EuphoniousMedia

New Head-Fier
Hidizs H2 - High fidelity in your pocket !
Pros: Neutral sound.
Small and super light.
App support.
Supports all Bluetooth codecs.
Direct plug and play DAC mode.
Cons: Low output power.
Not the best SNR.
Introduction :

Hidizs is a very famous brand among audiophiles, they have been around since 2009 and their AP80 and AP80 pro was a true game changer with outstanding sonic capabilities. Following the same design theory of AP80, they came up with an affordable BT receiver, H2. On paper, it supports everything ranging from CVC to UAT, microphone, volume controls and NFC pairing.

Disclaimer :

The review was tested at 65$ and all the judgement was made keeping the exact same price in mind. We're not responsible for any price change that might alter this review.


This item was graciously provided by HiFiGo for review in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. The review was written by the team in our own accord and no thoughts or judgements were altered in any way.

Purchasable link :

HiFiGo (Global Market)

Specifications :

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Source : Hidizs.

Unboxing and accessories :


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Since this was provided by HiFiGo for review purposes, no sort of packaging was provided apart from H2, rear clip and a USB C cable. Apart from paper work, we are not missing much here. The H2 comes in quite a fancy packaging with accessories which are enough for charging, connecting H2 as DAC and clipping it around. Box accessory set includes:

  • H2
  • Clipping case
  • USB C to C
  • USB C to A
  • User manual
  • Warranty cards
Build Quality :

The Hidizs H2 is a very small and compact BT receiver/DAC, for a quick comparison it is equivalent to a SD card adapter in height and just a tad bit more in width. Since it comes in a square shape, it makes it very easy to carry around in a pocket. H2 is very light weight coming in at only 12 grams. The body of H2 is made out of resin with glass finish on front and back.

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The front of H2 boasts a simple and clean design with only NFC logo without any sort of distractions like blinking lights or display. Personally, we are a fan of clean and elegant designs and H2 definitely looks like a small piece of art when held in hands.

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On the bottom you can find USB C which can be used for both charging the H2 as well as plugging it in DAC mode. The DAC mode supports plug and play without any external driver requirements (more on that later). On the top you can find a microphone as well as single ended output which supports a maximum power delivery of 16mW combined. On the left side you have your volume rockers and on the right side you can find a power button along with a sample rate indicator.

Battery :

AAC Tested ( 5 Hours )
LDAC Tested ( 2.5 Hours )

Sound Quality and amplification :

Amplification : The SNR value of 92dB and low power output didn’t seem that attractive on paper until we tried it. The signal is surprisingly clean although it definitely lacks some power in the sub-bass region. The amplification is done by MAX97220 chip with a total power output of 16mW.

Sound :
The overall sound quality of H2 is very neutral and transparent. H2 presented songs in a very neutral manner without any sort of coloration which is always appreciated.

Bass : Although, the sound is fairly neutral but a lack of energy was felt in the sub-bass region when compared with BTR5, AP80 and BTR3 (Not to mention that these devices also cost a lot more). The lack of sub-bass was not prominent until some tracks really demanded it like “Run The Jewels - Oh mama” and it’s very hard to make out a difference but it’s there. Mid-bass slams are perfect and natural.

Mids : The mid range is delivered fairly detailed and neutral. The vocals sound natural without any weird harshness or peaks. The male vocals have the heft that is required and female vocals also sound natural without getting too thin. Overall, H2 delivers quite a respectable midrange.

Highs : The higher frequencies are very well extended and airy. Cymbals and high hats don’t sound sibilant or aggressive. On some complex tracks like “Pink Floyd - Echoes” the imaging seemed a little bit fuzzy but it would be nitpicking at this price point.

Soundstage : is wide and tracks don’t sound congested. Different instruments have space in them and complements the imaging well. It’s not very holographic as it lacks some height but overall it’s a big step up from regular smartphone DAC.

Connectivity :

Now this is where things get interesting, for 65$ you’re getting all sorts of Bluetooth codecs ranging from UAT, APTX-HD, APTX, APTX-LL, LDAC, AAC, SBS to CVC. The Hidizs H2 can act as a BT receiver as well as USB DAC. Hidizs H2 supports Hiby blue app which is available on both iOS and Android but due to some reasons it didn’t seem to work on iOS at the time of writing this review. The app is very well designed and shows the BT codec it’s playing along with battery left. The app also supports EQ/gain settings/firmware update which is very handy for a device like this.

