptx can achieve 16bit/48khz and 352 kbps. Obviously, you would want to use the better Codecs and it’s always nice to have some good quality choices.

Also, if you so choose, the R6P2 can be used as an external dac which can be useful for a desktop setup and is nice to have the option. Of course, this has been around for quite some time but worth making a mention of it.

HR6P2

Listening Impressions

Let me start off by saying that I truly enjoy the sound quality of the Hiby R6 Pro 2. Right out the gate I want to get that out of the way. I used many different iems in my R6P2 journey, please trust that. Okay, I used every iem I have in my arsenal… which is many. However, for critical listening I chose to focus on a few that made the most sense to me.

Looking through my collection of iems, I obviously went with the Hiby Zeta as the two simply sing together. I also went with the Shanling MG600, the Fiio FH9 and the Yanyin Canon predominantly. It was on my mind to see how well the R6P2 could refine the transient behavior of the MG600? Could it add some snappiness to the FH9’s treble? How well was the R6P2 able to tighten the bass response of the Yanyin Canon? These are serious questions I was seeking. I already own daps that can do these things, but they are more expensive and truthfully should be able to. That said, the R6P2 has a secret sauce my friends.

Tonality/Timbre

To start I found the R6P2 to be closer to warm/neutral than it is warm, ever so slightly colored but mostly natural. I found the R6P2 to have a generally tight transient attack throughout the mix and lively macro-dynamics. Note density is pretty good and each note is clean and clear with fantastic transparency. In fact, transparency may be the R6P2’s superpower and greatest attribute. What this does for my iems is very enjoyable. The Zeta, MG600 and Canon absolutely benefit from the overall tonality and quickness with which the R6P2 manipulates the sound. The R6P2 added some lift to an overall warm set while also cleaning up the midrange as well.

Bass

The bass is not the star of the show and in my opinion is more of a “part to a whole” type situation more than anything. Saying that, I’d also say that the bass is quite solid with a tactile feeling in the sub bass and a tightened and deft mid-bass. I find that the bass is well in control and is mostly an uncolored and pristine and doesn’t extend into the midrange to any detriment. Listening to iems that I’ve spent too much of my life listening to, I can positively attest that the R6P2 created a better version of my bassier and more atmospheric iems in this region. The R6P2 will not increase the quantity of any particular set but it will increase the quality of the bass compared to inferior sources.

Let me make it clear that the R6P2 does not enhance the quantity of the bass. This is not a forward sounding low-end with a colored and fun sound like my Shanling M6 Ultra. I would call it a more audiophile and fun sound. I feel there is equal presence between the sub-bass and mid-bass, for the most part and plenty of emphasis, texture, dynamics and clarity to create an authentic experience which will really show off the tonality of the iems or headsets you choose to use.

Midrange

The midrange provides a clear picture in my mindscape as the MG600 certainly benefited the most from the R6P2’s. Truly I find the midrange my favorite area of the “big three” (Bass, Mids, Treble). Not quite milky and buttery but rather transparent velvet. I hear a midrange that casts a more warmish neutral and cleanly translucent auditory expression all the while remaining quite smooth and full sounding.

Despite the smoothness there is a relatively defined edge to notes which have a conciseness to them and some rigidity, yet they don’t come across tacky or abrasive. The midrange sounds as though it is pushed a bit more forward while keeping in good control and never shouty to my ears. I actually really enjoy the emphasis here. The mids are just enough forward to shine a light on vocals and instrumentation without crossing that line to sound metallic, grainy or shouty.

Vocals

Vocals come across a pinch thinner in the midrange than you may be used to if you are coming from a warmer sounding dap or dac, but I didn’t find the sound papery or dry at all. In fact, it’s the opposite. Note body has a nice structure yet still feels more relaxed than they are energetic. Note outlines have a nicely round feel with great presence. The low-mids have a bit more girth and are a titch more smoothed over for male vocals. Still very highlighted and featured in a very well composed manner. The upper-mids are slightly thinner but come across absolutely crystal in sound. Females generally sound more pronounced to me; they have a bit more of a shimmer to them. I think one of the strong suits of the R6P2 is its ability to render the vocal delivery of both male and female singers.

Vocals cont…

There is a depth to vocals or a 3D sense to the sound that really drew me in with my more mid-centric iems. I’m assuming that vocals and instrumentation greatly benefit due to the dual dac architecture. Like I said, there is depth to the sound, or this controlled ductility to the sound, as if you are hitting a note from all sides. Other than vocals, details are easily illuminated and easy to discern as well. Timbre in the midrange is spot on to my ears, which, take that how you want to, but I feel the sound is very close to natural, or at least how I imagine natural should sound. The best way to put it is that the sound is mostly uncolored and not at all processed or digital sounding. The natural smooth nature of a human voice is captured. It isn’t super edgy like we often hear and it’s great to see this in an under $1000 dap. Great job Hiby.

Treble

The highs are balanced with the rest of the mix in my opinion, and I noticed that iems with emphasized highs don’t become shouty or shrill. In fact, I think the R6P2 helped to refine them a bit with its more laid-back approach. The treble has a decent punch to it without coming across coarse and glassy. I wouldn’t say the treble is necessarily crisp but there is good definition which makes for a detailed listening experience. The treble is emphasized and accentuated but never sounds harsh. It’s actually good for extended listening sessions without offering fatigue. Don’t take that as though there isn’t brilliance there either because the R6P2 has just that, except it’s conducted in a controlled & measured way that balances with the rest of the mix quite well.

I also find the treble to have nice extension and great clarity past 10k for any track I threw at it. Obviously not every iem I have had great extension, but I found the R6P2 only improved or coached my iems to follow suit. I enjoyed the expressive extension and dynamics that really seem to extend to the furthest reaches of the psycho-acoustic sound field. Meaning, at the furthest reaches of the stage I feel the sound keeps its focus generally. I don’t want to oversell but I have to report what I hear; the treble is well tuned, and my hat goes off to those who played a part in that.

HR6P2
The Yanyin Canon made a nice improvement using the Hiby R6 Pro ii

Technicalities

Soundstage

I find the soundstage width, height, and depth to be on part with other daps in its price point. Of course, I can only make these judgements against any daps I’ve actually listened to, but I do find the stage to be a more immersive experience than the Fiio M11 Plus ESS for example. As you move up to higher priced daps like the iBasso DX240 or Shanling M6 Ultra it is more of a fight. One quality of the stage that I find to be very well accomplished lies more in its depth of field rendering.

Separation / Imaging

This is where we begin to see the R6P2 start to really distinguish itself from the others in its price point. As far as separation goes the R6P2 does a great job of partitioning off elements of a stage and delineating some exactness and roundness to individual instruments or voices. Imaging walks hand in hand here too. In fact, imaging may actually be the R6P2’s other superpower. I loved listening to live tracks with this dap. I loved picturing what I was hearing because the R6P2 does so well at imposing these images into my frontal lobe. Whether it be left to right or front to back the cleanliness with which the R6P2 is tuned, the quick transient response, the clean background, the spatial recognition and the layering ability are each very well accomplished and together each of these attributes combines plays for a very nice end result.

Details

One thing you won’t complain about is the R6P2’s ability to illuminate and bring to the surface the minutia and micro-details in your music. The R6P2 is speedy, transparent, clean, uncolored, balanced across the mix and the R6P2 has great spatial recognition and separation. Just like imaging, all these abilities form to help prop up the subtleties within a track. I would say that the R6P2 is one of the better detailed daps under $1000 that I’ve personally listened to.

HR6P2
The Shanling MG600 attached to the Hiby R6 Pro ii provides nice synergy

Is it worth the asking price?

Okay, so this is a pretty loaded question. For me, I think the Hiby R6 Pro 2 is well worth the asking price. In fact, I think it can be considered one of the better daps under $1000. It certainly is a contender. However, there are some subjective qualms which some may find. Like, the bass is not emphasized in a way that adds more fun to the sound. Is this an issue? Maybe it is for you? For me, I think the R6P2 only added quality to the bass section. Or, maybe you don’t want a more forward midrange or a laid-back treble? Maybe you want more power to drive your more difficult iems and headsets? Maybe battery life is a concern? These are legitimate questions to ask yourself. However, I think those questions go to the minority of people and I do feel the majority of people will see the upsides of the R6P2 and truly enjoy this dap.

The why…

The R6P2 has so much going for it! First off, find a better-looking dap! I’m waiting…. Seriously, the Hiby R6 Pro 2 is a baddy my friends. Gorgeous! Also, the screen is absolutely phenomenal for a Dap at this price. I promise each and every one of you the screen is awesome for album art, videos, or simply scrolling through the web. You will not be let down. The screen is vibrant, bright and huge.

There are also so many ways that I didn’t cover to manipulate the sound in the Hiby R6 Pro 2 as well, and by the way… the sound quality is fantastic! I really hate to send this unit on its way. This is the absolute truth. I wish it was mine and pretty soon I will have to box it up and send it back. I’ll need some consoling. It just adds this transparent and natural flavor to the sound that my other daps don’t necessarily have to the same degree. Granted I love my other daps, but Hiby really nailed this one for under $800. Is the Hiby R6 Pro 2 worth the asking price? You Betcha!

HR6P2

Conclusion

To conclude my full written review of the Hiby R6 Pro 2 I want to thank Hiby and Joseph Yueng for providing this tour unit. Ya know, they have been very accommodating and it’s an honor to be able to review such high-quality gear. In truth it makes my job so much easier. So, thank you.

I also implore you all to check out other reviews of the R6P2. Making such a high price purchase is no small thing. It would behoove you to listen to, watch or read other impressions and thoughts about this unit. Like I always say, we don’t all hear the same, we don’t all have the same gear, we don’t all have the same likes and dislikes, and we haven’t all been down the same audio journey. Heck, we clearly don’t all have the same level of knowledge in this audio game. I simply want you to make the right choice and hearing all sides and all opinions only helps. With that I also want to thank anyone who chose to read my words on this very nice new DAP from Hiby. It has been my pleasure, so please take good care, try to stay safe and always…God Bless.

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Deleeh

Headphoneus Supremus
Nice but can it better
Pros: Operation and implementation were good, but they could be a bit more intuitive.
Workmanship is first class.
Bluetooth is very good in sound
App Store was an enrichment
Streaming via its streaming provider without problems
Cons: It gets very warm when used for a long time, which I didn't like.
Unfortunately, Msb cannot be transferred to the streaming provider as far as the sound is concerned.
The additional conversion options do not work 100%.
Sound is possible not for every one
Hello,
since some have already comprehensively reviewed the Hiby R6 Pro 2,I will rather evaluate the sound and the use of the Bluetooth.

Equipment:
Iem's I have the IMR Acustic Qm Red 2 and Letshouer Z12,I also got the Hiby Crystal to test.
Streaming over Wi-fi and Bluethooth

The Hiby R6 Pro 2 with IMR Acustic Qm Red 2:

Because of the many possibilities to change the nozzles, I would have needed more time to find the best one.
My regular configuration was not convincing.

Letshouer Z12:

This Iem convinces me again and again and always has a surprise in the bag.
I know the Iem very well by now and know that it is a bit of a Querunlant when it comes to the source.
It could have been a bit more musical here.
But otherwise it was good but not outstanding or captivating for me.

Hiby Crystal:

I was ambivalent about this.
On the R6 pro 2 I found it quite dry sounding, very often.
That is not my preference.
However, it did quite well on the Ify Hip Dac 2.
I found it quite good in combination, but the Letshouer Z12 is a little better at finishing.

About the R6 Pro2:

The operation of the menu and things like that were really good.
If I think it could have been more intuitive, it could have been tidier.
Certain things were somewhat hidden, so you had to look for them again.
What really bothered me was the excessive heat build-up when using the screen.
It gets better when the display is turned off.
But of course I like to browse through my playlist or see what's new.
And not have to worry about it exploding right now.

Hiby has started to offer upsampling.
Unfortunately only in the sampling rate which sometimes doesn't work then again.
You also have to download it somehow to set it up and it didn't always work.
What I would like to see is that you can really adjust the daps yourself.
Whether you want to have it upsampled in DSD or the desired bit/sample rate.
It's just no use if I use the streaming provider app and can't upsample.
Of course it drains the battery but that would be okay.

Bluetooth:

This works better than expected and was surprised how well.
I have two bluetooth enabled dacs Matrix audio Mini 2pro and the Gustard R26 that stream through the Ipad when I use them.
Let me say that here the Ipad is no longer a comparison and would end up in the bin if you use the Hiby R6 pro 2.

Why?
First of all, you have a good ease of use in that respect.
And since you use it as a streamer, it already takes over many tasks in advance before it goes to the dac.
And the sound is really excellent when it goes through the stereo system or through the headphones when you have passed the headphone amplifier.
The sound here is much fuller, fuller-bodied, high-resolution, warm and just right.I really liked that.
And found that to be its greatest strength in that respect.

Bluetooth in the car:

It had been no problem to connect and pair.
As my car was in the workship I got a replacement car.
In modern cars like this one in a Bmw 1 series, you just pair and open Tidal with your downloaded songs and press play and it plays.
It also shows you are streaming via Tidal as well as showing the track and artist.
Unfortunately on older cars like my 2013 Bmw F31 it doesn't show that except various Artist.
Soundwise it was better in the 1 series Bmw, in my own car what I already heard through the Iem's. I'll come to that in a moment regarding the sound.

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Sound of the Hiby R6 pro 2:
On the Iem's it was overall too cool for me,dry in places,also analytical at times.
The sound signature had not been my cup of tea.
But not necessarily bad either.
I heard the same thing in the car.
I was missing the invitation of wanting to listen to music.
I also missed being able to hear the emotions in the music.
That was simply not there.
That is certainly also a personal preference in terms of sound, I would also like to add.
Some people will like it, no question.


