General Information

AP80-PRO01.jpg
AP80-PRO02.jpg

Latest reviews

Takeanidea

Headphoneus Supremus
China in your Hand Hidizs AP80 Pro
Pros: Stylish, small, feature packed, sound quality (as evidenced) is good
Cons: No Wi-Fi No app support

CHINA IN YOUR HAND – HIDIZS AP80 PRO DIGITAL AUDIO PLAYER​


1617445019566.png


Trevor Stephens


Fun size & feature packed​


DSC01329-1024x768.jpg
A Facebook find – John Beagley -I bought the complete collection on Bandcamp

With kind thanks from Yihua of Aoshida hi-fi, the AP80 Pro has a retail price of $169.99. In typical Chinese style, it represents a price level that seems way below it’s true worth. Far be it from me to give the game away so early on into my review, but I’m hoping you get the gist of what this is all about.

DSC01328-1024x768.jpg
See what I mean? USBC – for charging or Dac- Standard and balanced outputs AND fixed line out


A tiny piece on what gets onto here and what doesn’t make it​


I don’t like to whinge. I especially don’t wish to waste my time moaning about audio products that don’t reach or exceed my expectations. My time is precious, and I, like your good selves, am holding down a demanding full time job. If I am sent a product that I don’t like, it simply doesn’t get on to these pages. Whilst I may not rave about every product I have reviewed here, there is always something engaging enough for me to warrant the many hours it takes to get the message out there. As always, the devil is in the details, read and research properly and you will find what you desire. I do not read any reviews on products that I am due to receive. This is the way in which I can keep my writing fresh, free from plagiarism, my own views and my own style. I trust that you respect this and take this as the reason as to why each review seems to have so much positivity in it. In a world full of so much bad news, my small part will try and take you
away from that; for a little while at least.

Now; back to business

DSC01318-1024x768.jpg
Can you see it? The USBC cable is terminated in purple in harmony with the volume knob

About the AP80 Pro​


The question is not what the AP80 Pro does; it’s easier to mention what it doesn’t do! The Pro has no Wi-Fi and no app support. It doesn’t have a massive amp for your HiFiMan HE-6 or your Abyss or whatever crazy big headphone you’ve got. If you’re looking for this, thank you very much for your time so far, and I understand if you want to leave and seek elsewhere. I hope to see you soon. If I still have you with me, let us both take a look at what this thing can do.

DSC01326-1024x768.jpg
I find the screen to be as vivid as my smartphone and just as easy to navigate

You have balanced cables for your posh earphones and need something to try them out on without breaking the bank. Box ticked. The AP80 Pro has a 2.5 balanced and 3.5 jack. A note of caution. Do not try a 3.5 to 2.5 adapter, even if there is one out there. It might damage the amp in the AP80 in just the same way as it would affect any balanced connection. If you want to try a balanced output, get yourself a balanced cable. There are no shortcuts to this. And a balanced cable can be got for $20-$30 (or £). That will look much nicer than an adapter spoiling your new DAP. The AP80 has bidirectional Bluetooth. It can receive a Bluetooth signal, for example, from your smartphone, and it’ll handle LDAC with ease. There is an app you can download and it’ll allow you to control the features of the AP80 on your smartphone, which has a bigger screen than the AP80 so therefore should be easier to navigate. It doesn’t stop there. Bluetooth can be pushed from the Hidizs to a Bluetooth headphone or speaker.

DSC01323-1024x768.jpg
Most As supplied inc OTG cable and silicon case

Other inputs include a DAC facility which has DSD support for 64/128 formats. OTG is supported, so you can strap this to your phone for a wired connection, for example, and output Bluetooth to your wireless earphones. The AP80 has no internal memory but supports a micro SD card of 512 Gb and probably beyond. I can’t yet evidence that capacity but have had no problems with the 128 Gb I’ve been using. The UI on the Hidizs is fast and has plenty of features. There are many clunky operating systems out there for some otherwise good digital players; Hidizs are renowned for a high quality UI and licence this out to other manufacturers.