USB DAC mode :

The DAC mode of H2 extends quite well from Android, Windows, macOS to iPadOS. All you need is a USB C to C or USB C to A cable which comes out of the box. The cherry on the top is that you don’t need support of any external device driver for H2 to perform its just plug and play which not only saves time but also good for consumers who don’t like to fiddle a lot around settings. When plugged in Windows the maximum sample rate it supports is 16bits 48kHz which can be a bummer for many. It does play higher sample rate files without issues but this is the limitation of the device which needs to be pointed out.

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Plug’n’play support.

Bluetooth mode :

Pairing up H2 with your smartphone is very simple and quick. To pair H2 with your phone, you’ve to keep pressing the power button until it says pairing mode. The H2 was paired with both iOS and Android. In our testing, no connection dropouts or delay was noticed. On Android devices, H2 can easily be paired with NFC. H2 supports all BT codecs and that’s the USP of H2.


Pairings :
  • H2 + Moondrop Starfields
  • H2 + Thieaudio Legacy 3
  • H2 + FiiO FH3
  • H2 + NiceHCK EBX21
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Conclusion :


H2 costs only 65$ and provides excellent price to performance ratio. It supports all possible Bluetooth codecs, works as a dongle DAC, has microphone for calls. Overall, H2 is a very versatile player and can be great stepping stone in the audio hobby without spending a lot. It does sound great with decent battery life and ticks almost all the boxes. Only thing that brings this down is power limitations and you can't pair this with hard to drive IEMs. Something like Etymotic ER2XR would totally sound under powered with it.

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Rated :

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All grades are given keeping price to performance ratio in mind, better grade doesn't mean it's the best.

05.vishal

New Head-Fier
Hidizs H2: Rocket in your Pocket!
Pros: 1. Compact Size and weight.
2. Supports All Bluetooth codecs.
3. USB DAC functionality.
4. Sounds bigger than its size.
5. Distortion-free sound.
6. NFC…need I say more?
Cons: 1. Limited Power.
2. Battery life depends on the codec that you use.
Disclaimer:

The unit is provided by HiFiGo for review purposes. If you’d like to purchase the H2, it is available from HiFiGo for USD $65.


Build and Design:

The H2 is extremely small to hold in hands. The weight is 12 grams so that helps.
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On the left, you will see a single but multiple functions holding button. It acts a Power button, Play/Pause, or Call-answer feature.

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On the right, you will see the volume rocker and next/previous button. The bottom sports the USB-C type port and the top has the Single-Ended Output in the form of 3.5 mm jack.

The LED indicator is also on the left side. It has the following features:

  • Red flashing: on charging.
  • Blue flashing: Bluetooth pairing mode.
  • Green: 44.1kHz to 48kHz.
  • Blue: 88.2kHz to 192kHz.

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Technical Specifications:

Bluetooth ChipQualcomm CSR8675 Bluetooth Chip
Amp ChipMAX97220
Bluetooth CodecsUAT, APTX-HD, APTX, APTX-LL, LDAC, AAC, SBS, CVC
Status LEDSupport
Body Material & ColorOne-piece German Makrolon Resin Housing(Black, White)
NFC One-Touch PairingSupport
USB DACAndroid, Windows, Mac OS, iPad OS
Transmission InterfaceType-C
Power/pairing/play/pauseDedicated Button
Vol+-/Previous track/Next trackDedicated Button
Wired EarphonesSupport
Hands-free Call/MicSupport
Transmission DistanceApprox.10m(at open area). Within 4m for UAT & LDAC.
Battery Capacity160mAh
Battery Life7h
Charing Time1.5h
Power AdapterDC 5V 2A is recommended
HiBy Blue APPFirmware update supported




How do the Bluetooth fares:

The H2 caters to major Bluetooth codec that includes UAT, LDAC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX LL, SBC and AAC. The H2 supports dual device support and becomes a really handy device if you are dealing with work-from-home in these pandemic times. The signal stays very stable and has a range of up to 10 meters. The range will drop at the use of higher codecs and is mentioned on the Hidizs website as well. Also, there is a latency observed while playing games like PUBG.



Performance:

Single-ended Headphone OutputRated Output Power8mW+8mW@
Frequency Response20Hz-90Khz
Total Harmonic Distortion+Noise0.008%(1kHz)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio92dB
Crosstalk68dB (@32Ω)
Recommended Earphone Resistance Range8-60Ω (Recommended)


The H2 was able to drive all my iem’s…KBear Believe, BGVP DN2, AD700x, Senn HD 598 CS, and a handful of earbuds. There was a noticeable difference between my Galaxy S10.

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Battery Consumption:

H2 has decent battery consumption:
  • On APtx it lasted about 3 hours.
  • On LDAC, it lasted about 2 hours.
  • On AAc, it lasted 6 hours.
How to use it:

You can download the Hiby Blue app from the Playstore to connect H2 and easily monitor its functions.

