HiSoundAudio RoCoo P


New Head-Fier
Pros: excellent sq, sound stage, power, portable, battery life, build quality
Cons: user interface, slow boot, finger prints, 4gb internal memory, equalizer
What i really love about this player is its wide sound stage and sq. Every time i listen to it with my headphones or iem's, it blows me away.  I spent hours of listening to it everyday.
It can drive many iems or headphones because of its built in amp. it has lots of power.
The battery can last 8-10 hours of continuous playback.
The build quality is solid and it doesn't feel cheap.
Sadly this player has its cons.
User Interface and equalizer- The user interface is basic and the equalizer to me has no purpose. The only preset that i find good is the nature setting.
Slow boot- it has a 4gb internal memory and since my songs are in flac and wav format it requires a lot space so i got a micro sd. When a micro sd is inserted, the time for it to power on takes longer than usual.( especially if you have many files)
fingerprints-glossy materials, prone to scratches.
Despite the cons, i would still recommend this because we all love great sq.This is one of the best portable player out there; bang for the buck!
I agree the little Rocco players are excellent sounding players. Enjoy it.
Nice review. Worth checking out. Thank you


New Head-Fier
Pros: wide soundstage, good highs and lows, incredible mids
Cons: finger prints and user interface
One of the best sounding dap with lots of power. 
this dap;s battery life last me a day out in town... v slim..i use it to test headfones in the shops :p


New Head-Fier
Pros: Sound quality
Cons: Size, UI, short battery life
I never expected that such device will be the perfect complement for my trusty HD 25. All the cons I picked up upon hearing my HP were all remedied by this wonderful DAP (thanks to its built-in amp). The sibilance went away, better bass extension and mids are among the improvements it gave. Oh, I almost forgot, the soundstage became wider. Definitely a must buy for all HD 25 owners. :)


Pros: Sound Quality, Build Quality
Cons: Read through the impressions
When I was looking for a good quality portable driver, predominantly for use while traveling and at desk, I came across some very positive reviews and impressions for Rocoo P / BA / Studio. I was immediately drawn by Rocoo P as it was a smaller design compared to studio version and I wanted it to be compatible with all IEMs and not specifically designed for BAs.  
Having read the different reviews and the impressions, I was little hesitant in going for Rocoo P, especially with the feedback of background hiss and lack of any useful equalizer. 
I have been enjoying this wonderful little device extensively for over a week now, that I decided to share my impressions of this player, with an aim to share those points that are not obvious in the reviews and will help you decide if you would want to go for Rocoo P.
This is my first review post here.  Hope you enjoy.
Please bear in mind while reading this review:
1) These are my impressions on using the Rocoo P for just over a week.  
2) I have been trying to improve my quality of listening and enjoy the recordings rather than just listening for the last few years.  So my experience is limited.
3) My knowledge / impressions / opinions are limited to my hearing experience on
a) Transcend T630 with Creative EP - 630 headphones (Don't own this anymore.  I have used this for over 3 years and this is my first setup for quality listening. My nephew is enjoying this now.)
b) Cowon E2 with Creative EP -630 / Panasonic HJE- 900 (Amazing and quality setup, highly portable and enjoyable sound signature / presentation, especially with Mac3Bass, with the gripe of a small battery)
c) From laptop using Jetaudio and any of the above headphones (Prefer the sound signature of Jetaudio to Windows media player.  I have not tried using other audiophile / hifi media players.)  
d) iPOD Touch and Sansa clip+ (I don't own these, but have listed to these occassionally borrowing from friends to listen and compare to other players.)
4) I have my files as 16 bit WAV, 16 bit flac, 320 kbps VBR mp3. I also listen to lower bit rate mp3 when I don't have access to the WAV files.
5) I listen using dynamic IEMs and have not used other headphones.
6) The impressions are with the default EQ (flat).
7) The quality of output is a factor of the audio player, the earphones, environmental noise, quality of recording, quality of the music file and one's listening skills.  
8) I listen for enjoying the music, the little nuances in recordings.  I am not analytical when I am enjoying the music.
The following are my impressions, in the order of what what I like best to the quirky ones:
1) Clean, relaxed and detailed presentation.  For example, AR Rahman songs had so much detail that I had not heard in my other setups.  I could hear the guitar string hum (resonance?) after the music was over in the end of the song.  It was as though I was in the same room as the guitar was played.  Doors was another album that I enjoyed a lot.  I felt as though I was in the first row of the concert.
More than details, the sound is more real than what I have heard with my existing gear.  This is good for either the drums, the vocals or the strings. 
Rocoo P has the best detail that I have heard till now.  It is such a joy to hear the nuances that the artist intended.  There is so much detail even at low volumes.  The drums sound so real, to the point of feeling the fingers touching the drum membrane. 
2) Noticeable and adequate power.  It has a built in AMP that makes a significant difference in the way this player sounds.  Though I have not used multiple earphones while review, I am plesantly satisfied with the detail and energy from Panasonic HJE 900. I hear typically at 5 - 8 volume levels when indoors and till 14 when outside.  I have never felt the need to take it to above this level.  The maximum volume level is 31.  
3) Solidly build quality (You will agree when you hold it.).  Rocoo P has black brushed aluminum enclosure with clean straight edges and white aluminium metal buttons, decent silver accent throughout. The build quality is not apprarent in the pictures.  Though I like the build quality, the front and back of the player are finger print magnets.  I carry Rocoo P in a micro fibre sleeve.  This helps keep it clean.
I would have liked Rocoo more without the glossy plastic covering in front and back.
EDIT:  The build is not as great as I would like to believe.  There was a problem that resulted in uneven and poor volume, which worsened if I move or rotate the earphone jack.  This could be due to poor build in the jack area or internal.  All this is in less than 6 months of careful use.   I have sent it for servicing, but there are issues getting it safely shipped to China.  I am not sure if I will have it back but, without a reliable warranty / service, the aluminium build is not worth it, especially when you pay such a premium.  
EDIT 17-Jun-15:  This has long been serviced by HSA and it has worked flawlessly ever since (recently sold).  (Been a long time and I forgot to update this review.)
4) Minimal Design.  Simple metal brick with small LED display. Nothing fancy to mention about.  It has a compact size of a typical cigrette box.  
Rocoo P is not thin like the ipod Touch, but is easily poketable.  It's simpleton design and sharp corners (buffed and not hurting) might be a no for some considering the modern designs of the other portable players.  (Also this is not quite comfortable in the jeans packet)
Considering the brilliant output, I have come to like this highly understated design. 
5) Battery lasted for about 10 hours on a full charge, adequate for my daily use.  This is quite good when you consider that this is a audio player with a built in AMP. I charge this overnight and it is ready for the next day.  This will not be suitable if have a need for a longer play time.
6) Some reviews had mentioned about hiss in Rocoo P, and I was apprehensive until I heard with my earphones.  I did not notice any hiss, unless it was in the recording itself.  Of course, hiss is dependent on the headphones as well, and you would need to assess if your head / earphones are prone to hiss.
7) Charges using a micro USB supplied, through mains or from computer.  Only US compatible mains charger provided. 
8) You can FF and RW by pressing the right and left keys continuously.  This is very good, especially if you like to go back and hear something again like me.
9) Simple physical button operation. This is very useful, especially if you are in a public places and prefer a blind operation.  
Now continuing to the possible deal breakers and quirky parts,
10) No are no other functionality apart from a music player.  No apps, no games, no video, no wifi, no FM, not even album art.  (I personally don't care about this)
11) The default / FLAT EQ is fantastic.  I have not found a need for using the other EQs.  The predefined EQs are not worth trying.  No user defineable EQ. 
There are no other sound enhancing algorithms (like BBE, SRS, et al.).  Having enjoyed the BBE settings, before I heard the Rocoo, I have never felt the need for any sound enhancing algorithm with Rocoo if you have good quality files.
12) When you power on with microSD loaded, it takes few to several minuites to initiate and have the player ready for use.  The player cannot be used till it is fully initialized.
13) It appears that the software is not fully mature and has some bugs. The player froze when trying to play certain files in micro SD (This did not happen with the files in the player, not sure if this is correlated).  Rocoo P hanged (probably due to certain files, that my other players are able to play) and I 
had to reset and then restart the player half a dozen times to use the player. Once reset it worked well. 
Rocoo did not power on to be functional with a blank microSD.  It just hanged and I had to reset, remove the microSD and start again.  I am not sure if this is an issue with formatting, but will provide an update if this persists.
14) Played files incorrectly and skipped some to the next file from middle.  I would probably attribute to the formatting of the micro SD.
15) You cannot switch off the player when it has frozen. You have to reset it.  
16) A faint, but noticeable buzz sound or noise when the next song is played by the player.  This is not obvious, but noticeable, and can be annoying at times.  
17) The click of the keys is not smooth, it is awkward and the sound reminds of basic and cheap cell phone keys.The click can be loud and disturbing others in silent listening environment.
18) Easily picks up the signals from a nearby mobile, when you get a call / sms. You will need to keep the phone away especially if you do not like interference in  your music. 
19) No / Limited Parallel Processing capabilities.  I tired to delete a file while playing another in backgroud.  The playing got stopped (not paused) when deleting a file. (note: you can delete a file in the folder view and not in the play menu. It is impractical to delete from the player.  Please use the comptuer to manage files)
20) Pressing Back key in the middle of the song, does not take to the start of the song, but to the previous song. 
21) I do not use playlists or play by artists / genre / etc as I do not use this and hence and did not try it.
22) There is no known method to lock the player.
23) You cannot use the player while charging.
Concluding Thoughts:
Rocoo P has an excellent, detailed and non-fatiguing sound presentation.  I am listening for long hours now.
It is quite obvious that the folks at Hisound have focussed on providing the best sound quality possible they could extract from a solid portable player with no nonsense design.  
Rocoo P does not attempt to be a Jack of all Apps, and aims to be a King of music playing.
This player has potential to become an iconic and lusted, if the design is more understated, and the UI and usability is improved.
When should you consider Rocoo P? 
You use your audio / mp3 player to play music most if not all of the time. 
You seek very high quality sound from a small pocketable player. 
You want to pair your favourite power seeking head / ear phones with a portable player.
You want a practical pocketable PMP - Amp setup, without the hassles of multiple wires, multiple devices and bands or a large portable player.
You don't care about the bells and whistles  - Apps, camera, games, album art, et al.
You can live without FM radio.
You can live with / work around the quirks for the sound quality.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I wrote and find this helpful.
Some views of my rig.
this is a little dynamite of a player if u are content with simple play stop forward off, like me :}
i am just looking for a compact, slim HIGH FIDELITY player for that odd halfhourbreak during the day, in my tight tight jeans..
pair this with the goldencrystal and its a WOW.
On my day off, i slug the STUDIO V out into town...just love that never ending batterylife. :p


