HM-601 and HM-602: Hi-Fi DAPs For All Budgets

hifiman_601_602_01

Now that Hifiman has released a $259 version of the audiophile DAP HM-602, everybody is asking the question”do they sound the same”? At $259, the HM-601 is so affordable that you have no other excuse not to get a true high quality source for your portable system.

I’ve been listening to both players and as I was getting ready to write this article, I visited Head-direct’s website just to see if there is any other information I might have missed. What a surprise that upon reading the HM-601’s product description, they have already written what I wanted to write for this article!

HM-601 has very similar sound to HM-602 because these two players share same D/A converter and headphone amplifier circuit. HM-601 has slightly better bass extension than HM-602, and a little less sweetness and smooth texture in mid and high (A lot of people might not be able to tell difference at all).

That’s basically the gist of it. And if manufacturers can consistently write accurate sound descriptions like that, then I wouldn’t have to spend too much time critically listening to all these different products! If I had written this article without ever reading what Head-Direct wrote, I probably would’ve written something like this:


It’s quite obvious that the two players share a lot of things in common when it comes to the sound quality and presentation. In fact, they are so similar that I didn’t quite notice the differences until after several hours of listening time. The HM-601 carries the same warm signature, midrange, voicing, tonality, detail extraction, soundstage performance, as the bigger brother HM-602. There are slight differences, where the HM-601 has more treble and low bass presence than the HM-602. The result is a slightly livelier sound and also a better pace with fast music as the HM-601 is less mellow sounding than the HM-602.

The HM-602 retains an edge in midrange clarity and smoothness. Likewise, the treble on the HM-602, though more rolled off, is smoother than on the HM-601’s. So, in a sense, the HM-601’s presentation is more “complete” as it has a more linear tonal balance and not as mid-centric as the HM-602. On the other hand, if you don’t mind the more mid-centric sound of the HM-602, then I do think that the overall finesse and smoothness of the HM-602 to be a tad better.


So, while the DAC and amplifier circuit remains the same, Hifiman has changed the op-amps on the HM-601 in an attempt to make it less mid-centric and livelier sounding, while losing a little smoothness on the sound. The HM-602 uses OP275 and opa2604 in LPF and OPA2107 in headphone amp, while the HM-601 uses LM833 and JRC4560 in LPF and JRC5532 in headphone amp.

In all fairness, when I’m just listening to the music and not doing any critical listening, or if I have no HM-602 as the comparison point, I probably wouldn’t be able to pick up the differences in the HM-601 sound. They are very close sounding, and for all practical purposes, can be considered the same sound. Hence, the only difference that may be relevant is the 8GB on board memory vs the 16GB on the HM-602, and the ability to use the HM-602 as a pretty awesome sounding USB DAC.

My friend Rian asked me if it would be worth the money to invest in the more expensive HM-602, or if he should get a HM-601 and another desktop DAC for the price difference of $180. For $180, you can get the HRT Music Streamer II (~$145) or the Audinst HUD MX-1 (~$180). Well, I didn’t have the HRT MS2 or the Audinst around anymore, but the other day I was comparing these four USB DACs:

  • HRT Music Streamer II+
  • Yulong U100
  • Musiland 02
  • Hifiman HM-602 (USB DAC function)

And I can immediately put the HM-602 on the same league as the HRT Music Streamer II+ DAC, and clearly ahead the Yulong U100 and the Musiland 02. To put it briefly, the HM-602 had better soundstage depth and is smoother and more refined, while the MSII+ had a wider soundstage depth, and has more treble and bass presence. I had used the Zana Deux amplifier (As it comes with three analog line inputs, hence I didn’t need to use another box for source selector. The Burson HA160D also had three inputs, but it was out on a loan to a friend), out to the Sennheiser HD800 with TWAg cable for maximum detail retrieval and transparency.

So, going back to Rian’s question. I do think that the HM-602 is worth the extra money, but on the other hand, the HM-601 is just as appealing due to the lower and more affordable price. But ultimately, with the HM-601 at $259, HM-602 at $439, and the HM-801 at $790, Hifiman now has an audiophile DAP to suit everyone’s budget!

More reading:

 

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176 Comments

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rodrigo Pita, Headfonia. Headfonia said: HM-601 and 602: Hifi DAPs for all budgets! http://bit.ly/dOILSf […]

  • Reply February 8, 2011

    Gabriel

    Hi Mike,

    I have some questions =)

    1- Do these HM players have good sinergy with JH16 pro?
    2- Wicht one would be the best choice for the 16s? why?
    3- Will I be able to by pass the internal amp of the HM601 or 602 and use another amp with it, like a Ibasso D6 or Pico Slim?

    Thank You,
    Gabriel

    • Reply February 8, 2011

      Gabriel

      I forgot to say thank you for the review ! =P

      • Reply February 8, 2011

        Anonymous

        You’re welcome. 🙂

    • Reply February 8, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Gabriel,
      Source quality wise, the HM-602/1 are great. But tonality wise, they are warm and with the JH16Pro, it can get a bit too warm and too dark. If you want to pair them with the JH16Pro, the HM-601 is the better choice, and also if you can, use the Pico Slim amp as it’ll help to add some treble to the mix.

      I haven’t listened to the D6, but the Pico Slim is the best amplifier I’ve found for the JH16Pro. I don’t think it’ll be easy for the D6 to match the Pico Slim. I’ve been comparing the Slim to the RSA amps, the ALO Rx, TTVJ, Ibasso PB1 and PB2, and I think the Pico Slim is the perfect match for the JH16.

      • Reply February 8, 2011

        Gabriel

        Thank You Mike!

        I will buy the Pico Slim as soon as I can!

        Take Care

        • Reply February 9, 2011

          Anonymous

          Yea, Go for it!

  • Reply February 8, 2011

    .Sup

    Thanks for the review Mike. I was wondering what the differences between these two players were. I have recently made a 2XRL>1/8 cable so I connect an amp with balanced inputs from the HM-602 line out (I would like to link to my flickr where the cable could be seen if I’m allowed). It really sounds amazing with HD800 out of this amp. The 602 is warm and musical and the Auditor amplifier is very accurate and it adds dynamics and detail. Fantastic combo. I find HD800 to sound very boring straight from the 602.

    • Reply February 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      That sounds amazing, .Sup. The 601/2 does lack the punch on the headphone out, and for a big cans like the HD800 additional amplification is recommended.

      I personally have been using the 601/2 with a mini-RCA cable to the Zana Deux.

