Hiby R3 Pro Portable Bluetooth DAP
Aug 9, 2020 at 5:11 PM Post #1,036 of 1,611

DW75

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The performance and sound quality of the R3 Pro are well beyond its price point. It is a 200 dollar DAP that sounds like a 300-400 dollar DAP. I am extremely impressed with mine. Anyone looking at a Fiio M6 or Fiio M9 should just buy the R3 Pro instead. I had a listen to the Fiio M9 down at London Drugs yesterday. The R3 Pro beats the M9 in sound quality, but costs less.
 
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Aug 9, 2020 at 5:36 PM Post #1,037 of 1,611

dissembled

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The performance and sound quality of the R3 Pro are well beyond its price point. It is a 200 dollar DAP that sounds like a 300-400 dollar DAP. I am extremely impressed with mine. Anyone looking at a Fiio M6 or Fiio M9 should just buy the R3 Pro instead. I had a listen to the Fiio M9 down at London Drugs yesterday. The R3 Pro beats the M9 in sound quality, but costs less.

Nice to hear your impressions. Curious though, what were your reasons for picking the vanilla Pro over the Saber version?
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 3:06 AM Post #1,039 of 1,611

fish1050

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The performance and sound quality of the R3 Pro are well beyond its price point. It is a 200 dollar DAP that sounds like a 300-400 dollar DAP. I am extremely impressed with mine. Anyone looking at a Fiio M6 or Fiio M9 should just buy the R3 Pro instead. I had a listen to the Fiio M9 down at London Drugs yesterday. The R3 Pro beats the M9 in sound quality, but costs less.

Yeah I don't agree with this at all, I demoed the original R3 Pro and I own the M9. The R3 Pro through SE output does not sound nearly as good as the M9 with my NAD Viso HP50's. The R3 Pro has little depth at all in the soundstage vs excellent depth and width with the M9. I would even take the cheaper Shanling Q1 over the R3 Pro unless you need balanced output and wifi. Also headphones used will be a big factor in sound quality so a simple statement that one sounds better than the other without including heaphones used is not a valid statement.

How long did you demo the M9 for? also since you already own the R3 Pro you would biased towards it. You can't compare them after a what 10 minute demo in drug store.
 
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Aug 10, 2020 at 3:13 AM Post #1,040 of 1,611

DW75

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I tested it out with my Fiio FH5 iems and Fiio A5 headphone amp connected to the single ended output on both DAPs. In this scenario, the R3 Pro offered a superior audio experience than the M9. The way to get the best experience out of the R3 Pro is to either use a good headphone amp with the 3.5mm connection, or to use the balanced connection.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 11:05 AM Post #1,041 of 1,611

utdeep

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R3 Pro with the iFi Hip Dac is an amazing combo for MQA with minimal setup headache. The sound is perfect for me. Substantially better than the high-end Fiio DAPs (M11, M11 Pro, M15) that I’ve tried recently in combination with my LCD-3.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 12:17 PM Post #1,042 of 1,611

abitdeef

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I would like to add a correction on my comparison of the r3 pro and r3 pro saber. I had set them up with different colour themes so I didn't have to look at the side- and I thought green was vanilla and red was saber.

When actually green was saber and red was vanilla. So the mids are more up front with vanilla and the saber has more 'space' between stuff which I like. saber does have deeper faster bass and vanilla sounds more neutral or leaner- your choice of descriptors. Stage is a tiny bit wider on the saber and the timing seems a bit better- listening a bunch last night.

Treble is nice on both, I think saber's treble is a bit more layered, and realistic. And vanillia is a bit thinner and sharper. Both are extended very nicely.

Not huge differences- if you want a leaner more upfront neutral sound I'd go with vanilla. If you want things a bit more spaced out with a bit more complexity and deeper/stronger sub bass go with saber. This was tested using balanced outs with high gain.

Sorry about the mix up. I had the saber in a case and was using it while I thought I had it in my closet and was using the vanilla. :frowning2:

And as always, just my personal opinions/observations.
 
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Aug 10, 2020 at 3:11 PM Post #1,043 of 1,611

MrNaturalAZ

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R3 Pro with the iFi Hip Dac is an amazing combo for MQA with minimal setup headache. The sound is perfect for me. Substantially better than the high-end Fiio DAPs (M11, M11 Pro, M15) that I’ve tried recently in combination with my LCD-3.