The Hiby R6 pro 2 in conclusion:

I cannot judge that it is better than its predecessor.
I think so, it has certainly grown up and matured.
What bothers me is that it still has a few teething problems here and there.
The thing with the display is a flaw when you use it.don't leave the Hiby in the car in summer or in warmer areas.
The setting options are good but still a little immature and see progress.
It would be good to standardise and improve the whole thing and apply it to the whole product range.
That it becomes uniform and all devices gain in intuitiveness with the same possibilities.
The battery life was good overall.
I also didn't like the amplifier mode, which I found a bit better when switched off.
But it didn't convince me that I would buy it.


Thank you very much for letting me test it though.
It helped me to find what I was looking for, but I haven't found it yet.
What I would still like to see on tours like this is the addition of adapters so that you can also test the Overear headphones.
Unfortunately I don't have any, which would also help to find out more about the strengths and weaknesses of the Hiby.
Since there are also differences between the Iem and the headphones.
The latter could possibly also perform better than on Iem's.
Last edited:
Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
Thanks for your review Deleeh.

Can I just check with you what you mean by "Msb" (sic) cannot be transferred to the streaming provider?

If you mean the MSEB, it (and all audio plugins) can be used on streaming audio as long as you're using them at the system level and not at the HiByMusic app (there are options at both).

Berry108

New Head-Fier
𝐇𝐢𝐁𝐲 𝐑𝟔 𝐏𝐫𝐨 𝐈𝐈 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰: 𝐍𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐡𝐞
Pros: Great sound
Very extensive adjustability options
Very good battery life
Lots of clean power
Both power-out and line-out have 3.5mm(SE) and 4.4mm(BAL)
Nice build quality
Great user interface
Cons: Edges can be quite sharp
Button layout is weird
Quite hefty
Thickness can be an issue
𝐇𝐢𝐁𝐲 𝐑𝟔 𝐏𝐫𝐨 𝐈𝐈 𝐑𝐞𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐰: 𝐍𝐢𝐜𝐞 𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐡𝐞


|| 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 ||

HiBy is well-known for their audio players android or not as well as their free music player app that allows Android users to bypass the detested resampling protocol that is used by default.

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Now they’re back with a new mid range Android audio player offering coming in around $750 or $999 with a bundled HiBy Crystal6 II. Equipped with a mid-range Snapdragon chip and composed of AKM componentry. The R6 Pro II aims to deliver smooth performance and optimal audio experience on-the-go.


|| 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗺𝗲𝗿𝘀 ||

  • This set is sent in exchange for an honest review. There is no material or financial incentive for me to do this review and I guarantee no exchange has been done by both parties to influence or sway our opinions on this product.

  • My thoughts and opinions are of my own. My experience will entirely differ from everybody else. The contents of this review should not be considered factual as this hobby heavily leans on subjectivity. YMMV.

  • This is my first review of a digital audio player but I had one prior to this that I personally own, therefore things I say on here can be quite all over the place. Please bear with me.


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𝗛𝘂𝗴𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗸𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗝𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗽𝗵 𝗬𝗲𝘂𝗻𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 HiBy Music 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗽𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 𝘁𝗼𝘂𝗿. 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱!
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| 𝗣𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗮𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 |

Considering the size of the product itself, the R6 Pro II is packed in an adequately sized box with an illustration of the audio player in the front along with branding and text.

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Behind is a list of additional information about the manufacturing details like addresses and the like. The overall packaging feels premium. HiBy definitely didn’t skimp on the packaging materials.


| 𝗨𝗻𝗯𝗼𝘅𝗶𝗻𝗴 & 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 |

Unboxing this was very straightforward. The highlight of the show immediately greets you upon opening the box. The R6 Pro II is encased and displayed in foam for shock protection. Underneath is the included faux leather gray case as well as the provided type-c to type-c cable along with your standard paperwork.

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𝗜𝘁𝗲𝗺 𝗕𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗱𝗼𝘄𝗻:

Paperwork
Faux leather gray case
Type-c to type-c cable
R6 Pro II Android player


| 𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱 & 𝗦𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 |

The R6 Pro II is made out of an aluminum chassis with a toughened glass portion in the back of the player with subtle branding and a sharp 5.9” 1080p IPS screen. The screen however was a bit too dark for it to combat direct sunlight. Using it outside with max brightness is definitely and issue as I had to squint real hard or go find some shade to discern what is on the screen.

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The remaining back of the R6 Pro II has this streaks in the back that reminds me of computer heatsinks, the rest of the body like the sides are polished out with corners that are quite sharp.

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Holding this on the hand feels nice and hefty but the polishing is still quite rough in my opinion. The sides are quite chunky as well and they definitely bulge out of your jean pocket if you ever decide to stash them there.

The top side is empty, while the bottom side houses the type-c port, line out and power out which has both 3.5mm(SE) and 4.4mm(BAL). The left side houses the media playback buttons with the microSD card slot, whilst the right side is where the power button and volume rockers are placed as well as a little slit where lights shine through to indicate the codec that is used.

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The placement of the media playback buttons is odd, the next track button is seemingly the one isolated whilst the previous track and play/pause are combined. One can assume that the play/pause would be the one solely housing the smaller button of the two, but this isn’t the case for the R6 Pro II for some reason.

Both the right and the left side buttons appear to be more or less on the same height in the chassis. This can be an issue as having them occupy the same area will make it hard to grip the player without miss clicking one side or the other which was definitely the case here. Making them offset like how some modem smartphones have the buttons of both sides slightly offset from each other to avoid this issue. This button placement issue is by far the biggest hassle of this product.

The R6 Pro II has a Snapdragon 665 chipset combined with 4gb of ram and 64gb of internal storage to boot, makes the experience quite smooth with no hiccups and hang-ups. The storage is expandable up to 2tb with a microSD card and has Android 12 for the operating system.

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Having this quite recently albeit not the latest Android version, is still very impressive considering some Android players are stuck in Android 7 still.

It is also equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 with support for UAT, LDAC, aptX, aptX HD, AAC and SBC. 2.4ghz and 5.0ghz WiFi connections are also supported by the R6 Pro II.

As for audio-related specifications, the R6 Pro II carry an AK419EQ + dual AK4499EX combo in octa-DAC output architecture with support for audio formats such as DSD1024, PCM1536Khz/32bit and MQA16X.

Powering all of this a whopping 5000mah lithium battery that supports PD 2.0 18w fast charging.

Overall great feeling device because of the weight but a few fixing a few things about it here and there like the finish of the aluminum, that dreaded button layout r and the dim screen would definitely make the experience better . Codecs and formats commonly used today are accommodated by the R6 Pro II with enough battery power and performance to plow through your needs for this player.


| 𝗨𝘀𝗲𝗿 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗳𝗮𝗰𝗲 & 𝗦𝗼𝗳𝘁𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗲 |

With an almost stock Android UI, navigating through the R6 Pro II gives off the sense of familiarity with few additions here and there. The drop down menu has quick access for the amp class mode which you can toggle to Class A or Class AB. A button for the gain mode with 3 levels that are low, middle and high.

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It comes with a pre-installed Google Play Store app therefore eliminating the need for side-loading it or any app if you so choose. Other pre-installed apps are HiBY’s own music player, proprietary browser, HiByCast, and other utility apps.

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Opening the settings greets you with two new option tabs namely “USB” and “Audio Settings”.
The “USB” tab is primarily used to set what kind of connection you want to R6 Pro II to do. It can charge through USB as well as use it as a source for your computer albeit with a very annoying delay.

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The “Audio Settings” tab contains the filter setting, amplifier class, gain mode, downloadable plugins, MSEB, DSD gain compensation, channel imbalance, max volume limit, and a toggleable MQA decoder setting.

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The R6 Pro II allows users to save, import and export settings to share with others using plug-ins whilst the MSEB acts similarly to an EQ.

Quite a lot of features present on the R6 Pro II to enhance one’s audio experience. The addition of quick gain and amp class toggles in the drop down menu is a great quality of life implementation.

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NOTE: There is a new feature released by HiBy on HeadFi about a plugin that further enhances control and adjustability of any connected audio devices. The named of this plugin is DRX10K Dynamics, that allows the used of any R series players to adjust the Bass, Mids, Highs, as well as gain. I haven't tested this during my time with the R6 Pro II, but it is very akin to the MSEB that I've talked about extensively.

Plugin post on HeadFi:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/introducing-the-all-new-hiby-drx10k.968627/


| 𝗕𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 |


I have not tested the battery consumption of the R6 Pro II in depth but during my testing, it was able to go for multiple days on Class AB mode before needing to plug it in. I was able to charge the R6 Pro II from 10% to 40% in 40 mins and completed it’s charging in well over 2 hours.

There seems to be a protocol similar to smartphones where the charging is slowed down tremendously after hitting a certain percentage like 80% to prolong the battery health and avoid trickling down on battery cycles.


| 𝗣𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿 |

It was able to handle all of the IEMs in my possession. The R6 Pro II was powerful enough to feed my planar IEMs such as the TRN Rosefinch and KZ PR2 on High Gain Mode.

My current catalog of gears aren’t diverse enough to test the limits of this player like headphones and the like but it was able to power everything nonetheless.


|| 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 ||

I found that at default, the R6 Pro II seems to smooth out the peaky treble of an IEM without adding much warmth or changing its overall tuning. This observation can be easily missed and is so miniscule that it might as well be negligible.

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I found that the sound of the Class A was more open and air than of the Class AB. I would still prefer the Class AB though as that is a great mix of both battery life and audio performance.

MSEB is one the highlights in my opinion of this device which is also present in some of the most recent HiBy players. It allows for the user to tweak the sound in small increments that would fix things like lacking note weight or sibilance without changing the sound signature of the IEM. I do believe this feature gives you the ability to fix an IEM that would otherwise be uncomfortable or unsatisfactory to you.

The sound of the R6 Pro II is great by default but things such as the MSEB and the ability to toggle an amp mode easily is what makes this a great device. Having such functions easily accessible even on the drop down menu greatly increases the ease of use in regard to audio with the R6 Pro II.



| 𝗨𝘀𝗲𝗿 𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 |

Using the R6 Pro II is quite an experience, the sheer capabilities of these portable devices ensure an optimal audio experience while mobile. Despite the praises, it does fall down in some areas that affected the overall user experience of this device.

As stated earlier, the button layout is really annoying at first because of all the miss clicks. One’s muscle memory will adapt to this odd layout in due time but it would be preferable if it already had great button layouts right from the get go. Even with me testing this for quite a while now, my muscle memory for the layout got better but there are still accidental inputs that occur.

Lugging this around was quite a chore as it was really chonky. I’m not the type of person to give up convenience for this sort of power so a slimmer design would be very much welcome. Pocketing this device makes bulges out like a sore thumb with how thick the chassis is but that is all due to the big battery and beefy internals

Using the R6 Pro II in prolonged sessions will eventually heat up the device. With it being a metal build, holding this can get really warm to the touch without the case.

The volume buttons of the R6 Pro II bring up this neat slider that spans across the whole screen if it’s on to allow you to swipe up or down to change the volume using one hand with great precision. This is a great quality of life addition but this doesn’t work with the screen turned off or locked.



| 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 |


I had a great time with the R6 Pro II. It has a number of issues but all of which aren’t audio related and instead focus more on the user experience which one can definitely neglect if they chose to do so. For the longest time I haven’t fancied the idea of dedicated audio players as I really factor convenience big time.

Lugging around another device like this on top of my smartphone isn’t worth it for the extra sound quality that I'll be getting in my personal use case. In certain scenarios, I find the benefit of the R6 Pro II to be great and I definitely see the appeal, but for the majority of the time it seems too extra in my opinion. Probably a smaller device like the HiBy R2 Pro would fit my needs but then again that is a non-Android player.

This isn’t a knock on the R6 Pro II, it’s a great device yes but simply put, audio players aren’t for me, at least at the moment, but I do know a handful of people that have use cases that synergize well with what audio players can deliver.

Overall, for an Android audio player, the R6 Pro II is its own hell of a device. It has great battery, sound, features and build quality that all combines into a great audio experience.



[| 𝗣𝘂𝗿𝗰𝗵𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗟𝗶𝗻𝗸𝘀 |]

https://store.hiby.com/products/r6-pro-ii-gen-2

(These are not affiliate links. I do not gain anything whatsoever upon purchasing something using the said links)
Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
Thanks for the review!

I should just note that DRX10K is quite *different* from MSEB, in that MSEB deals with the fixed response of the system (as does most EQs etc.) while the new DRX10K is a dynamic adjustment that changes the response depending on the music content (in this case to make the sound more dynamic). Anyway, yes, users are invited to read up on the effect in the link provided and give it a try :)

originalsnuffy

Headphoneus Supremus
HiBy R6 Pro II: Great Sound, Snappy, but User Interface not my Cup of Tea
Pros: Terrific Sound quality with Class A Amplification; Snappy Android Interface
Cons: Button Layout not Intuitive; Funky Design
I was part of a review tour of the HiBy R6 Pro II. I was attracted to the unit for a few reasons. First, I have owned quite a few HiBy units and am confortable with the interface. Actually I first discovered the HiBy interface with my Cayin N5II. Second, I have developed an aversion to ESS chip designs which are all the rage. So finding a modern design with AKM chipsets was intriguing.

When I first received the unit, it had been factory reset by the previous reviewer. I set it first for Class A/B amplification, and experimented with some filter choices. The fourth one down on the list sounded good to me, and it was off to the races.

In general, I like neutral sound signatures, but not a cold, clinical signature. That is why AKM chipsets appeal to me. AKM was in my HiBy R5 and I loved that machine for playback of files on the SD card. I didn't love that unit when it came to Android Apps like Amazon Music; it tended to run very slow if I downloaded a fair amount of music. The R6 Pro II solved that with a modern snapdragon chipset. Full disclosure, I have not heard any R2R units; though I did have an extended loan of the Chord Mojo (the first one) which did have a custom FPGA design which I sense had a similar sound signature to R2R. The Mojo did not have a balanced output option however. So I can't really compare that unit to a R2R design. But within the realm of off the shelf chipsets this is a very nice unit.