    • Reply February 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      Btw, feel free to post the cable you built. 🙂

      • Reply February 9, 2011

        .Sup

        Okay thanks Mike, here it is: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sups_photos/sets/72157625973964696/
        The Auditor was the only SS amp I had and I really wanted to hear the 602 in conjunction with an SS amp. I enjoy this setup a lot.
        I don’t use the DAC function on the 602 but I would probably still buy 602 over 601 because you never know when you might need it. I used it a couple of times with Aspire 1 when watching movies in bed. 🙂

  • Reply February 8, 2011

    Anaxilus

    Great review Mike. To my knowledge you are the first to explicitly reveal the differences between the 6Ox series both sonically and technically. Kudos. I’d like to second your opinion on the 602 as a DAC. I was quite pleased as well. Although a different flavor from the DACPort, it holds its own very, very well.

    • Reply February 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks Anaxilus!

  • Reply February 9, 2011

    Randius

    Sure will like to know how the DAC of HM-602 stacks up against iBasso D12. Wonder if it is worthwhile modding iPod video and get D12 over just getting the HM-602.

    • Reply February 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Randius,
      I’ve published a comparison of the HM-602 compared to the PB2 Boomslang DAC, if that helps.
      http://www.headfonia.com/hifi-dap-comparison-hm-801-hm-602-qa350-boomslang/

      My experience with the D-series is limited to the D10 and the D4, but both of them are still inferior compared to the HM-602’s internal DAC.

    • Reply February 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      BTW, you can’t mod the Ipod to take the D12’s DAC section. Modding the Ipod will still give you an analog signal out of the Ipod’s DAC, whereas the D12 needs digital signal input if you want to use its DAC section.

      Cheers.

      • Reply February 9, 2011

        .Sup

        You can mod iPod so digital signal gets extracted from it?

        • Reply February 9, 2011

          Anonymous

          No, not without a digital tranport like the Onkyo or Wadia.

  • Reply February 10, 2011

    Erik Wijnands

    I always wondered how the 601 compares to something like a Sansa Clip+/Fuze. Is it really an improvement? I mean, in the world of diminishing returns and extreme superlatives used to describe the latest audio purchase, is this thing worth my hard earned cash if I’m looking for a good portable source?

    • Reply February 10, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Eric,
      If judging purely from DAC quality, then the difference between these to a Sansa Clip+ is so big that the two really belongs to a different league.

      However, in the real world, there are many variables to take into account, and at the end of the day the result can be obvious or not depending on those variables. For instance, consider these parameters:
      – The resolution of the headphone driver being used. Some will be more revealing of the differences, some will not.
      – The quality of the recording material. Some recordings dont come with that much detail, and so there is nothing to show even if you’re listening to a DACwith a superior detail extraction.
      – How sensitive is the listener to pick up those differences.

      So, it is understandable if some claim that these players are merely overpriced technologies with no real benefits, while people like me seem to regard them very highly.

      Cheers.

  • Reply February 15, 2011

    Ubik

    Thanks you again for your exelent review.

    But can I ask a question ?

    The hm 601 have a better synergie with the hd650 or it have a better synergie with the Victor dx1000 (and, I am very intresting by the lisa l3 and I think I take it in the futur) ?

    And it is off topic , but what do you think of Victor dx1000 (I have a very intresting price but I never try) ?

    I love voices in a headphone, so the mediums is very important for me.

    • Reply February 15, 2011

      Ubik

      Thank you.

    • Reply February 15, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Ubik,
      The DX1000 is a headphone that I haven’t had the chance of auditioning, so I won’t be able to say much about it. As for the HM-601 and HD650, I don’t think the internal amplifier of the HM-601 (or even 602) is powerful enough to drive the HD650. You need another amplifier to go in between, and you can either use something like the Lisa 3 or the Ibasso PB-1, PB-2, or other powerful amps for the HD650.

  • Reply February 16, 2011

    audiofriend

    HI mike, just got an question. For DAC part how would it compare to musiland MD10 and Musical fidelity Vdac…

    or make this question seperately , what do you feel about those DACs.. ??

    • Reply February 16, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi, sorry havent heard those yet.

  • Reply February 16, 2011

    Ubick

    Hello.

    I just have the file in FLAC without loss, it have a problem for read ?

    Thank you.

    • Reply February 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      Don’t think it is a problem to read.

    • Reply February 17, 2011

      Anonymous

      Ubik, I just did a quick check again, and both 601 and 602 has no issue playing 24 bit flac files. The display should indicate 24 bit. Are you sure the files you downloaded are 24 bit.

      • Reply February 17, 2011

        Ubick

        Yes, I have a cd and I make the convertion.

        Anyway thank you to respond as quickly.

        • Reply February 17, 2011

          Anonymous

          Anything that comes off from a CD is going to be 16 bit. If you want true 24 bit, it will have to be a downloaded file. But don’t worry about it too much, since 24 bit files get downsampled to 16 bit on the HM601-602 anyway.

  • Reply February 17, 2011

    Terry

    Hi !!
    If i pair it with HFI-780, which one be better??

    Thanks

    • Reply February 18, 2011

      Anonymous

      I would go with the HM602 for the HFI780. The mids are a bit fuller and smoother on the 602. Cheers.

  • Reply March 7, 2011

    Anonymous

    Hello,

    How would the Hifiman players pair with the UM Mage?

    • Reply March 8, 2011

      Anonymous

      For sure it will. 🙂

      • Reply March 8, 2011

        Anonymous

        Thanks for the reply, but I have a couple specific questions:

        Would you recommend the 60x and Mage for rock and metal if I’m looking for a warm sound with sparkly highs? Or would something like a JH10X3 be better suited for what I’m looking for?

        • Reply March 8, 2011

          Anonymous

          Generally, the HM-601/2 would be a bit too warm for metal stuff.

          As for your customs, it would be good if you can tell me what universal IEM you enjoy at the moment.

          • Reply March 8, 2011

            Anonymous

            I’m currently enjoying the Phonak Audeo PFE.

            • Reply March 8, 2011

              Anonymous

              If you enjoy the PFE, I think you should go with the JH10X3.

  • Reply March 25, 2011

    Eunlee23

    Looking into getting a HM-601/2 but have a few questions. The review for these DAPs stress the strengths of its midrange and warmth. I currently use Shure SE530 IEMs which are also noted for its midrange and warmth. Would this pairing be overkill or good synergy?

    Thanks for your time.

