HUM Pervasion - Android DAP

General Information

The HUM Pervasion is an Android-based DAP running a Wolfson WM8741 DAC chip, high end internal components, and analogue volume control to maintain maximum signal quality.

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Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Great sound, Versatile, easy to use, Vanilla Android
Cons: Vanilla Android for some, volume touchy
Howdy all,
I have been meaning to make some time to write this review and tonight I just so happened to fall upon that time.  My wife told me she wanted some time alone to read some book called 50 shades of something…. What ever that means. 
Anyway, it means I get to put some thoughts to keyboard about this great mid-fi priced dap.
I was lucky enough to be a step in on the recent (still ongoing) Australian tour of the HUM Pervasion DAP.  You may or may not have heard of this DAP out of China, there hasn’t been a whole lot of hype about it.
Before I get too far into my thoughts on the DAP, I would like to thank H20 for allowing me to participate.  This was my first tour outside of my Beyer a200p review.
As it so happened at the time of review I also had a HM901, Cayin N6 and an Alien in my possession.  Which was both a curse and a blessing, as I got to compare the 4, but I also got some strange looks from the boss at work swapping and changing, cursing when I forgot to push out the auto power down timers etc etc.  Some of my co-workers found it amusing.
For the most part I reviewed the unit with my Tralucent Ref1’s as these are my only headphones I currently own of quality.  I also briefly tried the HUM with my Sennheiser Momentum in-ears.
Well, to get on with it hey?
I did take a heap of photo's but for the life of me no idea where they are, so I have but one to share that I took the day the device was sent on.

When I received the unit, it come in an iphone-esque minimalist white box.  Personally I love this.  While I am not an iFan, I do love the quality feel you get with their devices. 
Unfortunately for me though, once I opened the box I felt it took a step down.  I was met with a very plain looking, garish red, chubby android phone, roughly the size of 2 iPhone 4’s on top of one another. 
When I first picked the device up I was surprised by how light it was.  Instantly my mind went to negativity.  But when I gave it a light squeeze, a light shake I had to re-assess. 
This felt like a solid unit in the hand.  It was playing mind games with me.  How could something be this solid, yet be so light. *shrugs*.
Next I turned the unit around to get a look at the output’s, inputs etc on the unit.  I was very very happy to see a dedicated LO as well as a headphone out. 
Being the nosey kinda fellow I am I took my headphone jack and popped it into the headphone out.  It was solid.  This thing was pegging back the points.  I was now willing to give it a fair trial...
Until I saw the 2 volume controls.  WTH was my initial thought.   But it actually was a useful addition in being able to adjust small increments with IEMs. 
However most of the time I left the digital volume at max and used the analogue volume to adjust. 
Speaking of the analogue volume control.  It is a horizontal disk like volume control that is somewhat stiff.  Obviously so accidental adjustments don’t happen.  However with how powerful the amp is, we had a love hate relationship over the course of our time together with over adjustments in each direction causing quite the fuss.  Anyway, this is me being petty.  It is a great option to have, I just wish the volume for the amp section was done in a different manner.
Ok so back in time, I am still looking around the unit (remember I haven’t heard it yet at this point, I just took it out of the box… Don’t know what all that stuff above was about).  Hmn, having come from an N6, ak100ii, hm901, Alien… I am frantically looking for the hardware media controls.  Sadly any track changes you want to make to assert your dominance over your DAP must be done via the touch screen. (Sort of, I will touch on this later).
Ok, so in short, I was impressed with a few features, less so about others.  But how does this thing sound….
Sound Quality:
Disclaimer:  I much preferred the sound of the brighter N6 with my Ref1’s, but I will try to be fair.
In short, it sounds great!!!  No its not the sound I prefer when in combination with my Ref1, but it truly does sound good.  The overall sound I would pin down as Neutral to Warm.  Very smooth and musical, but not lacking in detail in any such way.
I found the highs to be smooth and coherent.  There was a nice transition from mid to high and they seemed to extend quite well.  I never felt I was missing any detail in the music.  I found that the music sounded quite natural. 
I thought the mids were quite well presented.  They didn’t sounded thin or brittle, nor thick.  I quite liked both Male and female vocals and how they were presented with enough texture to engage with the music and emotion behind the lyrics.  Personally I felt the bass crept into the lower mids a little, but that again could have been my iems as you need a very strong dap to keep the bass in check on these Ref1’s and any emphasis in the bass region and you are not going to have a very nice day.
I thought the bass hit hard.  It had purpose and that purpose was to make you want moar bass.  Even though you know you have enough, its an all you can eat buffet and you start looking for more.  The bass extended well into the depths of my dentists pockets when I need to have these fillings reset.  However I did feel the bass, as grand as it is, as stated above, had a bit of a hump.  But if I am completely honest, I have not yet tried a DAP employing this DAC that I have enjoyed with these IEMs and this implementation was as good as any I have tried, which puts it in the leagues of the AK100 and for me almost ak120.
Soundstage and separation.
I know these are 2 different things but how many sections can you put in a review before people just give up on you as a member of the human race….
The soundstage to me was intimate.  I am writing this reflectively (omy now I am writing in past tense… WHAT THE HELL IS THIS GUY DOING?... Now 3rd person….. DIv/0#) and if I recall it correctly It was intimate.  Left to right were narrow but it had decent depth.  I cant specify height as I only listen to music where people play while standing/sitting, not flying.  But I will update this review when this occurs.
Separation was excellent.  Even in complex passages I never heard the HUM trip over its self in an attempt to escape the tortures of dream theatre, Tool, some twiddly twiddly passages in some Damian Rice songs.  It was always with me and rocking on.  I know a few of you out there listen to Classical and would probably be able to get the HUMs head spinning, but not I.  I was quite impressed.
Output power:
Well I know this doesn’t really fall under sound as such, but this thing has enough power to start a light truck in a pinch, so you should be fine with most portable headphones and I would imagine even some full sized cans.  I used about 10% tops on the dial for my iems.
Ok, so that wraps up the sound, for now, until I hear the flying band at the very least.  So how was it to use, you know after turning it on, as opposed to the canning I gave it above without even turning it on.
Let me ask you a question.  Do you like android or are you willing to try and use it?  NO?
Then get a different DAP.  Seriously, this isn’t for you.