New Head-Fier
I recently came across a video review of the RoCoo P on youtube and being interested in purchasing a dap to match my earphones, I decided get one. I've been trying it with some Sennheiser IE 8's and have also tried the Grado sr80i's which were suitable.

Purchase and Packaging and Contents
I emailed service@hisoundaudio.com and received a swift  response advising how i could purchase the player. This worked, but I hope the website will allow orders through it in the future.
The player came packaged securely protected by foam and there were no issues with the condition.
RoCoo P
PAA-1 earbuds
Wall charger (without adaptor)
usb cable
User manual (chinese and english)
VIP card for future purchases

Design, Build quality and Weight
It feels robust, lightweight and unintrusive in the pocket. The buttons are mechanical which are responsive with a tactile bump. It has a 1" OLED screen which does the job, but is a bit small. The front and back are made of plastic with glossy finish which can attract finger prints as expected and the sides are brushed metal. The battery life lasts up to 10 hours and can be charged by usb or wall port.
It includes a reset button for use when upgrading the firmware and general troubleshooting should anything go wrong.

Ease of use and User Interface
Navigating the operating system took a few minutes to learn and focuses on a practicle/no thrills experience. Transfering music to the player is done by dragging and dropping your files/folders to it with explorer (no need to install anything). It Includes 4gb of storage but you can add more via the MicroSD slot.

I read that it has an issue with the names of flac files which can be resolved by editing the id tags of your files before transfering them. Google Mp3tag for an application that will assist with this. Personally i didn't have any issues with this out of the box, I'm not sure whether this is due to the firmware it was shipped with or whether it was just my files. I dropped a few albums which are flac format onto it and it displays the names perfectly and plays without issues.

The menus allow you to choose the internal or external memory locations. Within each you can see the folders you transfered.
Theres a setting that allows you to toggle the button sound and theres also a basic equalizer containing presets but everyone recommends leaving this default (natural).

I must admit, I prefer the navigation of the older gen ipods compared to the RoCoo. They are similar in that they both use four directional buttons and a center button, except the ipods use the touch sensative 'disc' to change volume and navigate. This is alot better in my opinion as it free's up the top and bottom buttons for core functions. The RoCoo feels as if it's replicating this to the best it can without copying the disc and instead incorporates the volume control with the top and bottom buttons.
In my opinion, I think the amount of controls are too confined on this amount of buttons, Apple really nailed it with simplicity. The RoCoo really had me puzzled for a few minutes just trying to find the back button without stopping the track.
The instructions were a little hard for me to comprehend as the center button performs multiple functions depending how long its pressed. You really need to try it hands on for a few minutes to understand it.
Another thing i noticed about the navigation is when you are listening to a track in a playlist, to go back you hold the center button for a few seconds. This takes you all the way back to the source selection menu (for internal memory or expansion slot) meaning you have to select your source, then search for the album you were listening to, just to be able to see what track is next. I'd prefer it to just go back one level, to what ever playlist you were in.

Also, when it finishes one playlist, it automaticly starts playing the next as if it were the next track. In my opinion its better to stop playing all together. This is confusing when you're listening to one genre and then it starts playing the next playlist of a completely different genre.

Lastly, due to the screen size, if a track is over an hour long, the screen cannot fit the time at the bottom of the screen and so the first two digits are cut off which can be confusing.

Frequency Response: 10Hz-21kHz
Sensitivity (dB): 105dB
Impedance: 32 ohms
Signal-to-Noise: 96dB
Memory capacity: 4GB expanding SD card slot.
Card Compatibility: MicroSD, HCSD
Battery continually playing time: > 10hours (volume @ 3)
Compatible formats: MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, OGG, AAC
Screen: 1 inch OLED
Color available: Brushed black
USB type: mini USB 2.0
Dimension: 81.85mm L x 50mm W x 20.65 (MM)

Price: ~£120

Sound Quality
When using iem's with a high sensativity such as the IE8's you can hear a background hiss when nothing is playing, this is unnoticeable while listening though. hisound recommend to use a 70 OHM impedance cable which they also sell. Also the choise of headphone and tip effects the sound.

The bass is powerful, punchy and not too muddy. The mids are verry clear and detailed. The highs are energetic and extended.

Most of all I'd definatly prefer a bigger screen as navigating long playlists or tracks with long tittles is a chore. I think the player is a bit thick, but alot smaller than i imagined from viewing the pictures online, and it seems to be average compared to competing players from brands such as hi-fi man which also look bulky. I suppose this is a small price to pay when including powerful components while remaining portable.
In conclusion I think its a good product which most importantly sounds great, but the presentation could be improved. For example, i'd like to see a bigger screen and a more intuitive navigating experience. Also, some form of protective carrying case would be a nice accessory to avoid damage during transport, I'm a bit worried about it getting scratched up or crushed without one.
I think my review of this player has been fairly harsh (focusing on the few niggles i had, other than that its a solid player) but hopefully this will give you an idea what to expect and will help hisoundaudio know where they can improve their product. You may not be too bothered about some of the things i've noticed and if your after a sound focused portable player I'd still recommend you consider the RoCoo. It certainly 'does what it says on the tin' so to speak, but theres still room for improvement and i look forward to their future products.