    • Reply March 26, 2011

      Anonymous

      That I cannot answer, Eunlee. Some people like pairing warm mid centric gears together, where others may want a neutral headphone with a warm source. It really depends on the person.

      The SE530 is great, and pairing it with the HM602/1 would be good. I wouldn’t mind going for it, personally. For instance I enjoy the HM602/1 with a PX100-II very much, which is warm+warm.

  • Reply March 27, 2011

    Bank

    ็Hi Mike,
    thanks for the review. I have some questions here:
    1. Have you ever tried using Beyer T50P with HM 601/ 602? If so, how’s the synergy and which one suits T50P more?

    2. I’m currently using Ipod Touch Gen 3 and T50P as my portable rig. Is it going to be an obvious improvement if I change from Ipod Touch to either of the HM player?

    Thank you 😀

    • Reply March 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Bank,
      I think both the HM601/602 would be a good pairing with the T50P. I’ve
      tried the T50P on those players, but I’ve always have a hard time
      getting used to the T50P’s sound, so I don’t spend too much time on that
      combo. If you read my closed headphones shootout, you can see that I
      don’t find the T50P to be too ideal in tonal balance. But driver quality
      wise, it’s very very good.

      How noticeable will that upgrade be? It depends largely on the recording
      quality, and on how sensitive you are to source upgrades. I really can’t
      tell if the changes will be obvious. I can use a PX100 with the HM-602
      and notice a big difference over the Ipod — but this may also be to the
      recordings that I listen to.

      • Reply March 29, 2011

        Zace

        Hey Mike, how would the Hm-601 compare to a iPod Classic 7G + a amp like the toucan? Am using reshelled TF10pros. Need a new source but am unsure as to which option I should get.

  • Reply March 29, 2011

    Zace

    HEy Mike, have a question.

    How would the HM-601 compare to a iPod Classic 7G + amp (something like a iBasso toucan?). Am using UE TF10pro and need a new source. However I’m not sure if the HM-601 would beat the ipod + amp combo.

    • Reply March 29, 2011

      Zace

      Opps sorry for the double comment

    • Reply March 29, 2011

      Anonymous

      What music are you listening to?

      Source quality wise, the HM-602/1 is superior to the Ipods. But how
      audible the difference depends on the music and recording quality. With
      a TF10Pro, I’d skip the amp and plug it in direct to the HM-602/1.

      • Reply March 29, 2011

        Zace

        Decided not to get a amp then. Only gripe I have with the HM-601 is the low battery life and it’s thinkness. The Cowon J3 beats it in terms of both, but I’m not sure how it’s SQ compared with the HM-601, or how well it works with the TF10 unamped.

        • Reply March 29, 2011

          Anonymous

          Hi,
          I’ve personally never auditioned the Cowon, and yes the Cowon is much
          slimmer and has much better battery life. Something else you want to
          consider is also the latest Ipod Touch. A bunch of my friends compared
          the sound of all the Touch and found the 4th gen to be best.

          Regarding the Cowon SQ, A_tumiwa who is a self-proclaimed DAP collector
          wrote about it on the comment section of the other article:
          http://www.headfonia.com/hm-801-t51-rwa-imod-ipod-classic-and-x1060/#comment-145078776

          Cheers.

  • Reply March 30, 2011

    KUL

    Any idea whether the 601 or 602 will have better synergy with Westone ES5s?
    I am also looking at the Cowon J3.

    Currently using Westone 3, RSA Predator and iPod 5G for background.

    • Reply March 30, 2011

      Anonymous

      I haven’t heard the ES5 before. If you like the RSA sound (you’re using
      a Predator), chances are you’ll like the warm sweet mids of the HM601/2.

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    Kanonathena

    Hi, Mike

    I am looking for a dap for blox tm5. How do compare t51 and hm601 in terms of soundtadge and overall detail level? Does hm601 give the WOW effect after listening to t51, or is the difference very subtle? I listen to classical, electronic and pop.

    Thanks.

    • Reply April 11, 2011

      Anonymous

      The soundstage width of the HM601/2 is not as good as the Teclast T51, but depth, micro details, and ambiance is better than the Teclast. You will notice is with good Jazz and Classocal recordings.

      If you listen to electronic, I think the weak low bass of the Teclast will be an issue. The HM601/2 is not a low bass monster, but not noticeably weak like the Teclast.

      Better yet, go for the HM801. It will play classical, electronic, and pop equally well without the need of a separate amp. With the HM601/2 or Teclast, I think you still need to add an amp to get the bass punch for eoectronic music.

      • Reply April 11, 2011

        Kanonathena

        Only if the hm801 is not so big, hm601 and t51 are already pretty big to me. So is T51’s technicality closer to ipod classic or to hm601? Thanks.

        • Reply April 12, 2011

          Anonymous

          I would say the T51’s technicalities is *perhaps* closer to the HM601.

  • Reply April 29, 2011

    Kristian

    Hi Mike,

    I’m new here and also new in the headphone world. First, this is the most informative site I’ve come over in my research. Congratulations on creating GREAT content!

    I’m looking to get two setups, one for home use (connected to a Mac Mini which in my “headphoneless” world is connected to a Lyngdorf TDAI-2200/B&W 805S) and one for office use (MacBook Pro). I’m really intrigued about the MH-602 from reading your site, but have a few questions and I hope you can point me in the right direction.

    Originally I was thinking of getting the HRT Music Streamer II+ and pairing it with the Matrix M-Stage at home (listening mainly with my AKG K 701) and getting the Audinst HUD-MX1 (listening with AiAiAi TMA-1 or ATH-M50). But from reading about the HM-602 I’m wondering the following:

    • Will the HM-602 perform with AiAiAi TMA-1 (thinking of these instead of the ATH-M50 because of portability) as a portable DAC/amp at the office? I’m asking the above because I have read at Head-Fi that some people are having trouble (sound wise) with using the HM-602 as a DAC/Amp connected through USB (I’m using a MacBook Pro at work)
    • Will the HM-602 perform with my AKG K 701?
    • Will the HM-602 perform as a DAC together with the Matrix M-Stage (mainly using AKG K 701)?

    I’m thinking of spending about 1.000+ USD and am trying to spend them as “wise” as possible. Any advice is greatly appreciated – my apologies for the extensive post and many questions:)

    Thanks,
    Kristian

    • Reply April 29, 2011

      Kristian

      Of course I mean the HM-602… 🙂

    • Reply April 29, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Kristian,
      Thanks for the compliments. I will try my best to keep on improving the content.