Sound Impressions:

Bass:


The lows offer a fuller feel to it. It makes for a more musical presentation than what you have gotten from your mobile phone. The tone is warmish and laid back. The snares are not congested and the bass has meat to it.

Mids:

Because of the warmish nature, the Mids has moderate airiness and extension to it. The mids sound above average than your regular mobile phones and the notes are full. I would not say that these provide you with lush vocals but H2 does the job.

Highs:

Treble is laid back and warm. It is also relatively airy than you average mobile phone.

Soundstage:

The soundstage is wide but it lacks depth. These provide you ample space for complex tracks so that they do not sound as congested as they usually do.

Final Thoughts:

If you are looking for a cost-effective and ultra-portable Bluetooth enabled dac/amp, that has NFC as well…well look no further mates…

cqtek

500+ Head-Fier
The Little Big Bluetooth Receiver
Pros: Very small size and weight.
- Bluetooth codecs.
- Connectivity capability.
- Very simple, effective and faultless use. Great performance.
- Surprising sound for its specifications.
- Maximum volume reproduction free of distortion.
Cons: Limited power and signal-to-noise ratio
Introduction

The H2 is Hidizs' answer to one of the most versatile products of the year. It is a DAC/Amp Bluetooth receiver, capable of being controlled by a APP. In this occasion the famous brand founded in 2009, breaks the deck with an unbeatable small size. Furthermore, it integrates NFC for easy pairing, microphone, 3 control buttons, a multicolor LED, Bluetooth 5.0 and the best Bluetooth codecs. It all looks very good, doesn't it? Yes, even its pre-sale price is. What else does this small device hide? Well, we'll see about that later.

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Specifications

  • Bluetooth chip: Qualcomm CSR8675.
  • Amplification chip: MAX97220.
  • Bluetooth Codecs: UAT, APTX-HD, APTX, APTX-LL, LDAC, AAC, SBC, CVC.
  • Multicolour LED.
  • Pairing via NFC One-Touch.
  • USB DAC compatible with Android, Windows, Mac OS, iPad OS.
  • USB type C.
  • Dedicated power, pairing, play and pause button.
  • Dedicated dual button for Volume + and -/Previous Track/Next Track.
  • SE 3.5mm output.
  • Handsfree / Microphone support.
  • Transmission distance: Approx. 10m (in open area). Within 4m for UAT & LDAC.
  • Battery capacity 160mAh.
  • Battery life 7h.
  • Charging time 1.5h.
  • Nominal output power 8mW+8mW@32Ω.
  • Frequency response 20Hz-90Khz.
  • Total harmonic distortion + Noise 0.008% (1kHz).
  • Signal to noise ratio 92dB.
  • Crosstalk: 68dB (@32Ω).
  • Recommended headphone resistance range 8-60Ω.
  • Net weight 12G.

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Packaging, Content, Construction and Design

The Hidizs H2 comes in a smooth, matt, black cardboard box, measuring 108x108x52mm. It is covered with protective transparent cellophane. On the top, the H2 is drawn with its outlines, in a darker engraving. In the corners there is the brand, model and other logos, in silver holographic ink. On the back, the features are specified, in Chinese and English, with the same silver ink. It does not look like the box of something so small and after removing it, the surprise is consumed. The H2 comes packed in cellophane and a cloth band allows it to be unwrapped from the protective mould. Under it, a cardboard cover that, after being lifted, shows the rest of the accessories. In short:

  • H2.
  • USB type-C to USB cable.
  • Translucent plastic case with rear clip.
  • User's manual.
  • Warranty card.
  • USB Type-C to Type-C cable

A cloth bag is missing to protect it from scratches or blows. Although the content is correct. The protective casing with clip is suitable and very useful for using the H2 as a hands-free device. The type-C to type-C USB cable is somewhat rigid and when bent has taken on that shape.

The body material is made of Makrolon resin from Germany. It is available in black or white. The device feels hard and compact, without creaking or gaps, very solid. Its weight is derisory, only 12g, as are its dimensions: 32x32x10mm. On the main side there is the brand logo, its name and the model. Below, the description of the device and, finally, the full name of the brand. On the back side, only the NFC logo, at the bottom. On the upper edge, on the left, is the 3.5mm SE output. In the centre, a hole in which the microphone is supposed to be located. These are two Qualcomm cVc microphones of the eighth generation in noise cancellation technology. It has a wide bandwidth to provide high quality voice calls in HD. At the left edge, in the centre, there is a round, multi-function button (On/Off). Underneath it, the multicoloured LED. On the right-hand edge there is a double button (+ and -), with a bulge on top, to identify the positive side. On the lower side, near the left corner, is the USB type C port.