The HUM Pervasion employs a stock version of android and has no dedicated music interface like you may expect to see on pretty much every other dap on the market. .. Is this a bad thing?  In my eyes heck no!!!
I have been a faithful android user for many years so for me I was right at home.  What this does is it opens up your player, UI, control, sound options.  The options are so diverse I cant even count them on a centipedes fingers.  You can stream (though the wifi is flakey), you can use google play, you can use Neutron, Playerpro, Poweramp, Noozy…. If its on the market and available for that version of android, then you can have it.  If you want EQ you can, if you want playlists, folder players, movie players, its all at your disposal.
Personally this got a huge thumbs up from me and it also allows such things as being able to use volume buttons for track changes as options within certain players (though I must confess I didn’t try this but have in the past on phones, so perhaps someone else could confirm this)
The UI was smooth, the touchcreen reactive and screen clear and easy to read.
Ok so whats that, UI, Sound and Aesthetics.  Hmn… how did it compare to the others in the stable….
In Short for me.
HM901>= Cayin N6 > HUM > Alien.
This is based on perceived audio quality.
I find the HM901 to be superior in most regards.  However the HM901 is almost 3x the price of the HUM, so one would certainly expect it to excel.  I used 2 cards in the HM901, the Fen-Li discrete card and the IEM card.  HUM VS IEM card I found the IEM card bright when compared to the HUMs warmer sound.  The 901 presents a wider, airier, more detailed and with more bass control.  Overall a more balanced sound imo, however if you have bright headphones, it may get fatigueing.  Which is one thing I noticed with the HUM… I never got fatigued when listening.
When comparing to the Fen-Li Card, I found they were a little more similar.  Both present in a natural smooth way.  The Fen-Li card has bass impact and control over the HUM, however I felt that the mids on the HUM to be more natural, particularly male vocals, which I find to sound odd on the Fen-Li card.  The upper register I found quite similar on both.  The soundstage again was a bit larger on the 901 with separation being similar.
Fairly impressive considering the HUM is up against the Goliath of DAPs to many.
Regarding usability, while I have no gripes with the 901’s UI, the HUM pervasion blows it out of the water with its versatility and stability.
These are 2 very different beasts.  This is almost an unfair comparison as I feel the N6 has the best synergy I have heard with my Ref1.
I felt that the N6 made the HUM sound a little slow in the bass and glossed over in the highs.  I thought the mids were presented differently but I perhaps enjoyed them more on the HUM.  Where the N6 is an aggressive (but refined, I like to think of it as a dx90 but sounds more refined and natural), the HUM sounds more like an ak100.  I find myself wanting to reach for the N6, but an hour later have a rest, when I did reach for the HUM, I would find myself still listening when it was time to go home from work 5 hours later.
HUM vs Alien
I think I am one of the alien’s biggest fans.  I truly do love it.  But sadly, I must say that the HUM bests it in almost all regards.  In fact, I find form factor and simplicity to be the only things on the Aliens side in this battle.  Yet, I find myself reaching for the Alien over the HUM 9/10. Why I hear you ask?  Are you even reading what you are writing?  Because there is something magic about the Alien that is just missing in the HUM.
The highs are clearer and contain more data than the Alien, the mids are smoother and more textured than the alien, the bass is stronger, it has line out, more output power, no dreaded hiss.  It is musical.  So why do I choose the Alien?  I honestly cannot tell you in anyway that involves technicalities.  I simply just love its sound.
Ok, so we have established that I don’t like it’s sound, but think it sounds great.  That I love the UI.  That I don’t like how it looks like it will feel, but love how it feel’s.
Since that all makes sense I think I will call it a night.
I will add to this review in seriousness as I get time, but I felt I needed to get some thoughts out there to maybe inspire some other people on the fence to give it a try.
If you loved the AK100, if you love that warmish neutral sound, you like a smooth but detailed presentation, if you like a bit of power in reserve and if you like android, this is a great option and I would jump on it!!!!
Sonic Defender
Sonic Defender
Don't be fooled, once they get into the 50 Shades stuff that can be bad news dude so I hope your joking! Credible stories abound of wives suddenly deciding they are bored and need to look elsewhere for the experience (including my brother). Anyway, really good review, I like reading about less well known gear and I think your review is very useful for people who like to try such less popular gear. Thanks for the good read. Now burn that book you've been warned!