      First of all, are you sure about the TMA-1? Is that something you plan to purchase or you’ve already gotten it? I just want to make sure that you understand the type of music it was originally intended for.

      The HM-602 is a very good, warm sounding, mid centric DAC with good soundstage ambiance and micro details. I havent had an issue of using it as an USB DAC, and I’ve used it on quite a different number of computers, also on meets with other people’s computers and set ups. So, no problem there.

      HM-602 and TMA-1 pairing: the 602 should have enough power to drive the TMA-1.
      HM-602 and K701 pairing: probably not the best in terms of impact. Better wait for the HM-603 which will feature the same DAC section as the 602, but with a stronger amplifier section. Then you can drive the K701 direct from the player. If you do have this set up, then you can probably skip the M-Stage.

      Any extra budget you have left you can use to upgrade your headphones.

      At the moment I still don’t know how much the HM-603 will retail for. But it will have the same amplifier section as the HM-801, which is powerful enough to drive a HD800 with authority.

      • Reply April 30, 2011

        Kristian

        Thanks for your reply Mike, I really appreciate it.

        Yes, I know the sound that the TMA-1’s intended for – which is what I enjoy exploring at work, i.e.; electronica, dubstep and experimental contemporary dance music – it’s kind of part of what I do for a living (I currently live in Copenhagen by the way, which is where the TMA-1’s originated from :). I bought them today. I do plan on exploring many different headphones along my journey, but the TMA-1’s seems like a good deal for something that’s portable for city use and decent for office use.

        This is the start of a new journey for me and knowing myself I will try out many different headphones/DACs and Amps along the way, but I need to start somewhere and trying to interpret your answer – HM-602 as a portable player, and office DAC/Amp and a home DAC paired with Matrix M-Stage seems like a decent place to start. Am I right? Can’t really wait for the 603 🙂

        Thanks again!!!

        • Reply April 30, 2011

          Anonymous

          Well,
          What I am saying is if the HM-603 does come out to be good, then there is no need for a separate desktop amplifier. It should be able to drive probably 99% of the dynamic headphones out there with good authority. So it’ll be a DAC, portable player, and you just run everything through the 603.

          • Reply April 30, 2011

            Kristian

            Thanks again.
            I might just have to wait. Googled it and couldn’t find anything about it though – any idea when it’ll be released?

            • Reply April 30, 2011

              Anonymous

              Sorry,
              I sent an email to Hifiman asking about this, and they say at the moment they only plan to release it for the Chinese market. The price will also be more expensive than the 602.

              • Reply April 30, 2011

                Kristian

                Ok, thanks for the information.

                • Reply April 30, 2011

                  Anonymous

                  Yea, sorry about that, Kristian.

                  Anyway, back to your original question, why dont you get the Audinst, the Yulong, or the Tiny Tube DAC as a desktop solution for your K701?

                  You can find the reviews under Source > Desktop Source.

  • Reply May 8, 2011

    Guest

    Does the line out give same quality?

    • Reply May 9, 2011

      Anonymous

      The slight differences I mentioned between the two models also applies to the line out signal. Sorry if I didn’t make that clear earlier.

  • Reply May 21, 2011

    Dammit

     Hi mike, im getting incredibly disgusting hiss on the 601 , do u get that on your set too?

    • Reply May 23, 2011

      Anonymous

      I am testing it right now with the HM-601 to the JH16, which is my most
      sensitive IEM.

      With no music playing, it’s noticeable that the HM is not completely
      hiss free, even at low-gain and volume level <2, which is the range that
      I use my JH16 on. The hiss does get louder on louder volume levels. But
      when the music is playing, I can't hear the hiss at all. With other IEMs
      it shouldn't be as extreme, as the JH16 is extremely sensitive to hiss.

      Are you enjoying the sound quality?

  • Reply May 21, 2011

    Dammit

    Its terrible on IEMs but not as noticable on large cans..

  • how is the dac of the 602 compared to the dac magic? and 801 vs dac magic?

    • Reply June 28, 2011

      P. J.

      My impressions of 602 vs DM: both are very musical although DM is more energetic while 602 is a bit laidback. 602 has noticable treble roll off while DM is a brighter device.

      • Reply June 28, 2011

        Anonymous

        Agree with PJ.

    • Reply June 28, 2011

      Anonymous

      The Hifimans are warmer, darker, fuller mids (602) and lows (801), better detail and ambiance. Dacmagic is more linear, smoother, more flat.

  • Reply June 29, 2011

    Yitaro

    Hi Mike,
    Little late to the party but great review.  I currently have iBasso PB2 and HD650.  Looking for a DAP that will have good synergy with my setup.  I am using Pure Music and iTunes for source and loving the sound.  Great wide open and detailed sound.  I’m looking for the same sound signature  from my DAP.  Any recommendations?  HM-601 or HM-602 or Nationite?  Or should I go with iBasso DB2 and stay with iTunes/Pure Music?

  • Reply August 7, 2011

    Hariz Razali

    If I read this article right, you can use the HM602 as a DAC, is that corrrect?

    If that is so, then I just might get it as a DAC when I’m at home and PMP when I’m on the go.

    • Reply August 7, 2011

      Hariz Razali

      Oh nevermind I just read the other review about HM602 lol.

  • Reply August 31, 2011

    Tan

    Hi Mike, so compared to the audinst, hm602 is better?

    • Reply September 1, 2011

      Anonymous

      Yes.

  • Reply September 2, 2011

    Orta03

    Hey Mike!  I’ve been following your blog for while now and needless to say I’ve become a big fan of yours!
     The more I read about the HM-601 the more it seem like the true Hi-Fi DAP I’ve been looking for.  You’ve had success(of varying degrees) driving the HD800 from the HM-602 which shares a very similar amplifier circuit with the HM-601.  My question is would the 601 be capable of  driving Sennheiser’s HD600 series pretty well?

    • Reply September 3, 2011

      Anonymous

      Thanks Orta.

      I believe the amplifier section of the HM-602 and the HM-601 are almost identical in terms of power output. They can drive the HD600 to sufficient loudness, but bass impact is not good enough to my ears. In this case I would recommend you to try to look for the HM-603, which should have a more powerful amplifier section, based on the HM-801 amplifier section.

      • Reply September 3, 2011

        Orta03

        Thanks for the reply Mike.  You’re right, the amplifier section of the HM-603 is much more potent than that of the HM-601/2.  However, due to availability and cost , the HM-601 seems like a better fit for me.  Thanks again and keep up the great work!

        • Reply September 5, 2011

          Anonymous

          Okay thanks, Orta.