Piture (featured with the PoPo iem):


New Head-Fier
Pros: Sound quality, Design
Cons: User interface, Battery life
First, I'd like to say that this player is easily the best sounding source I've ever owned.  I used to have an iPod Classic which was much more convenient but far from sounding as good as the RoCoo P.  If you're not into sound quality that much, I'd say that you'd better buy an Ipod with good headphones because the RoCoo P is so good sounding that it needs the best cans out there (which I don't have yet besides my top tier iems). 
Audio Quality
Although very compact, it delivers impressive sound quality.  The sound is very clear, powerful bass and clear treble and midrange.  Unlike other players, you can not really talk about warmth here.  But I didn't want any color in the sound anyway.  I wanted my DAP to be on the analytic side.  If I want warmth, then I'll take warm sounding headphones or a tube amp but to me, this is not the role of the player. 
I listen to my RoCoo with Vsonic GR07 iems, Hisound Audio POP iems and Superlux HD330 full size headphones (which is awesome for the price).  With the Vsonic, I have a very good portable setup for noisy environment like train or busy street.  The only complain I have with this setup is the hiss that I can hear sometimes despite the 50 ohms impedance of my GR07.  However, the hiss depends more on the recording than on the player (most of my music doesn't have any hiss issue).
I use the POP iems (which seems to be the new name for the POPO's) to listen to folk, hip-hop and electro.  I like the amount of bass and the warmth these iems deliver from the player.
At home, I use the Superlux HD330 because it's semi-open and it's able to reproduce soundstage very well with the RoCoo P.
Overall, sound quality is the best thing about this player.
Design and durability
I have no complain about the design of the player.  It's not as pretty as an iPod but the plexi and brushed aluminum covering is far better than the shiny aluminum back of my iPod Classic.  In fact, I carry it in the pocket of my jeans all the time without any pouch or sleeve and there is no scratch yet.  The finish is quite good and the player in itself is very tough.  It fell several times on the ground from more than a meter high and nothing happened.  No bump and it works as well as before.  Now, I'm not able to tell if it will work as well in the years to come but it feels pretty solid to me and it's quite light too (much lighter than an iPhone for instance).
Battery Life
It's certainly not the best point of this wonderful player.  It lasts about 8 to 10 hours in play, depending what type of file you play but to me it's far enough.  I just charge it every 2 or 3 days.  In fact, it lasts longer than my smartphone that I'm used to charge every night.  No big deal for me here.
User Interface
Don't expect something like an iPod or even any other UI from a big brand like Samsung, Sony or even Cowon.  It is very basic but once again, I can handle that and the sound quality is so good that it makes me forget this point.
Overall, I'm very happy of my purchase.  It can handle any kind of music very well and that's exactly what I needed.  And a big thank you to Jack Fu of HiSound Audio for his great availability.
Here are some pictures of the beast



New Head-Fier
Pros: Dominates everything! Sound Quality is superb! Beautiful Solid Design
Cons: Battery life(10 hours+-), Basic User interface
Hi there folks! 
This is my first time writing a review, so I hope you guys can bear with me :) 
Firstly I would like to thank Jack Fu for the amazing Rocoo P DAP. I got it posted to my house 1 week after I order it. If it is not due to the holiday in his country I would have got it earlier. But it is nothing to complain about.
The Rocoo P is one of the most powerful DAP in the audiophile market. And when you purchase one of these, music is really the only focus; they have no games, no apps, and not even the basics app like clock or etc; this thing plays music and that is it!

Image of the shiny beautiful Hisoundaudio Rocoo P
The Hisoundaudio Rocoo P is one of the most powerful audiophile Digital Audio Player (DAP) in the market. It can work well with a wide range of earphones, from the IEMs to full size headphone. (YES! It really can drives headphones!) With the built-in strong amplifier reted 50mW power output, you can forget about the amp you are having now. 
With a slim body, strong power, stylish appearance, wonderful music production and reasonable price, all these merits makes the Hisoundaudio Rocoo P an excellent DAP for the Audiophiles.
Earphone amplifier: Hisound's proprietory HIFI amplifier
Frequency response: 10Hz-21kHz
Sensitivity (dB): 105dB
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Power-handling: 80mW peak/ 5mW rated
S/N: 96dB
Memory capacity: 4GB Internal memory + expanding Micro SD card slot
Card compatibility: Micro SD, SDHC
Battery capacity: 600Ma rechargeable Li-ion battery
Battery continually playing time: >10hours (Volume set at 3 degree)
Propriety power saving technology: EMA Technology (Energy management and Admeasurement Technology)
The analog signal output: HDMS circuit design, whic can supply high quality music sources to the external earphone amplifier or home amplifier
Compatible formats: MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, OGG, AAC
ScreenL 1 inch OLED
Colors available: Brushed black
UI operation: Mechanical key button operation (one-hand and blind operation capacity)
USB type: mini USB 2.0
Dimension: 81.85mm L x 50mm W x 20.65 (MM)
Weight: 110g
So, as I unbox the Rocoo P package, there is a black layer which has the Rocoo P embedded in the middle of it. To pull out the Rocoo P,  you would just need to pull the black ribbon on top of the DAP. Well, you are also going to see a user manual, a VIP card and a warranty card as you remove the black layer. Note that most of them are written in chinese, but you do not need to worry as it is really easy to learn to use them. Pretty simple user interface. Next, you will also see 3 boxes in Rocoo P package. This bottom left one contains the Hisoundaudio PAA-1 earbud, which has a cheap housing and awful looking, but 
at the price of USD20, it sounds pretty good so it is nice to have one as extra. Well I am not going to talk about this earbud now. On the bottom right box, contains the USB adapter , which can be connected with the mini USB cord in the upper box. 
The USB cord helps sync/charge the Rocoo P.
Build Quality:
The Rocoo P is best constructed DAP I have ever seen. The outer body of the Rocoo P is made of CNC aluminum, which makes it very sturdy. Design is quite gorgeous, classic and retro, especially under the lights with sides made out of brushed aluminium. Housing is sold enough to withstand any pressure exerted on it. However, as you can see, a housing like it will definitely make you leave your fingerprints everywhere on it. So consistent cleaning should be done to make sure the DAP shines beautifully.
Sound Quality:
Okay, the sound is where this thing shines. So, let's see what can this USD179 DAP do? 
Well for me, it sounds marvelous! Some has even said that this performs better than the Zune and Cowon DAPs.
If you look at the EQ, there are a few options (Nature, Rock, Jazz,Classical ,Pop) but I would stick to Nature as it gives the best sound signature, at least for me. 
Lows- The lows can make great impacts down to 10Hz (You can feel it), and the mid-bass is also noticeably good. Point of attack, is incredibly strong and punchy. Besides punchy, it can be boomy as well, depending on the track played. Basically they just fulfilling what the track asks for. They are well-controlled and always be there whenever they need to be. 
Mids-  Despite of the great bass delivered, the Rocoo P has not fail in providing the crazily clear mids. For this, I would like to give this DAP a two thumbs up!!!  The great  jaw-dropping mids and the extraordinary clarity is the reason behind that makes this DAP a powerful, dangerous and threatening opponent to the Zune and Cowon. Besides, I bet you will get to hear the sound that you have never heard before in your player!
High- One word - Energetic.  They sounds real and intimate vocals (females) are well presented.  The highs are very smooth and extended.
Soundstage- Soundstage is huge, transparent and airy in this DAP. It feels as if you are listening to live performance, where you can actually estimate the distance between the musicians. Yes, it has fantastic and top-notch instrument separation. And it brings you to the world of music where you can enjoy 3-Dimension music! 
Battery life:
Nothing is perfect, and same thing goes to this Rocoo P.One thing that I am dissapointed with this Rocoo P is its suprisingly short battery life. As an audiophile player, I was expecting it to be at least 1-day of playback time but guess what? It has only 10 hours of playback time. And charging it fully would take me about 3-4 hours (not sure if it is my Rocoo P, or all the Rocoo P), so I think the Hisoundaudio company should come up with some ways to improve this. 
Conclusion-  Now, for the price of USD179, in which part of Audiophile market, can you get such a great player ?! Frankly speaking, I would not hesitate to buy even if the price of this is triple of it's price! These are really for Audio nerds who wants to hear every single notes and instruments in every single song they listen. For casual listeners, these can be a fun player too! Great impact but well-controlled bass, clear mids and energetic highs and wide soundstage. Forget about the DAP you are holding now, GET THIS!
Interesting rating, 5 stars.
I'd say you're absolutely right, but only relative to it's price. The sound quality is so good on this thing, but the UI is well, non-existent. But I don't mind it, just have all the albums, and songs in the right folders. And ofcourse rename all the songs so that the artists name isn't in the title otherwise the song title won't show in the tiny screen.
I also bought a 32 GB SD-card for 30 euros, so under 200 usd I have a 36 GB player, with fantastic sound quality that plays all formats (so far) with great detail and punch.