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Clarity & sound quality, power, Android powered means nearly endless possibilities software-wise.
Cons: Battery life, outdated Android, no external DAC support.
Firstly, I'd like to thank @H20Fidelity for including me on this tour. It's always a great experience and privilege to be a part of such a great community which organises these tours for members like myself to try out new gear that we may not have a chance to audition. I do feel very lucky to be a part of it.
Disclaimer: I did not purchase the HUM Pervasion and do not own it. I've had 1 week with it. So please take what I have to say with a grain of salt, or two.

A little about the HUM Pervasion:

About HUM (taken from the website):
"Hum is a Hong Kong based audio manufacturer, specialized in designing, manufacturing and producing audio gear that is high in fidelity, detail and texture. We believe good quality and affordable price could come hand in hand, if manufacturers and engineers who are knowledgeable enough and handle it with love, passion and care.
We design for music lovers, audiophiles to professional musicians. We would be really honoured if our users could tell that they hear a wider range, more texture layers, higher fidelity higher detail in their favourite song as if it is their first time hearing the track but be able to magically hum along.
Every music lover is an explorer, let's take the journey together one music note and one hum at a time."
The HUM Pervasion comes to the market with only one thing in mind; to bring only the highest quality and highest fidelity possible at a reasonable price. It does this quite reasonably well.
It houses a Wolfson WM8741 DAC which is one of the most highly regarded value for money DACs to this day. To go with this it uses a TI LME49720 operational amplifier that runs a ±8V which gives it more than enough power to drive cans all the way up to the 300Ω I suspect. Unfortunately I cannot be for sure. All I can say is that it definitely has a lot of headroom for anything that I threw at it. 
In addition to this wonderful DAC and op-amp combo, HUM boasts to have cherry picked only the best electrical components that are not audio related, these being WiFi module, other ICs, DC-DC converters to form a perfect power supply structure for the Pervasion. 