The casing is adapted to the main face, held by clips to the rear face, leaving all controls free. It includes the hole to release the microphone. It has a spring clip and its colour is translucent, but somewhat cloudy. This component performs its function properly, it holds firmly and the clip is strong. None of the connectors are gold-plated.

The design is simple, ultra functional, not without appeal, durable and extremely compact.

Inside is the Qualcomm CSR8675 Bluetooth 5.0 chip, capable of supporting the latest codecs. It is specially paired with the MAX97220 amplifier chip, which has high compatibility, low distortion and noise. In my opinion, very little juice (power) is taken from this chip. Perhaps it's all due to a battery consumption issue: more power = more consumption. I don't think there are any problems with heat dissipation. I think a small size has been prioritized over a larger power. But this is just a personal assessment that may differ from reality.

And speaking of the battery, its capacity is 160mAh, which gives it a duration of 7h. Its full charge takes 1.5h and a 5V DC and 2A charger is recommended.

During the time that I have used it, the duration of the battery has been a little less, although it is true that I have made it work at maximum volume, using IEMS of 16/32Ω.

The H2 also offers the NFC for Bluetooth pairing, by a simple touch, with those compatible devices.

In short, the presentation is remarkable, the content is good, the construction is very good and the design seems quite logical, simple, but effective.

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Connectivity


The H2 can be used as a Bluetooth receiver and as a USB DAC via cable. Via Bluetooth it supports the UAT, APTX-HD, APTX, APTX-LL, LDAC, AAC, SBC and CVC codecs. Of particular note is the compatibility with the UAT (Ultra Audio Transmission) codec developed by HiBy, which is capable of supporting 192kHz and the highest bandwidth (1.2Mbps). Furthermore, under this protocol, the different HiBy APPs can communicate with the device, exchange information and improve the user experience (alternative volume control to the Smartphone, firmware update via OTA, equalisation, etc.) Connected to my PC with the old Windows 7 is recognised without problems, without the need for additional drivers, although it does not have ASIO drivers. It should be noted that the buttons on the H2, work in this connection mode. Both the volume, and play or stop, can be operated from H2. While connected to a PC, H2 can also be charged.

It can also be connected by cable, to compatible DAPS, such as the Tempotec V1-A and HiBy R3 Pro, although its reduced power makes it unsuitable. A connection via Bluetooth would make much more sense in these cases.

Cable connection, such as USB DAC, is extended to Android, Windows, Mac OS, iPad OS devices.

Connected to my Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro, the default codec is LDAC. Of course, from the developer options, you can choose different codec and BitRate. From the APP HiBy Music you can choose the UAT codec, being able to unlink the volume of the H2 from the volume of the Smartphone, among other features. At the moment, APP HiBy Blue does not allow many other functions. I suppose that in the future this will improve.

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The transmission distance is approximately 10m (in open area). About 4m for UAT & LDAC.

Two Bluetooth devices can be connected at the same time, maintaining a stable and trouble-free connection. It can also be connected as a DAC to the PC and via Bluetooth simultaneously, with Bluetooth playback preference over use as a DAC.

The connections, both wired and Bluetooth, are certified as Hi-Res Audio and Hi-Re Audio Wireless, capable of reaching and reproducing a resolution of up to 24 bits/96kHz.

According to the web, it can also be connected to the car's auxiliary input, a TV, a desktop speaker, etc. It is understood that when connected in this way, the output acts as a line output. But I have not found a selector switch between headphone output and line output. The output impedance and behaviour are not the same. But if the manufacturer advertises it, it will be possible to use it, without the device suffering any deterioration.

In summary, the H2 is a very versatile device in the connectivity section, capable of offering multiple forms of connection, as well as excellent ease of use. As a DAC, no additional driver is required and the best codecs are supported via Bluetooth. Excellent.

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Operativity

The use of H2 is very simple. I recommend connecting the headphones before turning it on, because this way we will hear the voice assistant, which will report the status of the device itself. I have to emphasize that the voice of the assistant is very clear and intelligible, unlike many other voices, as well as having a very adequate volume. By pressing the round button for a long time, the device will switch on and enter pairing mode. A short press will pause/resume playback. A long press will turn the device off.

With the double volume button, short presses can be used to vary the volume. Long presses on these buttons will allow you to switch between songs, next or previous, depending on the button pressed.