  • Reply September 18, 2011

    Scott Mcmillan

    Hi Mike,

    I recently stumbled upon your website looking for headphone recommendations and found this review that has peaked my curiosity. I am very intrigued by a high end portable player. I listen mostly to classic rock, rock, punk, and what I will call celtic/folk punk such as Dropkick Murphy and The Pogues. I currently have Grado SR60i and Shure SE210s but will be  investing in JH5Pros and at some point Sennheiser HD25-1 II. I know I will be switching back and forth between the different headphones depending on my mood. Disregarding the USB DAC aspect since I have not researched DACs enough to know if I would benefit from one, do you think the 601 or 602 will better suit my music tastes and which would work better with the above mentioned headphones.

    • Reply September 19, 2011

      Anonymous

      Hi Scott,
      Some classic rock recordings are quite good, like the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd and stuff. I also checked out the Pogues and found their recording to be quite good as well. Hence I think you’ll notice quite a difference when you upgrade to the Hifimans.

      Between the HM-601/2, I am still leaning toward the 602 more. It’s warmer and smoother than the 601, and I think overall the sound fits my ears better. It is more expensive though, so it depends on your budget. If you are not so sure then the 601 may be the safer bet.

      • Reply September 19, 2011

        Scott Mcmillan

        Thank you for the advice. Looks like the 602 will be added to my list of things to save for.

        • Reply September 20, 2011

          Anonymous

          Awesome, Scott.

        • Reply September 28, 2011

          Eyx56410

          Or, for a good portable player that uses componenets that aren’t 15 years old, do yourself a favor and buy a cowon.

  • Reply September 23, 2011

    RainbowDash

    How do you think the 601 would match with Triple Fi 10, or ATH-ESW9?

    Thanks again.

    • Reply September 25, 2011

      RainbowDash

      I`m really torn between the Hifiman 601 (2GB model) and the fostex hp_p1.

      Please help me to decide:)

      • Reply September 26, 2011

        Anonymous

        1. The HM-601 is cheaper, the Fostex is far more expensive.
        2. The Fostex HP-P1 will give you that great Ipod UI, the Hifiman is more primitive in comparison. 3. Sound quality you can consider the Fostex to be a little better than the HM-601.

        • Reply September 26, 2011

          RainbowDash

          Thanks. That clarifies things for me.
          Also I guess I can use Equalizer app to roll off the highs and simulate the 601 sound on the ipod touch:)

          -Looking at the Fostex more.

  • Reply November 7, 2011

    Dramateras

    Recently I read a very negative review of the HM-601. Here is the link:
    http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62111
    Would you comment on this review and especially on the graphs shown?
    Thank you very much.

    • Reply November 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      Okay it’s a very long story with ABI and Hifiman player and the RMAA graphs and I don’t want to go there.
      Here is my take on the HM-601: I truly, honestly, think that the HM-601 is not only a very good player, but also one of the finest out there. But hey, Hifiman is our site sponsor so it’s understandable if some people question the credibility of that statement.
      Anyway here is something I wrote about objectivity and credibility: http://www.headfonia.com/more/maintaining-objectivity/

    • Reply November 7, 2011

      Anonymous

      Okay it’s a very long story with ABI and Hifiman player and the RMAA graphs and I don’t want to go there.
      Here is my take on the HM-601: I truly, honestly, think that the HM-601 is not only a very good player, but also one of the finest out there. But hey, Hifiman is our site sponsor so it’s understandable if some people question the credibility of that statement.
      Anyway here is something I wrote about objectivity and credibility: http://www.headfonia.com/more/maintaining-objectivity/

      • Reply November 7, 2011

        Dramateras

        Thank you for your prompt reply. My intention was not in the least to doubt the objectivity of your reviews. I hope you did not get this impression. I was just so surprised to see the mentioned graphs. I could hardly believe them. I would therefore still be interested to know a little more about how credible these graphs are and how they can be compatible with the stellar sound quality of the HM-601/2, which is confirmed by so many reviews, not only yours.

        I also have one more question: I am considering to purchase the HM-603. Can I expect any difference in sound quality to the HM-602 and/or the HM-601?

        Thank you again.

      • Reply November 7, 2011

        Dramateras

        Thank you for your prompt reply. My intention was not in the least to doubt the objectivity of your reviews. I hope you did not get this impression. I was just so surprised to see the mentioned graphs. I could hardly believe them. I would therefore still be interested to know a little more about how credible these graphs are and how they can be compatible with the stellar sound quality of the HM-601/2, which is confirmed by so many reviews, not only yours.

        I also have one more question: I am considering to purchase the HM-603. Can I expect any difference in sound quality to the HM-602 and/or the HM-601?

        Thank you again.

        • Reply November 7, 2011

          Anonymous

          Thanks. The stuff on the credibility is sort of prepared for the skeptics who love to bash and attack.
          Okay, frequency response graphs tell you the frequency response, and nothing else. Frequency response is a small part of the total sound quality. It doesn’t tell you anything about the resolution, soundstage depth-wide-imaging, ambiance, timbre, instrument reproduction and the list goes on. Our senses may not be very good at quantifying stuff, but they are far more advanced than electronic measurement devices. By the same logic, this is why every good car manufacturer (and race car teams) would ultimately test their car with professional human drivers who can tell them a lot of things a computer can’t.
          Moving on,
          The HM-603 is the best of the HM-60X series. Same DAC section as the HM-602 but far punchier amp. I wish I had an HM-603 too but they’re only sold in China (and Hong Kong). My friend Peter bought one from Jaben Hong Kong and it’s the player he uses every day. 🙂 Personally I think the HM-801 is still better, but he prefers the smaller and lighter HM-60X (He happens to own all the exotic DAPs out there including the Colorfly).

          • Reply November 7, 2011

            Dramateras

            Well, you are of course right, in the end only the listening experience itself counts. And that’s also what’s going to guide my purchasing decision. These regular spikes are surprising though. 

            You are saying the HM-603 has a punchier amp. Would this make any difference with respect to sound quality? I am thinking to use the HM-603 with Etymotic ER-4P/S or JVC FX700, or possibly Sony MDR-EX1000, if I can afford it. I am not quite decided yet.

            Thanks again for your replies. I am impressed by you attention.

          • Reply November 7, 2011

            Dramateras

            Well, you are of course right, in the end only the listening experience itself counts. And that’s also what’s going to guide my purchasing decision. These regular spikes are surprising though. 