 4.3' 800x480 IPS 
 28nm A9 Dual-Core 1.2 GHz
 Android 4.2.2
Onboard Memory:​
Card Slot:​
 MicroSD Up to 128GB
 Wolfson WM8741
Low Pass Filter:​
 TI LME49720
Op-Amp Power Supply:​
 1770 mAh Li-ion
Battery Life:​
 ~6 hours (WAV)
Charging Time:​
 ~2 hours
 WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
 66.6x118x13.8mm (2.62"x4.65"x0.54")

The HUM Pervasion as a Android Device

The HUM Pervasion is in quite a good place. There are not a lot of Android power high fidelity digital audio players on the market. What this means is that HUM has a lot of power available in their grasp to utilise. Android, being an open-source platform, is capable of being anything that the designer chooses it to be, as long as it is set-up properly and as intended. I'm not convinced that HUM have done this correctly, and I'll explain why.
The hardware chosen is OK and is not really the issue. My biggest gripe here is the version of Android chosen. Android only gets better and more stable with every iteration. One of the biggest aspects of the newer versions of Android is the increasing support for external DACs. A limitation on the Android audio engine is that it is only capable of 48/16, and introducing the ability to use external DACs makes your Android device capable of all the formats the your DAC can play. This particular version does not seem to support any USB OTG devices at all, which is a huge bummer in my books. This feels like a huge opportunity missed.
My other gripe is that the chosen ROM is not a community built one, like CyanogenMod. While I understand that there may have been method in the madness, I do still think it would've been wiser to go with an AOSP base ROM and cherry pick your own features for customisation and hardware/software tweaks, for example: hold volume keys down to skip tracks. 
All these I mentioned can be fixed with a simple ROM flash, and I do hope that HUM hears my call and does just that. Because, in my humble opinion, if this does happen, it will make this player a force to be reckoned with.
Now continuing with the review...
Playing around with the HUM Pervasion I noticed that this is probably one the smoothest Jelly Bean 4.2.2 experiences I've encountered. It is after all a fully stripped down version of Android. It is slightly modified but mostly just stock Jelly Bean.  It is quite a joy to play with being an Android user myself. 
The apps that come preinstalled are: Chrome (internet browser), Explorer (file browser), Gallery, Gmail, Play Music, Play Store, Settings & Video. It's really as bare bones as you'll ever get.

Recommended Apps

The apps I would recommend for playing music are as follows: HibyMusic, PowerAmp and USB Audio Player PRO.
All are great music apps and are available on the Play Store.
HibyMusic however was not available to download from the Play Store for the Pervasion, so what I did to get it installed was get the HibyMusic apk file from my rooted MotoG and transferred it across to the Pervasion and installed it manually from the Explorer app. Everything worked like a charm from there.
You may also play all you favourite games on this device. Don't expect it to run anything graphics intensive though. It'll run all you Candy Crush and Flappy Birds to your hearts content.

Design & Build

The HUM Pervasion is quite a chunky device. Of course this is only compared to a normal Android phone. Compared to any other Hi-Rez DAP on the market it doesn't seem that big at all. Measuring at 66.6x118x13.8mm it reminds me a lot like my old Motorola Atrix (which I actually have on hand - see photos). This is the size that Android phones used to be a few years ago before they began to stretch to wider, longer and skinnier proportions. Everything about this device screams to me "Classic Android Phone", and this is something I actually like. It's what made me fall in love with Android after all the year of being a Nokia user. 
The HUM Pervasion is mostly made of glass (front) and aluminium (rear). The rare cover is a solid chunk on aluminium which wraps around the player on all sides. It looks and feels like it will last a long, long time.
  1. On top you get a power button and the MicroUSB plug which actually feel very sturdy when plugged in.
  2. Left you get the volume rocker.
  3. Right is simply the microSD card slot which can hold up to 128GB.
  4. And the bottom is where the magic happens. You get a line-out, an ALPS analogue volume knob and the headphone out.
It's a very unique that feature to have both a digital and analogue volume control. But it's welcomed here.


I'm not sure if the screen is made from Corning Gorilla glass and I'm surely not going to test it to find out. Let's just say that I didn't hesitate to apply a screen protector on the unit when I received it.
The resolution is 800x480 which to me is still adequate as it's always been.
The screen does have some reflection and is not the most ideal for use in the sun.