Connected to the PC as a DAC, it can be used without problems with Foobar2000 or Dopamine, but without being able to use the ASIO driver. The H2 can be configured in Windows with 16 bits and 48kHz maximum, not a very high figure, let's say. This does not mean that it cannot play higher resolution files, as it does so without problems. It is only a limitation of the driver. Is it possible that Hidizs, in the future, can create an exclusive ASIO driver? I don't know, but it would be the best way to get more out of the device. On the other hand, there are no clicks or pops during playback in this mode. There's something new about this driverless device, which I like: the play/pause button works from the device, which is not the case with other products. My recommendation, when connected to a PC, is to set the volume of the H2 to the maximum and control it by the playback application. I recommend this because the volume jumps on H2 are quite large and when it is connected to the PC you have to press the volume control repeatedly to change it. The maximum is known to have been reached because there is a slight "mute" in the sound: it is suddenly lowered and then raised again, indicating that this maximum volume has been reached.

Connected to a Smartphone via Bluetooth, APP HiBy Music is recommended, but with USB Audio Performance Mode disabled. From this APP you can activate UAT mode and use APP HiBy Blue together. This APP will allow you to offer greater functionalities to the device, such as updating the firmware via OTA or through a file provided. You can also see the codec used, the battery status of the H2, allows use of equalizer and gain. Although the EQ is only effective at 44.1kHz and 48kHz sampling frequencies.

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It can be seen that H2 has firmware version 0.03. It has not been possible to connect to the server to obtain an update via OTA, it is assumed that no updates are available. In this sense, there is nothing wrong with suggesting a firmware change. Although a future possibility of choosing a high gain mode, it would be very welcome and something that would greatly increase the value of H2, even though it implies a higher battery consumption.

Connecting to a Smartphone or other DAP by cable is a simple operation and on those devices that are compatible, the H2 will be recognized quickly. If not, check if the cable is upside down, turn it over and use the other C-type connector.

The different states indicated by the colour of the LED are as follows:

  • Red flashing: on charging.
  • Blue flashing: Bluetooth pairing mode.
  • Green: 44.1kHz to 48kHz.
  • Blue: 88.2kHz to 192kHz.

Please note that Hidizs recommends a DC 5V 2A power adapter.

Finally, it should be noted that the H2 has the ability to enter StandBy mode, when not in use, automatically.

Measures

The Hidizs H2 has a fairly linear frequency response, with a very slight drop in the lower zone. If it were not for the graphics and measurements, it would hardly be detectable. It is 1.5dB at 20Hz, but at 40Hz it is only 0.5dB.

Hidizs H2.png

This slight drop can be seen in the measurements without load, such as at 15Ω, 33Ω, 62Ω and 100Ω.
Another thing that can be seen is that at maximum volume there is no saturation or visible distortion in the pure waves.

15Ω

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33Ω

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62Ω

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100Ω

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No Load

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The power calculated for each resistor that has been connected can be seen in the following image. It can be noticed that the specifications do not lie and that at 32Ω, the H2 offers almost 9mW, a little more than the 8mW declared by Hidizs for this impedance. Although, I really think that power is somewhat fair if you are going to use inefficient headphones and good old recordings, if you like high volume.

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Output-Impedance.png


Sound

Thanks to the fact that the Hidizs H2 can be connected simultaneously by Bluetooth (UAT) and as a DAC connected to my PC, I have been able to verify that the differences in sound between both modes are practically non-existent. In this way and for ease of use, I will describe the sound offered by the H2 connected to my PC.

On the other hand, the operation of the H2 via Bluetooth has been limited to listening to music and receiving calls. In both scenarios the sound has always been fluid and without losses or lags. The sensitivity of the microphone seems adequate, although I usually talk low, I just had to place it closer to avoid problems.

I find the sound profile of the H2 neutral and clean. The first impression is that it sounds better than its numbers predict and, saving the dynamic range and power distances, the sound presentation is similar to the HD Sonata, with a little more clean and clear in the middle zone, as the sound of the Sonata is somewhat warmer and softer.

The lower zone has good expression, the texture is not too complex, but it has a good relationship between descriptive capacity and simplicity. It is true that there is a slight limitation in the lower sub-bass, but it is practically imperceptible, unless the musical genres are very explicit in this area. The result is a more than acceptable depth, a natural colour, a generous beat, but without losing naturalness.