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Soundstage, great driving ability, plays any file type, solid design, "fun" sound with bass-emphasised IEMs
Cons: Basic UI, some firmware bugs, no hold slider, bit 'fussy' on best IEM pairing, longevity
NOTE; I am an audio appreciator, not an audiophile. The follow is my thoughts and not based on some of the crazy in-depth tests that some do. This is a layman’s review for a layman. =)
I spent some time browsing the forums of head-fi and looking over the DAP lists before ordering this product. I almost bought a Cowon Z2 (since I’m in Korea, I can get it locally) but in the end decided that $280+ was a bit much to spend when I have an iPod/iPad for all apps and all I wanted was a pure and powerful music player. The Rocoo P seemed to be what I was looking for, and it has received good reviews here and elsewhere. I contacted Hisound and got a quote. They also told me that I could get a free pair of in-ear headphones if I wrote a review. I told them that I would, and they included a pair of headphones with my purchase. I’ll make a brief comment on those at the bottom.
I’m quite happy with this player. It has its flaws and areas that could improve in, but for the money it’s a great value and what it does it does well! For pop/rock, I think it shines. It has a good feeling of spaciousness for most music, especially classical, and overall the sound is quite good for me. There does seem to be a bit of a smoothing -off in the very high end treble, and a bit of a dropping the low-end bass, but with the right in-ears, it actually makes many songs sound better. My Shure 535s sound quite nice on this player, whereas my more neutral Westone 4Rs seem to highlight some of the ‘smothing’ of the sound that the player gives.
This is probably one of the strongest points of this player. Which is good, as it bills itself as a powerful DAP that focuses on music! (To the expense of a few other things, such as the UI.) The sound is spacious and good. I did notice a bit of hissing at first, but I haven’t really noticed it since. I didn’t think that DAPS actually had anything like a ‘burn in’ time, but I left the player playing music all night, and after a few days, I swear it actually sounded better to me. Strange but true.
Highs: The highs are great, but there is a bit of smoothing at the top end. This can remove shrillness or dampen the high notes depending on the song or your take on what it’s doing.
Mids: Delicious. That is to say, really nice.
Bass: Good bass, decent punch, but it does seem to soften the very low end to my ears. I think IEMS that have a bit more bass emphasis get more out of this player for bass.
Decent. Not great not terrible. Decent. It would be really nice to see a Rocco P with the battery life of their own Studio V.
The good;
Solid! It feels really durable. It’s pretty small, all the buttons are easy to reach, and all the plug ins are in logical places. It looks a bit 60s-ish, but overall the design is good.
Driving ability. I tried this DAP with my Sennheiser HD650s, and it could drive them decently, though I had to up the power to almost max to do so. On most mid-range headphones, I think this player would have no trouble driving them.
It can read most(all?) file types. It reads everything I put on it. Including iTunes-bought mp4 files. Flacs sound great. I have not tried putting an Apple Lossless file on it yet, however.
The bad/nitpicking:
No hold switch. I think what I’d like more than anything else on this player is a ‘hold’ slider. Even my Creative Zen from circa 2004 had a ‘hold’ slider. One of the reasons I stoped using the Fiio E7 (and really like the Fiio E17 now that I have it) is due to the ‘hold’ slider. One of the first times I walked around with the Rocoo P, something in my pocket hit the volume button and I my ears were getting blasted.
NOTE: If you have the case for the Shure 535s or one of those line, the player fits snugly inside that. You can actually zip it close and it will act as shell to prevent accidental button presses.
Firmware. I also had an issue that stems (I think) from removing the Rocoo P without ‘safely removing hardware’ from windows. The folders got all mixed up, and the player insisted that there were no files on my SD card. Windows said otherwise. I had to re-install the firmware to fix the problem.
No auto-stopping of playback on headphone removal. When you remove your IEM/headphone, the player does not detect this and stop playing the music. If you do not notice this, your battery can be drained while you are doing other things.
This reminds me of my Creative Zen from 10-odd years ago. It’s really simplistic. It IS easy to navigate, but some of the things you might expect a player from 2012 to do might take a bit of work on this DAP. Making playlists for example. The UI is simple, gets the job done, but the bigger your SD card and the more music you have, the more you’ll need to plan in advance how to set things up.
I give it 5/5 3(1/2)/5 for the money you pay for it. It’s a great player. There are things I’d definitely like to see on this DAP in the future, and things that could use improvement. For it’s price, and for what it proposes that it will do, however, this DAP is a great price. I have yet to try it with a custom IEM, but with my Shure 535 and Westone 4Rs over the last week+, I’ve been able to get a decent feel for this player.

EDIT 2012/11/06: Value reduced to 3 1/2 stars due to problems listed bellow.
After having these for several months I have lowered the value I give this by one and half stars and overall rating by a star for the following reasons.

Button issues;
The bottom button (volume down/go down) on the player stopped working unless pressed ~extremely~ hard. It is not a real bother to quickly adjust the volume after turning it up.

Random shutoff with a loud static pop;
Occasionally the player has shut off mid-song with a loud static pop in my headphones. This is not a friendly experience. It has made me hesitate more than once when I consider using it. This issue has happened while walking, while sitting down, with movement and with no/minimal movement. It happens maybe once every few hours.

Sometimes I hear a funny sort of warble over my headphones while using the Rocoo P. This happens most frequently on the subway. My best guess is that the inside is unshielded and it's picking up some sort of electrical signal/static and transmitting it to the headphone. It's hard to really describe it, but it sure ain't music.

Note on the bonus in-ear Hisound ‘popo’ headphones;
They are the first ‘bass-head’ IEM I’ve ever heard. I really liked them, but I already have some high-end IEMs, and my Korean co-worker here is a bass-head so I gave them to him. When he tried them he said “They tremble my head.” (Hahaha…) He agreed that the treble is clear the bass is impactful. IMO, it makes a great combination with the Rocoo P for rock/pop. I actually found myself looking for a pair when I was at a local store, in the hopes that I could snag another pair to play with. They are pretty IEMS to boot. (With the slight detraction of the bright red cord.)


New Head-Fier
Pros: Amazing sound quality, small and sleek, decent battery life
Cons: Front and back of the device gets easily scratched, UI
Hi Head-Fiers!
I am pretty new to this community but have been making unboxing and review videos here on my YouTube Channel:
TechSpotJapan Youtube 
I recently purchased a RoCoo-P and would like to use this space to post a review.
First, here are the basic scores that I give for each category:
Build Quality     : 8/10
Sound Quality   : 9/10
Design             : 8/10
UI                    : 5/10
Overall             : 8/10

First Impressions

Out of the box, the sound that the RoCoo-P felt un-natural to me. It felt like the sound was tampered with in some way, such as an EQ.
So I checked the EQ settings, but it was set to nature, which I assume is the flat setting of this device. And since this was my first Non-iPod experience, the UI felt old.
These impressions has changed after using the device for a while. That is why I have decided to write up the review now.