For a while, I had another HiBy unit with Class A options for amplification which was good, but that unit was ESS and after a while I decided I didn't like the ESS sound. I know that is a bit off, given that the only other DAP I still own uses ESS chips also. Clearly it is some combination of chip designs and system designs but I can share that for now I won't buy any more ESS based devices. Two of my three dongles are ESS; and my Topping PC DAC is ESS, and that is where I intend to leave my ESS footprint. I am willing to try cirrus logic, AKM, and R2R and that is why the R6 Pro II was of interest.


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The unit is fairly large, and has an unconventional shape and color. I guess I am a bit too conventional, I like smaller and less stylist devices.

Most functions are button driven and sometimes the buttons are also replicated by screen actions. The one thing I wish the unit had was a wheel for the volume control. That could be supplemented by buttons of course, but I like the wheel for night usage or reaching into my pocket. There were any number of buttons on the unit and it was confusing sometimes whether I was addressing volume control or track selection functions.

After a bit of use with Class A/B, I switched to Class A. As you might guess, I never went back to Class A/B. Class A just picked up the overall sound signature especially the bass response.


I tried the unit with a few IEMs. First, I started with the LZ A7. I was using the gold filters, which roll off the high end just a tad. I suspect the unit would also sound great with the black filters, which are more of an audiophile tuning. No surprises here, it sounded great. I was have never heard the LZ A7 sound quite this good though the A7 does sound good on my FIIO M3-MQA dongle (also AKM based) and the Cayin N5II.

Second, I tried the LetsHuoer S12. Again, everything sounded very nice. Then I pulled out FLC 8D; which has a similar sound to the 8S and 8N. Again, it sounded great.

But the fourth unit was superb. HiBy also sent out a review copy of the Zeta as part of the tour. Now I must admit I have only heard a few ultra high end IEMs and most left me wondering what was so darn special. The Zeta with the R6Pro II was in fact special. The bass when paired with the R6 Pro II was outstanding. Detailed and engaging are the first words I might use. Now it is true that the bass is a bit elevated; if that is a concern EQ can solve the issue. I was happy with the approach and went with it. What I found amazing was the detail the Zeta had with the R6 Pro II. I played a SACD rip of Beethoven's Ninth and was amazed at how well I could hear the full orchestral majesty. It's rare that am IEM can provide the sense of being in a concert hall where you can hear the full wall of sound yet pick out individual instruments very well also.

I did compare the unit with the Cayin N5II. Now that unit is much less powerful than R6 Pro II; and didn't really lend justice to the Zeta. And even though the Q3 has AKM and a THX amplification system, it was much less successful in driving the Zeta. My conclusion on that is that if one wants a super IEM one should also have a DAP that an do the unit justice.

So the question I would ask at this point is: why not buy the R6 Pro II? For me it came down to a few design issues. First, I like a simple and smaller design, not a fashion statement. Second, I would want to have a legacy 2.5mm jack included also (the Q3 has 2.5, 3.5, and 4.4 jacks). Third, I would want the unit to also function as a dongle when needed. I did try it with my iphone and had no joy. That wasn't supposed to be a feature of this unit so that is not a surprise. Next on my list, I like volume wheels.

And finally, I don't think this unit was billed as Android Auto capable and that matters to me. My current car does not have a 3.5mm jack, so its CarPlay or Android Auto for me. Or (this is what I do) just put FLAC files on a memory stick and play it through the car that way. Of course that takes DAP units out of the equation entirely.

But if you want great sound and some of the issues listed above sound like meaningless whining to you (and for many these comments are just that) then this unit should be considered. And if your ship comes in take a serious look at the Zeta. If I were at a CanJam event I would want to hear these as part of the mix. They are that good.
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RONJA MESCO
RONJA MESCO
this thing is sexy...but worth $700 bucks...no. $550 on a good day.

corgifall

1000+ Head-Fier
Purple AKM AK4499EX Magic On the Go!
Pros: Fantastic sound signature, Price, Modern OS, Snappy speed on OS, PURPLE!
Cons: Battery life, Button layout, Power output to full size headphones.
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I recently called the Hiby R6 III the “future” of DAPs, complimenting a modern OS and a non potato SOC for device performance. The sound was great and the price was even better. So here we are with a post R6 III release using the same SOC and modern Android 12 OS called the R6 Pro II or R6 P2 as I’ll call it for the rest of the review. I was thrilled when I saw that this new R6 P2 was being released with the newest AKM AK4499EX that I found extremely impressive from the recent Topping E70V review I did. Since Hiby had a good SOC and OS setup from the R6 III, they decided to do a new design for the R6 P2 which not only looks good to my eyes, it also comes in a purple option with a matching purple leather case! As a huge fan of purple, I decided to bite and pick up a R6 P2 out of interest and hopes it might be a better fit for me over the R6 III. The R6 P2 uses a snapdragon 665 SOC, 4GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage and the AKM AK4191+ dual AK4499EX DAC. The R6 P2 comes in at $749.

Quick shoutout to my friends at MusicTeck for setting me up with a review unit at a discounted price. While I always appreciate stuff being sent in to test and review, It never affects the rating of my review.

The Hiby R6 Pro II can be picked up MusicTeck below!

https://shop.musicteck.com/products/hiby-r6-pro-ii-gen-2-lossless-hd-medium-end-music-player-portable-dap

Gear used​

Hiby R6 III, Shanling M6 Ultra, Moondrop Variations, THIEAUDIO Monarch MKII, Letshuoer Cadenza 12

Looks and Feel​

The R6 P2 comes in a new design from Hiby which comes in a little shorter than my iPhone 14 Pro Max. It’s a much thicker device but the width and thickness is about the same as the R6 III. There is some heft to the P2 but it doesn’t feel as bad as some of the flagship DAPs I’ve held in the past. The screen is flat this time and the casing is very unique. They have these waves which an audio friend said looked like the lines in socks and I agree. I do like the way it looks overall though and at certain angles it looks as if the top half of the unit is super thin. The curved angles do make it seem smaller than it is and like the feel in my hand. The P2 is a little more slippery due to the angles however so I do recommend the leather case it comes with. I do wish the purple was a little darker on the unit itself but I like the darker purple leather case so I’m fine with it.
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Android performance​

This is just gonna be a copy paste from my R6 III review since both had the exact same SOC and hardware config.

“I’m happy to say that a mid range DAP finally has a modern OS with very snappy performance. The R6 III is running Android 12 and is using 4gb of RAM as well as a Snapdragon 665 SOC which really makes this feel like a speed demon compared to even some high end DAPs like the Shanling M6U but at a much cheaper price. I had no real issues with Android outside of some normal here and there OS quirks that show up on custom Android setups. Nothing immersion breaking at all though. This continues to be a very reliable and great experience for my daily use.”
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Accessories and unboxing​

The R6 P2 comes in a thin but wider box that looks pretty fancy in terms of box art. Inside is the DAP in some foam and under that is the USB-C cable which is a little thicker but feels like good quality. The little sleeve with user manuals, warranty cards and the extra screen protectors sit above the leather case. I always say I would prefer a charging block but it’s common practice for DAPs so I won’t ding the R6 P2 for not having one in the box. Overall a good chunk of goodies and I like that they give you a leather case instead of something like the stiff silicone case included in the cheaper R6 III.
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Sound(overall)​

These final impressions were done via Poweramp. This will be what the Hiby R6 P2 sounded like with all the headphones I used. These impressions are also all based on the standard Class AB mode unless otherwise stated. Things like headphone pairings will produce different results and impressions vs what my ears hear on my specific gear.

I found the R6 P2 sound signature to be more neutral sounding but more dynamic in a way and not the standard “boring” type of neutral. The R6 III had a bright-neutral sound signature and while I’ve been used to warmer sounding Hiby DAPs, the R6 P2 wasn’t what I would call tilted towards a warm or bright sound signature. The bass is strong but only when called for. It is extremely accurate so when something calls for impact, it produces a very deep impact and it lingers just long enough to give a sense of space down low. Mid bass is accurate and never sounds boomy. The mids are fast yet lack any added sharpness which makes instruments sound more natural and the details are very good here. The vocals are really nice and are a little more intimate and closer to the ear than I like but they do bring in better detail this way. I wouldn’t call vocals the highlight but it does the job well enough given the price. Upper mids are accurate and mostly flat. I don’t pick up any extra spice on some of my strong upper mid IEMs which I personally prefer. The treble is really sharp and fast. It pulls in really good detail but doesn’t sound artificial or metallic. Even with the fast decay, it still doesn’t sound bright or splashy which is why I’m calling the sound signature overall neutral. I really don’t like neutral sound signatures since most neutral DAPs sound flat and tend to be boring to my ears. The R6 P2 implements the AK4499EX really well here and I like this “dynamic” neutral sound quite a bit.

I did find on certain IEMs that the Class A mode did provide just a bit more presence to the overall sound and may have a hair more bass impact. The most noticeable difference was the bass impact when using class A mode on full size headphones which I'll mention a little more later on.

Filters and fun features​

The standard AKM filters are all here and I couldn't tell the difference on any of them minus the “low dispersion short delay” which sounded a little more compressed to my ears whenever I switched to it. I left it on the stock “Sharp roll-off” for the whole review.

Imaging/Soundstage​

Staging is actually wider and deeper and that was the first thing I noticed after moving from my R6 III to the R6 P2. There is a better sense of space overall and while the closer vocals can sound a little strange with a lot of stuff happening in the distance, I do like the way this sounds. It’s darn close to my desktop setup in terms of staging. Imaging was fine but I don’t ever run into imaging issues on modern source gear. I believe that is more of an IEM/headphone thing.

Battery life and heat levels​

Battery life on the R6 III was very impressive at 12 hours from the 4.4mm jack. The battery life isn’t wonderful here on the R6 P2 unfortunately. They give an overall rating of 8H from 3.5mm and 7H from 4.4mm on Class A/B mode. Running Class A will get you 6H/5H from the same 3.5/4.4 jacks. This is more than likely from low gain and that’s how I tested for battery life. I ran two of my daily driver IEMs and grabbed a rough estimate from most of my 9 hour workday using the DAP as much as possible throughout my shift. I got darn close to the battery ratings they mentioned and exceeded the ranges a little bit on some days. I think running on high gain will really drain the battery on this thing and I would call this a DAP for shorter trips if you can’t charge in between listening sessions. I do set the max charge to 90% since I hope it will help with long term battery life capacity. I will mention that while one can simply charge the device during playback, the charging does add unwanted heat to the DAP so it will be extra toasty should you fast charge the R6 P2 while using it on long sessions.

When it comes to the heat situation, the R6 P2 does get warm from normal use and it’s noticeable when in a front pocket for longer than 20-30 min. I would say it's on the cooler side of some of the ~$1K DAPs I’ve tried. When it’s in Class A mode, it does get very hot and on the edge for comfort in a mobile “in pocket” use for me personally. I don’t really use this or the R6 III in Class A mode often though. If you plan to run the R6 P2 as hard as possible and in Class A mode, be prepared for some heat.

Bluetooth/Wired connectivity​

I noticed no difference in bluetooth performance from the R6 III so same copy paste here.

“I didn’t really run a bunch of bluetooth headphones off the R6 III as I don’t really use bluetooth on my DAPs and I tend to use Airpods Pro 2 with my iPhone only when I know I need to take a call and stay hands free. I don’t normally use bluetooth on my DAPs and use airpods pro 2 on my iPhone if I need wireless playback. I did check range on LDAC and I had no issues at arms length which is normally the max range most LDAC stuff works in my experience without connection issues.”

As for wired performance. Using the headphone jacks was the way to go for the best sound performance overall. Now onto maybe something a little different, I did use the R6 P2 as a portable DAC/amp for my Macbook Pro to see how it did as a DAP and dedicated portable DAC/amp for another source. I was very happy that the time to get the R6 P2 into DAC mode was very quick with little steps and they give you easy access to features like low and high gain. The R6 P2 easily hit 768 kHz sample rate but I couldn’t get it to produce the claimed 1536 kHz sample rate it can do. I wasn’t able to get Roon or Audirvana to play at the max sample rates but that might be app issues more than the device itself. There was some extra heat at 768kHz but I see no issue with that since the R6 III will probably be used in DAC/amp mode near the source device.

Personal grips with the R6 P2?​

I do have a complaint about the R6 P2 but I was able to fix the issue by using the leather case and modding it a little. You can check the R6 P2 forum if you want to see how I solved that issue. Outside of the one design issue I’ll talk about in a moment, I don’t have any other complaints outside of the battery life issues once might run into driving power hungry full size cans.

I don’t like the button layout and they have the track changing/pause buttons on the left side and the volume and power button on the right side all at the same height on both sides. So initially I was pressing the track pause or next track buttons whenever I wanted to adjust volume while holding the R6 P2 in one hand. I then threw it in the case but the plastic buttons inside the case caused me to switch tracks whenever I picked the unit up off the table. It was fairly irritating since the R6 III keeps the buttons up high and out of the way. I think placement could have been better but with my lightly modded leather case, I have zero issues now. This isn’t an end of world issue but something to keep an eye out for depending on your use case.


Single ended and balanced power output​

Power output is kinda mediocre when it comes to the on paper numbers. We get 125mW from the single ended 3.5mm jack and 383mW from the balanced 4.4mm jack. The R6 III funny enough has the same single ended performance but gets 405mW out of its balanced jack. Hiby does a great job at defending its lower power output due to the implementation of the AKM DAC design. Whether or not this is true or not, I can say it can power all my IEMs on low gain just fine and the sound quality provided by the R6 P2 is extremely close to desktop levels of sound quality for at least IEMs. It does struggle with full size headphones but its a lack of bass impact/slam and mid bass leanness that I mostly notice. The Class A mode does seem to help with the lack of slam though but I would say a bigger and hotter DAP is gonna be required to really get the best out of power hungry full size headphones.