The middle zone is what provides the sound with its clean and neutral character, with good light. The sound in this zone is described as direct and fast, well profiled, but perhaps a little hard and strict. It is not an analytical sound, nor is it soft, but it has a digital character, something that reminds me of HiFi CD players from the late 1990s. It's clear that a lot has happened since then and that the resolution level of digital music is much better today. But within a sound scale, which includes all the sources I own, the H2 could fit, virtually, in that position, transferred to the current era. The numbers don't deceive, and neither does the potential limitation. In this way, the resolution and dynamics feel somewhat cut back, when the musical passages are more complex, with more instruments, where the demand for expressiveness of detail requires a greater effort. In simpler musical genres, the H2 moves well and the voices sound correct and well profiled. The instrumentation is immediate, but without an explicit micro detail. In this way, the sound is good, simple, clear, firm and present. But it does not enjoy a superior refinement that gives it greater definition, a darker background, or a very large separation. And these limitations are shown more clearly in the high zone, making the more critical highs, described in a quicker way, with less delicacy. I believe that the upper end is the area where H2 suffers most, compared to other sources. His work here is simply correct, adequate to his possibilities. The recreation is still direct but somewhat more omitted, without going into much detail, nor into a more special or higher resolution definition. The extension is on a par with this expression, but the separation and the amount of air feel more limited when the music demands it. In this way, the scene is not strictly intimate, since, thanks to the clarity and cleanliness of the sound, it has a slight expansive tendency in the middle zone. But the absence of a greater dynamic limits a greater depth in the lower zone, a better separation between notes and an amount of air that allows the scene to be more three-dimensional. The instrumental positioning is correct, homogeneous, not too agglutinated, sufficient to establish a realistic image.

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Comparisons

Sonata HD


As I mentioned earlier, I find a similar starting point between the Sonata HD and the H2. Both possess that openly direct character, with a more energetic and sharp profile. But the greater dynamics and power of the Sonata, gives it a better capacity for definition and a greater amount of air. This translates into a sound that gains in depth, since it also does not suffer from any loss in its lower zone. The profile of the Sonata is completely flat. The better resolution results in a slightly softer and less harsh comparative reproduction, which is noticeable on long listenings. The HD Sonata provides a somewhat higher degree of resolution and more refinement. However, the sound of the H2 seems to be a little more neutral and bright. The distance between the two is not like night and day - you need trained ears, good recordings and headphones to detect these differences. In the middle zone, the voices of the H2 sound drier, while in the Sonata you can appreciate a little more smoothness, a silkier texture. The H2 is simpler in that sense, offering a cooler feel. The lower zone is quite similar in both devices, with a very similar beat, lowering the Sonata more, at the lower end, but without any greater weight in the zone. There is improved definition in the Sonata, with a little more body and packing in the bass, in addition to that point of greater depth. In the high zone is where the most differences can be seen, in favour of the HD Sonata. Its highs are more expressive, sharp and revealing than in H2. Although they have a similar sonority, in H2, they are slightly softer, offering a little less resolution and quality in the final detail.

The scene is deeper in the Sonata HD, but the H2 compensates for this by offering a cleanup that gives good separation. In the end, though, the greater dynamics of the Sonata HD makes the difference, offering a fuller, wider, higher body and image with more three-dimensional effect, because it is able to offer more air and a darker background. The H2 has a more cohesive and mixed sound, something that can be appreciated when there are many instruments or the sound is more ethereal and open in itself.

In short, the sound between the two devices has a similar approach at first, starting with a comparable staging. But, in the end, the numbers count and both the power and the dynamic range establish those differences that can be seen with the passing of the minutes and more complex musical passages.

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Conclusion

Hidizs has created a tiny Bluetooth receiver that works flawlessly and has all the best qualities expected from a product like this: the best and most current Bluetooth codecs, 5.0 specification, fast pairing via NFC, ability to connect to 2 devices via Bluetooth, use as DAC/Amp via USB cable, integrated multipurpose buttons, status LED, internal battery and many other features. It is clear that it is the smallest product that has these properties and at the best price. If we talk about its sound, it is above its specifications. Considering its limited power and dynamic range, the H2 is recommended for headphones up to 60Ω. And, thanks to its noise-cancelling microphone, it is one of the best Bluetooth solutions for our entire IEMS collection.

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Earphones and Sources Used During Analysis

  • HiBy R3 Pro
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro
  • Tempotec Variations V1-A
  • Ikko OH10
  • NF AUDIO NM2
  • NF AUDIO NM2+
  • BGVP ArtMagic VG4
  • ISN H40
  • NS Audio NS5 MKII Extra Bass
  • Tin HiFi T2 Plus
  • Tin HiFi T1 Plus

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Ratings

  • Construction and Design: 85
  • Accessories: 70
  • Connectivity: 90
  • Sound: 70
  • Quality/Price: 85

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Purchase Link

You can read the full review in Spanish here

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IryxBRO

500+ Head-Fier
Hidizs H2 — HiRes Bluetooth receiver with USB DAC
Pros: support all HD Bluetooth codecs, stable performance, good playback time, USB DAC function, good audio quality
Cons: low power output
Couple of days ago, together with Black Friday discounts for the entire lineup, Hidizs has announced their new product — H2. My sample unit has landed about a week ago and here is my presentation and in-depth write up of this device.