            You are saying the HM-603 has a punchier amp. Would this make any difference with respect to sound quality? I am thinking to use the HM-603 with Etymotic ER-4P/S or JVC FX700, or possibly Sony MDR-EX1000, if I can afford it. I am not quite decided yet.

            Thanks again for your replies. I am impressed by you attention.

            • Reply November 7, 2011

              Anonymous

              I actually don’t mean listening experience in the sense of musicality, as with the right music a Sansa Clip can be just as musical as a high end DAP like the Hifiman. What I mean is the other technicalities factor, where those factors like soundstage and imaging are not taken into account when you are just looking in a graph.
              The sound quality will be mostly the same if you use an IEM I suppose. But if you decide to use headphones, even portable ones, the punchier amp would make a difference.

            • Reply November 7, 2011

              Anonymous

              I actually don’t mean listening experience in the sense of musicality, as with the right music a Sansa Clip can be just as musical as a high end DAP like the Hifiman. What I mean is the other technicalities factor, where those factors like soundstage and imaging are not taken into account when you are just looking in a graph.
              The sound quality will be mostly the same if you use an IEM I suppose. But if you decide to use headphones, even portable ones, the punchier amp would make a difference.

        • Reply November 7, 2011

          Anonymous

          Thanks. The stuff on the credibility is sort of prepared for the skeptics who love to bash and attack.
          Okay, frequency response graphs tell you the frequency response, and nothing else. Frequency response is a small part of the total sound quality. It doesn’t tell you anything about the resolution, soundstage depth-wide-imaging, ambiance, timbre, instrument reproduction and the list goes on. Our senses may not be very good at quantifying stuff, but they are far more advanced than electronic measurement devices. By the same logic, this is why every good car manufacturer (and race car teams) would ultimately test their car with professional human drivers who can tell them a lot of things a computer can’t.
          Moving on,
          The HM-603 is the best of the HM-60X series. Same DAC section as the HM-602 but far punchier amp. I wish I had an HM-603 too but they’re only sold in China (and Hong Kong). My friend Peter bought one from Jaben Hong Kong and it’s the player he uses every day. 🙂 Personally I think the HM-801 is still better, but he prefers the smaller and lighter HM-60X (He happens to own all the exotic DAPs out there including the Colorfly).

  • Reply November 7, 2011

    Dramateras

    Recently I read a very negative review of the HM-601. Here is the link:
    http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62111
    Would you comment on this review and especially on the graphs shown?
    Thank you very much.

  • Reply November 12, 2011

    Dramateras

    Hello, here I am again. I have another question.
    I am currently looking for an awsome Christmas present for my girlfriend. My idea is the following:
    HM-601 + Etymotic ER-4P/S + Digizoid ZO2 to boost the bass of the Etymotic.

    What do you think about the synergy of this combo?

    (I was originally planning for a HM-603, but she does not need a DAC.)

    Regards and thanks

    • Reply November 14, 2011

      Anonymous

      That sounds like a good set up. I just received the ZO2 and haven’t yet listened to it though, so perhaps ask me again next week? I can try out that exact set up for you since I have an ER4 and the Hifiman as well.

      • Reply November 15, 2011

        Dramateras

        Thank you. I’ll get back to you next week then. Looking very much forward to your impressions!

        My girlfriend has a Kenwood MGR-A7 (me too), which is not the worst player, I suppose. I am curious to see, how this works with the ER-4P and ZO2, and how it compares to the HM-601.

        • Reply November 15, 2011

          Dramateras

          One more info: We are both listening mostly to classical music. Maybe you could try it with this kind of music too?

        • Reply November 16, 2011

          Anonymous

          I’ve tested the Zo sooner than I thought and I’m loving the sound with the ER4P and the HM-602 that I was using.
          I assume you’ve read about the SmartVector™ technology that they use, right? I don’t really know what they do in there, but it does make music sound very good. I’m hearing a smoother and more dynamic sound with the SmartVector on. You can adjust the contour to two extremes. One is a super thick sound that boosts the mid and low end body, the other to a thin yet very spacious sound. On the ER4 and classical music I prefer to add a little bit of thickness to the sound, but only a little bit to the mild amber color.

          • Reply November 17, 2011

            dave

            i was considering the Zo2 also but given that my source is a J3 and my iems will be the fx700, i thought maybe a neutral/analytical amp would be a better choice, what do you think?

            • Reply November 17, 2011

              Anonymous

              Dave,
              The Zo is not the ultimate portable amplifier, but with the sound I’m hearing from it, I think it’s something that everybody has to try. The adjustable sound contouring technology also means that you can get both a thick warm sound or a clear spacious sound. So you practically have an amplifier that will give you a choice between that two extremes, and even get many different presets in between those two extremes.
              So again, the choice is yours. It still won’t replace some of my favorite portable amps (the JDSLabs Cmoy for instance), but it’s definitely something that everybody has to try.

          • Reply November 17, 2011

            Dramateras

            Thank you for the quick feedback. The ZO sounds like a very interesting device. It surprises me that you can adjust the contour in two ways. This is certainly exciting news. How do you do that? On their website I could only see an adjustment possibility of the bass boost in 32 levels.

            • Reply November 17, 2011

              Anonymous

              For more details, you can download the User Manual here: http://www.digizoid.com/docs/zo_user_guide_v2.pdf

              Go to page 5.

              Cheers.

            • Reply November 17, 2011

              Anonymous

              Basically the contour switch can go two directions. One direction for a thick warm sound with bass boost, the other direction for a clear spacious sound.

          • Reply November 17, 2011

            Dramateras

            Are you planning a review of the Zo2?

          • Reply November 18, 2011

            Dramateras

            Thank you again. I checked the user guide link you provided, but the user guide seems unchanged with respect to version 1. It is a one to one copy. No info about the volume change possibility nor about the feature you are describing. 

            • Reply November 18, 2011

              Anonymous

              Please check on page five where it has a picture of the contour light bar. Then pay attention to these passages:
              Adjusting the subwoofer intensity

              When your zo is turned on for the first time, the SVC will be set at the median contour level, and the LightScale indicator will illuminate an amber color.
              To decrease the contour level, rotate the SVC downwards, while making sure not to push it in. When the contour level reaches the minimum setting, the LightScale will transition to green.
              To increase the contour level, rotate the SVC upwards, again making sure not to push it in. When the contour level reaches the maximum setting, the LightScale will transition to red.
              We designed zo’s contouring profiles such that the increment of change is greater on the low intensity side (green). Therefore, you will notice a more significant change in the LightBar’s color and the corresponding subwoofer intensity as you step up.
              We did this so that when you reach the max profile (red); the sub- woofer intensity would not be overbearing.