Battery life is quoted to be 6 hours and that is about right with what I've experienced. For me this is not an issue but for those who do a lot of commuting may know the frustration of a dying battery. It does charge quite slowly, but I found that it helps to use a better charger, something that pushes more than 1 amp.

EMI (Electromagnetic Interference)

When using the WiFi you do get considerably a lot of EMI. It's noticeable at all volumes, and it's very annoying!



WiFi strength is weak and the connection is somewhat temperamental when not in the same room as the router. Otherwise it work as intended. 


Bluetooth works as intended when the screen is turned off. The second you turn the screen on the sound starts to stutter. I think that this may be another software issue with the old version of Android. I could be wrong, of course.

How does it Sound?

The HUM Pervasion does not disappoint in the sound department. Boy does it sound good! It is a very musical player, extending both treble and bass, making everything you listen to alive and fun. Most of my listening is done in the office at work where I need to have the music in the background. I could not use this player at work all the time. The reason being, is that I could not concentrate on my work. It made me want to jump up and dance, reach for that volume knob and turn it a little up. Most of the time spent the first time I listened to the Pervasion was me flicking through my favourite tracks and listening to them like I haven't heard them in 10 years. It was definitely quite an experience.
"The player sounds very good" is where I'm going with this, if you haven't got that yet.

Some Comparisons

*Comparisons using only the opening of Eagles - Hotel California on V1 MP3 converted down from 96/24 vinyl rip using latest LAME.exe through the Havi B3 Pro 1.
**Switching between sources using my DIY AB switch (pink thing in the photos).
*** Volume matching is done by ear, so not so accurate.

xDuoo X2 VS HUM Pervasion

HUM Pervasion is instantly noticeable to have a more cleaner delivery. Bass is effortless with good speed. Electric guitar is airy and placed correctly on the stage. Cymbals are metallic and placed correctly to the side, slightly behind. 
xDuoo X2 has noticeably better soundstage and imaging; being slight wider and much deeper. Cymbal are further in the back, but aren't as natural sounding; smoother not as tinny or metallic. The sound isn't as refined as the HUM pervasion and the X2 is running out of headroom in terms of power. This track has a LOT of dynamic range and I had the X2 on 27/40 volume and the HUM maybe a quarter in.
HUM Pervasion wins.
But both sound great. Fun, forward and engaging.

FiiO X1 VS HUM Pervasion

X1 runs out of steam fast here. 90/100 volume. Treble is a tonne smoother & slower with the X1. Bass kick is somewhat hollow compared to the HUM Pervasion and not as punchy. Soundstage narrower. A very laid back sound here on the X1. 
HUM Pervasion is a much fuller & warmer sound than the X1. Bass guitar flows all through the note held, unlike the X1 where the note flows but feels loose. Treble here is much more sparkly and sharp. The cymbals have more bite and electric guitars has a much more natural timber.
HUM Pervasion wins hands down.
X1 is a more comfortable listen though. I could listen to it all day long. Pervasion might get a little fatiguing at the same volume levels. Though, the HUM Pervasion is a much more rewarding listen.

Audio-gd NFB-15.32 VS HUM Pervasion

This did not go down how I expected it to. AB'ing between the 2 actually gave very, very similar results. They have the same amount of warmth and both are quite forward. The NFB-15 definitely has more extension in the treble. The electric guitar and cymbals sounded brighter, more real, and the cymbals seemed to ring slightly longer. Mids sound a tiny bit more refined here. Soundstage is slightly wider and imaging is slightly more accurate. Everything else is pretty much on par.
I'd give this one to the NFB-15 but the HUM Pervasion was not far behind. If I wanted a portable DAP that sounds like the NFB-15, then this would be the way to go.



I do conclude with the hope that HUM does listen and updates their ROM to a newer version of Android with hopefully some features from community built custom ROM. 
It is a truly remarkable device which sound absolutely divine. It's only fault is the outdated software it is running. Once this is fixed, the HUM Pervasion will truly be a force to be reckoned with!
Q Mass
Q Mass
The way that I use my cellphone for Spotify is to have one playlist for ALL of the music that I might want to listen to on the go (currently 3000+ tracks), which I then download to the phone, and ocassionally use wi-fi to add to.
You can have more playlists 'offline' but one is enough for me.