DSC01333-1024x768.jpg
Another Facebook find – those Groups are treasure troves

In short, they know what they’re doing, and it shows here. The touchscreen and the Samsung display are responsive and sharp. There are side buttons for next, pause and back, and a volume knob that’s both precise and discrete. Within the settings all can be switched off for on the move purposes. In practice, I didn’t find any problems with the AP80 whilst out running and in unlocked mode. I can’t see myself needing to use the app.

DSC01317-1024x768.jpg
The loveliness of the unboxing – never gets old does that

Sound quality​

What, if any, qualities or personality does this little gem bring to the table? Compared to the AK380, or the Fiio M11, is there any discernible difference? I will put some audio clips on and clearly label which ones are from which DAP, then you’ll be able to make that decision yourselves. Bear in mind that the Fiio M11 retails for £449 and the Astell & Kern AK380 is a former flagship DAP. That will set you back £1649…..

Ok, have you had a listen? Good. Now all you need to know is what this will sound good with. Plug in all types of earphones, and some full size headphones will work outstandingly well with the AP80 Pro. I’d suggest you’d be looking at anything with an impedance of 50 Ohms or less would be a good match. For full sized headphones, there is a gain setting within the GUI which needs switching to High Mode. Full sized bluetooth headphones have their own Dac and Amp so are not an issue. I happen to have the Ananda BT which is about as good as it gets with wireless headphones. Of course one must realise that by using bluetooth outputs we are essentially limiting the AP8 Pro to 50% of it’s capabilities, because then it simply becomes a source rather than using it’s analog outputs. The Dac and amp become switched off as those duties are being taken up by the bluetooth headphones.

DSC01330-1024x768.jpg
Andrew Taylor, courtesy of Bandcamp download

Conclusion​

The need for a fast, good looking, feature packed DAP that can communicate with your smartphone and your bluetooth devices and hi-fi is never more important than now. If you want something disconnected from that world, don’t worry; chuck your files onto an sd card and listen in the traditional way. It’s got a clean looking, fast GUI and it hasn’t fallen over on me yet. The AP80 Pro doesn’t have WiFi and apps, which has undoubtedly kept the price level temptingly low. Your smartphone has all that, as has your laptop. So this does the next best thing and uses bluetooth with great efficiency. There is an app to control this from your smartphone when out and about. I can’t see the need indoors with a screen that is this good. My opinion on the sound is that it is difficult to fault at this level; I’m glad they didn’t try and cater for bigger headphones with a bigger amp section, because that would have pushed both the price and the size of the device up into another tier. And who, fellow bargain hunters, would want that to happen?

Dobrescu George

Reviewer: AudiophileHeaven
Love Me Now - HIDIZS AP80 PRO Ultra Portable Music Player
Pros: + Build Quality
+ Ergonomics
+ Value
+ Sonic Presentation
Cons: - Not a very interesting package
- Battery life is just ok at 9 hours
- Not the highest driving power
Love Me Now - HIDIZS AP80 PRO Ultra Portable Music Player





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-34.jpg






HIDIZS AP80PRO is an ultraportable DAP priced at 170 USD, and mainly designed for IEMs, but capable of also driving some easier headphones. It will get compared to Shanling M2s, FiiO M3PRO, and Hiby R3 PRO. It will also get paired with FiiO FA9, iBasso AM05, and MAS Audio X5h.

















Introduction





Hidizs started with a small time company running Kickstarter campaigns and is now a full-fledged top level brand with multiple products, slowly becoming the new FiiO with a beautiful interaction with their customers, a really good price / performance ratio for their products, and Hiby's Full support for their software, growing to be even more loved than their competitors in the Chifi Audio market. They will totally solve your issues, they have a ton if new products coming along every day, and they aren't going anywhere any time soon, so purchasing from them is a totally safe and fun experience.





It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with HIDIZS. I'd like to thank HIDIZS for providing the sample for this review. This review reflects my personal experience with HIDIZS AP 80 PRO. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it, the purpose of this review is to help those interested in HIDIZS AP 80 PRO find their next music companion.










Packaging





First things first, let's get the packaging out of the way:





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-02.jpg






HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-05.jpg






HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-01.jpg






The package of the AP80 PRO does not disappoint, and it comes with a silicone case, and a cable for charging. This won't be enough for everyone, but it is perfect if you aren't too picky, and if you need a practical DAP.