              Basically the contour level starts at the middle (amber). If you bring it up to red (max), then you get a thick sound with bass boost. If you bring it down to green (minimum) then you get a spacious soundstage sound.

              Hope that’s better now. 🙂

          • Reply November 18, 2011

            Dramateras

            Thank you for the trouble of copying this passage for me. I had read the passage, but was not aware that you were thinking of the minimum setting, when you talked of the spacious sound. I thought it was some new feature of the ZO2. If you compare the ZO2 user guide, which you provided the link for, with the user guide of the ZO1 at the following link taken from their support page http://www.digizoid.com/docs/zo_user_guide.pdf , you will notice that there is no difference at all. Even the title is the same: “Personal Subwoofer”, which they declared to have abandoned for the ZO2. Neither is there any mention of the important new feature of volume control independent of bass boost. So I believe, the link you provided leads to the user guide of the ZO1, or they forgot to update it, or they haven’t finished writing the new guide yet. Where did you get you link from, by the way, I couldn’t find it on Digizoid’s site.

            • Reply November 18, 2011

              Anonymous

              Yes they probably haven’t updated the user guide.

              But you do get the idea right?

          • Reply November 18, 2011

            Dramateras

            Just checked your link again. On the last page it says ©2010, confirming that it is still the old guide.

          • Reply November 18, 2011

            Dramateras

            Just checked your link again. On the last page it says ©2010, confirming that it is still the old guide.

          • Reply November 18, 2011

            Dramateras

            Yes, I think I understand what you are trying to describe. Your empirical description may be compatible with the frequency response curves of the ZO published by a Digizoid engineer under the user name MizMoxie in the Head-fi forum. See here at the bottom of the page:
            http://www.head-fi.org/t/504037/mini-review-digizoid-zo-portable-subwoofer/135#post_7485165
            Quite interesting that the ZO apparently not only boosts the bass but also, to a lesser extent, the treble. Could this possibly explain your observations?

  • Reply December 4, 2011

    Raijin Madapaka

    Hi there Mike!

    I’m planning to get the HM601 for my UM Mage. Any comments on that? Will they have a good synergy with it each other? Thanks 🙂

    • Reply December 5, 2011

      Mike

      Yes, sure that should be a good pairing.

  • Reply January 27, 2012

    boogerjuice

    Its neat that you choose to review these over the HE-400 headphone youv had sitting around for a while now.
    I guess now is a great time to review these daps so you can narrow it down in a few more weeks when the SLIM model starts showing up.

    • Reply January 27, 2012

      Mike

      Dear mr. boogerjuice, 
      This review is dated February 8th 2011. 

  • Reply February 24, 2012

    Robert Castleberry

    How does the sound quality of the HM-601 compare to something like a Cowon J3? Is it apples and oranges or closer than that? I was looking at buying the J3 but then came across talk of the HM-601 in the forums…

    • Reply February 24, 2012

      Mike

      Hi Robert,
      From what I’ve heard from my friends, the HM-601/602 is better than the J3. But other than that I personally don’t have experience with the Cowon.

  • Reply March 18, 2012

    mark playdon

    Hi mike. Love the website and reviews, great work.
    A quick question.
    I am just about to buy the hm601 or 2, but having extreme difficulties in picking either the beyer dt1350’s or sennheiser hd25’s.
    I like listening to all music types.
    Cheers Mark

  • Reply March 31, 2012

    Stas Ka

    Hi Mike.I got my HM-601 a few days ago. For me my hm-601 is much better than the matrix mini-i and fiio e10 (better soundstage,better micro details, better overall  music presentation).Westone um3x+HM-601  is a great combo. But I need a good desktop dac . Which dac would be better than hm-601?under 500$. HRT Music streamer 2?

    • Reply March 31, 2012

      Mike

      The micro details are so good on that thing, and soundstage three dimensionality as well. I actually don’t think I can find a sub $500 DAC that matches the HM-601/2 in that respect. The HRT MS2 will give you a bigger soundstage and with quite a good three dimensionality as well, but the sound is grainier and as a result I feel that micro details are a bit hidden. You should try the HM-602. Plug it to an AC adapter and it works wonderfully as a USB DAC. Plus the sound is smoother still with the HM-602.

      • Reply March 31, 2012

        Stas Ka

        Thank you!

        • Reply March 31, 2012

          Mike

          Good luck with building the set up!

          • Reply March 31, 2012

            Stas Ka

            I forgot about one thing….which portable amp can you recommend most of all? c421, TTVJ SLim,  ALO Rx?

            • Reply April 2, 2012

              Mike

              Right now I’m liking the C421 very much. Not saying it’s the best, but it’s very nice and the price is relatively affordable. The ALO National is also very2 good for $299, I’m working on a review of it.

  • Reply April 3, 2012

    Joshua Liswantoro

    Hi Mike –
    I am a newbie in audiophile world. I have dr Dre Studio, ATH-M50, Goldring DR150, Sennheiser IE80, CX-300, and PX-100, Klipsch S4,  and AKG K420. Reading a lot from your website, I now realize that my current source is not sufficient to get the best sound from my current headphones collection. Currently I am only using Zen M300 and FiiO E6.

    I am ready to pull my trigger on HM 601, as usual, I always try to start from the lower to fell the step up when I do upgrade. Unfortunately, I can’t get HM601 anymore. They replace it with HM 601 Slim. Have you try the slim version? How it’s sound compared to the initial model? 

    I am also plan to purchase FiiO E11 to replace my Fiio E6. Will I get benefit from it compared to the built in amp in HM 601?

    I need your advise. Thanks.

    • Reply April 3, 2012

      Mike

      From what I’ve heard from HM601 owners, the Slim version sound like a good upgrade to the HM-601.
      I would just get the HM-601 first and look at the amps later. With something as the HM-601, if you want to add an amp I’d suggest you get something more refined than the Fiio E11 or the E6..

      • Reply April 3, 2012

        Joshua Liswantoro

        Thanks Mike.. You save my money 😀
        I love this website…

        • Reply April 3, 2012

          Mike

          Anytime, Joshua. 🙂

  • Reply April 3, 2012

    Joshua Liswantoro

    Damn… HM-601 Slim here is also out of stock. Jaben Indonesia just call me and offer to do a group buy of HM-603. There are very minimum to non existent review of this new product. 
    Mike, have you try this one?

