The company HiBy, known primarily as the developer of music player for iOS and Android, and secondly as the author of the firmware for about half the emerging market players decided that it was time to take their place in the market, “iron”, and released two players: the more expensive and large R6 and smaller, with the index R3. It is the last we’ll talk.
If the flagship model was good, but not outstanding, but with R3’s another story. In a compact housing models, the developers have managed to accommodate not only a good stuffing, which provides decent sound (primarily due to ES9028Q2M), but Wi-Fi to enable support for Tidal and streaming via AirPlay/DLNA. This is an especially impressive feat if the developers know what they did without Android using its own work in Linux, called HiBy OS. Yes, the same OS that is used in Hidizs ‘ AP80.
Traditionally, the funds for the first batch of players gathered on KickStarter, but now the crowdfunding phase is over and the player can buy in the store, the price at the time of writing was $ 15900 roubles.
- CPU: Ingenic X1000E
- DAC: ES9028Q2M
- Frequency range: 20 Hz ~ 40 kHz (±3 dB)
- Output power (per channel): normal output: 56 mW, balanced: 112 mW
- Recommended load impedance: 8Ω — 100Ω
- The ratio signal-to-noise ratio: normal output: -118 dB, balanced: -115 dB
- Channel separation: normal output: 68 dB, balanced: 86 dB
- Total harmonic distortion+noise: 0.003%
- Output impedance: <1Ω
- Screen: 3.2″ touch screen, IPS resolution 360 × 480
- OS: HiBy v3 OS (based on Linux)
- WiFi: 2.4 GHz
- Bluetooth: V4.1 with aptX support
- Memory card: Micro SD up to 2TB
- Input: USB Type C
- Outputs: 3.5 mm TRS, 2.5 mm TRRS
- Battery: 1600 mA/h
- Working time on batteries: ~ 10 hours
- Full charge time: <2.5 hours
- Support formats: DSF, DFF, ISO, APE, AIFF, FLAC, WMA, MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG
- Maximum supported resolution: up to 384 kHz/32 bits (except the APE and WMA Lossless), DSD256 for DSF and DFF DSD64 ISO
- Dimensions: 82 mm × 61 mm × 13 mm
- Weight: 95 gr.
Packing and delivery
Box to standard, is not considered as an element that the external “skin” is taken up (or down) just like everyone else, and to the side. Printing is minimalistic, nothing distracts from the main “stuffing”. In addition to the player, the buyer will receive:
- plastic case with a nozzle at the back of the player covering the same side face
- USB-C cable
- some stickers Hi-Res
- protective glass screen protective film for back panel
According to tradition, HiBy released and cover for the player, but to buy it separately.
Design and management
Appearance, as in the case of R6, the developers have managed. The player is made from aluminium, the body is made in the form of a square with rounded corners. The back panel and the screen is closed by glass, which adds a sense of “LuxeMate”. The gadget is very compact, but not so much that it has led to problems with ergonomics, as it happens in a super-miniature of the players. In General, for my taste, HiBy chose the size that makes the device as comfortable as possible. The build quality is very good, the lovers of self-expression available in two colors: black and silver.
Not regret the creators of the hardware buttons. On the left side is the “rocker” volume, on the right — the power button/lock, under it was placed the led indicator modes of operation. Still below that are three buttons control the playback. The top face is occupied by the outputs: normal and balanced. Last time I often pay attention to the fact that the 2.5 mm jacks on all devices that fall in my hands, look like poor relations on the background of a shiny metal 3.5 mm. it is Time someone from the connector manufacturers to start production of “pathetic” balanced connectors. The down side is the slot for memory cards (flash from R3), and USB-C connector. As always HiBy, in addition to charging, this port allows you to use the player in the role of USB DAC or to connect an external DAC and a USB OTG pendrive.