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So, what is Hidizs H2? It is a small DAC unit that is positioned by Hidizs as Bluetooth receiver. Although, its functionality goes beyond that definition. Along with acting as a Bluetooth DAC, it allows USB connection as well. I have already been dealing with other Bluetooth standalone receivers from HiBy (W5) and Colorfly (BT-C1), Bluetooth cables for IEMs (Hidizs H1) and tabletop DAC|amps with Bluetooth audio reception (Audinst HUD-DX1 Blue24) but neither one of those was similarly capable in terms of HD audio codecs support or didn’t have USB DAC function. Of course, H2 is not free of some limitations which would be described here later. For now, my point of what makes Hidizs H2 almost unique is that it combines the support of all known Bluetooth HD audio codec and USB DAC function.

Hidizs H2 specs:

spech2


As we can see from the specs published by Hidizs, the supported HD Bluetooth codecs cover Qualcomm aptX HD, Sony LDAC and even 192kHz, 1.2Mbps HiBy UAT. Of course, less sophisticated regular codecs such as aptX, SBC, AAC are also supported.

From the standpoint of HW architecture H2 is based on 24bit|192kHz Qualcomm CSR8675 SoC which incorporates Bluetooth 5.0, TrueWireless, WirelessBroadcast and active noise cancelling cVc technologies (yes, H2 does have a mic onboard and allows regular calls with noise cancelling). Amplification is done on behalf of MAX97220 differential amplifier chip. Although, despite theoretical datasheet power output stated as 125mW @ 32Ω, H2 is only producing 8mW|channel with the same impedance. This is the only arguable specification of this device. Nevertheless, as derived from further tests, it still drives 32Ω to an appropriate level and the rest of the specs remain quite impressive.

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Packaging and design:

Hidizs H2 comes in a small black matt box standardized across most of the product produced by Hidizs. Box contains silver imprints of specs, manufacturer info and logo together with glossy device outlines.

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As a matter of fact, this box could have been much smaller in size since H2 is pretty tiny device and consumes just a fraction of the space inside. It is stored in the special top level insert while all accessories are located in another compartment beneath. Accessories include:
  • USB type-C -> USB type-C (host|slave) cable
  • USB A -> USB type-C cable
  • plastic case|clip
  • leaflets, warranty card
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H2 housing is made of solid piece of resin (German Makrolon) with front and back glass panels. Such choice of material not only looks great and resembles overall Hidizs design principles, but also stays transparent for the radio waves ensuring the best reception quality.

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The design looks clean, simple and attractive at the same time. Personally, I admire the approach of placing logos and text behind glass panels — it makes it shine and protects from any damage. Unfortunately, scratches on the panels are inevitable in future due to the absence of protective film. At the same time there are factory protection films from the box but those are used for transportation purposes. The best way, probably, would be cutting off special peel off projections from this film and leave the rest on the device.

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Since H2 has NFC module for easy pairing, it contains NFC logo under the front glass panel. Right edge contains power button and 3-color LED, left — volume up and down button. Mic opening and 3.5mm audio output is located on the top edge while USB type-C port is on the bottom. Buttons are not rattling and have a good actuation feel.

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Plastic case|clip is a great accessory which is familiar from Hidizs S9 DAC|amp. It is made of transparent plastic with rough surface finish, securely holds H2, allows easy access to all buttons and doesn’t cover mic opening. Clip spring tension is more than enough to be confident that H2 would not get lost during a workout.

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Preparing H2 for use:

Very straight forward: H2 requires ~1.5H to reach the full charge and indicates the process with flashing red LED. There are 2 scenarios after that: either to connect H2 to a smartphone or PC with a cable or to pair it with any device over Bluetooth. Second scenario can be achieved by a regular pairing process or by using NFC of H2 for faster identification and connection. Long press Power button to enter pairing mode. H2 would quickly flash blue LED to indicate that the process has started (and would go into slow flashing mode when paired).

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When paired with a smartphone, it is better to use HiBy Blue from the corresponding app market in order to monitor connection quality, codec in use, battery state, use the additional EQ and to be able to upgrade the firmware. Most of the functions of this app are not required if H2 would be used with HiBy Music app over Bluetooth or USB. EQ and audio codec would be pushed by this app instead of HiBy Blue.

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By the way, H2 has multipoint function and allows 2 device to be connected over Bluetooth simultaneously.

