Remember, many years ago, the mobile phone market began in rampant fashion on the miniature tube? Looks like portable players now going through a similar phase and the good ultra-compact solutions began to appear more often. Today we will talk about this new product from Hidizs ‘ received index AP80.
In developing this model, the engineers decided to go from the firmware and ordered the latest from HiBy, so the connection on the same customized Linux that own player HiBy R3. In the pursuit of miniaturization of the AP80 was removed and Tidal WiFi (although it is possible that it made HiBy, which the competitor is clearly not needed), but added FM radio and, for some reason, pedometer. As “responsible for all of the chip” made by a good friend ES9218P, the processor took from Ingenic, attached is a good touch screen made by Samsung and the icing on the cake was made by Bluetooth.
According to the established recent tradition, Hidizs ‘ decided to raise money on Kickstarter, so now you can pre-order AP80 for only 115 dollars, which is somewhere in the $ 50 below the expected retail price. Or you can pay a little bit for various bonuses like case, headphones, Seeds (not those that Kinera and from Hidizs’) or even take a limited edition version in stainless steel.
- CPU: Ingenic X1000
- DAC: ES9218P
- Frequency range: 20 Hz – 40 kHz (±3 dB)
- Power output: 75 mW per channel @ 32Ω
- Output impedance: <1Ω
- The ratio signal/noise: 120dB
- Total harmonic distortion + noise: 0.003%
- Dynamic range: >105 dB
- Channel separation: 105 dB
- Recommended load impedance: 8Ω – 300Ω
- OS: HiBy OS 3.0 (Linux version)
- Bluetooth: 4.1 with support for SBC, aptX and HiBy Link
- Screen: touch, 2.45″ IPS, 480 × 360
- Memory card: MicroSD up to 1 TB
- Support file formats: DSD (DSF, DFF, ISO), APE, AIFF, FLAC, WAV, WMA (lossy and lossless), MP3, AAC, OGG
- Maximum supported resolution: 384 kHz/32 bit, DSD128
- USB Type-C enabled USB DAC, USB OTG and USB Audio
- Battery: 800 mA/h
- Working time on one charge: up to 15 hours
- Charging time: <2 hours
- Dimensions: 58 mm × 49 mm × 13.5 mm
- Weight: 145 grams (aluminum version)
Packing and delivery
Don’t know if I have the final version of the box, but judging by the other products of the company, this version is close to final: thick black cardboard, low printing. Inside is the player, a spare screen protector (thanks to Hidizs ‘ for what pokleit film from the factory), the usual USB-C wire and USB wire-C on MicroUSB. The latter is useful, for example, to connect external DACs.
Of course, I would complete the case, but when there is a battle for every penny, for a “luxury” it is necessary to pay extra separately, the benefit is now on KickStarter it is inexpensive.
Design and management
Engineers Hidizs ‘ obviously inspired by the work of Suprematists, AP80 very close to the black square, except for a small ledge on the right side contains the buttons control playback and volume control. However, a small deviation from the square always goes in favor of the product, whether it be a painting or a player.
The body of the gadget is made of aluminum, the front and rear panels closed and the glass (or transparent plastic, very similar to glass). The company’s designers decided to show their masculinity, so there are no rounded corner, fashion or 2.5 D glass. Realizing that they have turned too brutal, the developers decided to provide a choice of several colors: black, silver, blue, red, in the future I will probably add some more shade like Golden. As fans of gravity and reliability can pre-order on the option of steel, it is $ 50 more expensive, but it will be possible to do custom engraving.
In General, the player turned out to be quite spectacular, Hidizs ‘ managed to make it really small but not so that absolutely kill usability. In fact, the size of it is very close to Shanling M1, only better controlled by a touch screen.
Controls on the case are not many, but all the right perched. On the left side is a slot for memory card, your flash device is not, but he understands almost any, plus able to read USB OTG drives. On the right side, where the ledge, put the volume wheel, it also works as a button on/off and screen lock. In AP80 use a good encoder, so fixing the rotation is clear, with no false positives and omissions. Under the regulator there are three control keys and it is certainly the best I could to make it designers to improve usability. The bottom panel is reserved for the headphone Jack and USB-C connector, the latter is very versatile, in addition to charging and memory access it allows you to connect your player as a USB DAC or Vice versa to make it a digital signal source for external digital-to-analog Converter.
By the way about food, for the full charge requires about six hours, and enough for 11 hours and 10 minutes of playback (FLAC 44.1/16, MEEAudio P1 in the role of load). It is worth noting that working here depends greatly on the impedance of headphones and the use of the screen, so often better to use hardware navigation buttons. The player good supports sleep mode, spending about 3-4% of battery per night. Overall, the numbers are not record breaking, but for such a compact device is quite decent.