In that case, then, the R3Pro is really just functioning as a file browser/server, no? All the decoding and amplification is happening in the HipDAC. Theoretically, at least, pretty much any DAP (or phone or computer, etc) would sound equally good. I'm not arguing that it isn't an excellent combination - just pointing out that whenever you use an external DAC, the source device has little if any effect on the sound (aside from perhaps any very subtle effects of bitstream jitter or stability). The DAC and its amplifier determine the sound.

Unless the HipDAC has an analog input to function as an amplifier only, which I'm pretty sure it doesn't. ANyhow, I'm glad that combination is working well for you. I've considered the HipDAC myself for using with my phone or laptop, but probably wouldn't with my R3Pro, since that already contains an amp and DAC, and I don't need one more thing to carry around.

Just a thought - I know many people prefer to use external DACs with their DAPs - I wonder if anybody makes a "DAC-less" DAP for just that usage scenario. I'm imagining it as including display, storage, maybe WiFi, pretty much all the usual features, except that it only outputs digital. No DAC, no amp. It could be sold for probably half the price of a full player, and then the user can use the DAC/amp of their own choice.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 3:49 PM Post #1,044 of 1,611

Tjhfirefighter

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Loved the R3 Pro, especially with Thieaudio Legacy 3. Actually found it a better match than the R5. Also loved the size and portability but what killed it for me was the inability to download tracks from Qobuz and Tidal as I am a streamer and don’t have a Hi-res library. Agree with not loving Sabre dacs. Have them in the cobalt and D50s stack and occasionally listen to them for a change but prefer AKM hands down
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 7:00 PM Post #1,045 of 1,611

dissembled

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Just received my Saber today, but oh my my, when coupled with the balanced Audio Technica MSR7bs, I've come to the conclusion that that combination is the best sounding portable setup I've heard in my 33 years of existence. The aggression, the close vocals, the hard hitting sub-bass, the details, the clarity...These characteristics have breathed new life into my music, and hearing songs I've heard countless times before has turned into a rejuvenated experience. As some of you might know, the MSR7b is lacking in bass compared to other closed headphones and the Saber's accented bass just makes it shine.

My, my, boys...I'm in love.
 
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Aug 10, 2020 at 7:03 PM Post #1,046 of 1,611

Tjhfirefighter

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Just received my Saber today, but oh my my, when coupled with the balanced Audio Technica MSR7bs, I've come to the conclusion that that combination is the best sounding portable setup I've heard in my 33 years of existence. The aggression, the close vocals, the hard hitting sub-bass, the details, the clarity...These characteristics have breathed new life into my music, and hearing songs I've heard countless times before has turned into a rejuvenated experience. As some of you might know, the MS7B is lacking in bass compared to other closed headphones and the Saber's accented bass just makes it shine.

My, my, boys...I'm in love.
Lol. Just posted balanced and unbalanced brown versions of msr7 for sale.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 7:20 PM Post #1,047 of 1,611

equalspeace

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i sold the R5 and kept my non Saber R3 pro, fwtw
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 7:24 PM Post #1,048 of 1,611

purplesun

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Just a thought - I know many people prefer to use external DACs with their DAPs - I wonder if anybody makes a "DAC-less" DAP for just that usage scenario. I'm imagining it as including display, storage, maybe WiFi, pretty much all the usual features, except that it only outputs digital. No DAC, no amp. It could be sold for probably half the price of a full player, and then the user can use the DAC/amp of their own choice.

I have gone in the other direction. The R3 Pro (more recently, SR25) has my amps, dacs & storage cards gathering dust. Even my music-playing phone is getting less attention when wifi is available. Having something small that streams music at decent SQ has me hooked :) I think this is the way forward for me.
 
Aug 10, 2020 at 8:09 PM Post #1,049 of 1,611

DW75

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Does anyone else here use the singled ended connection on their R3 Pro with a separate headphone amp like I am doing ? My Fiio A5 has perfect synergy with this DAP and the sound quality is just excellent. I have not tried the balanced out yet with my Fiio FH5 iems, as I currently do not have a balanced cable. I seriously doubt the balanced connection will offer a better sound than I am getting with the headphone amp paired with the DAP single ended though. I tested the 3.5mm jack on its own, and it was mediocre. With the headphone amp connected to it though, the sound quality improvement is gigantic.
 

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