IEM pairing opinions​


Moondrop Variations​

The Variations are normally my daily drivers at work when I know I’ll be able to use IEMs for a longer period of time. I was very happy at the result of this pairing. The bass is already strong overall on the Variations but when something called for bass impact, it delivered! I was quite surprised at first how clean yet strong the bass impact was when I went through my list of test tracks. The mids are pretty accurate and sound very detailed. The vocals do sound a little more neutral and maybe a little boring on this specific pairing. Good sense of presence and naturalness. Upper mids stay in good control here and I found the lack of added upper mids to make the Variations sound a little more V shaped with this pairing. The treble was sharp and accurate and the Variations were able to bring in good details without sounding splashy. Staging was wider with this pairing and overall I really liked this pairing.
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THIEAUDIO Monarch MKII​

The Monarch MKII isn’t my favorite IEM but I find it's a little more of a bright neutral IEM to my ears so I wanted to see how it performed here. Lows come through with a good warmth and it does well with impact and slam. The mids are on the leaner side and have a hint of artificial sound but still pretty good. The vocals are really nice here and there is a good sense of presence in the track. The upper mids are on the brighter side but the R6 P2 does well to control it here. It still sounds sharp but it lacks the brighter zing I hear on other setups. Same thing with the treble. Sharp, detailed and well controlled. Staging is about average with this set. I do feel it pairs a little better on a good desktop setup overall.
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Letshuoer Cadenza 12​

My current all time favorite “all rounder” TOTL from Letshuoer pairs extremely well with the R6 P2 and it does benefit a little from the Class A mode. Bass comes in really strong when called for, the mid bass sounds a little cleaner and better controlled. The mids are laser accurate and present well. The vocals are wonderful and sound both accurate and give a sense of life to them with this pairing. The accurate and neutral upper mids means the C12 was able to bring good details without sounding too sibilant. The treble was fast and super enjoyable. This has been my favorite pairing for the Cadenza 12 next to my desktop setup. Class A did provide a slight wider sense of staging. Which in turn made imaging seem better to my ears.
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Over ear pairing​

Sennheiser HD560S​

The HD560S is the only full size can in my personal inventory at the moment and I keep it around as a higher ohm test headphone. The HD560 does sound fairly good on this pairing. The lows are still the lacking part but I believe this to be a portable DAP issue across the board under $1k. It just doesn’t get enough power to the 560S to really give it the same low end thump and fullness I get from a decent desktop setup. Using Class A mode does actually help a little with this but it still sounds a little lean for my tastes. The mids are still very smooth and have very good detail. The upper mids and treble are still super sharp and pull in good detail retrieval as well with this pairing. Overall a good pairing and while not quite the same level as a desktop setup around the same price as the R6 P2, very serviceable for sure.

DAC/Amp comparison​

Eversolo DAC-Z8/SMSL SP400 Stack​

Does the R6 P2 compete with my trusty desktop stack? Yes! It actually gets decently close. The obvious trade-offs are that the higher heat and lower battery life are required to get the R6 P2 close to desktop levels of audio performance. The desktop stack I use does simply sound better overall when it comes to detail and resolution but it’s a heavy dedicated desktop setup and I honestly like having the portability on the go. Especially at work when I know I can listen to IEMs in my cube without sacrificing space and risking something getting stolen. Easy to bring the R6 P2 with me vs bringing a high end portable DAC/amp and busting out my MacBook Pro.

Hiby R6 III​

Both the R6 III and R6 P2 go for different sound signatures and both have their positives and negatives. I Find the R6 III sounds bright-neutral and the R6 P2 has a more neutral overall sound signature. The biggest things will be the DAC implementations on both DAPs. The R6 III has an older ESS flagship DAC and is a more power efficient DAP so it has better battery life and less heat issues when used in a pocket scenario. The R6 P2 goes for a newer AKM flagship and they focused on sound performance so it's a less efficient overall package and it has less battery life and produces more heat than the R6 III. So Which do I prefer? As a seasoned DAP user, I like the R6 P2 quite a bit. For new DAP owners, I would still recommend the R6 III though. Mostly due to its efficiency which results in a battery life and less heat produced. I believe it’s an awesome price and will make for a better first time experience. For the seasoned DAP owners or those who are ready for less battery and more heat, I would say the R6 P2 is a real winner and worth a look.
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Shangling M6 Ultra​

The M6 Ultra goes for a neutral tuning just like the R6 P2 but I complained it was a little too neutral and sounded pretty boring. Very accurate but not overly exciting. Both DAPs get toasty on longer sessions but the M6U does get an additional 2 hours of battery life and about double the balanced output power so it’s a little better for full size headphones. It however gets way hotter than the R6 P2 on longer sessions and the R6 P2 uses a newer OS so it is a little better future proofed. I do actually like both but I do prefer the newer R6 P2 just a bit more. Plus, I can get the R6 P2 in purple! We have the M6U in their dark green color and it's wonderful to look at as well. Both are awesome DAPs and you can’t go wrong either way.
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Overall thoughts​

I think Hiby really hit it out of the park with the R6 P2. While it does suffer from a shorter battery life and power output to intensive full size headphones. It still manages to do everything extremely well and punches above its price tag IMO! I still think the R6 III is another great mid range DAP and my continued recommendation for new DAP owners but I find the R6 P2 tries to reach up a price bracket in sound quality and performance. Which I think will vibe well with seasoned DAP users. A big win in my book and the R6 Pro II is an easy recommendation! I’m happy that modern OS/Faster SOC DAPs are hitting the market and I think the competition will really heat up in the coming months. The R6 P2 however is my new favorite DAP and I think it will stay in my rotation for a long time. Great job to the team at Hiby and I look forward to what they come up with next! Thanks for reading!!!
zikarus
zikarus
Nice review, thank you. Makes me look forward to when my R6P2 will arrive :)
F
FireApex
Props on reviewing R6 3 and R6 Pro2 along the m6 ultra. It helped my decision on buying a Hiby R6 3 Appreciated.

Mesteves77

New Head-Fier
HiBy R6 Pro II - An Opening Door into the world of DAPs
Pros: Stellar Technical Performance
Vast Power Capabilities and Options - Low/Med/High Gain
Class A and A/B Amp - Different Flavours
MSEB - Fine Tuning your Sound
Display - Colorful and High Resolution Screen
Aesthetics
Included Leatherette Case
Cons: Size/Weight
Ergonomy
Android Implementation
Battery Consumption
Bluetooth Range
I am hereby summarizing my opinions on the R6 Pro II, taken from very illuminative impressions. Please keep in mind that I am a beginner reviewer (thanks once again for the opportunity) and I had never heard a DAP before. The closest I have had to it was my Cowon J3 player, a decade ago.

To make this easier, I have compared this one directly to my daily use dongle, the Jcally AP10, which is mostly neutral packing a dual CS43131 and has the following power capabilities: 1.8V/3.8V on the 4.4 bal output, and 0.9V/1.8V on the 3.5mm output; being low and high gain respectively. No wattage info available.

This way I will be able to convey what a beginner audiophile might experience when upgrading from a mid-tier dongle/dac to a mid-tier DAP.

My collection of IEMs doesn't yet have a planar in it to test with the R6 PRO II, but I will be mostly testing it on budget IEMs, as well as in a couple of over-ear Headphones.

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Functionality

User UI

Basic Android Operating System, only coming with Hiby App pre-installed.

Pretty straightforward UI and easy to get started if you are used to Android.

Althought sometimes the scrolling experience can be sluggish as well as some commands (double screen taps) not being registered.
Powering the unit takes 26 seconds, which seems like an eternity for a device that has no apps installed, but onwards from that Apps open quickly and no lag or loading times are felt.

Better reproduction quality via HiBy app when compared to Tidal, however - Hiby app often crashes, screen touches and drags are not registered, and "unexpected errors" are frequent. For instance Hiby got stuck jumping between these two error messages upon playback " the asset could not be played for some reason"; "Several consecutive playback errors".
However, as updates rolled in, these issues were becoming less frequent, so I'm pretty confident that these final software polishes are being addressed.

MSEB is quite useful. Being able to control subtle sound characteristics like frequency textures, warmth, note thickness, voices, overtones, sibilance, air. This opens up a fine tuning world of possibilities that will let you shape your sound even more. Controls are intuitive, function as expected, but sometimes plus/minus screen taps are not registered.

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Ergonomy

Being a big boy, of sharper edges in design, the leatherette case cushions the R6 Pro II into a more manageable portable device. The weight is also on the plus side, which adding to its bigger dimensions, adds up to a pocket full of a device, which can be uncomfortable.

The disposition of the buttons isn't very logical with an isolated backwards button followed by a gap and then a start/stop button next to the skip button; it doesn't feel intuitive and I often had misfortunes of skipping songs without meaning to.

The left side buttons are in a position where you can easily misclick and either stop or skip the song when holding the DAP. As the device is heavy, while holding it, you can easily make these mistakes. I would advise Hiby to reconsider having the buttons on a higher or lower position on a future edition, so fingertips dont accidentally change or stop the song.

Initially I couldn't adjust volume with the Dap Locked, but this has changed on a recent update.

Aesthetics

I really like how the unit is presented, the backside with the grooves are lovely, and the screen quality is top notch, with vibrant colors and enough brightness.

The included leatherette case is a big plus, soothing my worries and nightmares of damaging the unit, as it enhaces the grip and is quite protective (it is thick!).

It is definitely a shiner and will draw some attention towards yourself. "Hey, what is that device?"

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Bluetooth Connectivity

Pairing: initially finicky to connect, I couldn't start the pairing from the phone and it wouldn't connect even if detected. I solved the issue by instead initiate the pairing on the DAP itself.
Once connected it goes smoothly and won't disconnect. Connection to Bluetooth Buds was way simpler and quicker.

The available codecs depend on your source/phone capabilities.

Unfortunatelly, on my Samsung S22, the effective range was mediocre: at 7 steps away from the phone, without walls or windows, on the outside, it started to stutter the audio reproduction, and 10 steps/meters away it totally ceased playing.
I also believe these issues might be soon solved by software updates, as the hardware sure has the capabilities.

Amplifier Types:

This was where the world of DAPS opened its gates for me. The sheer quality of the signal, the output shielding, the inexistant noise floor, and two different flavours to choose from... oh boy, this is new earcandy for me. Describing the two Amp Modes:

Class A - cleaner and less colored. Less sub-bass rumble but airier treble. Higher fidelity sound.

Class AB - The added punch and analog tint is noticeable on this amp mode. Somewhat of a V-shape goodness boost:
  • Meatier Bass, about 5-10% more
  • Slightly more forward mids
  • High Treble seems attenuated or less evident in comparison to A
  • A grainier experience overall but might be also perceived as "added noisefloor".
This led me to match different tuning IEMs with these Amps, concluding on new synergies and how DAPs can fulfil what each IEM set might be missing for you. I often matched the Class AB Amp with Neutral to Neautral-Bright IEMs, adding to their dynamics; as well as using the Class A Amp on Warmer and more Laid Back IEMs, bringing some clarity, more headroom, a bigger sense of soundstage, and lesser noise.

Talking about Power

The output power on the 3.5mm SO was admirable, as it managed to fully drive my Dt990 Pro 250 ohm version, although not to a very hot loud level. On High Gain and 90-100 volume it behaves as it should, but for people that like/need listening at higher volumes than most people, such impedance headphones (also planars) will definitely need to be connected to the 4.4 bal port. So keep in mind to have your balanced cables ready at hand.

I have also tried my AKG K701 (105 db SPL/V @ 1 kHz; 60 ohm) on the 3.5mm SO and it performed well, but left a bit to be desired - didn't feel very alive nor dynamic. For some reason these headphones always needed A LOT of juice to sound full to me, ever since I've got them. I'm sure they would behave different on the bal port.

I'm not owning or carrying any planars as of the moment so I can't comment on the behaviour of this kind of both IEMs and headphones.

Listening on the 3.5 mm SO has shown impeccable performance with all my IEMs, but all my following sound impressions have come from connecting my IEMs to the 4.4 bal port.

Power Longevity could and has been improving every firmware update, which have been frequent - I have had 3 firmware updates for the 10 days I have had the R6Pro II with me, which is a sign of good and on-going development.
Power consumption during idle was as if you were playing music - fixed in a new update, but still consumes a lot even if the screen is on sleep.

There was a time when the unit didn't appear fully charged, as it would never hit 100%. This has also been solved on an update.

I didn't perform any official battery life time tests, but my perception of its depletion was that it went down at a quicker pace, but I can understand that the screen size/resolution and the high fidelity amps do require a lot of current.

Audio Impressions

Here we will mostly be comparing the usage of a Dongle (Jcally Ap10 on 3.8v mode) versus the DAP - Hiby R6 Pro II on medium gain on IEMs and High Gain on Headphones

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IEMs

Tanchjim Zero:

Intensified Sub-Bass, Bass slightly intensified. The remaining frequencies seem left untouched. The added rumble is notorious, the midbass punch not very much, yet it doesn't detract from the intended tuning experience.

Better separation along with wider added soundstage, gives off the feeling of being able to pinpoint more details in the treble region. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't increase details, it just creates more room for the frequencies to spread, thus allowing details to be more easily perceived.

Also stereo effects (left to right, and vice versa) seem to "travel" longer distances.

The low frequency boosts and added technicalities overall contributes to dynamics being more evident and engaging, benefiting the holographic experience.

Less distortion: If I increase the volume above my normal use, it distorts less than with the dongle (still within a comfortable volume window).

Truthear Hexa:

I can notice the warmer signature here, but not in the same way. Way lower bass boost than on the Tanchjim, I can hear less sparkle on cymbals and high hats, but when things go harsh (bad or old mixes) it has a positive effect on them, smoothening it.

Again, soundstage has improved slightly and dynamics are felt more intensively.
On busier tracks it feels like there are more layering capabilities than on dongle dacs.

It definitely gives some life to Truthear Hexa, making it a nice combo.