Almost the entire front panel is touch screen, coquettishly shifted to the left side of the player. So how did it Samsung (according to the Hidizs’), it turned out pretty good: despite its compact size, it has a good resolution, delighting user clarity, color reproduction and viewing angles. The display shows everything in a little coldish light, but not so that of features was Bagoas. Margin of brightness is also decent, so the screen stays readable in the sun, though perhaps to cover it with his hand on a very bright light will have. The responds are good, but simply because of the screen sizes is not always possible to hit the right buttons.
Rejoice not liking Android, it’s not. But there are Linux, well hidden by the developers HiBy, called in many promotional materials HiBy OS. In fact, the firmware is very close to what offers one of the hits of the season HiBy R3 minus Tidal and with the addition of FM radio and pedometer. However, there is a cosmetic difference, AP80 provides the “main menu” of the five points: player, radio, pedometer, system settings and information about the player. To make a design feat and place it all on one screen did not work, so the menu still scrolls: 4 points to the first screen and the lonely icon of the device information on the second. Describe briefly everything that is not associated with the application itself music.
FM radio Well, it is and it generally works. RDS in order to put, therefore, will have to settle for the usual list of frequencies. Thanks though, the auto search function there, albeit a little brooding. The reception quality is quite good, although slightly inferior to M7, however, in the condition of thick slabs and airport radar behind the house, catching will probably be worse than me.
Pedometer to be honest, I have not tested it in the presence of the pedometer in the phone and the clock, another player, and even without syncing with anything else, to me looks like a “feature for feature”.
System settings Maybe someone will surprise, but here are the system settings. Here you can change:
- language (Russian available)
- mode library is refreshed (manually or automatically)
- the brightness of the screen
- color theme (you can choose the color and the whole interface will be in this hue)
- the font size (need to put at least medium)
- time screen work
- the USB mode (file access, DAC or a dock)
- do the buttons on the lock screen
- settings date/time
- off timer when idle
- sleep timer
- display battery percentage
- standby mode
- whether working headset buttons
- settings lock screen
- reset to factory settings
- firmware update
But, of course, the primary application for most users is player. It is here, by the way, like two drops of water similar to HiBy R3, on the one hand convenient, do not need to be retrained, but on the other hand — where’s the diversity? The fact that the player here is the head of all suggests even the fact that it will not work so just go. In the main menu there is an item “Exit”, but it still stops the playback. What to do if you urgently needed to look at the pedometer, and music do not want to interrupt? This secret is hiding a logo Hidizs ‘ in the application menu of the player, a single tap is enough to open the main screen without interrupting the music. When you know this fact, a little baffling, why not make a normal gesture on the same FiiO M7. However, that I find fault, just want to good player ideal usability, not the caller’s questions.
App the player starts with the playback screen, most of which are reserved for the album cover. Socket under the cover adapts to the color scheme of the picture that looks very impressive (I even advised FiiO to copy this in their firmware). Tap on the cover will show lyrics, if present. There is also information about the track, navigation buttons, progress bar (finally it did not round, I hope that the Android version will repeat this innovation), the button add to favorites button in the context menu. The latter allows you to view the current album and playlist, delete track, add it to favorites or to enable the equalizer.
Swipe from left to right opens the media library. It has two sections: music and playlists, switching between them is carried out by the Central buttons at the top. In music there are traditional lists of artists, albums, and genres as well as view all files and folder browser that lets you enjoy music the way you have it laid out. In the playlists available, in fact, playlists, favorites and recently played files. In General, the media library is convenient, although this is where small labels and the buttons require the most concentration to get.
Another swipe to the right will show you the menu of the player. Available here: upgrading media library, equalizer, MSEB, Bluetooth settings and sound, as well as the output. The first two and the last point is particularly self-evident, well, what can you say about the EQ except for the presence of presets and the fact that it is “off”? Well, Yes, it can be noted that scanning your library the average speed, not super fast, but not really brooding, something in the middle.
Much more interesting MSEB. The title of this notion of a gloomy genius of HiBy stands for MageSound Eight Ball and in fact this menu is another possibility to adjust the sound for yourself, the only difference is that you will need not to move the sliders corresponding to the frequencies of the equalizer and operate more complex concepts such as “massive bass” or “the severity of the attacks on HF”. At the hearing, all of these settings one way or another translated into changes in EQ, but to change them is much simpler than to consider “which of the sliders and how I should move, in order to add voice BIMS Dylan a little weight?”. So if you really tune the sound, then do it like a boss.
Bluetooth settings enough the usual other firmware HiBy. Enable/disable the wireless interface, search and connection of devices enabling Link HiBy and aptX. In the future the developers promise to add at least LDAC, and if it goes, even in both directions at the reception and the transmission. It is not excluded also adding AAC and aptX HD here the wait is hardly worth it. There is a story about how greedy the company greatly complicate licensing, is losing market advantage, giving the company a little less greedy.