Build Quality - 8/10

The devices main body is made out of metal which I assume is aluminum. It feels and is sturdy. All the ports also feel sturdy and feels like it will never break.
Now your probably thinking, "Why did you give a 8/10 instead of a 10/10?"
The -2 went to the front and back of the device.
It is very shiny and attractive, but is also a finger print magnet, and easily scratched.
I use my devices as if it was a baby. But it got scratched when putting it in the case I carry the RoCoo-P. It slightly touched the zipper of the case which created some scratches on the back.
I was pretty sad when I found this.

Sound Quality - 9/10

In my initial impressions I told you that it sounded un-natural, but my impressions has changed after using this device for a while. Did it burn in? or did my ears(brains) burn in? I am not sure, but what I can say is I am very happy with the sound now.
Compared the the iPod video(5g) that I own, it has a lot of energy and punch. But is also quiet when it needs to be.


The bass on this device is great. Lots of clarity and impact. Which might be one of the reasons the sound is energetic.


The Mids are amazing! Male/Female vocals are not getting muddled by the lows, and has lost of clarity. I hear sound that I have never heard on other devices.


I think I'm saying great or amazing for the Bass and Mids. But this goes the same for the Highs as well. The Highs sparkle but is not too harsh. They do not hurt your ears and are easy to listen to. This is also another aspect of making the sound exciting.

Sound stage

For a portable device, I would say that the sound stage is pretty broad. Of course it depends on the IEM's or Cans you use, but even if you listen to the same song on the iPod, the iPod sounds like its just ringing around your ear, where the RoCoo-P gives you an more spicy sound. The soundstage is broad but does not ruin the sound separation. Thanks the the broad sound stage and good sound separation, it sounds like your listening to the song in a live house or stage. 

Design - 8/10

This devices looks sexy. If you want the same sound quality with a iPod/iPhone, you basically need to strap a decent amp on it, and compared the that, it looks much sleeker and sexier.
This is kinda about the build quality, but the front and back were not that great, leaving design an 8.

UI - 5/10

This is probably one of this things I hate about the UI. I would say, it sucks.
Maybe because the I am used to iPods, but even after using the RoCoo for a while, I still think that there are many things that can be fixed. The UI is quite familiar with the SanDisk Sansa clip but no return button the the RoCoo, which confused me.


If you are a serious listener, or want more energy to your music. Or if you have an hi impedance headphone/IEM, I would say that this device is a buy! This devices sound amazing, and constantly keeps my head banging. I assume any device will sound better that an iPhone/iPod, but I personally think it sound better that an iPod amped, which is clunky compared to the small device.
i always carry one in my bag... just to start a conversation with another buff in the bar. :p
LOL...yeah, beats talking about the current economic climate...
I'd also be interested to hear feedback on experiences with IEM's which one's seem to shine the most...so far I'm really pleased with the SQ and would like to experiment with some different IEM's.
TemplarUK : Thanks for the comment and feedback on my review. I probably did about a 100 hours of burning in now, and the sound is still changing slightly. But I am pretty happy with the sound now. I am using the Future Sonics Atrio M5(MG7 drivers) and they sound amazing!
Lorspeaker : Really? this device starts a conversation? In japan, if I took this device out, they will just think im a geek...


New Head-Fier
Pros: Sound & build Quality
Cons: Clunky Interface
I'll keep this simple as I would probably only duplicate what is said elsewhere anyway but on the principle that the number of reviews says as much as the reviews themselves here I go.
I already have the ubiquitous iPod and a Cowon X7. Increasingly I have been ripping my CDs to FLAC as I move to a more streaming oriented home set up and I have been looking for a way to make the most of these files when on the move. The Cowon is already full and the iPod is now limited to lower quality rips so I was looking for a small DAP to augment the Cowon and hold some favourite music to listen to on the move.
I found this DAP when browsing online and (helped no end by the reviews already posted) I decided to take the plunge. Not a very deep plunge given the price compared to some competitors but a plunge nonetheless on a brand I am completely unfamiliar with.
I ordered directly from Hisoundaudio and despite the non-Amazon experience the process was completely painfree. They are helpful and professional and the DAP turned up nicely packaged a week or so after making payment.
After charging and loading some files on micro SD cards that I had lying around from various mobile phone purchases I got to the important part. The listening.
Now I will say that the unit is still burning in. I anticipate improvements in the sound quality, particularly in the bass and this review is based on the experience to date and only a few hours listening. All my listening has been with the Beyerdynamic T50p headphones. However I can say immediately that this has made my iPod sound flat and lifeless from the off. Admittedly this is comparing FLAC to MP3 but they are cut at 320kb so not completely lame.
This unit sounds fantastic. I put the Beach Boys Pet Sounds on followed by Friends and the vocals were truly outstanding. Clear, to the front of the mix and you could follow the individual voices with ease. The instruments were further back than I am used to but I think this is probably a more realistic interpretation of the music than I have had with the iPod previously. Moving to Jean Michel Jarre Oxygene 30 and the swirl and whoosh of the spacey 70's synthesisers was impressive with clarity and focus in all areas. This wasn't fatiguing either with a nice, organic completeness in the sound. Nothing seemed overly promoted or repressed.
The One Armed Bandit set from Jaga Jazzist was also clear and captured the complex instrumentality well. There was no mush or fuzziness I could detect anywhere.
The only issue I have with this unit is the interface. The screen is small but perfectly readable, the navigation is not always intuitive but does not take long to master, the menu options are logical and easy to understand. The irritation is when you are listening to a long piece of music and you have to pause. Either the phone rings or someone wants to talk to you, an everyday occurence even when on the daily commute. At this point when you restart the music you cannot pick up where you left off. Or at least if you can I have been a complete failure at finding out how. Instead the unit either picks a random track from the internal memory or starts the track again from the beginning. You have to remember where you were, navigate to the track, and start that track all over again. Why can't the system pause rather than just stop? An obvious firmware improvement hopefully.
That really is my only gripe. Build quality is excellent even if the unit were many times the price. It does attract fingerprints on it's nice shiny surfaces but I am fighting the inner OCD to clean it all the time. The unit is slightly smaller than I imagined but by no means fiddly, even with my stubby digits. I have not tried the bundled headphones but I did get some Hisoundaudio Crystal phones when I bought the RoCoo P. These are still burning in so I cannot comment on them yet. The unit powers my T50p headphones with no apparent difficulty, the battery life is perfectly acceptable with a recharge after a few hours listening through the mini USB port.
It goes without saying that I am delighted so far with the Hisoundaudio RoCoo P. I do expect it to improve further with time and I look forward to many happy hours of audio bliss. I would recommend most heartily but please, please, please Hisoundaudio, fix the pause.
UPDATE: Have spent many hours listening to a variety of music on the RoCoo P now and have enjoyed the way the music has been presented. Vocals are to the front, clear and the depth is amazing. The only thing I have noticed is the presence of a slight background hiss. This has really only been accentuated since I bought a Colorfly C3 and everything the RoCoo does the Colorfly does. Only slightly better. The C3 has no hiss and just as clear a presentation. So whilst the RoCoo is still one of my favourite players it is now playing second fiddle to the C3.