Truthear Zero

It was on this set that I clearly noticed the different Class Amp Behaviours on the Hiby.

Class A neutrally reflected the IEM's tuning and everything sounded tidy and as I familiarly remembered. A very faithful experience and compared to my daily neutral dongle, the AP10, it behaved very similarly tuning wise. Obviously, the amp technical and power capabilities are not comparable and I clearly noticed the benefits of the expanded soundstage, quite more prominent dynamics and altogether more vivid and engaging experience.
I can almost say I felt the Truthear Zero was finally being pushed to the best of its capabilities here. Definitely an enlightening moment for me as a beginner audiophile reviewer.

The story changed a lot on the Class AB Amp - it seemed to boost the mids but making them sound unnaturally metallic and voices got overly grainy, a very specific and exclusive reaction here on Truthear Zero.
Tracks that have a tape reel effect or a lot of ground noise (recording hiss), had these "sonic artifacts" augmented.

From my past experience the Truthear Zero has a very peculiar tune and behaviour given it's driver configuration and is quite sensitive to dac/amp rolling.

Moondrop Aria:

This used to be my daily driver during late 2020/21 so it was a pleasure revisiting it and even comparing them to nowadays budget dethroners, just to conclude upon the notorious speed at which IEM technology has been growing and being made accessible, specially at the entry-level cost bracket.

I still find it a quite interesting and musical tuning, not too sheen on technicalities, sluggish and sometimes boomy on the bass, supposedly mid focused, somewhat treble shy and certainly grainy.

I have had mixed results over the years pairing the Aria with wired dongles, always having to minimalistically recur to EQ to smoothen a few edges. For the purpose of this review I shall keep comparing it to my "neutral" Jcally AP10 wired dongle.

Under the juice of the Hiby R6Pro II it sang heartfully, the soundstage rose significantly in height. Comparing to my wired dongles for the first time, my ears blatantly catched up on a step upwards in resolution. Even if the unboosted treble was clearer and more evident.

I really enjoyed the natural warmth of this DAP with the Aria, using Class A Amp, still maintaining all the characteristics I so fondly remember cherishing on this set.

The Class AB Amp was too much for me here, oversaturating frequencies and incentivizing the grain.

Tangzu S.G. Wan'er:

This fun yet relaxed fellow set still is a valid and actual recommendation to a beginner audio enthusiast so it deserves a ride on the Hiby R6Pro II.

It natively packs a superbly balanced sub-bass to midbass ratio that packs a fun factor, and still manages to be very genre versatile. It is on the higher mids that I don't really vibe with it, classifying it as thin sounding. Treble is tamed and safe, although never discouraging.

Once a bit claustrophobic, under the DAP's control it no longer felt so. It is remarkable the consequences of a good quality and clean amp when compared to devices that carry less powerful amps.

Kinera Hodur:

Especially with AB Amp it raises the mids, presenting them a tad more forward, whereas this was a caveat for this set, in my humble opinion. As so, percussion is presented a bit forward and so more engaging than before, roughly a 10% increase if I am to estimate a value.

The Sub-Bass and Bass are already clean on this unit, abundant yes, but never to distort, however I can now feel a more cohesive rumble and punch, respectively, where before they used to get crowded on busier tracks which sometimes affected the separation of bassier instruments.

Dynamics were already a strong perk on this set, but they have bulked up and seem to have more depth, making it even more engaging.

Simgot EA500 (tested on both lower and higher power modes n the Ap10 - 1.8V/3.8Vmode, and low and medium gain on the R6Pro II):

Simgot's Ea500 have been the latest surprise on my collection which also means it has been the victim of some modding tests, so please take into consideration that my unit might not sound like yours (foam or dunu S&S tips, vent tape mode, and copper balanced cable). I have been trying to accomodate for the above average pinna gain and high sensitivity of this IEM. My goal has been perking up the lower end a tiny bit and smoothing down the pinna glare and treble regions so it does become as fatiguing, which has proven to be a difficult task for me.

With its 123 db/Vrms of sensitivity comes the challenge of not overfeeding the unit with power or volume, risking some sound signature flex or ear damage.

Now, with dongle/dacs it can be hard to fine tune the balance of gain and volume, and the Ea500 can easily end up sounding piercing and very uncomfortable to sit through long listening sessions. Finding that perfect sweet spot of loudness has been quite the hassle on dongles as they usually have less steps to regulate volume.
Also finding the dongle with the right sound temperament to synergize with the Ea500 has also been a baffling quest.

Behold on the Hiby R6Pro II, it is now way more convenient to manage all these IEM and personal sound requirements - by being able to choose between 3 gain modes, a full 1-100 volume steps for each one, choosing between two different amp behaviours, and a whole MSEB settings list to fiddle with, I could now fully optimize my experience with the Ea500.

I have achieved a very cohesive sound by choosing the combination of Medium gain and a lower volume (45-48), the AB class Amp mode, lightly tweaking a few MSEB settings (overall temperature, bass texture, voice forwardness, for instance).

This was how I managed to extract the best out of my Ea500, thanks to this DAP.

Moondrop Quarks DSP

Sadly I can't have DSP IEMs working, it won't output audio both on exclusive and non exclusive mode. Nevertheless, hardware controls seems to work (volume up and down from my Quarks DSP)


IEM Pairing Conclusions:

On a scale from 1-10, where 5 is Neutral, 1 is Warm and 10 is Bright, I would score this DAP overall as a 3.5 to 4.

Nevertheless, it can behave mostly neutral on the Class A mode, or warmer on AB Amp Mode.

It becomes of great sinergy value when matched with neutral to neutral-bright IEMs, giving them what they sometimes lack - sub-bass ambience, midbass punch and intense dynamics. The Class AB Amp mode is very tempting to use along these for this purpose, adding to them a punchier, grittier and meatier experience.

On already warm sets it doesn't overdo it, but instead minimizes any distortion there might be, specially on the lower frequencies.

Treble has been the least affected region from my perspective. I may say I have felt no boosts, also no attenuations, yet the general positive effect it has on the soundstage creates more room for frequencies to "spread", thus making it easier to pinpoint details on this region.
On IEMs that may have harsher treble, it does smooth out the experience.


With Headphones

DT 990 Pro (3.5 mm SO, High Gain)
  • Behaves as it normally does on my studio and desktop amp, performing the whole frequency range in a fully extended way, both ends (low and high).
  • Soundstage and Dynamics are a delight and I am seriously impressed on how a portable unit can fully provide for this demanding set.
The A amp sounds natural and very close to what I am used to hearing via my studio audio signal.
With the AB amp it shines with analogue tint and I feel the sub-bass and midbass might be getting a very slight bump up.

AKG K701

Performs clearly and as I have always recognized it. Could feel more lively, but I also think these headphones are becoming old, they've always taken a lot of juice to shine, and not having a balanced cable on it limits the power it receives.

Final Words

Despite being a lovely looking unit and its ability of pushing my IEM's capabilities to the fullest, a great sound costumizing tool, it still is a quite cumbersome experience in terms of portability, ergonomy and connectivity.

It is perfect for IEMs, but I also think it could have done better in the headphone department, of which I also wish I had more to demo the R6 Pro II with. The 3.5mm balanced port could have had a bit more power.

Technology wise, the quality of the hardware is outstanding, however I was expecting a bit more polished out-of-the-box software that would immediately inspire the user to tweak the sound settings to their liking. MSEB is definitely a triumph, I have used it in the past with Cowon devices, so I loved seing that here. I wish there were other apps pre-installed that could add to the audiophile experience.

In terms of sound it is fabulous: a very engaging and a transforming experience. I can now say I somewhat understand what mid to high tiers of audio playback devices are all about, and it is now difficult for me to turn back and listen to the regular budget dongle. Sources do matter and can transform your experience.

Personally, the stellar resolution and the life it gives IEMS are reasons enough to consider that the R6 PRO II perks outstand its demises.
The Hiby R6 Pro II could be a great initiation into the world of DAPs, in a plunge that wouldn't defeat your wallet.

Thank you once again for the opportunity and for reading my impressions,
Miguel Esteves
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RemedyMusic

100+ Head-Fier
Oh my DAP!!
Pros: Bright-neutral sound signature (subjective)
Impressive technical chops
Gain modes and amplification can be changed on-the- fly
Detail retrieval
Snappy user interface
4 outputs namely 3.5mm & 4.4mm phone outs, and 3.5mm & 4.4mm line outs
Premium, well built, and sturdy
Desirable aesthetic and design
3 gain modes (low, medium, and high)
Class A & AB amplification
Cons: Rather slow charging
Battery is not the best out there (depends on your usage)
Bugs are still present but can be fixed as long as Hiby updates firmware regularly
Preferably large for my small Asian hands
No volume wheel (personal preference)

INTRODUCTION:​

Hiby, a company founded in 2011, has gained considerable respect in the audio community for their Digital Audio Players (DAPs). I happen to own one of their DAPs, the RS2, which incorporates R2R technology. Surprisingly, I haven't shared my review of it yet, even though I've had it for a couple of months now. Besides their expertise in DAPs, Hiby is also expanding their product range to include In-Ear Monitors (IEMs), such as the Crystal 6 II and Zeta, which I will be reviewing. Noteworthy offerings from Hiby also include DAC/Amps like the FC6, FC1, FC3, and FC4, which you can explore further on their website.

One aspect where Hiby shines is their music app, highly regarded within the audio community. The Hiby music app stands out as an impressive solution that bypasses Android's audio sample limitation, enabling the use of external DAC/AMP for bit-perfect and unaltered audio output. The best part? It's absolutely free! Besides my preferred DAP, the RS2, I often rely on this app as my go-to music player on my Android phone.
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Now that we've covered the introduction, I invite you to join me on a personal journey as I share my thoughts and impressions on this remarkable piece of equipment, the R6 Pro II!

FOREWORD:​

  • No EQ is ever applied in my reviews. In this case a DAP, no MSEB or post sound alteration have been applied.
  • For the sake of convenience, I try my best to use a stock setup. Not everyone has access to personal ear tips or cables. If personal ear tips, cables, or accessories are used, you will be notified.
  • As I try to be objective, my claims inevitably will be subjective and biased to my personal preference. I cannot stress more that you should take this with a grain of salt for we have different perceptions to sound and what we hear.


SPECIFICATIONS:​

Now, let's dive into the technical details, although I must admit, it's not my favorite part. Nevertheless, for the sake of providing comprehensive information, let me present the specifications for those who are interested in the nitty-gritty details.


  • Form: DAP (digital audio player)
  • DAC Chip: Dual AK4499EX + AK4191EQ
  • Amp: Class A/AB switchable dual amplification circuit
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 SoC (8-core, 1.8GHz Kryo 260), Android 12 OS
  • External Memory Slot: 1 x microSD card, supports up to 2TB
  • Battery Capacity: 5000mAh
  • Battery Life: 3.5mm (single-ended) PO (Class AB): 8 hours, 4.4mm (balanced) (Class AB): 7 hours, 3.5mm PO (Class A): 6 hours, 4.4mm (Class A): 5 hours
  • Charging Time: <2 hours
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Internal Storage: 64GB
  • Source Jack: PO 3.5mm (single-ended), PO 4.4mm (balanced), USB DAC, coaxial digital out, line-out (3.5mm and 4.4mm)
  • Output: 3.5mm: 125mW (2Vrms), 4.4mm: 383mW (3.5Vrms)
  • THD+N: 3.5mm: 0.0009 – 0.0015% (depending on A/AB amplification), 4.4mm: 0.0009 – 0.0015% (depending on A/AB amplification)
  • Dynamic range: 3.5mm: 118dB, 4.4mm: 119dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 3.5mm: 117dB, 4.4mm: 119dB
  • Frequency Response (Hz): 20Hz – 90kHz
  • Decoding Format: PCM (32bit/1536kHz), DSD 1024, 16x MQA
  • WIFI support: 2.4GHz and 5GHz; compatible with Airplay/DLNA/HiByLink
  • Bluetooth: two-way 5.0
  • Bluetooth Codec Support: UAT/LDAC/aptX/aptX HD/AAC/SBC
  • Dimensions: 147.45mm x 75.2mm x 15mm
  • Weight: 285g

PACKAGING:​

Before I start expressing the unboxing experience let me lay down the inclusions:
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Hiby R6 Pro II DAP
  • R6 Pro II leather case
  • Type C to type C cable
  • Type C to USB A adapter
  • User manual (In Chinese and English)
  • Certificate
  • Warranty card
  • 2 x Screen protector

The unboxing process of the R6 Pro II is straightforward and efficient. It comes in a medium-sized box with an appealing purple and white color combination. As you slide the box upwards, the DAP itself is the first thing that catches your eye. Removing it from the tight foam grip requires a bit of effort, but thankfully, there are indents on the sides that allow your fingers to have some space for pulling it out. However, I must admit that it can be a bit inconvenient since it's almost inevitable to accidentally press the power button located on the side, unintentionally turning on the device and diverting your attention from the unboxing experience.

Moving on to the second layer of the packaging, you'll find the sleek gray leather case, which perfectly complements the R6 Pro II, reminiscent of the delightful experience I had with my RS2. The charging and file transfer cable is conveniently placed on the side. Beneath the leather case, you'll discover the supporting documents. And that concludes the unboxing experience. It's a straightforward and no-nonsense approach, showcasing a professional presentation without any unnecessary frills or distractions.

PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES:​

The R6 Pro II exudes a premium aesthetic with its elegant and sophisticated design. It boasts admirable curves that are ergonomically pleasing and don't hinder anyone's grip. The device has a substantial size and weight, providing a satisfying heft when held. The grills on the back panel add a touch of industrial appeal. In terms of the screen, it is impressively spacious, rivaling the size of current smartphones in the market. However, it's worth noting that the thickness of the R6 Pro II is almost double that of smartphones. While the trend for smartphones leans towards slimness, Hiby has taken a different approach. Personally, this aspect didn't bother me in the slightest.