This allows me to turn off the wi-fi to preserve battery.
It also means that I'm not tied to a wi-fi signal, or even the cell network.

There are no 'hiccups' or pauses when using offline playlists in this way, and I kind of assumed that I'd be able to use thhe HUM in the same manner.

There IS a need to connect to wi-fi to download any new tracks that you'd like to add to an offline playlist, and Spotify demands that you connect once a month to sync and confirm that you are still paying your dues, but these are trivial requirements, and don't require a device that takes a SIM card.

Do you subsscribe to any 'streaming' services?

I BELIEVE that TIDAL operates in the same manner, but haven't signed up yet so can't confirm.
@Q Mass, you maybe on a winner here. I never thought of it that way. I've never paid for a Spotify subscription because I used to only use it on my PC. But these days I just have all my songs on a microSD card and just mix and match my DAPs and IEMs. At home of course it's all on my HDD in FLAC.
Q Mass
Q Mass
My home broadband is so poor (rural area) that even browsing and listening to Spotify extreme can cause glitches! so I download playlists to my PC too.
Once I tried a paid sub to Spotify there was no way I could go back to the free sub.
No more ad's, better SQ, super convenient.
If TIDAL offers the same/better functionality with further improvement to SQ I'm gonna have to go for it eventually.
I'm waiting for a TIDAL subscriber to report in more detail on how well/if the HUM works with downloaded playlists (I confess that I don't even know for sure that this feature is available on TIDAL).


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Feature-rich thanks to Android, good on-board amp, brilliant neutral DAC implementation via line-out, compact, well priced
Cons: Bluetooth is choppy when using the screen, Wi-Fi reception is a bit weak, on-board amp can be a little warm sounding
HUM is a new player in the audio world as far as I can tell, but they've started strong with the Pervasion DAP. I've written an extensive review here:, but here's a quick summary.
Overall I'd say that the Pervasion is an excellent DAP for those looking for great sound quality with all range of 16-bit audio files. It has its quirks in terms of extra features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but when it comes to audio quality and interface, the Pervasion is bordering on perfection - particularly on the interface side of things.
The very slight warmth from the on-board amp is subtle enough to be musical without getting slow or thick sounding and pairs really well with all, but the warmest of 'phones and the line-out from the WM8741 DAC stage is incredibly detailed and neutral with outstanding separation, clarity, and sense of space and imaging. Paired with a good amp, the HUM Pervasion really is a giant killer and on it's own without an amp it'll still comfortably go toe-to-toe with some of the very best like the AK players.

The Good

  1. AHUMPervasion7of11.jpgndroid interface is excellent, customisable and fully featured
  2. Via Android player software, the Pervasion offers full playlist support, ReplayGain, true gapless playback, album art viewing and downloading, lyric downloading, scrobbling, and full EQ and DSP features
  3. The on-board amp has plenty of power for everything except hungry planars and some insensitive dynamic headphones
  4. The DAC implementation (Wolfson WM8741) is excellent - very neutral and extremely detailed
  5. Digital and analogue volume control helps to manage fine adjustments to volume with sensitive IEMs while not degrading sound quality with excessive digital attenuation
  6. It's quite compact (about FiiO X5 size, but nicely rounded and lighter)
  7. It's very affordable (approx. $350 USD)
  8. It comes in a sexy red colour

The Not-So-Good

  1. The on-board amp is a little warm due to a slight lift in the lower mid-bass - this can help some cans, but may be too warm with warmer 'phones
  2. Bluetooth playback stutters badly when using the screen /interface (but is fine when the screen is off)
  3. Wi-Fi reception is weak and requires a strong signal to be stable
  4. Aesthetically it's not quite as polished as some of the competition
  5. Battery life is around 6 hours (but it charges via micro USB, not a wall-wart charger)
  6. 16-bit playback only, but sounds excellent so you likely won't miss having hi-res
Here's an unboxing video so you can see it for yourself:

As the pre-trial, I think is a good hum p397 reduction is high. But poor battery life
Have you ever try it with hard rock music or speed rock music in general?


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