Some small-time Chinese DAP makers include bonus microSD cards with their products, and plastic cases, but so far AP80 PRO has a 10/10 rating for their package, considering the price point.











Technical Specifications





DAC - 2x Saber ESS9218P
Bluetooth - 4.2 with Apt-X, LDAC and Hiby Link
Screen - 2.45 ", touch
Outputs - 3.5mm stereo, 2.5mm balance, USB-C
Output power, unbalanced / balanced, per channel - 70 mW @ 32 ohms / 190 mW @ 32 ohms
Frequency response - 20 - 90,000 Hz
Battery - up to 9 hours of operation from balanced output
Body material - aluminum, glass
Dimensions - 61 * 56 * 13.8mm
Weight - 68g











Video Review
















Build Quality/Aesthetics/Functionality





The overall build quality of AP80PRO is really nice, it is a solidly built DAP, with a metallic case, glass at the front, and with a glass screen protector applied from the factory. The glass screen protector is not applied perfectly, and you can see that in the photos in my review, as the edges are not glued perfectly.





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-12.jpg






The software of AP80PRO is basically designed by Hiby, so it comes with all the ups and downs of having it. The ups are excellent support for music playing, beautiful GUI, and good overall support for everything, even EQ and MSEB. The downside is that updates to that firmware are rare, and if something doesn't work from the start, you aren't likely to see support for it after the initial release, with a few exceptions.





The DAP is much better than previous versions, having the edges chamfered, and having a volume wheel that takes some pressure to rotate. The feature list is rich, and it includes MSEB, the best EQ out there, a dual DAC, ES9218, DSD support up to DSD256, Hi Res, an excellent battery life, and Bluetooth with both receiver and sender BT.





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-13.jpg






The battery life is better than most flagship DAPs, at around 9 hours, but there are Sony and Cowon DAPs that are a bit better, while Lotoo Paw 6000 is a good example of a flagship DAP that has excellent battery life. Still, 9 hours is considered excellent for a DAP.





The Bluetooth can go both ways, so you can use it as a receiver, or connect a BT Headphone to it. It lowers the battery life a bit, and the quality isn't as good as the wired connection, but this shows that it has excellent resolution. The resolution's enough to reveal the differences between BT and wired.





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-06.jpg






The overall GUI and usage experience is refined, compared to AP80, and I feel like using a high-end ultraportable DAP, not like an entry-level experimental one. HIFIMAN is quite good with the sound of their DAPs but their Megamini felt really old-school in GUI and overall usage. AP80PRO even outdoes Shanling M2s in terms of overall usage and reliability.











Sound Quality





AP80PRO is the same as the original AP80 when it comes to the overall tuning, if you don't enable any EQ at all. The sound is nicely extended, colorful, vivid, detailed, wide and clear. The sonic character is a bit dry, which means excellent texture and detail retrieval, but it can be harsh or grainy at times.





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-27.jpg






The bass is a bit dry and quick, the speed is fast, so it works nicely for metal, rock, and quick music. With EDM or Jazz, the bass may be a bit too short or lack in quantity, but you can happily engage MSEB and change the ratio and even character of the bass a bit if you desire to. The power of the AP80 PRO is really good, and it can totally induce sub-lows and rattle your brains with the right headphones or IEMs, so if you have an IMR R2 Aten or IMR Opus Mia, you'll be pleasantly surprised. Detail in the bass is good.





The bass is considerably better from the balanced output, with better control and more punch. In fact, everything is better, and this time around I do mention it because on Balanced it easily outdoes Megamini, and other previous favorites of mine when it comes to ultraportables.





The midrange is colorful, vivid, and neutral. It favors both male and female voices equally, and it favors both happy and sad songs equally. In general, the detail and dynamics stand out nicely, and even for simpler songs, they sound closer to live than to a recorded interpretation. On balance, it has a better overall dynamic and more punch, but also more separation between instruments.