Speaking of charging from a full battery, the player runs a little less than 9 hours (MEEAudio P1 in the role of loading, FLAC 44.1/16 as the material), that for such a compact device is very good. Full charge battery required 2 hours and 15 minutes. The player can effectively “sleep”, almost no longer in sleep mode the battery, so turn it off ever it makes no sense.
The front panel is almost completely occupied by the screen, HiBy managed to make a record-narrow frame, and it also works to ensure the modern appearance of the device. The screen is very good in all respects, including the responsiveness to touch, and the margin of brightness is almost enough even for use in bright sunlight.
Perhaps not palter we can say that R3 (and R6) are some of the best players with the “traditional” design.
Good news for Android lovers is that it is not here. However, the developers have tried to replicate the user experience provided by their player on the operating system from Google.
Immediately after launch, we get to the play screen, it is similar to that in the Android version of the player, except that the progress bar made linear. I really hope that the developers will take this idea to the “older” models, abandoning the semi-circular indicator. The lion’s share of space on display here is the album cover, but other than that there was a place for buttons, add to favorites, change order of playlist and call context menu (to delete the track information and so on). Overall, everything looks very stylish, and adapts to skin color for my taste — one of the best finds of designers HiBy.
Swipe from left to right opens the media library screen. It is divided into three sections, some of which are further categorized into subsections. The first “big” section allows you to view local files, then traditionally there are group for albums, artists and genres, as well as a list of all the files together and the browser folder of the SD card and USB stick if one is connected. The second section of your library reserved for playlists: favorites, recently played, and playlists created by the user. The third section is devoted to one of the main “chips” player — Tidal. Customer service, of course, is simplified, and the R3 keyboard, made in the style of an old push-button phones, is the height of convenience, but the opportunity to listen to music online with such a tiny device is expensive, and this client in the firmware of the player copes.
Another swipe from left to right opens the menu of the player, as it can be accessed using the button in the upper left corner of the screen. Swipe from right to left (or the button in the upper right corner) will return you to the playback screen.
The main menu is quite logically groups all functions of the device.
- Update the media library, perhaps, an additional description is not needed.
- Import music via WiFi. Quite handy feature included with this import, we go from the computer to the browser at the address shown by the player, and quickly fill that need. Of course, to score even a 32GB card is not very convenient, but as a quick way to add a couple of favorite tracks — quite working variant
- MSEB under this acronym hides a proprietary plug-in sound settings, allowing you to change the pitch of the player sliders separate frequencies, and operating parameters of the “length of the RF” and “massive bass”. In fact, almost all of it is broadcast in the different equalizer settings, but to achieve the desired result with the help of the handler is easier.
- EQ. In General, here everything is traditional, ranging from standard presets to the fact that it is better to keep it off.
- Wireless settings allow you to enable/disable WiFi and Bluetooth. There is a submenu that allows you to manage these interfaces (network selection, connectivity headphones). Below, you can enable DLNA and AirPlay.
- Playback settings are quite extensive, there is changing everything from the order of tracks and finishing even and gapless replay gain
- System configuration is also encouraging a number of options: timers, brightness, color theme and more. Then you can turn on Russian language, but localization suffers from quite a large number of abbreviations. In the same menu there is a firmware update, and it can be done with a memory card or through WiFi.
- Information about the system. Another item not explained.
In default theme there are two drop-down menu. The bottom resembles the control center in iOS and allows you to change the screen brightness and audio volume, and switch tracks (don’t know why, because for the last have hardware buttons). The top menu is used to enable/disable and modify various settings like WiFi, Bluetooth, Gain, and others like them. This menu sometimes interferes with normal use of the controls located in the top of the screen, so a dark theme left one “wypadku”, open at the bottom and moved every one of the settings there.
In General, the firmware leaves a pleasant impression, she’s nimble enough, you’ll be adequacy, convenience and good stability. HiBy often it is updated, so we can hope that in the future the player will be supported and make new possibilities.
