Hiby R6 2020 Review

HiBy R6 2020

Amplification

HiBy used high-quality amplification units in the new R6 2020. x4 TI OPA1612 & x2 AD SSM6322 provides 245mW from the SE out and 750mW from the BAL out. (32ohm) As you can see here, there is a huge power gap between the two so if you’re planning on getting absolutely maximum performance out of the R6 2020, go balanced. The HiBy R6 2020 is a powerful player,  it has plenty of power to drive any IEM you could get.

I paired the Mangird Tea hybrid IEM via BAL and only 20% volume is more than enough for it. Note that it’s a 20-ohm earphone. I also paired it with a bunch of other earphones such as the Earsonics Velvet V2 and never passed the 30% mark at middle gain.

Sound Signature

The HiBy R6 2020 has an impressive circuit under its hood, LDOs, ELNA & POSCAP capacitors, crystal oscillators, independent isolated power supply design…

It is quite rich in audio hardware and it is equally well-implemented, coding side. HiByOS allows the R6 to fully utilize every piece of hardware so my expectations were quite high for this product.

The HiBy R6 2020 sounds balanced, clear & refined. It is not exactly neutral, it is on the slightly warmer side of the scale. Tonality is pretty spot-on, it does not feel digital or artificial, at all. 5 minutes into the first contact, I noticed how technically capable and dynamic it was. After spending more than a week listening to it, trying it with different earphone configurations, here I am describing it to you! All tests done via 4.4 BAL, MSEB off, LPFR default filter.

Lows

Tight, textured, and articulate. It has quite a quick attack & decay, which makes it very dynamic when it comes to faster genres. Listening to electronic music is really fun. Bass is clean and sweet, while the quantity is not excessive or light. It is just adequate and scales very well with the earphones. For example, when I pair it with the Earsonics Velvet V2 (Warm/Balanced mode), it gives me a very powerful bass response but also a very quick one at the same time. Midbass is very adequate as well, it does not suffocate the staging, quantity-wise. HiBy managed to tune it to hit the perfect spot. Pairing it with a slower, single dynamic earphone, such as the Mangird Tea, bass articulacy and speed is affected negatively while the quantity increases and note weight thickens. Audio, after all, is a world of diminishing returns. To sum up the bass section, it has a very controlled, balanced bass response that scales very well with the different earphone configurations.

Hiby R6 2020

Midrange

Transparent, detailed and natural. It does not have a saturated midrange, note thickness is adequate, it feels accurate and mid-based instruments such as guitars are easy to spot & track on stage. Vocals are layered, clear, and very detailed. Not too forward, not too recessed. Upper mids are vivid but controlled. No harshness of any kind. Resolution is quite impressive, almost as good as my desktop rig. (SMSL SU-9 & SH-9) It is quite impressive to pack this performance into a handheld device. Listening to Tom Waits and his gravelly voice immediately gives you goosebumps. Separation, airiness, and layering immediately catch your attention while the natural tonality of the instruments is waiting to be noticed.

Treble

Refined, expansive & clean. I really like the treble region of the R6 2020 as it is very well-tuned. It is detailed and not fatiguing at the same time so quantity is really well-done. It is not sharp or particularly smooth, it is just balanced and airy. The extension is also quite good with plenty of details. Microdetail retrieval is impressive, too. Treble-bound instruments such as Piccolos or Flutes feel natural and easy to listen to. Transients are effortless and they extend into the top octave in a relaxed state. The whole presentation feels relaxed and articulate.

Technical Capabilities, PRaT & Soundstage

The R6 2020’s technical side is strong thanks to its airy and transparent presentation. It is a very capable DAP and its presentation and overall performance make it a very good all-rounder for practically every genre out there. It handles congestion and complex passages easily when it is paired with an equally good earphone. Don’t forget, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link! The R6 2020 has plenty of air between the instruments and this of course is the reason behind the spacious presentation. The layout is very defined as well. The R6 2020 has a wide and moderately deep stage. Instruments are relaxedly scattered around, they have plenty of air between them and their positions are defined. It is easy to focus on each and every one of them. Imaging is excellent.

vs. HiBy R6

Compared to the original R6, well how can I put it, … everything is better. The R6 2020 has a more relaxed, airier presentation with more natural tonality. It has a wider and deeper stage, much better resolution. It also is a much better all-rounder thanks to better technical capability. It has a much faster SoC, more RAM. It has a bigger, more vivid screen for all your multimedia needs. The original R6 sounded somewhat digital compared to the new R6 2020.