The treble is smooth in texture, and doesn't impose itself in the mix, but the air extension is good, and the imaging is excellent. I'm trying to say that despite a treble that's fairly laid back, it has good extension for it, so the soundstage ends up being large and satisfying. The soundstage favors width over depth, and it has an oval presentation as it goes wider away from the listener, but doesn't go far in the front or the back.











Comparisons





Given the price and overall design of AP80 PRO, the main competitors for it are Shanling M2S, FiiO M3PRO, and Hiby R3 PRO. There are so many DAPs that have pro at the end that it is slowly starting to lose its meaning. At any rate, in this particular case, FiiO, Hiby and HIDIZS do all have an original version of their DAPs, and the PRO version is considerably better for all of them, so it works ok.





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-51.jpg






There are many more alternatives out there, like using a FiiO BTR5, or Quedelix 5K, or HIFIMAN Megamini, but the comparisons above are the most relevant at the moment of making this review.





HIDIZS AP80 PRO vs Hiby R3 PRO (170 USD vs 200 USD) - R3 PRO is slightly more sleek in ergonomics / design. I prefer holding it in my hand, feels more precise and the display is a bit larger so I can navigate it a bit better. The overall firmware is a bit smoother on R3 PRO, things work a bit better, and the DAP feels more finished. The sound is similar between the two, especially since you have MSEB available on both. It feels like AP80PRO puts on more punch and a bit more detail, especially over balanced.





HIDIZS AP80 PRO vs FiiO M3 PRO (170 USD vs 80 USD) - M3 PRO is a less expensive DAP, but still an interesting alternative. With a far more limited usage scenario, the main reason I included it in this comparison is because it has slightly better ergonomics, and because it still has a pretty detailed sound. AP80PRO has more dynamic, better punch and more driving power, along with more control, especially over the balanced output.





HIDIZS AP80 PRO vs Shanling M2s (170 USD vs 200 USD) - Shanling's M2S is old and a bit tired now, but it still was one of the first DAPs I ever seen with a Type-C connector, and even to date is loved by the ones who purchased it. The firmware is quicker on AP80PRO, the sound is more lively, more detailed, but it is warmer and more musical on M2s. Overall, if you want to indulge in using MSEB, AP80PRO is a good upgrade from M2S, but even if you don't, over balanced, it is a solid improvement.











Pairing





For the pairing part of this review, I went with FiiO FA9, the latest high-quality IEM from FiiO, iBasso AM05, and MAS Audio X5h. All of those are top-notch IEMs and Headphones, but the pairing list can go forever for AP80PRO.





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-38.jpg






You could pair it with FiiO F9PRO, or a Beyerdynamic Xelento, it would still work nicely. It doesn't have a lot of hiss, so Campfire Atlas would work, and if you're using the balanced connector, it can drive any IEM under the sun, including Final Audio E5000.





HIDIZS AP80 PRO + FiiO FA9 (170 USD + 500 USD) - FiiO FA9 is a great example of an IEM that doesn't really need MSEB or anything to sound good. In fact, there's no hiss, but the pairing has nice detail, a wide soundstage, and good layering. As a benefit, it is really convenient to have such a portable pairing and to be able to use the two together with zero hassle.





HIDIZS AP80 PRO + iBasso AM05 (170 USD + 300 USD) - AM05 needs a bit of MSEB magic if you want to make it more punchy and to give it more bass. By default, it takes all of the advantages of the BA tech, but has a tight bass that won't satisfy everyone, so I always considered DAPs with EQ a bonus when pairing AM05. If you prefer its original ethereal presentation, then AP80PRO can happily drive it well and provide a nice amount of impact, depth, and even punch.





HIDIZS AP80 PRO + MAS X5h (170 USD + 400 USD) - MAS X5h is an easy to drive headphone, but one that's a bit hard to control, as it is quite bassy. With MSEB you can make it clearer, give it better resolution (by increasing the treble, you will hear more detail), and you can make it tighter / quicker, also using MSEB, making AP80 PRO a good way to squeeze its entire potential.











Value and Conclusion





The value of AP80PRO is pretty much excellent, and it is a great example of a tiny device that can do it all. There's nothing it can't do really, and the only reasons you may want to go for a competitor is the ergonomics / shape and design, since feature-wise and sound-wise it is a top grade one.





