New Hidizs AP200 double DAC Android-based smart music player
Jun 14, 2017 at 10:20 PM Post #290 of 2,615

ryanjsoo

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Just received a pre-production AP200 from Hidizs and have formed some brief impressions on the device. I have the X5 III and X7 to compare with in addition to the Oppo HA-2 and Chord Mojo. Take note that the device is not finished though Hidizs have some work to do:

Off the bat, build is really nice. Hidizs sent me the glass backed aluminium variant, and both the edges and corners feel well-machined. That being said, the quality of finish feels more akin to early Fiio devices like the E17K than the more refined X5 III and X7. The AP200 is a reasonably compact player that feels appreciably more portable than even the X5 III due to its slightly smaller dimensions and lighter weight, I really love the form factor and ergonomics of the device.
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The screen has pretty solid sharpness with a QHD resolution (960x540) which bests the screens on the Fiio players (800x480) though contrast and saturation are slightly inferior on the AP200, making everything look a bit washed out. Max brightness is pretty mediocre and the screen is mostly unusable outdoors unless under shade. Screen to body ration is very commendable, the AP200 has appreciably slimmer bezels than the Fiio players. The buttons are aluminium and though they are a bit mushy, they have a distinct click that is perceptible from inside a pocket. Buttons are well placed to avoid accidental presses. The player uses USB type-c and includes a type-c to micro otg cable in the box which is a great addition. The micro sd slot has no cover like the X5 III, but was reliable in my testing.
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In terms of software, the AP200 is definitely a work in progress with a software version of 0.0.5beta. Understandably, the device has numerous issues with software that are being ironed out in testing. I will wait until later software versions to make a comment. I'm hoping this is due to the governors, optimisation rather than the increased screen resolution bottlenecking the device. I used to develop over at XDA and know what a huge difference governors and optimisation can make, I'm pretty confident the device will be substantially snappier when retail units are released.
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Edit: For some reason, the sound quality is really variable, maybe I had a bad connection on first listen, but the player sounds appreciably better after a factory reset:

Sound quality is also a work in progress though I'm pretty happy with the device, it will be a solid performer after some tweaking. The output has slight hiss though it is vastly improved over the AP60 and AP100, it is also quieter than the X5 III when listening through the TFZ King (110dB Sensitivity). The AP200 also picks up interference through the headphone jack when WiFi is active, less than the X7, but noticeable, Hidizs may be able to fix that on retail units too. The player was missing some dynamics when compared to the X7, though of course, the X7 is much more expensive. Detailing is pretty great and the AP200 definitely doesn't have the sub-bass roll-off of Hidizs past players. Hidizs were unable to confirm whether my unit carries final hardware or if both the hardware and firmware/software will be revised for retail units, but following a factory reset and some Deoxit treatment, the player sounds pretty good.
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Honestly, all of these shortcomings are to be expected from such an early sample. I think the build and screen are fine and if Hidizs can clean up the software and fix the touch latency, the device will be really nice to use. Given that the AP200 will have a lower asking price than even the X5 III, I have pretty high hopes that retail units will be at least comparable in sound quality and usability. The device is currently under testing to iron out the bugs, any questions welcome!
 
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Jun 14, 2017 at 10:44 PM Post #292 of 2,615

Levanter

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I'm surprised they didn't iron out the SQ before sending out review units...
 
Jun 15, 2017 at 12:48 AM Post #299 of 2,615

nmatheis

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Thanks for the review! A little disappointing in it's current state of development.

I'm surprised they didn't iron out the SQ before sending out review units...

Just got mine in today, as well. I was already warned as a previewer that it was running beta FW and was asked for help getting the GUI and sound up to snuff before final release, so I'd say you should take any impressions so far with a huge grain of salt. Personally, I'm not going to comment much on the SQ until I've got word from Hidisz that they're happy with the tuning. I've been to this rodeo before and understand just how many bug fixes and fine tuning go on just prior to release. Frankly, I think many of you would be shocked. I'm doing this right now with an upcoming smartphone. Improvements happen rapidly at the end, and I don't think the developers get much sleep, lol!
 

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