HiBy R6 III Review

Sound Quality

The HiBy R6 III sounds quite balanced, clear & refined, and neutral overall. People say the R6 2020 is on the warmer side a bit, but I can’t say that with the R6 III. It’s not analytical by any means, but it’s overall neutral and it just lets the attached IEM/headphone do the job for tonality and character. The R6 III does not feel digital or artificial, at all. 5 minutes into the first contact, I noticed how technically capable and dynamic it was. All tests are done via 4.4 BAL, MSEB off, and LPFR default filter.

Since they launched their first DAP in 2017, HiBy has improved the sound aspect substantially. One can easily say that they now have a very mature sound performance with almost their entire DAP range, and the R6 III, with an even cheaper asking price, is going to be a hit in the market. 

Bass

Lows are tight, nicely 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. Yet, the bass is just a bit boosted in the mid-bass region, but it keeps it pretty much under control. This is probably the only colouration in the entire sound of the R6 III. Lows are clean and sweet, while the quantity is not excessive or light. It is just adequate and scales very well with the different IEMs.

Midbass is very adequate as well, it does not compress the staging. HiBy managed to tune it to hit the perfect spot. Pairing it with a relatively bassy IEM such as the Sony IER-Z1R, the bass is still quick. To sum up, the bass section has a very controlled and balanced response that scales very well with the different IEM configurations. And although it’s just a bit boosted than neutral, that’s only a minority and would differ depending on your set of IEMs

Midrange

R6 III has very transparent, detailed and natural mids for the price. It does not have a saturated, bold, or warm midrange. The performance here is neutral, and note thickness is adequate, it feels accurate and mid-based instruments such as guitars are easy to spot & track on stage.

The vocals are nicely layered, clear, and very detailed. Not too forward, not too recessed. No harshness of any kind. The resolution is quite impressive for a DAP that costs $499 USD. Separation, airiness, and layering immediately catch your attention while the natural tonality of the instruments is waiting to be noticed.

The R6 III overall has a great mid-range performance, and I liked the fact that it doesn’t have any colouration. Normally we see this reference-type performance with higher-end DAPs, but HiBy somehow managed to do it at a great price level. 

Treble

The treble is not too aggressive, but aggressive & bright IEMs may cause some discomfort, especially if you’re used to flagship DAPs. It’s not because the R6 III is aggressive or too analytical in this area, but it’s because it doesn’t have the biggest staging, which is only normal. It’s not fair to expect it to compete with DAPs that have more than 1000$ price. 

So since the stage is smaller than higher-end units, you may notice a borderline sibilant sound with very bright IEMs. With that being said, I think that’s because the R6 III is an honest source device. It doesn’t hide anything from you, it just has an honest delivery and if you have aggressive, bright IEMs, you may have a slightly aggressive sound in this area.

Aside from that, the treble is articulated, clean and transparent. There’s great detail here and great timbre. The treble is very realistic, and there’s great air/space. The extension is also quite good and microdetail retrieval is impressive too. The whole presentation is very resolving and articulate.

Technical Performance

The R6 III is one of the best devices you can have in terms of technicalities for this price. The presentation is quite resolving, 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 IEM.

The R6 III has plenty of air between the instruments but the sound stage is not particularly wide. The depth is there though, which is quite nice but don’t expect a huge staging performance. The imaging is quite strong though, with good focus and separation. The definition in the mid-range & treble is nice, and the honest delivery of this player is probably the best part. It’s like a reference DAP for a small amount of money, and it proves that fact with every genre. It’s not a specific DAP at all, you can get it and play everything with confidence

I would’ve liked a more musical and smooth timbre/delivery from the R6 III, as that is my preference most of the time, but the overall technical performance makes up for it. 

Page 1 – Intro, Package, Design & Build
Page 2 – User Experience & Software
Page 4 – Technical Performance, Comparisons & Conclusion
4.1/5 - (106 votes)
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A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favourite Jazz recordings.

9 Comments

  • Reply February 24, 2023

    Sorys Rgee

    Think there is a slight error in this review. The gen III has only a 720p screen which would put pixel per inch around 293PPI which is still heaps.

    Source: https://store.hiby.com/products/hiby-r6-gen-iii?variant=43658015342808

    • Reply February 24, 2023

      Berkhan

      My mistake, thank you 🙂

      • Reply May 7, 2023

        james

        I have a question I’m trying to pair a DAP/IEM combo (please HELP)
        -HiBy R6 Gen III
        -iBasso DX320
        with
        -Thieaudio Monarch MK II.
        -SA6 MKII / MK2 ear phones

        What combinations do you recommend ?

  • Reply February 24, 2023

    SEBR

    Hi,Berkhan
    Thanks again for your great reviews. My question is, compared to the R6 2020 and R6 III, is it worth buying the R6 2020 now?

    • Reply February 25, 2023

      Berkhan

      No, it doesn’t make much sense in my opinion. The new pricing is just too good to ignore.

  • Reply February 27, 2023

    Michael

    Hi, what do you think in comparison to the Fiio M11S?

    Greetings
    Michael

  • Reply March 3, 2023

    Erick Victor Munoz

    Would love to see a comparison of this on the iBasso DX 170.

  • Reply March 17, 2023

    Kanot

    How does this compare with the dx170? Which is better overall? Will you also be reviewing the Mangird Xenns Top?

  • Reply April 13, 2023

    Yannick Khong

    Can this be compared to the Shanling M3 Ultra plz?

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