The R6 Pro II is offered in two color options: black and purple. While my co-reviewers leaned towards the purple variant, I personally voted in favor of the black unit. Ultimately, we prioritized expediting the review process rather than waiting for the release of the purple variant. Hence, we all agreed to receive the black version.
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Moving to the bottom of the device, we find the ports, which are conveniently positioned for tabletop usage. However, it can be a bit cumbersome if you intend to put the R6 Pro II in your pocket while having an IEM, earbud, or headphones connected. That is, of course, if you can even fit it in your pocket. I must admit that it is quite large, and as someone with smaller Asian hands, I find it slightly overwhelming.
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BUTTONS:​

On the left side of the R6 Pro II, we find the previous and next track buttons, along with the play/pause button. Additionally, the micro SD slot is located on this side. The placement of these buttons is somewhat unconventional. Typically, the play button is separate from the previous and next track buttons. However, in this case, the previous button is separated, and the play/pause button is combined with the next track button. It caught me off guard initially, but I quickly adapted to it.
EDZ01528.jpg

Moving to the right side, we have the power/lock button and the volume rockers. There is also a small LED indicator that displays the sample rate playback of your files. As for the volume rockers, personally, I would have preferred a volume wheel instead. However, that is simply a matter of personal preference. It's worth mentioning that there is a slight misconception regarding the LED lights, but I will address that in the user experience section of this review.

PORTS:​

EDZ01527.jpg

The R6 Pro II boasts four outputs, which is a noteworthy feature. The terminals are adorned with shiny gold plating and provide a secure and stable connection. The charging port utilizes a Type-C connection, which has become the standard for most devices, excluding Apple. In terms of output options, there are two line-out connections available for connecting to speakers, both in 4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm single-ended configurations. The same applies to the headphone output, offering both balanced and single-ended options.

PERFORMANCE/USER EXPERIENCE:​

Now, let's delve deeper into the real-life performance of the R6 Pro II and move beyond its specifications. I will share my subjective experience, shaped by my usage and personal requirements from a digital audio player (DAP). As this is my initial encounter with an Android-based DAP, I must say that the experience has been nothing short of enlightening.

BATTERY:​

Prior to acquiring the R6 Pro II, I had come across several reviews that highlighted the battery performance (rated at 5000 mAh) as a potential weakness. While I can acknowledge those concerns, I must emphasize that, based on my personal usage, the battery performance did not disappoint me. Let me elaborate on this further.

As a busy individual, my daily routine involves constant movement within my home, attending to various tasks, and taking care of my pregnant wife, among other responsibilities. It's safe to say that I rarely have the luxury of sitting down and indulging in uninterrupted music listening for extended periods. I'm sure many of you can relate, especially when it comes to giving our undivided attention and love to our significant others—after all, I'm an asset, not a liability, right? (Laughs.)

Returning to the battery performance, the R6 Pro II's battery is sufficient to last me throughout the day. However, it's important to note that if I were to compare it with the RS2, which lacks Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities and doesn't have additional apps running in the background, coupled with its smaller screen size, it's natural to expect the RS2 to outlast the R6 Pro II in terms of battery life. To summarize, the battery meets my requirements, but I understand that individuals who have more leisure time to devote to continuous music listening may find the battery somewhat lacking.

The charging speed of the R6 Pro II is relatively slower compared to high-end dedicated audio players. It takes approximately 2-2.5 hours to fully charge the device from 10% to 100%. While it is recommended to use a PD charger for optimal charging performance, I personally used a regular smartphone charger with a moderate amperage, and I have not encountered any issues or concerns with it.

U.I (User Interface)​

The R6 Pro II operates on Android 12, which marks a promising start. However, if you're accustomed to using music apps and other features on your smartphone, you may notice a slightly slower pace. While the DAP itself feels snappy and responsive, smartphones generally offer better and faster responses.

Although the R6 Pro II is relatively self-explanatory, particularly for Android users, I did encounter a few issues that I promptly reported to Hiby. I have full confidence that these hiccups will be resolved in upcoming firmware updates. Here are the specific issues I experienced:

1. The play/pause, next, and previous track buttons occasionally became unresponsive.
2. The screen sometimes required a double tap to detect my touch.
3. I faced some difficulty logging into my Google Play Store account.

Rest assured, Hiby is actively working on addressing these concerns in a timely manner.

Certain features, such as gain modes and amplification, hold significant importance in my usage. Thankfully, they are easily accessible by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping on the respective options to adjust preferences.
EDZ01532.jpg

Customizing the R6 Pro II is a straightforward process and it functions akin to a fully-fledged smartphone. However, accessing the "Settings" menu can be somewhat cumbersome, as I haven't found a way to include it on the dashboard. This is a minor inconvenience that could be addressed in future updates, in my opinion.

The gesture controls are highly responsive, with right swiping serving as the back functionality, upward swiping bringing up the home/dashboard and recent apps, and downward swiping providing access to the notification center and widgets.

Another notable feature is the ability to secure the device with a passcode or pattern lock, which adds a layer of convenience to the DAP experience.

Overall, the user interface (U.I.) of the R6 Pro II is highly intuitive and successfully bridges the gap between a dedicated DAP and a smartphone. It was an enjoyable and novel experience for me. Although there are still some minor hiccups, I firmly believe that the R6 Pro II will be fortified with updates in the coming months.

CONNECTIVITY:​

While I haven't fully explored all the connectivity options of the R6 Pro II, I can confidently say that the Wi-Fi functionality works flawlessly. Connecting to a Wi-Fi network is a straightforward process without any issues.

On the other hand, Bluetooth... Well, I haven't had the chance to test it yet. Just give me a moment here... ... ... ... There you have it! I successfully paired my Bose headphones with the device. The pairing process was effortless, but I must admit that I rarely use Bluetooth for my audio listening pleasure. Interestingly, I noticed that I had to turn up the volume to around 95% to achieve my desired listening level. Hmmmm... For those of you who prioritize Bluetooth connections, I'll leave this aspect in your capable hands. At least we can confirm that it functions properly. LOL

The R6 pro II is capable of two bluetooth connections. In and out… again, to bluetooth enthusiast, I leave this matter to your hands.

MOBILITY:​

The R6 Pro II is undeniably large and thick, making it quite challenging to envision fitting it into a pocket. Unless you prefer to travel light and always have a free hand available to hold it, then it might work for you. Alternatively, placing it in a shoulder bag should be a viable option. However, for those who prefer to keep their DAPs in their pockets, I'm afraid the R6 Pro II may not be the most suitable choice. It lacks the mobility I anticipated, unlike my RS2, which fits comfortably in a loose pocket. So, there you have it—ultimate mobility is not one of its strong suits.

EDZ01524.jpg

DRIVING POWER:​

I won't dwell too much on the technical specifications, as they have already been discussed earlier in this review. However, based on my experience with various DAPs, I must say that the R6 Pro II is exceptionally capable when it comes to driving power. All of my IEMs performed impressively and exhibited no signs of being underpowered or restricted in any way. On the other hand, when using headphones, particularly with my Audeze Sine, I noticed some struggles and the introduction of distortions when reaching around 80% of the volume level. Therefore, I find that sticking with IEMs is a more preferable option when using the R6 Pro II.

LED LIGHTS:​

The LED status light on the R6 Pro II is a useful feature for those who are particular about the quality of their audio files. Overall, I find the LEDs to be quite accurate in indicating the file quality, except for the MQA playback indicator. According to the specifications, it should display a green light, but in my experience, it tends to be somewhere between green and yellow. This discrepancy can be easily addressed with a firmware update, and it does not affect the accuracy of other color indications for different file qualities.

The handy user manual has this segment in detail. Don't be a lazy chap, and take out that manual. Lol.

SOUND IMPRESSIONS:​

Throughout this review, I extensively utilized my own collection of FLAC files as well as Apple Music, an online streaming service, to assess the performance of the R6 Pro II. Additionally, there were instances when I turned to YouTube videos for audio playback while my personal phone was charging. I made sure to rotate and pair different sets of IEMs with the R6 Pro II to ensure comprehensive testing. The following observations represent the consistent findings that were perceptible to my discerning ears. However, it's important to note that your own experience may differ.

Let’s start off with some facets of technicalities…

The soundstage of the R6 Pro II is notably spacious and expansive. However, in comparison to my portable DAC/AMP, the Centrance Dacport HD, the latter still reigns supreme in terms of providing an even greater sense of stage. Nevertheless, the R6 Pro II offers a commendable level of openness and avoids any feelings of claustrophobia in the audio presentation. It places a decent emphasis on staging, which particularly benefits IEMs with a more intimate soundstage, further enhancing their performance.

The imaging capabilities of the R6 Pro II left a strong impression on me with its remarkable accuracy and precision. Each element of the music is properly positioned and distinctly discernible, contributing to an enhanced listening experience. This aspect of the device proves particularly beneficial for IEMs, as it showcases their technical capabilities with adequacy and proficiency.

One of the standout features of the R6 Pro II, in terms of technical prowess, is its exceptional instrument separation and micro-detailing. Each musical element retains its individuality without overlapping, creating a spacious environment where every component finds its rightful place. Even the most subtle nuances and background elements remain audible and distinct, avoiding being overshadowed by more prominent instruments. The R6 Pro II masterfully preserves the integrity of the musical arrangement, leaving nothing omitted or marginalized. As a musician myself, I find this level of precision and attention to detail to be immensely constructive and truly impressive.
EDZ01534.jpg

BASS:​

The R6 Pro II takes a neutral approach combined with tightness and a clean presentation, delivering a faithful and accurate reproduction of both quantity and quality. My ears detected no elevation or boost, affirming the neutrality of its sound signature. This characteristic is particularly beneficial for mixing engineers who rely on accurate references, as it faithfully portrays recordings as they were intended. The texture of the music is vividly portrayed, allowing bass guitars and drum kicks to exhibit an unprecedented level of detail and cleanliness. In my experience with various DAPs, the R6 Pro II stands out in its ability to showcase such remarkable texture and clarity.

MIDRANGE:​

Undoubtedly, the star of the show is the midrange! As we all know, a significant amount of energy and musical elements reside in this frequency range. I am thrilled to share some great news: the R6 Pro II faithfully presents vocals and instruments without any exaggerated emphasis. The midrange remains accurate and precise, catering to more mature and discerning listeners who appreciate an authentic representation. There is no excessive richness or lushness added to the midrange, but it possesses a sense of forwardness and priority. Those who favor mid-centric sound profiles will undoubtedly embrace the R6 Pro II's presentation.

From a musician's perspective, the R6 Pro II once again captivated me with its constructive approach. As someone responsible for almost all elements while learning songs for my band (except for guitars and drums), having a forward presentation of every aspect within the arrangement made my life easier. Moreover, I noticed that the R6 Pro II has a special affinity for guitars, whether it's acoustic, distorted, overdriven, or clean tones. Guitar-oriented tracks sounded exceptionally captivating and left me hooked, despite being a pianist with guitars not being my primary focus. Consequently, the R6 Pro II allowed me to rock and roll with my head banging to some of my favorite rock tracks from Queen, RATM, Incubus, and AC/DC.

TREBLE:​

While the bass and midrange maintain a neutral and faithful presentation, the treble takes a different approach. It exhibits noticeable emphasis, leading to a bright-neutral sound profile in the R6 Pro II. On the positive side, this emphasis brings good energy to the treble region, allowing micro details to shine. However, I must mention that, in some instances, the upper frequencies can exhibit a slightly "glassy" presentation on certain tracks. It's important to note that this observation is quite specific and subjective.

Nevertheless, I'm pleased to report that the R6 Pro II manages to avoid pushing my IEMs into sibilant territory, even with my bright-sounding pairs like the Kinera Idun and Simgot EA500. It's worth mentioning that individuals sensitive to treble might prefer pairing the R6 Pro II with warmer-sounding gear. On the other hand, those who appreciate an emphasis on treble will find no limitations with the device. Hihats, cymbals, bells, and extended female vocal ranges are well executed, offering enhanced airiness and sparkle to your chosen transducers.

COMPARISONS:​

Versus Hidizs AP80 pro:​

Upon initial evaluation, it becomes apparent that the driving power of the R6 Pro II takes the lead. The AP80 Pro falls short in terms of output, leaving some of my IEMs unable to reach their full potential. Particularly, the Tangzu Heyday requires a stronger push to truly shine. Furthermore, the AP80 Pro exhibits a drier and colder sound profile, with slightly inferior technical capabilities. However, it must be acknowledged that the AP80 Pro offers enhanced portability, easily fitting into a pocket. It's worth noting that the AP80 Pro lacks Wi-Fi connectivity, limiting its ability to stream music. Bluetooth connections are available, though, enabling both input and output. Additionally, the AP80 Pro features a 2.5mm balanced output, providing an extra boost, albeit at the expense of increased battery usage. While the AP80 Pro charges quickly, its battery life is relatively short. Both devices lean towards a bright-neutral sound signature, yet the R6 Pro II manages to retain a touch more naturalness in the midrange and bass frequencies.
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Versus Hiby RS2:​

When it comes to driving power, the R6 Pro II takes the lead without hesitation. As much as I adore my RS2, I must confess that it sometimes struggles to fully drive my Tangzu Heyday or Kinera Idun to their utmost potential. However, this can be remedied by utilizing the 4.4mm balanced output. One drawback of the RS2 is its lack of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, making it solely a music player without any wireless connections to the outside world. On the other hand, the RS2 boasts remarkable musicality and an analog-like sound signature. The treble is delicately smoothed out while maintaining an impressive level of detail. In terms of portability, the RS2 is easily accommodated in a loose pocket. It offers a subtle bass bump, adding warmth and a more moist sound, so to speak. Although the RS2's technical prowess is slightly underwhelming, with around a 5% difference compared to the R6 Pro II that excels in instrument separation and detail retrieval. Listening at comparable levels, the R6 Pro II allows for comfortable enjoyment with the 4.4mm balanced output set at 40/100, while the RS2 requires a higher volume at 50/100. Furthermore, the R6 Pro II's user interface is noticeably quicker, thanks to its Android 12 operating system and a larger smartphone-sized screen that displays all the necessary information, unlike the RS2's compact screen.