Austin Morrow

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Absolutely fantastic sound - streamlined design - good value for money
Cons: User interface is too simple
Here we go again with yet another HiSound Audio review, instead this time we’re taking a look at their new RoCoo P digital audio player. Without getting into specifics and going on and on with a fancy and engaging intro, I’d rather just get straight down to the basics. The RoCoo P is one of the best sounding digital audio players I’ve heard to date, and it has an amazing price point to match the performance. So, without any further ado, let’s take a deeper look at the all new RoCoo P.
The Design
Before I even begin to discuss the sound in the RoCoo P, I feel as if though there have been a few design changes that will excite a lot of people looking for a DAP or even an upgrade from the Studio-V. The Studio-V had a very thick chassis, and was very uncomfortable to hold in the hands due to the massive weight and the rather sharp bezel. I think HiSound noticed that this was very unsatisfactory to most people (including myself) and decided to go with an even simpler design. Now, the RoCoo P is half the thickness of the Studio-V, about a third of the weight, and feels a lot more robust in the hand. The same high quality aluminum chassis, and a new screen that seems to be more smooth than what the Studio-V ever was. 
The RoCoo P has the same basic controls as the Studio-V, with a few minute changes. Both the USB port and the micro SD card slot are exactly the same, so nothing new there. As we move up however, there are different buttons. While they are metal, they’re not the same color and feel as the Studio-V. The RoCoo P’s buttons are more circular, flatter, have more of a silver tone, and are a lot smoother when navigating. Lastly, HiSound has removed the line in connection on the RoCoo P and uses only a regular headphone input and a reset button, and both are not drilled like the Studio-V. A slight downside, but still almost as good as the Studio-V when quality is concerned, and the RoCoo P triumphs the Studio-V when it comes to versatility and aesthetics.
Sound Analysis
Now that we have all the basics down, it’s time to finally talk about the sound that this little player is capable of outputting. Before we get to that though, let’s discuss what I didn’t like about the Studio-V and what I thought should have been improved on. In a nutshell, the Studio-V had great vocality, a slightly uptempo top end, and a fantastic transient response, but the $450 price point did not match the sonics performance, which was about half of what it was actually worth. The RoCoo P doesn’t even come close to that statement. It absolutely dominates the Studio-V when sonic performance is concerned, and it’s less than half the price!
The RoCoo P’s sonic signature is very neutral, but has tremendous extension on both ends of the sound spectrum. It reaches far down low, and has an even faster transient response than that of the Studio-V. Bass wise, it has a good amount of authority, decent punch, and a slight laid back feel. Not overpowering, but just what I like. Also, I’ve found that while the attack of the RoCoo P is very fast, notes tend to take slightly longer to decay, which adds a tiny bit of coloration to the midrange, but very little. Still very speedy down low, but not equal speeds in attack and decay times.
The midrange of the RoCoo P is absolutely to die for. Slightly sweet, but very clear and resolved. It’s neither lush not harsh, but sits right in between both of these terms. Vocality, just like on the Studio-V, is top notch, and presents itself in a very forward manner. Never edgy, but very liquid like, with awesome coherency to the rest of the instruments. I find the midrange to stick out a little more than rest of the spectrum, not as laid back as the bass, but more forward, and a little bit brighter than the treble. That’s not to say that the treble is underdeveloped, because it isn’t at all.
Actually, that’s one of my favorite attributes of the RoCoo P. Up top, the treble is very smooth. There’s almost no sibilance to be found, and while it does seem to take on a rather smooth feel up top, when a track calls for a cymbal crash or zing, the RoCoo P does a great job of replicating it, and can become quite sparkly. Not the annoying, harsh treble, but the sweet, sparkly, and well extended treble. Also, the soundstage on the RoCoo P is very good considering its price point. Depth extension (this is what I was talking about when I said awesome vocality) is absolutely fantastic, and is very noticeable on headphones like the HD650 and the HD800. Width is exceedingly well handed as well, and stretches out far and wide. Not unrealistically wide, like the Q701, but just enough. Imaging and layering are excellent as well. I feel as if though everything is appropriately placed on stage, and each instrument has enough space to play out nicely. 
Driving Authority
The RoCoo P, despite its small size, actually has some pretty good authority behind it when it comes to driving high impedance and current guzzling headphones. Headphones like the Sennhesier HD650 and the AKG Q701. The RoCoo P drives both of these very well, and while it doesn’t equal the sound  and driving surge of $500+ desktop amps and DAC’s, it can drive even the most demanding headphones (except orthodynamics like the HE-6) very well, and has good sound quality to boast.
Final Thoughts
While I’ve had bad experiences in the past with HiSound, I’m feeling a new and brighter horizon coming up. HiSound has taken their great design philosophy, and combined it with absolutely fantastic sound, something you don’t see very often. As long as they keep up what they are doing, I can see a very bright future ahead, as well as a plethora of new products. The RoCoo P is earning a new place on my rack, and will fit perfectly into my lifestyle.


1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: powerful amp (for portable source), nice design, good controls, clean sound
Cons: too glossy, I'd like to have more battery life
First of all, I'd like to thank HiSound for their excellent promotion, that made possible for me to buy this DAP for very reasonable money.

This DAP is really outstanding in terms of price/sound balance, it's giving very-very high quality sound, and cost 2 times less then it's closest competitors.

Most of all, I like RoCoo for it's very clear and powerful sound. It doesn't bring too much own into sound signature (as HiFiMans does), but it have amp, powerful enough to drive all headphones that I have.

I've compared RoCoo with my iPod, and of course it's not fair comparison. On all "big" headphones RoCoo is definitely a winner: more control over sound on all frequencies, good attack, powerful bass — it's really amazing.

Of course, you can use iPod with LOD cable and portable amp, and got something familiar with RoCoo, but it's much more expensive and big solution, so It's to heavy for me to be portable.

On other hand — RoCoo is small, light-weighted and really really good-looking.

As for cons, I'd like it to be without this glossy parts, because it's collecting my fingerprints. But actually, DAPs are for listening, not for looking at :)

Highly recommend to everyone, who wants to improve portable rig, but not ready for bank robbery.

But where's the most important part? That is about sound quality? You mentioned only 2 words about SQ.
@nipit ; I found sound quality to be excellent. Very rich, lush , fun sounding. Very powerful. Good resolution and separation; you can identify the location of all the instruments on acoustic sets. UI is very basic but that's one of the things I like about it. Not necessarily "studio analytical" but very fun and very enjoyable; that's what it's all about in the end isn't it?
@nipit: I wrote almost everything: sound is powerful, rather neutral, with strong good bass, normal mids and highs. No sibilance or any other annoying distortions. When sound is good — it's good, and there is not much left to say