Audio settings are also quite extensive, for many years HiBy has studied almost all the needs of users, so here you can change the following:
- the order of play
- remembering the current track/position when you switch off
- gapless playback
- the maximum volume
- the volume when enabled
- crossfade from one track to another (don’t know why he might need)
- a consistent volume level, aka replaygain (an essential thing for collectors of music with different volume)
- digital filter DAC (all 7 pieces)
- navigate by folders or albums while playing
Do not forget about the traditional “blind”, open swipe from the top of the screen down. Here, you can quickly toggle settings like Bluetooth and line out. To add a bit of similarity to iOS, the developers also made a control panel, retractable swipe from the bottom, then change the brightness and volume as well as the available quick navigation keys on the tracks.
Generally speaking, despite the version 0.08 beta (Hidizs ‘ generally suffer from an inferiority complex in the numbering), the firmware works well. Of course, I have not tested every little thing, but the basic functions work flawlessly, no failures or major problems during the tests I didn’t notice. The only claim to the firmware — the size of the controls.
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.
In General, the total flow AP80 something a little like DAC Hidizs ‘ DH1000, neutral sound, tending to a bit of monotonnosti, but with sufficient emotions, save boredom.
The bass is very linear, it is not accented, the player adds the weight, but the bass is good in speed and resolution. The attack and decay is slightly accelerated, so the flow of the bass part has a slight hint of dryness. However, if you like accentuated bass or plus weight, then this is easily fixed using the equalizer or MSEB, well or it is possible to select earphones based on their personal tastes. Depth is also quite good for this price range, not extraordinary, but very decent, the bass control is very good, feels that the player is not bad for its size power.
MIDs bribe a good emotion and a neat balance of microdialysate. AP80 does not go into dry monitormost, but shows a decent level of detail without trying something to smooth out or soften. This leads to a sufficient level of realism, but on the record imposes certain requirements in terms of quality, badly recorded tracks may not have enough physicality in the MF. Player very high quality builds imaginary scene, she a little more average in depth and width, but the plans and the instruments are very well separated, which gives a realistic effect positioning.
Vernacularly range, of course, not up to top models, attack with attenuation slightly simplified, the stratification is almost absent, but to expect otherwise from a budget player stupid. Despite this, the device is doing everything to win back this part of the range as best as possible. HF here have a good resolution, extent and naturalness sufficient for most purposes. The top there is a little bit accentuated, but the borderline is not transferred, so the harshness and tendency to sibilance the player no.
Well, briefly about the comparisons. Since I can’t compare AP80 with all the competitors in the price range I chose the model closest to it in the form factor, adding a couple of players. So I do not consider the difference in price, ease and power, with primary emphasis on the General nature of the submission.
Hidizs ‘AP60-II Apparently, Hidizs’ decided to kill his younger model. At a similar price, AP80 offers not only a slightly more neutral sound and plenty of advanced features.
Shanling M0 Example of how with the same DAC you can get very different sound. AP80 better considering the scene more naturally takes the bass and treble, in General, the superiority, though not huge, but almost everything.
Shanling M1 this player is closer to AP80 according to the “level”. Of course, M1 is heavier in the bass and thus lose a bit in naturalness and resolution, but then, albeit with a noticeable stretch, we can assume that the difference of taste.
iHiFi790 Here, of course, the gap in usability, but the sound is a little Xuelin was very similar to АР80, he focuses a little more bass, but a drop lost in the detail.
HiBy R3 More massive, more assertive player for those who want additional “credibility” in the sound. Also the R3 is a little better considering HF.
FiiO M7 Player from FiiO is more accentuated bass and treble range, so it is better working through midrange and treble, while it offers a more “involving” flow.
Of course, 75 milliwatts this is not a huge power reserve, but it is enough for almost any IEM and most full size models, except Vysokomol and tight istinam. What AP80 not the “weak” power noticeably good control frequencies, and low output impedance makes it a good choice for megadriver headphones. Background noise is very quiet, you can hear it only with the most sensitive low-resistance models.
Stylistically, this player is quite versatile, provided that the user prefers unpainted serve. The quality of the recording AP80 critical enough, somewhere in the 8 out of 10 points.
As always, some tracks for example
Gloria Estefan — Hoy Quite poppy but well produced track, full of details and emotions is not a problem for AP80 win back all the richness of the background accompaniment and nuances of vocals.
Fever Ray — Keep the Streets Empty For Me Good electro-pop can always serve as a good example, because the performers are trying to saturate the music with nuances and three-dimensional sound effects, as in this case. Here the hero of our review also shows his best side, playing space and atmospheric.
Miles Davis — Flamenco Sketches (Alternate Take) For the relative outward simplicity of modal jazz are hiding very high demands of naturalness. The kid from Hidizs ‘ passes this test, though not perfect, but very good playing absolute classics of the genre.
This time I will try to be brief: a compact budget in the regiment of the players happened replenishment, and the newcomer has all chances for strong leadership in this segment.
Hidizs ‘ AP80 pre-order on KickStarter