H2 in use:

There are different stated of LED that indicate device operation:
  • Charging — flashing Red
  • Pairing — fast flashing Blue
  • Up to 48kHz — slow flashing Green
  • 88..2 up to 192kHz — slow flashing Blue
Button functionality:
  • Power button
    • Short press — play|pause
    • Long press — on|off
    • Very long press in OFF mode — pairing
  • Volume up|down
    • Short press — volume up|down
    • Long press — next|previous track
There are integrated voice prompts for standard functions such as power on|off, connection state and pairing.

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Switching between LDAC, aptHD and other audio codecs is done from a smartphone under the Developer options menu. Initially, H2 would be pushed with the best possible supported codec from a smartphone. In my case it was LDAC (Xiaomi Redmi Note 8Pro). Although, in order to switch to the supreme HiBy UAT we would have to run either HiBy Music or HiBy Blue (if other music app is used). The connection distance free of any hiccups for LDAC and UAT can reach up to 10 meters at open space. Even one thin concrete wall is not a severe obstacle but the distance gets limited to 2-3 meters from a wall at one side.

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When using cable connection with a smartphone — USB DAC gets recognized and everything works correctly. Bit-perfect mode is allowed be HiBy Music app. The only concern is that the cable has host and slave sides and should be connected in a correct way. Microphone with noise cancelling function works great, allowing to accept and answer the calls. No complaints from the other party in terms of voice quality.

H2 runs flawless in Windows 7,8 and 10 environment as well. The device is getting recognized by the system as Hidizs H2 USB sound card with integrated mic. No driver is needed. Furthermore, there is no driver available from Hidizs till now. The maximum audio quality listed in device properties is 16bit/48kHz what makes me wonder about the possible release of special monopoly mode driver later by Hidizs. Current native Windows driver does not occupy H2 and allows all sounds with no lag in videos. Which is good.

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The difference in device operation time from a single charge in Bluetooth or cable mode is hard to tell since H2 starts charging when connected to USB port of any device. Therefore, it would drain source battery before running out of charge. Stated battery life in Bluetooth mode is close real time figures. I’ve got 6,5H battery life of playing audio with LDAC codec.

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One good function that should be mentioned is the ability of H2 to play music and take charge at the same time. This allows to stay connected even if the battery has drained. Or to use H2 as Bluetooth receiver in home setup.

Sound quality:

I would not get too deep in this section since my perception of Hidizs H2 purpose is very subjective. The main scenario for me is integrating Hidizs H2 into home stack as a Bluetooth receiver, allowing LDAC and UAT decoding and passing the signal to external amp or active speakers. Such scenario is not that demanding in terms of output power.

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Of course, the initial tests were done using IEMs (Hidizs Seeds, 25Ω) and full-sized AudioTechnica (ATH-M50, 38Ω). Surprisingly, in both cases the audio quality does not disappoint and both models are driven adequately. IEMs with such impedance even have some room to increase the volume further, while full-sized IEMs are just on the edge of H2 potential. This also leads to properly driven IEMs showing better overall dynamics, integrity of lows and midbass, separation of each instrument and more perceptible resolution. ATH-M50 sounds more dirty and tends to leave out some details by mixing instruments together at higher volume levels. But this is expected behavior with such output figures.

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In overall, when paired with low impedance|high sensitivity IEMs, H2 sounds clean, while tending to warm sound in signature. It shows moderate amount of details across the entire range, good midbass dynamics and power, pretty thick mids and has no irritating peaks on highs or upper mids. Cable connection delivers better extension and clarity at both ends (especially on higher frequencies). As always. I should mention here that the audio lag in Bluetooth is more apparent which should be considered when watching videos. It is acceptable but close to the point of getting a desynchronized with the video stream.

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To summarize: H2 should not be regarded as a potential competitor for such products as Hidizs S8, S9 portable DAC|AMPs and AP80 DAP lineup — it is not capable to deliver the same level of audio quality due to a limited power output. On the other hand, it sounds more balanced, clean and impressive that a regular smartphone or PC with the appropriate IEMs or in active home setup.

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Conclusion:

Hidizs H2 perfectly does the job of HiRes Audio Bluetooth receiver in active home setup by supporting the most sophisticated audio codecs, multipoint connection and simultaneous charge. While in the portable usage scenario the user should be aware of its limited driving ability. Other than that, Hidizs H2 is a good performer with rare combination of Bluetooth receiver and USB DAC functions. Moreover, its implementation and user experience is flawless. Therefore, it is recommended to consider if its main features and virtues fit the desired setup.

Hidizs H2 official store: LINK

Thank you for reading.
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