Versus Questyle QP2R:​

Now, let's introduce one of the heavyweights: Questyle. Despite being a classic released approximately five years ago, I find it somewhat outdated, as I mentioned in my QP2R review, and that sentiment remains unchanged. When it comes to convenience, user interface, and connectivity, the R6 Pro II surpasses the QP2R by a wide margin. But what about the sound, you ask? Well, let's delve into it. In all honesty, to my highly subjective ears, both devices sound remarkably close and similar. The emphasis lies in the midrange, with neutral and tight bass, while the R6 Pro II offers a touch more sparkle and sheen in the treble, imparting a "glassy" quality. In terms of technical prowess, the R6 Pro II maintains a slight edge in terms of separation, albeit by a negligible margin. Both devices are sizable, raising concerns about mobility, as neither can easily fit into a pocket. However, when it comes to driving power, I must apologize to Questyle, as Hiby has discovered a more efficient way to drive my IEMs. Additionally, the QP2R's 2.5mm balanced output should have been a 4.4mm, not that it makes a significant difference, but given the current trend favoring 4.4mm balanced connections, the 2.5mm format is gradually becoming less prevalent. In conclusion, both devices are highly capable and offer similar sound profiles, with minor variations in technicalities. However, the crucial factor to consider is the user experience, where the R6 Pro II triumphs with its tech-savvy and trendy features, making it the preferred choice for many.

VERDICT:​

Without hesitation, I firmly believe that the R6 Pro II is a must-have for any devoted DAP enthusiast. It possesses an exceptional sound that elevates the performance of your transducers, particularly IEMs, although it may not have the same impact on headphones. If you favor a bright-neutral sound signature, crave impeccable details, rely on streaming services like Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Spotify, or Apple Music, and refuse to let go of the convenience of the Android interface, then the decision is clear—this device is tailor-made for you. And at a competitive price point of approximately $750, it stands as one of the most remarkable releases in the DAP realm for 2023. However, it's worth noting that if you find yourself listening for extended periods, roughly 5-6 hours a day, battery usage is a factor that should be carefully considered before taking the leap. The R6 Pro II's technical capabilities are as impressive as they come, and the convenience it offers is a testament to Hiby's dedication. If only it fell within my budget, I would gladly welcome it into my lineup.

From a musician's perspective, I highly recommend the R6 Pro II to mixing engineers seeking a reliable reference tool and to musicians who meticulously dissect songs for harmonies, subtle nuances, covers, and even to vocalists in need of deciphering vocal harmonies.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Hiby and Sir Joseph Yeung, also known as Joebloggs, for selecting me to be a part of this world tour. The Filipino community is immensely thankful for your generosity in allowing us to experience a device of this caliber. Until the next review, this is RemedyMusic signing off!

PRICE: $750​

goodvibes
goodvibes
I didn't find the highs above neutral overall. Probably interfaces and contrast to what we're used to.

552609

1000+ Head-Fier
The best "budget" DAP
Pros: Sound Quality
User Interface
Design
Screen
Heat Dissipation
Weight
Power Output
Price
Comes with a leather case
Cons: Battery Life
Case Buttons
No Volume Knob
R6PII Box Front.JPG


Original Logo Small.png

Helpful tip: if your R6 Pro II freezes up like many DAPs do sometimes, hold the Power button and Next Track button ( bottom one) to restart it.

Overview:

Up for review today is the HiBy R6 Pro II (gen 2) Digital Audio Player (DAP). Yes, that name makes little to no sense since HiBy already has an R6 III, which is completely unrelated to the R6 Pro II (and the original R6 Pro). When I say completely unrelated, I mean that they have completely different design languages and specs. HiBy likely should have just called this the R7 or it should have called the R6 III the R5 III since the R6 III and the R5 II share almost the exact same design language – similar to the RS8, etc. So then, the R6PII is something brand new that looks nothing like anything else from HiBy (or anyone else). I picked mine up to review from Musicteck (Shop.Musicteck.com) in exchange for a discount. You can get one here if you like: https://shop.musicteck.com/products...ayer-portable-dap?_pos=1&_sid=4e8f76924&_ss=r. Mine was supposed to come with a free BA04 storage case when I pre-ordered it. It did not. The R6PII retails for $749.

R6PII Right Ride.JPG


Build Quality / Design / Specs (17/20):

Wow. The build quality on this DAP is epic. I say that with all seriousness after having owned the A&K SP3k, the Cayin N8ii, and the HiBy RS8. The R6PII is 1/3-1/4 the price of those, but it feels like it’s built with the same quality as all of those. The screen is huge and of fantastic quality, the ribs on the back feel great and provide excellent grip. The buttons on the side are really nice and provide good tactile feedback. There’s a cool LED on the side above the power button that shows you the sample rate with Tidal or up to DSD1024 or PCM1536KHz/32Bit. The design is excellent, and the curved back is truly one of the most creative designs I’ve ever seen in the DAP world. I also like the carbon fiber on the back. The leather case covers up most of that design though, and only leaves the really nice screen showing. That screen is a 5.9” 1080*2160 IPS screen – and it is gorgeous. You can also get it in a pretty cool Purple color if that’s something you’re interested in.

The weight is light enough to surprise you at 285g – basically half the weight of the RS8. Once you add the really nice leather case on, the weight will increase a bit, but it’s hardly noticeable in a field of heavyweight DAPs that are 400+ grams. The leather case, while gorgeous, introduces some of the R6PII’s biggest annoyances. The buttons on the case are not tactile, they don’t stick out, and they don’t show what each button is either. Weird design choice. It almost looks like they were supposed to do all of that, but someone forgot to stamp them out or raise them. The Volume Control buttons and the Skip Track buttons look the same on both sides with the case on. Oddly, the “Back” button is separate from the Stop/Play buttons – mimicking the look on the other side of the Power button and the Volume Up/Down buttons. Weird design choice – thanks to the lack of raised case button covers, it’s also very easy to accidentally skip a track just by picking up the DAP. This also brings up another flaw, the lack of a volume control dial. This is a gorgeous DAP, but the lack of a volume dial is a pretty weak design choice since clicking the tiny buttons on the side isn’t all that intuitive compared to a scroll wheel. Also, it almost always makes you skip a track since the track skip buttons are on the other side and to push one, you have to grip the other side. Again, this would all be solved by cutting out the buttons on the case (which it feels like they meant to do?) or raising them and making them tactile. The case also has no way to keep the DAP inside of it other than the unique shape of the player itself – sort of like the Cayin N8II. This is a relatively tall DAP at almost 6”, but it is quite thin compared to a lot of DAPs at just over half an inch. Putting the case on brings this up to about ¾ of an inch.

The specs on this are surprisingly high-end for this price range. The R6PII has 64GB of internal storage, 4GB of LPDDR4x-1866 RAM, USB C, and a Micro SD slot that supports up to 2 TB cards. It also has Android 12, the same Snapdragon 665 that the TOTL DAPs are using right now, and the AK4191EQ+ 2x AK4499EX DACs. It has 4 outputs, a 4.4mm/4.4mm Line Out, and a 3.5mm/3.5mm Line Out – again, something you see on higher-end DAPs - usually starting over $2k (Cayin N7), but HiBy includes this even on the cheaper R6 III. The R6PII has a 5000mAH battery and can charge relatively quickly with QC 2 at 18W, but not the higher-end QC 3 – something TOTL DAPs are starting to include. Battery life is discussed in the Performance section. There’s also a Class AB/Class A amp to choose from. The R6PII will put out 382mW on 4.4mm balanced output at 119db and 125mW at 118dB with the 3.5mm output. It’s not really designed for full-size headphones, but it does drive my HD700 just fine – nowhere near as well as the Cayin N8II though. Overall, The R6PII ears a 17/20 here – losing points for the obnoxious design of the case, and the lack of a volume dial (they could have put it where the cut out of the right side is and it would have solved one of the case’s issues).

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Accessories (18/20):
The R6PII comes in a pretty nice box, engulfed in foam. It also comes with screen protectors for all of the glass surfaces - the front screen and the back glass covering the carbon fiber above the ribbed metal. Pretty sweet – especially since it comes with extra protectors included if you need them. The only real downside to the screen protectors is that they don’t feel like real glass, they have more resistance and feel “stickier” than glass with more friction. That’s literally the only downside there, well, besides the fact that the screen protector picks up fingerprints like a piece of tape. As previously mentioned, the R6PII comes with a really nice leather case – that has a couple of issues with the buttons. Other than that, seeing a DAP come with a case this nice is a welcome change (looking at you Shanling). Obviously points are taken off there, but it sucks that the buttons weren’t cut out since it feels like they should have been (no other reviewer has holes cutouts there either). Other than that, there’s a USB-C charging cable. It’s unfortunate that there are no 90-degree connectors or anything like that, but I think the meets exactly the use-case the R6PII was intended to meet.

Taking points off here for the case not having cutout holes or raised button spots feels like a double tap, but I’m going to do it anyway since it’s one out of only 3 complaints I have with this DAP. 18/20 points here because the beautiful case gets ruined by the lack of button cutouts. Other than that, this meets all of the intended use scenarios for this price range.

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Software / Setup / Ease of Use (19/20):

This is an easy section. Android 12 is excellent, and all DAP makers need to shift to this ASAP. I’ve had no gremlins, no issues, and an extremely easy time using it. Tidal was super easy to download and log into from the Google Play Store. The only thing I’ve noticed is a little popping at the beginning of a song on occasion, usually only when switching to a new song manually. My HiBy RS8 has the same issue, so maybe it’s a HiBy software thing as I haven’t noticed it on any other company’s DAP. HiBy’s player is really good, and you can connect your Tidal account through it if you want to. I prefer the stock Tidal player, but HiBy’s is solid and allows you to do Tidal and onboard songs in one app. You can also download music to the player if you like with Tidal – something you can’t do on ANY of A&K’s players – yay stock Android! Other than that, as long as you can Android on a phone, you can Android here. You can also use this with your computer as an audio output device – pretty cool.

There are also some really nice Audio Settings built into the player – something I wouldn’t necessarily expect at this price level. You get filters, MSEB tuning (EQ basically), channel balance, DSD gain compensation, downloadable plugins, and MQA decoding. It’s a great experience and it earns the R6PII 19/20 points here – 1 point off for the weird pop sometimes.

Side Note: I’ve had two software updates since I got this – both of which supposedly did the same thing according to the update notes. Neither of these has changed my experience in any way. Nice to see HiBy is updating the player though as needed.

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Performance / Sound (16/20):

I use my R6PII on Medium Gain at around volume level 30/100 with my Light Harmonic Stella, Campfire Audio Andromeda, and Sound Rhyme SR8 IEMs. I also use the Class A/B instead of the A amp since I’ve never found the Class A to do much for IEMs – it gives me around 2 hours extra battery life also. While the R6PII gets warm with use, it never gets anywhere hot enough to burn me or even get uncomfortable like the Shanling M6 Ultra can if you keep it in a sweatshirt pocket. Heat control is a massive issue for a lot of DAPs, but the R6II seems to remain pretty cool overall – possibly due to the rib design it has on the back. The battery is a complaint for me though. On balanced AB, the R6II gets 7 hours of battery, which is what HiBy claims, but it feels like the battery goes pretty quickly. It’s only 5 hours with the Class A amp on. Switching to 3.5mm Class AB gets you an extra hour of battery for a total of 8 hours. So, while HiBy accurately describes the battery life, that doesn’t mean it’s good. Lowing 12% battery in an hour is pretty bad compared to the N8II or RS8, which have battery lives longer than 10 hours on 4.4mm with Class AB. It’s nowhere near the Shanling M3 Ultra’s 15-20 hour battery and it’s two hours less than the 9-hour Shanling M6 Ultra’s battery life with 4.4mm – that one also outputs 2x as much power. Obviously, the heat from the M6U is a massive downside, but the battery life and power output may be something that some people want.

Sound quality – something that matters a lot with a DAP. Luckily, I can report that the sound from the R6PII is excellent. It’s full-bodied and warm with excellent detail for a DAP in this price range. I put it right below the excellent Cayin N7, which costs more than 2x as much (but has better battery life and a usable case). The soundstage is excellent with the R6PII and the Sound Rhyme SR8. All three of the IEMs I tested the R6PII with had a nice, warm, full-bodied sound to them with more detail and presence than the M6U or M3U did. The R6PII isn’t quite to the level of the N7, N8II, or RS8, but at this price, it shouldn’t be. I haven’t heard this level of sound quality though from anything under $1k, let alone something only $750. It’s a heck of a steal. And no, I’m not the DAP sound guy who will pick apart every single nuance of how a DAP sounds, and I don’t have anything else to really compare it to right now, so look at other reviews for that info if you need all of the detail on sound. For me, it sounds great - take that as you will. 16/20 points here for the mediocre battery life, but great heat and sound quality.

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Comparisons / Price (20/20):

The price is fantastic, and I love that it COMES with a leather case at this price. There’s really nothing else this nice at this price. They could have charged $1500 for this and I would still be able to recommend it. iBasso will sell you the 240 for quite a bit more, it’ll come with a crappy User Interface and ads with side-load Tidal and their own mediocre Android. Then, you’ll have to spend more on the good AMP 8 and it comes with a craptastic plastic case worth maybe $3. The Shanling M6 Ultra doesn’t even come with a case, it costs more, it has heat issues, and it doesn’t sound quite as good (subjectively, like sound always is). It will give you better battery life and a good Android experience though. The Cayin N7 is brilliant and comes with a fantastic case (yellow though), Android 12, and better battery life and better sound, but at 2.6x the price. I literally cannot come up with a better DAP for this price with these features. Yeah, the battery isn’t good, and the case annoys me because I think it should have button cutouts, which would make the case perfect. Still, that’s about it really. There is no comparison I can think of – 20/20 points.