To listen to the device used the following headphones: iBasso IT04, 99 Meze Classics, Audio Zenith PMx2, Noble Kaiser Encore, Campfire Andromeda Audio, Unique Melody Mason V3, HUM Pristine and others.
The sound of the player, the developers continue to promote their line, consisting in a little dark “comfortable” pitch. If the top R6 this wasn’t the best idea, then R3 is, in its price range it is quite right to life. In addition, immediately corrected output impedance and behaves adequately player with headphones with the crossover.
Bass here accentuated by the added weight and mass. The emphasis this done quite neatly and does not affect frequency response, so the player offers a pleasant solidity in the sound, almost never comes at the expense of legibility. NCH differ normal resolution and textures. The control is very good, with the exception of the deepest levels of bass, there is a player a bit can not cope, although natural music is almost inaudible.
The mid-frequency range and the resolution can also be described by the epithet “normal”. There’s no super-detailing, characteristic for top-end models, and there is no emphasis on micro-contrast, but also important to record the details of R3 does not lose too. “The middle,” served together in a very musical manner. Player subtle emotions, adding tracks plaque more effectively, that sounds not always neutral, but R3 was not designed for such sound. Imaginary scene a little more average in depth and width, but the player separates good plans and tools, so overall the sound features realistic three-dimensionality.
The treble here is a bit simplified because of the characteristic of smoothness, apparently undertaken in an attempt to make a comfortable sound, but at least they do not decrease quantitatively, as do other manufacturers. So HF there and play with good resolution, although not the correct practicing attacks and attenuation.
Of course, one can not talk about comparisons. Because I just physically can’t match this player with all models available on the market, I was limited to just a few players. In addition, I compared only the sound, although often need to take into account the size, price and more.
FiiO M7 Perhaps the main competitor to R3. At first listening it seemed to me that R3 sounds more energetic and peppy, but during the blind tests proved that the players are very close, and the main difference is that the model focuses FiiO slightly less bass and a little less smooths VSC and treble range.
Shanling M0 of Course, M0 captivates with its compactness and overall “nyashnost”, but the sound it is not a competitor to R3, the latter offers a more natural midrange, more detailed treble, more reliable construction of an imaginary scene.
xDuoo X20 Player xDuoo focuses a little less bass, and at the expense of increased power sound with many headphones more dynamic, but more laid by the wayside RF deprive him of the emotion and subtlety in the flow.
Hidizs ‘AP80 Player from Hidizs’ that uses the same software platform, has recently successfully completed the company on kickstarter. The sound he offers a more neutral feed with a little better detail VSC and slight accent on the top of the range.
In General, R3 is good enough in his role as a portable device. He has a very dark background, paired with reduced output resistance makes it a good choice for IEM, and on the other hand, he has some reserve of power for full-size headphones, except for a tight and high-resistance models.
Stylistically very versatile player, the main thing that the future owner loved it, such a flow as described above. The player is not critical to the quality of the material, on a 10-point scale of “picky” it is possible to give points to 6.
According to tradition, some tracks for example
Patti Smith — Because the Night whether power-ballad, or just energetically performed pop song, but these songs fit well into the framework of the feeder R3, which squeezes out of this track, all emotions and effectively throws them at the listener, forcing him or patting your leg, or shake your head.
Phil Collins — In The Air Tonight a Good remaster of the imperishable classics, and worth listening to on R3 for the sake of enjoying three-dimensional effects, which Phil is clearly not regretted almost from the first seconds of the composition.
Motörhead — Cat Scratch Fever Admit is terrible, but somehow I do not like in General Two too the same music they played throughout his career. But this track is well caught in the manner of filing of R3, a combination of drive and good intelligibility, and this has earned its place in today’s selection.
This time HiBy could make the player, the appropriate price category. Good design, convenient operation, compact dimensions, and comprehensive functionality is combined here with normal price and decent sound, making the R3 a very interesting model for portable listening on the go.
Buy HiBy R3