Last Words

HiBy’s new R6 2020 packs a big punch with its new and refined audio circuitry, new processor, and many features such as the x16 MQA decoding capability.

It is nothing like the original R6 and R6 PRO. This is a complete overhaul and I am not sure why HiBy chose this name. They could’ve gone with the HiBy R7 name instead. Anyway, as I stated already, this is a feature-packed device, it has many tools like MSEB in which you can fine-tune and find that specific tonality you’re after. This flexibility means that finding earphones that synergize with the R6 2020 will be much easier and that’s a big bonus if you have multiple earphones in your arsenal.

Other than these, the R6 2020 has a gorgeous design, small enough to carry around without hassle, light enough to put into your pocket. It has a custom Android 9 interface so the possibilities of what you can do are limitless, you could even use it as a USB-DAC as there is practically no downside to it. I downloaded my entire Tidal-Masters library into a 512GB SD card.

It feels great to listen to MQA songs on the go. It has a very fulfilling sound quality, it doesn’t make me want to switch to my desktop rig at all. Players have come a long way and thanks to HiBy, we have one more awesome device. From top to bottom, my experience with HiByOS and the R6 2020 was hassle-free. No bugs, no stutter, nothing.

I really enjoyed my time with the R6 2020. It is an excellent package altogether. If you’re looking for a capable Android DAP and multimedia device, this is your best bet in this price bracket.

 

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Long time Tech Enthusiast, an ambitious petrol-head, Yagiz likes his gadgets and always finds new ways into the tinkerer's world. He tries to improve anything and everything he gets his hands onto. Loves an occasional shine on the rocks.

    5 Comments

    • Reply January 3, 2021

      András Rév

      I just tried the Hiby R3 Pro Saber, which only has Hiby OS and found buggy, meaning the song played was stopped some times and the recovery from this state took half a minute!
      Android 9 is a great advantage!
      Could you try the R6-2020 with UAPP Android application?
      In my opinion this is the best mobile music player app sounding clearly better than e.g. TIDAL Windows application.

      • Reply January 4, 2021

        Yagiz

        I don’t know about R3 but R6 2020’s Android is very polished. Android is a resource hog and the better the processor, better the experience. I used UAPP before, and tomorrow I’ll try it with R6 2020. I believe it has a huge advantage when you’re pairing it with a USB DAC but I did not see any other improvement beside that in the past.

    • Reply January 3, 2021

      Aslan B

      Nice looking DAP. Hows it stack up against a Fiio M11/M11Pro?

    • Reply January 5, 2021

      Claudio

      Hi. Googd review. I had the hiby r6 pro and i think was a great product so this r6 2020 must be the same or better. My only concern with this android DAP is the battery duration. As an smartphone, the battery start to reduce their capacity (after 1 year or less). That was the reason to sold my r6 pro. After four months using it i realized that the battery didn”t have the initial duration . The problem of this dap is that you are using the battery not only for the android system. You need battery to power the dac and the internal amps. For that reason i think if you like an andorid dap will be better to get one with huge battery not the same that the smartphones but be aware that after a year you will notice a poor batrery performance (assuming that you will use it almost everyday).

      Despite of that i would love to have the chance to hear music with the r6 2020

    • Reply January 20, 2021

      Marc

      Would you happen to have had the chance to compare it to any of the iFi Micro iDSD models or maybe even the Chord Mojo? I am wondering whether the latest gen DAPs at the price point have caught up with the better sounding (trans)portable DAC/amps, at least for IEMs and efficient headphones.

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