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Conclusion:

This is a fantastic “budget” DAP. No one else makes a DAP at this price with this sound quality, User Interface, design, gorgeous/massive screen with small bezels, good heat dissipation, a light weight, good power output, and the R6PII STILL manages to include a really nice leather case. Yeah, that case isn’t perfect, the lack of a volume knob is annoying, and the battery life could use a couple extra hours’ worth of juice, but these are nit-picks. I don’t think you can do better than this at this price level. I really don’t. Great job HiBy – I’m REALLY looking forward to the next RS8 now.

Wolfhawk’s Rating: 90/100

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goodvibes
goodvibes
Great review and agreed overall but I'm keeping my DX240:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. I actually preferred the stock amp card on DX240 to what was the then current amp8mk2 (until I tweaked that board) so Amp 8 is also far from a required upgrade. Not sure why you've chosen to dump on a competent player with good SW. It's a gnat hair slower running the VG Hiby player app but plenty fast and has that V control that you like and I don't care about.

That said, the Hiby is also $200 cheaper, a touch faster, sounds great and super solid with a 0.5" larger screen. Max screen size while still comfortably pocketable with great sound, feel, looks and I'm personally fine without a volume knob when they aren't pots anyway. Completely agree on the case buttons but it's viable with premium feel and it's nice that you get one.

It's just so nice to have great choices since we, like these players, are all a bit different.:ksc75smile:

VIVA LA DIFFEENCE!
catvsgrizzly
catvsgrizzly
I actually really appreciate the direct comparison to the dx240 and the respectful, honest and to the point opinion. The DX240 has been an ongoing source of frustration for me and I really value the guidance on what other options are available.

goodvibes

Headphoneus Supremus
Hiby R6 Pro II
Pros: Good value,
VG sound (for a critical listener)
Informative player,
Fast Android,
Great Screen,
Improved layout
Fast Charge
Cons: Battery time in class A (expected)
Personal issue but I'd like Qobuz added to the Hiby app as I clearly prefer it to Tidal.
Some minor SW quirks as expected from a brand new device. Hiby is good about this and not a concern. 1st update took care of the noticeable one.
So I got the unit and ran it in for 50 hours before a listen. This was always going to be a hit and run take and i didn't receive Earphones with the unit so just a quick review on the DAP. Next reviewer should have both this forwarded player and earphones direct from Hiby in hand around the same time. :relaxed:

Layout;

This is a beautiful unit with a 5.5" screen and at my personal portable size limit yet easily accommodated. Great that they include a leather(?) case.

Unlike previous Hiby units with the Volume on top and Connections on the bottom, this one has volume on the side which is a great change for my preferences. I never cared for DAPs that either hid the V control or stressed the earphone connection at the bottom of your pocket due to opposing positions. Hiby gets a big thumbs up for this change.

All controls are easy to use, even with the case but the locations will take a few days to find easily once the case is used.

The unit has 3.5 and balance 4.4 connections for both line and headphone out. I didn't check on what processor or screen used and don't really care. I care about how well they work in system and this is easy to quantify. It's great.

Unit reeks of solidity and quality build.

Topology and Performance;
I put these together for a very good reason. While I'm qualified to examine, discuss and comment on it's unique topology, I just don't care. These are smarter people doing smart things and what matters is the result. I don't care how many DACs or what class of operation beyond how it relates to a result and that's overall VG for the price and packaging. That said, I'm not sure this unit needed this much topological complexity which is what may contribute to both space allotted for the (already large) battery and using what's there a little more quickly.

My preferred method of operation is class A, mid gain for my IEMs and short delay slow roll filter. The filter settings are subtle but there if you don't listen too intently for 'differences' and let the music come to you. The sound in class A vs normal is also subtle but class A has better note fill and solidity of perspective. Unit has depth and width but neither is special. It has plenty of detail without ever getting electronic or analytical sounding with nice color. More costly units will show greater textures and space but lesser ones will not give as much music as here. It's a VG toe tapping experience but it could last a bit longer. No problem for my uses but for many, a 4-5 hour run time in class A may be an issue though in what is still a vg normal mode allows you 1/2 again as much time. Probably shouldn't take a big hit for offering something they didn't have too. Fortunately, fast charging helps maintain it's use... which is a pleasure with fast responses and intuitive screen actions etc. Fast and solid.

Other stuff,

WiFi and Bluetooth work great with easy connectivity etc. Boots quickly. Online updates.
I can hardily recommend the unit with the minor caveats mentions here. I won't be getting one but my player costs more and is modded so obviously voiced for my personnel preferences. If I were looking in this price range I wouldn't hesitate to put this on my list of top candidates. (Maybe at the top but haven't heard the latest from all makers). Just an informative and fun sounding unit.

Unless the battery time is a major issue, it gets a high recommendation.
IMG_1312.JPGIMG_1313.JPGIMG_1314.JPGIMG_1315.JPG
Sorry about not having more pics but it's packed and there's plenty of those on this page. It's a gorgeous unit.
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goodvibes
goodvibes
I forgot to mention that I use the Hiby player app on my other unit simply because it does local stored file streaming better than anything else I've come across when both sound and ease are considered. I didn't install UAPP on this player. It is (or will be as it's player specific and sometimes there's a short wait with emerging players) a way to get HiDef Qobuz if you're so inclined.
Mike Foley
Mike Foley
When I had the player for review, I installed Qobuz from the Google Play store, and it worked well on this DAP.
goodvibes
goodvibes
Yes it does but only to 48k. UAPP and perhaps others would be an app for up to 192k which is the great thing about Android. Far from a deal breaker as full def Qobuz is or will be accessible via 3rd party Android apps. Unrelated to the player but I just happen to prefer the sound of Qobuz and think MQA is a useless lossy compression format.

It's like the old days of HDCD where everything had to have it to be marketable until it fell to the wayside since it didn't actually sound better. People passed on much better sounding CD players for inferior products that could play a few handfuls of HDCD.

Mike Foley

500+ Head-Fier
Hiby R6 Pro II impressions
Pros: Excellent sound quality.
Beautiful styling and lovely build.
Android 12 OS. Very easy to use.
Cons: Battery life is good, but could be better.
Integrated Tidal app doesn’t do gapless playback.
Protective case makes operating the buttons awkward.
First I would like to thank @Joe Bloggs, and Hiby, for including me in the review tour for the R6 Pro II. The unit was kindly supplied for 10 days of unbiased review, and all thoughts and opinions in this piece are completely my own.

The R6 Pro II is a brand new model from Hiby, and slots in the range above the (also new R6 III), and below the flagship RS8, and style-wise is quite a departure from fairly conservative appearance of the other models. The review unit came in a striking purple finish, which I found to be far more attractive than in the pictures on the Hiby website. Black is also available. The rear of the unit is a mix of glass, and curved grooves.

Briefly, the Pro II (which I’ll refer to as Pro 2 here on, for ease of typing)uses AK DACs, supports Hi-Rez audio, including DSD and MQA, has headphone and line out in both 3.5mm single ended, and 4.4mm balanced, all of which can be run using either Class A or Class A/B amplification, along with usb C for charging, data transfer, connecting an external dac, and for using the player itself as dac. Volume, play/pause, next/previous track are controlled by push buttons on the side of the unit. A number of other Hiby players use a traditional rotary volume knob, which some prefer, although personally I like button controls, which I find more responsive.

The Pro 2 uses Android 12 as it’s operating system, and has a lovely 1080 resolution screen.
Storage is 64gb internally, plus the player will accept a Micro SD card up to 2TB.

The player comes with its own app, for navigating music stored on the SD card, and also giving access to Tidal streaming (this implementation of Tidal does NOT support gapless playback, so apart from testing that it worked, I chose not to use it), along with access to various set up and eq options, including their own MSEB equaliser, which gives a wide range of adjustment, and is far more sophisticated and subtle than other more basic equalisers.
Being an Android device gives Pro 2 users access to Google Play, allowing the installation of streaming services, and other features the owner wishes to use. I installed my own preferred streaming services, Qobuz, Tidal and Apple Music, along with Neil Young Archives, plus Bandcamp and Planet Rock radio.

Full specifications (and pictures better than I can take!) are on the Hiby website.

https://store.hiby.com/products/r6-pro-ii-gen-2

In the sturdy attractive box can be found the player itself, a protective case, a usb c to usb c cable, plus a usb c to usb a adaptor, along with a spare set of screen protectors (a set are already factory fitted, which is a nice touch). Finally a quick set up guide is included.

This is my first time using an Android based device, as most of my mobile listening is iPhone plus DAC, and consequently it took me a little longer to set up my streaming services and other apps, than maybe other users would, but once everything was up and running I found the player to be extremely easy to use, both via its own app, and third party services.

Once I had everything working it was time for some serious listening. I used mainly HiFiman Sundara headphones, in balanced mode, and Empire Ears ESR iems, running single ended. I also gave the R6 Pro 2 spin with Grado SR-80i, Sennheiser HD-580 Precision, and a pair of budget KZ ZS10 iems, which I use when I don’t want to endanger the Empire Ears.

I also tested Bluetooth, LDAC, into an iFi ZEN Blue connected to a Denon system in the bedroom, and single ended line out into the main system, Schiit Saga/Vidar amplification and Castle Avon 4 floorstanding speakers.

Music sources were local files on the SD card, mainly CD quality, some 24/96 and 24/192 Flac, and DSD. Other sources were Qobuz in both CD and Hi-Rez quality, and Tidal streams in both CD quality and MQA.

Before any serious listening, I experimented with the two different amplifier modes, the three gain settings, and the EQ and digital filter options available on the player. For the ESR I settled on low gain, and class A amplification, when using the Sundara I switched to medium gain, once again using class A mode. I kept the digital filter on the factory setting, as I couldn’t hear any appreciable differences between the different options. I tested MSEB, and it does provide an excellent range of adjustment to compensate for poorer recordings, and I can see it being extremely useful for many users. For this review I disabled all EQ options, so I could hear the player as is. The Pro 2 drove the various headphones I tried with no difficulty.

With both Sundara, and ESR, the quality of sound was what I would describe as essentially neutral, but with a touch of warmth to the upper midrange and treble regions. The treble was clear and well extended, but with very little harshness or undue sibilance, except on some recordings made during the height of the loudness wars (Metallica, take a bow…), or heavily compressed commercial pop music. If I owned an R6 I would certainly use MSEB, as it does help tame these kind of recordings, making them much more listenable.

Midrange was clear and well integrated with both the bass and treble, giving good levels of clarity on vocals, even from full on recordings like Bob Moulds “Blue Hearts”, where on some systems his lyrics can be almost unintelligible. With the combination of the Hiby and the Empire iems, I was able to fully appreciate the words to the songs, and the emotion in his vocals.

More traditionally ‘Hi-Fi’ sounding fare, specifically a DSD file of “The Nature of Things” by Foxfeather, sounding positively luxurious both through the Empire ESR, and particularly through the Sundara headphones. With the latter stereo imaging was excellent, giving an almost speaker like presentation. Vocals had wonderful clarity, and were perfectly balanced with the instruments of the band.

I didn’t have a comparable DAP to pit against the Pro 2, so I did quick comparison with my my Hiby R3 Saber, and the latter was trounced, as one would hope for given the price differential between the two devices. The R3 is still a great sounding budget player, but the R6 just sounds much more grown up, giving a real insight into the music.

My Grado SR-80e are a fun listen, but can err towards harshness if partnered with the wrong gear. Using the Pro 2 tamed that occasional brash edge, but didn’t diminish the fun factor one jot. A fine result.

There has been some internet chatter that the amplifier is underpowered, for some headphones. In my time with the Pro 2, I had no issues with the headphones I had to hand. With the Sundara, I had gain set to ‘middle’, and with the likes of Iron Maiden, Within Temptation, and other hard rock music, the volume was uncomfortable, for my ears, at around 50. With mellower music, or that mastered at a lower level, I had the volume a touch higher, but not much. Using my old Sennheiser HD-580, I preferred high gain, and again had no trouble getting a pretty deafening level at around the 55 level. I inherited a pair of Sennheiser HD-414SL, from my late father, and I barely use them, as I find then extremely difficult to drive. The only thing that I own that really gets then going is the Chord Mojo, and I do have to turn the volume on that. Using the Pro 2, via balanced out, and on high gain, actually gave a pretty good result. Volume was up around 60, but I didn’t have any sense of the player straining. This is just what I found with the few headphones I had available, using my ears. As always YMMV.

Bluetooth worked well, with both the iFi Zen Blue, and a Bluesound Node2i, with connection in both cases being quick and stable.

Used as a source into my main system, in place of the Node2i and Schiit Bifrost 2 multibit DAC, the Hiby acquitted itself well, giving a sound similar to that through headphones, smooth with good clarity; an enjoyable listen. The full size separates did give a more involving, dynamic sound, but the DAP did well, and I can certainly see a dual use as a home streamer and mobile player, maybe in a second system.

The only real gripes I have are that in Class A mode the player can get pretty warm; not excessively so, but enough to get slightly uncomfortable with it stuck in the back pocket of jeans. I also found that the supplied case did make the push button controls a little difficult to operate, so I gave up on it, and used the player naked (the player, not me!).
The lack of gapless Tidal playback, using the Hiby app, needs to be addressed. Use the native Tidal app, and it’s not an issue.
Battery life was pretty much as described in the specifications, so good but not brilliant. Class A and high gain certainly used more of the charge than class A/B and low gain. Not so much of a problem if using it home or in the office, but could be an issue if out and about for a long period.

In conclusion, I recommend the Hiby R6 Pro II very highly, despite my grumbles about the case and battery life. It’s beautifully built, easy to use, and sounds excellent. During my time with it I found it to be an excellent music source, and used it simply for enjoying my music when I wasn’t in reviewer mode. I was sorry to see it go at the end of the review period, and if I was in the market for a new DAP this would certainly be on my shortlist.

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