    • Reply April 3, 2012

      Mike

      I haven’t tried the HM-603 Slim, but I’ve tried the HM-603. Should just go for it.

  • Reply April 14, 2012

    DARREN

    Hi Mike,
    I am looking to buy HM-601 slim can i sync or get music onto it via my Apple macbook, also do you think my Grado GR10 will work well with the 601,

    Thanks,
    Darren.

  • Reply May 1, 2012

    ivan ka

    Hi HFN, are the hifiman 603 slim  are running smooth with the SDHC 32GB class 6 /10 full of WAV songs?
    Thank you 🙂

    • Reply May 2, 2012

      Mike

      I haven’t tried that, sorry.

  • Reply June 18, 2012

    YongPo 'Halton

    Hello mike,
    I was wondering will Hifiman 601 slim, good enough to drive a 6 driver ciem, i wouldn’t want to carry amplifiers around everytime.
    any suggestions ?

    • Reply June 18, 2012

      Mike

      It should be able to drive it just fine, but perhaps not with the kind of punch and articulation as some dedicated amps.

      • Reply June 19, 2012

        YongPo 'Halton

        Oh i see, thanks, but it would be better than ipod touch 3g/4g right?
        hmm comparing HM601 and ipod video 5.5g without amp, which would you suggest?

        • Reply June 19, 2012

          Mike

          You will get better sound from the HM-601 due to its DAC, but amp section is more or less the same than the Ipod. That’s based on my experience on the non-slim model. I heard the slim models get a more powerful headphone out, but I haven’t listened to them personally.

  • Reply June 24, 2012

    Stephen Loke

    Hey Mike,

    Do you think it is worth getting the Hifiman HM601 or HM602 to upgrade from an Ipod Classic? I already have amplifiers such as the P-51 Mustang, JDSlabs C421 & the National by Alo Audio. I use the Sennheiser HD25-1 II.

    Listen to: Pop, Rock & Alternative.

    Thanks.

  • Reply June 26, 2012

    Stephen Loke

    Hey Mike,

    What do you think about the HM601 / HM602 pairing with external Amplifiers? What amplifier standard does these have on-board (JDSlabs C421, P-51 Mustang, RSA Shadow?)

  • Reply August 16, 2012

    Cameron Mackie

    Hi Mike,

    Please forgive my ignorance as I am new to this whole game.

    Just wondering what you think about driving the HE400 directly from the Hifiman 602 – is it absolutely necessary to purchase a separate headphone amp as well? If so what do you recommend? – my budget is $100 – $200.

    Thanks

  • Reply November 16, 2012

    L.

    there’s a 901 coming out? :O

  • Reply November 30, 2012

    Eduard

    @headfonia:disqus

    Hi
    Mike will the HM 601 be able to drive the HD598 & IE8 properly and will it be a good match for them?
    Currently I use an A series walkman and am considering upgrading to the 601 as the walkman can’t drive the HD 598 proprerly.

    • Reply November 30, 2012

      Nick Tam

      The HM601 has tonz of power, 598 isn’t that demanding as the hifimans are capable of driving the bigger Senns without much of a hicckup.

      • Reply November 30, 2012

        Mike

        What Nick said. Shouldn’t be a problem.

        I think it’s a nice match for the HD598. I haven’t really tried it with the IE8 though.

        • Reply November 30, 2012

          Eduard

          Thanks Mike

        • Reply December 2, 2012

          Eduard

          @headfonia:disqus

          With efficient full size headphones like HD 598 & SR 325i will the HM 601 slim have good body to the sound and the bass have a nice authoritative punch/slam??I don’t want a thin sounding DAP.

          is it true that the 601 slim has a more powerful amp section compared to the standard 601??

      • Reply November 30, 2012

        Eduard

        Thanks Nick.

      • Reply December 3, 2012

        Eduard

        @facebook-692862021:disqus

        With efficient full size headphones like HD 598 & SR 325i will the HM 601 slim have good body to the sound and the bass have a nice authoritative punch/slam??I don’t want a thin sounding DAP.

        is it true that the 601 slim has a more powerful amp section compared to the standard 601??

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    fsgb80v7cbwe

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    lida

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  • Reply February 6, 2013

    Khloe85

    @headfonia:disqus

    Hi Mike

    Is there any difference in the sound produced by the HM 601 & the HM 601 slim??
    Some say that the slim has a better DAC section & more powerful amp & that the 601 slim is an improved version of the 601. Is it true?

    The slim one is 4mm slimmer & comes with 4GB & 8GB versions as compared to 2GB on the old one apart that is there any difference at all?

    Which one did you use for this review??

    • Reply February 8, 2013

      Mike

      This review used the non-slim version as the slim version wasn’t out yet.
      I’ve listened to the slim, 601, 603 and thought that it sounded roughly the same as the non slim. I thought the sound was nice and though there may be differences (I didn’t have the normal version when I did the listening) I would go for the slim if I’m getting one.

  • Reply March 3, 2013

    vick_85

    @headfonia:disqus

    Hi

    I bought a HM601 slim last week and I’m disappointed with the sound.It sounds thin/lacks body and if I use the EQ then its like a viel has been put over the sound, the transparency is reduced.

    Headphone used: HD598 & IE8.

    Music files: A mix of WMA lossless & 320kbps mp3 files

    Is my unit faulty??

    • Reply March 4, 2013

      Mike

      That sounds weird. The HM601 shouldn’t be thin/lacking body. I don’t know if it’s faulty, as faulty units usually has noise/buzzing/other issues that are more serious than just a thin sound.
      To be honest I don’t know what’s up with the set up. What are you comparing the set up with? Perhaps the other DAP you’re used to have a bass boost EQ on?

      • Reply April 17, 2013

        Guest

        @headfonia:disqus

        Thanks for the reply Mike

        I use a walkman with the clear bass on with the IE8 IEM’s adjustable bass thingy set on 3, so I guess that is why 601’s bass response was underwhelming.

        (Fiio E12+HM601+HD 650) will this be a good pairing???

        • Reply April 17, 2013

          Mike

          The HM603+HD650 would be better if you can get it.

          Still I’m not sure if it’ll have the bass quantity of your IE8+Walkman +Clearbass combo

      • Reply April 17, 2013

        vick_85

        @headfonia:disqus

        Thanks for the reply.

        I use a walkman with the clear bass on with the IE8 IEM’s adjustable bass thingy set on 3, so I guess that is why the 601’s bass o/p seemed underwhelming.

        (Fiio E12+HM601+HD 650) will this be a good pairing???

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