500+ Head-Fier
Pros: Resolution, clarity, power, transparency, musicality.
Cons: Small screen, non-customizable display for titles, no MTP support
I was looking for a new DAP a few months ago when my Cowon S9's power slider stopped working properly. I was considering the HiFiMan 601, HiFiMan 802, S:Flo2, and a few other DAPs. After fixing the power slider problem myself, I stopped looking for a DAP because I was content with my Cowon S9.
Recently, I was browsing the forums and came across a promotion by HiSoundAudio involving their new player: the RoCoo P. I did not know much about the RoCoo P nor HiSoundAudio, but I did remember hearing the word "RoCoo" thrown around the forum sparingly over the years, so I decided to read more. Eventually I took the plunge and bought the RoCoo P through their tiered auction (even though I did not need a new DAP). Little did I know this player would completely surprise me. What follows is my review on the RoCoo P DAP.
After my initial order, the RoCoo P arrived at my doorstep in less than a week (in exactly 4 days from East Asia to NYC—that's fast!). The player was well protected in three boxes and arrived unscathed. This is what I received with my package:
  1. RoCoo P DAP
  2. Pair of earbuds (model: PAA-1 from HiSoundAudio)
  3. Wall charger (that does not appear to be for North America)
  4. USB cable for transferring music and charging the player as well, and the RoCoo P
  5. VIP Card (for future purchases from HiSoundAudio)
I also received the promotional IEM, the POPO IEM from HiSoundAudio (I will be reviewing these IEMs in another review). The items included were very well packaged and presented. I was very surprised at the size of the playerit is small but incredibly well built. The brushed metal looks fantastic on the player. The weight of the player also seems very good for its size—not too light or heavy.
User Interface and Specifications
The RoCoo P is a very intuitive player to use. There are only five physical buttons on the player, which are all responsible for navigating around the menus and selecting music, changing volume, etc. The screen is reminiscent of high-end 90's CD Players, with its small 1" OLED monochrome display. However, the screen is actually very clear and fits the overall aesthetics of the player. I do wish the screen was a bit larger to fit song titles, or that there was a setting to make it so that song titles displayed without having the artist constantly displayed before the song title.
Transferring music onto the player is as easy as dragging and dropping the files into the player. The player comes with 4 gigabytes of storage, but is expandable via MicroSD. I have 4 gigabyte MicroSD inside my player, giving me a comfortable 8 gigabytes of space.
Here are the specifications for the player according to HiSoundAudio:
Frequency Response: 10Hz-21kHz
Sensitivity (dB): 105dB
Impedance: 32 ohms
Signal-to-Noise: 96dB
Memory capacity: 4G+expanding SD card slot.
Card Compatibility: MicroSD, HCSD
Battery capacity: 600Ma rechargeable Li-ion battery
Battery continually playing time: > 10hours (volume @ 3)
Proprietary Power Saving technology: EMA Techonology (Energy Management and Admeasurement Technology)
Compatible formats: MP3, WMA, WAV, FLAC, OGG, AAC
Screen: 1 inch OLED
Color available: Brushed black
UI Operation: Mechanical key button operation (one-hand and blind operation capability)
USB type: mini USB 2.0
Dimension: 81.85mm L x 50mm W x 20.65 (MM)
Input/Output Jacks and Size Comparison with Cowon S9:
One thing that HiSoundAudio did not include in their specifications is that this player has a Class A amplifier inside of it. They wanted to make a player that did not require an external amp, and so they included a very good amplifier inside the player. The amplifier has an output of 50 mW, which is incredibly strong for a player of this size. And as you will read later, this powerful amplifier really helps the player's audio quality sound that much better.
It is important to note that this player focuses on audio quality as its selling point. It does away with features such as radio, games, and other capabilities. So it is essentially a "no compromises" audio player. And it delivers on that point.
Sound Quality
The part that you've all probably been wanting to read. Let me start by saying that this player blew me away when I first listened to it. What blew me away even more was that this player was so small. Prior to listening to this player, I had heard the Cowon S9, a bunch of high-end desktop setups at head-fi meets, and run of the mill players (iPods, Zunes, Creative Zen, and more). However, this player still surprised me with its clarity, power, and transparency.
Although the player has a few EQ settings, it is clear from HiSoundAudio's philosophy that they did not put much effort into their EQ settings. The default EQ setting (which is basically the "Off" setting, is called "Nature") is the best sounding out of all the others—and is what I have the player set on all the time. I will be using the JH16 Pro in-ear monitors as my IEM for assessing sound quality.
The highs on the RoCoo P are very clear and full of energy. For some, the highs may seem a bit accentuated compared to the rest of the frequency spectrum—but I feel that the highs have just the right amount of accentuation. Sparkle and shimmer are there, with a good amount of decay. The decay is natural sounding, leaning towards a short decay rather than a long decay. The highs contribute to the overall fast, energetic, and PRAT sound of the DAP. Additionally, the highs have superb extension regardless which genre you are listening to—something I feel the strong amplifier inside the player is partially responsible for.
In Pop music, highs are the second layer of the music, with the mids dominating the first layer, followed by the highs and then the bass. The highs have nearly as much accentuation as the mids, allowing for a good synergy with Pop music. The presentation works very well with Pop music. In Rock and Metal music, crash cymbals and high-hats sound crisp and very, very clear. The clarity blew away my Cowon S9's ability to portray cymbals and high-hats. Drums sound amazing on this player. In Hip-Hop and Rap music, highs create the overall "atmosphere" or ambiance of the music very well. The clarity of the highs really helps contrast with the emphasized bass in Hip-Hop music, and made me hear things I did not hear before. The extension of the highs is superb in Hip-Hop music.
In Classical music, highs really help create the ambiance of the stage. The overall distance of the stage is very well reproduced through the highs. The highs can be a bit emphasized on some instruments, but blend in with the rest of the frequencies very well. The energy of the highs may be a bit too much for Classical music, but it still sounds very good with Classical music. In Jazz music, highs are just perfect. The decay and speed of the highs have outstanding synergy with Jazz music. Just a wonderful balance with the other frequencies.
Overall, the player has outstanding pace and timing with highs. The highs are some of the best that I have heard on a portable player. The energy produced in the highs requires a very powerful external amplifier—but with the powerful amp inside this player, that is not necessary. The highs may be a tad bright for some people, but for me it is just right. The highs are airy but not too airy—it creates just the right amount of space between instruments. Again, the highs are very well done on this player.
Power is the word to describe the lows on the RoCoo P. An authoritative slam and impact from the low frequencies. For me, this is what bass should be. The lows have such power that in certain songs, I heard rumble whereas my Cowon S9 could not reproduce that rumble without having an external amplifier connected to it. Certainly, the Class A amp inside the RoCoo P must be responsible for such power and authority associated with the bass.
The JH16 in-ear monitors have 8 bass drivers. Although they are a very sensitive IEM, they still require a good amount of power to sound their best. The RoCoo P delivers on this aspect. Not once did I feel my JH16's were "hungry" for more power when listening with the RoCoo P. The power delivered by the RoCoo P allowed for the bass frequencies to sound their best. This meant bass impact, extension, and quantity—without masking the other frequencies.
I have absolutely no qualms on the lows with this player. This player exceeded my expectations with bass performance. The control and impact of the bass is superb for a player of this side. If I blindfolded you and made you hear some bassy songs with this player, you would think you were hooked up to a desktop setup. Not because of the impact only—but because the bass is so well controlled that it does not interfere with other frequencies—something that is usually hard to reproduce in players costing a few hundred dollars.
Lows are fantastic on this player, period.
I saved my favorite quality about this player for the last. I adore the midrange on the RoCoo P. There is just enough forwardness and accentuation, without being too forward like some Shure IEMs. The clarity of the mids is unprecedented—I heard new subtle details in vocals that I did not hear either on my Cowon S9 nor other players. Additionally, mids sound very natural. For you Rock lovers, you'll love how electric guitar sounds on the RoCoo P. You can hear the grunt of the guitar in this player and feel the power of the instrument because of the mids.
In J-Pop music, the mids really make the music sound alive. Actually, this is true for almost any genre. The mids have amazing resolution. The ability to extract every last nuance from the mids is the RoCoo P's ace-card. The clarity of the mids is breathtaking.
Additionally, the layering of the mids with the other frequencies allows for both detailed, analytic listening as well as just rocking out to your favorite music. The player has this "hybrid" sound making it easy for someone to analytically listen to music, while at the same time just diving into the music and enjoying it. The RoCoo P is a musical player, that still retains the ability to be analytically dissected.
Overall, my favorite part of the RoCoo P is the mids and the resolution of the mids. It blows my Cowon S9 out of the water in this respect. Additionally, since most of our music is in the midrange, I think that this was a good move by HiSoundAudio to focus on a good midrange presentation. Excellent work, HiSoundAudio.
Soundstage, Resolution, Transparency, and L/R Balance