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-24.jpg






Starting with the package, you don't get a lot, but you do get a cable, and a silicone case, both of which are handy and sweet.





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-10.jpg






We also notice a beautiful design once we open it, and especially those who prefer an edgy design, and want something different from FiiO M6, will love AP80PRO. With a good battery life, bluetooth receiver abilities, and even a good DAC chip, AP80 PRO is good in terms of usage and build.





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-43.jpg






The default sound can be a bit dry, especially the bass, which means good detail, but also a sound that's not exactly smooth. We have MSEB, the best EQ out there, to combat it though, so it should be all fine.





HIDIZS-AP-80-PRO-AP80PRO-DAP-Digital-Music-Player-Streaming-Bluetooth-MSEB-Tuning-Control-Review-Audiophile-Heaven-08.jpg






At the end of today's review, AP80 PRO is one of the best DAPs ever released for us music lovers. It has a nice ergonomic design, good battery life, and a lively, detailed sound with a lot of punch and dynamics. Especially if you use it on balanced, it is totally worth getting, if you need a one DAP to do it all.









--- Please remember to stay safe, and always have fun while listening to music!---











Full Playlist used for this review






We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature. PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality are all revealed by those songs. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music!







Youtube Playlist





[embedyt]




Tidal Playlist





https://listen.tidal.com/playlist/64555551-ec3c-4279-ae44-248fdfcf6c4b





I hope my review is helpful to you!

Avraam Bushin

New Head-Fier
Hidizs Ap80 Pro.
Pros: Design, sound, size, convenience, hardware and software, balanced headphone output.
Cons: Lack of emotion in the sound, glass back panel (fragile), some interface elements are very small, disgusting silicone case included
The compact AP80 Pro is an improved version of the AP80. This device is a versatile compact player based on two DACs and firmware from Hiby.
IMG_1427.JPG

DAC: 2x Saber ESS9218P
Bluetooth: 4.2 with Apt-X, LDAC and Hiby Link
Screen: 2.45 ", touch
Outputs: 3.5mm stereo, 2.5mm balance, USB-C
Output power, unbalanced / balanced, per channel: 70 mW @ 32 ohms / 190 mW @ 32 ohms
Frequency response: 20 - 90,000 Hz
Battery: up to 9 hours of operation from balanced output, up to 13 seconds of normal
Body material: aluminum, glass
Dimensions: 61 * 56 * 13.8mm
Weight: 68g
IMG_1429.JPG
IMG_1431.JPG
IMG_20201007_115422.jpg
IMG_20201007_115607.jpg

Inside the black box is the player itself, a soft case, two cables (micro-usb + usb), documents.

The player is square. The front part is occupied by the screen, the back is covered with glass with the manufacturer's logo. On the left side there are controls: a volume wheel, three playback control buttons. On the right side there is a micro-sd card slot. Below are two headphone and type-c inputs.
IMG_1434.JPG
IMG_20201007_104341.jpg
IMG_20201007_105201.jpg

Hidizs will pay great attention to the design of their products. This is especially noticeable in this case. Player control and ergonomics are great. The AP80 Pro is very pleasant to hold in your hand. It is a beautiful and functional device. A very bright and juicy screen with touch control allows you to very quickly navigate through the media library, select the desired songs and create playlists.
The main feature of the updated player is a dual DAC Dual ES9218P, which allowed the use of balanced connection. The sound of the player can be described as bright and detailed. It has the Hidizs signature - a fairly neutral and dry sound with a rise in the high frequencies. The player is capable of opening any headphones, but nevertheless, you should understand that such a small device with a battery of only 800 mAh not capable of delivering any sufficient power for tight full sizes and earbuds. A big advantage for most users is the built-in equalizer that allows you to customize the sound.

The player is perfect for the undemanding music lover of any age and gender. Its main advantages can be considered compactness and impeccable appearance, as well as versatility and detailed, adult sound (especially through a balanced connection) that can be adjusted for yourself.

The device is provided for review by HIFIGO.com and the Soundcheck39 team.
  • Like
Reactions: kmmbd and Cat Music

Comments

There are no comments to display.
Top