The RoCoo P has a very wide soundstage, with an above average amount of depth (more depth than my Cowon S9). The soundstage takes advantage of high-end IEMs and headphones, and made the soundstage of my JH16's slightly larger as I moved up from the Cowon S9.
Instrument separation is superb. Instruments do not encroach on each other. Air between instruments is maintained while still preserving the cohesive sound of all of the instruments. This leads to transparency of the player. This player has the best transparency that I have heard on any DAP. There is simply no "muddy" overlapping over instruments. Everything sounds pristine and crystal clear. Instruments can be extracted from the music and focused upon, and you can dive back into the music whenever you want. The transparency is unmatched with other DAPs (at least at this price point and among the DAPs that I have heard).
Another thing that I wanted to mention is the L/R Balance of the player. I was surprised to notice that the L/R Balance is extremely accurate in this player coming from the Cowon S9. Vocals that come from both Left and Right are emitted at the exact same time, with the same dB level. The center channel (pseudo-center) is produced very well, and is more "centered" than my Cowon S9. My Cowon S9 leaned towards the Right in this respect. Not with this player. The L/R Balance is fantastic and I did not expect a player of this size and price-point to have such a good L/R Balance.
Cross Comparison (A/B) with Cowon S9
For this section, I will do a cross comparison with the Cowon S9, which I feel is a strong competitor for the RoCoo P at this price point. All files used are at least 320 kbps MP3 or FLAC if stated. I will also try my best to select music from a variety of genres to show the strength of the player with multiple genres. I will be using the JH16 Pro in-ear monitor as my IEM. The setup will not include an amplifier in order to keep the comparison as close to the source as possible (the DAP). I will write my thoughts as I am listening to the song, to preserve accuracy. The player that I list first is the player that I listened to first (I tried to switch in the middle to avoid a bias).
BoA - I Did It For Love
RoCoo P: very transparent. Excellent balance among all three frequencies. The mids have just the right amount of forwardness. Extension of highs is superb. Bass is punchy. PRAT is excellent.
Cowon S9: most immediate difference—highs are not as pronounced as the RoCoo P. Highs sound thinner and not as sharp as the RoCoo P. Bass is boomy, not as punchy as the RoCoo P. Mids are very well presented. Good energy and clarity on mids. Transparency is not as good as the RoCoo P. Just not as energetic sounding as the RoCoo P.
Conclusion: The RoCoo P definitely wins on this one. There is more detail in the song, and transparency is much better than the Cowon S9.
UVERworld - Colors of the Heart
RoCoo P: amazing instrument separation. Mids are very clear. Cymbals sound fantastic and crisp. Drums are not overpowering, but maintain their power. At the breakdown of the song, ambiance is beautifully portrayed. Acoustic guitar sounds very musical. Also sounds clear even with multiple instruments playing at the same time.
Cowon S9: sounds muddier. The highs are not as clear and pristine as the RoCoo P. Guitars sound muddier. Almost everything sounded better with the RoCoo P. At the breakdown of the song, ambiance is portrayed, but the acoustic guitars are not as clear or "musically" presented as the RoCoo P.
Conclusion: Although the Cowon S9 sounded decent with this song, the RoCoo P's instrument separation and energy with this song is much better than the Cowon S9.
As I Lay Dying - Collision
Cowon S9: very wide soundstage. Highs sound a bit subdued on the cymbals. Bass sounds punchy and fast. Speed of the song is very good. Overall presentation is very good.
RoCoo P: Drums sound more clear immediately. Guitars have more grunt. Overall energy of the drums is much better. Cymbals come alive. Takes what the Cowon S9 did and adds another 20% to it.
Conclusion: The RoCoo P definitely wins on this one. It appears that the Cowon S9 struggles with Rock music and instrument separation. The RoCoo P sounds fantastic with metal.
Far East Movement - If I Was You (OMG)
Cowon 9: very good bass impact. Highs sound a bit muffled. The mids are well presented, though they can use a bit more energy. Overall, sounds pretty good.
RoCoo P: bass impact is more powerful, greater extension. Mids are well presented, though not as forward as the Cowon S9. I hear more detail overall with the highs. Sounds less muddy compared to the Cowon S9.
Conclusion: I would say that both players have good performance with this song. I would lean towards the RoCoo P because of the bass authority, and because it sounds cleaner overall.
Kanye West - POWER
RoCoo P: amazing resolution on Kanye West's voice. The bass is very impactful, mids are extremely clear. Excellent PRAT. I can't get over how detailed Kanye West's voice sounds here. The resolution is outstanding.
Cowon S9: the decay of the highs/mids sounds better than the RoCoo P. Bass is definitely boomier and muddier than the RoCoo P. The resolution Kanye's voice dropped, now the mids are not as fantastic as the RoCoo P.
Conclusion: The resolution of the vocals on the RoCoo P, paired with the tight bass makes the RoCoo P a clear winner in this song. The Cowon S9 sounds pretty good, and the decay of the instruments and drums are better than the RoCoo P, but the overall sound is not up to par with the RoCoo P.
Sergei Rachmaninov - Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18 - I. Moderato
Cowon S9: the ambiance of the music is fantastically portrayed here. Highs could sound sharper and clearer. Resolution is fantastic. Piano could be more forward and have more detail. Overall, very well done.
RoCoo P: hiss of the player makes the intro a bit hard to focus. Highs are more prominent and make overall sound better. Lows sound more accurate than the Cowon S9. Piano sounds more clean and clear. Overall sound is slightly better than the Cowon S9.
Conclusion: both players excel in this song and it's hard to choose a clear winner. Although the RoCoo P has a background hiss, it sounds better than the Cowon S9. Keep in mind that I am using JH16s which are very sensitive and most IEMs may not hiss on the RoCoo P. I believe the original RoCoo (RoCoo D) is tuned for sensitive IEMs, not the RoCoo P. Hence why the RoCoo P hisses with my JH16s. Perhaps some will prefer the Cowon S9 here because of less hiss. I say this is a tie.
Keiko Matsui - A Great Romance
RoCoo P: Wow, amazing resolution. Details, transparency, and layering of music is phenomenal. Breathtaking power of the bass. Clarity is making my jaw drop. PRAT is fantastic. Piano has superb detail. Everything sounds so musical. This is amazing, I don't want to stop listening.
Cowon S9: High decay is better than the RoCoo P. Not as much detail as the RoCoo, but still very very good. Piano sounds more alive. Bass is not as impactful or powerful. Although the resolution is nearly as good as the RoCoo P, instrument separation is not at the same level. The Piano still sounds better here. Ambiance is well presented, but the overall sound is still not as musical as the RoCoo P.
Conclusion: very close to a draw here, but I have to hand it to the RoCoo P. It just sounds like you are transporated to another world on this song. The ambiance is more realistic and natural. Although the Piano sounded better on the Cowon, the RoCoo P wins here because of it's resolution, layering, instrument separation, and musicality. Although this is very close to a toss-up, to be honest.
Jazz (again)
Brian Culbertson - Hookin' Up
Cowon S9:  very clear highs. Mids sound gorgeous on the guitar. Bass is nice and punchy. Saxophone sounds organic, natural. Piano sounds superb. Very musical presentation.
RoCoo P: highs are not as clear as the Cowon S9 here. Saxophone is definitely more alive. Piano sounds much better here, very real sound. Bass hits hard, good impact. Decay of the cymbals is better sounding than the Cowon (I don't even remember the cymbals decaying on the Cowon now that I think about it). Very good transparency of all instruments. Saxophones sound gorgeous, again.
Conclusion: again, very close to a draw. Both players really seem to be well suited towards Jazz. The Cowon sounded amazing. However, the RoCoo P wins on the piano and saxophone as well as the cymbals on the drums.
One thing I wish the RoCoo P had is MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) support! This is so I can sync the player with my last.fm profile. I can do this with my Cowon S9 and a bunch of other players, but I cannot do it with my RoCoo P because it does not have MTP. I would love it if this could be added in the future (I don't know if it requires a physical change or can be done by updating the firmware, but I would love this feature).
Another thing that I wish the player had is a customizable viewing function. This is so I can choose to see title of the song only, or Artist + Title, etc. It is very annoying to wait for the artist's title to scroll before I know what song I am selecting. I would love it if this were included in a future firmware update.
The RoCoo P is an amazing DAP. Its price (MSRP $179), size, and most importantly, its sound quality make for one of the best values in audio today. The DAP sounds powerful, clean, and transparent. It has a wonderful, balanced sound that is not overwhelming on any frequencies. The soundstage is wide. Instrument separation is the best I have heard from a DAP. The midrange is gorgeous, and is my favorite aspect of the player. The control that the RoCoo P has with lows is also a feat of its own (probably due to the powerful amp inside). I have even tried the RoCoo P with my AKG K702 straight out from the player, and it sounded very good. I have to say again, this player is powerful—don't let its size fool you.
For anyone looking for a new DAP, or a better sounding DAP and doesn't want to break the bank—look no further. The RoCoo P is an amazing bang for the buck. I honestly think you can't do any better than this for (>$200). You can visit HiSoundAudio's website at www.hisoundaudio.com (though I believe it is down right now for an upgrade). You can also order through their other site, here. They are having a special Xmas Promotion where every product is 50% off. For more information, check out the promotion thread here.
Thank you to HiSoundAudio for creating such a good sounding player for an affordable price. I am extremely satisfied with my RoCoo P!
Pictures below!
Thank you for the fantastic review!
Terrific review! Very well done.